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The PEI Standardbred Horse Owners Association have announced the schedule for their harness racing 'Awards Weekend', April 8th and 9th , featuring Hall of Famer and O'Brien Awards winner Mr. Bob McIntosh. The best of Prince Edward Island racing, both human and equine, will be honored at the PEISHOA Awards Banquet, Saturday April 8th, which this year will be held at Murphys Community Centre in Charlottetown. A reception will be held starting at 6:30 p.m. with meal and awards following at 7 p.m. " We are very honored that Mr. McIntosh has agreed to be our guest speaker, which is generating a great response from our racing community", said PEISHOA Chair Dr. Colleen Dickie. " There are only a limited number of tickets remaining, and our deadline for sales is this coming Monday." Tickets are available from PEISHOA Directors or at the Charlottetown Vet Clinic. On Sunday April 9th the PEISHOA will be hosting a Breeders Information Seminar at Red Shores with Mr. McIntosh. He will discuss his philosophy of raising yearlings, and developing young horses. There will also be a question and answer session. Sundays seminar starts at 1:30 p.m. in the Red Shores at Charlottetown Driving Park Grandstand. Reservations have also been made for a limited number of attendees for the Sunday Brunch Buffet at the Top of the Park for 12 Noon . Pre-Registration is required for the Brunch, and is encouraged for the Seminar to facilitate arrangements. Please contact PEI Standardbred Horse Owners Association via Facebook, or Dr. Colleen Dickie at 902-940-5247 or colleendickie@yahoo.com The PEI SHOA would like to thank the PEI Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for their support of this seminar through the Growing Forward 2 Federal/Provincial funding agreement. Red Shores Racetrack and Casino

London, May 23, 2017 -- The Raceway at Western Fair District has announced that long time harness racing horseman/owner/breeder Mac Lilley will be this year's inductee into its prestigious Wall of Fame. Lilley, who owns and operates his farm just west of London, dove into the business in the early 1970s with the purchase of his first stallion, Zip Tar, and has not looked back. Since then, his farm has stood some 47 stallion including Super Wave, Springfield, Bo Knows Jate, Whosurboy, Rambaran and Warrawee Needy, just to name a few. Lilley was one of the first to offer a version of fractional ownership in the 70s and also leased and operated the Hawkinsville Training Centre in Georgia for 12 years in the late 1980s. Mac and his wife Ann have five sons and a daughter, 17 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren, most of whom are involved in the family farm in one way or another. He will be inducted into The Raceway's Wall of Fame during a ceremony at the track on Friday, May 12. That night will also feature the annual Wall of Fame Pace. Greg Blanchard

ADRIAN - For someone who didn't grow up around horses, Larry Horn sure made a name for himself in the harness racing community. For his success in a 50-some-year career as a trainer, Horn was inducted into the Michigan Harness Horsemen's Association Hall of Fame during a ceremony Jan. 21 in Howell. Horn, 74, trained some of the best-known horses in harness racing in the 1970s, '80s and '90s: Tall Oaks Jade, Charamar NiteLite and Sunrise Raider. Yet, because he's been retired from training for a couple of years, he wasn't expecting the phone call he received on Christmas Eve telling him he would be inducted. "I was stunned. I didn't think I heard her right," he said. "It never crossed my mind that I'd ever done anything to deserve this." Horn said he didn't do it alone. The Boring family introduced him to harness racing. His partners in acquiring horses, Doug Hartung Sr. and Jerry Haynes, helped him though the ups and downs of a career in racing. "I'm glad because of the people who supported me all these years," he said. "They have a piece of the honor. It's not something you can do alone." Even other trainers and drivers were motivators. Horn said he's a competitive person, so when he would lose, he would go home and think of what he needed to do to have his horse come out ahead next time. "They pushed me to do my best," he said. Horn's career came during the peak in harness racing's popularity in Michigan. There used to be tracks across the state, but now there is only one, Northville Downs in Northville. The Lenawee County Fair hosted the annual Michigan Breeders Futurity. Horn said state politicians lost interest in racing, and when the casinos moved in, the state supported the casinos' interests over those of the racing community. Horn's start in racing came from his friendship with Chris Boring, whose family was legendary in the harness-racing community. In his early 20s, Horn started visiting the Borings' stable at the Lenawee County Fairgrounds to help with jogging their horses. "The next thing I knew, I quit my job and did it full time," he said. He was working in the shop at the Adrian Glass Co. then. He earlier worked as a teller at Commercial Savings Bank. Chris was "one of the top drivers in the country," Horn said. His father, Leon, was a trainer, and his brother, Otis, ran the barn. "His dad and brother taught me everything I know," Horn said. Working as a trainer gave him a way to get into a competitive field. He said he would have liked to have been a teacher or coach, and being a trainer gave him a way to coach horses to race. "I love athletics," he said. Horn said he also liked that training was not the same thing every day. "Horse training is not repetitious," he said. Horn connected with Hartung and Haynes to acquire horses. He and Haynes started out by leasing a horse that did pretty well, but then they struck upon Tall Oaks Jade, who became a world champion. Tall Oaks Jade's proceeds helped them buy Charamar NiteLite, who was inducted into the MHHA's Hall of Fame in 2001. Horn raced him on tracks from New York to Chicago. Training is a 365-day-a-year job. Not that he couldn't plan days off, but "the horses require your attention every day," Horn said. He acknowledged some of his success was from luck in finding a quality horse, but he said he came to identify certain characteristics he liked in a horse. Pedigree was important, of course. "Certain families produce speed," he said. He liked to acquire younger horses so he could teach them to race. He would look at how they stand and how they moved to see if they were athletic or clumsy. He liked horses that were eager to get out of their stall and ones with more space between their eyes - those horses seemed smarter. He also tended to buy horses that were a little smaller. He said people were surprised to find out his most successful horse, Charamar NiteLite, was not very big. "He's big on the track, but he's not a big horse," Horn said. Learning a horse's personality is part of training a horse. That includes what it likes to eat, how much work it likes to do and what bits and shoes it prefers. "You want the horse to feel as comfortable as you can," he said. That extends to the care the horse receives from the groom in the stable. "A good groom takes care of the horse like it's his first born," Horn said. On the track, Horn would teach the horse how to race, such as when to turn on the speed. "I would teach them to be passing, not to be passed" at the end of each one-mile race, he said. Horn has some experience as a driver - he made 46 starts - that he could apply in training. He said he would get too nervous as a driver, which he said hampered his ability to make decisions in clutch situations during a race. So instead he applied his skills to the time between races, during which he would take feedback from the drivers to try to improve the horse's racing. While he doesn't own horses anymore, he still does help area trainers. He never considered training horses to be "work." "It was my life," he said. "I loved it." By David Panian Reprinted with permission of The Daily Telegram

