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The Victorian Industry Awards night is just over a week away on September 12 at Tabcorp Park Melton and with it will come the Horse Of The Year awards to recognise all the athletes, equine and human, who have excelled in the past 12 months. The nominations for each of the equine awards are as follows: Victorian 2YO Colt or Gelding Hectorjayjay, Major Secret, Thats Rite, Yankee Rockstar Victorian 2YO Filly Mindarie Priddy, Tallulah Bay, Whereibylong Victorian 2YO Trotting Colt or Gelding Im Stately, Miracle, Tiavons Dream Victorian 2YO Trotting Filly Claudys Princess, Edge Hill, Four Lillies Victorian 3YO Colt or Gelding Flaming Flutter, Ginger Bliss, Guaranteed, Lennytheshark, Macha Victorian 3YO Filly Getya Wings Out, Im Smouldering, Itz Nosurprisesthere, Our Femme Fatale Victorian 3YO Trotting Colt or Gelding Blitzthemcalder, Glenferrie Dreamer, Our Dreamlover, Steal A Sixpence Victorian 3YO Trotting Filly Frances Annie, Maori Time, Spidergirl Victorian Mare Of The Year Blucolla Tigerpie, Broadways Best, La Machane, Pembrook Caesar, Waikare Patricia Victorian Aged Pacer Of The Year Bitobliss, Caribbean Blaster, Melpark Major, Smoken Up Victorian Aged Trotter Of The Year I Didnt Do It, Mister Zion, My High Expectations, Waikare Patricia Victorian Trotter Of The Year Blitzthemcalder, I Didnt Do It, Im Stately, Waikare Patricia Victorian Horse Of The Year Blitzthemcalder, Caribbean Blaster, Im Stately, Melpark Major This year the end-of-season industry awards night won’t coincide with a Tabcorp Park Melton race meeting, giving participants the chance to let their hair down and enjoy the frivolity of a night that will see our champions. The industry awards will be a spectacular way to finish what was an exciting season. Tickets are $65 each and include a three course meal as well as beer, wine and soft drink for the night. Those making the trek out to Melton will be able to secure a room in the hotel at the special price of $110. For more information on tickets or to book to be a part of the action call Tabcorp Park Melton on (03) 8746 0631. HRV Media

The final calendar month of the racing season has all but drawn to a close and with one Metropolitan meeting left this Friday there is still a battle going on for the TaylorsMetropolitan trainer’s premiership. Lance Justice has continued to hold his rivals at bay all year but Geoff Webster has slowly eroded the margin and heading into the final meeting he is just one win behind the six-time premiership winner. Although Justice will likely have a larger number of runners on the night, Webster will also play his hand with Have A Bender and Kotare Roland both engaged in the nominations. Greg Sugars and Chris Alford were locked in a tussle to determine who would be the Melton Saddlery leading Victorian driver however with a string of victories inside the last three weeks, Alford has gone clear to hold an unassailable margin in the lead-up to the last meeting Saturday night. The Norfolk Food Services leading concession driver had been a battle for much of the season between Ellen Tormey and David Moran. Tormey however held her advantage over the last month and edged further in front to all-but seal the award with five days left this term. Shayne Cramp is set to be crowned The Renown Silverware’s Victorian leading trainer for the first time. With a stranglehold over the Sunraysia area, Cramp has rarely had to travel far to secure the bulk of his 151 Victorian winners so far this season. Last year’s state trainer of the year, Glenn Douglas, holds down second with 118 winners from Emma Stewart who has 110 victories under her belt. The SBG Accountants leading Metropolitan driver has been a tense battle all season but Gavin Lang holds sway with 40 winners in the big smoke, ahead of Greg Sugars on 35 and Chris Alford on 33. This year the end-of-season industry awards night won’t coincide with a Tabcorp Park Melton race meeting, giving participants the chance to let their hair down and enjoy the frivolity of a night that will see champions crowned in equine and human form. To be held at Tabcorp Park Melton on September 12, the industry awards will be a spectacular way to finish what has been an exciting season in the trots as the horse of the year awards will be decided on the night. Tickets are $65 each and include a three course meal as well as beer, wine and soft drink for the night. Those making the trek out to Melton will be able to secure a room in the hotel at the special price of $110. For more information on tickets or to book to be a part of the action call Tabcorp Park Melton on (03) 8746 0631. Harness Racing Victoria

