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Today’s Kincsem Park card was a great one, with the final three FEGAT Men’s Championship races and three high-class events led by the Gr. III Jozsef Marschall Memorial (purse 9,000,000Huf, 1800 meters autostart). That race drew a fine field of the best in east-central Europe and the 2/1 favorite Azimut (5m Odessa Santana-Aida-Lets Go) of Germany prevailed easily with Josef Franzl driving. He also trains the winner, bred by Fritz Royer, that was timed in 1.13.1kr over the sprinter distance. Azimut came into this race off three wins in his last five outings. The 17.6/1 odds Paolendry Like (9g Enjoy Lavec) was second for Marko Slavic and the SLO trainer Boris Vukosavljavic. 41.5/1 Global Player (11g Ditka Hanover-Gravitat-Speedy Soma) took third with Erich Kubes at the lines for trainer Cornelia Ubleis of Austria. The 3.4/1 second choice Tosca Victory (8m Up de Poggio) claimed the fourth check for Peter Schwarzimuller, also from Austria. Below is the program header and performance lines of the race winner. The second feature today was the Hungaria DIJ (purse 4,000,000Huf, 2560 meters voltstart, starters aged three and four with the age four performers handicapped 40 meters). The even-money favorite Eros Josselyn (4g Sam Bourbon-Queda Josselyn-In Foot) scored powerfully, after a first up surge in the final turn, timed in 1.16kr with trainer Joze Sagaj aboard, he from SLO. The winner is a rugged sort and this victory was his sixth straight, the last three before today in France, with Sagaj teaming. The 3.7/1 odds Zeal de Girifalco (3m Igor Font-Inviatar d’italla-Varenne) was second for trainer/driver Veljko Mazsity. Desert King (4m Cantab Hall-German June-Daguet Rapide), off three straight recent wins, at 30/1 odds today, took third handled by trainer Josef Franzl, also facing 40 extra meters at the start. Fourth was 10.5/1 Zagabria Vani (3f Ruty Grif-Monia LB-Pine Chip) that SLO’s Mirko Gregorc handled and trains. This one last scored at Padova on July 18/. The final upper class race this day was the Istvan Szegedy Memorial (purse 1,200,000Huf, 1900 meters autostart) and the 2.2/1 local star Uran Lady (5f Maximus Lindy-Vas Lady-Endless Sands) scored in 1.17.5kr for Veljko Mazsity. Kabala Menes Kft bred this one that rallied relentlessly in the lane to get up in the final strides. 4/1 Conway Boko (9m Castleton Bass) held second for Tibor Hajnal and 7.6/1 Milliondollar Lux (12m Ganymede) was a game third for Emil Csordas. Veteran Underpaid Hanover (9m Revenue) was fourth with Csaba Lakatos up. A section of the program page and photos follow. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

Friday and Saturday Kincsem Park (Budapest) hosted the FEGAT Men’s Amateur Drivers Championship, raced over five events, two Friday and three Saturday. The final results revealed a close contest with Christian Nissen (Denmark) the winner with 47 points, Niclas Benzon (Sweden) next with 46 and third went to Thomas Royer (Austria) with 44. Italy’s Filippo Monti was fourth with 39 points. The photos below tell the story as Nissen sealed the deal with a second in the fifth event handling Szacharin. Thomas Royer won that race with Under World (5g Racino-Zaba) for trainer Emil Csordas to garner the third leading points total. That event was raced over 1900 meters autostart for a 600,000Huf purse, the same purse that applied to the earlier four events. The “Heat” winners were Tiko Time (6m Belami) for VM Kangasluoma at 56/1, Tengelic (6f Incredible Cole) for Filippo Monti at 11/1, Trendy Girl (6f What A Man) at 7/1 for Christian Nissen, 4.7/1 odds Beatrix Galindo AT (5f Tony Oaks) again for Filippo Monti and the 8.4/1 Under World (5g Racino) for Thomas Royer. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

August 25, 2018 - Uran Lady (5f Maximus Lindy-Vas Lady), off at 5/1 odds, won Saturday’s Diamond River DIJ (purse 600,000Huf, 1900 meters autostart) at Kincsem Park. Timed in 1.16.5kr, the Veljko Mazsity trainee is owned by Hico Versenyistallo, was bred by the country’s leading breeder Kabela Menes Kft. Henrik Ibsen AT and Unique Vil trailed the mare that scored comfortably. Thomas H. Hicks