TORONTO, January 31 - Fresh off winning his fourth O'Brien Award as Canada's harness racing 'Driver of the Year', Sylvain Filion will be a celebrity guest at the upcoming Milton Sports Celebrity Dinner on Tuesday, February 7. The 15th annual Milton Sports Celebrity Dinner is coordinated by the Milton Chamber of Commerece and will be held at Rattlesnake Golf Club. The dinner and auction is hosted by Ken Reid of Rogers Sportsnet. Filion joins an impressive list of celebrity athletes that will be attending this year's event, including Hockey Hall of Fame members Paul Henderson and Paul Coffey, former Toronto Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston, curling champion Rachel Homan, former NHL player Shayne Corson and Olympian Melissa Bishop. The Sports Celebrity Dinner & Auction has become one of Milton's most talked about events, raising the profile of the Milton Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber Scholarship Fund. The Sports Celebrity Dinner & Auction brings together sports heroes and sports enthusiasts alike. Organized by a volunteer committee of Chamber members, the evening's program includes an autograph signing session, a cocktail reception, a gourmet meal, and a silent and live auction. Bidding on the live auction items, which in past years has featured golf packages, spa packages, autographed jerseys and sports memorabilia, is one of the highlights of the evening. The festivities conclude with the celebrity athletes gathering on stage for a question and answer session led by Reid. Proceeds from the event go towards the Chamber Scholarship Fund, which helps fund post-secondary education for local high school students. The Woodbine Entertainment Group is a proud sponsor of the Milton Sports Celebrity Dinner. Tickets are $175 and can be purchased by emailing Cheryl@miltonchamber.ca or by clicking here. Mark McKelvie

London, January 30, 2017 -- The Raceway at Western Fair District has announced its five finalists for harness racing 2016 Caretaker Of The Year. They will be recognized at the annual awards night on Saturday, February 11th. Horse people were asked to submit nominations throughout the month of January and the five finalists chosen will now be voted on by horse people this week at The Raceway. A ballot box will be set up in the paddock and voting will take place during the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday programs. The five deserving finalists are Laurie Hicks, Dawn Walker, Krystel Simard, Tyler Benson and Evelyn Harms. All five will be invited to attend the awards celebration with winner taking home the Caretaker Of The Year trophy. Tickets for the awards night are still available at the race office or by contacting Amy O'Toole at aotoole@westernfairdistrict.com. Tickets are $40 per person or $45 at the door and the evening includes a cocktail reception, dinner, awards ceremony and D.J. and dance to follow.

