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At the May 19 Ohio State Racing Commission (OSRC) meeting, discussion continued regarding a new study concerning the effects of cobalt on Thoroughbred and Standardbred racehorses. Dr. James Robertson, consulting veterinarian, updated the OSRC on the progress of the OSRC/The Ohio State University (OSU) and Ohio Department of Agriculture's Analytical Toxicology Laboratory (ATL)'s comprehensive cobalt research study, which focuses on what cobalt does to a horse's system and its potential effect on racehorses. Dr. Robertson said the most recent meeting of the cobalt research committee was held May 12, 2015 at The Ohio State University to discuss the study parameters. Dr. Beverly Byrum, Director of Laboratories for ATL, the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (ADDL) and the Consumer Protection Lab, spoke in detail about the ATL, the official equine drug testing lab for the Ohio State Racing Commission. Dr. Byrum said the ATL currently tests post-race samples of equine urine and blood from all seven of Ohio's pari-mutuel racetracks and the 65 county fairs that conduct pari-mutuel wagering on harness racing, and that the ATL's objective is to protect horses through the detection of prohibitive substances and report their findings in a timely manner to the OSRC. "ATL is one of the premiere equine drug testing labs in the United States and is a Racing Medication Testing Consortium (RMTC) accredited lab," she declared. "ATL has one of the highest standards of technical competency in the US, and is one of only five labs in the United States to be approved by the RMTC." In 2014, Dr. Byrum explained, ATL partnered with The Ohio State University and initiated a post-doctorate degree for students to gain experience in laboratory testing, and added that the ATL regularly does interval, double-blind studies that speak to the quality management of ATL. "ATL is one of the few laboratories in the United States that has the equipment which is able to detect cobalt in both the blood and urine of equines," Dr. Byrum acknowledged. Of 15 equine testing laboratories nationwide, only five have the ability to test for cobalt. Soobeng Tan, ATL Director, submitted the 2014 ATL annual report to the OSRC, discussing testing procedures and results from 2014. Last year, Tan said, 6,764 equine urine samples, 9,222 equine blood samples and 5,163 TCO2 tests were performed, for a total of 21,149 total tests. As a result of these tests, 112 positives, including those taken at Ohio's county fairs, resulted (52 Thoroughbreds & 60 Standardbreds). In addition, 62 human urine samples were submitted to the lab, of which ten (16.1%) were positive (the most common drug being marijuana). In the equine sector, 71% of the 112 positives were either flunixin (Banamine) or phenylbutazone (Bute), a trend that had continued from 2013 of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications being the most dominant pharmacological group of drugs detected, with a total of 79 positives. In 2014 TCO2 testing was re-initiated by the ATL, resulting in seven TCO2 positives from 5,163 blood samples drawn. From 2007 through December 2013, TCO2 testing had been performed at each of Ohio's seven tracks prior to each race. The next OSRC monthly meeting will take place on June 23 at 10 am, 77 South High Street, 31st floor, Columbus, Ohio. The meeting is open to the public and horsemen are encouraged to attend. Kimberly A. Rinker The following is from  http://www.horsemansnotebook.com/  Cobalt Use In Racehorses February 11, 2015 RACING Drugs, horse health, Horse Welfare, horseracing In the horseracing world trainers are always looking for the magic bullet; something to give their horses an edge over competitors.  Cobalt appears be an addition to a long list of pharmaceuticals and nutriceuticals being used on racehorses for the purpose of performance enhancement. Cobalt occurs naturally in horses in very minute amounts.  The dietary requirement for cobalt is less than 0.05 ppm.  Cobalt is a component of Vitamin B-12.  B-12 is produced in the horse’s cecum and colon by microorganisms.  The amount of cobalt required by horses is easily reached through typical horse feeds. There have been no known cases of a deficiency of cobalt in horses or a deficiency of vitamin B-12.  There shouldn’t be any need to supplement a horse with cobalt for reasons of preventing a deficiency. Horse trainers are supplementing their horses with cobalt thinking it will increase the production of red blood cells making it another form of blood doping.  Whether it works or not is not known although veterinarians studying cobalt use don’t think it’s effective.  One of the big concerns is the negative side effects of overdosing horses with the mineral.  Heavy metals like cobalt can’t be broken down by the body and can accumulate to toxic amounts over time.  In humans overdoses produced organ damage, impaired thyroid activity, goiter formation and death. Another concern should be that trainers giving horses cobalt with the intent to enhance their performance are acting criminally.  Even if it the cobalt doesn’t enhance performance, it tells me there are trainers who will put just about anything into their horse’s bodies if there’s a chance it will enhance performance even when they don’t know what negative effects there could be to the horse’s health. Countries worldwide are testing for cobalt use in racehorse.  It is said that supplementing racehorses with cobalt has been around for the past couple of years.  Australia has reported cobalt showing up in horses above the 200 microgram threshold set by the Australian Racing Board.  Some states in the United States have been testing for cobalt since last year but there has been a problem setting a threshold.  The Emirates Racing Authority says it has been testing for cobalt since January 2014 and doesn’t feel there is a problem in the United Arab Emirates. In the United States, the New York Gaming Commission recently passed an amendment to the Thoroughbred out-of-competition testing rules that adds cobalt to the list of blood doping agents they are testing for.  Under its rules for harness racing the Gaming Commission already has a heavy penalty for testing above the current 25 ppb threshold.  Indiana has a ruling that penalizes trainers with horses testing over 25 ppb with up to a one year suspension. Some horsemen are worried that the 25 ppb threshold may cause them to be penalized for giving basic supplements that contain cobalt.  Dr. Rick Arthur , Equine Medical Director for the California Racing Board, determined the 25 ppb threshold was reasonable after doing a study on California Thoroughbreds where the average cobalt level was 1.8 ppb and the highest was 8.2 ppb.  Around the same time Dr. Arthur was studying horses to get a baseline for cobalt, the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) collected samples, to retest for cobalt, from racing jurisdictions all over the country and in every jurisdiction there were horses that tested above 50 ppb.  Dr. Arthur said you couldn’t get those results without giving horses high levels of cobalt. Dr. Mary Scollay, the Equine Medical Director for Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, in her research on cobalt, said high doses caused profuse sweating, muscle trembling, aimless circling, horses dropping to their knees or collapsing.  Also, she noted changes in the blood she collected from the horses.  The blood in the samples didn’t clot like it should.  Dr. Scollay said that the test she had done on Kentucky racehorses showed a normal range for cobalt to be between 1 and 7 ppb even when given supplements with trace levels of cobalt. The Unites States Trotting Association disagrees with the 25 ppb threshold after doing its own study and says it should be 70 ppb.  The RMTC’s Scientific Advisory Committee hasn’t been able come to a consensus on a threshold for cobalt as yet. It’s concerned about penalizing a training for giving routine supplements and vitamins that may contain cobalt.  It’s hoped the committee will meet in March and by that time maybe it will be able to make a decision. Dr. Scollay said Kentucky is waiting for the RMTC to come up with a threshold before the State announces penalties for horses testing beyond the threshold.  California requires that Standardbreds testing above the 25 ppb be put on the vet’s list until cobalt is cleared from the horse’s system.  This can take time because the half-life for cobalt is one week.  Dr. Arthur plans to recommend the same rule apply to Thoroughbreds. I certainly hope all racing jurisdictions will set a threshold for cobalt not to exceed 25 ppb.  From what I have read even 25 ppb seems high.  I don’t think anyone knows the effect, on a horse’s health, that long-term ingestion of large doses of cobalt would have.   Related Articles: Cobalt, the Latest in Performances Enhancers?; 10 Year Suspensions for Cobalt Violations; More on Cobalt Use in Racehorses

