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Pompano Beach, FL…February 13, 2018…Harness racing driver Tom Eichas has been named Florida Amateur Driving Club’s Driver of the Year. In making the announcement, F.A.D.C. President Dein Spriggs noted Eichas’ overall contributions on the club’s behalf along with his U.D.R.S. of .444 during the 2016-2017 season. “Tom has been our Secretary-Treasurer for the past six years and has made remarkable contributions in the promotion of our sport and its contributions to worthy charitable organizations and society, in general. “He has also demonstrated his prowess in the sulky with his skill enabling that lofty .444 batting average.” Eichas is no stranger to harness racing, having purchased his first horse back in 1978. He has been a member of the Florida Amateur Driving Club since its inception in 1998 and is part of that organization that has donated their driving fees totaling over $180,000 to charity. Upon learning of his award, Eichas humbly remarked, “We, meaning our entire club, don’t do this for the recognition. We do it because we believe that this is what our sport can do for society. Of course, I am appreciative of the award and am gratified, but this will only provide me with more incentive to work on behalf of this great sport.” Eichas will receive his award at the upcoming FSBOA Awards ceremonies on Sunday, February 18. by John Berry for the Florida Amateur Driving Club

BIBLE HILL, N.S. – Chantel Gillis never expected to receive an award for doing something she’s enjoyed her entire life. But she recently received national recognition for being an outstanding harness racing groom. The 22-year-old Bible Hill resident was presented with the award during a ceremony in Toronto earlier this month. “I feel a lot of grooms deserve this award, so it was amazing to win,” she said. “It was a great experience, with a red carpet and everything beautifully done.” Gillis was unaware her sister, Christina, had nominated her. In January, she was informed she was one of the finalists, but she didn’t know she was the winner until it was announced at the event. “I felt fine until about 10 minutes before the award and then I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh, it’s happening!’” she recalled. It was her first time at the O’Brien awards and she was thrilled to both receive an award and have the chance to meet so many people from other parts of the country involved in harness racing. The trip also gave her a chance to visit her sister, who lives in Toronto. Chantel grew up helping her parents, Arleen and Joe, in the barn and has always found it a comfortable place. “It’s a relaxing, fun and challenging environment,” she said. “I like doing everything around the barn and, somehow, some way, I’ll definitely always have a horse. Helping with the horses is what I enjoy.” Gillis is in her final year at Dal AC, studying toward a BSc in agricultural business, and enjoys stopping by the barn after class. On her days off she’s at the barn early, helping her boyfriend, Paul Langille, with the horses he trains. She is a part owner of two geldings, Rusty Riley and Neigh Monster, and has complete ownership of a mare called Maiden Heaven. She should soon have another horse of her own, as the mare is now in foal. Kyle Burton, the track photographer at Truro Raceway, was also recognized. He received an Outstanding Photography award. By Lynn Curwin Reprinted with permission of the Truro Daily News  

Dave Briggs swept the writing categories in the 2017 John Hervey Awards competition, capturing the feature division with a story written for Hoof Beats magazine and the news/commentary division with a story written for Harness Racing Update, the U.S. Harness Writers Association announced Monday. In addition, the U.S. Trotting Association's ustrotting.com was selected the winner of the Hervey Awards for excellence in harness racing broadcasting and Chris Gooden and Jacob Cohen were named the winners in the George Smallsreed Awards for excellence in harness racing photography. The winners will be recognized at the Dan Patch Awards banquet Feb. 25 in Orlando. Meadowlands Racetrack Chairman Jeffrey Gural is continuing his longstanding sponsorship of the Hervey and Smallsreed awards by providing banquet tickets for the winners. Briggs won in the feature writing category for his story on John Campbell's retirement, "End of an Era," which appeared in the October issue of Hoof Beats. Click here to read the story. He won in the news/commentary category for his story, "What the heck happened in the Hambletonian," which appeared in the Aug. 12 issue of Harness Racing Update. Click here to read the story. With the two wins, Briggs extended his record for Hervey honors to 11. Honorable mentions in the feature category went to Steve Montemarano and Rich Fisher. Montemarano was recognized for his story on trainer Dan Ater and his battle with cancer, "Picture of Courage," which appeared in the November issue of Hoof Beats. Fisher was recognized for his story on driver Mike Lachance's retirement days, "Out of the Spotlight," which appeared in the August issue of Hoof Beats. Honorable mentions in the news/commentary category went to Gordon Waterstone and Darryl Kaplan. Waterstone was recognized for his story on the Hambletonian, "Swedish Surprise," which appeared in the Aug. 16 issue of The Horseman And Fair World magazine. Kaplan was recognized for three segments of his series, "On the Road: Horse Racing 250," that was published on the Standardbred Canada website between June 30 and July 2. The writing categories were judged by a panel consisting of former Philadelphia Inquirer Sports Editor John Quinn, BloodHorse Racing Editor Alicia Wincze Hughes, and Associated Press racing writer Mike Farrell. In the broadcast division, ustrotting.com was honored for its coverage of John Campbell's retirement. The video was produced by Rich Johnston and the reporters were T.J. Burkett, Allison Conte, and Dave Briggs. Click here to watch the video. Honorable mention went to CBS Sports Network's coverage of the Sam McKee Memorial, with a tribute to McKee, produced by Oz Colon. The segment was co-produced by Peter Lasser. The broadcast category was judged by multiple Emmy Award and Hervey Award-winning producer Bruce Casella, who has covered Standardbred and Thoroughbred racing throughout his career. In the Smallsreed competition, Gooden won in the race action category for his photograph "Shadow Racing," which appeared in the December issue of Hoof Beats. Cohen won in the feature category for his sunset photograph of a horse on the track at Woodbine Racetrack that appeared on the Woodbine Facebook page on Oct. 19. Honorable mention in the race action category went to Clive Cohen for his photograph "Fog," which appeared on the Woodbine Facebook and Instagram pages. Honorable mention in the feature division went to Michael Burns for his photograph "Into the Sun," which appeared on the Woodbine website. 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. For more information about the Dan Patch Awards banquet, visit www.ushwa.org. From the U.S. Harness Writers Association  

