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(Fort Washington, MD-September 10, 2014) Rosecroft Raceway announced today that the track will continue live racing operations and will be applying for 2015 race dates. Rosecroft is about to start the track's 27-night Summer-Fall meet on September 13th. "We will applying for the same number of dates (54) for live racing at Rosecroft in 2015 under the same terms, conditions and preferences that we operated our live race meet this year," stated Chris McErlean, Vice President-Racing, Penn National Gaming. "While we are disappointed that Rosecroft was not selected as the gaming destination for Prince George's County, Penn National Gaming remains committed to Maryland, Rosecroft and of course our Maryland Horsemen. We are working with the Cloverleaf Standardbred Owners Association and the Maryland Breeders Association to find ways to ensure a long term future for Maryland racing at Rosecroft. We understand the value Rosecroft provides for our horsemen, track employees and the Prince George's community," said McErlean. Since reemerging from bankruptcy in 2011 under the direction of Penn National Gaming, Rosecroft Raceway has provided an economic kick start to Prince George's County and the Maryland Standardbred industry. Since reopening in the fall of 2011 the focus at Rosecroft has been on directing racing opportunities and increasing purses towards Maryland horses and horsemen. Penn National Gaming has established a preference system benefitting Maryland horsemen racing at Rosecroft that provides for maximum opportunity for Maryland connected horses. Horses with a Maryland connection now enjoy a 100% entry preference at Rosecroft Raceway-a first in the industry and the only racetrack in Maryland to offer such consideration to Maryland's horsemen. This current race meet over 80% of the purses earned have been directed to horses and horsemen under this Maryland preference system. "We felt it was in the horsemen's best interest to announce our intentions for next year early so they can make their racing plans and have some stability for next year. We are looking forward to working with CSOA to develop a long term strategy for Rosecroft," McErlean concluded. Formal submission of the 2015 racing dates will be submitted to the Maryland Racing Commission in early October. Rosecroft will kick off the meet with a special "Back to the Track" promotion on Saturday, September 13 and will continue every Tuesday and Saturday evening through December 13. Post time is 6:40 p.m. The condition sheet for the first two nights of racing are now posted at www.rosecroft.com. From Penn National Gaming

(Wyomissing, PA - August 19, 2014) Penn National Gaming, Inc., (PNGI) the largest operator of Standardbred racetracks in North America, will institute the new Trackmaster automated morning line system at all of its harness racing facilities effective immediately. PNGI owns and operates Hollywood Casino, Hotel and Raceway (Bangor, ME), the new Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway, Plainridge Racecourse and Rosecroft Raceway. PNGI is also joint venture partner with Greenwood Racing, Inc. at Freehold Raceway. "This new morning line feature from Trackmaster should help bring consistency to our morning line process and also provide a reliable starting point for our wagering guests," said Christopher McErlean, Vice President of Racing for PNGI. "With the implementation of the USTA's on-line entry system at all of our harness tracks and the use of its automated post position draw system, the Penn Gaming harness tracks are using all the technology tools available to streamline our racing office processes and offer user friendly services to our horsemen and the wagering public," added McErlean. In addition, Rosecroft Raceway will institute a new simulcast graphics system with enhanced racing information and statistics generated by Trackmaster when its summer-fall meet begins September 13. "We think these informative graphic enhancements will help handicappers on-track and at all our simulcast locations," said McErlean. The upcoming Penn National Gaming harness meets include: Plainridge Racecourse: In progress Freehold Raceway: August 28 Rosecroft Raceway: September 13 Dayton Raceway: October 3 Bangor Raceway: October 6 Penn National Gaming, Inc. (PNGI) is the largest operator of pari-mutuel facilities in North America with 12 racetracks in 10 different jurisdictions featuring Standardbred, Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse and Greyhound racing. PNGI conducts over 1,100 live racing performances a year with over $1 billion in pari-mutuel wagers processed annually. PNGI also operates five off-track wagering facilities and a regional Internet/Telephone account wagering system. PNGI is also one of the largest regional gaming operators in North America with 27 facilities in 18 different jurisdictions with over 31,000 gaming machines, 800 table games and 2,900 hotel rooms. From Penn National Gaming, Inc.  

