Day At The Track
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Columbus, OH --- John Campbell, Hall of Fame driver and president of the Grand Circuit, headlines a star-studded group for the USTA Speakers’ Series, to be held Wednesday (Sept. 18) and Thursday (Sept. 19) at the Delaware (Ohio) County Fairgrounds. Campbell, who will drive Twilight Bonfire in the Jug’s third elimination heat, will answer questions from fans in the USTA/OHHA tent, located on the Delaware backstretch, on Thursday from 10–10:45 a.m. The USTA will also solicit questions from fans around the world through its Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ustrotting) and on Twitter (hashtag #Jug13). Also appearing on Thursday (9–9:45 a.m.) will be defending Driver of the Year Tim Tetrick and trainer Tony Alagna. The duo will send out Emeritus Maximus and Odds On Equuleus in the second and third Jug eliminations, respectively. Starting off the Thursday schedule (8–8:45 a.m.) will be Roger Huston, the voice of the Little Brown Jug, who will be joined by Delaware simulcast show co-hosts Dave Bianconi and Sam McKee. The trio will handicap the Little Brown Jug, as well as selected undercard races. Wednesday (9-9:45 a.m.) features defending Jug champion trainer Casie Coleman, along with driver Brian Sears, who will team up to send out probable Jug favorite Vegas Vacation. Sears also made news this year when he won both the Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks on the same day with Royalty For Life and Bee A Magician. Rounding out the Wednesday schedule (10–10:45 a.m.) will be author Les Roberts and horseman Dan Kennedy, who collaborated to write Win, Place or Die, a harness racing murder mystery novel. Roberts is the author of 17 mystery novels featuring Cleveland detective Milan Jacovich (pronounced MY-lan YOCK-ovitch) as well as 11 other books. The setting for Win, Place, or Die is Northcoast Downs, a fictional harness racetrack filled with odd characters, suspicious activities and danger. Dan S. Kennedy is a strategic business and marketing advisor, consultant, and professional speaker. He is the author of more than 20 business books. He was born, raised, and lives in the Cleveland area, and is a regular trainer-driver at Northfield Park. Following the Speakers’ Series session, Roberts and Kennedy will be available to sign copies of their books, with book sales to benefit New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program. They will also have a meet-and-greet in the Hospitality Pavilion starting at 11 a.m. Click here for an excerpt. A complimentary breakfast will be served each morning, courtesy of the USTA and NTRA Member Benefits Program. Those who cannot attend the series can watch a live video stream at the USTA’s Little Brown Jug mini-site. Here is a complete schedule of participants:   Wednesday (Sept. 18) Speakers 9 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. Driver Brian Sears and trainer Casie Coleman 10 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Author Les Roberts and horseman Dan Kennedy present Win, Place, Or Die. (Click here to read an excerpt) Thursday (Sept. 19)   8 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. Roger Huston, Dave Bianconi and Sam McKee handicap the Jug Day racecard 9 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. Driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Tony Alagna 10 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. John Campbell, Hall of Fame driver and president of the Grand Circuit by T.J. Burkett for USTA

TOLEDO, OH -- Although simulcasting action will continue, Sunday (Sept. 15) marked the final night of live harness racing action at Toledo’s Raceway Park.  Approximately 3,500 patrons came to watch the last of the live racing that the historic track will offer since opening the doors in 1959. The evening’s weather was not good, but the rain did not dampen the life that was felt within the grandstands.  The stands were crowded and the evening’s handle ($221,749) was in excess of 50% over last year’s closing day’s handle ($147,482).  Among various events throughout the evening, fans enjoyed special guest announcers who had previously called the action at Raceway Park.  Hall of Fame announcer Sam McKee was joined by fellow announcers Steve Cross, John Pawlak, Ayers Ratliff and Ron Sobczack.  Reminiscent conversations were heard throughout the facility.  Names such as Charlie Brown, Mel Chupp, Jay Cross, Jeff Fout, Mark and Greg Grismore, Bev Haywood, Jimmy Landess and Mike Rosengarten, as well as Candy Super Star, Grandpa’s Liquor, Grain Dealer and Scotch Baker were often heard as people discussed their favorite Raceway Park horses and drivers.  Raceway Park thanks their loyal fans, horsemen and employees for their efforts and decades of dedication, loyalty and support.  Although it is emotional to close a chapter in history, it is exciting to start writing another. Two brand new harness tracks are being built in Ohio and will offer much larger purses and increased opportunities to the Ohio horse industry. Ohio’s harness racing scene is on a fast track to increased popularity and prosperity. The 2014 racing season will be held at a brand new facility, Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway. Ayers Ratliff for Raceway Park

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