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Westfield, IN- The bronze Girl and Foal will be auctioned during the Harrisburg sale, to benefit the Harness Horse Youth Foundation to assist with expenses related to its educational programs. The sculpture will be on display in the Preferred Equine Marketing consignment area, and the bid sheet will be located there, as well. Bidding begins Monday, November 4 at 9 AM, with bids accepted 9 AM - 5 PM Monday through Thursday and from 9 – 3 on Friday. The opening bid for this full size piece (Four feet high by 62” long and 15” wide  is) $3,800 for this bronze and subsequent bids are to be increased in $25 increments. If needed, HHYF reserves the right to rase the bid to next highest $25. Successful bidder must arrange shipping. Successful bidder must pay for the bronze in cash or check by 5 PM on Friday, November 8. No credit cards will be accepted. For more information, contact Lillie Brown at Preferred Equine Marketing or other HHYF representatives, who will be present during the sale. The Harness Horse Youth Foundation 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 For more information, contact Keith Gisser, 216-374-1392 or Submitted by HHYF.

For a small breeder, having one foal make the Breeders Crown final is exciting.   Paul “Pete” Spears’ Windsong Stables came to prominence in 2004 when Windsongs Legacy captured the Triple Crown of trotting for trainer Trond Smedshammer.   The Windsong name will be in focus on Saturday night with two foals from the late Bax Machine figuring prominently in both the $250,000 Crown Mare Trot and the $500,000 Crown 3-year-old filly trot.   “I recall we purchased Bax Machine in 2001 at the Harrisburg Sale,” said Spears. “She was in foal to Muscles Yankee and I think we paid either $18,000 or $19,000.”   While the daughter of Earl seemed to have a nondescript pedigree, Spears actually favors that approach.   “I especially like to purchase hard-hitting mares that race in Canada,” Spears said. “It really doesn’t matter to me what the sires name is.”   Diversity has been the watchword at Windsong and it has helped cultivate a brand that continues to perform at a high level.   Bax Machine has been a model of consistency no matter what cross Spears chose for her. With 10 foals on the racetrack, Bax Machine was the proverbial sure thing in the breeding shed.   “It doesn’t show up on the USTA site, but her 2005 foal by S Js Caviar (Bring Me Back) was a top colt in Sweden,” said Spears.   What does show up under her pedigree is an extraordinary array of talented trotters from diverse stallion pairings.   Her first colt by Muscles Yankee, named Q Forty Five, was exported and raced well overseas. She was then bred to Angus Hall, Dream Vacation, S Js Caviar, Broadway Hall, Cantab Hall, Windsongs Legacy, Kadabra and Credit Winner.   On Saturday night Bax Of Life, the true Windsong-bred mare—being a daughter of Windsongs Legacy and Bax Machine—appears to have the best chance of success.   The 5-year-old mare, trained by Jerry Duford and driven by John Campbell landed post three fresh off an impressive 1:52.4 victory in last week’s Crown elimination. The gritty mare has improved with age, earning more than $300,000 over the last two years, a far cry from the just under $90,000 she banked as a 2- and 3-year-old combined.   Trainer Jim Raymer entered Bouncing Bax in the Crown because he believed the daughter of Credit Winner deserved a chance. She entered last week’s Crown eliminations on the strength of a five-race winning streak that included the $225,000 New York Sire Stakes final at Yonkers. Though that streak ended with a fifth place finish in her Breeders Crown elimination, driver Howard Parker seemed undeterred.   “I thought she raced very well,” said Parker. “She got a little fumbly on the final turn and I had to steady her. She’ll race better next week.”   The New York Sire Stakes program has helped Bouncing Bax earn $367,713 in her first two years of racing.   “She’s very good gaited and she’s very comfortable on the half-mile track,” said Raymer. “I think she’ll be a little better next year.”   While Bax Machine has yet to produce a world champion, she’s given more to the sport in the longevity her foals have had on the racetrack. Just look at Never Bax Down, her second foal by Ontario-sire Angus Hall who raced 180 times between 2007 and 2011.   Baximum, Bax Machine’s 2007 foal by Cantab Hall, was a Grand Circuit winner as a 2- and 3-year-old and is approaching $400,000 in career earnings.   The saga for owner Spears came to an end last year when Bax Machine was injured prior to foaling her Muscle Massive-sired colt.   “She foaled on three legs,” said Spears. “Mares generally don’t get better after that.”   Bax Machine did her motherly duty and nursed her foal until the youngster was weaned some three months later.   “We could have done a procedure on her,” said Spears, “But it was risky with no guarantee of success.”   Bax Machine ultimately was humanely put down and her final foal—Fighting Bax—goes on the auction block Nov. 4 at the Standardbred Horse Sale at Harrisburg.   Spears says he’s had fun naming the foals of Bax Machine, who was named as a tribute to Ontario horseman John Bax, who trained the $2.1 millionaire Goodtimes.   Spears is grateful for the success of Windsong Stable mares, having had the good fortune to do well with mares others cast aside. He’s bred a diverse group to a wide range of stallions and come up with solid stakes trotters. Triple Crown winner Windsongs Legacy’s dam Yankee Windsong died prematurely after her champion was born. Bax Machine’s greatest accomplishment, producing two exceptional Breeders Crown finalists, comes a year after her passing.   On the positive side, the bloodlines of Windsongs Legacy and Bax Machine will be around for some time, especially if two of Windsongs Legacy’s more famous sons —Chapter Seven and Lucky Chucky—turn out to be successful in the breeding shed. Win, lose or draw, Windsong Stables has carved out quite a niche on the trotting breed.   By Jay Bergman for the Breeders Crown  

