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The nominees for the 2013-14 Harness Horse of the Year have been released with the  winners to be announced at the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club on Sunday, October 19.   Im Themightyquinn, Im Victorious, David Hercules and Hokonui Ben are the four finalists who will battle it out for Horse of the Year honours.   Im Themightyquinn made a triumphant return to racing after injury threatened to end his  career when he won seven races including the Group 1 Blacks A Fake in Queensland.   “I’m excited about him being nominated especially after he was injured earlier in the  season,” said trainer, Gary Hall Snr.   “It is a great effort to come back and compete in the form and manner that he is.”   The Michael Brennan-trained Im Victorious claimed seven wins from his 12 starts with the  highlight the Group 1 Fremantle Pacing Cup.   Tragedy struck the gelding when he suffered a career-ending tendon injury after being  severely checked in the Group 1 Inter Dominion Final.   “It is a huge honour to be nominated considering the horses that have won this prestigious  award in the past,” said Brennan.   “It would be a privilege and an honour to win an award like this given the happenings of the  past 12 months.”   David Hercules raced on 16 occasions for seven wins and six placings and $181,150 in stake  earnings. He claimed the Group 3 Winter Cup and Group 3 Howard Porter Memorial.   Hokonui Ben earned Group 1 honours in the WA Pacing Cup and also enjoyed victories in the  Group 2 Village Kid and Group 2 RWWA Cup.   NOMINEES:   2YO FILLY                                       2YO COLT & GELDING   La Mia Juliette                                     All Aussie Boy Tricky Styx                                             Isaiah Artois Straittothehilton                                   Persistent Threat Major Reality   3YO FILLY                                      3YO COLT & GELDING   Im Bella Jay                                          Mister Jadore Libertybelle Midfrew                            Elegant Christian Majorly Foxy Styx                                  Three Blind Mice   HORSE OF THE YEAR                          AGED MARE    Hokonui Ben                                          Leda McNally Im Victorious                                          Famous Alchemist Im Themightyquinn                               Sensational Gabby David Hercules     Barry Hamilton Manager Harness Racing 94455311

The system that we currently use to determine the winner of each respective category at the annual harness racing awards is a reminder of how archaic the current process is. At present we send out voting forms to people employed by media organisations who cover harness racing. This year twenty one people employed in the media got to decide who the winners were in each category. Some of the votes cast would have to cast grave doubts as to the suitability of some of the twenty one to be involved in such deliberations. As a company with a large presense in harness racing over a long period, even we have struggled to compile a list of twenty one media people who are primarily employed to cover harness racing. Some of the voting figures would suggest that some of the media contigent voting have little knowledge of our industry. It is time to do away with this outdated and archaic system and go to a system that is fair to everybody and over which there can be no argument. Whilst looking around the world and here in New Zealand we came to the conclusion that a sliding points scale with emphasis on group racing would be a much better and transperent way of anoiting our best performer in each category. We envisiage it would work something like this: Group One race First - 10 points Second - 7 points Third - 4 points and each subsequent placing one point less Group Two race First - 8 points Second - 5 points Third - 3 points and each subsequent placing one point less Group Three race First - 6 points Second - 4 points Third - 2 points and fourth 1 point. It has a lot of advantages over the present system but the one that stands out for us is it would create interest throughout the season with the racing public as we work our way through all the group races. We thought as a test run we would run this years three year old male division through the sytem as proposed and see what the result was. Like the Harness Jewels we excluded the sales races as they are not open to all comers. Tiger Tara - 33 points Locharburn - 29 points Isaiah - 22 points We judge our trainers and drivers and our sires by the results they accumulate over the season and hand the awards out on that basis. Its time we did something similar for our best horses and stop leaving it up to media people. Harnesslink Media 

The votes have been tallied and the winners announced at the 2014 New Zealand Harness Racing  Awards in Christchurch. Tonight our industry celebrated the many successes of the exciting 2013/14 season. Below are the winners for 2014. Please note a total of 21 voting papers were received. PGG Wrightson 2YO Pacing Filly of the Year  SUPERSONIC MISS 14 Owners: Butterworth Racing Syndicate, K J Riseley, D M Riseley, MacLean Family Syndicate, Kaos Syndicate. (Joanne’s A Delight - 5, Linda Lovegrace - 2) Woodlands Stud 3YO Pacing Filly of the Year VENUS SERENA 21 Owner: R L Sandford, Mrs J A Sandford, G R Dunn Nevele R Stud 4YO & Older Pacing Mare of the Year ADORE ME 21 Owner: Charles Roberts, Paul Kenny, Mary Kenny. McMillan Equine Feeds 2YO Pacing Colt or Gelding of the Year  FOLLOW THE STARS 20 Owners: Mrs G J Kennard, P I Kennard, N Pilcher, G R Douglas, P J Creighton, Mrs M C Creighton (Alta Orlando - 1) Copthorne Commodore 3YO Pacing Colt or Gelding of the Year TIGER TARA 17 Owner: R L Sandford, Mrs J A Sandford, J S Gould, G R Dunn (Locharburn - 3, Isaiah - 1) Christchurch Casino 4YO & Older Pacing Entire or Gelding of the Year TERROR TO LOVE 21 Owner: McDonald Bloodstock Limited (Terry McDonald) Alabar Stud Pacer of the Year TERROR TO LOVE 19 Owner: McDonald Bloodstock Limited (Terry McDonald) (Adore Me - 2) Trotters Crombie Lockwood 2YO Trotting Filly of the Year WANNA PLAY 14 Owner: Trevor Casey, Natalie Rasmussen (Arya - 6, Yagunnakissmeornot - 1) XCM 3YO Trotting Filly of the Year MAJESTIC TIME 21 Owners: J M Ward, Mrs P L Ward, Miss S L Ward, C M Ward Advanced Joinery 4YO & Older Trotting Mare of the Year SUPERBOWLCHEERLEADER 21 Owner: Mrs Sue Grainger, Studholme Bloodstock Limited Lone Star 2YO Trotting Colt or Gelding of the Year MONBET 20 Owners: Greg Hope, Mrs Nina Hope, Maurice Molloy (Prince Fearless - 1) The Caxton Press 3YO Trotting Colt or Gelding of the Year KING DENNY 21 Owner: Butterworth Racing Syndicate NRM 4YO & Older Trotting Entire & Gelding of the Year MASTER LAVROS 20 Owner: Kypros Kotzikas (Peak - 1) Lincoln Farms Trotter of the Year MASTER LAVROS 21 Owners: Kypros Kotzikas Harness Racing New Zealand Horse of the Year TERROR TO LOVE 19 Owner: McDonald Bloodstock Limited (Terry McDonald) (Adore Me - 2)

