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This past Saturday marked the first ever Sam McKee Memorial Standardbred Barrel Race at the DREAM Park of Gloucester County NJ. This event was inspired by Sam McKee’s passion for both barrel racing and the harness racing breed. “My dad would be so excited to see this idea flourish, I know he will be there cheering everyone on”, stated Sam’s daughter and competitive barrel racer Lindsey McKee. This event was put together by Jen Oberg, outrider at Harrah’s Philadelphia Racetrack, who recognized the athleticism of this breed and wanted to find a way for them to shine beyond the racetrack. Jen’s goal is to introduce and invite competitors from all levels of ability to come and learn with their Standardbred. Ultimately she would like to see the Sam McKee Memorial Barrel Race become a staple throughout all barrel-racing competitions. The generosity of our horseman has been overwhelming and because of them Jen  will be hosting another event October 21st and 22nd at the DREAM Park. Sponsors:                  Christine and Jonas Czernyson – Millstream Farm                         New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program                         Brett Bittle Stable                         Kevin McDermott Stable                         Norton Shoemaker             Congratulations to Whitney Richards of Vincentown, New Jersey for winning the first event with her mare LuckBToLadysTonight. “Patches” is an unraced 2011 Bay mare by SJ’s Caviar. Thank you to all the exhibitors and supporters for coming out. Competitors: Helene Gregory – Jambalayabar Man             2002 Bay Gelding (Malabar Man x Langouste) Unraced Kate Kennedy – Leron Hanover             2009 Bay Gelding (Andover Hall x Lady Luck Hanover) Unraced Whitney Richards- LuckBToLadysTonight 2011 Bay Mare (SJ’s Caviar x Mountain Missy) Unraced Mary McDermott – Night Train             2004 Gray Gelding (Noble Return x Profilo Macho) Earned $105,462 Leslie McLaren- Chips Angler             1999 Bay Gelding (Pine Chip x Bassing) Earned $51,683 Helene Gregory – Shift Into Glide             2011 Bay Gelding (Yankee Glide x Arbor Hanover) Earned $94,327 We are still looking for sponsors. If you would like to sponsor this event or host your own please contact Ashley Tetrick at ashviater@yahoo.com By Ashley Tetrick Logan Township, New Jersey 

Long-time Little Brown Jug simulcast harness racing host, Sam McKee has been named the 2017 Joseph Neville Memorial Award honoree by the Delaware County Fair. The native of Michigan, McKee started calling imaginary races as a young boy. His developed a pen-pal relationship with the Hall of Fame and Little Brown Jug announcer, Roger Huston. Huston's mentorship helped shape McKee's career. The day after graduating high school, McKee was hired by Saginaw Valley Downs to serve as their track announcer. He later worked for Sports Creek Raceway, Raceway Park, Detroit Race Course and Northville Downs. In 1990, McKee moved his family east to work at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey. He served as the Big M's co-announcer, simulcast director and TV coordinator. His distinctive voice would later be heard during the Grand Circuit meet at Lexington's Red Mile. McKee was inducted into the Communicators Corner of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2012. He also owned a spot in the Michigan Harness Racing Hall. McKee died March 8, 2017 at the age of 54. He is survived by his wife, Chris, and three daughters - Meagan, Lindsey and Melissa. Jay Wolf

Harness Racing fans can purchase #SendItIn t-shirts from eBay, with 100% of the net proceeds going to the McKee Fund, to benefit the family of the late Sam McKee.   "We originally got in a small supply of these shirts to use for online contests at Pompano, and many people started asking if they were available for purchase. Although originally not part of the plan, if we can sell some to benefit Sam's wonderful family, then we look forward to doing so. We miss him dearly" stated Gabe Prewitt.   The shirts can be found in different colors, sizes, and styles, and can include customized writing or logos for an additional fee. They can be found for purchase at the following link here.   "Whether you are playing the opener at Freehold, the late double at Cal Expo, or anywhere in between, if you wager on harness racing, you are part of the #SendItIn Army. You can consider this the official uniform to wear to your favorite track/OTB or to your next formal social gathering" stated Prewitt.     Contributions can also be made directly to the Mckee Fund by mailing a check to The Meadowlands racetrack.   Checks should be mailed to the attention of Jason Settlemoir at:   Meadowlands Racetrack 1 Racetrack Drive East Rutherford, NJ 07073            

