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ALLENTOWN, NJ - November 1, 2016 - Election Day is Tuesday, November 8 and whether voting "blue" or "red," horsemen are urging New Jerseyans to support Ballot Question 1 and keep the "green" in the Garden State. In the ninth episode of "Fika with Jonas," trainer Jonas Czernyson makes an appeal to voters to support the expansion of gaming to two new casinos in North Jersey from which a portion of the revenue will benefit horse racing. Czernyson and his wife, Christine, have made a commitment to New Jersey with the purchase of Millstream Farm in Allentown, where they hope to breed future champions. But farms and training centers are pulling up stakes and moving to casino-enriched states. "Billions are being wagered by New Jerseyans at casinos in neighboring states," said Czernyson. "We need to recapture the gaming dollars to benefit all New Jersey residents, including the horsemen. "We need to bring the money back to New Jersey," he added. "Approving the ballot question would help to preserve 15,000 horse-related jobs and bring another 40,000 jobs to the state as well as $500 million in annual revenue. It's important for the preservation of horse farms, which represent nearly 25 percent of the state's agricultural land." Fika is the Swedish word for a coffee break, and Swedish-born trainer Jonas Czernyson, who is stabled at Winners Training Center in Chesterfield, NJ, is the star of the monthly series produced and hosted by Cody Bach Productions. Questions and comments may be sent to Christine and Jonas Czernyson through the Team JC Stable page on Facebook, @teamjcstable on Twitter or by email to info@teamjc.net. To view the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meNtDjb9c0w From Carol Hodes for Team JC          

ALLENTOWN, NJ - October 4, 2016 - One harness racing contest is over - and another important vote is coming up. In the eighth episode of "Fika with Jonas," which airs on YouTube, trainer Jonas Czernyson reveals the winner of the Name the Foal Contest and makes an appeal for support for the November 8 ballot question for the expansion of gaming to North Jersey. More than five hundred names were submitted for the first son of multiple stakes winner Mistery Woman, bred by the Czernysons' Millstream Farm in Allentown, NJ and co-owned by Michael Taranto. Mistery Woman raced from 2012 to 2015, posting 11 wins, two seconds and 10 thirds in 39 starts, earned $480,360 and trotted to her 1:51 world record for four-year-olds in the Allerage at Kentucky's Red Mile. She was mated to 2009 Horse of the Year and Hambletonian winner Muscle Hill. The winning name is Hillofamistery, which was submitted by Janis Joseph-McGhee of Aiken, SC. "We were overwhelmed by the wonderful response to the contest," said Christine Czernyson, who oversees the breeding operations. The upcoming vote of concern to the Czernysons as both horse people and New Jersey residents is the ballot question before New Jersey voters. If approved, it would bring up to two casinos to the northern portion of the state. "We need to bring the money back to New Jersey," said Jonas Czernyson. "Approving the ballot question would help to preserve 15,000 horse-related jobs and bring another 40,000 jobs to the state as well as $500 million in annual revenue. It's important for the preservation of horse farms, which represent nearly 25 percent of the state's agricultural land." Fika is the Swedish word for a coffee break, and Swedish-born trainer Jonas Czernyson, who is stabled at Winners Training Center in Chesterfield, NJ, is the star of the monthly series produced and hosted by Cody Bach Productions. Questions and comments may be sent to Christine and Jonas Czernyson through the Team JC Stable page on Facebook, @teamjcstable on Twitter or by email to info@teamjc.net.   From Carol Hodes for Team JC          

