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Over a hundred runners, walkers and striders hit the Meadowlands Racetrack under partly sunny and breezy skies this afternoon in the 5th annual Stride For A Cure at the E. Rutherford oval.   The winning time of 19:39 was set by Mike Favocci of Hawthorne, NJ. The 24-year-old medical supply distributor broke from the start and never looked back to complete 3.1 mile course faster than the rest.   Several prominent people from inside the harness industry participated in the event, as well as several people with close ties to the Meadowlands. Director of Television/Announcer Sam McKee entered the event as did both his daughters, Lindsey and Melissa, who finished 1-2 respectively, in the women's group. Lindsey a former M1 publicity department employee, finished the race 2nd overall in just over 20 minutes.   Along the race route, Rudy Maag, long-time M1 stall man could be seen keeping pace with stakes administrator Andrea Caswell. Carrie Davies-Gooch from the Hambletonian Society made her second appearance in the event. Bob Boni, well-known horse sales agent and owner of Northwood Bloodstock was also keeping the pace.   Kids as young as four-years-old participated in the event, as well as adults in their 60s.   The event was founded by Meadowlands track photographer Michael Lisa and his wife, Annette, a breast cancer survivor. Runners and walkers, who paid a $25 entry fee which benefits the American Cancer Society, enjoyed their chance to trot around the racetrack before the horses take the stage for tonight's big card featuring the $175,000 Cutler Memorial. Billed as a 'Clash of the Titans' the race features a match-up between local hero Market Share and Swedish star Sebastian K.   by Chris Tully, for Harnesslink  

The Associations’ recent National Council bi-annual meeting was preceeded by a meeting with Chris Bayliss, CEO of the Racing Board. Chris gave a short resume of his eighteen months in the job. His initial reaction had been amazement at a lack of data available, the myriad of varied stake-holders in the Racing and sporting Industries, and the amount of advice he had been given by all of those sectors. He had decided that the two main stakeholders that everything else focussed around were owners and punters. He then proceeded to outline various aspects of the Industry that he had discovered, including New Zealand having the same number of tracks as the UK with 80million people, a reliance on gaming money, and that the Industry as a whole was grossly unprofitable. The TAB was the largest retailer in NZ and was a unique statutory body, and its’ size and influence were grossly under-estimated by punters. In answer to a question of ownership, Chris advised that no-one owned it, as the money lent by the Clubs to establish it, had been paid back. Income was around $180m with payment of stakes approximately $80m. This equated to a return of $62m to owners for costs of around $283m, meaning a return to owners of 22% (or a loss of 78%), the second lowest in the World after the UK. He also compared our situation with those of Singapore and Hong Kong where they had only one track each. He had spoken to the Prime Minister on a number of occasions, and reported that he was sympathetic towards the Industry, and would be producing an election manifesto to cover their partys’ plans for it. Regarding technology, he advised that Trackside was the biggest broadcaster in NZ, with 7 of the existing 10 outside broadcast units in the Country. He advised that to change these to high definition technology would cost $10m each. The TAB IT systems were outdated 70’s technology which urgently needed replacement, and he described teletext at 29 year old ‘junk’ that no-one knew how to fix and parts were impossible to source. Chris advised he had indentified numerous ways of improving the Industry and making money, however this all involved large investment and he would be having to make some big decisions in the near future to make up for the lack of action over the past ten years. TAB phone accounts had decreased in number from 200,000 to 100,000 in that time, and he felt it was important to spread to new markets to counter further decreases. Off-shore leakage was a serious problem, however he reported that the Government was sympathetic and were looking at ways of countering this, including a point of consumption tax, and a profit fee for overseas betting operators. It was hoped that the introduction of a new phone app. would help this situation. As from 1 August 2014, there would be no duplication of races on the two Trackside channels, and while Triple Trio had failed to reach expectations, overall turnover had risen 7% since its’ introduction, possibly due to the advertising campaign. Other matters discussed with Chris included, the little recognised fact that the TAB does not pay Corporation Tax, racing accounts for 1% of GDP, a completely different dates calendar that he had commissioned that would increase turnover by an estimated $17m, and various aspects of Section 16 of the Racing Act including the fact that harness imported 14% of the Australian product yet received 29% of the turnover revenue. However he was conscious of the background of harness moving dates and time slots to accommodate Australian galloping races. Greyhounds would be the big benefactors of any changes to Section 16 due to the volume of races. Chris also spoke on centralisation, suggesting that proportioning TAB costs to the various codes could be looked at. He claimed that if 70% of the current meetings could be staged on 50% of the current venues, this would raise the profit margin by 50%. In response to a question from Ken Barron re starting times and intervals for night meetings, Chris was sympathetic but stressed the need to fit around the Australian import. However, with the introduction of the two separate channels this should improve. Part 2 next week. By Peter T Cook (NZ Trainers & Drivers Association)

Master Lavros isn’t the only talented trotter that Mark Jones will take north early next month. He will also take exciting three-year-old trotter Eyre I Come, who joined his stable recently after his previous trainer, David Gaffaney, was bought out by prolific harness racing owners Merv & Meg Butterworth. “Grant Hatton, who owns horses with me including Saveapatrol, owns the other half and Merv & Meg have raced horses with me in the past, so the decision was made to send him to me with a North Island campaign in mind,” advised Jones, who helped Hatton select Eyre I Come at 2012 Premier Yearling Sale. “David Gaffaney has done a super job with him but I am hoping Mark (Jones) and beach training will be able to take him to the next level,” said Grant Hatton. Eyre I Come, who is by Majestic Son out of a race winning daughter of Landora’s Pride, has had four starts and the only time he got around safety he won impressively over handy trotter Trouble Rieu. However, his reputation is so big he started second favourite in the Sales Series Trot and fifth favourite in the NZ Trotting Derby despite his intractability. “Ricky is confident he would have been very competitive in the Derby had he not galloped after handing up the parked position,” said Hatton. Jones confirmed that the Great Northern Trotting Derby would be his main aim but said that he was also likely to start in the Sires Stakes Trotters Championship the week before. Meanwhile, Jones was very happy with the run of Master Lavros on Friday night as he progresses towards the $150,000 Rowe Cup. “He had to beat that field but I was very pleased with the way he did it,” said Jones. “He will miss the Anzac Cup next week, as I want to stick to standing starts with him, but he will start in the Greenlane Cup the week after,” he added. By Mitchell Robertson  

