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Dynamic Edge (Mike Simons) captured the harness racing featured Open Handicap Trot ($12,000) at Tioga Downs on Friday night (September 15). Dragin The Wagon (Aaron Byron) would lay down all the early fractions, :27.3, :57.0, 1:25.1. Dynamic Edge (Muscle Mass) who is owned and trained by Mark Ford, would go first-over and take the lead at the top of the stretch and hold off the late rush of Picture This (Tom Jackson) to win in a lifetime best of 1:54.2. Picture This would have to settle for second with Theraputic (Mike Merton) finishing third. Dynamic Edge ($18.60) would notch his sixth win of the season and 11th career victory. Little Santamonica (Aaron Byron) would win the fillies and mares feature ($10,000). Little Santamonica (Little Steven) would go gate-to-wire hitting all the fractions :26.4, :56.1, 1:24.1, 1:52.1. Owned by Courtney Crawford and trained by Jordan Hope the 9 year-old mare would win for the 13th time this season and the 58th time in her career. Truth And Liberty (Austin Siegelman) would come on late to finish second. K J's Caroline (Jim Taggart) would settle for third. Tioga Downs returns to live action with closing night on Saturday (September 16). The 11 race card which features NYSS sophomore pacing colts and geldings with a post time of 6:50 p.m. Firework follows the live racing For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com John Horne for Tioga Downs

MANALAPAN, NJ -- January 27, 2017 -- The Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey (SBOANJ) would like to clarify its involvement with the New Jersey Classic and Miss New Jersey stakes races, which the Meadowlands previously announced as being cancelled for 2017. At one time purses for the New Jersey Classic and Miss New Jersey were supported in part by the New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS). In a Nov. 20, 2009, letter to the SBOANJ, the NJSS advised that it was withdrawing its guaranteed support of the races. In 2009, the NJSS contributed $50,000 to the Classic and Miss New Jersey, but between 2010 and 2015 no payments were made to the races. The SBOANJ has been collecting nominating and sustaining payments for both the New Jersey Classic and Miss New Jersey to be put in the purses of the races. The SBOANJ has not contributed funding to the purses of the races. "The New Jersey Classic and Miss New Jersey were raced with short fields in 2016, with just five in the Classic and only four in the Miss New Jersey, which prompted the filly stake to be raced as a non-betting event. It appears that there would be fewer entries for this year." said SBOANJ president Mark Ford. EDITORS NOTE: This controversary came about from owner Howard Taylor's statement on Harnessracing.com. Click here to view. by Courtney Stafford for the SBOANJ 

The final Open Pace of the year at Saratoga Casino Hotel yielded its biggest harness racing upset of the season. Mariner Seelster (Camluck) pulled off the shocker in the $18,000 Saturday night feature by surging up the passing lane to win at odds of 55-1. Mark Ford owns and trains the seven year old pacer who was the clear longshot in the race but prevailed in the end, stopping the timer in 1:53 to register the upset. Invader Lucan Hanover (Stephane Bouchard) cut the mile and held on for second while Texas Terror N (Bruce Aldrich Jr) earned the show spot after a scramble in the stretch. Mariner Seelster, who was driven to victory by Greg Merton, paid $113 to win and led a big exacta and triple that returned $877 and $2,877, respectively. Closing day for the 2016 racing season is Sunday with a matinee beginning at 12:15pm. Racing will resume on Sunday February 19th with matinees scheduled for that day and the following afternoon on President's Day. Mike Sardella

MANALPAN, NJ – November 20, 2016 – New Jersey voters recently rejected a proposal to expand casino gambling to the northern part of the state. Despite the grassroots efforts of the SBOANJ and their public relations firm MWW, the results did not come as a surprise.  The odds seemed to be stacked against the casino question from the beginning.  While the results were devastating to the horsemen and women of New Jersey, the SBOANJ is working hard to come up with an alternate plan to help fund our racing and breeding program. As soon as the results were reported, SBOANJ President Mark Ford along with the directors immediately regrouped to come up with a new course of action to revive racing in the Garden State.  They have been attending meetings, contacting legislators and working with MWW to devise a new strategy to help us move forward during these critical times.  “We may have lost this battle but we are not ready to give up, we are determined to continue the fight to keep our industry competitive.” stated Mark Ford. Courtney Stafford

