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Lake Worth, FL - It was an exciting morning at Olympia of Palm Beach Training Center (formerly the South Florida Trotting Center) as five qualifying races were held with two race finishes decided by a head and a neck. The first race trot saw driver Fern Paquet, Jr. cut slow fraction as the pocket-sitting Celebrity Titan (Sam Stathis) went off-stride at the half mile. Paquet then just needed to keep Hall OF Faith on-stride and they won by 20 lengths in 2:10.1. It was only the second qualifying race for Hall Of Faith. The three-year-old filly by Conway Hall is trained by Jennifer Sansone for owner Reuben Graber of Sugarcreek, Ohio. Paquet was greeted in the winner's circle with some rolls of toilet paper. Each winning driver will receive a 12-pack of the hard-to-get item. Paquet, whose daughter Meghan was the outrider for the qualifying races, made a return trip to the winner's circle in the second race trot. It was Sam Stathis going right to the lead with Celebrity Bianca with Paquet was content to sitting the two-hole trip with Celebrity Miracle, who had just won on March 16 at Pompano Park in a lifetime best clocking of 1:54.3. Stathis widened his lead with Celebrity Bianca trying to bottom out Celebrity Miracle and Paquet, going to the first quarter in :29.2, then past the half mile in :59.3. Paquet began to gain ground with Celebrity Miracle, closing to within two lengths of Celebrity Bianca at the three-quarters in 1:30.1. Racing neck and neck around the final turn, Paquet put a nose up over Celebrity Bianca and the pulled away in the stretch to win by two lengths in 2:01. A four-year-old gelded son of Celebrity Maserati, Celebrity Miracle is trained by Sam Stathis and is owned by his Celebrity Farms of New York, NY. It would turn out that Celebrity Miracle's mile was the fastest of the day. The third race all belonged to Sam Sathis and his stallion, Celebrity Maserati, but it was a tough mile at the finish wire. Stathis started off the show going right to the lead with Celebrity Maserati. Also, in the race was Celebrity Serena (Fern Paquet, Jr.), who is sired by Celebrity Maserati, so the race was father against daughter. Celebrity Serena (who is named after the tennis star) was content with the pocket trip as Celebrity Maserati cut all the fractions. Starting around the final turn, Paquet pulled the pocket and started to come after her sire, Celebrity Maserati. Those two horses dueled neck and neck down the stretch with Celebrity Maserati winning by a head in 2:05. A $198,000 career stakes winner at age two and three, Celebrity Maserati is a ten-year-old stallion by Andover Hall. Due to injuries he was unable to race for years, but still was able to service numerous mares for Celebrity Farms and will return to the races once the tracks are able to reopen. Celebrity Maserati is trained by Stathis and owned by his Celebrity Farms. The fourth race was for pacers with trainer/driver Dan Daley sitting a pocket trip with Sweet Deisel while Jimi Wind Ricks and driver Scott Zeron cut the mile. Through fractions of :31.3, 1:02.2 and 1:32, Jimi Wind Ricks was strong on the lead, but Dan Daley kept Sweet Deisel right in the pocket until the final turn and then came after Jimi Wind Ricks. It looked as if Jimi Wind Rocks and Zeron would be able to hold on, but Sweet Deisel kicked in a :28.4 last quarter mile and nipped Jimi Wind Ricks by a neck in 2:01.1. It was the second fasted mile for the day. Daley, an inductee to the Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame, trains Sweet Deisel, a four-year-old gelding by Sweet Lou who is co-owned by his wife, Ann-Mari Daley and Crawford Farms. Sweet Deisel last year scored seven wins and won $43,000. Due to scratches, the fifth race pace featured just one starter, Roll With Angel and driver Scott Zeron. They cut fractions of :32, 1:02.1, 1:32 and won the race in 2:01.4. Trained by John Mungillo, Roll With Angel is a three-year-old filly by Roll With Joe and is co-owned by Finish Line Investors, Thatsideofthefence, J. Papernik and L Wiler. She started 12 times last year at age 2, earned over $43,000 in the New York Sire Stake and had never won a race until Wednesday's qualifier. "This was just a super day," Said Sam Stathis, who owns Olympia of Palm Beach Training Center. "We tried to make this event something special for people to watch. We had some Facebook Live and the video and droning of the races will be on our Olympiapalmbeach.com website later today. I want to thank everyone that came out today and made things happen and kept proper social distances. "We hope to do more events like this in the future," Stathis added. "I know this virus is a terrible thing, but we will beat it and come back and be strong again. Video of each of the five races and the droning that took place will be available to view at www.olympiapalmbeach.com. By Steve Wolf, for Olympia of Palm Beach  

