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Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) was saddened to learn of the passing of Graeme Maher, who lost his long and spirited fight against pancreatic cancer yesterday. Graeme was a passionate trotsgoer for the majority of his life, closely following his father, Len, who trained several horses and had great success with fast-class performer Transpec in the late 1970s and early 80s. Graeme himself drove 27 winners, including two metro victories aboard Stephen John, who he also piloted in the 2011 Breeders Crown 3YO Trotters’ Final. But it was on the other side of the fence where Graeme made his real mark globally. Maher was instrumental in the change of mindset that has seen the track preparation mentality change from ‘hard means fast’ to providing a cushioned surface which will not only promote slick times but will make the horses more comfortable and ultimately keep them sound and help prolong their future. The track conditioner, which plays an integral part in providing an optimum cushion, was introduced to Victorian trots by Graeme at his home track Bendigo in 1991. He was also responsible for turning the track around in his stint as track manager at Moonee Valley and has now overseen the preparation and maintenance of Victorian tracks for nearly two decades. Graeme was an inaugural member of the HRV Track Maintenance Subcommittee in 2002, which has been proactive in ensuring well-designed tracks, the most conducive maintenance methods and training of curators. Graeme has been the key player behind the highly successful track maintenance seminars that HRV has conducted regularly over the past 15 years for Victorian curators but which have also attracted significant representation from interstate and New Zealand. He built a strong rapport and friendship with many of his counterparts including American track guru Dan Coon and his New Zealand track inspector equivalent John Denton, who attributes everything to Graeme’s eminent mentorship. HRV Track Maintenance Sub-Committee Chairman Carl O’Dwyer was glowing in his praise of the subcommittee’s achievements and its team unity, while acknowledging the integral part that Maher has played. “Graeme was absolutely fanatical and immersed with harness racing tracks and was always seeking ways of improvement though forever mindful of the welfare of the horse,” O’Dwyer said. “He was a valuable member of a proficient and united subcommittee and was largely responsible for the successful placement of canola oil on the Shepparton track. This innovation has resulted in providing a quality surface along with substantial savings in water and fuel costs, while tripling the life of the track material to boot.” HRV is now embarking on applying the canola oil to five of its major tracks, which will provide a further legacy to Maher’s revolutionary thinking in the future. A thanksgiving service to celebrate the life of Graeme Leonard Maher will be held at Connect Church, Solomon St, East Bendigo, on Monday, June 26, at 11 am. At the conclusion of the service, the cortege will leave for the Bendigo Lawn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, a donation to Pancare Foundation in memory of Graeme would be appreciated. Refreshments will follow at the Bendigo Harness Racing Club. by Trots Media - Rob Pongho

Chris Brewer-Lehman, 81 of Wilkes-Barre, PA, formerly of South Fallsburg, NY and Boca Raton, FL, passed away peacefully on June 14, 2017.   She was preceded in death by her husband of 19 years, Max A. Brewer and survived by her loving husband and partner of 35 years, Charles D. Lehman.   Chris is also survived by her three children: David M. Brewer of Westminster CA, Carole Brewer Macedonio and her companion, Lee Marrero of Kiamesha Lake, NY and John A. Brewer of Key West FL; her two grandchildren, Ryan Macedonio of Middletown, NY and Angela Macedonio of Highland, NY; her sister, Dorothy Z. Nowak of Huntington Beach CA.   Born in Philadelphia, PA in 1936 and raised in Flourtown, PA, Chris attended Springfield High School, Erdenheim, PA and Philadelphia Museum School of Art in Philadelphia, PA. While raising her family in the South Fallsburg, NY area, she owned The Brewer Standardbred Agency as an equine genealogist for standardbred racehorses and employed many in the area.   She was owner of many racehorses and Sire Stakes winners throughout the years.   She was President of the United States Harness Writers Assn Monticello/Goshen Chapter.   She was the Cub Scout/Boy Scout and Brownie/Girl Scout Leader for the Fallsburg area in the 60s and 70s and loved by all the friends of her children.   Chris will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.   Services will be private and at the convenience of the family.   (Reprinted from the Times-Herald Record) Submitted by Monticello-Goshen USHWA    

