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ANDERSON, Ind.—August 5, 2014—A field of nine will be sent post-ward in the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, August 8. In what may be the most accomplished field ever assembled, the 21st installment of Hoosier Park’s signature event will highlight the 14-race program that begins at 5:15 p.m.  The race will be part of a special weekend tagged as “Dan Patch Festival Weekend” and will feature extreme entertainment, giveaways, and racing. The evening will also be complimented by Indiana Sires Stakes finals, sending the purse money to be distributed throughout the evening over the $500,000 mark.  The 2014 Dan Patch field boasts combined career purse earnings over $10 million and includes four millionaires, three previous Dan Patch winning drivers, two Hall of Fame drivers, and one Hall of Fame trainer. Bettor’s Edge, Heston Blue Chip, Sweet Lou, and Thinking Out Loud will make their way to Indiana boasting career earnings over the $1 million mark. Ricky Macomber Jr., who visited the Dan Patch winner’s circle in 2000 and 2002, will drive Bettor’s Edge from post seven while Peter Wrenn, who won the 2012 installment of the Dan Patch, will start from post three behind Night Pro.  Hall of Fame driver Ron Pierce, who was victorious in the 2005 Dan Patch Invitational with Maltese Artist, has been enlisted to drive the 4-5 morning line favorite, Sweet Lou from post five for North America’s leading money-winning trainer, Ron Burke. With over $2.9 million in career earnings, the five-year-old horse is the richest horse in the field and is currently riding an eight race win streak, most recently victorious in 1:47.2 in the US Pacing Championship at the Meadowlands.  Harness racings’ all time leading money winning driver and Hall of Famer, John Campbell, will make his way to Hoosier Park to compete in his second Dan Patch Invitational and has been enlisted to drive Thinking Out Loud for Hall of Fame trainer, Robert McIntosh from post two. Throughout his career, Thinking Out Loud has amassed more than $1.5 million with a record of 44-14-7-10.  Also joining the stellar cast of entrants as a main contender for the 2014 Dan Patch title is State Treasurer, with Jody Jamieson at the lines from post eight. The Dr. Ian Moore trainee has been tabbed as the 4-1 morning line second choice. A winner of over $750,000 lifetime, the five-year-old horse recently set a 1:48.1 Canadian seasons record at Mohawk and is the 2014 Molson Pace Champion.  Night Pro will play the role of local favorite from three for trainer Dale Decker. Night Pro, a former Indiana Sires Stakes champion, enters Saturday’s race after posting seven consecutive wins in the Invitational pace at Hoosier Park. The four-year-old gelding has won 22 of 30 career starts and has amassed over $350,000 in career earnings.  The 2014 Dan Patch field, in post-position order with named driver and trainer includes: 1.      Dancin Yankee           Tr: Amber Buter         Dr: Tyler Buter     8-1 2.      Thinking Out Loud      Tr: Robert McIntosh  Dr: John Campbell   6-1                 3.      Night Pro                   Tr: Dale Decker        Dr: Peter Wrenn      20-1 4.      Carol’s Comet           Tr: Ron Potter          Dr: Aaron Merriman 15-1 5.      Sweet Lou                 Tr: Ron Burke          Dr: Ron Pierce    4-5        6.      Heston Blue Chip      Tr: Linda Toscano   Dr: Corey Callahan  15-1 7.      Bettor’s Edge           Tr: Ron Burke     Dr: Ricky Macomber Jr.  10-1 8.      State Treasurer        Tr: Ian Moore      Dr: Jody Jamieson        4-1 9.      Our Lucky Chip     Tr: Jason Miller     Dr: Trace Tetrick    30-1  Racing fans will have the opportunity to participate in two special wagers offered for the Dan Patch Invitational card. A $25,000 Guaranteed Dan Patch Superfecta pool will be available as part of the Strategic Wagering Program. The wager will have a minimum bet of 10 cents and is available through the cooperative efforts of the United States Trotting Association, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and the Indiana Standardbred Association. Slated as the twelfth race on the card, estimated post time for Hoosier Park’s signature event is 9:30 p.m.  A $10,000 Guaranteed Pick-3 will also be made available to racing fans in races seven through nine as part of the East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge. The East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge will pit the top-five drivers at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino against five of the top drivers from the East in a three-race challenge with the winning team going home with their share of the $20,000 prize. The top five drivers from Hoosier Park will make-up “Team Midwest” with the top five drivers from the East driving for “Team East”.    In what is being called the “Dan Patch Festival Weekend”, Hoosier Park will showcase some of the most notable names in harness racing alongside special wagers, free fireworks, giveaways, and interactive family-friendly entertainment. Also, highlighting the weekend will be a concert by the Grammy-award winning group, Little Big Town on Saturday, August 9 as part of Hoosier Park’s summer concert series line-up.   Emily Gaskin Racing Commentator, Publicist and Marketing Specialist

