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The Colts Neck, NJ, horse farm founded by the late Hall of Famer Anthony T. Abbatiello, a leader in the growth of harness racing that propelled New Jersey to prominence in the sport for four decades, is to be sold at auction on site on September 5. Sale of the 64.3-acre property, reduced from its original 450 acres many years ago by a state takeover of land for a major state highway (Route 18), includes a house, two barns with horse or livestock stalls, a half-mile horse training track, an accessory building with three large garage-type bays, four ponds for fishing or irrigation. The farm, a significant real estate part of shaping New Jersey harness racing history, is in close proximity to Freehold Raceway and convenient to Monmouth Park and The Meadowlands racetracks. The prominent Max Spann real estate firm will conduct the auction at 11 AM on September 5, with on-site property previews scheduled for August 13 and 24 from 12 to 2 PM. For auction details click on this link. Abbatiello, who died in October 2017, established the standardbred-training farm 65 years ago after his heroic service in the Korean War that earned him three Purple Hearts, two Bronze Stars and a nomination for the Silver Star, among numerous battle citations and honors. Named Five Point Farm for the road on which it is located, Abbatiello brought his two younger brothers Carmine, who also is a Harness Racing Hall of Famer, and Matt with him to create one of the eventual focal points of New Jersey harness racing. Carmine, one of harness racing's premier drivers, was inducted in 1985. When Anthony was inducted nine years later, they became the first brother combination to be so honored. Abbatiello, born and raised in Staten Island, NY, bought and founded the farm shortly after he returned from the war and worked briefly for the late Hall of Famer Stanley Dancer, whose Egyptian Acres farm was located nearby. Abbatiello co-founded with Dancer the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey, served as the group's president for nearly 30 years and was influential in the establishment of The Meadowlands and bringing the world famous Hambletonian race to that racetrack. By Leon Zimmerman  

Anthony J. Parenti, a long-time former police chief of Fanwood, NJ, and former president of the Standardbred Breeders Association of New Jersey, died on August 1 at Overlook Medical Center in Summit, NJ, surrounded by family. He was 87. A career police official for 60 years, Parenti also became involved in harness racing as a horse owner. He was elected to several three-year terms on the Standardbred Association Board of Directors, and elected by his colleagues as president for 14 years of the organization. He was also honored by Harness Horsemen International as man of the year. He served as Fanwood police chief from 1975 to 1998 and five years as director of the John Stamler Police Academy in Union County. He was a police officer in Plainfield, NJ, one year and for 18 years in Fanwood before becoming chief. In addition, Parenti was president of the New Jersey Association of Chiefs of Police. He established and served as president 30 years of the New Jersey Traffic Officers Association. In those capacities, he was directly involved in the passage of numerous traffic safety laws in New Jersey and wrote a weekly drive-time column for newspapers in his area. Parenti's career in public office continued in his retirement with his election to the Fanwood Borough Council for two three-year terms before retiring. Born of Italian immigrants, he was raised in Plainfield, served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War from 1951-1955 and earned an associates degree at Rutgers College. He will be sadly missed by his loving family, survived by: his wife of 62 years, Sally; three children, Anthony Jr., an assistant county prosecutor in Somerset County; William, the current police chief of North Plainfield, NJ, and a candidate for Sheriff of Somerset County; a daughter Nancy, two daughters-in-law; nine grandchildren, three great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Visitation is scheduled for Sunday, August 4, at the Fanwood Memorial Home, 155 South Avenue, Fanwod. A funeral is scheduled for 10 AM, Monday, August 5, from the funeral home, followed by a Mass of Catholic Burial to be celebrated at 11 AM at St. Bernard's Church, 368 Sumner Avenue, Plainfield. In lieu of flowers, and in keeping with his desire to continue to protect and serve, the family requests donations be made to the Fanwood PBA, Fanwood Rescue Squad or Fanwood Fire Department. By Leon Zimmerman

MANALAPAN, NJ - The Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey would like to clarify to all horsemen how the $20 million appropriation will be utilized. The amounts will be allocated by the New Jersey Racing Commission equally between the thoroughbred industry and the standardbred industry. Of the funds allocated to the standardbred industry, 60 percent will be allocated to the Meadowlands overnight purses; 16 percent to Freehold overnight purses; 12 percent to the New Jersey Sire Stakes purses; 12 percent to purse bonuses for New Jersey sired horses and for breeders awards programs. Additionally, the Meadowlands purse account will receive a minimum of $1 million per year from the Meadowlands sports betting revenue. The SBOANJ's breeders committee will be meeting shortly to determine the best way to fund the breeding programs. If you have any questions please feel free to call the office 732-462-2357. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ 