TORONTO, April 14 - After failing to find the winner's circle in both preliminary legs, Reasonable Force found his best stride when it counted the most as he captured this year's edition of the $36,200 Youthful Series final Monday at Woodbine. In doing so, the Doug McNair-driven sophomore returned $33.00 to his backers. McNair and Reasonable Force were in no hurry off the gate as Account Rollover (Randy Waples) cleared to the lead past the opening station in :27.1. Account Rollover, who found the wire in the first leg of the series, continued to lead his nine rivals past the half in :56 and three-quarters in 1:24.4. McNair began the first-over attack around the final turn and was within striking distance of the tempo-setter turning for home. Down the stretch, McNair asked his charge for more pace and the three-time winner responded with a two length win. Post time favourite Andreios Kardia (Steve Byron) finished second, with Dragon Seelster (Paul Macdonell) finishing third. Trained by Tony Montini for owners Doug Dunbar and Steve LeBlanc, Reasonable Force lifted his career earnings to $44,840. The son of Shadow Play now has a 2-2-1 record from eight starts this season. Also on Monday's program, the second round of the Lifetime Dream series continued with two $18,000 divisions. Rose Run Oriana (Randy Waples) kicked-off the 10-race programme with a 1:54.2 score in the first division. The daughter of Trainforthefuture enjoyed a new career best in the debut for trainer Corey Johnson. Waples led gate-to-wire with the 15-time winner through panels of :28, :57 and 1:25.3, before fending off 3/5 favourite Rockin With Dewey (Mario Baillargeon) in deep stretch to win by one and a half lengths. Samira Hanover (Paul Macdonell) finished third. Owned by Rolling Hills Racing Stables, Rose Run Oriana will look for the series sweep next week as her bankroll increased to $134,717. She paid $4.90 to win. One race later, Her Name Is Lola (Phil Hudon) enjoyed her fifth career score at odds of 3-1. The daughter of Majestic Son laid parked on the outside at the quarter in :28.2, before clearing to the lead before the half in :57.2. From there, the trotting miss led her five rivals past in 1:26.1 before fending off a late challenge from Frisky Magic (Randy Waples) to win by a nose. Standing My Ground (Sylvain Filion) finished third. Trained by Russell Bax for Baxmar Holsteins Ltd, Her Name Is Lola increased her bankroll to $85,560. She paid $8.70 to win. by Greg Gangle, for WEG

Harness Racing’s greatest attribute is the diversity of participation that it provides. There are many owner trainer drivers with one or two horses, numerous stables with 40 or more horses in work and many in between. A perfect example is the recent Gold Crown winner, a $10,000 APG graduate, bred by one of the state’s biggest producers, owned by someone who normally would only have several horses and trained by a young fellow with international experience who has 3 horses in work and provides an extensive farrier service to multiple stables. In the mix of the above examples sits the three nominees for the Owners Association Owner of the month of February. The first nominee is the Allied Courier Group owned by Cheryl and Colin McDowell. The McDowells have owned, trained and driven a great number of horses for as long as I have been involved in the sport. They have raced a number of high profile horses and currently have racing one of the most balanced groups in many years. Trained by son Dean on a private facility at Mulgoa, west of Sydney, in the month of February they were successful 9 times with 7 individual horses including a Group 3 win with Stardust. Other winners were, Highest Mountain, Wink Twice, The Twilight Dancer twice, Home of the Brave, Gotta Glow and Chevals Charlie. With horses like these and Colin’s take no prisoners style of driving, there will be many more winners to come. The second nominee for February is Riverina owner, Paul Kahefeldt, who won 4 races with 2 horses, namely Lettucefib and Lettuceriprita. Paul has raced numerous class horses over the years the most recent being Group winner Lettucerockthem, and has extensive experience at training with his own horses. Our third nominee is Inter Dominion winning driver Howard James, who for a significant part of his career was foreman for Brian Hancock. Howard has continued his involvement with Harness Racing and the Owners Association wish to acknowledge his success as an Owner following his win with Mortensen at Goulburn on 24th February. Well done Howard!! We wish to announce that the Owners Bonus Scheme that has been so well received in previous years will again be conducted in 2014. A press release detailing the participating Clubs and their race dates will be announced soon but remember to be eligible the Managing Owner of the horse must be a financial member of the Association when the horse is nominated for the event. Last year alone there was $19,000 in bonuses earnt. Harness Racing New South Wales

North America's 2014 win leader Rockin Rambaran continued his current streak on Sunday night at Rideau Carleton Raceway for trainer and owner Luc Loyer. Rockin Rambaran ($2.60) front-stepped his way to a 1:57.4 victory -- his seventh in a row -- in the evening's ninth race with Guy Gagnon in the sulky. With his ninth of the year, the four-year-old Rambaran gelding emerged from a five-way tie to take sole ownership of the top spot in the North American win standings. To read the rest of the story click here.

A number of factors make the entire harness racing trotting sector particularly vulnerable to economic fluctuations. This story first appeared April 5 in the Helsinki Times by Minttu-Maaria Partanen; Aleksi Teivainen and Marianne Pykäläinen. Breeding numbers have already tumbled below the levels of the 1990s recession as the economic down-turn continues to pummel the Finnish trotting sector. The lingering economic uncertainty has also reduced betting on harness racing and the number of races organised in the country. In particular, the financial standing of regional trotting tracks has eroded. "Economic fluctuations affect the trotting sector. That has always been the case," reminds Pekka Soini, the managing director at the Finnish Trotting and Breeding Association (Hippos). Yet, since 2008 virtually every indicator of the trotting sector has taken a tumble due to the economic situation. The number of races organised has declined, as has the number of active racehorses and drivers. Similarly, the number of privately-owned racehorses has fallen by over 20 per cent over the said six-year period. "The trotting sector relies on private ownership. For most, however, owning a racehorse is a hobby. During tough times, they will cut back on it," explains Soini. Regardless, the managing director is not particularly concerned. "The changes are part of typical economic fluctuations. We must adapt to the situation." Meanwhile, the breeding of thoroughbred mares has fallen sharply – by over 35 per cent – and already threatens the sustainability of breeding activities in Finland. Last year, only 1,897 mares were bred – fewer than during the worst year of the 1990s recession."We are still in a remediable situation. If the breeding numbers continue to decline in the years to come, breeding activities in Finland will not recover without special support measures," underlines Minna Mäenpää, the director of breeding at Hippos. For the indigenous Finnhorse, the situation is even more precarious. Last year, the number of Finnhorse mares bred fell below the nadir reached in the depths of the 1990s recession. Roughly 80 per cent of the Finnhorse population are racehorses. "I'm extremely concerned about the situation of the Finnhorse. It is a breed that does not exist elsewhere. You cannot compensate for the decline by importing. Domestic breeding therefore determines the future of the breed," highlights Mäenpää. Betting on harness racing, however, has not fallen as steeply as the other indicators, only by roughly eight per cent from the peak year of 2008. Fintoto, the body responsible for developing horse betting operations, is nonetheless keeping a close watch on the entire sector, managing director Markku Breider says. "Without horses, there won't be a single trotting race. The footing of domestic betting operations will erode, if no horses take part in the races," he explains. "Last year was okay, but the start of this year has been below par. The sums used on betting have decreased," Breider adds. Studies show that 80 per cent of the people who bet on harness racing are middle or working class-men, who have been hit particularly by the recent belt-tightening efforts and structural changes. As a result, the financial standing of some regional trotting tracks has deteriorated rapidly. "As revenue from betting falls, the revenue of the tracks falls. With the tracks still forking out the same prizes, it's obvious that the situation has exacerbated," says Sanna Heino, the managing director of Hevostalous Oy, which manages the finances of the major trotting tracks in Finland. Fintoto decided in February to temporarily lift the minimum prize requirements of daily trotting races, allowing trotting tracks to determine their purses independently. "That was the fastest way to alleviate the financial situation of tracks in dire straits," Breider says. Hippos, in turn, is set to review the structures of the entire trotting sector this spring in a bid to identify possible savings targets. Soini promises that the association will do its utmost to avoid the closures of trotting tracks. "Do we need to have over 20 separate organisations responsible for the management of the trotting tracks? What tracks organise races in the winter, what in the summer?" he speculates.