Saturday is a big night for a little mare. The elimination for the $300,000 Breeders Crown Mare Pace will be the very first foray into stakes company for 5-year-old Ooh Bad Shark, who starts from post four in race No. 7 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. She’ll need to be no worse than seventh in the $25,000 elim to reach the final. Bill Wiggins of Holland, Pa., trains Ooh Bad Shark, a daughter of Cam’s Card Shark who he bred and co-owns with Donna Fedorak of Langhorne, Pa. This will be the first stakes start of any kind for Ooh Bad Shark, who never even raced in Pennsylvania’s sire stakes races. She has won 17 of 51 career starts and earned $248,465. “There are only 32 aged mares [eligible to the Breeders Crown] and probably half of them didn’t go, so I figured I’d give it a chance,” said Wiggins. “She is still very small and when she was a 2-year-old she just wasn’t big enough and strong enough. I never even raced her as a 2-year-old.  I just stopped with her and gave her time off. “She didn’t start until the fall of her 3-year-old year,” said Wiggins. “She’s still 14.1, she’s not very big. She’s a pony [starting size for a horse is 14.3 hands]. “She’s a delightful mare, but I have to protect her a little bit.  That’s one of the reasons I didn’t go after the big guys all the time. That, and probably not quite good enough, but she gives you all she’s got when she goes.” This year, Ooh Bad Shark has been racing against high level overnight competition at Pocono Downs and Harrah’s Philadelphia. She is coming off a win in a career-best-equaling 1:50.3 in a conditioned race at Pocono. “I’m basically one of the longshots or maybe the longest,” said Wiggins. “Her grandmother is Ooh’s ‘N Aah’s and I own her daughter Ooh Bad Girl. She (Ooh’s ‘N Aah’s) was a small mare but she beat some of the big ones and she made a million-some dollars ($1,139,429). That was the reason I paid $20,000 for (Ooh Bad Girl) at the Harrisburg sale, but she had problems with her knees and never panned out as well as I’d like. This is her first foal.” The Breeders Crown elimination features three horses to win at least one Breeders Crown trophy in the past. Anndrovette has won the Mare Pace the last two years and is trying to become the first horse to win an open division three consecutive years. Economy Terror and Monkey On My Wheel also have Crown titles to their credit. “I’m hoping for ridiculously crazy fractions and then we’ll try to pick them off at the end. I’m probably going to need a little help. Those kinds of mares, they just generally keep going and I know that, but she can sit on the outside, she’s a tough little mare. But in against these, I don’t know how she’ll fare. “I’m giving her a shot because I think she’s that close. She’s almost good enough for them.” Following is the elimination field in post position order with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Economy Terror, Ron Pierce, Chris Oakes; 2. Rocklamation, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 3. Swinging Beauty, Ron Pierce, Ron Burke; 4. Ooh Bad Shark, Howard Parker, William Wiggins; 5. Anndrovette, Tim Tetrick, P.J. Fraley; 6. Monkey On My Wheel, Brian Sears, Casie Coleman; 7. Krispy Apple, Tim Tetrick, P.J. Fraley; 8. Camille, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 9. Shelliscape, David Miller, P.J. Fraley. Byes: Drop The Ball, Feeling You. by Ellen Harvey for HRC

