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Lima, OH - Royally-bred, multiple stakes winner MUSCLE DIAMOND 2,1:53.4; 3,1:53.2f; 1:50.1 ($834,424) has been retired from harness racing and will begin stallion service at Cool Winds Farm, Lima, Ohio, for the 2021 breeding season. The fastest male trotter ever sired by the incomparable Muscle Hill, he is from the World Champion mare WINDYLANE HANOVER 3,1:53 ($1,155,231), and will stand for a stud fee of $4,000. A fast and ultra-consistent performer, Muscle Diamond was 55 times 1-2-3 in 70 lifetime starts with 20 wins. At age six, when he took his 1:50.1 record at The Meadowlands, he won 7 of his 13 seasonal starts, which also included the prestigious Vincennes Trot on Hambletonian Day, defeating some of the top trotters of the day like Pinkman and Obrigado. Throughout the first four years of his career, he was handled by the leading money-winning driver of all time, John Campbell. "Muscle diamond was a perfect horse to drive. He had a pure gait with a very high turn of speed," noted the Hall of Famer, and now President & CEO of the Hambletonian Society. "He raced at the highest level throughout his career and was very versatile with exceptional speed out of the gate." Earning an average of $119,203 per season in seven years on the track, he raced against the best stakes trotters in North America during his 2- and 3-year-old seasons. At 2, he won the International Stallion Stake at Lexington, and was second in both his elimination and the $500,000 Breeders Crown Final (by a head to Hambletonian winner Pinkman) at The Meadowlands. At 3, he went back to the Red Mile and captured the Bluegrass Stake, won numerous other stakes events around the Grand Circuit, and then capped off his sophomore season with a close third in the $500,000 Breeders Crown Final at Woodbine. When the 2021 breeding season begins, Muscle Diamond will be the fastest trotter to stand in the state of Ohio. In fact, only two horses sired by Muscle Hill have ever trotted faster than Muscle Diamond, and they are both female. Yankeeland Partners (Charles E. Keller III, Charles E. Keller IV, Brett Bittle and Dan Bittle) selected Muscle Diamond as a Yearling, and have owned, trained and campaigned him ever since. Trainer Brett Bittle said, "We are excited to team up with Randy and Kim Haines and their Cool Winds Farm of Ohio to stand Muscle Diamond. We believe his exceptional breeding and talent on the track will be passed on to the next generation. He possessed unbelievable speed, stamina and athleticism ranking as one of the top 2-year-olds of his year." Yankeeland breeding manager Dan Bittle agreed, "Muscle Diamond has the breeding, ability, attitude and conformation to be an impact sire in the lucrative Ohio program. We are looking forward to breeding, purchasing and racing his sons and daughters in the Buckeye State." Coming full circle and impeccably bred, his dam Windylane Hanover won the 2002 $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, was a World Champion, won $1.15 million and went on to be named the 2003 Dan Patch Older Trotting Mare of the Year. She was campaigned by none other than Brett Bittle and owned by the Kellers and Dan Bittle. Muscle Diamond will stand in 2021 for a stud fee of $4,000, with multiple mare discounts available. For more information contact Cool Winds Farm at 419-227-2665 or 419-234-6772. by Chris Tully, for Cool Winds Farm  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - During the four weeks since the end of the coronavirus shutdown at the Meadowlands, the racing has offered its usual high-octane action. What's been different is that arguably the sport's best driver colony has managed to get even better, as with Yonkers not racing - for the time being - on Fridays and Saturdays, some of The Hilltop's best drivers have come over the George Washington Bridge to race at the mile oval just off the New Jersey Turnpike. Jason Bartlett, Jordan Stratton, Jim Marohn Jr., Mark MacDonald, Scott Zeron, Brian Sears, Joe Bongiorno and George Brennan have been seen at the Big M recently, in addition to the track's already all-star lineup that includes Yannick Gingras, Tim Tetrick, Dave Miller, Dexter Dunn, Andy McCarthy, Corey Callahan, Marcus Miller and Andy Miller. One could argue that not since the days of the early 2000s, when drivers John Campbell, Mike Lachance, Luc Ouellette, Ron Pierce and Cat Manzi were joined by young guns like the aforementioned Dave Miller, Gingras, Tetrick, Brennan and Sears, has the Big M colony been as talent-laden. Derick Giwner of DRF Harness wrote about the strength of the driver colony in his column earlier this week, and spoke with Campbell, the all-time leading pilot in Big M history. "I think the driving colony [at The Meadowlands] right now is as strong as ever," said Campbell. "I'm a firm believer that the top drivers from any era would make the adjustment and be competitive in any style of racing." "It's a competitive field of drivers," said the six-time Hambletonian and seven-time Meadowlands Pace winner. "You see some talented drivers who are racing just two or three horses a night, when, in the past, they would have a full card." Last week saw Big M regulars do the most winning, as McCarthy led the way with five winners. Next up with four scores apiece were Dunn and Gingras. WELCOME BACK: For the first time since early March, fans will be permitted for live and simulcast racing - and betting on sports in the FanDuel Sportsbook - at the Meadowlands. Patrons can come to the track on Thursday (July 2) for simulcasting before this weekend's live action. The grandstand will be open to 25 percent capacity. For complete details and what you need to know to attend, please read the following: http://playmeadowlands.com/News.aspx?id=20388. FEATURED ACTION: This weekend's Big M's programs are stakes stacked. Friday features four New Jersey Sire