"I just try to put the horses in the best spot and usually when you put them in the best spot they can do it from there.” A month into his return from hip surgery, driver Tim Tetrick is eyeing two big races Saturday at Meadowlands Racetrack, not to mention another career milestone. Tetrick, who was last season’s Driver of the Year as voted upon by the U.S. Harness Writers Association, will take the lines behind National Debt in Saturday’s $60,500 Buddy Gilmour Memorial Series final for three-year-old male pacers and Ray Hall in the $53,200 Charles Singer Memorial final for trotters. In addition, the 32-year-old Illinois native is 10 wins from 8,000 lifetime victories. When he reaches that mark, he will become the youngest driver in harness racing history to do so. Walter Case, Jr. holds the record, having notched win No. 8,000 at the age of 37 in 1998. “That’s a huge number,” said Tetrick, who became the youngest driver to reach 7,000 wins in May 2012. “I’ve been very fortunate. I never dreamed something like that could happen when I started out, but I’m glad it did. The main thing is just trying to do the best I can for all the clients that trust me with their horses." Tetrick, who also was USHWA’s Driver of the Year in 2007, 2008 and 2012, ranks No. 25 on the all-time list for wins. He has led the sport in purses for each of the past seven years and ranks No. 7 in career earnings, with $141 million. Only Billy Haughton won more consecutive purse titles, with eight straight from 1952-59. In December, Tetrick had surgery on his left hip, which sidelined him until Feb. 5. He has won 24 of 163 starts since his return and is getting more comfortable every day. “When I first came back I felt out of shape; it was like starting something all over again,” said Tetrick, who has suffered from a degenerative hip condition since childhood and had surgery on his right hip in 2008. “I can understand why horses don’t win right off the bat. “It took some time to get my legs back under me, but I feel good now. The muscles are getting stronger and I’m pretty much pain free.” Tetrick will drive for his biggest purses since his return when he races Saturday night at the Meadowlands. National Debt won his only start this season, drawing off for a three length win over Dinner At The Met in 1:50.3 in the first leg of the Gilmour Series on Feb. 22. The colt was unbeaten in four starts in Alberta last year, when he was trained and driven by co-owner Kelly Hoerdt. Hoerdt, who received the 2013 O’Brien Award of Horsemanship, sent the horse to trainer Ron Coyne, Jr. to race at the Meadowlands. The horse is staked to all the major races for three-year-old pacers. “He’s got a lot of pressure on him now,” Tetrick said about National Debt, “but he impressed me very much. When I qualified him I thought he was a nice colt, but I didn’t know he was going to go in 1:50. When he got out there under the lights, he turned it on and he did it real handy. I moved with him at the half and he brushed and crushed. He’s got a big motor.” National Debt, who starts from post one, will be challenged by eight rivals, including Dinner At The Met and Capital Account. The Erv Miller-trained Dinner At The Met has won four of five starts this year and the Jimmy Takter-trained Capital Account has captured three of four races. Ray Hall, out of the stable of trainer Mark Harder, faces two horses that are unbeaten this year in the Singer. Time To Quit has gone five-for-five and Perfect Alliance is four-for-four. Ray Hall, who has won two of six races, finished second to Perfect Alliance in his two preliminary legs of the Singer. “My horse has done nothing wrong at this point, he just ran up against the standout of the series,” Tetrick said. “Perfect Alliance is definitely the one to beat, but I like (Ray Hall). Hopefully in the final he can be right there and get a good piece of it.” From Harness Racing Communications
By Bill Liblick, re-printed with permission by www.sullivancountypost.com As EPR Properties and Empire Resorts prepares to present their resort destination plans next Thursday evening at a private presentation at Bethel Woods, and not at Empire’s operational facility, the harness racing horsemen at Monticello Raceway have declared war. The horsemen feel they have been betrayed and used as a pawn by Empire Resorts, the owner of Monticello Raceway, and are fearful that the Standardbred racetrack and the industry that has employed thousands of residents over the years in Sullivan County will be gone if the company receives a license to operate a full-fledged gaming hall. When racino’s were permitted in New York State it saved the horse racing industry from dying. The introduction of video slot terminals has seen racetracks such as Monticello, Tioga Downs, Saratoga, and Yonkers flourish thanks to a percentage of the take going into racing purses. Although attendance and actual pool totals from Monticello Raceway attendees is minimal, the racetrack has become a cash cow for Empire Resorts thanks to simulcasting and off-track betting wagering. Monticello Raceway has in essence become a huge television studio. Under proposals from EPR and Empire Resorts they say they are going to construct a new harness track at the Concord no matter what happens – with or without table games – but will they? Horsemen claim Empire Resorts is capping purses at 2013 levels and if they are granted a table gaming license there will be no increases. They also say there are no guarantees the harness track will even remain open. The Monticello Harness Horsemen’s Association has declared a war against Empire Resorts. They argue track owners slammed the door on them once the resort destination amendment was approved in November and that they refuse to negotiate. Things are so bad, the horsemen have exercised their right to stop Monticello’s simulcast signal from being