Delaware, OH --- Fazoli’s, America’s largest quick-service Italian restaurant chain, will once again be the presenting sponsor for the $700,000 (est) Little Brown Jug brought to you by Fazoli’s scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 24, at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Delaware, Ohio. The 70th edition of the Little Brown Jug, North America’s most prestigious harness race for 3-year-old pacers, will air live on CBS Sports Network, the 24-hour cable home of CBS Sports, from 5-6:30 p.m. (EDT). The Little Brown Jug telecast is made possible by the United States Trotting Association, Fazoli’s and the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association. “The Little Brown Jug is truly a part of Americana and we want to be a part of that tradition,” said Carl Howard, Fazoli’s president and CEO. “The Little Brown Jug and the national telecast is a great way to highlight the Fazoli's brand and to introduce to the public of the amazing franchise opportunities available with Fazoli’s.” "The Little Brown Jug is pleased to once again partner with Fazoli’s," noted Phil Terry, marketing manager of the Little Brown Jug. “With last year’s nationwide broadcast, we are gaining momentum in presenting this sport and our event to a whole new audience. Fazoli’s has been a great partner and with the way things are shaping up, we will have a very exciting and memorable event.” In addition to the live telecast, the 2015 Little Brown Jug will be promoted with a 30-day “Countdown to The Jug” and through an integrated social media campaign on www.HarnessRacingFanZone.com. The effort will also include creating content for the Harness Racing Fan Zone’s social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, YouTube, Vine and Pinterest. In addition to the online promotions and television broadcast support, Fazoli’s will participate in race presentations and its logo will appear around the track and on race and wagering promotional material. About Fazoli’s An American family favorite for more than 25 years, Fazoli’s features a premium menu of freshly prepared Italian entrees. Already America’s largest Italian quick-service chain with approximately 220 company and franchised restaurants, Fazoli’s is expanding throughout the country. For your chance to own your own Fazoli’s go to http://www.fazolis.com/franchising. You can also connect with Fazoli’s online at www.fazolis.com, @Fazolis, and https://www.facebook.com/Fazolis About The Little Brown Jug The Little Brown Jug is the most prestigious 3-year-old pacing race in North America. The final leg of pacing’s “Triple Crown” is held each September at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Delaware, Ohio and traditionally draws up to 50,000 fans. Since its establishment in 1946, many of the sport’s greatest champions have participated in the Little Brown Jug. For more on the Little Brown Jug, please visit www.littlebrownjug.com. Jay Wolf
Delaware, OH - For the next five weeks, Jay Wolf, Little Brown Jug Publicity Director, will rank the top 10 eligible horses for the 70th Little Brown Jug brought to you by Fazoli's, to be raced on Thursday (Sept. 24). Week #1 – Aug. 18, 2015 1. Wiggle It Jiggleit (1:47.4; $1,195,644) Owner: George Teague, Jr. Inc. (DE) Trainer: Clyde Francis Driver: Montrell Teague Wiggle It Jiggleit became Jug eligible when he won the Meadowlands Pace. His connections can now supplement the gelded son of Mr Wiggles into the LBJ for $45,000. 2. In The Arsenal (1:49.1; $764,973) Owners: White Birch Farm (NJ) and In The Arsenal Racing (NJ) Trainer: Kelvin Harrison Driver: Brian Sears The half-mile track should not be an issue for this son of American Ideal as he is two-for-two at Yonkers Raceway this season. 3. Lost For Words (1:49.3; $479,892) Owners: Country Club Acres (OH), William Robinson (OH), Richard Lombardo (OH) and Strollin Stable (OH) Trainer: Brian Brown Driver: David Miller This consistent colt has finished on the board in seven of eight seasonal starts. Recently finished second to Wiggle It Jiggleit in the $405,000 Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park. 4. Dude’s The Man (1:48.4; $502,791) Owners: M & L of Delaware, LLC (DE) and Victoria Dickenson (DE) Trainer: Jessica Okusko Driver: Corey Callahan Dude’s The Man won the $400,000 Adios Pace on Aug. 1. Has finished in the top three in six straight races. 5. Artspeak (1:48.4; $1,101,170) Owners: Brittany Farms (KY), Marvin Katz (ON), Joe Sbrocco (OH) and In The Gym Partners (NY) Trainer: Tony Alagna Driver: Scott Zeron Finished second in the $319,400 Cane Pace and the $500,000 Hempt final. 6. Dealt A Winner (1:47.3; $363,439) Owner: Jeffrey Snyder (NY) Trainer: Mark Silva Driver: David Miller Was the upset winner of the $319,400 Cane Pace in 1:47.3 at 26-1. Owner Snyder is looking for a record fourth Jug title. 7. Split The House (1:48.3; $162,158) Owners: Scott Horner (ON), Peter Milligan (ON) and James Dean (ON) Trainer: James Dean Driver: Randy Waples The son of Rocknroll Hanover was unraced at two, but has seven wins this season. 8. My Hero Ron (Q1:50.1; $165,927) Owners: Burke Racing Stable (PA), Weaver Bruscemi (PA), Lawrence Karr (NJ) and Frank Baldachino (NJ) Trainer: Ron Burke Drivers: Yannick Gingras/Matt Kakaley The Well Said colt has three wins since he was purchased by his current owners in early June. 9. Revenge Shark (1:50.2; $175,107) Owner: Alagna Racing LLC (NJ) and Bradley Grant (ON) Trainer: Tony Alagna Driver: Brett Miller Won his last start in the Tompkins-Geers Stake at Tioga Downs in a new lifetime best. 10. Arque Hanover (1:50; $158,453) Owners: Jeffrey Gillis (ON), Gerald Stay (NY), Mac Nichol (ON) and Big Als Stables (ON) Trainer: Casie Coleman Drivers: Jason Bartlett/Brian Sears Recently won an elimination for the Empire Breeders Classic in 1:50 at Tioga Downs. by Jay Wolf, publicity director, the Little Brown Jug