Trainer Imre Fazekas won both Saturday classics at Kincsem Park. He directed Zenit Charme (3m Offenbach Bigi-Jolly Beauty-Valley Guardian) to a straight heat victory in the Istvan Szent DIJ (purse 2,000,000Huf, 1960 meters distance handicap in both heats). The even-money favorite took the first heat timed in 1.19.3kr for owner Pimri and the winning team bested Zapato (3m Frullino Jet-Datomea PL-Friendly Face) with Tibor Hajnal up with third to Zseneroz (3f SJs Photo-Hitelezo-Witsends Speedy) driven by Sandor Varga for trainer Balazs Juhasz. This trio traveled that stated distance. The 60 meter handicapped Time To Say Goodbye (6m Maximus Lindy) was a game fourth. The second heat produced a repeat finish with winning Zenit Charme timed in 1.19.7kr as the Fazekas trainee defeated Zapato and Zseneroz with this three earning the top three placings that determined purse distribution. Pimri owns the winner. The co-feature was the Janos Szalay Memorial (purse 1,100,000Huf, 1800 meters autostart, two year olds). Aurum Ville (2m Calypso Capar-Izaville-Endless Sands) scored for trainer/driver Imre Fazekas and owner Silver and Black Racing (Gyorgy Horvath and two US partners associated with the Oakland Raiders, Jeffrey Leonardo and Paul Guenther ), timed in 1.20.9kr and off at 9/2 odds. Apollo Creed (2m Vioxx SR-Jungfrau-Valley Guardian) was second for trainer/driver Lajos Marton and Adolfina B (2f Vioxx SR-Mis Tova-Chip Chip Hooray) was third for trainer Marton and driver Emil Csordas. Earlier in the program was the Laszlo Koszegi-Kovacs Memorial (purse 600,000Huf) with victory going to Urzulina (5f Maximus Lindy-Cicciolina Fling-Supergill) with Tibor Hajnal up and timed in 1.17.5kr over 1900 meters autostart. Trencsen (6m Ata Star L) and Rafael Bit (8g Prime Prospect) completed the top three. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

The 1.1/1 Longines (4f Conway Hall-Kentucky Love Song-Valley Victor) extended her undefeated career to 10 on Saturday at Kincsem Park in the Pecs DIJ (400,000Huf purse, 2500 meters autostart). Gyorgy Horvath teamed the Imre Fazekas trainee to the 1.18kr victory over the extended distance, racing in the pocket on lap one before surging to the front and drawing off from rivals. 8.3/1 Rocky HR (6m Roc de Montfort-Times-SJs Photo) was second for trainer Balazs Juhasz. Third was 5/1 Hercules Flevo (4g Quite Easy). The day’s featured Mardus DIJ (600,000Huf purse, 1900 meters autostart) went to 1.17.4kr timed and 5.4/1 Urania RG (5f Racino-Sweet Pine-Pine Chip). Sandor Varga teamed the winner that bested 14/1 Trencsen (6m Ata Star LO-Eperjes-Witsends Speedy) driven by Istvan Papp and Szacharin (7f Vanito) for Sandor Kolozsi. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