broadcast, preventing Empire Resorts and New York State from receiving millions in revenue. Empire has since slashed purses and cut back the number of races in a card. They have even shut down the horsemen’s lunch room. According to Alan Schwartz, President of Monticello’s Harness Association The dispute between management and the horsemen at Monticello Raceway is very easy to understand. “The parent company of the racetrack seeks to obtain a lucrative license to construct a Las Vegas style casino, complete with slot machines and table games. They would be one of just two, and possibly the only casino permitted in the Catskills. Despite the tremendous windfall such a license would bring to the parent company, it flatly refuses to allow the horsemen or breeders to share in any portion of the huge anticipated profits.” Schwartz claims that “in order to get the casino amendment passed, management both figuratively and literally called the horsemen their “partners.” The logo of their lobbying group prominently contains a horse. Their radio commercials ballyhooed their support for racing. Of course, once the amendment passed, management’s idea of “partnership” quickly degenerated.” Under the present video lottery gaming law, horsemen and breeders get a fixed percentage of the track’s net win. When a racino underperforms, the purse money generated is less, even though it isn’t the horsemen’s fault. When the racino does well, purses go up modestly – In essence a true economic partnership. Schwartz maintains Empire Resorts wants a firm cap on purses and breeding contributions at 2013 levels. He says if that happens, harness racing will become a near-zero or zero growth industry. “Nobody is going to buy or breed horses in this state when places like Ohio, Massachusetts, Delaware and Pennsylvania offer significantly more industry support.” Schwartz acknowledges that harness racing won’t die in the next several years, but “consider, however, that the price of feed, diesel fuel, veterinary services; literally anything you can think of, will be significantly higher in just a few years. Once you can’t pay to maintain racehorses, the sport will evaporate from sheer economics – And that’s exactly what our racetrack management “partners” would love to see happen.” Although Empire Resorts blames Albany for the horsemen’s plight, Schwartz asserts the law speaks only about minimum contributions. “No government can interfere with the private right of contract. Racetrack management hides behind Albany when, in reality, their own lobbyists pushed for and signed off on the legislation.” Schwartz says “The horsemen and breeders at Monticello and elsewhere refuse to be “silent” former partners. If management wishes to embrace us as economic partners, as mandated under the video lottery gaming law, gaming can move forward in a meaningful way in the Catskills, and the renaissance created by Albany through the VLT program can continue to flourish, for not only the six harness tracks owners but also for the state, education and the agriculture and racing industries. If that doesn’t occur, we really have nothing else to lose.” Schwartz professes he is trying to negotiate in good faith, but Empire Resorts is not, so with “few weapons in this fight” they had to pull the simulcasting signal. “We are also acutely aware of the loss of revenue to the track, the horsemen and the industry. Yet, we have pondered just how much money these track operators strive for while they jeopardize an entire industry for their own profit; a racing industry that worked hard to spawn the birth of VLTs at tracks in this and other states. We cannot just sit by and watch an industry get swallowed up by a handful of track operators professing to be concerned about our sport, whose ultimate goal is to kill it.” The right to withhold the export of signal from Monticello is a right granted to horsemen by Federal law. Schwartz explained, “That 1978 law very wisely recognizes that the horsemen at a host track are the real guardians of this sport. It armed the horsemen with the important tool to use only when they perceived a crisis threatening the very existence of the game. It has been used very sparingly and with the utmost of caution.” A mediator has been appointed by the New York State Gaming Commission in an attempt to resolve the situation. Charles Degliomini, executive vice president of Empire Resorts/Monticello Raceway issued the following statement in response the suspension of simulcasting. “Monticello Casino & Raceway (“MC&R”) continues to support the Upstate New York Gaming Economic Development Act (“Gaming Act”). When they authored the Gaming Act, the Senate, Assembly and the Executive protected the Monticello Harness Horsemen’s Association (“MHHA”), and the entire racing industry. As New York State moves toward approving four casinos in upstate New York, future revenue for the horsemen is governed by the Gaming Act, and current revenue is governed by the New York State Lottery for Education Law. Degliomini added, “It is sad and unfortunate that we are being attacked for legislation that actually protects harness horsemen’s interests. While MC&R continues in good faith, through negotiation and mediation, to attempt to secure an agreement with MHHA, the MHHA is now attempting to amend a law that they don’t like by unfairly punishing our business, our employees, our loyal customers and even their own members. We are simply track owners, not elected officials. The MHHA should stop this destructive behavior and turn the simulcasting signal back on.” With all the new resort destination proposals coming out of the woodwork this dispute is something Sullivan County does not need. Schwartz does raise many valid concerns that must be addressed if a racino operator is granted a full gaming license, Monticello Raceway, the horsemen, and the industry must be protected.