East Rutherford, NJ --- The Meadowlands and U. S. Trotting Association are inviting horsemen, friends, and harness racing fans to contribute to the McKee Fund to benefit the family of the late Sam McKee. McKee, 54, passed away March 8 after suffering a stroke in February. The Hall of Fame announcer and television personality was universally loved and respected throughout harness racing with his smooth race calls serving as the soundtrack to some of the most historic moments in the sport. "Sam's widow, Chris, and three daughters continue to deal with the devastating and sudden loss of Sam and we want to continue to do all we can to help them," explained Jason M. Settlemoir, Meadowlands GM and COO. "We have all been so touched and blown away by all of the support from so many people throughout the industry and this fund will go towards paying the remainder of student loan debt incurred by the McKees' three daughters." "At the center of this heartfelt gesture will be the educational loans of Sam's and Chris' three accomplished daughters," added USTA President Russell Williams. "Nothing else we could do now would have made Sam happier than this." The preferred method of contributing to the McKee Fund is to send checks directly to the Meadowlands. Checks can be made out to Meadowlands Racetrack with McKee Fund in the memo line. Checks should be mailed to the attention of Jason Settlemoir at: Meadowlands Racetrack 1 Racetrack Drive East Rutherford, NJ 07073 Contributions can also be made on the GoFund Me page that was previously established (http://bit.ly/2sHQsx0). Please be aware that a percentage of each donation is deducted by GoFund Me. All funds raised will be presented to the McKee Family at the Meadowlands on Friday (Aug. 4), the night before the Hambletonian. On that night, the Meadowlands broadcast center will also be renamed in honor of Sam McKee. Hambletonian Day will also feature the Sam McKee U.S. Pacing Championship for free-for-all pacers. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. Meadowlands Media Relations Department         Ken Weingartner   Media Relations Manager   Harness Racing Communications   A division of the U.S. Trotting Association   Office: 732-780-3700   www.ustrotting.com   @harnessracenews   @HarnessKenW      

In a loving tribute to our Sam McKee, flags are at Half-Mast, harness racing driver Joe Bongiorno reaches for the heavens and the announcers booth is empty and silent for the first race at the Meadowlands. The final Thursday card of the season began with heavy hearts as the Meadowlands paid tribute to its Hall of Fame announcer Sam McKee, who passed away Wednesday following complications from a stroke. A touching tribute video was played and the first race of the night was raced in silence. Joe Bongiorno won three of the first five races on the nine-race program including minor upsets with Man of Muscle and Keystone I Wish in a division of the Dash for the G-Notes series. Brett Miller won a pair of races including the night’s featured trot with O U Sexy Guy. O U Sexy Guy won for the 19th time in his career for trainer Jack Franklin. The final broadcast of “Meadowlands Harness Live” on SNY featured Nancy Johansson, trainer of 2014 Horse of the Year JK She’salady, as a special co-host. Total handle was $1,453,434 on the 9-race card. One lucky horseplayer took down the Race 5 Jackpot Super High Five wager at the Meadowlands for $53,588.82. The winning ticket was purchased through the Ontario Hub. The 20-cent wager requires a horseplayer to correctly select the top five finishers in order. The jackpot amount pays out only if there is a single winning ticket. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com.

