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A total of 85 freshman Ohio-bred fillies passed the entry box at Northfield Park this week, resulting in 11 divisions of Ohio Sires Stakes (OSS) races to be contested Friday, July 3. Each division sports a $40,000 purse in this first leg for harness racing 2-year-old pacing and trotting fillies. Five divisions of 2-year-old fillies will line behind the starting gate in races 1, 2, 3, 5 and 14. Three, 7-horse fields and two, 8-horse fields comprise the lot of 37 diagonally-gaited distaffs. Six, 8-horse fields of side wheeling 2-year-old fillies are set in races 4, 6, 7, 9, 12 and 15. This group of 48 pacing lasses will be making their foray into the OSS ranks for the first time. In the first $40,000 OSS division of pacing fillies (Race 4), trainer Jim Arledge, Jr. will harness Big Bad Ashley for the Winchester Baye Acres, Inc. of Powell, OH. This daughter of Big Bad John comes into her OSS debut fresh off a solid 2:03 clocking in an Ohio Fair Stake at Circleville on June 21. Dan Noble drives. Awakening looks to be the solid favorite in the second $40,000 OSS division (Race 6) for owner-trainer Mike Polhamus. This daughter of Feelin Friskie has two strong wins to her credit thus far this season, with a 2:07 debut on June 9 at Paulding and a June 23, wire-to-wire victory in 2:05 at Ottawa. That latter start saw her brush home in an impressive: 27.3. John's Sunny Girl headlines the third, $40,000 OSS division (Race 7). Trained by Doug Hinklin for the Parent Racing Stable, LLC of Holland, OH, this daughter of Big Bad John won a Scioto overnight on June 25 in 1:56.2. Piloted by Greg Grismore, John's Sunny Girl left hard from the eight-hole and never looked back, pacing her final panel in a respectable: 28.2. A pair of Big Bad John daughters will face off in the fourth, $40,000 division (Race 9) of OSS pacing fillies. Amber John, who is conditioned by Scott Cox for the Parent Racing Stable, comes into this contest with a pair of solid, winning Northfield Park qualifiers under her belt. She paced in 2:03 on June 11 and followed that up with a 2:01 score on June 25. Challenging Amber John will be It's Your Fantasy, conditioned by Jim Arledge, Jr. for Winchester Baye Acres, LLC, who won an Ohio Fair Stake on June 21 at Circleville in 2:02.3, leading every step of the way. Queen Ann M comes into the fifth, $40,000 OSS division (Race 12) fresh off a 1:57.1 qualifying score at Hoosier Park on June 24 for trainer Mike Roth. This daughter of Big Bad John-who starts from post eight-will have to face Feelin Colossal, who has an inside advantage from post three. Trained by owner William Aldrich, this daughter of Feelin Friskie captured an Ohio Fair Stake on June 21 at Circleville in a modest 2:09 by six lengths. Ufpfortydevensgirl, a daughter of Up Front Charlie, also comes into this event fresh off a triumph, with a 2:00.3 mark recorded in a Scioto Downs qualifier on June 29 for trainer Terry Thompson, Jr. Angry Shelby also won her Scioto Downs qualifier on June 22, pacing in 1:59 with Greg Grismore in the bike for trainer Doug Hinklin. Harness The Hope looks like a solid choice from the rail in the sixth and final, $40,000 OSS test (Race 15). Trained by Timothy Lane, this daughter of Big Bad John finished third in her pari-mutuel debut at Scioto Downs on June 25, timed in 1:57.2. Big Cake, another Big Bad John progeny, scored a 1:59.3 qualifying effort on June 15 in a come-from-behind effort for trainer Brian Georges. The Jim Arledge, Jr.