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You are hereby directed:   1. Horse racing is cancelled at your facility through April 30, 2020;   2. If your backside (including dormitories) is open, it SHALL remain open and operational until further notice;   3. If your track is available for training, it SHALL remain open for reasonable equine exercise until further notice.   The intent of this directive:   1. Prevent horse abuse/abandonment;   2. Allow for consolidated feed operations;   3. Prevent homelessness for those who temporarily/seasonally reside on the backside;   4. Provide adequate exercise for horses on property needed to prevent injury potentially caused by confinement   It is incumbent on the horsemen organizations in the State of Ohio and the racing permit holders operating as Racinos in the State of Ohio to submit a 30-day and a 60-day plan to comply with this directive (including financials) to the Ohio State Racing Commission (Commission) not later than midnight April 2, 2020.   The Commission considers themselves a partner with the horsemen and permit holders in reaching a solution to the issues and stand ready to assist the parties in compromise.   You should take all reasonable measures possible to continue social distancing practices.   The Commission will continue to update you as pertinent information becomes available.   Thank you for your patience as we all deal with this unprecedented and very fluid situation.   If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at 614-466-2758.   If you need further information on COVID-19, please visit, coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-427-5634.   Ohio State Racing Commission

LEBANON, OH. - Friday Night Blues (Cameron McCown), an Ohio county fair standout at age three, captured the championship leg of the $20,000 final of the Omar Hiteman Memorial Series at soggy Miami Valley Raceway on Monday (Feb. 24). The 4-year-old harness racing son of Pet Rock won for the third time in six 2020 starts, lowering his lifetime best time to 1:53.1 despite a rain-soaked 'sloppy' track. McCown's wife, Jessica, trains both Friday Night Blues and the runnerup Captain Sunshine (Josh Sutton), who is a 4-year-old son of Captaintreacherous. The stablemates left the gate with alacrity as Captain Sunshine allowed Friday Night Blues to take a temporary lead, but rushed back to the front of the field as the initial timer flashed :28.1. Farmers Only (Trace Tetrick) moved up to challenge and put a head in front at the :57 halfway point, but never was able to clear to the front. Fishin For Apples (John DeLong) was next to take on the stablemates, but his three-wide move at the 1:24.2 three quarters marked stalled when the horses straightened out for the stretch drive. McCown popped the pocket in early stretch and wore down Captain Sunshine in the final furlong. Friday Night Blues won ten of 23 fair starts as a sophomore and has used the lessons learned to commence a successful commercial track campaign this season. He is owned by Kim Haver, the winner paid $10.80; combined with his barn companion the exacta was worth $30.80. Sunshine's Finest (Brett Miller) came from far back to grab the show position. Fishin For Apples and Spoiled Rockin (Kayne Kauffman) earned the remaining championship checks. Two races later, the ten finalists that emerged from a starting field of 76 $5000 claiming pacers chased a $20,000 championship purse in the Survivor Series. A J Corbelli (Kauffman), a 13-year-old career winner of $625,867, emerged as the King Of The Hill, scoring a 1:56.2 triumph in 1:56.2. Using front end tactics to full advantage, Kauffman guided the venerable veteran to victory over longshot Amasa Al (Shawn Barker II) and Hit And Giggle A (Miller). A J Corbelli scoring in 1:56.2                                            --Conrad photo "It's not often $5000 claimers get to race for $20,000," exclaimed Ricky Redder, brother of trainer Pete Redder. "Kayne did a great job of rating the mile and it certainly was a big reason for the old warrior's success today." A J Corbelli was claimed for $6500 in the second of the four Survivor Series rounds. Owner Therl Hensley has banked $10,900 in his first two starts with the prolific 57-time lifetime winner.   Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. - Harness racing co-favorites Crowntimerockette (Brett Miller) and Hilary Barry N (John DeLong) finished one-two in the $20,000 championship final of the George "Red" Owens Memorial Series for green pacing mares at Miami Valley Raceway on Sunday (Feb. 23). Big Bad Mosa (Trace Tetrick) was next to cross the line in a 'chalky' finish to the three week series for non-winners of two races or $20,000 lifetime. Dispatched at 8-5 odds, Crowntimerockette returned $5.20. With fellow 8-5 shot Hilary Barry N second, the exacta was worth $14.20. Big Bad Mosa was a strong third in the betting resulting in a paltry 50-cent trifecta payoff of $9. After letting a pair of longshots battle up front through the opening :28.1 panel, Miller sent the winner to the front and stopped all three remaining quarter mile timers (:57, 1:23.1 and 1:53 flat). Sired by Ohio stallion Pet Rock, Crowntimerockette now boasts four wins and $34,505 in earnings following her two triumphs and a runnerup finish in the Owens Memorial Series. She is trained by Tom Blankenship for owner Jason Shumway. For Miller, the feature race score was one of five on the matinee program, increasing his meet total to 70. Tetrick managed a driving triple, giving him 74 victories after 37 programs to remain the meet leader--averaging a pair of wins per day. Next up for Miami Valley is a Monday matinee at 2:05 p.m., which will feature the $20,000 championship of the Omar Hiteman Memorial Series and the $20,000 final of the month long Survivor Series for $5000 male claiming pacers.   Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. - If either the Kansas City Chiefs or the San Francisco 49ers perform as well as harness racing star Windsong Leo has been lately at Miami Valley Raceway they should have no problem trouncing their adversary in the Super Bowl. Windsong Leo, who won 15 races in 30 starts in 2019, is undefeated in four 2020 starts-all in Open Handicap contests where he has been assigned an outside post. In his most recent triumph on Saturday night (Feb. 1) the 8-year-old Jereme's Jet gelding was again sent seeking the front end by pilot Chris Page. Stuck four wide midway through the first turn, Page backed the stellar winner off briefly to let the dust settle, but continued to the front as the leaders passed the quarter in :27 flat. As is his custom, Windsong Leo played catch me if you can from that point to the finish, and again nobody could. Despite a few tepid challenges along the way, Page patiently guided his overwhelming favorite through middle fractions of :56.1 and 1:23.4 before sealing the deal for the third consecutive week in 1:52.3. Longshots General Dolan (Sam Widger) and Lifewithjohn (Ricky Macomber Jr.) rallied for place and show finishes with My Hero Ron (Tyler Smith), Shagnwiththedragon (Brett Miller) and Beyond Delight (John DeLong) picking up the minor spoils in the full field of ten. Windsong Leo is trained by Ron Burke for Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi and Phil Collura. Miami Valley will not race on Sunday (Feb. 2) due to the Super Bowl, but will resume the normal five-days a week schedule on Monday afternoon at 2:15 p.m. Gregg Keidel

MGM Northfield Park has announced the addition of a $12,500 Pick-5 total pool guarantee on Monday (January 27) for its harness racing meeting. Beginning in race two, the $12,500 Pick-5 guaranteed total pool includes a carryover of $3,128. This wager is being offered as part of the Strategic Wagering Program through the United States Trotting Association. The evening's ninth race begins the 20¢ Northfield Single Six (a unique combination Pick 6) boasting a $5,940 carryover. Northfield's Pick-5, Pick-4s, Pick-3s, 20¢ Super High Five and 20¢ Northfield Single Six offer a reduced takeout rate of just 14%. Monday's post time is 6PM. Ayers Ratliff