East Rutherford, NJ --- The color of the day at The Meadowlands on Saturday (Aug. 6) will be silver, for the glistening Hambletonian and Oaks trophies that are the object of dreams for many harness racing owners. But the complementary color of the day will be teal, for ovarian cancer awareness. The longtime girlfriend of Hambletonian trophy presenter, NASCAR driver Martin Truex, Sherry Pollex, is an ovarian cancer survivor and advocate for others fighting the disease. The owner of a women's clothing and accessories store, Pollex has a website, www.sherrystrong.org, which provides information and news for those dealing with ovarian cancer. To honor her commitment, trainer Jonas Czernyson and his wife Christine will ask Pollex to sign a teal ribbon to be braided into the mane of Hambletonian Oaks contender Side Bet Hanover shortly before she races. This is not the first time the Czernysons have been involved in building awareness and raising funds to fight the disease. "It started last year with Aldebaran Eagle," said Christine Czernyson of the now 4-year old trotter who has a mark of 1:52.1 and earnings of $209,243 and is trained by Jonas. "The owner of Aldebaran Eagle is Duncan McPherson from Australia and his wife, Lyn, passed away from ovarian cancer. Jonas and I wanted to do something for Duncan, who's very involved in ovarian cancer awareness in Australia. We had the horse racing for ovarian cancer awareness and we gave a percentage of his earnings last year to the cause, it was almost $2,000. "We put out an initiave and said we'd love for Eagle to be racing not only for Lyn McPherson, but for all the angels that have passed away from ovarian cancer, and also the survivors. We wrote the names of all the people who wrote to us on teal ribbons, and Eagle will actually be racing tonight (Friday, August 5, race five) at The Meadowlands with all of those survicors and angels' names on ribbons in his mane. We have almost 50 - it involves three ribbons." The Czernysons are extending the ribbon project to Side Bet Hanover for the rest of 2016 and will donate a percentage of her earnings for all of 2016. The filly, who won her elimination of the Hambletonian Oaks at odds of 38-1, is rated at 8-1 for the final from post four. "My aunt, Kathy Terrazas, passed away from ovarian cancer, so it is a cause close to my heart," said Christine Czernyson. "We do this in honor of her and Sherry Pollex. She will be racing with the ribbons of all of Eagle's angels and survivors." $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks Race 12 – Post time 4:41 p.m. PP-Horse-Sire--Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1. Caprice Hill – Kadabra - Tim Tetrick–Tony Alagna–5/2 2. Celebrity Eventsy – Manofmanymissions - John Campbell–Staffan Lind–6/1 3. Dream Child – Muscle Hill - Scott Zeron–Linda Toscano–30/1 4. Side Bet Hanover – Donato Hanover - Corey Callahan–Jonas Czernyson–8/1 5. Windowshopper – Donato Hanover - Brian Sears–Ake Svanstedt–40/1 6. All The Time – Muscle Hill - Yannick Gingras–Jimmy Takter–9/5 7. Broadway Donna – Donato Hanover - David Miller–Jim Campbell–7/2 8. Wildflower – Muscle Hill - Ake Svanstedt–Ake Svanstedt–30/1 9. Black Broadway – Broadway Hall - Brett Miller–Michael Eaton–50/1 10. Double Exposure – Donato Hanover - Tim Tetrick–Tony Alagna–15/1   by Ellen Harvey, Harness Racing Communications  

After back-to-back wins at long odds, harness racing trainer Jonas Czernyson wonders what Side Bet Hanover needs to do to earn some respect. A victory in Saturday’s (Aug. 6) $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old female trotters at the Meadowlands might do the trick. Side Bet Hanover won her Hambletonian Oaks elimination last week at 38-1, defeating favorite Caprice Hill by a head in 1:53.2 on a rain-soaked sloppy track at the Big M. It was Side Bet Hanover’s third consecutive victory, with her previous triumph in a division of the Reynolds Memorial Stakes coming at odds of 11-1. “I didn’t get that at all,” Czernyson said about Side Bet Hanover’s odds in her Oaks elimination. “She had two straight wins, and not just in overnights. She’s really peaking at the right time, really coming on when she should.” Side Bet Hanover, a daughter of Donato Hanover out of the mare Sea Level Hanover, was purchased as a yearling for $55,000 at the 2014 Standardbred Horse Sale. Her family includes Nova Award winner Spellbound Hanover. This year, Side Bet Hanover has won three of five races and earned $54,871 for owner Lennart Agren’s SRF Stable. For her career, the filly has won four of 12 starts and banked $81,156. “She was a little slow getting started this year and I didn’t want to push her and bring her out when she didn’t say she was ready to come out,” Czernyson said. “That’s why we took our time with her and it looks now that it paid off. She’s been a very nice horse all along. She’s just an overall nice horse to be around.” Side Bet Hanover and driver Corey Callahan will start the Hambletonian Oaks final from post four. Side Bet Hanover is 8-1 on the morning line. “We get to start off in a nice spot and we’ll go from there,” Czernyson said. “I think she fits in pretty good; she beat some nice horses in here. I think we have as big of a shot as anybody else. Now we just have to keep working for another week and make sure we stay as healthy and fresh as we can.” Celebrity Eventsy won last week’s other Hambletonian Oaks elimination, defeating the breaking Broadway Donna by a neck in 1:53.1. Broadway Donna, the 2015 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old filly trotter, was placed third because of her misstep and All The Time was moved up from third to second. A daughter of Manofmanymissions out of the mare Little Ms Queenie, Celebrity Eventsy has won three of six races this year and seven of 16 in her career. She has earned $286,238 for owner Sam Stathis’ Celebrity Farms. Celebrity Eventsy’s victories last year included divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion stakes. She finished second to Caprice Hill in the Peaceful Way. She has finished worse than third only twice in her career. “She made a break in last year’s Doherty final, but it was only because she was green and they had two photographers on the starting line and she had the rail,” trainer Staffan Lind said. “She got crooked looking at them and made a break. But besides that, she’s been the model of consistency.” Celebrity Eventsy will start the Hambletonian Oaks final from post two. She is 6-1 on the morning line, with two-time Oaks winner John Campbell in the sulky. “She, like many fillies, has an attitude about things she doesn’t like,” Lind said. “You have to work around her in most cases. But on the track she’s super. She’s got gate speed so I think we’re hopefully going to get a good trip again.” Jimmy Takter-trained All The Time, last year’s Breeders Crown champion, is the 9-5 morning line favorite in the Hambletonian Oaks. Yannick Gingras will drive the filly. Takter and Gingras have teamed to win the past two editions of the Oaks, with Lifetime Pursuit in 2014 and Wild Honey in 2015. All The Time has won three of six races this year and finished second in the remaining three starts. $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks Race 12 – Post time 4:41 p.m. PP-Horse-Sire--Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1. Caprice Hill – Kadabra - Tim Tetrick–Tony Alagna–5/2 2. Celebrity Eventsy – Manofmanymissions - John Campbell–Staffan Lind–6/1 3. Dream Child – Muscle Hill - Scott Zeron–Linda Toscano–30/1 4. Side Bet Hanover – Donato Hanover - Corey Callahan–Jonas Czernyson–8/1 5. Windowshopper – Donato Hanover - Brian Sears–Ake Svanstedt–40/1 6. All The Time – Muscle Hill - Yannick Gingras–Jimmy Takter–9/5 7. Broadway Donna – Donato Hanover - David Miller–Jim Campbell–7/2 8. Wildflower – Muscle Hill - Ake Svanstedt–Ake Svanstedt–30/1 9. Black Broadway – Broadway Hall - Brett Miller–Michael Eaton–50/1 10. Double Exposure – Donato Hanover - Tim Tetrick–Tony Alagna–15/1 by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