-trained Big Bad Chickie scored a similar victory on June 21 at Circleville, timed in 2:04.2. This Big Bad John lass is owned by the aforementioned Winchester Baye Acres. A field of seven trotting fillies go head-to-head in the first $40,000 OSS division (Race 1)-all making their pair-mutuel debuts. Two daughters of Chip Chip Hooray-Haley Chip and Kerfuffle Cookie-from post one and three respectively, may be en route to a first lifetime triumph. Evanora comes into the second $40,000 OSS division (Race 2) as a recent winner, having captured an Ohio Fair Stake on June 24 at Ottawa in a front-stepping 2:06.4. That triumph saw this daughter of Pilgrims Taj draw away from her rivals by ten lengths for trainer Chris Beaver, who conditions the filly for Sandra Burnett of Wilmington, OH. The Ron Burke-conditioned Leavinonajettrain scored a winning qualifier in 2:02 at The Meadows on June 25 and will leave from post four, while Rose Run Runaway won her Northfield qualifier on that same day, timed in 2:02.4 with trainer Ammon Hershberger in the sulky. The third $40,000 OSS division (Race 3) of 2-year-old trotters features a pair of speedy fillies in Hoorah Hoorah and Kestrel. Hoorah Hoorah, a daughter of Chip Chip Hooray conditioned by Kelly O'Donnell, recorded a 2:01.2 mark on June 25 in a Meadows qualifier, while the Triumphant Caviar lass Kestrel scored a winning Scioto Downs qualifier on June 22 in 2:01.1. Precious Love, from the rail, also poses a threat after her June 25 winning 2:03.4 qualifier at Northfield Park. Soft Power, in the fourth $40,000 OSS division (Race 5) appears consistent off just a pair of starts. The Triumphant Caviar daughter, who is trained by Chris Beaver, posted a 2:04.1 winning clocking in her June 10 Delaware qualifier, before finishing second on June 24 at Ottawa in an Ohio Fair Stake, where she was timed in 2:08.4 with her trainer at the lines. Trainer-driver Ammon Hershberger sends out Eye Just Expect It, a daughter of Trainforthefuture who posted a wire-to-wire, 2:02 victory on June 18 at Northfield, while Shut Up And Dance, who qualified in a winning 2:00.2 at The Meadows on June 11 before breaking in her pari-mutuel debut on June 24 at Northfield, will look to make amends from the rail for trainer Dirk Simpson. Finally, Still Sizzling appears to be doing just that as she comes into the fifth $40,000 OSS division (Race 14) with a pair of back-to-back victories to her credit. The daughter of Trainforthefuture first posted a 2:16.1 clocking on June 9 at Paulding in an Ohio Fair Stake before scoring a 2:03.4 winning qualifier at Northville, MI on June 17. She is trained, driven and co-owned by Dale Decker. Rose Run Rachel comes into this race with a pair of even qualifiers to her credit-both taken at Northfield-the first on June 11, timed in 2:05.1 and the second on June 25, clocked in 2:04. Rose Run Rachel is a daughter of Trainforthefuture who is conditioned and co-owned by Ray Crawford and Suanne Kochilla of North Royalton, OH. Freshman pacing and trotting fillies will mix it up again the second leg of OSS action for their respective divisions on July 25 at Scioto Downs. The third leg will be held on Aug. 21 at Northfield Park and the fourth leg will be raced on Sept. 4 at Scioto Downs. 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 Ohio State Racing Commission (OSRC) held its monthly meeting on June 23, 2015 at 77 South High Street, 31st Floor, East B, Columbus, Ohio at 10 am. A quartet of requests by the Delaware County Agricultural Society was unanimously approved by the OSRC, including: conducting future win wagering on the 2015 Little Brown Jug program; simulcasting of all 2015 Little Brown Jug week races; requiring all horses entered in the Jug and Jugette to be on the grounds by 11 am two days prior to each race; and the implementation of the "preference rule" for all overnight races. "The future win wagering has been very popular at Delaware in the past," said Phil Terry, Delaware County Fair marketing manager. "It's not a huge wagering event, but it's a strong promotional tool. In other actions, the OSRC approved a request by Belterra Park to move their live Quarter Horse meeting from Aug. 8 to Oct. 11, 2015, and listened to negotiation updates between horsemen, Belterra Park and Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway regarding VLT percentages. HPBA Executive Director Dave Basler told the OSRC that thoroughbred horsemen would lose between "$20 to $25 million over the next ten years" in purse revenue if they agreed to numbers lower than what was agreed to contractually with ThistleDown and Mahoning Valley racetracks. "We are close