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Premier Turf Club, a betting provider for both Standardbred and Thoroughbred racing proudly proclaims it is racing's 'Best Kept Secret' as part of its logo. Is it? It does seem that way as Premier Turf Club focuses more on customer service compared to off-shore betting sites, where their only focus is their bottom line. Premier Turf Club is an Oregon based pari-mutuel wagering provider operated and regulated in the state of Oregon by the Oregon Racing Commission. Rich Nilsen, the Director of Player Services, took time to break down why Premier Turf Club offers more to customers compared to faceless betting sites located, well, who knows where. "The vision was to create an account wagering service that benefited the players who supported the industry." Rich explains, "The idea was to give the players back real cash on their wagers, which would lead to more wagering and help keep players solvent. Unlike other sites at the time, we would not charge wagering fees or nickel-and-dime our players to death." Rich adds, "We also wanted to provide a customized and personal experience for the players. In general, horseplayers don't want bells and whistles. They want a solid, streamlined wagering platform that they can rely on." Unlike other sites, customers can genuinely get to know who operates Premier Turf Club. Rich joined the BetPTC group in 2011 and Rich is a graduate from the University of Louisville Equine Business Program. "I started a racing stable which I managed for 10 years." Rich explains, "I have been handicapping for about 30 years and am a regular on the tournament scene. I was introduced to the harness races as a youngster on Long Island and attended the old Roosevelt Raceway. But my love and expertise is in Thoroughbred racing." Knowing Rich has roots as a fan in horse racing, better allows Premier Turf Club to empathize with their customers when it comes to stringent measures put in place by the IRS. "When a customer places a wager with BetPTC from the comfort of their home or on the road, it's no different than wagering at their local track or OTB. All the wagers go directly into the pools and support the Thoroughbred, Greyhound and Standardbred racing industries." Rich says. "We are certainly hopefully that legislation in Washington will change regarding how 'winnings' are viewed by the IRS. It's ludicrous that a player has to report the cashing of a $605 ticket, for example, without taking into account what it cost to place that wager." BetPTC strives to reward their customers immediately, allowing customers to cash in their rewards almost instantly which are very unique. "BetPTC has actually been a pioneer in innovative horse racing applications and services" Rich notes. "We were the first site to offer conditional wagering, where a player could set minimum odds requirements for their bets." Rich adds, "We are now the first and only company to offer same-day instant cash rewards. Minutes after a race or wager is declared official, the rewards are immediately placed in the players' accounts. There are no points to figure out and no waiting." Premier Turf Club is always looking to expand and broaden what customers can access. Such as adding NYRA, Woodbine/Mohawk (Canada's elite tracks), as well as racing from Japan and Australia. "BetPTC also has one of the most experienced simulcast directors in the industry, Kay Webb, who negotiates with the racetracks and works to obtain new signals." Rich states. With the legislation the way it is right now, Premier Turf Club can only offer service to select customers in certain states. However, BetPTC General Manager Todd Bowker is continuously looking to expand coverage. Rich wants customers to know they are the #1 priority at all times. "We treat customers like the real people they are." Rich confirms. "BetPTC is a small company and we have one-on-one personal relationships with our client base. As a result we have one of the highest retention rates in the account wagering business. Secondly, we provide our players with the best cash-back rewards in the industry, based on their level of play." "We invite anyone who is new to 'Racing's Best Kept Secret' to come try out BetPTC.com this summer. We recently upped our new member bonus to $150, so it's a great time to join and experience the difference." by Roderick Balgobin, for Harnesslink.com

Goshen, NY --- Roosevelt Raceway, the most important harness racetrack and entertainment venue in New York between 1940 and 1988, is the subject of a new photographic essay and exhibit by the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame. The exhibit “Remember Roosevelt!” is now open in the Museum’s main gallery and the book, Roosevelt Raceway, the Legacy & the Dream, Where it All Began, is available through the Museum’s gift shop. Visit the Museum’s Goshen, N.Y., store or shop online at www.harnessmuseum.com.  Despite its proximity to the urban populace of New York City, Roosevelt Raceway, in Westbury, Long Island, struggled during its early years dominated by World War II with fuel rationing, blackout rules and small crowds. But late in the decade the track, which was established on the site of the defunct Vanderbilt Cup auto racing track, began to turn a profit. At war's end Roosevelt Raceway was positioned to reap the benefits of a large population ready to celebrate. Soon capacity crowds were taxing the limits of the old wooden grandstand, prompting the $20 million trotting palace created by the track’s founder, George Morton Levy, in 1957. Considered harness racing’s lost jewel, night racing, the mobile starting gate, air conditioning and closed-circuit television were all innovations showcased by the “Dream Track.” Nightly crowds of 20,000 and more were standard fare for Roosevelt through the 1960s but in the 1970s with the introduction of Off-Track Betting and competition from other entertainment sites, attendance began to dwindle. By 1980 attendance averaged only 9,000 fans a night. The final race over the iconic oval took place on June 15, 1988, won by Majestic Andrew, driven by Rejean Daigneault. Although some among the Westbury and harness racing communities foresaw the end of the Roosevelt era, with the value of the property the track occupied outstripping racing revenue, the closing of the track so many fans and horsemen called home came as a great shock and a source of disappointment that continues to be felt by those who were lucky enough to have been a part of the “Dream.” The hum that once emanated from Roosevelt’s enormous crowds, however, has not been lost. Thousands of photographs created by the raceway’s press office document the great racing, celebrity sightings, and excitement that drew so many to the track. Twenty-six filing drawers of these priceless images were rescued from the raceway prior to its final demolition in 2000 by the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame. With the aid of grant funding from the New York State Council on the Arts, supported by Governor Andrew Cuomo, and the generosity of individual donors to the Roosevelt Raceway Legacy Project, the meticulous work of preserving and documenting this photographic treasure trove is complete and the Museum has readied a beautiful exhibit and publication for everyone to enjoy. The closing of Roosevelt Raceway was a tremendous loss to the sport of harness racing; the loss of its history would have been devastating. The images published within this volume are just a small example of those preserved by the project. They bring to life the exuberant fans, elegant social events, superb racing and dynamic sporting drama that were the hallmarks of the track. Now, thanks to the dedicated support of the projects donors, Roosevelt Raceway will be remembered for generations to come at the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame. Visit the museum, just 60 miles north of New York City, at 240 Main Street in Goshen, N.Y. Open daily 10 a.m.-- 5 p.m., admission, thanks to the USTA, is without charge. Please call 845.294.6330 for more information or visitwww.harnessmuseum.com. From the Harness Racing Museum

