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The following official statement is from Paul Fontaine, president of Harness Tracks of America   Harness Tracks of America (HTA) is embarking on a new chapter in its storied history. Our executive committee and directors have decided to repatriate our office to East of the Mississippi, bringing our focus and manpower closer to our membership, geographically. We will be closing our offices in Tucson, Ariz., and henceforth will be operating at Northfield Park, Northfield, Ohio.   Our executive vice president, Paul Estok, is anchored in Tucson and will regrettably be leaving his executive position at HTA due to our relocation.   This is an exciting time at HTA as our membership is close to an all-time high and our services continue to be sought by our tracks and the entire Standardbred industry. We will continue to be available to provide the resources to which our industry has become accustomed and we look forward to the new experiences and challenges occasioned by our move to Northfield.   HTA wishes to thank Mr. Estok for his 20 years of service during which he served as Stan Bergstein's right hand and then continued on as the steward of our association after Stan's passing. His work, dedication and loyalty to HTA has always been exemplary and well appreciated by our members.   We invite not only our track members but all who toil in our Standardbred vineyard to partake of our new experience and share with us the excitement and enthusiasm generated by our relocation.   Please do not hesitate to call me with any questions, comment or information or you may reach out to Brock Milstein, Northfield Park, Northfield Road, Northfield, Ohio , phone #330-467-4101 or bmilstein@northfieldpark.com. You may also contact Tom Aldrich at taldrich@northfieldpark.com for any HTA matters or HTA scholarship questions.  

This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series fifth legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers this week features two $40,000 divisions on Friday (April 18) in the fifth round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Saturday (April 19) card at Yonkers will see three $50,000 divisions in the fifth round of the George Morton Levy series for open pacers. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: As has been the case throughout the 2014 edition of the George Morton Levy series, Foiled Again was once again at the top of the headlines this past weekend at Yonkers. The 10-year-old sauntered around the half-mile oval in 1:51 this past Saturday night. "That's what he's supposed to do," said driver Yannick Gingras after the gelding's fourth win in as many Levy series/season starts. Foiled Again was a narrow winner in his Levy division on April 12. Leaving from post position No. 3 as the stronger half of a 1-20 entry, Foiled Again had to work to get around P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett). He did so before a :27.4 opening quarter-mile and found a :56.3 intermission with Bettor's Edge (George Brennan) away third and A J Corbelli (Tim Tetrick) fourth. It was Dancin Yankee (Ron Pierce) then moving from fifth, engaging Foiled Again toward a 1:24 three-quarters. Soon after, Bettor's Edge -- who, as with Foiled Again, was three-for-three in this series entering the evening -- slipped out to race second-over. However, Bettor's Edge became very rough very quickly, soon jumping it off. Foiled Again owned a half-length lead entering the lane. His pesky rival wouldn't go away, but wouldn't go by, either. Foiled Again won by a head in 1:51, the fastest local mile of the season. Third went to P H Supercam, beaten a half-length. Mach It So (1:52.1) and Clear Vision (1:52.1) won the other two Levy divisions. Last Friday night's fourth round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker for Open mare pacers saw three $40,000 divisions go postward. The first event saw Breeders Crown champ Shelliscape (Tim Tetrick, $7.20) get her first series win with a handy, down-the-road effort (:27.3, :57, 1:24, 1:52). Ramalama (Matt Kakaley) was unable to sustain a first-up bid, while Monkey On My Wheel (Brian Sears) could only match strides from the pocket. Monkey On My Wheel did get second, beaten three-quarters of a length, with Ramalama third. Defending Matchmaker champion Feeling You was also flying under the radar until Friday evening. Leaving from post four with Tyler Buter doing the honors, Feeling You operated from second-over. That didn't seem so opportunistic when pole-sitting Rocklamation (Gingras) rated a cheap half (:28, :57.3). Rocklamation maintained her advantage in and out of a 1:25.2 three-quarters, taking a half-length lead into the lane. Feeling You, left to fend for herself, continued her assault on the leader. She outgamed Rocklamation by a head in 1:53.1. The third and final Matchmaker had Yagonnakissmeornot (Daniel Dube) throw down the gauntlet with the fastest mile of the series to date. Leaving from post five, Yagonnakissmeornot made the first lead before yielding to the 4-5 favorite in Somwherovrarainbow (Sears). After a :27.1 opening quarter-mile and :55.4 intermission, it was Krispy Apple (Tetrick) trying her luck first-up. That one couldn't sniff the leader before a 1:23.4 three-quarters, with Somwherovrarainbow owning a 1-1/2 length lead into the lane. However, she was powerless to deny Yagonnakissmeornot, who edged from the pocket and rolled away. That final margin for the second choice was 2-1/2 widening lengths in a season's-best 1:51.4. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend at Yonkers: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 116; 2. George Brennan - 104.5; 3. Tim Tetrick - 80; 4. Brian Sears- 41; 5. Daniel Dube - 40. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 210.5; 2. PJ Fraley - 93; 3. Rene Allard - 40; 4. Joe Holloway - 25; 5. Kevin Carr - 20. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 78.5; 2t. Burke Racing - 53.8; 2t. Weaver Bruscemi - 53.8; 4. Brad Grant - 20.5; 5. Joe Pennacchio - 20. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Northfield Park, Freehold Raceway, Meadowlands Racetrack and Yonkers Raceway. Northfield will host the Courageous Lady for 3-year-old filly pacers on Friday (April 25); Freehold has eliminations scheduled for the Dexter Cup for 3-year-old colt trotters on Saturday (April 26); also that day the Meadowlands will feature the W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 3-year-old colt pacers; and action at Yonkers will continue that Saturday with the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy finals and consolations. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