Lake Worth, FL - In harness racing there are purses and prizes to be won when competing, whether it's going for over $1 million in the Hambletonian Trot, or just a local fair race for $2,500, there is always a prize that awaits the winner. Perhaps for the first time ever in horse racing history there will be races held on Wednesday (April 1) and what does the winner of the race get when they arrive in the winner's circle? You guessed it, a case of 12 rolls of toilet paper. And this is no April 1 Fool's Joke! Olympia of Palm Beach Training Center, formally known as the South Florida Trotting Center, will be holding five qualifying races Wednesday morning. Due to the Coronavirus-19, the public is not allowed to attend, but track management is hopeful to have live video and droning of the trotting races. Sam Stathis owns Olympia of Palm Beach Training Center. He has his Celebrity Farms Stable there and has entered seven of his horses in the qualifying races. "We wanted to have a prize for the winner of each race," Stathis said. "and we wanted to have some fun with it. At first the races were going to be for non-winners of a ham sandwich, but due to the hoarders grabbing up all the toilet paper, we switched the prize from a ham sandwich to a 12-pack of toilet paper. Maybe I'll thrown in a six-pack of Corona beer too!" Usually qualifying races are held to determine if a trotter or pacer can go in a specified time to meet the standards set by racetracks. There are never purses or prizes for qualifying races. "Right now," Stathis explained. "While everyone else is building bunkers and waiting for the world to end from Coronavirus-19, we take this virus very seriously and recommend and practice social distancing. It's ironic in a sport where we want to get fans to attend, this time we want them to stay away for everyone's protection. But in turn, we are trying to keep our horses exercised, keep moral up and show the world that we can have some fun with this incredible sport." Of the 12 horses that are competing in the five qualifying races, there is one unique standout performer. His name is Celebrity Maserati. The oldest horse in the field at age ten, Celebrity Maserati, was a top stake winning trotting colt at age two and three, amassing $198,000 in earnings for Sam Stathis's Celebrity Farms and has a record of 1:53. Over the years he has had some injuries that kept him from racing, but not from breeding horses. Over the years Celebrity Maserati (sired by Andover Hall), has bred numerous mares, enough in fact that he not only has three of his sons and daughters competing in the qualifying races, but in the third race Celebrity Maserati starts from post three with Stathis driving and its daughter, Celebrity Serena, starts alongside him in post three. The other "Celebrity" horses that Celebrity Maserati has sired include recent 1:54.3 winner at Pompano Park, Celebrity Miracle (race two), and Celebrity Bianca, whom also starts in race two. Another Celebrity horse, Celebrity Titan, who is sired by Yankee Glide, starts in the first race. He is a brother to Celebrity Miracle. The fourth and fifth races are for pacers and features $101,000 winner Jimi Wind Ricks in the fourth race against $49,000 winner Sweet Deisel. The fifth race spotlights $77,000 winner Rose Run Slider against $43,000 winner Roll With Angel. Some of the sports top harness racing drivers will be competing in the qualifying races including Scott Zeron, Jim Meittinis, Dan Daley and Fern Paquet, Jr. To get a program proof and to watch the video and droning of the qualifying races that will begin at 11:00 am Wednesday, go to www.olympiapalmbeach.com and look for the special links on the home page. Ann-Mari Daley will also be doing Facebook Live of the races from the starting gate. By Steve Wolf, for Olympia of Palm Beach    

Wellington, FL - Sam Stathis, owner of Olympia of Palm Beach Training Center, formerly known as the South Florida Trotting Center, wants everyone to know that the track will be hosting harness racing qualifying races on Wednesday, April 1 and that the training center has stall space available for Florida horsemen. "I want everyone to know that we are here to help all horse people during this crisis," Said Sam Stathis. "And that we just received approval from the USTA (United States Trotting Association) to hold qualifying races. "We are just finishing arranging everything for the qualifying races," Stathis explained. "You need to have judges, a clerk of course, video, timing, an EMT and other special people to hold these races and I am pleased that we have assembled a team so we can hold these races for the horse people. "I am even hiring a drone person to video the qualifying races from the air," Stathis said. "I think everyone will love to see that special effect/view. As we do not want to encourage any crowds for these races due to the Coronavirus-19, I am trying to provide the best viewing possible for these races." Entries for the qualifying races at Olympia of Palm Beach must be called in to Kathy Breedlove by 1:00 pm Monday, March 30 at 954-654-0129. There will be only three horses per race and if possible, horses will be split into divisions by gait.  Qualifying races will begin Wednesday, April 1 at 11:00 am. "Also, at this time at Olympia of Palm Beach, we are inviting horse people to move to our training facility," Stathis said. "And the fee is whatever they can reasonably afford on an emergency basis. "All we request is that the horses must have current health papers," Stathis added. "And that at Olympia of Palm Beach we have a zero drug and alcohol tolerance policy on the property." For more information about Olympia of Palm Beach, visit their website at https://olympiapalmbeach.com/ or call 315-225-4992. From Olympia of Palm Beach      

