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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 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 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 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 Video of the farm can bee seen at 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." " 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 By Steve Wolf for the South Florida Trotting Center    

Loxahatchee, FL – N Luv Blue Chip, a two-year-old pacing colt who was rescued from the devastating barn farm at the South Florida Trotting Center last week, died on Thursday at the Reid & Associates Equine Hospital. It was reported that the colt could not overcome all his injuries from the fire and died from natural causes. He not only had severe burns but also kidney problems and the onset of laminitis. Sired by Art Major from the Western Hanover mare, Western Charmer, N Luv Blue Chip was bred and owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock, Inc. of Wallkill, NY. He was being trained by Roman Lopez. He was a full brother to Master Stroke (1:49.4) a $469,000 winner and Bullish Blue Chip (1:52), a $271,000 career winner. N Luv Blue Chip is now the 13th horse to have died from the barn fire on Wednesday, March 16. He was one of the 11 horses that were rescued. 12 horses perished in the fire. Four horses were released from the equine hospital last week and are recovering at the South Florida Trotting Center. Of the remaining six horses at the hospital, five are reported to still be in critical condition but improving daily. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink    

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 or by visiting 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    

U.S. Trotting Association President Phil Langley announced Friday (March 18) that the USTA will make a $5,000 donation to the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association to assist harness racing horsemen involved in the fire at the South Florida Trotting Center near Lake Worth on March 16. The fire led to the death of 12 horses and injuries to many others. "Long ago, in 1960, the stable owned by Billy Johnston and managed by my dad was wiped out in a fire at Maywood Park and I still remember the horrible smell and the sight of burned horses to this day," said Langley. "It was heart-rending. "This is a terrible tragedy for all of the people and horses involved. These are the times when we see the incredible support of others in the harness racing industry and the USTA wants to assist in the fundraising effort for those involved," added Langley. A horse racing online radio program, Post Time with Mike and Mike, quickly set up a GoFund Me account to help the horsemen and the training center that has raised more than $36,000 in the first two days. Anyone wishing to donate to the fund can go to or by visiting Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications

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 or by visiting "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    

Pompano Beach, FL - The Isle Casino and Racing at Pompano Park and the Florida Amateur Drivers Club (FADC) ( are hosting an exciting International Drivers Contest on March 12-13. Ten countries and representing drivers plan to participate in the two racing night endeavor. The FADC has been active at Pompano Park for many years and, through the donations of its members' driving fees, has contributed over $150,000 to local charities. FADC's efforts bring positive attention to harness racing and support worthwhile charitable organizations. Real estate executive Dein Spriggs, from Jupiter, Florida, heads the FADC and has spearheaded the upcoming international races, while also posting 412 lifetime victories and 2005-2006 Billings Gold Cup wins. Spriggs' best years were 1978-1979 when he posted a combined 121 wins. Through the efforts of FADC, Pompano Park and FEGAT (Federation of European Amateur Trotting Drivers) ten participants are on their way to South Florida: International Amateur Driving Participants: Austria - Johann Preining Jr. Finland - Tapio Hoikka Germany - Michael Gutsche Hungary - Andrea Fazekas Italy - Enrico Columbo New Zealand - Paul Daniel Blakemore Norway - Nils Holm Russia - Ivan Serik Spain - Jaume Bassa (Riera) USA - Dein Spriggs Founded in 1954 FEGAT by six nations, the current country membership numbers 15. The organization conducts annual championships for its gentlemen and women drivers and a world championship weekend. In 2016 the women will battle in Finland from June 29-July 2; the world championship will be September 2-3 at Budapest and the men will compete September 16-19 at Wolvega and Alkmaer, Belgium. Agusti Mascaro Pou of Spain is FEGAT's executive secretary and Claes L. Ljung is its President. One interesting amateur driver on-hand this weekend is Hungary's Andrea Fazekas. With 136 career victories she regularly drives in both amateur and open races at Kincsem Park (Budapest) and often is at the lines of trainer/driver Imre Fazekas' stable star, Ollyan Nincs (by the US-bred Pickaflick), a former winner of the Hungaria DIJ (greatest international race at Kincsem Park) and a host of other aged classic races. Andrea's parents are also very accomplished drivers/trainers of trotters. Andrea's husband, Gyorgy Horvath, is a professional driver that teamed Chevallier SR to a third place finish in last Saturday's classic Tavaszi Handicap. Of particular note is Andrea's expertise as a videographer and film producer for her country's trotting association ( and the racetrack Kincsem Park ( Her fine professional work highlights the trotting sport and adaptability of standardbreds for show, recreation, education and children's therapy. An example link follows: Andrea's work regularly is shown on the 24-hour racing channel of Kincsem Park and through the Equidia Pro network. Be there at Pompano Park this weekend to watch many of the world's best amateur drivers compete and hear legendary Hall of Famer Roger Huston call the action. By Thomas H. Hicks    