It has been such a downward spiral for the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs that this latest lowest of lows has harness racing driver Jody Jamieson contemplating switching allegiances to another NHL team. As for which team Jody might start cheering for, nothing has been decided but all of us Maple Leafs fans understand that at some point we must all move on or do we become the Chicago Cubs of the National Hockey League. "It's in my blood" says Jody, "I'm a diehard fan but this is getting out of hand." Jody's career in harness racing has been remarkable, with some comparing his success to the likes of hockey greats Wayne Gretzky or Sidney Crosby. As flattered as Jody is by the comparison, in no way does he consider himself to be painted with the same brush as the hockey legends. "It's a lofty comparison, and it's not something I am not comfortable with" Jody notes. Admittedly, Jody feels he was able to jump start his career thanks to his father, legendary trainer Carl Jamieson. "My father is a hall of fame horseman and I had probably one of the best starts anybody could have in this business, by having him back me up." Jody says. A key piece of advice given to Jody by his dad is to always be respectful, regardless of whom that person is. It doesn't matter if it's a groom or a racing official, everyone matters. Jody Jamieson's name is up there with drivers such as Tim Tetrick, Mike Lachance, Chris Christoforou and Brian Sears and even after all the wins and accolades, Jody's focus hasn't changed. There's never a race he takes for granted and Jody admits he's human and makes mistakes, like everyone else. "I'm out to win every possible race I'm in... it's never lack of trying or being prepared but I make mistakes. Thank God there is another race right after that one where I can try and redeem myself." Jody says. With any sport, competition is extremely fierce and the guys who lead the standings are always battling between themselves and new comers. The saying goes, if you're going to win, you want to beat the best and Jody acknowledges everyone on the track wants to make a name for themselves. "That's what makes this game so fun, in one moment you're king of the castle but twenty minutes later you're knocked off." Jody adds, "It's very competitive, every twenty minutes, every night of the week." All drivers and trainers have been through dry spells, going through stretches of time without positive results. A piece of advice Jody was given is you need to learn to lose well before you learn to win well. "Don't get to high with the highs and don't get to low with the lows" is Jody's approach to keeping a level head to remain mentally grounded. "If you look at my record, I have way more losses than I do wins and I've learned to deal with it and keep it on the track as much as possible." With people having hard days or rough spells, it's amazing how well the horsemen are able to cope and still keep it classy amongst them. "I find in Canada and Ontario, it's the kind of people we are." Jody says. "We all try to get along off the track; there is no reason to be enemies off the track and not like each other. But when we go to the gate, it's on! I think that's taken for granted in other places, with people taking issue of being beat in a race." "Not only is life too short, our careers are too short to be hung up on every last thing, so you have to keep it light." Jody says. "I think I can relate to almost anybody, I enjoy busting (chops) and I can handle having my (chops) busted as well." Speaking with Jody, the biggest take away I got would be understanding how tough it is to mature in such a highly competitive sport. Yet in an odd way it can still be very easy. Yes I am aware there is a contradiction to what I have just written but the difficulties I perceive is being young with an ego. At this point I am not speaking for a driver, I am thinking of myself as a young one who is 18 or 20 and all I focus on is me and my success. If something were to come in between, I can honestly admit I would of taken issue from the get go. However, through it all in any sport, life hands you a constant wave of highs and lows and the earlier you notice these waves, the easier it is to 'ride it out' so to speak. Things can't always go your way, if they did, how would anyone learn? Over the last couple of years, Jody admits there have been some up and downs and this year he is more driven because of that. "Last year it took me until December to win a Classic race. It was the Cleveland Classic with Apprentice Hanover." Apprentice Hanover is trained by Benjamin Wallace and won the race in a time of 1:52.1 at Northfield Park. "There were big races where I came in second or third, but it wasn't the win." Jody admits. Jody is happily married to Stephanie and Jody has a daughter Hailey who is 11, a son Jett who is 2 and a baby girl on the way who is due in July. As much success as Jody's had over the years, he is now racing for his family, not just for him and this means ensuring his family can live happily. "I have a young family and I am recently married and I want to be a part of their lives to... I'm going to spend the best time with my family and I am not going to change anything. I'm going to be prepared as ever, more prepared than I've ever been to go on the race track every night." Jody says, "Before it was about wins and putting up big numbers, now it's about making a great living and being able to provide for my family down the road." "I had the one year where I broke the wins records in Canada. I drove right until the end of the year and then I quit for a month and just relaxed, it gets really stressful.... I had that one (great) year and I thought I want to treat myself a little bit." Jody adds, "I want to be the top guy and make enough money to enjoy life." Jody also missed some time away from the track to attend