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CREAM RIDGE, NJ -- June 11, 2018 -- New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher visited Standardbred breeding facility Fair Winds Farm on Friday and presented owner Mark Mullen with a proclamation from Gov. Phil Murphy declaring June the Month of the Horse in the Garden State. The horse was designated the state animal in 1977. Other officials attending the ceremony included State Assemblymen Ron Dancer and Eric Houghtaling as well as Monmouth County Freeholders Gerry Scharfenberger and Patrick Impreveduto. The event, arranged through the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey, included a tour of Fair Wind Farm, a visit with Dr. Patty Hogan at Hogan Equine Clinic, which is located on the grounds of the farm, and a presentation from the Harness Horse Youth Foundation. Fair Wind Farms, a 500-acre breeding and boarding facility in Upper Freehold Township, was the state’s Standardbred Breeder of the Year in 2017. It has been in operation for nearly 50 years. “It’s so exciting to be here at Fair Winds Farm,” Fisher said. “It’s a premier institution. We’re treated to foals out in the fields and it’s always wonderful. The equine industry is amazingly important in this state. We have rolling acres of farmland that are supporting equine activities in the state and it’s imbued in the history of New Jersey in so many ways.” Assemblymen Dancer and Houghtaling told those in attendance that Thursday was a “big day” for the state’s equine industry because the legislature had unanimously passed a bill that would permit casinos and racetrack to offer sports betting and the assembly advanced a bill that would exempt horse boarding from state sales tax. Gov. Murphy signed the sports betting bill Monday. “We didn’t get the slots at the tracks to help us, but we have an opportunity now to bring in additional incremental revenues that are direly needed,” Dancer said. “We have a great opportunity, we’re just waiting for the governor to sign the bill. (And) we’re going to do away with the sales tax being charged to everyone that is boarding horses. This affects the entire equine industry. We want to get this done so we can preserve and enhance this great industry that we have.” Houghtaling, too, was buoyed by the sports betting bill and its potential impact on the equine industry. “As I’m thinking about that bill, I’m also thinking about standing on properties like this and preserving these kinds of properties,” Houghtaling said. “We haven’t been able to make (racinos) happen but now we’re going to have sports betting that will be helpful to Freehold and Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands. That will be great for our horse industry.” Monmouth County Freeholders Scharfenberger and Impreveduto also presented Mullen with a proclamation celebrating the equine industry and the Month of the Horse. “When I think of Monmouth County, certainly you think of the shore, but the other half of that equation is these beautiful farms we have out here,” Scharfenberger said. “It’s very important we keep it that way and support horse farms and horseracing and support the open space all this provides us.” Other speakers during the event included SBOANJ Executive Administrator Al Ochsner and Mullen. Fair Winds, which is home to 35 broodmares, last year enjoyed its best yearling sale at the Standardbred Horse Sale, with $1.74 million in gross sales and sales-leading average of $92,000 for 19 horses. “We’ve faced many challenges over the years keeping racing and breeding in New Jersey strong,” said Mullen, who also serves as the SBOANJ’s first vice president. “These recent legislatives success that we had yesterday with the sports wagering and the revision of the sales tax are significant and important improvements for us. “We have one other legislative effort that we’re hoping to lobby for, which is a little bit of a budget resolution that would help our purses for racing, both Standardbred and Thoroughbred, and we need some additional support in the assembly to help that go through. Thank you all for coming out.” Fisher and other visitors remained on the farm for more than an hour, touring the facilities and talking with members of the racing community. “I think we’re going to see some brighter days going forward,” Fisher said. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOA/NJ

