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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (April 25, 2017) - The US Pacing Championship, long one of the signature harness racing events on Hambletonian Day, will be renamed The Sam McKee Memorial beginning this August in honor of the track's Hall of Fame announcer and broadcaster who passed away March 8 at the age of 54. The Meadowlands will also attach McKee's name to its broadcast center that McKee designed when the new grandstand opened in 2013. It will now be called The Sam McKee SNY Broadcast Center. The official dedication is scheduled for August 4, the night before the Hambletonian. "Sam was a true professional at his job as evidenced by his Hall of Fame status, but his larger than life smile, and gracious attitude is what made him stand tall among his peers," said Jason Settlemoir, Meadowlands GM/COO. "Honoring Sam's legacy with one of our major races only seems fitting and honoring him with the dedication of the SNY Broadcast Center that he worked very hard to put together in the new building only seems fitting as well." "Sam would never believed himself to be worthy of this, but we know that he would be honored," said Sam's wife, Chris McKee. "Hambletonian Day was always so important to him. It's always a special day and he worked tirelessly along with the rest of the staff to prepare for it and make sure things went smoothly. We're so proud of Sam and all of his accomplishments and are once again humbled by this memorial race. We're grateful to have been at the Meadowlands for last year's Hambo where we got to see Sam interview one of his favorite NASCAR drivers. While it will never be the same, we look forward to being there on Hambo Day to support the sport that he loved so dearly and to keep his memory alive." This year's $225,000 Sam McKee Memorial is August 5 as part of the super stakes Hambletonian Day program. The US Pacing Championship was first held in 1982 and has been won by such legends as Cam Fella, Matt's Scooter, and Artsplace and in more recent years, Won The West, Sweet Lou, and last year in an upset by Shamballa over Horses of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit and Always B Miki. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. Justin Horowitz

East Rutherford, NJ --- With the focus on harness racing’s “Big Three,” Shamballa proved to be the one in Saturday’s (Aug. 6) $225,550 U.S. Pacing Championship for older pacers at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Shamballa, sent off at odds of 8-1, upset Wiggle It Jiggleit by one length in a career-best 1:47.1, with Dealt A Winner third and favorite Always B Miki fourth. Scott Zeron drove Shamballa for trainer Rick Zeron, his father, and owners Rick Zeron Stables, TAO Racing, Howard Taylor, and Cool Cat Racing. Wiggle It Jiggleit, the 2015 Horse of the Year, went to the front from post six and hit the opening quarter in :27.2. Always B Miki challenged Wiggle It Jiggleit and the two engaged in a brief duel before Always B Miki wrestled the lead at the half, reached in :53.3. Freaky Feet Pete -- who with fellow world champions Wiggle It Jiggleit and Always B Miki has made up the “Big Three” this season -- launched a first-over bid and the group hit three-quarters in 1:20.3. Freaky Feet Pete looked to grab the lead in the stretch, but Shamballa and Zeron were rolling on the outside. Shamballa reached the front and then held off a late bid from Wiggle It Jiggleit, who split horses to get up for second. “A second-over trip made all the difference,” Zeron said. “My dad always told me if you can keep him covered up, he’ll move his little legs as fast as he can all the way down the stretch, and he did just that. “At the three-quarter pole I was thinking, ‘I couldn’t possibly be in a better spot, I just hope this horse isn’t sick today.’” Shamballa, a 6-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere - Bolero Takara, has won 23 of 53 career races and earned $683,133. The gelding has won three of nine races this season. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

East Rutherford, NJ --- State Treasurer put on the afterburners in the home stretch, making a statement in his 1:47 win in the $215,400 U.S. Pacing Championship for older harness racing pacers by 3-3/4 lengths on Saturday (Aug. 8) at The Meadowlands. The time was a new world race record for older pacing stallions on a mile track. State Treasuer is trained by Dr. Ian Moore and co-owned by Sally and Paul MacDonald. David Miller was the driver. Dancin Yankee (Jim Morrill Jr.) was first to the lead in :26, but was quickly overtaken by Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras) who held it to the :53 half. State Treasurer was on the move on his outside and quickly took that lead away and held it through the 1:19.4 three-quarter marker. State Treasurer had no serious competition down the stretch and finished well ahead of Doo Wop Hanover (Scott Zeron) in second and Foiled Again third. Children visiting the track on Hambletonian Day were given a Breyer “Stablemate” in the image of Foiled Again, making him the only horse racing today with a toy. The victory was the fifth in 11 starts this year for State Treasurer, taking his season's earnings to $418,790. The 6-year-old son of Real Desire-Ideal Treasure has won 26 times in his career, with earnings of $1,357,397. State Treasurer by Ellen Harvey, Harness Racing Communications 