It is impossible to put a figure on the number of lives touched by Sam McKee. Whether through his race calls, studio interviews, work at horse sales, or personal interactions, Sam left an indelible mark on harness racing and the people in and around the sport. And it would be difficult to find a person more respected and universally liked than Sam McKee. When news of Sam's passing at age 54 due to complications from a stroke suffered in early February filtered through the industry Wednesday, the outpouring of admiration, love and support to his family on social media and beyond was a testament to Sam's ability to make, as harness racing writer Dave Briggs wrote on Harness Racing Update's Facebook page, "everyone feel like the biggest person in the room, when in truth, it was always him." Ken Warkentin, Sam's colleague at the Meadowlands Racetrack and fellow announcer, spoke for many when he said, "This is undoubtedly one of the saddest days in the sport in a long time. Many like myself are in shock, devastated, in a state of disbelief and just plain sad. Sam was the modern day Mr. Harness Racing. It seemed like he knew everybody and everything about the sport. "And Sam could do it all. He was talented, passionate, positive and an inspiration to all. And everybody knew it. He was so much fun to work with. He just made people and everything around him better." Hall of Fame driver John Campbell, who has called the Meadowlands home for decades, echoed those sentiments. "We were so fortunate that Sam chose harness racing," Campbell said. "With his talent, personality and knowledge, he could have been an announcer in any sport, whether it was NASCAR, football, or whatever. We were very fortunate that he turned his talents and abilities toward harness racing. He was such a shining light. "He just had that bubbly, exuberant personality for what he was doing. When he was doing interviews, I think it rubbed off on a lot of people. I know it did me. He was always very upbeat. The interaction I had with Sam, whether it was on camera or off camera, was always fun and it was always something I felt good about. It was genuine. His enthusiasm for harness racing and people was right from his heart. "The most important thing was the friendship I had with him. He was a very good friend." A native of Michigan, Sam's interest in harness racing and announcing can be traced to his earliest days, virtually from the time he could speak. His family raced Standardbreds as a hobby at the county fairs and small tracks. Sam more than once told the story about being 4 or 5 years old and "calling races" with toy horses that had numbers taped to them. When he was 10, Sam began writing letters to horsemen and others in the industry. He began a letter-writing friendship with legendary announcer Roger Huston, who became instrumental in helping launch Sam's career behind the microphone. Huston invited Sam to The Meadows, where Sam had the opportunity to call qualifiers and a junior driving championship. After hearing Sam's work, Huston persuaded Bobby Williams, the speed superintendent at the Clinton County fair in Ohio, to give the then-14-year-old Sam a job announcing races there. "I was just flabbergasted at how good he was," Huston told hosts Mike Bozich and Mike Carter last month on a "Post Time with Mike and Mike" podcast. "He had the voice of a 13-year-old, but he was seasoned even without ever being on the PA system. He was born to be an announcer, there's no question in that. The amount of advice I had to give him was very minimal. "It's very seldom that somebody at the age of 6 determines what they want to do in life. He made it happen. He knew what he wanted to do and we were just so happy we had a part in getting him started." When he learned of Sam's passing, Huston posted on Facebook yesterday, "A part of me will never be the same." A day after graduating from high school, Sam was hired as the track announcer at Saginaw Valley Downs and later Sports Creek Raceway. From there he moved to Raceway Park, where he called races and worked as director of group sales in addition to being involved in the publicity and television departments. A stint in the publicity department and announcing booth at Ladbrokes Detroit Race Course followed and in the early 1990s he served as director of operations at Northville Downs. In the late 1990s, Sam was hired at the Meadowlands. He shared race-calling duties and soon added the role of TV coordinator at the track. In 2007, he also became the director of simulcasting. Sam also worked the Grand Circuit meets at the