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Baby Your The Best was not at her best in her most recent harness racing start, but her second-place finish behind Gai Waterhouse in the Kentucky Sire Stakes final that day only added to trainer Linda Toscano's level of appreciation for the 2-year-old filly pacer. "I love her," Toscano said about Baby Your The Best, who suffered from muscle cramping in the KYSS final on Sept. 15 and was beaten by three-quarters of a length after leading into the stretch. "She doesn't do anything wrong. She tied up badly in her last start and she was really good in spite of it. Hopefully, we've got that behind us and she can go out and do what I know she can do." Baby Your The Best is the 2-1 morning-line favorite in Friday's (Sept. 27) second of two Bluegrass Stakes divisions for 2-year-old filly pacers at Lexington's Red Mile. Gai Waterhouse, trained by Domenico Cecere, is the 5-2 second choice, followed by Carter Pinkse's Annabelle Hanover at 4-1. Purchased as a yearling under the name Emissary for $225,000 at last fall's Lexington Selected Sale, Baby Your The Best is a daughter of Captaintreacherous-Dolphins Can Talk from the family of Dan Patch Award-winner Put On A Show. Her second dam, Stienam's Place, is in the Hall of Fame as a broodmare and her half-brother Flipper J was a stakes winner. Richard Young and Joanne Young, who own Put On A Show, own Baby Your The Best. Baby Your The Best has won two of seven races and finished second in the remaining five. Two of her runner-up performances came to multiple-stakes-winner Lyons Sentinel, including in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final. Baby Your The Best's two victories came in preliminary rounds of the Kentucky Sire Stakes series at Red Mile. "She's big, she's beautiful, she's great gaited, she's got a big pedigree, and she seems to not know the end of the mile," Toscano said. "There is nothing not to like about her." Toscano also has a starter, Rocknificent, in the first Bluegrass division for 2-year-old filly pacers. Rocknificent, who has won three of six races, is the 3-1 morning-line favorite. The filly is coming off a fourth-place finish, her only finish worse than third this season, in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final. Rocknificent, by Captaintreacherous, was the first foal out of Dan Patch Award-winner Rocklamation. Purchased under the name Deo's Proclamation for $145,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale, she is owned by Enviro Stables, South Mountain Stables, and Little E. "She's been a fun horse to race this year," Toscano said. "She's gone some really tough trips; she had to be first-over way more than I would like it. She's a nice filly. I'm looking forward to racing her. Hopefully she will get a really nice trip and finish up good." Toscano's Friday will get underway with Senorita Rita in the first of four Bluegrass Stakes divisions for 2-year-old filly trotters. Senorita Rita, who is 2-for-2 this season, is 6-1 on the morning line. Kentucky Sire Stakes runner-up Shishito is the 5-2 favorite. Senorita Rita won her debut in a division of the New York Sire Stakes on July 4 at Tioga Downs but did not race again until winning a conditioned race Sept. 12 at Red Mile. "She's a really nice filly," Toscano said. "I had to back off with her a little bit because she needed a little bit of time after I got her qualified and raced at Tioga. It's kind of a big test to go from a qualifier and an overnight into the Grand Circuit at this point when the others are so seasoned. But I think she has enough talent, so we'll try." Originally named Seven Links, Senorita Rita was purchased for $285,000 by Ken Jacobs at the Lexington Selected Sale. She is by Chapter Seven out of Lindys Head Nurse. "She's great looking," Toscano said. "I thought I was training three really nice trotting fillies this year. One disappointed, but (Dip Me Hanover) won the Peaceful Way and this one could trot right with her. I thought she was the best training down, so we'll see." In the second Bluegrass filly trot, undefeated Sister Sledge is the 8-5 favorite. She is 7-for-7 this season and enters Friday's start for trainer Ron Burke off a win in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final. Peaceful Way runner-up Hello Tomorrow, from the stable of trainer Per Engblom, is the 2-1 second choice. Engblom's Ms Savannah Belle is the 6-5 favorite in the third division. She was winless in her first three starts but has since put together a three-race win streak including the Kentucky Sire Stakes final. Ramona Hill, unbeaten in three career races for trainer Tony Alagna, is the even-money choice in the fourth and final division. She has won two preliminary rounds of the Kindergarten Classic Series and the consolation division of the Kentuckiana Stallion Management. Stakes-winner Panem, trained by Nancy Johansson, is the 5-2 second pick. Racing begins at 1 p.m. (EDT) Friday at Red Mile. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA 

MILTON, ON - September 5, 2019 - The harness racing field is set for the $405,000 Peaceful Way following a pair of eliminations on Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A group of 14 two-year-old trotting fillies were split into a pair of $30,000 eliminations to determine the field for the rich final on September 14. The top-five finishers from each division advanced to the final. Donato Hanover filly Dip Me Hanover broke her maiden in the first elimination with a 1:55.1 victory. The Linda Toscano trainee and driver David Miller angled out of third going around the far turn to sit only a length away from leader P L Notsonice turning for home and powered by in the lane for a length victory. "She's been racing really well and she has gate speed, but just hasn't been using it," said Miller following the victory. "I thought tonight I'd try and get her into the race and she finished up really good." P L Notsonice cleared to the lead shortly after a :28.3 opener, proceeding to post fractions of :58.2 and 1:27 before surrendering the lead to Dip Me Hanover. She Rocks Kemp finished third, while the top-five was completed by Intense Justice and She Must Be Magic. Race-favourite Whose Blues was off her game and failed to make the final by finishing sixth. The Luc Blais trainee got away at the rear of the field and could only pass one rival in the lane. "(Bob McClure) didn't leave, so I didn't know how far back (Whose Blues) was," said Miller. "I got away in a really good spot. I thought she'd be strong enough to be able to take first over and she sure did." Dip Me Hanover is now one for seven with $34,516 earned for owners Camelot Stable Inc, Dreamville Stable and Randi Farms LLC. The Toscano trainee was a $52,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase. A $2 win ticket on Dip Me Hanover returned $7.50 to win. Panem followed up her Champlain victory from a week ago with a 1:55.4 score in the second division. The Nancy Johnasson trainee and driver Dexter Dunn cleared to the lead just after the half and held off a late inside push from Hello Tomorrow to win by a head. "I was really proud of her tonight and the way she dug in," said Johansson. "Hello Tomorrow is obviously a very nice filly and she fought all the way to the finish line, so obviously that makes me happy that she's learning that you're supposed to be first." Hello Tomorrow made the top shortly after a :29 opener. Dunn started up Panem from third entering the backstretch and cleared just after a :58.2 half to then lead the field to three-quarters in 1:27. Panem drifted off the rail enough in the lane for Hello Tomorrow to make an inside bid, but the leader fought her off to win. Jula Shes Magic finished third, while Heat Wave Hanover and Sheer Energy also made the final. A daughter of Father Patrick, Panem is a homebred for owners Diamond Creek Racing. She now has back-to-back victories to improve her record to two wins and $77,206 earned in seven starts. Panem paid $8.30 to win. The $405,000 Peaceful Way final joins the Canadian Trotting Classic, Elegantimage and William Wellwood Memorial for a rich stakes-card on Saturday, September 14. The post positions for next week's final were drawn following the eliminations. The elimination winners earned their connections the right to select their post for the final. 1 - Intense Justice 2 - She Must Be Magic 3 - Dip Me Hanover 4 - Panem 5 - She Rocks Kemp 6 - Jula Shes Magic 7 - Heat Wave Hanover 8 - PL Notsonice 9 - Hello Tomorrow 10 - Sheer Energy AE - Whose Blues by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment

New Zealand-bred trotter Speeding Spur arrived in trainer Linda Toscano's barn this summer and quickly made a favorable impression. He hopes to leave a winning one, as well. Speeding Spur, who was last season's Trotter of the Year in New Zealand, has raced twice in the U.S. and trotted 1:51.1 both times. The 8-year-old stallion was fourth behind Manchego, Marion Marauder, and Lindy The Great in his debut and this past weekend finished sixth in the Vincennes on Hambletonian Day at The Meadowlands. On Sunday, Speeding Spur competes in the $148,000 Crawford Farms Open Trot at Tioga Downs, where he is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line. Vincennes winner Mission Accepted is the 2-1 favorite. For his career, Speeding Spur has won 27 of 58 races and hit the board a total of 48 times on his way to $1.09 million in New Zealand dollars ($804,240 U.S. equivalent). He is owned by Woodlands Stud NZ Inc. and will race in North America the remainder of the season before returning home for stud duty. Speeding Spur, a son of Pegasus Spur out of the Chiola Hanover mare Della's Speed, is eligible to a number of stakes, including the Maple Leaf, Caesars Trotting Classic, Dayton Derby, and Allerage. "He's a classy old horse," Toscano said. "It's not easy to make a million dollars in New Zealand and he was able to do that. You can't ask for a nicer horse to be around. He's a beautiful horse, a handsome horse. He's a lovely horse to be around, you can tell he was cared for very well, like the champion he was down there. "They would like to stand him at stud because he's had such a nice career over there, but without North American credentials it's difficult because we ship semen over there. They wanted to send him over and see what he could do. He's eligible to everything from here on in. We'll see if he can step his game up and compete with them. If we can get him a (win) record and make a little bit of money with him, I know the owners will be real happy." Speeding Spur was a nine-time Group 1 winner Down Under. He was trained by John and Josh Dickie, with Josh handling the driving in all but one of his victories. He finished his home career in May with a second-place finish in the Rowe Cup, a race he won in 2018. Last week in the Vincennes, Speeding Spur and driver Tim Tetrick started from post eight in a 12-horse field and raced on the outside for the majority of the mile. Despite the trip, he was beaten only 3-3/4 lengths and only two horses trotted a faster final quarter-mile. "He was unlucky last week, just a bad post," Toscano said. "Four wide, three wide, and four wide around the last turn at The Meadowlands on Hambo Day is not exactly the most advantageous place, but Timmy had no choice. It's what he had to do." This weekend, Speeding Spur will start from post six in a six-horse field with Brian Sears in the sulky. The field also includes Pinkman, Run Director, The Veteran, and Fiftydallarbill. "His owners are thrilled with what he's done," Toscano said. "First and foremost, they want us to take care of the horse. The ultimate goal would be to see if he's good enough to compete in the International Trot (at Yonkers) at the end of the year. "I'm really impressed with his demeanor. He's made it very easy to make the transition (from New Zealand to the U.S). He looks like a million dollars. The people down there absolutely adored him. He's been a pleasure." Sunday's card at Tioga Downs also includes the $132,000 Joie De Vie Stakes for older female trotters. Atlanta is the 6-5 morning-line favorite, followed by Manchego at 3-1. Racing begins at 1 p.m. (EDT) and the Crawford Farms Open Trot and Joie De Vie are races eight and nine, respectively. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA 