Stakes finals for 3-year-olds, where a total of $474,000 in purse money will be up for grabs. On Saturday, all eyes will be on the second matchup of the year between Manchego and Atlanta - Manchego won Round 1 by a nose - in the $170,900 Arthur J. Cutler Memorial for free-for-all trotters, while Bettor's Wish, the top 3-year-old pacing colt from a year ago, headlines the Graduate Series for 4-year-olds, which will have three $50,000 divisions. Both 13-race programs get underway at 7:15 p.m. CIRCLE THE DATES: The track's signature event, The Meadowlands Pace, is coming up soon. Eliminations for the 3-year-old pacing classic are on July 11 and the final is on July 18. STREAK'S ALIVE: Last weekend saw the usual strong wagering at the industry's handle leader, as $2,837,178 and $2,863,730 was bet last Friday and Saturday, respectively. Action at the races has now reached the $2.5-million mark on 15 straight race cards. No other North American harness track has wagered $2.5 million on any card during 2020. The average play per race last weekend was $219,265 after $5,700,908 in action was taken over the 26 races. FREE CONTEST SATURDAY: The United States Harness Writers Association will host the next free harness racing handicapping contest on Scott Alberg's Facebook page on Saturday at the Big M. One special race will be selected from the Meadowlands' program and contestants can enter free of charge. All one must do is select the correct exacta. To enter the contest, go to facebook.com/scott.alberg.3. Alberg will run the contest, just as he has in the past. All winners will have their name posted after the event with their ranking. HOW TO WATCH, HOW TO BET: For those fans who prefer to not attend the races but are still anxious to be a part of the action, they can watch the races on the Roberts Television Network (rtn.tv) or on the Television Games Network (TVG). To bet the races go to 4njbets.com, tvg.com or your favorite ADW (advance-deposit wagering) platform. BIG SCORE FOR BETTORS: According to a release from the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey, Assemblyman Ron Dancer wants New Jersey's horse racing industry to keep up with the times. His bill (A-2355) would give residents of The Garden State the ability to place wagers on horse races, even when they are out of state. Dancer's bill passed the Assembly with a 73-0 vote. PENTA-FABULOUS CARRYOVERS: This Friday, players have a pot of gold to shoot for in the Big M's two 20-cent Jackpot Super High-Fives. The 5th-race carryover stands at $57,438, while the 13th race has a starting point that has swelled to $69,791. FREE STUFF: For free past performances, go to playmeadowlands.com. On Friday, the four NJSS Finals plus the Late 50-cent Pick-4 (race 10) will be available while on Saturday, the Late Pick-4 plus the Late 20-cent Jackpot Super High-Five (race 13) will be available. CHECK OUT THE TEAM: For those who need to get a leg up on the action, go to playmeadowlands.com to see track oddsmaker and analyst Dave Brower's selections and commentary. Go to the "handicapping" drop down and then go to "race reviews". Additionally, track announcer Ken Warkentin's blog is available on the site and offers his picks and analysis. This weekend's pre-game shows - which feature commentary by Brower and Dave Little - get underway at 6:45 p.m., and the team - which includes Jessica Otten - will give out best bets and value plays. During the evening, look for Otten's interviews with horsemen from the back paddock after race replays. TWEET THE TEAM: Stay in touch on Twitter with the Big M's Brower (@eedoogie), Little (@DaveLittleBigM), Warkentin (@kenvoiceover) and Otten (@JessicaOtten1) anytime, but especially on race night. Check in everyday for Meadowlands news and updates at those handles, as well as at @TheMeadowlands. From the Meadowlands Media Department    

Vincennes, France – On the eve of the prestigious Grand Prix d’Amerique, American-born trainer, Jerry Riordan announced that this will be the last race for his top performer, Ringostarr Treb. Sired by Classic Photo, Ringostarr Treb has competed in 95 races with 33 wins and career earnings of 1,648,631€. “He is feeling great,” Riordan said of Ringostarr Treb, but this will be the last race of his career tomorrow. It just happens to be the Prix d’Amerique. The important thing for us is that after tomorrow we will not have him anymore. He is going to be a stallion so it’s a happy ending. “He’s ten years old now,” Riordan added. “It’s time for him to stop racing. I can’t think of a better way for him to end his career then racing in the Prix d’Amerique. With all the thousands of people clapping and cheering for the race, we will just think they are cheering for Ringostarr Treb’s last race.” A winner of the 2018 Elitloppet, Ringostarr Treb will be known for his classic battles with Propulsion in many elite races. It is his second time racing in the Prix d’Amerique. He will be driven by Jean-Philippe Monclin and is owned by E. Vam Racing Trotters. John Campbell, Tom Charters and Moira Fanning of the USA’s Breeders Crown/Hambletonian Society were at Vincennes and they were honored in the second race Saturday. Named the Prix Moni Maker, the trio made the trophy presentation to the winner. “I have been to Vincennes three times,” said Hall of Famer John Campbell. “And I regret that I never drove in a race here. I knew the first time I came here I should have asked to drive in some races. It’s such an amazing track, the racing surface is superb, the fans are so supportive of racing. I made a big mistake. It would have been great to have a drive in the Prix d’Amerique, but I would have been happy to get a drive in any race at this amazing track.” The Hippodrome Pari-Vincennes racetrack is an amazing place. There are three huge jumbo screens to watch the races from outside. New this year is a special running board that features what