Delaware County Fair, where he hosted the Little Brown Jug week simulcast, and The Red Mile. He was elected to the Michigan Harness Horsemen's Association Hall of Fame in 2009. In 2012, he received the sport's highest honor when he was elected to the Communicators Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y. Mike Tanner, the U.S. Trotting Association's executive vice president, first met Sam when he was working at Detroit Race Course. Tanner was an intern at the time. "It was my first front-side job in racing, and I was kind of in awe of him," Tanner said. "He was a terrific announcer, even back then. But he was so kind, encouraging, and down to earth, and we became friends. When I got hired there on a full-time basis the next year, he might have been happier for me than I was for myself. That's just the way he was. "I can't think of anyone in our industry better liked or more respected. I feel badly for anyone that never had the chance to meet him, and worse for those of us that did, because we know what we've just lost. He was special." The stories of Sam helping others, encouraging others, are countless. Gabe Prewitt, the executive secretary of the Kentucky Harness Horsemen's Association and a multiple-track announcer, first heard Sam calling races at The Red Mile in the early 2000s --- Prewitt's introduction to harness racing --- and acknowledged Sam's role as a mentor, "so supportive of me from Day One," on last month's Post Time with Mike and Mike podcast. Sam's influence stretched beyond the announcer's booth, Prewitt said. "Just on a personal level, his kindness, his class, how he treats everyone; I learned as much from him on a personal basis - just by observing him for that matter - as I have professionally." Jason Settlemoir, the chief executive officer and general manager at the Meadowlands, told Mike and Mike that Sam always had the ability to sense when someone was having a bad day. And he was always there to discuss the situation and help in any way possible. "By the time the conversation was over you always felt enlightened by him," Settlemoir said. "You'd walk out of talking with him being much happier." Meadowlands broadcaster and statistical guru Bob "Hollywood" Heyden, who was inducted to the Communicators Hall of Fame with Sam, recalled seeing Sam several years ago helping a lady who had fallen in the parking lot following a snowstorm during a Saturday night card at the Big M. Because the snowstorm hit during the card, the parking lot was not yet plowed. Heyden later found out that Sam had fallen several minutes prior to helping the woman, who was a waitress at the track, and injured his back. "The only way I found out was by seeing the pills he was taking the following weeks," Heyden said. "He didn't say anything, and wouldn't, because he was once again Sam being Sam." Beyond the racetrack, Sam was an accomplished horseman (see sidebar following this story) and a go-to choice as a pedigree reader at the industry's horse sales, where his knowledge, expertise and demeanor made him a natural. "Sam had an exacting job --- make a good impression for the horse in 15 seconds or less, give current update information about the horse with perfect accuracy, and be ready to jump back in at any moment if the auctioneer decides to pause the auction for emphasis," said Russell Williams, the newly elected president of the U.S. Trotting Association as well as chairman of both the Standardbred Horse Sales Co. and Hanover Shoe Farms. "Sam's work in this area was virtually flawless, and he did it with that wonderful voice of his. "We at Standardbred Horse Sales Company have lost a great announcer, but we're conscious now that we've lost a cherished friend. We offer our condolences to Sam's family. You will be in our thoughts." Sam's surviving family includes his wife Chris and daughters Meagan, Melissa and Lindsey. "He was an amazing family man," Warkentin said. "He was a true Hall of Famer; a great person, honest and pure. A true friend to many and a real gentleman. "When I first heard of his passing I said it couldn't be possible. And the first thing I thought was he wasn't going anywhere. He's always going to be here with us in so many ways. We will never forget Sam McKee." Sam McKee was a part of so many of harness racing's greatest moments and biggest events. Here, we remember him with a few of our favorite Sam McKee moments, and some that were his favorites as well. To view the videos, click on this link. * * * * * * * * * * Sam McKee was as accomplished on top of a horse as he was skilled behind a microphone. He