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Nominations are now being accepted for the 2016 Caretaker of the Year. The harness racing award, in its second year of sponsorship by Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park (HRRNP) in conjunction with the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), recognizes the unsung heroes of the sport -- the caretakers who maintain the health and welfare of the horses on a daily basis. Initially titled Groom of the Year Award when first presented in 1982, the honor was instituted as a result of a suggestion made by Delvin Miller at the annual Harness Tracks of America meeting when he received HTA's Stanley F. Bergstein Messenger Award. Previously sponsored annually by HTA and Hanover Shoe Farms, the tradition lapsed in 2014 but was re-established in 2015 by HRRNP and USHWA. The HRRNP Caretaker of the Year will receive a cash prize of $500, a trophy, and transportation costs to the USHWA Dan Patch Awards Banquet in Las Vegas, on Sunday evening, February 26, 2017, where he or she will be recognized for the achievement. The winner also will enjoy a two-night stay at the Planet Hollywood, host hotel for the USHWA activities, as well as two complimentary dinner tickets. "The United States Harness Writers Association is proud to join with Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park in presenting this prestigious honor," said USHWA President Tim Bojarski. "The caretakers of our sport and the role they play in the success of our animals are many times sorely overlooked. This award gives everyone a way to honor those who work in your stable so they can be recognized by everyone else in our industry for what they do." Any caretaker working for any stable in North America is eligible. All that is needed to nominate is a letter or email, 200 words minimum, from an individual or group detailing the skills and special qualities of the caretaker. The winner will be chosen by a seven-person selection committee comprised of USHWA members, all of whom are former caretakers: Tim Bojarski (chair), Tom Charters, Moira Fanning, Dean Hoffman, Rob Pennington, Kim Rinker and Shawn Wiles. All nomination letters and emails must be received and/or postmarked by Monday, January 9, 2017, and sent to Chair Bojarski at or mailed to Tim Bojarski, 7523 Maple Road, Akron, NY 14001. The U.S. Harness Writers Association/Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park

The festive and well-attended harness racing evening was made even better for Thomas Dillon, when his horse, Rock Me Baby, won the $120,000 Courageous Lady at Northfield Park. The Courageous Lady was a series of firsts for Rock Me Baby. It was the first time she had raced for Dillon. He purchased her just two weeks ago for $82,000 at the Harrisburg Sale. It was also Rock Me Baby's first start for trainer Heidi Rohr and the first time that Tim Tetrick has driven the filly. Rock Me Baby left off the gate. She initially sat in third, but was sent to the outside approaching the quarter. Once she made the lead about the quarter-pole, Rock Me Baby never experienced an anxious moment the remainder of the mile. She posted fractions of: 26.4, 54.4, 1:23 and 1:52. "We had to go a pretty big first half," explained Tetrick,"but I was able to give her a breather around the turn and she was really strong to the finish." The clocking was a stakes record for the Courageous Lady and equaled Northfield Park's track record for sophomore filly pacers. "I was happy to get to drive her," said Tetrick. "When they called me to ask if I would come here (Northfield), I was like absolutely!" "I love traveling around to these big races offered at places like Northfield and being able to compete with nice horses. I'm just glad to be a part of all this." Completing the field were Mother Of Art, LA Delight, Yankee Moonshine, Dime A Dance, Bellatricks, Free Show and Time On My Hands. Rock Me Baby (Rock N Roll Heaven-Lover Of Art-Artsplace) now has four wins in 21 lifetime starts. Saturday's victory increased her career bankroll to $164,228. She returned $5.40 to win. Ayers Ratliff

After spending the past three weeks racing against older horses, Bellatricks returns to her age group to face seven harness racing rivals in Saturday's $120,000 Courageous Lady for 3-year-old filly pacers at Northfield Park. Trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. would have preferred to keep Bellatricks away from older horses, but his filly didn't fit many conditions and she needed to keep racing in preparation for the Courageous Lady. As it turned out, Bellatricks held her own in her three starts in the Fillies and Mares Open at Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway, posting two second-place finishes before ending up fifth in her most recent performance on Nov. 18. Morgan, though, said the filly's finish last week was deceptively good. "She was loaded last week, she just couldn't get out," Morgan said. "They don't have a passing lane there unfortunately and she had nowhere to go. But she's heading into this race somewhat fresh. She will need to be, because the competition is pretty stiff. "You hate to race a 3-year-old against aged horses," he added, "but it's late in the year and it served its purpose for a couple weeks until the Courageous Lady." Bellatricks and driver Ryan Stahl will start the Courageous Lady from post three. Bellatricks is 10-1 on the morning line. Jugette winner L A Delight, who will leave from post eight with John Campbell at the lines for trainer Bob McIntosh, is the 5-2 favorite. The field also includes two entries from the stable of trainer Ron Burke, who has won the last three editions of the event. Burke's starters are Mother Of Art from post one, at 9-2 on the morning line, and 12-1 Free Show from post six. Bellatricks, a daughter of stallion Third Straight out of the mare Scarlet Begonia, has won four of 18 races this season and six of 25 starts lifetime. She has earned $170,859 in her career for owner Carl Howard, who purchased the filly under the name Shameless Hall for $18,000 at the 2014 Blooded Horse Sale. She twice finished second in the Kentucky Sire Stakes championship, losing each year to Lakeisha Hall. This season's setback in the final came by a head. In fact, Bellatricks finished second to Lakeisha Hall three times this year in the sire stakes series, with two losses by a head and the other by one length. "It would have been nice to win the final at Lexington, but second place for $175,000 is OK," Morgan said. "She's been a pleasant surprise. She was not a high-priced yearling. Carl Howard picked her out. He did a great job doing a little research and finding out there were only 20 fillies eligible for the Kentucky Sire Stakes and he nabbed her. "She's been a success." Bellatricks' recent efforts against older horses were not her only starts this season in fields with aged rivals. Two months ago, she finished third to 2015 Courageous Lady winner Sassa Hanover in a conditioned race at Harrah's Philadelphia. Sassa Hanover later went on to finish second in the Breeders Crown Mare Pace. In July, Bellatricks beat older foes at Scioto Downs, a feat she repeated in August at Yonkers Raceway. "She's got a great attitude," Morgan said. "She's a good-looking filly. She's not real big, but she's built very well. She's got great conformation. I think she will be a nice racehorse hopefully for the next few years. She's versatile. She can leave a quarter in :26 and you can grab her and she'll come right back to you and she loves to pass a horse. "I think her versatility is what will make her a good aged horse. She's already won on a half and five-eighths and she was good on the mile track at Lexington. It's nice to have a horse that you can use that to your advantage. She's just real handy; I think that's the best way to describe her. By being so handy I think she'll be competitive wherever she goes." Morgan believes that includes Saturday at Northfield Park. "I think she'll be competitive in there," Morgan said. "Obviously that's a very tough field with some really good fillies. But I think if she gets a trip she'll be competitive." Following is the Courageous Lady field in post order: PP-Horse-Sire-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Mother Of Art - Art Major - Ronnie Wrenn Jr.- Ron Burke - 9/2 2-Time On My Hands - American Ideal - Aaron Merriman - Chris Ryder - 4/1 3-Bellatricks - Third Straight - Ryan Stahl - Virgil Morgan Jr. - 10/1 4-Yankee Moonshine - Yankee Cruiser - Don Irvine Jr .- Doug Hinklin - 8/1 5-Rock Me Baby - Rock N Roll Heaven - Tim Tetrick - Heidi Rohr - 7/2 6-Free Show - Badlands Hanover - Jason Merriman - Ron Burke - 12/1 7-Dime A Dance - Roll With Joe - Mike Wilder - Doug Snyder - 15/1 8-L A Delight - Bettor's Delight - John Campbell - Robert McIntosh - 5/2 Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager Harness Racing Communications A division of the U.S. Trotting Association