(Columbus, OH – August 12, 2015) The Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association (OHHA), with unanimous approval from the Association’s Board of Directors, has allocated $580,000 from the horsemen's video lottery terminal revenue to the Delaware County Fair for the eight Ohio Breeders’ Championship races and the Little Brown Jug. A total of $400,000 will be divided equally among the eight divisions of the Ohio Breeders’ Championships and should bring each OBC event to over $80,000. With $180,000 in added money the 2015 Little Brown Jug presented by Fazoli’s purse is expected to be in excess of $700,000. “Ohio breeders are committed to producing great racehorses, support for the Ohio Breeders’ Championships are a great way to reward their commitment, and the Little Brown Jug draws racing’s elite to Ohio,” noted Renée Mancino, Executive Director of the OHHA. “The Grand Circuit meet at the Delaware County Fairgrounds provides an important opportunity to showcase the Ohio harness racing community nationwide.” “We are very grateful for the support of the OHHA and the Ohio State Racing Commission,” noted Phil Terry, director of marketing for the Little Brown Jug. “We look forward to a great week of racing showcasing the best the state of Ohio has to offer.” “The Little Brown Jug will once again be the center of the harness racing world this September,” added Tom Wright, president of the Little Brown Jug Society. “We appreciate the allocation from the OHHA and their commitment to the horsemen and women of this great state.” The Delaware County Fair will host five days of harness racing starting on Sunday, September 20, through Thursday, September 24 (Little Brown Jug Day). For more information on the Ohio Harness Horseman’s Association, please visit www.OHHA.com and for Little Brown Jug information, please visit www.littlebrownjug.com. Regina Mayhugh, OHHA Communications Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 614.221.3650 Jay Wolf, LBJ Publicity Director, email@example.com, 740.272.2162
Diane Winters, the Little Brown Jug Outrider and Parade Marshal for the past 34 years, will be honored as the 2015 Lady Pace Honoree during the Grand Circuit meet at the Delaware County Fair. Winters has led every Jug field in the post parade since Niatross in 1980 after replacing her cousin, Marilyn Evans, who served as the parade marshal for 15 years. Besides the Delaware Grand Circuit meet, Winters also worked as an outrider for the Red Mile, Ohio Stair Fair and other Ohio county fairs. A native of Delaware, Ohio, Winters has been a member of the Delaware County Agricultural Society Board of Directors since 1991 and served as Board President in 1995. She also has been the driving force behind the All Horse Parade since its inception 30 years ago. The All Horse Parade, is the biggest all-horse parade east of the Mississippi River. Winters will be honored in a winner's circle ceremony after a division of the Ohio Breeders Championship for three-year-old filly pacers on Jug Day. The 2015 Grand Circuit meet at the Delaware County Fairgrounds will feature five days of racing, concluding with the 70th edition of the Little Brown Jug on Thursday, September 25. For more information or to order tickets, please visit www.littlebrownjug.com. Steven Wolf Director of North American and European Operations www.harnesslink.com 954-654-3757 firstname.lastname@example.org
WATTSBURG PA - This year is the 50th anniversary of Curly Smart's "Miracle at Delaware," where a Ohio quagmire of morning mud was transformed, under Smart's direction, into a manicured half-mile harness racing track where Bret Hanover set world records in winning the Little Brown Jug. The same qualities of determination, spirit, and hard work were shown on Sunday at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Wattsburg PA, where an unraceable surface on Saturday, through the hard work of the local track crew, horsemen spearheaded by Bob Rougeaux, and even racing officials (see picture of presiding judge Doug Bishop and visiting State Fair of West Virginia racing director Mike Quick), became a fairly good half-miler over which to race Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes three-year-olds a day later. EJ And Orr became the first 2015 winner at the PA fairs when he tallied in 2:05 over a good track in one of the colt pace divisions for driver Crist Hersherberger, trainer Dan Walski, and owner Walski Stables LLC. After Given Up Terror (driver Chris Shaw) won the second division in 2:06.1-29.3, John Paul teamed with driver Shawn Johnston for the day's fastest mile, 2:04.4, with a 29.1 kicker in winning for trainer Ted Williams and owner Richard and Paul Williams in the third cut. During these races, the first of the brief periods of rain that continued throughout the card emerged, as weather radar showed blotches of what looked like melted various-hued Crayola crayons going through the area every 20 minutes or so. The track was downgraded to "slow" after four races, but the competitive racing continued, even if the stopwatch finally clicked a bit later than normal. Tropical Terror, the winningest 2YO in North America in 2014 with 16, took down a division of the three-year-old filly pace in 2:09.3, with Team Shaw picking right up where it ended the 2014 fair season - this victory completed a double for owner Mason Shaw, now three years old, and trainer/father Jason (they also sponsor 3PC Given Up Terror). The triumph was one of four on the day for driver (and Mason's uncle) Chris Shaw, who along with his brother Jason topped the fair standings in their respective divisions last year. Tropical Terror also completed a double for sire Western Terror; KF St Patrick also fathered two winners on the card. Fastest of the card's trots was generated by the SJ's Caviar filly Tobiko, who prevailed in 2:09.2 as the intermittent Sunday rain started to show its effect. Aaron Johnston sulkysat behind the winner for trainer Dave Wade of SJ's Photo fame; David also is co-owner with Delores Wade, Jerry Brittingham, and William Peel III. The PA fair circuit makes its second stop of the year this Friday and Saturday at the Bloomsburg Fair, and may they have either no problems with weather - or bring out the same altruistic determination from their experienced crew which the folks at Wattsburg exhibited to put on the Sunday show. Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association's publicity office