 LEBANON, OH. – When you are good, you are good!  When you are hot, you are hot!!  A pair of five-year-old harness racing pacers, Hal N Sammy and Danikova, fit both clichés to a T on Friday night (Jan. 24) winning their respective lucrative championships in the first pair of finals in the popular Claim To Fame series’ currently underway at Miami Valley Raceway.  Both swept their series undefeated by winning a pair of preliminary legs leading up to the final as well. Hal N Sammy (Brett Miller) scored in 1:54.1 on the rain dampened oval over Hell On Wheels (Aaron Merriman) and Hopetobefirst (Trace Tetrick) in the horses and geldings division for $12,500 claimers.  The gelded son of Yankee Cruiser banked $26,250, including the winner’s share of the $25,000 final, in the three week span after winning just $22,673 in 29 starts last season.  Owner Gregory Gardner and trainer Brandon Piguet were racing the champion in $10,000 claiming events leading up to the start of the $12,500 series. The improving winner paid $7.00 after exploding from the pocket to collar pacesetting Hell On Wheels in midstretch. Danikova (Chris Page) was crowned queen of the division for $20,000 claiming mares when she also completed a sweep of her series with a nose decision over Velocity Lana (Aaron Merriman) and longshot Model (Trevor Smith).  The daughter of Bettor’s Delight overcame an overland journey from far back to nip the pacesetting runnerup in the final stride of the exciting 1:55 mile.  Danikova getting a nose decision in 1:55                           --Conrad photo The winner’s share of the $30,000 final boosted Danikova’s series earnings to $36,250 and her lifetime bankroll to $163,947.  She was bred and is still owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and the M1 Stable.  She returned $8.80 at the mutual windows. The $25,000 Mares Open also featured a repeat winner in Golden Paradise (Trace Tetrick).  Sitting the pocket trip throughout, the six-year-old mare wore down the frontrunners and then held off closers Sandy Sue (Chris Page) and Debt Motivated (Brett Miller) to cop the 1:53.4 victory.  Golden Paradise’s bankroll swelled to over a quarter million dollars with the triumph for trainer Tyler George and his partners Sam Schillaci and Wrenn Jr. Racing LLC. Golden Paradise winning the Mares Open                        --Conrad photo Racing resumes Saturday night (Jan. 25) with a 14-race card highlighted by a $25,000 Open Pace and the $32,500 final of the Claim To Fame Series for $20,000 male pacers.   Gregg Keidel

LEBANON, OH. - Sweet Mr Pinetucky (Trace Tetrick) returned to the harness racing winner's circle for the second time in three weeks on Tuesday afternoon (Jan. 21) at Miami Valley Raceway, winning the $25,000 Open Handicap Trot in 1:53.3 over Walter White (Jeremy Smith) and Trumpets (Ed Greeno Jr.). The quick clocking, on a frigid 27 degree afternoon, equaled the winner's lifetime best and raised the 6-year-old's lifetime earnings over $230,000. He is owned by trainer Lester Raber in partnership with his breeder Floyd Raber. Finalists were also determined in a pair of Claim To Fame series, each carrying $22,500 purses in their championship finals next Tuesday. M E Radar Girl swept both preliminary legs to emerge as the money earning leader among the $12,500 claiming mares group. The remaining top nine earners were Smash, Don't Mach Mia, Galyns Gift, Crazy Bad K, Grant Me This, Sweet Western, Keystone Nikki and Grimalkin. Blacklist Z Tam topped the earnings list among $8000 claiming horses and geldings, who competed in seven preliminary divisions to determine the final field. Others who secured spots are N Expense, Legal Transfer, Double Impact, Putnams Attack, Colossal, Totally Kissed, New Patrol and Beachboy Desire. Gregg Keidel

Northfield, OH - The 20-cent harness racing Northfield Single Six was taken down by a lone combination for a monstrous $49,040.14 return on Monday (Jan. 20). The payoff was hit by a patron wagering at MGM Northfield Park on Monday night. The Single Six wager premiered in 2018, and has become with bettors chasing colossal returns. The unique combination Pick-6 offers a low 14% takeout rate. The 20-cent wager carries over 50% of its nightly pool until it is solved by a single combination. Monday's payoff is evidence that the 20-cent wager is doing exactly what it was designed to do; offering handicappers monstrous jackpot. By Ayers Ratliff, for MGM Northfield Park.