MANALAPAN, NJ — April 27, 2018 — The SBOANJ urges all of the Nominators to the new harness racing stakes program which includes the Home Grown Pace and the Garden State Trot, to continue with their payments on May 15th.  These new stakes are important to help maintain New Jersey's breeding program and need your continued support. Sustaining payments due May 15th are the Garden State Trot #1 for 2-year-old trotters in the amount of $400, the New Jersey Trotting Futurity #53 for 2-year-old trotters in the amount of $300, and the Home Grown Pace #1 for 2-year-old pacers in the amount of $300. Nomination Payments for 2017 foals are also due May 15th.  Last year the SBOANJ paid nomination fees for all New Jersey sired foals.  This year owners will be required to make the nomination payments.  On the trotting side, the yearling payments for both the Garden State Trot #2 and the New Jersey Trotting Futurity #54 are $25.  The payment for the Home Grown Pace #2 for New Jersey sired yearlings that are SDF eligible is $25, the payment for yearlings that are New Jersey foaled but not SDF eligible is $150. Visit for payment schedule and forms.   MAY 15 DEADLINE TO NOMINATE YEARLINGS TO NJSS & OTHER NJ STAKES Important payments are due Tuesday, May 15 to make and keep horses eligible to the New Jersey Sire Stakes Program and the Standardbred Development Fund. Nominations are due for foals of 2017 that are yearlings in 2018. All horses nominated must be registered with the U. S. Trotting Association (USTA), Canadian Standardbred Horse Society (CSHS) or another appropriate breed registry. The fee is $50 for the NJSS Premier Division if a copy of the yearling’s registration certificate accompanies the nomination.  Without a copy of the certificate, the fee is $75.  It is important to note that the yearling nomination fee is $100 if the foal being nominated is the result of the interstate transport of a registered New Jersey stallion’s semen to a mare outside the state of New Jersey, provided a copy of the certificate accompanies the fee.  Without the certificate, the interstate semen transport nomination fee is $125. Yearling nominations are also due for the New Jersey Standardbred Development Fund for horses by non-New Jersey based stallions whose dams have been previously registered for the program.  The fee is $50 for the NJSDF if a copy of the yearling’s registration certificate accompanies the nomination.  Without a copy of the certificate, the fee is $75. Yearlings by sires located in New Jersey do not have to pay a separate fee as nomination to the Sire Stakes automatically results in nomination to the SDF program. All pacing yearlings eligible to either the NJSS Premier Division or the Standardbred Development Fund are also eligible to be nominated to the Renaissance Pace.  The Renaissance Pace nomination fee, which is also due May 15, is an additional $25 for the open division and $15 for the filly division. Nomination forms may be obtained from the NJSS website at All payments should be mailed to NJSS, P.O. Box 330, Trenton, NJ 08625.  NJSS strongly suggests the use of certified mail to avoid potential problems in mailing or delivery of payments. No late payments will be accepted. For further information contact Christopher C. Castens (609) 292-8830 Courtney Stafford

The second payment of the SBOANJ sponsored Charles Smith Trot and Helen Smith are due April 15, 2018 in the amount of $300.  The Charles Smith Trot for 3-year-old colts elimination will be held at Freehold Raceway on September 1, 2018 with the final on September 8, 2018.  The Helen Smith Trot for 3-year-old fillies elimination will be held at Freehold Raceway on September 21, 2018 and the final on September 28, 2018. Courtney Stafford

MANALAPAN, NJ -- March 28, 2018 -- The Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey (SBOANJ) will unveil a new program, Caretaker Care, Saturday at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The program will offer clean, gently used, clothing to caretakers and horsemen at no charge. The donated clothing will be located on a rack between the doors of the drivers lounge and medical office in the paddock. There are so many people in our sport that put in long hours and mean so much to what we do, said SBOANJ Second Vice President Bob Boni, who thought of this as an industry-wide initiative after donating clothing on an individual basis. This is an opportunity to provide a service to them and also show our appreciation for their dedication and hard work. Recipients are asked to neatly look through the clothing on the rack, leave hangers, and keep the area clean. Anyone wishing to donate clothing for the Caretaker Care program can drop off clean, gently used, items at the SBOANJ office at the Meadowlands Racetrack or at the SBOANJ office on Route 33 in Manalapan. Courtney Stafford

MANALAPAN, NJ -- March 1, 2018 -- The SBOANJ has extended the deadline for new membership enrollment to March 31st based on the impact of our new member discount program. This year the SBOANJ has announced a special member discount program. Members will be able to receive discounts, special offers or free gifts from various vendors by simply showing their SBOANJ membership card. This is just one benefit of being a member of the SBOANJ others include third-party liability insurance coverage, as well as insurance coverage for damaged or destroyed sulkies for those who race in New Jersey. In addition, the SBOANJ administers and financially assists a driver/trainer Retirement Program and provides health insurance for eligible individuals and their families. Membership is now required for participation in SBOANJ sponsored stakes races and breeding incentive programs. If you are not a member but would like to become one click for the membership form or call the office for more information. Courtney Stafford