Pompano Beach, FL...December 29, 2017...Winyard Hanaover, driven by Wally Hennessey for trainer Mike Deters, set the world record for a five-eighths mile dash on a five-eighths mile track by scorching the South Florida harness racing oval Pompano Park in 1:08. The seven year-old gelded son of Cam’s Card Shark, leaving from the track’s coveted five post, sizzled panels of :27 and :54.3 before a 13.2 final eighth mile sealed the victory and the world record.  Winyard won by a comfortable 2 3/4 lengths over Sucrose Hanover, driven by John MacDonald, with Rebel Jet and Fern Paquet, Jr. teaming up for third. Mach Power and Kirktons Credit were next in the speedy sextet. At the outset, Winyard Hanover left from his “center-of-the-track” post to take charge heading into the initial turn and hardly had time to take a breath as he widened his margin throughout the journey. Said pilot Wally Hennessey after the race, “he was sizzling all the way tonight. It’s kind of advantageous leaving from a the center of the track in a situation like that where there’s not a heck of a lot of distance to the first turn.  “I though, ‘it’s now or never in a sprint like, so I sent him. I know he’s done that before in a mile race, so I wasn’t at all concerned about sending him hard. He’s a very good horse and can handle it. “To tell you the truth, I thought he was going more at the end of the mile.”  Winyard Hanover eclipsed the former record of 1:08.1 by Anais Kicker at The Meadows back in 2009 with Dave Palone in the bike. Owned by trainer Deters along with Joel Warner, Winyard Hanover won for the ninth time this semester in 32 starts to complete his 2017 campaign with earnings of $42,831. Lifetime, Winyard Hanover has banked $217,125 to go along with his Pompano Park mark of 1:51 set earlier this year. As the 4 to 5 tote-board favorite, Winyard Hanover paid $3.80 to win Racing continues on Saturday night with the Super Hi-5 jackpot carryover standing at $32,011.59. Post time is 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park