to an agreement," Basler admitted. "We need to see what is included in the capital spend and get a rule in place. If we can get a good number in place, we will live with it." As well, the Ohio Harness Horsemen Association (OHHA) representatives informed the OSRC that the Standardbred horsemen have not yet come to an agreement with Dayton Raceway. "We are not in a stalemate over any particular issue but over a variety of issues," said Renee Mancino, OHHA Executive Director. "I think in the near future we will have a face-to-face meeting over these issues," said Mark Loewe, Vice President of Ohio Racing Operations for Penn National Gaming. "We don't need OSRC intervention but at this juncture, we will need legal representation to be present." William Crawford, OSRC Executive Director, presented the number of equine fatalities due to catastrophic breakdowns (training & racing), which occurred at Ohio racetracks in May and since the beginning of 2015 to the commission members. "We've had six Standardbred (three at Northfield, two at Miami Valley and one at Scioto Downs), and ten Thoroughbred (6 at Mahoning Valley, 2 at ThistleDown and 2 at Belterra) deaths since the beginning of the year," Crawford stated. "Those numbers also reflect six in May 2015-four Thoroughbreds and two Standardbreds." Dr. James Robertson, OSRC consulting veterinarian, presented an update on the joint Cobalt study with The Ohio State University. "We're in the final preparations for the pilot study which will determine the effects of IV Cobalt on equine athletes," Dr. Robertson said. "The proposal still has to be approved, but we hope this will be forthcoming and that we will be able to begin this study by early July." Via an invitation by the OSRC, Steve Bateson, OHHA Vice President and Renee Mancino, OHHA Executive Director both agreed to participate in educating Ohio harness drivers on the "Use of the Whip" rule (3769-17-17). This rule-which outlines where a whip may be used on a horses' body; types of whips; and the force a driver can deliver when utilizing a whip in a race-passed through the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) on June 22 and becomes effective July 19. Kimberly A. Rinker Administrator Ohio Standardbred Development Fund

The Ohio State Racing Commission's (OSRC) monthly meeting will be held Tuesday, June 23 at 10 am at 77 South High Street, 31st Floor, East B, Columbus, Ohio. Due to a scheduling conflict, the proposed agenda that included scientific presentations regarding medication thresholds has been postponed. This fourth leg in a series of OSRC meetings began earlier this year concerning the development of model medication rules based on scientific and fact-based analysis will be rescheduled for a later date. The February OSRC meeting featured comments by 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) on current research methodology and passage of model medication rules. At the March OSRC meeting, six Ohio personalities expounded on these same issues, including: Phil Langley and Mike Tanner, of 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. Five veterinarians presented their views at the April OSRC meeting, including: Dr. John Reichert, partner/practitioner at the Woodland Run Equine Clinic, Grove City; Dr. Dan Wilson, partner/practitioner at the Cleveland Equine Clinic; Dr. John Piehowicz, practitioner/owner at Cincinnati Equine, LLC; Dr. Brett Berthold, owner/practitioner at the Cleveland Equine Clinic; and Dr. Clara Fenger, a founding member of North American Association of Racetrack Veterinarians and a practitioner in central Kentucky. Dr. James Robertson, the OSRC's consulting veterinarian, presented an update 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 at the May OSRC meeting. Dr. Beverly Byrum, Director of Laboratories for the Ohio Department of Agriculture's Analytical Toxicology Laboratory (ATL) the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (ADDL) and the Consumer Protection Lab, spoke in detail about the ATL, the official OSRC equine drug testing lab, while fellow ATL Director Soobeng Tan submitted the 2014 ATL annual report to the OSRC, discussing testing procedures and results from 2014. All OSRC monthly meetings are open to the public and horsemen are encouraged to attend. Kimberly A. Rinker Ohio Standardbred Development Fund Ohio State Racing Commission