Cam's Card Shark, one of the leading stallions of his generation, has just been retired from stud duty, but hopes are high in Ohio that one of his greatest progeny can carry on his dynamic legacy in the breeding shed. Shark Gesture, whose earnings in excess of $2.8 million are the most of the more than 1,700 racehorses that Cam's Card Shark sired and one of the fastest with a speed mark of 1:48.1s, will be represented by a crop of two-year-olds this season. Abby Stables in Sugarcreek, Ohio, is standing the big, dark brown stallion.  "Shark Gesture is the total package," Abby Stables' Teresa Maddox told Harness Racing Update."   Shark Gesture developed into a horse for the ages. A $110,000 yearling purchase by Norm Smiley, Shark Gesture raced from two to four, posting some impressive victories.  He was retired to the breeding shed due to an injury and stood as a stallion in Ontario for the 2008 season. Later that year, when the injury had fully healed and he trained excellently, Shark Gesture returned to the races and started three times. But it was as a six- and seven-year-old that he excelled, earning over $1.8 million. He beat some of the best aged pacers, including the likes of Foiled Again, Mister Big, Art Official, Boulder Creek, Artistic Fella, Shadow Play and Won The West 12 times, including by more than 10 lengths in the Hoosier Cup.  Maddox said because Shark Gesture disappeared from the breeding scene for three years people may be confused about his history.  "He really hasn't gotten a fair shake as a stallion," Maddox said. "If you go back and look at some of his races, he was phenomenal. He's well-mannered, he's intelligent and was a bear on the racetrack. It's just a breath of fresh air to have him in Ohio. We welcomed him with open arms." Shark Gesture can be seen in action on his page at www.abbystables.com . His web page comes complete with race footage, photos, pedigree, articles and both a downloadable and digital breeding contract.  "There is no reason because he had 44 foals that raced from his first and only crop as a stallion, standing in Ontario and bred to mostly Ontario-bred mares, that people should have forgotten about him because he went back to the races," said Smiley. "He is still a good horse.  This year he has two-year-olds that are training and I've got good reports on them. Trainer Fred Grant has a colt by Shark Gesture out of Boca Babe.  Fred owns the dam and owns a piece of the colt and said, 'he's very good-gaited, very sound, very willing and has lots of speed. I just love him.'" Trainer David Miller, currently training a two-year-old Shark Gesture filly named Hex, described her as a "big, strong, great-gaited, intelligent filly who is showing excellent speed." Another trainer, Jenny Melander, has a nice sturdy black filly named When Sharks Fly and echoed Miller's comments about Shark Gesture's offspring. "His foals are big and sturdy, with heart, speed, intelligence and strength," she said.   Shark Gesture is truly an anomaly. How many horses return to the races two years after retiring and earn almost twice as much, facing battled-hardened competitors? In total, he posted 31 sub-1:50 miles, 16 of those 1:49 or better and four of those sub-1:49. As a 2-year-old, he won the Bluegrass Stakes (recording a freshman mark of 1:51.3), the Simpson Stakes and an elimination of the Breeders Crown.  At three, he won the Breeders Crown, the Tattersalls Pace (with a sophomore speed mark of 1:49.1), the Bluegrass Stakes, the Simpson Stakes and the Progress Pace. In an abbreviated four-year-old season, he won the New Hampshire Sweepstakes. In his return to the races, he won the William R. Haughton Memorial two years in a row, the Canadian Pacing Derby Final (with a lifetime mark of 1:48.1), the Graduate Series twice, the Dan Patch Invitational Pace and the Bettor's Delight. He broke track records at Tioga Downs and Hoosier Park and tied the track record when he won the Canadian Pacing Derby. "He's won all the big races, beat all the good horses," Maddox said. "He beat Foiled Again (the top aged pacer last year) more than once. He beat Won The West. He's beat them all at one point or another. His owners believed in him so much, they told us the story (of why he retired and then returned to the races) and it was just a no-brainer for us." 2010 Graduate Final William R. Haughton Memorial Smiley recalled why he bought Shark Gesture. Even though he was big and growthy, Smiley liked him, viewing him six times. "There are certain horses you go to the auction and put a price on and you go to that price or a few bucks more," Smiley said. "With him I said I was buying him, period."  Smiley subsequently offered shares to his brother, Gerald, and Thomas and Louis Pantone. Typical of a Cam's Card Shark offspring, Shark Gesture grew into his body from two to three. He stood about 17 hands high and had a long stride. Early in Shark Gesture's two-year-old season, he won the Bluegrass in 1:51 3/5, but he was still developing and growing. As a three-year-old, he did some amazing things, none more so than winning the Breeders Crown only a week after he fell down in a mishap in his elimination race for the final. He finished third and was moved up to second, but Norm Smiley and trainer Erv Miller feared the colt might not survive the accident. Once the bike and equipment were removed, Shark Gesture stood up and walked off as if nothing had happened, although he did have some cuts and abrasions. Driver Brian Sears, Miller, Smiley and the horse's vet shook their heads in disbelief. "If that's not a tough horse, I don't know what is," Smiley said.   A week later, he won the Breeders Crown with George Brennan, who would become his principle driver, steering him in what was a clean trip, racing on or near the pace. "Nobody knew that horse like Georgie," Smiley said.  "George was tremendous with that horse from the first time he drove him." Shark Gesture raced only eight times in an abbreviated four-year-old season and was retired, his notable victory in the New Hampshire. Some of the notable offspring from the 32 starters from his first crop as a sire include stakes winner Piston Broke, 1:49.2s ($291,131) and Best Ears, 1:49.4f, ($188,483). After Shark Gesture recovered from his injury and trained solidly, Norm Smiley made the decision to bring the horse back to the races. It would prove to be a shrewd decision. In 2009 at the age of six, Shark Gesture came into his own, racing 29 times and winning seven, including the Haughton Memorial and Canadian Pacing Derby and topping all pacers with more than $900,000 in earnings. At age seven, he raced 12 times and winning seven, notably the Graduate, Bettors Delight, Dan Patch (by a whopping 10½ lengths), and repeating in the Haughton.  He finished second by a length in the Franklin. He was retired at the end of the season.  "He was just amazing," Norm Smiley said. "This horse never got the respect he deserved. He was a tremendous racehorse." By Perry Lefko, for Harness Racing Update