A well-presented trotting card took place Saturday at Kincsem Park (Budapest) with three races carrying purses of over one million Huf each. The Kanca DIJ (purse 2,000,000Huf, 1900 meters autostart) was the first of those events and 1.9/1 Veronica Fling (4f Racino-Cicciolina Fling-Supergill) recorded a 1.16.7kr victory for Veljko Mazsity, defeating co-favorite White Lady (4f Toss Out-Elegant Lady-Mill H) with Josip Gabric driving. 22/1 Violetta (4f Racino-Fienciska-Witsends Speedy) took the third check. The 1.1/1 favorite Uran Lady (5f Maximus Lindy-Vas Lady) took the Hokas DIJ (400,000Huf purse, 1800 meters autostart) scoring in 1.16.6kr for Veljko Mazsity. A pair of 33/1 outsiders were next with second to Unika Vik (5f Cantab Hall-Nashville OM-Uronometro) and third to Timoko RL (5m Doctor Sugar RL-Triestine-Golden Goal). Aged performers contested the Konta Dezso Memorial (purse 1,200,000Huf, 1900 meters autostart) with the 1.15.3kr timed victory going to 19/1 Conway Boko (9m Castleton Bass-Waecon Boko-Conway Hall) in a rallying photo for Tibor Hajnal, the trainer/driver. The 3/1 Underpaid Hanover (9m Revenue-Up Front Lisa-Lindy Lane), from post one, was a game second for Csaba Lakatos and third was 5/2 Vortice Bi (4m Toss Out-Rhode Island Bi-Equinox Bi) handled by Sandor Varga. The 3 million Huf purse Ostevesek Nagydija reaced over 3000 meters autostart for five year olds went to 1.6/1 Urilany R (5f Maximus Lindy-Elegant Lady-Mill H) for owner Hico and trainer/driver Veljko Mazsity. The 26/1 Ujeazz! (5m Maximus Lindy-Gyorsulj!-Witsends Speedy) was second for Lazslo Kolozsi and 5.9/1 Ubu Kiraly (5m Vioxx SR-Heliken-Awesome Goal) took third for Lajos Marton. Race time over the extended distance was 4:17.2. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

Even money favorite Timoteo (6m Abano As-Ghirlanda Aas-Diamond Way) took Saturday’s Kincsem Park featured Super Hanover DIJ clocked in 1.18.4kr over 1800 meters autostart for a purse of 600,000Huf. Veljko Mazsity trains and drove the winner. The 14/1 Unique Vil (5m Conway Hall-Deborah Bi-Park Avenue Joe) was second for driver Csaba Lakatos and third was Oldtimer Diamant (8g Arc de Triomphe) for Emil Csordas. Titan Ville (6f Noir Desir) was fourth handled by trainer Imre Fazekas. The race was named after 1970 HU Derby winner and HU bred Super Hanover (1967m, Elton Hanover-Edith Hanover-Mr. McElwyn-Hanover Venus). by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

The first post Derby trotting program was Saturday at Kincsem Park and the young trotting mare Longines (4f Conway Hall-Kentucky Love Song-Valley Victor) remained unbeaten with her ninth consecutive victory, this time in the Bizakmas DIJ (400,000Huf purse, 1900 meters autostart).  The 1.2/1 favorite led all the way for driver Andrea Fazekas, trainer Imre Fazekas and owner Pimri. She was timed in a rated for her 18 victory as she defeated Une Dame and Asterix Evo. Longines was bred in Germany by Kornelius Heitman of Munster. Team Fazekas/Horvath scored again in the Nemecsek DIJ (purse 600,000Huf, 1800 meters autostart) as 3.3/1 Vola Gatto (4f Beissinger Hanover-Il Gato-Valley Guardian) scored in 1.19.9kr with Gyorgy Horvath the pilot for trainer Imre Fazekas and owner Bagameri. Violetta (4f Racino) and Zsozsoker trailed the winner that raced on the outer throughout before powering to the lead mid-stretch and holding off the late rush of Violetta. The co-featured Ceres DIJ (purse 600,000Huf, 1900 meters autostart) went to 1.16.8kr timed and 1.6/1 favorite Unreal Boss (5f Maximus Lindy-Light Lady-Baltic Bet) with trainer Veljko Mazsity up for breeder/owner Hico Versenyistallo. Urania RC (5f Racino-Sweet Pine-Pine Chip) was second for Sandor Varga and Henrik Ibsen AT was third. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