Five veterinarians presented their views on testing and medication issues at the Ohio State Racing Commission's (OSRC) monthly meeting on April 28 in Columbus. Early in 2015, the OSRC began listening to presentations from a wide variety of individuals concerning the development of model medication rules based upon scientific and fact-based analysis. Veterinarian Dr. John Piehowicz, who treats racehorses at his Cincinnati-based clinic said "the welfare of the horse must come first," mirroring the mindset of the other veterinarians in attendance. "I believe Ohio's policy is the most humane for treating horses," Dr. Piehowicz stated. "While uniformity is desirable, it is not practical. Currently I can help horses, but if we change to the RCI-RMTC rules, I can no longer effectively treat racehorses with safe, FDA-approved medications. We need a published curve based on real world information and rational decisions based on creditable research. The use of some medications, such as Clenbuterol, allow racehorses to live comfortably." "I commend the OSRC in the direction they are going regarding medication policies," stressed Dr. John Reichert, who practices on Standardbreds at Woodland Run clinic in Grove City, Ohio. "In Ohio we've had 122 positives from 12,000 tests in the past year, which is less than one percent. That says to me there are relatively few positive tests in Ohio and that the majority of people-vets and trainers-are playing by the rules. The hot issues with the RCI-RMTC are steroids and Clenbuterol, which we use primarily to treat inflammatory airway disease and joint issues." "In my practice, I'm addressing mainly soreness, lameness and breathing issues," Dr. Reichert continued. "Corticosteroids are used a lot in inflammatory airway disease and joint issues, and in the 25 years I've been a vet I have yet to see a catastrophic breakdown from the use of these steroids. Nobody wants a catastrophic breakdown-but unfortunately it is part of the athletic scene. We see more of these from backyard pleasure horses than we do in racehorses. "In regards to Clenbuterol, as vets, we have to be able to use Clenbuterol within reason," Dr. Reichert stressed. "My perspective as a vet is that I look at Clenbuterol as a therapeutic treatment of a racehorse. A five-day course of treatment is more of what is required for the Standardbred racehorse. Scientific research doesn't support performance-enhancement by the use of Clenbuterol." "It's difficult to obey the rules if you don't know what they are," explained Dr. Dan Wilson, a partner/practitioner at the Cleveland Equine Clinic. "We routinely test blood and urine, and the tests are sophisticated to the level of one grain of sand on a beach. There is nothing to suggest this level would enhance a horse's performance. Muscle and enzyme physiology is different for each breed: Thoroughbred, Standardbred and Quarter horses-they are all different. As proposed, the RCI & RMTC rules would alleviate all therapeutic medications for the use in Standardbreds. The loss of Clenbuterol and corticosteroids for treatment in Standardbred racing would compromise the industry and limit my ability to effectively treat horses." "We need uniform medication rules," agreed Dr. Brett Berthold, owner/practitioner at the Cleveland Equine Clinic. "Corticosteroids are used daily by my friends in the human medical field and we need the same tools as veterinarians. A uniform program needs to be in place for daily treatments, and there needs to be regulated medications we are allowed to use therapeutically. The question I have is in regards to dosage in surgical medications, that's an issue. Where is the safe zone? The emergence of newer therapeutic medications being adopted into the regulations is another main concern regarding the welfare of the horse." "There is not another commission in the country that has gone to the depths of what the OSRC is doing here." admitted Dr. Clara Fenger, a founding member of the North American Association of Racetrack Veterinarians (NAARV) and Kentucky practitioner. "Eighteen of the 26 drugs in the RCI-RMTC report have no published data. The idea of thresholds is great and we're all about uniform rules, but let's get things right first. "In 2013 for instance, 24 hours out was the standard time for Banamine (to be administered prior to a race) and then in 2014 a new study came out and the RCI-RMTC said 'oops! we were wrong and Banamine can now only be used 32 hours out,'" Dr. Clara Fenger. "All kinds of people got positives as a result and purses had to be redistributed and horsemen were in danger of losing their livelihood. There was just vagueness in their limits. "We use medications because we need to," she stressed. "For instance, 27% of yearlings that go through the Keeneland Sale already have arthritis in their hocks-and that's not limited to Thoroughbreds. It's in all breeds-as these are living, breathing animals we're dealing with. We need education so that other practitioners can learn what works best in practical situations. Based on our preliminary data, most vets are using the appropriate amounts. Most Ohio rules we can live with and the RCI should be looking to Ohio instead of the other way around." The OSRC will listen to chemists and scientists present their views on these same medication and threshold levels in Standardbred and Thoroughbred racehorses at its June 23 meeting, schedule for 10 am, 31st Floor,East-B, 77 South High Street, Columbus. Kimberly A. Rinker