MANALAPAN, NJ -- September 23, 2016 -- Despite the suspension of a statewide campaign to encourage residents to support casino gaming outside of Atlantic City, the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey today announced that it would continue its grassroots efforts to help pass the ballot question that could provide much needed revenue to bolster New Jersey's struggling harness racing horsemen. It's frustrating that the best financed advocates for casino gaming in North Jersey decided to pull the plug on their statewide campaign,' said Mark Ford, President of the SBOANJ. " Our members now must use our limited financial resources to drive the message to voters that a YES vote on Question 1 will provide our industry with additional revenue to continue offering the residents and taxpayers of New Jersey important entertainment and quality of life benefits. Even if others are stepping back from the fight, the horsemen have no choice but to step up and do our part." This November 8th, voters will choose whether to allow casino gaming outside of Atlantic City. If the ballot question passes, the New Jersey Legislature could authorize two new casinos to be built in northern New Jersey. A percentage of the state tax revenue collected from the new casinos would be dedicated to supporting the horse racing industry. The SBOANJ has scheduled series of media interviews, public appearances, and social media events to highlight the Association and the benefit its members bring to their towns and communities. Courtney Stafford

Goshen, N.Y. - Newly inducted member of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame, Bruce Nickells, drew the random letter "W" from a lottery-style basket for hip number allocation at the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on Sunday (July 3) evening. Yearlings whose dam's names begin with the letter "W" will start the Goshen Yearling Sale, and continue through the alphabet for the 160 colts and fillies being offered on Sunday, September 18, 2016 at the Mark Ford Training Center, Middletown, NY. Consignors and principles of the sales company were on hand to witness the ceremonial draw, which took place on the patio of Haughton Hall during the cocktail hour of the annual Hall of Fame event. Representing Winbak Farm was Hall of Famer Joe Thomson, who is also a director of the sale company. Russell Williams and Dale Welk observed the proceedings on behalf of Hanover Shoe Farms. The son and daughter of Immortal Hall of Famers represented their respective farms; Steve Jones from Cameo Hills Farm and Jean Brown of Blue Chip Farm witnessed the draw. David Meirs from Concord Stud completed the group of consignors, with Mark Ford and Bob Boni also on hand to represent the sales company. With hip numbers now drawn, pedigrees receive a final update next week with a digital version of the catalog being available on the sales company website on Thursday, July 21. Printed catalogs will be mailed Aug. 4th and will also be available during the Hambletonian festival at the Meadowlands. For more information, or to request a catalog, visit the sales company website at: GoshenYearlingSale.com by Chris Tully, for the Goshen Yearling Sale

RUTHERFORD, NJ -- June 4, 2016 -- Harness racing President Mark Ford along with Anthony Perretti and Mike Gulotta aligned forces with top state Democrats, county officials and union leaders on Friday at a news conference to convey their confidence to the public that casino gambling will be brought to the northern part of the state. Among those who spoke in favor of the expansion were Democrats Senate President Stephen Sweeney, Senator Paul Sarlo, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, Senator Bob Gordon, and Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco. State Senate President Stephen Sweeney stood at the conference in front of the Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce stating that bringing casino gambling to the area was “the right thing to do for the whole state.” "This gives us an opportunity to create thousands and thousands of construction jobs in the northern part of the state of New Jersey," Sweeney said. "But guess what; it gives us the ability to create thousands and thousands of jobs in the southern part of the state and helps us to rebuild Atlantic City, and gives Atlantic City the opportunity to be the destination we want it to be." Building northern casinos will have a ripple effect that will benefit the economy state wide, not just Bergen County, according to County Executive Tedesco. The Meadowlands is not the only proposed location, Hudson and Essex County are also being considered. However, it is the most important location for New Jersey horsemen. Tedesco believes the Meadowlands is a “perfect spot” for gaming expansion it is already a “premier entertainment destination” because of the Met Life Stadium, large-scale concerts and the current development of the American Dream project that already take place in the area. “The best is yet to come especially when we add casino gaming to the mix.” The public will have the opportunity to vote this November on whether or not casinos should be expanded via ballot question. New Jersey Senate Democrats released figures that state casinos could generate an estimated $4 billion in economic activity, and up to 20,000 construction and permanent jobs in North Jersey. The Atlantic City region will also benefit with $3 billion and thousands of jobs. It is very important that all horsemen go out and vote in favor of casino expansion this November. Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ

The New York Gaming Commission has reported further positives for harness racing trainers in testing samples for the Class 2 Drug Glaucine.   Trainers Mark Ford, Nick Surick,  Daniel Renaud and Milo Zdjelar have all been given notices that horses they raced came up positive for this drug.   This follows last week's announcement that Ron Burke and Julie Miller were hit with similar drug violations.   Please note, that these are only accusations, and that each of these licensees has a right to due process pursuant to New York law and regulations.   Burke & Julie Miller hit with drug violations   Gural issues statement on Glaucine Positives   Glaucine. An interesting mild-psychedelic with a taste for CEVs and euphoria.   Extract from Wikipedia   Glaucine is an alkaloid found in several different plant species in the Papaveraceae family such as Glaucium flavum, Glaucium oxylobum and Corydalis yanhusuo, and in other plants like Croton lechleri in the family Euphorbiaceae.   It has bronchodilator and antiinflammatory effects, acting as a PDE4 inhibitor and calcium channel blocker, and is used medically as an antitussive in some countries. Glaucine may produce side effects such assedation, fatigue, and a hallucinogenic effect characterised by colourful visual images, and has been detected as a novel psychoactive drug.   Mechanism of Action   Glaucine binds to the benzothiazepine site on L-type Ca2+-channels, thereby blocking calcium ion channels in smooth muscle like the human bronchus. Glaucine has no effect on intracellular calcium stores, but rather, does not allow the entry of Ca2+ after intracellular stores have been depleted.[5] Ca2+ influx is a vital component in the process of muscular contraction, and the blocking of this influx therefore reduces the ability of the muscle to contract. In this way, glaucine can prevent smooth muscle from contracting, allowing it to relax.   Glaucine has also been demonstrated to be a dopamine receptor antagonist, favoring D1 and D1-like receptors. It is also a non-competitive selective inhibitor of PDE4 in human bronchial tissue and granulocytes. PDE4 is an isoenzyme that hydrolyzes cyclic AMP to regulate human bronchial tone (along with PDE3). Yet as a PDE4 inhibitor, glaucine possesses very low potency.   For more on Glaucine from Wikipedia   Harnesslink Media    

MANALAPAN, NJ - November 19, 2015 - New Jersey's two harness tracks - the Meadowlands and Freehold Raceway - have been awarded a combined 200 racing dates for 2016. The dates were approved at the New Jersey Racing Commission, meeting on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 in Trenton, NJ. Mark Ford, attending his first Commission meeting as president of the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey, advised the Commission that the SBOANJ was reluctantly accepting the Meadowlands dates as an experiment for 2016. "We are concerned about losing dates in January and February and replacing them with September and October dates," Ford said. The Meadowlands requested 90 dates, Fridays and Saturdays only [plus Sunday, May 8], from January 2 through August 6 and from September 9 through December 31 [dark on Saturday, December 24]. Post time is 7 p.m. Freehold received 110 dates, racing January 1 through May 21 plus August 26 and 27, and September 2 through December 10. Racing days will be Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays plus three holiday Mondays - January 18, February 15 and September 5. Dark days are September 1 and November 24. Post time is 12:30 p.m. By Carol Hodes for the SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ - November 17, 2015 - The Board of Directors of the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey elected Mark Ford as its president at a reorganization meeting held on Monday, November 16, 2015 at the Association's offices in Manalapan, NJ. Ford, one of the leading trainers in Meadowlands history, owns and operates the Mark Ford Training Center. He fills the position occupied for more than a dozen years by Thomas Luchento. "We made tremendous gains while Tom was president," said Ford. "And we will redouble our efforts to expand racing opportunities in New Jersey, pushing ahead with plans for an expanded gaming referendum in 2016. We thank Tom Luchento for his leadership and know he will continue to contribute as a member of the Board of Directors." In the election of other officers, Mark Mullen was named first vice president, Robert Boni as second vice president, Chris Ryder as third vice president, Alfred Ochsner Jr. as treasurer and Anthony Romano as secretary. By Carol Hodes for the SBOANJ      