the O'Brien awards and Jody flew to Finland to be the ambassador of Canadian harness racing. To add to Jody's time away was the volcano eruption in Finland where the dust had to settle before Jody could fly back home. So at what point did Jody change his outlook? Or at what point did a light go off where Jody realized it was more than just about him? "When you're in it, running from track to track winning races and having some success, you don't think of anything until you're laying on a beach in Mexico... you don't think of it until then." Jody points out. Throughout his career, Jody has grown close to many people who have supported him and who always believe in his talents. "Mark MacDonald and I used to be thick as thieves and as best friends off the track and fierce enemies on the track." Jody continues, "We'd do anything to beat each other and Mark moved away and we haven't kept in touch as much, but definitely Mark was a huge influence in my career. He helped me learn my craft and have a better mindset on the race track for sure." Jody loves what the new Meadowlands racetrack is doing, "they're doing incredible work" he says and at one point in Jody's career, the idea to go to the big M did cross his mind, but home is where the heart is. "I'm from Moffat, Ontario, Canada and this is where my family is and this is where my family's family is. This is where I'll be unless something worse happens like what is happening with this Liberal government." "In 2011 the Standardbred industry received $176 million dollars to operate harness racing in Ontario. In 2014 harness racing will be lucky to have $70-$80 million." Jody points out. The money the racing industry received is from an agreement between the racetracks and the Ontario Lottery Gaming Corporation, (OLG) which is a Government entity, based on revenues brought in from the creation of the SLOTS programs at each racetrack. With the racetracks already established, the OLG agreed to give a percentage of all revenue to the racetracks so the OLG could put in slot machines and the money given to the tracks would go towards purse money to create a higher level of competition within the province. Anthony Macdonald, who is a horseman, is running as a PC provincial candidate hoping if an election takes place, the standardbred industry will have a stronger voice at Queen's Park, (the provincial legislator). Jody is a strong advocate and supporter of Anthony and his efforts to bring more awareness to the standardbred community and Jody is willing to help anywhere he can. "Anyone who knows Anthony, you can't tune him out and I am going to campaign hard to help get him elected." Jody states. "We have 3 or 4 candidates who are pro harness racing on the Conservative side." Jody feels strongly that the Liberal government has messed up several industries outside of harness racing, such as the gas industry, the powers sector and even the teachers union. "Horses don't speak" says Jody, "they are nice to look at and people love them but they don't speak. We need to do a better job speaking for them.... The OLG's revenue was around a billion dollars and we were only getting around 20 percent, maybe less. Now the OLG is taking in the full 100 percent in revenue. We are in trouble and this money, (the $500 million/5 year proposal from the Liberals), it has kept racing open but we are on a life line and we are bleeding badly." Away from the politics and the tracks, Jody is the type of guy who likes to help others where and when he can. Jody would love to help the Toronto Maple Leafs, maybe try and get them a Stanley Cup sometime soon! "I'm so aggravated with this season, I like Randy Carlyle. He's a horse guy who started in the horse racing business before he was drafted." As you can tell, Jody is a massive hockey fan and aside from the Leafs, his favorite team is the Jamieson Jets, an adult men's hockey team. One thing to point out is Jody's son Jett was not named after the hockey team, even though some people make that connection. However if the dad who named the son said it wasn't, there's nothing to discuss. If Jody had a man cave, it would be filled with Toronto Maple Leaf paraphernalia and his entire top win photos including the North America Cup pictures, the Battle of Waterloo and Breeders Crown pictures. To date, the second heat of the 2007 Little Brown Jug is Jody's most memorable race. In that race he was driving great horse Tell All. "I could remember my heart beating the whole time."Jody says. "The half was in 56.1... I kicked the ear plugs on him around the last turn and he dug in, but he really didn't dig in like I thought. Brian Sears slipped off of David Miller's back going three wide in the stretch and I didn't know half way down the stretch if I could hang on. So I hit the wire not knowing if you have a clear cut win. It was the best ever (feeling)... I'll never forget him." "I would love to win the Hambletonian. I've been fortunate to win big races and I'd love to win them all again. Just because I won them, doesn't mean they're off my bucket list." Jody adds, "It would mean a lot to me to win any of those races again, they're special, special races." Jody enjoys interacting with fans. "I love meeting fans...they message me of Facebook and Twitter. I think its wild and I thrive on it, I love meeting with the fans and doing whatever I can to meet fans." Jody says. A few summers ago, Woodbine asked Jody to go to a Jack Astor's opening in Toronto as the restaurant was doing simulcasting. "I went in my driver suit, not a soul knew who I was, not a soul and I had my suit on and they knew what I did at the end of the day they loved it. I loved it and meeting people who want to get to know me. Like I said, horses can't talk but I can and I want this industry I love to survive and prosper." By: Roderick Balgobin www.supernovasportsclub.com Twitter: ScSupernova  