Jimmy Takter has once again won the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for three-year-old fillies, only perhaps with the horse he did not figure winning it with this Saturday. Lifetime Pursuit upset her stable mate Shake It Cerry in the stretch and posted a world record mile of 1:50.4 in giving driver Yannick Gingras his first ever victory in the Hambletonian Oaks. Leaving from post seven, Gingras sent Lifetime Pursuit to the early lead with Take The Money (Dave Palone) right on their backs. They sped to the opening quarter in :26.3 and before anyone could settle down, here comes stable mate Shake It Cerry and driver Ron Pierce and they went to the front by the half mile in :55.1. Heaven’s Door (Ake Svanstedt) came first-over and gave outside cover to the race favorite Designed To Be (Brian Sears) as they raced to the three-quarters in 1:23.2. As the field started down the stretch, it was Gringas and Lifetime Pursuit pulling from the pocket, collaring Shake It Cerry and drawing off to win by two lengths over Designed To Be and Take The Money. Shake It Cerry was fourth. Lifetime Pursuit paid $22.00 to win. “She (Lifetime Pursuit) has been a little under the radar,” said trainer Jimmy Takter, “She is a top horse. She ran second to “Cerry” all last year. I felt good about her going into this race. She has been serious every race. I gambled a little bit, we made a few changes and it worked.” “She got a perfect trip,” Gingras said. “She probably needed that to win but she was awesome anyway. They pulled off her shoes and I think that made the difference. She is always good gaited but that really helped her today.” Owned and bred by Brittany Farm’s George Segal, her time of 1:50.4 surpassed the previous world record of 1:51 set last year by Harness Horse of the Year, Bee A Magician. “Absolutely she is a terrific filly,” said Segal, Jimmy’s done a great job, Yannick driving her great.  I don’t pay attention to the publicity. She’s been racing great.  You race for $30,000 and you do different things and you come out here for half a million bucks and you put it all on the line..” Lifetime Pursuit By Steve Wolf, for

STAR Tasmanian pacer Beautide will contest a trial at Menangle today over 1609 metres in what will be his first solid hit-out since winning the Len Smith Mile in April. Beautide had a stellar season winning the Miracle Mile-Inter Dominion double and capped his winning streak with victory in the Len Smith to give him three Group 1 victories for the season to ensure he will be voted Australasian Horse of the Year. The James Rattray-trained gelding will be set for a similar campaign that he endured this season. The rising seven-year-old has amassed stake earnings of $1.338 million with his record of 40 wins and 10 minor placings from 60 starts making him one of the best performed Tasmanian-bred pacers of all time. Beautide (Bettors Delight-Gorse Bush) was bred by the Rattray Family Trust at the family's trainer-breeding complex at Longford, just south of Launceston in central Tasmania. Beautide is expected to have three or four trials before he lines up in a race. His trial is scheduled to start at 5.40 pm today and is likely to be shown on Sky Channel 1 during a news bulletin. The trial field. By Peter Staples

Most years when you look at the list of nominees for the annual harness racing awards, there are many age group awards that have the potential to be highly contentious. In our view this is one of those years where most of the award winners pick themselves. The exception is the two year old filly trotter of the year where Wanna Play and Arya can both present a compelling case in support  of claims to the award. How media voting in these awards regard the disqualification of Arya on Jewels day will have a big bearing on who wins this award. If the result as they passed the line had stood ( as many in the industry think it should have) then Arya would have beaten Wanna Play in four of their six meetings. As it stands after the disqualification, the tally is three apiece. Our vote would go to Arya but we can see the reasoning for people voting for Wanna Play who got better as the season went on. In several of the divisions the winner for this year is clear cut. In the pacing awards Adore Me, Venus Serena,  Follow The Stars and Terror To Love look ready made winners while over on the trotting side of the awards, Monbet, King Denny, Majestic Time, Superbowlcheerleader and Master Lavros look certainties. One category that will divide some voters is the two year old filly award. For us this was settled on Jewels Day where Supersonic Miss gave all her competition for this award a start and a beating. The other category that may see differing views is in the three year old colt award. Several colts had great seasons but for us Locharburn stood out with him finishing one/two in all twelve starts. Finally we think the overall awards are clear cut with Terror To Love the Pacer of The Year and Master Lavros the Trotter Of The Year. We think the Harness Horse Of The Year must go to Terror To Love for his outstanding season in winning the New Zealand Cup for the third time along with an Auckland Cup.  Here are our selections for this years awards. PACERS 2 year old filly - Supersonic Miss                             2 year old colt/geld - Follow The Stars 3 year old filly - Venus Serena                                  3 year old colt/geld - Locharburn 4 year old+ mare - Adore Me                                     4 year old+ entire/geld - Terror To Love TROTTERS 2 year old filly - Arya                                                   2 year old colt/geld - Monbet 3 year old filly - Majestic Time                                    3 year old colt/geld - King Denny 4 year old+ mare - Superbowlcheerleader                   4 year old colt/geld - Master Lavros   PACER OF THE YEAR - Terror To Love TROTTER OF THE YEAR - Master Lavros HARNESS HORSE OF THE YEAR - Terror To Love Harnesslink media

