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After surviving late pressure from a first-over foe, Thats The Life then had to survive a Judges’ inquiry and a driver’s objection to take home top prize in Monday’s featured $11,000 Preferred 2 at The Raceway at Western Fair District. Thats The Life, who was sent off as the 9-5 favourite, got away third in the eight-horse affair while Clic K powered the field through first-half panels of :28.4 and :59. Thats The Life and Alfie Carroll moved to the outside halfway around the second turn and managed to drop into the two-hole nearing the mid-way point. Kendal Gustav was left first-over, and shortly past the half-mile marker he and Thats The Life raced in tight quarters and made contact with one another when Thats The Life manoeuvred out of the pocket position. Thats The Life brushed to the front in the backstretch and led at the three-quarter pole in 1:29. He then used a :30.2 closing quarter to stave off a determined Kendal Gustav by three-quarters of a length in 1:59.2. Smokin Bear was third. Lorne House, the driver of Kendal Gustav, filed an objection against Alfie Carroll, the driver of Thats The Life, claiming interference was caused by that foe shortly past the half. The ORC Judges disallowed the objection and let the original numbers stand. Victor Puddy trains Thats The Life for owner Keith Cassell of Smiths Falls, Ontario. The six-year-old son of Life Sign-All That now owns a 2-3-0 record from five trips to the track this season. The 19-time winner has banked more than $225,000 to date. Monday’s card also featured a set of $7,000 Preferred 3 affairs – one for pacers and one for trotters. Leafs And Wings was a front-stepping winner in the pacing affair for the tandem of driver Scott Coulter and trainer Michael Rogers. The seven-year-old son of Rambaran-Rockton Road parked past the quarter pole in :28.2 before clearing to the lead and tossing out middle splits of :59.4 and 1:29.2. The public’s top choice then used a :30.2 final frame to win by one-quarter of a length over Twin B Brat in 1:59.4. Judge Jon survived a tough, first-over trip to finish third. Gregory Rogers of Auburn Hills, Michigan bred and owns the 24-time winner who broke into the win column for the first time this season. The lion’s share of the purse increased his career cash stash to $278,266. The $7,000 Preferred 3 for trotters went to Joyful Road, who erupted for a 38-1 upset in her assignment for driver Lorne House. The five-year-old daughter of Thunder Road-Hasty Image rallied into the slowing tempo and drew clear to win by 1-1/2 lengths over Winkys Pride, with the show dough going to House Of Cash. Peter Core of Sarnia, Ontario shares ownership on the mare with partners Raymond Core, Daniel Diebold and Don Allensen. The homebred improved this year’s record to 2-1-0 from five starters while her overall bank account climbed upwards of $77,000. To view results for Monday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Monday Results – The Raceway at Western Fair District. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca

The Canadian Horse Racing Hall invites the public to submit nominations for 2014 from both Thoroughbred and Standardbred industries in the following seven categories: Male Horse; Female Horse; Person, Jockey, Driver or Trainer; Builders, included but not limited to Breeders, Owners, and Officials; Communicators, those who have told the story of horse racing in Canada including broadcasters, announcers, writers, photographers, etc.; Veteran Horses, whose careers have been completed for 20 years; Veteran People recognizes those whose careers and impact on racing took place a minimum of 20 years ago. All nominations received will be considered by the Nomination Committees of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Both people and horses are eligible for nomination and in turn election to the CHRHF, regardless of whether they have Canadian connections, but have either raced in Canada or made a significant contribution to the betterment of racing in Canada. To read complete eligibility requirements click here. It is asked that nomination submissions be sent as a formal letter containing detailed information on the record and merits of each nominee along with the nominator’s contact information. Nomination deadline is 5:00 pm Tuesday, March 4, 2014 and submissions can be mailed, hand delivered, faxed, or emailed to: Chair of the Nominating Committee Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame 555 Rexdale Blvd. P.O. Box 156 Toronto, ON M9W 5L2 Email:admin@horseracinghalloffame.com The final list of the 2014 Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Inductees will be announced on Tuesday, April 8, 2014. by Linda Rainey for the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame  