TORONTO, December 26, 2017 - The 2017 Woodbine Standardbred racing season wrapped up Tuesday afternoon with a special 12-race harness racing matinee card. The finals of the Valedictory and Niagara Series highlighted the final card of 2017. An 18-day break between starts was no issue for Jazzy Image in the $34,400 Niagara Series final. The Aaron Lambert trained three-year-old pacing filly got away mid-pack with driver Trevor Henry and came first up in the third-quarter to pull to within a length turning for home. In the stretch, Jazzy Image was able to out duel the leader Cloud Diva to win by a length in 1:54.4. Purchased privately in November by Trent Stohler Stable Inc, Jazzy Image shipped up to Woodbine and captured an opening leg division of the Niagara on December 8, but did not compete in the second round on December 15. The daughter of Rockin Image is now five for 31 this season with $63,285 earned. Jazzy Image paid $7 to win. Sophomore pacing fillies, who were non-winners of $60,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2017, were eligible to the Niagara. Tony O'Sullivan trainee Windsun Gotham, who won a first leg division, braved the elements and came first up to win the $34,000 Valedictory final in 1:54.1. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Windsun Gotham got away mid-pack and waited patiently while things shook out up front. The O'Sullivan trainee was moved first up at the half and grinded up to the wheel of leader Brave World at three-quarters. In the stretch, Windsun Gotham powered to the lead and was able to hold off an inside charging Homey Joe to win by a neck. Better B Rolling, who was going for a series sweep, got a second-over trip and finished third. Owned by Thomas Pollack and O'Sullivan Racing Inc, Windsun Gotham is now six for 19 in 2017 after making just one start as a two-year-old. The gelded son of American Ideal pushed his career earnings to $78,122 with Tuesday's score. The O'Sullivan trainee paid $12.20 to win. Sophomore pacing colts and geldings, who were non-winners of $60,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2017, were eligible to the Valedictory. There was no drama on the final day when it came to the driver, trainer and owner titles for the season. Doug McNair, 27, captured his first Woodbine Entertainment driving title by leading all reinsmen in victories during 2017. The Guelph, Ontario resident finished the season with 294 wins, $5.5 million in earnings and was the top driver during the Woodbine Winter meet and Mohawk Summer meet. Louis Philippe Roy finished second in the driver standings with 275 wins. For the third consecutive season, Richard Moreau was the leading conditioner in 2017 at Woodbine and Mohawk. The Puslinch, Ontario resident won 167 races and sent out the winners of over $2.9 million this season on the Woodbine Circuit. Carmen Auciello finished second in the trainer standings with 91 wins. McNair and Moreau teamed up to win three-races on Tuesday's card. Brad Grant led all owners in victories for the second consecutive season. The Milton, Ontario resident had 60 victories during 2017 at Woodbine and Mohawk, many of which he teamed up with McNair and Moreau. Grant also led all owners in earnings, as his horses banked over $1.2 million in 2017. Grant, McNair and Moreau were recognized for their exceptional campaigns with a special presentation during Tuesday afternoon's card. Also on Tuesday, trainer Isaac Waxman picked up his 500th career victory in the afternoon's fourth-race with claiming pacer Prince Giovanni. Waxman entered the afternoon just two wins shy of the milestone and picked up a victory early in the day at Western Fair before scoring his 500th at Woodbine. Live Standardbred racing at Woodbine is now on a 10-day break. The Standardbreds will get back to action for their first card of 2018 on Saturday, January 6. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment          

Harrisburg PA -- With voting currently underway for the top harness racing horse and human performers of 2017, there has been one major change made to the format of the announcements of this year's winners by the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA). The process this year will have the pacer, trotter and horse of the year announced at the conclusion of the Dan Patch Awards Banquet that will be held at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Florida on Sunday. February 25. There will be no advance release of these three winners. On Thursday (Dec. 21) at 12 noon, USHWA will announce all the divisional winners for both genders and gaits via a Facebook Live stream hosted by Emily Gaskin and available for viewing on both the USHWA and Hoosier Park Facebook pages. A general press release will then be sent to all e-outlets following that broadcast. All human category winners will be announced via press release the week after Christmas starting on Tuesday (Dec. 26) and running through Friday (Dec. 29). USHWA member voting for all categories closes on Wednesday (Dec. 20) at 9 a.m. Follow all the news and announcements at www.ushwa.org . The live stream of the divisional announcements can be viewed at www.facebook.com/USHarnessWriters/ or www.facebook.com/HoosierParkCasino/ .  

It was unanimous. The USHWA National Amateur Driver of the Year Award Committee has named "Yankee Joe" Lee the National Amateur Driver of the Year for 2017. The ever- improving 38-year-old Bronxville, NY native is enjoying his best season in the harness racing sulky while being a member of multiple amateur organizations. When contacted, Lee was at Yankee Stadium where he is the New York Yankee's assistant equipment manager, thus the moniker "Yankee Joe." When told of his recent accolade, Lee paused a moment and then said: "I'm greatly honored and I'm humbled by the award. This is only my third full season of amateur driving and I love it. And I'm especially grateful for the confidence that the owners and trainers have shown in my abilities" Lee could be considered a true amateur in that he owns no racing stock nor does he have any specific trainer to drive for exclusively (save Bruce Aldrich, Sr. at Monticello Raceway) and has taken the reins from at least 15 different trainers this year alone. This National Award comes on the heels of the local Amateur Driver of the Year Award from the Monticello-Goshen Chapter USHWA ,which, by the way, pioneered showcasing the talents of amateur drivers back in the 1980's. Currently Lee has a career best 15 driving victories to go along with 11 seconds and 10 thirds. Arguably the most prolific was the triumph in the 1-1/4-mile $25,000 CKG Billings Gold Cup Final at Yonkers Raceway with Dizzy Rizzy on November 26. However, it didn't come easy. And Lee recalls that triumph vividly. "We had tough trip that that night but we got the job done. I tried leaving but Steve Oldford , with Gonna Fly, was giving Paul Minore and Wygant Prince a tough time. I then tried to slip down along the pylons to no avail but got lucky when Bob Krivelin's horse made a break. "Sitting third I thought I had a good spot. Then Oldford pulled the pocket with over a half mile to go so I got to slip into the two hole. At the top of the stretch I rolled out of the pocket grunted at her (Dizzy Lizzy) a little and she scampered past the leader and got there in time. I was real honored to win the Billings Gold Cup for her connections." However, Lee's fastest victory this year was a 1:54.3 triumph with Soul Train at the Meadowlands on September 8th for trainer Al Annuziatta. Not bad for a kid who began with show jumpers. "Once I jogged a (harness) horse I never had anything more to do with jumpers," he said. Lee credits his friend Buzzy Sholty as his mentor. " I love the sport and once this game gets into your blood it consumes you. And the more involved you become the more dedicated you are to the sport of harness driving." Lee alleges. Says competitor and two time National Amateur Driver of the Year, Dein Spriggs: "Joe Lee demonstrates what I feel is required to receive the 2017 National Amateur Driver of the year Award" "He's a strategic driver using tactics and not losing composure during a race while readjusting strategies during the race to overcome his competition. He's of good character and moral standing besides being the 2017 Billings Gold Cup winner." Lee will receive his accolades at the National US Harness Writers Awards Banquet in Orlando, Florida during late February, 2018. by John Manzi for USHWA National Amateur Driver of the Year Award  