MANALAPAN, NJ -- December 1, 2017 -- Ariana G has been named the recipient of the Secretary of Agriculture’s trophy as New Jersey Standardbred of the Year for 2017. In November, the 3-year-old filly trotter was named New Jersey Sire Stakes Horse of the Year. She will be honored for both accomplishments at the 61st annual harness racing Breeders Awards Luncheon on Jan. 28 at O’Connor’s Restaurant in Eastampton. A daughter of Muscle Hill out of Cantab It All, Ariana G won 12 of 15 races this year and earned $1.12 million for breeders/owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. She was trained by Jimmy Takter and driven by Yannick Gingras. For her career, Ariana G has won 21 of 26 races and earned $1.86 million. This year, Ariana G won both of the New Jersey-restricted races that she entered, including the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship for 3-year-old filly trotters in a lifetime-best 1:51.1 at the Meadowlands. She used those races as a springboard to success in open stakes, capturing the Hambletonian Oaks, Breeders Crown, Elegantimage, Simcoe, and divisions of the Delvin Miller Memorial and Bluegrass. Ariana G spent much of this season ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 in the weekly Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll. She ended the season at No. 2. “She’s a fantastic, exceptional, one-of-a-kind type filly,” Katz said following Ariana G’s season-ending win in the Breeders Crown. “Right now, she’s at the pinnacle of the sport. She gotten so many accolades, that she richly deserves. She’s been a star for the whole industry for the whole year. She’s really an exceptional, rare filly. She’s one of these fillies that comes along every five or 10 years. “Jimmy Takter, Yannick Gingras; they deserve all the credit. They’ve managed her fabulously.” Courtney Stafford  

MANALAPAN, NJ — October 15, 2017 — The Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey’s annual board of director’s meeting and election was held on Friday at Freehold Raceway. In the breeder category, incumbent Stephen Dye III ran unopposed and was reelected. The owner category, had two incumbent directors, Bob Boni and Dennis Lane along with new comer Sam Landy running for two open seats.  The results determined that incumbent Bob Boni and Sam Landy were elected to fill the two owner director positions. The driver/trainer category, also had two open seats available this election cycle.  The nominees were incumbent Mark Ford, new comers, Julie Miller and Ray Baynes. Mark Ford and Julie Miller were elected to fill the two driver/trainer positions. We congratulate all the elected 2017 directors and thank those who took the time and effort to run for the open positions. Courtney Stafford

MANALAPAN, NJ — August 12, 2017 — Any member interested in running for a seat on the board may do so in one of the three categories; breeder, owner, or driver/trainer.  All harness racing candidates must notify the SBOANJ office in writing by August 24, 2017. To be eligible for a specific category you must be a member of the SBOANJ in that category for at least two years.  Check the By Laws at for all detailed qualifications. All members will receive voting instructions, ballots and candidate biographies via mail in September. The results will be announced at the annual board meeting on October 13, 2017 at Freehold Raceway.  Keep an eye out for more details at Courtney Stafford

MANALAPAN, NJ -- August 1, 2017 -- The SBOA, on behalf of the harness racing horsemen of New Jersey, believes it must address the Meadowlands Racetrack's decision to ban Lady Shadow from the Lady Liberty Stakes this Saturday, August 5, 2017. While the SBOA applauds and supports the efforts to protect the integrity of the sport, it cannot agree with this decision. Lady Shadow had a Class 3 overage for a therapeutic medication. The ruling is under appeal, with a stay granted by the Pennsylvania Racing Commission. The SBOA believes Lady Shadow's owners are entitled to due process and no action should be taken pending the outcome of the legal proceedings. Courtney Stafford Here is the original Jeff Gural letter to Howard Taylor I see Lady Shadow will be racing this weekend at the Meadowlands and I would appreciate it if you and Ed Gold did not make an appearance.  The last thing I want to see is the two of you in the winner’s circle after the way you have treated me and my partners.  Apparently you do not understand the financial burden that rebuilding the Meadowlands and keeping it open the last few years has put on myself and my partners.  When I got involved it was less than 48 hours before the Government was planning to announce its closing.  In the last few years just to keep the doors open it has cost me personally over $14 Million.  Your decision to sue us and the SBOA of NJ when everyone else in the industry has joined hands to help us survive going forward now that we know that a casino is not imminent is a disgrace.  While obviously it is your right to sue us, I really don’t need to see you or Ed in the winner’s circle or on the premises.  Adding insult to injury, over the last 60 days you have raced 23 different horses either in overnight qualifiers or baby races.  The last two stakes that I added when we were considering reducing our stakes schedule were the Golden Girls and Lady Liberty even though I knew Lady Shadow would be the presumptive favorite.  To continue to force me to spend more to defend your frivolous lawsuit is quite annoying so please watch the races we have over the next few weeks at home or over the internet.    Jeff Gural