Rose Run Logan crossed the finish line as the winner for the eighth time this year in just nine starts when he was victorious in the $10,000 Open Trot on Monday (April 14) in the evening's 11th race at Northfield Park. He is owned and trained by Jeff Hochstetler of Urichsville, Ohio. Josh Sutton was aboard for the winning drive. Rose Run Logan (Armbro Laser-How Miraculous-Baltic Speed) was assigned post eight and was parked every step through fractions of :28.2, :57.3, 1:26.2 and 1:56.2 He was ½-length in front of his nearest competitor at the wire. Completing the race were Action-Broadway, Mary's Darvin, Life Long Hanover, Norma's Rose, Hello Carlo, Julians Caesar and Edit. Rose Run Logan now has 14 career successes and a bankroll of $45,198. He was the race favorite and paid $4.40 to win. Earlier in the evening, Rockin Finish narrowly captured the evening's co-feature, the $9,500 Open Pace in the ninth race. Virgil Morgan Jr. trains the five year-old for Canadian owner, Gerrie Tucker. Morgan called upon Ronnie Wrenn Jr. to drive. Rockin Finish (Rocknroll Hanover-Please Me Please-Camluck) started from post five and was parked through the initial :27.1 opening quarter before sitting the pocket through fractions of :55.1 and 1:24.1. Wrenn called upon the pacer in the stretch and Rockin Finish bested his competition by a head in 1:53.4. Completing the race were Justified, Nathan Feelsgood, Hallin, Goodnite Goodluck and Kiasma. Jolly Jubiter was scratched. Monday's triumph increased Rockin Finish's lifetime win tally to 14 and his earnings to $259,632. He was the race favorite and returned $3.00 to win. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