(August 18, 2014 - Wyomissing, PA) Three racetracks operated by Penn National Gaming, Inc. (PNGI), the largest operator of harness racetracks in North America, will be active participants in the United States Trotting Association's (USTA) "Back to the Track" program over the next month. The "Back to the Track" program is an initiative to encourage on-track attendance at harness racetracks across the country through promotions and interactive events. More information on the program can be found at http://backtothetrack.ustrotting.com/. "Back to the Track is a great way to bring new guests to our tracks and also say 'thank you' to our loyal customers as well," said PNGI Vice President of Racing Christopher McErlean. "Plainridge, Freehold and Rosecroft each have come up with some unique events and activities for their guests to enjoy," he added. Plainridge Racecourse in Plainville, MA, the newest member of the PNGI racing family, will be hosting a full weekend of events and live racing on August 23 and 24. On both days the Hambletonian Trophy, Harness Racing's most prestigious prize, will be on display. The trophy was won by the locally owned and trained Royalty for Life in 2013. On Saturday, barn tours will be conducted from 12 noon to 2 p.m. with all participants to be entered in drawings to announce a post parade on either day, ride in the starting gate car and participate in an exhibition race on Sunday with top Plainridge drivers. Plainridge drivers will participate in a meet and greet on both days and serving customers in a special cook out area during both afternoons. Drivers will also give out commemorative "Back to the Track" t-shirts following each race. A free scratch off ticket will be given to all guests Sunday with a $50,000 grand prize. The "$50,000 Match and Win" promotion is sponsored by Mom's Motorcycles of Foxboro, MA. Post time Saturday, August 23 is 4 p.m. Post time on Sunday, August 24 is 1 p.m. Admission and parking is free at Plainridge every live racing day. For more information go to www.prcharness.com. Freehold Raceway in Freehold, NJ will be hosting "Back to the Track" events on Labor Day, September 1 during its afternoon live racing program. All guests will receive a free "Back to the Track" baseball cap with the purchase of a Freehold live racing program (while supplies last.) Drawings throughout the day will be conducted for "Back to the Track" t-shirts and Season Parking passes. Fifty-cent ($.50) hot dog and soda specials will be offered as well as a driver autograph session. Post time Labor Day is 12:30 p.m. and admission is free. For more information go to www.freeholdraceway.com. Rosecroft Raceway in Fort Washington, MD will celebrate "Back to the Track" as part of its summer-fall meet opening night on Saturday, September 13. The first 400 guests after 6 p.m. will receive a free "Back to the Track" t-shirt and guests will have a chance to enter losing tickets all evening for "Second Chance" drawings after races 5, 7 and 9 for $50 betting vouchers. In addition, a popular Asian Festival will be held all day Saturday, September 13 in the Rosecroft parking lots. Post time on September 13 is 6:4 0 p.m. with free admission and parking. For more information go to www.rosecroft.com. Christopher McErlean

(Fort Washington, MD-August 11, 2014) Rosecroft Raceway will continue live harness racing with a Summer-Fall meet scheduled to begin on September 13.. Rosecroft will continue to emphasize its on-going commitment to rebuild the Standardbred industry in Maryland by continuing to offer a 100% preference to Maryland connected horses in all races. "We are committed to Maryland racing and helping to rebuild this industry," said Chris McErlean, Vice President of Racing for Penn National Gaming, parent company of Rosecroft Raceway. "We are working side by side in conjunction with the Cloverleaf Standardbred Owners Association and the Maryland Standardbred Breeders Association to revive Standardbred racing in Maryland," McErlean continued. One special focus at the beginning of the summer-fall meet will be newly added prep races for 2 and 3 year-old Maryland Sires Stakes eligible horses. The two-year-old divisions will be raced on September 13 and the 3-year-old division will be raced on September 16. Each prep race will go for a purse of $3,000. "Horsemen understand that Maryland must have a strong breeding industry to survive. The efforts of the Maryland Standardbred Breeders Association to promote growth the Maryland Sire Stakes program are admirable and Rosecroft is pleased to see the growth and attention it is now receiving. I am very happy for our racetrack to play a part in this renewal working with MSBA," concluded McErlean. Finals for the Maryland Sire Stakes will be conducted at Rosecroft on Saturday, September 27 (3-year-old races) and Tuesday, September 30 (2-year-old races.) Maryland Standardbred Breeders President Dan Myer said, "One again Rosecroft has come through for the Maryland Breeding industry. We are very pleased to be working with the Rosecroft team to promote the Maryland Sires Stakes." Horsemen who are interested in learning more about breeding in Maryland or participating in our program may contact Dan Myer at 410-603-1585 or visit the website at www.mdbreeders.org. Cloverleaf Standardbred Owners Association President Tom Cooke offered the following comment, "We are very pleased to be working together with our colleagues from MSBA and wish to acknowledge our appreciation for Penn National Gaming and Rosecroft. Penn National has continued to operate Rosecroft under difficult financial situations and their commitment to the Maryland Standardbred horsemen has been fantastic. We are anxious to do our part in helping this partnership continue so Maryland racing thrives." The 2014 Rosecroft live racing meet will continue through December 13. Horsemen may contact Sharon Roberts or Gina Maybee in the CSOA office with questions or for help at 301-567-9636. Racing applications are available at www.rosecroft.com or through the CSOA office and should be submitted by August 25th. Chris McErlean, Vice President of Racing for Penn National Gaming    