The 2015 Hambletonian Day card on Saturday, August 8 at the harness racing meeting at The Meadowlands has all the elements necessary to be one of the great events in harness racing history.   The races will begin at noon with a $40,000 Open Pace and over the next six hours 164 horses will compete in 16 races for purses of just over $4 million, led by the $1.2 million Hambletonian and the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks.   The story line for the Hambletonian became far more interesting when trainer Ron Burke entered the great filly Mission Brief in the open event, bypassing the Oaks and taking on last year's Hambo winning trainer/driver Jimmy Takter's five horse armada in the process.   The drama increased when Yannick Gingras, the regular driver for Mission Brief and Takter's top contender Pinkman, was named on both horses for the race.   The two drew into separate divisions of the eliminations heats which will allow Yannick to drive each in their respective elimination before having to make a choice for the final, assuming both qualify.   Pinkman's late season rally as a freshman made him the champion of the division at two and he has defended his title with nearly flawless form this season.   The most accomplished of the Takter five, Pinkman has won the Earl Beal, Stanley Dancer and Harry M. Zweig Memorials (all major stakes) in his last three start and has made well in excess of $1 million over his career for owners Christina Takter, John & Jim Fielding, Joyce McClelland and Herb Liverman.   He is saddled with the far outside post ten in the first elimination.   Mission Brief has found the form that dazzled fans last season and was really keen to go in her most recent start, the Filly Zweig Memorial.   The Muscle Hill lass is poetry in motion when on her game and has drawn the favorable post two in the nine horse second division for Burke Racing, Our Horse Cents, J&T Silva and Weaver Bruscemi.   The $1,000,000 Hambletonian final is race 13 and is scheduled to go to post at 5:15 pm.   The Hambletonian Oaks is a very well matched group of ten talented fillies.   With the defection of Mission Brief to the main event and the tragic demise of elimination winner and consensus "horse to beat" Spirit To Win in a Monday morning training mishap, the race becomes a wide-open affair.   Lock Down Lindy won her split in 1:51.4, starts from the inside for owners Mystical Marker Farms, Crawford Partners, Joe Sbrocco and In The Gym Partners and is currently doing her best work.   Wiggle It Jiggleit, currently the most exciting horse in harness, will race in the $319,400 Cane Pace, the first leg of pacing's Triple Crown (race 10).   Wiggle It Jiggleit has been absolutely monstrous all season long and is coming into the Cane fresh off three weeks rest.   He is a family project with young Montrell Teague driving the Meadowlands Pace winner for his father George's stable and trainer Clyde Francis.   The $109,500 Shady Daisy for the sophomore pacing fillies is another chapter in a season that has seen a very evenly matched group slug it out over the past two months with no filly able to rise above the others just yet.   The very best aged performers in the game are out in force on Saturday and account for several of the most competitive and entertaining races on the program.   Eleven pacing mares will race the route distance of nine furlongs in the $251,250 Lady Liberty (race 3).   These mares may parade like ladies but when the starter says "Go" the gloves come off and the girls throw down.   The Bamond family's absolutely iron-tough Anndrovette has won four division titles, $3.3 million and the Golden Girls stake last month here against many of these at the same distance when it looked like she may have lost a step. Well, she hasn't.   This year's edition of the US Pacing Championship is up next and offers a purse of $215,400 to a field of nine really good horses...make that eight really good and one great horse.   The venerable $7 million winner Foiled Again has recently shown flashes of his best form after a slow start to the season for Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables.   He raced about as good as he ever has in the Haughton Memorial three weeks ago and had plenty of pace but no place to use it in last week's TVG Open.   Foiled is also being honored with a Breyer likeness giveaway to all the kids that come out on Saturday.   The $301,500 John Cashman Memorial (open) and $181,450 Fresh Yankee (mares) feature trotting's elite in bulky fields at a mile and one eighth in races 5 and 6.   All the stars of the division are on the racetrack in these trotting classics.   Magic Tonight returns home a champion, having won this year's Elitlopp in May for Swedish owner A. O J Konsult and trainer Roger Walmann.   The expatriate son of Andover Hall faces a very deep field of eleven rivals including 2012 Hambletonian winner Market Share who is competing at the highest level on Hambo Day for a remarkable fourth consecutive season.   The Fresh Yankee is a brand new stake for mare trotters and the inaugural edition just could not have drawn a more stellar field.   "Queen" Bee A Magician is the undisputed monarch of her division having won seven of eight starts this year including several versus mixed company while passing the $3 million career earnings mark along the way for owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman and Dave McDuffee.   "What about the young horses," you may ask.   Well, the $389,450 Jim Doherty for fillies (race 2) and $349,850 Peter Haughton (race 7) for colts memorialize two of the game's legends with the first high-dollar opportunity for the freshmen.   Broadway Donna looks like a top filly, having dispensed of all competition with minimal effort thus far, including the fastest Doherty elimination last week for Jules Siegel's Fashion Farm. Woman's Will and Kathy Parker were the other elim winners and will seek the upset.   Southwind Frank is the favorite going into the Haughton, having won three of four thus far including both the NJSS final and his Haughton elimination with the greatest of ease.   He is another from the Ron Burke barn and races for the same partnership as Mission Brief on what could be a huge day for those connections.   You want Wagering opportunities? We got 'em. There are $275,000 worth of guaranteed pools spread over several horizontal wagers and the day ends with a $231,403 carryover on the 8% take-out Jackpot Hi-5.   With this the close of the 2015 Championship Meet, this wager takes on "Mandatory Pay Out" status which will create huge interest and great value, potentially driving the pool into seven figures. Programs will be available here and in the Daily Racing Form.   If you can't make it live, the Hambletonian will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network from 4:00 to 5:30pm and is available in Hi-Def on TRN.   The races are also available via live streaming from The Meadowlands website.   There are a ton of promotions going on throughout the plant all day long including the ever-popular Hambo hat giveaway.   It's the greatest day of the year in harness racing and it all happens at The Meadowlands on Saturday.   Nick Salvi  

