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Harness racing world champion makes 2015 debut Friday, April 24 after injury-plagued 2014 EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (April 23, 2015) - When Muscle Network races Friday night (April 24) at the Meadowlands, it will mark the first start of the horse's four-year-old season, but more importantly, it will serve as the first step in what his owner hopes will be his road to redemption. "Last year was probably one of the biggest disappointments I've ever had in racing," said co-owner Joe Bellino. "It was definitely a bitter pill to swallow." Muscle Network set a world record as a two-year-old when he won the International Stallion Stake at Lexington in 1:53.2. He ended his season with an upset victory in the $494,750 Valley Victory over Nuncio, who would go on to win two-thirds of the Trotting Triple Crown last year. "He's probably the best trotter I've ever owned by far," continued Bellino. "We really thought that he would be one of the top three three-year-olds last season." Unfortunately, things did not go as planned. Muscle Network suffered through a series of nagging injuries and underwent surgical procedures on his knees. He made only three starts and earned $5,580. After spending the winter in Florida with trainer Ake Svanstedt, Muscle Network appears to be headed in the right direction. He qualified twice at the Meadowlands, including a second-place finish last week behind the top trotter Melady's Monet. "We were all very, very happy with his qualifiers," explained Bellino. "He's huge, he's muscular, and he's beautiful. He's a totally different horse than he was. Now, hopefully he races as good as he looks." Muscle Network is now trained by Tony O'Sullivan, who was also the trainer during his two-year-old season. Muscle Network has been made eligible to most of the sport's top trotting races, including the TVG Free For All Series and premier four-year-old restricted races including The Graduate Series and Hambletonian Maturity. Friday's 13-race card also features a pair of carryovers in the Jackpot Super High 5 wagers. The fifth race carryover has grown to $87,136 and the thirteenth race carryover sits at $58,172. Justin Horowitz

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (April 8, 2015) - Champion harness racing mare Rocklamation will delay motherhood and race another year, said her trainer Ron Burke. This announcement comes after it was originally planned for her to race while in foal until August. "The owners have decided to abandon her breeding plans and race her the entire year," said Burke of the daughter of Rocknroll Hanover that has earned more than $2.25 million. "I'm very happy about that decision." Rocklamation begins her seven-year-old season Friday (April 10) at the Meadowlands in the $27,500 Mares Open Handicap. She faces just five other rivals including the razor sharp Radar Contact, who won last week's Open with an eye-popping 25.3 final quarter of a mile. "With the short field, there probably won't be a lot of movement," said Burke. "It'll probably turn into a sprint and we'll likely be sprinting home from sixth." Rocklamation is owned in partnership by Our Horse Cents Stable, Stable 45, and J&T Silva Stables. Last year, she was named the Dan Patch co-champion pacing mare despite battling soundness issues throughout the season. She scored her biggest wins in the Golden Girls, Lady Liberty, and Artiscape. Burke believes the issues developed following the demanding Blue Chip Matchmaker, which is why he skipped the series this year. "Whatever issues she had last year have seemed to resolve themselves and as long as she stays sound we plan to race a full schedule," explained Burke. "Hopefully, we've learned how to manage her better. You can call this year her retirement tour because she will definitely be retired and bred next year." Friday's 12-race card also includes a $27,500 Open Trot. Melady's Monet is the 6-5 morning line favorite versus five other rivals. There is also a carryover of $71,506 in the Jackpot Super High 5 in race five and $35,827 in the race 12 Jackpot Super High 5. Post time is 7:15 p.m. Justin Horowitz

EAST RUTHERFORD, NY (March 26, 2015) - With dominant divisional leader Melady's Monet sitting out the week, Odds On Amethyst assumes the favorite's role in Friday's featured $30,000 Open Trot at Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment. The 4-year-old son of Muscle Hill is the 8-5 morning line favorite in a field of eight that also includes millionaire Sevruga and Handover Belle, the third place finisher in last year's Breeders Crown Mare Trot. Odds On Amethyst has five wins in 13 starts since joining trainer Jimmy Takter's barn last August. Brett Miller has driven the gelding in each of last five starts including a lifetime best 1:52 win on February 27. Owned by Diamond Creek Racing, Odds On Amethyst has been nominated to the revamped Graduate Series for four-year-olds as well as the Cutler Memorial and Cashman Memorial for free-for-all trotters. Friday's thirteen-race card also includes the $25,000 Dash for the "G" Notes for mare pacers and two divisions of the GSY Amateur Series. Horseplayers can look forward to a carryover of $58,878 in the Jackpot Super High 5 in the fifth race. Post time is 7:15 p.m. Dubai World Cup Simulcast Information The Meadowlands will open at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday for fans to watch and wager on the Dubai World Cup program, the world's richest day of racing. Advance wagering on the card will also be available at the Meadowlands starting Friday at Noon and continuing through the close of simulcasting on Friday night. Kentucky Derby winner and Horse of the Year California Chrome headlines the field in the $10 million Dubai World Cup. Justin Horowitz

