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The Meadowlands is pleased to announce that the inaugural edition of the track's newest harness racing stake will be titled "The Mack Lobell Elitlopp Playoff" celebrating the memory of that great trotter. The purse is estimated to be $150,000.   Mack Lobell achieved legendary status in a racing career that spanned six seasons. He was owned during his early career by the One More Time Stables (principally Lou Guida) while being trained and driven by Hall of Fame horsemen Chuck Sylvester and John Campbell. Mack was Horse of the Year in 1987 and 1988 and won virtually all of the classics including the Hambletonian, Yonkers Trot, International Trot, three Breeders Crowns and the 1988 Elitlopp for those connections. He was later sold to Swedish interests, went on to win Elitlopp again 1990 and retire with career earnings of nearly $4 million.   The race itself was born of a discussion Solvalla Racetrack Directors Markus Myron and Christer Haggstrom had with Meadowlands brass Jeff Gural and Jason Settlemoir during Hambletonian week last summer. Ideas were exchanged and through their joint efforts a trotting bridge between continents has resulted. A group of twenty or so is expected to travel from Sweden to America to attend the race while The Meadowlands will send representatives to Sweden for the Elitlopp.   International interest in the event is very high. The Meadowlands' Sam McKee is working closely with ATG in Sweden on commingling wagers into the Meadowlands pools, which seems a distinct possibility. The Meadowlands is planning to simulcast a block of seven races to Europe, headlined by the Elitlopp Playoff which will be the first race on the Mother's Day matinee card set for Sunday, May 8 at 12:40 p.m. There have been discussions of having the Elitlopp Playoff race as part of the V75 wager.   Nominations to the inaugural race number fifteen and include many of the finest trotters in North America. Among them is 2015 Dan Patch "Trotter of the Year" JL Cruze who makes his first start of the season on Friday at The Meadowlands. Also nominated are 2015 Breeders Crown winner Creatine, TVG FFA Championship winner Resolve and millionaire mares Bee A Maician and Shake It Cerry. The complete list is available on the track website.   The winner will be rewarded with an invitation to participate in the 2016 Elitlopp at the Solvalla Racecourse outside Stockholm, Sweden on Sunday, May 29.   Harness racing fan Ken Burgdorf submitted the idea to name the race for Mack Lobell via a message sent to the Harness Racing Fan Zone website.   Meadowlands Media Relations

The death of the great Mack Lobell at age 32 reinforces the top line demise of the mercurial and very fast branch of the Victory Song line running through Noble Victory and his son Noble Gesture. Another branch running through ABC Freight, Garland Lobell and his very relevant trio Andover Hall, Angus Hall and Conway Hall, is still very much alive, but short an obvious extender, unless Donato comes across with a son to match his high flying daughters. Mack's great great grandsire Victory Song was a world champion son of Volomite. He was refined and almost feminine in appearance, as was his son Noble Victory. Victory Song was the first horse to be voted Horse of the Year by the writers. He was very fast, taking a mark of 1:57.3, but unsound. Victory Song had the fertility issues that have plagued his descendants, including Mack Lobell. In 13 years at stud he produced 473 registered foals, which included quite a few pacers. He was a nervous type and also passed that along; Stanley Dancer once said that a lot of the Victory Songs were "a little fruity." He died at age 19 in 1962, not long after the birth of his extender, Noble Victory. The latter was an all-time great as a freshman. His mama, Emily's Pride, won the Hambletonian and the Kentucky Futurity. She was voted Horse of the Year in 1958. Noble Victory won 18 of his 19 starts at two and equaled the 2:00 colt record shared by Titan Hanover and Scott Frost. Going them one better, he was the first colt to trot in 2:00 at night. Noble Victory was a star at two and productive at three and four. For example, he was the first to win the American-National at Sportsman's Park three times, and set track records in doing so at ages two, three and four. He won three times at a mile and a quarter as a four-year-old, equaling Speedy Scot's track record at Roosevelt Raceway. Noble Victory, who passed in 1987 at age 25, sired 895 offspring in 17 full years and three diminished years at stud. Doug Nash, who managed his feisty grandson, Balance Image, said the two qualities the modern breeder looked for in a trotter--early speed and endurance--were readily available from the Noble Victory line. He attributed the latter to their substantial skeletal and muscular structure. These are attributes Balanced Image himself possessed in spades, but it's interesting that Noble Victory, who could be mistaken for a mare, somehow passed that along to his heirs. Stanley Dancer said Noble Victory was the greatest trotter that ever lived. And Alan Leavitt seemed to agree, syndicating him for a record one million dollars. (Nevele Pride came along three years later and changed Dancer's opinion.) He was never a high volume, top dollar stallion like Super Bowl or Speedy Crown, but he averaged 50 a year and made his mark on the breed. Noble Gesture, from the first crop of Noble Victory, was fast and flaky. The sire of Balanced Image and Mystic Park took Dancer's "a little fruity" characterization of his grandsire Victory Song's offspring to a new level. He was a problem eater, shipper and sleeper. Chasing his tail, watching television and kicking the walls of his stall were his favorite activities. He won 8 of his 10 starts at two and trotted the second fastest mile ever by a freshman. His behavioral issues caught up with him at three and four when he won only 7 of 25 starts. Noble Gesture, who died from a heart attack at age 14, sired nine crops consisting of 282 registered foals. He sired the night and day duo, Balanced Image and Mystic Park. The former did not possess the flash of his daddy and grandpa on the track, but he was a high volume sire specializing in long lasting types that won races and money. Not many of his headstrong sons avoided being cut. He sired 21 crops and while his personality left plenty to be desired, he experienced none of the fertility issues that plagued his ancestors. Balanced Image sired 1828 registered foals. Unfortunately, none serves as an extender. Mystic Park, the sire of Mack Lobell, on the other hand, was brilliant on the track and a nightmare to breed. He won 13 of 16 starts at three, including the Yonkers Trot, Dexter Cup and ATC. He crushed the best of the FFA set in the latter. He was a big favorite to win the Hambletonian but broke in his elimination. Alan Leavitt syndicated Mystic Park for a record $5.2 million in 1982. The previous high was $4.5 million for Incredible Nevele. After being retired he caught Potomac Fever and lost almost a year to recovering from that. The fertility issues that plagued his sire and grandsire also came calling, and he only produced 141 registered foals--50 of them with standard records--in six years at stud in North America. Mystic Park was exported to Sweden where his fertility issues continued and he passed in September, 1992 at age 13. Mack, who was born April 28, 1984, was from Mystic Park's first crop. Delvin Miller, who had competed in 26 Hambletonians when he passed at age 83 in 1996, once made a list of the ten best trotters he'd seen: Mack was number one. He certainly possessed the speed and smooth gait, bereft of wasted motion, that Victory Song bequeathed to him from afar, but he also got the ADD grade lack of focus that came along with it. John Campbell said Mack, who he considered to be the best horse he ever sat behind, had a quirky nature and a wandering mind that often reared its head at inopportune moments on the track. Mack did not need a big track to get it done. He set a world record in the Standardbred at Delaware, Ohio at two, and the following year he equaled the world record in the Yonkers Trot. Of course, a big track was also fine. Mack trotted the fastest mile ever in a race when he won the Review at Springfield in 1:52.1. He was the first to win the Breeders Crown three times and he won the Elitlopp twice. At one point he held world records on all three size tracks, and he retired as the fastest on 5/8 and mile tracks. Despite their many issues, Victory Song sired Noble Victory, and he in turn gave us ABC Freight and Noble Gesture, and the former produced Garland Lobell, while it was Balanced Image and Mystic Park from the latter. But the string ran out with Mack. Broodmare credits aside, the crops were small--only 84 registered foals, 18 with standard records, in NA--and there was no son, here or abroad, who could impersonate an extender. Nevele Pride, who retired as the world record holder on all three size tracks, is in the conversation with Mack when it comes to the best ever in North America, but unless 17-year-old Kadabra gets on the ball, he will also disappear from the top line. It happened to Albatross, Good Time, Bye Bye Byrd, Florican and others. The difference is that they all had a good run before the curtain came down. Poor Mack went to war with an empty gun. Joe FitzGerald has been an avid harness racing fan and historian for the last half-century. He writes a weekly blog for Joe's commentary reflects his own views and not that of Harnesslink.