The 2015 Meadowlands Harness Racing Spring Mixed Sale took place on Sunday at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey and the highlight was the sale of Warrawee Needy. Selling as Hip #106,  he was purchased for $260,000 by one of his former owners and trainer in Mark Ford. The six-year-old son of E Dees Cam-Great Memories has 28 wins on his card  with over $1.2 million in lifetime earnings. The world champion is one of the fastest horses in the sport with a record race mile of 1:46.4. He took his record in the 2013 William Haughton Memorial elimination at The Meadowlands. Last year the stallion was bred to a few mares and as a result has five foals on the ground. The very smart three-year-old pacer My Hero Ron who was Hip #41 also made the six figure mark when he went through the ring. He was purchased by Ron Burke, acting as agent with a winning bid of $130,000. A gelding by Well Said he has compiled a career summary of 2-5-3 in 16 starts  to date while banking $73,187. My Hero Ron took his 1:54.4 mark at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono as a two-year-old in a division of the Pennsylvania Stallion Series. A total of 101 horses were sold on the day for $2,379,200, producing an average sale price $23,556. To view the complete sale results click here. Harnesslink Media

Wicked Business (Art Official) romped in the $8,300 featured pace at Saratoga Casino and Raceway on Thursday evening. The Mark Ford owned and trained four year old was a solid third on Saturday night at the Spa while coming from well off the pace. Bet down late as the race’s 1-9 favorite, Wicked Business moved out to the top in the first quarter on Thursday and opened up a commanding lead late while never facing an anxious moment en route to a dazzling victory clocked in 1:53.1. Billy Dobson, who started out the day in a tie atop the driver standings with Frank Coppola Jr, piloted Wicked Business to his seasonal best win, a score that came by seven and a half lengths in one of the fastest times of the local meet. Live racing continues on Friday night at Saratoga beginning at 6:45pm.  Mike Sardella

