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Hightstown, NJ --- Foiled Again’s place in harness racing history is secured, but the 14-year-old pacer is still working at adding to his credentials. Already the richest horse in the sport’s history, Foiled Again is on the brink of joining the 100-win club. When he does, he will become the 16th pacer in the last 40 years to reach that milestone. Of the pacers in the group, few competed at the level of Foiled Again, who has 21 stakes wins worth at least $100,000 to his credit. Only Hall of Famer Rambling Willie, who won 111 races, and Pilgrim’s Fiery, who won 106, earned more than $1 million in their careers. In fact, Foiled Again alone has earned more money than the 15 pacers in the 100-win club combined, $7.56 million to $6.50 million. Foiled Again picked up win No. 99 on Jan. 13 at Yonkers Raceway and makes his first attempt for 100 on Saturday night’s (Jan. 20) first race at Yonkers. Post time is 6:50 p.m. (EST). Foiled Again and driver George Brennan will start from post seven in a seven-horse field and are 7-2 on the morning line. “I’m excited for him to achieve this,” trainer Ron Burke said. “It’s special. A hundred wins, when you figure it out, it’s a lot. I don’t care how many years you’ve raced, it’s a lot. And he’s done it in stakes races and conditioned races. I give the horse all the credit in the world. I don’t know if we’ll ever see another like him. At 14 he can still race in the top levels at Yonkers and be competitive.” Foiled Again is one of only two horses, along with Rambling Willie, to receive three consecutive Dan Patch Awards for best older male pacer. In 2011, at the age of 7, Foiled Again was Pacer of the Year. He is the only pacer older than the age of 4 ever to receive the honor. In 2013, at the age of 9, he won the Breeders Crown Open Pace to become the oldest horse to win a Breeders Crown event. In addition to his victory in the Breeders Crown, Foiled Again’s career triumphs include the Canadian Pacing Derby, Ben Franklin Pace, TVG Free For All Series Championship, George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series, Bobby Quillen Memorial, and Molson Pace. Foiled Again’s accomplishments and popularity were acknowledged beyond harness racing in 2015 when he was honored by Breyer with a model created in his likeness. “I think it’s because he overachieves,” Burke said about Foiled Again’s popularity. “There have been how many more horses that were more talented, but he ended up putting them away. He just kept going on. “He never was a super high-speed horse that beat them with talent, he beat them with heart and determination. I think that’s what resonates with people. With Twitter, any time the horse does anything, I get more interaction than any horse. It just never stops. It is a big deal.” Foiled Again has visited 25 different racetracks during his 304-race career. Burke doesn’t intend for the horse to become a homebody until he reaches mandatory retirement at the end of this year. “He’s an incredible horse,” said Burke, whose Burke Racing Stable owns Foiled Again with the Weaver Bruscemi partnership and JJK Stables. “I love him, the whole family loves him, and he really changed the trajectory of our barn. “I’m going to make it a point to try to get him to as many tracks as I can. I’m not worried about him making money or us making money, I just want people to see him and enjoy him. I want us to enjoy it until the end.” For Saturday’s first race program page, click here and for Foiled Again’s lifetime Yonkers’ race-by-race results, click here. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

Hightstown, NJ --- Iron Mine Bucky and harness racing trainer Greg Haverstick return to the Meadowlands Racetrack on Friday (Jan. 19) for the eighth time since appearing there in the 2016 Hambletonian Stakes, but the trip never gets old. Haverstick relives Hambletonian Day every time he goes back. “I do,” Haverstick said. “You never forget that day. As long as I live, I guess, I’ll never forget it. It was a dream come true. Everybody wants to go and I hope to be back someday soon. That was an incredible day. “I love racing at the Meadowlands too. It’s just an awesome place to race.” Iron Mine Bucky is in the seventh race Friday, which is the first of three races that will be shown from 9-10 p.m. on SNY (SportsNet New York) as part of the “Meadowlands Harness Live” broadcast. He will start from post 10 with driver Eric Carlson and is 9-2 on the morning line. Opulent Yankee is the 3-1 favorite. Haverstick, a 48-year-old Pennsylvania native known around harness racing simply as “Stick,” is in his third year as the head trainer for Nancy and Bud Carter’s Iron Mine Branch Farm in Delaware. He previously was second trainer at the farm, working with Colby Hubble, and was the sport’s 2011 Caretaker of the Year in a contest then-sponsored by Harness Tracks of America and Hanover Shoe Farms. Last year, Haverstick’s trainees won 23 of 154 races and earned $318,339. Two-year-old filly trotter Iron Mine Krystal, who is a half-sister to Iron Mine Bucky, was a Maryland Sire Stakes champion and 2-year-old gelding trotter Iron Mine Bro was a championship runner-up on the same circuit. Iron Mine Johnny earned $81,935 competing mostly in overnights. “I had a good year for a small operation,” said Haverstick, who has 12 horses, all trotters, in training. “I had a good bunch of horses. Nancy and Bud are great owners. They love the business and the horses come first, whatever the horses need. That means a lot.” Iron Mine Bucky, who battled some health issues last season at age 4, has won 10 of 51 career races and earned $311,760. His wins include divisions of the Currier & Ives, Keystone Classic, and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. He finished third, behind Marion Marauder and Bar Hopping, in a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial. In the Hambletonian, Iron Mine Bucky finished fourth from post eight in his elimination to advance to the final. He again started from post eight, this time finishing eighth. “I think if he had drawn inside he would have gotten a piece of it,” Haverstick said. “I don’t think he would have been 1-2, but he would have gotten a piece.” Competing on the Grand Circuit with Iron Mine Bucky was beneficial for Haverstick. “I got to know a lot more people in the business,” Haverstick said. “Until you experience it, it’s just a totally different game, I think. And I learned a lot just watching the other trainers, the top trainers in the country. Watching how they do things and how they run their operation. You just learn so much, absolutely.” Iron Mine Bucky finished last year with a sixth-place finish in the preferred at the Meadowlands on Dec. 30, but was found to be sick. He returned to action last week with a third-place finish in a conditioned race. “He shook loose late and had trot,” Haverstick said. “He was a different horse last week; he was back on his game. He loves the track up there. He gets over it so much nicer. He handles that surface really well. “Bucky is Bucky. He’s always dealing with some issues, but he tries every week.” When it comes time for Iron Mine Bucky to retire, he will go to stud duty at Iron Mine Branch Farm. “He’ll never leave the farm,” Haverstick said. “He took us to the Hambo and a lot of other big races. He’s not going anywhere.” For a look at Friday’s complete Meadowlands card, click here. Racing begins at 6:35 p.m. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager 