Yannick Briand’s trainee Viking Blue (7g Prodigious-Idole Blue)regained winning form today in the €88,000 purse Prix du Chesnay contested by 17 horses over the 2850 meter grande piste at Paris-Vincennes. The winner was timed in 1.13.5kr for driver Dominik Locqueneux. Viking Blue was a dq in his last appearance on February 7 after posting eight straight wins, but today he held the lead gamely at .5/1 odds to best 22/1 Uno Dancer (8g Offshore Dream-Laura Dancer) and 14/1 Tallien (9g Extreme Aunou-Gyka de la Chaise) Urgos du Cedre and Urus ended fourth and fifth as the Q+ exact order payoff was €5,710 without jackpot, for a wager of €2. On the undercard the Prix de Lens (purse €65,000, monte nine starters) went to 3.3/1 odds Cash du Rib (4g Ready Cash-Quille Castelets) for J.L.Cl. Dersoir, also trainer for Ecurie Jeloca. Timed in 1.16.2kr the winner defeated 10/1 Camarade Sympa handled by Franck Nivard with Castel Black and Clement Frecelle third in a close photo decision. Favorite Coffee d’OIstal ended sixth after going off as the 1.6/1 choice of the punters. The pick-five Prix de Fontainbleau (purse €60,000, 2700 meters) was a great race and Be Bop Haufor (5g Notre Haufor-Ica Haufor) prevailed by a length at 6.2/1 odds after a relentless stretch drive for owner, trainer/driver Christian Bigeon. Timed in 1.13.5kr after even fractions the winner defeated fast-closing Shiraz Roc (5m Gigant Neo-Bufera Roc) handled by Mathieu Abrivard at 2/1 and third finishing 75/1 outsider Onceforall Face (5g Viking Kronos-Lemonsoda OM) with Eric Raffin up for trainer Lutfi Kolgjini and Stall Vallro AB of Sweden. 7/1 Spirit Real (5g Supergill-Civetta Real) ended fourth between horses for J-M Bazire and trainer Jerry Riordan after being boxed in the lane and fifth went to the game 39/1 pacesetter Schubert (5m Abano As-Glide Be Nimble) that Pierre Vercruysse teamed for Erwin Bot, trainer for Gerrits Recycling BV of Holland.  €400,000 Grand Prix de Paris 16 horses remain engaged for Sunday’s €400,000 Grand Prix de Paris led by Bold Eagle and Timoko. Expect a few other dropouts on Thursday when the final field is set. Tiego d’Etang and Bird Parker could inflict some damage as Bold Eagle seeks the Triple Crown last won 40 years ago by Bellino II and previously by Jamin and twice by the legenday Gelinotte. Mack Lobell had been euthanized Separately it was announced Monday that Mack Lobell had been euthanized at age 32 at Menhammer Stuteri in Sweden. The son of Mystic Park-Matina Hanover-Speedy Count recorded a slate of 71-10-6 in 94 career starts for earnings of 22,408,640SEK (US$2,638,550 at today’s conversion rate) and a 1.09.7kr record. Mack was developed by Chick Sylvester and driven largely by John Campbell before being sold and exported. He won the Elitloppet twice, in 1988 with Campbell driving timed in 1.11.3kr over Sugarcane Hanover and Napoletano and again in 1990 timed in 1.11kr with Thomas Nilsson aboard defeating Peace Corps and driver Stig H. Johansson. It was a great period of international trotting as Napoletano won the 1989 Elitloppet edition and Peace Corps returned to win in 1991. Interestingly, as the FR Triple Crown fast approaches this coming Sunday, the two previous winners also won the Elitloppet, Jamin in 1959 for Jean Riaud and Gelinotte in both 1956-57 for the legendary horseman Charlie Mills. Also interesting to me is that Mack’s two Elitloppet wins were lightning fast 25 years ago as evidenced by the more recent fastest two winning times of 1.09.5kr by Timoko in 2014 and 1.09.8kr by Exploit Caf in 2008. We will long remember Mack Lobell as a true “World Champion” Thomas H. Hicks