My belief is that if you run a business properly and have competent counsel, the tricks of the trade and opportunities for tax savings are things that are best discussed on a case-by-case basis with your accountant. There is no one size fits all answer. I have no secret formula to pay little or no taxes, however I can provide some tips here to keep your business running more smoothly and with fewer tax-related crises. Tip #1 Taxes are not a do-it-yourself project. Selecting an accountant should be a careful process. It should never be based on the size of a refund or how fast you will get your money back. You should ask if they are a CPA (state licensed) or an enrolled agent (licensed by the IRS). Tip #2 The IRS agents like to say if it isn't in writing, it never happened. Good record keeping is a must for any business. I suggest you pay for as many expenses as you can with a debit or credit card so you have some trail of where you spent your money even if you lose receipts. Cash is the absolute worst way to pay for expenses. Tip #3 Deposit 100% of your income and make sure income deposited equals income reported on the top line of your tax return. Virtually every IRS fraud case involves unreported income. If you follow what I stated above you will very likely never be investigated for tax fraud provided your expenses are reasonable for the type of business you are engaged in. Remember there is rarely a valid excuse for "forgetting" any appreciable amount of income Tip #4 In general ask your tax advisor about claiming the standard mileage rate for auto expenses unless you drive less than 15,000 business miles a year or have a compelling need for a very expensive vehicle. I have found the convenience of the mileage rate method and the reduced record keeping that accompanies it saves my clients considerable time and money. The issue here is how much burden do you want in keeping gas receipts and other records related to auto maintenance. Tip #5 I recommend routinely filing extensions on March 1st if you have not already filed your returns by that date. This protects you in the event of sickness, injury, floods, fires, etc. You are thus allowed until October 15 to file. It takes five minutes, and it's free. You have to pay any tax due by April 15, but you will save needless penalties for late filing by getting a preventative extension "just in case". Tip #6 Most horse businesses cannot claim bad debts. If you never reported income, you cannot claim income you never reported as a bad debt. In other words if owner Jones fails to pay your training bill, it's bad luck; take him or her to court, but the IRS will not feel your pain. Tip #7 If you lose 1099's you received during the year and you absolutely cannot get them from the payer, wait until August to file and ask the IRS for a wage and income statement. I have clients who show up with no records for many years. I often use IRS records to help reconstruct income where records have been lost. Tip #8 Don't hand your tax preparer unopened envelopes. We aren't psychics, and it's a great time waster. I often drop my fee up to 20% if a client is very well organized and has good records that are well organized. Tip #9 Many horsepersons tell me they cannot afford health insurance. The reality is you cannot afford not to have health insurance. It's tax deductible and in some cases subsidized under the Affordable Health Care Act. There are now penalties for not having health insurance as well. Medical expenses cause more bankruptcies than any other reason. I cannot emphasize enough how I feel about this topic. Tip #10 Be sure that you have a business plan. Again, not only is this essential for you as a business owner to plan how you will run your business and to forecast your expenses and income, but it also tells the IRS that you are putting the effort and planning into a true business and not a just a hobby. Larry Rosenblum, E.A., MBA, is an enrolled agent and president of The Equine Tax Group a national tax firm specializing in representing the horseperson before the IRS and State tax departments. Rosenblum retired from the IRS after a 33-year career, which saw him involved in numerous cases involving the equine industry. He can be reached at (888) 338-3999 or equinetaxgroup.com.
The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAF) has received reports of several cases of equine Strangles (S. equi sp. equi infection) in the Waterloo-Wellington County area. Strangles is not a reportable disease in the province of Ontario, however, it is highly contagious to horses and other equids, and outbreaks are a concern to the equine industry. The reported cases have predominantly shown signs of high fever (40-41⁰C) and mucopurulent nasal discharge with only occasional horses developing enlarged lymph nodes with abscessation. Disease Facts: Strangles is a highly contagious infection of horses caused by the bacterium Streptococcus equi. Clinical signs include fever, nasal discharge and, most typically, lymph node abscessation. Transmission occurs by direct nose-to-nose contact with infected horses or via contact with contaminated surfaces, objects or people (e.g. twitches, tack, buckets, feed troughs, stall walls, fences). The bacterium can survive indoors for weeks to months depending on temperature. The disease is diagnosed by detection of S. equi using bacterial culture and/or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing of nasal or lymph node discharge, nasopharyngeal (throat) swabs or nasal or guttural pouch washes. Treatment involves managing the fever and encouraging abscesses to burst. Antibiotics should only be used under veterinary supervision as they may prolong the maturation of abscesses and the disease process. Infection control Minimize all human and animal traffic in and out of the premises. No horses should leave the premises unless they are being taken to an isolation facility, as this increases the risk of spread to other horses. All owners, riders and other personnel in the barn should be made aware of the situation to ensure strict control measures are followed, and so they don’t inadvertently carry the bacterium to other equine facilities Isolate suspect horses as much as possible in a separate, low-traffic area or treat the stall