Two fields of 3-year-old pacing fillies vied for first money in a pair of harness racing $40,000 Ohio Sire Stakes (OSS) events on Friday night, June 12 at Northfield Park. Karlee Sue, a bay daughter by Feelin Friskie, took the first OSS division handily in 1:54.2 for Hall of Fame driver David Miller. After getting away at the back of the pack, Miller skillfully brought Karlee Sue up through splits of :27.4, :57.2 and 1:25.2, utilizing a modest :29 final brush to nail down the victory.   Friskie Tel Dawn (Aaron Merriman) finished second, three-quarters of a length behind the winner, with Friskie Lil Devil (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) getting up to nail show honors.   Bred by Midland Acres, Karlee Sue is conditioned by Al Tomlinson of Mason, Michigan, who owns the filly in partnership with Daniel Mitchell and Dennis Stolz of Michigan. The victory pushed the filly's career earnings to $65,765.   The second OSS split for sophomore pacing fillies was captured by the public's choice Crosswinds Cupcake and driver Ronnie Wrenn, Jr., in a lifetime best clocking of 1:55. Owned and bred by the Crosswinds Stable Farm of Waynesville, Ohio, this daughter of Stand Forever picked up her second victory of the year in six starts and now has $67,172 her lifetime bankroll.   After wrestling the lead away from Happy Jude at the :28 opening panel, Crosswinds Cupcake paced solidly through quarter fractions of :57.3 and 1:26 before brushing home in :29, drawing away from her rivals by 5¼ lengths. Corner Girl (Ryan Stahl) was second best while Happy Jude held ground to be third.   Third leg OSS 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 Downs' Super Night festivities. By Kimberly Rinker, Administrator, Ohio Standardbred Development Fund    

Five $40,000 Ohio Sire Stakes (OSS) divisions for Ohio-bred sophomore fillies will be contested June 12 at Northfield Park as the co-featured events alongside the prestigious $175,000 Battle of Lake Erie. Post time for the evening's card is 6 pm, ET. A total of 22 trotting fillies will go postward in races one, three and six, while 17 pacing fillies have been divided into two splits, carded as races two and eight on the program. Heading up the first OSS field of seven diagonally-gaited distaffs in race one is Dark Roast, a daughter of Full Count who captured an OSS division on May 1 at Miami Valley Raceway in a career best 1:58. Marty Wollam conditions Dark Roast, who amassed $49,043 as a freshman with a 3-1-2 record from eight starts. In 2015 she's added one win, a second and a third in three starts for $24,560 in seasonal earnings, upping her career bankroll to $73,603 for Acadia Farms, Inc., of Canfield, OH and G And B Racing of New Wilmington, PA. Bred by Marvin Raber of Baltic, OH, Dark Roast is the third and most prolific foal out of the Balanced Image mare Edens Mardi Gras 4, 2:00.3f ($2,608). Like Old Times brings a three-race win streak into the second seven-horse OSS field. Trained by Don McKirgan for owner Keith Ross of Bellfontaine, OH, the daughter of Chip Chip Hooray-Royal Two has career earnings of $91,105 and captured a trio of Northfield overnights after finishing a game second to the aforementioned Dark Roast on May 1. From 15 career starts Like Old Times has stats of 7-3-2 and a mark of 1:56.1h that she scored on May 20 at Northfield Park. Her main competition will likely come from Sunrise Nibbles, who is still looking for her first win of the season after a successful 2-year-old campaign. A winner of $201,183 in her career, this daughter of Iron Duke is conditioned by co-owner Chris Beaver for Synerco Ventures, Inc., Toronto, ON Steven Zeehandelar of Worthington, OH and David Lang of Hilliard, OH. Bred by Vernon Miller of Garrettsville, OH, Sunrise Nibbles was a multiple OSS winner