Lake Worth, FL – Stathis Enterprises Unicorn Trust of New York City, NY, has announced that they have closed on the purchase of the South Florida Trotting Center late in May. The purchase price was over $10 million and includes the 102 acre facility with 14 barns. It is home to 300 harness racing horses located on route 441/SR 7 in Lake Worth and feature an equine swimming pool and numerous turnout paddocks. The new CEO of the South Florida Trotting Center is Sam Stathis, who already has his Celebrity Farms Stable at the South Florida Trotting Center. “I want to thank prior owner Eric Cherry for making this deal happen,” Stathis said. “First order of business will be fixing up the barn area, caretaker quarters and building a new training barn for my stable. Also we will be remaining open year-round henceforth. “We also want to rename the facility,” Stathis said. “And we will hold a world-wide “Name the equine center contest” this summer. “Our plans are to turn this facility into a real showplace with modern technology, eco-system friendly and also to expand the facility so that other breeds of horses will be able to train at the farm. While this facility has been predominately a premier trotting facility, we will now be attracting all equestrian disciplines including Hunter, Jumpers and even Polo. “We are both pleased with the closing and I am going to stay on the farm with my Let It Ride Stable,” former owner Eric Cherry said. “I look forward to working with Sam as he has great plans for the future of the farm and to turn it into a premier facility.” Stathis also said plans call for the facility to become a research and development center with an incubator for equine related technologies including a teaching facility for caretakers, holistic equine healing and more. Sam Stathis was born in Greece and immigrated to the USA with his family at age 7. He is a passionate entrepreneur, investor, developer, engineer, inventor and philanthropist with extensive experience in starting and operating multimillion dollar companies on a domestic and international basis. Stathis began owning Standardbred horses in 2000. He has since gotten his trainers license and is a provisional licensed professional harness racing driver. He also owns Celebrity Farms in Goshen, NY that is a breeding and training facility and is the founder of the World Chariot Racing Federation By Steve Wolf, for Stathis Enterprises  

LAKE WORTH, FL – It was announced today that the owners of the South Florida Trotting Center has reached an agreement to sell the harness racing training facility to Stathis Enterprises of New York and Vero Beach. The selling price was not disclosed. The 102 acre facility features 14 barns and is home to 300 harness racing horses located on route 441/SR 7 in Lake Worth. Stathis Enterprises is owned by Sam Stathis, who already has his Celebrity Farms Stable at the South Florida Trotting Center. “I think this is going to be a wonderful opportunity for Stathis Enterprises,” Sam Stathis said. “I am obsessed with horses and harness racing and we are going to expand the farm. We have a lot of plans to keep this facility a real showplace.” Eric Cherry, the original principle owner of the South Florida Trotting Center, is happy with the agreement. “We have come to an agreement that we are both pleased with and I am going to stay on the farm with my Let It Ride Stable,” Cherry said. “I look forward to working with Sam as he has great plans for the future of the farm and to turn it into a premier facility.” Sam Stathis was born in Greece and immigrated to the USA with his family at age 7. He is a passionate entrepreneur, investor, developer, engineer, inventor and philanthropist with extensive experience in starting and operating multimillion dollar companies on a domestic and international basis. He also owns Celebrity Farms in Goshen, NY where he has a stable of horse and breeds Standardbreds for racing. “This is going to be very exciting,” Stathis said. “I can’t wait to begin making improvements and moving forward. Now New York and Florida are my home and I can have the best of both worlds in winter and summer.” By Steve Wolf   

In that the final number of sales entries will prevent the usage of conventional auction techniques, two-year-olds slated to be auctioned on Sunday (Jan. 25) in the inaugural Sunshine Select Sale will not be sold that day. Instead, those horses will be sold either privately or via utilizing the existing internet network of According to sales manager Bob Marks, “We had significant interest from potential buyers but just not enough quality consigned horses other than a number of unacceptable potential culls to make a go of it this year. Plans are to shoot for next year and purchase at least 35-40 pin hook quality yearlings from the 2015 yearling sales in order to provide the necessary nucleus to get this project off the ground in 2016.” The principals, Eric Cherry, owner of South Florida Trotting Center, and Tom Grossman, owner of Blue Chip Farms, remain committed to the gaited and going in training sales concept but regretfully recognize that a change in approach is in order at this time. While we regret the postponement of the Sunshine Select Sale to next year, we feel it will greatly benefit the industry in the long run with a proper liftoff. From the Sunshine Select Sale Company

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