When Brett Risi started tagging along with his dad and older brother to the horse races at Vernon Downs at age 12, he never thought it would lead to the opportunity of a lifetime. After winning a qualifying tournament at Vernon Downs last month, Risi, now 21, will compete against 100 of North America's best horseplayers for a $50,000 prize pool in the World Harness Handicapping Championship (WHHC) in April at Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment in East Rutherford, NJ. "I am honored to have a chance to play against the best handicappers in the country," said Risi, who will be the second youngest person ever to compete in the WHHC Final. "It makes me feel good about myself and I hope more kids my age will come to be as interested in the game as I am." Now in its tenth year, the WHHC is harness racing's premier handicapping tournament and allows players from across the U.S. and Canada the chance to qualify through both live and online events, in addition to buying a seat for $800. In the WHHC Final, each player begins with a $300 bankroll and contestants are required to wager at least $30 on ten designated contest races. The player who amasses the largest bankroll is declared the winner. Risi, a Herkimer, NY resident, is a college student and works part-time. He is a self-described regular at Vernon Downs and says he has won a few other smaller tournaments, but none that would provide a first-place prize of $20,000. "As I got older, I learned how to bet and really expanded my knowledge of strategic wagering," explained Risi. "By the time I was 19, I knew I had figured out just about everything I could on how to bet." Risi says he already spends a lot of time handicapping the races and will devote even more time to his craft if he wins next month. Three other horseplayers from Vernon Downs and Tioga Downs also won qualifying tournaments recently at the two Upstate New York racinos and will compete at the WHHC Final: Phil Melancon from Clay, NY; Mark "Duke" Smolinsky of Endicott, NY; and Kim Wahila of Vestal, NY. For more information on the World Harness Handicapping Championship, click here http://bit.ly/1DZmmIf. Justin Horowitz

East Rutherford NJ – The calendar indicates that spring begins on March 20 but snowy conditions led to an “Inquiry” of that seasonal change at The Meadowlands on Friday night. The races began in the midst of what would eventually measure out to several inches of powder.   The $20,000 second leg of the Shiaway St Pat trotting series drew just eleven entries resulting in a single division that pit the top pair of winter series trotters, JL Cruze and Opulent Yankee against one and other for seventh time this season. JL Cruze held a four to two edge (including both finals) going in and romped to a 1:54 win here providing John Campbell with his third of the evening. Opulent Yankee was again second best and Sheer Flex third as they head into next week's $59,800 final. Eric Ell trains the winner for Kenny Wood, Steve Iaquinta and Bill Dittmar.   The $27,500 Open was again won by this winter's trotting star Melady’s Monet in another long uncovered grind for Campbell in 1:54.1.   Away sixth and last from his outside post, Melady’s Monet sat until the field neared the half with Winds Of The North enjoying an uncontested lead in 56.4. Campbell eased the 1-5 favorite to the outside slowly working his way up to the lead and by the 1:26.1 three quarters had gained even terms. Melady’s Monet went on by willingly and was edging clear to a length margin as they neared the wire. Winds Of The North held well for the place.   Kevin McDermott trains the winner for Melady Enterprises LLC of Pompano Beach, FL. It was disclosed by Swedish representatives last week that Melady’s Monet has been extended an invitation to compete in the 2015 Elitlopp at Solvalla Racetrack on Sunday, May 31.   The GSY Amateur Series began with two $8,000 divisions and Peter Kleinhans christened the competition by driving Majestic Ginger, a mare he recently purchased in partnership with Colleen Cash, to a win with the greatest of ease.  Peter took Majestic Ginger back and handled her cautiously as the past performance lines indicated the need for patience. Once she felt set and solid, Peter simply fed her race track as wide as the four or five path into the stretch as she went by the field under her own power in 1:58.2.   When interviewed post-race by Justin Horowitz, a jubilant Kleinhans remarked, “She got great power. I’m so pleased for her to get a good flat mile in. She’s got a history of making breaks when clear, so I has concern until she crossed the wire.   “I’m thrilled with the possibility to race in the series. It’s a great way to get new people interested in racing. It brought me back to the track, as I bought this horse expressly to campaign in the series.”   John Mc Dermott, Jr trains the winner.   Division two of the GSY came in race twelve and Bob Hechkoff came home a winner with Pounce Hanover in 1:57.3 over Current Crisis and Bob Krivelin. Virgil Morgan trains for Hechkoff's RBH Ventures.   Racing resumes tomorrow night at 7:15pm.   Meadowlands Media Relations Dept