as a quarantined area. Handle infected and suspect horses using gloves, designated coveralls and designated footwear/footbaths. Promote hand hygiene (using products such as alcohol-based hand sanitizers) even when gloves are worn. Take temperatures twice daily on all horses in the facility, including those not showing signs of disease. If a fever is detected (>38.5°C, >101.3°F), the horse should be considered infected and isolated/quarantined until diagnosed. Monitoring should continue for at least two weeks after the last case shows clinical signs. Clean all equipment and surfaces of visible organic material (e.g. dirt, hair, manure) before applying disinfectants. Most common disinfectants are effective. Test horses that have recovered from disease at least twice at one week intervals using throat swab or nasal wash samples to confirm they are negative. Identify those horses that are carriers and intermittently shedding S. equi by testing nasal or guttural pouch washes. Carriers can shed the bacterium for months or years. Prevention Isolate new horses coming on to the farm, or those returning from extended absences, for 2-3 weeks and test them to ensure that they are not shedding the bacterium. If isolation cannot be performed, barn managers should ask for proof of Strangles–free status (based on recent testing) prior to accepting new horses. Discuss with your veterinarian about vaccinating for Strangles. Vaccines can help minimize the severity of disease but may not be appropriate during outbreaks. It is recommended that horses that have been frequently vaccinated for Strangles or have had the disease itself should have a S. equi antibody titre performed prior to vaccination to avoid potential immune reactions. The best method of disease control is disease prevention. See the resources below for other basic biosecurity and infection control practices. RESOURCES OMAF: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/livestock/horses/facts/03-037.htm http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/livestock/horses/facts/prot_strangle... http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/livestock/horses/facts/prev-disease-... WORMS & GERMS BLOG: http://www.wormsandgermsblog.com/uploads/file/JSW-MA2%20Strangles.pdf EQUINE GUELPH: http://www.equineguelph.ca/Tools/biosecurity_calculator_2011-09-12/Biose... Submitted by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food
Westfield, IN --- The Harness Horse Youth Foundation is seeking qualified trainers to condition its stable of Trottingbreds in preparation for the organization's 2014 summer program schedule. Volunteer trainers are expected to jog or exercise the horse on a daily basis to build stamina, but no actual training miles are required. Trainer is responsible for all care, feed, hay, bedding and shoeing. Upon request, gifts-in-kind receipts for services can be issued. Horses will be delivered on or about April 15 and picked up in late June. Each horse comes with its own harness (and hopples if needed). For more information, contact HHYF Executive Director Ellen Taylor at 317.867.5877 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on opportunities through HHYF, or to support its mission, go to www.hhyf.org.
Hello Carlo and Kahoku dead heated in the $10,000 Open Trot in Northfield Park’s sixth race on Monday (March 3). Hello Carlo is owned by Mario Caponi of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio and trained by Larry Clabaugh. Josh Sutton was aboard for the winning drive. Margaret Mancini of Colts Neck, New Jersey owns Kahoku. Crist Hershberger trains and drove. Both trotters came from the back as the fractions were perfect for closers. The first half was :58 and the back half was trotted in 1:00. Finishing behind the pair of winners were Sure Thing, Julians Caesar, Saintfrancis, Pembroke Snapshot, Mythical Hall and Talladega Hanover. Monday’s triumph increased Hello Carlo’s (Carry The Message-Last Turn-Supergill) lifetime win tally to 54 and Kahoku’s (SJ’s Caviar-Tags Goal-Tagliabue) to 11. Hello Carlo has now earned $264,868 and Kahoku has bankrolled $75,513. Neither totter was the race favorite, Hello Carlo paid $5.80 to win and Kahoku returned $21.00. In the evening’s ninth race, Rose Run Logan trotted home for his fourth straight win over Northfield’s Flying Turns. The seven year-old gelding is owned and trained by Jeff Hochstetler of Urichsville, Ohio. Aaron Merriman was the winning driver. Rose Run Logan started from post six and led at every call through fractions of :29.1, :58.1, 1:27.1 and 1:56.2. He was well in hand the entire mile and bested his closest competitor (Al Brown, Don McKirgan) by four lengths. Monday’s triumph was the 10 career success for Rose Run Logan (Armbro Laser-How Miraculous-Baltic Speed) and increased his lifetime earnings to $24,598. He was heavily favored and returned $2.40 to win. Western Churchill was an upset winner in the evenings $10,000 Open Pace for owner New York Thunder Stable of Washington, Pennsylvania. Northfield Park’s leading trainer, Calvin Hollar is his conditioner and listed Greg Grismore to drive. Western Churchill (Western Ideal-The Mattican-Matt’s Scooter) started from the rail and sat the pocket through fractions of :28, :57.2 and 1:25.3. Grismore pulled Western Churchill at the head of the stretch and was ¾-length in front at the finish in 1:54.2. Completing the race were Shark Dressed Man, Man He Can Skoot, Forever Good, Nathan Feelsgood, Curator, Lucky Jet and Stevie Diamonds. Western Churchill now has 15 career successes. Monday’s victory pushed his bankroll to $208,478. He paid $28.40 to win. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park
The Weather Network's Chris Mei paid a special visit to Flamboro Downs on a chilly -12 degree Sunday evening and took over the announcer's booth to share the nightly forecast and call the third race as part of the track's Announcer Idol competition. When the wings of the starting gate closed for the 'Idol' race, pacing mare Victoria established the lead from post six as Mei searched for his binoculars in the booth. "Boy, it's really hard to see that far away! Where's my binoculars?" laughed Mei as the horses headed down the backstretch for the first time. To read the rest of the story click here.