The $120,000 Courageous Lady goes postward this Saturday evening (November 26) at Northfield Park. The Grand Circuit race is an open harness racing event for North America's top 3-year-old filly pacers and once again has attracted an impressive slate of talent. This year's Jugette winner, LA Delight, will start from post eight and has been named the 5-2 early favorite by Northfield Park Executive Vice President of Racing and Simulcasting Dave Bianconi. A Courageous Lady victory would push LA Delight's earnings in excess of $1.2 million. The Robert McIntosh trainee has posted nine victories this year, including a 1:49.1 win at The Meadows Racetrack. McIntosh, a 2003 inductee into Harness Racing's Hall of Fame, has called upon fellow HOF member, John Campbell, to drive. The morning line second choice, Rock Me Baby, has drawn post five for trainer Heidi Rohr. She enters this event off an impressive 1:52.4 qualifier at Saratoga Raceway where she bested her competition by seven lengths. Tim Tetrick has been named to pilot Rock Me Baby. Ron Burke, the leading money winning trainer in North America, has entered two fillies in Saturday's featured event. Burke will start Mother Of Art, the 9-2 morning line fourth choice, and Free Show, a 12-1 morning line longshot. The 2016 $120,000 Courageous Lady field: PP Horse Trainer Driver Morning Line 1 Mother Of Art - Ron Burke - Ronnie Wrenn Jr. 9-2 2 Time On My Hands - Chris Ryder - Aaron Merriman 4-1 3 Bellatricks - Virgil Morgan Jr. - Ryan Stahl 10-1 4 Yankee Moonshine - Doug Hinklin - Don Irvine Jr. 8-1 5 Rock Me Baby - Heidi Rohr -Tim Tetrick 7-2 6 Free Show - Ron Burke -Jason Merriman 12-1 7 Dime A Dance - Doug Snyder - Mike Wilder 15-1 8 LA Delight - Robert McIntosh - John Campbell 5-2 This year's Courageous Lady is the 11th of a 15-race program. A $10,000 guaranteed Pick-4 pool has been added to the night. The guaranteed Pick-4 will begin with race eight and conclude with the Courageous Lady. In addition to world-class excitement on the track, an impressive array of activities has been planned for guests in attendance. "Home for the Holiday" drawings will be announced throughout the evening where winners will be taking home household goods worth thousands of dollars. Guests can also try their luck in Ohio Lottery Plinko and second chance drawings for non-winning instant lotto tickets that are $5 or more in value. Attendees can also enjoy a $19.95 buffet in Lady Luck's Clubhouse Restaurant, which offers a panoramic view of the races. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 330.467.4101. HISTORY OF THE RACE: The race is named after one of the finest and most popular pacing fillies ever to compete on Northfield Park's Flying Turns -- Courageous Lady. The poignant story behind the race revolves around the late Ruth Cohen of Mayfield Heights. In 1977, Julian Cohen, a Cleveland attorney and avid harness racing fan, paid $35,000 for the two year-old filly Courageous Lady for his sister Ruth, who had been diagnosed with cancer and given only two years to live. "We bought Courageous Lady midway through the filly's two year-old season and Ruth loved that horse," said Mr. Cohen, who himself passed away in 1997. "We followed her to all of her races. Ruth lived another eight years, primarily because of her horse." Courageous Lady, an Ohio-sired daughter of Captain Courageous from the mare Painter Pam, earned $418,256 between 1977 and 1981. She took a time-trial mark of 1:54.4 and twice equaled the 1:55.2 world record of the famed Silk Stockings. Among her other illustrious accomplishments, Courageous Lady became the first Ohio Sires Stakes champion to defend her title. She won numerous stakes in the United States and Canada, setting multiple stakes and national season's standards. As a broodmare, Courageous Lady produced two outstanding offspring prior to her untimely passing in 1989 at age 14. The filly Uptown Swell as a 1:54.2 performer with career earnings of $728,135, and Courageous Legacy, a Sonsam stallion, garnered a 1:52.2 lifetime record while banking over $183,000 for owner Julian Cohen. Northfield Park is proud to honor Ruth Cohen and the great mare, Courageous Lady. The outstanding fields of distaff talent annually assembled for the Courageous Lade are a fitting tribute for two of racing's most memorable and truly courageous ladies. Ayers Ratliff