East Rutherford, NJ - No fewer than seven major Grand Circuit stakes will populate the Saturday night card at The Meadowlands, led by the track's signature race, The Meadowlands Pace.   The all-star lineup begins with a pair of high-stakes preps for trotting's top prizes, the August 2 Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks.   Race four is the $317,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial three-year-old colt trot which will be the stage for last year's top freshman Father Patrick to battle Trixton who has emerged as a worthy adversary this season. It is the first time these two have met, the occasion made even more intriguing by the fact that both are trained in the Jimmy Takter stable.   Oddsmaker Darin Zoccali has Father Patrick (Yannick Gingras) listed as a strong morning line favorite at 4/5 from post nine, while Trixton is at 3/1 from post twelve in the second tier with trainer Takter aboard.   The $213,500 Delvin Miller Memorial for sophomore trotting fillies also pits last year's finest against emerging talent. Shake It Cerry was clearly the best of a very talented crop last season, easily winning year end awards for the Takter stable and regular driver Ron Pierce. She has transitioned successfully to sophomore status winning four of five starts this season and is the 9/5 choice from post seven.   Her only loss required the world record 1:51.3 effort by Designed To Be at Pocono last month. It was the second time Designed To Be has assaulted the record books, having taken the two-year-old title with her 1:52.2 mile last fall in Lexington. She will have Brian Sears aboard for trainer Julie Miller on Saturday.   The remarkably fast Cooler Schooner is the fastest freshman trotter ever, regardless of sex by virtue of her amazing 1:51.3 win last summer at Pocono. She is sometimes guilty of self-sabotage but can never be dismissed. The Campbell brothers, John and Jim will conspire to manage that wicked speed toward its best use.   The new shooter in this division is Heaven's Door another who demonstrated great talent at two for Ross Croghan but it took until this year for her mind to catch up to her speed. She was sold over the winter and moved into the Ake Svanstedt barn where she has flourished. She won last month's NJSS final in a stakes record 1:52 with great ease and is facing the division's best now for her new connections and adds another element of suspense.   Next up (race six) will be the $212,500 Mistletoe Shalee for sophomore pacing fillies, another contentious contest. Sandbetweenurtoes raced but once at two for Tony Alagna but showed such promise in her first few starts at three that the brothers Remmen, Ray and Larry, bought her for John Grant and she hasn't lost since. She was the winner of last week's elimination in 1:49.1 with Brett Miller aboard and will likely be the post time fave off a 5/2 morning line.   Precocious Beauty was the divisional leader last year for the McNair barn and has yet to find that form thus far at three, though last week's race was encouraging. Takter's Uffizi Hanover won the 2013 Breeders Crown and the Fan Hanover this year for her regular pilot, newly minted Hall of Famer David Miller.   The older dames race on the pace for $178,450 in the cleverly named Golden Girls stake in the seventh race. Joe Holloway has always had a way with the ladies, training several distaff champions over the years and has a formidable pair in this one. Somwherovarainbow has well over a million in career earnings and has been in deadly form for Joe since early spring with six wins from ten starts, among those the Bluechip Matchmaker final. Brian Sears drives.   Her stable mate Shebestingin is the fastest female Standardbred ever, having seared The Red Mile clay in an eye-popping 1:47 flat last fall. She has yet to beat the best of this division since graduating into the open ranks but her speed make her a danger for David Miller.   The race favorite at 2/1 is the iron-tough race mare Androvette. Her story has been told many times but never gets old, particularly for her connections. She vaults over $3million lifetime with a win in this stake for trainer PJ Fraley and her constant racing companion Tim Tetrick.   Just when you think, "Well, this just can't get any better," you come to the meat of the card. Race 8 contains the finest Free For All pacers in the land racing for $463,300 in the WR Haughton Memorial, one of the biggest events of their season. The lifetime earnings for these ten horses are just north of the $20 million mark.   Captaintreacherous is the two time defending Pacer of the Year and a winner of over $3million in his racing career for trainer Tony Alagna. He's developed into a fan favorite with his gritty, never give up style and he'll need every bit of that heart, a large dose of speed and another clever steer from Tetrick on Saturday. He's drawn a favorable post starting just inside the 8/5 favorite, Sweet Lou.   Sweet Lou has flashed brilliance from the start for his connections and still holds the freshman pacing world speed record. Now five year of age, he's in the best form of his career and has been invincible since paired with driver Ron Pierce in May. Together they are five for five, all in 1:48.3 or faster culminating with a world record 1:47 the hard way at Pocono in the Franklin, the fastest mile on a five-eighths track in history.   Sweet Lou is one of a formidable four horse armada sent out in the Haughton by Meadowlands and national leading trainer Ron Burke. The four Burke horses alone have amassed a staggering $12million in career earnings led by the richest pacer in history, ageless wonder Foiled Again at $6.3 million. Foiled will have to overcome the extreme outside post for his regular driver Yannick Gingras in this battle.   The $776,000 Meadowlands Pace is race nine on the star studded extravaganza and has been well covered in many arenas, so for our purposes let's just say it shapes up to be a very exciting and contentious race, as is usually the case in the absence of a clear division leader.   Among the deepest and most contentious divisions this season is the older trotting mares. The returning Horse of the Year Bee A Magician, last year's division leader Maven and pair of four year old mares that have blossomed into trotting divas, Perfect Alliance and Classic Martine will all meet among a field of eight in the $40,000 Miss Versatility in race ten.   It's one for the ages this Saturday night at The Meadowlands with over $2.5 million in purses offered over the 13 race card, including four $100,000 finals for state bred freshmen. Post time is 6:30pm and it's going to be well attended, so if you're thinking of coming out make your reservations now. If not, the Haughton and Pace will be carried live on the CBS Sports Network and the TVG Racing network.   From the Meadowlands Media Relations Office