Dave Briggs, writing for Harness Racing Update, and the tandem of Melissa Keith and Keith McCalmont, writing for Trot magazine, were named the winners in the 2016 John Hervey Awards for excellence in harness writing journalism, the U.S. Harness Writers Association announced Thursday. In addition, Clive Cohen and Mark Hall were named the winners in the Smallsreed Awards for excellence in harness racing photography. Meadowlands Racetrack Chairman Jeffrey Gural is continuing his longstanding sponsorship of the Hervey and Smallsreed awards by providing USHWA Dan Patch Awards banquet tickets for the winners. Results of the broadcast division will be announced at a later date. Briggs won in the news/commentary category for his story titled "Wallace slowly starting to rebuild after being decimated by Classy Lane fire," which appeared in the Jan. 8 issue of Harness Racing Update. It is Briggs' ninth Hervey Award, which is a record, and his third in the news/commentary division. Click here to read the story. Keith and McCalmont won in the feature writing category for their story titled "Remember those lost," which appeared in the February issue of Trot and presented memories of horses lost in the Classy Lane fire from horsemen and horsewomen affected by the tragedy. It is Keith's second Hervey honor and the first for McCalmont. Honorable mention in the news/commentary category went to Gordon Waterstone, writing for The Horseman And Fair World magazine, for his story "Suspicious texts cause Jug controversy," which appeared in the Sept. 28 issue. Feature writing honorable mentions went to Marvin Pave and Beverley Smith. Pave was recognized for his story "Have cause, will travel," which appeared in the November issue of Hoof Beats magazine and detailed how a racing family inspired the industry to help in the fight against multiple sclerosis. Smith was recognized for her story "Ron Waples: Just a win away from happiness," which appeared on the Woodbine Entertainment website on May 30. The writing categories were judged by a panel consisting of past Hervey winner Brad Schmaltz, freelance writer Lou Monaco, and Philadelphia Inquirer Sports Editor John Quinn. Cohen's photo "October Racing," which first appeared on the WEG Standardbred Instagram page on Oct. 1 received the Smallsreed Award for feature photography. It is Cohen's second Smallsreed honor. Cohen also received honorable mention in the action category for his photo of three horses in the snow at Woodbine. Hall was recognized in the Smallsreed action category for his photo "Hey there," which appeared in the September issue of Hoof Beats. It is Hall's sixth Smallsreed Award. Michael Burns received honorable mention in the feature category for his photo of horses behind the starting gate at Mohawk. Ann MacNeill received honorable mention in the action division for her photo of a horse on the track at Pinette Raceway. Judges for the photography categories were racetrack and newspaper photographer Bill Denver, multiple Eclipse Award-winning photographer Barbara Livingston, and former harness racing groom and longtime newspaper/magazine photographer Phil McAuliffe. Winners will be recognized at USHWA's Dan Patch Awards dinner presented by Hoosier Park at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Feb. 26. For more information, visit www.ushwa.org. Ken Weingartner

BEDFORD PA – The annual Pennsylvania Fair Harness Racing awards banquet was held on Saturday (January 14) in this southwest PA town, with the top performers receiving awards and generous sponsors continuing to make this PA Fair banquet one of the best values in harness racing (ticket price = $40; value of doorprizes divided by number of attendees = $65) through the hard work of the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen’s Association and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association. Shawn Johnston, a 24-year-old driver who had posted 30 victories in limited chances during his first six years of driving, showed rapid development this summer with 37 sulky triumphs to rank fourth on the fair circuit, earning the second Walter “Boots” Dunn Memorial Rising Star Award. Boots had presented the first Rising Star Award to Brady Brown in one of his last public appearances before his passing early in 2016; this year, Brown and Boots’s daughter Lisa Dunn conferred the honor to Johnston. “Boots was someone around here always admired,” Johnston noted. “And he drove horses for my grandparents. When we would talk, he might say something about learning driving – ‘Be more patient with a trotter’ – but we also talked about the horses he remembered driving for my grandparents.” The Pa Fair Circuit’s “Blues Brothers,” driver Chris and trainer Jason Shaw (so named because of their colors), earned the Top Gun Awards during the 2016 fair season, as Chris posted 65 sulky victories and Jason harnessed 57 winners circle visitors to lead their fellow horsemen in the winning column. Also honored were the divisional pointwinners during the 20-stop fair circuit, and those horses who visited Victory Lane after winning in October 8’s PA Fair Sire Stakes Championship at The Meadows: POINT WINNERS 2TC – Toolbox Tuesday, owned by Roger Hammer and Vicki Fair 2TF – No Not Yet, owned by Dr. William Solomon 2PC – Marvalous Artist, Roger Hammer and Vicki Fair 2PF – Camera Lady, owned by Dave Brickell and Mitchell York (the top pointwinner in all classes)   3TC – Major Matter, owned by Rick and Regina Beinhauer 3TF – A Little Laid Back, owned by Roger Hammer (won her point championship at 2 and 3) 3PC – Star Of Terror, owned by Fortunate One LLC 3PF – Unbeamlieveable, owned by Mason Shaw during the fair season (top pointwinner of 2 and 3)   CHAMPIONSHIP WINNERS 2TC – Photo Bomber, owned by Tony and Linda Schadel 2TF – All Set Lets Go, owned by the McMullen Stable LLC 2PC – Cruiserwillwin, owned by Todd and Christine Schadel 2PF – Gemalous, owned by Mason Shaw   3TC – Shady McCoy, owned by Dave and Delores Wade 3TF – Waterview Hanover, owned by Susan Daugherty (only the third fair filly to win both of her Championships in the 20-year history of the Fair Finals, following trotter Rosebud Sioux in 2004-2005 and pacer Big City Hanover in 2006-2007) 3PC – Captain Dinger, owned by James Dodson and Ron Lineweaver 3PF – Unbeamlieveable, sold to Burke Racing / Weaver Bruscemi LLC before the Championship (the only 2016 point champion to also win the divisional Championship.) Jerry Connors