It took Best In Show a minute and 48 seconds to win the Meadowlands Pace. It took harness racing trainer Linda Toscano nearly as much time to allow herself to believe it was true. "I would not get in the car until his number came up," Toscano said, referring to the vehicle that shuttles people between the paddock, where Toscano had watched the race, and the winner's circle at The Meadowlands. "I was not getting in the car." After a minute-and-a-half wait, Best In Show was declared the winner of Saturday's $682,650 event for 3-year-old pacers in a four-horse photo, beating Bettor's Wish and Workin Ona Mystery both by a head and Captain Crunch by three-quarters of a length. Then, Toscano could enjoy the ride. "Oh, gosh; this is home," Toscano said as she discussed the emotions surrounding her first Meadowlands Pace win. "Lately I've been training a lot of trotters, and I've always had a lot of fillies, and the one shot I thought I had at this race was with Heston Blue Chip (in 2012) and it just didn't work out. "Just to get another shot at this race, this is another one I can check off the bucket list. It's cool." Toscano, a New Jersey resident who six days prior to Best In Show's victory was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame, became the seventh trainer to win the Meadowlands' two premier races for 3-year-olds, the Meadowlands Pace and the Hambletonian. She captured the Hambletonian, for trotters, in 2012 with Market Share. The other trainers to win both races were Billy Haughton, Ray Remmen, Chuck Sylvester, Blair Burgess, Steve Elliott, and Ray Schnittker. "It's been a big week," Toscano said. "This is what you try to get to." Best In Show raced only three times at age 2 before being shut down to provide the colt more time to develop physically. This year, he won a conditioned race at The Meadowlands before heading to Canada and winning on the Ontario Sire Stakes circuit. He then was second in a division of the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, sixth in the North America Cup final after a third-place performance in his elimination, and second in another Ontario Sire Stakes start. He returned to The Meadowlands and finished second to Bettor's Wish in his Meadowlands Pace elimination. "When he came back this year, he was behind on experience, he was behind on everything," co-owner Richard Young said. "These horses were racing in big stakes last year and we were in non-winners of two in his fifth lifetime start here at The Meadowlands (in May), so we've come a long way in a relatively short period of time. The progress has been rather quick. "I'm elated. I kept telling people I thought he could win. He has tremendous gate speed for position and if they fought it out, who knows. I always thought we had a shot. I think he's shown that he belongs." Said Toscano, "We thought he was a quality horse. He came back and we brought him along the right way. Fortunately for us, we had a great jump-start program being able to go up to the Ontario Sire Stakes so we didn't have to go against these gorillas every single week. It was a great place to get him started and get his sea legs under him. Every week he's been progressing just a little bit more and more. "Finally, the rookie thing is gone, he's starting to figure this out. He's got good gate speed, he's an honest horse, and he's an easy horse to drive. I love his attitude. He's totally nonplussed by shipping. I shipped him back and forth to Canada every single week, I never left him there, and he just gets out of the truck and eats his dinner. Those kinds of horses help. I went to check on him in the detention barn (Saturday) and he was lying down when I got there. That's basically what you have to like the most about him." Best In Show is a son of Bettor's Delight out of the mare Put On A Show. Young was among the owners of Put On A Show during her racing career, which saw her earn $2.40 million lifetime and take home a Dan Patch Award at age 3 in 2010. Best In Show was her third foal, and first colt. "We're talking about a great mommy, a great daddy; we had a shot here," Young said. "We kept Put On A Show for one reason - we thought she would produce a champion. We were just going to wait on it until it happened. "I think I have a potential sire here, which is really exciting." In the Meadowlands Pace, Best In Show was the fourth choice in the betting, at odds of 27-1, behind favorite Captain Crunch, Bettor's Wish, and Workin Ona Mystery. Best In Show started from post seven and used his gate speed to get to the lead in a :26.2 opening quarter mile. The three top choices all passed Best In Show on the backstretch and battled to the half in :52.4 and three-quarters in 1:19.3. As the group continued its fight in the stretch, driver Brian Sears found room inside his three leading rivals and guided Best In Show through to victory. Toscano said she thought Best In Show was primed to get a good piece of the purse, but was not going to predict victory prior to the race. "Then you see where you're sitting and you see a half in :52 come up, you go, oh, this is kind of looking pretty good here," Toscano said. "You know the right horses are all around you and are going to carry you. Then it's just hope for room and hope your horse is going to show up at that point. So, it worked out really well." The horse showed up. Best In Show. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

East Rutherford, NJ -- What a week for harness racing Linda Toscano.   On Sunday evening, the trainer gave a gracious acceptance speech at her induction to the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y., and on Saturday night (July 13), she stood in the winner's circle after Best In Show pulled a 27-1 upset in the $682,650 Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace.   It was the perfect bookend to a seven-day span she'll never forget.   "This another one I never dreamed of," Toscano said after becoming the first female trainer to win the Pace. "This is home for me. This is awesome."   In a thrilling finish, Best In Show slipped through an opening on the rail to defeat his more heralded rivals. He got up by a head over Bettor's Wish, the brave first-over challenger who couldn't have raced much better.   Right in the mix was Workin Ona Mystery in third, with the pacesetting Captain Crunch, the North America Cup winner and the 1-2 favorite in the Pace, a close-up fourth in the blanket finish.   The time was 1:48 on the warm evening for the track's signature race.   Brian Sears, also a Hall of Famer, gave Best In Show a perfect ground-saving drive. Best In Show left alertly before readily yielding to let the favorites duke it out while settling into fourth.   "I knew they were racing pretty good," Sears said. "It was all the horses to beat and they were going at it. I was pretty content. I wanted to sneak him around there a little bit. I got a little opening, and he fired for me."   And he fired up the tote board.   Best In Show   Best In Show paid $56.20, $14.40 and $6.80. Bettor's Wish returned $4.00 and $2.80. Workin Ona Mystery paid $3.80 to show.   The time was 1:48 after clipping through aggressive fractions of :26.2, :52.4 and a blazing 1:19.3 to the three-quarter pole.   It was fourth win in 12 starts for Best In Show, who competed in a non-winners of two races condition as recently as May.   "We knew he was a nice colt last year and he got a little colt sore on us," Toscano said. "We shut him down, brought him back and he's done everything right."   Best In Show has been rapidly making up for that lost time.   The son of Bettor's Delight out of Put On A Show earned $341,325 as a homebred for Richard P. Young & Joanne Young. He turned in a pair of second-place finishes in his previous two starts, an Ontario Sires Stakes and his Pace elimination behind Bettor's Wish.   Meadowlands Pace Photo   Keeping Pace:    All-source wagering on the 13-race program totaled $4,044,303   All-source wagering on the 13-race program totaled $4,044,303, the sixth time in the last seven years that Meadowlands Pace Night betting surpassed the $4-million mark. … The driving stars were out in force as 10 of the races on the card were won by Dave Miller (3), Tim Tetrick (3), Yannick Gingras (2) and Sears (2). … There were a pair of 50-Cent Pick-4s on the program and they both took big action. The Pick-4 that began in Race 6 took in a 2019-best $146,229, while the Late Pick-4 (Races 10-13) saw a total pool of $122,070. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m.   by Mike Farrell, Meadowlands Media