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (March 18, 2015) - For more than 20 seasons, New York Yankees clubhouse assistant Joe Lee has had the best seat in the house for some of baseball's greatest moments. Friday night (March 20), Lee will take the best seat at the racetrack when he drives the trotter Free Rollin in Race 12 at the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, NJ in the GSY Amateur Series. "Baseball is in my blood for sure," said the Bronx-native Lee, who started working for the Yankees as a 16-year-old batboy. "But it is such a rush to drive a horse. If there was a race in Alaska and an owner gave me the opportunity to drive their horse, I'd be there in a heartbeat." Lee, 35, grew up around horses: his parents owned racehorses and regularly took their son to the races at the Meadowlands, Yonkers, Freehold, and Roosevelt. "When I was a teenager and first started working for the Yankees, I saw [Hall of Fame driver] John Campbell outside George Steinbrenner's private box when he was driving for him, it was like meeting Mickey Mantle," explained Lee, "John Campbell was my idol." Lee also rode horses as a child, but always had the itch to sit behind one of the powerful trotters he watched race in the evenings. "Sandy Goldfarb put me in touch with trainer Buzzy Sholty who invited me down to his stable and gave me my first chance to jog a horse," explained Lee. "I started going to help him every Saturday and eventually worked my way to getting my harness driver's license." Amateur harness racing allows men and women to compete in actual races with the same horses that are driven by professional drivers. The amateurs come from all walks of life and have day jobs that range from attorneys, insurance agents, and financial planners. "No matter how much I practice, I could never be the starting shortstop for the Yankees," said Lee. "But now that I have my harness license, I can compete on the same 'field of play' as the pros. I won't ever drive 2,000 horses in a year like Tim Tetrick, but on one day and in one race, I have the chance to beat the best. There's no other sport like harness racing where a guy like me can compete with the pros." Besides Lee, the Yankees and harness racing have other connections. General Manager Brian Cashman's late father, John, is in harness racing's Hall of Fame. George Steinbrenner was a very active and successful Standardbred horse owner and Whitey Ford was a frequent visitor to Pompano Park in Florida. Friday's 13-race card at the Meadowlands begins at 7:15 p.m. The program includes two divisions of the GSY Amateur Series and the second leg of the Shiaway St. Pat for trotters. For more information about amateur harness racing, visit http://www.amateurharnessracing.com/ Here is a video replay of Joe Lee's win in the 2014 Hambletonian Amateur Drivers race at the Meadowlands http://bit.ly/1xyoCOS Justin Horowitz

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (March 11, 2015) - With wins already in the Super Bowl and Charles Singer Memorial, JL Cruze begins his quest for a third straight harness racing winter series win Friday (March 13) in the opening round of the Shiaway St. Pat, honoring the 1981 Hambletonian champion, at Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment. Thirteen trotters were entered for Friday's first round. JL Cruze is the 6/5 morning line favorite in the second of two divisions, which will go as the twelfth race on the 13-race card. The thirteenth race features a $161,277 carryover in the Jackpot Super High 5. JL Cruze was purchased for $37,000 at last fall's Harrisburg Mixed Sale by Mid-Atlantic based trainer Eric Ell for owners Kenneth Wood, Bill Dittmar, Jr., and Stephen Iaquinta. In the 10 starts with Ell, JL Cruze has earned $87,760 with seven wins and two runner-up finishes. "Originally, we just wanted a horse to race up through his conditions in Delaware, but he has been a blessing in disguise," explained Ell. "He just does it so easily and it looks like he's the one to beat again heading into this series." The 55-year-old Ell has trained more than 1,100 winners with more than $14 million in earnings during his career. Always humble and gracious, Ell admits he has had many solid racehorses during his career. He describes his biggest win as the 2011 Maxie Lee at Harrah's Philadelphia with Anders Bluestone, who would go on to earn more than $1 million. "[JL Cruze] just might be one of the best we've had," admitted Ell. "If he keeps improving like he has, you never know." Hall of Famer John Campbell will take his usual seat behind JL Cruze on Friday. Ell will also be represented in the Shiaway St. Pat with another exciting prospect; Razor Ramone brings a five-race winning streak into the first division and will be driven Friday for the first time by Hall of Famer David Miller. Ell purchased the son of Kadabra out of Canada last September. Like JL Cruze, he's owned by Iaquinta and Dittmar. "He can trot a lot, but not quite like JL Cruze yet," said Ell. "He's good on a five-eighths mile track, but I'm not sure if the big track at the Meadowlands will help. He's a stocky built, 'Mighty Mouse' type of horse. His qualifier last week was a good tightener and we're looking forward to seeing how he races on Friday." Holloway Provides Update on star pacing mares Trainer Joe Holloway's Somwherovrarainbow headlines a field of eight in Friday's $30,000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace. The 2012 champion 2-year-old pacing filly has raced only once this year, an easy win in January at the Meadowlands. "I needed to see if she would return to her good form this year and so far it looks like she has," said Holloway. "I expect her to race like herself on Friday and continue after that." Holloway said the plan is to race Somwherovrarainbow in the Blue Chip Matchmaker at Yonkers Raceway. Holloway also reported that his other star mare, world champion Shebestingin, has been retired from racing and is scheduled to be bred to Captaintreacherous. Mare Open Trot Written for Friday A new class has been added to the Friday condition sheet. A Mare Open Handicap Trot for a purse of $27,500 - $30,000 is listed in the hope that enough top trotting mares enter to fill the class. The next condition sheet can be accessed by following this link. By Justin Horowitz for Meadowlands Media Relations  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (February 11, 2015) - Last Friday's opening leg of the Burning Point Series at The Meadowlands was supposed to be a showdown between Ron Burke's dynamic duo and Tony Alagna's red-hot Witch Dali. Instead, 14/1 longshot Empress Deo passed all three of them in the stretch to win in an upset. Burke expects a bounce back effort from both of his mares, Southwind Serenity and Donttellruss, in the second leg of the Burning Point Series on Friday night (February 13). The entry has been installed as the 8/5 favorite on Darin Zoccali's morning line. The twosome is part of a field of seven pacing mares that also includes Worldly Beauty champion Witch Dali and first leg winner Empress Deo. The $65,000 final is February 21. In last week's opening round, Southwind Serenity led the field to the top of the stretch before fading to finish fifth. "She tied up last week," said Burke. "I'm not making any equipment changes and I'm confident she won't have those issues again this week." He's also hoping for a change in tactics on Friday night. Last week, Southwind Serenity was on the lead while Donttellruss came first over. "Hopefully with different trips this week we will see better results," said Burke. Once again, Yannick Gingras will drive Southwind Serenity and Corey Callahan will be partnered with Donttellruss. The Burning Point is race six on a 13-race card. Melady's Monet looks to win his third straight in a small, but select field in the Open Trot and world champion Shebestingin continues her comeback in race seven. The 50-cent Pick 5 with an average pool of more than $50,000 begins with race 1. The Early Pick 4 begins in race 3. Its average pool size has also been more than $50,000. The Late Pick 4 covers races 7-10 and features an average pool size of more than $72,000. by Justin Horowitz, for the Meadowlands        