Ray Sweetman, an outstanding horseman and the man who educated Australia’s first 1:55 pacer and leading sire Classic Garry, died last week and a private funeral was held on Thursday. Owen Raymond (Ray) Sweetman was born in 1927 and in 1942 his father Charlie leased a 2yo called Dallingwood but the gelding had a bad habit of kicking. Teenager Ray Sweetman spent countless hours with Dallingwood before he managed to settle the gelding to the point where he could commence racing as a 5yo. Dallingwood won six races in Perth between August 1945 and June 1946 with Ron Porter at the reins while Ray Sweetman went through the process of obtaining his licence to drive in races. On Easter Saturday, 5th April 1947 Ray Sweetman drove Dallingwood to victory at Gloucester Park in a heat of the Easter Handicap. It was his first winner and came at his fifth race drive. The win saw Dallingwood re-handicapped from 48 yards to 60 yards for the £2000 Easter Handicap Final on April 7th. In what was to become the norm for Ray Sweetman, he showed his initiative in dashing the 8/1 chance Dallingwood around the field to hit the front with a lap to travel before holding on to win the final by three yards. Over the next five years, Dallingwood won a further 12 races in Perth with Ray Sweetman at the reins and developed into one of the State’s best fast-class horses. He qualified for four WA Pacing Cup finals and finished third to Dark David and Johnnie Robert in the 1947 Cup and fourth behind Bintravis, Admiral Spear and Happy Man in 1949. Dallingwood also won the 1951 Winter Cup and finished third to Sea Born and Tony Derby in the 1948 Fremantle Cup and third to Happy Man and Brown Sheik in the 1949 Fremantle Cup. In a career spanning some 36 years, before a disagreement with the WA Trotting Association’s stewards saw him hand in his licence, Ray Sweetman drove 491 winners with 283 of them in the city. Those 491 winners came per medium of 94 different horses and his average of five wins per winning horse has been approached by very few drivers across more than 100 years of trotting in Perth. His best season as a driver was in 1976/77 when he finished second to Fred Kersley on the Perth Drivers Premiership with 24 winners. In 1977/78 he drove 32 winners in Perth to finish third in the premiership race. This was an era when Ray competed against reinsmen of the calibre of Fred Kersley, Jim Schrader, Lyle Lindau, Phil Coulson, Trevor Warwick, Les Poyser, Bob Pollock and Kevin Batt. Ray Sweetman took out a trainers licence in 1947 and the first of his 417 wins as a trainer came at Gloucester Park with Straight Dalla on 1st November 1947. In the 1977/78 season Ray Sweetman (34 winners) finished second to Fred Kersley (36 winners) in the Perth Trainers Premiership. Sweetman had just seven horses in work at any one time that season compared to Kersley’s stable which had more than 20 in work. That was Sweetman’s best season as a trainer although he also finished second in the 1976/77 season with 23 winners and was in the top five on the premiership on a further four occasions. The list of the best horses trained by Ray Sweetman is extensive and includes the likes of Bronze Whaler which won 21 races for Sweetman. While he was Sweetman’s most prolific winner he also ranks as unlucky in that in four successive starts as a 3yo he finished second to Mount Eden. Sweetman’s other top liners include Binshaw (three wins including the 1970 Easter Cup), Henry Butler (20 wins), Dale Cliffe (19 wins including the 1971 Harvey Cup), Special Garry 15 wins including the 1979 WA Derby), Wayamba (16 wins including the 1976 Bunbury Cup), Vermillion (14 wins), Lou Travis (13 wins), Ardcliffe (13 wins including the 1969 Christmas Gift), Tiara Court (13 wins including the 1965 Churchill Memorial Cup, 1965 Queens Birthday Cup, 1969 Lord Mayor’s Cup and six Free-For-Alls), Prince Fandango (12 wins), Thor Rise (11 wins including the 1978 Easter Cup) and Regal Morris (6 wins including the 1981 Bunbury Cup). Sweetman rarely drove horses that he didn’t train but he did drive the Reason Why gelding Rickey Reason to a remarkable 16 wins for trainer Gordon Couper in a period of nine months between April and December 1971. Ray Sweetman rightly developed a reputation as a fearless front-running driver – a record that he was to attribute to the stewards. “After I got suspended a couple of times for pushing out I decided that the best way to stay out of trouble was to lead and I spent countless hours educating my horses to begin quickly from the standing start,” he said some years later. “After fast-work earlier in the week I knew exactly what my horses were capable of running on the Friday night and I drove then to run that time”. Ray Sweetman had an arrangement with Kevin Newbound from Forest Lodge Stud in Victoria for first option to purchase the progeny of Newbound’s star broodmare Gay Acres. Not long after winning the 1979 WA Derby with Special Garry, Sweetman inspected a seven month old weanling full-brother to his Derby winner and didn’t hesitate in pulling out his cheque book. The athletic colt was nurtured and educated by Ray and after he was named Classic Garry he was to become an icon of harness racing in Australia. Ray trained and drove Classic Garry as a 2yo and 3yo winning 11 races including the Group Two Champagne Stakes as a 2yo and the New Year Handicap and a heat of the WA Derby as a 3yo before finishing a luckless second to Smooth Dave in the 1982 Derby final. Ray Sweetman had become disillusioned with the WATA Stewards shortly after the WA Derby in 1982 and when Classic Garry resumed racing in Perth as a 4yo he was trained by Sweetman’s daughter Lyn Bauskis. After his run-in with the stewards Ray Sweetman switched to training thoroughbreds with a good degree of success. Alan Parker