Goshen, NY --- Owner-breeder William Weaver and driver David Miller, along with communicators John Pawlak and Carol Cramer, were the human guests of honor as 2014 inductees into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame at ceremonies on the Museum lawn in Goshen, N.Y., on Sunday (July 6). The annual induction dinner followed a full day of activities that included racing at the neighboring Historic Track, including the annual Hall of Fame race, the grand opening of the Roosevelt Raceway exhibit and a cocktail reception in the William R. Haughton Memorial Hall. he Meadows and Little Brown Jug track announcer Roger Huston, who served as emcee, called fellow Hall of Famer Bill O’Donnell to introduce the night’s first inductee. The former driver thanked Weaver for allowing him to drive Valley Victory and applauded him for his dedication to his horses. “Some of the old horses he raced, he still boards those horses and lets them live out their lives,” said O’Donnell. “He should be commended for that.” Weaver, who has enjoyed success with his Valley High Stable, said he didn’t expect this honor. “I’m humbled, happy and surprised to be here today,” said Weaver. “The last two years of my life, there have been some setbacks. I figured this was just someone throwing the screws in.” He thanked the Dancer and Duer families for training his horses over the years and acknowledged the big horse who got him to the Hall of Fame. “One of the main reasons that I’m here tonight is because I was the breeder of Valley Victory,” added Weaver. Huston’s superlative introduction of the next inductee highlighted a couple of his nicknames. “At the Meadowlands they call him Buckeye, but in Ohio he’s known as Purple Jesus,” said Huston before cueing the crowd to a resounding response of “Miller time” when he asked, “What time is it?” Miller can be a man of few words, but he was emotional as he talked about how important this honor is to him and the people who supported him along the way. “I think Roger said everything that I was going to say,” said Miller to open his acceptance speech. “I love horses and I love what I do. It’s more than I ever dreamed of.” He thanked his family for their support. “I definitely didn’t get here by myself,” added Miller. “I have the best family. I have to thank my wife Misty who does everything but drive the races.” The first communicator to be recognized spurred even greater emotion from everyone in attendance. John Pawlak, the USTA’s director of marketing known for his writing, broadcasting, announcing and editing of theTrotting and Pacing Guide, made his first industry, public appearance in a wheelchair since undergoing four surgeries for a brain tumor discovered last October. Well known for his humor, Pawlak used that talent to help his industry colleagues feel more at ease about his tribulations. “It was about the size of John Manzi’s head,” said Pawlak, referring to Monticello’s public relations man in describing his tumor. “The doctors told me it also had a moustache and toupee.” To conclude, Pawlak thanked many of the colleagues that he has assisted in his various roles at the USTA. “It is humbling and I have to thank all of the writers from USHWA for this honor,” said Pawlak. Former USTA employee Carol Cramer, known for her work as a long-time Grand Circuit steward and secretary as well as her involvement in the publishing of integral industry publications, especially the annual stakes guide, joined Pawlak in the Communicators Hall of Fame. “I love this industry with a passion,” said Cramer. “It was the joy of my life when I got to go work for the USTA and when I met Jim Harrison. We did the first Care and Training book.” She thanked the numerous race secretaries who attended to be a part of her induction. Also inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame on Sunday were broodmare Hattie, 2007 Horse of the Year Donato Hanover and 1991 Horse of the Year Precious Bunny. The horses Green Speed and Windsong's Legacy were inducted as Immortals of the Hall of Fame. by Dan Leary, for the USTA

Scott Woogen's path to sitting behind racehorses began on a New York City basketball court, in a scene reminiscent of a Damon Runyon tale. Woogen, who will have two horses he bred and owns competing in Landmark Stakes at Goshen Historic Track in New York on Friday and will be driving there in amateur races on Saturday, was introduced to harness racing as a teenager in the Bronx when he was offered a job selling handicapping sheets outside Yonkers Raceway. The offer came from a police officer who spotted Woogen and his friends playing basketball in the school yard. "I was probably the youngest and smallest kid, but fairly aggressive, and I told him I could do whatever he wanted," Woogen said. "His moonlighting job was printing his own handicap sheet called the Top Trotter. I sold them for 25 cents and also sold programs for 75 cents. I got $5 a night. "I started reading the programs and taking an occasional bus up there to Yonkers Raceway and watched the races. I really liked it. When I was old enough, I got working papers and worked a little bit in the stable area on the weekends. If I hadn't been playing basketball that day, I wouldn't know anything about horses. It was kind of a quirk of fate." That quirk of fate has led Woogen, who now is a gastroenterologist living in Virginia, around the world. He began driving in races, even winning a collegiate event held at Roosevelt Raceway while representing Columbia University as a sophomore. He gave up driving to pursue his medical career, but returned to the track 17 years ago to compete as an amateur, often in the Billings Series, where he is known as the "Driving Doctor." He has won 127 races as an amateur and competed in Germany, Finland, Italy, Spain, Russia, Estonia, and New Zealand. "It's been a really nice hobby," Woogen said. "It's been a lot of fun; I really enjoy it." On Friday, Woogen will send out KJ Brenda in the $11,547 Landmark Stakes for 3-year-old female trotters and K J Ben in the $12,520 Landmark Stakes for 2-year-old pacers. Both horses are trained by Gary Messenger. Last year, KJ Brenda - the "K J" is for Woogen's fiancée Kathy Jean and Brenda is Messenger's wife - finished second in the Kentucky Sire Stakes championship. She has won two of 10 career races, hit the board a total of eight times, and earned $80,821. "She came back this year and her first couple starts she bled and we had to put her on Lasix and she's been getting better," Woogen said. "We're excited about her chances to go down to Kentucky and get some of that sire stakes money." K J Ben, named in honor of Kathy Jean's first grandson, Benjamin, is making his debut after winning a qualifier at Ocean Downs in 2:00.1. "We're excited about his prospects," Woogen said. Jim Taggart Jr. is listed to drive KJ Brenda and Jason Bartlett is listed on K J Ben. So why doesn't Woogen drive those horses in the stakes? "There's a reason why I'm in the amateur races," Woogen said, laughing. "It's a lot of fun and I think I can hold my own against the amateurs, but it's a little tougher to drive against the professionals. I'll leave that up to the professionals. I'm just excited that we have some horses that might do a little bit of good this year." Friday's nine-race Landmark Stakes card is part of the Grand Circuit visit to Historic Track. Saturday features the New York Sire Stakes Excelsior Series and Billings Amateur Drivers Series. Sunday is Hall of Fame Day, which includes a race featuring drivers in the Harness Racing Hall of Fame along with 2014 inductee David Miller. Post time each day is 1 p.m. for the first race. Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