A superb trotting card was on stage Saturday afternoon at Kincsem Park led by the 10Huf million purse Magyar Ugetoderby (2500 meters autostart, four year olds) and the impressive 1.18.2kr clocked winner was 6.1/1 Veronica Fling (4f Racino-Cicciolina Fling-Supergill) reined by trainer Veljko Mazsity and bred by Kabala Menes Kft. The 3.2/1 White Lady (4f Toss Out) was a game pacesetting second for Dejan Katanic and third was 5.4/1 Vital RG (4m SJs Photo) for trainer/driver Tibor Hajnal. 2.1/1 favorite Villam Ville (4g Beissinger Hanover) raced parked throughout and rallied well for Imre Fazekas. Aged open trotters contested the Jozsek Sinka Memorial (1800 meters autostart, 1.5Huf million purse) and the 1.15.2kr timed score went to 16.7/1 Orizzonte Trio (10g Rotation-Ermine Trio-Snappy Trio) with Milan Zan up for trainer Boris Vukosauljevic. Scuderia Trio bred the winner that defeated 4.9/1 Underpaid Hanover (9m Revenue-Up Front Lisa) with Csaba Lakatos up. 17/1 Piera del Bar (9f Abano As-Exile Bar-Muscles Yankee) was third for pilot Imre Fazekas. The 1.8Huf Million purse Pannonia DIJ (1800 meters autostart) saw 10.5/1 classic winner Time To Say Goodby (6m Maximus Lindy-Jungfrau-Valley Guardian) score in 1.16kr for Mitja Slavic driving for trainer Lajos Marton and owner AMMA Loverseny. 1.1/1 favorite Uran Lady (5f maximus Lindy) was second for Veljko Mazsity and 42.3/1 Ugrazz! (5f Maximus Lindy) took the third check for Tibor Hajnal. The weekly open class event this day was the Daniel Bisbac Memorial (purse 600,000Huf, 1900 meters autostart). 2.1/1 Timoteo (6m Abano As-Ghirlanda Aas-Diamond Way) scored in 1.16.6kr for trainer/driver Veljko Mazsity. Diamond SRL bred this winner that bested 5.8/1 Vortice Bi (4m Toss Out-Rhode Island Bi) handled by Sandor Varga and 38/1 Oldtimer Diamant (8g Arc de Triomphe) with Emil Csordas up. The Esterhazy Grof/Moric Mislos Memorial (purse 1.8Huf million, 1800 meters autostart) completed the day’s classic race lineup with this 1.17.5kr score going to 6.4/1 Zaneboro (3m Frullino Jet-Corolla Jet-Park Avenue Joe)) with trainer Branislav Mukity aboard. Kabala Menes also bred this one. 1.2/1 favorite Zapato (3m Frullino Jet) was second for Tibor Hajnal and 24/1 Zsenoroz (3f SJs Photo) took third for driver Mitja Slavic. Early in the card was the Imre Polyak Olimpiai Bajnok DIJ (purse 400,000Huf, 1900 meters autostart). 12/1 Viola Gatto (4f Beissinger Hanover-IL Gatto-Valley Guardian) scored in 1.19.2kr for driver Gyorgy Horvath, trainer Imre Fazekas and breeder Zsolt Zsalek. Ultra Lady (5f Maximus Lindy) and Ujposti Iany (5f Elegant Yankee) trailed the winner. Horvath recently competed in the US with drives at Yonkers and Monticello Raceways. Horvath and by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

Saturday trotting action was led by the featured Jungfrau DIJ (purse 600,000Huf, 1900 meters autostart) name after an exceptionally productive Hungarian trotting broodmare.  The 1.17.4kr timed winner was 1.6/1 Unreal Boss (5f Maximus Lindy-Light Lady-Baltic Bet) reined by Veljko Mazsity driving for owner Hico. The 22.4/1 Szilvas (7g Medic Hanover-Dios-Yankee Yankee) was second for Ferenc Nagy III while third was 9.6/1 King’s Call (5g SJs Photo-Marina Eme-Adams Hall) with Emese Veer up for trainer Emil Csordas. Stay tuned for Derby Weekend where both the trot and gallop derby will take place. It’s quite an event and attracts a huge audience. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

