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Columbus, OH --- Wendy Ross has joined the U.S. Trotting Association's Communications Department as social media and public relations coordinator and Jason Turner has been promoted to assistant editor of Hoof Beats and digital brand strategist for the USTA. In addition, James Witherite has been hired as a freelance editor for the newsroom on the USTA's website, www.ustrotting.com. "We are excited to add Wendy to the communications team for the skills and experience she will add to our social media and publicity efforts," said USTA Director of Marketing and Communications Dan Leary. "And we're pleased to provide Jason with a larger role with our magazine as assistant editor of Hoof Beats as well as a new opportunity to assist us in shaping the USTA's digital strategy moving forward. "With these additions, we've diversified the skills of the communications department and added creativity to our team, which will allow us to do an even better job of promoting the sport of harness racing." Ross, a third-generation horsewoman, is a familiar face to harness racing fans through her work as an on-air television personality at The Meadowlands, Tioga Downs, Northfield Park, The Meadows and The Little Brown Jug. Following in the footsteps of her mother, Ross began her career at the age of 15 as an outrider at local fairs in Ohio. She later worked in that capacity at Northfield Park and Tioga Downs and has had the opportunity to be an outrider at some of harness racing's most prestigious events including the Hambletonian, Breeders Crown and Elitloppet in Sweden. After leaving the industry for about a year-and-a-half during 2016 and 2017, Ross recently returned to harness racing at The Meadows where she has been back in front of the camera doing live interviews in the paddock and winner's circle on the track's simulcast. Turner started his USTA career as an intern for Hoof Beats in 2006. After graduating from Ohio State University with a degree in journalism, he was hired as a full-time publishing assistant in 2007 and, later that year, was named as editor of Youth Beats magazine, a publication whose subscribers have grown from 40 to 1,700 under his guidance. A year later, Turner began writing and copy editing and had his first feature story published in Hoof Beats. In 2011, he was promoted to graphic designer. Also in 2011, Turner was named the recipient of the International Media Award for Best Feature Article for his "Racing and the Recession" story in the November 2009 issue of Hoof Beats. His work on the magazine has also won multiple American Horse Publications and Hervey Awards for writing and design. Witherite currently serves as the chart caller and racing analyst at Harrah's Philadelphia. Previously, he was a track announcer from 2006 to 2016 at Harrah's Philadelphia, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs. He also served as morning line oddsmaker and program handicapper at The Meadowlands and makes numerous appearance as the bugler at many of harness racing's top events. by Ken Weingartner, for USTA Communications Department  

Columbus, OH --- The U.S. Trotting Association announced Friday (May 4) that Kim French, who currently serves as an internet newsroom editor and writer for the organization's website, has been named interim editor of Hoof Beats magazine. In addition, former editor Dean Hoffman has been hired as a consultant for the magazine. They replace TJ Burkett who recently resigned to pursue another career opportunity outside of the harness racing industry. French joined the USTA staff in April 2016 but had been a contributor to both Hoof Beats and the website as a writer for a decade prior to that. She has written for about 20 equine magazines during her career and was the recipient of a Hervey Award for a Hoof Beats story that appeared in 2016. A graduate of Northern Kentucky University, French also has extensive television experience that includes serving as associate producer, field producer, production assistant and stage manager for ESPN and NBC Sports Thoroughbred national broadcasts, program editor for the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont Stakes and Breeders' Cup from 2007 through 2015, and has produced the national newsfeed for both the Kentucky Derby and Breeders' Cup since 2013. Hoffman most recently taught a Race Track Marketing and Media Relations course as well as provided support for the University of Arizona's Race Track Industry Program's marketing efforts and its annual Global Symposium on Racing & Gaming. Previously, he worked in public relations and advertising agencies in varying capacities before being named Executive Editor of Hoof Beats magazine, a position that he held for almost 25 years, longer than any other editor since the magazine was established in 1933. In 2007, Hoffman was inducted into the Communicators Hall of Fame. Two years earlier, he was awarded Harness Tracks of America's Stanley F. Bergstein Messenger Award for contributions to the literature of harness racing and he was president of American Horse Publications and served on its board for 15 years. Ken Weingartner

