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The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association is pleased to announce that it will be featuring a new event, a Night Of Champions, at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino on Friday, January 31. Post time for the card will be 6:55PM, marking the first evening card of the 2014 season. "Hosting" the event will be a true champion, multi-millionaire Foiled Again. The star pacer will not only be available for a "meet and greet" in the winners circle at 6:30, but several lucky fans will receive the chance of a lifetime - to ride around the track behind Foiled Again. Fans hoping to get a jog cart ride from Foiled Again will need to arrive early, as names will be drawn at 6:45, ten minutes prior to the first race of the night. The owners of Foiled Again will also be giving away free hats, and New Vocations Standardbred Adoption agency will be offering "We Can't All Be Foiled Again" T-shirts to commemorate the evening. Horses that earned MSOA Horse of the Year awards for their age and gait will also be honored throughout the night with presentations in the winners circle between races. Twilight Bonfire, owned by Bob Key, will be honored as the MSOA's 2013 Horse of the Year. Twilight Bonfire was trained throughout much of 2013 by Danny Collins, and is wintering in the local barn of Rich Gillock. Each divisional award winner from last season will have a race named in their honor and owners of those horses are invited to a special gathering in Delvin's banquet room in the Racebook area. Fans will also have an opportunity to share in the success of harness racing's top training outfit, the Ron Burke Stable, which won a record 1,090 races in 2013. Fans can turn their losing tickets into a big payday on Night of Champions, as they enter a Second Chance Drawing which will have a $2,180 prize...$2 for every race that the Burke Stable won. The cash prize is sponsored by Burke Racing LLC, the MSOA, and The Meadows Racetrack & Casino. The MSOA's prize wheel will also be back that night, giving fans a chance to "Spin To Win" various items, and free hot dogs will also be given away. January 31's Night of Champions is the lone night card during the month. From January through March, the track will host live racing on the final Friday of the month, post time 6:55. by Jeff Zidek for MSOA  

Freehold, N.J. --- Blue Chip Farms and Joe Thomson of Winbak Farm are the finalists for the U.S. Harness Writers Association's 2013 Stan Bergstein-Proximity Award, an honor in the sport second only to election to the Hall of Fame. Stan Bergstein-Proximity Award finalists were determined through preliminary voting of the directors of the U.S. Harness Writers Association (USHWA). The entire membership of USHWA will vote for the winner, which will be announced in late December. The Proximity Award has been given by USHWA since 1952 to "an individual, group, or organization for outstanding contributions of the harness racing industry." Last year, USHWA added the name of the late Stan Bergstein, a Hall of Famer and widely-respected contributor to harness racing during the last 50 years, to the name of the most prestigious award for which it is the sole voter. Blue Chip Farms, founded in Wallkill, N.Y., in 1969 by the Kimelman family and now owned by Thomas Grossman, is one of harness racing's top breeding farms. Blue Chip's best known graduate is Gallo Blue Chip, who was 2000 Horse of the Year and retired as the top money-winning pacer in harness racing history. Grossman was the first to send a top stallion to stand Down Under and now many of Blue Chip's stable, including American Ideal, Art Major, Rock N Roll Heaven and Roll With Joe, are dual-hemisphere stallions. Blue Chip helped the fight for New York to get video lottery terminals in 2001 by creating and distributing orange helmet covers that simply said "Yes." They were worn by many drivers across the state and brought much attention to the cause. Blue Chip also sponsors races at numerous tracks and contributes to organizations such as the Standardbred Retirement Foundation, New Vocations, Harness Horse Youth Foundation and the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame. Thomson, who was the Bergstein-Proximity Award runner-up to John Campbell in 2012, and his wife JoAnn founded Winbak Farm in 1991. Winbak Farm, based in Maryland with additional operations in Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Canada, bred Horse of the Year Award winners No Pan Intended, Rainbow Blue and Muscle Hill. Winbak Farm ranked No. 2 in wins and earnings in 2012, behind only Hanover Shoe Farms, and this year is again second in both categories. Last year, the Monticello-Goshen chapter of USHWA gave Thomson its Lifetime Achievement Award and he is also an inductee of the Little Brown Jug Wall of Fame. Thomson plays a leadership role in several areas of the sport, from being among the owners of The Red Mile in Lexington, to serving as a trustee and director of the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame and a director of the Hambletonian Society. In 2012, he was elected president of the Standardbred Breeders Association of Pennsylvania. The Stan Bergstein-Proximity Award winner will be honored at Dover Downs on Feb. 23 during USHWA's annual Dan Patch Awards banquet. by Ken Weingartner for the U.S. Harness Writers Association  

ANDERSON, Ind.—September 26, 2013—Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will host two big nights of racing, family activities, and free fireworks, all for charity on Friday, Sept. 27 and Saturday, Sept. 28. The All-Star Standardbred drivers will be the stars of the show as they go head to head in two pari-mutuel races for their chance to win $5,000 for their respective charities. Racing fans will have the opportunity to visit Club Centaur and select the All-Star driver of their choice to receive an entry to place intro your favorite All-Star Standardbred Driver’s charity box. At the end of each charity race, the names of three lucky winners will be selected from the race winner’s charity box to win up to $250 in free race wagers. Fans will also have the opportunity to donate $5 to a charity of choice and receive $5 in free slot play. In addition to the $5,000 in total purse money offered, if the same driver finds themselves in the Winner’s Circle for both celebrity races a total of $10,000 will be donated to the driver’s charity compliments of Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. The charities and drivers this season are as follows: Outfitter’s, Inc.                                                           Joe Putnam Indiana School for the Deaf                                      Ricky Macomber American Cancer Society                                           Jason Dillander Shriner’s Hospital for Children                                   Mike Peterson St. John’s Children Clinic                                           Trent Stohler Second Harvest Food Bank                                        Brandon Bates Indiana Coalition against Domestic Violence            Brooke Nickells Alternatives, Inc.                                                        Ed Hensley New Vocations Racehorse Adoption                         Tyler Smith Anderson Police Department                                      Trace Tetrick St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital                       Peter Wrenn Animal Protection League                                          Andy Shelter Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday – Saturday schedule with a daily post time of 5:30 p.m. The 160-day, all harness-racing meet began on April 2 and will continue through November 9. Emily Gaskin