For the fourth consecutive week, Up Front Kellie Jo was up to the task in the $10,000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace on Thursday (April 10) in Northfield Park's 10th race. The harness racing mare is trained by Rob Harmon for owners C. Ed Mullinax and Mark Ford. Josh Sutton has been in the bike for all four of her consecutive victories. Despite being assigned the outside, Up Front Kellie Jo (Bettor's Delight-Life's Highway-Life Sign) fired off the gate and went to the lead. She stayed well in hand and never experienced an anxious moment, while posting fractions of :27.2, :56.4, 1:24.3 and 1:52.3, just 2/5 of a second off of the track record. She was an uncontested 2 ¼-lengths in front at the wire. Completing the race were Power Everywhere, Y Mach Me, Sweetheart Dance, It Must Be Magic, Special Lady D, Here And Now and Seascape Hanover. Clear Character was scratched. Thursday's win was the 43rd career victory for Up Front Kellie Jo and increased her lifetime earnings to $846,097. She was the race favorite and returned $3.60 to win. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park      

Northfield Park has announced the dates of three Spring Late Closing series. "These Spring late closers are a good addition to our current racing program because they will feature a lot of younger horses just coming back to the races this season," said Dave Bianconi, Executive Vice President of Racing and Simulcasting. "They are just part of the overall increased racing opportunities offered here at Northfield. In addition, the dates of these series were written to avoid conflicts with the Ohio Sire Stakes legs for three-year-olds." All of the newly added Late Closers carry a condition of: Non-winners of Two Pari-Mutuel Races (Ohio Breads N/W Three) or Non-Winners of $15,000 Lifetime (As of 4/1/2014). Thursdays (April 24, May 5, May 15 and May 22) will host The Wallflower Series for filly and mare pacers. Each of the four legs will carry purses of $5,000. The $15,000 final (all purses guaranteed) will go to post on Thursday (May 29). Thursday (April 24) and Tuesdays (May 6, May 13 and May 20) will offer The Spring Break Series for horse and gelding pacers. Each leg will be raced for a $5,000 purse. The final will be Tuesday (June 3) for a purse of $15,000. Thursday (April 24) and Wednesdays (May 14, May 21) and Monday (June 6) highlight The Gin Blossom Series for trotters. Each of these legs will also carry a $5,000 purse. The $15,000 final will be Monday (June 16). A one-time $300 payment will be required of each entrant to be eligible. Payments are due by April 18. Conditions for the series can be found at www.northfieldpark.com. The link is near the bottom of Northfield's homepage. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

Driver Josh Sutton has been on fire in 2014 and again dominated most of the evening on Monday (April 7) at Northfield Park. The evening's Open Pace and Open Trot were just two of the six successful drives on the night for Sutton. Sutton, 31, began driving in 2000 and has since garnered 2,336 career victories and is approaching $13,000,000 in purse earnings. He has posted 113 victories so far this year over Northfield's Flying Turns, ranking him second on the local driving ranks, just one victory behind Ronnie Wrenn Jr. Chasing Wrenn and Sutton are: Aaron Merriman (84), David Lake (46) and Robin Miller (45). Sutton has been driving at Miami Valley on Northfield Park's nights off and he has been winning there as well. He has 140 driving wins so far in 2014, ranking him as the seventh winningest driver so far this year in North America. Only Aaron Merriman (178), Corey Callahan (167), Ronnie Wrenn Jr. (164), Ron Pierce (157), Brian Sears (146) and Dave Palone (144) have more wins this year than Josh Sutton. Sutton captured the evening's $9,500 Open Pace with Lyons Josephjnr in the eighth race. Ron Burke trains the five year-old for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi. Chris Page was the winning driver. Lyons Josephjnr (Million Dollar Cam-Lyons Sure Sign-Life Sign) started from post four and was fourth through an opening fraction of :27.1. Sutton tipped the pacer first over and he sustained a successful first-over bid through fractions of :56.1 and 1:25.4. Lyons Josephjnr cleared to the lead in the final quarter and bested his competition by two lengths in 1:54.3 on a very sloppy surface. Completing the race were I Found My Beach, Nathan Feelsgood, Goodnite Goodluck, Hall Of Memories, Forever Good and Kiasma. Monday's triumph increased Lyons Josephjnr's lifetime win tally to 13 and his earnings to $198,951. He was the race favorite and returned $3.60 to win. Sutton piloted Rose Run Logan to victory in the $10,000 Open Trot in the evening's 10th race. He is owned and trained by Jeff Hochstetler of Urichsville, Ohio. Rose Run Logan (Armbro Laser-How Miraculous-Baltic Speed) started from post seven and was parked every step through fractions of :28, :56.4 and 1:25.4. He took the lead in the stretch and completed the mile in 1:55.1. He was ¾-length in front at the wire. The win represents a new lifetime mark for Rose Run Logan. Completing the race were Action-Broadway, Mary's Darvin, Pembroke Snapshot, Sure Thing, Kahoku, Wind Surfer, Hello Carlo and Theraputic. Rose Run Logan now has 13 career successes and has won seven of eight starts in 2014. Monday's victory pushed his bankroll to $40,198. He paid $5.60 to win. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park  

Northfield Park reminds horsemen that qualifiers have temporarily moved from 11:00 am on Fridays to 11:00 am on Thursdays. The temporary move is due to a new fence being constructed around the racetrack. Fencing construction is expected to last approximately six weeks. Entries for Thursday qualifiers are due to the race office by 9:00 am on Wednesdays. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