(Fort Washington, MD - August 8, 2014) Racing Applications for the 2014 Summer-Fall race meet at Rosecroft Raceway are now available at www.rosecroft.com. The 27-date meet will commence Saturday, September 13 with live racing every Tuesday and Saturday through December 13. A purse increase of approximately 5% will be part of the fall purse structure, bringing the overnight purses to an average of approximately $65,000 per race date. Rosecroft will continue to provide additional incentives for Maryland racing participants including entry preferences and a 15% purse earnings bonus for "Maryland Preferred" horses and horsemen. "The racing program at Rosecroft continues to improve and Maryland horsemen and horses are the biggest beneficiary with over 80% of the starters and purse earnings going to Maryland owners, trainers or horses bred, sired or foaled in the state," said Chris McErlean, Vice President of Racing for Penn National Gaming, parent company of Rosecroft Raceway. The first condition sheet of the meet should be posted by August 29. Qualifiers will be held Saturday, September 6 starting at 11 a.m. First race post time for live racing will be 6:40 p.m. Christopher McErlean

Two divisions of the NY RUS Series took place this week at Norwich, NY with the first $500 division going to My Irish Molly with Jocelyn Lavigne in the irons. Trained by Truman Gale, the winner, a nine year-old mare by Psychic Spirit-Fox Valley Blondie-Armbro Charger, scored in 2:13.4h for owner Donn Lewandrowski over John-michael (Tara Hynes up) and Kash Now (Michelle Miller), both of these trained by Michael Miller. The second division went to Vassar Hall in 2:07.4h for Michelle Crawford. This pair covered the last half in 1:02.4 for trainer Brett Crawford, co-owner with Len Wojdyla. The ten year-old mare by Striking Sahbra-Vera Hall-Conway Hall defeated Truth In Action (Karen Isbell) and Magic Cheque (Tara Hynes). Separately, plans moved forward for a monte event at Rosecroft Raceway on October 18. A fund-raising effort is underway spearheaded by rider Tara Hynes. Supporter financial participation is welcome by going to http://www.gofundme.com/c8yw14. All monies raised will go to the purse for the Rosecroft race. Thomas H. Hicks           Renaissance Partners LLC   Thomas H. Hicks, Managing Partner   3508 Sahara Springs Blvd.   Pompano Beach, FL 33069   www.renaissancelc.com   renparlc@gate.net   954-971-3555 Tel FL Office   704-844-0600 Tel NC Office   954-415-6369 Cel   704-845-1176 Fax           Experience > Value, Integrity, Performance       The information above and attached, if any, may contain privileged and confidential information intended only for the use of the person(s) named above. If you are not the intended recipient you are hereby notified that any review, dissemination, distribution and duplication of this communication is strictly prohibited. Please notify the sender by email and destroy all copies of the original message. Thank you.      