Nine $40,000 divisions of Ohio Sire Stakes (OSS) action were contested on May 1 and 2 at Miami Valley Raceway in the first of four legs for harness racing 3-year-old pacing and trotting colts and fillies. On Friday, May 1 sophomore pacing fillies took center stage, with Bell Flower taking the first division in a wire-to-wire, career best 1:53.1 for driver Chris Page and trainer Virgil Morgan, Jr. The victory, her first in as many starts this season, pushed the daughter of Fly Fly Buckeye's lifetime earnings to $184,336. She now has eight wins in nine career starts for the quartet of Bruce and Patricia Soulsby, Dean Davis and Carl Howard. Friskie Lil Devil (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) finished second by 1¾ lengths, while Feeling Wild (Dan Noble) held on to be third. Bell Flower, was the Ohio 2-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year in 2014, was bred by Ohio State ATI. Longshot Friskie Megan came from last to win the second OSS pacing division for driver Hugh Beatty by just a head over E Ticket Ride (Dan Noble) and Karlee Sue (Jason Brewer) in 1:55.3. The daughter of Feelin Friskie is trained and co-owned by Steve Bateson and Harold Moore, and pushed her lifetime earnings to $28,751. The win was Friskie Megan's second in ten career starts and she returned a whopping $212.40 to win on a two dollar ticket. She was bred by Ada Jacobs of Gambier, Ohio. Little Casino captured the first OSS division for 3-year-old trotting fillies in a career best 1:58.3 with trainer Hugh Beatty at the lines for owner-breeder Duane M. Lowe of Malta, Ohio, upping her career earnings to $39,421. The daughter of Full Count came three-wide around the final turn, using a :29.4 final brush to negotiate the victory by a length over Mid Pack (Dan Noble) and Countthechip (Ken Holiday). Student Of Life, with Kurt Sugg in the sulky, won the second division in 1:59.1 by 2½ lengths for trainer Marty Wollam. Owned by Acadia Farms, Inc., and G&B Racing, this daughter of Full Count got a perfect trip to notch her third career victory and up her earnings to $85,106. Student Of Life was bred by Marvin Raber. Bettys Sam (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) finished second, while UF Cashnmy Chips (Aaron Merriam) grabbed third place honors. Trainer Marty Wollam and driver Kurt Sugg teamed up again to win the third OSS division with Dark Roast, a 3-year-old daughter of Full Count, who was clocked in 1:58 for Acadia Farms, Inc., and G&B Racing. Bred by Ohio State ATI, Dark Roast used come-from-behind tactics to notch her fourth career victory in nine trips postward. She now has $69,043 in her lifetime bankroll. On Saturday night, May 2, two divisions each of 3-year-old cold and gelding pacers and trotters lined up behind the gate for Ohio Sire Stake tests. In the first OSS pacing division, Gray Camo cruised to a wire-to-wire career best 1:53.3 clocking for driver Chris Page and trainer Ronnie Burke, who conditions the roan son of Pine Valley for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Richard Suda and Jason Melilo. The venerable gelding pushed his lifetime earnings to $116,229 with the victory, the fifth of his career in 11 starts. Bred by Charles Gadja, Gray Camo finished three-quarters of a length in front of the hard-trying Roaddog Jess James (Kayne Kauffman) and Rock N Randall (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.). Chief Talkalot and driver Jim Pantaleono used similar tactics in the second OSS pacing division to win handily in 1:55.2 by a nose over Western Coby (Wyatt Irvine) and by a neck over Rocky Express (Randy Tharps). Brian Brown trains the Feelin Friskie gelding, who picked up his third career win in nine starts and pushed his bankroll to $83,643 for owners Steve Stewart, Michael Dean Robinson, Robert Mondillo and Steve Cheatham. Steve Stewart bred Chief Talkalot. In the first OSS trotting division it was Neely's Messenger, Ohio's Horse of the Year and 2-Year-Old Trotting Colt of 2014, who scored a decisive 1:57.1 victory for driver Dan Noble and trainer Al Mankee in his seasonal debut. Owned by Dale Sweet and Julie Ann Sweet, the son of Neely Dunn scored victories in OSS, Ohio Fair Stakes (OFS) and Ohio Breeders Stakes (OBS) with a triumph in the $200,000 OSS Championship that earned him the aforementioned honors for 2014. Neely's Messenger-who was bred by Albert Yoder-was never challenged as I Know My Chip (Chris Page) finished second, while Cooter Dunn (Louis Bauslaugh) finished third. Upfront Chip Daddy and Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. overtook Kick A Lot (Kurt Sugg) in the final strides to capture the second OSS trotting division in 1:57.3. No Whip Chip (Dan Noble) notched third. Upfront Chip Daddy, a gelded brown son of Chip Chip Hooray is conditioned by Kelly O'Donnell and is owned by Up Front Racing, LLC., and Mark Ford. The victory was his third in seven tries, and pushed his lifetime earnings to $26,580. Unraced at two, Upfront Chip Daddy was bred by Ohio's Spring Haven Farm. Ohio Sire Stake action for 3-year-olds continues with the second of four legs scheduled June 6 at Scioto Downs for colt pacers and trotters, while the filly pacers and trotters will vie on June 12 at Northfield Park. Third leg action shifts to Northfield Park on July 17 for the colts of both gaits, while the fillies go postward on Aug. 14 at Northfield. Fourth road contests will take place at Scioto Downs on Aug. 28 for the fillies and Aug. 29 for the colts. The $225,000 Championship events for all the 2- and 3-year-old divisions will be held on Saturday, Sept. 12, during Scioto Down's Super Night. Kimberly A. Rinker