On Friday, the 13th, the biggest social night for Delaware harness racing people is on, when Delaware Standardbred Owners Association (DSOA) presents its Annual Meeting at `10:30 a.m. at Dover Holiday Inn and then shifts to nearby Modern Maturity Center for its popular Awards Dinner begins with the cocktail hour at 5:45 p.m. Following dinner at 7 p.m. Heather Vitale will host the awards ceremonies celebrating the horsemen and horses highlights of 2016 at Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway. The evening is completed when "Mike Hines and the Look" entertain with music and dancing starting at 9 p.m. ---------------------------------------------------- Coming up on Saturday, Jan. 28, Canada presets its Black Tie 2016 O'Brien Awards in Mississauga, Ont. The classy banquet theme this year is the 250th anniversary of horse racing in Canada." -------------------------------------------------- Next month, the annual highlight of the Winter banquet season comes on Sunday, Feb. 26 at Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas, Nevada with the U.S. Harness Writers Association (USHWA) Night of Champions honoring the 2016 Dan Patch Awards winners. For more information, check www.ushwa.org . ----------------------------------- George Teague will be honored with a number of prestigious awards for 2016 at several banquets in Las Vegas. Early in the week,Teague has been named Harness Horsemen International's (HHI) major award, "The Dominic Frinzi Person of the Year." In addition to conditioning 1,631 winners who earned $35-million to date, Teague will be honored for graciously allowing the public to meet and greet his great pacer, 2015 Horse of the Year, Wiggle It Jiggleit, several times during 2016 ,all to help promote harness racing. On Sunday, Feb. 26, the U.S.Harness Writers Association will honor Teague, who becomes the first person honored for a second time as its "Good Guy" award winner. Team Teague gets the sport's second highest honor, The Stan Bergstein Proximity Award or service to the sport. For ticket and hotel arrangements consult www.ushwa.org . ---------------------------------------- The hot horses in early January at Dover Downs are Ed Gannon and Yannick Gingras' Vintage Babe, a winner of her last five starts. Two of trainer Bryan Tuitt Stable's young horses are streaking. Enhance Your Mind has won 3 in-a-row and 6 of her last 7 races. Meanwhile, Sonny At the beach won his third in-a-row on Thursday. Ralbar, conditioned by Ron Davis won his second straight and 6th win in his last 7 starts. JL Wonder Woman, owned by Vic Kirby and Matt Ivory, has won 4 of his last 5. ---------------------------------------------------------- Starting with Monday's racing card, Dover Downs will display several new wagers on it daily program. For the first time , the track is changing the Pick 4 to a $.50 (50 cents) wager. In addition to changing the base price, an additional $.50 Pick 4 will be added and scheduled for Races 12,13,14 and15. Two Pick 3's will also be added - the first starting in Race 2 and later with Race 13. Finally, a Superfecta is being added to Race 14. As part of the changes, Dover Downs will be carding the 12th and 14th race with 9-horses.Beginning on Mondy, Jan. 16, all these changes will be offered Monday through Thursday racing programs. ----------------------------------------------------- On Tuesday, Jan.10 at Dover Downs, of the 15 races, 13 of the winning horses set new lifetime speed records. ------------------------------------------ Vic Kirby is back on top of the leading driver standings after emerging from a tie las week with Tim Tetrick. Kirby topped off a good week and now leads the win stats with 74 wins. Red-hot defending champion Corey Callahan has vaulted into second place with 65 winners. Yannick Gingras, is third with 58 wins. The vacationing Tim Tetrick is now fourth with 56 trips to the winner's circle. Tony Morgan completes the top 5 with 46 wins. -------------------------------------------------- Jim King continues atop the leading trainer stats with 44 winners. Josh Green and Joe Hundertpund are tied for second place , each with 23. Leigh Raymer and defending champ Dylan Davis are tied for fourth with 22 wins. Marv Bachrad