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2017 Caretaker of the Year. The award, in its third year of sponsorship by Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park (HRRNP) in conjunction with the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), recognizes the unsung heroes of the harness racing sport - the caretakers who maintain the health and welfare of the horses on a daily basis. Initially titled Groom of the Year Award when first presented in 1982, the honor was instituted as a result of a suggestion made by Delvin Miller at the annual Harness Tracks of America meeting when he received HTA's Stanley F. Bergstein Messenger Award. Previously sponsored annually by HTA and Hanover Shoe Farms, the tradition lapsed in 2014 but was re-established in 2015 by HRRNP and USHWA. The HRRNP Caretaker of the Year will receive a cash prize of $500, a trophy, and transportation costs to the USHWA Dan Patch Awards banquet in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday evening, Feb. 25, 2018, where he or she will be recognized. The winner will also enjoy a two-night stay at Rosen Shingle Creek, host hotel for the USHWA activities, as well as two complimentary dinner tickets. "It is so important that we recognize the people who are hands-on everyday with all our great horses because they are the ones the animals most closely relate to and are responsible for the care that keeps them sound and competitive week to week," said Tim Bojarski, president of USHWA. "I along with all the members of USHWA could not be more proud to co-sponsor this award and take the time to appreciate and thank not only the winner, but all the nominees as well." Any caretaker working for any stable in North America is eligible. All that is need to nominate is a letter or email, 200 words minimum, from an individual or group detailing the skills and special qualities of the caretaker. The winner will be chosen by a seven-person selection committee comprised of USHWA members, all of whom are former caretakers: Tim Bojarski (chair), Tom Charters, Moira Fanning, Dean Hoffman, Rob Pennington, Kim Rinker and Shawn Wiles. All nomination letters and emails must be received and/or postmarked by Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, and sent to chairman Bojarski at a159star@gmail.com or mailed to Tim Bojarski, 7523 Maple Road, Akron, N.Y. 14001. From the U.S. Harness Writers Association

TORONTO, November 14 - Carmen Auciello has been racking up victories and making an impact on the Woodbine harness racing trainer standings for many seasons and Friday night at the Toronto oval he reached a career milestone. Four-year-old pacing mare SodwanaBay captured the evening's sixth-race to give Auciello 1,000 career training victories. The 37-year-old trainer from Stouffville, Ontario came into the night just a win shy of the milestone. Driver Jonathan Drury steered Sodwana Bay to the victory to give Auciello the milestone victory. Auciello recorded his first-training victory in 2005 and has gone on to send out the winners of over $14 million. He is currently in the midst of his sixth-consecutive 100-plus win and $1 million season. A special presentation from Woodbine Entertainment was made to Auciello following Sodwana Bay's sixth-race victory. Friday evening's card also featured one of the top pacing mares in the sport competing. It may comes as a surprise, but L A Delight, a winner of over $1.5 million, was winless this season coming into Friday's action at Woodbine. The losing streak came to end Friday, as the Bob McIntosh trained four-year-old pacing mare scored a decisive six and a half length victory in a $25,000 overnight event. A champion at both two and three, L A Delight has been dealing with the typical struggles any four-year-old will face when moving up to face the top older horses. Despite not getting into the winner's circle until Friday, the daughter of Camluck had been holding her own in her division's biggest races, including posting a runner-up finish in September's Milton Stakes. Trainer McIntosh handed the lines to driver Trevor Henry for the first-time Friday and L A Delight was blasted to the front by her new reinsman. The four-year-old cut out fractions of :26.2, :56 and 1:23.3, before kicking home in :27.3 for the 1:51.1 victory. Friday's start was the 13th outing of the season for L A Delight and her 21st victory overall for owners Robert McIntosh Stables Inc, C S X Stables and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. L A Delight has now banked $101,400 this season to bring her career earnings to $1,593,633. The McIntosh trainee paid $2.80 to win. Live racing resumes Saturday night at Woodbine. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