ALLENTOWN, NJ – August 1, 2016 – Jonas Czernyson is reunited with his harness racing mentor, Per Eriksson, in the sixth episode of “Fika with Jonas,” which airs on YouTube, starting on August 1, 2016. Czernyson was an Eriksson protégé when he first came from Sweden to the United States, starting as a caretaker before progressing to second trainer for his fellow countryman. “I started working for him the week after Alf Palema won the 1992 Hambletonian,” said Czernyson, who trains Brooklyn Hill, one of the entrants in the 2016 Hambletonian on August 6 at the Meadowlands.  Eriksson trained the winners of three Hambletonians – 1985 with Prakas, 1991 with Giant Victory and 1992 with Alf Palema. Eriksson discusses his experiences of training in the States – he came in 1981 as an assistant for the Soren Nordin Stable – and the special place in his heart for Prakas.  He talks about how King Conch was the star of his stable and the anticipated Hambletonian winner in 1992.  Initially, he was disappointed that King Conch was beaten until he realized it was by his other entrant, longshot Alf Palema. Eriksson and his wife, Tina, returned to Sweden, but now it is one of their daughters, Vanessa, who has come to the States and is working for Jonas Czernyson.  Vanessa Eriksson is the caretaker of Side Bet Hanover, who won her Hambletonian Oaks Elimination race last week. The protégé is now the teacher. “It is important to understand that horses are not work; it’s a lifestyle,” Eriksson said.  “Jonas is a good teacher.” Fika is the Swedish word for a coffee break, and Swedish-born trainer Jonas Czernyson, who is stabled at Winners Training Center in Chesterfield, NJ, is the star of the monthly series produced by Cody Bach Productions. Questions and comments may be sent to Christine and Jonas Czernyson through the Team JC Stable page on Facebook, @teamjcstable on Twitter or by email to info@teamjc.net. To view the video: https://youtu.be/PE6s8g8PUzs From Carol Hodes