TORONTO, March 26 - Kyle Reibeling's Missevil has certainly made her impact this season while racing at Woodbine Racetrack - and the talented filly could be in for a prosperous payday in the coming weeks. The swift pacer has banked $30,100 this season from five starts, including three wins and a second-place finish for owners Mike Timpano and Frank Cirillo. The daughter of Armbro Deuce-Impudent will begin from post six in the second of two $15,000 Blossom Series divisions, Friday at Woodbine. The rich $30,000 (added) final will take place on Monday, April 11. "We have the six-hole in a six horse race, so that doesn't bother me and we won't be sitting 21-lengths back like last week," Reibeling said. "It's a good series and a nice fit for her. The filly that beat her last week is in there, which makes for another great race." Missevil qualified just once last year as a rookie before calling it a season and Reibeling took over conditioning the bay this past winter. "I got her when she was training back this winter when I returned from Sudbury," he said. "I don't think it was a surprise to anyone that worked with her in the past that she has the speed and desire." So far this season, Missevil has developed an off-the-pace racing style, which is by the design of her veteran conditioner. "She can get real hot," Reibeling said. "When we first schooled her, she was a little erratic so we made some changes to calm her down, but whether she had the speed or not was something I wasn't worried about. "It just seems like the plan is to race her from behind and teach her," Reibeling continued. "We're obviously thinking long term with her and we are going to do right by her." Reibeling, who is approaching $2 million in purse earnings as a conditioner, admires one key attribute about his stable star. "Her will", he said. "She just has that tremendous will to win. She's not the biggest horse and probably not the fastest horse out there, but I don't think there's any other horse around that I've ever worked with - maybe L H Stryker- that has that killer instinct and will to win like she does. She's small but has that little engine that could." Driver James MacDonald has been aboard Missevil in each of her five starts this season and Reibeling sees that as a perfect fit. "James has done an excellent job with her and I couldn't ask for more," he said. "He's listened and done right by the filly and he's drove her with a lot of respect. James deserves a lot of credit." As for the future of the Missevil, Reibeling remains optimistic about a successful summer with his speedy pacer. "We're going to stick to the OSS and just race around here. We're confident that she can be a Gold filly this season and there is enough money in the province for us to tackle. We're going to take it week-by-week, but hopefully we have a lot of fun this summer." The Blossom Series is for three-year-old fillies, who are non-winners of three races or $15,000 in 2013. The pair of divisions will kick off the 11-race programme on Friday in races one and two. They will line up as follows: Race 1 1. Rock N Roll Xample 2. Deuces For Charity 3. Outtathewheelhouse 4. Polk Dot Hanover 5. Noble Jilly 6. An Angel Shes Not 7. Mach Some Noise Race 2 1. Premio Loco 2. Wildcat Magic 3. Somebaysomwhere 4. Gushing Royalty 5. Violet Bayama 6. Missevil By Greg Gangle, for WEG

Record figures were achieved from 115 lots at the Gold Crown Yearling Sale at Bathurst last weekend. Sale organiser Graeme Board said it was the best sale he has been involved with. "I've been doing the sale at Bathurst for nearly 20 years and this is by far the best I have seen," said Board. "Everyone wanted to be a part of the action and the results are great for the future of harness racing." Yearling colt sales hit an average price of $9,000 while the fillies were close to the $7,000 mark. The sale turned over just shy of $1 million, a significant increase on 2013. The top price lot was a for Sportswriter-Sixteen Carat colt purchased by Emilio Rosati for $34,000, while Pat Bourke purchased a Courage Under Fire-Lombo Silhouette colt for $27,000. Bred by Laurie and Gwen Paton, the sale-topping colt is out of the 1:55.5 Menangle winner Sixteen Carat, a Blissfull Hall mare. Rosati also shelled $27,000 for the Rocknroll Hanover-Counterfeit Chic colt and $25,000 for the American Ideal-Superstar Lady filly, the top-priced filly at the sale. Other lots to fetch $20,000 or more were the Courage Under Fire-Pleasure Machine colt at $21,500 and the Rock N Roll Heaven-So Savvy colt and the Art Colony-Jillette colt both at $20,000. For a full list of results go to graemeboard.com                       Dale Walker | Manager - Marketing | Harness Racing New South Wales   22 Meredith Street Bankstown NSW 2200   T: 02 9722 6677| F: 02 8580 5795 |M: 0411 627 113 |E: dwalker@hrnsw.com.au| W: www.hrnsw.com.au                  