MANALAPAN, NJ -- December 29, 2016 -- Southwind Farm has been selected as the New Jersey Breeder of the year for 2016. The Breeders Committee of the SBOANJ made the announcement this December. This years Southwind standout was once again Southwind Frank, one of the top three year old trotting colts in 2016. Southwind Farms will receive the presentation on January 29, 2017 at the 60th Annual New Jersey Breeders Award Luncheon at 1 pm at O'Connors Restaurant in Eastampton, New Jersey. The Son of Muscle Hill, out of Flawless Lindy, Southwind Frank won 6 out of 14 starts in 2016, earning $1,164,468 for the Southwind Frank partners. A $100,000 purchase at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, he was trained by Ron Burke and driven by Yannick Gingras. Beginning with a New Jersey Sire Stakes win on May 20th he accumulated his 6 wins for the rest of the year, including the $500,000 Earl Beal at Pocono Downs, the $153,250 Stanley Dancer at the Meadowlands and the $500,000 Colonial Trot at Pocono Downs. He also lowered his lifetime mark to 1:52.1 at the Meadowlands with his win in the Reynolds Memorial. Southwind Farms is also home of the champion stallion Muscle Hill, who will be returning to New Jersey to stand stud in 2017. This years New Jersey Standardbred of the Year as well as Triple Crown winner Marion Marauder was sired by Muscle Hill. All of us at Southwind Farms are very proud to be named New Jersey Breeder of the Year for the second consecutive year, said Southwind Farms Syndicate Manager Mike Klau. We are committed to the New Jersey program and hope that it is able to grow in the coming years.” This is the third Breeders Award for the 235 acre farm near the Village of Pennington, NJ. Southwind Farms was founded by Connie & Allen Skolnick in 1986, both Skolnicks passed away in 2013, and the farm is currently owned by their son, Barry. Previous New Jersey Breeder of the Year winners include three-time winner White Birch Farm, two-time winner Perretti Farms, Deo Volente Farms, Valley High Stables, Kentuckiana Farms, Fair Winds Farm, Walnridge Farm and Heritage Hill Farms. Tickets for the luncheon cost $45 per person and may be purchased from the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Division of Markets & Development, Horse Industry, PO Box 330, Trenton, NJ 08625. For further information, call 609-984-4389 or email Lynn.Mathews@ag.state.nj.us Courtney Stafford  

HARRISBURG PA - Thomas H. Hicks, whose longtime experience in both the Standardbred sport and top financial circles gave the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) a chance to have a wealth of experience at the head of an effort to their stabilizing and growing the organization's finances, has done his Association jobs so well that he has been voted the Member of the Year Award by USHWA, the harness racing sport's leading organization for communicators. Hicks, a member of USHWA's Florida chapter and a National Director for the last four years, has bred national champions such as the million-dollar-winning racehorse turned coveted sire Crazed, and was the Executive Director of the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association (FSBOA) in 2011. He regularly writes about North American monte (saddled) racing and the European Grand Circuit, especially his beloved Vincennes racetrack in Paris and its world-class Prix d'Amerique Trot. The Florida Chapter of USHWA honored him with the Allen J. Finkelson Award for journalistic excellence in 2013. It is the business side of Hicks's "pedigree," though, replete with prestigious names such as the Harvard Business School, that has made him immensely valuable to USHWA. Hicks is founder and managing partner of Renaissance Partners LLC, a management and turnaround firm which, as its name suggests, specializes in developing and then helping to implement a rebirth and profit plan, both short- and long-term, for its clients. The Renaissance "touch" is evident in Tom's guidance and plans to both keeping a sharp eye on expenses while also growing the association's income through such varied venues as USHWA's annual award dinner and through the group's website, www.ushwa.org. In announcing Hicks as the recipient of the "USHWAn of the Year" award, as it is known within the Association, USHWA President Tim Bojarski stated, "A panel of recent recipients of this award selected Tom for his longtime dedication to the Florida Chapter, his work on USHWA's national tax and audits committees in recent years, and now his spearheading the new Budget Committee, which will ensure the long-term viability of the Association. Everyone in USHWA appreciates Tom's efforts on behalf of the group, and this award adds the exclamation point to these sentiments." Tom Hicks will be honored at the "Night Of Champions," the Dan Patch Awards Banquet Presented by Hoosier Park, which will take place on Sunday, February 26 at the Planet Hollywood hotel/casino in Las Vegas. Information about the banquet and the entire weekend, which will also contain the annual meetings of USHWA, can be found on the communicators' website, www.ushwa.org - including links for making hotel reservations at special rates at Planet Hollywood; banquet tickets; and congratulatory or acknowledgment ads in the keepsake Souvenir Banquet Journal, annually one of the best chronicles of a year in North American harness racing. United States Harness Writers Association