Columbus, OH --- John Campbell, Hall of Fame driver and president of the Grand Circuit, headlines a star-studded group for the USTA Speakers’ Series, to be held Wednesday (Sept. 18) and Thursday (Sept. 19) at the Delaware (Ohio) County Fairgrounds. Campbell, who will drive Twilight Bonfire in the Jug’s third elimination heat, will answer questions from fans in the USTA/OHHA tent, located on the Delaware backstretch, on Thursday from 10–10:45 a.m. The USTA will also solicit questions from fans around the world through its Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ustrotting) and on Twitter (hashtag #Jug13). Also appearing on Thursday (9–9:45 a.m.) will be defending Driver of the Year Tim Tetrick and trainer Tony Alagna. The duo will send out Emeritus Maximus and Odds On Equuleus in the second and third Jug eliminations, respectively. Starting off the Thursday schedule (8–8:45 a.m.) will be Roger Huston, the voice of the Little Brown Jug, who will be joined by Delaware simulcast show co-hosts Dave Bianconi and Sam McKee. The trio will handicap the Little Brown Jug, as well as selected undercard races. Wednesday (9-9:45 a.m.) features defending Jug champion trainer Casie Coleman, along with driver Brian Sears, who will team up to send out probable Jug favorite Vegas Vacation. Sears also made news this year when he won both the Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks on the same day with Royalty For Life and Bee A Magician. Rounding out the Wednesday schedule (10–10:45 a.m.) will be author Les Roberts and horseman Dan Kennedy, who collaborated to write Win, Place or Die, a harness racing murder mystery novel. Roberts is the author of 17 mystery novels featuring Cleveland detective Milan Jacovich (pronounced MY-lan YOCK-ovitch) as well as 11 other books. The setting for Win, Place, or Die is Northcoast Downs, a fictional harness racetrack filled with odd characters, suspicious activities and danger. Dan S. Kennedy is a strategic business and marketing advisor, consultant, and professional speaker. He is the author of more than 20 business books. He was born, raised, and lives in the Cleveland area, and is a regular trainer-driver at Northfield Park. Following the Speakers’ Series session, Roberts and Kennedy will be available to sign copies of their books, with book sales to benefit New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program. They will also have a meet-and-greet in the Hospitality Pavilion starting at 11 a.m. Click here for an excerpt. A complimentary breakfast will be served each morning, courtesy of the USTA and NTRA Member Benefits Program. Those who cannot attend the series can watch a live video stream at the USTA’s Little Brown Jug mini-site. Here is a complete schedule of participants:   Wednesday (Sept. 18) Speakers 9 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. Driver Brian Sears and trainer Casie Coleman 10 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Author Les Roberts and horseman Dan Kennedy present Win, Place, Or Die. (Click here to read an excerpt) Thursday (Sept. 19)   8 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. Roger Huston, Dave Bianconi and Sam McKee handicap the Jug Day racecard 9 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. Driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Tony Alagna 10 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. John Campbell, Hall of Fame driver and president of the Grand Circuit by T.J. Burkett for USTA

August 21, 2013 - Special Report and Four Trumps A left Big Z Training Center in Montegue, NJ over the weekend to transition into their second career as riding horses with New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program at their Laurelville, Ohio facility. Larry Stalbaum trained and raced both horses for most of their careers.  Special Report had 186 starts and earned $1,515,48 and Four Trumps A had 129 starts and earned $698,844. Stalbaum stated “Special Report has been retired since last summer.  We sent him to North Carolina to enjoy just being a horse, however it became very clear that he was unhappy not having anything to do. We brought him back this spring and started jogging him a little, and he really enjoyed the exercise and daily interaction.  He has a great following on Facebook, and we put it out there that Special Report wanted to be a riding horse and asked for suggestions on how to make that happen.”  New Vocations Standardbred Program Director, Winnie Morgan Nemeth contacted Stalbaum since the program had taken horses for him in the past.  “We are excited to receive Special Report and Four Trumps A as these two great racehorses truly deserve to have a second career.  It was good of Larry to recognize that they still have much more to offer.  At New Vocations we will teach them a new skill, so they can go on and make more dreams come true with their next family.”  “Special Report and Four Trumps A stabled, shipped and raced together for many years at New York tracks.  Now they will transition together as riding horses.  “They both are top class horses,” Nemeth said, “and that always carries over under saddle.  Our goal is to have them ready to show at the Standardbred World Show in October, and then make them available for adoption. I can’t think of a better way to demonstrate to both the harness racing community and the equestrian world the versatility of the Standardbred. These two horses will be great ambassadors for the breed and the sport.” About New Vocations: Founded in 1992, New Vocations is the largest racehorse adoption program in the United States.  Their mission is to stand in the gap for retired racehorses, providing a safety-net, through rehabilitation, training and placement into carefully screened and monitored homes.  The program takes in over 400 retired racehorses a year from tracks across the country.   For more information visit www.NewVocations.org. Winnie Nemeth Winnie@horseadoption.com

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