Harness Racing This Week: Hambletonian, Hambletonian Oaks, John Cashman Memorial, U.S. Pacing Championship, Lady Liberty, Fresh Yankee, Cane Pace, Shady Daisy, Peter Haughton Memorial, and Jim Doherty Memorial, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. and Tompkins-Geers, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off this Saturday (Aug. 8) at Meadowlands Racetrack with one of the biggest cards of the season. The afternoon program is led by the $1.2 million Hambletonian, the first leg of trotting's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. Other major stakes races to be contested that day are the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old filly trotters, the $301,500 John Cashman Memorial for older male trotters, the $215,400 U.S. Pacing Championship for older male pacers, the $251,250 Lady Liberty for older pacing mares, the 181,450 Fresh Yankee for older trotting mares, the $319,400 Cane Pace, the first leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds, the $109,500 Shady Daisy for 3-year-old pacing fillies, the $349,850 Peter Haughton Memorial for 2-year-old colt trotters, and the $389,450 Jim Doherty Memorial for 2-year-old filly trotters. Tioga Downs on Sunday will feature $65,000 (est.) Tompkins-Geers divisions for 2- and 3-year-old colt and filly pacers. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: He was forced into a first-over challenge and skipped shadows for much of the mile, but when all was said and done, Dude's The Man captured this past Saturday's (Aug. 1) $400,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented by Coors Light at The Meadows in 1:48.4, fourth-fastest in the 49-year history of the event. Yankee Bounty rallied for second, two lengths back, while Lost For Words, who threatened briefly in the lane, was third. Winning trainer Jessica Okusko won the Adios orchids in her first try while winning driver Corey Callahan, who had 13 previous Adios starts including eliminations, took his first Adios title. M And L of Delaware and Victoria Dickinson own Dude's The Man, a son of American Ideal-Art's Risk who finished second to Wiggle It Jiggleit in the Meadowlands Pace final but has been hampered at times by lack of early speed. Although Dude's The Man was first up from fourth, he had little trouble clearing My Hero Ron, winner of an Adios elimination on July 25. Another potential problem for Dude's The Man vanished in the lane when Lost For Words, right on the winner's bumper, didn't finish strongly. Dude's The Man will start in this Saturday's Cane Pace at Meadowlands Racetrack. Complete recaps of all the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2015, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farm is the sponsor for the 2015 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past week's action: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 492; 2. Tim Tetrick - 390; 3. David Miller - 290; 4. Brian Sears - 282; 5. John Campbell - 238. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 630; 2. Jimmy Takter - 378; 3. Jeff Bamond Jr. - 248; 4. Ray Schnittker - 187; 5. Rene Allard - 163. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 195.5; 2. Burke Racing - 145.8; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 127.60; 4. George Teague Jr. Inc. - 100; 5. Ray Schnittker - 74.9. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Northfield Park with the Carl Milstein Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers; at Hoosier Park with the Dan Patch for older pacers; at Charlottetown Driving Park with the Gold Cup and Saucer eliminations for older pacers; and at Tioga Downs with Tompkins-Geers events for 2- and 3-year-old colt and filly trotters. Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

Sweet Lou became the only harness race horse in history to record five winning miles in less than 1:48 and he has done it five weeks in a roll. This time it was Saturday at the Meadowlands and he was victorious for driver Ron Pierce in the $257,700 final of the US Pacing Championship in 1:47.2. It was also Sweet Lou’s eighth straight win. “He is just so unbelievable,” said Ron Pierce, “Just a super horse. I was not thinking world record at all. Ron Burke did not say go for it so I just let him roll. We did not go any more than we had to. If I had I chased him there is no question he would have paced in 1:45.” As usual Golden Receiver and Corey Callahan went right out to the early lead with Bettor’s Edge (Matt Kakaley) also leaving and taking command by the opening quarter mile in :25.4. Then it was State Treasurer and driver David Miller coming first-over to the lead but that was short lived as Pierce sent the 2/5 favorite Sweet Lou to the front at the half mile in :53.1. By the three-quarters in 1:21.1, Thinking Out Loud (John Campbell) tried coming first-over but it was too little too late. Coming off the final turn, Sweet Lou was comfortably in front and held the field at bay, winning by one and one-half lengths. State Treasurer was second with Thinking Out Loud third. Trained by Ron Burke, it was the eighth win this year for the five-year-old stallion by Yankee Cruiser. Sweet Lou paid $2.80 to win for owners, the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Karr and Collura. Sweet Lou By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 1 - All eyes in harness racing will be on the Meadowlands this Saturday for the Hambletonian and local standout Harper Blue Chip will be one of eleven trotters vying for harness racing's highest profile trotting title. Trained by local conditioner Mark Steacy, Harper Blue Chip will start from post position nine with driver Brian Sears in the $1,006,125 Hambletonaian, which is carded as Race 13 on Saturday afternoon. Harper Blue Chip races for owners Landmark 6 Racing Stable of Kingston, David McDonald of Cornwall, David Reid of Glenburnie and George Judson of Athens, Ontario. The son of Majestic Son - Winning Jonlin is coming off a 3 ¾ length victory in the Canadian Breeders Championship at Mohawk on July 19. In six starts this season, Harper Blue Chip has visited the winner's circle twice and has only missed the board once when he finished fourth to the Father Patrick in the $500,000 Earl Beal Memorial at Pocono Downs on June 28. Just like the Beal Memorial, Harper Blue Chip and the rest of the field will be gunning for Father Patrick, who enters the Hambletonian on a 15 race win streak. Father Patrick is just one of three starters (Nuncio and Trixton) sent out by trainer Jimmy Takter. Takter's trio are the top three choices on the morning line. Harper Blue Chip is the fourth choice in the early odds of 12-1. Steacy admits that it will be a tough task defeating Takter's trio, but that his horse is on top of his game. "We've got our work cut out for us," said Steacy. "I was quite disappointed drawing the nine, it kind of made things a lot more difficult, but our horse is going into the race really good and healthy, so I expect a good effort from him as long as we have some race luck." Since the fourth place effort in the Beal, Harper Blue Chip has dominated locally and Steacy believes Harper Blue Chip is a better horse than the last time he faced the continent's very best. "I think with the trio of Jimmy Takter's it's a big step up, but he's raced against these horses before, never been able to beat them, but he's gone against them and he's been respectable," said Steacy. "I think my horse is better than the last time he raced against these horses and I think he's improved with every start and again a lot of racing luck and you never what might happen." Steacy has an idea of the trip he would like for his charge, but will leave the strategy up to defending and two-time Hambletonian winning driver Brian Sears. "It's going to be up to Brian Sears, but I'm hoping he will try to charge off the gate...obviously you want to be as close to Father Patrick or Trixton or one of those horses that you can be." Defeating Takter's trio will be a tough task for the Mark Steacy trainee, but Steacy knows what it takes to win a million dollar race with a three-year-old trotter. In 2006, Steacy captured the million dollar Canadian Trotting Classic with Majestic Son, the sire of Harper Blue Chip, overcoming favourites Chocolatier and Trotting Triple Crown winner Glidemaster. On Saturday afternoon, Steacy will be looking to recreate that million dollar magic with Harper Blue Chip. No horse has been hotter on the WEG circuit this season than State Treasurer and the Dr. Ian Moore trainee will take his talents south to the Meadowlands to battle with the sport's top free-for-all pacers on Saturday. State Treasurer will start from post two with driver David Miller in a field of nine for the $257,700 US Pacing Championship. The five-year-old son of Real Desire - Ideal Tresurer has won seven times in ten starts this season, including a victory last Saturday night in the Preferred at Mohawk in 1:48.3. State Treasurer has started in the WEG Preferred seven times this season and is currently riding a six race win streak in the circuit's top class. All six of those wins have been sub-1:50 miles. His biggest victory of the season was on May 30 in the $150,000 Molson Pace at Western Fair. State Treasurer's rivals on Saturday include Sweet Lou, who is currently on a seven race win streak, and Captaintreacherous, the 2013 Pepsi North America Cup winner. Two starts back, State Treasurer tackled this group in the $463,000 William Haughton Memorial at the Meadowlands and finished fourth, while only beaten 2 ½ lengths. This Saturday, State Treasurer will need to bring his top game and the speed he has been putting on display. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG

We have been on a roll as of late with winning weekends the last two weeks. I am confident we can make it three straight winning weeks and never have to leave the Meadowlands. It’s their closing weekend and that mean’s Hambletonian Day, one of the best days of racing in the sport of harness racing this Saturday, headlined of course by the Hambletonian Trot. The card is jamming with top stakes action. The only problem is something we have no control over and that is Mother Nature. I handicapped based on a fast track so here’s hoping the rain either ends early or does not stop until late in the day. Good Luck! $52,000 Trot Ima Lula Final 4YO Mares Meadowlands 1st race SATURDAY – With a serious case of seconditis after her championship season last year, we keep hoping for Bee A Magician to return to her unbeaten form of 2013 but it just isn’t happening. Perhaps they will change tactics here and go back to racing her off the pace and that she will be able take this field. Use Classic Martine and Ma Chere Hall in exotic plays. $100,000 Pace Miss New Jersey 3YO Fillies Meadowlands 3rd race SATURDAY – Seems that trainer Jimmy Takter may have solved the previous breaking problems of Gettingreadytoroll off her lifetime mark last week in 1:49.3 and that she is settled down to keeping her mind on business. Repeat of last winning effort will bring home the bacon in here. Use Act Now and Bliztra in exotic plays. $225,000 Pace New Jersey Classic 3YO Colts Meadowlands 4th race SATURDAY – Western Vintage has had a rough 3YO season after many thought he would be one of the leaders in this division after his great two-year-old season. Seems he has not lived up to expectations but should go off the favorite here after decent qualifying win. I’m going with Doo Wop Hanover. He has had good success when not racing against the best in the country, drew well for this and could get the dream two-hole trip to score off of. Use Western Vintage and Bushwacker in exotic plays. $257,700 Pace FFA US Pacing Championship Meadowlands 5th race SATURDAY – Too tough to even consider going against the best pacer in the sport. Sweet Lou is on a seven-race winning streak, last four in less than 1:48 and he is just a pacing machine. He is facing a strong field but he has beaten all of them before and can do it again. Use Captaintreacherous and State Treasurer in exotic plays. $352,050 Trot Merrie Annabelle 2YO Filly Final Meadowlands 6th race SATURDAY – This will be an interesting matchup as both Mission Brief and Gatka Hanover have yet to meet and both are hot fillies that race on the front end. Mission Brief gets the call with her blinding early speed but you never know how Gatka Hanover will handle getting a two-hole trip. Use Gatka Hanover and Lock Down Lindy in exotic plays. $355,500 Trot Peter Haughton 2YO Colt Final Meadowlands 7th race SATURDAY – It’s interesting that in this final there are four return winners of the ten starters. Ake Svanstedt’s Centurion ATM showed he is the horse to beat after coming off the pace in his elimination race last week and strolling to a 1:54.2 win in just his third lifetime start. Repeat of that mile will make him an easy winner once again. Use Canepa Hanover and Guess Who’s Back in exotic plays. $75,000 Trot FFA Vincennes Invitational Meadowlands 10th race SATURDAY – All the talk was that after Master Of Law won his qualifying race that he was on his way to taking on the best in the country. He lived up to performance with a 1:52 win last time out and now gets really tested against a good field and having to start from post nine. Use Wishing Stone and D’Orsay in exotic plays. $300,650 Trot John Cashman Memorial FFA Meadowlands 11th race SATURDAY – Whether it rains or not I think Sebastian K and Ake Svanstedt are too tough to get caught again at the wire. No one can out leave him and unless every horse in the field tries to go first-over against him, he has too much stamina to not hold them off. Use Uncle Peter and Market Share in exotic plays. $500,000 Trot Hambletonian Oaks 3YO Fillies Meadowlands 12th race – Last week in prep race, Ron Pierce and Shake It Cerry held Designed To Be and Brian Sears at bay and were able to win. Now Shake It Cerry starts from second tier in post 11 and won’t be able to dictate early fractions to anyone. I still think that Shake It Cerry will “shake it loose” somehow and find a different way to beat Designed To Be once again. Use Designed To Be and Lifetime Pursuit in exotic plays. $1,066,125 Trot Hambletonian Final 3YO Colts Meadowlands 13th race SATURDAY – Trainer Jimmy Takter has his heart set on finishing one, two, three in harness racing’s most prestigious race and he very well should get what wants as he has the best colts in racing. Father Patrick needs to just overcome starting from post ten as he is seconds faster than the rest of the field. Use Trixton and Nuncio in exotic plays. $177,750 Pace Lady Liberty Final Older Mares Meadowlands 14th race SATURDAY – Was super impressed with the three moves Drop The Ball made for driver Corey Callahan last week in winning elimination race. She will need that gusty performance once again to win the final as Rocklamation will be in the hunt this week. Drop The Ball gets the slim call in here. Use Rocklamation and Somwherovrarainbow in exotic plays.