position each horse is in as the race is going. They also have a camera mounted on wires that catches all the action as the field comes down the stretch, very similar to what is done in professional American football. The paddock area for the horses racing that day is attached to the grandstand so people can go back and forth to see the horses with ease. But I know tomorrow it will be jammed, elbow to elbow. On Saturday there was a crowd of 15,000 fans and it will be hard to imagine that tomorrow there will be close to 40,000 fans. Tomorrow Vincennes will be the Kentucky Derby of Harness Racing. The feature race on Saturday was the 100,000€ Prix du Luxembourg. The winner was 18-1 Anzi Des Liards for driver Romain Derieux, who won by one length in 1’10’9, a lifetime record for the upset winner. He is a 10-year-old son of Look De Star. Track Notes: Harnesslink’s Thomas Hicks reported that the final Arqana-Trot Prix d’Amerique Sale at Paris-Vincennes produced some explosive bidding. Overall the sale saw 161 lots sold from 258 presented with gross proceeds of 3,529,000€, an average of 21,919€. The gross was up 1.6% from last year with the average down nearly 6%. Three young females sold by Jean Pierre Dubois led the sale. The sale topper at 370,000€ was hip 228 High Qualita (3f Ready Cash-Qualita Bourbon) that has recorded a win and two placings in four starts for 15,900€ earned. This is a classic pedigree with the dam Qualita Bourbon being a Gr. I winner of 1,538,050€ and this is the maternal family of Mara Bourbon, Kamera Bourbon, Sam Bourbon and the 2020 Prix d’Amerique starter Face Time Bourbon. The other Dubois presented toppers were hip 238 Haiti Dream (3f Love You-Tahiti Dream) that SRF Stable acquired for 200,000€ and hip 223 Gourgandine (4f Bold Eagle-Udine) that brought 160,000€ from Thomas Bernereau. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Milton, ON -- Harness racing super star Bold Eagle basked in the afternoon sunlight on the tarmac at Toronto Pearson International Airport last Saturday (Oct. 19) led by longtime caretaker and groom Hugues Monthule, who donned a neon-yellow safety vest. Despite a flashy black-and-red cooler draped over the trotter's back and bright red wraps around all four legs up to his knees, it was Bold Eagle's presence that proved eye-catching. Bold Eagle carried his head low and ears straight up under a gray hood. His eyes wide and gleaming, the French trotter took long, languid strides over the pavement. Despite emerging from an eight-hour journey over the North Atlantic Ocean, the French champion looked regal. After clearing customs, Bold Eagle and Monthule boarded a trailer bound for the Woodbine Mohawk Park backstretch. The track's backside would be Bold Eagle's home for the next week as the trotter prepares for his start in Saturday's $500,000 Breeders Crown Open Trot. The race has been years in the making for owners Pierre Pilarski and Thomas Bernereau. "It dates from 2017 during our first participation in Elitloppet and our meeting with John Campbell. I promised him to come to the Breeders Crown as soon as it was possible," Pilarski said. "It has been two years since John Campbell has invited us to come and compete in this great event with Bold Eagle in North America," Bernereau said. "We had the opportunity between Pocono and Mohawk, and we decided on Mohawk because this race was very well-placed in the program of Bold Eagle. If we come to play this great event with Bold Eagle, it is largely thanks to John Campbell, who convinced us to come and who organized everything so that everything went well." Despite Pilarski's promise, Bold Eagle's voyage seemed unlikely to most until the jumbo jet carrying him lifted into the skies over Frankfurt, Germany bound for Canada. In 67 races, Bold Eagle has only competed outside of his home country six times. He won the Group 1 Grand Prix de l'U.E.T. at the Netherlands' Victoria Park Wolvega in 2015, captured an elimination of Elitloppet in 1:50 before finishing fourth in the Group 1 final in 2017, won the Group 1 Grand Prix de Wallonie in Mons, Belgium in 2017, made a break shortly after the start of the first Elitloppet elimination in 2018, and repeated in the Grand Prix de Wallonie this year. Despite his 4-for-6 record outside France, critics of Bold Eagle cite his Elitloppet defeats as evidence the trotter is not as strong abroad as at home. However, Pilarski and Bernereau reject the notion. "Bold Eagle's win that impressed me the most was his elimination from Elitloppet when he won over his opponents in (1:50). This performance is the most impressive in my eyes," Bernereau said. Bold Eagle's 2018 Elitloppet bid proved disastrous. Travel delays may have doomed the trotter's trip before it even began. However, a recall before the race and a long delay on the track saw Bold Eagle come unraveled. His connections could only look on in dismay as Bold Eagle galloped in the first 200 meters and failed to advance to the final. "In 2018, the plane had been sitting long hours on the tarmac and all the horses of this trip raced badly at Solvalla," Pilarski said. "And then there were these incidents with the autostart. He was not bad because we cannot say that he had a fair chance." "This day was the worst moment of my career as an owner. Everything that could happen to destabilize our champion did happen," Bernereau said. "Bold Eagle is a very nice horse, but when he is in competition mode, he is impatient to start and can quickly go up in pressure. That day, he stayed 20 minutes on the track after a false start, which completely destabilized our champion. Now it's the nature of the races and you have to accept it, but that day everything was against Bold Eagle." Bold Eagle's record in France remains impeccable. The Ready Cash son's career began in the stable of Jean Dubois, where he won eight of his first 10 starts in 2013 and 2014, including the Group 