Saturday’s good Kincsem Park trotting card included the featured Seplevo DIJ (purse 600,000Huf, 1800 meters autostart) and Tibor Hajnal teamed 5/2 Conway Boko (9m Castleton Bass-Waecon Boko-Conway Hall) to a rallying victory clocked in 1.16.1kr. 4.7/1 Unique Vil (5m Conway Hall-Deborah Bi-Park Avenue Joe) was second along the pegs for Ferenc Nagy III and trainer Jozsef Rutkai. Third was 4.6/1 Vortice Bi (4m Toss Out-Rhode Island Bi-Equinox Bi) for driver Sandor Varga. The undercard included the Brown Lady DIJ (400,000Huf purse, 1900 meters autostart) with 3.8/1 Utodlo (5m Maximus Lindy-Juss-Valley Guardian) a 1.16.8kr winner with Arpad Lakatos driving for trainer Zoltan Horavth. Kabela Menes bred this one that defeated 3.8/1 Kings Call (5g SJs Photo-Marne Deme-Adams Hall) and 5.2/1 Vakarcs RG (4m Racino-Victory Va Bene-Diablo Va Bene). The Lady Flame DIJ (purse 600,000Huf, 2500 meters autostart) saw 5/2 odds Urilany FR (5f Maximus Lindy-Elegant Lady-Mill H) scored timed in 1.18kr for trainer/driver Veljko Mazsity. Kabela Menes bred this one too. The 18/1 Vital RG ((4m SJs Photo-Vitesse OR-Indra Park) was second and 8.6/1 Velocity (4g SJs Photo-Katchmeifyoucan-Skash) took third. Earlier in the program the All Star DIJ (400,000Huf purse, 1800 meters autostart) was won by 1.17.6kr timed Zanebono (3m Frullino Jet-Corolla Jet-Park Avenue Joe) for Serbia’s Branislav Mukity and owner Jocic.  Kabala Menes also produced this winner. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

A top racing card took place Saturday at Kincsem Park and it began with the Tokaj DIJ (purse 400,000Huf, 1800 meters autostart). The 1.1/1 favorite Longines (4f Conway Hall-Kentucky Love Song-Valley Victor) won her eighth straight in HU and same for the career with Gyorgy Horvath aboard. She scored again in gate to wire fashion time din 1.17.9kr for trainer Imre Fazekas and owner Pimri. 14.5/1 Vezuvian (4m Racino-Igizgyongy-Valley Guardian) was second for Balint Nyilasi  ahead of 29/1 Very Nice Photo (5f SJs Photo-Jasmin Diamant-Sugarcane Hanover) and Emese Veer. The feature event this day was the Dr. Josef Vecsekloy Handicap (purse 2,000,000Huf, 1800 meters handicap, two heats and a raceoff if needed). Heat one was won by rallying 1.17.4kr timed Titan Ville (5g Noir Desir-Izaville-Endless Sands) with trainer Imre Fazekas up for Zsolt Zsalek. Time To Say Goodbye (6m Maximus Lindy-Jungfrau-Valley Guardian) set the pace only to weaken late yielding to his rival. Trencsen (6m Ata Star L-Eperges-Witsends Speedy) was third for Istvan Papp. The 2.7/1 Time To Say Goodbye (6m, Maximus Lindy) led gate to wire to win heat two of the Dr. Vecsekloy with Lajos Marton piloting a front end rated journey timed in 1.20.8kr that held off the furioud rally by 2.9/1 Titan Ville and Imre Fazekas. 11.7/1 Salidhamidzic (7m Wall Street Banker-Heliken-Awesome Goal) was third for Viktoia Meneth. The raceoff of the Dr. Josef Vecsekloy Handicap (purse 2,000,000Huf, 1800 meters autostart) saw Time To Say Goodbye (6m Maximus Lindy-Jungfrau-Valley Guardian) set a modest match race pace and sprint home for the 1.23.2kr verdict (last 200 meters at 1.11.5ke rate) for driver/trainer Lajos Marton. Titan Ville (6f Noir Desir-Izaville-Endless Sands) was a game second for Imre Fazekas after a win and second in the heats. Today’s co-featured Nemzeti DIJ (purse 2,000,000Huf, 1960 meters distance handicap) produced a 1.19.3kr timed victory for 2.9/1 Zapato (3m Frullino Jet-Diatomea PL-Friendly Face). Tibor Hajnal trains and rive the winner that defeated 3.2/1 Villam Ville (4g Beissinger Hanover-Izaville-Endless Sands) that almost recovered a 40 meter penalty with Imre Fazekas driving. 3.5/1 odds and also 40 meter handicapped White Lady (4f Toss Out-Elegant Lady-Mill H) was home third. The Butterfly DIJ (purse 600,000Huf, 1960 meters distance handicap) went to 1.18.7kre timed and 20 meter handicapped 4.7/1 odds Unique Vil (5m Conway Hall-Deborah Bi-Park Avenue Joe) with Sandor Varga up. Vincenzo Villani owns the winner that Jozsef Rutkai trains. 3/2 Kings Call (5g SJs Photo-Marina Eme-Adams Hall) was second for Emese Veer and third was 5.7/1 Unika Vil (5f Cantab Hall-Nashville OM-Uronometro) for Andras Gaspar. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