Pompano Beach, FL - The "celebrities" are at Eldorado Pompano Park this season, both on and the off the harness racing track. Celebrity Stallone recently qualified this past Tuesday at Pompano Park and low and behold in the race paddock and then on the track apron was Dante Stallone, the younger half-brother of world-renowned Hollywood star, Sylvester Stallone. It was announced by owner Sam Stathis of Celebrity Farms, NY, that Dante Stallone has purchased a share and is now a part-owner of the Father Patrick colt, Celebrity Stallone. Stathis is also Dante Stallone's business manager. "I have known Dante for a number of years," said Stathis. "And always promised him one day I would name a good colt after him and his family and that day has come. Dante wants to learn more about harness racing so I sold him a share of the horse." Dante Stallone, 21, is attending Florida State University and studying towards a bachelor of science degree in biological science. He also works in his spare time as an actor, producer and screenwriter. "Before being introduced to the world of harness racing," Stallone said. "The only experience I had with the sport was what I saw on TV. Getting licensed and now owning my own horse legitimizes my interests. It still seems so surreal." After getting his owners license, Stallone was treated to a ride in the starting gate to watch a qualifying race. All Standardbred horses must trot or pace in a certain standard of time in order to be qualified to race at the track. "This was my first time at the racetrack," Stallone said. "And what a blast it was. I had the best seat in the house to view my first race while riding in the starting gate." Celebrity Stallone did very well as the two-year-old finished third and was race timed in 2:00.4. "From what I observed," Stallone said. "Celebrity Stallone has major promise on the track. After gaining some more experience I believe he'll be a force to be reckoned with." Stallone said it was nearly a perfect night at the races. "The track was beautiful, the Eldorado casino was fantastic, and the restaurant superb," Stallone added. "We ate at Farradday's Steakhouse after the qualifying races and what great food and service. Also, I got my first taste of the thrill of horse gambling, losing $50 dollars on a shady tip!" Stallone, who is on Christmas break from college, will be in south Florida for a month and Sam Stathis said his education into harness racing will be fast and furious. "Already Friday morning I had Dante here at Olympia Palm Beach (formerly the South Florida Trotting Center)," Stathis said. "And Dante is learning how to groom horses, put on a harness and even got to take Celebrity Stallone on the racetrack in one of our Theometrics Exotic Chariots. "We are already working on a special night at Pompano Park," Stathis explained. "When both Celebrity Stallone and Celebrity Eventsy are both racing, we will be inviting newcomers from all over South Florida via networking, to come out for a night of fun, hear about fractional ownership, get to meet Dante, and learning about how great harness racing is." The event date, times and location at Eldorado Pompano Park will be announced shortly. For more information, visit www.worldchariot.org. By Steve Wolf, for Celebrity Farms  

Pompano Beach, FL - On Thursday night the North American harness racing record for trotters going five-eighths of a mile was both set and tied in the Dash For The Cash Series at Eldorado Pompano Park. The North American record that was set was done so by Sam Stathis's Celebrity Eventsy ($7.00) in the third race trot, the third of three $10,000 Dash For The Cash divisions on the program. With trainer/driver Sam Stathis in the sulky, Celebrity Eventsy was able to grab the early lead away from Katch Kanna (Aaron Byron) by the opening quarter mile in :27.2. Celebrity Eventsy and Stathis then held the field at bay as they led at the half mile in :55.4 and then won by one and one-half lengths in 1:10 over Thundercrest (Dustin Ingraham) with Railee Workable (Bryce Fenn) third. A five-year-old mare by Manofmanymissions, the 1:10 clocking was the fastest ever by a mare going five-eighths of a mile. It was her second win this season. She is a career winner of $581,000 and is owned by Celebrity Farms of New York, NY. Earlier on the card, in the first race, second trot division of the Dash For The Cash, Bioness, with trainer/driver Hunter Oakes, also wired the field, going in a speedy 1:09. That time tied Bioness with Sooo Handsome, who set the mark in February of this year, also at Pompano Park. Bioness defeated Sooo Handsome (Rick Plano) with Fleetwood Hall (James Hysell) third. It was the second straight win and seventh of the season for Bioness, a seven-year-old gelding by Sam Bourbon, who is owned by the Northfork Racing Stable of Wilkes-Barre, PA and paid $7.40 to win. There was a pacing division of the Dash For The Cash Series in the second race and that took the photo finish camera to decide the winner. Polak A and Hunter Oakes went right to the lead and sizzled to the opening quarter mile in :26.2, then cut the mile to the half in :54 and had the lead starting down the stretch. Meanwhile, Feelin Lika Winner and driver David Ingraham got away in fifth place, then moved up to third place at the top of the stretch and keeping to the inside, gained ground with every stride and nipped Polak A at the wire by a nose. Bowedfortyova (Gregory Merton) was third. The time of the mile was 1:08 as Feelin Lika Winner posted his eighth win of the year. The eight-year-old gelded son of Feelin Friskie is trained and co-owned by Casandra Uppal with Rebecca Uppal of Middletown, IN. He paid $11.20 to win. By Steve Wolf  