2 Prix Victor Regis. As Dubois looked to retire, Pilarski, Bernereau, and Encurie Fouquette purchased Bold Eagle. "When we bought Bold Eagle, he had shown great potential, he had an exceptional pedigree, but we did not think to buy such a champion," Bernereau said. "I did not think he would be so good, but I sensed he had a special character," Pilarski echoed. Bold Eagle joined the ranks of trainer Sébastien Guarato and his new connections quickly discovered the special horse they had purchased. In his third start for Guarato, Bold Eagle captured his first Group 1 in the Criterium des 3 Ans Dec. 7, 2014. In 2015, Bold Eagle added another three Group 1 successes in the Prix de Selection, Grand Prix de l'U.E.T., and the Criterium Continental. Bold Eagle's career reached new heights in the 2016 Grand Prix d'Amérique. With Franck Nivard in the sulky, Bold Eagle defeated Timoko in the 1,000,000€ French classic and became a household name among harness racing fans worldwide. "The biggest emotion with Bold Eagle was in his first win in the Grand Prix d'Amérique," Bernereau said. "The horse was the favorite, we were very stressed, and Sébastien had lost his father four days before the race, which added a lot of emotion to this great victory." Bold Eagle's Group 1 wins continued to pile up after the 2016 Prix d'Amérique. Entering his Breeders Crown bid, Bold Eagle is 45-for-67 with 21 Group 1 successes and $5,365,180 earned. His resume includes two wins and a second in four Prix d'Amérique appearances, two Grand Prix de France triumphs, and a win in the 2017 Grand Prix de Paris over 4,150 meters that capped a French Trotting Triple Crown. Now, Bold Eagle's connections seek North American success. "Bold Eagle has nothing to prove to us, he has won so many great events and we have so much joy that now all the races we play with him are for fun," Bernereau said. "We come to Mohawk to present him to the North American public. Bold Eagle is very good, but whatever the result, we are here for the pleasure of playing a big test with our great champion. "If we want Bold Eagle's popularity to cross the borders of Europe, it's important to come up against American champions like Une de Mai or Varenne did at their time." A Breeders Crown bid fit perfectly into Bold Eagle's 8-year-old campaign. Lightly raced, he finished sixth in the Prix d'Amérique to start the year before placing third in the Prix de France. However, after being parked the mile by Dijon and being eased to a distant finish in the Group 1 Grand Criterium de Vitesse at Cagnes sur Mer March 10, Pilarski doubted his champion. "After the performance in Cagnes sur Mer, I thought to stop racing him, and I was wrong," Pilarski said. "He was ill and was opposed by the future winner of the 2019 Elitloppet." Bold Eagle returned to the races May 5 and finished second in the Group 2 Prix des Ducs de Normandie with Björn Goop taking over the lines from Nivard. Bold Eagle and Goop earned their first victory together in their next start June 23, as Bold Eagle took the Group 1 Prix René Ballière at Vincennes for the fourth consecutive year. "For an old horse that has raced a lot in Vincennes, it is very difficult to be still very efficient on the racecourse of Paris Vincennes," Pilarski said. "Even the great Timoko could not win at the end of his career. This fourth Ballière was important. No horse, not even Ourasi and Bellino II had reached it." "It is always important to win a Group 1 at Vincennes, but this one was important to us because many people already announced the retirement of Bold Eagle while we knew he was very good, but we had to prove it in competition," Bernereau said. Bold Eagle earned another win on the season in the Grand Prix de Wallonie with Tony le Beller in the bike Aug. 4 before finishing third with Goop in the UET Trotting Masters Series Final Sept. 7. Bold Eagle enters the Breeders Crown off a troubled second-place finish in the Group 3 Grand Prix de la Fédération Régionale du Nord Sept. 18. In that start, Bold Eagle squeezed through a narrow opening in the stretch, briefly brushing with rival Anzi des Liards while stablemate Tony Gio stormed to victory with a clear path in the center of the track. After just nine seasonal starts, Bold Eagle shipped to Canada for his attempt at North American glory. His connections feel this is the right time to try it. "This year we have not been to Scandinavia, which allows us to have a fresh horse and in great shape at this time of the year," Bernereau explained. "In other years, Bold Eagle was resting in October after a busy spring and summer." "This year we did not make a great trip by plane because Bold Eagle has had problems with repetitive foot abscess which has prevented us from presenting him in Scandinavia as originally planned," Pilarski said. "Bold Eagle has raced very little this year, his foot problems are over, so let's say the planets are aligned." Bold Eagle trucked from Guarato's stable in Normandy to Frankfurt before flying to Toronto. It is the longest trip of Bold Eagle's life, but he took the journey well according to his connections. "Everything has been very well managed very professionally by (Global Horse Transport's) Christian Rakshys and his teams," Bernereau said. "During this trip, Bold Eagle has always been accompanied by Hugues Monthule, his lad who knows him by heart. "I was in contact with John Campbell and his team who took care of everything. It's really a pleasure to work with people who are available, professional, and listening to horses." While Bold Eagle's biggest victories have come over 2,700 meters from a standing start around the Grande Piste at Vincennes, his start in the Breeders Crown will be one mile behind a mobile starting gate. "Bold Eagle knows how to race all the distances, but I prefer him on the mile," Pilarski said. "He has raced a lot over 2,700 meters and I think he's better going