‘Four year old bay mare, North American Honey NZ, will be crowned 2012/13 Horse of the Year at a gala awards ceremony on Bankstown City Cup Race Night, this Friday, August 23rd, 2013,’ Bankstown Paceway president Les Bentley has announced. ‘Bankstown Paceway’s most capped race winner for the season is also trained by 2012/13 Trainer of the Year, Martin Herbert, and has predominantly been driven by 2012/13 Driver of the Year, Joshua Willick,’ the president said. ‘Bankstown Paceway looks forward to welcoming everyone associated with the champion daughter of Artsplace USA and Make N Impact NZ on Friday, including her breeders who will visit us from New Zealand,’ Mr Bentley added. North American Honey NZ will be officially installed as the 2012/13 Sydney Horse of the Year on Bankstown City Cup Gala Race Night, this Friday, August 23rd, 2013, at Sydney’s Bankstown Paceway, 178 Eldridge Road, Bankstown – with the first race set to start at 6.30 pm. Racecourse entry is free. Gates open at 5.30 pm and bookings for either the star studded VIP awards dinner ($80 per person) or Champions Restaurant buffet dinner ($40 per person) can be made by contacting Bankstown Paceway directly on telephone 02 9708 4111 or via email at   For the period from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013   HORSE 1STS 2NDS 3RDS TOTAL POINTS NORTH AMERICAN HONEY NZ 4 4   20 CHESAPEAKA BOY 3 2 1 14 DILINGER DREAMING 2 2 2 12 IM TILLY DEVINE NZ 4     12 PRIVATE ROAD 4     12 INTREPID TRAVELLER NZ 3 1   11 JAYLETS THUNDER 3 1   11 SHES TURNIN HEADS 2 2 1 11 LEFT AT THE MINT 3     9 PRESENT FOR PA 2   3 9 TOBIAS JAMES 1 2 1 8 BEETSON 2   1 7 JUST PONDER 1 1 2 7 ONAGIVENDAY 1 2   7 BETTOR SWEET NZ 2     6 BIEN HOA NZ 1 1 1 6 COTTON ROW NZ 1 1 1 6 DANAMITE LASS 1 1 1 6 FORTHELOVEOFMONEY 2     6 FREYBERG NZ 2     6 HU KEAS NZ 1 1 1 6 HYACINTH BUCKET NZ   2 2 6 IM THE FANTASY 2     6 LENNYS IN HEAVEN 2     6 MISS ABSTRACT   3   6 MR MURDOCH NZ 2     6 RUSTLEYOU 2     6 THEARTOFDELUSION 2     6 WISEKING MERRYWOOD 2     6 ARTFUL MARIE 1 1   5 BUZZ COURAGE NZ 1 1   5 FORGETABOUTIT 1 1   5 HOLD THE ACES 1 1   5 KYNUNA BOO NZ 1 1   5 LIKEAPLAYBOY 1 1   5 LYNCHMAN 1 1   5 MAJOR WORKS 1 1   5 MISS LIVIA 1 1   5 NORMS COURAGE 1 1   5 PRINCE KAI 1 1   5 VAMPISH HANOVER 1 1   5 ZENYATTA 1 1   5 ALTA SINATRA NZ   2   4 CEEAR RAIL 1   1 4 CHANG MAI   1 2 4 COLONEL MICK 1   1 4 EPIRUS BOY   2   4 FAMOUS CARIBBEAN 1   1 4 FAMOUSFOREVERANNIE 1   1 4 ITS MY PLEASURE 1   1 4 MAGIC TRUMP 1   1 4 MISTER DESIRABLE   2   4 NORA THE PIANIST NZ 1   1   ... Photo: Bankstown Paceway directors Megan Lavender and Andrew Ho with Bankstown Paceway Driver of the Year, Joshua Willick, Horse of the Year, North American Honey NZ, and Trainer of the Year, Martin Herbert, at the heart of Australian harness racing, Sydney’s Bankstown Paceway. Megan J. Lavender  