Goshen, NY – Celebrity Farms Sam Stathis has announced that his stakes winning harness racing trotter, Celebrity Maserati, will be standing stud for the 2019 season at Leatherstocking Equine Group in New York. His stud fee will be $2,500. Sired by Andover Hall from the SJ’s Caviar mare, Arlanda Hanover, Celebrity Maserati was a $198,000 stakes winner with a record of 1:53 as a three-year-old at Pocono Downs. At age three he was the winner of the Dexter Cup Trot Final at Freehold Raceway and was first and second in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. In the Dexter Cup, it was only the second start of the season for Celebrity Maserati, who defeated Jimmy Takter’s world record holder Dontyouforgetit in 1:58.3, an early lifetime best clocking, making him a season’s leader for most of the year.  From seven foals out of Arlanda Hanover, six made the races and Celebrity Maserati was the fastest and top money earner. He has a full brother, Orlando, who was a $175,000 stakes winner with a record of 1:54.4f and his Celebrity Maserati was favored that year to win his division of the prestigious Hambletonian Trot, but fractured his ankle on the first turn and still was able to come home faster that any other horse in the race. Celebrity Maserati was also one of the horses rescued from the devasting fire at the Olympia Training Center (formerly the South Florida Trotting Center) on March 16, 2016 that took the lives of 12 Standardbred race horses. Between his injuries in the Hambletonian and then the fire, Stathis decided it was time to stand his big beautiful black stallion at stud. “He is such a magnificent looking horse,” said Stathis, “That I felt it was time to put him to stud publicly. I know he will do very well in NY as he was a major stakes winner (Dexter Cup) on a half mile track and has taken fast records on all size tracks.” All breeding and booking inquiries should be directed to David Hanson at the Leatherstocking Equine Group, New Berlin, NY. Email: dhanson@leatherstockingvet.com or call 607-847-9996. By Steve Wolf, for Celebrity Farms

Boynton Beach, FL - There are still stalls available at the Olympia Palm Beach (formerly the South Florida Trotting Center) for those wishing to get out of the cold this winter to train their horses. The picturesque all-breed equestrian center sits on 102 acres and features 14 barns totaling 399 stalls, 50 caretaker residents, a veterinarian lab, equipment maintenance building and a restaurant. The property has three hot-walkers, two equine exercise pools, a newly re-surfaced 5/8th mile track, a 1/2-mile-deep sand track and a 1/2-mile straight training strip, plus a new synthetic surface show jumping ring and recent upgraded buildings and landscaping. The training facility is just seven miles from downtown Wellington and a 40-minute drive to Eldorado Pompano Park. It is the perfect location for any trainer who does not want to miss one day of training their horses during the winter months. The Olympia Palm Beach is located at 7563 S State Road 7, Lake Worth, FL. For more information, contact John Wallace at 212-627-8220 or email johnwallace4u@yahoo.com. Video of the farm can bee seen at https://vimeo.com/127206037 From the Olympia Palm Beach Center  

It was just over five months ago that the tragic barn fire took place at the South Florida Trotting Center in Lake Worth. Of the 23 Standardbred horses in Barn 9 that evening, only five have survived and now one of those harness racing horses that were rescued, a trotter named Celebrity Lover, has made it to the winner's circle. Sunday night at Pocono Downs in Pennsylvania, Celebrity Lover, trained and driven by Sam Stathis, who owns the South Florida Trotting Center, won the seventh race trot by a neck in 1:59. The homebred stallion, owned and bred by Stathis's Celebrity Farms, was rescued from the barn fire that frightful night on March 15. The four-year-old son of Andover Hall from the Yankee Glide mare, Celebrity Feeling, suffered 3rd degree burns over his back from the burning roof above his stall. Within days of the fire, Stathis set up a special therapy barn at the South Florida Trotting Center to help aid the recovery for the surviving horses from the fire. "There is no doubt that our therapy barn aided in the recovery and return to racing for Celebrity Lover," Sam Stathis said. "And the outpouring of support and love from people all over the world were a big factor too. "We enclosed Barn 1 in fly netting," Stathis explained, "We brought in or were donated everything we could get to help these horses. The latest in laser equipment to promote healing, special nebulizing equipment to treat the horses burned lungs from the heat and smoke of the fire, an electro-equiscope, heart monitoring equipment, a theraplate unit, an equine weight scale, the best floor matting available to help prevent hoof problems and more to aid with their recovery." "FarmVet.com donated an entire pallet of burn cream that was used up within months and then donated another pallet." Stathis explained. "We had to hand walk these horses before dawn and after sundown as their burns could not be exposed to sunlight. "Each morning we bathed the burns, then reapplied the creams, did treatments and then repeated it all over again in the afternoon. I want to give credit to caretaker Lyne Morneau and trainer Alex Spano who worked day and night for months caring for them and to Dr. Michael Carinda and Dr. Paul Caputo for their work. We argued tooth and nail over how to treat these horse but in the long run it worked. Most veterinarians never had burn victims like this to treat." The results were shown on the racetrack Sunday as Celebrity Lover raced parked out first-over from the half mile and Stathis rated the mare perfectly, clearing to the lead in the stretch and holding off Coogan in the final strides to win in a photo finish. Unraced at age two, Celebrity Lover made just five starts at age 3 with a qualifying win in 2:05.4. He just qualified at Pocono Downs August 10, was third in a pari-mutuel race, timed in 1:58.3 on August 19 and is now a winner. "I literally cried with joy after "Lover" dug in and held off Ake Svanstedt with Coogan for the win," Stathis said. "It was just five months that he (Celebrity Lover) was fighting for his life from the smoke inhalation and burns." Celebrity Lover is the first of fire victims to return to the races and win. Stathis said that the other three of his horses that were in the fire, Celebrity Tsipras, Celebrity Lambo and Celebrity Artemis, are coming back strong. Celebrity Tsipras just qualified and raced for the first time August 14 and hopefully the other two will be racing before the end of the year. Celebrity Lover is a full brother to the mare Celebrity Artemis. It should be noted that the fifth horse that survived from Barn 9 fire, Grateful Pride, a two-year-old colt by Bettors Delight, has also been racing for trainer Linda Toscano since late June, but has yet to win. "God didn't want these horses yet for a reason," Stathis said. "The trainers and grooms that helped saved them from the fire and risked their lives for these animals are the real heroes. And what a feel good way to celebrate with having them not just recover from their burns and internal injuries but to race and win. You could not script a movie any better than this. "And we will be adding more therapy equipment this year to Barn 1 at the South Florida Trotting Center," Stathis added. "I'm still trying to get an equine hyperbaric chamber if possible. Whatever it takes to help care for the horses. This fall the therapy barn will be available for all horses of every breed that need help." For more information, visit www.southfloridatrottingcenter.com. By Steve Wolf for the South Florida Trotting Center    