Hightstown, NJ --- Not often does a trainer work with two horses in the same division that both earn a million dollars, but such was the case last year for Brian Brown. In fact, Brown became the first harness racing trainer in 13 years to accomplish the feat with two 3-year-old male pacers, Downbytheseaside and Fear The Dragon. Those two stars are gone this year, off to perform stallion duties, but Brown is optimistic about his stable’s chances of enjoying another strong campaign in 2018. Brown set career highs in wins with 151 and purses with $5.79 million last year and was named Trainer of the Year by the U.S. Harness Writers Association. His earnings were fourth best in North America despite having fewer starts than any trainer in the top 16. Now, the 53-year-old Ohio resident turns his attention to 2018. “The scary part is replacing Seaside and Dragon,” Brown said. “I’ve got Blazin Britches coming back and I’ve got some 3-year-olds that I think have promise. I don’t expect them to be Seaside or Dragon, but I think they could be nice horses that could go out and earn $300,000 or $400,000 possibly. “My 2-year-olds, I’ve got so many that I can’t tell you that a particular horse stands out, but I’ve got a bunch that I really like right now. So we have a lot of optimism for this year. I just don’t have those two horses that I know are coming back that should make it a great year.” Downbytheseaside and Fear The Dragon led the sport in earnings last year, with $1.60 million and $1.35 million, respectively. They were the first 3-year-old male pacing stablemates to finish the year with $1 million apiece since Timesareachanging and Western Terror for trainer Brett Pelling in 2004. Downbytheseaside won the Dan Patch Award as the sport’s best 3-year-old male pacer and was joined as a Dan Patch Award winner by the Brown-trained Blazin Britches, who captured 11 of 15 races and was named the top 3-year-old female pacer. Brown was the first trainer to cash that double since 1995 when Joe Holloway did it with Jenna’s Beach Boy and She’s A Great Lady. As for this season, Brown hopes 3-year-old male pacer Done Well can do well to help fill the void left by Downbytheseaside and Fear The Dragon. Last year, Done Well was 4-for-4 on the Pennsylvania-restricted stakes circuit before being sidelined by a cannon bone fracture. “I think he is the caliber of those horses,” Brown said, referring to Downbytheseaside and Fear The Dragon.. “The problem is that he didn’t go a whole year to be able to prove he’s that good. “But I think he’s a good horse. He has to stay sound, the same as everybody else. Where his crack was, in the cannon bone, once it heals up we should be in great shape. It’s not in a joint so I don’t have to worry about calcium buildup or wear and tear on that joint.” Brown will spend the winter in Florida getting his stable ready for this year’s campaign. He has 113 horses there, with 75 being 2-year-olds. “They’ll show us pretty soon whether they even have a chance to be those kinds of horses,” Brown said. “Those horses are just hard to come by, so it’s hard to replace them. But when I’m starting with 70-some yearlings every year, I think I have a shot to do that. It just doesn’t happen every year because horses can still come up with problems.” Brown, in addition to his career highs in wins and purses last year, had a career-best .402 trainer’s rating and has posted 10 consecutive years better than .300. “What I’m most proud of my whole career is my percentage,” Brown said. “It stays above .300 most of the time. I think if you’re batting .300 you’re doing pretty good. To me, that means we’re still winning races where we have to race. To me, that’s the biggest barometer of how well you’re doing. “Of course, this is a business and the money is the most important thing,” he continued, adding with a laugh, “If I had a .200 average and made $10 million instead of $5.7 million, well, I’m sure I’m going to be just as happy.” Brown hopes to enjoy another season winning races on the Grand Circuit, but is grateful for trips to the winner’s circle regardless of the venue. “Sure it’s more fun to win a Breeders Crown, the Jug, the North America Cup, but winning races is winning races,” Brown said. “It’s still a hell of a good feeling. For a lot of owners, there is an entertainment factor that plays into this. There’s something to be said for the entertainment value of winning races even though you’re not making several hundred thousand. It’s that same feeling we all get, otherwise we wouldn’t do this.” by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager 

Hightstown, NJ --- Hall of Fame harness racing broodmare Country Kay Sue, the dam of 1995 Horse of the Year CR Kay Suzie, died Monday (Jan. 15) in Ocala, Fla., owner Rod Allen said today. She was 32. Country Kay Sue was limited to nine lifetime races because of injuries, but made her name as a broodmare. In addition to being the dam of CR Kay Suzie, she produced CR Renegade, who counted the 1999 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male trotters among his stakes wins. Both were homebreds by Royal Troubador, the Allen family’s Dan Patch Award-winning colt and later stallion. Last August, on Hambletonian Day at the Meadowlands, Country Kay Sue was found in the maternal line of four horses competing on the card --- Allen’s filly Dream Baby Dream in the Hambletonian Oaks and Dover Dan in the Hambletonian plus Cufflink Hanover and Italian-born Tuonoblu Rex in the Open. “If there can be such a thing as good timing in a situation like this, she might have had it,” Allen said. “She had more of her offspring racing at the Grand Circuit level last year, so it was kind of fitting. “We stuck it out with that family for a long time. I was criticized at times for it, with people saying it was more for sentimental reasons, but it really worked out.” Country Kay Sue, a daughter of Speedy Somolli out of Pams Key, was purchased for $25,000 under the name Molli Pam by Allen and his father, Carl. She was renamed after Rod’s daughter, Kaylie Suzanne. She actually was the second horse named in Kaylie’s honor; the first, Country Kaylie, was sold. “She was upset because we sold her horse,” Allen said. “My dad said we were going to buy another horse and we would never sell her. And she never left the farm.” Country Kay Sue was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2001. To read more about Country Kay Sue and CR Kay Suzie from the book Standardbred Old Friends, click here. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager 