Lou Guida, who passed Friday at age 81, enjoyed tremendous success buying and syndicating horses for the purpose of racing, but it galled him right to the end that so many of those champion pacers and trotters failed to produce as stallions. He’s best known for his association with Niatross. He bought a half interest in the precocious son of Albatross after he’d made six starts as a freshman. Guida paid $4.2 million, clinching the deal with a series of reachable and lucrative performance bonuses for trainer/driver Clint Galbraith, who owned the colt with Elsie Berger. The syndication price was later upped to $10 million, but in the meantime the crafty money manager sold 37.5 % of his shares to investors, retaining 12.5% and the all-important role as syndicate manager. He expected that sale to net him a $1.5 million profit over the course of a decade. While the eight lawsuits lodged against the syndicate by Clint Galbraith, who wanted to race the horse at four then stand him at Rodney farms, snaked their way through the judicial system, Niatross stood at Castleton in Kentucky—a neutral site—for $35,000. Three hundred broodmares auditioned for 150 slots in his book. His first two crops contained Nihilator, Pershing Square, Smartest Remark, Carressable and Flight Of Fire. Unfortunately it was all downhill from there. After Nihilator’s dominant win in the Meadowlands Pace, Lou said that Nihilator along with entry mates Chairmanoftheboard, Pershing Square and Primus would generate $120 million in income over the following twenty years. Not quite. Nihilator was retired to a failed stud career in November; Historic, Native Born and Shore Patrol were his three millionaires. That says it all. And the others were even less successful at that endeavor than he was. Guida also owned 25% of Dragon’s Lair, from that same crop; he had been syndicated for $12.4 million after a terrific freshman campaign. He won five times at three, but nothing of note. The following year Dragon’s Lair was credited with seven foals from 79 mares. They brought him back to the track for a couple of years, where he won 14 races and banked $400,000, and he subsequently went on to be a mediocre stallion. That wasn’t what Guida had in mind. Several years earlier, prior to Niatross reshaping the sport, Lou syndicated Sonsam for $6.3 million, which was upped to $8 million when shares were sold. He had won 14 of 17 starts at two and brought folks out of their seats with his Meadowlands Pace heroics, but he was injury prone and couldn’t handle a half. Rival Hot Hitter, who Guida syndicated 60% of for $6 million, won the division. Both stood at partner Morty Finder’s Pine Hollow Stud, with the speedy Sonsam serving as a much anticipated addition to the stallion ranks. Hot Hitter, who won the Jug and the Messenger, never produced a good horse, while Sonsam had some early success with the likes of Hit Parade and Marauder, but soon tailed off into mediocrity, with Till We Meet Again, from his seventh crop, serving as an exception. The fee for Niatross had jumped to $40,000 when he was moved to Pine Hollow after his spate of early success. As things went downhill, so did his fee. By 1994 he was standing for $5,000 in New Jersey. But remember, Lou had parceled off most of his share early in the process. He was disappointed, but didn’t get caught with an empty bag in his hand. Something similar happened after Nihilator was syndicated for $19.2 million; Guida retained 29%, but he was forced to unload all of that for tax reasons. He also lost his breeding rights. The result was that he was given a lucrative contract as syndicate manager, leaving him with very limited liability as the horse failed the investors long term, after earning a bundle in stud fees for the first couple of years. He syndicated Forrest Skipper, who made his mark in the aged ranks, for $5 million. The son of Sundance Skipper pursued a failed career as a stallion in New Jersey. He divided BG’s Bunny up into 40 shares, and while he wasn’t a great stallion, it proved to be a very rewarding financial transaction, and set the stage for numerous other deals. Mack Lobell was a $17,000 purchase; the company Guida formed bought 21 yearlings for close to $2 million and Mack was one of them. This was the same strategy that netted him Nihilator, as he bought every Niatross yearling for sale from the first crop and wound up with about 30 of them. Mack earned almost $4 million—a handsome ROI—but his semen was almost devoid of sperm, a serious drawback for a sire. He had the Victory Song blues. Lou bought a piece of world champion Pine Chip, who didn’t race at two, from Chuck Sylvester. The son of Arndon earned about $1.7 million. There were fertility issues at the beginning, but he turned out to be fertile enough to cover 200 mares at Castleton. He started out at $10,000 and was up to $20,000 in 2000. He was shipped to Sweden at about that time, where he was very successful. Pine Chip was one of Guida’s breeding triumphs. Bullville Victory, a $400,000 purchase at three, when he won the Kentucky Futurity, Yonkers Trot and World Trotting Derby, exemplifies Guida’s dilemma. He was from the Valley Victory line and, not surprisingly, had almost no sperm in his semen, yet this line was faster and smarter than the rest. Valley Victory’s first two crops consisted of 84 and 69 foals, and it went downhill from there. Crops three through six had between 42 and 58 foals, and that issue was passed along. [Muscles Yankee, Lindy Lane and Donerail serve as exceptions to the rule.] The same situation existed on the pacing side where sons of Albatross were a risky proposition as stallion prospects—see Niatross. Guida was able to benefit from racing horses successfully while folding caveats into the deals that protected him when they entered the breeding realm. He paid $250,000 for Westgate Crown (Royal Prestige) the day that one became the fastest freshman trotter ever with a 1:55.1 time trial. He won his division that year but couldn’t buy a win at three. Westgate Crown went on to have some success in the aged ranks and a very modest career as a stallion. He’s in the Canadian Hall Of Fame, but again, that’s not what Guida had in mind. Lou’s biggest bust was Rodney’s Best, a $1.5 million purchase he said was a shoo-in to win the Hambletonian and would go on to be the greatest sire ever. Not quite. At one time Guida, who was always looking to spread the risk, believed broodmare syndication would be the next big thing. He saw value in an individual investing in a number of mares as opposed to one expensive stallion. In 1980, when he owned parts of 22 horses, he also owned 85 broodmares. In the mid-1980s he loaded up on shares in thoroughbred stallions—Spend A Buck and Tasso , to name two—and built a band of broodmares to redeem those shares. He repositioned his Standardbred holdings to Italy many years ago, where he was also very successful. Lou was a busy guy. There are people and events that have altered harness racing in a memorable way: the introduction of night racing to an urban audience at Roosevelt Raceway by George Morton Levy in September, 1940; Alan Leavitt’s syndication of Overtrick and Noble Victory in the mid-1960s; the opening of the Meadowlands in September, 1976; and the introduction of Joe King’s modified sulky at Yonkers Raceway in December, 1977 represent a few of them. I’d have to put Lou Guida in that same category, based on the way he changed the collective mindset with regard to owning horses. (Joe FitzGerald has been an avid harness racing fan and historian for the last half-century. He writes a weekly blog for Joe’s commentary reflects his own views and not that of