Budapes, HU - The 20.5/1 Victory Knick (6g Conway Hall-Lapponia Knick-Lindy’s Crown) rallied late for trainer/driver Emil Csordas to score a 1.14.3kr timed victory in the Lovaselet Sprinter Kupa (purse 2 million Huf, 1800 meters autostart) at Kincsem Park. The winning team just got up to best front runner 12.1 Paolendry Like (9g Enjoy Lavec-Volteure Bi-Peres Bi) with Marko Slavic driving. 21.3/1 Tars Stars (7m Persugill-Ten Stars Vita-Ata Star L) gained third for driver Janko Sagaj and SLO trainer Igor Sezderac. Favorites in the wagering were next to the line, 1.8/1 Part Two and 2.4/1 Underpaid Hanover, the later starting from post eight. The undercard was highlighted by a win for 1.9/1 Salt Lake City (7m Detroit-Jolly Beauty-Valley Guardian) in the Amatorverseny Handicap (purse 400,000 Huf, 1800 meters autostart). Andrea Nagyvary teamed the winner timed in 1.17.8kr, a horse she co-owns and Imre Fazekas trains. The Hitaleze DIJ (purse 600,000, 1900 meters autostart) went to 1.14.8kr quick timed and 1.2/1 favorite Uran Lady (5f Maximus Lindy-Vas Lady) with trainer Veljko Mazsity aboard. Henrik Ibsen AT and Unique Vil trailed this winner. The Allyhills Hico DIJ (purse 400,000Huf, 1800 meters autostart) saw 1.9/1 Ricky HR (6m Roc de Montfort-Times-SJs Photo) score a 1.16.4kr victory with Andrea Fazekas up for trainer Balazs Juhasz. At Madinina Martinique racing Saturday included the Prix des Manquiers (purse €6,000, 3800 meters) with the 1.23.1 kr victory on the turf earned by Vlatore des Salines (9g Magnificent Rodney-Griffe des Salines) with Alexandre Faivre driving for owner/trainer J.L. Langeron. Usly de Visais and Typhon du Plantis were next to the line. Also on the combined trot/gallop card was the Prix de Bananiers (purse €6,000, 3800 meters). Boycott (7g Goetmals Wood-Mine d’Or) was victorious timed in 1.22 for owner/trainer/driver Christine Lebreton. Bavarois du Varlet and Argan de Vandel were second and third. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

May 19, 2018 - Longines (4f Conway Hall-Kentucky Love Song-Valley Victor) won her seventh straight on Saturday afternoon over Kincsem Park’s rain soaked surface in the Z Sigmond DIJ (purse 400,000Huf, 1800 meters autostart). The undefeated mare is owned by Pimri i., trained by Imre Fazekas and driven this day by Andrea Fazekas. This pair left from post five, went to the front and continuously widened the margin that was about 60 meters at the line. The 1.7/1 favorite, bred in Germany, was timed in a sharp 1.16.6kr. The Kali DIJ (purse 400,000Huf, 1800 meters repulostart – no gate due to weather) went to 7.7/1 Kings Call (5g SJs Photo-Marina Eme-Adams Hall) clocked in 1.19.4kr and driven by Emese Vezer for trainer Emil Csordas. The winning team posted a second win in 2018 in 10 starts with six other placings. Veronica Fling, Trencsen and Villam Ville were next to the line in this good field. The featured Williams DIJ (purse 600,000Huf, 1900 meters  repulostart – no gate due to weather) went to 1.6/1 Speedy Boy (7g Wall Street Banker-Vas Lady-Endless Sands) with Veljko Mazsity up, timed in 1.19.1kr. This one has two wins in three 2018 outings. 5/1 Time To Say Goodbye (6m Maximus Lindy-Jungfrau-Valley Guardian) was second in his first start of the year, with Lajos Marton aboard. Landlord was third Thomas H. Hicks