The 2015 Ohio Sire Stakes harness racing season for 3-year-old colt and filly trotters and pacers kicks off this weekend at Miami Valley Raceway in Lebanon, Ohio, with a post time of 6:30 pm. Ohio Sire Stake nominations for 3-year-olds are up in the pacing divisions from 2014, with 44 colts nominated this year as opposed to 27 in 2014. Thirty-seven sophomore filly pacers have been nominated to the OSS this season, up from 34 in 2014. As well, in the trotting ranks, 57 sophomore fillies were named to the program, up from just 40 in 2014. Curiously the 3-year-old colt trotters had just 48 nominees this year, as opposed to 54 in this same division in 2014. Five divisions for distaff sophomores-two pacing and three trotting-will be contested Friday night, May 1, while two bouts each for 3-year-old trotting and pacing colts and geldings will take place Saturday night, May 2 at the five-eighths mile venue. The Ohio Sire Stakes feature four legs offering a $40,000 minimum purse each and a $225,000 Championship Final* in each of the 2- and 3-year-old divisions, according to gait and gender. Bell Flower, Ohio's 2-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year in 2014 and a winner of $164,336 to date with seven wins in eight career starts, heads up a field of nine fillies in the first OSS division (Race 7). This daughter of Fly Fly Buckeye-Our Lady Countess was trained by Jim Arledge, Jr. during her 2014 campaign and recently joined the Virgil Morgan, Jr. stable. She was a multiple OSS and Ohio Breeders Stake winner as a freshman with a top mark of Q1:54.4 taken at Scioto Downs. The Brian Brown-trained Friskie Lil Devil-who captured her $200,000 OSS Championship at Scioto Downs in 1:55 in her final freshman outing last fall-is poised to challenge Bell Flower. A winner of $196,266 lifetime, the daughter of Feelin Friskie-Devils Desire most recently won the $38,000 James K. Hackett Memorial at Miami Valley Raceway in a career best 1:55.4 on April 24 in rein to Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. In the second OSS division (Race 11) for 3-year-old pacing fillies Sectionlinefriskie vies from post one for driver Chris Page and trainer Steve Bauder. This daughter of Feelin Friskie earned $62,991 at two, taking a mark of 1:56 at Scioto Downs en route to her lone win last season that came in a $40,000 OSS on Aug. 22, 2014. Sunrise Nibbles, last season's 2-Year-Old Trotting Filly of the Year, headlines the third OSS division (Race 9) of sophomore diagonally-gaited lasses. This daughter of Iron Duke-Sweethomeourbama earned $196,543 as a freshman, stopping the timer in 1:58.1 en route to an Ohio Breeders Stake victory on Aug. 8 at Scioto Downs. Trainer Chris Beaver will harness this fiery filly. Lisa Jane, a winner of $110,125 lifetime and OSS winner in career best 1:57.2 at Scioto Downs in 2014, starts from post five in the second (Race 5) division for trainer Scott Cox and driver Ryan Stahl. The Dan Ater-trained Chip Girl, a daughter of Chip Chip Hooray-Jailhouse Bling, won two starts and $30,230 as a freshman will have Kyle Ater in the sulky in the first (Race 3) OSS contest. On Saturday night, Neely's Messenger, Ohio's 2014 Horse of the Year and 2-Year-Old Trotting Colt of 2014, headlines a field of seven trotting OSS trotting colts in Race 5. This son of Neely Dunn-Fun Message was the richest colt in his freshman class, winning seven of eight starts and earning $215,945. This Triple Crown winner scored victories in OSS, OFS and OBS, taking a career mark of 1:58.2 at Scioto Downs on Sept. 27 en route to victory in the $200,000 OSS Championship. He was trained and driven last year by Marty Wollam and this year shifts to the Al Mankee, III Stable, making his 2015 debut Saturday. The second OSS (Race 9) division for sophomore trotters has the Jeff Cox-conditioned Kick A Lot vying from post one for driver Kurt Sugg. This son of Deep Chip-Mac'd Dream won four of eight races at two, with earnings of $139,401. He scored a mark of 1:59 when triumphing in a $40,000 OSS at Northfield Park on Aug. 15, 2014. Ohio's 2-Year-Old Pacing Colt of 2014-Western Coby-takes center stage in the second (Race 11) OSS event for laterally-gaited sophomores. This son of Western Spirit-Cole By A Knows earned $142,397 as a freshman after winning seven Ohio Fair Stakes and a single OSS, culminating with his 1:53 .3 victory in the OFS Final at Scioto Downs on Sept. 27, 2104. In the first OSS (Race 7) contest, Nobles Finesse p,2, 1:56.2 ($100,759) goes head-to-head against Rock N Randall p, 3, 1:56.4 ($100,433) and Gray Camo p,2,1:54.4 ($96,229). Nobles Finesse was a 2014 OSS winner, while Rock N Randall captured a 2014 Ohio Breeders Championship at Delaware and an Ohio Fair Stake. Gray Camo won both a 2014 OSS and OFS and was second in the Ohio Breeders Championship. Scioto Downs, which opens its summer meeting on Tuesday, May 5, with a special post time of 2 pm, will feature the second leg of Ohio Sire Stakes for 3-year-old colt trotters and pacers on Saturday, June 6, while Northfield Park will offer a second leg of Ohio Sire Stakes for sophomore trotting and pacing fillies on Friday, June 12. Post time for all evening races is 6:30 pm. On Friday, July 17 Northfield Park will host leg three of Ohio Sire Stakes for 3-year-old colt trotters and pacers, while sophomore filly trotters and pacers will vie in leg three of Ohio Sire Stakes on Friday, August 14 at Cleveland's half-mile oval. The fourth leg of Ohio Sire Stakes for sophomores will see fillies of both gaits battle on Friday, August 28, while trotting and pacing colts alike will go postward on Saturday, August 29-all at Scioto Downs. Scioto Downs' Super Night, set for Saturday, September 12, will feature $225,000 Ohio Sire Stake Championships* for all 2- and 3-year-old contestants distinguished via age, gait and gender. *Please note: on page 3 of the OSS Nomination Booklet, it was erroneously reported that the Championships would feature a $250,000 purse. The correct amount should read $225,000.* Kimberly A. Rinker Ohio Standardbred Development Fund

The Ohio State Racing Commission (OSRC) will fund a series of research studies on the effects of Cobalt in racehorses, partnering with veterinary clinicians and scientists from the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine and the Ohio Department of Agriculture Analytical Toxicology Laboratory which has accreditation from the American Association of Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) and the Racing Medication Testing Consortium (RMTC), it was announced April 28 at the commission's monthly meeting in Columbus. "We are funding a comprehensive study on the effects of Cobalt in racehorses and a portion of it will be funded via money set aside from the Ohio Standardbred Development Fund (OSDF) and the Ohio Thoroughbred Race Fund (OTRF)," said OSRC Chairman Robert Schmitz. "Cobalt is a very timely topic and we have evidence of Cobalt abuse in Ohio racehorses," said Dr. James T. Robertson, DVM, DACVS. "We will establish a threshold for Cobalt; however, we still want to know more about how cobalt administration affects the horse." "This will be the most comprehensive, detailed series of studies of the effect of Cobalt on racehorses to date in this country," Chairman Schmitz advised. "The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine has the equine researchers, clinicians and statisticians to facilitate these studies. We are also going to ask other racing commissions, racing associations and organizations to participate in this study both financially and intellectually." Dr. Rustin Moore, DVM, PhD, DACVS, the Executive Director of the Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center and Associate Executive Dean, who has been helping to facilitate planning of these studies, said the initial studies could cost $100,000 or more; however, since planning and design are ongoing the exact budget will not be known until the study design is completed. "We've met several times over the last two months to discuss developing and design of a comprehensive series of studies to evaluate Cobalt," Dr. Moore stressed. "There's very little published data on it currently and we don't want to duplicate information unnecessarily. We are trying to gather as much information, both published and unpublished, to help in designing the studies. When we get results we want them to address the important questions and be scientifically sound and applicable. "These types of studies take time to develop and we want to define broad categories, such as: How does the body affect the distribution and elimination of Cobalt? What are the levels are reached in blood and tissues in response to various types and doses of oral supplements and IV administration? What are the effects, both physiologic and pathophysiologic (adverse or toxic), on the horse? Are there any potential performance-enhancing effects on horses or indicators that could suggest the need for further studies to assess the effect of Cobalt on performance? The question of the potential additive effects that oral supplements and IV administration could contribute to either a performance-enhancing effect or potential toxicities." Chairman Schmitz said the OSRC will ask chemists to voice their opinions regarding these same issues at an OSRC meeting on June 23. This will be the fourth in a series of meetings. Kimberly A. Rinker