MILTON, May 30, 2019 - Trainer Linda Toscano is hoping she's headed towards the top of harness racing's glamour boy division as she sends out the morning-line favourite Best In Show in the second division of the $160,000 Somebeachsomewhere Stakes on Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Toscano, who hit career highs earlier in the decade with millionaires Chapter Seven, Market Share and Heston Blue Chip, once again has a shot at a million-dollar prize as she heads towards the Pepsi North America Cup with Best In Show off the heels of retiring Walner, who was considered the Hambletonian favourite in 2017, due to injury. "Walner broke my heart--I thought I had the best trotter in the world," Toscano said, "We kind of danced around a bit since then. We've had a couple of nice horses but for the most part I've had some pretty nice trotters recently and I haven't had a nice pacing colt in a while so this will be fun." Best In Show, a homebred son of Bettors Delight for Richard and Joanne Young out of their millionaire-mare Put On A Show, has only six starts on his record--three as a two-year-old and three so far this season. However, Toscano and the Youngs decided to send Best In Show to Tony O'Sullivan for his freshman season. "I just had a lot of horses," Toscano said. "I broke him, trained him and having one Ontario-sired horse that had to race [in the Sires Stakes] was a hard thing for me to do and try to do it right. We talked about it, the owner and I, and he didn't really want to ship him back and forth. "We had a horse or two with Tony before and he felt comfortable with Tony, so I was fine with that--Tony does a good job--so we shipped him up to Tony to race for us." Off two baby races in early July, Best In Show shipped north and debuted in a division of Ontario Sires Stakes Gold, where he finished fourth behind Bettors Wish, who recently won the $300,000 Art Rooney, and Stag Party, who went on to win the Metro Pace. He then won a preliminary of the Dream Maker series and finished second in the final. Rookie soreness developed and prompted Toscano to shut him down for the year by late August. "He was kind of following the plan exactly as we had hoped it was going to go but then he just came up sore after that last start," Toscano said. "I was up there for the Grand Circuit and went over him and made a decision that he was a quality horse and we thought we'd just shut him down and bring him back this year." The colt has since grown and developed enough to the point that the travel is no longer a concern. "He certainly didn't have a clue last year training down, and that's still an issue; he's a green colt," Toscano noted. "He's come a long way considering he's on a bit of a slow learning curve. I find with those Bettors Delights that's kind of the best part about them: they have good mouths and that Cam Fella line tends to get better and better. "The shipping is a funny thing. Back in the day, we didn't ship horses--we shipped them to the place and they stayed. Nowadays, the trailers are much more sophisticated, the roads are great, we know the traffic patterns for the most part and horses are used to shipping. Bottom line is if he had been a difficult horse to ship--if he'd been fractious or anything like that--he'd be here." Toscano isn't sure she will continue to ship Best In Show back and forth each week from her base in New Jersey. "If he does really well I might stay up there next week and go that route, so I'm going to take it week to week and decide what to do." Best In Show will start from post four in his division of the Somebeachsomewhere, carded as Race 6, with Bob McClure driving. He again faces Bronx Seelster and Stag Party, both of whom he beat last week with a career-best equaling 1:50.3 mile in a $108,800 division of Ontario Sires Stakes Gold. "With the field he's in against this week, he deserves a shot because he had a conditioning edge on those two colts last week, I knew that going in," Toscano said. "I knew this was a week he was going to beat them and I had a funny feeling he was going to have to do it on the lead because I figured Casie [Coleman] wasn't going to want to race [Stag Party] down the road and I figured the same with Bronx Seelster. Now you throw Captain Ahab into the mix and that's a pretty solid field of three-year-olds right there. If he can go with these then he deserves a shot at [the North America Cup]." Toscano has approached Best In Show's campaign going week to week, but the North America Cup has always been the goal for the inexperienced colt. "I think [that's] probably the case but you'll never get me to admit those kind of things," Toscano said with a laugh. "That's not who I am. I just try hard to let the horse tell me what to do and, God willing, he'll come out of it good and we'll take it to next week." Post time for Saturday's card at Woodbine Mohawk Park is 7:10 p.m.   By Ray Cotolo for Woodbine Communications

Ken Jacobs bought Somebaddude in January for two purposes - to shake from the winter doldrums while waiting for the harness racing stakes season to arrive and to have a horse to race in the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series at Yonkers Raceway. Jacobs has never had a horse in the Levy, but the "Dude" will change that Saturday. Somebaddude, trained by Linda Toscano, was among 47 older male pacers entered in this weekend's opening round of the six-week-long Levy, with the group divided into six $50,000 divisions. Somebaddude, who is one of only four 4-year-olds in the first leg, will start from post two in the second division. The Levy fields also include past champion Bit Of A Legend N (third division) and fellow 2018 finalists Somewhere In LA, Mach It So, Dr J Hanover, Western Fame (all in the first division) and Rockin Ron (second division). Jacobs, a longtime leading owner in New York with scores of Grand Circuit and state-bred stakes wins to his credit, bought Somebaddude for $90,000 at the Tattersalls January Select Mixed Sale at the Meadowlands. The gelding has won one of five races this year and finished second twice, including a runner-up finish in a conditioned race at Yonkers last month. "In January I was getting claustrophobic with all the snow and I bought two horses," Jacobs said, laughing. "I also bought a trotter from Finland, Whether Or Not. I bought Dude to put in the Levy. I don't know if he can beat the Levy type, but I figured I could have some fun and I've never had one in the Levy. It was kind of my goal to get one in there. "I'm having fun with both horses, I really am. It's nice to have something going that you can be proud of racing in the winter. I wanted to have something racing in the winter because it's a long wait for (the 2-year-olds). This gives me something to get excited about." Whether Or Not, a 5-year-old gelding by Cantab Hall, has won four of five races this season, all at Yonkers. Somebaddude is a son of Somebeachsomewhere out of New Album and his full brother The Wall also is competing in the Levy. For his career, Somebaddude has won seven of 36 races and earned $119,505. He was a two-time runner-up in the Kindergarten Classic Series at age 2 and has found his best form in the past several months. His 1:53.2 win at Harrah's Philadelphia on Dec. 16 caught Jacobs' eye and the gelding followed it with a 1:50.4 victory at the Meadowlands on Dec. 29, his final start prior to the Tattersalls sale. "I thought I could get him fairly cheap because he hadn't done a heck of a lot," Jacobs said. "But I knew they had just (gelded) him and he did a turnaround. "When he raced at the Meadowlands in December I was hoping he would come in second; unfortunately he won," he continued, adding with a laugh, "That cost me probably around $20,000, but I bought him anyway." Ken Jacobs The Levy and companion Blue Chip Matchmaker Series, which begins Friday for older female pacers, both feature five preliminary rounds followed by added-money finals April 20. A horse receives 25 points each time she or he races in a preliminary round. Points are also awarded based on finish, with 50 points for a win, 25 for second, 12 for third, eight for fourth, and five for fifth. "He's a 4-year-old going against aged horses," Jacobs said about Somebaddude. "There are a lot of good horses in there. We're going to see if we can get a couple checks and see where we end up. He just tries all the time. He's a nice little horse." Ken Weingartner

Elkton, MD - Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by BetAmerica, is excited to announce their line-up for Thursday morning (November 8th) at 10:30 a.m. They will be joined by prominent horse owner Myron Bell; trainer and owner Julie Miller; and 2019 hall of fame entrant Linda Toscano. Bell, owner and operator of Riverview Racing LLC, will talk about Harrisburg yearling sale purchases Honorat Hanover ($400K) and In Reality Hanover ($350K). Trainer Linda Toscano will also chime in on the ongoing Harrisburg Sale. Part of the 2019 Hall of Fame class, Toscano will be the trainer of day two sales topper Rodeo Blue Chip, who was purchased for $250,000 by Ken Jacobs. Trainer Julie Miller will also offer her views on her Harrisburg purchases. Along with Brixton Medical, Marvin Katz, and Bud Hatfield; Miller spent $250,000 on a Muscle Hill sired trotting filly Hilly Holbrook. Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by BetAmerica can be heard live every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. via their website www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com or on the archive at www.betamerica.com/BARN. By Michael Carter, for Post Time with Mike and Mike      