MANALAPAN, NJ — July 14, 2017 — The Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey have implemented many new incentive programs for New Jersey Breeders in 2017. Part one of the Renaissance Incentive program offers those resident mare applicants a $400 rebate.  Your foal must be registered and proof of registration is due to the SBOANJ office by October 15, 2017. Renaissance Program part two will refund 25% of the paid stud fee (up to $1,500) for foals of mares bred to New Jersey stallions the application due date for this rebate is August 10, 2017. Two other rebates due September 1, 2017 are as follows:  2017 Pacing Stallion rebate for foals of Lis Mara and 2017 Resident Mare program. Applications and explanations of each program can be found at Courtney Stafford

Pompano Beach, FL - Screaming and shouting, cries of joy echoing throughout the grandstand. These echoes travel across the racetrack to where drivers, trainers, owners, and grooms can hear. Anyone within an ears distance can hear these chants and cheers. The atmosphere of the racetrack brings a variety of emotions whether it be tears of joy or sadness, screams of happiness or anger, the crowd is never silent. The noise doesn't fall short of the horsemen and women that work behind the scenes and stand near the paddock gate watching their horse race on any given night. However, there is one voice that overpowers them all, draining out all of the noise. Rather than putting the name to the face, people put the name to the voice for one track announcer, John Berry. John Berry is a man of many talents and wears many hats as most would say. “He is the Picasso of Harness Racing. Journalistic knowledge and professionalism second to none,” Wally Hennessey, Hall of Fame Driver and leading trainer at Pompano Park, recounts. Aside from a race announcer, John Berry has played a vital role in harness racing as anything from a race office assistant to a publicity man to a live broadcaster. It's no doubt that John Berry is one of many that form the base of the horse racing business. In the February 5, 1964 edition of The Horseman and Fair World, the week Pompano Park opened, there was a letter to the editor concerning time trials by John Berry. And here we are, 53 years later, and Berry is still at it---writing brilliant, informative stories, announcing on occasion, co-hosting the Pompano Park pre-race show, writing a handicapping column, and serving the horsemen and our sport with the same enthusiasm that was evident back more than a half century ago. Inducted into the Hall of Fame as a communicator several years ago, he has participated in school career days, countless charitable events, seminars, and many promotions to enhance the image of harness racing. He was even highlighted on a CBS (Chicago) news segment entitled “Someone You Should Know.” The feeling all horsemen know or come to know at some point in their careers is the moment when your horse is pacing or trotting lengths ahead of the pack at the three-quarter pole. Down the stretch and the win is a guarantee. That moment in time is brief but the memory of the feeling lasts a lifetime. At this point in John Berry’s life, it was like he had experienced this brief moment forever. “That was amazing, I must admit,” Berry smiled. “It was a surreal moment. “I used to get films from Sportsman’s Park---16 millimeter films---and I went to different nursing homes and rehab facilities lugging my 50-pound projector to put racing programs on for the patients there. “I went to the administrators of these facilities to see who needed a morale boost, so to speak.” Berry explained. “Then, I made programs up and put patients down as drivers of the horses. On this one occasion, the ‘winning’ driver was a lady that had a stroke several months prior and could not speak. “Well, after the race,” Berry said. “I went right up to her with her daughter alongside and congratulated her on her win. I asked her to tell me how she won the race (as the doctors and nurses were cautioning me that she couldn't speak) and she grabbed the ‘mike’ and, after struggling a bit, said, “I tried hard’. “To say that the doctors and nurses were amazed is an understatement,” Berry recalled. “Their jaws literally dropped. The administrators got ahold of CBS news about this miracle of sorts and, a few weeks later, when another show at the facility was arranged, CBS was there with a crew and it became a segment on a newscast in Chicago. “It wasn't necessary,” John said, “but they said this story must be told. “It merely propelled me to keep trying and looking for yet another miracle.” John Berry, a man with a long history that keeps growing. Aside from racing, he holds his own titles himself - for bowling. Interestingly enough, the 16-year-old's career in bowling led him to harness racing. In Chicago of 1959, Berry won a match that began his new and long lived career. “It was a match,” Berry recalled, “where four of us put up five dollars apiece with the winner taking $15, second place getting his money back and the lowest two scorers paying for the highest two bowler’s lines (games). “I bowled a 248, 268, and 258 and I took the money.” Berry said with a smile. “A gentleman by the name of Luke Schroer approached me after that match to give me a “tip” of sorts,” Berry added, “as he won some money betting on the match.” Although John refused the offer, they ended up going out for a bite to eat. On that August in 1959, Schroer had taken John Berry to the racetrack, up to a box at Sportsman's Park---”41-A” Berry recalls. From that night on, Berry had an ever-growing interest in the sport. The gentleman who arranged for Berry to get Sportsman's Park films, Don Stevens, introduced him to Stan