Columbus, OH --- The 2014 USTA annual meetings are scheduled for Sunday (March 30) and Monday (March 31) at the Hilton Columbus at Easton in Columbus, Ohio. Following Rules and Executive Committee meetings in the morning on Sunday, the Board of Directors general session, which will be streamed live on the USTA website (www.ustrotting.com), will begin at 12:30 p.m. (EDT). Keynote speaker for the general session will be Ohio State Racing Commission Chairman Robert Schmitz. Among the topics on the agenda are: the introduction of new USTA directors, proclamations and recognition of former directors, an election of officers, the president’s report from Phil Langley and executive vice president’s report from Mike Tanner, a financial report, presentation/vote on revised bylaws, and rule change proposals. The final item on the general session agenda will include a discussion of medication rules and a presentation on harness racing’s social media initiative by Rob Key, CEO of Converseon, the USTA’s social media marketing agency. Meetings are scheduled Sunday afternoon and Monday morning involving the following committees: Fairs, Pari-Mutuel, Regulatory, and Registration-Owners/Breeders on Sunday and Driver/Trainer, Finance, Rules and Communications/Marketing on Monday. The President’s Awards luncheon honoring 2014 recipients Bob Carson and Gabe Wand will be held on Sunday at 11:45 a.m. The 2014 USTA annual meetings will conclude with a general session commencing at 2:30 p.m. (EDT) on Monday that will include committee reports, ad hoc committee assignments, approval of the budget, and announcement of the location and dates for the 2015 annual meetings. All USTA members are welcome to attend the meetings with the exception of the Executive Committee, which is limited to committee members only. Visit www.ustrotting.com for the live video stream of Sunday’s Board of Director’s general session from 12:30–3 p.m. (EDT) as well as daily recaps of the important news from the meetings. From the USTA Communications Department