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (February 3, 2015) - Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment is proud to introduce its first ever "Dreamiest Driver" contest, a unique social media-based promotion, beginning today and running through Friday, February 6 at 12:00 p.m. Fans can log on to the Meadowlands Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/meadowlandsracetrack) and vote for their choice as the racetrack's dreamiest driver. One winner will be randomly selected and receive dinner for two at PINK restaurant at the Meadowlands and an exclusive meet-and-greet with their "dreamiest driver." The contest is just one of many events and promotions taking place during the three-day Valentine's weekend of racing. On Thursday, February 12, fans can enter the Sweetheart Sweepstakes for a chance to win dinner for two at Victory Sports Bar or dinner at PINK. Friday, February 13 will potentially be a lucky night for several fans. In Cupid's Cash Out, each time a driver whose driving colors include the color red wins a race, two lucky fans will be selected to win a $50 wagering voucher. Then on Saturday, February 14 in the Valentine's Getaway Sweepstakes, fans have a chance to win a romantic trip for two. Plus, popular local classic rock band The Past Masters will play a special "unplugged" concert at Victory Sports Bar beginning at 10:00 p.m. Admission is free. There will also be a special menu at PINK on Friday, February 13 and Saturday, February 14 with a Valentine's Day theme. For $39.95, guests will dine on a three course prix-fixe menu that includes a starter, entrée and choice of dessert. To add more passion to the night, diners can enjoy a complimentary glass of sparkling wine and a long-stem red rose for the ladies. Reservations can be made by calling (201) THE-BIGM. For more information and a complete list of events, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. Justin Horowitz Meadowlands Media Manager  

VERNON, NY – Vernon Downs is getting into the Halloween spirit by hosting a race exclusively for grey horses on Halloween Night, Friday, October 31. The race has drawn a field of seven including local favorite The Grey Bullet. The excitement will happen in Race 8 on the 11-race program that begins at 6:45 p.m. “Fewer than one percent of the Standardbred racehorse population is grey so we had to work hard to find enough horses to put this race together, but we think it will be exciting for the fans and so perfect on Halloween night to see the grey horses racing through the stretch at Vernon Downs,” said Scott Warren, Director of Racing. Earlier in the evening, one of the area’s favorite grey horses of all-time, named Four One One, will officially retire in a winner’s circle ceremony. The 12-year-old, owned by Robert Siemski of Utica, raced 135 times at Vernon Downs over an eight-year period. He won 16 races at Vernon Downs including his last career start this past May. Closing Night of the 2014 Vernon Downs racing season is Saturday (November 1) with a special post time of 6:00 p.m. The 11-race card begins with a long-sleeve t-shirt giveaway, free while supplies last, and concludes with a spectacular fireworks display following the last race of the season. Vernon Downs features free admission and free general parking. For more information, visit www.vernondowns.com. by Justin Horowitz, for Vernon Downs