East Rutherford, NJ --- Ed Telle arrived at Monday’s (Jan. 15) Tattersalls January Select Mixed Harness Racing Sale at the Meadowlands Racetrack with the intentions of buying one horse, Miso Fast. Several hours later, Telle accomplished his goal. Telle purchased the 4-year-old pacing stallion for $250,000, which was the day’s top price. Formerly trained by Ron Burke, Miso Fast has won seven of 36 career races and earned $647,938. Miso Fast’s victories include five divisions of the New York Sire Stakes and an elimination of the Max C. Hempt Memorial. He was second in the 2016 New York Sire Stakes championship as well as the 2017 Empire Breeders Classic. He also was second in a division of the Tattersalls Pace last year. “He’s a gorgeous horse and he’s going to make a nice racehorse for the next four or five years,” Telle said. “I came here to buy him. I’m going to send him to Florida for a couple of months to get him ready and then bring him back up. He’ll go to Ohio and Pennsylvania and then he’ll come out east. “He’s just so consistent. Maybe as a 4-year-old he’ll get a little stronger and be a little better.” Telle, who lives in Ohio and bought Miso Fast for his Winchester Baye Acres, enjoyed success last year with female pacer Safe From Terror. The mare, purchased for $210,000 during the mixed sale portion of the 2015 Standardbred Horse Sale, won 22 of 36 races last season and earned $239,630. Her 22 victories tied for the most in North America. Other successes for Telle included campaigning 2011 Little Brown Jug winner Big Bad John, who earned $1 million in his career. “If you’re going to be in this industry, why not buy the best if you can afford it,” Telle said. “Luckily for me, I’ve had a few good years. “I think if you buy good quality horses, I give them to good trainers, and we do well.” Miso Fast was among six racehorses to sell for at least $130,000 on Monday. Next on the list was Kentucky Futurity champion Snowstorm Hanover at $180,000, followed by female pacer Inverse Hanover at $155,000 and male pacer Art Scene at $150,000. Male trotter New Jersey Viking, at $140,000, and male pacer Ocean Colony, at $130,000, completed the group of six-figure sellers. Snowstorm Hanover, another horse formerly trained by Burke, was purchased by trainer Marcus Melander as agent for overseas buyers. The 4-year-old stallion has won eight of 36 career races and earned $658,761. “He’s a nice horse,” Melander said. “He won the Kentucky Futurity and he was good as a 2-year-old, as well. We’ll see what we can do with him. “We’ll bring him home and see what’s happening. They have a good program (in Europe) for 4-year-olds, so it’s not impossible he would go to Sweden. When he won the Kentucky Futurity, he showed a lot. Hopefully we can do good with him.” Inverse Hanover was purchased by Tom Pollack. She has won five of 20 career races and earned $136,560. Her wins include a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and she finished 2017 by beating a field that included older horses at the Meadowlands. The 4-year-old mare, formerly trained by Richard “Nifty” Norman, will be sent to Indiana with trainer Jeff Cullipher. “I’ve always done pretty well racing mares,” Pollack said. “I just liked she’s got a big motor and a high turn of speed. She went a big trip against older horses, which I like to see that. “She looks like a big-track horse. She will race a lot at Hoosier Park with Jeff Cullipher. I thought she would be a good fit out there. We’ll stake her where she may fit.” In 2016, Pollack purchased female pacer Medusa for $65,000 at the Tattersalls January Select Mixed Sale. She has won nearly $450,000 since then. “We’re willing to spend,” Pollack said. “You have to sometimes to get good horses. Hopefully this will fall into that category.” Below are the top sellers from Monday’s sale. Horse--Sire-Dam--Buyer--Consignor—Price Miso Fast (4hp)—Roll With Joe—Sakura Hanover—Ed Telle—Preferred Equine, agent—$250,000 Snowstorm Hanover (4ht)—Muscle Massive—Snow Angel Hanover—Marcus Melander, agent—Preferred Equine, agent—$180,000 Inverse Hanover (4mp)—Somebeachsomewhere—Ideal Newton—Thomas Pollack—Preferred Equine, agent—$155,000 Art Scene (4hp)—American Ideal—Lover Of Art—Bob Hamather, Ty Pena—Preferred Equine, agent—$150,000 New Jersey Viking (4ht)—Muscle Hill—Hall Of Wishes—Eugene Kurzrok—Preferred Equine, agent—$140,000 Ocean Colony (4hp)—Somebeachsomewhere—Amora Hanover—Richard Banca—Northwood Bloodstock Agency—$130,000 Signal Hill (4gt)—Muscle Hill—Special Appeal—Lucas Wallin, agent—Preferred Equine, agent—$95,000 World Apart (4mp)—Art Major—Polar Opposition—Richard Alan Arnold—Preferred Equine, agent—$90,000 Cresurrey (4ht)—Credit Winner—Surrey With Fringe—Jeff Gillis, agent—Northwood Bloodstock Agency—$87,000 Myimpossibledream (Broodmare)—Chocolatier—Spellbound Hanover—William Loyens—Preferred Equine, agent--$82,000 For complete sale results, click here. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

Hightstown, NJ --- The Campbell-Farber combination has tasted harness racing success in the past and hopes to get another taste with Another Chapter. Jim Campbell trains Another Chapter for Scott Farber’s Runthetable Stables. Campbell’s connection with the Farber family began 31 years ago when he trained millionaire pacer Run The Table for Farber’s father, Sandy, and has continued to include the likes of Farber’s stakes-winning trotter Opening Night. Another Chapter is ready to make his debut for Campbell and Farber on Friday (Jan. 12) at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The 4-year-old trotter is in the ninth race, which is the third of three races that will be shown from 9-10 p.m. on SNY (SportsNet New York) as part of the Meadowlands Harness Live broadcast. Farber bought Another Chapter for $90,000 during the mixed sale portion of November’s Standardbred Horse Sale. Another Chapter, a stakes-level performer whose wins last year included an elimination of the Dexter Cup and a division of the New York Sire Stakes, is 9-2 on the morning line. Brett Miller will drive. “My plans are for him to return to being a stakes-level performer,” Farber said. “I’m a very conservative guy. This business will make you a conservative guy. But I got a little taste of it with my father with Run The Table and got another little taste of it with Opening Night. The idea is to try to win some big races.” Farber and Campbell will take a look at Another Chapter this winter and determine how to stake him this year, with an eye toward events restricted to 4-year-olds. The horse is eligible to the Hambletonian Maturity, which meets that condition. “I basically go off what Jimmy tells me,” Farber said. “The horse is going to tell us what we can do. The horse holds all the answers. If he earns it, I’ll stake him.” Another Chapter, a half-brother to millionaire Spider Blue Chip, was purchased as a yearling under the name Orthodox Blue Chip for $125,000 and raced most recently for trainer Per Henriksen. “I liked him as a yearling,” Campbell said. “He was a racy-looking colt. He shows he’s got some speed and he seems like the type of horse that will go around any size track.” Campbell first met Sandy Farber while stabled at the Meadowlands. The encounter eventually led to Sandy Farber buying Run The Table in 1987. “He stopped by the barn and said he was looking to buy a horse,” Campbell said. “I asked him how much he wanted to spend and he said he didn’t care, just to find a nice horse. It took me several months before I bought him a horse. I told him about Run The Table and I still had no idea how much he wanted to spend. He said that if I liked him, he’d buy him. The rest is history. “Sandy was a first-class gentleman. I was 27 or 28 at the time. I really learned a lot from him. He was a man of his word. And (Run The Table) was one of the horses that helped me along with my career.” Sandy Farber, who was an insurance broker and mayor of Palisades Park, N.J., died in 2004. Scott Farber continued the family’s participation in harness racing and has a small stable of horses, all trotters, at the moment. “My family has been with Jim since 1987 and Jimmy is the very best at what he does,” Farber said. “If he were to leave this business, I’d be leaving with him. Once you have a taste of the best it’s very difficult to top that.” For Friday’s complete Meadowlands card, click here. Racing begins at 6:35 p.m. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager 