There are few, if any, issues facing the harness racing industry where all segments are in complete agreement. Just mention of words like whipping, takeout or Lasix® evokes countless vocal opinions across a broad spectrum. If ever there was a matter on which the entire horseracing community could stand uniformly positioned, it is the obstinate insistence by the Internal Revenue Service to treat horseplayers differently from all other types of investors with regard to withholding of portions of their winning wagers. On June 6, the United States Trotting Association joined a chorus of prominent industry groups, publications and federal officeholders in calling on the I.R.S. to stop harming racing by failing to either understand or appreciate the unique nature of 21st century pari-mutuel betting. This lack of knowledge or concern results in the unfair calculation of the amount of tax withholdings assessed against handicappers who successfully prevail when playing super-exotics. Fortunately, much has recently been written about the withholding problem in industry publications. This article will identify the problem; summarize how the industry is attempting to formulate a solution, and how you can play a part in getting the solution implemented. In our grandfathers’ day, tracks offered only win, place and show wagering, later adding a revolutionary bet called the daily double. In essence, it was difficult to make an outrageous score on a $2 wager. Very few horses go off at 99-1 or better, and only an infinitesimal amount of them actually win.   Only the rare daily double pays in the hundreds of dollars. Today, the superfecta, pick-six and other combination and parlay offerings constitute the lion’s share of wagers made on horse races. These dominant betting opportunities often produce payoffs in the tens of thousands of dollars for a single $2 wager. Of course, winning the big one is usually not simply an exercise of pure luck; professional players often invest hundreds or even thousands of dollars in an attempt to cover as many potential outcomes as possible. By anticipating the probable value of a payoff, the bettor assesses the risk and intensively wagers accordingly. These plays constitute what is aptly called gambling, but arguably the gamble is little different than, for example, those involved in oil wildcatting or opening of a high-end restaurant. Of course, it’s the province and duty of the I.R.S. to assess and collect taxes. If a bettor hits a score over $600 and the odds are 299-1 or more, the track is required to report the winnings on I.R.S. Form W-2G. In applying this law, consider a bettor who cashes a $50 win ticket on a horse at 50-1 odds and receives $2,550. Since the odds were less than 299-1, there is no reporting requirement. Conversely, if a neophyte bets a single, straight $2 superfecta on his 4-digit street number and hits for $1,000, the lucky first-timer would go home with lots of cash, as well as a copy of Form W-2G which the track uses to report his gain to the I.R.S.       While the reporting rules might appear to produce conflicting results, the true concern involves the area of mandatory withholding on certain winning wagers.  Although the I.R.S. recognizes that legitimate expenses are to be subtracted from gross revenue in calculating taxable profit for a business venture, the problem is that the assessment of tax withholding from supposed “profit” in the racing realm is skewed, to say the least. The applicable section of the Internal Revenue Code requires racetracks to withhold 25% of purported profit when the bettor wins more than $5,000 from a wagering transaction in a pari-mutuel pool with respect to horse races, provided the amount of such proceeds is at least 300 times as large as the amount wagered. From the statutory language, it plainly appears that Congress intended that the total amount wagered into a particular pool be treated as the handicapper’s investment capital. Like in any other business, that capital investment should serve to reduce by equal amount his gross winnings when calculating his profit for withholding purposes. Unfortunately, congressional intent in the tax realm is solely determined by the I.R.S. In a 1976 private letter ruling, a vehicle by which the I.R.S. gives its guidance to taxpayers under a set of submitted facts, the Service determined that only the investment on the actual winning combination counts as the “wagering transaction in a pari-mutuel pool” for tax reporting and withholding purposes. How does the present application of this archaic Service interpretation of the Code create the problem? Assume a gambler invests $800 to cover 400 possible pick-six combinations at $2 a pop. He hits the parlay, and it pays $5,600. While the payout is over $5,000, the fortunate bettor really only received odds of about 6-1 in relation to his investment: or did he? The I.R.S. takes the position that only the wager on the winning combination, and not the other 399, constitutes the specific “wagering transaction” referenced in the Code. In other words, rather than credit his entire $800 outlay in the pick-six pool as congress unmistakably envisioned, the Service credits only the $2 spent on the cashed winning combo. Thus, while only receiving 6-1 on his total investment, his I.R.S. imputed odds are about 2,800-1. This triggers not just Form W-2G reporting, but also a 25% tax withholding on winnings. The racehorse gambler actually walks away from the mutual window with $1,399.50 less of the payoff. The overwhelming majority of horseplayers don’t invest thousands of dollars into super-exotic pools on a regular basis. Should we cry for the successful, high-end handicapping aficionados? Maybe not; but the concern is that some of these folks might place their investment capital elsewhere.  Undoubtedly, some already have. This simply drains the already well-parched pari-mutuel pools. Moreover, by taking 25% of earnings out of the hands of the career players who are still around, the industry loses churn; meaning that instead of being able to wager this money again and again, the sum literally sits on account with the Service unless and until the big gambler can recoup it months later via her federal tax return filing. This decrease in handle, especially in racing states with no alternative gaming, is devastating. Racetrack managements, horsemen, breeders and the state all miss out on countless sums of takeout dollars. Luckily, it doesn’t take an act of congress to reverse this situation. While previous attempts at congressional clarification have failed, the problem isn’t really with the language of the law, but rather with how the I.R.S. inexcusably construes it against horseplayers. Consider a medium-sized retailer who embarks on a $1,000,000 marketing campaign. The endeavor actually yields a 6% increase in gross sales. Would the I.R.S. limit the deduction for the marketing expenditure to $60,000? Hardly. Yet, the I.R.S. withholds pari-mutuel earnings as if only that tiny fraction of the total investment made by the horseplayer allocated to the single winning combo was his cost of doing business. You can help change this surreal circumstance by adding your name to an online petition already supported by thousands of individuals and groups. The petition simply mirrors what at least 17 members of congress have already demanded: That the I.R.S change course and consider the total amount invested by a taxpayer in a pari-mutuel pool when determining whether tax withholding on winnings is warranted. A link to the Petition is here:   Apparently, the Washington-based tax lawyers working for the Service don’t frequent Rosecroft Raceway or Laurel Park. If they did, they’d understand the business of pari-mutuel wagering from the big bettors’ prospective. We can only hope that they amend their tax guidance in this matter soon, while there are still some whales around that can benefit. Chris E. Wittstruck is an attorney, a director of the Standardbred Owners Association of New York and a charter member of the Albany Law School Racing and Gaming Law Network. Chris E. Wittstruck Courtesy of the USTA web newsroom