Pompano Beach, FL --- The staff at Harnesslink is proud to congratulate our director of North American Operations, Steve Wolf, who was recently elected into the Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame. He will be inducted into the Communicators Corner at the 23rd annual Hall of Fame awards dinner on Friday, March 7, 2014 at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, Deerfield Beach. The event is held by the Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association. Wolf, a resident of Coral Springs with his wife, Stephanie and sons Philip and Ryan, has been employed with Harnesslink for the past ten months. He has been a contributing writer to Harnesslink since the website first started in 2003. The Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame recognizes special individuals who have been outstanding leaders within the industry for more than ten years and who have contributed to the betterment of the Standardbred Industry. Wolf most certainly fills those categories to the brim. He first came to Florida as the Director of Marketing for the Isle Pompano Park and over the years rose to the rank of Senior Director of Racing Operations. He ran the many great promotions at the track including driver tournaments, unique claiming series races, special family nights and most of all he is responsible for finding and bringing to the United States from Australia, the great Vincent Silvestro and his amazing horse, Hand Me Silver. Silvestro performed the world’s only horse racing fireworks stunt show called Hot To Trot and he appeared for eight straight years at Pompano Park, amazing crowds as he stood on the shafts of his race bike, held the reins in his teeth and set off more than 2,000 rounds of fireworks all while Hand Me Silver raced around the dark track. Wolf has always been involved in community service in the Pompano Beach area since he first arrived. He served on the board of directors of the Greater Pompano Beach Chamber of Commerce for ten years and was Chairman of the Board from 2009-2010. He is a co-founder and has been the president of Pompano Has Heart, a disaster relief program in the city and was also a trustee of the Harness Horse Youth Foundation for 22 years. Prior to coming to Florida, Wolf was the director of marketing and publicity at Freehold Raceway and assistant director of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey. Also being inducted into the Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame are two longtime driver/trainers Lucien Fontaine and Mark O’Mara. There are also three horses being inducted. They are I’d Like To Win, Six Of Diamonds and Tweedle Dum. Tickets are $75 per person for the full course dinner that begins at 6:00 pm with a one-hour open bar with appetizers. Tables of ten are available. For more information, to purchase tickets, or place a congratulatory ad in the program book, please contact Rosie Huff at the Florida Standardbred Breeders Office at 954-972-5400.

The 2013 O'Brien Award Future Star nominees continue to shine this weekend sending out multiple winners from their stables. Most recently on Saturday afternoon, trainer Patrick Shepherd's three starters were perfect, winning their respective assignments over a snowy Flamboro Downs racetrack. With his brother Robert in the sulky, Shepherd earned victories with seven-year-old trotting mare Tender N Kind ($2.80) and six-year-old trotting gelding Marlex Paid ($2.70). J.R. Plante drove his other winner, five-year-old pacer Doing Some Damage ($3.60). All three have now earned back-to-back wins. "I landed some really good owners and they invested some money, and I got horses that were in the right classes and in the right spot," said Shepherd on his breakout year in a recent Trot Radio. The 21-year-old P.E.I. native sent out 116 winners from his stable in 2013 ranking fourth on the Canadian leaderboard and earning him a nomination for the Future Star Award, introduced this year by the O'Brien Awards. Shepherd already has 19 wins in 2014 and sits second in the national standings behind fellow Future Star finalist Travis Cullen, who drove four winners on Friday night at Northlands Park, including three of his own trainees. The Future Star Award winner will be announced at the annual O'Brien Awards Black Tie Gala on Saturday, February 8 in Charlottetown, P.E.I. To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Flamboro Downs. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca

Timberline Court went from last to first to win the $9,000 Open Pace at Northlands Park last week and was a repeat winner in the top class on Saturday night at Northlands Park, scoring again in similar fashion for trainer/driver Gerry Hudon. Timberline Court settled away next to last in the six-horse field while Overcard (Philip Giesbrecht) led the way through opening panels of :28.4 and :58.3. As the pacers made their way towards the next marker in 1:26.1, the pocket-pulling Gts Jake (Brandon Campbell) took over command with Flak Jacket (Jamie Gray) tipping off the pylons in third and Timberline Court following his cover. Gts Jake opened up three lengths on top, but Timberline Court rallied wide off the final turn and tracked him down in the stretch for the 1:55.2 victory. Who Doesnt (Travis Cullen) came on for second, finishing two lengths behind the winner, while Gts Jake settled for third. Timberline Court, who is now three-for-five this year, paid $4.30 to win as the post-time favourite. Hudon shares ownership of the nine-year-old With Held gelding with breeder R. Lynn Kowalevsky of Airdrie, Alta. Timberline Court earned his 39th career win and bumped his bankroll to $388,561. In other action, Jamie Gray scored a training triple on the 12-race card, winning with the Philip Giesbrecht-driven Sealedwithapromise ($8.70), Dreamway Confed ($3.70) in a dead-heat, and Fancy Camelot ($11.40). To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Northlands Park. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca

Since money from slots started pumping up purses for horse racing in Pennsylvania, the owners who took home a payday have included a sheik, a prince from the Middle East, millionaires and billionaires. Proposed legislation would take nearly all of the money from the state's Horse Racing Development Fund and redirect it to school districts that receive less than 35 percent of their funding from the state. Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery County) said his bill would provide relief for local property taxpayers and address the imbalance in the state's school funding formula. Stephens' bill would shift $250 million from the development fund to school districts receiving less than average state funding. "The bottom line is only people with means can get into horse racing and they're the ones winning these purses," Todd said. "Right now, we have to prioritize our spending. We have a constitutional obligation to our children -- frankly I think we have a moral obligation to our children as well -- to provide them with a thorough and efficient school system and …. we are not doing that." Many of the school districts that would benefit are in counties that have grown since 1991, when the state froze the school funding formula. Most of the districts in the midstate would benefit. In Adams County three of six districts would receive extra funding; six of eight Cumberland County districts, five of 10 Dauphin County districts, four of six Lebanon County districts, 13 of 16 Lancaster County districts, 15 of 16 York County districts. What Stephens sees as a potential windfall for school and local taxpayers, the horse industry sees as a death sentence. "It's gone," said Todd Mostoller, Executive Director of the state Horseman's Benevolent & Protective Association. "(If it passes) there is no industry in Pennsylvania." Horse racing has a $4 billion economic impact in Pennsylvania, Mosteller said. It has grown -- back by money from slots machines -- even through the recession. A lot of those are agricultural jobs. At the news conference announcing the bill, Stephens read from an article in a trade magazine quoting a New Freedom owner criticizing how the fund is currently structured, since some of the winning horses come from out of state. Mostoller called than an opinion, contradicted by reports on the industry. While a large percentage of the development fund does go to purses, Mosteller said it also pays for healthcare coverage and incentives breeders to work in Pennsylvania. "I'd hate to see people who invested hundreds of millions of dollars then to have the rug pulled out from under them," Mostoller said. Stephens bill wouldn't eliminate the development fund, but it would practically end its impact on horse racing. Under the bill, any slots money for the fund after $250 million would go to the racing industry, but that would be a few million, at best. The most the fund ever received in one year was $263 million. Slots revenue in the state declined for the first time this year, and the experience of other states suggests Pennsylvania won't see another spike. Stephens estimated the fund will have about $245 million this fiscal year, which wouldn't meet his stated goal for funding schools. Since slots were legalized in 2006, the legislature has dipped into the development fund to pay for a variety of things.  Stephens and other representatives who spoke Monday seemed to think they'd have the public on their side. "When faced with policy decisions, I'll choose my constituents over gaming revenue or the horsemen any day of the week," said Rep. Seth Grove, R-Dover. Stephens said he sent the legislation to Gov. Tom Corbett's budget office this week, but has not yet heard back. Corbett will deliver his budget address Tuesday.  Stephens introduces his bill at a time when other measures before the legislature would address property taxes and the state's school funding formula. When asked if this means those initiatives won't receive enough support to pass, Stephens replied that his bill wouldn't impede either property tax reform or a proposed school funding study. "This is a more immediate way to address some of these issues," Stephens said. "I want to make it clear, this is not a solution to the whole problem. This is just a step towards a solution. There's still a lot of other work that needs to be done." by Jeff Franz for the Patriot News, reprinted with permission from www.pennlive.com