Hightstown, NJ --- Joe Sbrocco enjoyed a successful 2017, most notably with Dan Patch Award winner Downbytheseaside, and the 76-year-old harness racing owner hopes to keep the good times rolling this year. “I’ve got more horses coming back this year than I ever have,” Sbrocco said. “I have hopes for them. We’ll see. I have a good feeling about this year.” Sbrocco said goodbye to Downbytheseaside at the conclusion of last year. The horse, who retired to stud duty in Ohio, won 14 of 22 races and a North America-leading $1.60 million last season. He was the third Dan Patch Award-winning pacer for Sbrocco, who shared ownership of Downbytheseaside with Country Club Acres, Richard Lombardo, and Diamond Creek Racing. Sbrocco’s other Dan Patch honorees, also in partnerships, were two-time Pacer of the Year Captaintreacherous (2012-2013) and Artspeak (2014). “I like trotters, but I’ve done pretty well with pacers,” Sbrocco said. “Captain and Artspeak gave me thrills and Downbytheseaside was my latest thrill, for sure. There was so much camaraderie with this horse. We’re very close friends and (caretaker) Toni Dale Hollar promoted the heck out of him on Facebook. She’s just a wonderful, loving person. This year was right up there. “I’d advise people to go in with partners,” he added. “How many times can you get Dan Patch winners when you buy horses on your own? You’re better off. Look around and try to get partners. But I still look at every horse that I can. There isn’t a time that I don’t look at a horse before buying one.” Sbrocco, who lives near Cleveland, got started in harness racing in 1970 with his father-in-law Bob Cole. Sbrocco trained and drove horses at the county fairs for several years, but eventually put harness racing on hold to concentrate on his title agency and family. After a decade hiatus, Sbrocco returned to the sport solely as an owner. He enjoyed success in the early 2000s with stakes-winning female trotter Norway But My Way and in 2006 had the Hambletonian favorite with homebred Mr Pine Chip. The colt was unbeaten in six starts that year, but went off stride in the Hambletonian final. “He got sick,” Sbrocco said. “That was a pretty disappointing day.” Sbrocco’s top horses since then have included, but are not limited to, his three Dan Patch Award winners as well as 2012 Kentucky Futurity winner My MVP, 2007 Little Brown Jug runner-up Hot Rod Mindale, and stakes-winners Mythical Lindy, Ma Chere Hall, Goddess, and Braggart. He also was among the owners of Propulsion, who was sold in 2015 and headed to Europe, where he has become one of the sport’s top trotters. “Propulsion was the best trotter I ever saw in the field,” Sbrocco said. “I went to the farm and saw him as a baby and he totally took my heart away.” Sbrocco has horses with a number of trainers, including Tony Alagna, Chris Beaver, Brian Brown, Paul Kelley, Ray Schnittker, Ake Svanstedt, Jimmy Takter, and Linda Toscano. He partners on approximately 30 horses each year. Among his group of horses coming back this year are pacers Dragonology, Decoy, and Whos Better and trotters Sortie, White Cheetah, and Bautista. He also has hopes for a 2-year-old colt pacer by Captaintreacherous named Primo Capitano. “I’ve had some ups and downs, but I’ve had a lot of good horses,” Sbrocco said. “I’m looking forward to a good year.” by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

Hightstown, NJ --- It is only January, but harness racing trainer Mike Keeling is looking forward to another season of racing Marion Marauder. A 5-year-old trotter, Marion Marauder is in the midst of an almost three-month vacation in North Carolina, but the two-time Dan Patch Award winner will return to work soon in preparation for his 2018 campaign. And, oh, the places he might go. Keeling and wife Paula Wellwood, who share training duties of the family-owned horse, are exploring the possibilities of racing Marion Marauder in Europe and would enjoy seeing the stallion receive the opportunity to compete in Sweden’s Elitlopp in May. “We would love to,” Keeling said. “We think he deserves the opportunity. We think it fits his racing style. It’s just a matter of us understanding the European system and making the right contacts. I hate going into things blind and learning as I go. For us, it’s more about having a clear understanding what we have to do. We’re trying to prepare ourselves as much as prepare him. “We’re just trying to map out a schedule for him that makes the most sense and gives us a chance to maybe try some things that we’ve never done before. We have to find a schedule that makes sense and maximizes his earning potential, of course, but also maybe his exposure on the world stage.” Marion Marauder, who was the 2016 Trotter of the Year, won three of 10 races last year and earned $769,182 on his way to receiving the Dan Patch Award for the sport’s best older male trotter. His victories included the Hambletonian Maturity and Graduate Series championship and he was second in the Yonkers International Trot. He is owned by Devin Keeling and Marion Jean Wellwood. Scott Zeron is the horse’s regular driver. In 2016, Marion Marauder won 10 of 15 starts and became the ninth Trotting Triple Crown winner -- and first since 2006 -- by sweeping the Hambletonian, Yonkers Trot, and Kentucky Futurity. Marion Marauder joined Moni Maker, CR Kay Suzie, Pine Chip, Peace Corps, and Mack Lobell as trotters in the last 30 years to receive Dan Patch honors the year after a Trotter of the Year campaign. “We’re always happy when he gets recognized,” Keeling said. “We knew it was probably going to be contentious because of him being a 4-year-old and there will always be naysayers one way or the other. There is a reason he was invited to the International Trot and other ones weren’t. We think he’s world class and I think he gets recognized for that when he needs to be.” Although Marion Marauder finished last season with a third-place finish in the Breeders Crown Open Trot, his connections were happy with the way he completed the campaign while making the transition from a 3-year-old to 4. “Scott said after the Breeders Crown, it wasn’t the trip he wanted, or the trip we needed, but it was the soundest and straightest the horse had been all year,” Keeling said. “It was a great accomplishment that he made the leap from 3 to 4 and finished the year off probably better than what he started. “He’s becoming more versatile,” Keeling added. “I think he understands the whole thing a little more. He’s a little more relaxed. His idiosyncrasies have become less of an issue.” Marion Marauder’s transformation has continued this winter. “You can see a change in him physically, which is really exciting to me,” Keeling said. “He’s looking more like an aged horse. They get a little harder, they get a little more square, and that’s what I’m seeing in him. I can’t wait to get him back in the barn. He’s fun to work with and we’re just so privileged to have him. “There is a lot of excitement about his potential. But we understand that there’s thinking about doing it and then there’s achieving it. We have all those stages to go through. But we’re very fortunate to be in this position and we’re going to cherish every moment.” by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager 

Millstone, NJ--- Hall of Fame broodmare Flat Foot Fluzy died Thursday (Jan. 4) in New Jersey, equine surgeon Dr. Patty Hogan, the wife of harness racing owner Ed Lohmeyer, said. Flat Foot Fluzy was 31. Lohmeyer bred Flat Foot Fluzy, a daughter of Direct Scooter out of Quinella Blue Chip, with William Simon, who was Secretary of the Treasury during the Nixon and Ford administrations. Simon, who enjoyed success as a co-owner of Lohmeyer-trained multiple-stakes-winner Landslide, and Lohmeyer had bought Flat Foot Fluzy’s dam with the intentions of getting into the breeding business. Flat Foot Fluzy’s career on the racetrack was cut short by injury as a 2-year-old, but she made her mark as a broodmare. Her first foal, a son of Albert Albert named Pacific Rocket, was a Dan Patch Award winner who earned $2.33 million lifetime. Overall, Flat Foot Fluzy was the dam of 12 horses, of which five earned six figures. Those horses included Pacific Titan, who won 32 races and $800,072, and Pacific Missile, who won 32 races and $378,797. Flat Foot Fluzy was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2002. “She was nasty,” Lohmeyer said about Flat Foot Fluzy in the 2014 book Standardbred Old Friends. “She’d put her ears down the back of her neck, wanted to bite, she wanted her own space. I don’t think she liked anybody. But oh boy, was she a great-gaited filly. She had an effortless, long gait that covered a lot of ground. “She’s a big part of my life. She’s been around a long time and was the start of my being able to breed some nice horses.” In recent years, Flat Foot Fluzy’s favorite companion was Keystone Wallis, the grandam of Always A Virgin. The two shared a paddock for eight years until Keystone Wallis’ passing seven months ago, June 4, 2017. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager 