often competed in speed events, such as barrel racing, with his retired Standardbred Who's Your Buddy, or simply, Buddy. Helene Gregory, the vice president of the Standardbred Pleasure Horse Organization of New Jersey, recounted the following story about Sam and his competition with renowned equine advocate and author Alex Brown: "One year Sam was at the National Standardbred Show with Buddy and I had my retired Standardbred JB (Jambalayabar Man) there as well. My friend Ellen Harvey had earlier approached me asking if a friend could get on JB. He was an exercise rider for some Thoroughbred racing trainers, but had never been on a Standardbred before. His name is Alex Brown and not only has he ridden thousands of Thoroughbreds, he is also an author of a book (Greatness and Goodness: Barbara and His Legacy) and had a big social media following. I thought it was a great idea because it would bring some attention to our Standardbreds. So we entered Alex and JB in the 'Ride a Buck' class, which is ridden bareback with a dollar bill under the rider's knee. "The riders then have to follow the commands of a judge --- walk, trot and canter (if they get that far). It was a big class, always a fun class to watch. One by one the riders lost their dollar bills, but two riders were not giving up. Sam had just interviewed Alex the night before at the track about his book and less than 24 hours later they were facing each other in what quickly became a two-man contest. "They were battling it out, Sam joking with Alex to please give up because he couldn't hold on to his dollar much longer and Alex saying he would never give up. The audience was cheering them on and the judges gave more and more commands, turn right, turn left, trot, turn without stopping and go the other way, to try to force them in to a mistake. Finally they got up to a canter and Sam's dollar floated to the ground, while Alex's was right where he put it. JB and Alex were victorious, but Sam was grinning from ear to ear. It was a joy to see these two grown men have fun and laugh like little kids. "This was what Sam was, always a good sport, always smiling and always had kind words to everyone he met. Whenever I would see him he always stopped for a few words, didn't matter if he was on the run, in the TV studio at the Meadowlands or anywhere else. He always made time to listen. He will be deeply missed by the entire harness racing community." The following anecdote, recounted by Ellen Harvey, the director of the USTA's Harness Racing Communications division, further demonstrates Sam's ability, knowledge and thoughtfulness: "In 2011, the World Trotting Conference came to the U.S. and the USTA was host for leaders of harness racing from all over the world. They visited a variety of farms in New Jersey in between meetings and I was asked to put together a demonstration of Standardbreds in other disciplines showing off their athletic ability. "I asked Sam if he would show off his ex-racehorse Buddy's skill in barrel racing and he very nicely obliged. Sam and Buddy were the last team in the demo; they screeched around the barrels and came to a full stop, kicking up a spray of dirt, right in front of the audience, from a dead run. "When they got over their shock and horror at being nearly run over, the audience gave him a big round of applause. "My then 86 year-old dad, Harry Harvey, lived near the site of the demo - at the Standardbred Retirement Foundation's facility. I invited him and my mom to come see the demo and they were tucked away in chairs in a corner of the ring, watching. Walking on an uneven surface was hard for my dad by then. "After Sam was finished greeting the guests, I asked him to bring Buddy over and show dad that he had controlled that horse at maximum speed with no bit - he used a bitless bridle that put pressure on the horse's nose, not his mouth. "Sam brought the horse so close he was almost in dad's lap. Dad struggled to his feet to watch intently as Sam explained all the things he'd tried to control Buddy, how he finally arrived at the bitless bridle and showed dad every part of it and the mechanics of how it worked. My father was transfixed - learning something new about training horses at age 86. He talked about that day for months afterward. "The next time I saw Sam at the track, I thanked him for taking the time to show my dad this new gizmo for riding horses. His response was typically modest, 'I couldn't believe that I was teaching a Hall of Fame trainer something about rigging a horse.'" Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager

Elkton, MD -- Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by BetAmerica will have an abbreviated harness racing show on Thursday at 1 PM highlighting the life and legacy of Sam McKee. Sam passed away on Wednesday as a result of complications from a stroke he had last month. Gabe Prewitt will be joining the special show this week, recalling some of his memories of his late friend. Mike and Mike will highlight some of his most memorable race calls and also read some fan feedback that was sent in. You can listen live at www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com or on the archive at www.betamerica.com/BARN. By Michael Carter, for Post Time with Mike and Mike

Columbus, OH --- Harnessracing.com is reporting that Communicators Hall of Famer Sam McKee, one of the most well-known and respected announcers in horse racing, died Tuesday night (March 7), as a result of complications after suffering a major stroke early last month. He was 54. Mr. McKee was the announcer and simulcast director at the Meadowlands, leaving his home state of Michigan in 1998 to work on a fill-in basis at the New Jersey racetrack. Soon after he was hired as full-time announcer, later adding the title of simulcast director. Mr. McKee was elected to the Michigan Harness Horsemen's Association's Hall of Fame in 2009. In 2012, he received the sport's highest honor when he was elected to the Communicators Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y. To read more on harnessracing.com, click here.  

East Rutherford, NJ - Over the weekend it became clear to me that most harness racing people had assumed that the Stallion Restriction Condition, "Gural Rule", only applied to stakes races at the Meadowlands, Vernon and Tioga, when in fact the intent was to apply them to stakes, qualifiers, baby races and overnights.   To be honest, I really thought in the long run this would help the breeders because, in my mind, we have to create new younger people to replace those of us, including myself, who are not going to live forever. Having said that, obviously most breeders do not agree and the last thing I want to do is fight with my friends in the industry who stepped up with sponsorships to help keep our stakes program in place while we wait for common sense to prevail in New Jersey and allow us to have expanded gambling. I realized it was important for all of us to work together and I have instructed Nick to revise the conditions so that the restriction only applies to stakes races at the three tracks and not anything else.   While I recognize that the rivalry last year between Always B Miki, Wiggle it Jiggleit and Freaky Feet Pete was not a direct result of the rule, it did show, in my mind, how important it is to have major races contested with horses that people have an allegiance to and recognize the names as opposed to our two year old stakes and some of our three year old stakes where the participants are mostly known only in the industry.   On a separate note, I want to thank the industry for stepping up to help support Sam McKee and his family during this difficult time. I understand to date the go fund me page raised over $126,000 which is truly amazing.   Sam's illness was a shock to everyone as he is probably the best liked person and the most talented announcer out there. He has worked tirelessly for the industry and especially the Meadowlands and our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family while he embarks on the long road to recovery.   For our part we have advised the family that Sam will be on the payroll for the foreseeable future and that anything that the family needs we are there for them.   Meadowlands Media Relations on behalf of Mr. Gural

A Post Time with Mike and Mike harness racing special 'Sam McKee: The Race to Recovery' will air on Tuesday night, February 7th, at 7:00 PM Eastern. It can be heard live on the duo's website posttimewithmikeandmike.com, or on-demand at betamerica.com/barn.   The show will feature interviews with Larry Lederman, Jason Settlemoir, Dave Bianconi, Roger Huston, and more. Also, the duo will cue up some of Sam's greatest racecalls, and replay Sam's interview when he accepted the 2016 Race call of the Year Award, in which he called Alway's B Miki's fastest mile in harness racing at The Red Mile.   Fans and horsemen are encouraged to leave well wishes, and share their favorite race calls and stories about Sam through the Mike and Mike Fan Feedbox. The number is (443) 993-9614. Please leave your name and message and it will play on the air Tuesday night. The deadline to leave a message or a well wish is Tuesday at 1:00 PM.    

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (February 3, 2017) - As many of you have heard, the longtime Hall of Fame voice of the Meadowlands and director of television, Sam McKee, suffered a major stroke on Thursday. He is out of surgery, but still in critical condition at a New Jersey hospital. There will be a challenging road ahead for his emotional and physical recovery. Sam will most likely require months of physical rehabilitation. Many of us have had the privilege to work with Sam since he first came to the Meadowlands in 1998. His knowledge, devotion and love for harness racing is simply unmatched. Anytime he walks into a room, his energy and excitement is infectious. Sam is a tireless worker and gives all of himself to promote his beloved sport. There is no fan, horsemen, or even bettor that has not felt goose bumps while listening to one of Sam's signature "charging hard" calls as the horses come storming down the Meadowlands stretch. While Sam has touched and influenced countless people in the industry, his character and reputation stand above all else. He is the most kind, genuine person you could meet and is tremendously generous to all that know him. The McKee Family would like to invite everyone to continue sharing their thoughts and prayers with Sam. A GoFund Me account has been established to help his family during the long road to recovery. The medical fund can be accessed via this link https://www.gofundme.com/sam-mckees-medical-fund. While the family continues to appreciate the outpouring of support from so many people, they ask that their privacy be respected during these challenging times. More updates will be provided as necessary. by Justin Horowitz, for the Meadowlands