Big returns Saturday at Northfield Park and harness racing longshot players were cashing in after the horses crossed the finish of Northfield Park's fourth race on Saturday (November 12) when #6 Happy To Scoot swooped from the back to win at odds of 70-1. Steve Ashby of Mentor on the Lake, Ohio owns and trains the five year-old pacer. Daren Harvey was aboard for the winning drive. Saturday's win was Happy To Scoot's second win this year in 26 starts and represents her sixth lifetime score. Happy To Scoot was followed across the wire by #3 Tammy Ann (6-1), #1 Always Dee One (7-1) and #4 Fountain Pen (2-5). Happy To Scoot returned $141.80 to win; the 6-3 Exacta paid $2,348.60; the 6-3-1 Trifecta returned $12,120.60; and the 6-3-1-4 20¢ Superfecta paid $3,657.76. Ayers Ratlif

Like Old Times went to post on Saturday (November 7) at Northfield Park as both the 2015 Ohio horse of the year and the fastest harness racing four year-old trotting mare in the history of the Flying Turns. When she crossed the finish, she proved herself even faster when she lowered her own track record in the $14,000 Open Handicap Trot to 1:54.4. Her former record was 1:55 trotted earlier this year. Keith Ross of Bellefontaine, Ohio owns Like Old Times. Don McKirgan is her conditioner and Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. was in the sulky for the winning drive. Like Old Times (Chip Chip Hooray-Royal Two-Royal Troubador) started from post five. She fired off the gate and led her competition through fractions of :27.4, :57.2, 1:26.1 and 1:54.4, besting her competition by 1¾-lengths. Like Old Times now has eight wins in 24 starts this year. Monday's victory represents her 22nd career score and bolstered her bankroll to $492,430. She returned $9.40 to win. Ayers Ratlif

Northfield Park is the place to watch and wager this weekend's Breeders' Cup races as the Rt. 8 harness racing oval becomes a horseplayer's paradise, offering a record $7,900 in prize money through a grand slam of free handicapping contests. The action kicks off Friday with a $2,000 Breeders' Cup Handicapping Contest on the four BC races on the Santa Anita card. First post time at the Arcadia, Ca. track is 2:25 p.m. (EST). Post time for the first Breeders' Cup race is 5:25 p.m., giving fans plenty of time to become members of Northfield's Players Club, which is free and makes them eligible for all contests. Registration is from 4 to 5:25 p.m Friday and from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on Saturday. In addition to Friday's BC races and the handicapping contest that offers $1,000 to the winner, WAKR will broadcast live from the track from 2 to 7 p.m. with Brad Russell, Jasen Sokol and Sam Bourquin on the microphones. Fans can also take advantage of the $5 food special (Patty Melt & Fries) as well as $3 Miller Lite and Labatt beer special (16 oz. cans). Saturday is the richest day of prize money for astute handicappers. In addition to another $2,000 Breeders' Cup Handicapping Contest (on the nine BC races), Northfield is also hosting a $2,000 "Beat the Railbird" competition, with any and all entrants picking more winners than Bob Roberts, who for more than 30 years was the "Railbird" at the Cleveland Press and Plain Dealer, sharing in the jackpot. If any Players Club member sweeps Friday and Saturday's regular BC contests, he or she will be awarded a $1,000 bonus. To jumpstart Breeders' Cup Saturday, Roberts and Northfield's Michael Carter will host a handicapping seminar from 2 to 3 p.m. First post at Santa Anita on Saturday is 1:15 p.m. (EST) with the first Breeders' Cup race going to the post at 3:05 p.m. Northfield is hosting a live racing card Saturday with a 6 p.m. post time. Also on tap Saturday is "Spin and Win" from 6 to 7 p.m., and Lady Luck's Buffet in the clubhouse (6 to 9 p.m.) for $14.95. Northfield will conclude a full weekend of handicapper competition on Sunday with the regular $900 handicapping contest on the action from Aqueduct. Doors open at noon each and every day. Ayers Ratlif  

Moreland Flash paced home for his 50th career victory, winning the 15th race at Northfield Park on Wednesday (October 19). The 10 year-old harness racing veteran, with 244 career starts, also has 25 seconds and 26 third place finishes. Moreland Flash (Memphis Flash-Carols Cliff-Camtastic) has career earnings of $147,880 with a lifetime mark of 1:51.4 over Northfield's Flying Turns at age seven. The pacer's richest win was in the $8,200 Billy Dart Series at Scioto Downs in 2009. Moreland Flash is a well-traveled campaigner -- his 50 wins have been spread across eight different racing surfaces. Moreland Flash started from the rail. He led his competition at every call through fractions of :27.2, :57, 1:25.4 and 1:55.1. He never experienced an anxious moment in the race and bested his competition by 5¾-lengths. He was the race favorite and returned $3.60 to win. Amy Wengerd trains Moreland Flash for owner Andrew Coblentz of Wooster, Ohio. Hunter Myers was aboard for the winning drive. Ayers Ratliff