MANALAPAN, NJ - February 9, 2019 - The SBOANJ 2019 rebate programs will be determined once the Governor has signed into law the $10 million annual 5 year appropriation bill. Once the funding is approved an announcement will be made with all the information on our website. Please make sure you file all the necessary paperwork for the current programs to remain eligible. Any questions please call 732-462-2357. From Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ -- February 6, 2019 -- Yesterday the Meadowlands canceled the Governor's Cup and the Three Diamonds, fall races for two-year-old pacing colts and fillies, respectively, with nominations due next week on Feb. 15. The Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey (SBOANJ) had not been notified of these cancellations prior to the announcement, and to clarify the Meadowlands release, while the $6 million earmarked for the Meadowlands from the proposed New Jersey state $10 million appropriation cannot be used for stakes events, that is not the case for the minimum of $1 million guaranteed to be received from sports betting revenues as that would be part of the general purse account, and can, in fact, be used for stakes and added money events. The $4 million balance of the purse allocation will be directed to Freehold Raceway overnight purses and the New Jersey Sire Stakes and other breeding related programs. The SBOA plans to communicate this to the Meadowlands for further discussion, with the hope that these two important events can be reinstated. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ  

TRENTON, NJ -- January 31, 2019 -- The Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey (SBOANJ) applauds the New Jersey Legislature for passing critical legislation to help support New Jersey's horse racing and breeding industry. S2992/A4810 will allocate $100 million over 5 years to be used for horse racing purse allocations. "We are grateful for the commitment to our industry demonstrated by Senators Gopal, Sarlo, Oroho and Assemblymembers Burzichelli, Hougtaling, Downey and Dancer by ushering this bill through the Legislature," said Mark Ford, President of the SBOANJ. "Senate President Sweeney and Speaker Coughlin took the time to understand the challenging position our industry is in and made this a priority. The SBOANJ is thankful for their leadership on this issue. This funding will start to even the playing field for the New Jersey horse racing and breeding industry and help us to compete with the surrounding states which have very lucrative incentive programs" The industry and horse racing and breeding farms not only aid and protect the preservation of open space in New Jersey, they heavily support the agribusiness and ensure thousands of jobs around the state. Without stimulation from the horse racing and breeding industry, these support businesses stop production and contributing to the New Jersey economy as well. This legislation will help to prevent this from happening in New Jersey. The SBOANJ is proud of the strides taken by our advocacy efforts. The relentless work of the Association will pay dividends for the horse racing and breeding industry and the State of New Jersey, enabling the horse industry to continue to grow and provide top of the line purses that will undoubtedly attract unparalleled competitors back to the state. The SBOANJ is also appreciative of the support shown by their longstanding partners  the Meadowland Racetrack, Freehold Raceway, the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen Association and the Thoroughbred Breeders Association of New Jersey. The Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey (SBOANJ) was established in 1961. The membership is comprised of horse breeders, drivers, trainers, owners, and backstretch personnel, active and interested in the standardbred horse industry in the State of New Jersey. Its mission is to support and promote the standardbred industry in New Jersey by nurturing and preserving a favorable business climate, while striving to secure closer business and personal relationships among all industry participants throughout the State. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ -January 28, 2019 - On Sunday (Jan 27), the New Jersey Department of Agriculture held its 62nd Annual New Jersey Breeder Awards Luncheon at Hilton Gardens Inn in Hamilton. This year the committee dedicated the luncheon to the late Steve Williams, longtime farm manager of White Birch Farm. SBOANJ directors in attendance were Mark Mullen, Anthony Romano, Chris Ryder, and Executive Administrator Al Ochsner. Take a Wish won the NJ Sire Stakes Horse of the Year for owner Dawn Anderson and the John McDermott trainee Hurrikane Emperor received the Standardbred of the year honors. The $7 million dollar horse Foiled Again also received special recognition. Mark Mullen presented Steve Williams sons Steve and Joseph Williams the Breeder of the Year award for White Birch Farm. The SBOANJ congratulates all of the award winners and wishes them continued success in 2019. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ

East Rutherford, NJ - With the possibility of a purse subsidy for New Jersey horse racing in the news, there are a few important points to be made on what remains to be done and some updates the progress of this vital piece of legislation.  The Meadowlands and the SBOA of NJ with their TrotPac initiative have been in concert with the NJ Thoroughbred Horseman's Association in a laborious effort over the past two years to have the legislation introduced and addressed.  The measure, known as NJ S2992 (18R), would provide $20 million annually for five years starting this fiscal year to be disbursed through the New Jersey Racing Commission for use toward purse subsidies and track operations at New Jersey racetracks. The first step was to have the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee advance the proposed legislation to a vote in the NJ Senate which on December 10 was unanimously approved.  On Monday, December 17 the NJ Senate passed the legislation by a 40 - 0 vote successfully completing step two. These are encouraging signs to be sure, yet there remain a few important hurdles before the bill becomes law. It must first pass a committee of the Assembly that will determine the validity of the proposed request. If accepted, the bill will then be introduced into the full Assembly for a vote and must pass that house before ultimately being signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy.    Nick Salvi