For a stroll down Breeders Crown memory lane check out the excellent features put together by Dave Briggs, Lauren Lee and Dave Landry at and by Hoof Beats Do you agree with Dean Hoffman's Top 20 Breeders Crown moments? Share, post and tell us your own at Breeders Crown champions of days gone by are featured in the book Standardbred Old Friends, whose creators, renowned photographer Barbara Livingston and Ellen Harvey, will be on hand both Friday and Saturday night at the Meadowlands to sign the 208 page book devoted to champions of the past, who are now in their twilight years. The cover horse on Standardbred Old Friends is then-29-year-old Mack Lobell, depicted at his home at Menhammar Stud in southern Sweden. Other Breeders Crown champs captured on their yearlong 10,000 mile journey are CR Kay Suzie, Moni Maker, Matt's Scooter, Super Grit, Staying Together and 37 other horses of distinction. The book will be sold at the Harness Racing Museum booth during the first three races on Friday and Saturday, all proceeds go to benefit the work of the Museum. It can also be purchased on their web site at or by calling 845-294-6330.  by Moira Fanning, for the Breeders Crown

With the resurgence of elite world-wide trotting highlighted by top of the line European contenders coming across the Atlantic to race in major contests in the U.S. and Canada along with the rejuvenated Yonkers Trot, the Breeders Crown classic, and the Maple Leaf Trot have become international spectacles to go with the Elitlopp and Prix d',Amerique in Europe. Looking back 26 years ago to the day in 1988, the March of Dimes Trot at Garden State Park had the attention of of the trotting world and the near soap-box behind-the-scenes saga of how the race was saved, was the story of the time. Despite a country-wide airstrike enveloping France, a weeklong rain and a major money short-fall, the March of Dimes Trot went on as scheduled. A race, destined to be the greatest trot of the 20th century, overcame all obstacles. It matched four of America's top trotters, led by the legendary Mack Lobell, along with Go Get Lost, Scenic Regal and Canada's No Sex Please, a three-year-old, meeting four of Europe's stars headed by famed European champion Ourasi, and the renown Napolitano, Callit and Sugarcane Hanover. The trotting world anticipated the one- mile test to wind-up as a match race between arguably the greatest trotters of the era - America's superstar Mack Lobell, winner of the 1988 Elitlopp and the great French standout Ourasi, four -time Prix d'Amerique champion - squaring off in the $600,000 March of Dimes Trot at the late Garden State Park. Originally billed as a $1,000,000 International clash, between the foreign trotting stars and North America's champions of-the-day, the event became a contest in serious jeopardy. Nine days before the event, with European trotters already on their way to the United States, only $80,000 of the $1-million purse was in place. At the Harrisburg sale, Paul Spears, of Hanover Shoe Farms, is said to have helped raise $300,000. Among other contributors were prominent owners Joe Thomson, Ed Gold and George Segal. Fellow amateur driver and benefactor Peter Gerry "guaranteed" the rest as the final purse was re-established at $600,000. In fact, circumstances even prevented the track from advertising a $1-million contest for racegoers. The contest did go on with the fan predicting the race-winner receiving $500,000. Selecting the second-place finisher was good for a $250,000 payoff. The fan picking the third-place finisher got $125,000 with fourth- and fifth-place finishers receiving $8,000 and $5,000 respectively. The ill-fated, ultra-modern Garden State Park racetrack was located a short distance from Philadelphia, across the Delaware River, in Cherry Hill, N.J.   Early in the race week, the March of Dimes Trot appeared destined to be 'dead in the water.' Track officials, publicist Bill Fidati and track race-caller Alex Kraszewski were inundated with countless telephone calls. Conceived by Pennsylvania harness racing enthusiast Gordon Dickinson, as a major international trotting test in the tradition of the International Trot then held at New York tracks, originally at Roosevelt and later Yonkers. Profits of the much-anticipated event were targeted to the March of Dimes charity, but as raceday approached, the heralded trot seemed deep in financial trouble. The original concept envisioned the world's finest trotters meeting for a $5-million purse and with the March of Dimes charity as its sponsor. As the 1988 harness year progressed, Mack Lobell was, as expected, the dominant trotter in North America, while Ourasi was at the top of his game in Europe beating the best trotters on the continent. Both owners were not afraid to boast of their horses. Each challenged the other all Summer long. Lou Guida wasn't aware of the prominence of the Elittlop until HTA Executive Director, Stanley Bergstein, called and recommended that he send Mack Lobell to the classic race. "He destroyed the field to become the first four-year-old to win the race always won by older horses," recalls Guida." He also was the first American horse to win since Delmonica Hanover. "The next day,' remembers Guida," a manager for Ourasi's owner, introduced me to the French Racing Association president who argued that French horses were far and above American trotters. He challenged me to race Mack Lobell at one of France's 'up and down racetracks.'" "I invited them to come to American for a race," Guida stated. "They decided not to come." He continued, "The next day I was interviewed on French TV and I said they were chicken as I lifted my arms [with my hands in my armpits] to simulate chicken wings. That's where the heated rivalry began." At the time in the late 1980s, there was a monumental two-continent rivalry regarding which was the world's greatest trotter. Mack Lobell was the toast of North America while Ourasi, owned by enthusiastic Raul Ostheimer, was acknowledged European continent champion. The two owners continued a season-long ongoing debate about which of the two trotters was best. "Talk about the race started during the summer at the Meadowlands," remembers Joe DeFrank, who was also director of racing at Garden State Park. "Everything seemed to be going alright until about the time of the Harrisburg sale, a few weeks before. Things began to look so bad financially, that I thought it would never happen. "Then, Del Miller called me and said that I should 'hold on,''' continued DeFrank, "And, almost until race time there were growing rumors spread throughout the harness racing world that the race would not happen. "The industry itself didn't do anything," recalls DeFrank. "But Delvin (Miller), Paul Spears, the Gerrys (Elbridge Jr. and Peter), and a few others, went to work and raised about a million dollars from some of the sport's leading people. They went to work at the Harrisburg sale to raise money, and the on-again, off-again event was on-again," DeFrank said. On top of everything, Garden State Park popular president Bob Quigley was hospitalized. "I was rushed to the hospital with diverticulitis,' recalls Quigley, "I didn't even get to see the race." . A crowd of 8,013 fans, and perhaps the largest contingent of worldwide sportswriters and feature columnists covering a harness race, assembled and were on hand that chilly mid-week night. Another major complication at the time surfaced when France was mired by a strike grounding all flights. Even with the air strike, but because of the fervor in the country about the popular trotting rivalry, French officials stepped in to permit an exception, allowing Ourasi to fly out. 