Cheating on your spouse is not very nice; and is still a crime in many places. While prosecutions for Adultery are admittedly rare, the Scarlet Letter crime is still on the books. In fact, at last count it's a criminal offense in 21 states. While liberalized divorce laws in all 50 states have eliminated the need to plead and prove civil grounds for divorce, such as Adultery, some spouses try to encourage prosecution of their wayward betrothed to extract an advantage with issues such as child custody and visitation. Public Intoxication is also a criminal offense in several states, and, unlike adultery, arrests and prosecutions occur with regularity. A related crime, Public Lewdness, occurs when too much beer leads to the need to relieve oneself in an open place. How prevalent are the types of activities described above?  You don’t need to have a degree in the social sciences to conclude that everybody has, and everybody will, do regrettable things during their lifetimes. While not everyone sleeps around or drinks to excess in public, there are those who have shoplifted a candy bar; made graffiti; sold a bootleg recording; hosted a poker game; walked across railroad tracks when the gates were down; passed a joint to a friend (constitutes a drug sale); cheated on their taxes and committed hundreds of other criminal offenses. Imagine someone being permanently banned from participating in pari-mutuel harness racing because his spouse caught him carousing around her back, or because he screamed obscenities in a park at midnight in an inebriated state. Not nice; and possibly criminal activity… but do these actions truly speak to the appropriateness of participation in our industry? Moreover, if the activity occurred away from a racetrack, what possible business would a racetrack management, much less a racing commission, have in using it to judge the character and fitness of an individual who always acts as a professional while in the paddock? Finally, all other things considered, would the penalty of perpetual banishment truly fit the crimes referenced? The stakeholders in our industry have varied opinions when it comes to horse slaughter. Irrespective of my opinion or that of anyone else, the present legal status of horse slaughter in this country is what it is; like it or not.  Against this backdrop, consider the lawsuit presently pending in a Federal District Court in Ohio entitled, Mumaw v. Ohio State Racing Commission. The plaintiffs are longstanding owners and trainers of Thoroughbreds at Thistledown Racetrack. They contend that in 2012 they retired one of their horses by giving it to a woman seeking a riding horse for her children. The plaintiffs did not transfer the Jockey Club registration papers, explaining that they didn’t want the horse to end up racing ever again. They allege that it wasn’t until 2013 that the Jockey Club permitted a “Sold as Retired from Racing” designation on registration papers. Thus, they remained the paper owners of the horse. Shortly thereafter, plaintiffs were contacted by somebody they describe as an animal rights’ advocate who indicated that the horse was purchased at a livestock auction house known as a conduit for horses destined for slaughter. It is alleged that this individual demanded money in exchange for her silence. Plaintiffs state that they balked at what they describe as blackmail, and the advocate then contacted both the stewards and track management. Purportedly based upon a racetrack boarding agreement provision prohibiting any horse from being transported from the track for the purpose of slaughter or to an auction house who sells horses for slaughter, the stewards and racetrack management permanently banned plaintiffs and their horses from participation in racing at the track. The question as to whether plaintiffs received a full, fair, constitutional hearing before the stewards is an open question in the litigation; as is the question of whether plaintiffs knew or should have known that the horse was going to a slaughter auction. The answers to these questions and many others are dependent upon what the court ultimately elicits as the true facts in the case. There are, however, questions that can be addressed without the need for much fact finding.      