With the North American breeding season well underway we will continue with our "A Stallion Review" series highlighting the stallions that are making an impact on the harness racing breeding scene. Today we have produced an in depth review for the outstanding racehorse Artistic Fella who had his first crop race as two-year-olds in 2013 in Canada and in Australia. His second crop of two-year-olds are now racing in Australia. Enjoy the read. BREEDING Artistic Fella is a son of the Cam Fella stallion Pacific Fella who earned $1,064,631 on the racetrack and took a best time of 1:48.4. He has been a successful sire in both North America and Australia with his stock having earned $20,727,656 in North America with three millionaires including No Pan Intended $1,613,180 and Romona Disomma $1,033,475. Pacific Fella is already a sire of sires with No Pan Intended already having passed the $28 million mark in earnings at stud. In Australia Pacific Fella made his mark with stake earnings of $8,100,881 (especially with his fillies) including such smart horses as Ima Spicey Lombo $483,686, Ruby Dazzler $350,767 and That's Mister Ali $312,662. Artistic Fella is from an unraced daughter of Artsplace in Everything's Easy, who has had 13 foals for six winners with four in 1:53 headed by Artistic Fella. Other notable winners include Melissa's Fancy 1:52f, ($473,313) and Easy Big Fella 1:50.4 ($246,764) The grand dam is the very smart No Nukes racemare called Everything Goes who took a record of 1:53 on her way to earning $342,033. She left 12 foals for seven winners with one in 1:53 and two in 1:55 including the talented Everything's Great 1:52.1f ($240,391) who is a full sister to Everything's Easy. The third dam is the Meadow Skipper mare in Easy To Love who left 12 foals for 10 winners with four in 1;53 including the smart Wear My Ring 1:52.4f ($284,258). Easy To Love is a three quarter sister to the great racemare Halcyon ($855,588) and a half sister to two sires who stood down under in Present Laughter ($509,912) and Paulsboro ($231,561). What makes Easy To Love so interesting is not only is she the third dam of Artistic Fella but she is also the second dam of his sire, Pacific Fella. So Artistic Fella is 3x3 to Easy To Love. A half sister to Easy To Love in Expressive Moves was imported into New Zealand and left the very smart race mare in That's Life Lavra ($191,346) who has two foals old enough to race for two very good winners in Neffeli Lavra 1:53.9 (Australia) and the 3yo Bio Marinus 1:58.3 mile rate with six wins from just the 16 starts to date. RACE RECORD Lightly raced at two, Artistic Fella faced the starter just four times at that age for three wins including two heats of the New Jersey Sires Stakes on his way to earning $51,250 and taking a mark of 1:53.3.  At three he faced the starter 18 times for 11 wins and $941,558 in stakes with a best winning time of 1:48.4. His biggest win was undoubtedly in the $1,000,000 Meadowlands Pace. That day he won in 1:48.4 beating a top line up including My Boy David ($1,339,281), Shark Gesture ($2,890,594), Total Truth ($2,105,122) and Western Ace ($1,924,290). Another top effort was his win in the $225,000 Berrys Creek final at The Meadowlands in 1:50.3 running his last quarter in 25.4. At four he raced a further 16 times for 7 wins 2 seconds and 3 thirds for $702,107 in stakes with a record of 1:48.4. His wins included the $540,000 Breeders Crown Final in 1:49.2 and the $200,000 Dan Patch final in 1:49.2. The Breeders Crown that year was an outstanding group of great horses. They included Mister Big, Lis Mara, Boulder Creek, Total Truth, Western Shore and Mypanmar. The nine starters had average earnings of $2,201,344 (can you believe that?) Total stakes earned by this group is a staggering $19,812,103. It was a great, great group!  Stepping out again at five, Artistic Fella raced 14 times for 5 wins, 7 seconds and 1 third for earnings of $945,617 and an improved record of 1:48 flat. He took his record in the $500,000 Ben Franklin Final at Chester. With just a little bit of luck he could have doubled his earnings as he ran second in the $702,000 Canadian Pacing Derby (to Mister Big), the $600,000 Haughton final (to Mister Big), the $532,000 Breeders Crown final (to Mister Big) and the $332,000 US Pacing Championships (to Mister Big). Retired at the end of his five year old campaign, he went to stud with a race record of 52 starts for 26 wins and 14 placings for stakes totaling $2,604,532. He took a best time of 1:48 and broke the 1:50 barrier 21 times during his career. NORTH AMERICAN STUD RECORD Artistic Fella stood in Canada and has made a good start to his siring career with his first crop of two year olds racing in the 2013 season. He made it on to the top twenty list of two year old sires in North America and with the hugely reduced stake money on offer in Canada this has been a good start. He was third on the Canadian based sires list behind Shadow Play and Mach Three and you would expect that like his sire, his progeny would improve markedly at three. His best two performers to date are the fillies Porsche Seelster ($107,647) and Regil Meg ($75,748). Others showing up are Allstar Seelster ($43,433), Concert Artist ($42,852), Titus Seelster ($40,125) while Can Art and Western Fella have looked progressive types.   With just the one crop racing in Canada, Artistic Fella has 98 old enough to race (2yo olds in 2013) for 47 starters, 25 race winners, 1 in 1:53, total stakes to date of $599,900. AUSTRALIAN STUD RECORD Artistic Fella's first crop raced as two year olds in the 2012/2013 season and really made a statement. From a foal crop of 80 he produced the best two year old filly in Australia in Mindarie Priddy, now the best three-year-old in Australia p3.1:53.8 ($226,560) as well as Kimba Bay 1:57.5 ($100,273), Artistic Copper ($87,815) Majestic Amy 1:59.4 ($87,390) and Paua Fella 1:58.8 ($37,849). It was a great debut season and his second crop of just 56 foals has started in the same vein with the outstanding two-year-old colt Artistic Flite winning in sensational fashion the Bathurst Gold Final last week already confirming Artistic Flite as the best two-year-old in Australia this season. All up Artistic Fella has had 15 winners from 35 starters in Australia to date for $709,636 in total stakes. POSITIVES His stock are in the main like their sire, displaying both speed and grit. They are good gaited and his fillies seem as good as his colts. They should continue to improve as they mature as both their sire Artistic Fella and grand sire, Pacific Fella did. Has already shown that he has the ability to leave stock that can race and win at the elite level. NEGATIVES The only knock on him so far in North America is the low money his progeny will race for in Canada where he stands as the program there has almost disappeared. Although he has good size crops in Canada it will be difficult for his progeny to make any money of note and this will be a handicap as a stallion in the eyes of the breeding world.. Down under his problem will be the small crops over the next few seasons of just 67 and 42. He did breed big numbers this year at 220 mares. OVERVIEW A very good start to his siring career especially down under. He has a special three-year-old filly in Mindarie Priddy and a special two-year-old colt in Artistic Flite that could carry him through to when his big crop that has just been bred, starts to race. His fillies run as well as his colts which is a big plus but he does need to improve his overall percentages to cement his spot in the stallion market. It is early in his career and if age does help his stock as many predict, then those percentages may improve to the same level achieved by his competitors. OVER ALL RATING  5.5 out of 10 JC  