The World Chariot Racing Federation (WCRF) pre-Olympic tour on its "Road To Rio" made stops in both Sweden and Canada over the weekend. The WCRF is dedicated to resurrecting Chariot Racing in the Olympics while revitalization and reshaping the sport of harness racing. WCRF founder, Sam Stathis, was in Stockholm, Sweden Saturday and Sunday for the world renowned Standardbred harness horse race called the Elitloppet, where more than 28,000 fans came out Sunday to see the classic event. "What a tremendous weekend of racing at the Solvalla track," Stathis said. "The crowds were overwhelming, everyone rooting for his or her favorites. It took me more than a half hour to get from the dining room to the winner's circle just in time to see Jimmy Takter's Pinkman win his race." Stathis met with Swedish racing officials over the weekend, setting up WCRF future events for later this summer and for 2017. "I want to thank the AGT for hosting the WCRF at their tremendous VIP party," Stathis said, "My good friends Ann and Johan Lindberg (secretary general of Travsport) introduced us to racing dignitaries from as far south as Australia, Russia to the north and everyone in between. This will help pave the way for the WCRF to do some great things around the globe as I met people who now know about the goals of the WCRF and will join our team." "Pink highlighted the day," Stathis explained, "There were pink hats, shirts, pants and dresses topped off by a "pink horse" Pinkman, who won his race while defeating other US Stars. And what a great ambassador for the USA and WCRF pre-Olympic Tour as world renowned driver, Yannick Gingras joined us and his friends at the VIP party for a pre-race photo shoot and then topping it off by carrying the Olympic and Greece flags in the winner circle after Pinkman won. Stathis said they were also joined at the VIP party by Mr. and Mrs. Karl-Eric Bender, owners of the Palema Trotting Center in Vero Beach, FL along with Jimmy Takter and his wife Christina and renowned Australian breeder Duncan McPherson. "This was an amazing party," Stathis said, "and a superb weekend of racing that I will cherish in my memories the rest of my life. Everyone wanted to take a photo with the Greek and Olympic flags in support of the what the WCRF is doing for the special Olympics." The Pre-Olympic "Road to Rio" tour is being highlighted by the exotic chariots designed by Sam Stathis as the sport that the ancient Olympics were founded on in 776 BC. The tour is winding its way around the world and winding up at the Olympic city of Rio de Janeiro in August, 2016. At Mohawk Raceway in Ontario, Canada on Saturday, one of the WCRF exotic chariots was on the track during their stakes race evening, taking children around the main track, showing off the unique two-seater design. World champion harness driver, Jody Jamieson and the trotter, Calamar, took the children for their rides. "This is what the WCRF is all about," Stathis said. "Educating children and adults with hands-on "grass-roots" experience getting to sit behind a racehorse on the track." Stathis's Celebrity Farms top racehorse, Celebrity Eventsy, was also at Mohawk Raceway Saturday, finishing third in the $174,000 final of the SBOA Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies. With international support from every equine discipline, the WCRF is leading the effort to return Chariot Racing to the Olympics. Stathis is now on his way to his native country of Greece, where on Sunday, June 5 he will be at the new Olympic Stadium with special Olympic children, attending the National Show Jumping competition. For additional information, visit www.worldchariot.org. From the World Chariot Racing Federation  