The truth is that there is no jurisdiction, including Ohio, which makes it a crime to either buy or sell a horse for the purpose of eventual slaughter. In other words, while some may think selling a horse in a grade sale is horribly wrong, nobody has made it criminal. Yes, slaughter is illegal in certain states, but selling a horse with even nefarious intent doesn’t constitute slaughter. Moreover, not every horse at a grade sale necessarily goes to slaughter. In Ohio, some are purchased by Old Order Amish community members for transport or farm work. In fact, it appears from the complaint in the matter that the horse in question was actually purchased by a horse rescuer and never sent to slaughter. Plaintiffs deny that they transported a horse from the track for the purpose of slaughter. Even if they were found to have done so, what was violated was a track rule embodied in a stall application, not a state statute or regulation. While Thistledown management might be allowed to exclude plaintiffs’ from participation at their premises, what authority did the state’s stewards have to enforce a “house” rule? The question is important, because there are other Thoroughbred venues in Ohio where the actions of the stewards could have wide-ranging implications. What’s more, the very validly of house rules have always been a shaky issue. Decades ago, New York’s highest court voided a “policy” which was never promulgated according to state-mandated procedures that required jockeys suspended by the state during the Saratoga race meet to take their days at Saratoga. Years later, a federal judge refused to dismiss a complaint by New York jockey agents which challenged the legitimacy of a house rule limiting them from representing more than one journeyman jockey. In essence, if a house rule adversely affects a licensee, it impinges upon the vested property right granted to him or her via their state-issued occupational license. It’s for this reason that New York’s highest court also invalidated the state’s attempt to delegate licensing authority to the private, non-governmental Jockey Club. In sum, you could commit a crime and not serve a day’s suspension. You could also violate a racetrack’s house rule, not be in violation of a single law or regulation, and be banned for life not only by racetrack management, by the stewards in their official capacity as state commission agents. Don’t think slaughter is good? I don’t either, but that’s not the point. If Ohio doesn’t have a rule on the books, their officials shouldn’t be enforcing the rules of private organizations. Judges should fine and suspend the state licenses of individuals for regulatory violations, not because a private organization doesn’t like something. After all, aren’t the judges beholden to state law and regulation? When track managements persuade the judges to enforce track rules, it gives those non-governmental rules the impermissible imprimatur of the state. That’s just wrong, because while today the issue is slaughter, tomorrow it might be about free speech, driving style or perceived disloyalty.  Chris E. Wittstruck is an attorney, a director of the Standardbred Owners Association of New York and a charter member of the Albany Law School Racing and Gaming Law Network. Chris E. Wittstruck Courtesy of The USTA Web Newsroon

Nick Surick, the leading harness racing trainer at Freehold Raceway, did not have a racing background when he became a horseman. All Nick knew was he wanted to be a part of harness racing industry any way possible. As of the 22nd of May, Nick leads as the top trainer at Freehold Raceway with 26 wins out of 118 starts resulting in $86,000 in total purse winnings for 2014. "I have no horse racing background whatsoever" says Nick. "I actually grew up in Freehold, NJ and I lived about five minutes away from Freehold Raceway which was a ten minute bike ride. I used ride my bike to the track to watch the races as a kid." Nick credits his mom, Debbie, for always supporting him. "Through the bad times she helped me, good or bad she always stood behind me. She always wanted me to be happy" says Nick. His parents divorced right around the time Nick was getting into the harness racing industry and it must have been difficult for him, for anyone in that position. What originally drew Nick to the track was the gambling component. Nick's father, Kevin, helped introduce Nick to this unhealthy lifestyle due to the fact that Nick's father had substance abuse issues and was a known gambler. "I was a gambler; I was actually thrown out of a lot of tracks for underage gambling. My father was an alcoholic and a degenerate gambler." Nick admits. "I was more hooked that way more than anything. Aside from the gambling back then, I think the horse itself intrigued me and I liked the animal so much that it was good for me. " "I really wasn't the best student when it came to school." Nick explains, "I really couldn't care less about school. I dropped out of my second year in college so I could train full time when I got the opportunity from one of my big owners, Howard Schneidler. It all came together at the right time. "Once I learned the backside to horse racing, that's when I lost the itch for gambling. It was about growing up, maturing and getting smarter." Nick says. "Now that I was physically with the horse, gambling was not an issue anymore." The fact Nick was able to break away and cut the cord, so to