Lloyd Arnold and Stan Bergstein, two legendary figures in harness racing, have races named in their honor this weekend at Cal Expo. The Lloyd Arnold Pace is set for Saturday night and the Stan Bergstein Trot is the feature on Sunday. Lloyd Arnold was an owner and track operator of the highest caliber. He passed away in 2012 at the age of 83. Originally the owner of Arnold Cattle Co. in Iowa, Mr. Arnold raced hundreds of horses in Illinois and across the Midwest throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. During that era, Mr. Arnold raced horses like Warm Breeze, who earned more than $250,000 in two seasons of racing in the mid-1970s, and Dancing David, who earned more than $200,000 in the 1960s. Warm Breeze took Mr. Arnold to racings pinnacle for the first time when he set the all-age world record at over this track, then known as Golden Bear Raceway. His top horses in later years included the pacing mare Sanabelle Island, who earned $1.6 million lifetime and won 57 of 110 starts. Also of note was Bagel Beach Boy, who won the 2001 Messenger and Matron stakes. In August 2003, Mr. Arnold bought Chevie Duramax, who then went on to set world records for 2-year-old pacing geldings on both mile and half-mile tracks. The fastest 3-year-old pacer in North America in 2004 belonged to Mr. Arnold as Quik Pulse Mindale won in 1:48 at Balmoral. In addition to being a prominent standardbred owner, Mr. Arnold operated this track during those Golden Bear Raceway years and also bought Los Alamitos in the late 1980s, eventually selling the track to his partner, Ed Allred. Mr. Arnold was inducted into the California Harness Hall of Fame in April of 2008. He also enjoyed personal honors in 2001 when he was feted by the Delaware Sportswriters and Broadcasters at their annual awards dinner and received the Owner of the Year Award from the U.S. Harness Writers' Association. Chris Bardis said, Harness Racing was one of Lloyd's great passions. He accomplished so much for the sport not only in California, but nationwide. He was Mr. Harness Racing. He conducted race meetings at Cal Expo, Bay Meadows, Golden Gate Fields, Del Mar, Pomona, Hollywood Park and Los Alamitos. I know of no one else who has had a greater impact on the harness world. Sundays Stan Bergstein Trot is named for the legendary figure in harness racing who passed away in 2011 at the age of 87. Mr. Bergstein was a harness-racing titan who advocated for cooperation between the Standardbred and Thoroughbred industries to solve the sports' common problems. He stepped down in 2011 after 50 years as the executive vice president of Harness Tracks of America, the Standardbred industry's trade association. He was immediately appointed as the organization's first executive emeritus, and continued to advise the association and write guest columns for the Daily Racing Form until the weeks before his death. The only person to ever be inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame and its Communicators Hall of Fame, Mr. Bergstein worked in a wide variety of roles at racetracks, auction houses, announcer's booths, and racing publications, and he maintained extensive collections of harness-racing books and artwork. He was widely respected not only in the harness industry, but also in the Thoroughbred industry, and he served as a mentor to generations of young racing professionals through a close association with the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program, located in Tucson, for the past 40 years. Mr. Bergstein was a forceful proponent of forging closer ties between the Standardbred and Thoroughbred industries, most notably in tackling medication abuse and problems with drug-testing. In dozens of commentaries, Bergstein maintained that the Standardbred industry's problems were, or would be those of the Thoroughbred industry, and that neglect of a problem in one sport would damage the other. Bergstein borrowed from the Thoroughbred industry early in his career, incorporating claiming races as a racing secretary while working at the Chicago tracks in the 1950's. At the time, the harness racing industry did not run claiming races, and they are now as commonplace in Standardbred racing as they are in Thoroughbred racing Bergstein also spearheaded the creation of Standardbred Investigative Services, a security agency modeled on the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau. A native of Illinois, Bergstein attended harness races as a young man and received a journalism degree from Northwestern University. He was the former executive editor of Hoof Beats magazine, and the former vice president of publicity and public relations for the United States Trotting Association. Cal Expo trackman/program director Marty Bridges credits Stan Bergstein with bringing him into harness racing as a profession. After college and two years in the Army, I was employed by the small business association. At night, after work, I was a regular patron at Sportsmans Park and Maywood in Chicago. My supervisor, a former sportswriter for the Chicago Daily News, knew of my interest and called Stan to set up a meeting. Surprisingly, I was to meet him at Du Quoin on Hambletonian Day. Watching Stan call the races from a slightly elevated booth on the infield adjacent to the finish line was thrilling and between races we talked about racing, horses, drivers and trainers. His knowledge of the sport was amazing and I had never met anyone like him, and still havent. He introduced me to John Tinsley, the program director for all the Chicago tracks and John hired me on the spot. Its been a great ride, doing something I love. Gene Vallandingham first met Stan Bergstein in 1959 when he was working for the legendary Joe OBrien. Stan came to Joes farm every spring for the annual Camptown racing weekend, when all of Shafter would be there for a day of racing. Stan was the true voice of harness racing, he was liked by all and I miss him. Chris Schick said, "Stan was foremost a kind and compassionate person. He was a true visionary in the harness racing industry. In 1979 well before simulcasting, he so rightly stated the future of the industry was in how well we brought the product to the public. He was also very vocal of the industry for being reluctant to embrace change. Our industry lost a giant when he passed. Arnold Pace, Sire Stakes, Jackpot 6 spotlighted The $10,000 Lloyd Arnold Free-for-all Pace, a pair of $10,000 California Sire Stakes and a $48,130 carryover in the Jackpot 6 are among the main attractions Saturday night at Cal Expo. A 14-race card is on tap under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 6:10 p.m. The Jackpot 6 is one of four wagers on the program that feature a reduced 16% takeout rate. The others are the Hi-5, which like the Jackpot 6 is a 10-cent minimum bet; the 50-cent Pick 5; and the 20-cent Pick 4, which comes with a $25,000-guaranteed pool. Looking at the Arnold Pace, China King is fresh from a 22-1 upset in last weeks Open when he hung a narrow decision on heavily-favored Pancetta in a 1:52 1/5 mile He drew the outside post in the field of seven. A 7-year-old American Ideal gelding who carries the banner of Gary and Jen Sabot with Gene Vallandingham training and Steve Wiseman in the sulky, he went-to-coast to capture the January 17 Open at 19-1, then came back last time to score from a tracking position at another nice price. Taking him are Pointsman, who gives the Vallandingham barn two looks at the outcome; Rusty Skipp and J C Onthebeach for conditioner Ray Burt; Alligator Falls from the Sal Wenceslao shedrow; the Junior Wilkinson-trained A Real Miracle; and Love Live Laugh for trainer Denise Maier. Uringoodhands and Hi Hos Little Rev have dominated the sophomore pacing colts Sire Stakes to this point and get another chance to settle the score on Saturday, while Placer gets top billing in the stakes gathering for the 4-year-old trotters. By Mark Ratzky, publicity Cal Expo Harness                            