DELAWARE, OHIO--Two-year-old sustaining payments for the 71st edition of the Little Brown Jug, the 46th Jugette, the 64th Old Oaken Bucket (3-year-old open trot) and the 65th Buckette (3-year-old filly trot) are due March 16. These payments are for foals of 2013 and will be raced in 2016. Sustaining payments are also due for the 76th Standardbred two-year-old colt and filly stakes for foals of 2013 to be raced in 2015. The $650,000 est. Ohio Breeders Championships require a single $300 nomination payment due March 16, 2014 with no further sustaining payments required. The Delaware County Fair is pleased to be a part of the Ohio Fair Racing Conference in 2015. The OFRC events are replacing the Delaware Open Series and require either a $75 nomination fee for just the Delaware County Fair or $200 for all the OFRC events. Nominations for the ORFC events must be postmarked by March 16, 2015 and sent directly to the Ohio Harness Horseman's Association, 850 Michigan Ave. - Suite 100, Columbus, OH 43215. The five day Delaware Grand Circuit meet opens Sunday, September 20 and will run through Thursday, September 24. This year, all events will be using the 50%-25%-12%-8%-5% formula for purse payouts. "We are looking forward to the 2015 Grand Circuit meet at the Delaware County Fairgrounds," noted Tom Wright, Director of Racing for the Little Brown Jug. "We are excited to bring back Monday racing at Delaware and have planned a fun late afternoon program (3:00 PM post time) that should appeal to the casual fan and racing enthusiast." Make checks payable and send all entries to: The Delaware County Fair, Tom Wright, P.O. Box 1560, Powell, OH 43065. For the latest news, information and nomination forms, please visit the Little Brown Jug website: www.littlebrownjug.com. March 16 Sustaining Fees: Little Brown Jug No. 71 (3-Year Old Open Pace to be raced in 2016) $500 Jugette No. 46 (3-Year Old Filly Pace to be raced in 2016) $400 Old Oaken Bucket No. 64 (3-Year Old Open Trot to be raced in 2016) $300 Buckette No. 65 (3-Year Old Filly Trot to be raced in 2016) $200 Standardbred No. 76 (2-year-old Colt Pace to be raced in 2015) $400 Standardbred No. 76 (2-year-old Colt Trot to be raced in 2015) $400 Standardbred No. 76 (2-year-old Filly Pace to be raced in 2015) $300 Standardbred No. 76 (2-year-old Filly Trot to be raced in 2015) $300 March 16 Nominating Fees: Ohio Breeders Championships (2 and 3 Year Old Events to be raced in 2015) $300 Ohio Fair Racing Conference (2 and 3 Year Old Events to be raced in 2015) $75 or $200
There are some important changes in the 2015 harness racing stakes schedule, as racetracks embrace the mega program model and move away from carding isolated stakes races. Perhaps the most significant change is the return, after a one-year hiatus, of what came to be known as “Super Sunday” when it was held at Harrah’s Philadelphia. The Battle Of Brandywine, Colonial Trot, and the Valley Forge for sophomore pacing fillies, which were an essential mid-August component of the calendar, return to Pocono Downs on Saturday, August 22. Last year Northfield took advantage of the gap created by their absence by carding the $400,000 Carl Milstein Memorial on the same weekend. The race was a big success as All Bets Off beat Luck Be Withyou and McWicked. It will be great to have the Battle, which has been a fixture since 1960 and the Colonial, since 1968, back in play. And the Milstein will be held a week earlier than last year, on Friday, August 14. The Dan Patch, which sees a $50,000 bump to $300,000, and will be raced as an early closer, will also be raced on August 14. The Whata Baron and Artistic Vision, both for three and up pacers, will be carded at the Meadowlands on May 2, two weeks later than last year. That same day the Lady Suffolk, which has been raced on Fridays, joins the Dexter Cup on Freehold’s Saturday card. And the following day, Sunday, May 3, the Miami Valley Distaff Trot and Pace will be raced. Last year Shebestingin won the pace, named for Sam ‘Chip’ Noble, while Maven won the trot—both in track record time. The purse for each has been doubled to $100,000 this year. The first TVG pacing series leg has been dropped back a week to Saturday, May 7. Last year it was a stand-alone race, but in 2015 it will be paired with the Cutler, which serves as the first TVG trotting leg. The Graduate series for four-year-old trotters and pacers will kick off at Tioga Downs on Memorial Day with a $50,000 leg for each gait. Subsequently four legs, carrying $75,000 and $100,000 purses, will be raced at the Meadowlands in June. Actually, even before Memorial Day, the latter group will be able to get going on May 17, when Flamboro offers the reconstituted Confederation Cup for four-year-old pacers. That one carries $200,000 in purse money. So, when you add in the $250,000 Graduate finals on July 3 and July 11, plus the $200,000 Prix d’Ete for four-year-old pacers on August 23, there