New Zealand Standardbred Breeders' Association (NZSBA) received some welcomed news this week when their application to the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) as an Affiliated Breed Society was accepted. This has been a goal of the Association since standardbred classes were excluded from the prestigious Horse of the Year Show in 2013. The affiliation to RAS now means that standardbreds can hold their own breed specific classes at A & P shows, ultimately leading to classes at Horse of the Year (HOY), the Group racing of equestrian circles. Kiely Buttell, NZSBA Executive Manager, was delighted at the news. "I have been an advocate of Life After Racing since joining the Harness Industry back in 2007. When I was alerted to the news that standardbreds were unable to compete in 'breed specific' classes at HOY, I contacted the RAS to see what could be done. "To their credit the RAS have been fantastic to deal with and confirmed yesterday that our application has been accepted. We now start the journey to get standardbred classes back at HOY in 2015." To affiliate with RAS, NZSBA set up a 'pleasure horse membership' aimed at participants who re-home standardbreds after they have retired from racing. NZSBA has members from all over the country who are willing to make the trip to Hastings to compete at HOY. The standardbred as an equestrian prospect is growing in popularity. Previously much ridiculed for being 'jug heads' or 'wobblers', the modern standardbred has developed into a stunning breed in temperament and looks. They can easily hold their own against their thoroughbred cousins and many are enjoying successful careers in a variety of disciplines. Kiely Buttell | Executive Manager  

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 will be a night of celebration and you are invited! Order your tickets today to be part of the excitement at the 2014 Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Induction Gala.  The evening begins at 5:30 pm at the Mississauga Convention Centre with a reception and silent auction filled with racing memorabilia, sports tickets, and racing related art.  It will be followed at 6:45pm with a delicious four-course gourmet dinner and induction ceremonies as 14 new inductees are honoured for their achievements in Canadian horse racing. Returning for the second year as auctioneer for the live auction portion of the evening is TSN Radio personality Matt Cauz, co-host of the “Macko and Cauz”.  Among the items he will auction to benefit the CHRHF will be a halter worn by two-time horse of the year Wise Dan. Don’t miss out on your chance to be part of the excitement.  Individual tickets can be purchased for $175.00 each including tax, or tables of eight are also available for $1,700, including a $300.00 donation to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Opportunities to advertise in the souvenir induction program and event sponsorship packages are also available. To order tickets, place an ad, donate to items to the live or silent auction, or for more info on sponsorship, contact Linda Rainey - 416-417-9404 or by email at Linda Rainey  

Perfect Alliance saw her 11-race winning streak come to a close at the hands of Classic Martine Saturday at Mohawk Raceway in the $266,000 final of the Armbro Flight Final for older trotting mares. Also in the race was the 2013 Harness Horse of the Year, Bee A Magician, who had a good trip behind Perfect Alliance but lacked any closing kick and finished a disappointing ninth. It was Classic Martine and driver Tim Tetrick who shot away from the starting gate to the early lead like a rocket. Bee A Magician also left from post nine and was parked three-wide early and had to grind her way to the lead by the opening quarter mile in a quick :27 seconds. There was no rest for the weary as driver Yannick Gingras was also on the move with the race favorite, Perfect Alliance, and they were able to then clear to the lead going to the half mile pole in :56. From there Perfect Alliance led the field as Rockin With Dewey (Mario Baillargeon) came first-over and started to challenge at the three-quarters in 1:24. Then as they started down the stretch, Bee A Magician had room along the rail but began to fade. Rockin With Dewey was still strong on the outside as Perfect Alliance held her ground.  But Tim Tetrick was able to swing wide with Classic Martine and they closed with a burst of speed to win by one length in 1:52.1 over Perfect Alliance with Rockin With Dewey third. “Leaving out of the gate I wanted to get in good position,” Tim Tetrick said. “I thought that Yannick was going to get his mare (Perfect Alliance) in front and I would be in great position. Then Brian (Sears) put his mare (Bee A Magician) in front and was I content and I was fine having those two great mares in front of me. “I was just concerned about finding some clearance at the top of the lane.  She is so quick off the wings and I knew she would follow the cover. She was content to sit and once I got clear with her she can really get to the house. She is just a really nice mare.  She is really handy. She can leave the get in :27 or :26 if you have to. Then she can come home in :27 and that makes her very versatile.” It was the fourth win in five starts this year for Classic Martine. The four-year-old mare by Classic Photo is trained by Chris Oakes and is co-owned by the Hauser Brothers Entertainment, LLC and Suan Oaks. She paid $11.90 to win.   By Steve Wolf, for