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Side Bet Hanover and Celebrity Eventsy registered upset victories in their respective Hambletonian Oaks Eliminations Saturday night at the Meadowlands, and as a result, may select posts one through five for next week's $500,000 final for harness racing 3-year-old trotting fillies. Side Bet Hanover lit up the board as a 38-1 chance in the first elim. After leaving quickly from post one, the Jonas Czernyson trainee settled into a three-hole trip down the backstretch. All eyes were on 2-5 favorite Caprice Hill, who trotted past the half in :55.3 and three-quarters in 1:25 and was clear of the field by 3 lengths at the eighth pole. Driver Corey Callahan then moved Side Bet Hanover ($78.20 to win) off the rail, found a seam late, and sprinted the final 50 yards to catch the odds-on choice and win by a head in a lifetime-best 1:53.2. Earning the final three berths in next week's final were Dream Child, Black Broadway and Windowshopper. "I guess they have no respect for me," said Czernyson of his horse's odds. "It looks like we have her peaking at the right time." Also peaking at the right time is the Staffan Lind-trained Celebrity Eventsy ($12.60), who scored for driver John Campbell after taking the early lead before working out a pocket trip behind 8-5 second choice Broadway Donna. In deep stretch, she charged up the rail to register a neck win in a lifetime-best 1:53.1 over the sloppy going. All The Time, the 3-2 favorite, got within a length of the leader racing first-over at the head of the stretch, but went evenly from there. Broadway Donna finished a neck in back of the winner, but was off stride at the wire, was disqualified and placed third, behind All The Time. Double Exposure and Wildflower earned the final two tickets to the final. "We've been aiming for this all along," said Lind. FRANK READY FOR HAMBO: Southwind Frank overcame a track bias that played to closers all night long and took the Reynolds Memorial in a lifetime-best equaling 1:52.1 after brushing with authority to the lead at the half for his 16th win in 18 lifetime starts, setting him up perfectly for next week's $1M Hambletonian. HAMBO TV: The 91st Hambletonian will be televised live Saturday (August 6) on the CBS Sports Network. The 90-minute program, hosted by Gary Seibel, co-hosted by Dave Brower with interviews by Justin Horowitz, begins at 4 p.m. with the Hambletonian post time scheduled for 5:15 p.m. ... All-source wagering on the card totaled $2,487,230. ... Racing resumes at the Big M Friday at 7:15 p.m. ... Remember! Post time on Hambletonian Day is noon. by Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

ALLENTOWN, NJ - July 1, 2016 - Jonas Czernyson discusses the feed, supplements and other forms of care provided his stable to keep them happy and healthy in the fifth edition of "Fika with Jonas," which airs on YouTube, starting on July 1, 2016. From supplements and salts to lasers and massage belts, Czernyson shares his approach to caring for his stable, tracking each horse with Stable Secretary software. And when a horse is injured, his advice: "Listen to your vet; listen to your horse." Fika is the Swedish word for a coffee break, and Swedish-born trainer Jonas Czernyson, who is stabled at Winners Training Center in Chesterfield, NJ, is the star of the monthly series produced by Cody Bach Productions. Questions and comments may be sent to Christine and Jonas Czernyson through the Team JC Stable page on Facebook, @teamjcstable on Twitter or by email to info@teamjc.net. To view the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ly_DlKWhFeQ&feature=youtu.be From Carol Hodes for Team JC      

ALLENTOWN, NJ - June 1, 2016 - Harness racing trainer Jonas Czernyson shares his "passion for training" in the fourth edition of "Fika with Jonas," which airs on YouTube, starting on June 1, 2016. In this episode, Czernyson talks about the steps of training, beginning with the first time you put a harness on a "baby," teaching manners to yearlings, and the other methods of preparing young standardbreds for becoming racehorses. Additionally, Czernyson answered questions from YouTube viewers, including on the use of pressure carts and interval training. Fika is the Swedish word for a coffee break, and Swedish-born trainer Jonas Czernyson, who is stabled at Winners Training Center in Chesterfield, NJ, is the star of the monthly series produced by Cody Bach Productions. Questions and comments may be sent to Christine and Jonas Czernyson through the Team JC Stable page on Facebook, @teamjcstable on Twitter or by email to info@teamjc.net. To view the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8bD8KoMf-I&feature=share [From Carol Hodes for Team JC]  

ALLENTOWN, NJ - May 1, 2016 - To shoe or not to shoe - that is one of the questions addressed in the third edition of "Fika with Jonas," which airs on YouTube, starting on May 1, 2016. Fika is the Swedish word for a coffee break, and Swedish-born trainer Jonas Czernyson is the star of the monthly series produced by Cody Bach Productions. Czernyson, who is stabled at Winners Training Center in Chesterfield, NJ, introduces his farrier, Dean Vandervort, who discusses his blacksmithing career and demonstrates shoeing options. Then Czernyson answers questions from viewers, including when it is appropriate for a racehorse to compete without shoes. Racing footage of some of his most accomplished barefooted trotters is featured. Questions and comments may be sent to Christine and Jonas Czernyson through the Team JC Stable page on Facebook, @teamjcstable on Twitter or by email to info@teamjc.net. To view the video: https://youtu.be/nSq9z1pQNn4 From Cody Back Productions            