MANALAPAN, NJ - December 11, 2018 - The New Jersey Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee advanced the proposed legislation on Monday by a vote of 13 - 0. The proposed legislation will provide a $20 million subsidy to New Jersey's horse racing industry, to be divided equally between the Thoroughbred and Standardbred industries. The state's funding would benefit not just racetracks but everyone involved in racing. "The horse racing industry has had a long road to recovery, and we feel this purse supplement money, as well as the ability to enter into agreements with sports book operators at the racetracks, would provide a necessary shot of adrenaline into the horse racing industry," AJ Sabath, a lobbyist representing the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey, told the committee before the vote. The SBOANJ and TrotPac have been and will continue to work with AJ Sabath on behalf of New Jersey horsemen and women to see this legislation through to the end. The full story is below. Lawmakers want to give horse racing industry $100M state subsidy By Ryan Hutchins  TRENTON, NJ - Lawmakers want to give a $20 million annual subsidy to New Jersey's horse racing industry, restoring state support for the first time since former Gov. Chris Christie redirected casino gambling revenue back to Atlantic City early this decade. The proposed legislation, NJ S2992 (18R), which advanced out of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on Monday by a vote of 13-0, comes just four months after it became legal for the tracks to offer sports betting. Supporters of the bill say the subsidy, which would come from the state's general fund and be divided equally between the Thoroughbred and the Standardbred industries, would benefit not just racetracks but everyone involved in racing — from jockeys to those working on equine farms. The bill also requires agreements with sports book operators that ensure some of that revenue will be shared with the breeders and owners. "The horse racing industry has had a long road to recovery, and we feel this purse supplement money as well as the ability to enter into agreements with sports book operators at the racetracks would provide a necessary shot of adrenaline into the horse racing industry," AJ Sabath, a lobbyist representing the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey, told the committee before the vote. The legislation is sponsored by state Sens. Vin Gopal (D-Monmouth) and Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen), the budget chairman and big booster of the industry. The bill would provide the annual subsidy for five years, starting this fiscal year, funneling the $100 million through the New Jersey Racing Commission and requiring the funds be used for purse subsidies and track operations. The money would benefit the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport and Freehold Raceway. Monmouth Park and Meadowlands both have sports books on site. Representatives for Freehold said the track's operators are talking to potential sports betting partners. The struggling horse racing industry has been counting on sports betting to pull it back from the edge, especially after Christie in 2011 stripped it of a similar-sized subsidy paid by casinos. Now, the horse racing sector hasn't done that bad; through October, Meadowlands Racetrack had won $15.2 million and Monmouth Park Racetrack had taken in $7.5 million. But supporters of the bill say the state needs to make sure that benefit trickles down to those who don't own or operate the tracks. "This will be a huge help for the horse racing industry that is an important part of New Jersey's heritage and culture and a key source of jobs and economic activity," Gopal said in a statement. "There are tens of thousands of jobs impacted directly or indirectly by the racing industry, including the long-term survival of Monmouth Racetrack." To view online click here.    : From Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ  

FREEHOLD, NJ — December 10, 2018 — With sports betting up and running at the  Meadowlands and Monmouth Park, it appears that Freehold Raceway is ready to join the action. According to Christopher McErlean, vice president at Penn National - which co-owns the track, “We are in negotiations with vendors for both retail and online, and we hope to have a decision by the end of the month.” Freehold plans to follow the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park sports betting set up by having one vendor handle both in house and online operations. The goal is to have a vendor by December 31 but that does not mean that everything will be up and running by NFL playoff weekend.  Freehold is watching how things have been playing out in New Jersey and is approaching sports betting for the long game. For more information on Freehold Raceway and sports betting read the Full Article From Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ

The Meadowlands Racetrack and the Standardbred Breeders and Owners of New Jersey are extremely pleased to announce that they have reached a revenue sharing agreement for the next ten years that will annually add a minimum of $1 Million from the sports betting monies to the harness racing purse account. "With a bill for a five-year $100 Million purse appropriation scheduled to be introduced in the legislature shortly, we are all hopeful that we will be able to continue our good work with the SBOA and bring the Meadowlands back to its stature as a premier racing venue" noted NMR Chairman Jeff Gural. SBOA President Mark Ford was equally enthusiastic, imploring all horsemen to reach out to their legislators to let them know how important this bill is to the future of racing and breeding in New Jersey, while also reminding horsemen that "if you are betting sporting events be sure to place your bets with FanDuel at the Meadowlands or use the FanDuel app, as a portion of every dollar you wager will show up in the purse account." From Meadowlands Media Dept & SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ - June 26, 2015 - New Jersey's annual salute to the horse moves to Fair Winds Farm in Cream Ridge this Sunday, June 28, 2015. Fair Winds will open its gates from 1 to 4 p.m. for the celebration of the Month of the Horse. Events are free and will take place rain or shine. Fair Winds is home to dozens of mares and foals, and to the Hogan Equine operated by Dr. Patricia Hogan. Dr. Hogan will show visitors the workings of the clinic, where hundreds of horses, mostly thoroughbreds and standardbreds, are treated each year. Her client list reads like a "Who's Who" of horse racing, and includes 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Smarty Jones. Farrier Tom Mulryne will demonstrate how horses' feet are kept healthy by regular trimming and shoeing when needed. There will also be a few friendly horses for visitors to pet and groom; selfies are welcome. Horse drawn wagon rides throughout the farm will be available. The Standardbred Pleasure Horse Organization of New Jersey will demonstrate all the ways standardbreds excel off the track. Trainer-driver Jacqueline Ingrassia will prepare a "well-dressed standardbred" with the equipment worn on the racetrack. The Rutgers Equine Science Center and racing's ambassador, Independent Act - Indy - will also be among the participants. Food concession stands will be available. Guests are asked to leave dogs at home and to wear sensible shoes for walking around the farm. Fair Winds, located at 74 Red Valley Road, Cream Ridge, is off of County Road 526 [Trenton Lakewood Road]. For directions click here By Carol Hodes for SBOANJ              

MANALAPAN, NJ - April 28, 2014 - The annual golf outing to benefit New Jersey horsemen will take place this year on Monday, July 14, 2014. The Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey's fundraiser will once again take place at Gambler Ridge Golf Course in Cream Ridge, NJ, featuring a round of golf, a prime rib dinner and chances for door prizes, silent auction items and a 50-50. The fee is $180 per golfer. The shotgun start is at 1 p.m., preceded by registration, starting at 11:30 a.m., and buffet lunch. Dinner is at 6 p.m. and is available to non-golfers for $75. The money raised through the golf tournament supports the SBOANJ Horsemen's Benevolent Fund. In 2013, the Benevolent Fund assisted struggling New Jersey horsemen with funeral expenses, rent, medical and other essentials. Sponsorship opportunities are available, ranging from a golf hole sponsorship at $250; putting, longest drive and closest-to-the-pin contest sponsorships at $300 each; drink cart and lunch sponsorships at $500 each and dinner and hole-in-one sponsorships at $750 each. Additionally, there are four levels of playing packages: $2,000 Platinum Sponsor [eight rounds of golf, hole sponsorship with name on cover and full page ad on inside front cover of the program], $1,500 Gold [four rounds of golf, hole sponsorship and full page ad on inside front or back cover of the program], $1,000 Silver [four rounds of golf and full page ad in program] and $500 Bronze [two rounds of golf and half page ad in program]. For more information, contact Leo McNamara or Polly Hartzell at the SBOANJ office at 732-462-2357. by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ      

The following opinion appeared today in the Asbury Park Press. It is written by Tom Luchento, the president of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey and president of Harness Horsemen International. The citizens of New Jersey have always supported preserving open space in the Garden State, and now there is a way to do so at no cost to the taxpayers. As Kelly Mooij, coordinator of the NJ Keep It Green coalition, stated in her April 11 commentary in the Press, “N.J. needs funds for open land,” the only way to protect our natural resources is through a sustainable funding source for open space preservation. We could not agree more. The anticipated $500 million annual tax on casino gaming at the Meadowlands Racetrack would be the answer, along with the more than $200 million annually paid in state, local and federal taxes by the horse industry. Dedicating a portion of the casino taxes would assure a continuous flow of funds to guarantee the state’s Green Acres and Farmland Preservation programs without imposing a tax burden on businesses and individuals. A healthy racing and breeding industry would, in turn, keep open spaces safe from development without tapping into state funds. To read the rest of the story click here.

MANALAPAN, NJ - February 18, 2014 - The Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey and Freehold Raceway have agreed to the addition of three Mondays - February 24, March 3 and March 10 - to the Freehold live racing schedule to make up for some of the cards lost to snowstorms this winter. Further decisions, regarding two additional canceled dates, will be addressed in the near future. Details for the draw schedule for the three Mondays will be forthcoming. by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ        

MANALAPAN, NJ - December 18, 2013 - Registration is due by December 31, 2013 for stallions which will be based in New Jersey in 2014. The stallion application and other information regarding eligibility are available at or by contacting the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey at 732-462-2357. by Carol Hodes for SBOANJ        

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