shorter." "To compare Vincennes and Mohawk is very difficult because the races do not run at all the same way," Bernereau said. "I think that on the mile, we cannot make a mistake because you have little time to give your horse a breather." Bold Eagle drew post one and will have Hall of Fame driver Brian Sears in the sulky. The pair are 4-1 on the morning line. Bold Eagle's 10 rivals are Will Take Charge, Mission Accepted, Fiftydallarbill, Guardian Angel AS, Atlanta, Lindy The Great, Dunbar Hall, Southwind Chrome, Six Pack, and Marion Marauder. "It's great to have in the sulky a crack driver who knows the track and the opponents," Pilarski said. "Regardless of what happens, it's going to be a great sporting moment." "It is essential to have one of the best drivers in North America to be competitive," Bernereau said. "In France John Campbell is seen as a legend of the American races. He advised me Brian, who has a lot of experience, who is calm, and who adapts to all the horses. "It would be wonderful, a great moment of joy to present Bold Eagle in his best light to the North American public," Bernereau continued. "Bold Eagle is part of the family and at every race I have a lot of stress and emotion. I hope to be able to share all my emotions with the public that I hope will be present in number." Breeders Crown finals for 2-year-olds are Friday at Mohawk. The finals for 3-year-olds and older horses are Saturday. Racing begins at 7 p.m. (EDT) both nights. The Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership is the presenting sponsor of this year's Breeders Crown. For Friday's entries, click here. For Saturday's entries, click here. by Brandon Valvo, for the Breeders Crown  

Columbus, OH - The 13th annual U.S. Trotting Association Speaker Series, presented by the Harness Racing FanZone, at the Delaware (Ohio) County Fair will be held on Wednesday and Thursday mornings before the Jugette (Sept. 18) and Little Brown Jug (Sept. 19), respectively. The 2019 edition will feature some of the sport's best drivers and trainers as well as a trio of analysts and Hall of Fame all-time leading driver and current executive John Campbell. This year's lineup is: Wednesday, Sept. 18 9 a.m. - Driver Brett Miller and Trainer Scott Blackler 10 a.m. - Driver Chris Page and Trainer Ron Burke Thursday, Sept. 19 8 a.m. - Handicapping with Roger Huston, Dave Brower and Wendy Ross 9 a.m. - Trainers Tony Alagna, Casie Coleman and Bill MacKenzie 10 a.m. - Hambletonian Society President and CEO John Campbell (Schedule subject to change) From the USTA Communications Department  

WOODSTOCK, VA --- 9/9/19 ---- Entries will be taken early this week for the first two race days at Virginia's Shenandoah Downs as the fourth pari-mutuel harness racing season gets underway this coming Friday September 13.   Entries for that first Friday card will be taken Tuesday September 10. Entries for the Saturday September 14 program will be accepted on Wednesday September 11. The race office opens at 7:30 AM on draw days and entries will be taken until 9 AM. On line entry is encouraged, but horsemen can also call entries in at 540-459-5170 or 540-459-5455. Scratch time is 9:30 AM the following day.   The five week season in Woodstock will continue every Friday at 3:30 PM and Saturday at 2 PM until October 13. The new Friday Happy Hour race cards feature one dollar draft beer, one dollar hot dogs and post-race karaoke. A pair of non-betting racing events will also take place on Sunday October 6 and 13. Virginia Breeder's prep races for two and three-year-old pacers and trotters of both sexes will be first up, followed by the $300,000 (est.) Breeder's Championships on closing day.   Opening weekend will feature promotional appearances by a pair of Hall of Famers --- legendary horse Foiled Again and driving great John Campbell. Foiled Again is the richest standardbred of all time and last fall, earned victory number 104 at Shenandoah Downs.   The now 15-year-old pacer retired January 1 with 109 wins. He will take a lap over the Woodstock oval both Friday and Saturday, then host a "meet and greet" both days with fans the rest of the afternoon. The first 600 attendees on Saturday will receive a free commemorative Foiled Again t-shirt.   John Campbell will help usher in the season with an appearance on Friday. Fans will get a chance to meet the highly accomplished reinsman who won 11,058 races. Horses he drove bankrolled nearly $304 million in purse monies. Campbell will also take Foiled Again out for a lap on Friday between races.   Another meet highlight is an "Own a Horse For a Day" promotion, sponsored by the Virginia Harness Horse Association. On three separate occasions --- September 14, 21 and October 5, fans in attendance will be selected via random drawings to own a horse in a $4,000 race the following weekend.   They will get to visit their respective horse, trainer and driver in the stable area for photo opportunities and best of all, keep the purse earnings their horses win. One person is guaranteed to take home the winner's share of $2,000 on each occasion.   Other key promotions include a baseball cap giveaway on September 21, weiner dog races on September 28, an "Autumnfest" BBQ/Craft Beer Festival on October 5, and the "Pink Power" Breast Cancer awareness event on October 12 which raises funds for the local American Cancer Society chapter.   Shenandoah Downs is located at Exit 283 off I-81, halfway between Winchester and Harrisonburg. Both parking and admission are free and the races are family friendly. More details are at shenandoahdowns.com.   by Darrell Wood, for Shenandoah Downs

Hall of Famer John Campbell breaks down the Super Bowl of Harness Racing. We're one week away from the most prestigious race for trotters in North America, the 94th running of The Hambletonian at The Meadowlands. TV 10/55's Scott Rapoport talks to Hall of Fame driver John Campbell.