April 6, 2014 - HANA Harness is pleased to announce additional sponsors (one new and one returning) to the 2014 HANA Harness Grand Circuit 'Shoot-Out' Handicapping Contest presented by The Hambletonian Society, DRF Harness, Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs. New as a Silver Sponsor this year is the Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA) which presently represents horsemen at WEG tracks. Returning for a third year of sponsorship at the Silver level is Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park. As Canadian sponsors, their donations will be used to benefit Canadian Standardbred rescues. We encourage all followers of the handicapping challenge to visit our sponsors' websites by visiting the contest website and clicking on their logos. Sponsorship opportunities remain available. Tracks, horsemen associations, racing stables, and those vendors who market to the harness racing industry and/or fans are welcome to become sponsors. For additional information regarding sponsorship, click here. HANA is also pleased to announce the roster of handicappers has been finalized with the addition of Brian McEvoy. McEvoy, works for Harnesslink in various capacities. This will be his first appearance in a HANA handicapping contest and he will be playing for Horse Rescue United. The first leg of the 2014 Grand Circuit 'Shoot-Out' is scheduled for April 26, 2014 when the finals of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pace and the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series will be contested at Yonkers Raceway. A complete list of contest days may be found here. by Al Schott, for HANA

Columbus, OH --- The USTA's online entry program, which has been in the beta testing phase during the past month, is scheduled to go live on April 7. When the platform kicks off officially on Monday, nine racetracks are signed up and ready to start taking online entries. The nine tracks are Balmoral Park, Dover Downs, Harrington Raceway, Maywood Park, The Meadows, Plainridge Racecourse, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Northfield Park, and Yonkers Raceway. "We are ready to go with nine tracks and about 40 trainers that have been part of the testing period," said USTA Director of Registry and Member Services T.C. Lane. "But this is going to grow rapidly as new racetracks and trainers are being added every day." During the beta testing period that began on March 17, more than 700 horses were entered electronically by nearly 40 trainers, including Ron Burke who entered more than 130 during the trial. Of the tracks participating, Dover Downs accepted 269 online entries as of April 1. "It's going to be a big help for stakes especially," said Burke, the 2013 Trainer of the Year. "But for the everyday racehorses, it's still going to be a tremendous advantage." The USTA has produced an informative video that describes the benefits of online entries and serves as a tutorial for trainers on how to use the platform. The video can be viewed here. With the USTA's new, online entry program, harness racing becomes the first of the racing breeds in North America to have the capability to enter horses electronically. It allows trainers to enter their horses via the internet from computers or mobile devices days ahead of the current system. The online entry project was spearheaded by Lane and Sherry Antion-Mohr, USTA director of information technology. "Trainers can now map out their racing schedules at their own leisure, a week or more in advance," said Lane. "It also makes things much easier for race secretaries at the tracks." Trainers can start to enter horses electronically as soon as the condition sheet is made available from the race office, typically seven to 10 days before the races. by Dan Leary, for the USTA

For the third consecutive week, Up Front Kellie Jo was up to the task in the $9,500 Fillies and Mares Open Pace on Thursday (April 3) in Northfield Park's fifth race. She is trained by Rob Harmon for owners C. Ed Mullinax and Mark Ford. Josh Sutton has been in the bike for the trio of victories. Up Front Kellie Jo (Bettor's Delight-Life's Highway-Life Sign) was assigned the outside and let her competition set the :27.4 and :56 early fractions. Sutton tipped the mare four wide approaching the 1:25.3 three-quarters. Up Front Kellie Jo struck the front in the stretch and bested her competition by a full length in 1:55.3 over a sloppy surface. Completing the race were Power Everywhere, Sweetheart Dance, Y Mach Me, Canaco Star, It Must Be Magic and Special Lady D. Thursday's win was the 42 career victory for Up Front Kellie Jo and increased her lifetime earnings to $841,097. She was the race favorite and returned $3.60 to win. Earlier in the program, the evening's second race saw Riverdancer post her fourth straight win over Northfield's Flying Turns. The seven year-old mare is owned by Michael Yoder and Joseph Miller, who also trains. Ronnie Wrenn Jr. was aboard for all of the consecutive victories. Riverdancer (Red River Hanover-Millenium Missle-Sealed N Delivered) now has five wins in 2014 and 23 career successes along with a bankroll of $141,375. She paid $8.40 to win. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