Members of the St. Catharines Sports Wall of Fame’s 27th induction class had all bases covered, except the one that uses bases. No, that was touched on, too. Before going on to be enshrined in five and, now, six sports halls of fame, Diane Hilko played softball in Manitoba as well as in her native St. Catharines. Baseball was very much on Mark Johnston’s mind when he was 13 and had to make the difficult decision of one sport on which to focus his attention. Broad shouldered, Johnston could blaze a fastball across the plate but those same shoulders gave him a swimmer’s build. He took the plunge. To say the least, 14 national champions, a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games, two bronze medals at the world swimming championships and advancing to the final at the 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympics proved that baseball’s loss was swimming’s gain. Johnston, 38, pointed out he was never alone in the pool. He was always supported by family, friends, teammates and coaches. “Swimming is definitely a team sport,” said the Denis Morris Catholic High School Hall of Famer who now lives in Vancouver. “You can’t achieve anything in life without a support group.” He said one of his proudest memories was competing along with his brother at the Ontario Summer Games when the swimming events were held at Brock University. “That’s a moment I will always remember.” Dave Gorman also took swings at the plate, tearing around the bases for the Grantham Optimists while playing in the Ontario Hockey League with the St. Catharines Blackhawks. Veteran St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley, one of the speakers at Thursday night’s induction ceremony at Meridian Centre, recalled being the Optimists’ first base coach at the time. He would hold up his hand signalling Gorman to stop, but the fleet-footed Gorman always kept going and going. “When he got a hit out of the infield, he would be on second base,” Bradley said. Gorman kept going and going in hockey, too. After leading OHL right wingers in scoring with 53 goals and 76 assists with the Blackhawks in 1973-74, Gorman went on to play six seasons in the World Hockey Association and briefly with the then Atlanta Flames in the National Hockey League. Tim Twaddle was part of an entirely different team when he, like Gorman, made a living competing in sports. Twaddle, now 55 and living in Canonsburg, Pa., southwest of Pittsburgh, began gravitating toward the former Garden City Raceway. “I did whatever I could do to be around a horse,” said Twaddle, who since suffering nerve damage in his hand has trained trotters. Because Thursday was Thanksgiving in the U.S., Twaddle, at times choking back tears, touched on everything he was thankful for in his remarks, such as the support of family and friends. “No. 1, I’m thankful there was a racetrack in this town called Garden City Raceway,” he said. “The highs were extremely high, but there were a lot of lows, too. “I would hit the ground a lot of times, and I didn’t bounce very good. “I’m grateful for the Niagara Rehab Centre. I’m sure they don’t remember me, but I remember all of them very well.” Now 58 and still very much involved in sports coaching boys basketball in Calgary, where she teaches high school, Hilko was being inducted for her achievements in basketball and track. A two-time athlete of the year at the former Grantham High School and also Brock University, Hilko was a four-time conference all-star in basketball, when she wasn’t winning gold medals in discus. No one achievement stands out above the rest in a lifetime of competing and coaching. “I did so many things, and I loved everything I did that it’s hard to choose,” she said when asked if only one achievement could be on her plaque, what would it be.” She won a national championship in 2001 as an assistant coach with the University of Regina women’s basketball team. Gorman called getting to play professional hockey and representing Canada at the Spengler Cup in Switzerland was “living the dream.” In his case, seeds for that dream were planted when he was growing up in Oshawa watching Bobby Orr playing for the Generals. He also remembered seeing Bobby Hull taking part in a parade and getting the Golden Jet’s autograph afterwards. “That’s what I always imagined a hockey player would look like,” said Gorman, 62, who now lives in Niagara Falls. In his very first game with the Blackhawks, he played with future hall of famer Marcel Dionne. With the Birmingham, Ala., Bulls in the WHA, he played with another future hall of famer, Frank Mahovlich, and against Hull as well as the legendary Gordie Howe. Each member of the Class of 2017 made a name for himself or herself on the national and international stage, but St. Catharines MP Chris Bittle’s constituency aide, Zach Dadson, pointed out the roots all go back to St. Catharines. “Even our biggest national stars are hometown heroes somewhere,” he said bringing greetings from Bittle. St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik thanked the inductees for representing the community well as they competed in their respective sports. “You brought pride to our community through your sport,” he said. “Today’s honourees are part of who we are.” Hank Cielsa, who won a Memorial Cup with the St. Catharines Teepees in 1954 and played four years in the NHL, was inducted posthumously. Induction of the Class of 2017 brings to 168 the number of people enshrined since the St. Catharines Sports Wall of Fame was established in 1990. It was founded to recognize the accomplishments of athletes and builders who have either made a significant contribution to sports at the community level or who have gone on to enjoy success provincially, nationally as well as internationally. By Bernd Franke, Postmedia News Reprinted with permission of The St Catharines Standard