FREEHOLD, NJ - The Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey's annual board of director's meeting and election was held on Friday (Oct 19) at Freehold Raceway. The committee summary reports were given by board of directors. Mike Gulotta reported that the Pension Funds are benefiting from the change of investment managers with returns better than expected and funds in line with benchmarks. Chris Ryder reported that racing days in New Jersey are still in negotiations however, he is hopeful that 2019 race dates will be similar to the 2018 dates. He also reported that the Benevolent Fund has assisted many members and horsemen with health issues and funeral assistance. Mike Klau reported that over 400 mares were bred in New Jersey this season. Insurance committee head Anthony Romano announced that there will not be any changes to insurance benefits and no increases to premiums for members in 2019. Anthony Perretti reported that TrotPac is continuing to build important relationships with Legislators to help raise awareness to the need for alternative revenue to support our industry and to help push the $20 million dollar appropriation bill through. The board of director election results were announced from the 360 ballots that were received. Mike Gulotta and Richard Meirs were each re-elected in the breeder category as they ran unopposed. Thomas Pontone and Dennis Lane were both running for one spot in the owner category. Incumbent Thomas Pontone will continue to represent the owners as board of director. The driver/trainer category had two open seats available this election. The nominees were incumbents Chris Ryder and Thomas Luchento, and new comers Linda Toscano and Ray Baynes. Chris Ryder and Linda Toscano were elected to fill the two positions. The SBOANJ would like to thank all members who ran and voted in this years election. It is important to have members involved in all aspects of the election. We would also like to thank all those that attended the meeting especially Mr. Taylor Palmer, one of the original founders of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ  

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The Meadowlands returned from summer vacation with fall-like temperatures and eight divisions of the Kindergarten Classic for 2-year-olds Friday night. Two teams stood out on a clear evening that saw temperatures in the mid-50s as Team Orange Crush (driver Andy and trainer Julie Miller) and the pairing of driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Linda Toscano each won two Kindergarten events on the program. The Millers scored with a pair of trotters: In race four with colt No Drama Please (Trixton-Female Drama) in 1:54.3, who now has four wins in 11 starts after returning $12.20 to her backers. Filly American Kronos (Donato Hanover-Glide About) won the sixth race in 1:57.1, upping her lifetime record to five wins in six starts. She paid $3.40 as the odds-on choice. Tetrick and new Hall of Famer Toscano scored in the opener with filly pacer Alkippe (Sweet Lou-Capelo Rose), who stopped the clock in 1:53.4, paid $4.40 as the post-time choice and upped her record to three wins in nine starts, with seven on-the-board finishes. Trotting filly Sister's Promise (Father Patrick-Amourato) won for the third time in seven tries in race five, scoring in 1:55.4 and returning $5.40 as the second choice in the betting. A LITTLE MORE: Andy Miller finished the night with four winners on the 10-race card after scoring five times earlier in the day at Freehold Raceway, giving him nine trips to the winner's circle over the course of his doubleheader. ... All-source wagering on the Big M card totaled $1,569,887. ... Racing resumes Saturday night at 7:15 p.m. Donttellmeagain tops the Preferred Handicap for pacers for Tim Tetrick and Joann Looney-King. By Dave Little, for the Meadowlands

Linda Toscano felt as though she had her wings clipped when at the age of 13 her family moved from Brooklyn to Long Island. But the teenager soon fell in love with horses, which led her soaring to historic heights in harness racing, topped most recently by her election to the sport's Hall of Fame. Toscano, though, is not finished flying. The trainer will be looking to add to her résumé when she sends Helpisontheway to Saturday's $500,000 Yonkers Trot for 3-year-olds, the second jewel in the Trotting Triple Crown, at Yonkers Raceway. Toscano has started only one horse previously in the Yonkers Trot, Market Share, who finished third in 2012. Helpisontheway was not staked to the event, but was entered for a $30,000 supplemental payment. Toscano's Camelot Stable co-owns the colt with Andrew Cohen's The Bay's Stable and Jeff Gural's Little E LLC. "It's exciting," Toscano said. "It's even more exciting to own part of one (in the race). He has been the biggest and most pleasant surprise we've had in a long time." Helpisontheway won one of eight races last year, when he was more likely to gallop behind the starting gate (three times) than hit the board (twice). His victory, a 1:55.4 score at Vernon Downs in the New York Excelsior Series, and a third-place finish in the Kindergarten Classic championship were enough to maintain Toscano's hope for the future. The future arrived this year, with Helpisontheway winning six of 10 races and finishing second twice. He brings a four-race win streak to the Yonkers Trot, including a career-best 1:51.4 triumph from post 12 in the Dennis Drazin Trot on Hambletonian Day, Aug. 4, at The Meadowlands. "He had tons of ability, but mentally he was just not there," Toscano said. "When he came back this year, right off the bat his qualifiers were good, he behaved himself every start. He just basically grew up. That's all. He mentally matured. And he's been a pleasure through the whole year. He's done everything I could ask of him, and then some." Among Helpisontheway's victories this season is a 1:55.3 win in a division of the New York Sire Stakes at Yonkers. In the Yonkers Trot, he will face a field that includes Empire Breeders Classic winner Six Pack, NYSS stalwart The Veteran, and last year's Kindergarten Classic champ Tito. "Because we're playing with house money at this point, (the Yonkers Trot) was a reasonable supplement for the amount of money you get to race for," Toscano said. "We tested him around Yonkers and he seemed to get around the track real well. The group decided to give it a shot. "He's got some real competition. We know what we're up against, but at the same time, he deserves the chance." Toscano is no stranger to success with trotters, conditioning four Dan Patch Award-winners including 2012 Horse of the Year Chapter Seven and 2012 Hambletonian winner Market Share. Her other trotting honorees were Walner in 2016 and Giant Mermaid in 1995. She also won an award with pacer Heston Blue Chip in 2012. She was the first female trainer to win the Hambletonian, first to be honored as Trainer of the Year (in 2012) and now first to be elected to the Hall of Fame. "I don't think any of us do this with any intentions of ever thinking toward Hall of Fame," Toscano said. "I think we start because we love what we do. You can't dream this big. I don't know how to explain how much it means to me. "While it's a single honor, it's a collaborative effort that gets you here. I thank all my owners, and the people who have been behind me, and Brad (husband Brad McNinch), who works side-by-side with me and gets no recognition or accolades while I get it all." Toscano was introduced to racing through trips to Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga with her father. After the family moved to Long Island, her mother suggested riding lessons and several years later Toscano got a job at Roosevelt Raceway. She worked for trainer Buddy Regan before starting her own stable in 1984. "I was 13 years old when we moved to Long Island," Toscano said. "My wings were clipped. I basically had freedom in Brooklyn. I had a bus pass. I traveled. I could get anywhere I needed to go. I couldn't get a thing (on Long Island) without a ride from my parents. I was not a happy kid. I was just miserable. "My mom asked if I would like to take horseback riding lessons. I thought I would try it, and I was immediately bitten by the bug. I had a friend who started working (at Roosevelt) in 1975 and she said she knew I was thinking of becoming a vet, but why not go to the racetrack for a different type of experience. I went down to the racetrack and the rest is history. I just fell in love with the Standardbreds." Saturday's card at Yonkers also includes the $500,000 Messenger Stakes, where Stay Hungry will try to add the second jewel in the Pacing Triple Crown to his collection, as well as the $129,014 Hudson Filly Trot and $112,904 Lady Maud. Following is the field for the Yonkers Trot in post-position order. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Helpisontheway-Jim Morrill Jr.-Linda Toscano 2-Lindsey's Pride-Marcus Miller-Erv Miller 3-Lindy's Big Bang-Dexter Dunn-R. Nifty Norman 4-Six Pack-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt 5-Maxus-Mark MacDonald-Jimmy Takter 6-Mississippi Storm-Jason Bartlett-Tom Fanning 7-Tito-Jason Bartlett-Erv Miller 8-The Veteran-Jordan Stratton-George Ducharme by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA 