Talented Tasmanian four-year-old pacer Pachacuti added another feature race win to his growing list of credits when he outgunned a small but talented field in the Plunkett Family Ascot Gold Cup over 2579 metres at Tattersall's Park in Hobart on Sunday night. Pachacuti is being prepared for another tilt at the Breeders Crown series in Victoria with trainer Barrie Rattray hopeful the Bettor's Delight gelding can go one better than he did in the 3YO series last season. Pachacuti capped his 2012-13 season in Tasmania with a brilliant victory in the $30,000 Globe Derby Stakes in Launceston before heading to Victoria where he made it to the 3YO colts and geldings final of the Breeders Crown by winning his heat and then finished a courageous second to star NZ colt Bit of a Legend in the Group 1 final. Pachacuti won the Horse of the Year crown ahead of his stablemate Beautide that was voted Tasmania's best in the four-year-old and over category. Pachacuti is likely to remain in Tasmania for at least the next six weeks as the Breeders Crown series doesn't get into full swing until August. The heats will be held at Tabcorp Park Melton on August 17. The Consolation will be run at the same venue on August 21 with the final also at Melton three days later. "I guess we'll have to start looking closely at setting dates to travel Pachacuti to Melbourne but I will probably have a better idea of his race schedule leading up to that time by the end of this week," Rattray said. While Pachacuti has continued to improve this time in Rattray also is impressed with the progress of his five-year-old Talk About Dexter that has won three of his past five, the latest in Hobart on Sunday night. Talk About Dexter was sent around a $3.60 chance in the C5-C7 Pace over 2090 metres while his stablemate Rykov Leis was the punter's elect at $2 favourite but the best he could muster was fourth spot to finish over 10 metres in arrears of his stablemate. It was the son of Blissfull Hall's fifth win this season and it probably won't be his last. "Talk About Dexter at one stage looked unlikely to get past trial stage but he has furnished into a very good horse and I am absolutely rapt for his owners Roger and Elaine Topping," Rattray said. "They have been loyal stable clients for a long time and it is so good to see them get a really good one at last," he said. Talk About Dexter has raced 23 times for eight wins and five minor placings for almost $38,000 in stakes. Peter Staples

Saint John Harness Horsemen Association honoured its top harness racing horsemen and equine performers on Saturday night with the coveted Horse of the Year award handed out among all other categories for 2013.   Starting with the aged categories two-year-old filly was Absolootly Hot, owned by the Dooley Boys Racing stable and Scott Hubbard taking top prize. She is a daughter of Coastocoast Yankee and she earned over $17,000 on the season and took a record of 1:59.4.   Two-year-old colt and gelding winner was Settlement Request, owned by Alfred Barrieau of Dieppe, N.B and Mike Clinton of Saint John. Gilles Barrieau trained and drove the gelding to over $34,000 in earnings and a record of 1:58. He too is by Coastocoast Yankee.   In the three-year-old colt and gelding category it was the sensational Untouchable One, owned by Dooley Boys Racing stable. He captured both the Maritime Breeders final and the Atlantic Sires Championship. He took a record in the Maritimes of 1:55.2 and has since eclipsed that record in the U.S with a sparking 1:50.4 win.   Three-year-old filly of the year was no surprise as Ramblinglily took top honours for the connections of Norm Leger and Allan Jones. She captured the prestigious Maritimer in Saint John and scored numerous stakes wins. She won ten of fifteen in 2013 and just shy of $ 60,000 in earnings. Her fastest win of the year was a 1:56.1 win in P.E.I.   Dance Hanover captured the Aged Horse of the Year trophy for the Ultimate Stables of Greater Lakeburn, N.B. He had a very consistent 2013 with twenty-three top three efforts in twenty-nine starts. His best winning time was 1:57.3 for the son of Astreos. He should surpass $ 100,000 in earnings in 2014 as he is less than five-thousand short.   Ultimate Stables ended up sweeping the aged category as the mare Ultimate Spirit was named top distaff pacer. She took a life's mark in Saint John of 1:57.2 and recorded nine wins. In 2009, she was a $1000 yearling purchase and has banked over $ 51,000 lifetime. Sifroi Melanson is the owner/ trainer of the Ultimate Stables who continue to develop solid horses year after year.   Most improved horse on the grounds this season was O K Elegant. Owned by Dr. Mitchell Downey, the five-year-old Dragon Again mare took a new speed badge over Saint John of 2:00.2 and scored twenty-eight top three finishes on the year. Mike Downey drives and trains the mare.   Claimer of the year was awarded to Dusty Lane Oscar after a tremendous 2013 for young horsemen Chris Davies and the rest of Team Davies. At nine years old, he took a new mark of 1:57 in 2013 and registered ten wins. He also went past the fifty-win plateau lifetime and earned just shy of $ 8500.   "Oscar" also captured a special award as he was recognized as the fan favorite in 2013. Visits to victory lane was also a packed place to be and had a stretch last year where he won seven of eight starts. Chris also reached a huge milestone recently as he become a father for the first time.   Oldtime Robbi award was presented to the consistent Magical Alex for owner/ trainer Bob MacNeil of Saint John, N.B. He showed his toughness starting thirty-eight times in 2013, He won ten of those starts and now has over $ 36,000 in earnings. He was an $ 1100 yearling purchase in 2010 and has proven to be a solid campaigner as he enters his seven-year-old campaign.   Overall Horse of the Year seemed like a battle of the three year old winners and it was Ramblinglily who came out on top as the top horse after her noted sensational season.   In the horsemen categories, Gilles Barrieau was named top driver while Andrew Ward captured top training honours.   Mike Downey was named Horseperson of the year while his son Mitch was named Owner of the Year. Both awards were voted on by their peers.   Congratulations to all the winners and nominees from the Saint John Harness Horsemen.      