Gregg Keidel, a native of Ohio and someone who has contributed much to Buckeye State harness racing in various capacities over the last 35 years, is “returning home” as the race secretary at both of the new Dayton-area racinos that will be filling the traditional racing spot formerly held by venerable Lebanon Raceway: Miami Valley Raceway, a joint venture of Churchill Downs and Delaware North which will soon open the 2014 racing season in southern Ohio, and Dayton Raceway, a “Hollywood Slots”/Penn National venture which will follow Scioto Downs’ traditional summer meet in what is envisaged as an almost year-round circuit. Most of Keidel’s experience, as those familiar with him know, was picked up in the northeastern part of the state, at what was known then (and still is by many) as Northfield Park in Cleveland. Following his selling a chain of weekly newspapers which he had managed to success at an early age, Keidel got into harness racing as an owner, but it wasn’t long before he was training and driving his own horses, racing at Northfield, Windsor in Ontario, and the county fairs. Gregg had two early successes in his stable’s black and green colors: the pacer Blastabaroness, a top two-year-old Ohio filly of 1984 who gave Keidel 12 of his 14 victories very early in his sulky career; and a caretaker plucked out of waiterdom from the Northfield clubhouse who would go on to be known to many fans over 6000 victories later, Jim Pantaleano. Keidel’s newspaper experience led him to supplement his stable’s income by serving as a part time publicist for the track, and when a position in the racing office as assistant to Dennis Haskell opened, Gregg saw a more “stable” life for himself and his family and decamped there fulltime, shortly becoming Northfield racing secretary, a post he would hold for over 20 years as Northfield built itself into one of the hardest-working successes in the sport. During most of this time, Keidel “kept himself in the stirrups” on the Billings amateur circuit, being named Amateur Driver of the Year in North America in 2001. “I’ve had some of the best experiences in my life from amateur driving,” Gregg states. “I’ve been blessed to make six overseas trips as part of a visiting team of amateurs taking on the host countries, and they certainly have provided quite a few good memories. I’m also proud I notched my 100th win during Jug week in Delaware,” in 2007. When Running Aces Harness Park opened north of Minneapolis in 2008, Keidel took on the challenge as race office boss during the summer meet, getting a midseason leave of absence from the Cleveland oval, and he combined the two jobs until deciding to focus on Running Aces in 2010, with Florida judging his other source of income (though he also handled the last meet at Toledo Raceway Park last year – mainly from Running Aces!). One of the great aspects for Keidel in his new jobs is that the spring meet at Miami Valley and the fall meet at Dayton Raceway bookend the summer action in Minnesota beautifully. “I think these new opportunities in Ohio are exciting,” Gregg opines. “The parent companies all come from a racing base, and they understand that you have to promote both the racing and the casino play, whereas elsewhere many of the owners come from straight from the casino world, and the racing is often given a very secondary status.” The new 5/8-mile track at Miami Valley, nine miles from Lebanon Raceway, will accommodate nine-horse behind the starting gate – and Keidel would be very happy to have some full gates as MVR opens on February 7. “I am being realistic about how many horses we will attract at first,” he said. “There is no barn area here – we had a lot of inquiries from horsemen about stabling, but there just aren’t that many stalls available in the area right now, although some county fairs are talking about refurbishing their barn areas and staying open as training centers all year. Also, we have had some of the most miserable weather in the last few weeks around here (Gregg, it hasn’t been just around you – ed.), and a lot of horsemen are behind schedule in bringing horses back.” Indeed, the day this story was written, qualifying standards of 2:10 for pacers and 2:12 for trotters within 45 days were announced as a temporary measure until trainers get back on their schedules. If the horses may need a start or two to hit top stride, the same cannot be said about the driving colony. The last three North American driving champions – Ron Wrenn Jr. (2013), Dave Palone (2012), and Dan Noble (2011) – have committed to racing at Miami Valley during opening weekend, and interest in regular racing has been indicated by five other drivers with 3000+ wins: Greg Grismore, Randy Tharps, Tony Hall, Pat Berry ,… …and remember that Northfield waiter who got his start with the Keidel barn? Yes, count Jim Pantaleano, now 6,150 wins ahead of his former boss, among those likely to be checking out Miami Valley. For the opening two cards, Friday, Feb. 7 and Saturday, Feb. 8, Miami Valley will draw on Tuesday, Feb. 4. Gregg Keidel and the rest of the Miami Valley team will be hoping for some luck rubbing off on that date – because that day it will have been exactly 50 years since Pompano Park staged its first-ever card. It will be much warmer in Florida than it will be in southwest Ohio, but Pompano certainly has had its share of magic over the years – and Gregg Keidel has been in the horse game long enough to take magic, luck, or anything else that will aid his cause and that of his management. By Jerry Connors for Harnesslink.com

CBS Philly News has reported that Anthony Coletta's Family lawyer, Michael Barrett, says a judge Thursday gave his firm until February 21, 2014 to inspect the track. He says Harrah’s Philadelphia did not object to the motion. PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Attorneys from Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett, & Bendesky, P.C., representing critically injured harness racing driver Anthony Coletta, are seeking a court order to force the owners of Harrah's Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack to permit a forensic investigation of the controversial track surface which has been linked to the horrific November 17, 2013 accident that nearly claimed the life of Mr. Coletta. Mr. Coletta's parents-guardians, Alfred and Rosemary Coletta, of Hammonton, New Jersey, turned to the Firm on behalf of their son to use all legal means necessary to determine what caused the accident, hold those responsible fully accountable for their actions, and ensure that no other drivers and their horses are put at risk. The Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission last week temporarily suspended racing at the track due to concerns over the track surface – including its composition and maintenance - and Harrah's alleged failure to cooperate with the state's investigation. Attorneys Robert Mongeluzzi, Michael Barrett, and Joseph DeAngelo, of SMBB, are asking a Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas judge to order Harrah's to permit their requested investigation of the track surface to proceed. A hearing on their request is scheduled for today, January 30, in City Hall. Harrah's lawyers have denied the inspection request to date. In addition, the filed Motion to Compel (January Term : 002714) seeks to compel Harrah's (actual defendants named in the Motion and Writ of Summons are: Chester Downs and Marina, LLC D/B/A Harrah's Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack Inc., and Harrah's Chester Downs Management Co, LLC) to preserve all documents and physical evidence that could prove critical in their investigation on behalf of Mr. Coletta. The 31-year-old driver, engaged to be married later this year, suffered numerous fractures, brain and skull injuries as a direct result of being thrown from his sulky and then trampled. He remains hospitalized following several operations and is fully dependent on others for all forms of life care. He had been living in Hudson City, New Jersey. "Based on our preliminary investigation, including the Commonwealth's actions against the racetrack, we are very concerned about the potential destruction of evidence and, therefore, ask the Court to order our team of experts to conduct a complete on-site investigation by no later than February 7th," said Mr. Mongeluzzi. "If Harrah's is truly concerned about the welfare of the drivers and horses, and wishes to regain its suspended racing license, it should have no issues with our request." The track's racing season is scheduled to begin March 8th and the attorneys contend that economic motives on the part of the track operator are in conflict with the need to conduct a thorough investigation. Harrah's is a subsidiary of Las Vegas-headquartered Caesars Entertainment Corporation. "We need to know if the track was being maintained following best industry practices, because its troubled history would indicate otherwise," said Mr. Barrett. "If this was an accident waiting to happen, then Mr. Coletta, his family, and every other driver deserve to know why they've been put in harms way." Mr. DeAngelo noted that the Motion is supported by public statements of "several veteran harness drivers" to the effect that "the racetrack was defective in the area where the horse (in front of Mr. Coletta's) fell, and that Defendants were aware of the racetrack's condition and failed to remedy the condition despite requests from the harness drivers and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania."  