WELLINGTON, FL - Stathis Enterprises and the World Chariot Racing Federation (WCRF) has announced that the WCRF will be conducting a pre-Olympic (VIP by invitation only) party on April 24th at the International Polo Grounds. The WCRF organization is dedicated to the resurrecting chariot racing in the Olympics while revitalization and reshaping the sport of harness racing. This is the second straight year that the WCRF is celebrating at the International Polo Club in Wellington during the US Polo Championship match. And the WCRF Olympic countries' dedicated exotic chariots will be on display at the event. The WCRF Olympic premier tour will be highlighted by exhibition events (including an exhibition race on May 3rd in Greece) as the sport that the ancient Olympics were founded on. The tour travels to Greece on Sunday, May 1st--the Christian-Greek Orthodox Easter--before heading to Italy, Sweden, Germany, France, Wales and concluding in Ireland in August. Stathis Enterprises and the WCRF is pushing for the return of exotic chariot racing to the Olympics sport roster. "During the Olympics, all countries would stop wars to promote world peace through camaraderie and sportsmanship," said Sam Stathis, of the WCRF. "That is what we would like to make happen once again. "How do we know the future of chariot racing in the Olympics?" Stathis explained, "Because we are creating the future! As chariot racing has gone into a dark age, it is being resurrected symbolically during the holiest of days, the Christian-Greek Orthodox Easter." Stathis said the pre-Olympic events is also raising funds for the Special Olympics and Horses Healing Hearts. Born Sotirios Stathopoulos in Analtsi, Greece, Sam Stathis is a seventh generation Stathopoulos and was raised just ten kilometers from where his ancestor's fought off King Phillip II, the father of Alexander the Great, in the battle of Thermopylae. He is looking forward to visiting the area during the WCRF tour, and to pay homage to the site. Already committed internationally to the WCRF are top equestrienne gold medalists and world renowned Standardbred horsemen and women. Along with his champion trotting stable, Celebrity Farms, Stathis is partners on two internationally recognized jumpers that are clones of two-time Olympic Gold Medalist champion Sapphire. Both clones are six-year-olds competing towards the road to the Olympics. On April 27th, the Christian-Greek Orthodox Ash Wednesday, the WCRF will be leaving for Greece from the ashes of Barn #9 at the South Florida Trotting Center. It is symbolic as Barn #9 was Sam Stathis's barn where 12 horses perished on March 16 in a tragic fire. A documentary of the devastating fire and a movie are already in production. The documentary, entitled Barn9, will detail the fire at Stathis's South Florida Trotting Center, following the events surrounding the fire, exploring new technology to not only prevent such disasters in the future, but also train fire rescue units in the handling of large animals during and after a fire. It will also feature extensive technology updates for veterinarians on treating large animal fire victims and new standards for barn and stable protocols for fire safety. The film, entitled Chariots On Fire, will cover the history of chariot racing from Egypt to the Olympics in Greece, the Coliseum in Rome to the modern day industry and the new technology that is reviving the sport today. Stathis is the owner of the South Florida Trotting Center in Lake Worth, Celebrity Farms in Goshen, NY, and the CEO and founder of Stathis Enterprises, which comprises Polo Electric, Celebrity Vision Marketing, Eventsy, Intelligent Job Sites, Celebrity Farms Racing Stable, Theometrics and Theometrics University. For more information about the WCRF, visit www.worldchariot.org. From Stathis Enterprises and World Chariot Racing Federation

Lake Worth, FL - Sam Stathis, owner of the South Florida Trotting Center where a disastrous barn fire claimed the lives of 12 horses last week, including one of his own, is fighting another battle these days, and it is against the veterinarians at the equine hospital where seven of the rescued horses are. "I want to treat and take care of these injured horses as if they were my own children,"Stathis said. "Just like a human I want to explore every possible means of treating the 11 horses and giving them a chance. God took 12 horses in the fire but allowed 11 to be rescued for a reason." Five of the eleven horses are in critical condition at Reid & Associates Equine Hospital in Loxahatchee and Stathis is pulling all punches to get them the best care possible. "The horsemen and women at the farm were heroes in saving the eleven horses." Stathis said. "And the vets on the scene and at the hospital worked 24/7 and they all did such a phenomenal job during a major traumatic event. But now we have new crossroads to travel. "Who would not get a second or third opinion from leading doctors before pulling the plug on a loved one?" Stathis explained. "I have gone public that I am paying every bill for these 11 horses, even though only four are mine. Some of the owners have given me permission to oversee their medical needs but the hospital is refusing on minor technical terms. "If these veterinarians at Reid & Associates would just allow some specialists to come in and give a neutral second opinion, I would abide by it." Stathis said. "And if they all say that one of the horses will not make it and is suffering, then I will not stand in their way if they need to euthanize any of the horses." Stathis has been trying to get renowned equine internists, cold laser therapy specialists, dialysis experts and has reached out to human burn center doctors across the country to help with their knowledge and practices to help the rescued horses to survive. "After seeing the horses yesterday," Stathis said. "I disagreed with the head vet at Reid as he was going to euthanized one of the horses and they had me removed from the property by police escort. I am not trying to play God, I just want to exhaust every avenue we can to save these horses at any cost." "I wrote this prayer last night for the horses." Stathis said. "God you know I love you and I love these horses and my community, the very vets I am challenging and their entire team have done an amazing job (well almost all) through the first emergency phases and at the moment have kept the 11 you entrusted with me alive until now. NOT all voluntarily from day one they couldn't wait to stick the needle in one's neck and Macy's Big Boy is now doing better as I knew he would be. God, the strongest prayer here, please take all the horses you want to be in your stable with our other twelve, including my 2016 Hambletonian horse, Celebrity Pilatus. You are a merciful God and will NOT let any of your creatures suffer more than they can handle. Please take them before I have to see them again and I will not shed one tear if that is your will. If it is your will they survive and NOT die in the hands of a vet with a lethal injection, please give me one more miracle and let the outside experts agree to keep them alive at any cost. I know you are busy helping millions of people around the world and I am sorry to keep bothering you, but I guess that's why you keep sending me Angels. Please send me one with a strong legal degree." From the South Florida Trotting Center    