Freehold, NJ --- There is something to be said for the road less traveled, but a well-worn road can yield rewards as well. Harness racing driver Jim Devaux’s road, for example. Devaux spends his days -- when he’s not driving horses -- driving hundreds of miles up and down the New York State Thruway to race at Monticello and Saratoga. It’s been a road to success as Devaux is putting the finishing touches on a career-best year, both in terms of wins, 540, and purses, $2.98 million. The 50-year-old Devaux ranks a career-high No. 6 in wins in North America and is the leading dash-winning driver at Monticello, where he has won multiple titles. He finished third, another career best, in the standings at Saratoga. In addition, in October he got career victory No. 5,000. “It was a good year,” the soft-spoken Devaux said. “I was fortunate to drive a lot of good horses and I appreciate the trainers and the owners for putting me up. That means a lot. I’ve had a lot of good horses at both tracks. “It’s definitely a grind; a lot of road trips. That’s the most difficult part, fighting traffic, fighting rush hour. It’s long days, long nights. But we made it back and forth without any incidents, so that was good.” Devaux made all but 17 of his 2,672 starts this year at Monticello and Saratoga. Ironically, his most memorable moment came elsewhere. In October, Devaux won a New York Sire Stakes championship with 2-year-old male pacer Jersey Jim. It was Devaux’s first victory in the NYSS championships. “That was very special,” Devaux said. “I thought I could get money in there, but as far as winning, I don’t ever go into the race thinking I’m the best because anything can happen. You just have to drive to the best of your ability and it happened to work out for me. “I really appreciate Perry (trainer Perry Simser) putting me on him. He’s a nice horse. He’s not very big, but he’s got a motor. That was definitely the highlight of the year.” Devaux doesn’t set goals or focus on numbers. “I don’t really worry about those kinds of things,” he said. “I just go into it like anybody else going to work. I just go in there and try to bang out a paycheck. “I drive against a lot of good guys. You definitely earn it. You just have to have the power and put them in the right spot.” Devaux’s father, Butch, raced horses at Saratoga and Monticello, and when Devaux was young he spent as much time as possible at the stables learning about the sport. Devaux focused on training at the beginning of his career and drove horses for his father when he needed a driver. Soon, though, Devaux picked up more and more drives and turned his attention to sitting in the sulky on a regular basis. Despite his career numbers this season, Devaux isn’t putting any grand expectations on 2018. “I’d be real happy if I could just repeat this year,” Devaux said. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