VERNON, NY - On Friday, October 24, world champion colt Centurion ATM travels to Vernon Downs to headline three divisions of the Simpson Stakes for two-year-old trotters. Four other divisions featuring freshman filly trotters and colt and filly pacers make up the thirteen-race card that features purses totaling more than $140,000. Racing begins at 6:45 p.m. This year, Centurion ATM has been carving his path to stardom. In just his fourth career start on Hambletonian Day at the Meadowlands, the two-year-old son of SJ's Caviar set a world record when he won the $355,500 Peter Haughton Memorial by more than three lengths in a time of 1:53.2. Centurion ATM, trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt, finished a close second and third most recently in a pair of starts during the Grand Circuit meet at The Red Mile in Lexington. "He hasn't raced in three weeks and we needed to get a race into him because we didn't want to take him up to Canada," stated assistant trainer Bernie Noren. "He's our best two-year-old and we are pointing him for the Breeders Crown. We think Vernon Downs is a great track, especially for young horses." Owners Knutsson Trotting and Courant A B purchased Centurion ATM at the Harrisburg Sale last fall for $100,000. His siblings include Triumphant Caviar, a winner of nearly $800,000 and former Kentucky Sires Stakes champion Prayer Session. "He has the right look, the right conformation, and we knew we'd have to pay that much for a horse as good looking and with as good of a family as he has," continued Noren. "But his greatest asset is that he has the desire to win and a great set of lungs." While Centurion ATM's stable mate and trotter of the fastest mile in history, Sebastian K, didn't gain notoriety until he was an older horse, Noren said he sees at least one similarity between the two horses: "Centurion ATM broke the world record at the Meadowlands and also raced in Lexington barefoot, just like Sebastian K does." Sebastian K has earned nearly $3 million in purses in his lifetime. Noren said he looks forward to racing Centurion ATM this Friday at Vernon Downs to prepare for the $5.4 million Breeders Crown, harness racing's championship event. After the Breeders Crown on November 21-22 at the Meadowlands, Noren said his young trotter will spend the winter in Florida to prepare for a run at The Hambletonian in August of 2015. Vernon Downs is a 61-year-old harness racing track in beautiful Vernon, New York, 40 minutes east of Syracuse. The racing season continues on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays through November 1. For more information please visit vernondowns.com. by Justin Horowitz, for Vernon Downs

The Little Brown Jug and CBS Sports Network have finalized plans for the 69th edition of the pacing classic. The Little Brown Jug brought to you by Fazolis telecast will air live from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network on Thursday, September 18th. The last Jug elimination heat will be shown live at approximately 5:11 p.m. The remaining eliminations will be covered on a tape delay basis. The 2nd heat of the Jug will be shown live at approximately 6:15 p.m. The LBJ conditions require the champion to win two heats, if a race off is necessary, CBS Sports Network will cut into its regularly scheduled program at 7:00 p.m. to show the race-off live. Post time of the race-off would be approximately 7:02 p.m. The Winbak Farm Pace is also expected to air live during the 90 minute broadcast. We are extremely excited about the live coverage of the Little Brown Jug, said production coordinator Sam McKee. Thanks to great support from our main sponsor Fazolis, plus the Ohio Standardbred Development Fund, the USTA and the Jack Darling Pledge Fund, were able to showcase one of harness racings greatest events to a national television audience. The willingness of CBS to cut back in for live coverage of a race off if necessary allows the Delaware County Fair to schedule and structure the races to maximize both mutuel handle and the on-track experience for everyone. This years LBJ is shaping up to be one of the finest, added Phil Terry, LBJ Marketing Manager. We are expected the best three-year-old colt pacers to enter and we are looking forward to a great day of racing. Bruce Casella is the Executive Producer of the telecast. Veteran racing personalities Gary Seibel and Dave Brower will host the show along with Justin Horowitz and Heather Vitale. The Voice of the Jug, Hall Of Fame announcer Roger Huston will call the races. To find the CBS Sports Network channel in your area, please visit http://www.cbssportsnetwork.com/channel-finder. by Jay Wolf, for the Little Brown Jug