'Ourasi was the darling of France and a European hero,''DeFrank recalled, "Along with Ourasi, about 260 Frenchmen came with the horse. They were put up at a French hotel in New York. In lieu of staying in a nearby luxury hotel in Philadelphia or Cherry Hill, the horse's owner [Ostheimer] also chose to stay at the Meridian Hotel in New York and traveled to-and-from the track by limo.Even then, there was no certainty the race would go on," remarked DeFrank. "I would guess, about a million dollars was raised in a short period of time. Of course there were serious expenses involved flying in the horses, hotel stays and other daily charges, and $600,000 went to the purse," DeFrank detailed. "When I spoke to Ourasi's owner, he said he'd bring his great horse over for nothing just to be in the race," added DeFrank. In addition to the grave pre-race financial matters, heavy rain marred the early week weather including a deluge the previous day. Garden State management brought in helicopters to help dry the racetrack and turf course. Despite the entire pre-race furor, the big night had all the fixing of a grand night for racing. Garden State Park was owned by International Thoroughbred Breeders (ITB), and to boost the night,   in addition to the big trot, a thoroughbred race was programmed on the turf - something previously never done - runners and standardbreds racing on the same program, to help make the night extra special. Amateur driving stalwart Peter Gerry, in a show of hospitality, gave up his drive to the owner of Ourasi, who wanted to drive in the amateur race. Also on the excellent program, NASA astronaut Jeanne Yeager, who had just circled the world in a previously unprecedented performance, drove the winning horse in a celebrity race setting the stage for the big trot. Because of the many unexpected pre-race difficulties, but thanks to a number of harness racing supporters, the eventual race purse was finally determined to be $600,000. The first five finishers dividing the purse with $300,000 going to the winner, $150,000 for second, $72,000 to the third place horse, $60,000 for fourth and $30,000 to the fifth horse. In the Phoenix dining room watching the trotters warm up, owner Guida was concerned as he watch Mack Lobell warming in a fractious manner. He didn't warm up the way he usually does, and that worried me," remembers Guida. Garden State announcer Alex Kraszewski was at the microphone to start the March of Dimes Trot. Mack Lobell, driven by John Campbell, left the gate fastest as four trotters came away in the outstanding field of international champions. The four-year-old took the top trotters in the world to the quarter in: 27.3 with Sugarcane Hanover, first to try to overtake Mack Lobell. Driver Campbell said, "The fractions were easy." As the American champion reached the backstretch, two Swedish-owned challengers had secured up-close positions, American-bred Napolitano, owned by Ingvar Thorson and driven by famed international star Stig H. Johannson, and Callit, with Karl Johannson, driving the French-sired seven-year-old whose dam was also an American bred. The year before, Napolitano had ended Mack Lobell's bid for a Triple Crown sweep while winning the Kentucky Futurity. Reaching the backstretch diminutive Go Get Lost rushed up to challenge with Ourasi moving three wide. The French champion, quickly moved up to seriously challenge Mack Lobell. From that point, the dynamic duo raced as a team the rest of the way. "Ourasi was trotting easily alongside then began to attack turning for home," tells Campbell. Ourasi finally took a short lead in mid-stretch as the battling pair headed down the long homestretch on the mile track. While the front duo were slugging it out, head-to-head, Sugarcane Hanover, handled by Gunner Eggen, was enjoying a perfect trip racing behind the pair. In deep stretch, the unheralded longshot closed past the front-battlers to finish first at the wire by a neck in 1:55.1. Ourasi won the personal skirmish with Mack Lobell edging the American-bred for second by a half-length. Driver John Campbell remembers that it had been a long season for Mack Lobell. "After coming back from the Elitlopp,' Mack' only was at his best about three times that Summer and Fall." At season's end, Mack Lobell has won 17 of his 19 starts with two third place finishes and was voted Harness Horse of the Year for the second straight campaign. Two years later, Campbell was voted into the U.S. Harness Writers Association's Hall of Fame. Sugarcane Hanover had been a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes winning juvenile and a Breeders Crown champion at three. He was considered a contender, but not regarded as exceptional. As with other North American top trotters of the era whose stakes career ended, Sugarcane Hanover was sold overseas, to Helmer Strombo, of Norway, Ourasi, trained and driven by renowned European horseman, Jean-Rene Gougeon, enjoyed an outstanding reputation. Gougeon had driven the French- bred to outstanding wins in major races in Europe. Years before, Gougeon drove the great French mare Une de Mai to victory defeating the American champion Nevele Pride in the 1969 Roosevelt International Trot. While the March of Dimes Trot became a memorable and an artistic racing success, it was a financial dud with many complications, before and after. The harness sport dug deep in pockets to present a lesser purse than advertised. Even a crowd estimated at only 8,000-plus attendance, like the purse, never approached expectations. The race was telecast, later to be re-played on American TV, ESPN's announcer missed called the finish of the race incorrectly. It necessitated the entire race to be re-recorded and therefore replayed much later than expected. In Sweden, where the race began at 4 a.m. local time, Swedes wagered $400,000 on the race alone. In North America, ESPN was scheduled to air a delayed replay at 12 Midnight, but due to the TV Network's announcer missing the call at the wire despite onsite race caller Alex Kraszewski's accurate description. The TV finish had to be re-cut with the airing set back more than a half hour. Today, some two-and-a-half decades later, the trials and tribulations of the March of Dimes Trot have been long forgotten. The great international event featuring the greatest international trotters and drivers of the era has earned a place in history. It also saved the American harness racing community extreme humiliation. Despite the second-place finish, Ourasi's driver Jean-Rene Gourgeon said, "This was the greatest race I've ever seen." He stated, "It undoubtedly was the best trotting race in the history of the sport." "A major effort by many people enabled the March of Dimes Trot to be a giant artistic success. I think it's the best trot I ever saw," exclaimed Hall of Famer DeFrank". Looking back, John Campbell quoted, "It was a hell-of-a-race." With all the pre-race travail, the race became an all-time classic and the March of Dimes was a winner too. The charity organization received $200,000.   by Marv Bachrad for