LEBANON, OH. - The claim box at Miami Valley Raceway was flooded on Sunday afternoon (Jan. 12) as 18 $30,000 claims were submitted prior to the racing of the three harness racing divisions of the most lucrative annual Claim To Fame Series. After eliminating the duplicates by random draw, a total of eight horses changed hands for a total of $240,000, including a pair of first leg winners. Southern Flight (Brady Galliers) copped the first $25,000 split for the $30,000 claimers. The 1:53.1 upset winner ($26.00 win mutual) topped Best Man Hanover (Trevor Smith) and Class Six (Shawn Barker II) for owner Brian Witt and trainer Larry Finn. Favorites Rock Out and The Dark Shadow were both claimed from the race, but finished fifth and sixth in this first leg action. Heavily favored Street Boy (Trace Tetrick, $2.60) dominated the second division, besting The Book Of Life (Josh Sutton) and Noah Z Tam (Kayne Kauffman) in 1:52. The winner, entered by Allard Racing Inc. and trained locally by Tyler George, was plucked via claim from the race as was the runnerup. Tetrick also steered the winner of the final division, Normandy Beach ($5.60), who also clocked a 1:52 mile to beat Dakota Roadster (Trevor Smith) and Lincolnjames (Brady Galliers). Allard Racing also owned this winner with partners Bruce Soulsby, VIP Internet Stable and Chris Carson-although Normandy Beach will race for new connections in the second leg after being one of four horses snagged from this field. Others who shipped home in different trailers than they came were Lincolnjames, Get Around Town and Savage Seelster. Claiming prices escalate by 30% in the second leg of the series next Sunday (Jan. 19), with purses jumping to $27,500. The lucrative final in Week 3 will chase a purse of $37,500. Racing resumes at Miami Valley on Monday and Tuesday afternoons with the matinee programs beginning at 2:05 p.m.   Gregg Keidel

MGM Northfield Park has announced the addition of a $25,000 Pick-5 total pool guarantee on Monday (December 23). Beginning in race two, the $25,000 Pick-5 guaranteed total pool includes a carryover of $5,514. This wager is being offered as part of the Strategic Wagering Program through the United States Trotting Association. Northfield's Pick-5, Pick-4s, Pick-3s, 20¢ Super High Five and 20¢ Northfield Single Six offer a reduced takeout rate of just 14%. Monday's post time is 6 PM. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

Recently announced Nappanee, Indiana, Citizen Of The Year, Ola Yoder stunned the harness racing world with a significant investment buying five sensational broodmares for $690,000 at the recent White Birch Farm dispersal sale held at Harrisburg in November. Ola Yoder turned to standardbreds recently when he took a shot buying Enterprise, a Chapter Seven stallion who won an elimination of the Hambletonian in 2017 and shipped to Sweden for racing the year after. Enterprise since has served well over 100 mares in 2019 at Dublin Valley Farms in Ohio. "I'm retiring from my business a Cabinet Company called Kountry Wood Products" Ola says in an interview on Harness Racing Update. Yoder has a simple game plan investing in standardbreds to sell high-priced, well-bred yearlings in the future feature sales, Lexington and Harrisburg. That is what Ola Yoder wants to achieve. The mares from the White Birch Farm dispersal that Ola bought were; Dragon's Tale - Dam of Workin Ona Mystery and in foal to Captaintreacherous Please Beehave  a Muscle Hill sister to Bee A Magician and in foal to Chapter Seven Belclare  dam of Captain Victorious and in foal to Captaintreacherous World Of Rock a sister to Worldly Beauty and in foal to Captaintreacherous Western Silk (Open) has a 1:49 record with over $1.6m in earnings. Since purchasing these mares in November, Ola Yoder again invested when the opportunity came, just announced last week, this time privately buying the Breeders Crown three-year-old Trotting Champion filly of 2019, Winndevie. Winndevie seen here winning The 2019 Breeders Crown (New Image Media Photo) Winndevie was one of North America’s leading three-year-old filly trotters in 2019 (by Credit Winner), whose late-charging success in the $655,000 Breeders Crown in a lifetime best 1:53 at Mohawk, was her crowning achievement in a glittering career.  