Erwin Grossman, a long time harness racing publicist in the New York metropolitan area, died Friday, June 20 at an assisted living facility in Boca Raton, FL after a long illness. He was 85. Grossman was a fixture for many years at Yonkers and Roosevelt Raceways covering Standardbred and Thoroughbred racing, handicapping horses for the New York Herald Tribune. He also traveled to numerous racetracks on the east coast to cover stakes races and special events. He reported on the grand openings at Liberty Bell Park, Monticello Raceway and Pompano Park. He attended Scioto Downs in its first year of operation, making the trip to report on the great horse Adios Butler. Annually, when the racing season was over, Grossman filed training articles from Aiken, SC and Winter Haven, FL. He was one of the first journalists that would travel extensively reporting on horse racing. Along with Hall of Famer Clyde Hirt, then with Roosevelt Raceway publicity, Grossman also secured advertising for the annual United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) annual awards journal. He served as president of the New York USHWA Chapter from 1965 to 1966.  He and Hall of Famer Lou Miller started a joint venture writing and publishing Trotting Times, a harness racing newspaper with entries, selections, workouts and features. He also had a stint with the NY Standardbred Owners Association writing and publishing their first house magazine, Voice. One day Grossman picked every winner at the old Jamaica race course. A $2 parlay that day would have netted a bettor $84,000. That feat earned Grossman an appearance on the “Tonight Show” when it was hosted by Steve Allen. His best long shot was when Hall of Famer Clint Hodgins drove Lite Direct to victory at Roosevelt Raceway and paid $112.80, the fifth largest win payoff in the track’s history at that time. After moving to Florida and becoming active in the Florida Chapter of USHWA, Erwin served as chapter vice-president in 2005-2006. He was inducted into the Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame Communicator’s Corner in 2011. He was also voted the Allen J. Finkelson Award by the Florida Chapter in 2009.  This award recognizes that individual who has contributed in the sport of harness racing to the promotion of the Standardbred Industry. The family has stated that at Erwin Grossman’s request there would be no burial ceremony planned. From the Florida Chapter of USHWA

What: On Preakness Day, Saturday, May 17th join Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment at the fifth annual Lisa Photo Stride For The Cure race and fundraiser, hosted by award-winning Meadowlands Racetrack photographer Michael Lisa and his wife, Annette. The festivities kick off at 3pm with a 5K around the racetrack for guests to participate in. The 5K is just $25 to enter including an event t-shirt, post-race party with live music by the Past Masters, prize drawings and other activities. The Stride For The Cure horse race will then take place during the live race card, featuring horses and drivers wearing pink equipment to raise awareness. All proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer program. The 5K is a sanctioned event and prizes will be awarded for the top runners in each division. Registration can be done online athttp://www.active.com/east-rutherford-nj/running/distance-running-races/meadowlands-racing-and-entertainment-wplj-stride-for-the-cure-5k-2014 or on site at the Meadowlands beginning at 1 pm on Saturday. Following the 5k, guests are invited to stay for live harness racing beginning at 7:15pm. The festivities include the Allerage Farms Presents Roosevelt Raceway Legacy Night honoring the historic New York City-area racetrack that closed in 1988. There will be an autograph session with many of the legendary Roosevelt horsemen, $1 food and drink specials, and the running of the $180,000 Arthur J. Cutler Memorial Stakes. When: Preakness Day, Saturday, May 17, 2014 Where: Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment 1 Racetrack Drive East Rutherford, NJ 07073 by Rachel Ryan, for the Meadowlands

Goshen, NY - When Jerry Dahl bet on his first horse, he never thought that he would end up driving a winner at Roosevelt Raceway. But the modest fan loved the game so much that he started training and driving his own horses. Following the Roosevelt era, and several "regular jobs," Dahl traded in his driving colors for a palette of watercolors. "It is a different thrill but it's like being back at the barn, back in the bike, back in the winner's circle!"   The talented artist read the RR article on the USTA website and thought it would be fun to do a painting of a horse from that iconic era and share it with those who also have such great memories. The 18x24 rendition of Valiant Bret and Lucien Fontaine which will be raffled-off at The Meadowlands on Saturday (May 17) night during the Roosevelt Raceway Legacy Night.   Of course, the affable "Loosh" agreed to autograph the piece, making the artwork all the more treasured. The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame shall receive the funds from the raffle.   Jerry Dahl was first introduced to Harness Racing back in his high school days when a friend offered to take him to Brandywine Raceway. Initially Dahl was apprehensive, but finally he agreed and was forever hooked.   While in college in West Chester, PA, he met a young Joe Holloway who let him jog his first horse. Then he went to work at Winterset Farm near Wilmington. Dahl got his matinee license a year later in 1973 and he was off to the races.   Despite a degree in business administration, Dahl stayed with the horses and was working for Walt Warrington at Roosevelt as a second trainer. "I loved Roosevelt," noted Dahl. "The biggest thrill of my harness career was winning my first drive there in 1983. To me it was like hitting a home run at Yankee Stadium."   Dahl continues, "I never thought driving horses was a possibility. Herve Filion was my idol when I was just a fan. My biggest thrill came was when I actually got to drive against him."   "I will never forget the day he beat me by a VERY short nose at Brandywine. I still have that picture in hanging in my kitchen!"   Dahl faired pretty well during his time at the track, amassing 99 wins and over $300,000 in purses.   "During the late 1980s I could see that things were changing. I was not interested in just training. When I saw Billy Haughton putting up Billy O'Donnell I knew the catch driving era had begun." Dahl raced mainly on the Liberty Bell - Brandywine - Dover circuit. A few years after that phase of his life ended he began painting water colors in 1988. After many land and seascapes he soon gravitated toward equine art. "Horses were a part of me and art was in my family. My father was a rare talent. Painting horses keeps me connected to the barn area and the horses that I have loved my entire life."   by Chris Tully      