NICHOLS, NY - When nine of North America's top harness racing drivers compete at Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs later this month in the 8th Annual All-Star Drivers Championship, they'll be racing for more than just prize money and bragging rights. They'll also be raising money for the charity of their choice. All nine drivers will donate their 5% driving commission to charity. The amount will be matched by Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs plus the tracks' owner, Jeffrey Gural. Last year, more than $9,000 was donated. "This event is the premier driving tournament in the country with a first place prize of $25,000," said Jason Settlemoir, Vice President of Racing and Simulcast at Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs. "Anytime we can use this big stage to raise awareness and money for some great organizations, we're happy to do it." Defending champion Jimmy Marohn, Jr. will be donating his earnings to the Standardbred Retirement Foundation. Two-time champion Yannick Gingras and first-time participant Matt Kakaley will also support the SRF. Tim Tetrick and Scott Zeron will be competing on behalf of New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program. Corey Callahan has selected the Harness Horse Youth Foundation. Canadian representative Jody Jamieson will be donating to the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society. Vernon Downs representative Chris Lems will be competing for locally based Sunshine Horses and David Miller has chosen to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Round 1 of the All-Star Drivers Championship takes place on August 29 at Vernon Downs and the final round moves to Tioga Downs on September 1. Both days will also feature a Jimmy Marohn, Jr. bobblehead giveaway, commemorative t-shirt giveaway and other fan-friendly promotions and contests. by Justin Horowitz, for Tioga & Vernon Downs  

East Rutherford, NJ - CBS Sports Network will present a 90-minute high-definition live broadcast from 4:00-5:30 p.m. (EDT) of America's Trotting Classic, the $1.2 million Hambletonian, from The Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, NJ on Saturday, Aug. 2. The 24-hour home of CBS Sports has been the home of the Hambletonian since 2012. CBS Sports Network expanded its coverage of harness racing in 2014 to include two more of the sport's most prestigious stakes The $750,000 Meadowlands Pace was broadcast live on July 12, in a telecast that included the dramatic win of He's Watching, as well as the final Hambletonian prep races, the Stanley Dancer Memorial won by Father Patrick and Del Miller Memorial for sophomore trotting fillies, won by Shake It Cerry. The action shifts to the historic fairgrounds at Delaware, Ohio for the $600,000 Little Brown Jug brought to you by Fazoli's, which will air on CBSSN on Sept. 18 from 5:00-6:30 p.m. Eastern. Wider exposure of the major stakes has long been a goal of Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment and the Hambletonian Society, the sponsors of the Hambletonian. "Live television of the premier events has always been a top priority of the Hambletonian Society," said Tom Charters, president of the organization which owns and administrates 137 of racing's most important events. "The Hambletonian has been televised for more than 40 years and we're proud to be televised on CBS Sport Network, and pleased to see more harness racing added to the schedule." The on-air team for the Hambletonian is a stellar trio of harness racing veterans. Gary Seibel, a host of racing coverage on ESPN, NBC, CBS and TVG, will anchor the coverage. A member of harness racing's Communicators Hall of Fame, Seibel will be appearing on his 22nd straight Hambletonian broadcast. Seibel also hosted network TV coverage of the Breeders Crown, harness racing's divisional championship series, and filled a similar role for the American Championship Harness Series. Dave Brower, one of harness racing's sharpest handicappers, will co-anchor. Brower is an alumnus of "Racing from the Meadowlands" television program on SNY, Fox Sports New York, MSG Networks and TVG's "Drive Time". This will be his third year as co-host of the Hambletonian on CBS Sports Network. Brower wrote "Harnessing Winners: The Complete Guide to Handicapping Harness Races," published by Daily Racing Form's press division in 2009. Justin Horowitz returns in his role of trackside reporter. Horowitz, a former sports video-journalist in Minnesota and New York, is now the racing and media manager for Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs in New York and Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment. Horowitz debuted on CBS Sports Network's Hambletonian broadcast in 2012, and was awarded a Barasch Breakthrough Award the following year for his subsequent contributions. Emmy Award winner Mike Trager and the Trager Group will produce the Hambletonian. Peter Lasser directs. CBS Sports Network (CBSSN), the 24-hour home of CBS Sports, televises 350 live games and 2,900 hours of original programming every year including CBS Sports shoulder programming, live college football, college basketball, and more from the MW, C-USA, A-10, Army, Navy, and the Patriot League. CBSSN is the home to Professional Bull Riding and Major League Lacrosse. DIRECTV (channel 221) carries CBS Sports Network in its Choice Extra package while Dish Network (158) carries CBS Sports Network in its Classic Silver 200 package. The channel is also available across the country through local cable, video and telco providers and via satellite. For more information, and to access the CBS Sports Network channel finder, go to www.cbssportsnetwork.com. The CBS Sports Network channel listing for Canadian television providers is as follows: Rogers - 416 SD, 547 HD Cogeco - 160 SD, 744 HD Bell Expressvu - 413 SD, 1432 HD Eastlink - Primarily 134, also found on 206, 168 Sasktel - 425 BellAliant TV - 479. by Rachel Ryan, for the Meadowands        