Lake Worth, FL - All eleven of the horses rescued from the devastating barn fire last Wednesday at the South Florida Trotting Center will now be getting daily therapeutic laser treatments. Dr. Bruce Coren, DVM, MS and CEO of Technological Medical Advancements, LLC of West Palm Beach, was informed about the fire and the surviving horses and immediately "stepped up" and donated the use of one of his high power, high dose Diowave IV Therapeutic lasers. Dr. Coren came out to the South Florida Trotting Center Monday afternoon to demonstrate to the staff how to use the laser. "I want owner Sam Stathis, trainers Tom Haughton and Roman Lopez, and their staff to have this laser unit as long as it takes to help heal these horses," Dr. Coren said. "As soon as I heard what had happened I knew I had to help out. "Our laser therapy is the fastest way that the burn wounds on these horses can be healed," Dr. Coren explained, "and this laser will also help heal the horse's lungs from the smoke and heat that have seared them inside. This is the strongest laser I have ever developed and is 60 watts of power. Most other lasers are just 15 and 30 watts." Dr. Coren co-invented the first class IV laser back in 2002 and his company received FDA clearance for the first class IV laser in 2003. "These laser treatments will also help stimulate hair growth," Coren added. "There is a very good chance that the burned patches on many of these horses will grow their hair back." Joining Dr. Coren on Monday in instructing the staff on procedures to help the injured horses was Janus Marquis, who is the official physiotherapist for the U.S. Showjumping Team. "Lasers work at reducing inflammation and increasing circulation," Explained Marquis. "The light is absorbed by the tissue, it makes tissue healthier on a cellular level." "Words cannot express how grateful I am to Dr. Coren and Janus Marquis for coming to our aid with this great technology," said Stathis, owner of the South Florida Trotting Center and also owner of the first four horses that were released from the equine hospital this past weekend. "This is a miracle come true having Dr. Coren and Janus Marquis assisting us," Stathis said. "God didn't want to take these horses. So many in our industry have been coming forward to help them both physically and with their well-wishes, sympathy and prayers. It's overwhelming how wonderful everyone has been during these trying times. Every day more people are coming forward and offering their help." The fire on Wednesday, March 16 killed 12 of the 23 horses in the barn. Two of the horses are still in critical condition at the Reid & Associates Equine Hospital in Loxahatchee. The remaining four horses at the hospital are improving. A horse racing online radio program, Post Time with Mike and Mike, has set up a GoFund Me account to help the horsemen and the training center. The group will split all funds raised through the site between trainers Roman Lopez and Thomas Haughton to help offset the cost of damages because of the fire. Anyone wishing to donate to the fund can go to www.gofundme.com/SouthFLTrainingCtr or by visiting www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com. By Steve Wolf for Stathis Enterprises  

Lake Worth, FL - Four of the horses rescued from the devastating barn fire at the South Florida Trotting Center have returned home. Celebrity Lover, Celebrity Tsipras, Celebrity Artemis and Celebrity Lambo were all released from Reid & Associates Equine Hospital late Friday afternoon. All four of the horses suffered burns on their backs and some on their necks and rumps. Seven of the injured horses remained at the Hospital in Loxahatchee and it was not clear when they would be released. As the returning horses were removed from their trailer, all had visible burn injuries. Each will need to be monitored over the next several weeks for upper respiratory and lung issues, and the horses may require hyperbaric oxygen treatments, said Sam Stathis, owner of the four horses and the owner of the South Florida Trotting Center. "They're not in extreme danger, but (there's) caution that they're not out of the woods with the respiratory issues," he said. "They need 24 hour a day care. We thought it better that they live on the farm and we hand walk them so they don't get psychological issues. They've been through enough." Stathis said veterinarians will come to the center each day, to tend to the recovering animals. Stathis lost one of his own horses, but had four survive. He said he's taking responsibility for all horses in the barn that burned. "I'm ecstatic that the first four horses have returned to the farm," Stathis said. "And we are doing everything possible to insure that the remaining seven will come home too. I can't wait for that day to come." By Steven Wolf for Stathis Enterprises    

Lake Worth, FL (March 16, 2016) - A barn fire has claimed the lives of approximately 12 horses at the South Florida Training Center early Wednesday morning. It has been reported that 23 horses were housed in the single barn that was engulfed in flames and that 11 has been rescued. Two have been taken to a local equine hospital in critical condition. "This is just devastating," said farm owner Sam Stathis. It was his barn that caught fire. Horses were also stabled in the barn for trainers Roman Lopez and Thomas Haughton. "I am sick with grief over the horses that have lost their lives," Stathis said. "The Palm Beach Fire Department did all they could and saved many of the horses." Two firefighters were taken to an area hospital to be treated for injuries. The fire was first reported around midnight and the The Fire Department will be conducting a full investigation into the cause of the fire. Located on 441/SR 7, the South Florida Training Center is a Standardbred harness racing facility and home to nearly 500 horses. The single barn was the only one affected by the fire. Stathis, owner of the South Florida Training Center, also owns Stathis Enterprises and is the founder of the World Chariot Racing Federation. A horse racing online radio program, Post Time with Mike and Mike, has already set up a GoFund Me account to help the horsemen and the training center. The group will split all funds raised through the site between trainers Roman Lopez and Thomas Haughton to help offset the cost of damages because of the fire. Anyone wishing to donate to the fund can go to https://www.gofundme.com/SouthFLTrainingCtr or by visiting www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com. "The early outpouring of concern from so many people this morning is tremendous," Stathis said. "I am financially fine, but hope that everyone could support this fundraising for Roman and Tommy. They have lost everything." By Steve Wolf, for Stathis Enterprises    