speak, speaks volumes. Once Nick established himself as a horseman, it came to the point where Nick's father was constantly causing Nick problems at the Raceway and in life as a whole. "He caused me a lot of headaches at the track" Nick says about his father. "With me training horses, it wasn't good for him. He started making things up, telling people to bet horses (based) on what I said which are things I never said. If I talk to him a couple times a year, that's a lot. He was hurting my livelihood. "I had to take a step back, even though he's my dad I had to cut him out." Nick admits. "I had to think about my future and hopefully I have a lot of years ahead of me. "Drug and alcohol abuse made him a person he wasn't." Nick continues, "He was nasty to people... when you're under the influence you become a different person." The best piece of advice Nick ever received was from Richard Annunziata and it was about Nick ensuring he surrounds himself with good people. "He told me this when I was 16 and I am 26 now but I still remember it" says Nick. "Surround yourself with successful people; surround yourself with people that are better than you.... If you surround yourself with bad apples, that's who you're going to be. "That's what I did" says Nick. "I cut out all of the bad people from my life. The people who were bringing me down." Once Nick graduated from high school, he admits he changed lives. Nick did a 180 degree turn to better his life and to develop into a better person. Was it easy? That's tough to say as everyone deals with changes in their own manner but knowing that change is needed and working towards that is a task in itself. What Nick did is commendable, not many people can switch 'tracks' in life and to do so at a young and impressionable age is astounding. When Nick got started, he first worked for fellow trainer Eric Abbatiello. "I never had anyone behind me to push me, I did it all on my own." After working with Eric Abbatiello, Nick and his (now former) partner Anna Glide joined forces. "We worked together for four or five years and the business grew together between us" Nick explains. "We went from two horses to thirty five horses almost overnight. "When it comes to owners, I am happy with who I have," Nick says. Once Nick finds people he is comfortable with and who he believes has a good heart, Nick is content and doesn't go looking for more. It's about quality, not quantity for Nick. "I've learned a lot from Erv Miller... like who to accept in your barn." Nick states. "My girlfriend Hannah is his daughter." Working with Erv, Nick says "I've learned to individualize each horse. Treating each horse as their own... treat each horse as a separate entity." "Anytime I need any advice, I can pick up the phone and call Erv," says Nick. "He has one of the best managed barns I've ever seen. His memory is unbelievable!" Nick is open when he admits he doesn't like change, right now he's very happy residing near Freehold Raceway and all the major tracks are within driving distance. "Right now I take it one day at a time" says Nick when asked about what the future may hold for him. "I'm comfortable with my 30 to 40 horse barn." When it comes to Pacers or Trotters, hands down Nick prefers the Pacers. "I just haven't had any luck with the Trotters" laughs Nick. Nick pulls double duty at Freehold Raceway where he drives as well. Nick only plans on driving at Freehold Raceway and admits it's a lot of fun. Nick considers driving more of a hobby compared to training which is his passion. Nick believes the harness racing industry is headed in the proper direction by pushing to have the major races showcased on National TV. "We need a lot more one on one interaction with the drivers, trainers and the public." Nick says. Nick credits the success of his barn to his employees, the second trainers, the grooms and most importantly his owners. "I'm nothing without them and their financial backing" Nick states. "I've got great people behind me; I've got to give them credit. Nick Surick can't take care of 35- 40 horses, it takes a team. There's no magic, its teamwork." Roderick Balgobin's column will appear weekly on Harnesslink. You can contact him at rod.balgobin @supernovasportsclub.com or Twitter: ScSupernova        

Monday afternoon saw the return of live racing in the province of New Brunswick and Todd Trites notched three wins on opening day at Fredericton Raceway.   With the wins, the popular driver stands just four-wins shy of 2000 career victories. Included in his wins was the Victoria Day pace with the Eric Wilson trainee Joseph Michael in 2:01.   He paced his final half in a sizzling :58.3 for owners Andrea Dolan and Valerie Phelan. Trites other winners came with Wave That Banner and Dusty Lane Oscar.   Other winners on the card were American Terror ( Ed Harvey ) in 2:04 for owner Kathy McLean and co-owner Harvey. A son of American Ideal, the four-year-old was very impressive in his first start on N.B soil.   Rounding out the opening day winners were Victory George ( Jeff Lewis ), Pinch Of Paradise ( Phil Reid ) and Lucky In Love ( Mike Downey ). Next live card goes this Saturday on May 24th, post time scheduled for 1:00 P.M.   by Scott Waddell, for HRNB    