Last week was decent with four winners in eight races and a few minor exacta payoffs. Looking to do a lot better with my selections tonight. Action this Saturday is from Woodbine, Meadowlands and Yonkers. Good Luck! $34,000 Preferred Pace Woodbine 2nd race – Saturday – I have almost lost count on how many straight wins Apprentice Hanover has now…He is going for his eighth straight win. He barely held on last time in defeating Wazzup Wazzup by a neck. But with a week off he should be fired up and ready for action against another short field. Use Wazzup Wazzup and Lucky Terror in exotic plays. $30,000 FFA Handicap Pace Meadowlands 2nd race – Saturday – Last week Golden Receiver gave notice that he is ready for another big season at the races in 2014. In his first start back he wired the field in 1:49.2. May have only held on by a neck but that was his first start back. He should be tighter and ready to demolish this field with ease. Use the entry of Easy Again/Annieswesterncard and Dovuto Hanover in exotic plays. $22,000 NW $16,000 Pace Woodbine 4th race – Saturday – This is a very well matched field. I am going with Cool Rock from post four. He is coming off a super strong closing effort last start in winning with ease and seems to be that tough every week. I see him handling hike in class and out kicking these to the wire once again. Use Thorn In Your Side and Classic Gent in exotic plays. $33,000 Open Handicap Pace Yonkers 6th race – Saturday – The class of the field in here should also be the winner. Clear Vision is a career winner of $1.7 million and looked primed to win right out of the box after two decent qualifying wins. Earned nearly $600,000 last year for Burke Stable and has the back class to take this field. Use Dancin Yankee and Domethatagain in exotic plays. $19,000 NW 3 PM Trot Woodbine 8th race – Saturday – Mares taking on male rivals and I think the mares will win. Her Name Is Lola is my choice. She finally draws a good inside post and is coming off a neck triumph in her last outing which was a lifetime mark of 1:56.4. She has a great burst of speed she can use when poised to get to the front and not look back. Use Our Mojo and Moontan in exotic plays. $24,000 W/O $25,000 Pace Yonkers 1 1/16th mile 8th race – Saturday – Going the extra distance has not been a problem for this Tom Fanning trainee. Shark’s Legacy is moving up in class off two sharp scores at 1 1/16th mile. He has shown in the past that he can grind it out if necessary and still remain in the hunt until the finish. Has yet to finish off the board in his last six starts. Use Arachache Hanover and Hello Hot Shot in exotic plays. $20,000 Buddy Gilmour Series Pace Meadowlands 11th race – Saturday – With last week’s opening round winners taking the second leg off, the role of favorite in here goes to Dinner At The Met. He was a distant second to National Debt last week but prior to that showed three straight wins as the favorite at the Meadowlands and should be able to regroup and take this field. Use Rock Fame and Grandpa Don in exotic plays.