The Ohio State Racing Commission (OSRC) adopted a resolution granting Ohio's 65 county fairs that conduct harness racing an additional $2.873 million for 2015 purses from the state's video lottery terminal (VLT) revenue, on April 28 at the commission's monthly meeting. As well, the fairs will receive an additional $708,000 for operating expenses. "The $3,581,000 in additional funding represents an 83% increase over 2014 additional support to Ohio's county fairs, which totaled $1,957,800," stated OSRC Chairman Robert K. Schmitz. The request for additional funding came from the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association (OHHA). The $2.873 million is 7.5% of horsemen's VLT revenue from April 1, 2014 through March 31, 2015, while the $708,000 represents 2.5% of horsemen's VLT revenue during this same time period. This distribution of funds equates to an additional $5,400 for each of the eight Ohio Fairs Fund races at the 65 fairs that conduct harness racing this year, while $10,000 would be used for racing-related expenses. The eight divisions include events for 2- and 3-year-old colt and filly pacers and trotters. As well, 29 Ohio fairs that do not have harness racing will receive $2,000 each for operating expenses. Kimberly A. Rinker  

Earlier this year, the Ohio State Racing Commission began hearing presentations from a wide variety of individuals concerning the development of model medication rules based upon scientific and fact-based analysis. "The Ohio State Racing Commission values input from all parties within both the Ohio Thoroughbred and Ohio Standardbred racing communities in order to move forward into developing a sound medication policy," said Robert K. Schmitz, OSRC Chairman. At the February OSRC meeting, Edward J. Martin, President of the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) and Dr. Dionne Benson, Executive Director for the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) expressed their opinions on the current research methodology and passage of model medication rules. Martin stressed his support for adoption of rules that would have all trainers in all jurisdictions racing under the same medication protocols. Martin is also in favor of out-of-competition testing of horses in order to detect possible future lameness or injuries due to racing. Dr. Benson enlightened the audience concerning the testing procedures at the RMTC-accredited Consumer Analytical Laboratory at the Ohio Dept. of Agriculture (Reynoldsburg), where all of Ohio's racehorses' blood and urine samples are tested. Six personalities from the Ohio racing industry expounded on these same issues at the OSRC March meeting. Phil Langley and Mike Tanner, representing the United States Trotting Association (USTA); Dave Basler, Executive Director of the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) and Thoroughbred trainer William Cowans; along with Standardbred conditioner Virgil Morgan, Jr., and Renee Mancino, Ohio Harness Horseman's Association (OHHA) Executive Director all expressed their views on the aforementioned subjects. "Published research should be the basis for any changes to medication threshold levels,'' Basler stressed. "Medication policies should be about protecting the welfare and safety of the horse based upon science not hype. Policies should be established via a completely transparent process with input from all interested parties. We applaud the OSRC for its measured approach on this issue." Langley and Tanner discussed the need for varying rules between the Standardbred and Thoroughbred breeds, based on the variances in training and race of those equine athletes. Morgan, Jr., one of Ohio's leading harness racing conditioners, discussed the differences in training regimes between the breeds, while Macino reiterated the need for uniform rules and testing applications. Cowans, one of the Buckeye State's top Thoroughbred trainers, expressed dissatisfaction with the RMTC's process, adding that "no medication in horses? That's like saying no medication in humans." At the April 28 OSRC meeting (10 am, 19th floor, Riffe Center, 77 South High St. Columbus), five veterinarians have been invited to speak and will present their views regarding medication protocols for both the Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing industries. They will also provide their insight into the Racing Commissioners International (RCI) and Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) controlled therapeutic medication proposals. The veterinarians scheduled to attend include: Dr. John Reichert, partner/practitioner at the Woodland Run Equine Clinic in Grove City. Dr. Dan Wilson, partner/practitioner at the Cleveland Equine Clinic specializing in racetrack Standardbreds, equine anesthesia, and racing medications and testing. Dr. John Piehowicz, practitioner/owner at Cincinnati Equine, LLC, whose client list includes Kentucky Derby and Breeders' Cup winning conditioners. Dr. Brett Berthold, owner/practitioner at the Cleveland Equine Clinic whose area of focus includes lameness evaluation, respiratory health and MRI. Dr. Clara Fenger, a founding member of North American Association of Racetrack Veterinarians and a practitioner in central Kentucky.   Kimberly A. Rinker

Five veterinarians have been invited to speak at the Ohio State Racing Commission monthly meeting to discuss possible medication practices for Ohio horseracing. The meeting will be held on April 28, at 10 a.m., 19th floor of the Riffe Center, 77 South High St., Columbus. These veterinarians will present their views regarding medication protocols for both the Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing industries, and provide their insight into the Racing Commissioners International (RCI) and Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) controlled therapeutic medication proposals. The veterinarians scheduled to attend include: Dr. John Reichert, partner/practitioner at the Woodland Run Equine Clinic in Grove City. Dr. Dan Wilson, partner/practitioner at the Cleveland Equine Clinic specializing in racetrack Standardbreds, equine anesthesia, and racing medications and testing. Dr. John Piehowicz, practitioner/owner at Cincinnati Equine, LLC, whose client list includes Kentucky Derby and Breeders' Cup winning conditioners. Dr. Brett Berthold, owner/practitioner at the Cleveland Equine Clinic whose area of focus includes lameness evaluation, respiratory health and MRI. Dr. Clara Fenger, a founding member of North American Association of Racetrack Veterinarians and a practitioner in central Kentucky. At the March OSRC meeting, the USTA's Phil Langley and Mike Tanner, along with the HBPA's Dave Basler and trainer William Cowans and the OHHA's Renee Mancino and trainer Virgil Morgan, Jr., offered their thoughts on medication and testing procedures. During February's OSRC meeting Edward Martin, RCI President and Dr. Dionne Benson, RMTC Executive Director provided input into these same subjects. The OSRC values input from all stakeholders within both the Thoroughbred and Standardbred Ohio racing communities and is moving forward into developing a sound medication policy. Kimberly A. Rinker Administrator Ohio Standardbred Development Fund                     Kimberly A. Rinker   Administrator   Ohio Standardbred Development Fund   kim.rinker@rc.state.oh.us   Ohio State Racing Commission   77 S. High Street, 18th Floor   Columbus, Ohio 43215-6108   Phone 614-779-0269   Fax 614-466-1900      