It was another good night on the track for 2013 Johnston Cup leading trainer Gregg McNair when seven divisions of two-year old pacing fillies rolled into Hanover Raceway.  The Guelph, Ontario resident formerly of Walkerton, scored two grassroots division victories with Momara and Can Art in races five and nine respectively. 2013 Battle of the Belles runner-up Momara wired the field as the overwhelming post-time favorite.  The daughter of Lis Mara cruised to an easy victory in 1:57.3 with Stuart Sowerby in the race bike.  Momara now has four wins in six lifetime starts for earnings nearing the $50,000 mark. Sowerby was steering once again when McNair sent out Can Art in race nine.  The Artistic Fella filly was a gate-to-wire winner in 1:58.3, as she was able to fend off all challengers in the stretch.  The win was her second in six races. McNair also had a second place finish from Regally Ready in race seven, while Sowerby scored an OSS hat trick by adding a win with Gram Rules for Blake McIntosh in race three. Hanover was lucky to have Hall of Famer Clint Galbraith formerly of Tara on hand, as he visited with Peter and Jean Thibideau before heading to Clinton to compete in their Legends Day of Racing program.   Galbraith trained and drove arguably the best horse of the last century in Niatross who was just this past week, was enshrined in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.  Niatross was the first pacer to earn over 2 million dollars and was named the hosre of the year in 1979 and 1980.  Niatross was named the Horse of the year in both Canada and the United States during 2 year old campaign where we won all 13 of his races and won 37 of his 39 career starts.  Hanover Raceway returns with All-Trot Night on Saturday, August 24th.  The eleventh edition of the track’s all trotting card will feature eliminations for the Balanced Image stakes for two-year olds, the 39th annual Walker Memorial, and a RUS Ontario exhibition race.  Hanover Raceway is also participating in the Bring A Friend to the Races Challenge, as fans who bring someone new to the races, will both be entered in a draw for special behind the scenes prizing.   Fans who come early will get a chance to meet the RUS riders and several regular drivers including Jay Harris and Stuart Sowerby in a meet and greet session under the grandstand at 6:30pm.  Post time next Saturday for the 11th annual ALL TROT DAY is 7:30pm.    

Dr. Dale E. Walters, a long-time veterinarian and owner/breeder, will be honored as the 2013 Joseph Neville Award winner by the Delaware County Fair. Dr. Walters was a 60 year resident of Delaware, OH and was a highly respected Veterinarian for which he practiced for over 50 years. He also owned Sugar Valley Farm, a long-time breeding facility in the Buckeye State, which is currently standing five stallions under the direction of his son, Billy, and grandson, Joe McLead. Dr. Walters campaigned several outstanding horses including Sugar Valley Dudly ($144,324), Fava (p, 4, 1:54f), Beeeyouuuuuu (p, 3, 1:50.1f) and Sugar Valley Alley ($373,243). Walters' greatest horse was Saccharum. The homebred daughter of Sugar Tree earned more than $805,000, was a two-time Ohio Sires Stake champion and was the 1985 Ohio Horse of the Year. In 2011, Saccharum was inducted into the Ohio Harness Racing Hall of Fame. Dr. Walters graduated from Beallsville High School and then served his country as a member of the United States Navy as a medical corpsman from 1946 - 1947. He later graduated from The Ohio State University in 1952, where he earned and received his degree in Veterinary Medicine, finishing first in his class. Dr. Walters, 85, died November 6, 2012 in Delaware. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Evelyn; daughter, Linda (Gary) Mays; son, Bill (Debbie); and grandsons, Joe (Patty) and Jason McLead. Delaware County Fair officials will honor Walters as the sixteenth recipient of the Neville Award during winner's circle ceremonies on Jug Day, September 19. Jay Wolf 