Charlottetown, PE - Van Zant has drawn the rail in the Saturday night feature event at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park while newcomer Sa Summers Luck is the morning line favorite in the Victoria Day pace for opening day card Monday at Red Shores Summerside to set the stage for a busy weekend of harness racing at Island tracks. First race post time on Saturday is 6pm while the Monday card is slated for a 1pm post time. Ron Matheson will drive Van Zant for his co-owner Tom Clark of Charlottetown and goes into the program with 989 career wins as a driver only 11 away from milestone 1,000. The team, which includes son Jackie as trainer, has been sharp posting two seconds and a victory over his last three starts. The Matheson stable will also send out General Luckypercy from post 6 with Gilles Barrieau in the bike. There will be stiff competition from Tempo Seelster (Vince Poulton) from post 3 while Sterling Seelster, who's riding a two race winning streak, will also make his presence felt for driver Marc Campbell and new owner Marie Cameron of Summerside. The all-star line-up also includes Blue Star Outlaw, Nobestbfor and Machinthesand. In other action, Abundaspin is making headlines in his last year of racing as the trotter hasn't tasted defeat since he returned to the track on April 26. Harold Shepherd will handle the 14 year-old lifetime winner of $471,504 in the open trot class. The other morning line favorites include newcomer Kan Wire, who arrives from London Ontario, and Caliban Hanover will attempt to spoil the party for Abundaspin and owner Mikeala Lustic of Cornwall. The Saturday card will begin with a first race post time at 6pm. For race programs, top picks and live broadcast go to www.redshores.ca Horses are back at Summerside Summerside, PE - The horses are back at Summerside! The new season gets underway Monday afternoon at Red Shores Summerside with an exciting 12 dash program. Post time is 1pm and the card will official launch the countdown to the Governor's Plate. The 11th race Victoria Day pace will headline the program with newcomer Sa Summers Luck being established as the morning line favorite for driver Corey MacPherson and the Bing Easter stable from O'Leary. The pacer was in action at Flamboro Downs in Ontario then made three starts at Truro which included a second place finish in a sparking 1:57.2. The Jason Hughes stable has two starters in the race with Bunny Mach (pp1) and Cambest Kisser (pp7) both capable of hitting the triactor ticket. The field has top guns like Paphos, Bet the House, Carnivore, Windemere Eric and Lucky Encounter. What a great match-up to kick off the 2014 season. Darren and Jennifer Trainor of Vernon River, who walked away with a truckload of trophies at the annual Prince County Horsemen's Club awards night recently, are favored to win the back-up class on the afternoon with Panda Bear in race 10. Marc Campbell gets the driving assignment from the husband and wife team who enjoyed Great Success at Summerside oval in 2013. Race analyst Jared Stretch is back with his top picks for the 2014 season and put Capitalism as his top choice in this class followed by Panda Bear and Onhotvet (4-3-5). For race programs, Jared's top picks and live broadcast go to www.redshores.ca. you can also follow the action on twitter @red_shores. by Lee A. Drake, for Red Shores

SANTA FE-The Foundation to Protect New Mexico Wildlife today announced it has formalized an agreement with the Navajo Nation to develop a comprehensive and humane program to manage the thousands of free-roaming horses on the reservation. The ultimate goal of the agreement is to develop alternatives to transporting the horses to slaughter facilities. Former New Mexico Governor and Foundation co-founder Bill Richardson negotiated the agreement with Navajo President Ben Shelly. "This historic agreement is a great first step in our efforts to not only protect these horses, but to find humane and long-term solutions that are in the best interest of the Navajo people and their land," Governor Richardson said. "I commend President Shelly for his commitment to this issue, and we look forward to getting right to work." "Working together to resolve challenges is our approach as we work with Governor Richardson and his Foundation. They will give us funding and find more resources to reverse the population of feral horses," President Shelly said. "We will continue to treat these animals humanely and implement the best solutions to our rangeland issues. "We thank Governor Richardson and the Foundation for working with the Navajo Nation in this most important effort." The two men have initialed the agreement, allowing work to begin, and hope to hold a formal signing ceremony with all involved parties in the