GOSHEN, NY - Results from the balloting for harness racing's highest honor, membership in the Harness Racing Hall of Fame, are in, and at the Sunday, July 7, 2019 Hall of Fame Induction Dinner in this New York town, a record number of six people will be feted - Hall of Fame inductees Blair Burgess, Ted Gewertz, Joe Holloway, Linda Toscano, Ted Wing, and Jerry Silverman. The balloting was conducted by the U.S. Harness Writers Association (USHWA), the sport's leading group of communicators. All of the Hall of Famers except Silverman achieved their distinction by getting 75%+ of the "yes-no" ballots distributed in mid-summer; eligible for voting for the Hall of Famers were qualified members of USHWA and the existing Hall of Fame members. Those on the ballot were decided by the USHWA Screening Committee from the nominations of the Writers' chapters. Silverman was selected for direct admission to the Hall, through the bylaws of USHWA and its Veteran category, which once every three years allows its Hall of Fame Screening Committee to choose one nominee (aged 70+) to directly become a Hall of Famer, and was announced earlier. Blair Burgess now completes a "Hall of Fame double," having been voted into the Hall in his native Canada last year. Burgess has been a frequent figure in the winners circle of the sport's top races: the Hambletonian (Amigo Hall and Triple Crown winner Glidemaster), Breeders Crown (Real Desire), Meadowlands Pace (Frugal Gourmet and Real Desire) and Little Brown Jug (Tell All). Real Desire and Glidemaster were both voted Horse of the Year by the Harness Writers. Twice the trainer of the Year in Canada, Burgess is the son of Canadian Hall of Fame breeder/owner/executive Bob Burgess. Ted Gewertz first caught the harness racing "bug" when Kennedy was President, and his love for the sport has not waned over the years. He has been co-owner of three Hambletonian winners - Giant Victory, Windsong's Legacy (Triple Crown winner and Trotter of the Year), and Deweycheatumnhowe - in addition to such horses as Huntsville and Housethatruthbuilt, the latter having her best year in 2004, when USHWA named Gewertz the Owner of the Year. Conscious of keeping the highest standards in the sport, Gewertz is a director of the Hambletonian Society and a trustee of the Harness Racing Museum. Joe Holloway started in the sport as a caretaker in his native Delaware when he was in grade school. Holloway connected with the uppermost level of the sport with his masterful handling of Jenna's Beach Boy, three-time Breeders Crown winner, twice Pacer of the Year, and a horse whose record for a race mile of 1:47.3 stood for a decade. Holloway, voted the sport's top trainer in 1995, has since buffed up his resume by developing She's A Great Lady, Shebestingin, and Somwherovrarainbow, as well as the handling of 1:46 pacer Always B Miki at two and three. Linda Toscano has long had a harness background association, dating back to her driving ponies in races when her age was in single digits. She served an apprenticeship with legendary NYC horseman Buddy Regan, then went out on her own in 1985. Linda has attracted widespread attention throughout much of the current decade, including being named 2012 Trainer of the Year by USHWA - in that year alone she had the Hambletonian winner Market Share, but he was a (high-class) second fiddle that year to Horse of the Year winner Chapter Seven. The ill-fated Walner, champion 3YO Heston Blue Chip, and half-mile track world champion Jet Laag have also benefited from her care and tutelage. Ted Wing was an Olympic-caliber skier before suffering an injury, and the loss of the downhill sport was harness racing's gain, as the native of Maine captured titles in New England in his early years of the sport, then emerged as one of the leading horsemen in the founding days of The Meadowlands, balancing his racing at that track with regular duty at Roosevelt/Yonkers. Inducted into the New England Harness Racing Hall of Fame the same year as Bill O'Donnell and Jim Doherty, who would later go on to the national Hall, Wing has been an important part in the success of such stars as Skip By Night, Gallo Blue Chip, Butler BG, and Calvert. Jerry Silverman was one of the leading Grand Circuit trainers for five decades, from the 1960s through the 2000s. He made a big impact in 1966, when he was 31 (a "mere pup" among the trainers of his days), with Triple Crown winner Romeo Hanover, and the subsequent years saw a stream of champions such as Fame, Hit Parade, Masquerade, Saccharum, Die Laughing, and Glowing Report (the last-named a stakes winner 40 years after Romeo Hanover) among the large stable that he ran with intelligence and endurance. Silverman retired four years ago, but continues assisting his son Richie, himself a fine horseman. The group will first be publicly honored at the USHWA Dan Patch Banquet, to be held on Sunday, February 24, 2019 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando FL, where the Hall of Famers will take their first ensemble bow during the banquet honoring the top humans and equines of the previous year's racing. Then comes the July 7 formal induction to the Hall of Fame, at a dinner set just outside the building in which their likeness will be placed to immortalize their selection as harness racing's best of the best. From the United States Harness Writers Association