Governor John R. Kasich has reappointed Robert K. Schmitz as Chairman of the Ohio State Racing Commission for a second term beginning April 3, 2015 through March 31, 2019. As well, Gary G. Koch and T. Todd Book of Columbus have been reappointed as OSCR commissioners for terms beginning April 3, 2015 through March 31, 2019. Schmitz, of Bexley, will be serving his second term as Chairman of the OSRC and had previously served as the lobbyist for the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association (OHHA) and as a decade-long committee member of the Ohio Standardbred Development Fund (OSDF). Commissioner Book, a Hilliard resident, is serving his second term on the OSRC, previously represented the 89th House District from 2002 through 2010. A Western Michigan University and College of William & Mary Marshall-Wythe School of Law graduate, he currently serves as the legislative counsel for the Ohio Bar Association. Commissioner Koch, of Dublin, is serving his second term on the OSRC, after being appointed in June 2014. Koch has worked as a long-time lobbyist for the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, Ohio Petroleum Council, AT&T, Lucent Technologies, Rotzel and Andress Law Firm and was self-employed until his retirement at the end of 2014. Kimberly A. Rinker Administrator Ohio Standardbred Development Fund kim.rinker@rc.state.oh.us Ohio State Racing Commission   77 S. High Street, 18th Floor   Columbus, Ohio 43215-6108   Phone 614-779-0269   Fax 614-466-1900      

Columbus, OH --- The Ohio State Racing Commission announces the appointment of Kimberly A. Rinker as Administrator of the Ohio Standardbred Development Fund, effective immediately. Rinker, a Springfield, Ohio native, Ohio State University graduate (B.A. Journalism) and racing journalist and Standardbred trainer, will develop and implement policies and procedures for the Ohio Standardbred Development Fund and the Ohio Sire Stakes programs. Rinker will also serve as a liaison between the media and the OSRC, and work to promote the agency and the state's racing programs in a positive and innovative fashion via an updated website and through social media platforms. She will assist in the licensing of participants at the Ohio County Fairs, and will be visiting and inspecting the state's Thoroughbred and Standardbred breeding farms. In addition, Rinker will assist the Thoroughbred Race Fund with marketing and promotion of the fund and its races. Rinker has a 35-year involvement in the sport of harness racing as a writer, publicist and author. She served on the publicity staffs of Sportsman's Park, Scioto Downs, Maywood Park, Balmoral Park, and The Meadowlands, and has written for some of racing's top periodicals including Hoof Beats, Sports Eye, The Daily Racing Form, Harness Edge, Illinois Racing News, Midwest Thoroughbredand The Horseman & Fair World. She is the author of eight books, including Chicago's Horse Racing Venues and An Adventure Guide to Switzerland. Rinker has also been involved as a trainer-driver, competing mostly on the Chicago circuit, and in 1995 represented the United States in the International Drivers Championship in Moscow, Russia as the lone female vying against 15 male rivals from various countries. She has covered the sport in Australia, New Zealand, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany and Italy. by Marty Evans, for the Ohio State Racing Commission

Harness Horsemen International's Annual Meetings are set to begin this Sunday, March 1 at the Embassy Suites Deerfield Beach Resort & Spa, Deerfield Beach, Florida.   Sunday's activities include registration beginning at 2 pm, and a welcome reception from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. HHI Board members will meet briefly beginning at 4:45 pm that afternoon as well.   Monday's (March 2) General Session begins promptly at 9 am, with opening statements from HHI President Tom Luchento and Jay Hickey, President of the American Horse Council (AHC). Topics to be reviewed that morning include HHI business and association reports, along with a panel discussion concerning current racing commission issues on whipping and kicking.   The General Session on Tuesday, March 3 begins at 9 am and features keynote speaker Dr. Mary Robinson of the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center, Chester, PA who will articulate "Equine Drug Testing in the 21st Century." Later, HHI committees will convene to deliberate insurance, finance, legal, convention and foundation issues.   Wednesday's (March 4) General Session begins at 9 am with HHI elections and committee reports, followed by the annual HHI Awards Luncheon at 12:30 pm where racing's Gene Oldford, Jerry Knappenberger and Derick Giwner will be feted with HHI's prestigious honors for 2014.   Oldford, an HHI past president, is the 2014 Dominic Frinzi Person of the Year; Knappenberger, former GM of the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association, will accept the 2014 HHI Appreciation Award; and Giwner, the Daily Racing Form's harness racing editor and writer, is the 2014 Clyde Hirt Media Award winner.   HHI is comprised of horsemen's associations from the United States and Canada who collectively represents the agriculture based industry of harness racing in North America. HHI's governing body consists of representatives from its member associations.   Kimberly A. Rinker

Big Boy Dreams won the $180,000 Windy City Pace in wire-to-wire fashion for harness racing driver Tim Tetrick in 1:51. The Ron Burke-trainee and New York Sire Stake competitor notched his fourth win of the year in ten starts. "I got the front the way I wanted and my horse was big and strong and carried me all the way to the wire," Tetrick stressed. "I wanted to make the other horses have to catch me. He's been racing tough on the New York circuit." Big Boy Dreams took the field to a brutal :25.4 first quarter and a :54.1 half, with Let's Drink On It (Travis Seekman) challenging the leader going to the 1:22.2 three-quarters, but Big Boy Dreams just continued to draw away in the stretch to win by two and a half lengths. He now has $168,495 in seasonal earnings for owner Dominic Rosato of Utica, New York. "It's good to get back home," said Tetrick. "I cut my teeth there and it's always good to be here." Let's Drink On It finished second, while Three Of clubs (Doug McNair) was third and Kingofthejumgle (Brian Carpenter) got up for fourth. The son of If I Can Dream-Stefani Blue Chip-Art Major has $340,533 in career earnings from six wins in 11 starts for these connections. He was a $9,000 yearling purchase from the 2012 Morrisville, NY College Sale. By Kimberly Rinker, for Maywood Park Racetrack