Moni Maker, the trotting mare who was 1998 and 1999 Horse of the Year, died Friday morning (May 2) at New Bolton Center, veterinary hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, after complications from colic surgery. She was 21. Moni Maker won $5.58 million and 67 of 109 starts in six seasons of racing in North America, France, Denmark, Sweden and Italy. She was only ten times worse than third in her long career, in which her lifetime mark of 1:52.1 was set at age seven. The daughter of Speedy Crown-Nan's Catch was born February 23, 1993 at Cane Run Farm in Kentucky and was originally named Nursery Rhyme. She was voted Dan Patch Trotting Mare of the Year in 1997 through 2000, the year she retired. Moni Maker was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2006. The tall (nearly 17 hands) bay mare regularly beat male horses and in her final start, she donned a saddle and got the services of Hall of Fame Jockey Julie Krone in breaking the world record for trotting under saddle in 1:54.1, a mark set in October of 2000 which still stands. Owned by the Moni Maker Stable and trained as a 2- and 3-year-old by Bill Andrews and later by Jimmy Takter, she has lived since retirement in 2000 at the Connecticut farm of one of her owners, Lindy Farms, owned by the Antonacci family. Her eight foals, all fillies, have won a collective $315,904. Moni Maker’s foals have lately been born via embryo transfer, and at the time of her passing, a recipient mare was carrying her Muscle Hill foal, confirmed David Reid, a partner in the Moni Maker stable. “It’s a sad and emotional day for all of us,” he said. Moni Maker’s wins read like a travel itinerary -- the 1996 Hambletonian Oaks at The Meadowlands in New Jersey, the Elitlopp in Sweden and the Copenhagen Cup in Denmark in 1998, the Prix d’Amerique in France in 1999 and the Trot Mondial in Montreal in 2000. She retired as the richest female racehorse of any breed, with $5,589,256. Her life has been a quiet one in retirement, living on Lindy Farm, near Hartford, largely outside with a shed, as was her preference, with a mare named Dream On Candy. She survived a disaster in 2011, when a fast-falling snowstorm caused the roof of the barn she was in to collapse. She retained a quirk, dating back to her racing days, not wanting to be caught. “She chased the kid that looked after her, Roman Kogalin, out of the paddock many times, like a bull,” said Jimmy Takter. “If he had to call someone else to help, suddenly she’d come up to that person. I think she enjoyed messing with him.” Frances Sutherland, who has been caring for Moni Maker for 14 years, got the same treatment. “You had to have a feed bucket to go out and catch her,” she said. “You had to ask her how she felt that particular day.” The toll of her years has only slowed down her diversionary tactics. “She just keeps walking, says Katie Jonas, another Lindy Farm caretaker. “She’s like, 'No, no, not today, not today.'” Frank Antonacci, a partner in her ownership group, and owner of Lindy Farm, has seen the mare several times a day for 14 years, as he drove by her paddock. “She is far and away, without a doubt, the best horse we have ever owned,” he said. “Nothing else is even close. She was always on her “A” game, no matter what. Never had a bad race.” Jimmy Takter, who has trained a raft of good horses since Moni Maker, recognizes the trip of a lifetime she provided to her connections. “It was a heck of a good journey with her, something nobody else experienced like we did,” he said. “She was a dream horse. The whole group of us, the owners and me, Wally (Hennessey, her driver), we owe everything to this girl. She made it look very easy for us.” by Ellen Harvey, for Harness Racing Communications

Bee A Magician brings an 18-race win streak into this season, but harness racing trainer Nifty Norman is relaxed as he prepares the 4-year-old female trotter for her upcoming campaign. After seeing Bee A Magician capture 2013 Horse of the Year honors in both the U.S. and Canada, the trainer feels like he is playing with house money now. "Pretty much, I think so," Norman said Thursday morning, two days before Bee A Magician is scheduled to return to action with a qualifier at Meadowlands Racetrack. "This year, I don't feel any pressure at all. She's accomplished a lot and hopefully we can accomplish some more. She's a good horse. I don't think she'll let me down." Bee A Magician, who finished her 2-year-old season with a win and then went 17-for-17 last year, returned from a well-earned respite to resume training in early February. She is expected to qualify twice before heading to Canada for the first round of the Miss Versatility Series on May 19. "She looks really good; I'm really happy with her," said Norman, who trains Bee A Magician for owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman, and David McDuffee. "She's pretty naturally fit. We did lots of jogging and lots of slow miles and she really only trained fast one time, and that was last week. She gets herself ready, pretty much." Bee A Magician has worn trotting hobbles throughout her career, but will begin this year without them. "We're going to try her without the hobbles and I think she'll be fine," Norman said. "I put them on her when she was (age) 2 and it's hard to change things when it's all going so well. But I don't think she needs them." Bee A Magician became the first 3-year-old filly trotter to receive the U.S. Horse of the Year Award since Continentalvictory in 1996. Only five other horses have posted undefeated seasons and been named Horse of the Year: Muscle Hill (2009), Artsplace (1992), Forrest Skipper (1986), Niatross (1979), and Bret Hanover (1964). Muscle Hill and Bee A Magician are the only trotters on the list. Last year, Bee A Magician earned a divisional record $1.54 million and became the only filly in history, either pacer or trotter, to surpass $2 million in lifetime purses. Her winning time of 1:51 in last year's Delvin Miller Memorial at the Meadowlands is the fastest mile ever by a 3-year-old filly trotter. A daughter of the stallion Kadabra out of the mare Beehive, Bee A Magician has won 27 of 30 career races and $2.31 million. She has won 25 of her last 26 starts dating back to August 2012. With her move into the ranks of older horses, Bee A Magician will face a group of trotting mares led by Maven, who captured last year's Dan Patch Award as the division's best. Maven won 10 of 14 races, trotted the fastest race mile in history on a half-mile track (1:51.4), and finished her season with a second-place finish against the boys in the American-National Stakes. "We'll just take it as it comes and see how she handles it," Norman said about Bee A Magician's road ahead. "If she can handle the girls, we'll try the boys. We'll just see how it goes. "We saw Maven last year and she was competitive with the boys. I think she'll be able to step up. It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out." Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Rose Valley, last year’s three-year-old pacing filly sensation trained by Mike Campbell, was named the 2013 Fredericton Raceway Horse of the Year in ceremonies held Saturday evening at the Fredericton Horsemen’s Association annual awards banquet. Rose Valley, who is owned by Dawn and Ted Bremner of Jemseg, N.B., was also given the award for top sophomore filly after completing one of the best seasons ever by a Fredericton-based mare. The daughter of Brandons Cowboy was a multiple stakes winner last year, winning seven races and earning over $40,000 on the circuit, the highlight being a record-setting 1:56 mile in Charlottetown during their Old Home Week. Rose Valley won both of her starts in Fredericton, including a division of the Bill Quigg Memorial Stake during FREX 2013. Rose Valley, being named Horse of the Year, capped off a phenomenal evening for Campbell, who also took home training honours for American Captain, who was recognized as the top four-year-old. Campbell was also inducted into the Fredericton Raceway Wall of Fame, celebrating a 45-year horse racing career that began at the downtown oval in 1969. He joined Mike Downey, Fredericton Raceway’s all-time dash winning and money earning driver, owner Ashley Sloat and distinguished equines Knightly Glib and Northern Raucous, on the Wall. Other award winners during the evening included Queens Or Better (Aged Mare), Flying Cowboy (Three-Year-Old Colt), Lanny (Most Improved), Manraysonjo (Aged Horse) and Seven Signs (Unsung Hero). Chantall Basson was named Groom of the Year and veteran horseman Chester Eatmon Jr. was given the Pioneer Award for his many years in horse racing at Fredericton. Brian Embleton was the top trainer and Gilles Barrieau was the top driver. From the Federicton Horsemen's Association