The 1st Annual Team Allard Yearling Giveaway is in the books, as they say! Rene Allard became the 2017 leading harness racing trainer in both wins and UTRS% at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and to celebrate, Team Allard gave away lots of free stuff! Dave Erickson was the lucky Grand Prize winner and he won 5% of a yearling with Team Allard. That’s right, no gimmicks, no purchase fees, no expenses or bills….His only hardship is to pick either My Sweet Memory (A Sweet Lou filly) or Bettor’s Account (A Bettor’s Delight Colt), the two yearlings selected to choose from. We won’t put any pressure on Dave just yet to select, as he probably will want to research their pedigrees, scan pictures, watch some of the replays of their sires winning Grand Circuit races and setting world records! There were also 8 Consolation prizes offered up to anyone who signed up, including a set of Tim Tetrick Racing colors; New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Gift Bag; Team Allard custom winter jacket; Brian Sears Hall of Fame Memorabilia, and much more!  All winner’s names will be available at TeamAllard.com. The bottom line is that Dave Erickson has never owned a horse...and now he does. He lives in Niagara Falls, and is within driving distance to a lot of racetracks. It’s never too late to get involved in harness racing and now Dave has a reason to bring all of his friends and family to the racetrack and learn all about the sport! In an interview after accepting his award, Rene was excited about the Yearling Giveaway, and looking forward to doing it again next year.  “It gives everybody a chance to get part of it, and we like to give back to the sport we love,” he said.  About his 2017 Leading Trainer award, he was equally emotional, accepting with his parents and brother, Simon Allard at his side, along with members of Team Allard.  “Growing up, I dreamed about racing horses, never mind getting those kind of trophies.”.  He praised his team, saying it is much more than Rene Allard contributing to his award. The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono closes out their 2017 season on Saturday, November 25th.  The Breeders Crown returns October, 2018.   Jennifer Starr with Team Allard

Elkton, MD -- Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by BetAmerica is excited to announce that the nominations for the 2017 Post Time with Mike and Mike harness racing awards are now open.   Listeners can access the nomination form on the Post Time Awards mini-site here. The site will give an explanation of the criteria for each award.   Nominations will be taken for the following categories: USTA Innovator of the Year, Ted Barcus Race Fan of the Year, Larry Rheinheimer Small Stable of the Year, Sam McKee Race Call of the Year, Horsewomen of the Year, Foiled Again Iron Horse of the Year, Upset of the Year. Nominations will be open until Noon on Wednesday, December 6, 2017.   Voting for the awards will begin at Noon on Thursday, December 7, 2017 and run until noon on Wednesday, December 27, 2017.   Advertising opportunities are available for the awards show by contacting Post Time via mike@posttimewithmikeandmike.com.   Listeners can hear the program each Thursday morning at 10:30 AM via their website, www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com or on the archive at wwww.betamerica.com/BARN.   By Michael Carter for Post Time with Mike and Mike