Orlando, FL --- As she traveled from New Jersey to Florida for Sunday night's harness racing Dan Patch Awards tribute, trainer Nancy Johansson passed time on her flight by reading a Hoof Beats magazine story about her Horse of the Year winner JK She'salady. JK She'salady, bred and owned by 3 Brothers Stables, was undefeated in 12 races last season and became the first 2-year-old female pacer in harness racing history to be named Horse of the Year by the U.S. Harness Writers Association. She was honored Sunday at USHWA's Dan Patch Awards Night of Champions Banquet at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel at SeaWorld. "When I was reading that story it really sunk in more, like, wow, this is what we're coming all the way to Florida for," Johansson said. "It's very exciting. It's something that I think everybody works for, and it's nice to be able to accomplish that. It's really sunk in more now." JK She'salady is the fourth 2-year-old to receive Horse of the Year, joining pacer Niatross (1979), trotter Nevele Pride (1967) and pacer Bret Hanover (1964). The three previous 2-year-old winners were colts. She is the first female pacer to be voted Horse of the Year since Rainbow Blue in 2004 and the fourth female pacer overall to receive the honor. The others were Bunny Lake in 2001 and Fan Hanover in 1981. "It's unbelievable," Johansson said at the time of the Horse of the Year announcement in December. "The hard work paid off. She's just such a special horse. "She's as perfect as they come, and I guess finishing off with Horse of the Year exemplifies how perfect she is." In addition to joining the connections of JK She'salady in picking up the Horse of the Year trophy, the 33-year-old Johansson received the Rising Star Award from USHWA. "It's nice that somebody appreciates your ability and your hard work," Johansson said. "Not everyone might admit it, but I think all people like to be recognized. It's very gratifying." The trip to Orlando was gratifying for reasons other than picking up awards. Johansson and her husband, trainer-driver Marcus Johansson, got to enjoy some vacation time with children Ella and Marcus Jr. "Marcus is a huge part of everything that goes on," Johansson said. "He's just as qualified to be Rising Star as I am. It's a lot of fun (to be together). It's great that it happened to be in Orlando this year and we got to have a couple of days away (from work) and my kids got to have a little fun. They sacrifice a lot because we work crazy hours and we're always running around." Older female trotter Shake It Cerry, trained by Johansson's father, Jimmy Takter, received the Trotter of the Year award and older male pacer Sweet Lou, trained by Ron Burke, received the Pacer of the Year trophy. Takter received the Trainer of the Year honor. In addition to owning JK She'salady, 3 Brothers Stables - Alan, Ronald and Steven Katz - was named Breeder of the Year and shared Owner of the Year with John Fielding. Other honorees included Hall of Fame inductee Joe Thomson, Communicators Hall of Fame inductees Bob Marks and Kathy Parker, Stan Bergstein-Proximity Award winner Russell Williams, Breakthrough Award winner Emily Gaskin and Driver of the Year winner Yannick Gingras. Horses receiving awards for division honors -- in addition to JK She'salady, Shake It Cerry and Sweet Lou -- were 2-year-old male trotter Pinkman, 2-year-old female trotter Mission Brief, 3-year-old male trotter Father Patrick, older male trotter Sebastian K, older female trotter Classic Martine, 2-year-old male pacer Artspeak, 3-year-old male pacer McWicked, 3-year-old female pacer Color's A Virgin, and older female pacers Anndrovette and Rocklamation (tie). For a complete list of honorees, click here. By Ken Weingartner / Harness Racing Communications / USTA    