MANALAPAN, NJ - July 31, 2014 - If the pieces all fall into place, the connections of Western Vintage could be sipping champagne on Saturday. the son of Western Ideal is making his return to the races, after being sidelined since late June, in the $225,000 Anthony Abbatiello New Jersey Classic, the fourth of 15 races on the Hambletonian Day program on Saturday, August 2, 2014 at the Meadowlands. The New Jersey Classic and its filly companion event, the $100,000 Thomas D'Altrui Miss New Jersey for fillies, are restricted to New Jersey-sired three-year-old pacers. Both events are sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey. In a well-balanced field, Western Vintage is rated the 5-2 second choice [Doo Wop Hanover is 9-5] and will leave from post two with Brian Sears at the lines. Last season, Western Vintage won five of eight races and earned $316,838. His victories included the $150,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Championship for two-year-old pacing colts and a division of the Bluegrass Stakes at the Red Mile. He finished second in the $648,850 Metro Pace at Mohawk. This all marked the bargain colt - he cost only $7,000 at the 2012 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale - as a potential divisional star at three. Health issues, however, detoured Western Vintage after four starts this spring. "We gave him a break after the Hempt [on June 21] for a couple of reasons," said Perry Soderberg, the colt's co-owner. "One, because he had some really tough races up to that point, and two, his blood work wasn't perfect so we needed some time to improve that. It is a long year and another year after this one, so we want to take care of the horse." Western Vintage opened his 2014 campaign with a New Jersey Sire Stakes win in 1:49.4 on May 17 at the Meadowlands and a week later was second to Doo Wop Hanover in the $100,000 final. Then it was on the road to Mohawk Raceway for the North America Cup elims [he finished fourth] and to Pocono for the Hempt [he was eighth]. Trainer Nancy Johansson qualified Western Vintage twice in July, including a 1:50.3 clocking and five and a half length victory on July 19 in the hands of new pilot Brian Sears. "Well, Yannick [Gingras, who previously drove the colt] has been great, but he has [Jimmy] Takter's and [Ron] Burke's horses to choose from down the road, and they have been better than mine so far this year," Soderberg explained. "I know Brian has JK Endofanera and other options as well, but I am thankful that he wants to drive him now. "All in all, I thought it was time to get the horse used to different drivers," he added. "He has been a bit tricky to drive, but he better get used to different drivers; that's how this business works." Swedish-born Soderberg, who has been evaluating horses since 1986, usually picks out yearlings for others, primarily trainer Jimmy Takter and his owners. But when no one wanted Western Vintage, he purchased the colt for himself for $7,000. Marvin Katz of Toronto bought an interest last October. With $53,890 earned this year, Western Vintage now has a bankroll of $370,728. "Western Vintage is coming in to this race in good shape," said Soderberg. "He qualified well, and I think he is the type of horse that can race good after a break." Post time on Saturday, August 2, 2014 is 12 noon with gates opening at 10 a.m. Admission is $5. The $1 million Hambletonian [Race 13] and $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks [Race 12] and the $300,650 John Cashman Jr. Memorial Trot will be featured on the live television broadcast from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network [for Channel Finder - www.cbssportsnework.com]. The program will be hosted by Gary Seibel, Dave Brower and Justin Horowitz. The fields for the New Jersey Classic and Miss New Jersey with post, horse, sire, driver, trainer and morning line odds: Race 4 - $225,000 ANTHONY ABBATIELLO NEW JERSEY CLASSIC 1-Doo Wop Hanover - Rocknroll Hanover - Yannick Gingras - Steve Elliott - 9-5 2-Western Vintage - Western Ideal - Brian Sears - Nancy Johansson - 5-2 3-Rockeyed Optimist - Rocknroll Hanover - Matt Kakaley - Steve Elliott - 20-1 4-Buckwacker - Rocknroll Hanover - David Miller - Chris Ryder - 9-2 5-Sweet Rock - Rocknroll Hanover - Brett Miller - Wayne Given - 20-1 6-Dancin Hill - Rocknroll Hanover - Scott Zeron - Tony Alagna - 10-1 7-Rock Out - Rocknroll Hanover - Tim Tetrick - Steve Elliott - 15-1 8-Card Shock- Cam's Card Shark - George Brennan - Mark Silva - 20-1 9-Beat The Drum - Tell All - Ron Pierce - Staffan Lind - 6-1 10-Rocknroll Reality - Rocknroll Hanover - Corey Callahan - John Butenschoen - 12-1 Race 3 - $100,000 THOMAS D'ALTRUI MISS NEW JERSEY 1-Ideal Helen - Western Ideal - Marcus Miller - Erv Miller - 10-1 2-Act Now - Western Ideal - Brian Sears - Nikolas Drennan - 3-1 3-Gettingreadytoroll - Rocknroll Hanover - Yannick Gingras - Jimmy Takter - 2-1 4-My Lady Day - Western Ideal - David Miller - Joe Holloway - 15-1 5-Surfside Sexy - Rocknroll Hanover - Ron Pierce - Ron Burke - 20-1 6-Cut A Deal - Rocknroll Hanover - George Brennan - Nick Surick - 20-1 7-Blixtra - Rocknroll Hanover - Ake Svanstedt - Ake Svandstedt - 9-2 8-Highland Rockstar - Rocknroll Hanover - Mike Lachance - Buzzy Sholty - 20-1 9-Rockingcam Park - Rocknroll Hanover - Tim Tetrick - Ron Coyne Jr. - 8-1 10- Kate Can't Wait - Rocknroll Hanover - Corey Callahan - Ross Croghan - 6-1 By Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ  