will be plenty of opportunities for those crossing the bridge to the aged class. On Sunday, May 24, Harrah’s Philadelphia is offering the inaugural $150,000 Jerry Taylor Open pace, named for Howard Taylor’s father. Harrah’s will also card the Maxie Lee and Betsy Ross that day. The SBSW and North America Cup will both be a week later in 2015. The former will offer richer splits as the purse has jumped $75,000 to $225,000. Last year David Menary had to decide whether to start He’s Watching in the SBSW or the Rooney, as they were on the same day. This year the Rooney, and companion Lismore, will be raced a week before the SBSW. Last year WEG shuffled their stakes lineup so as to add strength to Cup night; finals for the Roses Are Red, Armbro Flight and Fan Hanover were all held that day. This year the finals for those three have been moved to the following week, June 20, and the eliminations for those stakes will be relied on to make the Cup program compelling. The Mohawk Gold Cup, in which upset winner Evenin Of Pleasure paid $164.30 last year, will also be raced on June 20. The Battle Of Lake Erie has been dropped back five weeks to June 12. That’s the day before the elimination round for the NA Cup. Last year the Battle was sandwiched between the Haughton and the USPC. This year two legs of the Graduate series bookend it. The Roll With Joe has leaped ahead almost two months to Sunday August 23—the same day as the Prix d’Ete. The purse lost $25,000 during the move; the Joe now goes for $175,000. Eliminations for the Canadian Pacing Derby are six days later. The $450,000 Hambletonian Maturity moves ahead two weeks on the schedule in 2015. Last year it was by itself, but in 2015 it joins the Stanley Dancer, Del Miller and Miss Versatility on July 18. The Hambletonian falls one week later this year, on August 8. The Oaks, Peter Haughton, Merrie Annabelle and Cashman are back, but instead of the Ima Lula for four-year-old trotting mares, the inaugural $200,000 Fresh Yankee for three and up mares joins the ticket. Opportunities for this class are scarce, so this is a plus move on the part of the Meadowlands. The Ima Lula will be raced on the previous Saturday. And the Cane Pace, which has been raced at Tioga the last three years, will be moved back two weeks and slotted into the Hambletonian Day program. The Yonkers Trot was pushed ahead three months to October 25 last year, but in 2015 the Yonkers Trot and the Messenger head back to Saturday, September 5. The Lady Maud and Hudson Filly Trot will now be raced the previous week. Last year the Messenger and Yonkers Trot butted heads with the Fall Four at Woodbine; this year they take on the Canadian Pacing Derby, Metro, She’s A Great Lady and Simcoe. The Maple Leaf Trot, in which Intimidate upset Sebastian K, jumps ahead almost two months to September 19, where it joins the Canadian Trotting Classic, Elegantimage, Wellwood and Peaceful Way. This sets up a situation where the Chip Noble Memorial Trot at Scioto Downs, the Maple Leaf, the Centaur at Hoosier Park and the Dayton Trotting Derby will be raced on successive weeks. The latter, like the Distaff stakes at Miami Valley, benefits from Ohio’s infusion of slots money; the purse has jumped $50,000 to $150.000. The Breeders Crown moves back a month to October 24 at Woodbine, with the Erskine, in which E L Titan upset Father Patrick, going six days later. The Fall Four move up a month to November 21 and 22 at the Meadowlands. The Governor’s Cup, Valley Victory, Three Diamonds and Goldsmith Maid will be augmented by the Tarport Hap, which has been out of the rotation since See You At Peelers won in 2011, and the Continentalvictory, a new race for three-year-old trotting fillies. The TVG finals will be raced one week earlier than last year. (Joe FitzGerald has been an avid harness racing fan and historian for the last half-century. He writes a weekly blog for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/. Joe’s commentary reflects his own views and not that of Harnesslink.com)
Bob Chlebnikow of Fair Lawn, New Jersey is the winner of the "Pick The Jug Winner" contest sponsored by Fazoli's and hosted by 123Racing. As the official contest winner, Mr. Chlebnikow will receive a VIP trip to the 2015 Little Brown Jug compliments of Fazoli's including airfare, hotel, preferred seating and an on-track fan experience including a ride in the starting gate, a visit to the announcer's booth to watch a race with Hall Of Fame race caller Roger Huston, and a meet and greet with top drivers and trainers while touring the paddock and Jug Barn. Chlebnikow correctly selected Limelight Beach as the Little Brown Jug champion and had the highest cumulative bankroll from earlier races ($240.90) among those picking the eventual Jug winner. Linda Kretchner of Salem, Wisconsin was just $13.50 behind the winner and received $100 Fazoli's gift card fro her second place finish. John Williams of Marysville, Washington finished third and received a $50 Fazoli's gift card. The "Pick The Jug Winner" contest had more than 1,657 entries. "Yannick Gingras had a good season at my home track, The Meadowlands, and always does well driving horses trained by Ron Burke which is why I went with Limelight Beach," said Chlebnikow. "I also made sure to pick some longer shots earlier in the day since you need a big bankroll to have a chance to win these contests. Luckily a couple of them won." by Jay Wolf, for the Little Brown Jug