The connections of Swedish star Commander Crowe have officially accepted an invitation to the $500,000 Breeders Crown Trot for the third time and the chestnut champion will make his first star on U.S. soil this fall. Commander Crowe raced in the Breeders Crown Trot in 2011-2012 at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, finishing third to San Pail and third to Chapter Seven in his respective events. Since moving to the stable of French trainer Fabrice Souloy in 2010, Commander Crowe, now 11, is still going strong. He earned a Breeders Crown invitation by winning the Aby Stora Pris, a Grade 1 event in Gothenburg, Sweden, in August. Owned by Snogarps Gard AB (Barbro Wihlborg, Ulf Wihlborg & Joakim Wihlborg) the gelded son of Juliano Star-Somack-Mack Lobell has won 60 races in 103 starts, for earnings of $4.7 million. "We are delighted to accept your kind invitation for our horse Commander Crowe in order to participate in this years Breeders Crown for older trotters," said Joakim Wihlborg via emial. "We are fully aware of the conditions and we are looking forward to be a part of the big event." The last invited foreign horse to win the Breeders Crown Trot was Italian sensation Varenne, who captured the trophy with a then-world-record 1:51.1 at the Meadowlands. Trainer Fabrice Souloy reports that Commander Crowe will arrive in the U.S. in mid-October. The $500,000 Breeders Crown Trot is one of 12 championship events worth a total of $5.6 million to be raced at The Meadowlands over the weekend of Friday, Nov.21 and Saturday, Nov. 22. For more information visit or    

Lexington, KY --- The Kentucky Horse Park will host a book signing for Standardbred Old Friends with author Ellen Harvey on Wednesday (Oct. 1) from 10 a.m.-12 noon. A collection of endearing stories on the lives of legendary Standardbred horses, this book is a collaboration with award-winning equine photographer Barbara Livingston, whose popular books Old Friends and More Old Friends, painted a sentimental portrait of champion racehorses long gone from the spotlight. Guests who purchase a copy of the book will receive half off admission to the park on Oct. 1 and the special all-Standardbred Hall of Champions Show at 1:15 p.m. organized for the occasion. A collection of Standardbred sulkies will also be put on display this day for guests to view, including a rare tandem sulky and a sulky used with Hall of Fame pacer Rambling Willie. Guests may pre-order the book through the park’s online gift shop,, or at 859.259.4234, to ensure they have a copy, or to have a copy held for them if they are unable to attend the event. The first 50 books pre-ordered will also be signed by the book’s photographer, Barbara Livingston. Books may be picked up anytime between Oct. 1 and Oct. 12, or shipping can be arranged. Standardbred Old Friends focuses on the distinctly American breed that evolved from a horse that carried the family to church, raced at the county fair and now competes world-wide at a trot and pace.  Standardbred Old Friends portrays 43 horses, ages 19 to 37, most of them millionaires with Hall of Fame membership, but some of more modest distinction -- occupied as show horses, in law enforcement or as hardworking, blue-collar performers. With Harvey telling the rich tales of horses from Sweden to Southern California, from Maine to Florida, Livingston has captured images of horses whose achievements are now decades past, but whose memories will last a lifetime.  Standardbred Old Friends looks at the lives of horses like the Kentucky Horse Park’s own champion Standardbred pacers, Staying Together and Western Dreamer. Staying Together was foaled in nearby Georgetown, and won 21 of 26 starts in 1993, setting a speed record, in one of harness racing’s most memorable seasons. Stanley, as he is known, is now blind due to an incurable eye disease, but he has been able to adapt due to his own tenaciousness and his handlers’ care of him. Western Dreamer, or Dreamer, is the park’s resident Triple Crown winner, winning pacing’s Triple Crown in 1997 and becoming the first gelding of any breed to win a Triple Crown. Born just three miles from the Kentucky Horse Park, Dreamer is the son of Western Hanover, one of the most influential Standardbred sires in history.  Other Standardbred horses featured in the book include North American and European superstar Mack Lobell, now 30, at his home along the shores of Lake Malaren in southern Sweden, 2004 Horse of the Year Cam’s Card Shark at historic Hanover Shoe Farm in central Pennsylvania, and mother-daughter Hall of Famers Country Kay Sue and CR Kay Suzie among the live oaks at their home in central Florida. For a video sample of the photos in the book and a look at the making ofStandardbred Old Friends, featuring 30-year-old champion Standardbred roadster Autobahn at Cane Run Farm in Kentucky, go to this link. The Kentucky Horse Park is open daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. through Nov. 2. Admission is $16 for adults and $8 for children 7-12, and includes the next day free. Children 6 and under are always admitted free of charge when accompanied by a paying adult. Admission includes the International Museum of the Horse, a Smithsonian Affiliate; and the “Showplace for Saddlebreds” -- The American Saddlebred Museum & Gift Shop. From the Kentucky Horse Park

Paris-Turf reported today that Commander Crowe could race in the September 14th UET Masters Series Final in Copenhagen and then may fly to New Jersey and the barn of trainer Trond Smedshammer. The 11-year-old chestnut son of Juliano Star-Somack-Mack Lobell could then appear in three USA events, the Red Mile's Allerage, the Yonkers International and the Breeders Crown at the new Meadowlands. by Thomas H. Hicks, for  

Norway's Support Justice (5m Kadabra-Artisane-Lindy Lane) took today's Gr. I UET Masters Series Jubileumspokalen over 2140 meters autostart at Solvalla. The winner earned 1 million SEK (US$145,140) for the victory, his 17th in 24 career starts, now with earnings of 4,732,895SEK. Geir Vegard Gundersen trains the winner and he was the driver. The important victory was number five this year in eight outings. Winning time was 1.11.7kr (Varenne race record of 1.11.2kr in 2002). BBS Sugarlight (5g Super Light-Sugarsweet Sid-Sugarcane Hanover) was second for Peter Untersteiner and Claes Boko ended third for Erik Adielsson teaming for trainer Stig H. Johansson. Stefan Melander's Standout (5m Ganymede-Ebony DK-Royal Troubador) was a fast closing fourth after encountering traffic trouble throughout from second tier post 11. John Campbell reined Standout. Magic Tonight was first to the lead with Beer Summit In The Pocket. BBS Sugarlight was first up early and then Time Machine went three wide to move alongside leader Magic Tonight. BBS Sugarlight was shuffled a bit and then made a three-wide charge late but could not hold off the eventual winner in what was a great contest with flying finish. Magic Tonight ended eighth, Beer Summit was tenth with Denmark's Stelton disqualified for a miscue. Support Justice may be one to watch in other upcoming classics. Replay of today's Support Justice victory may be seen here. Also video of Mack Lobell and John Campbell today at Solvalla follows. The Jubileumsspokalen began in 1977 and to date has produced three-time winners Zoogin and Gidde Palema. Pershing, Callit and Victory Tilly won this event twice. Stig H. Johansson has won this race as driver nine times followed by Ake Svanstedt with seven victories. by Thomas H. Hicks, for  