Northfield Park is hosting the "Pace for the Cure" on Saturday (Oct. 15th), part of "Pinktober," a month-long effort to raise funds to fight breast cancer at the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park. The one mile dash, which carries a purse of $7,500, is the fifth race on the live card and features all-female drivers to celebrate and help raise money for Susan G. Komen Northeast Ohio as part of the Hard Rock Rocksino Pinktober Campaign. "Northfield Park is committed to playing an active role in the Hard Rock Rocksino's Pinktober event," said Brent Reitz, Northfield Park Vice President and General Manager. "The 'Pace for the Cure' is a great way to highlight both harness racing and the awareness and support for breast cancer research." The race is the centerpiece event of an Oktoberfest Saturday, a night packed with plenty of activities for harness racing fans. There will be a dice roll for prizes (6-7 p.m.) and a beer slide (7-8 p.m.) with railbirds competing for prizes, as well as a Leinenkugel Stein hoist competition at 9 p.m. The Lady Luck Clubhouse will offer an Oktoberfest themed buffet from 6 to 9 p.m. for $14.95. Reservations can be made by calling 330-467-4101. Fan can also join in the drive to eliminate breast cancer by purchasing raffle tickets ($1 each or five for $3) and depositing their raffle tickets in bags that correspond with their favorite "Pace for the Cure" driver. Tickets from the winning bag will be entered into a drawing for prizes. Raffle tickets can be purchased at Northfield's promotional table on the first level of the grandstand on Saturday, starting at 5 p.m. and continuing until post time for the fifth race. In addition, fans can show their support for "The Pace" is to purchase a limited edition commemorative "Pace for the Cure" T-Shirts for only $10. The monies raised as a result of Pinktober at Northfield will help Susan G. Komen Northeast Ohio to provide vital services like free mammograms and clinical breast exams through partnerships with local healthcare facilities; diagnostic services, including ultrasounds, biopsies, and advanced services; and survivor support, including financial, transportation and other services. Among the participants in this year's Pace for the Cure is Devan Miller, perhaps the highest winning percentage female driver in the game today. Miller, winner of the Lady Pace Driving Championship at the historic Delaware County Fair on Sept. 20, has won eight of her 16 drives this year, with three runner-up finishes and a pair of thirds. Miller, 28 of Columbus, has license to be good. She is the daughter of David Miller, perhaps the most accomplished driver to hail from Ohio. Beaten in a photo finish in the Delaware race is Ulrika Fox, who'll compete in this year's Pace for the Cure. Fox has won six of 18 drives this year. Also set to square off in the Pace for the Cure are local trainer/drivers Rachel Kaneoka and Rosy Weaver, along with Jayne Weller, Jamie Coffy, Casey Wolfe, Christina Evans and Renee Bauslaugh. Weller is the most accomplished among the drivers. She has registered nearly 200 victories and is the daughter of June Weller, the only female to ever drive in harness racing's crown jewel, the Little Brown Jug. Admission and parking are free every day at Northfield Park. First race post time is 6 PM. Ayers Ratliff

Lakeisha Hall crossed the finish line faster than any other three year-old harness racing filly pacer in the history of Northfield Park when she won the $14,000 F&M Open Handicap in 1:52 on Saturday (October 1).  The clocking formally broke the 1:52.3 record held by both Pan And Teller (Brett Miller) set in 2004 and Purrfect Bags (Tim Tetrick) paced in 2015.  Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Jack Piatt II own Lakeisha Hall.  Ron Burke is her conditioner and Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. was in the sulky for the winning drive.       Lakeisha Hall (Third Straight-Lantana-Art Major) started from post six.  She fired off the gate and led her competition through fractions of :27, :56.2, 1:24.2 and 1:52, besting her competition by seven lengths.  Lakeisha Hall now has seven wins in 11 starts this year.  Saturday’s victory represents her 11th career score and bolstered her bankroll to $242,325.  She returned $6.80 to win.    Ayers Ratliff

Ryan Stahl had a stellar night on Saturday (September 10) at Northfield Park by posting six wins on the 15-race harness racing program. Stahl's triumphs were with Tech Trade ($2.60) in race four, Mikeleh ($4.40) in race seven, Fountain Pen ($3.60) in race nine, Pop The Tags ($4.00) in race 11, Bestest Hanover ($3.80) in race 12 and Naked At The Beach ($7.20) in race 15. Stahl won his first race in 1994, a $3,127 stake event in 2:11, at his hometown fair in Tiffin, Ohio aboard Lojo's Sharp Baby. Since breaking his maiden, Ryan has scored 3,813 more times with purse earnings in excess of $14.2 million. Ayers Ratlif

The CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series has been part of the harness racing scene for nearly 35 years and on Saturday (Sept. 10) was the first time this season that the Billings Series offered trots in both the Midwestern and Eastern Regions on the same evening. The Billings trot in the Midwest at Northfield Park was won by Max "Colonel" Schultz while David "Poppa" Glasser was victorious in the East at Tioga Downs. Schultz, a German amateur driver visiting the USA, scored a wire to wire triumph with Detailer in a 1:59.4 clocking and Glasser used similar tactics when reined Celebrity Stimulus home first in a 1:58 mile. Last year Schultz came to the USA around the time the Little Brown Jug was contested, and showed his American counterparts that he knows his was around the racetracks winning two Billings contests then. In tonights contest Schultz had Detailer on the lead as they trotted by the first stanza in :30 seconds and they were followed closely by Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford with Partyatyourplace. "Tonight, my horse was strong behind the (starting ) gate so I sent him to the lead and then slowed him down," Schultz related via a telephone conversation. The field trotted by half in 1:00.3 and up the backside "Chicago George" Bonomo took aim at the leaders with Flying Muscles although Schultz and Oldford were still one-two as the field passed the three quarters. In the lane Oldford angled Partyatyourplace out to challenge and they raced side by side to the wire. "I had perfect trip behind Max and when I pulled my horse out to challenge in the stretch we got to Detailer's his chinstrap but we couldn't get by and had had to settle for second," Oldford said. . Bonomo and Flying Muscles finished third. Both Detailer and Partyatyourplace are owned by Bert Hershberger and trained by J D Wengerd and according to Oldford if it wasn't for them the race probably never would have filled. Detailer notched his fourth seasonal victory and returned a $13.40 mutuel. Meanwhile in Billings action hundreds of miles away at Tioga Downs in New York's southern tier David "Poppa" Glasser reined his fifth victory of the season behind his own Celebrity Stimulus. Glasser and his charge started from the four hole and grabbed command almost instantaneously and they were three lengths in front in a :28.2 first quarter. From there Glasser let his trotter breeze and they were safely in front until the deep stretch when "Hurricane Hannah" Miller and MT Ur Pockets came calling. But Celebrity Stimulus hung on gamely for a neck decision over the country's leading amateur driver. Third place went to Linda Marie, driven by Bob "Rapid Rail" Krivlen. Glasser, president of a litigation company, was gracious to his help. "I am sincerely grateful that the trainers, and staff, who have cared for Celebrity Stimulus all year have him in such good shape. Without their hard work and skill I would not have won tonight. "As for the race, I had the racing luck tonight. No passing lane kept that closed and I was able to fight off the first over challenge," he related. The Billings trot went as a non-wagering affair after the third race on the betting card at Tioga Downs. By John Manzi for the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series