Prominent owners Adam, Ben and Terry Cormack were big winners at the 2016/2017 Harness Racing South Australia awards day on Sunday. Three-year-old trotter Rocknroll Baby, squaregaiter Al Bundy and quality mare Just Rockon Bye collected awards. The Cormacks have developed an impressive property outside Two Wells with Greg Norman as their stable trainer. Gallifrey Mystique, trained by Jake Webster and Aaron Bain, was named the Leading State Horse for most wins, but the trainer revealed the mare had finally succumbed to injury leading up to the awards day and had been retired. The mare had leg issues when she arrived in South Australia, but the trainers were able to get her to the racetrack where she proved a star winning 12 races during the season. All the award winners were: Horse of the Year: Emain Macha 2YO pacer (filly): Renesmae 2YO pacer (colt/gelding): Bulletproof Boy 3YO pacer (filly): Crystal Sparkles NZ 3YO pacer (entire/gelding): Emain Macha 4YO+ pacer (mare): Just Rockon Bye NZ 4YO+ pacer (entire/gelding): Tie; Bettor Party & Whenmechief 2YO trotter: Muscle Hillbilly 3YO trotter: Rocknroll Baby 4YO+trotter (mare): Im Princess Sophie 4YO+trotter (entire/gelding): Al Bundy NZ Leading State Horse: Gallifrey Mystique Leading Claiming Horse: My Man Dan NZ Leading State Driver: Danielle Hill Leading Young Driver: Jayden Brewin Leading Concession Driver: Jayden Brewin Leading State Trainer: Ryan Hryhorec SA Young/Concession Drivers Series Winner: Bradley O’Keeffe  Chairman’s Award: Claire Goble Jim Hurley Award winner:  Ryan Hryhorec The Broodmare of the year for 2016/17 is Aratusa Lass.   Media Awards: Literary: Graham Fischer – Wayne Hill’s greatest night in harness racing’ Photography: Joint Winners: Graham Fischer – ‘When is it my time? Horses watching Ryan Hryhorec work Live For Peace around his track at Two Wells’ and Jodie Hallows – ‘Son Breaks Dad’s SA Cup Record’ Television/Video/Film - Best feature ‘to air’. Dean Baring 'Sales Day Video Interview with HRSA Chairman Chris Hartwig'    SARA (SA Reinswomen Association) State Trainer and Driver: Dani Hill 2nd state trainer: Jill Neilson 3rd state trainer: Leah Harvey 2nd state driver: Lisa Ryan 3rd state driver: Kaela Hryhorec   Square Trotters Association Trotter of the Year – Liava 2yo Trotter of the Year – Muscle Hillbilly 3yo Trotter of the Year – Rocknroll Baby Trainer and Driver of the Year – Ryan Hryhorec   SABOTRA Breeder: Viv Clark Owner: A B & T Cormack Trainer: Les Harding Driver: Wayne Hill Industry Participant: Sam & Pauline Spirou  Life membership: Naomi Shelbourn   ​SAHRC Horse with the most number of wins at Globe Derby: Gallifrey Mystique Graham Fischer

The fairytale success story of harness racing pacer Emain Macha reached a new peak on Sunday when he was named South Australia’s Horse Of The Year for 2016/2017. Emain Macha had an illness-shortened three-year-old season, but still managed to score seven wins from nine starts to take out the award. Among the gelding’s wins were the Graham Head Memorial at Shepparton, the Victoria Sires Classic at Melton and the Mildura Guineas. Emain Macha is trained at Naracoorte in the South-East by Greg Scholefield who is a part-owner along with Peter Lamond, Gail Davis and father and son John and Sean Penny. For the Pennys, Emain Macha’s successes are quite emotional as both had the misfortunes to lose their wives several years ago, and harness racing is a release, but both are sad their partners cannot be around to enjoy the success. Mr Penny said he was shocked by the Horse Of The Year award. “I went along Sunday believing he had a chance of winning the three-year-old pacers colts and gelding award (which he did win), but never did I consider he would take out the overall award,” Mr Penny said. “He has taken us on a fabulous ride and we were very disappointed when Greg (Scholefield) said he had contracted a virus and would miss the Southern Cross.” Emain Macha became ill after his last win in the Mildura Guineas on April 7 and Mr Penny said there were fears the gelding could pass away. “He was really sick, and Greg sought advice from a few different sources and eventually an equestrian vet gave a suggestion which put the horse on the road to recovery. “Emain Macha is back in work now and we hope to have him back on the track in December. Greg has tentatively looked at races at Bendigo and Melton to start him off again. “I can’t give enough credit to Greg, to our family, he is a champion trainer. “His property is spotless, and the horses want for nothing. If they have the ability, he will get it out of them.” Graham Fischer

An emotional harness racing trainer/driver Ryan Hryhorec was overwhelmed by the announcement he had won the Jim Hurley Medal for 2016/2017. A strong family man, Hryhorec’s first thought was for his father Jon who passed away about 12 months ago aged 71, after a two-year battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. “I would love to be able to show the Medal to Dad,” Hryhorec said, “I’m sure he would be so proud. “He was such a strong influence on my life and I owe him so much.” The Jim Hurley Medal, was introduced by Harness Racing South Australia for a trainer or driver who performed consistently at a high level throughout the racing season. Hryhorec said he had not given a thought to winning the Hurley Medal. “To be honest I wasn’t going to attend the awards day because things were very busy at home. However, Dave Battye had a talk with me about the importance of industry participants supporting awards presentations, and I agreed, and so we came along. “This is an amazing honour. “I knew of Jim Hurley as a trainer and driver when I was a kid and by the time I was starting my career he had scaled right down but everyone talked of him in legendary terms.” The medal is named after Jim Hurley who was an accomplished trainer, driver and owner for more than 50 years and a legend of harness racing. He was still training at age 90 until his passing in March, 2016. With more than 1000 winners, the 1964 Inter Dominion winner Minuteman was his greatest highlight as an owner. Hryhorec had a very successful 2016/2017 season winning the SA Trainers premiership with 72 winners and finishing second on the SA Drivers premiership with 129 winners. He paid tribute to Victorian owner Paul Brumby. “Paul has been a massive supporter of mine since I took up training and I can honestly say if it wasn’t for him and his group of friends I would not have been able to set myself up as I have.” The Hurley medal was decided by votes cast at each meeting. Voting is conducted on all SA harness racing TAB meetings by a panel of three who have been selected by Harness Racing South Australia. Each panel member allocates points based on what they consider to be the three best training or driving performances at each meeting, not necessarily winning performances. Graham Fischer