This Week: Bluegrass Stakes and Allerage eliminations, The Red Mile, Lexington, Ky. and Jim Ewart Memorial, Scioto Downs, Columbus, Ohio. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off on Thursday (Sept. 25) at The Red Mile with four divisions in the $336,000 Bluegrass for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Friday (Sept. 26) card features five divisions in the $393,000 Bluegrass for 2-year-old colt trotters and three divisions in the $287,600 Bluegrass for 2-year-old filly pacers. On Saturday (Sept. 27), The Red Mile will offer a trio of Bluegrass events in the $400,000 (est.) 2-year-old colt pace, the $200,000 (est.) 3-year-old colt pace and the $200,000 (est.) 3-year-old filly pace. The opening week concludes on Sunday (Sept. 28) with $200,000 (est.) Bluegrass races for 3-year-old colt trotters and 3-year-old filly trotters, as well as $10,000 eliminations in the Allerage for open pacers and open trotters. Scioto Downs on Saturday night (Sept. 27) will host the $200,000 Jim Ewart Memorial for open pacers, as part of Ohio Super Night, which will also feature eight Ohio Sire Stakes finals for 2- and 3-year-old pacers and trotters. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: The Grand Circuit spotlight was on the Delaware (Ohio) County Fair this past week, with the $647,500 Little Brown Jug leading two days of exciting stakes races. Limelight Beach was the winner in the 69th Little Brown Jug. Limelight Beach entered the Jug for 3-year-old pacers winless in 12 starts this year, but the past meant nothing at the Delaware County Fair. Limelight Beach swept two heats to capture the Jug trophy, winning his elimination in 1:51 and taking the final in 1:50.4. The victory gave trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras their first Jug champion. Limelight Beach won the 69th Little Brown Jug, presented by Fazoli's, by 1-1/2 lengths over Let's Drink On It, with Gingras pumping his fist triumphantly at the wire. Limelight Beach drew post No. 1 for the second heat and took advantage of the starting spot, blasting to the front and controlling the action from there. Let's Drink On It and driver Tyler Smith, who won the Jug's other first-round elimination, got away second from post two but would get no closer the rest of the way. Let's Drink On It ended up second. Somewhere In L A -- who tried to collar Limelight Beach with a first-over move on the backstretch -- finished third and At Press Time was fourth. Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, M1 Stable and Wingfield Brothers share ownership of Limelight Beach, a son of Somebeachsomewhere out of the mare Benear. In other Grand Circuit action over the weekend, the sport's top trotters were showcased in the $238,500 Centaur Trotting Classic at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Sept. 20. Master Of Law pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the season as he was able to wear down the overwhelmingly favored Sebastian K late in the stretch. Driven by trainer Jimmy Takter, Master Of Law was able to close off cover to win at 21-1 odds in 1:54.2 over a track rated good. Tipping three-wide late in the lane, Master Of Law surged past his rivals and coasted to the wire to finish two lengths in front of Creatine. Natural Herbie held on gamely to round out the trifecta while Sebastian K faded late in the stretch to finish seventh. Dismissed at the betting windows, Master Of Law returned $44.00 for the victory. Master Of Law, who has now won three of six seasonal outings, is owned by Lindy Racing Stable, Brittany Farms, Adam Victor & Son Stable, and Christina Takter. The gelded son of Deweycheatumnhowe-Posses The Magic has now won nine of 17 lifetime outings and pushed his career bankroll to $331,753. Yannick Gingras put on a driving clinic at his home track at the Hippodrome 3R Sept. 21, winning four of the ten races including the revival of the prestigious Prix D'Ete Pace with Sunfire Blue Chip for a purse of $182,000. By the top of the stretch, Gingras had the lead for good with Sunfire Blue Chip and they went on to win by 2-1/2 lengths in 1:50.3. Local favorite Due D'Orleans (Daniel Dube) closed well to be second with Apprentice Hanover (Jody Jamieson) third. It was the fifth straight win for Sunfire Blue Chip. The 4-year-old son of American Ideal is trained by Jimmy Takter and is owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Brixton Medical Ab and R A W Equine, Inc. Sent off as the 3-2 wagering favorite, Sunfire Blue Chip paid $5.00 to win. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,225; 2. Tim Tetrick - 670; 3. David Miller - 565.5; 4. Ron Pierce - 465.5; 5. Corey Callahan - 371. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,470.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 977; 3. Erv Miller - 276.5; 4. Tony Alagna - 260: 5. Joe Holloway - 244. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 328.85; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 301.35; 3. Robert Key - 210; 4. 3 Brothers Stable - 207; 5. Brittany Farms - 181. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week in one location, Lexington's historic Red Mile. Featured will be the Kentucky Futurity, the second leg of Trotting's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. Also on tap will be the companion Kentucky Filly Futurity for the sophomore fillies, the Tattersalls Pace and the Glen Garnsey Memorial for 3-year-old pacers, four International Stallion Stakes races for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits, and four Allerage contests for open pacers and trotters. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit
WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 23, 2014 -- Pecking for late racing room outside and inside, Cover Model finally found a seam and poured through to score in Tuesday's $88,600 Keystone Classic at The Meadows. Alexa Said took the other harness racing division of the stake for 2-year-old filly pacers. Cover Model was sixth near the three-quarters when Dan Rawlings slipped her off the cones into the outside flow. When cover took him nowhere, Rawlings guided Cover Model back inside and hunted room, finding it between horses. The daughter of Dragon Again-Fashion Sureal rolled home to triumph in 1:53.4, 2-1/4 lengths better than Special Package. Momas Got A Gun, a full sister to Little Brown Jug winner Limelight Beach, was third. "I came out because I thought the outside flow was good, but it wasn't going anywhere," Rawlings said. "I basically took a shot (inside), and a seam opened up. I wasn't planning on being buried like I was, but everything worked out." Douglas Lewis trains Cover Model for Frederick W. Hertrich III and CTC stable. Alexa Said roared three wide through the lane to prevail for Eric Ledford in a career-best 1:55.3. Pennsylvania Stallion Series champion Half Past Seven was second by a length while early leader Mistup Magic earned show. It was the first stakes victory for Alexa Said although Tye Loy, who conditions the daughter of Well Said-Niki Blue Chip and owns with Michael Lowe, said she easily could have several more. "She's had bad luck and bad trips," said Loy of his $18,000 yearling acquisition. "When you warm her up, you wouldn't think she could go in 2:30 the way she's lollygagging around. When she hits the gate, it's all business; she puts her game face on." In the $18,000 Filly & Mare Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Trot, Cowgirl Hall thwarted the challenge of Better Caviar and downed him by a length in 1:53.2. Major Athens saved show. Dave Palone drove for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Jack Piatt III and Michael Rosenthal. The 5-year-old daughter of Cash Hall-Centerfold hall extended her career bankroll to $598,903. On Wednesday the Meadows Racetrack & Casino will offer a $5,000-guaranteed pool for its Pick 5 wager as part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Initiative. The Meadows added the “instant” guarantee after Tuesday’s Pick 5 was uncovered, resulting in a carryover of $1,239.74. Minimum wager for the Pick 5 (Races 12-16) is 50 cents. Since Pennsylvania law requires a minimum per-race wager of $2, a player wagering at the 50-cent level must bet at least four tickets. First post for Wednesday’s program, which features a $117,200 Keystone Classic for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters, is 12:55 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows
Freehold, NJ --- Sebastian K remained No. 1 following his seventh-place finish in the Centaur Trotting Classic, but the 8-year-old trotter lost eight first-place votes to the competition in this week’s Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll. Sweet Lou, Father Patrick and Artspeak all received at least one first-place vote. All three were idle last week. Winners last week in the Top 10 were JK She’salady in a division of the Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers and Lifetime Pursuit in the Buckette for 3-year-old filly trotters. Shake It Cerry, who was idle, moved into the No. 10 spot as Sandbetweenurtoes dropped out. Hambletonian/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 19 – 9/23/2014 Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Sebastian K (27) 8th 10-8-1-0 $620,603 335 1 2 Sweet Lou (4) 5ph 14-10-1-1 $940,533 303 2 3 Father Patrick (3) 3tc 11-9-1-0 $1,136,901 284 3 4 Trixton 3tc 11-8-1-1 $893,370 218 4 5 Artspeak (1) 2pc 6-6-0-0 $437,825 142 7 6 JK She’salady 2pf 7-7-0-0 $378,575 125 8 7 McWicked 3pc 15-9-3-1 $939,346 120 6 8 He’s Watching 3pc 10-5-2-1 $801,578 117 5 9 Lifetime Pursuit 3tf 13-8-1-2 $652,054 99 9 10 Shake It Cerry 3tf 11-9-0-1 $579,086 41 -- Also: JK Endofanera, Sandbetweenurtoes (19), Limelight Beach (15), Nuncio (13), Classic Martine, Mission Brief, Yankee Bounty (12), Foiled Again (9), Dancin Yankee, Market Share (6), Modern Family (5), All Bets Off (4), Somewhere In LA, Somwherovrarainbow (2), Billy Flynn, Clear Vision, I Like My Boss, Master Of Law, Wild Honey (1). Compiled by Ken Weingartner
In case you have not already signed up for Harnesslink’s great newsletter called Insider Access, then here is your chance. Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. This week’s Insider Access newsletter contains the following feature stories: NZ Election Not What We Need - Last weekend in New Zealand the 2014 general election took place and unfortunately for harness racing nothing much is going to change. 2015 Inter-Dominions - The announcement last week that Perth is the new home of the Inter-Dominions from 2015 has been greeted with a lot of positive comment and why not. Rules are rules, or weak excuse? - Opinions are divided over Gaita Pullicino’s latest clash with Harness Racing Victoria stewards. Open the gates - Is it time for every race track in Australasia to drop their admission fee? After all, race courses are the only ‘casinos’ in the world where patrons have to pay to gamble! Stallion Review – Ponder - Continuing on with our stallion review series today we have produced an in depth review for the excellent racehorse and stallion Ponder, 1:49h, 1:48.1 ($1,686,134). Trailers on a half mile 3yo stake? It shouldn’t be! On Little Brown Jug and Jugette Days, there were stakes races for three-year-old trotters, the Oaken Bucket and the Buckette. Both had ten horses going on a half mile track. Two trailers. Kudos to Sam, Dave, Wendy and Roger at the Jug - The broadcast team of Sam Mckee, Dave Bianconi, Wendy Ross and when available, Roger Huston, were superb in last week’s coverage of the Delaware County Fairgrounds and Jug and Jugette Days. Don’t miss out on the next edition of Insider Access. The newsletter currently comes out every other Tuesday morning (North America), Tuesday afternoon (Europe) and Wednesday morning (Australasia).