HARRISBURG PA -- Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld, veteran harness racing breeders and racehorse owners who were responsible for the production of two of the top trotting fillies of 2016 - Ariana G and All The Time - were the unanimous choice for Breeders of the Year by the Breeders/Broodmares committee of USHWA. The committee was also undivided in naming the top broodmares of the year: for the trotters, Cantab It All - owned by Libfeld/Katz and the dam of Ariana G and All The Time, and for the pacers, Artstopper, the dam of Always B Miki, who lowered the sport's all-time speed record to 1:46.   The 25+ year partnership of Ontarians Katz and Libfeld certainly had one of its greatest seasons in 2016, owning both diamond gaited fillies and also sending out Breeders Crown champion Bar Hopping and the multiple-stakes winner Idyllic Beach, voted Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year. "Idyllic" was joined as divisional champion on the trotting side by Ariana G, who dominated the baby trotting misses through the major portion of the stakes calendar. Ariana G's older sister by a year, All The Time, made a remarkable recovery from emergency colic surgery after her Hambletonian Oaks victory to return to the races and win a Breeders Crown elimination.   The dam of these two talented trotting distaffs is Cantab It All, a White Birch Farm-bred daughter of Cantab Hall-Better Odds-Pine Chip, who herself took a mark of 1:53 and earned over $280,000 on the racetrack. Her first two foals, both by top racehorse turned top sire Muscle Hill, are All The Time and Ariana G, and one can only imagine the potential of, and interest in, the next foals in the Cantab It All "production line."   Artstopper, who was unraced, has certainly made up for lost time in the broodmare shed for the Roll The Dice Stable of Delaware's Joe Hurley. Before "Miki" came along, she had produced Yagonnakissmeornot, a $1.45M-winning daughter of The Panderosa who has raced the best of her class for several seasons - and has given Artstopper the rare distinction of having both a son and daughter who have beaten 1:50.   But 2016 was the year of Always B Miki, Harness Horse of the Year, reducer of record speed with a 1:46 mile at the famed Red Mile in Lexington on October 9. A son of Always A Virgin who like his sister Yagonnakissmeornot can trace their topline pedigree back to the hugely-influential Western Hanover, Always B Miki clashed with 2015 Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit in an epic series of duels in the free-for-all pacing ranks, with Miki winning four, including the season-ending Breeders Crown, and Wiggle winning three. (These two pacing giants brought extra attention to Indiana, where they were both sired, and to Hurley's Delaware, where they are both owned.)   Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld, along with Cantab It All, Artstopper and their connections, will all be feted at the "Night Of Champions," the Dan Patch Awards Banquet Presented by Hoosier Park, which will take place on Sunday, February 26 at the Planet Hollywood hotel/casino in Las Vegas. Information about the banquet and the entire weekend, which will also contain the annual meetings of USHWA, can be found on the communicators' website, www.ushwa.org - including links for making hotel reservations at special rates at Planet Hollywood; banquet tickets; and congratulatory or acknowledgment ads in the keepsake Souvenir Banquet Journal, annually one of the best chronicles of a year in North American harness racing.   United States Harness Writers Association    

HARRISBURG PA - Allison Conte, riding on the leading curve of the "new wave" social media communications designed to bring the excitement and fun of harness racing to an ever-expanding audience, has "broken through" the communications clutter with such success in her job as Social Media Manager for the U.S. Trotting Association that the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), the sport's leading industry for communicators, has voted her the winner of the Breakthrough Award, which honors those in the sport 35 years or younger for outstanding early-career non-training/driving contributions to harness racing   Conte is overseer of the many platforms established within the USTA's Communications department: the acclaimed Harness Racing FanZone website; the Facebook page of both the FanZone and the USTA's own central organizational page; and the various means to cover three of harness racing's flagship events: the Hambletonian, the Little Brown Jug, and the Breeders Crown. In addition, she functions as host for the USTA's weekly online show Morning Line; edits for the USTA's website, the most widely-viewed website in the industry; and conducts advisory sessions in how to utilize social media effectively and how to bring more owners into the sport. And her vision into the sport and new ways to tell its story has led to many successful programs involving the new media, and certainly will lead to many more.   One striking feature running through the vast majority of Allison's work is the insight she gives into the people and horses involved in putting on "the show," devoting time and energy to the individuals and events "behind the scenes" that may surprise people and interest them further in the sport. The faculty that Conte has in this area is no accident: the daughter of horseman Carl Conte Jr., Allison has been a caretaker for fast horses, rich horses, and durable horses - all of those characteristics rolled up together in her most famous charge, Foiled Again, the sport's all-time leader in earnings with earnings nearing $7.5 million, an evergreen campaigner who is still racing at a high level as he turns 13 next week.   Allison does not oversee her "media empire" by viewing a bank of consoles at the USTA's Ohio office - she is one of the Association's most visible employees, having spent 73 days on the road this past year. She is helpful and patient with horseman, horse, manager, and fan alike - a person who honestly has the good of the sport in the forefront of her mind at all times.   Allison Conte will be honored at the "Night Of Champions," the Dan Patch Awards Banquet Presented by Hoosier Park, which will take place on Sunday, February 26 at the Planet Hollywood hotel/casino in Las Vegas. Information about the banquet and the entire weekend, which will also contain the annual meetings of USHWA, can be found on the communicators' website, www.ushwa.org - including links for making hotel reservations at special rates at Planet Hollywood; banquet tickets; and congratulatory or acknowledgment ads in the keepsake Souvenir Banquet Journal, annually one of the best chronicles of a year in North American harness racing.    