Harnesslink has had such positive feedback on our "forgotten sires series" that we have decided to run a series of reviews on our more prominent harness racing sires. As they say in racing you can criticize some ones car, house or wife but never their horse, and that still rings true. As a disclaimer to our next chapter of analysis we look to provide educated opinion based on years of industry knowledge and the truest form of critique backed by statistical data. These PREVIEWS are set to strip back any sugar coated publicity often associated with Stallion promotion and give you the cold hard facts as JC sees them. (All statistical data was provided by TrackIt for North American stats and for Down Under the official organizations of New Zealand and Australia)  Two days ago we looked at American Ideal and today we review Art Major - Enjoy the read. ART MAJOR BREEDING - By the legendary super sire, Artsplace, he is from the prolific producing Nihalator mare in Perfect Profile who produced 13 foals for 11 winners of over $5 million in stakes.. As well as Art Major she has produced the full brother Perfect Art whose 716 foals have won over $13,653,246 in Australia and Western Edition (by Western Hanover) who stood in Queensland and has 115 three-year-olds and older who have won $665,848 to date in Australia. Art Major was sold as a yearling as Lot 55 at the Tattersalls Sale in Kentucky in 2000. RACE RECORD - Racing from two to four years, he started 49 times for a fantastic record of 32 wins and 9 placings for a massive $3,273,217 in stakes with a 1:48.4m record. Artsplace richest son. His durability is obvious when you consider that he won his last three starts on the racetrack and those wins were in the $824,000 Canadian Pacing Derby, the $729,730 Breeders Crown and the $350,000 US Pacing Championship.   AMERICAN STUD RECORD - He has had seven crops to race so far and what an impact they have made. His first crop is arguably his best producing such stars as Art Official, his richest son at $2,085,185 and his fastest son at p3,1:47, Santanna Blue Chip $1,641,643 p2,1:51.3, Artimittateslife $997,901 p3,1:51.3 and Riggins $931,587 p5,1:48.4. All up seven have won over $500,000 and the average earnings per starter is a massive $132,000. His second crop contained Hypnotic Blue Chip $1,766,053 p4,1:47.2 and Major In Art who only raced as a two-year-old winning $896,060 and taking a time of 1:50.2  while his third crop was highlighted by He's Gorgeous $743,844 p5,1:48.3. His fourth crop contained such stars as Feel Like A Fool $965,633 with a two-year-old record of 1:49.4 and Swinging Beauty $841,245 p4,1:49.4. His fifth crop was led by the very good Handsoffmycookies $1,228,873 p4,1:51,4f and while the sixth crop was down on seasonal champions it did produce three $600,000 winners including the speedy Fool Me Once $639,989 p3,1:48.1s. His seventh and latest crop is headed by the brilliant two-year-old filly in Precocious Beauty $462,912 1:50.1.   US statistics   Eligible to race - 802         Winners - 536         $1,000,000+ 4           Sub 1:50 - 26         Average earning per starter - $100,219   Average earnings per eligible horse - $82,349   Total earnings to date - $66,044,151   AUSTRALIAN STUD RECORD - Looks very much like his North American stud record. He has left a super 398 winners to date including such stars as Sushi Sushi $1,103,327, For A Reason $724,333, Lady Euthenia $461,285 and Louvre $402,665. Consistently at or near the top of the two and three year old sires list and with 38 $100,000 winners to date ,he produces depth to back the stars.   Australian statistics   Foals 3yr old and older - 658           Winners - 398   % of winners to foals born 3yr old and older - 60%   $100,000 plus - 38    $1,000,000 plus - 1         Average earnings per starter - $34,876   Average earnings per eligible horse - $28,515   Total earnings to date - $18,763,192         NEW ZEALAND STUD RECORD - Has so far left 96 winners in New Zealand but his record does not appear to be as strong as it is in Australia or North America. The probable reason is that he only bred 35 foals in New Zealand in his initial three crops that are 5yr olds, 6yr olds and 7yr olds. Out of that small group he left the very good 2 & 3yr old Major Mark that won $574,109 before he was exported to Australia. Art Major's first serious crop are now 4yr olds and there are 95 foals and already this crop has produced 52 individual winners including the good mare Onlyforyou $292,874 and Glenferrie Shuffle $248,870 (Australia). He has 98 foals in his 3yr old crop for 28 winners to date including the brilliant Isaiah $375,861, Sky Major $241,623 and Angelina Jolie $101,000. His 3yr old fillies finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th in a Sire Stakes race yesterday at Alexandra Park in Auckland.   New Zealand statistics   3yr old and older - 229   Starters - 121   Winners -  96   % of winners to foals born 3yr old and older - 42%   $100,000 plus - 6   $1,000,000 plus - 0   Average earnings per starter - $26,363   Average earnings per eligible horse - $13,930   Total earnings to date - $3,189,983   POSITIVES - Has a fantastic record in both North America ($66,044,151 to date) and Australia ($18,750,000 to date) and is starting to gain a good record in New Zealand. Consistency is the key with his stud record with no drop off in the high standard he has set from day one. They come to hand quickly and have a great record at two and three.   NEGATIVES - In Australia and New Zealand they have a reputation for been world beaters one week and just nice horses the next. At times they are prone to disappoint after promising so much.    As of yet they have not made the transition from age group racing to the Grand Circuit in any great numbers with only Sushi Sushi, For A Reason and Major Mark making more than $500,000 in stakes to date and that is from a total of 887 foals 3yrs old and older.    OVERVIEW - His record overall is outstanding. His sons such as Art Official, Santanna Blue Chip and Major In Art are starting to establish themselves as sires and his daughters are doing the same in the brood mare paddock. All in all, a fantastic sire who leaves top 2yr olds and top 3yr olds and will continue to exert a major influence over the breed for years to come.    OVERALL RATING - 8/10   JC   A Sire review - American Ideal