  BATAVIA, N. Y. -- A bad break for Fireyourguns turned out to be a good break for Naked News in the $8,500 Open Pace at Batavia Downs Saturday night.   Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) looked like a winner at the top of the stretch, holding a comfortable two-length lead. But that's where trouble struck as the favored pace-setting Fireyourguns took a bad step and thus broke stride momentarily, losing any chance of getting to the wire first. Naked News ($8.80), who seemed destined for second, stayed clear of trouble and ended up putting in a lifetime best of 1:54.1, winning by 2-1/2 lengths, over the fast track. All My Friends Say (Elliott Deaton) took second while Spender Hanover (Drew Monti) got up for the show spot. Fireyourguns finished fourth but was placed sixth for interference.   Owned by the Summer Wind Stable, Naked News has now earned $61,015 on the season and is one of the favorites for Western New York Horse of the Year. It was the eighth win in 28 starts in 2013 for Naked News, who is trained by Bob Gruber III.   Greg Merton, the dashing leader driver at the Downs, and Shawn McDonough both notched hat tricks on the Saturday program.   Racing will continue Sunday afternoon at 1:15 p.m. with a 12-race card. The feature will be the $8,500 Open I-II Open Handicap Trot scheduled for the ninth race. Mach Ten (Kevin Cummings) has the rail and is the 5-2 morning line favorite. Keyodee Star (Jack Rice) is the second choice at 3-1 and will start from the three hole.   It's also Dollar Days at Batavia Downs Sunday with $1 Sahlen's hot dogs, sodas and draft beers.   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Batavia Downs August 10  

Terror To Love won the ultimate accolade at Saturday's Horse of the Year awards but the champion's owner, Terry McDonald, was critical that the voting system denied boom four-year-old Christen Me any recognition after a stellar season. And in a gracious gesture seldom seen in the cut and thrust of racing, McDonald said he would happily give the four and five-year-old category prize to the connections of Christen Me. McDonald, honoured by 400 guests at Christchurch's CBS Arena, said Harness Racing New Zealand had to go back to the old system of four-year-olds and five-year-olds having their own categories, just like it scrapped plans to amalgamate the two age groups in the Harness Jewels this year after an outcry. "It's crazy not having a separate award for the four-year-olds - they shouldn't have to go up against me with a dual New Zealand Cup winner. "For what Christen Me did for harness racing this year it's bloody madness not to give him any recognition. He did everything and gets nothing. It's just not fair and I feel bad about it." McDonald said he did not tackle races like the Noel Taylor Mile and Messenger because of his stance that five-year-olds shouldn't encroach on traditional four-year-old features when they had a smorgasbord of other races to contest. McDonald said while Terror To Love beat Christen Me the only time they clashed, in the Summer Cup at Addington in February, the only time the younger horse had not won in nine starts since, was when he had to be pulled out of a race in March, when his wheel came off the rim of his sulky. The votes were clearcut in the combined four and five-year-old pacers' section, Terror To Love taking 17 to Christen Me's five, and Auckland Cup winner Themightyquinn's one. Terror To Love also saw off superstar three-year-old Adore Me for the Pacer of the Year title, with 17 votes to the filly's 11 and Christen Me's four. The voting was almost identical in the Harness Horse of the Year category, Terror To Love scoring 16 votes to Adore Me's 12 and Christen Me's four. by Barry Lichter (Sunday Star Times) *Elusive Chick's co-owner Grey Ayers was also unhappy about the change in the system. "Any other year we would have been given Four-Year-Old Mare of the Year but because of the changes we had to compete against Bettor Cover Lover. "Why fix something that's not broken? An award like that would have been great to go to the breeding paddock with. Now they will probably resort back to the old system, meaning we are the only ones who have missed out. But, the question is who made the ridiculous changes in the first place?  