The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the 2014 inductees. A total of 14 horses and people have been elected to the Hall of Fame.   Wando and Horatio Luro are among the three horses and four people representing Thoroughbreds. Rocknroll Hanover and Wally Hennessey are included on the list of three horses and four people representing Standardbreds. The Thoroughbred Inductees are: Male Horse Category:  Wando - bred and owned by Gustav Schickedanz, Schomberg, Ontario Female Horse Category:  Apelia - bred and owned by Steve Stavros, Knob Hill Stables, Newmarket, Ontario Veteran Horse Category:  Cool Mood – owned by David Wilmot, Kinghaven Farms, King City, Ontario           Veteran People Category:  Horatio Luro – Argentine-born trainer of Northern Dancer           Jockey Category:  Robert Landry - Toronto, Ontario           Builder Category:  William (Bill) Graham - owner of Windhaven Farms, Caledon, Ontario and Lexington, Kentucky           Builder Category:  Arthur Stollery, owner Angus Glen Farms, Unionville, Ontario The    Standardbred Inductees are: Male Horse Category:  Rocknroll Hanover – bred by Hanover Shoe Farms Inc, Hanover, Pennsylvania. Owned by Jeffrey Snyder of New York, New York; Lothlorien Equestrian Centre, Cheltenham, Ontario; and Perretti Racing Stable, LLC, Cream Ridge, New Jersey.            Female Horse Category:  Dreamfair Eternal – bred by Mary and John Lamers, and owned by John Lamers,                 I ngesoll,      Ontario Veteran Horse Category:  Albatross – bred by John E Wilcutts, Aberdeen, North Carolina; Charles A Kenney, Lexington, Kentucky; Elizabeth B Peters, Wilmington Delaware; and Mark Lydon, Abington, Massachusetts.  Owned by Hanover Shoe Farms Inc. Hanover, Pennsylvania; George Segal, Versailles; Castleton Farm, Lexington, Kentucky; Hal S Jones, Montgomery, New York           Trainer/Driver Category: Wally Hennessey, Coconut Creek, Florida           Builder Category: Dr. Ted Clarke, Elmira, Ontario           Builder Category:  Robert Murphy, Vancouver, British Columbia           Communicator Category:   Bill Galvin, Mississauga, Ontario    T        The seven Thoroughbred representatives in the 2014 class include: Wando, one of only seven horses to ever win the Canadian Triple Crown was Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2003 for breeder owner Gustav Schickedanz, an honoured member of the CHRHF.  Trained by Mike Keogh, with Patrick Husbands as his primary jockey, the Langfuhr son retired from racing with 11 wins, eight of them in stakes, in 23 starts and earnings of $2.5 million.  He began his career as a stallion in 2006, first in Kentucky before returning to his birthplace in 2011. Wando’s progeny have earnings in excess of $5.2 million and include Grade 1 winner Turallure.   Apelia, a very fast filly owned and bred by Steve Stavro's Knob Hill Stable, was named Canada's Sovereign Award champion sprinter in 1993.  Conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Phil England, she won half of her 24 career starts and was a stakes winner at the highest level for three consecutive years.   A winner in New York, Kentucky, New Jersey, as well as Ontario, Apelia was ridden by Hall of Fame jockeys Larry Attard and Don Seymour in all her races except one.  Apelia is the dam of champion mare Saoirse. Cool Mood, herself a daughter of Northern Dancer, won the 1969 Canadian Oaks for Hall of Fame Builder D.G. Willmot, and went on to become one of Canada's most influential broodmares. In fact, she produced two fillies who in turn, would both produce Canadian Triple Crown winners. Her daughter Shy Spirit was the dam of Izvestia, and daughter Passing Mood was the dam of With Approval. The latter is an equine member of the Hall of Fame along with his half-brother, Belmont Stakes winner Touch Gold. Argentine-born trainer Horatio Luro, nicknamed “El Gran Senor” was hired as a trainer by E.P. Taylor and was best known in Canada for training Northern Dancer in 1964, 50 years ago.  During his career, Luro trained 43 Stakes winners including three Queen’s Plate winners. Named Canada’s outstanding jockey in 1993 and 1994, Robert Landry’s stats over a 29 year riding career include 17,656 mounts with purse earnings of $69.7 million and over 2,000 wins.  Of note was his 1999 Atto Mile win on Quiet Resolve, as well as the 2004 Queen’s Plate aboard Niigon.  He rode five consecutive Canadian Champion two-year-old fillies from 1996-2000.   The 2003 Avelino Gomez Memorial Award winner for lifetime achievement as a jockey, Landry has also made significant contributions to the promotion of racing, including participating as a board member for LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement Society.  W. (Bill) D. Graham has been an integral participant in the horse racing industry for almost half a century as an outstanding breeder, owner and racing executive.  He is the owner of Windhaven Farms which operates in both Caledon, ON and Lexington, KY, and has bred many Sovereign Award-winning horses throughout his career including the 2012 Canadian Horse of the Year Uncaptured.  Graham also bred U.S. Grade I winner Joyful Victory who was victorious in the 2013 Santa Margarita Stakes at Santa Anita.  Arthur W. Stollery was the owner and breeder of two of Canada’s most celebrated racing stars, both CHRHF inductees:   Kennedy Road, named after the location of his Unionville based Angus Glen Farms, dominated Canadian racing for three years.  He was named Champion 2-year-old in 1970 and again Champion as a 3 year-old the following year; 1971. This was followed by more accolades including Canadian Horse of the Year in 1973.  