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) was saddened to learn of the passing of former Harness Racing Victoria steward Brian Andrews. Mr Andrews was a steward at HRV in the late 1980s-early 1990s. However, he is better known for his deeds in the saddle in the world of thoroughbred racing. Mr Andrews won the 1973 Caulfield Cup aboard Swell Time, which defeated Gala Supreme and Young Ida in a time of 2:35.9 (photo attached of media coverage for that win). A premiership-winning jockey in New Zealand, Mr Andrews was the fourth Kiwi hoop to complete a century when he won the 1970-71 title with 102 wins. He also won the 1966 Wellington Cup on Red Crest, the 1973 Auckland Cup on Apollo Eleven and the 1974 International Invitation Stakes on Battle Heights. Mr Andrews combined with Merv Ritchie-trained Apollo Eleven to win the Chipping Norton Stakes during a Sydney autumn campaign, which also saw them combine to win the Tancred Cup, Sydney Cup and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Mr Andrews relocated to Melbourne in 1976. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Former Gloucester Park Vice-President and leading harness racing owner and breeder Roy Annear died last Friday after a long illness. Annear, aged 74, was also a leading Australian Rules administrator and after a period as President of the South Fremantle Football Club and later President of the West Australian Football League. He played a leading role in the entry of the West Coast Eagles into the Australian Football League by managing to convince the WAFL Presidents that a national competition was the only way forward for Australian Rules in WA. Roy and his wife Diane were bitten by the trotting bug in the late seventies and their first winner was Honest Talk at Bunbury on 27th March 1978 and the husband and wife combination won more nearly 700 races in Western Australia including 100 in the 1979/80 season alone. In 1978 Roy Annear established Summerfields Stud in Baldivis and had the Australian breeding industry agog when he imported leading USA stallions Romeo Hanover and Adios Vic to Western Australia. At the time both stallions were in the top echelon of the USTA Sires lists and Annear also bought a number of mares from the best New Zealand families at the time including Countess Belmer (dam of NSW Derby winner Belmers Image) and Golden Guest. He also purchased a number of well-bred fillies from New Zealand which he raced before retiring them to stud including the likes of Big Bucks (NSW Oaks winner), All Arranged, Countess Gina (WA Oaks), Fantasy Lass, Krina Bella, Miss Bo Scott, Rose Of Dundee, Roydon Wren, Tiger Maid and Nevele Score. He also imported numbers of other racing stock including Speedy Cheval (Fremantle Cup), Lumber Leon (Golden Slipper Stakes), Nautilus (August Cup) and Timely Score (Winter Cup). Timely Score later stood at Summerfields Stud. In 1980 Roy Annear was elected to the committee of the WA Trotting Association and was instrumental in the Pacing In The Eighties conference which set out a strategic direction for trotting in this State. He served as the Association’s Vice President from 1982 until 1984 when he resigned to concentrate on his business interests. The Association extends its deepest condolences to his widow Diane and children Danielle and Grant. by Alan Parker

The South Island harness racing community is in mourning after the death of popular Canterbury trainer Mike Austin. Austin, who was based at West Melton, had held a trainer's licence since 1978. His last last runner to the races was Idle Moose, who ran third at Addington on Friday night. He died on Saturday, surrounded by his family, after a long brave battle with illness. The last of Austin's 271 training wins came with Idle Monkey at the Cheviot meeting on March 5. Austin, best known for his ability with trotters, enjoyed great success over the years with horses like Ado's Invasion, Ranger Globe, Idle Rules, Toomuch To Do and free-legged pacer Nutwood. Several drivers at Sunday's Rangiora meeting wore black armbands as a mark of respect to Austin. A large turnout from the racing community is expected to farewell Austin at his funeral service at Westpark Chapel on Thursday. ASSP