To read the recent article on the impact of Ola Yoder and his purchase of Winndevie click on this link. Ola Yoder is our "Rookie Of The Year" in harness racing by making a significant investment in the future of the State of Ohio's standardbred breeding Industry. ...................................................................... Here is some background about Ola Yoder and his Company found on Buzz File; Kountry Wood Products is located in Nappanee, Indiana. This organization primarily operates in the Wood Kitchen Cabinets business / industry within the Lumber and Wood Products, Except Furniture sector. This organization has been operating for approximately 21 years and employs approximately 210 people at this headquarters location and 425 total employees across all locations producing some 1.4 million Cabinets annually. This organization is engaged in manufacturing activities at this facility. Harnesslink Media ...................................................... Below is truly an inspiring story about Ola Yoder, his life and his Faith The visitation room at the correctional facility looked like an elementary school cafeteria that hadn’t been updated since 1974. The walls were taupe but for two bold roller-rink stripes of maroon and blue. The tiled floor was patterned to make the room feel busier than it already was. Vinyl furniture was arranged around the room, creating faux privacy for families and loved ones. If not for the heavyset guards at the north end of the room and the steel-reinforced, bullet-proof Plexiglas, you might feel like you were at a support group meeting in a church basement as much as a prison visitation room Ola Yoder sat in the middle of the room and stood out. Crisp white short-sleeve button-down shirt tucked into black flat-front dress pants. Work-scuffed black dress shoes with black suspenders. This was Ola’s uniform. Work, leisure, meetings, Sunday church, family gatherings, prison visits. A uniform style of dress that discourages physical appearance as a source of pride, Ola and his religious community had learned that simplicity reflects universal values of humility and modesty. His Shenandoah beard and solemn gaze gave away his faith. But Ola never concerned himself much with what others think of him. He sat across from Eli Weaver with an open mind and a full heart. As he had done countless times before, Ola sought to comfort Eli and to understand what he had done. This was Ola’s fourth visit of the year. For Ola, you reach out to someone in trouble in your community and help them…and when you can’t help, you try to understand. You see, in 2009, a life had been taken — the life of a member of the community, a woman who was the mother of 5, and the wife of Eli Weaver. Hundreds of miles from Ola’s home, family, and business, the murder shook him. What would cause someone who grew up learning the ways of pacifism and peace to turn to violence and murder his wife? It just didn’t make sense. How could someone be so troubled as to murder an innocent woman, in their house, with their children present, seated in the middle of an Ohio Amish community? Hundreds of miles west, back in Nappanee, Indiana, an empire continues to grow. Dozens of semi-trailers litter the area behind locked gates. Hidden inside each, packed perfectly, are dozens of kitchen cabinets made by a company whose reputation is highly regarded by customers and vendors alike. Kountry Wood is a huge part of Ola’s legacy, though he’d never say it himself. His children, his faith, his works, his community — they would all be mentioned first, as well they should. But one cannot tell the story of Ola Yoder without understanding the beauty of his products. The company was started just 20 years ago in Ola’s barn. Today, it spans well over 250,000 square feet of factory floor, and it’s growing yearly. The company turns out over 1.4 million kitchen cabinets each year, with under 500 hard-working employees. The factory floor is clean A short tour around Kountry Wood would leave anyone blown away. The factory floor is clean — not clean like a standard factory floor, but immaculately clean like a hospital and biochemical lab. Skilled craftspeople delicately sand and stain at their respective stations. Between those stations runs a factory line that looks more like something that should be producing Tesla Model Xs than Nappanee’s favorite cabinetry. Laser precision guides nearly every step of the process, all the way through custom corrugated cardboard packaging built for each product. A red digital counter hangs from the middle of the ceiling reminding everyone of the day’s goals and current production numbers. Today, like most days, the factory has run so efficiently that by 3:00 p.m. the workers have surpassed production goals and only a few folks remain at work. The employees look happy to be involved. Ola doesn’t allow employees to use drugs of any sort in the workplace; in fact, he doesn’t even allow them to curse on the premises. Despite the dual monitors at every cubicle; despite the computer-guided factory floor; despite the beautiful efficiency…Kountry Wood, like everything lucky enough to be touched by Ola, is steeped to the core in his faith, and it shows. That faith, while understated by nature, is crucial. Ola Yoder is many things. A business mogul by any measure. A researcher tasked with understanding human behavior of the worst kind. A humanitarian. A human, endlessly proud of his wife and family. That faith is a common thread that can weave together all sides of the man. It’s the same faith that guided him to help those five orphans stay afloat after their mother was murdered