 The “Red Million” a new harness racing event for two-year-old trotters with a $100,000 buy-in and a $1 million pay-out will not be raced in 2019 due to a conflict in race scheduling. Owners of The Red Mile, The Hambletonian Society and Kentucky Horse Racing Commission had jointly announced the new race would be the centerpiece of the richest day in Kentucky harness racing, riding the crest of a burgeoning breeding, racing and sales upswing in the Bluegrass State. The Red Mile Million is a new concept for harness racing with an innovative purse structure. It was seen as a natural accompaniment to the $2 million Kentucky Sire Stake finals in late September, bookending the Grand Circuit week of racing at Lexington’s Red Mile that features elite yearling sales and culminates with the final jewel of the trotting Triple Crown, the Kentucky Futurity. The event was embraced by local and state tourism officials, who heralding the continued growth of one of the state’s most valuable resources, the equine-driven economy. After several meetings on race dates, the Red Mile opted to race the Kentucky Sires Stake finals on Sept. 15, in order to avoid conflict with existing Grand Circuit and stakes races for those age groups on the North America stake calendar.   “Our owners and breeders have too much invested to be forced to choose between these rich opportunities for their stake colts and fillies that crowd the calendar near the end of the season,” said John Campbell, president of the Hambletonian Society. “Though canceled for 2019 we will continue planning for this event until we get the best date and scenario for all the stakeholders involved.” by Moira Fanning, for the Hambletonian Society

LEXINGTON, KY - Owners of the Red Mile, the Hambletonian Society and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission have announced the creation of a $3 million race day. The event will take place on Sunday, September 29, 2019, and will include the Commonwealth's first-ever $1 million race in The Red Mile Million for Standardbreds. "The Red Mile Million is intended to attract the world's best two-year-old trotters to Lexington to compete at the historic Red Mile and highlight the Kentucky Sire Stakes Championship Day as part of The Grand Circuit meet in 2019," said Joe Costa, the track's President. "More than that, it is intended to attract fans and guests to our exciting new entertainment destination." John Campbell of the Hambletonian Society explained the Red Mile Million format. "This is a new idea for our sport," said Campbell. "With ten slots to be acquired for $100,000 each, the race for two-year-old trotters will be a signature event for The Grand Circuit at The Red Mile going forward. There is already tremendous interest from our racing community." Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Executive Director Marc Guilfoil noted that the September 29 card at The Red Mile with The Red Mile Million and eight $250,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes Championship races will be the second richest race day in the Commonwealth, trailing only Kentucky Derby Day. "Beginning next year, our state will play host to an amazing day of racing and unprecedented purse structure for Standardbred racing," said Guilfoil. "The Red Mile Million will become a can't-miss event." With the Red Mile Million, The Grand Circuit Meet and the revitalized Kentucky Sire Stakes Program, over $11 million in harness racing purses will be competed for at The Red Mile over a seven-week period from August 2019 to October. "We are working closely not only with our racing industry, but also local and state tourism officials to make this a memorable weekend for our region," added Costa. "Stay tuned as we plan more announcements in the coming weeks." For more information, contact Brian Miller at the Bluegrass Sports Commission at bmiller@bluegrasssports.org or by phone at 859-420-4191. by Amy Ratliff, for the Red Mile

The Red Mile Renaissance continues with the creation of $1 million harness race for two-year-old trotters slated for a blockbuster Grand Circuit weekend in 2019 at the historic Lexington, Kentucky harness track. The race for two-year-old trotters, was initiated by the Hambletonian Society and received an enthusiastic response from host partners The Red Mile, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and the Kentucky Sires Stakes board. A formal announcement, outlining the parameters of the event will be made on Sunday, Sept. 16, when the Red Mile hosts the $250,000 Kentucky Sires Stake Finals, the finale of the $4.5 million program on Fayette County Fair Day. Other partners include the Bluegrass Sports Commission, Cornett Agency, and the inaugural Lexington Selected Mixed Sale, slated for Oct. 7, 2018, which has dedicated net proceeds from the sale to promotion and marketing of the new event. The Hambletonian Society is a non-profit organization formed in 1924 to sponsor the race for which it was named, the Hambletonian Stake. The Society's mission is to encourage and support the breeding of Standardbred horses through the development, administration and promotion of harness racing stakes, early-closing races and other special events. by Moira Fanning, for the Hambletonian Society