Just before the start of the second race, a major wind-driven rainstorm rolled into Genesee County and inundated the area. By the time that race was completed, the track had gone from fast to sloppy and continued to degrade from there. As a result, unsafe track conditions developed and the management of Batavia Downs decided to cancel the remainder of the 12 race card, sighting concern for the safety of the horses and horsemen. Todd Haight, Batavia Downs Director/Manager of live racing said "The track had washed out from the deluge of rain and became unsafe to race on so we had to do what was best for the horses when it became evident that conditions were not going to improve. It was unfortunate because we had a very large crowd on hand for Back to the Track night but it was the right thing to do." All Back to the Track activities originally planned for tonight has been rescheduled for next Saturday (Aug. 9) and will be combined with the Old Fashion Night promotion that was already assigned to that date. Patrons are also reminded to bring back their racing programs from tonight (Aug. 2) anytime for a free replacement the next time you come to the track. Live racing resumes tomorrow, Sunday (Aug. 3) at Batavia Downs with a 1:15 post. Tim Bojarski

Batavia, NY -- Batavia Downs is pleased to announce that national harness writer Tim Bojarski has joined their staff as a media correspondent of racing information. Bojarski is a 36 year veteran of harness racing and has actively participated in all aspects of the sport during that time. He currently writes a monthly column and periodic feature articles for the award winning Hoof Beats magazine, is a content contributor for the United States Trotting Association website and serves as the national vice-president of the United States Harness Writers Association. He has also reported as a live blogger covering every major stake including the Hambletonian, Little Brown Jug and Breeders Crown. Todd Haight, General Manager of live racing at Batavia Downs said "I received numerous e-mails about the job opening from some amazing talents in this business for which I am greatly appreciative. But in the end my choice was relatively easy." "Tim's knowledge of harness racing, Batavia Downs and his tremendous writing skills made him the right person for the position. Batavia Downs has worked closely with Tim in the past and we look forward to taking that relationship to the next level this season."   Tim Bojarski will start his position immediately, preparing for the upcoming racing season which begins on July 23. Batavia Downs Media Relations           Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2014 13:15:45 -0400 Subject: Press release From: a159star@gmail.com To: askthehandicapper@hotmail.com   Obviously, make any changes you like. Thanks -- Tim Bojarski Hoof Beats Magazine Columnist National Vice-President United States Harness Writers Assn President-Upstate NY Chapter www.ushwa.org, www.upstatenyushwa.com 716-572-1801   "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is try to do as much as you can in the time that you have."    