Freehold, NJ --- There were a lot of memorable moments during the 2017 harness racing season. As we prepare to turn the calendar to 2018, let's look back at some of the newsmakers of this campaign. Dragon Roars (June 17) Fear The Dragon won the Pepsi North America Cup at Mohawk Racetrack, giving trainer Brian Brown his first win in the event and driver David Miller his second victory in the race, in back-to-back years no less. Brown also trained the race’s third-place finisher, Downbytheseaside. “It’s unexplainable; you would have to ask the guys that win these races regularly,” Brown said following the race. “This is my first time; I don’t know what to say. It’s incredible that we're even here with two horses and to come away with a win is just something that is unexplainable.” Campbell’s Final Big Night at Big M (June 30) John Campbell, the leading money-winning driver in harness racing history and winningest driver in the history of the Meadowlands, raced at the Big M for the final time. USTA/Mark Hall photo John Campbell won his final two Big M starts on June 30. He capped his career at the North Jersey oval in storybook fashion, winning his final two starts in front of numerous family members, friends, and appreciative fans. “This is just special,” said Campbell, who retired to become president and CEO of the Hambletonian Society. “To win the last two races is just incredible. The whole night everyone has been so supportive and the fans have been great. All my family and friends are here and it’s just a wonderful evening for me.” Palone Keeps Adding On (July 12) No one in the world has won more harness races than driver Dave Palone and he reached another milestone, his 18,000th triumph, when he guided Outburst to victory at his home track, The Meadows. “I don’t really have any plans except to show up and race every day,” Palone said. “I just hope to stay healthy and able to compete at the top level and win races. I’m still having fun with it. It’s like any other sport: when you fail to produce, you’ll know when it’s time to go.” Huntsville Takes Pace (July 15) The heated rivalry between Huntsville and Downbytheseaside reached a fever pitch in the Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace, with Huntsville holding off his rival by a head. It was the fifth Pace victory for driver Tim Tetrick, trailing only the recently retired Hall of Famer John Campbell, who had seven wins in the Meadowlands Racetrack’s signature event for 3-year-olds. Trainer Ray Schnittker improved his Pace record to 2-for-2. He combined with Tetrick to win in 2010 with One More Laugh. “My horse was tired late,” Tetrick said. “He kept pushing all the way to the wire.” Hectic Hambo (August 5) Perfect Spirit, with trainer Ake Svanstedt in the sulky, was declared the winner of the Hambletonian after What The Hill, the first horse across the finish line, was disqualified for interference in the stretch. USTA/Mark Hall photo Perfect Spirit (right) captured the $1 million Hambletonian final after What The Hill was disqualified for interference in the stretch. It was the first time a Hambletonian winner was disqualified in 92 editions of the $1 million trotting classic for 3-year-olds. “I know you have to be very lucky like we were today,” winning owner Lennart Agren said. “It can end very quickly, so you have to live in the moment right now.” Four! (August 5) Ariana G won the Hambletonian Oaks by 4-3/4 lengths, giving the tandem of trainer Jimmy Takter and driver Yannick Gingras their fourth consecutive win in the prestigious race for 3-year-old female trotters. It also was Takter’s record-setting seventh Oaks victory as a trainer. “She is just in a class of her own,” Takter said about Ariana G. Say Cheese (September 18) Manchego extended her career-opening win streak to eight with a stakes-record 1:52.4 win in the Peaceful Way. She finished the year a perfect 12-for-12 and became the first undefeated 2-year-old female trotter to receive a Dan Patch Award since the category for fillies was created in 1978. “She’s a very special filly,” driver Yannick Gingras said. “She’s not the biggest thing, but she’s got a long, long gait to her. She doesn’t trot like a little filly. She’s very efficient in her gait.” Time to Rock (September 23) In less than a month, Lost In Time went from winning at an Ohio fair to capturing the $660,960 Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack. Lost In Time’s only victory prior to the Metro was a 2:03.4 score in a $750 race at the Hicksville, Ohio, fair on Aug. 25. The victory was extra special for trainer Jim Mulinix as he finished second in the 2011 Metro Pace with Lost In Time’s sire, A Rocknroll Dance. New Image Media photo Lost In Time captured the Metro Pace in 1:50.1. “(This) makes up for Rock,” Mulinix said. “With Rock I didn’t have the experience then and he (gave) me the experience to do it with this horse. I had never raced at this level much in my life, but this was really exciting. “I bought this horse just to show them that Rock could do it and it worked out and I’m really thankful and actually quite humbled by the whole thing.” Fast & Furious (October 7) Hannelore Hanover became the fastest female trotter in history when she won the Allerage Farms Open Trot in 1:49.2 at Lexington’s Red Mile. The time lowered the previous record for a female trotter, 1:50.1 by Giant Diablo, and was only two-fifths of a second off Sebastian K’s all-time mark of 1:49. “Coming to the wire, I knew I was going under (1):50,” driver Yannick Gingras said. “I was just waiting to see where the clock was going to stop, but (1):49.2 is definitely a great achievement for this mare; she definitely deserves it.” Fast & Furious 2 (October 7) Two races after Hannelore Hanover’s record mile, Youaremycandygirl became the fastest 2-year-old female pacer in history by winning a division of the International Stallion Stakes in 1:50. “I think she’s proven herself to be one of the best 2-year-old fillies ever,” trainer Ron Burke said later in the year. Twister Blows Through Yonkers (October 14) Italian representative Twister Bi took control from defending champion Resolve, then put on a trotting showcase in the $1 million Yonkers International Trot. The 5-year-old stallion stopped the clock in a world record 2:22.1 at Yonkers Raceway, 5-1/2 lengths in front of the field in the 1-1/4 mile event. “I just wanted everyone to see how good he really is,” trainer Jerry Riordan said. Home cooking (October 28) Indiana-sired Hannelore Hanover, Fiftydallarbill and Beckhams Z Tam all won Breeders Crown finals at Indiana’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. USTA/Mark Hall photo Beckhams Z Tam won the Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male pacers. Beckhams Z Tam’s win over favorite Downbytheseasidewas particularly emotional, with the wife-and-husband team of trainer Jamie Macomber and driver Ricky Macomber Jr. pulling off the upset. It was Jamie Macomber’s first year with her own stable. “I never dreamed anything like this,” a teary-eyed Macomber said as she made her way to the trophy presentation. “This is (Beckhams Z Tam’s) home track. Turning for home I knew he was the winner. I don’t know what to say. My husband did it. It’s amazing.” Feels Like the First Time (October 28) Ricky Macomber Jr. won his first Breeders Crown final with Beckhams Z Tam. Driver Doug McNair also got his first Crown, guiding Stay Hungry to victory in the race for 2-year-old male pacers. “It’s exciting,” McNair said. “I think I’ve driven in five or six of these Breeders Crowns and never won so it’s a big thrill for me.” Tetrick Keeps Breaking Records (November 3) Tim Tetrick won with Earl Variera at Harrah’s Philadelphia and shattered the record for youngest driver to reach 10,000 career victories, which was set previously by a 40-year-old Walter Case Jr. in 2001. Tetrick was still two weeks from turning 36. Tetrick was the 12th driver in history to reach 10,000 wins. “It’s a great accomplishment,” Tetrick said at the time. “We’ve been racing horses forever and there have only been 12 who have ever done it, so that’s pretty cool. I’ve been able to have a great career. I’m 35 years old and I’m honored to get to do something that I love to do and get to win races.” A ‘Hill’ of an Accomplishment (November 25) What The Hill became the first 3-year-old trotter in a decade to defeat older horses in a final worth at least $100,000 when he won the TVG Open Trot at the Meadowlands. Seaside Stroll (November 30) Downbytheseaside wrapped up his career with a win in the Hap Hansen Progress Pace at Dover Downs and propelled himself to divisional honors over stablemate Fear The Dragon. Fotowon photo Downbytheseaside wrapped up his career with a win in the Hap Hansen Progress Pace. “He had some tough spots where things weren’t going his way and we could have easily lost him, but he recovered,” trainer Brian Brown said earlier in the month about Downbytheseaside. “I think it speaks to his guts and his durability. I just wish he would have been this good a couple months ago.” Ain’t Winning Grand? (December 2) Aaron Merriman became only the fourth driver to win at least 1,000 races in a year when he guided Official Kisser to victory at Northfield Park. The other three drivers to accomplish the feat were Tim Tetrick, Walter Case Jr., and Tony Morgan. “It’s pretty crazy,” Merriman said. “To join the three other men that I have is just unbelievable. A lot of things have to go right to even win that many races in a year. It’s tough. It’s just very special in a sport that’s so old. When I got it, it was just very surreal. It was a very special moment, a very special accomplishment. I’m just very proud.” MONEY MEN Yannick Gingras led all drivers in purses for the fourth consecutive year and topped $12 million for the sixth consecutive season. David Miller extended his record for most years with at least $10 million in purses to 15. Tim Tetrick extended his record for consecutive years with at least $10 million in purses to 11. Ron Burke led all trainers in purses for the ninth consecutive year and topped $20 million for the fifth consecutive season. QUOTE BOOK “There are so many good people who have helped me and given me direction. Not only is it them, it’s the people who work on the farm back home. I’m just a cog. There are a lot of people on the farm who have been with me for over 20 years. I’ve got an extended family. It’s a great feeling. I just hope it continues for a while.” – Owner/breeder Jules Siegel, who will be inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in July 2018. “It’s a big surprise. I don’t usually win that many races in a year, let alone with one horse.” – Ohio-based trainer Joe Paver, whose homebred 2-year-old male pacer Carmensdaleyapple won his first 16 starts of the year. “That would be phenomenal. Then it would be two redheads at the top. People might want to start dying their hair.” – Driver Aaron Merriman on the prospects of ending the year with the second-most seasonal wins in harness racing history, behind only Tim Tetrick. “I wanted to work there around six years ago, but since I wasn’t good enough I didn’t get to drive anything but the wheelbarrow. So the return is definitely something I’m going to enjoy.” – Swedish driver Kim Eriksson on returning to the U.S. to drive Oasis Bi in the Yonkers International Trot. “To this day it doesn’t seem right to me that I have the record. There’s only one Herve.” – Driver Dave Palone, who in 2012 succeeded Herve Filion as the winningest driver in North American harness racing history, after Filion’s passing in June. “I don’t want it to be like I’m an owner, I’ll bring the donuts. I always feel like I’m just standing around. I want to help out. This has been awesome.” – Owner Bobby Dubovec on learning stable care at the U.S. Trotting Association’s annual Driving School. “It might have been little races for nothing, but those are the big moments.” – Illinois-based trainer/driver Cathy Rutherford on winning races with her small stable of horses. “We were so fortunate that Sam chose harness racing. With his talent, personality and knowledge, he could have been an announcer in any sport, whether it was NASCAR, football, or whatever. We were very fortunate that he turned his talents and abilities toward harness racing. He was such a shining light.” – John Campbell on the passing of Meadowlands announcer Sam McKee in March. “He knew what winning was, and he liked to do it.” – Trainer/driver Kurt Sugg on the induction of trotter Dunkster to the Ohio Standardbred Hall of Fame.   by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