in 2014, with the highlight of her season being her stellar triumph in the $200,000 OSS Championship at Scioto Downs on Sept. 27 Trainer Marty Wollam will harness Student Of Life-already an OSS winner this season-from post seven in the third division of eight trotting fillies. This Full Count lass has $94,006 in career earnings, and $28,900 in seasonal earnings garnered from three wins in just four 2015 starts. Her most best triumph came on May 25 at Scioto Downs, when she scored a career clocking of 1:56.4f en route to winning a $12,000 Ohio-restricted event. She followed that up with an easy, wire-to-wire 1:59.4 victory in a Northfield overnight on June 3. Student Of Life was also bred by Marvin Raber of Baltic, OH and is owned by Acadia Farms, Inc., of Canfield, OH and G And B Racing of New Wilmington, PA. Lisa Jane-a $119,325 earner-and Little Casino look to be Student Of Life's main rivals. Lisa Jane, a daughter of Neely Dunn, was a multiple OSS and Ohio Fair Stake (OFS) winner in 2014 for owners Parent Racing Stable LLC of Holland, OH and G Peters of Akron, OH. Bred by Henry Burkholder of Holmesville, OH, Lisa Jane captured an Ohio-restricted race in 1:56.1f at Scioto Downs on May 25. Little Casino also has solid credentials coming into this race-with two wins and a second in three attempts this season. Conditioned and driven by Hugh Beatty, the Full Count lass has $42,421 in career earnings for Duane Lowe of Malta, OH and last won an OSS test on May 1 at Miami Valley Raceway in a lifetime best 1:58.3. Bell Flower, whose lone 2015 start and victory came in OSS action on May 1 at Miami Valley, headlines the first, eight-horse field of pacing fillies. This daughter of Fly Fly Buckeye is trained by Virgil Morgan, Jr. Bell Flower earned $164,336 during a successful freshman campaign that saw her win seven starts and finish second once in eight trips postward. She took a 2-year-old mark of 1:54.4f in a Scioto Downs qualifier, then lowered that time to 1:53.1f in her solo triumph this season. Her career earnings now stand at $184,336 for owners Bruce & Patricia Soulsby of Powell, OH, Dean Davis of Wooster, OH and Carl Howard of Hilliard, OH. Bred by Ohio State ATI, Bell Flower is the ninth foal out of the Artsplace mare Our Lady Countess and was an $8,000 yearling purchase at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale at Delaware. She is a half-sister to Wind River Cat (by Scallion Hanover) p, 1:52f ($102,159). Friskie Lil Devil will be harnessed by Brian Brown in this same event. A winner of $212,516 lifetime, this daughter of Feelin Friskie is owned by the Lil Devil Stable of Findlay, OH and has finished no worse than second in her four seasonal starts. Her lone win this year came in the $38,000 Hackett on April 24, when she was timed in 1:55.4. In the second and final OSS pacing division, Friskie Megan and Crosswinds Cupcake will likely vie for top honors. The former is a daughter of Feelin Friskie who lit up the board at Miami Valley on May 1 with a 1:55.3 clocking as a 99-1 longshot; and followed that up win a 1:55.1 career clocking in a Scioto Downs overnight on May 14. Co-owner Steve Bateson trains the $35,191-winning filly for Harold Moore of Rudolph, OH. Bred by Ada Jacobs of Gambier, OH, Friskie Megan is the fifth of seven foals out of the Nobleland Sam mare Sam's Clever Babe, and is a full sister to Friskie AJ p,4,1:53.4f ($37,273) and a half-sister to CJ's Cruiser Sam (by Yankee Cruiser) p,1:54.2f ($83,607). Crosswinds Cupcake is trained by David Elliott and will be trying for her second seasonal victory. The daughter of Stand Forever-Keystone Mulberry has career earnings of $47,172 and a mark of 3, 1:55.3f for owner-breeder Crosswinds Farm of Wayesville, OH. She was second by a nose in her last start at Scioto on June 5 and took her lone win this year on May 20 in a Scioto overnight. Third leg OSS 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 festivities. Kimberly A. Rinker