What was once one of Marburg's brightest harness racing flames has been extinguished. Trevor Perrin succumbed to the combined effect of a number of ailments including heart disease at the Nowlanville care facility last Monday afternoon. Trevor was only in his mid sixties but had battled illness and failing sight for over two decades. Along with wife Anne, the "big fella'' had been an active and successful harness trainer from the late 70's at Ipswich. In the period covered by computer records (1982/83 to 2000/01), he had presented 949 starters, which provided 54 winners, 58 seconds and 71 thirds, banking a total of $99,654. His best season was 1985/86 with 17 wins, 10 seconds and seven thirds for earnings of $21,555. The stable's top performer at this time was Super Rooster, a multiple winner, which retired with earnings of $48,000. With failing health and job requirements limiting his outdoor activities, Trevor turned his full attention to raising sponsorship funds for the Marburg Pacing Association, while working as advertising manager for National Trotguide and Harness Racing Weekly. His gift of persuasive argument combined with bulldog tenacity saw him achieve great results in both positions. While he was a successful hobby trainer, few people realised that he had been a top athlete in his youth. He played rugby league for Booval Swifts, Norths Devils in Brisbane and had a brief stint in the southern big time with Manly Warringah in Sydney. However, Trevor missed Rosewood too much and returned home where he played some cricket and won a state championship, sprinting on the grass at Lang Park. Trevor Perrin, a deserving Life Member of the MPA, is gone. I doubt we shall see his like again. He had special qualities, which not everybody possesses. Like the man who could sell ice to Eskimos, TP could sell the harness dream to anyone who would stand still long enough. He will be sorely missed. Trevor's funeral is at 10.30am on Tuesday at the Uniting Church, Rosewood. Vital issues TWO interesting issues affecting the harness code at present were anointed by the process of appearing in last Sunday's Courier Mail. Firstly, Peter Cameron's column Traps, quoted a senior Racing Queensland official as saying that harness racing was a "poor cousin'' of the other codes, "which keeps shooting itself in the foot"! It was further said that harness turnover "was barely 10% of the tri-code total". These comments were not well received at the top end of the harness participant tree. But, in the real world, if the same people who took umbrage at these aspersions are the same people who are equally upset at RQ's plan to cease racing at Albion Park (second issue) and develop a residential and commercial complex on the resulting vacant site, it is time that those people commenced to "think outside the square". There are very well founded and historically proven arguments for the retention of Albion Park based on the geographical inability of Globe Derby, Melton and Menangle to draw viable crowds. One would think that the policy put forward by a handful of influential people in the year 2000, and I quote from a well attended industry meeting held at Albion Park, "We must create an elite industry, by creating conditions where we can have elite trainers, elite drivers, and horses which can be promoted as superstars. We must attract wealthy owners", might have been a "goer". At the time, there were considerably more trainers, drivers and horses, but no trainers here were winning in excess of a million dollars for their owners year and year out. However, there were a reasonable number of trainers and drivers earning a good living. It would be fair to say, that after a 17 year trial, the "elitist" policy has failed to deliver. If we abandon that policy tomorrow, and re-introduce a simple racing format that the average recreational punter can understand and use with satisfaction and pleasure, it will be a long road back. If we don't abandon it, there will be no road back. Next week, some frightening figures. Handy tips SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight. R1: Quinella 1-4: Simply Gorgeous (M. Neilson) and ChattanoogaChooChoo (A. Sanderson). R2: E/w 3: Diesel Shannon (L. Weidemann). R3: E/w 1: Countdown (N. Dawson). R4: Box trifecta 1-5-8: The Space Invader (N. McMullen)-Pub Blitz (M. Elkins)-Lancelot Bromac. R5: Box trifecta 5-8-10: Fire One (G. Dixon)-Fire An Ice-The Charging Moa (S. Graham). R6: box trifecta 2-4-8: Major Kiwi (B. Graham)- Rubys Bad Boy (N. McMullen)- Flaming Hero (N. Dawson). R7: Quinella 3-5: Only The Brave and Im The Smoocha (G. Dixon). R8: Box trifecta 1-2-8: Constantly Sideways (D. McMullen)-Lenny The Legend (N. Dawson)-Shakas Magic (S. Graham). R9: Box trifecta 2-4-8: Avonnova (S. Graham)-Ideal Scott (A. Sanderson)- Destreos (K. Dawson). R10: Quinella 3-10: Wishitwasheaven (S.Graham) and Remember Ruby (G. Dixon). Honour board The training section of the leader board featured a triple dead heat between Greg Elkins, Chantal Turpin and Ron Sallis with two winners apiece. Adam Sanderson took charge of the driving division with five wins. Nathan Dawson and Lachie Manzelmann were not far away on three each. The most pleasing effort has to be Justin Elkins with a double at Albion Park last Tuesday. Albion Park, May 12: Three Of The Best (Adam Sander- son for Shannon Price); Exceptional Mach (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Alta Surreal (Narissa McMullen for Steve Cini); Kash (Pete McMullen for Mick Butler); Nolonga Your Choice (Anthony Gorman for Rachel Scott); Our Leonardo (Kelli Dawson for Ray Law). Albion Park, May 13: Phantom Rockstar (Gary Whitaker for Kevin Joiner); Bettor Promise (Adam Sanderson for Shannon Price); Statement Please (Adam Sanderson for Shannon Price). Albion Park, May 14: Queens Accent (Justin