HARRISBURG PA -- They were the pairing that seemed to be almost too good to be true - combining a proud family tradition, a love of the trotting horse, a woman pursuing the dream that her late husband never quite attained, and a young man, a college student, with sparkling "bloodlines" on both sides of his pedigree. But it was this perfect harness team - Marion Jean Wellwood and Devin Keeling - who owned Marion Marauder, winner of the Triple Crown of Trotting and Trotter of the Year honors during 2016. And they loved every minute of it. Now, they have been voted Owners of the Year for 2016 by the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), the sport's leading trade group for communicators. "Jean," as she is generally known, is the wife of the late Canadian Hall of Famer Bill Wellwood, a "trottin' horse" man who trained many quality horses during his distinguished career, but never quite came up with "the big one". Devin is a college sophomore, Jean's grandson and the son of her daughter Paula and horseman Mike Keeling, who had been a caretaker for Bill Wellwood. This living of a dream started in Lexington in 2014, where Jean picked a royally-pedigreed horse (Muscle Hill-Spellbound Hanover) via a catalogue, with daughter Paula haltering the colt for a bargain $37,000. Then came patient development under the tutelage of Paula Wellwood and Mike Keeling (improving from start to start), perfect handling by driver Scott Zeron, and Marion Marauder realizing that he could be the type of colt that Bill Wellwood and those in his family always wanted, all resulting in a sensational sophomore campaign in 2016. He ended up the season with a record of 15-10-3-0, and he led all North American trotters with earnings of $1,484,532. Marion Marauder became only the ninth horse to win Trotting's Triple Crown, and the first since Glidemaster in 2006. The "Marauder" was certainly the right horse at the right place at the right time - winning the Hambletonian by a nose and the Yonkers Trot and Kentucky Futurity by a head each - and Jean Wellwood and Devin Keeling, experience and youth, "trottin' people", part of an extended "happy family," climbed to the pinnacle of success as harness horse owners. Marion Jean Wellwood and Devin Keeling (along with Marion Marauder) will be honored at the "Night Of Champions," the Dan Patch Awards Banquet Presented by Hoosier Park, which will take place on Sunday, February 26 at the Planet Hollywood hotel/casino in Las Vegas. Information about the banquet and the entire weekend, which will also contain the annual meetings of USHWA, can be found on the communicators' website, www.ushwa.org - including links for making hotel reservations at special rates at Planet Hollywood; banquet tickets; and congratulatory or acknowledgment ads in the keepsake Souvenir Banquet Journal, annually one of the best chronicles of a year in North American harness racing.  

HARRISBURG PA - One is a native of the heartland of U.S. harness racing, the Buckeye State of Ohio. One is a Swedish emigrant who is fiercely appreciative of the opportunities his adopted United States has given him. (Both do fine when they cross the border north to Canada, too.) Both are in their mid-50s. Both are members of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame. David Miller and Jimmy Takter were the Driver and Trainer of the Year in 2015, respectively, their outstanding seasons cemented by quantity - six Breeders Crown wins for Takter, with Miller gaining five Crown sulky triumphs, including two for Takter. And in 2016, Takter and Miller are repeat winners in their respective categories as voted by the U.S. Harness Writers Association (USHWA), both again having quality seasons up and down the board, but their highlight this time focused on quality - 2016 Harness Horse of the Year Always B Miki, author of the sport's fastest-ever mile, a 1:46 clocking at Lexington's famed Red Mile on October 9. "Miki" also had four victories in head-to-head matchups against 2015 Harness Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit, who had three in a months-long series of contests that had fans - and even "seen-it-all" horsemen - buzzing throughout North America. Of course, to earn top yearly accolades over their talented peers, both men accomplished much more than their successful collaboration with Always B Miki. Takter collected year-end honors not only with Always B Miki (also the Pacer of the Year) but with a repeat champion, the 3-year-old pacing filly Pure Country, and two 2-year-old fillies, pacer Idyllic Beach and trotter Ariana G (Takter also guided Ariana G's successful sophomore sister All The Time, and the two fillies' combined exploits earned breeders/owners Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz honors as the season's Breeders of the Year). That's four divisional winners in all -- no other trainer had more than one. Add in Breeders Crown-winning Bar Hopping, often right in the mix with Trotter of the Year Marion Marauder, among others and you see a powerhouse of a stable that earned Takter Trainer of the Year plaudits for the third year in a row, and sixth overall (1996, 2000, 2010, 2014, 2015, and 2016). While Takter is forthright and outfront with his opinions, David Miller, while no less insightful, by temperament would rather just go about his job quietly yet effectively - both factors showing up when he became only the third driver, behind John Campbell and Ron Pierce, to go over $200 million in career sulky earnings, as the feat came in May at Harrah's Philly with an undistinguished pacer named Hickory Chumley, who paid $82.80 to win. In this, his best season ever for earnings with more than $12.6 million bankrolled, Miller also had a large hand in the racetrack guidance of two other divisional award-winners: 3-year-old trotting filly Broadway Donna, a repeat champion, and the multi-major stake-winning 3-year-old pacing colt Betting Line. This is Miller's third Driver of the Year title: he won the inaugural award in 2003, and of course now has two straight in the category. Jimmy Takter and David Miller (and the many horses for whom they were an integral part of the road to success in 2016) will be honored at the "Night Of Champions," the Dan Patch Awards Banquet Presented by Hoosier Park, which will take place on Sunday, February 26 at the Planet Hollywood hotel/casino in Las Vegas. Information about the banquet and the entire weekend, which will also contain the annual meetings of USHWA, can be found on the communicators' website, www.ushwa.org - including links for making hotel reservations at special rates at Planet Hollywood; banquet tickets; and congratulatory or acknowledgment ads in the keepsake Souvenir Banquet Journal, annually one of the best chronicles of a year in North American harness racing. From the U.S. Harness Writers Association  