Freehold, NJ --- As the 2013 harness racing season came to a close, the then 3-year-old Captaintreacherous headed to the Meadowlands for a race against the sport’s best older male pacers. Although “The Captain” finished sixth in that race -- the $512,000 TVG Free for All Championship won by ageless Foiled Again -- trainer Tony Alagna was happy with what he saw. Now as the 4-year-old Captaintreacherous gets ready to compete regularly in the older division, Alagna remains pleased. Captaintreacherous returned to Alagna’s stable in February after two months of R&R at Brittany Farms in Kentucky and is being pointed toward a June return to action.        "He has matured a lot from the time he was turned out,” Alagna said. “He grew some more, he put on some more muscle tone. When we sent him to Brittany he was still in very good condition, flesh-wise and weight-wise, for as hard as he raced. When he came back in, he just put on more bulk. He looked tremendous when he came in. “Right now we’re shooting to qualify sometime at the end of May or the first part of June. We’ll set up his schedule after we qualify, but we’ll probably aim for the Meadowlands Maturity (on June 13). I’m very happy with his progress. You can just see that maturity and how much he’s changed with just 60 days turned out. It’s really amazing. I’m excited, very excited.” Captaintreacherous won 13 of 16 races and $2.05 million last season and received his second consecutive Pacer of the Year Award. His wins included the Breeders Crown, North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace, Max Hempt Memorial, Cane Pace and American-National Stakes. Trained by Alagna and driven by Tim Tetrick for the Captaintreacherous Racing ownership group, The Captain joined Rocknroll Hanover and Gallo Blue Chip as the only horses to win the Breeders Crown, North America Cup, and Meadowlands Pace in the same season. Captaintreacherous became the first horse to win back-to-back Pacer of the Year honors since Jenna's Beach Boy in 1995-96 and joined Niatross as the only horses to accomplish the feat at ages 2 and 3 since the award was first given in 1970. Pacer Bret Hanover was honored at ages 2, 3 and 4 with the Horse of the Year Award from 1964-66. Undefeated female trotter Bee A Magician received the 2013 Horse of the Year Award over Captaintreacherous and Foiled Again. “Of course you want to be Horse of the Year, but he got Pacer of the Year and I thought he deserved it,” Alagna said. “He put the best resume together for the entire year. No other pacer put together as complete a resume at (age) 2 or at 3 when he won the award. No horse compiled a whole year like he did. “Bee A Magician is a phenomenal filly and it was a great year for racing. I think this past year, when you had Captaintreacherous and Bee A Magician and I Luv The Nitelife and Foiled Again and Father Patrick -- there were so many great stories. You can go down the list. It was a great year for harness racing and I was just glad to be part of it. It’s exciting.” Captaintreacherous’ push for Horse of the Year likely would have received a boost with a win in the TVG final, but he finished sixth, beaten by only two lengths. He was trying to become the first prominent 3-year-old male pacer in more than 30 years to defeat older rivals in a stakes-caliber event. “Even though he didn’t win, he was only beaten two lengths for the victory after a hard 3-year-old campaign,” Alagna said. “I was happy to gauge where he fit against that bunch at the end of the year. “We knew it wouldn’t be easy. We had confidence and faith in our horse and hoped he’d win, but we weren’t going to dodge the opportunity to do something that was good for the industry as well. All the positive feedback that we received after the race; (ownership managing partner) Myron Bell can tell you stories about all the people who contacted him and thanked him for putting the horse in that race. That says something.” Captaintreacherous now joins Foiled Again, Golden Receiver and the rest of the sport’s top older pacers in a star-studded division. Foiled Again was Pacer of the Year in 2011 and is the division’s three-time defending champion. With $6.05 million in career purses, the 10-year-old is the richest harness racing horse in North American history. “You have to admire Foiled Again,” Alagna said. “I see him every day out here at the farm. He’s just an amazing athlete. He’s a great horse and he’s fun to watch.” Alagna is ready to join the fun with Captaintreacherous. “I haven’t raced a horse like this, as far as the older division, since Lis Mara,” Alagna said, referring to the sport’s top older male pacer of 2006, who he helped condition while second trainer for the Erv Miller Stable. “I have great memories of racing Lis Mara, going to places and how much the fans appreciate the older division. It’s going to be exciting.” by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to announce its 2014 ballot. A total of 36 horses and people, including 18 Standardbred racing candidates and 18 Thoroughbred racing candidates have been selected to appear on this year’s ballot. A 20-person Election Committee for each breed will declare the winners in their respective categories.  Results will be announced Tuesday, April 8.   On the Standardbred ballots representing this year’s six voting categories are as follows: Male horse category, Blissfull Hall, J M Vangogh and Rocknroll Hanover In 1999, Blissfull Hall captured harness racing’s elusive Pacing Triple Crown.  Owned by Ecuries Daniel Plouffe, Inc. of Bromont, QC, this champion was trained by Ben Wallace with Ron Pierce as regular driver.   A 31 race career over two seasons amassed a record of 19-4-6, a mark of 1:49.2 and earnings of $1.4 million before embarking on a successful career as a stallion. J M Vangogh, purchased as a yearling for $4,500 by Paul Chambers of Harrington, Delaware, made a remarkable recovery from an accident in the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Final as a two year old to earn $2.28 million in 206 starts over 8 seasons and the nickname “The Comeback Kid”.  Rocknroll Hanover banked more than $3 million during his race career, for owners Jeffrey Snyder of New York; Lothlorien Equestrian Centre, Cheltenham, ON; and Perretti Racing Stable, LLC.  Career highlights include victories in Canada’s most prestigious races for two and three year olds, the Metro Pace and the North America Cup.  He then embarked on a second career, becoming one of North America’s most prolific stallions before passing away in 2013. Female horse category: B Cor Tamara, Dreamfair Eternal and J Cs Nathalie Before embarking on her second career as a broodmare, B Cor Tamara enjoyed a productive racing career, earning more than $185,000.  Bred and owned by Peter Core of Dresden, ON, the daughter of Dream Of Glory was the dam of 19 foals, including star trotter B Cor Pete, and granddam of two champion juveniles, Banker Hall and Broadway Hall.  Her offspring have earned in excess of $2.7 million. Dreamfair Eternal retired from racing in 2012 after a career spanning seven years, 56 victories, including every stake event on the older pacing mare schedule, earning over $2.5 million and being named Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2010.  The daughter of Camluck was bred, raised and owned by John Lamers of Ingersoll, ON with Patrick Fletcher receiving training credit. As a broodmare, J Cs Nathalie has produced two millionaires for owner John Lamers of Ingersoll, ON -- pacing colt Dreamfair Vogel, and pacing mare Dreamfair Eternal.  Dreamfair Vogel was a winner of 19 races and over $1.1 million with a mark of 1:49.3.  Dreamfair Eternal, a winner of 56 races and over $2.5 million in purse earnings was Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2010. The trainer-driver category: Yves Filion, William Gale, and Wally Hennessey. Yves Filion, 67 of Saint-Andre-D’argent, Quebec was one of his province’s premier trainer-drivers for close to 30 years driving in almost 18,000 races with 4,362 wins and $26.5 million in earnings.   Training credits include 248 winners and horses earning in excess of $3.4 million.   Pacing colts Runnymede Lobell and Goliath Bayama each became millionaires with Filion responsible for both training and driving. William Gale, 65 of Woodstock, Ontario, was one of Canada’s leading drivers for a period that spanned the 70s, 80s and 90s. Between 1982 and 1997, Gale recorded 16 consecutive $1 million+ seasons.  During his career, he won 6,375 races, started 32,134 times and earned $42.1 million. Wally Hennessey, 56, of Prince Edward Island, has more than 8,200 victories to his name and has banked earnings in excess of $55 million.  In the late 1990s, he enjoyed success with the trotter Moni Maker, a winner of $5.5 million and numerous stakes including the Nat Ray in three different years, the Hambletonian Oaks and Breeders Crown.  In the summer of 2007, Hennessey was inducted into the Living Hall of Fame in Goshen, New York. Candidates in the builders’ category: Dr. Ted Clarke, John B. Ferguson and Robert Murphy. Dr. Ted Clarke is recognized by his peers as a visionary in the horse racing industry.  Highly regarded for his thoughtful insights, Clarke’s strong and steady leadership has helped guide Grand River Raceway to be a leader in innovation and growth.  Before Grand River, Clarke led numerous initiatives to put Elmira Raceway on the path to stability, including the inauguration of Industry Day, the Battle of Waterloo and the establishment of the Ontario Teletheatre Network. John B. Ferguson may be best known for his time in the National Hockey League, but his passion for Canadian horse racing was drawn from early years spent with his father and grandfather at old Hastings Park in Vancouver, BC.  In addition to his role as a very active owner and breeder, Ferguson also took a role in track management.  He was hired by Blue Bonnets in Montreal and after leaving hockey became the President of Windsor Raceway.  He was also one of driving forces behind the formation of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. The late Robert Murphy, a native of Vancouver, BC, one of Canada’s most respected horse breeders and owners, was known by his popular Red Star moniker.  First introduced to racing at Cloverdale Raceway in 1980, he rapidly became one of Canada’s most prolific owners.   He averaged 935 starts as an owner each year between 2005 and 2009.  In 2007, at the age of 74, Murphy owned more Standardbreds than anyone else in Canada. Outstanding Standardbreds: Albatross, Artsplace, and Happy Lady Albatross was voted US Harness Horse of the Year in 1971 and 1972.  He won 59 of 71 starts, including the Cane Pace and Messenger Stakes in 1971, and earned in excess of $1.2 million.  As a sire, Albatross's thousands of sons and daughters have won more than $100 million. Artsplace was the1992 O’Brien Award and Dan Patch Award winner as Horse of the Year following an undefeated four-year-old season.  He was a two-year-old world record holder winning the Breeders Crown in a time of 1:51.1 at Pompano Park in Florida, soundly defeating champion Die Laughing.  He won 37 races and bankrolled over $3 million during his racing career which saw him race many times in Canada before becoming a world class sire. Happy Lady, a daughter of Most Happy Fella, raced in 1977 and 1978 for owners Myra Masterson of St. Catharines, ON and Linda Lockey of Ridgeville.  Though her race career was brief, she won $528,825 in purse earnings and attained a mark of 1:55.2.  Trained and driven by the late Jim Rankin, she was almost flawless in her juvenile campaign, winning 15 of 16 races.  As a sophomore she won 19 of 24 starts. Communicators category selections: Harry Eisen, Bill Galvin and Frank Salive. The late Harry Eisen spent a lifetime loving and covering horse racing in Ontario.  As a lifelong journalist, he spent many years exposing the sport to the public, including the majority of his 40 years at the London Free Press.  Eisen who once said he saw his first harness race when he was “three or four years old”, sold tip sheets at Dufferin Park Racetrack as a boy.  He was inducted into Western Fair’s Wall of Fame in 1980. As a publicist, promoter and author, Bill Galvin, a native of Arnprior, ON made a tremendous impact on horse racing in Canada. Galvin’s promotions transcended racing.  He led a charge to bring ice horse racing to the Rideau Canal and expose the sport to thousands of potential fans.  He started the Race for MS fundraiser to gain exposure for the sport, and ran numerous other high profile campaigns dedicated to the health of horse racing during his career. Leamington, ON native Frank Salive was known for over 35 years as “The Voice” of Canadian harness racing.  During his career it is estimated he called over 100,000 races, becoming a fan and industry favourite for his knowledgeable and informative calls and silky voice.  Frank’s career as a track announcer began at Sudbury Downs in the late 70’s and continued at tracks throughout Ontario,  includin  fourteen years at Ontario Jockey Club/Woodbine Entertainment Group harness tracks and concluding at Pompano Park, Florida.  Salive was also a regular writer for the Canadian Sportsman for several years. From the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame

It was posted today on the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey website that a letter from Chris McErlean of Freehold Raceway  to Tom Luchento, president of the SBOANJ received recently stated as follows: I have been informed by our legal counsel involved with our insurance company that any claim submitted for payment for damages of equipment involved in the January 10 accident at Freehold has been approved and payments are being made. There may be further claims out there but they have not been submitted and there have been claims on other items apart from racing equipment that are being handled separately. This letter is in reference to the starting gate accident that took out seven horses and drivers at the start of the fifth race on January 10, 2014 as the starting gate slid out of control and down along the rail into the field of horses. From the SBOANJ

The “Friends of Maryland Standardbreds” is more than just a Facebook page helping promote the harness racing industry in Maryland as they are hosting a special “Evening at the Races” on Saturday, April 12 at Rosecroft Raceway. The special evening will not just feature a buffet meal and a great night of live racing action but also guest speakers and networking opportunity to help promote the industry. The “Friends of Maryland Standardbreds” is led by Clarissa Coughlin and along with the Maryland Horse Council and Rosecroft Raceway, are coordinating this special evening at the track. “This was such a successful event last year that we wanted to do it again once Rosecroft Raceway reopened,” said Coughlin. “Our special guests that will be attending and some will be speaking include  Ted Black, sports reporter for the Gazette and president of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association and he will handicap the first four races on the card for everyone in attendance; Helene Gregory and Jennifer Conner from RUS (Racing Under Saddle); Karen Craft from the Harness Horse Youth Foundation and Director of Facilities for Harrington Raceway; Julia Jesu from Close-Up Show Stables and Tom Cooke from the Cloverleaf Standardbred Owners’ Association.” The event starts on Saturday, April 12 at 5:00 pm and the price of a ticket includes the buffet dinner. Ticket cost is $50 per person and the ticket price includes a one-year membership in MHC. If you are already a member of the MHC, tickets are just $35 each. Tickets can be ordered online at www.eventbrite.com/e/mhc-evening-at-the-races-tickets-10924919729. The “Friends of Maryland Standardbreds” will be hosting the upcoming Harness Horse Youth Foundation (HHYF) Day Camp and a  fundraiser for HHYF that evening during live racing at the track at Ocean Downs on Friday, June 27. Racing Under Saddle (RUS) will also be at Ocean Downs on Sunday, July 13. FOMS is currently requesting sponsors for the RUS event. There will be no pari-mutuel racing but through sponsorships will be able to offer a purse for RUS. “We want to encourage anyone who loves harness racing to please support us and come to our “Evening at the Races,” Coughlin said. “It will be a fun night, a chance to meet some great people in the industry and you will be helping to promote harness racing in Maryland.” For more information, please contact Clarissa Coughlin via email at clarissacoughlin@gmail.com or by calling 410.703.1316. by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