The 2013 edition of The Black Book 2 can now be found on Standardbred Horse Sales Company's website Printed catalogs are expected to be available for shipping on October 11. The Mixed Sale begins on Friday, November 8 and ends on Saturday, November 9 at the PA Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA, following the Select Yearling Sale which takes place from Monday, November 4 through Thursday, November 7. Standardbred’s popular “Black Book for the iPad” from is available for download from a link on our website. Past Performances Book 1 for race lines is also available for download on the website, and will not be mailed with printed catalogs this year. However, Past Performances Book 2 with most current race lines will be available for download on October 28, and will be distributed in printed form at the Sale. The Mixed Sale has a total of 940 entries, including 288 broodmares and broodmare prospects, 69 weanlings, 70 yearlings, 33 stallion shares, and 480 race horses. The Mixed Sale features the Complete Dispersal of Perretti Farms bloodstock, including 46 broodmares and 39 weanlings; 21 broodmares in the Brittany Farms/Monieson Dispersal and Brittany Farms Annual Reduction; and 9 broodmares in the Badlands Racing LLC Dispersal. For further information, please visit the website or call 717-637-8931. by Vivian G. Jewitt for Standardbred Horse Sales Company        

Trainer of undefeated He's Watching

Quite An Avenger (4g Quite Easy-Nobes Hanover-Prakas), with trainer Markku Nieminen driving, held off Venice (4f Quite Easy-Vivace-Express Ride), handled by Mika Forss, to win today's 221,000 euro, 2600 meter, Suuri Suomalainen Derby test for four year-olds at Vermo Racecourse (Helsinki, Finland). The winner, a son of young and successful sire Quite Easy, was timed in 1.13.73kr in the victory, his sixth in nine 2013 appearances. Quite Easy (Andover Hall-Marita's Victory-Valley Victory) was a $125,000 yearling at 2005 Harrisburg Sale and winner, at age two, of the Champlain and the International Stallion Stake. Cherry Chapstick (4f Orlando Vici-Summer Sisu-Victor Victor) took the third spot in the twelve horse field with Pearls For Girls (4f Striking Sahbra-Ussania Boko-SJs Photo) landing fourth. Brad de Veluve won the 2012 edition of the Derby which began in 1970. Thomas H. Hicks  