Louisville, KY --- When it comes to Warrawee Needy, Mark Ford utters a sentence that anyone in this sport knows all too well in describing the stallion’s career. “Welcome to horse racing,” said his conditioner and co-owner. “We were literally drooling we had the first crack at buying him, but there has been the bad luck, the awful draws and the fact we have never been able to get him quite right. I thought we would have a terrific older free-for-all pacer and he can go so fast so quickly, but we just don’t know if he ever will be what he once was.” But the 6-year-old world champion son of E Dee’s Cam and the Apaches Fame mare Great Memories, appears to be regaining the form he flaunted at ages 2, 3 and 4, as he prepares to compete in a $50,000 second leg of the Levy Series at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday (March 28). Although that black cloud might still be hovering over him when it comes to where he will leave from, Warrawee Needy enters this race fresh off a 1:52.1 triumph in the first leg of the series last week, but will have to commence his journey from the seven post. His regular pilot, Mark MacDonald, will be holding the lines in what will be the eighth race on the evening card. Although he must contend with Foiled Again and Michael’s Power, Warrawee Needy, who is owned by Ford, his former trainer Carl Jamieson and David Shea, has earned the most money ($77,550) in the field this year and has already paced a 1:51.4h mile in 2015, as has Michael’s Power. Warrawee Needy has already nearly doubled what he earned last year ($41,540) and his record stands at an extremely acceptable 7-4-1-0. Could he quite possibly be back in the form that enabled him to pace a world record 1.46.4 mile as a 4-year-old? “This horse has been through so much and to be honest, he has kept me awake many nights,” Ford said. “He has been so frustrating and I’ve worried about him more than any other horse I have ever had. He has always shown flashes of brilliance and is such a nice horse to be around. He even looks the part of a racehorse, but we just don’t know how long he will stay together without getting sick.” Warrawee Needy has struggled with respiratory issues and allergies throughout his career. It has been difficult for Ford and his team to maintain his condition long enough for him to race consecutive weeks in a row. Toss in the horrible post positions the horse normally is allotted and it doesn’t make for a lucrative purchase for his connections. “I thought we would win the Breeders Crown with him in 2013,” Ford said. “But he stepped on a wheel and broke. It’s just been like that with him ever since. “We took him to Norm Ducharme at Cornell to look at him for throat surgery and he told us the sicknesses would not go away even if he performed the surgery. That is just something that happens with him and has to be managed. His groom takes such good care of him. She has her eye on him 24 hours and provides him with any treatment he needs, whether it be morning or night.” So why was Ford so thrilled to get his hands on this horse? It’s pretty simple. As a 2-year-old, Warrawee Needy earned $536,950 and sported a record of 12-9-1-1 while racing for Carl and Jody Jamieson. He was Canada’s 2-year-old pacing colt of the year. At age 3, he was still an elite horse in his division, but finished last as the second choice behind Sweet Lou after having the eight hole in the North America Cup, then ninth in the Canadian Breeders Classic after leaving from the 10 post position and was sixth as the favorite in his Breeders Crown elimination. Warrawee Needy still managed to amass just under $300,000. As a 4-year-old, Warrawee Needy kicked off his campaign with style against a fantastic group of older pacers. He was second in the Aquarius Series final, captured three straight Preferred contests at Woodbine and then was seventh in a TVG series leg after drawing the sixth spot on the gate. He then bounced back with a very nice second to Sweet Lou in the Meadowlands Maturity after both horses left from the nine and 10 positions. He was sixth in the Roll With Joe after leaving eighth at the gate and finally hit the winner’s circle again at Mohawk in the Mohawk Gold Cup. Once again, Warrawee Needy took the overland route by starting his race from the ninth post position. He then won his eliminations for both the William Haughton Memorial (in 1:46.4, equaling the fastest race mile of all-time) and the U.S. Pacing Championship while finishing fourth and sixth, respectively, in the finals. After being scratched from the Canadian Pacing Derby elimination, he qualified three times, once for Jamieson and then for Ford before not hitting the board in his Breeders Crown elimination and the final, as well as the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby. Warrawee Needy ended his season with a third in the American-National, a second in a TVG leg and an eighth in the TVG final after once again drawing the nine hole. “We have taken a lot of criticism for how we have raced this horse,” Ford said. “Especially for some of the spots we put him in like the TVG final last year after dropping him in against non-winners of $5,000 at Pocono, but no one really understands unless they are in that position. He would qualify great then race awful or else draw very badly. “Until this year, he had never raced much on a half because it was always thought he couldn’t get around it, but it had never been tried. That’s when we decided to take him to Yonkers and he seemed to like it. It also helps that he seems to like to race on the front, which helps there and Mark MacDonald gets along with the horse because he can be tough to drive. He’s been a good fit for him.” Obviously Ford has no idea what the season has in store for Warrawee Needy and although he’s realistic about the horse’s health, he still had enough faith to keep him eligible for the top stakes races. “He’s paid into everything,” he said. “We will see how he does and if he stays healthy. When I compare him to Gallo Blue Chip, which he can be, it is so different. This horse has such an amazing turn of foot, where Gallo Blue Chip did not, he just was going along and so much better than the other horses he was racing against. Then he just decided he didn’t want to race anymore and he had enough. “This horse is fast enough, looks the part and I really believed he might be untouchable. Those are just the highs and lows of the game though and that’s what can happen in this industry.” by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