SILVER SPRING, Md. --- Sidney A. Alpert, a master innovator of raceway video and sound systems at a number of racetracks and a holder of a number of patents during the last half of the 20th century passed away at age 87. Born in Washington, DC, Alpert passed away after a short illness in Silver Spring, Md. On June 30. Alpert served in the U.S. Army during World War II as an x-ray technician, and early in his career was a successful photographer at The Washington Times Herald with Jacqueline Bouvier (later wife of President John F. Kennedy) as one of his protégés. He also was team photographer of the Washington Capitals of the Basketball Association of America (forerunner to the NBA). Mr. Alpert became interested in harness racing and seeing a need for improved filming of races, formed his company, Electronic Race Patrol (ERP). Mr. Alpert began his career in racing by filming races in the 1950's at Maryland tracks, Rosecroft Raceway, Laurel Racecourse, and Baltimore Raceway, among others. He teamed with the DuPont Chemical Company to develop a special film for use at night and was the first to film night-time races. Alpert was the first to introduce live closed circuit race-monitors at the tracks he serviced. He was first to show fans live races and replays on a split-screen. Next, he introduced color to showcase races on television. In the 1960's he was the first to bring live video broadcasting to racetracks in the mid-west, at Maywood Park and Aurora Downs in Chicago, IL. With high-quality equipment, Maywood was the first racetrack to broadcast nightly feature races on a live television newscast, at station WGN in Chicago. Alpert was the first to utilize in-house video production editing facilities, one of the many of Alpert's major racing industry advances. At Brandywine Raceway, more than 400 professionally-produced TV vignettes featuring horsemen, farriers and track personnel were among the videos presented during nightly racing programs. He was the first to install television monitors at every racetrack dining room table, where fans could watch live racing during dinner, or change the channel to view other live sporting events. Alpert's ERP Company also made noted television broadcast advancements at the ill-fated, burned-down Garden State Park thoroughbred track in Cherry Hill, N.J. In 1977, with the racetrtack burning, Alpert was high atop the blazing facility video-taping the disastrous fire directly beneath him. He was saved from the fire when a press box regular showed him a seldom used stairway on the far end of the roof, from which he escaped. In addition to television, Alpert was a master of sound at the track. At Brandywine, one standing outside the entrance could not hear the public address sound, but once the door opened, sound was loud and clear. There was state-of-the-art sound in Brandywine's famed track-side dining room from hundreds of speakers in the ceiling. At Brandywine, he wrote new bugle calls recorded by a team of professional trumpeters, with a different musical arrangement for each of the night's races. Following the demise of Brandywine, in 1989, Alpert fostered a remarkable project under his new company, 'Stars and Stripes' Stable, which proved too early and ahead of its time. He visualized making full-card racing a staple on cable TV. His concept was to race entire programs at a track in Chester County, Pa., and without any patrons in attendance. The races would be shown on an all-racing channel with wagering.  Alpert envisioned having a daily early evening harness racing TV program in the fashion of the popular late night shows (ala Johnny Carson etc.) featuring owners, trainers, drivers and fans as participants. Alpert's concept included transmitting wagering information to fans at home via fax machine. Unfortunately, after coming close to fruition, he had to abandon the project and then retired. During the 1980s, Sid and wife Lenore (who passed away in 2012), owned several successful stakes winners horses. Two of his favorites were pacers Stargell Lobell and Commander Bond, the horse on which Herve Filion won his 10,000th race - the most in the sport at the time. Alpert was an avid collector of fine arts and manuscripts. He accumulated the world's largest collection of Currier and Ives prints, which is featured in the Time-Life Series of books, Antiques and Collectables. His Currier and Ives collection of horse racing prints can now be seen at the Harness Racing Museum in Goshen, N.Y. Other parts of his collections are on display in museums, including the Springfield Museum in Springfield, MA. Alpert is survived by a brother, Larry Alpert (Eleanor), a sister Delores Diamond, a son Mark (Sharon) and grandchildren Julie and Jennifer Alpert, and grandchildren, Adam and Stacey Rosenthal. Graveside funeral services were set on July 2, at Judean Memorial Gardens, Olney, Md. Memorial contributions may be made to Ohev Shalom-The National Synagogue, Washington, DC. by Marv Bachrad, for Delaware Valley Chapter of USHWA

HARRINGTON, Del. - Jim Morand entered the record books Tuesday at Harrington Raceway becoming just the 15th driver in North American harness racing history to reach 9,000 wins. Morand, who drove three winners on the program, achieved the milestone win aboard Brenda Teague's Remus Blue Chip ($17.80) in the 13th race. Morand, a native of Windsor, Ontario, learned harness racing under the tutelage of his step father Gerry Bookmyer after moving to Ohio at a young age. He's driven such top horses as Little Brown Jug elimination winner Kiev Hanover, Nuclear Breeze, 2004 Horse of the Year Rainbow Blue, Stampede Hanover, among many others through the course of his career. "I've been lucky to drive a lot of good horses over the years for a lot of great people," said Morand humbly in the winner's circle. "We moved to Delaware shortly after the slots came and it's a nice place to live." Before making the move to Delaware, Morand spent most of his career at Rosecroft Raceway where he dominated the Maryland circuit for many years. His wife Melanie, and three children, sons Kyle and James and daughter Olivia were on hand to see their father reach hallowed ground. Prior to Morand, Ron Pierce was the last to reach 9,000 wins in 2013. Another driving milestone was reached on the Harrington program as Bret Brittingham drove his 2,000th winner aboard Fleeting Flirt N ($5.80) in the ninth race. Brittingham has been a regular on the Delaware circuit for years along with his father, trainer Don Brittingham. The Brittingham stable has trained three recent Horse of the Meet winners at Harrington, including As Bad As Thunder, Raritan Bay and Artciano. Driver George Dennis also had a driving triple on the program. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway

A new Maryland Sire Stakes program for 4 & 5 year olds got off to a great start. This program is an Open stake with a provision to divide by sex if there are enough entries. Three non-wagering pacing events were contested at Rosecroft Raceway with some old rivalries continuing.   In the first division for mares, Brite Jet took the lead from the word go, just as she did in her 2 and 3 yr old races holding off old foes Romantic Escape and Rockin Roxanne stopping the clock in 1:55.2 last quarter in 28.2. Brite Jet is owned by and trained by Jim and Carol Atkinson and Frank Milby was in the bike.   The boys were up next with a short field when Hot Speed was scratched with an injury. Firecracker Freddy who was dominant at both 2 and 3 made his first start of 2014 a winning effort against tough challenger Evergreen Power. Firecracker Freddy cut the mile in 1:52.3, holding off the pocket sitting Evergreen Power with both horses pacing a last quarter in 28 sceonds. Roger Hans is the owner, trainer and breeder of Firecracker Freddy, with driver Frank Milby making this his second trip to the winner circle.   In the second division of mares, Like A Rocket found the perfect trip sitting third behind Evergreen Jill and a parked out Bonnie Ben Jamin. Bonnie never got to the front till the head of the stretch, that's when driver Art Stafford Jr. tipped Like A Rocket out from third to sweep by a tiring Bonnie Ben Jamin in 1:54.1. Like A Rocket is owned by William and Tonya Sharpnack and trained by Eddie Moore.   The 4 and 5 yr old trotters will go to the gate on Saturday May 10th at Rosecroft. Please go to www.msrfonline.com for all your Maryland Staking information and stallion pedigrees or call the Maryland Standardbred Race Fund at 410-775-0152 or 240-285-0326.   By Cheri Stambaugh, for MSRF  

Finally had a decent week picking some winners. We had Sly McFly pay $10.40 to win in the Dash for the “C” Note final plus a nice $34.40 exacta and then Abrokenart Hanover came through and returned $8.40 in winning his “C” note final. This is the final week of preliminary rounds for both the Matchmaker and Levy Series at Yonkers plus the final of the Whata Baron and Artistic Vision Series at the Meadowlands and the return of San Pail at Woodbine. Plenty of top flight racing action to watch and wager on. Good Luck! $40,000 Pace Matchmaker Series Yonkers Raceway 4th race FRIDAY – Tried to find a way that Yagonnakissmeornot could get beaten in this final leg of the Matchmatcher Series. But I could not. Despite outside post this mare has been super sharp for trainer Rene Allard and can overcome post seven to take another leg before next weeks’ rich final. Use Krispy Apple and Ideal In Vegas in exotic plays. $40,000 Pace Matchmaker Series Yonkers Raceway 11th race FRIDAY – This is a great matchup of some real powerhouse mares who will again battle it out next week in the final. I am taking a shot with the P J Fraley Stable entry of Anndrovette/Shelliscape. They both need to be first or second to get into the final and thus need to race their hearts out and off recent weeks they have ability to surprise in here going against some of the best in the series. Use Somwherovrarainbow and Angels Delight in exotic plays. $25,000 Trot Preferred Handicap Pocono Downs 3rd race SATURDAY – Right now Modern Family is perhaps one of the best Open trotters in the country. Came back from a brief rest with an amazing 1:53.1 qualifying romp at Rosecroft Raceway and has been super sharp for trainer/driver Daryl Bier. Use Daylon Magician and Wind Of The North in exotic plays. $30,000 Pace Bobby Weiss Final 3 & 4YOs Pocono Downs 8th race SATURDAY – Series saw the best effort of the year for A Stitch In Time last start with an amazing lifetime mark of 1:49.2. Should be able to repeat provided he can overcome having to start from the far outside in post nine. Use Trys Little Prince and UF Rockin Dragon in exotic plays. $25,000 Pace Preferred Handicap Pocono Downs 10th race SATURDAY – After having his head handed to him in last two tries in the Levy Series, A J Corbelli smartly left Yonkers and comes to Pocono Downs where he drops and should pop from the rail. He was razor sharp before the series, even finished second in the opening round, but now should be able to handle this group and earn his keep. Use Abelard Hanover and Annieswesterncard in exotic plays. $50,000 Pace Levy Series Yonkers Raceway 4th race SATURDAY – With a week’s rest after winning a series leg, Apprentice Hanover draws into a tough but beatable division as he needs the points to insure a spot in the final next week so watch for him to be racing at his best. Use the Burke Stable entry of Clear Vision/Hillbilly Hanover and P H Supercam in exotic plays. $63,000 Pace Whata Baron Series Final Meadowlands 6th race SATURDAY – Most will side with Captive Audience here and perhaps should as he has been perfect in the series, undefeated in three starts and fresh as a daisy for the upcoming long season. But I am going with Wake Up Peter. Despite outside post he showed last week he can leave well enough to take command and hold on to the lead. In this case he may leave hard and get a two-hole trip where he can also score from. Use Captive Audience and Ontario Success in exotic plays. $34,000 Preferred Trot Woodbine 9th race SATURDAY – It’s the 2014 debut of world class performer San Pail. $3.1 million career winner returns once again and looks to be back in shape. After two decent qualifying wins under his belt he should be ready for action and show his back class and his heels to his much younger rivals. Use Slip Into Glide and Zeus Lightning in exotic plays. $55,500 Final Artistic Vision Pacing Series Meadowlands  11th race SATURDAY – With a perfect season underway and 6 for 6, American In Paris should be at her best once again seeking to sweep the series in the final. Teamed with stablemate Art Ideal they look to be unbeatable in here. Use JK Letitgo and Road Bet in exotic plays. $50,000 Pace Levy Series Yonkers Raceway 11th race SATURDAY – It’s the final preliminary division for the long series and Yonkers always saves the best for last. It’s Team Burke against four other poor souls. It’s the three-horse entry of Foiled Again/Special Forces/Easy Again. Win wagering and exacta only, no trifectas. With the way he has comeback this season Foiled Again should have little trouble remaining unbeaten in five starts. Use Mach It So and Word Power in exotic plays or sit this one out and just watch one of harness racing’s great performers do his thing.