Driver Josh Sutton couldn't have picked a better night to be on fire, as the Buckeye native notched victories in four of the eight $250,000 Ohio Sires Stakes Championships at Northfield Park. The evening was a perfect 75 degrees with light winds and no humidity as the spotlight was on harness racing 2 and 3-year-old Ohio-breds vying for seasonal honors on the Cleveland half-miler.   Proving that post on the twice-around was not an issue, Josh, 34, prevailed from not just one, but two eight-hole assignments along with one six- and one three-hole post. He ultimately captured three of the four 2-year-old Championships.   In the $250,000 Championship for 2-year-old trotting fillies, Josh was behind the 3-2 favorite Let's Get Started, a homebred owned by Richard and Joyce McClelland of Zanesville, OH. The daughter of Dejarmbro had swept all four OSS legs and added the winner's share of $125,000 to her already hefty seasonal bankroll of $90,300. Her time of 1:57 tied her own Northfield Park track record despite being saddled with the eight-hole.   She also overcame a miniscule break at the half, which was uncharacteristic for the Bobby Brower trainee, and then survived a brief steward's inquiry to notch her fifth career win.   "She was running in a little bit and when I corrected her, she got mad and threw in a few steps," Josh explained. "It really wasn't like her though, and then when I saw the three-quarter time (1:25.4), I knew those other fillies were going to come back to us. She just trucked all the way home and never offered to make another bobble."   Let's Get Started finished half a length in front of 2-1 Amuse's (Peter Wrenn), while 70-1 Bamaslastchance (Kayne Kauffman) got up for third.   Josh then steered 9-1 Rose Run Spanky from post six to a 1:57 track record-tying triumph in the $250,000 Championship for 2-year-old trotting colts. Conditioned by Bill Dailey, Rose Run Spanky is owned by Kim Dailey of Mechanicsburg; D Snyder of South Charleston; and S G Hines of Jamestown, OH. The bay gelding took advantage of a costly break by 1-9 Buckeye Boss (Aaron Merriman) early on to score his fifth victory in his tenth lifetime start. Always A Good Time (Chris Page) was second at 16-1, half a length behind the winner, while 60-1 longshot Stormy Kromer (Peter Wrenn) was third.   "When Buckeye Boss broke, I knew we were in for a big effort," Josh said. "I thought my horse had a good shot going into the race, but when that happened, I was even more confident. Nothing's ever certain with these 2-year-olds anyway--they'll make you rack your brain to figure them out."   Rose Run Spanky's earnings now stand at $187,409 with the Championship victory. Josh was in the winner's circle in the very next event, the $250,000 Championship for 2-year-old pacing colts, with another Bill Dailey trainee, the 7-1 Scotch McEwan. The son of McArdle is owned by Carl Atley of Xenia, OH and picked up his fourth lifetime victory in his seventh start, clocked in 1:54 for the one mile test.   "Early on this horse was quite aggressive but he's learned a lot over the past few months and has kind of come into his own," Josh said "Now he's much more manageable and has learned how to race. It doesn't surprise me that he could get the job done from the eight-hole."   Scotch McEwan came flying on the outside at the end of the mile to prevail over 70-1 Corner Con Artist (Kayne Kauffman) and 5-2 Pace Car (Chris Page). This young pacing gelding upped his earnings to $195,800 for his connections.   A third Dailey-trained stablemate gave Josh his fourth Championship victory. My Tweed Heart, the public's even money choice, took first prize in the 3-year-old filly pace, timed in 1:53.1. Owned by Carl and Melanie Atley, Xenia, OH and Alan Keith, Pataskala, OH, the daughter of Manhardt scored her ninth win of the year and career victory 12.   "She felt great tonight," Josh remarked. "Bill (trainer Dailey) has done a tremendous job with her.   "I have no complaints about racing over the half here tonight," Josh continued. "Everything has fallen into place for me, and having a lot of outside posts hasn't made a difference. I hate losing more than I love winning and when you have a night like tonight, well, it's just a tremendous feeling."   In the $250,000 Championship for freshman pacing fillies Berazzled bested her seven rivals with a 1:55 triumph. Peter Wrenn was in the sulky behind the 2-1 Charley Barley daughter, who is conditioned by Danny Collins for Marion Beachy of Sugarcreek, OH.   "She has some issues early in the year but has gotten better with more experience," Collins explained. "Things would spook her and she'd lose her focus but now she's more mature and seems to have figured out what racing is all about."   Berazzled made a bold, three-wide move around the final turn to draw off from her rivals by 2½ lengths. Bourbon And Barley, a 40-1 longshot finished second for Ryan Stahl, while 5-1 Zoe Ellasen (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) finished third.   Berazzled now has $181,040 in career earnings.   "Consistent is the best word to describe her," said a smiling Chris Page after steering 3-2 Consolidator to victory in the $250,000 Championship for 3-year-old trotting fillies in 1:55.1.   The daughter of Triumphant Caviar, who is trained by Jim Arledge, Jr. for the Green Acquisition Corporation of Canfield, OH, picked up career win seven and made a clean sweep of the series to push her lifetime earnings to $295,303.   "She's feeling great and looks terrific," Page continued. "Jim (trainer Arledge) has kept her sharp all season long."   Consolidator led at every panel to finish three-quarters of a length in front of the hard-trying A TC Queenie (8-5, Dan Noble), while 5-2 Kestrel (Aaron Merriman) nabbed show honors.   Page returned to the Northfield winner's circle after guiding 3-1 Wegoferdaprize to win the $250,000 Championship for 3-year-old trotting colts in 1:56.2. The son of And Away We Go is trained by Jessica Millner for the Curran Racing Stable, LLC of Red Hook, NY and now has $199,025 in career earnings.   "This gelding just knows how to keep on winning," Chris stressed. "Everything has been winning tonight from off the pace and he really just took his time gaining on the leaders."   Wegofordaprize moved up steadily from the back of the pack to post a 1¾ length win over the 70-1 hard-knocking Lionbacker Kidd (Peter Wrenn), while 2-5 Kanthaka (Aaron Merriman) notched third.   Whataboy lived up to his name as he scored a 1:51.3 clocking in the $250,000 Championship for 3-year-old pacing colts at odds of 5-2.   "He's done nothing but race great for us,"said trainer Brian Brown. "The trip tonight couldn't have worked out more perfect."   Whataboy, a gelded son of Big Bad John, got up to best 8-5 Mr Wiggle Pants by a length in late stretch, with Canadia's Bakin (Aaron Merriman) third.   "There was a lot of early speed in this race (:25.3, :54.3, 1:23.2)," noted driver Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. "And the way horses were coming home, I knew we were in a good spot. Brian (trainer Brown) has done a great job with this horse all year long and he really stepped up to the plate tonight."   Whataboy's career earnings now stand at $261,554 for owners Carl Howard, Powell, OH; Gerrie Tucker, Quebec, CA; and RBH Ventures Inc., New York, NY.   Earlier in the evening Scott Rocks set a new Northfield Park track record by pacing in 1:49 with Aaron Merriman aboard in a $20,000 Open Handicap Pace. The 6-year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover was parked out the entire mile and didn't clear to the front until well past the three-quarter mile marker.     by Kimberly Rinker, OSDF Administrator    