near future. "I also want to thank the country's top animal protection groups that have agreed to partner with us on this important project," Governor Richardson added. "Their dedication and expertise will be critical to the success of our efforts." Those partners include: Return to Freedom Wild Horse Preservation, ASPCA, Humane Society of United States, Animal Welfare Institute, and Animal Protection of New Mexico. The Foundation and its partners are currently working with representatives of the Navajo Nation on developing the first phase of the equine management program, which may eventually include adoptions, triages, veterinarian services and sanctuaries. They are also working to identify possible funding sources for these activities. Meanwhile, the Navajo Nation has agreed to immediately make every effort to only deal with those horse buyers that offer humane alternatives to the transportation of horses to slaughter facilities. "Return to Freedom salutes Governor Richardson for his leadership and applauds Navajo President Shelley for his commitment to collaborate on alternatives to horse slaughter while we work together on long-term solutions for horses on Navajo lands," said Neda DeMayo President of Return to Freedom, a wild horse preservation and education organization. "Since 1999, Return to Freedom has pioneered educational programs and minimally invasive wild horse management solutions that have been applied both on sanctuaries and on western rangelands. We stand ready to help." "The ASPCA applauds former Governor Richardson and Navajo President Shelly for their joint efforts to protect the free-roaming horses on Navajo land from being sent to slaughter," said Jacque Schultz, senior director of the ASPCA Equine Fund. "Horses have been central to the ASPCA's mission since our founding in 1866. Through our experience providing funding and training sources to equine rescues and sanctuaries around the country, we look forward to lending our support at this critical juncture to those ready and willing to offer a humane alternative to slaughter." "The HSUS welcomes the opportunity to work with The Foundation to Protect New Mexico Wildlife and the Navajo Nation to implement long-term, humane and sustainable solutions for managing the Navajo Nation's horse population," said Stephanie Boyles Griffin, The HSUS' senior director of Innovative Wildlife Management. "The HSUS is a leader in the research and development of non-lethal wildlife management technologies and is currently conducting wild horse fertility control research projects, including one in the Jarita Mesa Wild Horse Territory in New Mexico. The Navajo Nation's efforts to create humane horse management programs will serve as a model for other tribes and will be a source of pride for the entire tribe for years to come." "We are grateful for the opportunity to join with Governor Richardson in working with the Navajo Nation and the Navajo people on what will be an unprecedented endeavor to save wild horses from being removed from their habitat and slaughtered," said Chris Heyde, deputy director of Government and Legal Affairs for the Animal Welfare Institute. "The horse is central to the culture of the Dine' and we know the people have great reverence for their wellbeing and conservation. With time and cooperation, this project will succeed and be an example for the proper management of all wild and free-roaming horses throughout the West." "Horses help to remind us of the things all New Mexicans care about: our land, our people, and all the animals that enrich our lives and make our state unique and wonderful. We're grateful for the opportunity to work with the Navajo people to help preserve this honorable heritage," said Lisa Jennings, Executive Director of Animal Protection of New Mexico. About the Foundation to Protect NM Wildlife: Governor Richardson and actor, director and conservationist Robert Redford founded the Foundation to Protect New Mexico Wildlife in 2013. Since its inception, the Foundation has worked to stop the slaughter of horses and seek out alternative and humane solutions to deal with the country's wild horse population. Alarie Ray-Garcia

Scioto is ready to kick off another exciting summer of power packed racing and generous purses. The action starts on Thursday May 8th, be sure to join us as we celebrate our freedom and honor America with the flying of an American Flag that was flown over the skies of Afghanistan and is provided to us by The United States Air Force. Live racing will continue Tuesday through Saturday until August and Wednesday through Saturday until closing night, September 27th. We will also have a few holiday cards with an early post time of 1:00. Be sure to check out the racing calendar for complete details. Stakes filled action is back this summer in full force starting on May 17th, Preakness day, when the live racing card will feature the Laverne Hill Memorial Pace for aged pacing mares with a purse of $50,000.  