Things didn’t go so well for Thundering Ovation in last week’s Preferred 2 for trotters at The Raceway at Western Fair District, but the Gerry Sloan trainee was solid gold in Tuesday’s follow-up performance over the London half-miler. Thundering Ovation, in rein to J.R. Plante, played give-and-go with Cimeronken in the early stages of Monday's main event before chopping out fractions of :30, 1:01.3 and 1:30.4 over a track listed as “Good” with a two-second allowance. Thundering Ovation used a :30-second closing quarter to stave off Cimeronken by one-quarter of a length in 2:00.4. Savthelstdancforme rallied to finish third. Sent off as the 4-5 favourite in the eight-horse affair, the homebred won for the second time this season for owners Joanne and Courtney Sloan of Harley, Ontario. The five-year-old daughter of Thunder Road-Shesintuff, who is now a 13-time winner, bumped her career earnings to $176,415 with the victory. Lady Latte showed no mercy to the foes she sparred with in the $10,000 Fillies & Mares Preferred 2 later on card. The eight-year-old daughter of No Pan Intended-Miss Jeki got away third for Trevor Henry while Insincerity rolled to the front and threw down first-half fractions of :28.3 and :58.4. Lady Latte was on the move first-over approaching the half, and she took over command on the outside at the three-quarter pole in 1:28. She roared home in :29.2 to win by a decisive, seven-length margin over race favourite Insincerity in 1:57.2. Rachel Olivia nabbed the show dough. Gord McDonnell trains the 32-time winner for owners Craig Turner and Mhairi Kersel of Ingersoll, Ontario. The classy campaigner pushed her lifetime earnings to $421,885 with the win. The 12-race program also saw pacer All Chrome extend his winning streak to five-in-a-row thanks to his 1:58.2 triumph for the tandem of driver Phil Hudon and trainer Corey Johnson. The five-year-old son of Tell All-Ever Western came first-over and drew clear to win by 3-1/2 lengths in a time of 1:58.2 in the $5,800 event. Brian Paquet of Quebec owns the nine-time winner who has earned just shy of $43,000 to date. To view results for Tuesday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Tuesday Results – The Raceway at Western Fair District. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca

Pompano Beach, FL --- The Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association has announced that the 2013 Caretaker of the Year award winner is Pam Senclair. She is being awarded for her work in the development of three Florida Stakes winners. She will be honored at the association’s 23rd annual Hall of Fame awards dinner on Friday, March 7, 2014 at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, Deerfield Beach. Ms. Senclair, working in the Jay and Kim Sears Stable, helped develop the successful performance of Markie (Proud Bushy-R Markie’s Angel-Corleone), the two year-old trotting filly that earned $57,000 with a slate of 11 starts, seven wins and two second place finishes and a record of 2,2:01.2f. She also looked after Showing Off (Wewering-Walhalla-Garland Lobell), the two year-old trotting gelding the earned $46,382 and a mark of 2,2:01.3f. This colt was eight times first and second in 11 starts. Pam also added her stamp to the three year-old pacing filly Tashia (Six Of Diamonds-Armbro Robin-Cam Fella). This filly raced tough during the entire racing season, earning $68,631 with a record of p,3,1:54.1f. She started 36 times and reached the winners’ circle 11 times. The Caretaker of the Year was chosen from the ten different caretakers who were honored each month during the 2013 season at Pompano Park by the Florida USHWA Chapter. In addition to the Florida USHWA chapter’s awards, presentations will also be made by the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association to the owners of the top 2- and 3-year-old state-bred trotters and pacers from the 2013 season and the annual Breeder of the Year Award. The Florida Amateur Driving Club will also present their year-end awards. Tickets are $75 per person for the full course dinner that begins at 6:00 pm with a one-hour open bar with appetizers. Tables of ten are available. For more information, to purchase tickets, or place a congratulatory ad in the program book, please contact Rosie Huff at the Florida Standardbred Breeders Office at 954-972.5400, rhuff@myfsboa.com, or Steven Wolf at 954-654-3757, stevenwolf1956@gmail.com. By Thomas H. Hicks for the Florida Chapter of USHWA