In the words of Hall of Fame racecaller Sam McKee on Friday (March 18) night at The Meadowlands, "you can only hope to contain him." McKee was speaking of driver Scott Zeron, who captured four races on the 12-race harness racing card.   Total betting turnover on the program exceeded $3 million for the fourth consecutive live racing night, and for the 13th time in the last 14 cards.   Despite two fewer races in comparison to many of the February cards, total handle for the night's program was $3,059,381, averaging out to be just over a quarter million dollars per race. On- and off-track handle alike showed significant increases over those of a snow-laden card on the corresponding Friday of March 2015.   The 26-year-old Zeron wasted no time in registering his grand slam, teaming up with the yet-undefeated Ava N Ella ($2.10) in the evening's second race for a 1:53.2 going-away win, the fourth in the Tony O'Sullivan trainee's career. The Montreal native continued with a 1:54 triumph aboard Jonas Czernyson trainee Lauderdale ($6.00) in the sixth event before wins with Not Before Eight ($4.80) and Exquisite Glide ($7.60) in the eighth and tenth races, respectively.   The featured $12,500 fourth-level trot saw World Cup ($3.80) take full advantage of a third-over trip, rallying off cover to just prevail while odds-on. Joe Bongiorno pointed the 7-year-old Yankee Glide entire into the outer flow as Magenta Man (Andy Miller) engaged Its Payday Friday (John Campbell) in a middle-half duel. The two battled through a three-quarter split of 1:25.3, and after cornering 29-1 longshot Watkins (Jim Marohn, Jr.) tipped off cover to take the lead from a breaking Magenta Man in mid-stretch. Despite Watkins's best efforts, World Cup was just a bit quicker one path wider, prevailing in 1:54.3 by a scant head in the last yards. Its Payday Friday, worn down by heavy mid-race pressure, held third.   Richard Johnson trains World Cup for Carly Roman.   The evening's top distaff pace, a $12,000 fourth-level event, went to Purity ($4.40), a pillar-to-post winner in rein to Vinny Ginsburg. The 5-year-old Always a Virgin mare controlled the terms throughout her 1:52.2 mile, sprinting off in upper stretch to evade Do Your Job (Marcus Miller) and Mystical Treasure (Zeron) for her 16th career win. Joint favorite Mandy's Mattjesty (Bongiorno) failed to finish the race, having been eased on the backstretch with a broken hopple.   Vinny Fusco, Jr. trains Purity for Michael Casalino, Jr.   A pair of GSY Amateur Series races took place early on the card, with Tropical Storm Bi ($14.00, Tony Ciuffetelli) and Keystone Thomas ($3.80, Bob Hechkoff) both proving victorious.   Tomorrow evening's 12-race card has a 7:15 p.m. EDT first post, and the usual $105,000 in guaranteed Pick 4 and Pick 5 pools. The closing-race 20¢ Jackpot High 5 pool will be buoyed by a $143,778 carryover should one punter capture the entire pool.   by James Witherite, Meadowlands Media Relations

In case you have not already signed up for Harnesslink’s great newsletter called Insider Access, then here is your chance.  Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. This week’s Insider Access newsletter contains the following feature stories: NZ Election Not What We Need - Last weekend in New Zealand the 2014 general election took place and unfortunately for harness racing nothing much is going to change. 2015 Inter-Dominions - The announcement last week that Perth is the new home of the Inter-Dominions from 2015 has been greeted with a lot of positive comment and why not. Rules are rules, or weak excuse? - Opinions are divided over Gaita Pullicino’s latest clash with Harness Racing Victoria stewards. Open the gates - Is it time for every race track in Australasia to drop their admission fee? After all, race courses are the only ‘casinos’ in the world where patrons have to pay to gamble! Stallion Review – Ponder - Continuing on with our stallion review series today we have produced an in depth review for the excellent racehorse and stallion Ponder, 1:49h, 1:48.1 ($1,686,134). Trailers on a half mile 3yo stake? It shouldn’t be! On Little Brown Jug and Jugette Days, there were stakes races for three-year-old trotters, the Oaken Bucket and the Buckette. Both had ten horses going on a half mile track. Two trailers. Kudos to Sam, Dave, Wendy and Roger at the Jug - The broadcast team of Sam Mckee, Dave Bianconi, Wendy Ross and when available, Roger Huston, were superb in last week’s coverage of the Delaware County Fairgrounds and Jug and Jugette Days. Don’t miss out on the next edition of Insider Access. The newsletter currently comes out every other Tuesday morning (North America), Tuesday afternoon (Europe) and Wednesday morning (Australasia).