Just a reminder...Roosevelt Raceway Legacy Night at Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment is fast approaching on Saturday, May 17th. If you're a former driver/trainer/owner who competed at, or is connected with Roosevelt Raceway and are planning on attending, please call 201-460-4090 to confirm. Activities will include a Roosevelt driver autograph session with Herve Filion, Carmine Abbatiello, Ben Webster, Lucien Fontaine, Merritt Dokey and many other top Roosevelt drivers. Some great memorabilia will be on display compliments of the Harness Racing Museum, a race with current Meadowlands drivers wearing the silks of former Roosevelt regulars, special interviews, video clips of old races, trophy presentations, and much more. In addition, The Meadowlands will turn back the clock on some of its food and beverage offerings, with pricing from the days of Roosevelt Raceway. There will be $1 Budweiser and Bud Light Drafts, $1 Canned Sodas, $1 Hot Dogs and $1 Pretzels. On the racing front, the first major Free For All Trotting event of the season headlines the racing action as some of the best trotters in the world do battle in The Arthur J. Cutler Memorial. Roosevelt Raceway Legacy Night is brought to you by the New Meadowlands and the Harness Racing Museum and Hall Of Fame. Jeff Gural's Allerage Farm is the event sponsor. For more information, log on to www.playmeadowlands.com by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands

East Rutherford, NJ - The 2014 Championship Meet at The Meadowlands will offer over $9 Million in harness racing purses for its stakes races, headlined by the $1.2 Million Hambletonian on Saturday August 2nd. Carrying a $1.2 Million total purse, The Hambletonian is the richest Standardbred race in North America and will be the first jewel of the trotting triple crown in 2014. Hambletonian Day will also include a wide array of other stakes races, with total purses for the day being approximately $3.5 Million, the richest day of racing in the state of New Jersey. The Hambletonian program will also include The Hambletonian Oaks, John Cashman Memorial, U.S. Pacing Championship, Peter Haughton Memorial, Merrie Annabelle, Lady Liberty and more. "Hambletonian Day is always the greatest day of racing for our sport each year and we are thrilled to be the home of such a historic event," said Director of Racing Operations Darin Zoccali. "It is an event like the Super Bowl for us, where as soon as Hambletonian Day is over, we begin working on the next one." This year's Hambletonian will be the first in the new $100 Million Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment facility. "We are excited to give The Hambletonian a brand new, state of the art facility to call home," said General Manager Jason Settlemoir. "The experience for our customers will be better than ever, with more activities and a wide array of options for our customers to enjoy the day how they want, from fine dining, a gorgeous sports bar, skyboxes, a rooftop terrace and The Backyard which will be an enhanced version of the old paddock park. In addition, the day is sure to have a more intimate connection to the racing than ever before, as we have been feeling that energy all season long here at The Meadowlands." Post time for The Hambletonian Day program is scheduled for 12:00 P.M. The Meadowlands signature event, The Meadowlands Pace will take place on Saturday July 12th. Thanks to proactive changes made to the payment structure of the race, The Meadowlands Pace is showing promising growth through the sustaining payments and will carry a purse of an estimated $750,000 for the 2014 edition. "We worked very hard on improving The Meadowlands Pace," said Zoccali. "We implemented an altered payment structure which will continue to evolve going forward and we are already seeing the results through the sustaining payments. This year's Meadowlands Pace is trending toward a substantial increase in the purse for the Final over 2013." The Meadowlands Pace program will also offer a huge card of racing, including such races as The Mistletoe Shalee, Stanley Dancer Memorial, Del Miller Memorial, William Haughton Memorial, The Golden Girls, The New Jersey Sire Stakes Championships for two year olds and more, producing a near $3 Million night of stakes action. Meadowlands Pace Night will feature a special start time of 6:30 P.M. New to the 2014 Stakes Calendar is The $400,000 Hambletonian Maturity for four year old trotters, to be contested at 1 1/8th Miles on Saturday July 5th which is Meadowlands Pace Elimination night. A maximum of 16 horses will be on the gate for the $400,000 event. "This is a unique event," added Zoccali. "It would be great to see upwards of 12 or 13 horses entered as the race would have a European-style feel to it and I think is something we will all enjoy. It also provides a major race for the four year old trotters to target as their stakes season kicks off." Other major events are the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial, to take place on Saturday May 17th and will coincide with Roosevelt Raceway Legacy Night. The New Jersey Sire Stakes Championships for three year olds will be on Saturday May 31st and The Meadowlands Maturity Pace on Friday June 13th, which is likely to mark the 2014 debut of Captaintreacherous, the 2013 Pacer of the Year. While not a part of the summer Championship Meet, The Breeders Crown makes its return to The Meadowlands in the fall, with the Finals taking place over two championship nights of racing, Friday November 21st and Saturday November 22nd. The standardbred stakes season will end the following Saturday night, November 29th, with the second annual $1 Million TVG Free For All Championships. The 2014 Meadowlands stakes program will offer an estimated $16 Million in purses and the full stakes schedule can be found at http://meadowlandsracetrack.com/uploadedfiles/2014_Meadowlands_Stakes_Schedule.pdf. by Rachel Ryan, for the Meadowlands  