Before the final 10 horses race in the 88th annual Hambletonian on Saturday, 10 of the world's best fillies will take to the Meadowlands Racetrack for the Hambletonian Oaks. With two horses in the race, Australian owner Michael Taranto teams with Swedish-born trainer Jonas Czernyson, who is looking for his second career win in the Oaks after claiming victory in 2005 with Jalopy. This year Czernyson brings Mistery Woman and Ma Chere Hall to the $500,000 race. After Mistery Woman and Ma Chere Hall finished first and second in different eliminations Saturday (July 27), Czernyson and Taranto took the two horses into Tuesday's draw. Mistery Woman (9-2) drew post position four while Ma Chere Hall (10-1) will be on the outside at post 10. "I really don't think the 10 hole is that bad. But believe me, if I could get the rail instead of the 10 hole, I'd take that any day," Czernyson said. "I think the four hole should work out pretty good for [MISTERY WOMAN]. "They both trained very good. We're rolling and ready to go for Saturday." Ma Chere Hall finished second by two lengths to Oaks favorite Bee A Magician, the 2-5 morning- line favorite. Win or lose, Taranto remains excited to see his horses compete in the big race. "It doesn't matter if we run one and two or nine and 10, it's all about the experience," Taranto said. "The build-up yesterday to the draw - it was five a.m. our time. I was following Twitter hoping to see." Taranto first met Czernyson and his wife, Christine, back in 2009 when Taranto and some fellow Australians flew to the United States to purchase yearlings at the Harrisburg Sale, a trip he makes every year. Always looking for trotters, Taranto waits on a good horse that he can take back to breed in Australia. "I love the sport. I love the people I've met," Taranto said. "They're from all walks of life but you can keep meeting people who have the same interests. All the people I've been able to meet because of the association with horses it's amazing." When not exploring his passions for harness racing, Taranto is the managing director and CEO of Seelite Windows and Doors, which services mainly the commercial market. His company employs about 70 people, which requires a certain amount of organization for a man who travels the world. "The travel with the horses has become much easier, the technology's become much better so people don't even need to know I'm not in the country," said Taranto, who also races a horse in Europe. "I'm sure half the people that talk to me the next four days won't know I'm not in Australia." "He had a trip last year," Czernyson said. "He flew into JFK and then drove to Vernon and watched Ma Chere race over there and then he jumped in his car the next day and drove to Toronto and watched Mistery Woman race up in Canada." Taranto purchases horses under the stable name Aldebran Park Inc. He purchased Mistery Woman on Oct. 4, 2011, for $102,000 along with co-owners Misty Miller, William Donovan and Millstream Inc. (Czernyson and wife, Christine). Miller's husband, David, will drive Mistery Woman in the Oaks. Their investment has paid off as Mistery Woman has earned $234,790. Taranto owns Ma Chere Hall - who has earned over $206,000 going into the Oaks - along with Walnut Hall Limited and Joe Sbrocco. Bee A Magician, trained by Richard "Nifty" Norman, is the biggest challenge to the Taranto/Czernyson combo. Norman's filly comes into the Oaks undefeated in 2013 and is currently the No. 2 ranked horse in harness racing's Top 10 Poll, with 18 wins and $1.28 million in earnings. Czernyson will also have two horses, Dreams of Thunder and Lauderdale, competing in the $1.2 million Hambletonian,. Dan Levin is a student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He is covering the Hambletonian as part of the Clyde Hirt Journalism Workshop. Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications  