On a special Memorial Day race card with a post time of 1:00 p.m., sophomore colts will take center stage in the 2nd leg of The Ohio Sire Stakes. The sophomore fillies get their chance on Saturday June 7th, Belmont Day and share the spotlight with The Charlie Hill Memorial Trot, which will feature the best aged trotters dashing for a purse of $200,000.00. Another day not to miss is Saturday, July 12th when we go “Back To The Track.” This promotion is a great time to introduce new fans to the wonderful world of harness racing and take advantage of some great giveaways and special offers. Be sure to check out our Facebook page for these great offers and complete details. In August, the excitement continues with The Ohio State Fair and Ohio Breeders Stakes for 2 and 3 year old Ohio breds. To cap off our electrifying season on September 27th, Scioto Downs will host Ohio Super Night. The best of the best 2 and 3 year olds in their respective gaits will battle it out for a share of $200,000.00, for one to be named a “Champion.” Super Night will also feature the Jim Ewart Memorial Invitational Pace for a bounty of $200,000 estimated.  While the purses on this night are totaling a minimum $1.8 million, it’s guaranteed to be a thrilling, edge of the seat evening and a night you will not want to miss. From the Scioto Downs Publicity Office

New Australian Harness Racing Rules banning the use of anabolic steroids take effect on 1 May 2014. On 1st May 2014, Harness Racing Australia (HRA) will introduce and implement new Australian Harness Racing Rules banning the use of anabolic steroids in Standardbred horses - with immediate effect. A full copy of the relevant rules pertaining to the ban on anabolic steroids can be found at the end of this notice. There are many implications arising from the introduction of these rules, and to assist studmasters, breeders, owners, trainers and veterinarians to comply with the new rules the following notice has been released. Which steroids are banned under these rules? The new rules ban the use of "anabolic androgenic steroids" in Standardbred horses at any time from birth until retirement. "Anabolic androgenic steroids" include those that are currently registered in Australia by the APVMA for use in horses, such as boldenone, ethylestrenol (in Nitrotain), methandriol, nandrolone, stanozolol and testosterone. Exogenous anabolic androgenic steroids that are banned also include but are not limited to those listed in the WADA prohibited list, such as 1-androstenediol; 1-androstenedione; bolandiol; bolasterone; boldione; calusterone; clostebol; danazol; dehydrochlormethyltestosterone; desoxymethyltestosterone; drostanolone; fluoxymesterone; formebolone; furazabol; gestrinone; 4-hydroxytestosterone; mestanolone; mesterolone; metenolone; methandienone; methasterone; methyldienolone; methyl-1-testosterone; methylnortestosterone; methyltestosterone; metribolone; mibolerone; 19-norandrostenedione; norboletone; norclostebol; norethandrolone; oxabolone; oxandrolone; oxymesterone; oxymetholone; prostanozol; quinbolone; stenbolone; 1-testosterone; tetrahydrogestrinone (THG); trenbolone; and other substances with a similar chemical structure or similar biological effect(s). Endogenous anabolic androgenic steroids are also banned when administered exogenously, and include but are not limited to: androstenediol; androstenedione; dihydrotestosterone; prasterone (dehydroepiandrosterone or DHEA); and testosterone; and their metabolites and isomers. Altrenogest (in, for example, Regumate) is still permitted to be used in fillies and mares to regulate their oestrus cycle. Which horses are affected by these rules? The use of anabolic androgenic steroids will be banned in all Standardbred horses from birth until retirement as a racehorse.  There are no therapeutic exemptions of any kind.  The ban applies to all unregistered and registered Standardbred racehorses of any age.  Standardbreds can be tested at any time and this includes yearlings and Standardbred horses when spelling, training and racing. Can I have anabolic steroids present in my stables even when prescribed by a veterinarian? No – the possession of any anabolic androgenic steroid, including oral paste preparations such as Nitrotain, at any premise used in relation to the training and racing of horses will be an offence under the new Rules. In some states and territories, it is already an offence under relevant legislation for a trainer to have in their possession an injectable anabolic steroid preparation. Further, any person who either administers or attempts to administer an anabolic androgenic steroid to a Standardbred horse at any time commits an offence under these rules. How will compliance with this ban be enforced by State Controlling Bodies? Compliance with these rules will be enforced by State Controlling Bodies through regular stable inspections, inspections of medications and medication records, and regular out of competition testing of Standardbred horses, as well as through routine race day sampling. Any registered Standardbred horse that tests positive at any time for a banned anabolic androgenic steroid will not be eligible to trial or race for 12 months from the date of collection of the sample. Any unregistered horse that tests positive at any time for a banned anabolic androgenic steroid will not be eligible to trial or race for 12 months from the later of a) the date on which the horse, having been registered, is allowed to start in a race or b) the date of collection of the sample. For further information please contact Andrew Kelly, Chief Executive - 03 9227 3000 Click here to view the Australian Harness Racing Rules relating to the ban of Anabolic Steroids\