Over the course of the last half-century there have been several aged trotting mares with North American roots whom were able to dominated their peer group, and in some cases their male counterparts as well, for an extended period. They are Moni Maker, Peace Corps, Delmonica Hanover, Fresh Yankee, Grades Singing, Scenic Regal and Buck I St Pat. Une de Mai and Roquepine were great mares, and both experienced success on this side of the Atlantic, but they were European. Fresh Yankee was the first of these mares to grace our presence, and she also lasted the longest, racing until age nine and winning 89 of 191 starts—an astonishing 47%. The story of Sanders Russell plucking Fresh Yankee from the 1964 Harrisburg yearling sale for $900 is familiar to most, but her journey from obscurity to stardom is less well known. She won four times, earning less than $8,000 at two; stepping up to eleven wins and earnings of almost $47,000 during her sophomore campaign, the highlight of which was a win over the Trotter of the Year and Hambletonian winner, Kerry Way, at the Red Mile. It was in her aged form that the Hickory Pride mare made her mark, but success didn’t come easily as she only beat the Metropolitan New York open trotters once at four, and for the only time in her career, speed was privileged over her ability to win races and money. A 1:57.1 time trial mark at Lexington for Ralph Baldwin established her as a world champion. It was during the next five years, from age five to nine, that the world class mare proved her greatness. Joe O’Brien had taken over the training and driving duties and at age five and six she won 23 races, including the Elitlopp, Challenge Match, American Trotting Classic, Pacific and Gotham—she was an Amazon from coast to coast. Fresh Yankee was awarded Canadian  Aged Trotter of the Year status in 1968 and was voted Horse of the Year in the USA in 1970, at age seven, accruing more than twice as many votes as Pacer of the Year, Most Happy Fella. She won 20 of 31 starts and finished second in the other nine. In the spring of that year O’Brien took Duncan MacDonald’s mare to Munich, Germany where she won the Grand Prix of Bavaria over expatriates Dart Hanover and Lindy’s Pride. And before returning to the states the mare took a heat of the Elitlopp. That summer she beat the formidable Euro Tidalium Pelo in the $125,000 Roosevelt International, and rocked his world again the following week in the $30,000 Roquepine Trot. The ten-year-old gelding Earl Laird was third for Jimmy Cruise. In September the mare was sent away as the 4/5 favorite in the $50,000 Gotham Trot at Yonkers but came up a half-length short to Dayan. Une de Mai was third. And in October Fresh Yankee beat the geriatric tandem Grandpa Jim and Earl Laird in the Galophone at Yonkers. It was her seventeenth win of the year and she had not finished back of second in 26 starts. The mare had won races in four different countries and was voted Horse of the Year. In 1971, as an eight-year-old, Fresh Yankee beat Dayan in the Star’s Pride at Yonkers in June, tying the track record in the process. At that point she had finished first or second in 51 consecutive races and trailed only Une de Mai, Roquepine, Cardigan Bay and Bret Hanover in earnings. Still, the brilliant but unpredictable Dayan was to Fresh Yankee what Adios Vic was to Bret Hanover or the Tar Heel brothers, Nansemond and Isle Of Wight, were to Albatross. He was the same sort of pest Songcan was to Super Bowl. The week after the Star’s Pride, Dayan scratched lame out of the Volomite and more than 25,000 watched the mare cruise to victory, paying a miserly $2.40. Dayan broke in the Speedy Rodney Trot at Yonkers a few weeks later and the mare won for the ninth time in thirteen starts, paying a generous $4.20. She was favored to repeat in the International but Une de Mai prevailed by a nose, after being parked the mile out of the eight post.  All was not lost, as runner up Fresh Yankee did pass the million dollar mark in career earnings. In the fall the mare set a world record for a mile and a quarter in Brandywine’s Star’s Pride Trot and went on to win a PASS race before losing to Cathy Lee—three years her junior—in the Trader Horn at Yonkers.  Fresh Yankee, who had won five in a row, was sent off at 2/5 from the eight post and dispatched almost $82,000 of the people’s money down a black hole. And the following week, when Dayan beat her in the Porterhouse, $86,000 was lost, as the eight-year-old was sent away at 2/5 once more. She finished the season by trading wins with Marlu Pride at Hollywood Park. He took the $50,000 Pacific Trot but the mare won the big one—the $100,000 American Trotting Classic. At age nine Fresh Yankee won 12 times. Her owner questioned Joe O’Brien’s driving tactics in the International and decided to drive her himself the following week in the $150,000 Challenge Match against Speedy Crown and Une de Mai. Howard Beissinger sat back and allowed MacDonald to do himself in as he took his mare to the mile much too fast, allowing Speedy Crown to blow by her in the last quarter. Fresh Yankee was retired at the end of October, second only to Une de Mai in earnings. She is a Hall of Fame Immortal and a member of the Canadian Hall of Fame.  Beissinger stated that Speedy Crown’s greatness was couched in the fact that he was unfailingly consistent at a very high level, and never made a break training or racing. One could say the same about Fresh Yankee. Peace Corps won more than forty stakes races and was Horse of the Year twice in Sweden in her aged form; Moni Maker earned well over five million dollars and was Horse of the Year twice in the U.S.; Delmonica Hanover won her division four times, was a two-time winner of the Roosevelt International and the first American owned winner of the Prix d’Amerique; but no US bred and North American based trotting mare of the last half-century has performed to the level of Fresh Yankee through age nine. Her 89 wins, most of them against the best of the boys, on all size tracks, don’t place her above the others but they do set her apart. by Joe FitzGerald, for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/

Harness racing is in the midst of a new era at The Meadowlands, as the brand new $90 Million facility stands tall on what used to be the backstretch of The Meadowlands, home to many of the sport's biggest starts. Many of those same stars that left their hoof prints where the new state-of-the-art facility gleams in the night skies of East Rutherford, New Jersey, also wrote harness racing history with those same hoof prints just 30 miles away at Roosevelt Raceway in Westbury, New York. On Saturday night, May 17th, The Meadowlands will turn back the clock and bring many of those stars to life with a night dedicated to the legacy of Roosevelt Raceway. "It is with surpassing pride that we at The Meadowlands announce this tribute to one of the most historic venues in all of horse racing," said Meadowlands Chairman Jeff Gural. "All of us involved in the sport of harness racing hold a place in our hearts for Roosevelt Raceway. It goes without saying that the ultimate destiny of Roosevelt was not of our own choosing. We did not expect, nor did we invite the closing of that magnificent facility that we all cherished. I know that I am not alone when I talk about the countless nights I spent enjoying what was then the home of the world's greatest harness racing and it is fitting to host this tribute at the present and future home of the world's greatest harness racing, The Meadowlands." The evening's festivities will coincide with one of The Meadowlands most historic events, the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial, which is the race that kicks offs the Free For All trotting season in the sport. The highlight of the night will be a driver autograph session including many of the famed reigns-men that called Roosevelt Raceway their home for so many years. Drivers confirmed appearing include Carmine Abbatiello, Ben Webster, Frank Popfinger, Bill Popfinger, Merritt Dokey, Bobby Vitrano, Jim Marohn Sr., Mike Lachance, Herve Filion, Rejean Daigenault, Ted Wing, Gerry Sarama and more. If any other members of the Roosevelt Raceway racing colony would like to take part in this special event, please contact Sam Mckee at (201) 460-4090 at The Meadowlands. The current stars of The Meadowlands driving colony will pay tribute to the drivers of Roosevelt Raceway in a Meadowlands race by donning the colors of the historic drivers of Roosevelt. Famed broadcasters Dave Johnson and Spencer Ross will be appearing to add to the nostalgia of the evening. In addition, the racing program will feature a commemorative Roosevelt Raceway cover and beautiful Roosevelt Raceway memorabilia will be displayed in the grand foyer of The Meadowlands. The food and beverage choices will remind many of Roosevelt not only by the items offered, but by the pricing as well. "I have always talked about the eat-you-heart-out on a pretzel at the end of my nights at Roosevelt. Now, we get to bring that to The Meadowlands," added Gural. The festivities will commence shortly after the running of The Preakness Stakes, at approximately 6:30 P.M., and will continue throughout the live racing program which begins at 7:15 P.M. It is recommended that those patrons who wish to dine that evening in Pink, Trotters or Victory Sports Bar make their reservations early. by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands  