Batavia, NY --- Linda Toscano, who is on the ballot for enshrinement in the Harness Racing Hall of Fame this year, will be bringing three of her best Empire State-bred diagonal distaffers to compete in two divisions of the $119,300 New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old trotting fillies. The NYSS events are carded as race three and five. There are also three $15,000 Excelsior "A" races on the program that go as race one, seven and eight. Post time for the first race in 5 p.m. The first NYSS division goes for $59,100 and Toscano will be starting Repentance (Chapter Seven-Swan Hot Mama) who will be getting a lot of attention for several of her perfomrances this year. Repentance comes in off a big mile at the Meadowlands on Hambo day where she cut the three-quarters in 1:23.4 before finishing a respectable fourth to Basquiat who won in 1:51.2. Earlier this year she finished third in an elimination of the Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) at Tioga Downs and then fourth in the final behind eventual Hambletonian winner Atlanta, in an all-time track record time of 1:50.3. Scott Zeron, who drove Atlanta to those EBC and Hambletonian victories, will be picking up the lines behind Repentance on Wednesday from post three at 5-2. Her main competition looks to be Fury Road (Muscle Mass-Bar Ballad) who has earned just under $60,000 this year on the strength of two NYSS wins and Golden Muscle (Muscle Mass-Golden Goose) who also competed well in the EBC but has yet to win a NYSS event this year. Toscano also has two fillies in the second NYSS division that goes for $60,200. Lima Novelty (Chapter Seven-No Pictures Please) won four out of five stake events in June and July and they account for her lofty earnings of $104,093 so far this year. She also took a lifetime mark of 1:52.1 in one of those wins at the Meadowlands on July 7 from post 12. Two weeks later Lima Novelty was in an elimination of the Hambletonian Oaks where she acquitted herself well. Unfortunately she was forced to chase a :54.4 back half from mid-pack and didn't make the final. Lima Novelty's last start was on an off track at Yonkers after which she took a two week sabbatical. She comes back here rested, well spotted and looking for win number five of the season. Zeron gets the call and the pylons behind Lima Novelty and the pair is highly regarded morning line at 9-5. Stablemate Tribute To Seven (Chapter Seven-Southwind Confetti) has only missed the board one time all year going eight out of nine including three wins; two of which were in NYSS action. She is the second leading money winner in this race with $73,359 earned for the year and is currently third in points in this series, just ahead of Lima Novelty. Drew Monti drew post two with Tribute To Seven and is listed at 5-2 by the track handicapper. The main competition for Toscano's pair appears to be Natalie Hanover (Chapter Seven-Nanticoke Hanover) who comes in sharp off a NYSS win at Yonkers in 1:56.3 and will look to upset the two favorites and take the major share home with her instead. by Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Helpisontheway looked like a seat-filler in the Saturday night feature at the Meadowlands, the $61,900 Arthur Tompkins Memorial for 3-year-old colts and geldings on the trot. The Linda Toscano trainee was sent to the gate at odds of 9-1 and was one of only two horses in the field of eight who are not eligible to the Hambletonian. He may not have looked like much on paper, but he sure did on the track. Tim Tetrick used a little of the colt's speed to grab the three hole early, before brushing to the top just before the half. Racing on the rim, here came 8-5 second choice Zephyr Kronos, inching closer as the pair passed three-quarters. In mid-stretch, it appeared Zephyr Kronos would go by easily, as driver Jimmy Takter wasn't getting after his Hambo hopeful, who is a son of Ready Cash-Orange Kronos. In deep stretch, Tetrick energetically asked Helpisontheway for more, and he responded as Takter took that cue and got after his colt, but at the conclusion of the three-sixteenths of a mile duel, it was Helpisontheway prevailing by a hard-fought neck in 1:53.2. Met's Hall finished third. Evaluate, the 3-2 favorite, went off stride at the start. Helpisontheway, a son of Chapter Seven-Porque who won twice earlier this year on the New York Sire Stakes circuit, now has three wins in seven starts this season and earnings of just over $94,000. He paid $20.60 to win. In the Arthur Tompkins for sophomore trotting females, Hey Blondie lived up to her 4-5 promise, racing parked for the final half-mile yet still scoring easily by a length over Bill's Lady in 1:54.3. Hey Blondie, a daughter of Cantab Hall-Winbak Blondie who is Hambletonian Oaks eligible, was driven by Andy McCarthy and trained by Chuck Sylvester. She returned $3.60 to her backers. A LITTLE MORE: The Early 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five resulted in a single-ticket winner. That Oregon Express player, who held the ticket with the 5-1-3-6-9 combination in race nine, walked away with $20,039. ... It was a double jackpot night, as the Late JSH5 was also hit, by a player in Ontario. That bettor with the ticket reading 9-6-5-3-1 in race 12 was paid $13,401. ... The 20-Cent Survivor Pick-10 also had only one winner. That lucky Twin Spires player survived eight legs of the wager and cashed in for $11,109. ... The 50-Cent Pick-4 pool went past the $90,000 mark for a sixth straight time, as $90,308 was poured into the pot. ... All-source wagering totaled $1,942,079. ... Racing resumes at the Big M Friday at 7:15 p.m. by Dave Little, for the Meadowlands