Elkins for Greg Elkins); Out Of Art (Justin Elkins for Kenny Rattray); Black Belt (Lachie Manzelmann for Ron Sallis). Albion Park, May 16: Statement Please (Adam Sanderson for Shannon Price). Redcliffe, May 17: Long Road To Fame (Adam Sanderson); Comigal (Lachie Manzelmann for Brett Cargill); Tarin Kowt (Narissa McMullen for Ron Sallis); Official Reign (Lachie Manzelmann for Chantal Turpin); Sammari (Nathan Dawson for Kylie Rasmussen). Redcliffe, May 18: Inciter (Matt Elkins for Greg Elkins); Lucky Lefty (Narissa McMullen for Christina Monte); Heavens Hint (Nathan Dawson for Stewie Dickson); Hot Rod Heaven (Dan Russell for Tayla Gillespie); Rockstar Rikki (Nathan Dawson for Aileen Smith); Call Me Yours (Steven Doherty for Tess Neaves). TROT TACTICS with Denis Smith Reprinted with permission of The Queensland Times

Live harness racing on PEI is getting busier now as we move closer to the summer months. Charlottetown has already added its Thursday night racing to the weekly schedule and the Summerside Raceway opens for the 2017 season on Monday afternoon with its annual Victoria Day program. At Charlottetown, the top class for pacers has belonged to Adkins Hanover the past two Saturdays. On the May 6 card, the 8-year-old son of Western Ideal destroyed the field with a 13 length romp in 1:56.2 over an off track. This past Saturday was a much closer contest, but Adkins Hanover and driver Corey MacPherson prevailed once again with a three quarter length victory in 1:55.3 over top contender Mr. Irresistable. Trevor Hicken trains Adkins Hanover for owner Perry Burke of Grosse-Ile, Quebec. Marc Campbell had a driving triple on Saturday and continues to pad his lead in the dash wins for drivers category. He appears to be headed for another title at the Driving Park. Campbell is rolling along with a near .500 driving percentage also. The driving averages are comparable to a baseball player’s batting average, so imagine a .500 hitter in this instance. Two of Campbell’s three winners on Saturday are 3-year-old pacers he trains as well. Veteran trainer/driver Earl Smith had a pair of wins with his own trainees as well, Oceanview Beemer and Elm Grove Kaboom. The Trot Handicap on Saturday night went to Holy Molie Maggie and driver Gary Chappell. Trevor MacDonald of Vernon Bridge and Jeff Holmes of Orwell are the owners, Holmes does the training. The Thursday night card was highlighted by driving doubles for three drivers, Kenny Murphy, Gary Chappell and Marc Campbell. Trainer Earl Watts had a pair of winners as well. The Big Bite won the featured pace for trainer Thane Arsenault and driver Kenny Arsenault. Two huge losses occurred in the Island harness racing community during the past two weeks with the deaths of George ‘Butch’ Ward and Shelley Gass. Ward was the longtime paddock judge at the Charlottetown Driving Park who continued in that role into his late 70s, until his health would no longer allow him to do it. I think it’s safe to say the Driving Park never had anyone do a better job than Butch Ward at keeping things running smoothly in the paddock, and he was a friend to all involved. To Gussie and Tim, and brothers Mike and Paul, my deepest condolences. I’ll miss the chats with Butch. Shelley Gass was without a doubt the most dedicated and most friendly ambassador Island harness racing has ever had. She was a fixture to harness racing on the east coast of Canada throughout her life. Her disability never slowed her down one bit and her heart and toughness was that of a champion race horse. This one hurts for many on PEI and no more so than the crew at the Dusty Lane Farms operation in Cornwall. To Ronnie, Dianne, Stephen and Alexis, I’m so sorry for this tremendous loss. By Shane Bernard Reprinted with permission of the peicanada.com site  

Pompano Beach, FL…May 15, 2017…Longtime harness racing horseman Roy Saul, 79, passed away on May 11, 2017. Saul was involved in harness racing in six decades and was an owner-trainer-driver for some 40 years, compiling 735 driving wins and 759 training wins at tracks coast-to-coast. A veteran of the Korean War, Saul got his start with Lou Rapone and eventually became one of the leading drivers and trainers at several of his “hometown” Illinois tracks such as Fairmount Park and Cahokia Downs. Saul’s most recent successes came with such horses as Profiler Mindale and Bluebird Hi Ho, both of which were winners on the lucrative Indiana circuit, with the latter well known for his ability to pace final quarters as fast as :26. “My, my,” he recalled, “I remember back when I broke in when a :29 quarter was pretty special…and today the real good ones can come home in :26.” Survivors include sons Louie (Colleen), Roy, Jr. (Denise), step-daughter Angie Ogden, five grandchildren, brothers Jay and Allen, sisters Pauline Wilson and Virginia Kennedy and many nieces and nephews. Memorial contributions on behalf of Roy Saul can be made to Shriners Hospital for Children, St. Louis, Missouri. Funeral services will be held on Friday, May 19 at the Kassily Mortuary Chapel, Fairview Heights, Illinois. Mr. Saul will be buried with military honors at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis.  