It can be difficult to follow in the footsteps of a renowned sibling. Just ask Jan Brady. But 5-year-old pacer Safe From Terror, a half-sister to harness racing's all-time richest horse Foiled Again, is doing her best to secure her own unique place in family lore. On Monday, Safe From Terror won her 22nd race of the year and leads all harness racing horses in North America in victories. Foiled Again might have $7.55 million in purses and a half-dozen Dan Patch and O'Brien awards, including a Pacer of the Year trophy, but he never led the continent in wins. Safe From Terror has won 22 of 35 races this year and earned $239,630 for owner Ed Telle's Winchester Baye Acres. She is on a five-race win streak and has won 10 of her last 12 starts dating back to August. "She's a monster," Telle said. "She's just rocking and rolling. I think the cool weather came in, and she just loves it that way. Off tracks don't bother her, nothing bothers her. She's a racehorse. "Of course, look at her family." Telle purchased Safe From Terror as a broodmare prospect, paying $210,000 during the mixed sale portion of the 2015 Standardbred Horse Sale. The mare was trained previously by Ron Burke, who still campaigns Foiled Again, and prior to changing hands won the Nadia Lobell Stakes and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship at age 3. For her career, Safe From Terror has won 47 of 105 races and earned $889,457. She is a daughter of stallion Western Terror out of the mare In A Safe Place. "I was looking for quality and she's got quality," Telle said. "She's demonstrated that. "She's not the biggest horse in the world, she's nice sized, but she's got a reach (with her stride). She reaches like the big horses do. And she's got a motor. When you turn for home, you don't have to do anything and she just goes into a different gear." Safe From Terror has raced in Ohio and Pennsylvania, primarily in the open or preferred handicaps for fillies and mares. She has been trained this year by Mike Conklin and the wife-and-husband team of Diana and Bruce Riegle. Entering Wednesday, Safe From Terror held a one-win lead over 13-year-old Australian-bred female pacer Quicksilvercandy in the race for most victories this year. Lous Game N Match and Tell Us More were tied for third, with 18 wins each. Telle expects Safe From Terror to finish this year at Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway before heading to the East Coast to race in early 2018. "I try to do right by them and they do right by me," Telle said. "I try to put them where they're not going to be over their head every week. I don't know what horses think, but she just likes being a winner. She's got a heck of a record and she's done it against open horses. She's taken on some pretty tough horses. She's just a wonderful horse." Telle's previous successes in harness racing include campaigning 2011 Little Brown Jug winner Big Bad John, who earned $1 million in his career. Telle's Winchester Baye Acres still owns the stallion, who stands in Ohio. "I've got two horses like this in my lifetime. I've been blessed," Telle said. "Maybe I'll get another one someday. I'll try." Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager Harness Racing Communications

For more than a decade, harness racing trainer Don Maiorano has counted on Soapy Sap. Now, as Maiorano counts down the days to the 14-year-old female trotter's retirement at the end of the year, he is especially grateful for their time together. "We've lasted longer than most marriages," Maiorano said, laughing. "I know it's a business, but you get attached. There were many times when she bailed me out. She's part of the family, really. She will be missed, for sure." Maiorano bought Soapy Sap at age 3 in October 2006. For her career, she has won 39 of 318 races and earned $529,565 in purses. All but 20 of her starts and one of her victories came with Maiorano, who in addition to owning the mare is her trainer. Soapy Sap never won six figures in any year, but she was dependable and durable despite diminutive size. Over the past 25 years, no female trotter has started more races at the Meadowlands, where she raced 106 times in her career. She won 13 races at the Big M, including legs of the Singer Memorial and Super Bowl series, and finished among the top three a total of 40 times. Overall, she hit the board 144 times and earned a paycheck in 218 races. "She's the definition of a professional," Maiorano said. "I was offered money for her, but I turned it down. I'm not a guy with a lot of money, but I enjoy this and it's a lot more fun when you have a nice horse. It was fun racing at the Meadowlands against those big horses in those series and winning a couple races. It was just a good feeling." Maiorano, who has a two-horse stable, is based at Johnson Park in Piscataway, N.J., on the banks of the Raritan River. Although the park is surrounded by busy roads, with the city of New Brunswick across the river and Rutgers University campuses also nearby, it is a quiet location. The park, with a half-mile track, was once a bustling part of the state's racing scene, but is now home to only a handful of horses. "I've been down here since the '70s," said Maiorano, who in addition to training horses has owned a taxicab and worked in construction. "She's been stabled at some other places, but she can get a little hot with a lot of other horses around and grab on. "Over here, she's nice and relaxed. When she's ready to jog she'll start jogging herself. After about 20 or 25 minutes she'll know she's had enough. At this age, I let her basically do what she wants to do to stay happy. She's happy here. She watches the people in the park; out her back window she watches the deer. I don't know if she would have lasted this long if she was somewhere else." Soapy Sap is one of 64 horses to race this year at age 14. Harness racing's mandatory retirement age is 15, with all horses celebrating their birthdays on Jan. 1. Maiorano expects Soapy Sap to make two more starts before the end of the year, with the first being Friday at Freehold Raceway. When her career on the track comes to an end, Maiorano would like to see her begin a new career as a broodmare. Soapy Sap, who has a mark of 1:53.4 set at the Meadowlands as a 7-year-old, is a daughter of Yankee Glide out of Alphabet Love. "She has a great attitude," Maiorano said. "A lot of people told me she was a real fun horse to watch. She's so little and would sit in the pack and if she was within three lengths of the leader at the three-quarter pole she was usually right there with them at the end. She just dug in and gave you her best. "That's why I would love to see a foal out of her. I know she's not real big and she stands a little crooked up front, but she goes." Maiorano would like to breed Soapy Sap himself, but has received calls from several people interested in buying the mare. "I'm going to try my best to do something myself because I would love to have a foal from her, but that's a dream pretty much because I'm not sure I could afford to do it," Maiorano said. "The most important thing is I want to give her a good home. She deserves a good home." Maiorano is thankful for the assistance he received over the years with Soapy Sap, from the drivers to the veterinarians and farriers. "I've had a good team behind me and they helped make this all possible," Maiorano said. "Her legs are still like a 2-year-old. She doesn't act her age. On the racetrack she still wants to go." When Soapy Sap retires, Maiorano will turn his full attention to his remaining horse, 6-year-old trotter Latoka, and try to find another horse to fill Soapy Sap's shoes. "I've always been a small guy; I've pretty much always owned and raced everything myself," Maiorano said. "It's very hard, especially nowadays, to replace a horse. And to get something like her, I'll probably never have another one. Hopefully I can replace her, but she's going to be hard to replace. I'm just happy to have had one like her for all this time." Ken Weingartner  