and their father was imprisoned. It’s the same faith that comforts the man who put his children in that position — who stole their foundation and, if not for Ola’s kindness, almost stole their livelihood. One of several Awards that Ola Yoder has received for helping young people in his community There’s an Amish proverb that provides a thesis for Ola’s life: “The most important things in your home are people.” Ola, like many of his peers, believes that home goes well beyond four walls, a farm, or even a factory. That is the power of Ola’s faith. And now that faith is taking acts to a new level. Ola pulls a black, oversized handle. Hand-formed wrought iron has its own story to tell. A story of a craftsman like Ola, firing and hammering away — removing excess and shaping the remains until he finds perfection. It’s symbolic of Ola’s empire: the pull is simple, understated, without frills or excess, but it forms something beautiful. He and his longtime advisor, Brian Hoffer, walk through the oversized oaken doors. Inside is an amazing space that would drop the jaws of the most seasoned architects. Ola's new event center donated to the Nappanee Community Suited and put together, a lawyer focusing on finance and estate planning, Brian lets a smile break through. Who could help it? After working together since the beginning, Brian feels emotionally tied to Ola’s great work too, and he should. There is simply no reining in Ola’s philanthropic spirit. But, like the few cut from his same cloth in this world, Ola has a hard time approaching philanthropy in the same way he does business. So Brian’s recent guidance has been important in taking some big strides forward. Together with Brian’s guidance and the professionals at the Community Foundation of Elkhart County, Ola has recently opened a donor-advised fund to help him and his wife, Vera make the most of their charity. The fund allows the Yoder’s to help guide funds into the charitable projects that are most important to them, while still benefiting from the expert fund management being performed by the Foundation. Ola paces across the beautiful wood floors and takes in the status of another big project an example of his generous outreach: an event space befitting his community and reminiscent of his spirit. Enormous wooden beams span the ceiling several stories overhead. Like a barn-home made for giants, the new space is open, expansive, and natural and says everything about Ola’s heritage and craftsmanship. He called in a specialized Amish engineering team to ensure the building’s floor was free of supports in an enormous center section. The space is a work of art and will provide a center for activities of thousands in and around the community. While the event space will be used by the community for festivals, events, and fundraisers, it isn’t the only project Ola has his eyes on. He has an unwavering passion for the next generation. And when Ola heard from Foundation president Pete McCown about the good work being done at CAPS (Child and Parent Services), he knew he had to help. As quickly as Ola learns about a new project aimed to do good, he gets himself involved. His new fund is just another tool at his disposal. As Ola walks out of Grafton Correctional, he hears the invasive buzz of gates and barred doors. The low thud of a heavy steel door separates him again from Eli. Faint clangs and muffled yells create a harsh mixture of background noise that echoes through the walls of the sterile prison. Ola knows Eli will spend the next 15 years locked in that institution. He knows much or all of his life may well be spent inside those cold walls. He also knows that his own simple visits warm the days that surround them for Eli,and that Eli has grown in the time he has spent incarcerated. He knows that no soul is defined — and certainly not lost — in its worst moment. He believes firmly in the transformative power of love…a love he expresses to his family and to his community. The most important things in your home are people. For Ola, he calls home his humble farm; his ever-growing factory; his new event center — Sammlung Platz (translated — “The Gathering Place”). He calls home Nappanee, Indiana, and the Amish community. He calls home the whole of Elkhart County, where his fund will impact the lives of thousands. He calls home the many nonprofits offering love and forgiveness. He calls home Grafton, and Eli struggling to live with the heinous things he’s done. For Ola, home extends far beyond the property line. And the most important things in his home are the people. Reprinted with permission of The Community Foundation of Elkhart County  