The parents of a harness-racing driver, Anthony Coletta, who was severely injured in a crash at Harrah's Philadelphia Race Track in Chester last year, has sued the track and its owners, Harrah's and its parent company Caesars Entertainment Corp. Anthony Coletta, of Hammonton, N.J., suffered what lawyers claim is traumatic and irrevocable brain damage in the terrifying high-speed crash on the rac track Nov. 17, 2013. Video of the wreck showed Coletta thrown high into the air after his sulky collided into another sulky and horse. Coletta suffered "horrific and catastrophic" injuries, including what the lawsuit described as "profound abnormalities indictative of severe and permanent brain damage," in a crash his family's lawyer contends was preventable. "The defendants, including track owners Caesars/Harrah’s turned a blind eye when it came to track maintenance and they permitted an unreasonably dangerous condition to exist at the exact location where the chain-reaction accident began," Philadelphia attorney Michael Barrett said in a statement Monday. "Anthony Coletta would now be preparing for the spring racing card — not fighting to regain some semblance of a normal life — had it not been for the track’s utter disregard for safety and human life." Coletta is currently at Kessler Rehabilitation Center in New Jersey. A lawyer for Harrah's could not be reached for comment, but told the Associated Press he had not seen the lawsuit and would not immediately comment. The lawsuit claims that the track's condition, particularly at locations of the first and third turns, had deteriorated over time and went unfixed. "Numerous disturbing accounts have surfaced regarding years of Harrah's Philadelphia and Caesars turning a blind eye to track maintenance, despite reports to management of an unreasonably dangerous condition at the exact location where the horse Coletta was driving, had raced into Marcus Miller's horse, , Rocknmyjeans' who had fallen ahead of Colletta's horse," the suit claims. Coletta's parents seek in excess of $50,000 in damages by Steve Wolf with files from the Association Press   d catastrophic" injuries, including what the lawsuit described as "profound abnormalities indictative of severe and permanent brain damage," in a crash his family's lawyer contends was preventable. "The defendants, including track owners Caesars/Harrah’s turned a blind eye when it came to track maintenance and they permitted an unreasonably dangerous condition to exist at the exact location where the chain-reaction accident began," Philadelphia attorney Michael Barrett said in a statement Monday. "Anthony Coletta would now be preparing for the spring racing card — not fighting to regain some semblance of a normal life — had it not been for the track’s utter disregard for safety and human life." Coletta is currently at Kessler Rehabilitation Center in New Jersey. A lawyer for Harrah's could not be reached by Philly.com for comment, but he told the Associated Press he had not seen the lawsuit and would not immediately comment. The lawsuit claims that the track's condition, particularly at locations of the first and third turns, had deteriorated over time and went unfixed. "Numerous disturbing accounts have surfaced regarding years of Harrah's Philadelphia and Caesars turning a blind eye to track maintenance, despite reports to management of an unreasonably dangerous condition at the exact location where [the horse Coletta was riding] 'rocknmyjeans' fell," the suit claims. Coletta's parents seek in excess of $50,000 in damages Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Harness-race_driver_sues_Harrahs_Philadelphia_for_horrific_race_track_crash.html#y31WixTZ77oVcsIR.99 he parents of a harness-racing driver severely injured in a crash at Harrah's Philadelphia Race Track in Chester last year has sued the track and its owners, Harrah's and its parent company Caesars Entertainment Corp. Anthony Coletta, of Hammonton, N.J., suffered what lawyers claim is traumatic and irrevocable brain damage in the terrifying high-speed crash on the track Nov. 17, 2013. Video of the wreck showed Coletta thrown high into the air after his sulky — the vehicle attached by harness to the race horse — collided with another sulky and horse. Coletta suffered "horrific and catastrophic" injuries, including what the lawsuit described as "profound abnormalities indictative of severe and permanent brain damage," in a crash his family's lawyer contends was preventable. "The defendants, including track owners Caesars/Harrah’s turned a blind eye when it came to track maintenance and they permitted an unreasonably dangerous condition to exist at the exact location where the chain-reaction accident began," Philadelphia attorney Michael Barrett said in a statement Monday. "Anthony Coletta would now be preparing for the spring racing card — not fighting to regain some semblance of a normal life — had it not been for the track’s utter disregard for safety and human life." Coletta is currently at Kessler Rehabilitation Center in New Jersey. A lawyer for Harrah's could not be reached by Philly.com for comment, but he told the Associated Press he had not seen the lawsuit and would not immediately comment. The lawsuit claims that the track's condition, particularly at locations of the first and third turns, had deteriorated over time and went unfixed. "Numerous disturbing accounts have surfaced regarding years of Harrah's Philadelphia and Caesars turning a blind eye to track maintenance, despite reports to management of an unreasonably dangerous condition at the exact location where [the horse Coletta was riding] 'rocknmyjeans' fell," the suit claims. Coletta's parents seek in excess of $50,000 in damages Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Harness-race_driver_sues_Harrahs_Philadelphia_for_horrific_race_track_crash.html#y31WixTZ77oVcsIR.99 he parents of a harness-racing driver severely injured in a crash at Harrah's Philadelphia Race Track in Chester last year has sued the track and its owners, Harrah's and its parent company Caesars Entertainment Corp. Anthony Coletta, of Hammonton, N.J., suffered what lawyers claim is traumatic and irrevocable brain damage in the terrifying high-speed crash on the track Nov. 17, 2013. Video of the wreck showed Coletta thrown high into the air after his sulky — the vehicle attached by harness to the race horse — collided with another sulky and horse. Coletta suffered "horrific and catastrophic" injuries, including what the lawsuit described as "profound abnormalities indictative of severe and permanent brain damage," in a crash his family's lawyer contends was preventable. "The defendants, including track owners Caesars/Harrah’s turned a blind eye when it came to track maintenance and they permitted an unreasonably dangerous condition to exist at the exact location where the chain-reaction accident began," Philadelphia attorney Michael Barrett said in a statement Monday. "Anthony Coletta would now be preparing for the spring racing card — not fighting to regain some semblance of a normal life — had it not been for the track’s utter disregard for safety and human life." Coletta is currently at Kessler Rehabilitation Center in New Jersey. A lawyer for Harrah's could not be reached by Philly.com for comment, but he told the Associated Press he had not seen the lawsuit and would not immediately comment. The lawsuit claims that the track's condition, particularly at locations of the first and third turns, had deteriorated over time and went unfixed. "Numerous disturbing accounts have surfaced regarding years of Harrah's Philadelphia and Caesars turning a blind eye to track maintenance, despite reports to management of an unreasonably dangerous condition at the exact location where [the horse Coletta was riding] 'rocknmyjeans' fell," the suit claims. Coletta's parents seek in excess of $50,000 in damages Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Harness-race_driver_sues_Harrahs_Philadelphia_for_horrific_race_track_crash.html#y31WixTZ77oVcsIR.99 he parents of a harness-racing driver severely injured in a crash at Harrah's Philadelphia Race Track in Chester last year has sued the track and its owners, Harrah's and its parent company Caesars Entertainment Corp. Anthony Coletta, of Hammonton, N.J., suffered what lawyers claim is traumatic and irrevocable brain damage in the terrifying high-speed crash on the track Nov. 17, 2013. Video of the wreck showed Coletta thrown high into the air after his sulky — the vehicle attached by harness to the race horse — collided with another sulky and horse. Coletta suffered "horrific and catastrophic" injuries, including what the lawsuit described as "profound abnormalities indictative of severe and permanent brain damage," in a crash his family's lawyer contends was preventable. "The defendants, including track owners Caesars/Harrah’s turned a blind eye when it came to track maintenance and they permitted an unreasonably dangerous condition to exist at the exact location where the chain-reaction accident began," Philadelphia attorney Michael Barrett said in a statement Monday. "Anthony Coletta would now be preparing for the spring racing card — not fighting to regain some semblance of a normal life — had it not been for the track’s utter disregard for safety and human life." Coletta is currently at Kessler Rehabilitation Center in New Jersey. A lawyer for Harrah's could not be reached by Philly.com for comment, but he told the Associated Press he had not seen the lawsuit and would not immediately comment. The lawsuit claims that the track's condition, particularly at locations of the first and third turns, had deteriorated over time and went unfixed. "Numerous disturbing accounts have surfaced regarding years of Harrah's Philadelphia and Caesars turning a blind eye to track maintenance, despite reports to management of an unreasonably dangerous condition at the exact location where [the horse Coletta was riding] 'rocknmyjeans' fell," the suit claims. Coletta's parents seek in excess of $50,000 in damages Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Harness-race_driver_sues_Harrahs_Philadelphia_for_horrific_race_track_crash.html#y31WixTZ77oVcsIR.99 he parents of a harness-racing driver severely injured in a crash at Harrah's Philadelphia Race Track in Chester last year has sued the track and its owners, Harrah's and its parent company Caesars Entertainment Corp. Anthony Coletta, of Hammonton, N.J., suffered what lawyers claim is traumatic and irrevocable brain damage in the terrifying high-speed crash on the track Nov. 17, 2013. Video of the wreck showed Coletta thrown high into the air after his sulky — the vehicle attached by harness to the race horse — collided with another sulky and horse. Coletta suffered "horrific and catastrophic" injuries, including what the lawsuit described as "profound abnormalities indictative of severe and permanent brain damage," in a crash his family's lawyer contends was preventable. "The defendants, including track owners Caesars/Harrah’s turned a blind eye when it came to track maintenance and they permitted an unreasonably dangerous condition to exist at the exact location where the chain-reaction accident began," Philadelphia attorney Michael Barrett said in a statement Monday. "Anthony Coletta would now be preparing for the spring racing card — not fighting to regain some semblance of a normal life — had it not been for the track’s utter disregard for safety and human life." Coletta is currently at Kessler Rehabilitation Center in New Jersey. A lawyer for Harrah's could not be reached by Philly.com for comment, but he told the Associated Press he had not seen the lawsuit and would not immediately comment. The lawsuit claims that the track's condition, particularly at locations of the first and third turns, had deteriorated over time and went unfixed. "Numerous disturbing accounts have surfaced regarding years of Harrah's Philadelphia and Caesars turning a blind eye to track maintenance, despite reports to management of an unreasonably dangerous condition at the exact location where [the horse Coletta was riding] 'rocknmyjeans' fell," the suit claims. Coletta's parents seek in excess of $50,000 in damages Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Harness-race_driver_sues_Harrahs_Philadelphia_for_horrific_race_track_crash.html#y31WixTZ77oVcsIR.99

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