In case you have not already signed up for Harnesslink’s great newsletter called Insider Access, then here is your chance. Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. This week’s Insider Access newsletter contains the following feature stories: Rules are rules, or weak excuse? - Opinions are divided over Gaita Pullicino’s latest clash with Harness Racing Victoria stewards. Open the gates - Is it time for every race track in Australasia to drop their admission fee? After all, race courses are the only ‘casinos’ in the world where patrons have to pay to gamble! 2015 Inter-Dominions - The announcement last week that Perth is the new home of the Inter-Dominions from 2015 has been greeted with a lot of positive comment and why not. NZ Election Not What We Need - Last weekend in New Zealand the 2014 general election took place and unfortunately for harness racing nothing much is going to change. Stallion Review – Ponder - Continuing on with our stallion review series today we have produced an in depth review for the excellent racehorse and stallion Ponder, 1:49h, 1:48.1 ($1,686,134). Trailers on a half mile 3yo stake? It shouldn’t be! On Little Brown Jug and Jugette Days, there were stakes races for three-year-old trotters, the Oaken Bucket and the Buckette. Both had ten horses going on a half mile track. Two trailers. Kudos to Sam, Dave, Wendy and Roger at the Jug - The broadcast team of Sam Mckee, Dave Bianconi, Wendy Ross and when available, Roger Huston, were superb in last week’s coverage of the Delaware County Fairgrounds and Jug and Jugette Days. Don’t miss out on the next edition of Insider Access. The newsletter currently comes out every other Tuesday morning (North America), Tuesday afternoon (Europe) and Wednesday morning (Australasia).
In case you have not already signed up for Harnesslink’s great newsletter called Insider Access, then here is your chance. Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. This week’s Insider Access newsletter contains the following feature stories: Stallion Review – Ponder - Continuing on with our stallion review series today we have produced an in depth review for the excellent racehorse and stallion Ponder, 1:49h, 1:48.1 ($1,686,134). Trailers on a half mile 3yo stake? It shouldn’t be! On Little Brown Jug and Jugette Days, there were stakes races for three-year-old trotters, the Oaken Bucket and the Buckette. Both had ten horses going on a half mile track. Two trailers. Kudos to Sam, Dave, Wendy and Roger at the Jug - The broadcast team of Sam Mckee, Dave Bianconi, Wendy Ross and when available, Roger Huston, were superb in last week’s coverage of the Delaware County Fairgrounds and Jug and Jugette Days. Rules are rules, or weak excuse? - Opinions are divided over Gaita Pullicino’s latest clash with Harness Racing Victoria stewards. Open the gates - Is it time for every race track in Australasia to drop their admission fee? After all, race courses are the only ‘casinos’ in the world where patrons have to pay to gamble! 2015 Inter-Dominions - The announcement last week that Perth is the new home of the Inter-Dominions from 2015 has been greeted with a lot of positive comment and why not. NZ Election Not What We Need - Last weekend in New Zealand the 2014 general election took place and unfortunately for harness racing nothing much is going to change. Don’t miss out on the next edition of Insider Access. The newsletter currently comes out every other Tuesday morning (North America), Tuesday afternoon (Europe) and Wednesday morning (Australasia).
In case you have not already signed up for Harnesslink’s great newsletter called Insider Access, then here is your chance. Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. This week’s Insider Access newsletter contains the following feature stories: Trailers on a half mile 3yo stake? It shouldn't be! - On Little Brown Jug and Jugette Days, there were stakes races for three-year-old trotters, the Oaken Bucket and the Buckette. Both had ten horses going on a half mile track. Two trailers. Kudos to Sam, Dave, Wendy and Roger at the Jug - The broadcast team of Sam Mckee, Dave Bianconi, Wendy Ross and when available, Roger Huston, were superb in last week’s coverage of the Delaware County Fairgrounds and Jug and Jugette Days. Rules are rules, or weak excuse? - Opinions are divided over Gaita Pullicino’s latest clash with Harness Racing Victoria stewards. Stallion Review – Ponder - Continuing on with our stallion review series today we have produced an in depth review for the excellent racehorse and stallion Ponder, 1:49h, 1:48.1 ($1,686,134). Open the gates - Is it time for every race track in Australasia to drop their admission fee? After all, race courses are the only ‘casinos’ in the world where patrons have to pay to gamble! 2015 Inter-Dominions - The announcement last week that Perth is the new home of the Inter-Dominions from 2015 has been greeted with a lot of positive comment and why not. NZ Election Not What We Need - Last weekend in New Zealand the 2014 general election took place and unfortunately for harness racing nothing much is going to change. Don’t miss out on the next edition of Insider Access. The newsletter currently comes out every other Tuesday morning (North America), Tuesday afternoon (Europe) and Wednesday morning (Australasia).