April begins a full slate of stakes action at Northfield Park. The $100,000 (gtd.) Courageous Lady will go to post on Friday, April 25. A nationally open stakes event for North America's top three year-old filly pacers, it is the first national stakes race of the 2014 season. Among the 16 fillies nominated to the Courageous Lady are last year's two year-old stand-outs: A La Notte Hanover (1:56.1 h, $73,459), Fiyonce (1:52.4 m, $61,549), Rusty's Bliss (1:52.4 f, $90,751) and Sister Stroll (1:54.1 f, $102,617). The connections of top three year-olds in the country have shown great interest in the newly added $500,000 (est.) Carl Milstein Memorial. This race is for three-year-old-colt-and-gelding pacers and is the richest single race in the Buckeye State for 2014 and has been slated for Friday, August 15. Included in the 42 nominees are: Allstar Partner (1:51.4 f, $282,454), Boomboom Ballykeel (1:50.4 s, $370,828), Luck Be Withyou (1:50 f, $359,417) and Western Vintage (1:49.4 m, $316,838). The $150,000 (gtd.) Cleveland Classic is the final open stakes event this year. North America's top three year-old pacing colts will take the stage to compete for this year's Classic crown on Friday, December 12. There are 38 colts nominated to the Cleveland Classic, including last year's stand-outs: Allstar Partner (1:51.4 f, $282,454), Boomboom Ballykeel (1:50.4 s, $370,828) and He's Watching (150 f, $291,722). In other racing news at Northfield Park, the $150,000 (gtd.) Battle Of Lake Erie is set for Saturday, July 19 and has 25 nominees that have combined career earnings in excess of $23 million. The nominated list includes past Cleveland Classic winners Apprentice Hanover (1:49.3 f, $609,605) and Bolt The Duer (1:47.4 f, $1,723,645) and two-time Battle of Late Erie champion and the richest standardbred of all-time, Foiled Again (1:48 f, $6,080,968). Battle nominees also include a host of other millionaire performers: Aracache Hanover (1:48.1 f, $1,603,359), Clear Vision (1:48.2, $1,779,868), Heston Blue Chip (1:48 f, $1,565,781), Michael's Power (1:48.1 s, $1,576,817) and Sweet Lou (1:47.4 s, $2,129,961). Northfield Park's Stakes Calendar for 2014: Friday, April 25 Courageous Lady Thursday, July 3 Ohio Sires Stakes (two year-old filly pace and trot) Saturday, July 19 Battle Of Lake Erie Ohio Sires Stakes (two and three year-old colt pace and trot) Saturday, July 26 Summit County Fair Stakes Friday, August 15 Carl Milstein Memorial Friday, September 5 Ohio Sires Stakes (two and three year-old filly pace and trot) Friday, December 12 Cleveland Classic by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

Rose Run Logan trotted to victory in the $10,000 Open Trot on Monday (March 31) in Northfield Park's eighth race. He is owned and trained by Jeff Hochstetler of Urichsville, Ohio. Josh Sutton was aboard for the winning drive. It was one of Sutton's eight wins on the card. Rose Run Logan (Armbro Laser-How Miraculous-Baltic Speed) started from post seven and was parked through fractions of :28.3 and :57.2. He took the lead approaching the three-quarter pole and completed the mile with times of 1:26.2 and 1:55.4. He was an uncontested 2 ¼-lengths in front at the wire. Completing the race were Pembroke Snapshot, Julians Caesar, Kahoku, Wind Surfer, Talladega Hanover, Herbie L and Action-Broadway. Rose Run Logan now has 12 career successes and has won six of seven starts in 2014. Monday's victory pushed his bankroll to $35,198. He paid $6.00 to win. Forever Good captured the $10,000 Open Pace in the evening's ninth race. Barry Langley trains the 10 year-old for the VIP Internet Stable of Piscataway, New Jersey. Chris Page was the winning driver. Forever Good (Dream Away-Lasting Approval-Western Hanover) started from post three and let his competition carve out fractions of :27, :55.3 and 1:24.2 before taking the lead in the stretch and besting his competition by a length in 1:53.4. Completing the race were Lyons JosephJNR, Hall Of Memories, Man He Can Skoot, Western Churchill, Goodnite Goodluck, T Red and Our McLovin. Monday's triumph increased Forever Good's lifetime win tally to 32 and his earnings to $345,436. He returned $13.40 to win. Monday hosted two divisions of the first legs of both the Legend Series and Hall of Fame Series. Both series are for $8,000 claimers with the Legend Series being for pacers and the Hall of Fame Series for trotters. I Know Your Lookin (trainer Harla Loney / driver Josh Sutton) and Chase The Sun (trainer Brian Loney / driver Josh Sutton) won the divisions of the Legend Series. Mr Jesse (trainer Ron Burke / driver Chris Page) and Life Long Hanover (trainer Crist Hershberger / driver Josh Sutton) captured the divisions of the Hall of Fame Series. Four horses were claimed out of the first leg of the series and Life Long Hanover, M A Roy, Nordic Venture and Soulful Delight have moved to new homes. Driver Josh Sutton dominated most of the evening, posting eight successful drives on the night. Sutton, 31, began driving in 2000 and has since garnered 2,297 career victories and is approaching $13,000,000 in purse earnings. He has posted 99 victories so far this year over Northfield's Flying Turns, ranking him second in the local driving ranks. Only Ronnie Wrenn Jr. (102) has more local wins this year than Josh Sutton. Chasing Wrenn and Sutton are: Aaron Merriman (77), David Lake (44) and Robin Miller (42). Sutton has been driving at Miami Valley on Northfield Park's nights off and he has been winning there as well. He has 128 driving wins so far in 2014, ranking him as the seventh winningest driver so far this year in North America. Only Aaron Merriman (161), Corey Callahan (153), Ronnie Wrenn Jr. (147), Ron Pierce (146), Brian Sears (140) and Dave Palone (134) have more wins this year than Josh Sutton. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