Freehold, NJ --- Ken Warkentin gets up early Sunday morning and hops into the car to head to a hockey rink. Although he spent the better part of Saturday calling harness racing at Freehold and the Meadowlands, finishing work around midnight, he is energized. When he arrives at the rink, he will not be playing in a game, though. He puts on black pants, a striped shirt, and gets ready to have a new kind of fun. The 58-year-old Warkentin is in his first year as a USA Hockey official. Warkentin is no stranger to hockey. He grew up in Toronto and was starting to skate at the same age he was learning to walk. He played organized hockey in youth leagues, high school and college, and for several winters was on as many as four teams at the same time. As an adult, he continues to play hockey in recreational leagues. But now Warkentin is enjoying another side of the sport. Earlier this year, at the urging of his wife, Warkentin completed an officiating class and is now a certified Level 1 USA Hockey official. He has worked 10 games so far, for ages 10-and-under (Squirt) and 8-and-under (Mite). “It’s quite challenging and intense,” Warkentin said. “But being out there with the kids, and the game, it’s just a lot of fun. It’s high-octane fun. “I’ve had nothing but pleasant experience so far. No parents have thrown rotten tomatoes at me yet.” Warkentin is paired with a more experienced official in each game as he gets more comfortable in his role. Unlike the NHL, which has two linesmen and two referees, these games are worked by only two officials. “You’ve got to skate your tail off and know the rulebook inside and out,” Warkentin said. “It’s a team effort between two guys and you have to work together. It’s really all about positioning, but you need to hustle. “The games I’ve watched experienced officials do, it looks like they’re doing nothing. It looks like they’re standing in one spot the whole game. It just comes with experience to be in the right position; to see what is going on and being in position to make the right calls. It’s a real challenge, but it’s a lot of fun.” Warkentin officiates mostly on Sundays because of his schedule. He drives up to an hour to get to the various rinks and has worked primarily travel league games. “These kids are fast and they’ve got skill,” Warkentin said. “You’ve got to be on your toes and laser focus for three 15-minute periods. It’s a fast game and split-second decisions. You can’t stop the game and ask to think about it. You have to see what you see and call it right away. It’s kind of like the races, in a way. When I call races, I don’t think, I react. “Of course, you’re going to make mistakes. The professionals make mistakes all the time. But everyone here knows you’re not only developing the players, you’re trying to develop the referees. We’re all in the same boat. You just have to be honest when you mess up. You apologize and move on.” Warkentin, who has a Level 2 USA Hockey coaching certificate and has helped at clinics in the past, would like to work his way up the officiating ladder. “I’d like to challenge myself and do higher levels,” Warkentin said. “You only get out of something what you put into it. I’m taking this seriously. This means a lot to these kids and their coaches and their parents. When I get my assignment, I can’t stop thinking about it all week. I want to do it right. “Even if I’m up at 6 a.m. after a late night working, I’m not tired. I’m excited. I can’t explain it. When I get on the ice, there is something magical about it.” by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

Freehold, NJ --- Following is the final harness racing Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll of 2017. The year’s final stakes result, Downbytheseaside’s victory in the Hap Hansen Progress Pace, did not lead to any shuffling of positions in the rankings, although “Seaside” added 36 points to his total and inched nearer to the top three. Hannelore Hanover finished the season No. 1, followed by Ariana G and Manchego. Downbytheseaside and Fear The Dragon completed the top five. The Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll does not determine Horse of the Year. The U.S. Harness Writers Association votes in December on all Dan Patch Award division winners plus Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year and Horse of the Year. Rankings based on the votes of harness racing media representatives on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Hannelore Hanover (14) 5tm 17-10-5-0 $1,049,129 320 1 2 Ariana G (13) 3tf 15-12-2-1 $1,123,690 312 2 3 Manchego (4) 2tf 12-12-0-0 $873,948 276 3 4 Downbytheseaside (3) 3pc 22-14-2-3 $1,602,452 252 4 5 Fear The Dragon (1) 3pc 18-12-4-0 $1,350,156 182 5 6 What The Hill 3tc 18-9-1-2 $948,178 155 6 7 Youaremycandygirl 2pf 11-9-0-0 $895,615 148 7 8 Emoticon Hanover 4tm 13-5-4-3 $429,416 64 8 9 Blazin Britches 3pf 15-11-2-0 $540,424 62 9 10 Lost In Time 2pc 9-5-2-0 $608,112 36 10 Agent Q (27); Pure Country (20); Fourth Dimension (15); Stay Hungry (12); Keystone Velocity (9); Twister Bi (7); Devious Man (5); Huntsville, Nike Franco N, Plunge Blue Chip (4); All Bets Off, Crazy Wow, Marion Marauder (2); Alarm Detector, Beckhams Z Tam, Easy Lover Hanover, Filibuster Hanover, Mach It So (1). by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

After becoming only the fourth driver in harness racing history to win 1,000 races in a year, Aaron Merriman is looking to add as many victories to his total as possible by the end of the season. And while it will be impossible to surpass Tim Tetrick's record of 1,189 wins in 2007, Merriman could finish his campaign No. 2 on the list. "That would be phenomenal," Merriman said, adding with a laugh, "Then it would be two redheads at the top. People might want to start dying their hair." Merriman got his 1,000th win of the year Saturday and entered Monday with 1,006 victories for 2017. Merriman passed Tony Morgan, who won 1,004 times in 2006, for the third-most wins in a year and now has only Walter Case Jr.'s 1,077 triumphs in 1998 separating him from Tetrick. "It's pretty crazy," Merriman said. "To join the three other men that I have is just unbelievable. A lot of things have to go right to even win that many races in a year. It's tough. It's just very special in a sport that's so old. When I got it, it was just very surreal. It was a very special moment, a very special accomplishment. I'm just very proud." Merriman will end this year on top of the sport's standings in wins for the third consecutive year --- his 1,006 victories are 402 more than No. 2 George Napolitano Jr. --- and he is the first driver in history to win at least 800 races in four consecutive years. Merriman won 890 races last year and 874 in 2015. His 841 victories in 2014 were second to Ronnie Wrenn Jr.'s 847. Entering Monday, Merriman had driven in 4,327 races this year while competing primarily at Northfield Park in Ohio, where he will end Wrenn's four-year reign as the top driver, and The Meadows in western Pennsylvania. "A lot of people don't realize, but it's not easy to stay fit and fresh for that many races," said Merriman, who has driven in 1,500 races more than any driver this year. "I think that's an accomplishment in itself. I'm almost more proud of being able to do that. Winning races is great, but to be able to keep up a frantic pace like that, a lot of people can't do that. It can wear on you mentally and physically. I'm very proud of that." For his career, the 39-year-old Merriman has won 9,735 races, which ranks 16th in North American harness racing history. He was the second-youngest driver to reach 9,000 victories, behind only Tetrick, who did it when he was 34. "You hope you're going to have a long career, but no one knows what is going to happen," Merriman said. "A lot of this seems to have happened in a blink of an eye. I guess time flies when you're having fun. I still consider driving horses a phenomenal time; it's very fun to me. "I think the people --- the drivers, the trainers, the owners, the grooms; everybody involved --- is the biggest reason why I love it so much. There are good days and bad days, but all in all it's all part of the process. I can't say enough about everybody that's been involved. I just love it. The camaraderie is what makes it so special." Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager

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