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) was saddened to learn of the passing of trainer and driver Howard Taylor at the weekend. Howard featured on Len Baker’s Harness Review program on January 23. Click here to listen to that program (the interview begins 52mins 59secs in). Howard was renowned for driving winners at many tracks across Australia, mentioning in his January interview on radio that he drove winners “at 84 different tracks around Australia”. Today Howard prepared trotting mare Celtic Rose to run in Race 3 at Tabcorp Park Melton and the horse will race under his name for driver Josh Duggan. HRV will advise funeral details of Howard when they come to hand and extends condolences to friends and family. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Michael Luchento, 59 of Manalapan, passed away at Cranbury Center, Monroe on May 12th, 2017. Born in Jersey City, he was a resident of Parlin, NJ, before settling in Manalapan. Michael was employed by Freehold Raceway for 20 years as valet to the harness drivers. He was a drummer and an avid fan of the group Rush. Michael had Fabry disease, and served as a pioneer for clinical trials that led to FDA approved enzyme replacement therapy. He was predeceased by his mother Carmella and brother George. Mike is survived by his father Natale; wife Cheryl; son Michael Jr. and wife Lauren; daughter Amanda and fiancé Braden Price, brother Tom and sister in law Carol; sister in law Alice. A favorite uncle to many nieces and nephews and a pseudo dad to many friends of the family. Visitation will be Tuesday, May 16th, from 2:00 - 4:00 pm and 7:00 - 9:00 pm at Freeman Manalapan-Marlboro Funeral Home, 344 Route 9 North, Manalapan. The funeral mass will be held Wednesday, May 17th at 10:00 am at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church, Englishtown. Burial will take place after the service at Old Tennent Cemetery, Manalapan. Donations to honor Michael's memory can be made to www.fabry.org or the Fabry Support Information Group 108 NE 2nd Street, Suite C, P.O. Box 510, Concordia, MO 64020. To leave a condolence or find directions, visit www.freemanfuneralhomes.com. Published in Asbury Park Press on May 14, 2017 Courtney Stafford Publicity Consultant SBOANJ cstafford@sboanj.com 732-462-2357    

Irving Liverman, who died on April 29 at the age of 94, was blessed with good fortune both on and off the track during his long life. Mr. Liverman, a.k.a. Lucky, owned a stable of trotters and pacers that won some of the most prestigious harness races in North America. The modest businessman, who lived a charmed life, transformed a tiny light-bulb business into a thriving multimillion-dollar enterprise. He also survived on two occasions when airplane accidents might have claimed his life, further confirming the presence of an auspicious horseshoe that defined his life. The second child of clothing-factory foreman Herman Liverman and the former Ruth Rutenberg, Irving Gordon Liverman was born on Jan. 22, 1923, in the Town of Hampstead, on the island of Montreal. He attended West Hill High School, but at the age of 17, in 1940, he was determined to join the Royal Canadian Air Force. His enlistment was a point of contention between the teenager and his mother, Mr. Liverman’s daughter, Carol, recalled. “His mother was upset because he needed her to lie for him and sign a document stating that he was 18. She didn’t want to, but my father was adamant.” He eventually wore down his mother and began training as a pilot in 1940. When he was later scheduled to be deployed overseas, however, Mr. Liverman was nearly crushed to death in a fluke accident at an army base in Ontario. He was in a phone booth inside a hangar when a taxiing plane clipped a support beam that came loose and crashed down upon on the booth where Mr. Liverman was talking on the phone. His skull was fractured, his son, Herb, said. “A metal plate needed to be inserted into his head, and he remained in the hospital for several months.” After the war, Mr. Liverman married a former West Hill classmate, Shirley Bronstein, and he began importing light bulbs and distributing them out of the back of his car. He eventually turned that modest operation into Super Electric, a $35-million-a-year business that imported and distributed household appliances. In 1969, Mr. Liverman was introduced to Montreal racehorse trainer Roger White. When Mr. White inquired if he’d be interested in partnering on the purchase of a young filly named Keystone Wish, Mr. Liverman, who rarely visited the racetrack, agreed. His daughter remembers the afternoon when she accompanied him to inspect the horse, in which he had just invested $4,500. When they arrived at the stables, both the father and daughter were caught off guard. A mare trotted out of the stable wearing a victor’s blue ribbon. “But she was old and feeble and my father and I looked at each