Longtime Ohio horseman Calvin "Buck" Hollar reached a harness racing career milestone on Saturday (November 23), harnessing his 1,000th training victory. The achievement was realized when Ronnie Wrenn Jr. drove Pinkpolosocks to a 1:54 victory to win the evening's fifth race. Hollar's father, Billy, sold cars for a living and happen to sell a truck to Michigan horseman Ron Bateson. That transaction sparked an interest in the Hollar family attending the races at the former Raceway Park in Toledo, Ohio. While in the grandstand Buck formed a friendship with Bateson's sons Greg and Scott. Buck's interest for the horses grew and eventually he found himself working for Ronald Bateson, then Terry Buter, Bob Coberly, Dan Venier, Leonard Milburn and Brian Brown. He worked as a second trainer, while conditioning a budding stable of his own. In 2001 Hollar stepped fully out on his own and moved his stable to Northfield Park. Embryo, a F&M Open pacer, sparked Hollar's solo training career. Buck's 1,000th training win was the result of 8,718 starts that also saw him finish second 1,044 times and third another 1,064. All told his earnings have amounted to just under $4.2 million.                                                                                          --Jeffrey J. Zamaiko photo "It's feels good to reach this milestone. But a trainer cannot win races without great owners supplying them fast horses that receive good drives on the racetrack," explained Hollar. "Also, I have had some of the best employees in the business and have received more family support than anyone could imagine, especially from my mother, who always rooted for Hollar Racing."   Ayers Ratliff

DAYTON, OH. - Dancin Yankee, arguably the best Ohio-sired harness racing horse of all time, burst through the $2 million earnings plateau winning the $17,000 Open Pace at Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Saturday (Nov. 9) in 1:51.   The 11-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser was the oldest horse in the stellar field of eight and was saddled with the outside post, yet raced gamely as ever to score his 11th victory of 2019 and 80th of his lengthy and storied career. With the win, Dancin Yankee's lifetime bounty now stands at $2,003,907.   "He's the best blue collar horse I've ever driven," exclaimed driver Chris Page.   "He shows up every single week and gives you everything he's got every time out!"   This milestone triumph was a perfect example of Page's sentiments. Parked three wide for much of the first quarter, Dancin Yankee didn't clear to the front until after passing the first quarter in :26.3. While fronting the field, he sped past the :54.4 halfway point and the 1:22.1 third timing station while being heavily pressured by Fools Desire (Dan Noble), who ultimately finished fourth. With a :28.4 final quarter on a cool 38-degree evening, Dancin Yankee held off Granite (Jeremy Smith) and Tookadiveoffdipper (Brett Miller), both of whom came calling in the stretch before falling a half-length short.                                                                                             --Conrad photo   Dancin Yankee has been owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Melissa Patterson and Larry Karr in recent years. Ron Burke manages the $2 million winner, second trainer Jason Irwin often harnesses him when racing in Ohio, and longtime caretaker Carlee Comer is particularly proud of her prize pupil's accomplishments.   Echoing the sentiments of many of Dancin Yankee's Ohio race fans, announcer Barry Vicroy had this to say during the winner's circle presentation: "Its been an honor and a privilege to call many of his wins here in Ohio. Its not often a horse this great comes along and stays this sharp for this long. I'm a BIG Dancin Yankee fan!"     Gregg Keidel  

DAYTON, OH. - Ten of Ohio's best harness racing reinsmen will compete head-to-head on Friday night, December 13, in a team contest to determine- -for one night at least- -whether Northfield Park or Hollywood Dayton Raceway has the strongest drivers colony.   The real winner, however, will be the Dayton Disaster Relief Fund which was created by the Dayton Foundation to aid in rebuilding infrastructure and families following two horrific local events earlier this year--a devastating tornado on Memorial Day and the Oregon District mass shootings in early August.   Hollywood Dayton Raceway, in conjunction with the Ohio Harness Horsemens Association, is pleased to earmark $3000 in prize money for the "Battle of the Buckeyes," and the members of both the north and south squads have agreed to donate the entire prize money pool to the Disaster Relief Fund. The winning team will donate $2500 and the losers, although there are no losers in an event like this, will chip in their $500 in proceeds.   Team Northfield will be captained by their dash leader, Aaron Merriman, who is also the reigning National Dash Champion. Each team will be comprised of the top five in the track's dash standings. If the contest were today, Northfield would be represented by Ronnie Wrenn Jr., Kurt Sugg, Chris Lems and Ryan Stahl in addition to Merriman.   