The following Open Letter is from Alan Schwartz, President of the Monticello Harness Horsemen's Association I offer this to help those who are concerned about the future of harness racing in New York State. Please allow me to answer some of the queries I have received from horse racing fans and others about the contract stalemate with Empire Resorts at Monticello Raceway. The Monticello stalemate is about saving our industry from those private New York racetrack operators who want to morph into standalone casinos. It is about an effort to stop the track owners from destroying harness racing by actively telling legislators and other government officials in Albany that increasing the track operators' profits and shortchanging racing is the right thing to do. The New York Gaming Association (NYGA) members (consisting of all seven NY harness track owners, as well as the owners of Finger Lakes Racetrack and Resorts World in Queens) are hell bent on maximizing profits for themselves through the death of the Agriculture and Racing industries. They do this by pointing to racing deficiencies they themselves are orchestrating. Consider that, despite the fact that New York State offers racino operators a dollar for dollar reimbursement for marketing racing, most don't spend a dime marketing the sport. Worse still, the track operators blame the horsemen for not cutting purses to market the sport; of course, unlike the track operators, the horsemen would receive no reimbursement. By not marketing racing with money literally given to them by the state, the tracks simply seek to hasten the end of racing. The sooner they get rid of racing, the more money will flow into their pockets from VLTs, and soon slot machine and table game revenue. The tracks continue to receive roughly half of all racing and simulcasting revenue, but that apparently isn't good enough for them. Think again about these racetrack operators going to Albany and hiring virtually every lobbyist in the state to sell a bill of goods. They argue that the state should limit the future of the agriculture and racing industries by capping payments and stifling the growth of a 4.2 billion dollar industry and the livelihoods of 32,000 people. Then they argue for a better tax rate for themselves on casino games. All the while, they have the audacity to trumpet their support for racing and agriculture on their website. They are fooling no one. NYGA argues that the renaissance in racing should be stopped because the horsemen are getting too much from the expanded gaming revenue the VLTs have brought to New York. They selfishly hide the fact they make three-fold the amount the horsemen receive. That doesn't account for all of the related sales they make, like on a $4 bottle of water. Funny, but the law they lobbied for doesn't cap their revenue. Putting a cap on the future of racing is today's latest assault on our industry. As the harness track operators gain casino growth and exponential power in the state's capitol, don't be surprised if you see deeper racing industry cuts in the future. Plug in any state capitol you want; Albany; Harrisburg and, don't be fooled, Trenton too. Monticello is the first to face this challenge directly. The Monticello Harness Horsemen's Association supported a casino here, thinking we would not be neglected. We extended our agreement with the track for at least eighteen months before the stalemate in an effort to try to work things out. First, we want to see what the law would provide. Then, we waited to see if the statewide casino amendment would be approved in early November. Later that month, Monticello slammed the door in our face. Obviously, NYGA has drawn the line. The hope was to negotiate something fairer than a 2013 purse level cap and a yearly consumer price index (CPI) increase. The yearly CPI is negligible, hovering at about 1.4%. In one recent year, it was actually a negative number. Think about how much the price of diesel or a bag of sweet feed has gone up in recent years. The cap and CPI 'increase' would assure our destruction. Realize that instead of growing purses at the current 8.75 % VLT level (and N.Y. Sire Stakes by 1.25%), the tracks will now have slot machines; this permits them to get rid of VLTs and the horsemen and breeders' percentages that flow from them, while the tracks increase revenue and grow. These track operators engineered a law that will, for all intent and purposes, freeze our industry out of existence in the long term. Tell your supplier of feed, your vet and blacksmith that they can't raise their prices above 2013 levels in the years to come because of the selfish action of the NYGA track owners. Think about all the free play money doled out to the VLT players, while a handicapper gets but a torn up ticket on a horse race at the same venue. As was said not too long ago "If you don't fight for your future, you may wake up one day and wonder why you don't have one." MHHA's leadership has tried, and continues to try in good faith to negotiate with management something that is fair and reasonable. We seek to moderately share in their casino revenue success above the cap foisted upon us by them in the latest version of the law. The MHHA has very few weapons in this fight, but we would be even more foolish after eighteen months of failing to realize some progress not to use them. We are aware that the exported simulcast signal and its pools are important to the loyal fans of the daytime harness racing Monticello and its horsemen provide. We are also acutely aware of the loss of revenue to the track, the horsemen and the industry. Yet, we have pondered just how much money these track operators strive for while they jeopardize and entire industry for their own profit; a racing industry that worked hard to spawn the birth of VLTs at tracks in this and other states. We cannot just sit by and watch an industry get swallowed up by a handful of track operators professing to be concerned about our sport, whose ultimate goal is to kill it. The right to withhold the export of signal from Monticello across the N.Y.S. line is a right granted to horsemen by Federal law. That 1978 law very wisely recognizes that the horsemen at a host track are the real guardians of this sport. It armed the horsemen with the important tool to use only when they perceived a crisis threatening the very existence of the game. It has been used very sparingly and with the utmost of caution. I recall the law being invoked in 1987/88 by the horsemen at Roosevelt Raceway when management refused to sign a contract with anyone in order to clear the path to closing its doors. Ultimately, management not only closed, but stole the overnight purse account on the way out the doors. Also, as an MHHA board member in 2006, we withheld simulcasting consent here at Monticello. At Roosevelt, had permission to simulcast been granted, its Management would simply have taken even more money from the horsemen's pocket when its plan to close was realized. At Monticello, we have watched these developments over the years. We can no longer support a casino here that excludes the growth we have all; agricultural; racing and breeding shared, over the years. We will not fold up our tents and watch our game be destroyed by greed. We remain hopeful that the N.Y.S. mediator, appointed by the Gaming Commission, will continue to work to bring us to some common and sensible ground upon which to preserve each other's goals in a reasonable, and not one-sided, fashion. After eighteen months, we would welcome some progress. Hopefully, the next time you hear from me, the news will be better for our game.   -  