Wicked Business (Art Official) showed early speed on Thursday evening and won the $8,300 harness racing featured pace at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Austin Siegelman catch drove Wicked Business for trainer Mark Ford after the four year old had posted back to back third place finishes in his previous two starts. Siegelman found some early speed on Thursday from the young pacer and they never faced an anxious moment before stopping the timer in 1:55.4. The race's second choice in the betting, Wicked Business bested favored Glory Beach (Bruce Aldrich Jr) and Calvin B (Brian Cross) who earned the show spot. The victory was one of four on the card for Siegelman, last year's up-and-coming driver award winner at Saratoga. Live racing continues on Friday evening with a first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella  

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, March 7, 2015 - Millionaire Warrawee Needy and harness racing driver Mark MacDonald, $20.80 finished what he started Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $35,000 Open Handicap Pace. Getting the memo early from post position No. 3, Warrawee Needy worked around Sapphire City (Eric Carlson), then sat sail through early intervals of :27.1 and :56.3. Pancetta (Brian Sears), tepid 2-1 choice from the pole, advanced first-up from fourth He engaged "Needy" toward a 1:24.4 three-quarters, but the leader was up to the assignment. Warrawee Needy opened a couple of lengths in and out of the final turn, but Pancetta was quite done. His second effort ended up a neck short, as Warrawee Needy prevailed in 1:53. Mach's Beach Boy (Pat Lachance) closed crisply to grab third-beaten three-quarters of a length-with Sapphire City and Take it Back Terry (George Brennan) rounding out the payees. For fourth choice Warrawee Needy, a 6-year-old son of E Dee's Cam co-owned by (trainer) Mark Ford, Carl Jamieson and David Shea, it was his third win in five seasonal starts. The exacta paid $115.50, with the triple returning $594 The Raceway's live season continues Sunday (post time 1 PM, move those clocks up). After that, it's Monday (7:10 PM), Tuesday (1 PM), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM) and next Sunday, March 15 (post time 1:10 PM). Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily (all provided Mother Nature cooperates). Frank Drucker

The first of the Dash For The "C" Notes mini-series this week at The Meadowlands got underway on Thursday night with the filly and mare pacers. It was contested in four divisions requiring a horse finish first or second to guarantee a spot in the $25,000 harness racing Final next week. The word of the night was upset. The first division saw a mild upset as SGT Molly Pitcher (9/2), who led early in the mile, yielded to pressure and re-rallied to score the win in a lifetime best 1:51.2 for driver Vincent Ginsburg. The winner was trained and owned by Robert Ginsburg Jr. Next up was another upset as Antigua Hanover overcame post 10 to score a sharp first over victory at 8-1. Forced to press the pace uncovered after leaving smartly from the outside post, Antigua Hanover just kept on coming wearing down favored Best Boss to win in 1:52.1. Antigua Hanover was driven to victory by Andy Miller for Amber Buter and owners Oldford Farms LLC and Tyler Buter. The third division was captured by 11-1 Weekend Getaway and Yannick Gingras. Entering the contest off a seven week layoff, Weekend Getaway went first over, wearing down Marty Party on the far turn and then holding that mare at bay through the stretch to win in 1:51.2, easily a lifetime mark. Weekend Getaway is trained by Phil Fluet who co-owns the mare with Keith Franklin. The final division also featured an upset winner as Deliciouslynaughty worked out a perfect second over trip to score the victory at 12-1. The race became wide open when 3/5 favorite, Bring Them Home, broke on the first turn. Deliciouslynaughty tracked cover and chased down Rhapsody Rose who did the work on the lead to score in 1:52.4 for John Campbell. The winner was trained by Mark Ford who also owns the mare. The $.20 cent Jackpot Super Hi-5 in both races went unclaimed. The fifth race carryover stands at $1,797.86 while the last race carryover has grown to $71,788.83. Post Time for the Friday program is 7:15 P.M. Darin Zoccali

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