Hi everyone, the Media Bites are back. We’re fast closing in on the end of the season and all that comes with it; awards, season reviews, conferences and of course the Breeders Crown. Here’s the news as we see it. Bit Of A Legend to add new spin to trainers’ race It looks highly likely that Bit Of A Legend will race twice this Friday night at Addington. The star three-year-old will first go around in a three-horse Breeders Crown heat then saddle up again in the feature handicap of the night some two hours later. Should he win both that would mean he’s won 10 races for the season. What could turn out to be three wins for Dalgety would edge him that much closer to Mark Purdon in the trainers’ premiership. Currently Purdon sits on 113 wins, Dalgety 105. Dalgety has the numbers to make things very interesting across the last two weeks of the season. Purdon cashes in again in Melbourne Star 2YO trotting filly Daenerys Targaryen took out the rich Redwood Classic at Maryborough last Sunday with a very gritty performance. The win kept up Mark Purdon’s tremendous strike rate with horses competing in Australia and strengthening her claims for end-of-season honours. In other Purdon news, Ross Payne (brother of Grant and Greg) will move home to Christchurch to take over the foremanship of the All Stars Stable operation. It is yet undecided whether star trotter Blitzthemcalder will come with Payne or not. Of course the new season would also see Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen formalise their training partnership. In other partnership news, high-profile trainer Steven Reid will pair up with long-time foreman Simon McMullan in the new season. More horses winning more money in 2012/2013 Despite some of the negative press regarding the direction harness racing is heading at present, some telling stats will paint a much rosier picture in the 2012/13 season. With two weekends of racing yet to be run we can announce that 45% of all horses that have raced this season have won at least one race.  19% of horses have won two races or more. 21% of the horse population have won $10,000 or more - the highest since records began. This season will also see resurgence in stakes paid. This year’s stakes paid will be an estimated $1.5 million up on last year to around $28.6 million. This is down on the record year of 2008 and 2009 but the upward trend is a definite positive for harness racing going forward. Finding Nemo this season’s 1500th individual winner Finding Nemo found his own little bit of history with his maiden win at Oamaru on Sunday. To date this season 3336 harness horses have raced and we’ve now had 1500 individual winners. Just the 5th time in history this has happened. Dunn on target for another 200 – bro could crack a ton Dexter Dunn is closing in on another 200 winning drives in a season and this week will could be a deciding factor whether he makes it. As already stated Bit Of A Legend is earmarked to run twice this Friday. He looks poised to pick up two wins on paper. Then there’s fine filly Safedra who’s found a walkover in a Breeders Crown heat at Addington (backing up on Sunday at Ashburton). Dunn also has a wealth of other handy drives across three meetings in the South Island this week. Should he make it, it will be Dunn’s third time winning 200 races in a season. Dexter’s older brother John is only four away from his own milestone – 100 driving wins for the season. The now Woodend-based Dunn has thrived since taking over the Beach Training arm of the Dunn stable and the winners have flowed. In what has to be a great success for the Dunn family, father Robert has racked up his own record of 87 wins for the season under review. In a fine career spanning nearly four decades Dunn has trained 863 winners. Horse of the Year Voting Voting has closed for the Harness of the Year Awards with the winners announced at the Horse of the Year Dinner on Saturday 27 July in Christchurch. There are several fascinating categories, including Horse of the Year, which has come down to a three horse contest involving Adore Me, Christen Me and Terror To Love. The same three will fight it out for Pacer of the Year too. Another award that has voters split is the three-year-old pacing colt or gelding of the year. Border Control and Ohoka Punter or the two protagonists in that one. Handicapping Changes To review the recently approved changes to the harness racing handicapping system you can find them at this link Harness Racing New Zealand  

With the New Zealand Harness Racing Awards quickly approaching us, this week Mark Jones has shared his opinion on who he believes the deserving candidates are for the top awards of Pacer Of The Year, Trotter Of The Year and ultimately, Harness Horse Of The Year.

Trenton, NJ --- If Murphy's Law means whatever can go wrong will go wrong, 2012 was the year of Gutnick's Law -- whatever can go right will go right. Harness racing owner Richard Gutnick looks back on last year and still thinks he is dreaming.

The 'Best of 2012' awards were handed out last night by the Keystone Chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers' Association, and leading the way as Pennsylvania's 'Horse of the Year' was Bob Key's Winning Mister 1:51.3 ($1,108,874), the millionaire and FFA trotting star who established track records at every Pennsylvania harness track--and six track records in all.

Defending harness racing 'Pacer of the Year' Captaintreacherous makes his 3YO debut Sunday night at Pocono Downs in the 10th race, one of four divisions of a $250,344 Pennsylvania Sire Stake.

It was a day of celebration and of tears as the California Harness Horseman's association held it's annual CHHA meeting on Sunday April 7th. The harnes racing celebration for the people and horses inducted into the hall of fame and for accomplishments in the sires stakes program and tears remembering friends and horses we lost in the past year.

It was another crowning moment for Chapter Seven. Chapter Seven and his connections received the Dan Patch Award for harness racing's Horse of the Year on Sunday night before a crowd of more than 400 people at the Westin Beach Resort and Spa.

The members of Minnesota Harness Racing Inc. held their annual meeting and awards banquet on Saturday (Feb. 23) at Running Aces Harness Park in Columbus, Minn.

New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas Fisher today announced the 2012 Governor's Award for Horseperson of the Year and Secretary of Agriculture Awards for New Jersey Thoroughbred and Standardbred Horses of the Year.

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