Video of Mack Lobell & John Campbell

Through the years fast miles have been the norm on the mile clay oval at Springfield. The fastest in a pari-mutuel race was eight years ago when My Boy David sped to a 1:47.4 clocking with Andy Miller in 2006. While many may remember My Boy David’s fastest mile in Springfield history that came in his Illinois State Fair Stake elimination race, most fans may not know that the 3-year-old Homer Hochstetler trainee didn’t go on to win that $50,000 Final four days later. Fox Valley Tribal, driven by Tim Tetrick for trainer Bob Sanders, took the championships in 1:49 flat, a half-length ahead of Thisbigdogwilfight. My Boy David settled for third (1:49.2), beaten two lengths. My Boy David would bounce back to take the Dudley Hanover title at Du Quoin and the Pete Langley Memorial Championship on Super Night and would go on to compete into 2012 at the age of nine, amassing over $1.3 million for owner Shirley Le Vin of Barrington Hills. My Boy David winning at Balmoral The great Mack Lobell holds the Springfield record for a trotter when he motored to a 1:52.1 clocking with John Campbell in the 1987 George Alexander Memorial as a 3-year-old. The fastest mile ever paced on the Springfield big track came in a time trail in 1993 when Cambest (Bill O’Donnell) stopped the timer in a sizzling 1:46.1. The oldest Springfield track record goes back to the year 2000 when the Erv Miller Stable’s Incredible Tillie (Andy Miller) took the 3-year-old filly pace in 1:49.2 some 14 years ago. The newest track record belongs to PQ Three, another Erv Miller trainee.  Last year Mike Oosting drove PQ Three to a 1:50 flat victory in the 2-year-old colt pace championship, bettering the old mark by 2/5’s of a second shared by Hot N Sporty (2005) and Lucky’s Z Tam (2006). To view Archived Notes and Quotes click here     County Fair Report   EFFINGHAM COUNTY FAIR AT ALTAMONT   Tuesday Afternoon-1 pm FIRST: $1,125 2 and 3-Year-Old Pace: Horse (Driver)                                     Time (Track Fast) Perfectly Clear (Kyle Wilfong)                       2:00.2  Trainer: Bob Rittof. Owners: Angela Coleman and Bob Rittof. SECOND: $1,125 2 and 3-Year-Old Pace: Togetherforver (Michael Johnson)                  2:02.4 Trainer: Michael Johnson. Owner: Rhonda Manship. THIRD: $1,300 Open 3-Year-Old Trot: Morgans Majestic (Ladarrius Whitaker)         2:0.2 Trainer: Ladarrius Whitaker. Owner: Gloria Gillis. FOURTH: $1,300 Non-Winners of $7,500 LT Pace: Ava Destruction (Darla Martin)                      2:00.3 Trainer: Joan Brown. Owners: David and Joan Brown. FIFTH: $1,900 ICF Maidens Trot: At Risk (Darla Martin)                                    2:06.4 Trainer: Darla Martin Owner: Darla Martin. BOONE COUNTY FAIR AT BELVIDERE   Tuesday Afternoon-Noon FIRST: $3,575 NICA 2-Year-Old Filly Pace: Horse (Driver)                                     Time (Track Slow) Rockin Cassinova (Jay Garrels)                      2:15.1 Trainer: Jay Garrels/ Owners: William and Wm. Pat De Long. SECOND: $3,496 NICA 2-Year-Old Colt Pace: Miss Mascoutin (Robert Yohn)                      2:25.1 Trainer: Robert Yohn. Owners: Philips Krogman and Robert Yohn. THIRD: $6,039 NICA 2-Year-Old Trot: New Achiever (Orval Bronkhorse)                 2:21.3 Trainer: Orval Bronkhorse. Owner: Orval Bronkhorst. FOURTH: $3,300 ICF 4-Year-Olds and Up Trot: Fall Creek Bandit (John Roberts)                   2:13 Trainer: Don Brown. Owners: Don and Vicky Brown. FIFTH: 1,000 Non-Winners of $1,500 Trot: Foxiesbandofgold (Robert Yohn)                  2:14.4 Trainer: Robert Yohn. Owner: Richard Thompson. SIXTH: PACE, 2 and 3-Year-Old Pace: Elusive Return (Gary Rath)                            2:11.1 Trainer: Gary Rath. Owners: Gary and Kathryn Rath. WILLIAMSON COUNTY FAIR AT MARION     Tuesday Afternoon: 1 pm FIRST: $5,852 ECS 3-Year-Old Pace: Horse (Driver)                                     Time (Track Fast) Cypress Hill Rose (Clay Simpson)                  1:59.2 Trainer: Donald James. Owner: Donald James. SECOND: $5,752 ECS 3-Year-Old Trot: Battleshoe King (Clay Simpson)                    2:04.3 Trainer: Clay Simpson. Owners: Buddy and Clay Simpson. THIRD: $800 Non-Winners of $3,500 LT Trot: Hoosier Jared (Cleon Woods)                         2:03.4 Trainer: Cleon Woods. Owner: Cleon Woods. FOURTH: $800 Free For All Pace: Smoke Rings (Larry Ward)                             2:00.3 Trainer: Larry Ward. Owner: Larry Ward. FIFTH: $6,700 ICF 4-Year-Old and Up Trot: Hong Kong Kwyne (Dennis Gardner)           2:04.4 Trainer: Dennis Gardner. Owner: George Knackmuhs. By Mike Paradise The Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association

The July 29th edition of the Hugo Abergs Memorial is set and includes prior multiple winner Commander Crowe and  rivals Magic Tonight (bred by Canadians Libfeld and Katz), Un Mer d'Heripre and Oasis Bi. This famous international event, contested over 1609 meters, started in 1970, has a rich history with many US-bred winners including Peace Corps (a two-time winner), Sea Cove, Kosar, Mack Lobell, Pershing, Citation and others. Two-time winners, in addition to those noted above, include Lavec Kronos, Gidde Palema, Rite On Line, Big Spender and Express Gaxe. With good weather they expect a competitive and fast race over the 1000 meter course at Jagersro (Malmo, SWE) as the combatants seek the winners' share of the 1.75SEK million purse in this Gr. I International test. Horse-Trainer (Driver) Mosaique Face - Lutfi Kolgjini (also driver) Truculent - Lars I Nilsson (Johnny Takter) Orecchietti - Stefan Hultman (Örjan Kihlström) Magic Tonight - Roger Walmann (Johan Untersteiner) Un Mec d’Heripre - Fabrice Souloy (Franck Nivard) Commander Crowe - Fabrice Souloy (Robin Bakker) Ed You - Robert Bergh (also driver) Oasis Bi - Stefan P Pettersson (Björn Goop) Occhione Jet - Stig H Johansson (Erik Adielsson) Mr Picolit - Raoul Engblom (Torbjörn Jansson) by Thomas H. Hicks, for      