Harness racing Hambletonian hopeful Brooklyn Hill is featured in the second edition of "Fika with Jonas," which airs on YouTube, starting on April 1, 2016. Fika is the Swedish word for a coffee break, and Swedish-born trainer Jonas Czernyson is the star of the monthly series produced by Cody Bach Productions. Czernyson takes the audience into the stall of Brooklyn Hill, a three-year-old son of Muscle Hill, as the trotter is prepared and equipped for a jog on the half-mile sand track and the main racetrack at Winners Training Center in Chesterfield, NJ. Brooklyn Hill, owned by the SRF Stable of Delray Beach, FL, earned $188,700 at two, finishing in-the-money in eight of 10 starts. He picked up his first win in a New Jersey Sire Stakes and posted his mark of 1:53.1 in his final start of 2015, the International Stallion Stakes at Lexington's Red Mile on October 8. In the second episode, Czernyson answers viewer questions about bits and overchecks. Next month in Episode 3, Czernyson will discuss shoeing. Questions and comments may be sent to Christine and Jonas Czernyson through the Team JC Stable page on Facebook, @teamjcstable on Twitter or by email to info@teamjc.net.

Pulling back the curtains on the life of a horse trainer in New Jersey is the goal of an online video series called "Fika with Jonas," which debuted on YouTube on March 1, 2016. Fika is the Swedish word for a coffee break, and Swedish-born trainer Jonas Czernyson is the star of what will be a monthly series produced by Cody Bach Productions. "We were overwhelmed with the response when we posted the first episode," said Christine Czernyson, wife of Jonas and the person who oversees social media for Team JC Stable, the nom de racecourse of the couple's training operations. The first episode was filmed at the Czernysons' Millstream Farm, which covers 78 acres in Allentown, NJ. Millstream Farm has eight broodmares soon to deliver in New Jersey and another five in Kentucky. Bach, whose late father, Ole, was one of the premier bloodstock agents, provided the hosting duties on the first video, asking the standardbred trainer questions collected from Facebook and Twitter followers, including how he came to the United States, his family background, how he met Christine and his typical daily schedule. Subsequent episodes will include the "view from the sulky," while training some of the premier trotters in North America at Winners Training Center in Chesterfield, NJ. "We hope to release a new video on the first of each month," said Christine Czernyson, who oversees the broodmares and babies at the farm. "We invite people to send us questions through the Team JC Stable page on Facebook, @teamjcstable on Twitter or by email at info@teamjc.net.   By Carol Hodes for Team JC Stable  

