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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - July 12, 2014 -A pair of Western Ideal youngsters, Artspeak and Stacia Hanover, scored in the $100,000 finals of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for two-year-old pacers on Saturday, July 12, 2014 at the Meadowlands. Artspeak [$3.40, $2.80, $2.40], a son of Western Ideal, captured the New Jersey Sire Stakes for pacing colts and geldings in 1:52.3, finishing a length and three-quarters ahead of Hurrikane Ali, by Rocknroll Hanover. Dealt A Winner by Cam's Card Shark was an early breaker who reconnected with the field and got up for third by two and a half lengths. Artspeak, driven by Scott Zeron and trained by Tony Alagna, was sent off as the 3-5 favorite and did not disappoint, picking up his second win in two career starts. A $100,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase, he races for Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and the In The Gym Partners. In the 13th and final race of the night, Stacia Hanover took command early and held the lead at every call, extending her unbeaten streak to three with a career best 1:53.4 mile. Scott Zeron guided the Western Ideal filly, who is trained by Steve Elliott and races for Ohioans David Van Dusen and Michael Ciamaglio, who purchased her for $35,000 at the Harrisburg Sale. Stacia Hanover returned $3.40, $2.40, $2.10, finishing a length and a quarter ahead of Cashaway, who was a half length ahead of Ideal Nuggets. All three are by Western Ideal. Artspeak Stacia Hanover by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ

Latham, NY---As the Manhattan skyline provides the backdrop for the start of the 2014 edition of the Meadowlands Pace, the Empire state will also supply the favorites for the marquee event. JK Endofanera and He's Watching are both products of the standardbred breeding program in New York. 2-1 favorite JK Endofanera (1:48.2, $938,517) was bred and is owned by Alan Katz's 3 Brothers Stable. He is a son of Art Major (1:48.4, $2,727,224) out of the Presidential Ball mare, Presidential Lady (1:54, $291,651). JK Endofanera started his two-year-old career late after developing slowly early in the year. He didn't make his first lifetime start until September, getting his first victory at Lexington. Following his third race the colt was placed in the Ron Burke Stable for the remainder of the year and continued to progress from there. After a win in an overnight and a second in the $49,300 Madison County stake, JK Endofanera closed out his campaign with identical 1:51.4 victories in the $157,000 Elevation Stake at Hoosier Park and the $534,500 Governors Cup at the New Meadowlands. Last year's late bloomer came out swinging this year capturing three consecutive stake victories. Then after finishing third in his elimination, JK Endofanera took the final of the $920,000 North America Cup at Mohawk Raceway and earned a new lifetime record of 1:48.4 after being parked out for the bulk of the mile. Last week in the Meadowlands Pace elimination he quickly eclipsed that mark in a gutty performance, fending off deep stretch charges by Always B Miki and Lyonssomewhere to notch a 1:48.2 victory and position himself as the morning line favorite for the pacing classic. In his career, JK Endofanera is 9 of 13 lifetime with three seconds and one third. 5-2 second choice He's Watching (1:48.1 $461,957) was bred by Brittany Farms, Bob Burgess and Karin Olsson-Burgess and is owned by his trainer, David Menary, along with Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and the Muscara Racing Trust. He is a son of American Ideal (1:47.4 $786,055) out of the Real Desire mare, Baberhood (1:55 $7,905). He's Watching was a $3,000 yearling purchase that turned out to be more than anyone could have imagined. Because of his low purchase price, the colt was not staked to anything except the New York Sire Stakes last year, but it was in New York that he made his mark on the sport. He's Watching was a perfect eight for eight during his freshman campaign and his blistering speed led him to be named the Dan Patch two-year-old champion for 2013. He set two world records and six track records during his domination across the state and gained much national attention without ever hitting the Grand Circuit. His freshman seasonal mark of 1.50 was achieved twice; once at Tioga Downs that made him the fastest two-year-old ever on a five-eighth's mile track and once at Vernon Downs, which was a new track record at the 7/8-mile track there. He's Watching then closed the year with an exclamation point when he scorched Yonkers Raceway's half-mile track in a world record tying time of 1:52.2. He's Watching's 2014 debut was less than stellar. Sent off as the 1-9 favorite in the $40,000 Art Rooney elimination at Yonkers, the colt finished a distant sixth in the six horse field. But after suffering his first defeat ever, the wagons were circled and he coasted to a lifetime best 1:49.3 victory in the $69,000 Somebeachsomewhere at Mohawk Raceway in wire to wire fashion. He's Watching had gallant efforts in the North America Cup elimination and final at Mohawk where he got caught in late stretch both times, and was in top form last week as a gapped winner in the Meadowlands Pace elimination in a new lifetime mark of 1:48.1. Tim Tetrick followed live cover from the half before tipping He's Watching three deep around Sometimes Said in mid-stretch to clear for the victory. He's Watching is 10 of 13 lifetime with one second and one third. JK Endofanera and He's Watching will leave from post two and three respectively and both come into the race at the top of their game. They are excellent examples of the quality standardbreds being produced each year in New York State to compete with the best in the world. By Tim Bojarski, for the Harness Horse Breeders of NY State     