Kennedy Road was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000 and has a stakes race, which is contested annually at Woodbine, named after him.  Laurie's Dancer, named after Stollery’s daughter, was an outstanding racing daughter of Northern Dancer. She captured the Canadian Oaks in 1971 on her way to being named Canada's Horse of the Year. During that season, she was also victorious in the very prestigious Alabama Stakes at Saratoga.  Laurie's Dancer was enshrined in to the Hall of Fame in 2006.            Standardbred inductees include: Rocknroll Hanover banked more than $3 million during his racing career, for owners Jeffrey Snyder of New York, New York; Lothlorien Equestrian Centre, Cheltenham, Ontario; and Perretti Racing Stable, LLC, Cream Ridge, New Jersey.   Career highlights included victories in Canada’s most prestigious races for two and three year olds, the Metro Pace for two-year-old pacers and the North America Cup for three-year-olds  He then embarked on a second career, becoming one of North America’s most prolific stallions before passing away in 2013.  To date the son of Western Ideal, out of Hall of Fame mare Rich N Elegant,  has sired winners of $60.7 million including eight million-dollar-plus winners.  Dreamfair Eternal retired from racing in 2012 after a seven year career that included 56 victories, and every major stake event on the older pacing mare schedule, earnings of over $2.5 million and Horse of the Year honours in Canada in 2010.  During that year she racked up wins in the final of the Masters Series, an elimination of the Roses are Red Stakes, elimination and final of the Milton Stakes, the elimination and final of the Forest City Pace and the Breeders Crown.  The daughter of Camluck was bred by John and Mary Lamers and owned by John Lamers of Ingersoll, Ontario, while Patrick Fletcher trained her for most of her career.    Wally Hennessey, born in Prince Edward Island and now a resident of Coconut Grove, Florida, has more than 8,500 victories to his credit and has banked earnings in excess of $57 million.  During the early stages of his career, Hennessey re-wrote the record books setting new standards in both wins and earnings.  In the late 1990s, he enjoyed success with the trotter Moni Maker, a winner of $5.5 million and numerous stakes including the Nat Ray in three different years, the Hambletonian Oaks and Breeders Crown.   Throughout his career, Hennessey has been remarkably consistent, winning at least 200 races in each of the last 25 years, and driving horses to earnings in excess of $1 million for 24 straight years.  In the summer of 2007, Hennessey was inducted into the Living Hall of Fame in Goshen, New York. Dr. Ted Clarke is recognized by his peers as a visionary in the horse racing industry.  Clarke’s strong and steady leadership has helped guide Grand River Raceway to be a leader in innovation and growth.  Prior to Grand River’s opening, Clarke led numerous initiatives to put Elmira Raceway on the path to stability, including the inauguration of Industry Day, the Battle of Waterloo and the establishment of the Ontario Teletheatre Network.  He was honoured for his innovative thinking and leadership with the Lloyd Chisholm Achievement Award in 1999 from the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association. The late Robert Murphy, a native of Vancouver, British Columbia, was one of Canada’s most respected horse breeders and owners, and was known by his popular Red Star moniker.  First introduced to racing at Cloverdale Raceway in 1980, he rapidly became one of Canada’s most prolific owners.   He averaged 935 starts as an owner each year between 2005 and 2009.  In 2007, at the age of 74, Murphy owned more Standardbreds than anyone else in Canada.  Mr. Murphy had a great impact on harness racing in BC with both his breeding and training centres, but that impact extended across the continent as his horses raced all over North America. A champion on the track and in the breeding shed, Albatross was a major influence on the Standardbred breed.  He won 59 of 71 starts, including the Cane Pace and Messenger Stakes in 1971, and earned in excess of $1.2 million.  Two of his major stakes wins in Canada included the Prix d’Ete and Canadian Pacing Derby.  He retired as both the fastest and richest horse in the history of the breed.  As a sire, Albatross's thousands of sons and daughters have won more than $100 million, including Niatross who is considered by many to be the greatest pacer of the 20th Century, and Fan Hanover who is the only filly to ever win the Little Brown Jug. William (Bill) Galvin, a native of Arnprior, Ontario, and now a resident of Mississauga, Ontario,  made a tremendous impact on horse racing in the country as a Canadian horse racing historian, poet, author, publisher, educator, horseman, humanitarian, publicist and former Thoroughbred racing official.  Galvin’s promotions transcended racing.  He led a charge to bring ice horse racing to the Rideau Canal and expose the sport to thousands of potential fans.  He started the Race for MS fundraiser to gain exposure for the sport, and ran numerous other high profile campaigns dedicated to the well-being of horse racing during his career.   He was also the executive editor of TROT Magazine and a member of the Advisory board for the School of Equine Studies at Toronto’s Humber College of Applied Arts.            The Induction Ceremony will be hosted at the Mississauga Convention Centre on Wednesday, August 6, 2014             From the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame

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