Harness racing trainer Brian Brown will send out nine horses during Northfield Park's "Super Night," Saturday, Sept. 3. Eight of those are Standardbreds Brown conditioned to vie in a $250,000 Ohio Sires Stakes Championship. Post time for the 15-race Super Night program is 6 pm, ET, with the first Ohio Sires Stakes Championship beginning with Race 4 and continuing through Race 11. Each OSS Championship features eight of the top point earners from the four-leg series returning to face off against one another. Brown, a native of Upper Sandusky, Ohio, will celebrate his 52 birthday at the end of this month and taking home a blue ribbon in each of the Championships would certainly be a fitting birthday present for a trainer who works non-stop to keep his equine athletes in tip-top shape. "The Ohio Sires Stakes Championships are the top of the line for Ohio," Brian stressed. "I'm lucky enough to have eight horses racing in these events. I feel blessed, but more importantly, this is a great night for the owners who have invested in the Ohio program. As a trainer, obviously you want them to all have winners, but it's also about them having a great night of fun and excitement. It's definitely a privilege to be involved at this level of competition." Brian is no stranger to success, having conditioned 1,177 winners to $14,283,616 in lifetime earnings. One of the highlights of his career was when his Colors A Virgin captured the 2014 Jugette in 1:52.4 at his home track in Delaware, Ohio and then later triumphed in the Breeders Crown Mare Pace. Brian grew up attending the races with his father Robert H. Brown and uncle William Brown as they raced around the Buckeye State's county fair and pari-mutuel ovals. He began driving in 1981 at age 16 and won 251 races, but hung up the lines in the late 1990s to concentrate his efforts on training. Since then, he's become a solid force throughout the Midwest and on the Grand Circuit. Preparing for a Championship night takes planning, Brian admits. "You leave nothing to chance," he noted. "Every horse trained; they all got scoped; they all got their blood taken; and the vet went over each one of them. Anything can happen in horse racing, but you have to cover all your bases when you're preparing this many horses to compete on one evening." Brian recorded his first one-million-dollar season in 2013, when his charges earned $1,501,709, giving him an outstanding .385 UTRS. The following year (2014) his winners amassed $2,116,668 for a .345 UTRS, and last season (2015)--his best year ever--saw horses trained by Brian earn $3,430,241, for a .375 UTRS. This year thus far, he's conditioned 390 starters to 96 wins, 45 seconds and 52 thirds for $1,506,512 in seasonal monies with a solid .355 UTRS. His eight Ohio Sires Stakes contenders include the undefeated Type A Grey, a 2-year-old Art Official lass who has swept her OSS divisions and taken a mark of 1:54.3f, earning $97,900 for the Emerald Highlands Farm of Mount Vernon, OH. She'll start from post two in Race 5. Brian will also harness Bye Bye Felicia from post five in this same division. The black daughter by Woodstock has $68,639 in career earnings and has a trio of OSS triumphs to her credit in six career starts. She recorded a mark of 1:54.2f for owners Jennifer Brown (Brian's wife), Ostrander, OH; Dean Davis, Wooster, OH; Joyce McClelland, Zanesville, OH; and Steve Mullet, Millersburg, OH. Brian has a trio of youngsters in the $250,000 Championship for 2year-old pacing colts (Race 7). Corner Con Artist, by Art Official, has racked up $37,656 in earnings for breeder/owner Stephen Sexton of Xenia, OH with a record of 1:55.3f in a July 4 OSS triumph. Corner Con Artist starts from post five with stablemate Officially Creek right next door in post six. This $39,050-winning Art Official gelding is owned by Debbie Bird of Goes Landing, ON, and won Leg 4 of this series on Aug. 24 at Northfield in a career best 1:54. Last, but definitely not least, is the speedy Barnabas, a gelded son of McArdle who captured three OSS legs, including a 1:53.1h score at Northfield in his last OSS effort on Aug. 24. He's earned $79,200 for Country Club Acres of Findlay, OH; Joe Sbrocco, Brecksville, OH; Richard Lombardo, Solon, OH; and William Robinson of Findlay, OH, and will start from the seven-slot in this same event. In the $250,000 Championship (Race 9) for 3-year-old pacing fillies, Brian sends out She Gone from post eight. "I'm at the mercy of the race with some of the posts we've drawn," he said. "I've got two horses with a two and a four-hole, and the rest all drew the five-hole or further out. It just comes down to how the race folds out for us." She Gone is co-owned by Brian, Jennifer and Beau Brown, along with Cameron McCown of Ostrander, OH and Richard Lombardo of Solon, OH. This sophomore lass has seasonal earnings of $50,375 and career earnings of $69,285. She recorded a mark of 1:55.1 on May 6 of this year at Miami Valley Raceway. "The 3-year-old colt pace is the widest open of any of the championships," Brian assessed. "In my opinion, there are five colts in there that, given the right trip, any of them are capable of winning." Brian bridles up Whataboy from post five for Carl Howard of Powell, OH; Gerrie Tucker of Quebec, CA; and RBH Ventures, Inc., of New York, NY. The son of Big Bad John has $93,800 in his seasonal coffers for these connections and recorded a 1:51.3f score at Scioto on July 9. He won a pair of OSS legs this season and sports a career bankroll of $136,554. Starting from post six in this same event is Friskie Cruiser, a son of Feelin Friskie owned by breeder Stephen Sexton of Xenia, OH. A winner of $191,796 lifetime, Friskie Cruiser has seasonal earnings of $51,175 with a mark of 1:54 taken in an OSS leg at Northfield on Aug.13. by Kimberly Rinker, OSDF Administrator