Goshen, NY -- His nickname was 'Ace.' Many didn't know him as Jack. But after 38 years operating the television camera system at the Little Brown Jug, millions have enjoyed Jack Elliott's work. Although an Ohio legend now, Jack Elliott's first experience with communication equipment is different than you might think. Infantryman Elliott served in WWII active combat duty in the European theater as a forward observer radio operator. "I was 18 and turned 19 on the Rhine River before crossing on pontoon bridges into the main part of Germany," Elliott recalls. "I froze my feet in the Battle of the Bulge. Had to rub them with snow, to get them numb to be able to slide into the sleeping bag." After the war with Germany ended Jack was being sent home to another infantry division, the 8th, to head for Japan to fight. Fortunately half way home the war with Japan ended. Born in 1926 in Buffalo, New York, Elliott grew up in nearby Gowanda. After fighting in the Battle of the Bulge with the 79th Infantry as a teenager, Elliott came home and attended broadcasting school in Kansas City. He began his career with WBEN-TV in Buffalo and then with NBC's WNBK affiliate in Cleveland as that station's technical director. Jack remembers his learning curve with some of the equipment. "My first camera job was a disaster. In December 1947 I was assigned to run a camera at a professional wrestling match. It was in Buffalo and the place was packed. I had never seen a pro match before and thought it was for real. The crowd was very loud. There was a switch on the camera, that no one had mentioned to me, that could cut off the microphone, so I could hear the truck's control room better. "Well, I had a close-up of the two wrestlers in the middle of the ring, and as they rolled over to the side of the ring, I moved my head around the camera and did not pan with the wrestlers. I was really digging the match. The truck could not get me since the crowd noise was overpowering their signal. They sent a man up from the truck and he tapped me on the shoulder and pointed to the viewfinder, which was showing nothing but an empty screen." That was simply a bump in the road as Jack tells it. "Back in the 50's I was the number one cameraman at the TV station owned by NBC. I was flown around the country doing football games and if a big star came to town, I was removed from my technical director's job and moved over to the number one camera. Bob Hope was just one of the stars I filmed." Neither fame nor technical glitches could get in the way of Jack's love for camera work and television. Ultimately, Elliott got into sales and made the deal with Northfield Park for its first TV system in 1967, and installed the first color cameras at Scioto Downs in 1974. While at Northfield in 1967, Jack recalls some of the earliest equipment he had to work with. "Back in those days there were no computers. Instead we had a room called the Calculating Room with about 32 men in it. Each had a Monroe Calculator which was a super adding machine. It could also subtract and divide, and had a big crank handle on the side. "The Mutuel department placed two men on each price. Their figures had to match for it to be an official payoff. They had runners who would take the results to the "propper" so the winning ticket holders could get paid. This took about 10 minutes after the race. My company installed about eight cameras in that room and we televised the price payoffs and sent them via cable to the proper area." Elliott continues, "We also installed the first race camera for the judges. I had a cable that went from my video playback room to the judges office on the backstretch. They could hold hearings and I would playback the video of the race in question. The General Manager hated to lose those calculating room guys when the computers came. The computers didn't bet on the races and these guys bet big time." In 1975 Elliott realized that the sport of harness racing was lacking celluloid history. He started gleaning footage from USTA films of historic races such as the Hambletonian and Little Brown Jug. This built the foundation for the groundbreaking series Great American Trotters and Little Brown Jug Greats through Elliott's company, Colorigination. Eventually, these premier works encouraged Elliott to produce four annual Year End Review collections for the best trotters and pacers, the Breeders Crown and Canada's Best, beginning in 1993. After nearly four decades filming the Jug, and 32 years as Scioto's director of televised production, Jack retired in 2007. The immortal Stan Bergstein noted in a 1997 issue of Times: In Harness that, "If video historian Jack Elliott of Circleville, Ohio had not started collecting and organizing the films and videotapes of the modern era's great races, the sport would have no visual record of its equine stars." The impressive collection of harness racing videos assembled by Elliott constitutes a catalog of greatness, invaluable to the history of the sport. A decade later in Hoof Beats, Bergstein reiterates, "the sport owes Jack Elliott a debt of gratitude." Museum director Janet Terhune agrees. "Back in the 90s the Sulky Sweeties of Scioto Downs awarded Jack their "Good Guy" award. But Elliott's efforts mean so much more to the sport than his pleasant demeanor. He has single-handedly ensured that the motion picture history of the Standardbred has been preserved and protected for generations to come." In addition to the videos Jack Elliott has contributed to the Harness Racing Museum's collections over the years, it is his intention to entrust his life's work to the Museum's care. That is only one of the many reasons that at the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on July 6 in Goshen, Elliott shall be honored with the Museum's Pinnacle Award, which recognizes and provides appreciation for exemplary efforts put forth by members of the press and public relations professionals, in the promotion of the sport in general and The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame in particular. By Chris Tully

The oportunity for eligible college students looking to apply for the 2014 Dewey Degree Scholarship is fading fast as there are less than three days remaining to get their paperwork turned in. The Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association is looking for eligible high school seniors or returning college students from families of licensed owners, trainers, or drivers who participate full or part time in harness racing. Through the generosity of Ray Schnittker and Jeff Gural, UNY-USHWA is offering the scholarship named for Schnittker's Hambletonian winning trotter, Deweycheatumnhowe. The sixth annual "Dewey Degree Scholarship" is an annual fellowship given to an eligible student who meets the criteria and is chosen by the Chapter Officers and an impartial third party judge. It is a $1,500.00 one time, non renewable assistance award. The applicant must be entering college for the first time this fall or already in a college, university, or trade school and be enrolled as a full time student (12 credit hours minimum). Applicants' parent(s), grandparent(s), and/or legal guardian(s) must be a licensed horseman or horsewoman during the year prior to application. (In this case, 2012) Only one relative need be licensed to be eligible. The applicant must be at least a high school senior at time of application. Anyone living in the U.S. or Canada is eligible. Applicants are required to submit an essay discussing your background in harness racing, your work experience in harness racing, what you think could be done to better harness racing in the future, and how you see yourself as part of it. The essay should be around 600 words in length. You will also need to submit proof of your relatives licensing and a minimum of two letters of reference - one from a horseperson and one from a teacher or advisor in your current school. All documents must be postmarked by UNY-USHWA no later than May 31, 2014. The recipient of the 2014 Dewey Degree will be announced shortly thereafter and the scholarship will be presented in the winners circle at Tioga Downs this summer. We request the winner be present for that presentation. To download an application or to view previous winners of the scholarship, log onto www.upstatenyushwa.com. By Tim Bojarski, for Upstate NY Chapter of USHWA