Team Hollywood Dayton will be headed by Brett Miller, who currently holds a 20 race advantage in the host track's standings. Barring a huge rally by another driver in the next month, the local squad would also include Tyler Smith, Jeremy Smith, Dan Noble and Kayne Kauffman.   Team Hollywood Dayton captain Brett Miller                                          --Conrad photo   The Buckeye Battle will feature eight races on the December 13 program, with each team getting an equal amount of even and odd numbered post positions and each individual driver getting approximately even post positions over the course of the contest. Once the driver's post positions have been pre-decided, the horses will be drawn randomly into the races to determine their pilots.   Points will be awarded 30-20-15-13-11-9-7-5-3-1 for first through tenth place finishes in each race. At the conclusion of the competition, either Team Northfield Park or Team Hollywood Dayton will be deemed the Buckeye's Best for 2019, with the outlook good for this becoming an annual event.   Gregg Keidel

NORTHFIELD, Ohio--Harness racing's greatest traveling roadshow, the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series, moved again on Sunday night, (Oct. 27) to Northfield Park in greater Cleveland,, Ohio for two Midwest region divisions over the speedy double-oval there and when the judges hung the official signs, Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford and Bob " the Lumberman" Troyer each emerged victorious in their respective $6000 splits. Oldford guided Utopia to a 1:58 victory in their division while Troyer scored with Ubanji in 1;59 in the other, perhaps making it the first time that the winning horses' name in each division began with the letter "U". When the starter said "go"in Utopia's race Oldford found himself parked from the four-hole which helped him decide that he'd be better off to go for the lead which proved to be the winning move. "I surely didn't want to be parked so I thought the front-end was the best place to go," Oldford acknowledged, "So I urged Utopia and he responded and we had command after we passed the first quarter in :29. From there the old guy knew just what to do and we were never in trouble and we coasted home an easy 1-1/4 length winner." Although Gregg "Fast Greggy" Keidel had the betting favorite Crime Fighter, within striking distance after the three quarters, Utopia refused to lose. Crime Fighter finished second while Alesha "the Lethal Lady" Binkley got Hititoutofthepark up for the show dough after making a break in the early going. Sent off at odds of over 7-2, Utopia paid $9.40 for win. He is owned by Oldford Racing trained by Terry Deters. With his victory Oldford raised his seasonal UDR to .401 on the strength of 15 wins. nine seconds, and 11 thirds in 59 starts which strengthened his pursuit of the National Amateur Driver of Year Award, an honor he won a few years ago. After starting from the two-hole Troyer ducked Ubanji to the pylons and was third at the quarter in a swift :28.2 having parked out Better Call Saul (Michelle the Belle" Ruvola) and Smart Flight (Steve Oldford). Troyer and Ubanji continued in charge and kept the aforementioned challengers on the limb. With a covered trip Gregg Keidel had Norman Skidd Marks close at the top of the lane but Keidel's charge couldn't catch Troyer's and Ubanji finished a 1-1/2 length winner over his challenger. And after never seeing the pylons, Better Call Saul still held on for third money Ubanji is owned by his driver and trained by John Wengerd. He paid $15.40 for win. For Troyer is was his 85th winning drive.   by John Manzi for the Billings Series

Skater Chick prevailed against Grand Circuit harness racing stock in Saturday's (October 12) $120,500 Courageous Lady at MGM Northfield Park. Driven by Corey Callahan, Skater Chick sat third through the :27.4 opening quarter before mounting a successful first-over bid through fractions of :57, 1:25.1 and 1:53.1, besting her competition by two and ¾-lengths. "She is a little rough in the turns so I kind of just held on to her through the last turn," stated Callahan. "Once we straightened up for home it was all over. I had plenty of go, so it was awesome!" Mark Harder conditions Skater Chick for owners Donald Lindsey, Paul Kleinpaste and Garth Bechtel. Saturday marks Callahan's first trip to Northfield Park. Callahan tweeted that he was "Just waiting on the right horse." Completing the field were JK American Beauty, Rose Run Uptowngal, Crazy Cute, Under The Hood, She's Allright and So Awesome. Skater Chick (Sweet Lou - Ram Rocker - Rocknroll Hanover) now has seven wins in 26 lifetime starts. Saturday's victory increased her career bankroll to $155,754. She returned $6.00 to win. In the preceding events, Mary Birkhold and Jayne Weller won divisions of the "Pace for the Cure," an event for lady drivers racing to raise awareness and money for breast cancer awareness. All monies raised by the event will be donated to the American Cancer Society.   Ayers Ratliff

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