East Rutherford, NJ – In the last stakes race in the old Meadowlands grandstand, Thinking Out Loud, a 23-1 long shot, upset the best pacers in racing for driver John Campbell, paying $49.00 to win in the $213,650 final of the US Pacing Championship. Golden Receiver and Corey Callahan went right to their usual early lead with Bolt the Duer (Mark MacDonald) sitting in second place. But right at the opening quarter mile in :26.2, Yannick Gingras sent Sweet Lou right to the front with ease after a speedy half in :53.4. It was then Warrawee Needy’s (Jody Jamieson) turn to come first-over and he did as they hit the three-quarters in 1:21 with Thinking Out Loud following second over. And then in the stretch, Campbell got the most out of his pacer and pulled away at the wire by one length with Bolt the Duer second and Golden Receiver third. The time of the race was a lifetime mark of 1:57.2 for Thinking Out Loud. It was the first win in five starts this year for Thinking Out Loud, a four-year-old son of Ponder, trainer by Robert McIntosh and owned by the Robert McIntosh Stable, S X Stables and Al McIntosh of Ontario. Lucan Hanover takes $250,000 NJ Classic  Closing from sixth place at the three-quarters, Lucan Hanover and driver Dave Miller were able to not only collar the race leaders in the $250,000 Anthony Abbatiello New Jersey Pacing Classic for state-sired three-year-old pacing colts, but passed them by for good measure in a lifetime best clocking of 1:48.3. The 13th race began Rockin Amadeus and driver Yannick Gingras going to the early lead with race favorite Word Power (Jim Morrill, Jr.) going after and taking the lead away after a speedy :26.1 opening quarter mile. Then Wake Up Peter (Ron Pierce) leaving from post ten and he was able to get by World Power but then Morrill came right back with World Power getting command of the race by the half in :53.4. Then it was Rockin Amadeus who came first-over and put a head up on World Power at the three-quarters in 1:21.1 and as they turned for home it seemed that the Meadowlands shuffle was in full swing. Emeritus Maximus (Tim Tetrick) was second over with Lucan Hanover following his cover and at they started down the stretch Lucan Hanover passed them all by to win going away by two and one-quarter lengths. Emeritus Maximus was second with Rockin Amadeus third. It was the fourth straight win for the son of Western Ideal and sixth win on the year. He is trained by Casie Coleman and is owned by West Wins Stable and Christine Calhoun of Ontario. Sent off at odds of 5-1, Lucan Hanover paid $13.60 to win. by Steve Wolf  