On a cold and crisp yet windless Friday night at The Meadowlands a couple of new shooters took the $30,000 overnight features, both in front running fashion. The top trot was carded as race two and Twin B Spike Man handled his initial ascension to the Free For All ranks with aplomb. A convincing winner against the B-1 class last week, Twin B Spike Man responded to a confident steer by Mike Simons with a superb 1:51.1 mile, lowering his career best by over two seconds in the process. Sent up hard after by Simons after DW's NY Yank past the 55.1 half, Twin B Spike Man cleared and kept rolling along through the third panel in 27.4 and widened his advantage through the stretch to coast in by a half over Modern Family, who was locked in but finished with very strong trot as the 9-10 favorite. DW's NY Yank checked in third. At age seven Twin B Spike Man has found his best form for the Mike Simons / Gail Wrubel tandem, having eclipsed his 2013 earnings total already this season and is now in excess of $45,000 in just seven starts. Simons owns the stable star in partnership with Daniel Eccleston and Albert Abdella III. The Free For All debut of American In Paris went as well against the finest pacing mares The Meadowlands has to offer. Yannick Gingras wheeled her from an early tuck in third to wrestle the lead from Monkey On My Wheel after a snappy 26.2 opener. From there it was a comfortable pace until very late stretch and the wire arrived just in time to save a 1:50.3 decision over the fast closing Keepers Destiny. Monkey On My Wheel saved third to complete a two / three sweep for trainer Andrew Harris. American In Paris remained unbeaten in 2014 and the win put her over $100,000 in career earnings. She races out of the Burke Stable and is owned in partnership with Weaver Bruscemi. Corey Callahan won three races on the night, while Trace Tetrick, Scott Zeron, Dave Miller and Yannick Gingras shared the wealth, all with driving doubles. Total handle for the Friday card eclipsed $3 Million at $3,181,196 for the 13-race program. Racing resumes Saturday, with a 13-race card featuring Golden Receiver who headlines a Free For All Handicap Pace and the second round of the Buddy Gilmour pacing series. Post time is 7:15 P.M. by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands
The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame is proud to offer a breeding to Guccio as part of our stallion breeding auction. This is a unique opportunity as his book is sure to be full and closed very shortly. The world champion and million-dollar winning trotter Guccio 4,1:51.1f ($1,021,809) begins stud duty at Victory Hill Farm, one of the leading farms in Indiana. He will stand for a fee of $5,000 for the 2014 breeding season. Trained by Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter, Guccio is a son of Yankee Glide and the $181,000 winner Southern Senorita. He showed talent early as a 2-year-old, taking a mark of 1:55.4 as a freshman and winning the Champlain. He became one of the top contenders of his generation as a 3-year-old and missed winning the $1.5 million Hambletonian by a neck. His 3-year-old record of 1:52.1 was earned via a victory in a Bluegrass division at The Red Mile and then as a 4-year-old in 2013 he trotted to his personal best of 1:51.1f, establishing a world record for 4-year-old trotters. “Guccio is a very classy and beautiful horse and one of my personal favorites,” said Takter. “He is a world champion and a perfect racehorse in every way. It was our plan to race in Europe in 2014 had this opportunity for him to enter the stud not developed. Indiana clearly has one of the most attractive regional programs and we do plan to breed to Guccio as I believe he has every quality to become an outstanding trotting sire.” Income raised by the stallion auction, nearly $540,000 over the past 15 years, supports the Museum's General Operating Fund. It helps to ensure quality services, special exhibitions, traveling exhibits, promotional support and educational programming for children and adults. Our efforts also help to encourage new owners and fans! For additional information on the auction, to donate breedings, or to receive a complete list of stallions and conditions for bidding, please contact Joanne Young at 845.294.6330, email@example.com or visit www.harnessmuseum.com, where updates will also be posted. The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame is located at 240 Main Street in Goshen, N.Y. and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last tour 4 p.m.). Thanks to USTA support, the Museum is currently offering free admission for walk-in visitors and group docent-guided tours at a minimal charge per person. For additional information about the Museum, its membership program, special events and educational programs please call 845.294.6330 or visit www.harnessmuseum.com. From the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame
Four out of seven first pick, six out of seven striking a small dividend in the V75 and also one out of two – with a good pointer to the other, at Vincennes, was a better day for WWTE last week. Chapeau 3.72, Blended Bellouet 7.58, Amaru Boko 3.14, Finish Future 5.79 gave us a small profit ($6.28) on our Swedish picks, while you would have lost $1.20 on the $4 spent in France, since Vision Intense was a raging favourite. There was little joy in a $4.65 return for the V75 investment, so I have decided to go a little wider with my picks in future, in an attempt to snare a longer odds leg. This weekend is the last of the Winter Meeting and March is a traditionally slow month in Europe, with the Scandinavian circuit set to kick off in April. Good luck with this week’s picks. V75-1 Silver division 2140m: Nougat As (5) is a former group II winner who also won his last V75 silver division heat. With Johnny Takter in the bike, a good place early to go for an anchor. Selection 5 V75-2 Klass II 2140m: This looks between two products of the