In case you have not already signed up for Harnesslink’s great newsletter called Insider Access, then here is your chance.  Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. This week’s Insider Access newsletter contains the following feature stories: Rules are rules, or weak excuse? - Opinions are divided over Gaita Pullicino’s latest clash with Harness Racing Victoria stewards. Open the gates - Is it time for every race track in Australasia to drop their admission fee? After all, race courses are the only ‘casinos’ in the world where patrons have to pay to gamble! 2015 Inter-Dominions - The announcement last week that Perth is the new home of the Inter-Dominions from 2015 has been greeted with a lot of positive comment and why not. NZ Election Not What We Need - Last weekend in New Zealand the 2014 general election took place and unfortunately for harness racing nothing much is going to change. Stallion Review – Ponder - Continuing on with our stallion review series today we have produced an in depth review for the excellent racehorse and stallion Ponder, 1:49h, 1:48.1 ($1,686,134). Trailers on a half mile 3yo stake? It shouldn’t be! On Little Brown Jug and Jugette Days, there were stakes races for three-year-old trotters, the Oaken Bucket and the Buckette. Both had ten horses going on a half mile track. Two trailers. Kudos to Sam, Dave, Wendy and Roger at the Jug - The broadcast team of Sam Mckee, Dave Bianconi, Wendy Ross and when available, Roger Huston, were superb in last week’s coverage of the Delaware County Fairgrounds and Jug and Jugette Days. Don’t miss out on the next edition of Insider Access. The newsletter currently comes out every other Tuesday morning (North America), Tuesday afternoon (Europe) and Wednesday morning (Australasia).

In case you have not already signed up for Harnesslink’s great newsletter called Insider Access, then here is your chance.  Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. This week’s Insider Access newsletter contains the following feature stories: Stallion Review – Ponder - Continuing on with our stallion review series today we have produced an in depth review for the excellent racehorse and stallion Ponder, 1:49h, 1:48.1 ($1,686,134). Trailers on a half mile 3yo stake? It shouldn’t be! On Little Brown Jug and Jugette Days, there were stakes races for three-year-old trotters, the Oaken Bucket and the Buckette. Both had ten horses going on a half mile track. Two trailers. Kudos to Sam, Dave, Wendy and Roger at the Jug - The broadcast team of Sam Mckee, Dave Bianconi, Wendy Ross and when available, Roger Huston, were superb in last week’s coverage of the Delaware County Fairgrounds and Jug and Jugette Days. Rules are rules, or weak excuse? - Opinions are divided over Gaita Pullicino’s latest clash with Harness Racing Victoria stewards. Open the gates - Is it time for every race track in Australasia to drop their admission fee? After all, race courses are the only ‘casinos’ in the world where patrons have to pay to gamble! 2015 Inter-Dominions - The announcement last week that Perth is the new home of the Inter-Dominions from 2015 has been greeted with a lot of positive comment and why not. NZ Election Not What We Need - Last weekend in New Zealand the 2014 general election took place and unfortunately for harness racing nothing much is going to change. Don’t miss out on the next edition of Insider Access. The newsletter currently comes out every other Tuesday morning (North America), Tuesday afternoon (Europe) and Wednesday morning (Australasia).

In case you have not already signed up for Harnesslink’s great newsletter called Insider Access, then here is your chance.  Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. This week’s Insider Access newsletter contains the following feature stories: Trailers on a half mile 3yo stake? It shouldn't be! - On Little Brown Jug and Jugette Days, there were stakes races for three-year-old trotters, the Oaken Bucket and the Buckette. Both had ten horses going on a half mile track. Two trailers. Kudos to Sam, Dave, Wendy and Roger at the Jug - The broadcast team of Sam Mckee, Dave Bianconi, Wendy Ross and when available, Roger Huston, were superb in last week’s coverage of the Delaware County Fairgrounds and Jug and Jugette Days. Rules are rules, or weak excuse? - Opinions are divided over Gaita Pullicino’s latest clash with Harness Racing Victoria stewards. Stallion Review – Ponder - Continuing on with our stallion review series today we have produced an in depth review for the excellent racehorse and stallion Ponder, 1:49h, 1:48.1 ($1,686,134). Open the gates - Is it time for every race track in Australasia to drop their admission fee? After all, race courses are the only ‘casinos’ in the world where patrons have to pay to gamble! 2015 Inter-Dominions - The announcement last week that Perth is the new home of the Inter-Dominions from 2015 has been greeted with a lot of positive comment and why not. NZ Election Not What We Need - Last weekend in New Zealand the 2014 general election took place and unfortunately for harness racing nothing much is going to change. Don’t miss out on the next edition of Insider Access. The newsletter currently comes out every other Tuesday morning (North America), Tuesday afternoon (Europe) and Wednesday morning (Australasia).

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