GOSHEN NY - The Hall of Fame Screening Committee of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), the Standardbred sport's leading media organization, annually meets on the first Sunday in July, in consultation with a group of Hall of Fame members, and considers nominees submitted by USHWA's chapters to determine those to advance to the possibility of earning the sport's highest honor, membership in the Hall of Fame. Quality always results from the deliberation about the best of the best by the Screening Committee; what was unprecedented this past Sunday was the quantity of outstanding individuals that the Committee selected to advance beyond their consideration stage. One person was selected for direct admission to the Hall, through USHWA's bylaws and its Veteran category, which once every three years allows the Committee to choose one nominee (aged 70+) who will directly become a Hall of Famer. That honoree was the veteran trainer of Standardbred stars, Jerry Silverman. Five other individuals were put forward by the Committee to appear on a midsummer ballot, conducted among USHWAns and Hall of Famers. If the nominee secures 75% of the yes-no votes in the balloting, they will join Silverman as inductees into the hallowed Hall on July 7, 2019. This quality quintet includes Blair Burgess, Ted Gewertz, Joe Holloway, Linda Toscano, and Ted Wing. Jerry Silverman, named by the Committee to the Hall of Fame in the Veteran category, was one of the leading Grand Circuit trainers for five decades, from the 1960s through the 2000s. He made a big impact in 1996, when he was 31 (a "mere pup" among the trainers of his days), with Triple Crown winner Romeo Hanover, and the subsequent years saw a stream of champions such as Fame, Hit Parade, Masquerade, Saccharum, Die Laughing, and Glowing Report (the last-named a stakes winner 40 years after Romeo Hanover) among the large stable that he ran with intelligence and endurance. Silverman retired four years ago, but continues assisting his son Richie, himself a fine horseman. The five candidates to be placed on the summer ballot for Hall election have all contributed to top-level racing in a variety of different ways: Blair Burgess will look to complete a "Hall of Fame double," having been voted into the Hall in his native Canada last year. Burgess has been a frequent figure in the winners circle of the sport's top races: the Hambletonian (Amigo Hall and Triple Crown winner Glidemaster), Breeders Crown (Real Desire), Meadowlands Pace (Frugal Gourmet and Real Desire) and Little Brown Jug (Tell All). Real Desire and Glidemaster were both voted Horse of the Year by the Harness Writers. Twice the trainer of the Year in Canada, Burgess is the son of Canadian Hall of Fame breeder/owner/executive Bob Burgess. Ted Gewertz first caught the harness racing "bug" when Kennedy was President, and his love for the sport has not waned over the years. He has been co-owner of three Hambletonian winners - Giant Victory, Windsong's Legacy (Triple Crown winner and Trotter of the Year), and Deweycheatumnhowe - in addition to such horses as Huntsville and Housethatruthbuilt, the latter having her best year in 2004, when USHWA named Gewertz the Owner of the Year. Conscious of keeping the highest standards in the sport, Gewertz is a director of the Hambletonian Society and a trustee of the Harness Racing Museum. Joe Holloway started in the sport as a caretaker in his native Delaware when he was an altar boy, as the new local priest took up harness racing as a way to connect with his flock. Holloway connected with the uppermost level of the sport with his masterful handling of Jenna's Beach Boy, three-time Breeders Crown winner, twice Pacer of the Year, and a horse whose record for a race mile of 1:47.3 stood for a decade. Holloway, voted the sport's top trainer in 1995, has since buffed up his resume by developing She's A Great Lady, Shebestingin, and Somwherovrarainbow, as well as the handling of 1:46 pacer Always B Miki at two and three. Linda Toscano has long had a harness background association, dating back to her driving ponies in races when her age was in single digits. She served an apprenticeship with legendary NYC horseman Buddy Regan, then went out on her own in 1985. Linda has attracted widespread attention throughout much of the current decade, including being named 2012 Trainer of the Year by USHWA - in that year alone she had the Hambletonian winner Market Share, but he was a (high-class) second fiddle that year to Horse of the Year winner Chapter Seven. The ill-fated Walner, champion 3YO Heston Blue Chip, and half-mile track world champion Jet Laag have also benefited from her care and tutelage. Ted Wing was an Olympic-caliber skier before suffering an injury, and the loss of the downhill sport was harness racing's gain, as the native of Maine captured titles in New England in his early years of the sport, then emerged as one of the leading horsemen in the founding days of The Meadowlands, balancing his racing at that track with regular duty at Roosevelt/Yonkers. Inducted into the New England Harness Racing Hall of Fame the same year as Bill O'Donnell and Jim Doherty, who would later go on to the national Hall, Wing has been an important part in the success of such stars as Skip By Night, Gallo Blue Chip, Butler BG, and Calvert. There will also be midsummer balloting (75%+ of yes/no ballots required) of USHWAns on writer/commentator Dave Little and photographer Mark Hall, who were nominated for the Communicators Hall of Fame at the annual Directors meeting of USHWA this past February. From the United States Harness Writers Association

At the Annual Meeting of the Members of the Hambletonian Society held in Rutherford, NJ, in conjunction with the 92nd Hambletonian stakes, two new members were elected to the harness racing board. Ann Straatman of Lucan, Ontario and Linda Toscano of Freehold, New Jersey, were elected to serve on the board of the Hambletonian Society. Both have diverse and long-term involvement in harness racing, and are deeply invested in the future of the sport in North America. Straatman is the Reproduction Manager at Seelster Farms in Lucan, Ontario. With more than 20 years in this position, Straatman and members of the Van Bussel family are the third generation to manage Canada's largest and most successful breeding farm. Seelster Farms encompasses over 600 acres and stands eight of the sports top sires. The farm stood the breed-changing pacing stallion Camluck until his retirement in 2014. Camluck passed away the following year at age 28, leaving an extraordinary legacy of more than $214 million in purses won by his offspring. Straatman is also the current Sale Manager and President of the Forest City Yearling Sale, which Seelster owns in partnership. Straatman has been a Director of Standardbred Canada and was the Chair of the Breeders Committee. Toscano, a native of Brooklyn whose introduction to harness racing came through the metropolitan racetracks of Roosevelt and Yonkers, worked her way through the ranks to become one of the top trainers in the sport today. She was the first female trainer to win the Hambletonian, sending Market Share to victory in 2012. That same year she was voted Trainer of the Year, and another of her charges, Chapter Seven, was voted Trotter of the Year and Horse of the Year honors. Toscano has tallied more than $46 million in purses since striking out on her own in 1984. Her first divisional champion was Giant Mermaid in 1995, but she has had multiple stake winners of both gaits, including the free-for-all pacer Jet Laag, who set a world record in 1999 and earned more than $1 million. Most recently her two-year-old trotter Walner was named champion of his division in 2016. "Both Ann and Linda can provide valuable insight to the board," said Hambletonian Society president John Campbell. "They have been long-time contributors to the sport in the most positive ways possible. We look forward to having them assist the Society in our mission." Other business of the meeting included approval of the conditions of Hambletonian No. 95, the stake for the Hambletonian and Oaks of 2020, and the 2021 Hambletonian Maturity. The Hambletonian Society is a not-for-profit organization formed in 1924 to sponsor the race for which it was named, the Hambletonian Stake. The Society's mission is to encourage and support the breeding of Standardbred horses through the development, administration and promotion of harness racing stakes, early-closing races and other special events. The Hambletonian Society services 131 of harness racing's richest and most prestigious events at 14 different tracks, including harness racing's most prominent race, the Hambletonian for 3-year-old trotters, a filly division, the Hambletonian Oaks, the Hambletonian Maturity, and the sport's championship series, the Breeders Crown. The organization was responsible for the disbursement of more than $14.8 million in purses last year. John Campbell is president of the Hambletonian Society and Jim Simpson chairs the executive committee.  

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