Trenton, NJ --- For most of her life, the extent of Shelley Johnson’s photography featured holiday and vacation photos, much like the rest of the world. About 10 years ago, her husband Jeff surprised Shelley with a point-and-shoot camera for Christmas, in hopes that nine months later she would be able to take sharp action photographs at the Little Brown Jug at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio. “I’m not sure what Jeff was thinking,” said Johnson, who lives 35 miles east of Columbus, Ohio. “I had never taken action shots. I took it as a challenge.” Jeff must have known something no one else did, because the challenge has been well met. A decade later, most of the cover photos on Scioto Downs programs are taken by Shelley, who has developed an eye for action and just this week enjoyed shooting another Little Brown Jug. But her efforts in photography go beyond the racetrack. She also shoots photographs for the New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, which has Standardbred facilities in Ohio and Michigan. “I find great joy shooting photos of Standardbred horses retiring from the track and moving on to other careers,” she said. “New Vocations retrains Standardbred racehorses for various occupations under saddle and places them in new, caring homes. Each month I photograph these great horses going up for adoption. This is my way of promoting harness racing and helping the Standardbred horse adoption program.” While Jeff is the big horseman in the family, he did provide Shelley with a birthday present when he bought her a horse for her birthday named Master Chip in 2005. But it wasn’t like she just had to unwrap the horse at the stable. “I had to do all of my own bidding at the (Ohio Selected Jug) sale,” she said. “I had never been to an auction, let alone bid on anything. It was quite stressful. He didn't do much on the track, but I sure loved him. He has a good home now and enjoys life.” The Johnsons have also partnered with other owners on trotting fillies She’s Not Red and ML Cupcake, who are both broodmares now. They still have ML Cupcake, who was Ohio’s 2-year-old filly Trotter of the Year in 2010. “I can't wait until next spring to see her baby,” Shelley said. They also have a 2-year-old filly trotter, Carolina Charm, who has won four of six starts this season. “The racing was always Jeff's thing,” Shelley noted. “He knows horses, stallions, etc. I only enjoyed watching the races if it was a horse I knew. That's when I started taking pictures. It gave me something to do, and he was able to stay for the entire card without me wanting to go home!” It has led to a long, steady climb for the Ohio retiree who is technically a professional photographer by virtue of her sales, but still considers it a hobby. After receiving that first camera, she experimented on her feathered friends before horses, taking photos of birds at the feeder outside the dining room window. When she and Jeff bought their first horse, Shelley would try to capture him in action at the track. When she shot the Jug, it became a bit tougher as horses trying to win races traveled a lot faster than those being jogged and trained. “I took pictures, but they didn’t really turn out,” she said. Johnson kept plugging away. She took online classes for nature photography and equine photography. Neither dealt with shooting actual race action, but did help in the process. “I learned a lot about headshots and conformation shots in the equine class,” she said. “Also the proper distance to avoid distortion in the photos.” She also put in countless hours practicing at the farm of her friend Doris, who jogged and trained her own horses and taught Shelley a lot about the animals. But all the practice and all the talent in the world can only get a photographer so far without the right equipment. As her interest increased, so too did the quality of Shelley’s cameras. The big turnaround in her photos came several years ago when Jeff bought his wife a professional grade lens. “That’s made a huge difference,” Johnson said. “He even said if he had known the lens would make that much difference, he would have gotten it for me sooner.” She knew she arrived as a photographer when Scioto Downs made her a cover girl two years ago. “At that point,” she said, “I guess I thought, hey, I got this!” The monumental first cover came on June 21, 2012, with a photo of the entire field of a race on the starting gate, and an Ohio Lottery billboard behind them proclaiming “Winners Are Everywhere.” “It felt amazing to see it,” Johnson said. Aside from the program covers, she has had several photos in magazines by virtue of New Vocations using them. A week ago, Johnson was thrilled to see that one of her photos was used on the Scioto Downs billboard out front. She has discovered that she gets her finest results when not focusing on anything in particular. “I do my best when I just shoot random, with no pressure,” she said. “If I get it, OK. If I don't, OK. I will try to focus on a certain horse in a race if someone wants me to get a picture of their horse. That's hard though. The horse isn't always in view.” And as good as she has become, Johnson still feels the biggest key to her success “is probably just good luck.” “Most of the time I single-shoot the pictures,” she explained. “My camera doesn't shoot enough frames per second to use continuous mode. If I try to shoot in continuous mode and the horse has its foot planted on the track, it usually ends up planted in all of the shots. I like to try for shots with all four off the ground.” As for attempting to choose her favorite photo, Shelley said it’s like trying to pick a favorite child. She notes that when so many photos do not come out, “whenever I get one that I think looks good, I’m happy.” Judging by her success in recent years, Shelley Johnson has had quite a bit of happiness lately. To view Shelly Johnson’s work, check out her website at www.sfjohnsonphotos.com by Rich Fisher, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent Courtesy of the US Trotting Association Web Newsroom