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

Fort Washington, MD --- The first qualifying session for the 2014 Winter-Spring meet at Rosecroft will take place this Saturday (Feb. 22) at 11 a.m. Entries will be accepted starting at 8 a.m. the Friday before qualifers (Feb. 21 and Feb. 28) by the Rosecroft racing office at 301.567.4435 or 301.564.4401. A second qualifying day will be held Saturday (March 1) at 11 a.m. The opening night of the 2014 season will be Saturday (March 8). Live racing will be conducted every Tuesday and Saturday evening through June 7 with a post time of 6:40 p.m. Following each of the pre-meet qualifying days Rosecroft will allow horsemen to train on the five-eighths-mile oval up to 3 p.m. Horsemen must call the Rosecroft racing office on Friday (Feb. 21) and Friday (Feb. 28) by 12 noon to indicate if they plan to train horses and provide the names of the horses to be shipped in for training. Depending on demand the number of horses per trainer may be limited at the discretion of the racing secretary. All normal Rosecroft ship-in requirements will be in effect for these training sessions. “We know this has been a severe winter for everyone, especially horsemen attempting to get their horses in proper racing shape for the upcoming meet,” said racing secretary Peter Hanley. “Cloverleaf SOA was instrumental in working with us to help accommodate the local horsemen.” Any horse that last started at Rosecroft in December 2013 will not be subject to the 45-day qualifying rule for their first start in 2014 (or through March 29), as long as they were not put on the qualifying list in their last pari-mutuel start. For all other horses a 45-day qualifying standard will be in effect up through March 29, when it will go to a 30-day qualifying rule. Horsemen are also reminded to submit their 2014 racing application to the race office as soon as possible. Race entries will not be accepted on any horses who have not been previously submitted for approval by the racing office. Racing applications are available at www.rosecroft.com under the Horsemen section. From Rosecroft Raceway Publicity Department

Fort Washington, MD --- A continued increase in purses, a new bonus system for Maryland horses and a new post time will be on tap for Rosecroft’s 27-night Winter-Spring meet which opens Saturday (March 8). “We expect a minimum 10 percent increase in purses when we start back this meet and could be looking at additional increases during the meet,” said Peter Hanley, returning to his second meet as Racing Secretary at Rosecroft. Average daily purses at Rosecroft were approximately $67,000 at the conclusion of the 2013 Fall-Winter meet. In addition, a new bonus program will be in effect for horses and horsemen meeting the Maryland preferred criteria. All Maryland owned horses, horses bred or sired in Maryland or Maryland resident trainers will earn an additional 15 percent bonus on top of any purse earnings. “We ended up last meet with over 80 percent of our horses meeting the Maryland preference,” said Hanley, “and this change should give even more inventive for Maryland horses and horsemen to compete at Rosecroft.” “The Maryland horsemen are very excited about the upcoming Spring meet at Rosecroft, said Thomas Cooke, President of the Cloverleaf Standardbred Owners Association. “We are grateful for Penn National’s commitment to the Maryland Standardbred industry and the new Maryland preferred bonus system added with the 100 percent Maryland preferred entry preference is of significant benefit as we rebuild the Maryland Standardbred industry.” Dan Myer, President of the Maryland Standardbred Breeders Association, added, “The key to building a strong breeding industry in Maryland is the continued operation of Rosecroft Raceway. This year we have seen a tremendous growth in breeders and owners wishing to participate in our Maryland Sires Stakes program. We appreciate our partner, Penn National, helping us add value to breeding in Maryland.” Racing applications for the new meet are now posted online at www.rosecroft.com. Draws will be held Wednesdays (for Saturdays) and Thursdays (for Tuesdays) with the box opening at 8 a.m. each day. Two qualifying dates have been set: Saturday (Feb. 22) and Saturday (March 1) at 11 a.m. each day. “Given the tough winter these two qualifying dates should help get our available horse population ready for the upcoming meet,” said Hanley. A new 6:40 p.m. post time will be in place for the new meet. Live racing will be conducted every Tuesday and Saturday night through June 7. Harness and Thoroughbred simulcasts are available day and night, seven days a week. Admission and parking are always free. Submitted by Rosecroft Raceway