Trainer Jonas Czernyson hopes Sliding Home can score in the season's final major open stakes event for 2-year-old male trotters, the Valley Victory at Meadowlands Racetrack. Two eliminations for the Valley Victory will be held Saturday at the Big M. Sliding Home, who finished third in the Breeders Crown on Oct. 24, is 10-1 on the morning line in the first elimination. David Miller will drive Sliding Home, who will start from post three in the nine-horse field. Breeders Crown runner-up Marion Marauder is the 2-1 morning line favorite in the first elimination. He will start from post seven with Scott Zeron driving for trainer Paula Wellwood. Matron Stakes winner Dog Gone Lucky, from the stable of Chuck Sylvester, is the 8-5 morning line choice in the second Valley Victory elimination. The top five finishers from each elimination advance to the Nov. 21 final at the Meadowlands. Sliding Home has won two of 11 races this year and earned $223,620 for owner Consus Racing Stable. His most recent four races include his third-place finish in the Breeders Crown, a second-place finish in a division of the International Stallion Stakes, and a second-place effort in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. His earnings rank ninth among all 2-year-old male trotters in North America. "I think he's been having a pretty good year," Czernyson said. "He's very good to work with. He's smart, good to be around, good to drive. He's just an overall very smart little horse. He's gotten better as the year has gone on, so I'm hoping it's going to continue." Sliding Home, purchased for $65,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale, is a son of Donato Hanover out of the mare Bar Slide. Donato Hanover won the 2007 Hambletonian and Bar Slide captured the 2010 Hambletonian Oaks. Sliding Home is Bar Slide's second foal. Her first, multiple-stakes-winner Bright Baby Blues, is a daughter of Andover Hall. Bar Slide's third foal, a colt by Cantab Hall named Brand New Key, sold for $210,000 in October at the Lexington Selected Sale. After debuting with a win in a division of the Pennsylvania All-Stars, Sliding Home followed with a victory in a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. He hit the board only once in his next five races, going off stride twice, but has rebounded with strong performances in three of his most recent starts. "We had a few spots where we ran into a couple of little issues and he was making breaks for kind of no reason," Czernyson said. "Hopefully all of that is behind us and we should be ready to roll. He raced pretty good up in Canada (in the Breeders Crown) so I was pretty pleased with that. "He loves what he does and you can do pretty much whatever you choose with him. He's very good that way." Saturday's card at the Meadowlands also includes two eliminations for the Governor's Cup for 2-year-old male pacers plus the final TVG Free For All Championship Series preliminaries for older male trotters and older male pacers. The TVG Free For All Championship Series concludes Nov. 21, which also is the same night as the Governor's Cup final. Breeders Crown winner Boston Red Rocks, from the stable of trainer Steve Elliott, is the 8-5 morning line favorite in the first Governor's Cup elimination. Bob McIntosh's New Talent is the 2-1 pick in the second. Resolve, trained by Ake Svanstedt, is the 2-1 morning line favorite in the TVG event for male trotters and JK Endofanera, trained by Jimmy Takter, is the 6-5 choice in the event for male pacers. On Friday night, the Meadowlands hosts a single elimination for the Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old female trotters plus the final TVG Free For All Championship Series preliminaries for older female trotters and older female pacers. Breeders Crown champion All The Time, from the stable of trainer Jimmy Takter, is the 9-5 morning line favorite in the Goldsmith Maid elimination, where the top nine finishers will join Kathy Parker in the final. The connections of Kathy Parker, also trained by Takter, accepted a bye to the final. Bee A Magician, trained by Richard "Nifty" Norman, is the 4-5 morning line favorite in the TVG event for female trotters and Jeff Bamond Jr.'s Venus Delight is the 8-5 morning line favorite in the TVG event for female pacers. The finals for the TVG for female trotters and pacers plus the Goldsmith Maid and Three Diamonds for 2-year-old female pacers (which did not require eliminations) are Nov. 20 at the Meadowlands. First-race post time is 7 p.m. at the Meadowlands. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Aldebaran Eagle has held his own against some of the best 3-year-old male trotters around and now harness racing trainer Jonas Czernyson is hoping the colt is ready to soar as he prepares for Saturday's Earl Beal Jr. Memorial Trot eliminations at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The Beal elims are part of a jam-packed card at Pocono, where eliminations for the Ben Franklin Pace for older pacers, Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers and the James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers also will be contested. Aldebaran Eagle, who has won only two of 15 career races but hit the board a total of 11 times, is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line in the first of three Beal eliminations. He will start from post No. 1 in the six-horse field with driver Corey Callahan. Dexter Cup winner Habitat, who starts from post three with Jim Morrill Jr. driving for trainer Ron Burke, is the 2-1 morning line favorite. The division also includes Walter White, Cruzado Dela Noche, Southwind Mozart, and Boots N Chains. The top three finishers from each Beal elimination advance to the $500,000 final on July 4 at Pocono. Aldebaran Eagle enters his race off a 1:52.1 victory over older horses in a conditioned race June 12 at the Meadowlands. He also has one second-place finish and two third-place finishes in four starts this season. He finished third in the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship, behind Canepa Hanover and French Laundry, and was second to Guess Whos Back in a preliminary round of the NJSS. "He's been racing pretty nicely, so we can't complain there," Czernyson said. "He's done everything we've asked him to do. Now we're kind of getting to the test to see what we have. He raced in a lot of the big dances (last year). He was always there, but he kind of stayed in the shadows of the best ones. "He was kind of big and growthy as a 2-year-old, but he kept it together pretty good. He spent the whole winter in the (resistance) cart and it muscled him up good. I think that's been paying off on him. So far he's been coming along pretty good." Aldebaran Eagle is a son of stallion Muscle Hill out of the mare Letsjustalkaboutme. He was purchased under the name Ramblings for $70,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale and his family includes stakes-winners Ifhallscouldtalk, Armbro Hilary, and Armbro Marshall as well as Dan Patch Award winner Delmegan. Owned by Australian-based Aldebaran Park Inc., Aldebaran Eagle has earned $112,069 in his career. "I liked him from when we bought him at the sale pretty much," Czernyson said. "He was doing everything right. He's got very good owners on him. They're happy to branch out here and so far it's been working for them." Last year, Aldebaran Eagle won a division of the International Stallion Stakes at odds of 106-1. He defeated Whom Shall I Fear by a head and Peter Haughton Memorial winner Centurion ATM by a neck. "You can pretty much do whatever you want with him," Czernyson said. "He can leave pretty good, but he doesn't have to leave. If you don't want to leave with him, you don't have to. So he's pretty versatile that way." The second division of Beal eliminations features the Jimmy Takter-trained entry of Pinkman and Whom Shall I Fear, which is the 2-1 morning line favorite. Pinkman was the 2014 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter and Whom Shall I Fear is a full brother to Dan Patch Award winners Pastor Stephen and Father Patrick. Whom Shall I Fear starts from post four with driver David Miller and Pinkman starts from post five with driver Yannick Gingras. Nik Drennan-trained and Brian Sears-driven Guess Whos Back is the 5-2 second choice in the division, which also includes Donatomite, Honor And Serve, Centurion ATM, and Wicker Hanover. The third Beal elimination is led by Crazy Wow, who captured the Empire Breeders Classic on June 21 at Vernon Downs in a track-record 1:51.1. Crazy Wow is the 2-1 favorite from post two with Gingras driving for trainer Burke. Sharing honors as second choice at 5-2 are Shoot The Thrill and Uncle Lasse. Shoot The Thrill will leave from post one with Tim Tetrick driving for trainer Dirk Simpson. Uncle Lasse, who brings a three-race win streak to the Beal and a mark of 1:51.4, starts from post six with Brett Miller at the lines for trainer Takter. Completing the field are Code Ben, Divisionist, and Billy Flynn. "The 3-year-old colts this year, there's one (good one) after another, after another, after another," Czernyson said. "There are tough horses out there. I don't think I can remember seeing so many good 3-year-old colts that have been out this early. They're just taking turns at who wants to be the fastest. It's tough to throw out anyone and say they're not good enough to be here." by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