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. --- The harness racing tradition continues on Hambletonian Eve. For the fourth consecutive year, renowned equine artist Ann Lufkin has done a portrait of the past year's Hambletonian champion to present to the connections on the eve of the Meadowlands Racetrack CEO Jason Settlemoir and Hambletonian Society president John Campbell will present the portrait of Perfect Spirit to owner Lennart Agren of SRF Stable and driver-trainer Ake Svanstedt on Friday, Aug. 3 at The Meadowlands. In a memorable and chaotic finish, Perfect Spirit was the winner by disqualification, after What The Hill squeezed off the pylons in deep stretch to hit the finish line first. Judges declared there was contact between What The Hill and Guardian Angel AS, marking the first time in Hambletonian history that a horse had his number taken down in 92 editions of the $1 million trotting classic for 3-year-olds. Perfect Spirit was the winner of the 2017 Hambletonian. The portrait will be presented prior to the races on Friday, Aug., 3, in Trotters, during the owners and Hambletonian Society Directors cocktail party at 6:30 pm. For more on Lufkin's work, visit http://www.annlufkin.com/ The stakes-filled Hambletonian Day card begins at 12 noon. The Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks will be featured on a live 90-minute broadcast on CBS Sports Network from 4-5:30 p.m. (EDT). From the Meadowlands Media Department

Three year old filly pacers and three year old colt and gelding trotters highlighted the harness racing card at Ocean Downs on a beautiful Sunday night.   The first race went as the first division for the filly pacers. Reinsman Vic Kirby pulled Pedal Power (Roddy's Bags Again) going to the ¾ pole, gaining on the leader with every stride. When the timer stopped in the 1:54.2 mile Pedal Power was a nose in front of Go Sandy Go (Roddy's Bags Again). Darrell and Leah Lewis own and train the filly and Winbak Farm is the breeder. The trotting colts and geldings were up next. The Rene Allard trained Whats The Word (Donato Hanover) dominated the field in a stakes and track record of 1:55 winning by 15 ¾ lengths over second place finisher What That Is (Cam's Rocket). Corey Callahan drove the winner for owners Go Fast Stable, Kapildeo Singh and Earl Hill Jr., Frederick Hertrich III is the breeder.   The final stake of the night was the second split for filly pacers. The betting favorite Cool Toy (Cool Flying Fun) did not disappoint going wire to wire in 1:56.3 for pilot Jason Green and owners Breakaway Racing. Elwood Tignor trains the filly and Nick Callahan is the breeder. Rissy's All In (Rusty's All In) was second.   Ocean Downs also hosted Hall of Fame driver John Campbell for a meet and greet with a large group of fans, both young and old. John's wife Paula was also there spreading the word about the Standardbred Retirement Foundation and taking donations to support these retired racehorses horses.   The Standardbred Fund (foaled) Stakes continue Monday night July 9 with a post of 7:05 pm.   by Cheri Stambaugh, for the Maryland Standardbred Race Fund  

Large crowd greets John Campbell and Wally Hennessey at World Harness Racing book launch John Campbell and Wally Hennessey two superstars in the world of harness racing were on hand Wednesday for the launch of the book World Harness Racing. It all took place at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino in Charlottetown Prince Edward Island, Canada. Hosted by the book’s managing editor Jerry McCabe and Red Shores marketing manager, Lee Drake, the launch featured strong presentations by Campbell, Hennessey, and Robert Mitchell, the minister responsible for harness racing on the Island while the book was taking shape. A long line-up of people waited to purchase the book with Hennessey and Campbell and two of the co-authors signing books for a long stretch. No one went home disappointed or empty handed. For more information on the book go to retromedia.ca .