After being collared at the wire in last week's $10,500 Open at Fraser Downs, the popular Playbook went all the way this time out, holding off Big N Bad to win for trainer/driver Keith Clark. Playbook ($4.10) left from post two and led the fourth race field of six through fractions of :28, :57.4 and 1:26 en route to the 1:54.3 triumph. Big N Bad and Bill Davis overtook pocket-sitters Cantbeatacheetah and Jim Marino in the stretch to finish second three-quarters of a length behind the winner. The five-year-old Camcracker gelding now has five top two finishes since arriving in B.C. in December and 20 wins lifetime for Clark and Alberta co-owners Laurence Swalm, Verne Rea and Doris McDougall. The first leg of the BBs Mirage Claiming Series also took place on Sunday with Anjelles Aura ($66.20) and the Clark-driven Pureform Goodtogo ($21.90) upsetting in their respective $7,500 divisions for $9,000 claiming mares. The series winners produced a $263.10 early Daily Double payout. To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Fraser Downs. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca

Trenton, NJ --- Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Ron Dancer, R-Ocean, Burlington, Middlesex and Monmouth, that allows permitholders (racetrack operators) to enter into agreements with their respective horsemen associations, such as the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association for harness racing and with the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, was signed into law by Gov. Christie on Tuesday (Jan. 21). Under the new law (A-3489), the runners will jointly decide how to utilize a portion of their racing purses in order to promote the racing industry. The approval concurs with Gov. Christie’s recommendations and affects racing at both the New Meadowlands and Monmouth Park. The New Jersey Racing Commission is required to approve all the contractual agreements between the parties. “Racetrack permitholders, the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association and the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association have a shared interest in ensuring the success of horse racing in New Jersey,” said Dancer, who has sponsored many pieces of bipartisan legislation designed to help make horse racing sustainable in the state. “This bill provides an opportunity to preserve and enhance the sport of horse racing and will lead to greater fan interest and wagering. The contractual requirement that stipulates all sides must agree as to the means of how this goal will be achieved, along with the oversight by the racing commission, are important components of the bill.” The amount of the racing purses, which is specified by statute, would not be affected. Also, any agreement would not be permitted to reduce the statutorily dedicated funds for programs designed to aid the horsemen and the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association or for the administration of a health benefits program for the horsemen. “We are in a new era of horse racing in New Jersey. We are fortunate to have creative and talented private sector business people who love racing and believe it is viable in our state,” continued Dancer. “Giving them the flexibility to combine their skills in order to promote this sport is a sound strategy.” Dancer’s legislation is also sponsored by Assemblymen John Burzichelli and Ralph Caputo. The identical Senate bill, S-2540, received unanimous approval in June. From the New Jersey Assembly Republican Press Office

Schenectady, NY – Harness Racing’s top guns descended upon the New York State Gaming Commission public hearing to advance concerns over proposed drug levels for racehorses.  U. S. Trotting Association President, Phil Langley, and Standardbred Owners Association of New York President, Joe Faraldo, led a group of distinguished veterinarians and research experts to counter the “one size fits all” approach being forwarded by the Thoroughbred-based Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) proposals. The appearance of the Standardbred leaders at the public hearing, called by the agency formerly known as the NYS Racing and Wagering board, was to hear “testimony about adoption of per se regulatory thresholds for 24 approved equine medications and amending pre-race restricted time periods for various drugs.” One particular therapeutic substance, respiratory aid Clenbuterol, has been at the forefront of a debate over uniform medication rules approved by the RMTC. Although there is widespread Thoroughbred support for the measures, the Standardbred industry has argued that the two breeds have very distinct differences and therefore should be treated differently.  The proposed rule would prohibit the bronchial dilator from being administered within 14 days of racing, effectively eliminating its potential benefit to Standardbreds that generally race every week. Langley noted that, “Our horses are so durable, they do not even look [like Thoroughbreds.]  Many of our horses race 30 to 40 times each year.  In fact, the leading money-winning horse of all time started 198 times.  We are not trying to get the standards lowered.  We just want to conduct [racing] the way we are.” Dr. Kanter, an expert in equine medicine and pharmacology, with over 40 years of experience as the track vet at Buffalo and Batavia.  “This measure could be denying horses the benefit of years of research of these useful therapeutic drugs, while the efficacy of known substitutes is yet unproven.” Dr. Janet Durso of Goshen, NY, reiterated those concerns.  “Clenbuterol is one of the best drugs for treating blood and discharge from a horse’s lungs.  Remedies would be problematic without it!” One of the contributing factors toward this proposal is the concern that some Thoroughbred trainers are abusing Clenbuterol by overdosing in order to achieve a repartitioning effect, or to build muscle mass.  That appears to be a non-issue in Standardbreds as they race too often for long-term dosages to be administered effectively. Dr. Tobin, a renowned expert from the University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Research Center, stated, “Clenbuterol did have a repartitioning effect and increased muscle mass, but this did not translate into an increase in performance.  In fact, it decreased performance.” Although the prospect of catastrophic injury of racehorses was discussed, Dr. Tobin noted that “Harness Racing was one of the safest sports in North America.  Only 1 in 15,000 fatal injuries occurred in Standardbreds, where 1 in 2,000 occurred in Thoroughbreds over the same time period.” Several other items were addressed, such as the list of 24 drugs that would provide for the basis of drugs that would have established levels for testing.  All others would be considered “off-limits” for use and result in positive tests if found in race-day blood or urine testing.  In addition, the proposal of special corticosteroid regulations sparked added debate. Of the nine speakers, eight of the experts gave convincing testimony toward the need for separate rules for each breed.  Dr. Dionne Benson, the executive director of the RMTC (Racing Medication and Testing Consortium), was the last speaker and lone dissenter.  She noted that the ad hoc committee for all breeds felt that the thresholds are appropriate, and that the state of Pennsylvania was “on-board” with her groups recommendations. Nonetheless, Joe Faraldo is not convinced that the RMTC proposals are suitable for Harness Racing.  “We heard today that not all of the scientific bases have been covered.  I believe that the [NYS Gaming Board] is cognizant of that fact.  Because this board took the time to listen to all of these points of view, and the science behind them, it is a good indication that Harness Racing will be treated fairly.” by Chris Tully for Harnesslink.com