Hightstown, NJ --- After a journey of more than 5,000 miles, the harness racing starting gate used for the prestigious Little Brown Jug in Delaware, Ohio, is now safely in the least likely of racing locations, Budapest, Hungary. The starting gate is used to start the harness races. It has a special attachment with long wings that open up and close. The horses get behind the gate at their assigned post position numbers and follow the gate to the starting point of the race and then the vehicle accelerates away from the field of horses and then follows them on the outside of the track throughout the race. The extensive journey for the unique Ford F-150 pickup truck with its starting gate attachment began in early July of 2017 when Petronella Kovács, an equine photographer and assistant manager at Kincsem Park in Budapest, contacted harness racing publicity consultant and Hall of Famer, Steve Wolf, in Coral Springs, Fla. Kincsem Park is a major events facility in Budapest that features not only harness racing, but also Thoroughbred and greyhound racing, concerts and festivals. “I received an email from Petronella,” Wolf said, “asking if I could assist them in purchasing a good used starting gate and having it shipped to Budapest. Little did I know the kind of journey this would take us on. “Thank goodness for Google translate, as I do not speak Hungarian, and Petronella speaks some English. We had some minor situations where we did not understand each other, but always were able to work it out.” “I speak English somewhat,” Kovács said. “Our communication was the best I think, easy, fluent and simple. “I was searching for a company or a person who could arrange these kinds of things like this. I wrote to some companies, and only Steve said he can and wanted to help me.” So Wolf began searching for a good used starting gate, which was no easy task. “I contacted the two major companies that build starting gates in the USA,” Wolf said. “And either they did not have any used vehicles for sale or they were too old for what they wanted at Kincsem Park. I contacted race tracks and found a couple of used starting gates, but again, too old for what they wanted.” Then Wolf went to Mike Woebkenberg of Superior Sulky in Farmerville, Ohio. Mike and Steve had never met before, but through talking on the phone, had become friends. “I realized that Steve really wanted to help find a starting gate for the people at Kincsem Park,” Woebkenberg said. “And I wanted to help him, so we looked into building a new one, but that became too costly with shipping and import taxes. We tried all sorts of scenarios and then I said to myself, why not sell them the main starting gate I use at the Little Brown Jug and other tracks and just build a new one for myself.” After working out a price, a deal was reached between Woebkenberg, Wolf and Kovács that was acceptable to Kincsem Park management. But then came the paperwork for the Ford F-150 starting gate. “I thought at first that this would be an easy purchase agreement,” Wolf said. “Then came an 18-page bidding form in Hungarian! It took some time as Google translate was not as helpful, but Petronella worked with me and soon enough I had it done. I nicknamed her my “Job Angel” and Mike also was a major help as we had to include all dimensions of the truck and the starting gate mechanisms in kilometers, etc.” Because Kincsem Park is owned and run by the Department of Agriculture in Hungary, bids must be done for all major machinery purchases. So next came the waiting game for Wolf to see how the bidding would go. It was early July when the adventure first started and then on Oct. 13, Wolf received via email a document from the Hungarian government with an official seal on it. “I thought at first it was the official notice that my bid was successfully submitted,” Wolf said. “So, I forwarded it to Petronella and she got back to me and said ‘Congratulations Steve, your bid is the winning one,’ and I was ecstatic about it.” Of course, more work remained. Arrangements were made to have the starting gate shipped from Ohio to an East Coast port, then across the Atlantic to a port in Europe, and then to have the vehicle transported to Budapest, which is totally landlocked from any major shipping port by hundreds of miles. “I had done pricing on all facets needed to get the starting gate to Budapest for the bidding contract,” Wolf said. “And now I was able to negotiate final deals with the different transport companies.” So, Woebkenberg began preparing the truck for a long trip to Europe. “I had the truck totally detailed,” Woebkenberg said. “New tires and an extra new spare, new brakes, extra spare parts and prepared the truck for being in a container for a while and how the salt air could affect it. I also wrote out instructions for basic repairs and maintenance for the truck and starting gate and made sure that the company folded in the big side-view mirrors in order for it to fit inside the container.” The starting gate was then transported from Farmerville, Ohio to the port in Jersey City, N.J., then shipped to the port at Bremerhaven, Germany and transported 740 miles to Budapest, Hungary. “I had all the information,” Wolf said. “The name of the ship, the route it was going to take, when it might arrive, but still I was nervous waiting for it to finally arrive in Germany. I even learned how to track a vessel at sea provided it passed near some of the tracking stations across the Atlantic. “And then I got an email on Monday, Jan. 22, from my customs agent that the ship had docked the night before,” Wolf added, laughing. “So, my worries about the starting gate sinking were over with!” “I did not think it would take so long,” Kovács said. “With the truck coming from America, it is not the closest or the easiest way to Hungary. A good job takes time. “My colleagues and I were so excited when I got the message on my phone that the truck had arrived. I finally felt calm and secure. Everyone was so excited and could not wait to see the truck at work.” Both Steve Wolf and Mike Woebkenberg are hopeful that this experience will be repeated with other tracks around the world that are interested in getting either a new or used starting gate. They can be reached via email at or “I’m ready to do it all over again,” Wolf said. “It was most certainly a life experience that I really enjoyed doing, made new friends around the world and now I can add international exporter to my resume.” by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager 