other, and I knew he thought that he’d made a huge mistake. Then laughter broke out among the stable hands and trainers, and the old mare returned to the barn. Then the real Keystone Wish was escorted out for us.” Although Keystone Wish never developed into a champion, Mr. Liverman’s curiosity was piqued, and he doubled down on his investment in 1971 when he and Mr. White put down $9,500 for a horse named Silent Majority. The yearling burst out of the gate with eight straight wins. Silent Majority won 17 victories in his first 21 races, on his way to becoming one of North America’s most celebrated pacers. Tragedy struck the partnership in September, 1971, after Mr. White invited Mr. Liverman to accompany him on a private flight to a yearling sale south of the border. Mr. Liverman considered the offer but his mother reminded him that the trip would interfere with the Jewish high holidays, so Mr. Liverman declined the invitation. Mr. White, however, went ahead with his plan and died when his plane crashed in the Pocono Mountains. Two years after Mr. White’s death, a small bone fracture ended Silent Majority’s racing career. The stallion headed into retirement to stud in Kentucky, where he sired a champion named Abercrombie and was syndicated for more than $2-million, providing financial security for Mr. White’s widow and children. Following the advice of Billy Haughton, who would become a Hall of Fame trainer, Mr. Liverman followed up his purchase of Silent Majority with a filly named Handle With Care. She won her first 24 races; a performance that garnered Mr. Liverman his nickname, Lucky. By the time Handle With Care retired, she was the fastest and richest pacing mare in harness-racing history. Mr. Liverman spoke with genuine affection about her during a conversation with Hoof Beat writer Dean Hoffman circa 1990. Mr. Hoffman noted how “Liverman loved seeing her long legs gobbling up ground. … She wasn’t the prettiest thing ever to look through a bridle, but he came to love the filly with the long face.” Mr. Liverman remarked that she had the ugliest face on Earth, but that he wanted to buy some more ugly ones just like her. When asked about his success at purchasing champion horses, Mr. Liverman once answered, “I never found any yearlings. I left that up to my trainers. I told Billy [Haughton] that the minute he started selling electric fans, I’d start picking out my own horses. And Billy never ever did sell any fans.” Along with his son, Herb, who worked with his father in both the appliance business and horse racing, he purchased many more champions, with names like Kadabra, Wild Honey, Windshield Wiper and Bee A Magician. Their stable amassed hundreds of victories at tracks across North America, including some of the sport’s biggest races: the Hambletonian, Meadowlands Pace and several Breeders Crowns. In an article in harnessracing.com, Montreal harness-racing executive Mike MacCormac noted that Mr. Liverman could have sold off his assets and left the sport after a couple of profitable years instead of investing his winnings back into racing. “That’s the surprising thing, that he put everything back in the industry. There aren’t a lot of people like that.” In 2002, the same year Mr. Liverman was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, he told The Canadian Sportsman magazine that it wasn’t the prize money that kept him involved in racing. “You meet such great people in the standardbred business. It’s been tremendous for me. I’ve met so many people who have become life-long friends.” In 2000, Montreal Gazette sportswriter Red Fisher, a friend of Mr. Liverman’s for more than 50 years, spoke about one of the breeder’s most endearing qualities. “The people he’s really friendly with extend from the best doctors and richest people in town to people some would describe as pretty low on the social scale. He’s just a great person, a gentleman in everything he does, always quick to help out friends in times of need.” Irwin Liebman, who was a lifeguard at the Hillsdale Golf Club 45 years ago, attested to that kindness and generosity when he shared a recollection on a memorial page recently. Mr. Liebman remembered Mr. Liverman’s warmth and generosity. Mr. Liverman, who was the pool’s chairperson, had to terminate the lifeguard’s contract mid-season. “It really bothered him. A week later, he sent me a personal cheque for the entire season with the note: You were the best lifeguard we ever had.” After 60 years of marriage, Mr. Liverman’s wife, Shirley, died in 2009. Two years later, he suffered a stroke from which he never fully recovered. Mr. Liverman leaves his two children, Carol and Herb; seven grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. By M.J. STONE Special to The Globe and Mail Reprinted with permission of The Globe And Mail  