The May 2014 Hoof Beats cover girl, Precocious Beauty, will be one of many stars to be on the track on Friday night at Vernon Downs. The Friday program includes three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies, as well as eliminations for the Empire Breeders' Classic for three-year-old colts and three-year-old fillies. The stars will also be in the bikes on Friday night with Tim Tetrick, David Miller, Jim Morrill Jr., Matt Kakaley, and many others coming into Vernon to drive on the twelve-race program. Precocious Beauty makes her official return to the races for 2014 night after participating in qualifiers at Pompano Park in April and Mohawk Raceway in May. The imposing filly is owned by James Avritt Sr. of Lexington, Kentucky, trained by Gregg McNair and will be driven by Douglas McNair on Friday night. Precocious Beauty is hoping to recapture her 2013 form, which saw her win divisional honors for two-year-old female pacers at the Dan Patch Awards last season. She was a winner in seven of eleven starts last year, including a victory in the She's A Great Lady Stakes, earning purses of $446,692. She has been installed at 5-2 on the morning line in Friday's seventh race, but she appears to have plenty of competition coming her way from Blush Hanover, to be driven by Tim Tetrick. Blush Hanover has three wins in four career starts, two at Harrah's Philadelphia and has also scored a win and a second in two tries at The Meadowlands. In the other two New York Sire Stakes divisions to be run, morning-line favoritism goes to the horses on the rail. The 5-2 favorite in Race 8 is Sweetnsinful, driven by Jimmy Whittemore. Sweetnsinful is owned by Connie and Homer Hochstetler of Crete, Illinois and James Michels of Muncie, Indiana. Homer Hochstetler doubles as the trainer of Sweetnsinful. She was the winner of the Madison at Hoosier Park last October and paced a Qualifier at Vernon Downs on May 16 in 1:58.2. The favorite in Race 9 is Medusa, also listed at 5-2. Medusa is owned W.J. Donovan of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, trained by Paul Kelley and will be driven by Chris Lems, who was at the controls for all four impressive wins the filly has registered this season at Vernon Downs. The Empire Breeders' Classic eliminations also are on the docket for Friday night at Vernon Downs. There are two eliminations for each division. The 7-5 morning-line favorite for the first division of three-year-old colt trotters is Lukas Hall, runner-up in the Simpson at The Meadowlands on May 9 and runner-up in a New York Sire Stakes race at Tioga Downs on May 23. Lukas Hall is owned by former New York Jets Wide Receiver Wayne Chrebet of Colts Neck, New Jersey and Little E LLC of New York, New York. Little E LLC is owned by Vernon Downs owner, Jeff Gural. The second division of three-year-old colt trotters is led by 9-5 choice, Expressive Action, winner of a New York Sire Stakes race on May 23 at Tioga Downs. Expressive Action is owned by John Grasso Stable Inc. of Hawthorne, New York. Grasso is also the trainer, while the driver on Friday night is Mike Simons. The three-year-old fillies also have two eliminations on Friday. A winner of a New York Sire Stakes race at Vernon Downs on May 17, Lady With Credit, has been installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the first division. Lady With Credit earned her first career win with that Sire Stakes score in 1:55.1. She is owned by White Birch Farm of Allentown, New Jersey, and trained and driven by Trond Smedshammer. The second division also features a New York Sire Stakes winner from this season at Vernon Downs. Glowngold is 6-5 on the morning line off of a two and a quarter length win in 1:56.1 on May 17. Glowngold is owned by the Andy Miller Stable of New Jersey, S. Demeter and Blue Chip Bloodstock, both of New York, and Highland Green Farms of Florida. The Finals for the Empire Breeders' Classic races will be run as part of a special Sunday night program on June 8, which will also include the New York Sire Stakes for three-year-old colt pacers. The twelve-race program will kick off at Vernon Downs on Friday night with a first post time of 6:45pm. by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs

Do you have a son or daughter who enjoys harness racing as much as you do? Or perhaps you have the horse racing bug and would love to consider a career in the industry? Then look no further than the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program (RTIP). Established in 1974, this Bachelor of Science degree program offers two different paths of study.  One prepares students for the business side of the industry, which includes careers in track management, regulation and pari-mutuel operations.  The other path is designed for students interested in working more directly with the horses and prepares them for careers in racing, training and bloodstock enterprises. The RTIP focuses both paths on quality education, emphasizing integrity and professionalism; the program offers personal mentoring and professional development opportunities and utilizes its deep ties to alumni working in the industry. While at the program, students gain invaluable hands-on experience through internships and create a network of industry professionals through their interaction with speakers brought to campus during each semester to lecture in the classroom. The most recent “guest professor” was Rachel Ryan, the Meadowlands’ head of public relations. The “who’s who” of the racing business who gather in Tucson each December for the Global Symposium on Racing & Gaming (hosted by the RTIP) are also a great resource for the students. One of the most important industry gatherings in the racing industry, the Symposium attracts experts and officials from throughout the world, bringing them right to the student’s doorstep. What is most impressive is the list of graduates who have gone on to great positions working in the harness racing industry including Peter Koch, race secretary at the Meadowlands; Barry Brown, director of racing operations at Harrah’s Philadelphia and Heather Belmonte, executive assistant at the Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park. And on faculty at the RTIP is none other than Hall of Famer Dean Hoffman, former head of Hoof Beats at the USTA! Graduates from the Thoroughbred side of the roster include top trainers Bob Baffert and Todd Pletcher; Martin Panza, senior VP of racing operations at New York Racing Association; Thomas Ventura, president, Ocala Breeders' Sales Company; Peter Rotondo, VP – television, Breeders' Cup Limited and Jim Kostas, president, Daily Racing Form. The school’s rate for job placement within the industry is nearly flawless. This reporter can vouch for that having hired a graduate during my racetrack management days and working with numerous graduates over the years. Check out their website as it is full of information about the program, alumni, special services, grants, scholarships and more. The site is at http://ua-rtip.org/. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

Award winning equine photographer Barbara Livingston, whose popular books Old Friends and More Old Friends, painted a sentimental portrait of champion racehorses long gone from the spotlight, has completed a third edition of that series. While her first two books focused on Thoroughbred racehorses, the latest, Standardbred Old Friends, focuses on the distinctly American breed that evolved from a horse that carried the family to church, raced at the county fair and now competes world-wide at a trot and pace. The book, at $30, is ready for pre-order now at www.harnessmuseum.com. Standardbred Old Friends portrays 43 horses, from age 19 to 37, most of them multimillionaire world record holders with Hall of Fame membership, but some of more modest distinction, occupied as show horses, in law enforcement or hardworking, blue collar performers. With writer Ellen Harvey telling the rich tales of horses from Sweden to southern California, from Maine to Florida, Livingston has captured images of horses whose achievements are now decades past, but whose memories will last a lifetime. The collaboration, ready for shipment in June, grew from a 2008 Hoof Beats magazine article featuring ten champion Standardbreds over the age of 20. The article, with Livingston's photos and Harvey's stories, won top honors for journalism at the 2009 World Trotting Conference in Norway. In 2012, the two started a trek of nearly 10,000 miles to capture the lives of nearly four dozen horses whose commercial worth is long gone, but who are cherished ever still. The book's 153 photos and 43 stories were gleaned from thousands of photos and 150 interviews. Standardbred Old Friends looks at the lives of 43 horses like North American and European superstar Mack Lobell, now 30, at his home along the shores of Lake Malaren in southern Sweden, 2004 horse of the Year Cam's Card Shark at historic Hanover Shoe Farm in central Pennsylvania and mother-daughter Hall of Famers Country Kay Sue and CR Kay Suzie among the live oaks at their home in central Florida. The senior "old friend," 37-year-old Waco Hanover, was depicted against the deep snow of his home in the foothills of Vermont's Green Mountains. An autumn sunset in the tide pools of Maine's Popham Beach State Park was the setting for Dreamy Starlet and McKeever Hanover, a pair with 297 races over 13 years, with 4 foals between them, now in their 20s, but active in the show ring and hunt field. For a video sample of the photos in the book and a look at the making of Standardbred Old Friends, featuring 30-year-old champion Standardbred roadster Autobahn at Cane Run Farm in Kentucky, click here. Cover images are attached; Mack Lobell on the front, Dreamy Starlet and Elizabeth Tewksbury on the back. For more information on Barbara Livingston's work, as well as her earlier books, Saratoga, Four Seasons of Racing and Horses in Living Color, click here. Standardbred Old Friends can be purchased from the Harness Racing Museum or by calling 845-294-6330. To contact Ellen Harvey, email oldfriendsbook@hotmail or call 732-616-6092. The horses included in the book are: Armbro Feather Cam's Card Shark Country Kay Sue and CR Kay Suzie Dreamy Starlet and McKeever Hanover Dust Devil Flat Foot Fluzy Giant Victory Hattie Heatherjeankillean Hi IQ Hot Lead Incredible K Jate Lobell Jo Jo Geronimo/Jupiter Keystone Wallis Lady Ashlee Ann Larks Crown Lilting Laughter Mack Lobell Matt's Scooter Miss Easy Moni Maker Monterey Rebel and Saddle The Wind NL Loren Oriental Express Sir Taurus Stacey's Echo Staying Together Supergrit Tap In Tarport Mark Town Sweetheart Victory Tilly Waco Hanover Western Dreamer White Birch Mares: Three Mile Island, Town Pro, World Order Winky's Gill Winnies Guy/Autobahn by Ellen Harvey