Yesterday historic Pompano Park celebrated its 50th birthday. The harness racing dream of Frederick Van Lennep became reality in 1964, when it developed, opened, flourished and following his death in 1987, was managed by the late John A. Cashman, Jr. for the Van Lennep estate. They had many other assets including Lexington's famous Castleton Farm, Wolverine Raceway, the Red Mile in Lexington and multiple tracks in Italy, until sold in 1994 to Casino America, Inc. (now Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc.). The selling amount was subject to upward adjustment in the event a constitutional amendment was passed permitting casino gambling. The buyers agreed to continue standardbred racing at the facility. The sale followed failed negotiations to sell to the then owners of Hollywood Greyhound Track and Hazel Park near Detroit. The real story, however, takes place many years before, when in 1926, another racetrack was located on the site. It proved to have an interesting history with government intervention, not unlike today's equine industry. In that in 1926, the $1.25 million construction of the original Pompano Park, with grandstands that could seat 7,000 fans, was completed. The mile track, made of clay and sand, was 100 feet wide and many years later served as the hub of the famous training center at Atlantic Blvd and Powerline Road. The grand opening was celebrated on Christmas Day 1926 and huge crowds of spectators reportedly poured into Pompano on chartered buses from around Florida. The track might have been an immense success but there was a barrier (in Florida, at that time, pari-mutuel betting was illegal).  It said, racing was to start Christmas Day until Governor John Martin branded Pompano Park "a center of law breakers" and threatened to send the military to plow up the track and "plant it in cowpeas" unless racing ceased, and it did. The original Pompano Park was then used for automobile races, Polo and boxing matches, without lasting success. In 1928, two years after the track opened, a hurricane ravaged South Florida with 2,000 fatalities and many injuries. Pompano Park became a savior as it was used as a Red Cross station to aid more than 1,000 hurricane victims. Subsequently, the track became dormant until 1953, when Fred Van Lennep, then a prominent Kentucky horseman and former advertising executive, spotted the old track from an airplane. Van Lennep saw great potential for a future racetrack. He purchased the land and immediately began plans to construct a new facility. After lobbying for many years, Van Lennep was able to get pari-mutuel legislation on the ballot and in 1962 it was overwhelmingly voted into law. Van Lennep fulfilled his dream, and his promise, and built what was the well-designed state leader of horse racing tracks. The new Pompano Park opened on February 4, 1964 to a crowd of nearly 6,600 people. The track featured a "state of the art" grandstand, clubhouse and restaurant facility and for the many owners (who also had access to an owners' club), trainers, drivers and caretakers, three racetracks, two being one mile and half mile training tracks and a five-eighths mile main race track. Once completed, there were stalls for 2,000 horses, living quarters for more than 500 caretakers, a swimming pool for horses, a nine-hole golf course and driving range. The main facility featured one of the largest dining rooms in South Florida with seating for more than 800 people. Van Lennep's wife, the renowned horsewoman, Francis Dodge Van Lennep, loved pink flamingos and much of the track was painted in that color. Named the "Winter Capital of Harness Racing", Pompano Park grew in popularity among people in the sport, plus leading celebrities enjoyed their nights at the races. Notables Ed Sullivan, Minnie Pearl, Jackie Gleason, Mickey Rooney, Frank Sinatra, Walter Matthau, Sammy Davis Jr., Rodney Dangerfield, and many others came to Pompano Park regularly along with leading sports figures Whitey Ford, Mickey Mantle, George Steinbrenner, Arnold Palmer, Charlie Keller and Lee Elder. They were regulars during the season and Ford, Steinbrenner, Palmer and Keller became horse, farm and track owners. Years later, celebs still came out for a night at the races including Pulitzer prize-winning author and columnist Dave Barry, baseball's Dennis Martinez, Dolphins quarterback Jay Fiedler, UK and NBA basketball's Sam Bowie, also a prominent standardbred horse owner and breeder. During the 1980 and 90's Pompano Park bloomed at its 331 acre site (including the 180 acre training center that was sold years later for industrial development), hosting the prestigious Breeders Crown numerous times as the world's top Standardbreds, owners, trainers and drivers trained and raced during the winter for some of the sports' richest purses. Records fell annually with the sports' greatest reinsman, the "Gold Dust Twins" Stanley Dancer and Billy Haughton, calling Pompano Park their winter home. The tracks biggest night was on December 27, 1980 when the great pacer Niatross arrived at Pompano Park There were 18,451 fans on-site to see the remarkable pacer, barred from the betting, team with trainer and Hall of Famer Clint Galbraith to a 1.54.3f win by open lengths. Reportedly another 5,000 fans had to be turned away, as cars were parked on the median divider of Powerline Road and across the street in Palm Aire after all racetrack parking areas had been filled to capacity. Every mutuel pool record was rewritten by the fifth race that evening. Pompano continued to play a leading role in the Standardbred sport during the early Breeders' Crown years with its Van Lennep Trotting Series that attracted many of the best US aged performers and some Europeans. John Cashman was a great supporter of international racing and the Van Lennep was his and Pompano Park's trotting showcase during that era. One such event I remember best occurred in 1987. Re-live it below with Dave Joseph's memorable stories. European Flavor Adds Spice to Van Lennep Invitational By DAVE JOSEPH, Racing Writer, October 4, 1987 Pompano Harness Track`s $150,000 Frederick Van Lennep Invitational Trotting Series has lured five of the six European trotters that were extended invitations to compete in the two-race series. The Van Lennep, run over a mile track Oct. 24 and a 1 1/4-mile track Oct. 30, will have Germany`s Reado, Norway`s Scott Iran, Finland`s Black Laukko, France`s Quito du Couronne and Big Spender, who has campaigned throughout Europe. The only trotter who declined the invitation was Sweden`s Emile, second twice this year to two-time Breeders Crown winner Grades Singing. Van Lennep Trot Lures Three of the Best By DAVE JOSEPH, Racing Writer, October 18, 1987 POMPANO BEACH -- For the past four months they have crossed paths. First New Jersey, then New York, finally Illinois. In pursuit of being named Aged Trotter of the Year, Sugarcane Hanover, Tabor Lobell and Express Ride have battled on three tracks. But after the three meet tonight in a $10,000 invitational trot at Pompano Park, the trio will have only two more chances to lay claim to seasonal honors. World record holder Express Ride, two-time Breeders Crown winner Sugarcane Hanover, and Invitational Challenge Cup winner Tabor Lobell will use tonight`s invitational as a prep for Pompano`s upcoming $150,000 Frederick Van Lennep Invitational Trot. Express Ride Sets Pompano Mile Record By DAVE JOSEPH, Racing Writer, October 19, 1987 POMPANO BEACH -- It was supposed to be a leisurely prep race; a chance for some of the trotters racing in the upcoming Frederick Van Lennep Invitational to get a feel for Pompano Harness Track. Ah, but it was so much more. World record holder Express Ride, driven by Berndt Lindstedt, trotted the fastest mile in Pompano`s 24-year history Sunday night, clocking 1:56 2/5 in the sixth race, a $10,000 invitational trot. It broke Grade`s Singing`s record set in last year`s Van Lennep by 3/5 of a second. Hey, Big Spender Spent A Little Time with Malaise By DAVE JOSEPH, Racing Writer, October 24, 1987 POMPANO BEACH -- The travel plans, Berth Johansson thought, were firm. Big Spender, his 6-year-old horse, would trot in West Germany Oct. 11, then be shipped to Paris the next night and prepare for his trip to Pompano Park and the Frederick Van Lennep Trotting Series. How much easier could that be, Johansson thought. "We would race Sunday," the Swedish trainer-driver said. "Then he would sleep, wait 24 hours, and then go to Paris Monday night." Simple, right? But four hours after trotting two heats in West Germany, Big Spender was loaded on a train and spent the next 20 hours riding to Paris. Express Ride Gets Leg Up In Van Lennep By DAVE JOSEPH, Racing Writer, October 25, 1987 POMPANO BEACH -- The opposition put it this way: "He`s a monster," trainer Jim Gluhm said. "What else can you say?" Gluhm, trainer of Tabor Lobell, was speaking for all of the estimated 6,000 here who witnessed the performance of Express Ride. The 4-year-old world-record holder won his fifth consecutive race Saturday night when he led throughout the $50,000 Frederick Van Lennep International Challenge over a mile distance at Pompano Park in 1:56 4/5. Reado, an 80-1 long shot from West Germany, finished second by 1/2 lengths. Tabor Lobell`s Finale To Be In Van Lennep By DAVE JOSEPH, Racing Writer, October 29, 1987 POMPANO BEACH -- There was really nothing distinctive about that morning, trainer Jim Gluhm said. It was just like any other May morning at Pocono Downs in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. "It was cool," Gluhm said. "And there wasn`t much sunshine." That morning, in fact, probably would have slipped from Gluhm`s mind if it wasn`t for one of his workers running out to the track and saying, bluntly, `What the hell are you doing?` "I was starting to train Tabor Lobell to go a 1 1/4 miles and 1 1/2 miles when the horse`s groom came running out asking me that question," Gluhm said. Tabor could handle the distance as on August 30, 1987 he upset many of the best in the sport to win the 1-1/2 mile $100,000 Challenge Cup at Roosevelt. Tabor Lobell Wins Challenge Cup: Tabor Lobell, a 25-1 shot driven by Buddy Gilmour, held off Callit of Sweden last night to capture the $100,000 Challenge Cup, a mile-and-a-half invitational trot at Roosevelt Raceway. The 4-year-old son of Speedy Crown-The-Pro raced third over most of the event, but caught Callit, winner of the International Trot last week, at the head of the stretch. The two went neck and neck to the finish, and Tabor Lobell won by a head, covering the course in 3:03 3/5. Whip It Wood, driven by John Patterson Jr., took third. Tabor Lobell's victory, only his second in 12 races, was worth $50,000 and pushed his career earnings to $199,095. Tabor Lobell was third in the International Trot behind Sweden's Callit and Potin d'Amour from France. (NY Times archives) Record Falls in Van Lennep Sugarcane Hanover Upsets Express Ride By DAVE JOSEPH, Racing Writer, October 31, 1987 POMPANO BEACH -- There was silence on the other end of the line for several seconds before trainer Jim Simpson could express his feeling. "I`m ecstatic," said Simpson. He paused. "I got a tear in my eye." Simpson`s tear came courtesy of Sugarcane Hanover, who came out of hiding at Pompano Harness Track Friday night in world record fashion. After finishing second and ninth to Express Ride in his last two races across Pompano, John Simpson`s Sugarcane Hanover returned to form here when he trotted past 4-5 favorite Express Ride in the final yards to win the $100,000 Frederick Van Lennep International Championship by three-quarters of a length. Sugarcane Hanover with Gunnar Eggen up winning 1988 March of Dimes at Garden State over Ourasi, Mack Lobell and Napoletano by Thomas H. Hicks for Harnesslink.com    