giant Boko breeding empire and an up and comer with three wins in a row. So Dennis Boko (1), Dante Boko (5) and Arn Hammering (3), are the ones for this leg. Selection 5-1-3 V75-3 Gold division 2140m: I know this is the gold division, but at this time of the year the real stars are either in France or preparing for spring racing after a winter break. Ludde Kolgjini’s royally bred Raja Mirchi (7) was one of those that was in Vincennes and going for a place in the Prix d’Amerique before going amiss. He is back here and a class above these. Should be anchor number two. Selection 7 V75-4 Larlingslopp 2140m: Britt Palema (2) has had two near misses lately and is perfectly drawn to go one better, while the horse who will vie for the lead from the gate, Rajah Press (1) is my choice as an alternate. Selection 7 (1) V75-5 Diamantestoet 2640m: The mares race is a tough one with Broadways Fines (4), Borga Effekt (6) and Global Navigator (13) and Yoga Brick (11) logical choices. For an outsider, Johnny Takter is on Florette Sund (3), who has a nice draw and has been consistent without a lot of luck and is perhaps due a change of fortune. Selections 4-6-13-11-3 V75-6 Klass I 2640m: Super Photogenic (7) was second last start and is my first pick ahead of the in form Frozen (2) as an alternate. Selection 7 (2) V75-7 Bronze Division 2140m: Viking America (5), Checco Boko (4) and Riff Kronos (11) are the logical choices here. Again I am going for a Johnny Takter drive, from a good draw as my outsider in Zanimede (3) Selection 5-4-11-3 240,000e Prix de Selection (G1) 4-6 2750m: This race has been dominated by 4YOs for the past 30 years, but a recent change in handicapping has brought the older horses right back in the mix here. Univers de Pan (16) and Uhlan du Val (15) have both been plying their trade in exalted company and will be primed to take advantage here. Univers de Pan was super in the Prix de France when second to Noras Bean and is my pick here. Selection 16 160,000e Prix de l'Union Europeenne (G2) Euro 5-10 3000m: The Swedes have been on fire this Winter Meeting and there is no reason to think it will change here, with Malin Lofgren’s pride and joy Sanity (9), who is by French supersire Love You, looking up to winning this. One for the longer odds is Franck Leblanc’s Son Alezan (5), who is from a stable which is right on top of its game. Selection 9 120,000e Prix Louis Le Bourg (G2) 4 2850m: This final monte of the Winter Meeting is missing most of the top horses under saddle from this crop. In their absence I’m going for an up and comer with an in form jockey aboard, in Airport (5) and his brilliant hoop Eric Raffin. Selection 5 TOTAL COMBINATIONS 60 – Cost $5, +1 alternate $10, + 2 alternate $20 Also here are my win wagers from Kalmar and Vincennes. Kalmar SINGLE WAGERS $2 Race 5 Nougat As (5) Race 6 Dante Boko (5) Race 7 Raja Mirchi (7) Race 8 Britt Palema (2) Race 9 Florette Sund (3) Race 10 Super Photogenic (7) Race 11 Viking America (5) Vincennes R4 Univers de Pan (16) R7 Sanity (9) R8 Airport (5)
Trainer Gord McKnight's stable has been perfect for the month of February with Spartan Victory being his latest to turn in a winning performance in Wednesday's featured $7,000 Preferred 3 Trot at Flamboro Downs. McKnight drove the four-year-old trotting mare Cause I Can down the road to a dead-heat win (with Neils Golden Girl) in the ninth race and turned the reins over to James MacDonald in the 11th dash to complete his flawless evening at Flamboro. With MacDonald aboard, seven-year-old gelding Spartan Victory sat a pocket trip and prevailed up the passing lane by a quarter-length over the on-coming Cracker Zack in the Preferred. The winning time was 2:03.1 over the 'good' track, which was rated two seconds slow. Blazing Shot, the longest shot on the board at 81-1, came from last to show in the final quarter. To read more click here.
In an exciting announcement for the Pryde's EasiFeed Great Southern Star, it has been revealed that star US reinsman Corey Callahan will be in Australia for the International extravaganza on March 22. In just its second year, the $400,000 Pryde's EasiFeed Great Southern Star trotting series held across one sensational night at Tabcorp Park Melton has attracted some massive names and it continues with Callahan adding his name to the list of visitors for the richest squaregaiting event in the southern hemisphere. Having only started his career at the age of 27, eight years later he has quickly become one of the leading drivers in North America. Growing up under the tutelage of his father Nick, Corey decided to turn his hand to college ambitions before returning to harness racing where he has driven thousands of winners. In fact since 2010 he has never driven less than 500 winners in a season, an extraordinary statistic that proves just how prolific the talented driver has been. He is also currently leads the United States Trotting Association Drivers' Premiership, 29 ahead of Ron Pierce . And it's not just his consistency that has him on top, he has also mixed it at the top level, taking out the $500,000 Hoosier Cup with Mr Wiggles in 2009 and competed in the World Driving Championship, representing the US. But it was 2013 which was the year that put the 35-year-old on the world stage as he raked in over $9.7 million in stakes earnings, placing him in the upper-Echelon in North America. He drove standout winners like Golden Receiver, D'Orsay and Drop The Ball. But, Australian trots fans will know him for his association with Ma Chere Hall, owned by Australian interests, however his win with Allstar Partner in the $260,000 PA Sires Stakes Championship was the highlight of his season. Callahan has been a fixture of some of the best tracks in America, racking up over 100 wins at The Meadowlands last season. Callahan will be involved during the week of the Great Southern Star and will compete in the Drivers Invitational on the all-squaregaiting night. Callahan arrives in Australia on March 18 and is available for drives. Interested trainers should call the Racing Office on (03) 8378 0200. For media enquiries contact Brett Boyd on (03) 8378 0250. BLAKE REDDEN COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER [Harness Racing Victoria]