Columbus, OH --- The USTA reported today that William J. "Bill" Perretti, 87, the founder of Perretti Farms in New Jersey, died yesterday, March 13, 2014. Mr. Perretti was featured in a 2006 story in Hoof Beats magaine. It may be read by clicking on this link. Additional details and a complete obituary will be posted when one is available.

The entire Dan Patch Awards Banquet, which was held at Dover Downs on Sunday, February 23, is now available for viewing "on demand" at the home of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), www.ushwa.org . Thanks to the USTA and Roberts Communications, the entire production has been archived and made available to everyone through a link at the top of the USHWA homepage. If you were an honoree or presenter, this is a great opportunity to see exactly what the live and simulcast crowd saw as you were on stage. And if you weren't able to attend in person or watch the live broadcast that night, you can now enjoy the show in its entirety. Once again, USHWA would like to thank the USTA and Roberts Communications for making this available on our site. by Tim Bojarski, for USHWA  

Whether or not you attended the 2014 Dan Patch Awards Banquet in person, here is your opportunity to experience all the excitement of the night's activities first-hand. If you log onto the United States Harness Writers Association's (USHWA) website (www.ushwa.org ) you will find full listings of all the award winners, fully captioned presentation pictures from that night for every category (both human and equine), a downloadable version of the entire 160 page color Journal that includes pictures, bios and well wishes from industry insiders, and a bank of over 150 professionally taken, high resolution pictures of all the night's events (including the Red Carpet) that you can downloaded and printed. So if you did attend, take a minute and find yourself among the pictures and remember what a great night it was. And if you didn't, you'll find out why almost 400 people did. Mark Hall of the USTA and Frances Blazer of Fotowon photographed the pictures that we are making available for download on our website. USHWA would like to thank them for providing their photographic talents and excellence for your enjoyment. by Tim Bojarski, 1st VP National USHWA  

Columbus, OH --- The United States Trotting Association is seeking a full time employee with in-depth knowledge of harness racing and social media to help create and implement the USTA’s social media strategy. This position, located at the main office in Columbus, Ohio, will be in the Communications Department at the USTA and requires an in-depth knowledge and extensive experience with social media and social media platforms. In addition, the position requires the ability to write and edit stories for various USTA media vehicles,especially the newsroom on the company website, www.ustrotting.com, as well as for the USTA’s monthly magazine Hoof Beats and other media. The Social Media Promotion and Publicity Manager position will include travel and some weekend and weeknight rotating shifts. An undergraduate or associate degree is preferred as well as professional experience utilizing social media platforms and campaigns, and writing and editing for publications and websites. Applications for this position close on March 7. More information on working for the USTA, the full job description and information on how to apply for this position can be found here. Submitted by the USTA

Well known horse racing photographer John E. Jones, 81, passed away November 2, 2013 in Markham, Ontario, Canada after a long illness. Born in Toronto in 1932, his interest in photography was developed while a student of agriculture at the University of Guelph when he began photographing livestock. His skills at capturing horses in action landed Jones a position with Michael Burns Photography. For eighteen years he worked as a track photographer for the Ontario Jockey Club's family of racetracks throughout the province of Ontario, photographing both Thoroughbred and Harness racing. He was one of the official track photographers working at Woodbine the day Secretariat ran his last race there in October of 1973. After forming his own company in the late 1970's, Jones became one of the best known photographers of harness horse racing in Canada until his retirement in 1997. His iconic images appeared in every major harness racing publication in Canada and many in the United States, including Hoof Beats magazine. His beautiful black and white action shots taken from the inside rail during the home stretch battle to the wire became his signature. His photo of Niatross setting a world record time trial of 1:49.1 at the Red Mile in the fall of 1980 brought Jones international attention when John Cashman, then manager of Castleton Farm, used the photo to promote the young stallion.  

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