With the 25th anniversary edition of the O’Brien Awards fast approaching, organizers are putting the finishing touches on many of the items associated with the awards and the entire weekend. A reminder to book your tickets if you plan on attending and haven’t done so, as ticket sales will close onMonday, January 27. You can purchase tickets by contacting SC’s Industry Marketing Department at 905-858-3060. You must have a credit card to purchase tickets. Here is a look at the event line up for the O’Brien weekend: Friday, February 7 The Horses Live Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at CDP Post Time 6 p.m. Kitchen Party (9 p.m. – 12 a.m.) EastLink Centre The Island Kitchen Party will feature food stations showcasing some of the Island’s best products from P.E.I., live entertainment, O’Brien Memorabilia and more! This exciting event takes place in the EastLink Centre. Tickets are only $15. To purchase tickets, visit the Rewards Club at Red Shores Summerside or Charlottetown or call 902-620-4222 and press '5' or if you are purchasing O’Brien tickets, you can also order your Kitchen Party tickets from SC’s Industry Marketing Department. Saturday, February 8 Harness Racing Industry Forum (10 a.m. – 12 p.m.) Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at CDP - Grandstand Join PEIHRIA's harness racing panel for an information session on today’s harness racing industry. Guests will include breeders, owners, trainers, drivers and racing executives. Pre registration required; no cost. Email Kathy Wade Vlaar to register. Tour of PEI (9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.) Guests arriving for the O’Brien Awards weekend are invited to book a tour of historic Charlottetown and surrounding areas. Our motor coach, hosted by an Island tour guide, will begin with pick up at 9:30 a.m. at the Delta Prince Edward hotel followed by a second pick-up location at the main entrance of Red Shores Charlottetown at 9:45 a.m. Departure from Red Shores is 10 a.m. The Island tour includes stops at the famous Cows Cream Factory and Gift Shop, factory outlets Reebok, Paderno and Rockport Shoes. At approximately 11:15 a.m., guests will travel to the new PEI Brewing Co for a tour of this state of the art facility. Space is limited for the Island tour. Please note. This tour will end at approximately 12:30 p.m. For reservations for the Island Tour, email Heather Dixon. O’Brien Awards Black Tie Gala (6 p.m. – 1 a.m.) The 25th Anniversary edition of the O’Brien Awards takes place at the Delta Prince Edward and PEI Convention Centre. Cocktail Reception – 6:00 p.m. –- 7:00 p.m. in the Harbourview Room Dinner & Awards Presentation – 7:00 p.m. –- 10:30 p.m. in the Palmer Pope Ballroom Dance – 10:30 p.m. – 1 a.m. in the Palmer Pope Ballroom Accommodation Information Click here for phone numbers and rates for area hotels. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca

Hinsdale, IL --- The Mike Brink Stable’s King Mufasa, who dominated last season’s 3-year-old ICF colt and gelding trotting division, was named the 2013 Illinois Horse of the Year at last Saturday’s USTA District 5 awards banquet in Springfield. The son of Powerful Emotion, out of the Muscles Yankee mare Foxy N Diamonds, joined Brink after a modest 2-year-old campaign where he won two of eight starts and banked under $10,000 for owners H H Wright and Mystical Marker Farms. King Mufasa was absolutely sensational under the care of Brink, winning every major Illinois bred stake -- including the $50,800 Cardinal, the $51,000 Kadabra, both State Fair crowns at Springfield and Du Quoin and the $124,000 Su Mac Lad on Super Night -- along with open added money triumphs in Balmoral Park’s $37,000 Hanover and the $31,000 Circle City at Hoosier Park. At one time King Mufasa rattled off 12 consecutive victories when he earned $238,590 racing out of Brink’s barn. And to the surprise of many, the ICF star wasn’t sold out east after his huge season and will be back to campaign in Illinois and Indiana in 2014. “His owners like him so well that they didn’t want to put him in a sale. They’re letting me race him in the Midwest for another year,” said Brink, who turned 61 earlier this month. The veteran Springfield based conditioner concluded his most successful year in 2013 with career highs in winners (68) and money earned ($717,414) from his barn. King Mufasa was also voted the Illinois 3-year-old champion male trotter. Other sophomore division winners honored at the banquet were Mystical Walter (1:50, $195,259) as the male pacer for owners Paymaq Racing, D & M Trading of Illinois and Mystical Marker Farms; Auniqueaquistion (1:52.2, $249,235), owned by John Carver and Dandy Farms Inc., as the pacing filly; and Trot Fudge Sundae as the top trotting filly for the Illinois trio of James Bafia, Gene White and Sam Daddono. The 2013 ICF freshmen divisional champions were PQ Three (1:50, $111,899), owned by Obermeier & Quaid Stables as the male pacer; Thesleazyprincess (1:54, $159,615), owned and bred by the Marty Engel Stable of Illinois as the filly pacer; Jerry’s Graham’s Photo Surprise (1:57, $96,825) as the male trotter; and Bailey’s Wish (1:59, $112,710), co-owned by Illinoisans James Bafia and Gene White, as the top filly trotter. John Prentice and Neva Jane Ikeler’s Fort Silky (1:49.3, $269,075) took ICF older horse pacer honors. Jesse De Long’s Let’s Go Higher (1:50.3, $198,236) was the older mare pacing winner. Randall Bendis’ Zumba Mouse (1:54, $103,474) was best among the older trotting mares and Run And Tell Pap (1:53.2, $126,510) took the top spot for older trotting horses for owners Burke Racing LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. The state’s 2013 champion pacing stallion was Yankee Skyscaper while Powerful Emotion was named the trotting stallion division titleholder. Shesoluvabull was voted the champion pacing broodmare for a second consecutive year while Just Having Fin took that honor in the trotting broodmare division. District 5 Director and Chairman Sam Lilly was the Master of Ceremonies at the well-attended banquet and dinner where USTA Executive Vice-President Mike Tanner was a special guest. by Mike Paradise, for IHHA

Dr. Frank Reilly, dmv,  has worked on Standardbreds in harness racing for over 25 years. He has worked at Pompano Park, Brandywine Raceway, and various training centers.  He graduated with three degrees from the University of Illinois. For the past twenty years he has been the Senior Doctor for Equine Medicine and Surgery in West Chester, Pennsylvania. During his tenure Dr. Reilly has worked with and helped numerous world champion performers, including the world champion trotter, Enough Talk, who in 2008 became the first trotter in harness racing history to break the 1:50 barrier at a mile. Over the year Dr. Reilly has seen problems with muscle soreness and tying up that are common problems in Standardbreds and that it can be helped with a high dose of Vitamin E.  In addition, he knew that high dose Vitamin E is shown to increase the immunity to dramatically cut down on respiratory infections which are the #1 cause of decreased performance and a big economic drain to owners. Thus came the development of Health-E, as the strongest Vitamin E supplement in the USA. “Horses do not make Vitamin E in their bodies, so they need daily supplementation,”  said Dr. Reilly.  “At 16,000+ IU/oz., only 1 tablespoon of Health-E provides 5800 IU/day for maximum health. You can go to our website at equinemedsurg.com and directly compare Health-E to other Vitamin E products.  We are four times stronger and the best economic choice. “We are the only one tested to show it raises Vitamin E blood levels in horses,” Dr. Reilly explained.  “We have the world record for the highest Vitamin E blood level ever recorded at New Bolton Center’s Veterinary Lab. “Health-E has no fillers, artificial preservatives, colors or flavors, Dr. Reilly said. It is the only Vitamin E certified safe for IR, Cushings and PSSM/EPSM horses due to low sugar, starch and fructans. Horses even love the taste. It is great for horses on dirt lots, that are not turned out or have little grass pasture.  It helps neurological horses (epm, edm, motor neuron), muscle sore, tie ups, PSSM/EPSM, liver problems, eye disorders, skin damage and it contains no selenium.” On top of it all, Dr. Reilly oversees the production of every container of Health-E. The cost is $65.95 per 1.32 pound container. This product is also available in Canada directly from Gourmet Animal, Inc., Website: gourmet-animal.com, By Steve Wolf for Harnesslink.com     

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