Eight $250,000 Ohio Sires Stakes Championships for Buckeye-bred harness racing 2 and 3-year-old trotters and pacers of both genders will line up behind the Northfield Park starting gate for Super Night, Saturday night, Sept. 3.   A total of 64 of the highest point earners in the OSS four-leg series will partake in the grand finale for some of Ohio's finest colts and fillies. Four divisions of trotters and an equal number of pacing divisions are set to compete over the half-mile "Home of the Flying Turns," with a post time of 6 pm, ET. The OSS events will be raced consecutively, from races four through 11.   Ohio trotting stallions represented include Triumphant Caviar, with ten youngsters vying for first prize. Dejarmbro has five progeny competing, while Chip Chip Hooray has three. Break The Bank K, Full Count, And Away We Go and Lion Hunter all have two foals racing in the Championships; with Iron Duke, Victory Sam, Rompaway Wally, Pigrim's Taj and Lou's Legacy with one each.   In the pacing ranks, Ohio-based stallion and Little Brown Jug winner Big Bad John has six foals competing, with Art Official and McArdle both represented by four each. Charley Barley and Feelin Friskie both have three youngsters racing in an OSS Championship, while Foreclosure N, Mr Wiggles and I'm Gorgeous have two each. Canyon Wind, Manhardt, Woodstock, The Panderosa and World of Rocknroll each have one progeny going postward in an OSS Championship.   A solid number of trainers have multiple OSS youngsters racing Saturday, but Chris Beaver tops the list with nine going for the $250,000 pot, including Chim Swift, Bamaslastchance, Always A Good Time, Fraser Ridge, Buckeye Boss, Kestrel, Kerfuffle Cookie, Chips So Fast and Kanthaka. Beaver also is the top owner in regards to number of horses competing in OSS Championships, with a total of seven that he owns in partnership.   Conditioner Brian Brown has eight vying for first prize, including Type A Grey, Bye Bye Felicia, Corner Con Artist, Official Creek, Barnabas, She Gone, Whataboy and Friskie Cruiser.   Trainer Bill Dailey sends out six youngsters, including Maavelous, Rose Run Spanky, Drunk On Your Love, Scotch McEwan, My Tweed Heart and Gotmoneyinmypocket. A total of 134 owners have invested in these 64 youngsters, either as sole proprietors or in partnerships. Ohio residents have the highest number of investors, with 94, followed by Pennsylvania with 14, New York with five and Indiana, Florida, Delaware and Ontario with three each. Michigan, New Jersey and Kentucky all have two residents who have invested in the Ohio program, while one person each from Arizona, Quebec and Sweden owns a piece or all of an Ohio-bred. As the Ohio Sires Stakes program has expanded, so has the number of outside breeders who have begun to invest in Ohio-breds. Besides Ohio-based breeders, this season the OSS program has seen folks from Florida, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, New Jersey, Missouri, Iowa, Michigan, Delaware, Indiana and Ontario become involved. Ohio's Rose Run Farm and Midland Acres, as well as owner/breeder Wilbur Stoll Lang of Jamestown, OH have three youngsters each racing in Championship events Saturday.   The field of 2-year-old trotting fillies in the first OSS Championship (Race 4) features total foal earnings of $479,749 among the eight starters. Joyce and Richard McClelland's Let's Get Started is the richest and fastest of the freshmen distaffs, with $90,300 in earnings and a track record holder at both Scioto (1:56.3) and Northfield (1:57).   In the field of 2-year-old pacing fillies (Race 5), the total foal earnings stand at $475,446. Emerald Highland Farm's Type A Grey is the richest in the field with $97,900 amassed this year, while Sandra Burnett's Big Bad Jane is the fastest, with a mark of 1:53.2 she took at Scioto Downs on Aug. 23.   The Chris Beaver-conditioned Buckeye Boss is the richest and fastest youngster in the 2-year-old colt trotting Championship (Race 6), as he's racked up $104,750 with a 1:56.2 record taken at Scioto. This field of eight standouts has $444,721 in combined freshman earnings.   In the field of 2-year-old pacing colts (Race 7), Barnabas, who hails from the Brian Brown stable, is the richest among his peers with $79,200 in his coffers. Combined, this group of eight has $464,733 in total foal earnings. Carl Atley's Scotch McEwan is the fastest youngster of the group, with a mark of 1:52.3 he scored at Scioto on Aug. 16.   Trish Soulsby and Rich Schaut's A TC Queenie is the richest of all the 3-year-old trotting fillies in her division (Race 8), with $102,550 earned this season. Lang and Beaver's Kestrel is the richest in terms of lifetime earnings with $254,025. A TC Queenie and the Jim Arledge-trained Consolidator are both tied for being the fastest 3-year-old OSS contestant, with each having been clocked in 1:55.1 at Scioto Downs. This group of eight diagonally-gaited lasses has combined earnings of $485,227 in 2016 and $915,888 lifetime.   The field of 3-year-old pacing fillies (race 9) has combined 2016 earnings of $541,128 and lifetime earnings of $1,070,566. My Tweed Heart is both the richest in seasonal ($248,134) and lifetime ($115,882) and is also the fastest of the any of the sophomore fillies, with a 1:52.2 record she established on July 29 at Scioto Downs.   Breana Carsey's MJB Got Faith tops all his 3-year-old trotting rivals (Race 10) in terms of seasonal ($87,100) and lifetime ($279,600) earnings, while Lang and Beaver's Kanthaka is the fastest, with a 1:53.4 record he scored at The Meadows on June 14. This field has seasonal foal earnings of $555,066 and lifetime earnings of $1,143,268.   Trainer Ronnie Burke's Winwood Mac is the fastest among the 3-year-old OSS pacing colts, with a 1:50.2 Scioto Downs score from July 30, while the Jim Mulinix-conditioned Mr Wiggle Pants is the richest--both in seasonal ($123,800) and lifetime ($214,793). These eight sophomore side-wheelers have amassed $683,692 this year and $1,189,387 lifetime. by Kimberly Rinker, OSDF Administrator