CHESTER, PA - From tables and tables loaded with memorabilia to eight Hall of Fame inductees in the crowd, it was a fitting evening of "catching-up" and remembering the "old times" at Harrah's Philadelphia Friday evening for the Garden State Park Reunion Night. Hosted by Harrah's Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association as part of their Summer Series of Racing and Remembering, hundreds of race fans came out to the track and were treated to an evening of live harness racing, live music, mechanical bull rides, outdoor BBQ and terrific memorabilia show and contest with hundreds of pieces on display. "I enjoyed reconnecting with people from Garden State that I had not seen in some time," said Hall of Famer John Campbell, now President and CEO of the Hambletonian Society. "I particularly enjoyed the memorabilia and the race replays that were running on the big TV. It brought back great memories of all the tremendous horses and top-notch races that Garden State hosted over the years." Campbell was one of eight inductees of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame that were in attendance, meeting fans, employees and horsemen and women that all worked, raced or wagered on the harness meets at Garden State Park. Other Hall of Famers in attendance included Cat Manzi, Ron Gurfein, Marvin Bachrad, Leon Zimmerman, Moira Fanning, Jerry Connors and Steve Wolf. Missing from the lineup was another Hall of Famer, Robert "Bob" Quigley, the former President of Garden State Park, who could not make the trip from Florida due to hip replacement surgery. "If not for my surgery," Quigley said. "I would have been at Harrah's for the Garden State Park Reunion Night. I send my deepest regards and well-wishes to everyone who made it out. So many great people, employees and horsemen and women I would love to have seen again. I hope everyone had a great time." Conducting interviews throughout the night was Steve Ross, the former advertising and promotions manager. Other guests were Jay Farrar, who headed simulcasting at the track, race office official Al Kraszewski, publicist Gen Sullivan, former driver Jimmy Larente, Jr., track photographer John Pantalone of World Wide Racing Photos and other horsemen and women, plus numerous former employees including pari-mutuel tellers (some who were still working right at Harrah's Philadelphia), admissions personnel and more. Perhaps the "hit guest" of the evening was none other than former track announcer, Larry Lederman, who called the sixth race on the card, which was the Bill Fidati Memorial, a tribute to the former head of publicity at Garden State Park. "We are really pleased with our Summer Series of Racing and Remembering," said Barry Brown, Director of Racing at Harrah's Philadelphia. "Last month's Liberty Bell Park Reunion Night was great and tonight's Garden State Park Reunion was even stronger with much more memorabilia than expected. It was great that we had to add more tables for the show and contest. Philadelphia's sports radio icon, WIP's Jody McDonald, an avid racing fan, was the judge for the Memorabilia Contest. The top prize, a $150 wagering voucher, was awarded to Dennis Sanford, a big harness racing fan from Woodlynne, NJ for his collection of every collector's glass giveaway, both Harness and Thoroughbred, from Garden State Park. Second prize of a $100 voucher went to former employee Connie Scerati of Mt Laurel, NJ for collection of GSP uniforms and pins, many of which she wore and, of course, saved over the years. Third place with a $50 voucher went to Al Kraszewski, who is currently the assistant race secretary at Ocean Downs in Maryland, for his autographed win photo of the great Secretariat, who won at Garden State Park as a two-year-old. Next month the Summer Series of Racing and Remembering concludes on Friday evening, September 8 with the Brandywine Raceway Reunion Night starting at 6:30 pm. In addition to the memorabilia show and contest, live racing and other activities, the first 400 fans to purchase a Harrah's Philadelphia race program, will get a free Summer Series commemorative t-shirt. "I know we will be needing more tables for the memorabilia show for this night," said Barry Brown. "We really look forward to this final Friday night of live racing as Brandywine Raceway was such a fixture here in the Delaware Valley and the track was located just down the road from Harrah's Philadelphia." By Steve Wolf, for Harrah's Philadelphia & the PHHA        

On Friday, August 11, Harrah's Philadelphia will host, along with the Pennsylvania Harness Horseman's Association (PHHA), the third Summer Series Friday night harness racing card of the season. The theme of the evening will be the Garden State Park Reunion Night with the festivities getting started at 6:00 pm. One of the special highlights of the night will be the 6th race $17,500 pace, The Bill Fidati Memorial. William C. "Bill" Fidati, was the publicity director at Garden State Park and was loved by everyone who ever worked with or for him or was able to be friends with him. He passed away at age 76 in 2011. Before coming to Garden State Park, he worked for two decades for two of the top newspapers in Philadelphia, the Daily News and then the Bulletin. He covered City Hall and in 1970 won the area's Press Association award for his stories. Bill also covered horse racing, both Thoroughbred and Standardbred and became the publicity director of Philadelphia Park in 1982 and then moved across the Delaware River to work at the new Garden State Park four years later. Everyone who was associated, worked for or raced at Garden State Park is invited to Harrah's Philadelphia Friday evening. Special guests in attendance will be Hall of Famers John Campbell and Catello "Cat" Manzi along with former track announcer Larry Lederman and other co-workers and horse people that competed at the track. Patrons are urged to bring in any memorabilia from Garden State Park, win photos, giveaway items, etc. and they will receive a gift from Harrah's Philadelphia. The memorabilia will then be put on display for all to see and there will be $300 in betting vouchers given away to the top three items. Judging the memorabilia contest will be WIP Sports Radio legend, Jody McDonald. After each live race on the program there will be a replay of one of the great races held at Garden State Park and former advertising and promotions manager, Steve Ross, will be interviewing the special guests in the winner's circle. There will also be live music, free mechanical bull rides along with an outdoor BBQ and more, all taking place on the outdoor grandstand patio. The race program will feature a special eight-page insert of photo memories of Garden State Park. Garden State Park was located on Route 70 and Haddonfield Road in Cherry Hill, NJ. It opened on July 7, 1942 as a Thoroughbred track until a disastrous fire burned the Clubhouse and Grandstand on April 14, 1977. Garden State Park no longer held races until securities trader Robert Brennan financed construction of a new $178 million steel and glass grandstand/clubhouse which opened on April 1, 1985. The track held both Thoroughbred and Standardbred races until it closed in 2001. For more information, visit or contact Harrah's Philadelphia at www.caesars.com/harrahs-philly. By Steve Wolf, for Harrah's Philadelphia    

JOHN CAMPBELL & CAT MANZI TO ATTEND

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