On Saturday, August 3 at the Meadowlands could well be the “Pace of he Century” as the best pacers in perhaps the world will go head and head in the $250,000 final of the US Pacing Championship. Household names in harness racing, Sweet Lou, Warrawee Needy, Foiled Again, Golden Receiver, Bolt The Duer, A Rocknroll Dance, Modern Legend, Hurrikane Kingcole, Pet Rock and Thinking Out Loud will all battle it out in the big race. In 2013 these and other superb older pacers have brought back to those who can remember and to those who have studied harness racing history, memories of what use to be a weekly occurrence in harness racing, great match-ups that you looked forward to seeing and reading about. Week in and week out these top pacers do battle and each week it seems that another “star” emerges in the limelight and will they be able to repeat their herculean efforts from the prior week. But this is nothing new for harness racing. It happened every week across the nation in the 1960’s and I for one am glad that history is repeating itself. After last night’s classic battles in the eliminations for the US Pacing Championship I pulled out my treasured scrap books from two of the greatest years in harness racing history for older pacers, 1965 and 1966. And low and behold this is what I found. The exact same scenarios we are witnessing today. The best pacers in the world battling weekly across the nation, only back then there was no simulcasting, no viewing races online or from your cell phone, no National Raceline allowing you to hear the all of the race within minutes of it happening. There were no fax machines, only teletype, telephone and the radio! Television was barely in existence. On May 20, 1966, Yonkers Raceway boasted that they had the “Pace of the Century” and at the time they were right. They had the first of many battles between what was deemed the two best harness horses in the sport meeting for the first time. It was the ten-year-old Cardigan Bay taking on the four-year-old Bret Hanover against three other rivals in a win betting only race for a purse of $65,000! Cardigan Bay had been racing every week against the best older pacers in racing. Bret Hanover had but two starts that year and won them both and was on a seven race winning streak at the time. And what a race it was! Sweet Luck and driver/trainer Joe Cardana were the speed demons and they cut the mile with Firesweep (Lucien Fontaine) getting the two-hole spot. They led to the half mile until Stanley Dancer came first-over with Cardigan Bay and Frank Ervin followed their outside flow with Bret Hanover and Adios Marches (Charles King) could see them all. As they came down the stretch Cardigan Bay had the lead with Ervin and Bret Hanover hot on their heels but to no avail as Cardigan Bay and Dancer won by two lengths in 2:00 with Bret Hanover second and Adios Marches closing well for third place. And if you don’t think the drivers back then had fun with each other than just look at the photo finish of the race (yes, I got lots of them from the 1960’s) and you will see Stanley Dancer turning and smiling back at Frank Ervin as Cardigan Bay won the race. Every newspaper in North America and around the world covered these races. The sports pages had cartoonists with images of the top horses, taunting who would win the following week. Harness racing was the king of sports during this era. Bret Hanover won the next meeting, the purse was $50,000. Rex Pick was second and Cardigan Bay third. Bret won the next matchup, then Cardigan Bay won two straight. They raced at Brandywine and Liberty Bell and then off to Hollywood Park in California where True Duane beat them both. The greatest horses were going every week, Romulus Hanover, Overcall, Glad Rags, Adios Vic, Rivaltime, Smokeover N, Poconomoonshine, Harry’s Bride and the great Romeo Hanover, who had won 18 of 19 starts at age 3 joined the group and beat them all in his first try for trainer Jerry Silverman and driver George Sholty. Even the great mare, Meadow Elva, tried her luck against the boys. Also remember that back then at Yonker’s dining room in 1968, a shrimp cocktail was $2.00, the prime rib Empire Cut was $4.95, a filet mignon or sirloin steak was $7.50 and a slice of cheesecake was $0.85 cents! But yet these war horses could race every week or two for $25,000 to $50,000 purses and higher. Lucien Fontaine remembers those days very well. “I remembered Jerry Silverman would get so nervous before his horse (Romeo Hanover) would race he would turn his back and not watch,” Fontaine recalled. “It was so great to have these world champion race every week, just like they are doing today. It’s an incredible bunch of horses going today. They are racing like you use a car. They go first over and don’t quit.  “I don’t think back in the 1960’s that those horses could race first-over like they do today.” Fontaine said. “Adios Butler in 1961 once paced an eighth of a mile in :11.2 in the last quarter at Hollywood Park and that was faster than the Thoroughbreds could run!” “I chased those good horses with Poconomoonshine,” Fontaine said, “But was never able to beat them. We finished second a few times. I always hoped the pace was slow up front and that way we had a chance to come on late and get a good check. “What impressed me most during that era was the crowds and fan support,” Fontaine said. “The crowds would follow harness racing as much as a football and baseball. The stands every Friday and Saturday night at Yonkers or Roosevelt were packed and people would yell and cheer for their favorites and it was great. Every day the newspapers had stories and photographs on the races to keep everyone informed on what was going on. “But today we are seeing the same with the older pacers,” Fontaine said. “I know the crowds are not so great and the coverage in the newspaper is never enough, but with the internet and simulcasting race fans get to see everything. Back in the day you heard about big races from others and never got to see them. Now you can see video replays, read stories an hour after the race is over, hear interviews live after the race. It is all so great.” So it may not be Cardigan Bay, Bret Hanover, Adios Vic and Romeo Hanover going head and head this Saturday at the Meadowlands, but today’s speedsters, most of who are million dollar plus winners, will put on quite a show in the US Pacing Championship Final. Whether it be Foiled Again or Warrawee Needy or Sweet Lou or whomever of the top horses in the field, it is great to see that history does repeat itself. This Saturday could truly be the “Pace of the Century" or at least the dedcade. By Steve Wolf

Top pacers in harness racing will now meet in final on August 3!

The Meadowlands would like to remind its fans that the program pages for Saturday, July 27 13-race card featuring eliminations for the Hambletonian Oaks and US Pacing Championship are available for download, free of charge on the Meadowlands website. They can be found by clicking here. Future racing dates where the entire Trackmaster racing program will be made available, free of charge, will be Hambletonian Day, Saturday August 3rd, Grand Opening of the new grandstand, Saturday November 23rd and Free-For-All Championship/Fall Final Four Night on Saturday November 30th. The Meadowlands Racetrack thanks Trackmaster for providing access to the full Trackmaster.com program on these great days of racing at no cost to our customers. by Rachel Ryan  

This photo of champion harness racing pacer Cam Fella was taken in 1997 outside the paddock of Sportsman's Park when the 18-year-old pacer was making his farewell tour through the country enroute to his retirement home at The Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky.

The North American breed has had a huge influence on harness racing in New Zealand in recent decades - but going by last Saturday's big Hambletonian Day at the Meadowlands the Kiwis are also playing a major role in the sport in the United States.

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