Sayitall BB captured the first $37,600 Cinderella Stake division for 3-year-old pacing fillies handily in 1:52.2 with Tim Tetrick at the lines for harness racing trainer Ronnie Burke. "When she cleared and made the top, the rest was easy," Tetrick said. "She's a very nice mare with a lot of talent and she did everything right. I never even pulled the plugs either. She'll go with all of the better mares I'm sure, and if I'm not driving her in the future, I'll sure be watching out for her." Sayitall BB accomplished this latest triumph impressively in wire-to-wire fashion, through splits of :27.2, :56.1 and 1:24.4, with Mamas Fallen Angel (Doug McNair) second and Somethinincredible (Dave Magee) third. Sayitall BB is owned by Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi, and now has $186,660 in seasonal earnings from seven wins in 12 starts. She has $208,310 in career earnings from 12 wins in 17 lifetime trips postward. The daughter of Tell All is the 11th foal out of the Nobleland Sam mare Challo BB. Sayitall BB Lady Shadow (Gregg McNair) held on to win the second $37,600 Cinderella Division in 1:53.2 over rival Major Dancer (Brett Miller). McNair also conditions the daughter of Shadow Play-Lady Camella-Camluck for owners Lindsey & Connie L Rankin of Lexington, MI. Lady Shadow grabbed the lead easily and never looked back through a very soft opening first quarter and half in :27.3 and :57. "I knew there was another horse getting close to me at the wire and so did she," said McNair. "This is her last race of the season and she deserves a break now as she's raced tough all season." Lady Shadow continued to have an easy lead over her six rivals, clocked in 1:25.3 at the three-quarter marker with Kayla Grace (Todd Warren) and Rocknroll Meg (Tim Tetrick) both throwing late challenges at her, but to no avail. At the last moment, Major Dancer, who had been riding the rail in the two-hole, snuck up the rail and narrowly missed besting the winner. Rocknroll Meg held on for third, with Kayla Grace grabbing fourth. Lady Shadow now has $259,635 in seasonal earnings from six wins in 13 starts, and $449,527 in career earnings from 11 wins in 21 starts. She is the ninth foal out of her dam and was a $19,000 yearling purchase at the 2012 Forest City Sale. Lady Shadow By Kimberly Rinker, for Maywood Park

E L Titan captured the $92,300 Galt Stake for sophomore trotters in 1:56 with trainer Riina Rekila at the lines. It was the first time this stake has been won by a female driver. The son of Muscle Hill-Courtney Hill is owned by Erkki Laakonen of Nastola, Florida and added the winner's share of $46,150 to his bankroll of $295,201. It was colt's fifth lifetime win in 11 career starts. E L Titan grabbed the lead at the start and led the field through fractions of :28.4, :58.2 and 1:27.1. Rompaway Galaxay (Dave Magee) was the only challenger to take a try at E L Titan, and ended up being first over for the entire mile. "My plan was to go out of there as hard as I needed to, to get to the front," said Rekila. "He was way more aggressive than normal tonight. When the other horse challenged me, I knew that he was having a tough trip and my horse still felt good." E L Titan won by 1¼ lengths over the tenacious Rompaway Galaxy, with Dony Andreas (Tim Tetrick) getting up for third and Madewell Hanover (Chris Ryder) notching fourth place money. "I think this horse will be a very nice 4-year-old, and that's the reason for his limited number of starts," she added. "By skipping the Yonkers Trot, this will allow him to get into some other races." E L Titan is the fourth foal out of his Garland Lobell dam Courtney Hall and is half-brother to Appomattox (by Yankee Glide) 3, 1:52.2M ($424,448); E L Rock (by Yankee Glide) 4, 1:53.4f ($294,280) and E L Rocket (by Credit Winner) 3, 1:53.1s ($233,935). E L Titan Earndawg takes Abe Lincoln Stake Earndawg took advantage of a perfect steer to capture the $57,100 Abe Lincoln Stake in 1:55.1.   The son of Sportsmaster-Pacific Sister K-Western Hanover notched his sixth career victory against six rivals in the evening’s Fourth Race.   Roger Welch trains Earndawg for owners William C DeLong of Clinton, WI and Pat DeLong of South Beloit, IL and J Miller of Mount Horeb, WI.   Earndawg nabbed the lead easily, with Lucpark (Dave Magee) right on his heels and King Of The Swamp (Ridge Warren) sitting third.    “I didn’t think I was going to be able to cross over that easily, but I got the rail pretty well,”winning driver Todd Warren said.   Positions remained unchanged to the opening panel of :28.1 and to the :57.2 half, before Dupage’s Z Tam (Casey Leonard) moved  hard agains t the leader.  However, Earndawg had plenty left in the tank, sprinting to a 1:25.4 three-quarter clocking while the hard-trying Angelo J Fra (Tim Tetrick) went three-wide around the final turn.    “I didn’t want to get run down that much on the backside, but we were racing for good money, so that was okay. I think this horse races best from off the pace.  If I would have gotten torched a little more going to the half, they would have had a better shot to beat me.”   Earndawg still had plenty left in the tank as he brushed to a three-quarter length victory with Lucpark finishing second and Angelo J Fra nabbing third.   Earndawg’s stablemate, King Of The Swamp was fourth, followed by DuPage’s Z Tam, Shadow’s Image and JK Allnitelong.   Earndawg pushed his career earnings to $189,265.  He finished second at Balmoral last Saturday night to Roland N Rock in the $86,000 American National and has also won the $186,000 Orange & Blue at Balmoral and the $43,350 Cardinal at Maywood.   Earndawg, a $35,000 yearling purchase from the 2013 Walker Standardbred Sale, is out of the Western Hanover mare Pacific Sister K 4,1:54 ($107,550) and is a full brother to Mystical MJ p,1:51.1 ($275,219) and a half-brother to Doubleshotascotch p,4,1:51f ($692,491).   Earndawg   by Kimberly Rinker, for Maywood Park