Even before a new movie featuring the trotter Tarok and his owners and breeders, the Laursen family, has hit the screen, Tarok is the talk of the town. On Saturday (Oct. 26), two daily national newspapers each ran a special supplement of six to eight pages just featuring Tarok! National and local TV stations, especially around the little town of Skive where Tarok was born and buried, aired several stories about the film, the horse and the people around him. In Skive, the town hall, together with the local racetrack, has made four tours where fans can see the places where Tarok and his people lived. The local museum has even made an exhibition about Tarok. Tarok was born in 1972 and raced 156 times. He won 111 races. In 1977 he raced in the International Trot at Roosevelt Raceway and no less than 600 Danish fans followed him to New York. When he died in late January 1981 he was the top story in the news on national TV and in every newspaper in Denmark. You can watch a trailer for the upcoming Tarok movie at this link. by Karsten Bonsdorf, USTA web newsroom correspondent (Repritned with permssion from www.ustrotting.com)

Owned by the A La Carte Racing Stable of California and trained by the late-great Jim Dennis, Mr. Dalrae was one of the most popular and successful pacers to race on the Chicago circuit in the early and mi-1980s. Mr. Dalrae was named the 1984 Aged Pacer of the Year as a 5-year-old when he pulled down $474,525 while winning 18 of 30 starts, mostly against the elite older pacers in the nation and in Canada. (He’s showed in the photo winning one of his many races at Sportsman’s Park with his young, bearded, up-and-coming star driver Dave Magee) Among his victories in the 1984 was the American National at Sportsman’s and the U.S. Pacing Championship, a tri-city stake raced on three different size ovals. Mr. Dalrae that year came from fifth at the top of the stretch and shop up the inside to take the mile leg at the Meadowlands in 1:52.2. He followed with a victory in the half-mile leg at New York’s Roosevelt Raceway in 1:56.2. The horse also captured the Canadian Classic, all with Dave Magee. In 1985 Mr. Dalrae repeated as winner of the U.S. Pace Championship, based by points earned, by capturing the five-eighths leg at Sportsman’s Park. The son of Meadow Skipper out of the dam Queen’s Crown repeated as the American National Aged Pace titleholder that year with Dale Hiteman at his lines. In his final year as a racehorse Mr. Dalrae won another eight races earned $322,800. His dam Queen Crown also produced Sir Dalrae, the 1973 Horse of the Year for owner/trainer Jim Dennis. Videos attached of Mr Dalrae winning the 1984 US Paing Championship at the Meadowlands and the second video is of Mr Dalrae running second to On The Road Again in the 1985 US Pacing Championship. Mike Paradise The Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association

Now that the budget is done and the governor and the Legislature have moved on to the issue of a constitutional amendment to allow full-scale casino gaming in New York, it is critically important to understand the significant economic gains that have been realized by our revenue-producing racing and agriculture industries as a direct result of the existing video lottery terminal (VLT) initiative at our race tracks and, more significantly, to recognize how this success could all be put at risk.

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