MANALAPAN, NJ - July 30, 2014 - Saturday's Hambletonian Day 15-race card at the Meadowlands is loaded with rich stakes worth nearly $3.6 million in purse money, including the $225,000 Anthony Abbatiello New Jersey Classic and its filly companion race, the $100,000 Thomas D'Altrui Miss New Jersey. The two stakes for New Jersey-sired three-year-old pacers are early in the card - the third race for the Miss New Jersey and the fourth race for the New Jersey Classic - and have the possibility of being two of the most contentious and bettor-friendly events, with no prohibitive favorites. Racing conditions for the two stakes were amended to eliminate eliminations. The finals are limited to the 10 highest lifetime money-winning horses in the entry box. To further sweeten the pot, even those who do not share in the top five purse distribution will not go home empty-handed. The connections of the New Jersey Classic colts finishing sixth through 10 will receive $1,500 each while the connections of the Miss New Jersey fillies will receive $1,000 each. "We are very pleased that we have full and competitive fields for both stakes, in fact, 11 entered in each with 10 going postward," said Tom Luchento, president of the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey [SBOANJ], which sponsors the two races. "We feel stallions will return to New Jersey once we have casino-infused purses, a likelihood in the next few years, but for now we are trying our best to make it worthwhile for breeders to support our program and owners to buy New Jersey-sired offspring with the opportunity to compete in such events as the New Jersey Classic and Miss New Jersey," Luchento added. Post time on Saturday, August 2, 2014 is 12 noon with gates opening at 10 a.m. Admission is $5. The $1 million Hambletonian [Race 13] and $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks [Race 12] and the $300,650 John Cashman Jr. Memorial Trot will be featured on the live television broadcast from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network [for Channel Finder - www.cbssportsnework.com]. The program will be hosted by Gary Seibel, Dave Brower and Justin Horowitz. The fields for the New Jersey Classic and Miss New Jersey with post, horse, sire, driver, trainer and morning line odds: Race 4 - $225,000 ANTHONY ABBATIELLO NEW JERSEY CLASSIC 1-Doo Wop Hanover - Rocknroll Hanover - Yannick Gingras - Steve Elliott - 9-5 2-Western Vintage - Western Ideal - Brian Sears - Nancy Johansson - 5-2 3-Rockeyed Optimist - Rocknroll Hanover - Matt Kakaley - Steve Elliott - 20-1 4-Buckwacker - Rocknroll Hanover - David Miller - Chris Ryder - 9-2 5-Sweet Rock - Rocknroll Hanover - Brett Miller - Wayne Given - 20-1 6-Dancin Hill - Rocknroll Hanover - Scott Zeron - Tony Alagna - 10-1 7-Rock Out - Rocknroll Hanover - Tim Tetrick - Steve Elliott - 15-1 8-Card Shock- Cam's Card Shark - George Brennan - Mark Silva - 20-1 9-Beat The Drum - Tell All - Ron Pierce - Staffan Lind - 6-1 10-Rocknroll Reality - Rocknroll Hanover - Corey Callahan - John Butenschoen - 12-1   Race 3 - $100,000 THOMAS D'ALTRUI MISS NEW JERSEY 1-Ideal Helen - Western Ideal - Marcus Miller - Erv Miller - 10-1 2-Act Now - Western Ideal - Brian Sears - Nikolas Drennan - 3-1 3-Gettingreadytoroll - Rocknroll Hanover - Yannick Gingras - Jimmy Takter - 2-1 4-My Lady Day - Western Ideal - David Miller - Joe Holloway - 15-1 5-Surfside Sexy - Rocknroll Hanover - Ron Pierce - Ron Burke - 20-1 6-Cut A Deal - Rocknroll Hanover - George Brennan - Nick Surick - 20-1 7-Blixtra - Rocknroll Hanover - Ake Svanstedt - Ake Svandstedt - 9-2 8-Highland Rockstar - Rocknroll Hanover - Mike Lachance - Buzzy Sholty - 20-1 9-Rockingcam Park - Rocknroll Hanover - Tim Tetrick - Ron Coyne Jr. - 8-1 10- Kate Can't Wait - Rocknroll Hanover - Corey Callahan - Ross Croghan - 6-1 By Carol Hodes for the SBOANJ

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