Friday's $180,000 Windy City Pace, one of Maywood Park's pinnacle races, is a showcase event on an evening sprinkled with star-studded Standardbreds that have journeyed to Chicago's in-town, half-miler from throughout North America.   The pacer that's traveled the farthest to compete tonight is Kentucky Sire Stakes champion On Golden Ponder. Ontario-based Robert McIntosh, 62, will harness the son of Ponder for just his eighth start this season. The bay 3-year-old, who was foaled May 28, 2011 in Lucan, Ontario, has a trio of wins this year and $120,664 in seasonal earnings.   On Golden Ponder got a late start this season due to an injury sustained during the winter months, and the tenacious McIntosh gave his youngster plenty of time to recouperate. The colt earned $74,965 as a 2-year-old from nine starts with four wins and one second, and holds the record for the fastest 2-year-old ever on a half-mile track, having posted a winning 1:52.2 world-record clocking in the 2013 edition of the $52,544 Standardbred at Delaware, drawing off by 6½ lengths with Hall of Famer John Campbell at the lines.   On Golden Ponder has triumphed in a pair of $15,000 legs and the $175,000 Final of the Kentucky Sire Stakes at Lexington this year: on Aug. 10 (in 1:57.2); Aug. 24 (in 1:54.3); and Aug. 31 (in 1:59.2).   On Golden Ponder is owned by the McIntosh Stables, Inc., of LaSalle, ON; CSX Stables of Liberty Center, OH; and Michael Kohler of Grosse Pointe Woods, MI. He was bred by McIntosh and CSX Stables and is the third foal out of the Intrepid Seelster mare In Trepid Water p,3,1:51.3s ($410,748), with a pair of half-siblings: Great Waters p,2,1:55.1f ($33,281) and Cool Like That p,3, 1:52h ($106,844)--both by The Panderosa.   McIntosh has conditioned 3,299 winners to $81,854,034 in career earnings and was inducted into the Canadian Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2010. He also trained both of On Golden Ponder's parents. In Trepid Water was a top mare on the Ontario Sire Stake circuit as a 3-year-old and Ponder p, 5, 1:48.1m ($1,522, 936), when he retired, was the fastest and richest son of The Panderosa.   Also hailing from our neighbors to the north is Three Of Clubs, the Ontario Sire Stake champion who'll be harnessed by trainer Gregg McNair, who co-owns the Mach Three son with fellow Canadians Keith Waples and Tony Lawrence.   Three Of Clubs comes here tonight fresh off a career best 1:51.1 victory in the $225,500 OSS Final at Mohawk on Oct. 11. He has scored four OSS wins the past two seasons and also captured the $12,125 elim and the $138,720 Battle of Waterloo at Grand River Raceway as a freshman.   Three Of Clubs was a $25,000 yearling purchase at the 2011 Forest City Sale and is the first foal out of his dam, the Precious Bunny mare CC Kloe p, 3, 1:57F ($24,076). Lifetime, he's amassed six wins, three seconds and five thirds from 23 starts, with a bankroll of $432,181.   The Jimmy Tatker trained Somewhere In LA, who has been a major player on the Pennsylvania Sire Stake circuit this season, is the richest contender ($516,643) in the field of eight. The son of Somebeachsomewhere finished second in last week's American National at Balmoral to JK Endofanera, and two weeks prior won the $41,700 Keystone Classic at The Meadows in 1:51.2. This Ontario-bred won a $50,000 Adios Elim, the $55,016 Diplomat Final (at Woodbine) and was second in the $400,000 Adios Final this season. He is owned by J&T Silva Stables, NY; Deo Volente Farms and TLP Stable of NJ.   Big Boy Dreams , trained by Ronnie Burke, has been racing in his home state of New York for most of the season, with wins at Saragota and Batavia. He also captured the American National consolation at Balmoral last Saturday in a wire-to-wire, career best 1:50.1 performance for Yannick Gingras.   Owned by Dominic Rosato of Utica, NY, Big Boy Dreams won multiple New York Sire Stake tests at two and to date has eight wins, three seconds and six thirds in 19 lifetime starts. A $9,000 yearling at the Morrisville, NY Sale, Big Boy Dreams is the third foal out of the unraced Art Major mare Stefani Blue Chip, and is a half-brother to Sebring Blue Chip (by Western Terror) p,3,1:55.3f ($40,891) and to Mo Molly Blue Chip (by Rock N Roll Heaven) p,2,1:58h ($34,569).   Neat is another New York-bred who comes into the Windy City fresh off four victories at Yonkers Raceway. Owned by Illinoisans Paymaq Racing and Tim Towne and trained by Erv Miller, the gelded son of Art Major has amassed $155,366 lifetime competing in the Empire State. He was $30,000 yearling purchase at the 2012 Standardbred Horse Sale at Harrisburg and is the second foal out of his Island Fantasy dam Stonebridge Luau p, 3, 1:53S ($172,623). Neat is a full brother to Scirocco Billy p,3,1:56.1f ($34,653) and has a half-sibling in the 2-year-old gelding Surf Report p,2,Q1:58.4h, by Sportswriter.   By Kimberly Rinker, for Maywood Park    

Stablemates Earndawg and King Of The Swamp head up a field of seven freshman pacing colts and geldings in Friday's $57,100 Abe Lincoln Stake, and these two have a lot in common. Both are trained by Roger Welch and both are by top Illinois sire Sportsmaster. As well, both are owned by William C (Bo) Delong and William (Pat) Delong of Wisconsin and Illinois, with Earndawg also being co-owned by EJ Miller of Mount Horeb, WI. Both were purchased by Bo and Pat and taken to their Wisconsin farm to be broken and trained over the winter, before bringing them to Welch to prepare for their freshman summer contests. Both have started 13 times in 2014 and both have competed against one another in eight contests, with Earndawg finishing higher than Kind Of The Swamp on six occasions. And, Earndawg has clearly surpassed King Of The Swamp in regards to earnings ($160,715 vs $65,653) and wins (5 vs 3). Last week the both competed in the $86,000 American National 2-Year-Old Colt Pace, with Earndawg second and King Of The Swamp fifth. The week before they finished one-two (Earndawg-King Of The Swamp) in the $43,350 Cardinal Stake at Maywood. Earndawg captured the $186,000 Orange & Blue Colt Pace on Super Night in a career best 1:52.4, with King Of The Swamp fifth in that event. But despite their racing abilities, both of these youngsters are equally important in the eyes of their trainer, Roger Welch, and both have very different personalities. "Earndawg initially was very spooky--he was scared to death of everything and it took a lot of work to get him to go around the track and pace a flat mile," Roger said. Purchased for $35,000 at the 2013 Walker Sale, Earndawg wears a blind bridle with an elaborately-designed fly screen to help keep him calm. Welch jogged and trained the nervous gelding behind another horse every time he went to the track in the beginning, to get him used to sounds and dirt thrown up in his face. Earndawg is out of the Western Hanover mare Pacific Sister K 4, 1:54M ($107,550) and is a full brother to Mystical MJ p,1:51.1 ($275,219) and a half-brother to Doubleshotascotch p, 4, 1:51F ($692,491). King Of The Swamp, an $85,000 yearling from the 2013 Walker Sale, is out of the Broadway Express mare She's Redhot and won both his $10,000 Mini Me Elim and the $48,000 Final in 1:55 on July 26. "King is easy going in the barn and that's his attitude on the track, too," Roger stressed. "He's a very handy horse. He can leave like a rocket and then set in a hole with just two fingers." King Of The Swamp's dam, She's Redhot, finished on the board in Super Night Championships at both 2 and 3. His granddam, Fox Valley Redhot, won the 1989 Orange & Blue Filly Pace. His full brother, Hot N Sporty p, 2, 1:50.2, a 34-race winner of $519,769, won an Orange & Blue elim; his half-sister She's So Hot earned $238,501 with a 2-year-old mark of 1:51.1m, and was third in both her Orange & Blue elim and final. By Kimberly Rinker, for Maywood Park  

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