July 7, 2014 - Handicapper Brandon Valvo joined the Ake Svandstedt Fan Club this week and as a result stretched his lead in HANA Harness' Grand Circuit Handicapping Shoot-Out Contest sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, DRF Harness, Meadowlands Racing & Gaming, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs by showing a weekly net profit of $810 (overall net profit of $2,309.50) and increasing his lead over second place Mark McKelvie by over 200% to lead by $1,641,50, Following closely behind was Ray Garnett, whose weekly net profit of $673.50 propelled him from 5th to 3rd place. The two handicappers led a group of six handicappers who showed a positive return for the week. After sixteen legs of the contest, only a quartet of handicappers is showing a positive return to date. Valvo managed to earn his weekly profit with a $50 WPS (total of $150) ticket on Your So Vain which earned the astute handicapper a $665 dividend. In addition, Valvo played a $10 Exacta 3-horse box ($60) which coupled Your So Vain with Bee A Magician to return $355. As for Garnett, his success for the week can be attributed to a $2 Trifecta box of five horses ($120) which returned $735.80 and a four horse $5 Exacta box ($60) which paid $177.50. Other handicappers with key plays were Gordon Waterstone whose $10 Exacta Wheel of Your So Vain ($130) returned a generous $355 and Bob Zanakis, whose $35 Win, Place ticket paid $399. As of July 5, 2014 - Leg 16 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind 1st Brandon Valvo $810.00 $2,309.50   2nd Mark McKelvie ($250.00) $668.00 $1,641.50 3rd Ray Garnett $673.30 $509.35 $1,800.15 4th Derick Giwner $73.60 $395.17 $1,914.33 5th Bob Zanakis $149.00 ($69.50) $2,379.00 6th Earl Paulson ($150.00) ($118.50) $2,428.00 7th Brian McEvoy $75.00 ($217.50) $2,527.00 8th Gordon Waterstone $118.00 ($555.90) $2,865.40 9th Sally Hinckley ($180.00) ($573.00) $2,882.50 10th Josi Verlingieri ($244.00) ($983.75) $3,293.25 11th Dennis O'Hara ($246.00) ($1,488.20) $3,797.70 12th Garnet Barnsdale ($250.00) ($1,588.00) $3,897.50 13th Ann Stepien ($250.00) ($1,709.00) $4,018.50 14th Rusty Nash ($240.00) ($1,872.40) $4,181.90 15th Ray Cotolo ($250.00) ($3,101.40) $5,410.90      The Grand Circuit Shoot-Out kicks into overdrive this Saturday, July 12 at Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment with the running of the $776,000 Meadowlands Pace (3yo Open pace), $212,150 Mistletoe Shalee (3yo filly pace), $312,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial (3yo Open trot), $211,000 Del Miller Memorial Trot (3yo filly trot), $463,300 William R. Haughton Memorial FFA (pace), $183,450 Golden Girls (FFA Mares pace), and potentially the $50,000 TVG FFA Trot if the race goes. By Allan Schott

ANDERSON, Ind.-July 5, 2014 - Hoosier Park Racing & Casino highlighted their 21st season of live harness racing with a stakes filled card on Saturday, July 5. Four new Indiana Sires Stakes champions were crowned on the evening that featured the first of five rounds of $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals for the freshman competitors and the second round of the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals for the three-year-old divisions. It was Hoosier Park's leading driver, Trace Tetrick, who stole the show with five winners on the evening's 14-race card, four of which came in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals. In the opening division of the two-year-old stakes action, Crunchess Finale and Darrel Wright continued their winning ways to score their third consecutive victory in the $75,000 two-year-old trotting filly final with a 1:58 final time. Using the same front-running tactics as she has in her previous two starts, Crunchess Finale looked every bit the part of an 8-5 favorite and left alertly from post eight. The freshman filly easily secured the lead and clicked off fractions of :28.3, 1:00, and 1:28.2 before finding another gear. As the field turned for home, the daughter of ABC Garland-Crunchess looked poised on the front and began to trot away from the rest of the field. Using a :28.4 final quarter, Crunchess Finale coasted on to the wire to finish five lengths in front of Golden Big Stick and Brad Hanners. Heavily backed at the window, Crunchess Finale returned $5.40 to her backers. The 1:58 victory was a lifetime best mark for the Dan O'Mara trainee who remains undefeated this season. Owned by Joseph Hess, Crunchess Finale has now earned $50,500 from three lifetime outings. In the very next race, Stickem Buck, driven by Ed Hensley, staged a big rally late in