Last weeks feature winner, Up Front Kellie Jo was up to the task again in the $10,000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace on Thursday (March 27) in Northfield Park's tenth race. She is trained by Rob Harmon for owners C. Ed Mullinax and Mark Ford. Josh Sutton has been in the bike for the consecutive victories. Up Front Kellie Jo (Bettor's Delight-Life's Highway-Life Sign) started from the second tier and was sixth through the :27.3 opening quarter. Sutton pulled Up Front Kellie Jo second over approaching the half. She remained in the cover flow through fractions of :57 and 1:25.3 before taking the lead in the final turn and eventually besting her competition by 2-lengths in 1:54.3. Completing the race were Y Mach Me, Power Everywhere, Miss Two Punch, Canaco Star, Sweetheart Dance, Eradikate, Clear Character and Bluebird Jettart. Thursday's win was the 41 career victory for Up Front Kellie Jo and increased her lifetime earnings to $836,347. She was the race favorite and returned $4.40 to win. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

As the heavy 1-5 favorite faded in the fourth race at Northfield Park on Wednesday (March 26), long shot players were hopeful as horses were five across the track through the stretch. It was 48-1 Artistic Dreamer who eventually prevailed. The 10-year-old pacer is owned and trained by Tony Peregrin of Cuyahoga Halls, Ohio. Jason Merriman was aboard for the upset victory. (7) Artictic Dreamer (48-1) was followed across the wire by (6) Ridge Park (32-1) and (3) Merit Wings (26-1). Heavily favored (1-5) Argon Fire hung on to complete the Superfecta. Artistic Dreamer returned $99.60 to win; the 7-6 Exacta paid $991.40; the 7-6-3 Trifecta returned $17,154.40 for a $1.00 ticket; and the 7-6-3-1 Superfecta paid $1,727.06 for a 10-cent ticket. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

Last December Monticello Raceway's leading driver, Bruce Aldrich, Jr. locked horns with Northfield Park's top gun, Ronnie Wrenn, in a 'drive-off' here where both men drove in every trace on the card and at days end Aldrich, the home-towner, reined six winners while Wrenn, the visitor, had four. And when the curtain came down on the 2013 national racing season both gentlemen finished one-two in driving victories in North America, Wrenn with 714 and Aldrich with 645. Yesterday at Monticello Raceway Aldrich, who tops the standings here, reined three winners on the eight-race card. The previous day, Sunday (March 23) Aldrich had a five bagger at Saratoga. Since Friday (March 20) he has reined 12 winners. Wrenn, too, is driving daily, at Northfield Park, Buffalo Raceway and The Meadows, and has had 15 wins since last Friday. And with opportunities to drive every day of the week the wins will add up. Since both drivers have been heating-up, each has been moving up on the North American leaderboard in wins again this year. Wrenn's 128 winners ranks him fourth while Aldrich's 102 ties him for seventh, both chasing leader, Corey Callahan's 147 victories. Since neither trains stable of horses and concentrate mainly on driving, they are more free to travel to various race tracks to ply their trade. "I'm constantly on the go and I cover plenty of miles in my car," Aldrich admits. "Let me tell you that constantly going up and down the highways takes its toll, especially when Monticello and Saratoga are 140 miles apart. "Oh, I'm not complaining because I'm lucky enough to get live drives at both tracks." The same could be said by Wrenn who covers plenty of ground on the highways, too. And that he's currently fourth in wins on the continent speaks volumns for his talents, especially since he had an operation on his wrist early this season and didn't get started driving in earnest until February. And with their modus opporendi (MO), and barring any unforeseen problems, both figure to garner plenty of winners again this year. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

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