With more than $2 million in purse being distributed over a 15-race harness racing card, the richest night of racing in Northfield Park history is on tap Saturday night (September 3), featuring a series of $250,000 races which will decide eight Ohio Sires Stakes champions. Two champions from last year - Miss Me Yet, now a three-year-old pacing filly, and MJB Got Faith, a three-year-old trotting colt - are back to defend their crowns. Three of Saturday's participants - Type A Grey, a juvenile filly pacer, Buckeye Boss, a juvenile trotting colt and Consolidator, a sophomore filly trotter - are putting perfect four-for-four Ohio Sires Stakes leg victories on the line. Here is a look at the eight championship races: Two-Year-Old Filly Trotters --- The top eight point earners have all entered. Division leader Let's Get Started, a winner of three of his four Ohio Sires legs, and driver Josh Sutton will have to work out a trip after drawing the No. 8 outside post. Amuse's, the other three-time winner among the juvenile filly trot finalists, drew well and will start from the No. 3 post with driver Peter Wrenn. The only time Amuse's has lost in six starts is when she twice broke stride. Chim Swift, who defeated Let's Get Started in the July 3 first leg of the OSS series at Northfield, will start from the No. 5 post with Aaron Merriman. Two-Year-Old Filly Pacers --- Type A Grey, one of just three horses to navigate the Ohio Sires Stakes four qualifying legs undefeated, heads the freshman filly pacers. She and driver Chris Page enjoyed a good draw and will depart from the No. 2 post. Bye Bye Felicia, winner of her first three OSS starts before finishing third in the final leg, drew the No. 5 post. The division was so deep that five leg winners failed to qualify for the final. Also missing will be Rosemary Rose, winner of her first two OSS legs, but absent since then. Two-Year-Old Colt Trotters --- Trainer Christopher Beaver has the numbers to dominate this final as he sends out the division's top three point-earners, including Buckeye Boss who was a perfect four-for-four in the OSS qualifying legs. Beaver's other pupils, Fraser Ridge (three wins) and Always A Good Time (two wins) complete his triple threat. Buckeye Boss, perfect in six career starts, drew the No. 5 post. Always A Good Thing and Fraser Ridge are directly to his inside, post position three and four, respectively. Two-Year-Old Colt Pacers --- A trio of triple leg winners - Drunk On Your Love, Barnabas and Ron's Pro - should insure that this final is highly competitive. The point leader is Drunk On Your Love who lost by a neck in the fourth leg to Ron's Pro. The latter couldn't overcome an eight-hole draw in the opening leg or he would be OSS perfect. Barnabas, who dropped a photo in the third leg, has posted the fastest mile in the field, a 1:53 1/5 spin at Scioto Downs on Aug. 24. Three-Year-Old Filly Trotters --- Consolidator, perfect in four OSS qualifying legs and owner of the division's fastest mile (1:55 1/5), drew the No. 1 post position in her bid for the championship. A TC Queenie, winner of three legs, is Consolidator's main rival. While they didn't square off in the OSS series, A TC Queenie upset Consolidator in the Ohio State Fair dash on July 29 at Scioto Downs. She will start in the No. 2 post position. Three-Year-Old Filly Pacers --- Miss Me Yet, the Ohio Sires Stakes champion as a freshman last year, seeks to complete a second half of the season comeback and has the rail post as a launching pad. The Brenda Teague-trainee was unplaced in the 2016 OSS opener, then skipped the second leg before posting victories in the third and fourth legs. Her main rival figures to be division point leader My Tweed Heart, a winner of three legs. She is on a three race winning streak and drew the No. 3 post. Three-Year-Old Colt Trotters --- MJB Got Faith, the 2015 freshman colt trotting champion who races for 11-year-old Breana Carsey, will need to believe in the power of overcoming a difficult post position after drawing the outside No. 8 starting spot for the final. He has won his last three OSS qualifying legs, including a triumph from the No. 8 post at Scioto Downs on July 15. Overdressed, also a winner of three qualifying legs but plagued recently by breaking issues, drew the No. 2 post. Three-Year-Old Colt Pacers --- The Super Night finale appears the most evenly matched of the eight championship miles, with six of the eight entrants each having won two qualifying legs. The participants' credentials are so balanced that the top three rated colts - Winwood Mac, Whataboy and Hustling Charley - all have 141 points. Winwood Mac has drawn the rail post, while Hustling Charley has the three slot and Whataboy starts from the No. 4 post. Failing to qualify for the final were Love Tap Hanover, last year's OSS champ at two, and Primo Giovanni, voted Ohio's two year-old colt pacer of 2015. In addition to watching the very best of Ohio racing, Saturday's patrons will be offered a $10,000 guaranteed Pick 5 pool and a $20,000 Pick 4 guaranteed pool. The Pick 5 begins in the third race; the Pick 4 starts in race eight. Other attractions include Seti's Polish Boys and B&M BBQ food trucks, as well as Crooked Kettle Popcorn. There will be live music featuring The Caliber Band, a Northfield Park t-shirt toss after each of the first 12 live races and Northfield Park Plinko. A special Lady Luck's Buffet created and inspired by Hard Rock Executive Chef Chris Poplin will be available for $19.95. Race fans are encouraged to call 330.467.4101 for reservations. Ayers Ratliff

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