May 5, 2018 - Superb harness racing, weather and Food Truck Festival Weekend made for an excellent Saturday afternoon at Kincsem Park. Timoteo (6m Abano As) and driver Veljko Mazsity took the two heat Dr. Tamas Borostyankoy Memorial with decisive wins in both heats. Three year olds battled in the Laszlo Ferge Memorial with an easy victory earned by Zapato (3m Frullino Jet) driven by Tibor Hajnal. Finally, the fast class campaigners contested the Lajos Matucza Memorial with quick closing Underpaid Hanover (9m Revenue) the winner for driver Imre Fazekas and trainer Jozsef Rutkai. Summaries of the major races. Race 3 Heat #1 Dr. Tamas Borostyankoy Memorial (total purse 1,800,000Huf, 1960 meters distance handicap, heat placing determine race results) Vortice Bi (4m Toss Out-Rhode Island Bi-Equinox Bi), Imre Fazekas driver for trainer Jozsef Rutkai, 20 meter handicapped Kings Call (5g SJs Photo-Marina Eme-Adams Hall), Emese Vezer up for trainer Emil Csordas Race 6  Lajos Matucza Memorial (purse 1,000,000Huf, 1800 meters autostart) Underpaid Hanover (9m Revenue-Up Front Lisa-Lindy Lane), Imre Fazekas driver for owner Prolongo and trainer Jozsef Rutkai, 3.8/1 odds, race time 1.15.8kr Part Two (9f Offshore Dream-Bel Ditto-Wired Pine), Csaba Lakatos Milliondollar Lux (12m Ganymede-Dadaumpa Jet-Supergill), Emese Vezer up for trainer Emil Csordas Race 8  Dr. Tamas Borostyankoy Memorial Heat #2 (total purse 1,800,000Huf, 1960 meters distance handicap, heat placing determine race results) Timoteo (6m Abano As-Ghirlanda Aas-Diamond Way), Veljko Mazsity at 1.3/1, time 1.17.9kr Henrik Ibsen AT (5m Worship-Her Own Child-Imposant Sund), Tibor Hajnal Vortice Bi (4m Toss Out-Rhode Island Bi-Equinox Bi), Imre Fazekas, 20 meter handicapped   Final Dr. Tamas Borostyankoy Memorial Placings Timoteo. Vellko Mazsity Vortice Bi, Imre Fazekas Henrik Ibsen AT, Tibor Hajnal   Race 10 Laszlo Ferge Memorial (purse 1,800,000Huf, 1960 meters distance handicap) Zapato (3m Frullino Jet-Oklahoma PT-Friendly Face), Tibor Hajnal, owner Napsugar at 1.6/1, time 1.18.8kr Zsozsoka (3f Yankee Mustang-Intelligent Star-Oaklea Bluejay), Laszlo Kolozsi Zanebono(3m Frullino Jet-Corolla Jet-Park Avenue Joe), Branislav Mukity, from 20 meter handicap In pre-program action, veteran Time To Say Goodbye (6m Maximus Lindy-Jungfrau) won a qualifier timed in 1.18.8kr for Lajos Marton. The two year old ArunChupa (2m Calypso Capar-Norah Jones) won his first qualifying effort for Imre Fazekas clocked in 1.26.3kr. Thomas H. Hicks  

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