A quartet of $40,000 Ohio Sire Stakes (OSS) for harness racing 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters and pacers will be contested at Scioto Downs on Saturday night, June 6. A group of 17 pacers will vie in two divisions-races one and 11-of Ohio Sire Stakes, while 15 trotters will go postward in back-to-back events, slated as the second and third races on the program. Post time is 6:30 pm, ET. Trainer Ron Wagner will harness $152,877 winner Western Coby from post five in the first, 8-horse field (Race One) of OSS sophomore paces. The son of Western Spirit is looking for his first win of the season in just his fourth start this year, but did earn $142,397 as a freshman and took a career mark of 1:53.3 en route to winning the $200,000 OSS Freshman Pacing Championship last fall at Scioto Downs. The Wooster, Ohio-based partnership of Larry Acker, Dean Davis and Wagner own the bay gelding. Chief Talkalot, who won the first $40,000 OSS leg on May 2 in 1:55.2 by a nose over Western Coby, is conditioned by Brian Brown. That victory was the third career win for the Feelin Friskie gelding, who now has $83,643 for in his bankroll for owners Steve Stewart, Michael Dean Robinson, Robert Mondillo and Steve Cheatham. Gray Camo, a winner of $116,229 in his career with a mark of 1:53.3 via his victory in the $40,000 OSS test on May 2, heads up the second OSS division (Race 11) of nine pacers for trainer Ron Burke and driver Chris Page. Burke 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. Seven trotters make up the first OSS division (race 2) for sophomores. All but the Jeff Cox-trained Kick A Lot will be looking for their first victory of 2015. The son of Deep Chip-Chip Mac's Dream-BJ's Mac scored his lone win this season on May 18 when he won a Northfield Park overnight in 1:57 with his trainer in the sulky. He'll be handled by Kurt Sugg on Saturday night and looks to add to his career bankroll of $153,001 from the rail. Ohio's Horse of the Year and 2-Year-Old Trotting Colt of 2014, Neely's Messenger, heads up a competitive field of eight OSS trotting colts in Race Three. This powerhouse sophomore, who was bred by Albert Yoder, scored a decisive, 1:57.1 victory in his 2015 debut in his $40,000 OSS first leg on May 2 at Miami Valley Raceway. Dan Noble was in the sulky for trainer Al Mankee, and owners Dale Sweet and Julie Ann Sweet. Last year, 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. I Know My Chip, a three-time winner this season, hails from the powerful Ron Burke Stable and will have Chris Page in the sulky in this same race. This gelded son of Deep Chip has won his last three starts, all over Scioto Down's five-eighth's mile oval, including a lifetime score of 1:55.4 on May 19 in an overnight event. I Know My Chip is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and P. Collura and has $134,403 in career earnings. Also featured on the 14-race program will be the $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial Trot, which honors one of Ohio's finest horsemen and racing enthusiasts. Charlie Hill was the pioneer behind many harness firsts in central Ohio, having bought 134 acres of the Hartman farm just south of Columbus, and building and opening Scioto Downs in the late fall of 1959, where he ran the show there for 48 years. He also owned and operated Hill Farms, one of the Buckeye State's top breeding facilities for many years, and where the mighty Falcon Almahurst stood at stud. The Charlie Hill Memorial Trot will feature some of the nation's finest diagonally-gaited specialists, including 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician, a winner of more than $2.9 million and 34 races in her career. Trained by Nifty Norman, the daughter of Kadabra is the lone female in the field of ten. Ohio Sire Stake action for 3-year-olds continues with the second of four legs for filly pacers and trotters on June 12 at Northfield Park, the same night the $180,000 Battle Of Lake Erie will be contested over the half-mile oval's "home of the flying turns." 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

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

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