In his own words, harness racing owner Duncan McPherson OAM is “living the dream” with his three-year-old colt Aldebaran Eagle, who will race in the New Jersey Sires Stakes Final at the Meadowlands on Sunday morning Australian time. The son of Muscle Hill / Letsjusttalkaboutme ran third in his heat in 1:52.4 and will come out the five gate in the $US100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Final for three-year-old colts and geldings over a mile. “It’s an incredible experience,” a beaming McPherson said. Aldebaran Eagle will be driven by Corey Callahan and is trained by Jonas Czernyson. McPherson, the Principal at Aldebaran Park, has a passion for harness racing that has no bounds and will also get a huge thrill out of having Excellent Boku competing at Sweden’s Solvalla racetrack on the Elitlopp program on Sunday. Raced in conjunction with Michael Taranto, who also has a big week ahead with Australian and international runners – including Livin The Life in the New South Wales Trotters Derby – Excellent Boku was purchased to ultimately be exported to Australia. And as if the weekend wasn’t going to be jam-packed enough for McPherson, he will also line up Aldebaran Ay in the 2YO Ruby at the rich Harness Jewels program at Ashburton. The Colin De Filippi trained and driven filly has drawn outside the front line in the $100,000 race. By Cody Winnell

Hot Shot Blue Chip has returned. Where he goes from here remains to be seen, but harness racing trainer Jonas Czernyson is happy to have the mercurial trotter back in his barn. It is a much better place for the 9-year-old gelding than out in his fields. Hot Shot Blue Chip, a multiple-stakes-winner with $1.20 million in career purse earnings, last raced in August 2013 and was retired in early 2014 because of a knee injury. But Hot Shot Blue Chip failed to enjoy his newfound leisure time, so Czernyson decided to bring him back for some work on the training track. "He was getting mean to the other horses he was turned out with, he was kicking at people," Czernyson said. "I said let's bring him in and put him back in training and see what happens. We did that in the beginning of February and slowly I got him trained down. He kept on going and kept on going. "It started out just as something to do because he was so bored being at the farm. That's why I brought him in. I saw that he was sound before I brought him in; the others were galloping in the field and he was trotting in the field. I said we'd give him a chance." Hot Shot Blue Chip, owned by Tom Dillon, progressed so well that Czernyson put him in a qualifier Thursday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. With Scott Zeron handling the driving, Hot Shot Blue Chip sat in sixth place for most of the mile before coming home with a :28.2 final quarter-mile to post a 1:56 win. "He qualified pretty good and he came out of it OK," Czernyson said. "Now we're going to see what the next step is. We haven't gotten that far yet because we didn't know what he was going to do. "He likes to be a race horse, so whatever class we have to race him, that's where he's going to go," Czernyson added. "He's not staked to anything, so he's not going to make it back to be a stakes horse. He's going to tell us where he should race. But I'm never going to put him in a claimer and he's never going to leave my barn. Me and Tom have an agreement on that. He's going to stay here and be our pet." Hot Shot Blue Chip did not require surgery for his injury, but needed time to heal. "It was a bone in the knee, it wasn't in the joint or anything, and everyone just said he needed more time," Czernyson said. "But when you have an 8-year-old, it's tough to give him time. So we gave him a year off and it looks like it's healed." Hot Shot Blue Chip, a son of Revenue S-Hustle N Muscle, has been known for his inconsistent performances on the racetrack. He went off stride in nine of the 20 most lucrative starts of his career - including the Hambletonian, Kentucky Futurity and two editions of the Breeders Crown - but was talented enough to win the 2012 Credit Winner Stakes and 2012 Pride In Progress. He defeated Chapter Seven, Arch Madness and Mister Herbie in the Credit Winner while establishing his career mark of 1:51.2. In addition, he finished second in the 2010 Breeders Crown Open, 2011 Pride In Progress and two editions of the Allerage Farms Open Trot. He also finished third in several stakes, including two editions of the Maple Leaf Trot. "He always gives all he has - or runs," Czernyson said with a laugh. "But that's Hot Shot. I took the hobbles off of him (for Thursday's qualifier) because he runs with them too. There was no need to have him running in hobbles. And he looks nicer that way." For his career, Hot Shot Blue Chip has won 21 of 82 races. Time will tell whether he can add to that total. "He filled out nicely; he looks as good as he did before," Czernyson said. "He's a nice horse to have around. I'm excited about it. I'm happy to have him back." by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

Maven has been the darling of the harness racing press and a hefty chunk of the sport’s fan base for the past few months. She’s taken the crown from Foiled Again, who held that distinction for a couple of years. The six-year-old daughter of Glidemaster—the only top tier trotter that sire has produced in North America—only won four races during 2014, and only one of those was a grade one stakes race. She set a track record in winning the Muscle Hill at Vernon Downs in November. Her other three wins came in the Miami Valley Distaff in mid-May, a preferred trot at Pocono in August and the BC elimination at the Meadowlands. Maven finished out in three legs of the Miss Versatility Series, which she won in 2013, and was third in the final at Delaware, which division champ Classic Martine won. She earned $333,027 between her dozen starts in NA and a pair in Europe. So what’s all the fuss about? Why is Maven the flame of the Twittersphere and the horse harness scribes have elevated to the top of the pile? Her pedestrian numbers during the past year scream journeyman in a slump—not superstar. Racing in Europe adds some panache to her resume, but she has one third place finish to show for five European starts last season and this. Maven’s popularity obviously extends to the sales ring as she brought a record $750,000 bid from Herb Liverman at Harrisburg in November. And he already owned a piece of rival Bee A Magician. One of Maven’s problems is that Liverman is determined not to have the pair go head to head. That means Maven is stuck in Europe, or destined to take on the boys back home. Neither of those scenarios looks promising at the moment. Contrast Maven’s overseas performance with the much less celebrated Arch Madness, who made eight starts in Europe during 2011, 2012 and 2013. He won two of them, the 2011 Oslo Grand Prix and a heat of the Elitlop. He finished second in the latter twice and was third three times in European races. Arch got some publicity for all of this, particularly in Canada, but Maven seems to be leaving him in the PR dust despite a much shorter record of accomplishment. Something similar has been happening on the pacing side. Eleven-year-old Foiled Again is still the most popular pacer in NA. He was second to Sweet Lou in division earnings in 2014, thanks to making the board in 19 of 26 starts, but he had no grade one stakes wins. The Quillen was his only significant victory, and that one isn’t very important at this point. He won four legs of the Levy, then went winless for the season except for his Quillen elimination and final. In 2013 he was wildly popular and a candidate for Pacer of the Year, despite suffering 18 losses. Foiled’s hook is excellence over many years, consistency and the money record for pacers that he holds. Maven was good at two and three, winning 15 times and earning more than $900,000, but she took a back seat to Check Me Out until the late fall of her sophomore campaign. She was the standout in her division at four, winning 10 times and banking more than a half million dollars, and had an off year in 2014. This exaltation on the part of fans and the press is curious. Some of it has to do with her newsworthy passage from Jonas Czernyson to Ron Burke to Jimmy Takter. And participating today in the premier race in France for last year’s trainer and driver of the year doesn’t hurt. But with each non-competitive loss on the Continent, we should get less cheerleading and more questions about why she has been placed on a pedestal.  by Joe FitzGerald for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/

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