George Teague has been named winner of another prestigious award. Teague has been named Harness Horsemen International (HHI)'s "Dominic Frinzi Person of the Year." In addition to conditioning 1,631 winners of $35-million to date, Teague has been honored for graciously allowing the public to meet and greet his great pacer, 2015 Horse of the Year, Wiggle It Jiggleit, several times during 2016 to help promote harness racing. ---------------------------------------------------------- Nominations are now being accepted for the 2016 Caretaker of the Year Award, sponsored by Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park in conjunction with USHWA honoring the sport's unsung heroes, the caretakers. Dover Downs leads in the number of grooms at the track who have won this award in the past. To nominate for this award with a number of benefits, contact USHWA president Tim Bojarski at a159star@gmail.com with a minimum 200 words, stating the special qualities of the caretaker being nominated. ------------------------------------------ Thursday racing is now the top pacing day at Dover Downs. The highlight events, the $30,000 Preferred has been won the last two times by Ideal Cowboy while Little Ben recorded his fourth win in his last five winning the $27,500 Delaware Special. During the rest of the racing week, Monday is now a top claiming feature day, on Tuesday the top female pacers meet in the $20,000 Open Mares pace and Wednesday continues as top trot day highlighted by the $20,000 Open Trot. ------------------------------------------ With the end of 2016 at hand, First place in Dover Downs leading driver category has become a three-driver battle for top spot. Through November, Vic Kirby led the roster in winning drives. In December, Yannick Gingras had several five win days; Tim Tetrick added a number of four-win cards to also challenge Kirby for the lead, now in a virtual tie. Allan Davis holds on to fourth place while Ross Wolfenden is fifth. ----------------------------------------------------- Jim King remains as leader in trainers statistics in wins and money won by his stable. Josh Green is in second place. Joe Hundertfund and Leigh Raymer are tied for third place with Wayne Givens, fifth. ------------------------------------------------ Well know Delaware stallion Tune Town who stood at Rhonda Owens-Whitehouse's Safe Haven Farms in Ellendale died recently at age 24, The former USHWA Pacing Horse of the Year and Nova Award winning Older Pacer in 1997sired 120 Delaware-bred foals, Dina's Gamble p,1:50.1 ($521,507) and Fine-Tuner p,1:50.1 and Tuneariffic p,1,50.2 topped the list. ------------------------------------------- In 2017, the American Horse Council (AHC) offers three different internships available to both high school and college students. Visit the AHC website for details at info@horsecouncil.org ----------------------------------------------- Australia has announced it will ban the use of existing whips in training and racing beginning on Sept. 1, 2017. Australia becomes the first country to do so. ------------------------------------ Two Dover Downs regulars who raced at Rosecroft Raceway during the just ended Fall season tied for the 2016 Leading Driver title, Roger Plante Jr. and Russell Foster had 52 wins each. Marv Bachrad

Exclusive video highlights from the USTA of the six Dan Patch Award winning trotters announced today by the U.S. Harness Writers Association are now available to watch or download on Dropbox. The winning trotter videos for Marion Marauder, Broadway Donna, Hannelore Hanover, Obrigado, Walner and Ariana G are available by clicking here. For the first time, the U.S. Trotting Association is providing assorted video highlights that can be downloaded for each of the Dan Patch Award divisional winners in conjunction with the announcement of those winners this week. The video features exclusive footage captured by the USTA of major races won, winner's circle presentations and b-roll of each winner. Video courtesy for use of the footage should be -- U.S. Trotting Association. Some race replays are also included. Videos for the pacing award winners will be available on Friday (Dec. 16) at approximately 1 p.m. Links to the video files will be posted on www.ustrotting.com and sent out in a press release. The videos will remain available at the same links for the announcement of the Trotter, Pacer and Harness Horse of the Year awards on Monday (Dec. 19) at noon. According to USHWA, Monday's Trotter, Pacer and Harness Horse of the Year awards announcements will be streamed live starting at noon on the Facebook pages of USHWA, Hoosier Park and the Harness Racing FanZone hosted by Emily Gaskin, Hoosier's race marketing manager and the winner of USHWA's 2014 Breakthrough Award. Ken Weingartner

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