Hamburg, NY: Buffalo Raceway, located on the Fairgrounds, in Hamburg, NY is pleased to announce that Michael Carter will be the harness racing race caller for the 2014 season. Carter, a Hattiesburg, Mississippi resident has called races as a fill in announcer at many tracks including Colonial Downs in Virginia and Rosecroft Raceway in Maryland. "The race meet at Buffalo is fantastic, especially during the winter months with great drivers participating from the eastern part of the country, and I am looking forward to an exciting season." said Carter. "This is Michael's first full time job in the announcer's booth. He is very passionate about harness racing, has a distinctive voice, and we are pleased to have him join our team." said COO Jim Mango. The 72nd year of racing at Buffalo Raceway is scheduled to begin in January 8, 2014 pending New York Gaming Commission approval. In addition to live racing, simulcast wagering from across North America is available year round. Jonathan Cramer               ---------------------------------------   Jon Cramer   Buffalo Raceway   O: 716-649-1280 x 6200   C: 716-583-4248   F: 716-649-0033       REWARDS ARE RACING YOUR WAY!!   Sign up today for Buffalo Raceway Rewards       Live Racing January - July   Simulcast Year Round       Download the All New Fairgrounds App!   Free for Apple and Android OS           www.buffaloraceway.com   www.the-fairgrounds.com        

NL Loren (1:57.4, $59,512), the 1986 seasons leader for four-year-old trotting geldings, died this morning at Craftwell Farm in West River, Maryland, his home for the past 21 years, and now his place of burial. NL Loren was a pacing-bred trotter, owned by Jane and Doug Murray and trained by Doug. He won 22 races in 97 starts over 8 years of competition, including a year missed completely while recovering from an injury. He was featured in a 1986 Hoof Beats story titled, "The Twelve Least Likely 2:00 Trotters." NL Loren's mark that year was accomplished in an open trot at the Springfield (Illinois) State Fair. His time was more than four seconds, 20 lengths, faster than he'd ever trotted. He was purchased in 1986 with tax refund money, as a birthday gift from Doug to Jane. "Jane wanted to use it for something else, but I thought it would be better spent on a horse," said Doug Murray. NL Loren's career was marked by brilliant performances at unlikely times, mixed with a feline-like propensity for disasters that never quite caused his demise. He beat the stakes-winning two-year-old trotter BJ's Superstar by a nose in a Breeders Crown prep race at Pompano Park at a time when the younger horse had $150,000 more on his card than did NL Loren. Alternating between Pompano in the winter and his "home" track of Quad City Downs in the summer, NL Loren came back from a lacerated tendon sustained in a race in 1987 when he was winning regularly and attracting potential buyers. The tendon healed and NL Loren was on his way back to the races when he colicked in his trailer, somewhere in Georgia, in the pre-cell phone, pre-GPS era. "We were at a truck stop in Georgia," said Doug Murray. "I got a vet's name from a phone book, got directions to his farm. I unloaded the other horses and we worked on Loren the rest of the night. He came through and we got back on the road the next morning." Three straight wins followed and it looked like the Murrays had a Meadowlands horse on their hands. They sent him to race at the New Jersey flagship track. "We watched at a sports bar in Florida," Murray said. "He looked like he was going to win for fun, but as he came out of the hole, he caught his right front leg between the wheel and the sulky of the horse in front of him." Surgery for a bone chip and 18 months of recuperation followed and like Lazarus, he rose again, to race at Rosecroft Raceway, where he competed for the last time in 1992. The Murrays have boarded NL Loren since 1992 at Craftwell Farm, where Jane Murray took him for the occasional trail ride. He also served as babysitter for yearling Thoroughbreds until arthritis in an ankle progressed to the point where he could no longer be kept comfortable. "He opened a lot of doors for us," said Doug Murray. "He didn't make a lot of money or anything like that, but he provided a little bit of name recognition. He doesn't owe me a dime, it's just payback." by Ellen Harvey  

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