Grand Circuit winner Bling It On was crowned New South Wales Horse of the Year at tonight's Arthur J. Gallagher Harness Racing NSW Awards Night at the Hilton Sydney. Having received 100 per cent of the votes to be given this prestigious honour, Bling It On had a stellar 2016/17 season winning the A.G. Hunter Cup, the Group 2 Smoken Up Sprint, a Group 2 Inter Dominion Heat and a fast-finishing fourth in the Inter Dominion Final. The positive news revealed when driver Luke McCarthy accepted the award was that Bling It On's rehabilitation progress has been successful following his potentially career-ending race-fall at Albion Park in June 2017. After standing a season at stud following the incident, the seven-year-old is set for a racetrack return. Harness Racing New South Wales would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of tonight's award winners and nominees. Please see full list of awards below that were presented in front of the large crowd, hosted by the legendary John Tapp, at tonight's function. HORSE OF THE YEAR AWARDS Arthur J. Gallagher NSW Horse of the Year: Bling It On Club Menangle NSW Two-Year-Old of the Year: Castalong Shadow Club Menangle NSW Two-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pacer of the Year: Castalong Shadow Club Menangle NSW Two-Year-Old Filly Pacer of the Year: My Sweetchilliphilly IntelliTek NSW Two-Year-Old Trotter of the Year: Viksun Cockburn & Co NSW Three-Year-Old of the Year: Don't Think Twice Cockburn & Co NSW Three-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pacer of the Year: Atomic Red Cockburn & Co NSW Three-Year-Old Filly Pacer of the Year: Don't Think Twice Albury HRC NSW 3YO Trotter of the Year: Pegasus Elegance KS Black & Co NSW Aged Horse of the Year: Bling It On KS Black & Co NSW Aged Entire/Gelding Pacer of the Year: Bling It On KS Black & Co NSW Aged Mare Pacer of the Year: Cyclone Kate Bulli HRC NSW Aged Trotter of the Year: On Thunder Road TRAINER AND DRIVER AWARDS TAB Kevin Newman Award For Driving Excellence: Darren Hancock Daily Form Service Junior Driver Encouragement Award (Country): Brad Elder Lexus of Parramatta Junior Driver Encouragement Award (Metro): Ellen Rixon Garrards Horse & Hound NSW Leading Hobbyist Driver: David Druitt Garrards Horse & Hound NSW Leading Hobbyist Trainer: Matt Schembri Garrards Horse & Hound NSW Leading Trotting Trainer and Driver: Blake Fitzpatrick Garrards Horse & Hound NSW Champion Junior Driver: Chris Geary Garrards Horse & Hound NSW Champion Driver: Amanda Turnbull Garrards Horse & Hound NSW Champion Trainer: Steve Turnbull Lexus of Parramatta Club Menangle First Lady: Lauren Tritton Lexus of Parramatta Club Menangle Metropolitan Driver: Todd McCarthy Lexus of Parramatta Club Menangle Metropolitan Trainer: John McCarthy BREEDING AWARDS Bankstown HRC NSW Broodmare of the Year: Miss Brazillian Wagga HRC NSW Sire of the Year: Million Dollar Cam Stablecraft Outstanding Service to the Breeding Industry: the Carmody Family DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARDS HRNSW Don Clough Award: Wayne Smith HRNSW Industry Contribution Award: John Crittenden HRNSW Club Volunteer Awards: Helen Leonard (Bankstown HRC), Geoff Cole (Western Districts and Parkes HRC), Ian Warren (Bathurst HRC), Jon Watts (Inverell HRC), Linda Taylor (Eugowra HRC), Bill Taylor (Eugowra HRC), Ronald Jones (Eugowra HRC) and Maree Brown (Hawkesbury Trainers Association) TABCORP CLUB AWARDS Best Community Engagement Club: Maitland HRC Best Fraternity Engagement Club: Bathurst HRC Best New Innovation Club (Promotion/Marketing): Orange HRC Best Club with a feature race to a maximum of $50,000: Leeton HRC Best Club with a feature race to a maximum of $25,000: Orange HRC Best Club with a feature to race to a maximum of $14,000: Temora HRC Best Club with a feature to a maximum of $12,000: Cootamundra HRC AMANDA RANDO

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