Bergstein. Bergstein, who later would become harness racing’s only double Hall of Famer, being inducted to both the Living Hall of Fame and as a Communicator, helped John to get his very first position in the harness racing world, as an Associate Editor of the ‘The Illinois Sulky News,’ working for the Illinois Harness Horsemen’s Association. His first position led to other doors opening. These ‘doors’ included jobs in publicity and public relations at Balmoral Park. At Balmoral, he wrote press releases and worked on handicapping and interviews. “It was demanding since it turned out to be a seven day a week grind from early morning to late at night.” John said. Developing a passion as well as a talent for writing, John Berry won a few regional awards for journalistic evidence. In 1979, Berry accepted a position with the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey. His new agenda included handling publicity and public relations; and hosting the long running series of television shows featuring Stakes races from The Meadowlands, Freehold Raceway and Garden State Park. He also created and designed New Jersey's Stallion Directory and hosted several Miss Equine New Jersey contests. “The Board of the SBOANJ was extremely active in partnering with the racetracks to publicize the sport,” Berry said. “Tony Abbatiello and Ronnie Dancer led the brigade back then and one couldn't have asked for a more dedicated Board of Directors looking to move the sport in the right direction. “I worked with John Higgins, then the Executive Director, a very knowledgeable horseman.” Berry added. “I also worked with an extremely talented gentleman by the name of Leon Zimmerman, who know every nook and cranny in Trenton, New Jersey, where the political stuff went on. “Leon and I got elected to the Hall of Fame the same year,” Berry said. “and it was an honor to work with him and gain a bit of insight into the world of politics.” During that time, Berry won the prestigious National John Hervey Award for an article he wrote in 1979 for Hub Rail Magazine about the Little Brown Jug. “I have written many, many articles,” he said, “but this is, absolutely, one of my favorites because, when I put it in the typewriter---yes, we still used typewriters back then---the words just kept flowing and I, literally, didn't make any changes once the article was finished. “It included a Roger Huston race call and I have been told on many occasions that the reader could ‘hear’ Roger’s voice while reading it.” After three years with the SBOANJ, he accepted a position with the USTA as Public Relations Manager, working from an office, in Freehold, New Jersey, to cover the New York-New Jersey and eastern racing scene, which was blossoming at the time. When they asked him to move to Columbus, Ohio, he parted ways with the USTA and accepted a position with Sports Information Database (SIDB) as a Senior Editor for harness racing with the objective of putting the entire history of harness racing on computer. “I was honored to work with many of the great minds in sport, including Bill Shannon, the famed official scorer for baseball; Logan Hobson and Bob Canobbio, the inventors of ‘punch-stat’ for boxing matches; and one of harness racing’s great geniuses, Phil Sporn.” A consolidation deal fell through and SIDB went out of business. Berry was asked if he was interested in moving to South Florida to be Public Relations Director at Pompano Park. The track enjoyed its finest two seasons in history benefitting from promotions like a car giveaway, cruise nights, where 10,000 cruise passes were distributed to guests, and mall promotions. John Berry has always worked to make the name of harness racing go viral across the world. He gained more exposure to the track when he became the host of his own radio show, featuring big bands and jazz from the 1920’s and 1930’s. “The show featured music from many of the great bands that were left somewhat obscure to the vast majority,” Berry explained. “I guess you would call them ‘territory bands.’ While modern and pop music was taking over the radio stations, Berry’s interests in the ‘throwback’ tunes caught on in the public ‘ear’, so to say, and he had a lot of loyal listeners. Around this time, Berry was elected President of the United States Harness Writers Association and served that organization for a two-year term. In the 1980’s, he was lured into taking a position with a newly formed company--brainchild of well-known owner and breeder Eric Cherry. The start-up company, National Raceline, had a goal to provide results and race calls from tracks coast-to-coast. Within the company, Berry secured many racetracks that sent in results by fax for the information to be disseminated over a “900” network of telephone lines. In short order, the “Raceline” became the nation's leader in providing information on racing results with nightly calls growing by “leaps and bounds”. Later, he was approached by Allen Greenberg to see if he would be interested in conducting auctions aboard cruise ships. “I agreed to ‘try it for a couple of weeks’ to see if I liked it enough to continue.” Not only did Berry like the position, he was “auctioneer of the year” the first two years the award was given and broke several records along the way. During one of the auctions at sea, a representative of WPBT-Channel 2 Public Television approached John with an offer to go on the air during the station’s membership drives. Accepting the offer, John became one of the hosts of the show and eventually served the station during their on-air auctions. Conducting over 1,800 auctions within his career and raising money for many charitable organizations, libraries, and his beloved Harness Writers Association; the