CAMPBELLVILLE, ON — As temperatures climb across Ontario, so does anticipation for this Friday’s $400,000 Mid-Summer Challenge at Mohawk Racetrack. Cambridge resident Jack Darling will start two youngsters in each of the freshman pacing filly and pacing colt Challenges and is looking forward to seeing how his protégés stack up against the cream of the 2013 Ontario Sires Stakes crop. “It’s a tough bunch,” says the owner-trainer. “I’m interested to see how they match up against those horses.” In the $150,000 two-year-old pacing filly Challenge, Darling will send Shadow Play daughters Alibi Seelster and Nefertiti Bluechip into the fray from Posts 4 and 6, respectively. Alibi Seelster qualified for the Mid-Summer Challenge with a win in the July 1 Gold Series season opener at Mohawk and a sixth in the July 11 event at Rideau Carleton Raceway. The filly made an error behind the starting gate at Rideau Carleton which mystified her connections, but Darling says she seems ready for battle on Friday. “We don’t really know why, we’re guessing she couldn’t get over the track,” says Darling of the filly’s miscue. “But she trained good today (Tuesday), and she seems 100 per cent. “She’s a smart filly, but she’s very aggressive on the track. She doesn’t like to go slow,” he adds. A $27,000 purchase out of the 2012 Forest City Yearling Sale, Alibi Seelster and regular driver Paul Macdonell of Guelph were also winners in an overnight event at Mohawk on June 14. Nefertiti Bluechip also scored an overnight win at Mohawk, touring the Campbellville oval in 1:56.1 on June 21. The filly logged a third and a second in the first two legs of the Gold Series to earn her spot in the Challenge and Darling is hoping she is ready for a break out performance Friday. “She’s a good honest filly,” says the horseman, who offered up $50,000 for the youngster at the Harrisburg Yearling Sale. “She’s been struggling with sickness, but she raced through it and hopefully she can keep getting better.” Darling’s trainees will square off against eight other point leaders in the fifth race, while nine fillies below them in the standings will battle in the $50,000 Mid-Summer Challenge Consolation in Race 2. The two-year-old pacing colt Consolation goes postward as Race 3, and the top point getters will line up behind the starting gate in the seventh race. Darling’s duo will occupy the centre of the racetrack in the $150,000 Challenge, with Cluster Hanover starting from Post 6 and Shadowbriand getting Post 7. Cluster Hanover made an error in his Gold Series debut at Mohawk on June 28 and was placed back to fourth, then delivered a second-place result at the Campbellville oval in the July 8 second leg. “I really like him. He hasn’t won yet, but he’s been kind of knocking at the door,” says Darling. “His last start he scoped sick. He wasn’t as good as I expected so we scoped him after the race and he was pretty plugged up with mucous. We treated him and he trained yesterday (Monday). He trained good and scoped clean.” The Badlands Hanover gelding, a $95,000 purchase out of the Harrisburg sale, will have regular reinsman Jody Jamieson of Moffat in the race bike. While Cluster Hanover has failed to live up to Darling’s expectations to date, stablemate Shadowbriand has exceeded them. The Shadow Play gelding won his division of the June 28 season opener and finished second in the second Gold Series leg, putting him in a tie for top spot in the freshman pacing colt division standings with 75 points. “He’s kind of surprised me,” admits Darling, who paid a relatively modest $10,000 for the half-brother to $700,000 winner Artriverderci at Harrisburg. “He’s a little bit of an overachiever. “He can’t really go with Cluster training, but he’s been the one who has made money. He steps it up when he gets behind the gate.” Post time for Mohawk Racetrack’s Friday evening program is 7:25 pm, but Ontario Sires Stakes fans will want to arrive at 6:30 pm for an opportunity to meet and have autographs signed by some of the program’s leading drivers. The first 100 people to visit with the drivers will go home with an Ontario Sires Stakes backpack. The Mid-Summer Challenge Consolations go postward in Races 2 and 3, while the main events are slated as Races 5 and 7, with the fillies going first for both events. For complete entries. For up to date point standings, race replays, and more. Sandra Snyder

If you decide to drop a claim slip in with the judges, it's fair to say that you've done all your homework first. You've looked at pedigree; studied past performances; watched how the horse makes it around the oval for several weeks and generally have the feel that you can get him to be competitive in a higher class in rapid fashion.

As the 'winter' training season moves toward completion I was recently reminded of why dreams, anticipation and excitement remain at top of mind for harness racing stakeholders and observers of the standardbred sport. The following excerpt from a Harness Horse 1948 story, following the Harrisburg Sale, rightfully references baseball's 'Hot Stove League' as of similar context:

Real Babe overcame post position 10 to win the $47,800 Charles Singer Memorial final for harness racing 4-year-old trotters on Saturday night (Feb. 23) at Meadowlands Racetrack. David Miller was in the bike for owners Emilio and Maria Rosati of Australia and trainer Mark Harder as the 4-year-old daughter of Donato Hanover-Housethatruthbuilt recorded her fourth win in six season's starts, lifting her 2013 bankroll to $46,800.

Standardbred Horse Sales Company would like to remind harness racing yearling owners and consignors that the end of the business day on February 15, 2013 is the deadline for entries to our 75th Annual Yearling Sale, to be held November 4 - 9, 2013 at the PA Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA.

Windsong Soprano, a 6-year-old trotting mare who banked $1.23 million in her harness racing career, was sold for $340,000 on Friday (Nov. 9) at the Standardbred Mixed Sale in Harrisburg.

A harness racing report on the second major Standardbred yearling sale of the year and a look back on the effects of Hurricane Sandy on farms and training centers in New Jersey are the top items on this week's edition of "Eye on Harness Racing," the U.S. Trotting Association's weekly video news magazine.

Harness racing's top price on Day Four (Thursday November 8) of the Harrisburg Sale went to hip #951, Cluster Hanover, who sold for $95,000 to Jack Darling of Cambridge, Ontario.

Hot Air Balloon, a $130,000 purchase, topped the third day of the 2012 Standardbred Horse Sales Company's annual harness racing sale at the PA Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg on Wednesday (November 7).

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