Neona Princess (4f Gigant Neo-Dew Princess-JR Broline) capped off an excellent racing day and weekend at Axevalla, today also an extra V75 wagering card. Johan Untersteiner drover the winner to a 1.13.7kr victory for trainer Peter Untersteiner,  who had quite a great day as he recorded five more wins within the V75. The 2640 meter autostart event was worth 1,000,000SEK to the winner in this StoChampiontet for four year-old females. Neona Princess recorded her 11th career win now for earnings of 2,267,360SEK. She has three wins and three second place finishes in eight 2014 starts. Backfire (4f Offshore Dream-Fashion Brodde-SJ's Caviar) was second for Johnny Takter in a close battle to the line. The outstanding card also featured victories by the following: M.T. Harmony (5f Quite Easy-Princess Pleasure-Viking Kronos) in 1.11.3kr over 1640 meters autostart to earn 100,000SEK. Peter Untersteiner is trainer/driver for Misty Trotting AB. Snabba Cash (4g Ready Cash0Scarlet Diablo-Pine Chip) in over 2140 meters turning start to earn 110,000SEK for trainer/driver Peter Untersteiner and owner Speediablo AB. Digital Frame (3m Super Photo Kosmos-Sliding Window-Scarlet Knight) in 1.13.2kr for 125,000SEK to the winner over 2140 meters autostart. He was a photo-finish winner for his fourth score in seven career appearances. Perfect Cash (4f Ready Cash-Icy Shadow-Starchip Enterprise) for trainer/driver Peter Untersteiner in 1.13.1kr in this StoChampiontet Consolation over 2140 meters autostart. The victory was worth 100,000SEK to owner KAK Forvaltning AB. Rigatoni (4f Deweycheatumnhowe-Canneloni-Mack Lobell) for Orjan Kihlstrom and trainer Roger Walmann as they earned 100,000SEK for owner Team SHF-Easy. Rigatoni scored in 1.13.9kr over 2140 meters turning start. Eketorpets Tess (7f Kashner Hanover-Joanne-Dignatarian) for trainer/driver Peter Untersteiner for owner Torn Roger. The winner scored in 1.12kr over 2140 meters autostart for her fourth win in eight starts in 2014, and this victory earned 100,000SEK. US-bred Proud Victory Rose (6m Yankee Glide-Starlet Rayne-American Winner) also posted a victory today worth 50,000SEK to owner Victory Racing Stable and reinsman Hakan B. Johansson. He scored in 1.14.6kr over 2140 meters autostart, his third 2014 win in five outings. Yesterday at Axevalla, the Silver Division (125,000SEK to the winner) over 1640 meters autostart, went to Time Machine (5m Super Arnie-Union Highness-Pythagoras) in 1.11kr for trainer/driver Jorgen Westholm and owner Stall Ignarus. He scored his fifth 2014 win in eight starts and he's now 11 for 33 lifetime. US-bred Sandrngham Hanover was second for trainer/driver Leif Witasp, this one is a seven year-old gelded son of Cantab Hall-Sally Hanover. The three year-old gelded son of Allstar Hall-Harmonica As-Mack Lobell, Michelangelo As, won for Johnny Takter in 1.15.3kr over 2140 meters turning start. This promising colt now has three wins and two seconds in six career starts, all in 2014. By Thomas H. Hicks, for

Reven d’Amour (9m Revenue-Melody d’Amour-Super Arnie) took today’s Gr. I International €140,000 purse Prix Saint Michel, contested over 1609 meters (one mile) at the fast Mikkeli Finland racetrack. The race was a UET Masters Series event. Seven starters battled in this one after the scratch of Joke Face. Prussia and She Loves You were out early, disqualified for miscues. Monster Drive gained the front early for Jorma Kontio and controlled the pace until top of stretch when second over Reven d’Amour rallied wide to win comfortably in 1.10.3kr (1:53.1 mile time). The Swedish registered trotter was driven by Mika Forss for trainer Fredrik B. Larsson and owner Stall Harriet. The winner now has 21 career wins in 77 starts for €700,629 earned. The victory cements a solid 2014 comeback for Reven d’Amour and also for the Larsson family who suffered a 2014 Copenhagen Cup reported disqualification of Caballion for a banned substance in Denmark. Caballion was trained for that race by Franck Leblanc. Finland’s Surprise Lord (8m Classic Response-Beauty Bro-Arnaquer) finished second today for IIkka Normonen driving for Mme. K. Kindsberg trainer. Another Finland trotter Super Frido (6m Love You-Empress Kemp) closed for third for trainer/driver Markku Nieminen. Monster Drive faded to fourth with USA’s Beer Summit fifth. The card today at Mikkeli also showcased wins by Vesuvio As (8m Windsong’s Legacy-Remini As-Mack Lobell), Dance Photo (10m SJ’s Photo-Dancing Trout-Dancer’s Victory) and Express Duo (4m Express It-Dolce Merett-Carpe Diem). By Thomas H. Hicks, for

The author of Standardbred Old Friends, a coffee table book featuring the work of renowned equine photographer Barbara Livingston, will sell and sign copies of the book on Governor's Day at the Delaware State Fair in Harrington, Delaware, on Thursday, July 24. The 216 page book features 150 photos and author Ellen Harvey's stories of 43 horses of great achievement, long gone from the spotlight, but still cherished and well cared for in the twilight of their lives. For a video about the making of the book, click here. The signing will benefit Horse Lovers United (HLU), a Delmarva group that places Standardbreds and other horses in to second careers and adoptive homes after their racing days are over. HLU placed one of the horses featured in the book, Dust Devil, who is now 24 years old and living on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Harvey will be signing at the M & T Grandstand from 3 p.m. to the close of racing that evening; the book is $30, with a portion of proceeds going to help HLU care for and place horses in need of homes. To learn more about Standardbred Old Friends, which features high profile horses like Mack Lobell, Cam's Card Shark, Winky's Gill, Staying Together, Western Dreamer and the late Moni Maker, Matt's Scooter and Giant Victory, "like" Standardbred Old Friends Book on Facebook. For more information on Horses Lovers United, go to by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

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