With all the hype coming from across the Tasman as we build towards Sunday’s Inter Dominion Grand Final Day, you could almost be excused for forgetting that there is a supersonic racenight at Alexandra Park on Friday. However, one man who definitely won’t be forgetting is Geoff Dunn, who will line-up both of his star three-year-olds on the ten-race card. But, while Friday’s Prelude will just be a warm-up before next week’s Derby for top colt Tiger Tara, the $125,000 Great Northern Oaks is Venus Serena’s grand final. “They have both travelled up really well and have both been eating up and drinking,” said Dunn, who stables his horses with Andrew Grant when in the North Island. “They both seem well and I have been very happy with their work,” said Dunn. “So I guess my only concern is the draws,” he added. Superstar filly Venus Serena has drawn out in six, with two of her main dangers inside her, while Tiger Tara is only slightly better off in barrier five. “The Derby Prelude field only has six horses in it, so Tiger’s draw probably isn’t as much of a disadvantage as Venus Serena’s is,” admitted Dunn. However, Venus has shown time and time again that she can make her own luck, so I don’t see why Friday will be any different,” said a bullish Dunn. Dunn also sees the step up to 2700 metres as an advantage for Venus Serena. “We all know how tough she is and over the longer distance Johnny (Dunn-driver) will be able to choose when he puts her in race,” enthused Dunn. But while Venus Serena has already won five times in the North, Alexandra Park is uncharted territory for Tiger Tara, however Dunn does not see that as a concern. “He seems equally happy going the Alexandra Park way round, and he has worked well on the Pukekohe track,” said Dunn. “With four nice horses having drawn inside him he will probably have to go back at the start, but he can follow speed all day so if they go hard he will be coming over the top of them at the finish,” predicted Dunn. "And you would think next week's Derby distance will suit him as well," he concluded By Mitchell Robertson
DOVER DE - The United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), harness racing's principal organization for media workers, held its annual meetings this past Saturday and Sunday at the Dover Downs complex, with the weekend culminating in the Dan Patch Awards Banquet held Sunday (Feb. 23) night, attended by almost 400 people and streamed worldwide for live viewing. During the Saturday meeting, the Directors of the Association voted for Bob Marks and Kathy Parker to be on the Communicators Hall of Fame voting ballot this summer. Marks has been a leading force in many harness dimensions over his 50 years in the sport, most recently as Marketing Director for Perretti Farms, while Parker, from a prominent harness family, worked her way through the ranks at the Horseman and Fair World weekly magazine until becoming editor in 1995 and later general manager of the Horseman Publishing Company, positions she maintains to this day. At the conclusion of the meetings, the membership voted in their slate of association Officials for 2014-15. Chris Tully, an MBA marketing specialist and writer whose digital literacy and social media acumen has helped bring USHWA to the cutting edge of communications technology, was elected President of the association, succeeding Steve Wolf of Harnesslink.com; Tully's "first official act" was to present Wolf, who now becomes the Chairman of the Board, with a gold Lifetime Membership pin. Tim Bojarski, writer/blogger for the USTA, moved up a chair to 1st Vice President, with the 2VP position going to Shawn Wiles, Monticello Raceway chief racing officer and a longtime USTA and USHWA director. Judy Davis-Wilson, who is based in Dover and worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the weekend, especially the banquet, was returned as Treasurer; Alan Prince, who attended his 48th consecutive USHWA meetings weekend, remains as Executive Treasurer. Also elected was Jerry Connors as USHWA secretary. Much of the discussion during the two days of meetings focused on the sport's Halls of Fame in Goshen NY, where plans for renovation and modernization are starting to advance rapidly, and where USHWA makes a significant contribution. In addition to the physical reconfiguration of the Halls of Fame area, the directors and membership discussed several by-law and rules change relating to the Halls, especially the re-establishment of a Seniors category for both. Debate was plentiful, lively, and well-reasoned on all sides, and some of these matters were tabled until a Committee, soon to be appointed, can focus on the merits - and the eventual wording -- of the varied proposed changes. The attendees heard reports from the many committees that keep USHWA functioning throughout the year, and were glad to hear from Davis-Wilson, voted the organization's member of the year, that the treasury was in a very good shape, pointing to future success in USHWA's upcoming progressive efforts. The Dan Patch Awards Dinner was as always the highlight of the gathering, with superstar sophomore trotting filly Bee A Magician "finishing her unbeaten season" by being elected Trotter of the Year and then Harness Horse of the Year; her contemporary, the pacing colt Captaintreacherous, took down overall honors for that gait after a brilliant campaign showing speed and courage in equal amounts. Also honored were the quartet to be inducted into the Halls of Fame Sunday, July 6 in Goshen: Harness Racing Hall of Famers David Miller and William Weaver, and Communicators Hall inductees Carol Cramer and John Pawlak. by Jerry Connors for USHWA
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