most expensive item sold at one of his auctions was an internet domain name $450,000. Serving as an auctioneer, Berry was absent from the sport for a few years. However, like any true horseman who cannot stray too far from the track, he returned after an offer from Isle of Capri’s director, Jim Patton, and Director of Publicity and Marketing, Steve Wolf, in 2004. Both directors persuaded Berry to return to the track, to work in publicity, serving as a “point man” for the upcoming referendum on allowing casinos to be built in Broward County. “Steve (Wolf) came up with an ingenious plan to canvas the area to try and secure support for the casino referendum,” Berry said. “which had failed in two previous attempts. “Well, we got it done and it was quite a scene as we broke ground and, here we are, with a now well established casino that has a 10-year history and racing is still flourishing in South Florida.” Today, Berry, now approaching his mid-70’s, continues to perform several duties at the track---a “three-of-all-trades” ---as he says. He particularly enjoys handicapping for his many followers and looks for “value” in his selections. “Hardly a man in now alive,” he says, “who paid his mortgage at 3 to 5!” One of his most memorable recollections from the handicapping floor comes from the time he predicted a dead-heat during a seminar at The Meadowlands in 1980. Other moments being earning his PHD--Professional Handicapping Degree-- from Tele-Track in 1983 after a six-for-six night there, selecting a “cold” pentafecta at Pompano Park this season, and a string of recent longshot winners in his nightly Pickin’ Berrys handicapping column, one as high as 50 to 1. “The prediction of a dead-heat was as much luck and handicapping skill---something like Babe Ruth predicting his home run at Wrigley Field. “I couldn't separate numbers six and seven and just happened to blurt out, ‘to tell you the truth, I cannot separate these two horses, so I think it'll wind up to be a dead-heat and it was!” Aside from picking his most memorable handicapping memory, John claims the most memorable race he has ever seen was on March 17, 1962 at Maywood Park in Chicago. “I've seen a lot, yes, from Su Mac Lad to Bret Hanover to Albatross to Niatross to Nihalator, to the stars of today but [this] was my most memorable race.” John describes the temperatures to have been wavering in the 30’s mixed with snow, sleet, and rain. “The track had turned into a quagmire,” John explained. “There was a horse named Scotsman, driven by Ken Lighthill, who won in 3:38 ⅗… yes, 3:38 ⅗, which was the slowest winning pari-mutuel mile in history. “It's a record that will ever be broken and it, indeed, is the most memorable race I have ever seen.” John has gotten some well-deserved accolades when in the announcer's booth, too, subbing for Gabe Prewitt when called upon. Racing fan Rich Stern from Chicago lamented, “I love his race calls. They are clear and concise and he's added some nice terms like ‘double-bubbled’ when a horse is three wide. “He gives those behind the scenes nice credit, too. I like that!” His meticulous morning lines have also drawn praise and he was the first and only Morning Line maker to make all horses the same odds--7 to 2--in a six-horse field last season at Pompano Park. The horses had all been around the same time, been beaten about the same number of lengths and were so evenly matched that they all deserved consideration. “I decided to make them all the same in the morning line and that race got huge attention from the media because of it!” Clearly, John Berry has a knack for talent as well as talent himself, in the harness racing world. As a publicity man, fill-in announcer, and writer among many other hats that Berry wears, he covers all bases of harness racing. “He is the equivalent of an encyclopedia of harness racing, a true gentleman,” Standardbred owner and trainer, John Hallett, conveys. Outside of racing, as mentioned before, John was a champion bowler, including capturing the Illinois State Bowling Singles in 1970 by averaging 246 for the tournament. And he is one of few who have ever bowled a perfect 300 game. He lives with his “bride of many years,” Abby and their Quaker Parrot, Pistachio, who, as he says, “brings us joy beyond belief.” Berry has had a lot of “firsts” during his career and plans on helping the sport he loves and its participants as long as possible. Today, John splits his time helping publicize the sport for the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association in the am and doing the late shift in Pompano Park's racing operations office in the afternoon and night. Many horsemen know and recognize John Berry for his talent as a writer and his character as a horseman. “I've known John for many years. He's a nice guy and fun to be around. Working with him sure makes the day go by faster,” iterates Rosie Huff, who works with Berry at the FSBOA office. Berry related, “at the FSBOA, I am lucky enough to work with Rosie Huff, one of the most dedicated individuals with whom I have ever worked. At Pompano, I am honored to work alongside someone as great as Gabe Prewitt, who has an enthusiasm for the sport like no other. “We enjoy and respect each other's talent and company. “You could call it a ‘pari-mutuel’ admiration society!” If there is anyone that the sport of harness racing needs to clone to help promote the industry, they should look no further than John Berry. By Jessica Hallett, for Harnesslink   Jessica Hallett is a new correspondent for Harnesslink. Jessica, 17, lives in Margate, Florida and is currently a senior at Deerfield Beach High School. She is the daughter of Pompano Park owner/trainers John and Michelle Hallett.