Wellington, FL - Armed with international industry stakeholder support, Sam Stathis--Founder and Chairman of Stathis Enterprises and the World Chariot Racing Federation--is on a mission to save harness racing in Florida before it is too late. The recently proposed "decoupling" legislation has a chance to pass and Stathis explained "This decision could cause a ripple effect with millions of dollars lost in business, agricultural and tax revenues plus thousands of lost jobs and countless number of horses being slaughtered. Not to mention the long term effects to tracks in other states where the same will happen. This could be prove devastating to the world's horse racing industry in the process. "I am completely disappointed that the United States Trotting Association approved $250,000 for market studies and social media and only $10,000 to help save harness racing in Florida." Stathis added, "If decoupling passes in Florida, it would likely spread across all race horse tracks in the USA like wildfire. "I'm putting my money where my mouth is and donating a minimum of $11,000 in cash and $100,000 in services to stop decoupling." Stathis said. When asked about the decoupling legislation's impact on the horse racing economy, 2014 State of Florida CFO candidate William Rankin says, "I am opposed to any legislation that may cause a negative economic, social or environmental impact on the people in the state of Florida. Furthermore, I believe this decision may have unintended consequences that should be analyzed and all involved parties should have a chance to play a part in the ultimate solution." Stathis is calling upon all opponents of the legislation to meet at Pompano Park on Tuesday night. "I am not asking for a donation. Come bet on me, enjoy the races, and let's discuss how we can work together to stop this legislation." Stathis, who is a licensed owner, driver, trainer, will have his work cut out for him Tuesday at Pompano Park. The morning line has both his horses at odds of 12-1. Celebrity Lambo starts from post one in the first race and Celebrity Artemis goes from post four in the seventh race. "With a little luck, I hope to see everyone for a win photo after my races." Stathis added. "I want this story to reach at least one million supporters and to get the legislature to realize what they are doing to Florida is wrong." From the World Chariot Racing Federation Visit www.worldchariot.org    

Hundreds of years ago, the Romans and Greeks gathered in stadiums to watch thrilling chariot races. As the crowds cheered, brave charioteers risked their lives in precarious carriages at breakneck speeds. The rewards for winning were plentiful, but the dangerous sport was not for the faint of heart. Chariot racing continues to this day, and it is still a potentially treacherous endeavor for both horse and driver. Today, the horses pull carts called “sulkys.” Crashes and rollovers are common. New York entrepreneur and horseman Sam Stathis saw an opportunity to improve upon the ancient sport by making the chariots safer and faster. He modeled his new carts after sports cars. Stathis showed off his modern interpretation of the ancient chariots at the 111th U.S. Open Polo Championship April 19 in Wellington. “The chariots look like Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Maseratis,” Stathis said. “They’re modeled after exotic cars. There is space to put advertising. They are much safer. Many accidents are caused when the wheels lock up on the jock cart. I’ve been in an accident and I wanted to prevent that from happening again. We’ve built the chariots to be safer, more aerodynamic, lighter and sexier.” Inspired by Formula 1 and Nascar, Stathis hopes to rebrand and reenergize the sport of harness racing to the same level as any professional spectator sport. He started the World Chariot Racing Federation (www.worldchariot.org) as a way to promote the resurgence of the sport and foster worldwide competition. He wants to market harness racing as more eco-friendly than racing cars, but just as exciting. “I came up with the idea of combining Formula 1 with harness racing,” he said. “It’s about thrill seeking and entertainment, rather than gambling. The existing model is too focused on gambling. It’s not set up to be watched. It’s not televised. There are very few sponsors. I saw a big opportunity.” Stathis also is an inventor, business owner and engineer. Another project he’s working on is the creation of energy while the horses race, and using the excitement of racing to get kids interested in science, engineering and alternative energy. “The latest versions (of the sulkys) have generators,” Stathis said. “When you exercise your horse or race, they create electricity. I don’t believe the amount of energy we’re creating is going to save the planet, but it’s a tremendous teaching tool for students to learn about inverters and charging and battery systems, which is a first step into electric cars and alternative energy. I started competitions at the high school level. The first one is a design competition. The second one is a build competition. The third one is to see who can produce the most electricity. At the end, we race them.” Like many people in the equestrian world, Stathis loves speed. He plans to keep promoting chariot racing until it is as popular as auto racing. “I’m a thrill seeker,” he said. “I fly planes and race cars, boats and motorcycles. There is nothing like racing a horse. You need your own human athletic skills, the mechanical component of the cart, and the equine component. It’s very thrilling.” By Amy Bower Doucette  Reprinted with permission of The PalmBeachPost.com site

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