And over the years, the Bathurst harness racing horseman had plenty of good ones he could cheer home. Sadly, Ian passed away on Monday and after fighting a lengthy battle with cancer, pneumonia is what ended his life at the age of 77. Ian trained and drove many winners during his time in the sport and some horses that gave him success in the earlier years included the likes of King Frost, Little Time and Bullion Bandit. Others that added wins to Ian's harness racing resume were Spooky Leigh, Headline Hero, Money Chimes, Leigh Patrick, Lethal Leigh, Garconnet, He Can and Dougal Dee just to name a few. And in recent years Ian raced the consistent pacer Captain Brook. The son of Famous Forever, which Ian bred, gave him plenty to smile about when winning at Penrith last December. It was Ian's last winner as a trainer. "He lived for the trots and loved his horses," Bathurst Sponsorship and Marketing Manager Marianne Donnelly said. "He was a really good trainer and always had a horse that could go. "He was just so passionate about his horses." A funeral service will be held at the Bathurst Harness Racing Club next Tuesday, May 16, from 11am followed by a celebration of his life. Harness Racing New South Wales extends its deepest sympathies to Ian's family and many friends. Amanda Rando

Harness Racing Victoria was saddened to learn the passing of Denise Demmler last Saturday evening. Denise was the former wife of World Driving Champion Ted Demmler amid the halcyon days of their Carrum Downs stable from which several premierships were won.  During this era, they became the proud parents of both Craig Demmler and his older sister Tracey, also a successful driver in her own right during the 1990s. Denise had battled ill health for the past few years and our deepest condolences go to her extended family and friends at this sad time. Harness Racing Victoria

Alan Horowitz, a major force in California harness racing over the last several decades and a member of the California Harness Horsemen's Association Hall of Fame, passed away peacefully at his home on Saturday at age 73. Mr. Horowitz, who wore many hats in the business, started out as a partner with longtime friends Donald and Barbara Arnstine and Steve Desomer with a $25,000 claimer named Quaker Byrd. Quaker Byrd won his first race for the partners and Alan was hooked. Moving on, Alan would eventually become a board member and president of CHHA. In 1994, Horowitz was instrumental in bringing harness racing back to Cal Expo in the form of Capitol Racing and was also its successful general manager. Alan was serving as the Executive Secretary of the CHHA at the time of his retirement in 2013 and continued to stay in touch with the sport that he loved so much. Mr. Horowitz is survived by his son Michael; his daughter Jessica Rhoades; and two grandchildren, Emerson and Campbell Rhoades. A memorial race and special ceremony will take when harness racing returns here to Cal Expo in the fall. "It is impossible to overstate Alan's importance to the harness racing industry in California," said David Neumeister. "Simply put, if it were not for Alan, the sport would no longer exist in this state. "Between his time as executive director of Western Standardbred Association (now CHHA) and owner/ manager of our only yearling sale company when racing was flourishing in California and his decision to retire from CHHA a few years ago, against all odds and some very powerful adversaries, Alan almost single-handedly took us from the brink of extinction in the mid-90s and formed and led Capitol Racing in Sacramento to several very successful years of harness racing in that city. "Were it not for his quiet determination and tactical brilliance, we would not be racing here today. In addition, as my wife said the other night when she heard of his passing, 'Alan Horowitz was probably the nicest man I have ever known'." By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

With much regret and a saddened heart, I wish to acknowledge the sudden passing of Mrs Dot Redwood, wife of VSTA president Mr Colin Redwood and aunty of VSTA treasurer, Ms Katrina Knight. Dot was aged 79 years. Dot was mother and mother-in-law to Darren and Lauryn and Janine, grand-mother to Teigan, Jarryd, Brayden, Mackenzie and Hunter. Dot was a friend to all. Dot was still actively involved in the operations of Colin's stable, regularly driving the jogger to assist Colin. Small in stature, but a giant in every way with a heart of gold. The Victorian Square Trotters Association expresses their deepest sympathy to Colin, Katrina and their families of offer our support in any way possible. The funeral for Mrs Dorothy Redwood will be held at the Napier Park Chapel, 420 Napier St, Bendigo on Tuesday April 18 at 1:30pm, followed by a committal service at the Bridgewater Cemetry at 3:15pm. A wonderful woman who will be sadly missed by all. by Ian White (Secretary Victorian Square Trotters Association)

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