MANALAPAN, NJ May 9, 2017 -- The SBOANJ has revamped their harness racing stakes program for foals of 2016. In an effort to attract more eligible horses and create competitive races the SBOANJ sponsored stakes program has developed three new races. All nominations for these events are due May 15, 2017. The New Jersey Garden State Trot for 2 and 3 year-olds will replace the Dancer and Smith trots once these events have ended. The 2 year-old race will be held at the Meadowlands in 2018. The 3 year-olds will race at Freehold Raceway in 2019. Nominations are due May 15, 2017. This year's nominations will be paid by the SBOANJ. Please send in a nomination form only. The Futurity #53 will be limited to trotters only. Nomination fee of $25 is due May 15, 2017. The New Jersey Home Grown Pace is a new event open to foals of 2016 that are New Jersey sired OR New Jersey Sire Stake Development Fund eligible OR foaled in New Jersey. Ideally the dates will coincide with the New Jersey Sire Stakes program at Freehold Raceway and offer owners an opportunity to race extended dates. Nominations are due May 15, 2017. The fee is $25 for New Jersey sired and Standardbred Development Fund eligible and $150 for yearlings who are not eligible to the Standardbred Development Fund. The conditions and nomination forms are available on our website under the stakes and stakes conditions tabs. Courtney Stafford Publicity Consultant SBOANJ 732-462-2357