Columbus, OH --- The annual convocation of directors of the United States Trotting Association got underway Sunday afternoon (March 30) in Columbus, Ohio. With Chairman of the Board Ivan Axelrod presiding, the assembled directors heard from Robert Schmitz, chairman of the Ohio Racing Commission. Schmitz spoke on the importance of harness racing to the Ohio economy and the support of Governor John Kasich in recognizing racing’s roots in the farm community.       In remarks video streamed live to members on www.ustrotting.com, President Phil Langley updated the group on the USTA’s efforts to work with the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium in developing model rules and medication guidelines without overlooking the differences in breeds. Usage patterns and racing patterns have highlighted some major differences between the less-frequently raced Thoroughbreds versus Standardbreds, who often race weekly. There were no challengers to the existing slate of USTA officers, which will remain: Phil Langley, president; Ivan Axelrod, chairman of the board; Russell Williams, vice chairman; Dick Brandt, treasurer and Barbara Brooks, secretary. Rob Key, CEO and founder of Converseon, updated the group on the social media platforms that have been developed, including a centralized harness racing website, www.HarnessRacingFanZone.com, which recently was unveiled with a “100 Greatest Moments in Harness Racing” interactive contest. He emphasized that it was a joint venture among the USTA, Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame, and the U.S. Harness Writers Association. The Harness Racing Fan Zone (@harnessracingFZ on Twitter) mirrors similar platforms offered by major league sports, like Major League Baseball, the National Football League and NASCAR. “The foundation is in place,” said Key. “We need to spend time on transparency and openness and create communities.” Key predicted the new website would, “give people a feel for what it's like to be in the sport.” He spoke about the social media ambassador’s platform that has been created for participants to share their experiences in the sport. Moving forward, tracks will be urged to partner with the Fan Zone in order to significantly expand awareness and interest in harness racing. A replay of the full board session may be viewed by clicking here or on the link at the top of the story. Committee meetings followed, with rule changes considered in the Fairs, Pari-Mutuel, Regulatory and Registration Committees. Further discussion of rule change proposals will take place Monday in the Rules Committee and the final vote will be rendered at the meeting of all directors Monday afternoon. by Ellen Harvey for Harness Racing Communications

Record figures were achieved from 115 lots at the Gold Crown Yearling Sale at Bathurst last weekend. Sale organiser Graeme Board said it was the best sale he has been involved with. "I've been doing the sale at Bathurst for nearly 20 years and this is by far the best I have seen," said Board. "Everyone wanted to be a part of the action and the results are great for the future of harness racing." Yearling colt sales hit an average price of $9,000 while the fillies were close to the $7,000 mark. The sale turned over just shy of $1 million, a significant increase on 2013. The top price lot was a for Sportswriter-Sixteen Carat colt purchased by Emilio Rosati for $34,000, while Pat Bourke purchased a Courage Under Fire-Lombo Silhouette colt for $27,000. Bred by Laurie and Gwen Paton, the sale-topping colt is out of the 1:55.5 Menangle winner Sixteen Carat, a Blissfull Hall mare. Rosati also shelled $27,000 for the Rocknroll Hanover-Counterfeit Chic colt and $25,000 for the American Ideal-Superstar Lady filly, the top-priced filly at the sale. Other lots to fetch $20,000 or more were the Courage Under Fire-Pleasure Machine colt at $21,500 and the Rock N Roll Heaven-So Savvy colt and the Art Colony-Jillette colt both at $20,000. For a full list of results go to graemeboard.com                       Dale Walker | Manager - Marketing | Harness Racing New South Wales   22 Meredith Street Bankstown NSW 2200   T: 02 9722 6677| F: 02 8580 5795 |M: 0411 627 113 |E: dwalker@hrnsw.com.au| W: www.hrnsw.com.au                  

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