MANALAPAN, NJ — April 22, 2017 — The SBOANJ stakes nomination Form has been updated.  Please review the form below and use the current form to nominate 2016 foals to the new SBOANJ sponsored stake races for 2018 - 2019. Courtney Stafford

MANALAPAN, NJ -- April 8, 2017 -- As part of the 2016 Renaissance Incentive Program, the SBOANJ will pay up to a $400 rebate to those harness racing mares that qualified for the program. The office will rely on the USTA foal registrations to verify that the mare foaled in New Jersey. Your foal must be registered by October 15, 2017 in order to receive the rebate. Part Two of the Renaissance program is for foals of mares bred to New Jersey stallions in 2016. (Great Vintage, Lis Mara, Rock N Roll Heaven and Trixton.) The SBOANJ will rebate up to 25% of the paid stud fee, maximum of $1,500. The mare does not need to reside in New Jersey. Applications are due August 10, 2017. Applications with an explanation of requirements are on our website. The SBOANJ is offering a 2017 pacing stallion rebate for New Jersey stallions enrolled in the USTA STARS program. Eligible stallion: Lis Mara, 50% rebate of the paid stud fee (up to $3,000) to the owner of a mare who resides in New Jersey for 150 days up to and including the foaling. A 25% rebate of the paid stud fee (up to $1,500) for non-resident mares. Applications are due September 1, 2017. Applications with an explanation of requirements are on our website. Also in 2017, the SBOANJ will rebate up to $500 to resident mares who have been bred and reside in New Jersey for 150 days up to and including foaling. Mare does not have to be bred to a New Jersey sire. Applications are due September 1, 2017. Applications with an explanation of requirements are on our website. $100,000 caps for each program. Courtney Stafford 

MANALAPAN, NJ March 23, 2017. On Thursday, May 4, 2017 at 5:00 pm the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey and TrotPAC will host a fundraiser reception in support of Ambassador Phil Murphy, the likely Democratic nominee for Governor, at Deo Volente Farms in Flemington, New Jersey. Murphy has earned significant Democratic Party support from coveted county ballot line placements to political support from leaders like former Governor Dick Codey to labor unions and political activists. Given that New Jersey is considered to be a "blue state' and Republican Governor Chris Christie has very low approval ratings it appears that Ambassador Murphy is the favorite to win the governor's race this November. We urge your support of this private event. It will be an opportunity to inform Ambassador Murphy about our industry and discuss our challenges. Several SBOA Directors have already had the opportunity to meet with the ambassador and start a dialogue with him. We are in a strong position to develop a mutually beneficial relationship with him and his team. We would appreciate your attendance as well as you generous financial support of the event. For More Information: Courtney Stafford Publicity Consultant SBOANJ 732-462-2357

MANALAPAN, NJ — January 30, 2017 — This past November, New Jersey’s racing industry suffered a major setback, as the Casino Expansion Referendum was defeated by the voters.  It was apparent that New Jersey’s surrounding states were funding the campaign against the cause. Since, the defeat the SBOANJ board members have been diligently working on an alternative plan that would generate another source of revenue for our racing industry to survive. The idea of Historic Racing was brought to their attention.  Most recently, the state of Kentucky has successfully implemented Historic Racing machines into both thoroughbred and standardbred racetracks. A Historic Racing Bill was introduced to the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey on January 9, 2017.  The bill is being sponsored by Senators Richard J Codey and Christopher “Kip” Bateman.  It has also gained co-sponsorship from Senator Oroho.  The bill will permit wagering at racetracks and off track wagering facilities in the State of New Jersey on previously recorded live thoroughbred or standardbred horse races that do not identify the actual race. To see the details of the bill go to “ State of New Jersey 217th Legislature Senate # 2886 “ After the bill was introduced to the Senate and General Assembly, a copy was sent to the SBOANJ for review.  Currently they are evaluating the bill and its content. In the meantime, they will continue to work on an alternative plan to help generate revenue that New Jersey racetracks need to compete with neighboring states that have casino revenue to support their purse accounts. “We continue to ask for your help and cooperation during these trying times.  Also, continue to show your support to both the Meadowlands and Freehold racetracks,” said SBOANJ President Mark Ford. Click here to view the bill Pacesetter Jan/Feb 2017 Courtney Stafford Publicity Consultant SBOANJ 732-462-2357

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