the lane to score his maiden breaking win in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for two-year-old trotting colts in 1:58.2. After a miscue at the start by the heavily favored, Airman Batten the race appeared to be a wide open affair. Flashy Cantab and Trace Tetrick left aggressively to set first half fractions of :29.2 and :59.2 before making a costly break around the final turn. Swan on One and Dave Magee inherited the lead after the break by the front-runner and appeared to be up to the task but Stickem Buck loomed large in the background. Under urging from Hensley, Stickem Buck was able to track down Swan On One in the final strides of the mile to win by a nose. Slightly dismissed at the windows, Stickem Buck returned $12.60 at to his backers. From the first crop of Big Stick Lindy, Stickem Buck is trained by Roger Welch and owned by William C. Delong and William P. Delong. Stickem Buck has now earned $42,500 from two career starts. On the pacing side of the two-year-old stakes action, Hoosier Park's leading driver Trace Tetrick doubled up in both the two-year-old pacing filly final and two-year-old pacing colt final. First, Tetrick guided Flight Cancelled to her second consecutive win as a freshman in the $75,000 pacing filly final with a final time of 1:55. Leaving from the trailing post ten, Flight Cancelled was eased off the gate and settled along the rail in fifth while HeyHey Mahanah and Peter Wrenn carved out first-half fractions of :28.4 and :57.4. Approaching the final turn, Tetrick gave his mount the green light and she reached the leader's wheel at the third station in 1:26. As the field turned for home, the top pair was neck and neck but Flight Cancelled wasn't finished. Using a :28.3 final panel, Flight Cancelled was able to wear down HeyHey Mahanah late in the lane to grind out the victory. As the betting publics' second choice, Flight Cancelled returned $13.00 for the victory. Trained by Steve Carter, Flight Cancelled remains undefeated at two for owners Steve and Tammy Carter. The daughter of Panspacificflight-Goa BB now sports a career bankroll of $37,500 from two lifetime outings. Just a few races later, Tetrick continued his winning ways and scored with Tom Simmon's Kelly D in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for two-year-old pacing colts in 1:52.4. Kelly D remains undefeated at two and equaled the national's season mark for two-year-old pacing colts with the win. Kelly D left aggressively from post two to get the first call in :27.4 but quickly yielded the lead to Harfo Hanover and Ed Hensley. Harfo Hanover led the way through the middle splits of :56.3 and 1:25.2 before feeling pressure on the outside from Camturo Rock and Dave Magee. Harfo Hanover was able to put away Camturo Rock and dug in gamely down the lane but could not hold off Kelly D who exploded from the pocket. With a final quarter in :27, Kelly D finished two lengths in front of the hard-charging Toni's Affection and Sam Widger. As the publics' third choice, Kelly D returned $7.40 at the betting windows. The homebred son of Panspacificflight-U Olive is owned by Larry Breed and has won all three of his lifetime outings. Kelly D now sports a career bankroll of $51,525. Tetrick also scored with Brian Brown's Color's A Virgin in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old pacing fillies and Scott Galloway's Double A Cash Hall in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old trotting colts. His first win of the night came in the $25,000 consolation for two-year-old pacing fillies with Do U Mind for trainer Brian Brown. Live racing continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, July 8 with a 14-race card. Live racing will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule with a daily post time of 5:15 p.m. The 160-day, all harness racing meet will be conducted through November 15. Emily Gaskin Racing Commentator, Publicist and Marketing Specialist

MANALAPAN, NJ - July 1, 2014 - John McDermott, Jennifer Lauer and Maja Bown have been selected to receive the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey Scholarships for 2014. Each will receive $2,500 and will be honored in winner's circle ceremonies at the Meadowlands. John McDermott of Lyndhurst, NJ is the son of John and Nancy McDermott and was a 2013 SBOANJ Scholarship recipient. The Bergen County Academies graduate recently completed his first year at the University of Florida in Gainesville where he is pursuing a bachelors in science degree in business administration. The Dean's List student has spent his summers grooming horses for his father's stable, has volunteered for the Harness Horse Youth Foundation and worked to clean up fallen trees in Rockaway, NJ after Super Storm Sandy. Jennifer Lauer of Hightstown, NJ was a four-year honor roll student and captain of the Hightstown swim team and is currently competing on the college level. The daughter of trainer Bruce Lauer of Cranbury and horsemen's bookkeeper Marie Lauer of Hightstown has a twin sister named Stephanie. Lauer attends East Stroudsburg University which she has received the student athlete award for her grades and participation in intercollegiate sports. Her goal is to become a veterinarian and work with wild animals at Six Flags Wild Safari Park. Maja Bown, a graduate of West Orange High School, will be attending the University of New Hampshire in the fall. She plans to combine her interest in science and nutrition with a major in dietetics. Bown, who has an older sister, Jessica, lost both of her parents in 2007. Horse trainer John Bown passed away in January and his wife, Nancy, who also worked with the stable, passed away in July. Donna and Jim Marshall stepped in to help the girls through their difficult loss. Maja assists the Marshall Stable on weekends and summers. "Being close to the horses brings me great comfort," she said. All three honorees will receive checks and plaques at an evening at the track this summer. by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ

A harness racing pair of Meadowlands Pace contenders earned strong confidence builders Saturday night. First up was Beat The Drum, who showed early speed, caught a bit of a shuffle, moved first over as the 2-1 second choice and just kept on coming to win a non-winners of four event in 1:50.1. Beat The Drum will likely make his next start in a Meadowlands Pace elimination for Bender Sweden Inc and trainer Staffan Lind. Dan Rawlings guided the son of Tell All to his new lifetime mark. Not to be out-done was the Art Official colt Let's Drink On It, who faced seven older rivals in the sixth race B-2 event for $18,000. Moving to the half mile pole, the 4-5 betting choice made the lead through a sharp 54.2 half mile, then paced a 54.1 back half mile to win by over four lengths over the veteran Silent Swing in an extremely sharp, and lifetime best 1:48.3. Currently eighth on The Road to The Meadowlands Pace, Let's Drink On It is owned by Seekman, Bond, Hewitt and Boido Jr, trained by Joe Seekman and was driven to victory by his regular pilot, Tyler Smith, who had a career night, winning five races on the program. It's safe to say that Odds On Equuleus has left his 0 for 15 three year old campaign behind him. Tonight at The Meadowlands, he flashed the turn of foot that caught everyone's attention as a two year old, winning tonight's $30,000 Free-For-All Hanidcap in a lifetime best, 1:48.2. Leaving from post position three and sent off as the 2-1 second choice, Marcus Miller gathered Odds On Equuleus back towards the rear of the field, settling in next to last through an opening quarter of 26.2 and a rapid half-mile of 53.3, established by Aracache Hanover. He awaited the move of Wake Up Peter, who in turn flushed out Dovuto Hanover, positioning Odds On Equuleus third over through three-quarters of 1:21.3 Turning for home it appeared to be anyone's race, with Aracache Hanover grimly holding onto the lead, Dovuto Hanover grinding away first over and Wake Up Peter gathering momentum off cover. But then, seemingly in an instant, Odds On Equuleus appeared widest of all in deep stretch and accelerated dramatically to win going away, pacing the final quarter mile in 26 seconds flat. Wake Up Peter was a very solid second and Dovuto Hanover a game third. The winner is owned by Odds On Racing and trained by Tony Alagna. For the second consecutive night, live handle at The Meadowlands showed slight gains over the previous year, gathering momentum into the strongest month of the meet. Next weekend begins the Championship stretch at The Meadowlands. Friday night features New Jersey Sire Stakes for the two year old trotters, while Saturday night carries the freshmen pacers as well as eliminations for The Meadowlands Pace, Mistletoe Shalee and William Haughton Memorial. Also on the card is the $450,000 est. Hambletonian Maturity for four year old trotters at one mile and one eighth, with a field that could hold up to 16 entrants. The intriguing matchup in that event is that of 2013 Hambletonian winner Royalty For Life pitted against the 2013 Hambletonian Oaks Winner (and Horse of the Year), Bee A Magician. Please note that while the Friday July 4th program will begin at 7:15 P.M., Saturday July 5th will carry a special 6:30 P.M. post time, with fireworks to follow the live racing program. For more information, go to playmeadowlands.com. by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands  

Some Or Lis (Lis Mara-Grabbersome) was the longest shot on the board in the $7,200 feature race at Vernon Downs on Saturday night, but that did not prevent him from storming past the entire field to score an upset harness racing win in 1:51.4.   The early stages of the race featured a speed duel between You Bet Your Glass (Frank Davis) and I Do Hanover (Chris Lems), who was parked on the outside for the majority of the mile. Those two set some fast fractions early on, covering a quarter in 25.4 and a half in 53.4. That early speed ended up being the undoing of the duo, both of whom finished out of the top three. After hitting three quarters of a mile in 1:22.4, You Bet Your Glass and I Do Hanover faded in the stretch and Some Or Lis (Claude Huckabone III) came all the way from last in the field of six at the top of the stretch to win at 20-1.   The second-longest shot in the field, The Green Knight (John Macdonald) at 14-1, finished second. The exacta ended up paying $240 with the two longshots comprising it. Buckeye Baddler (Truman Gale) sat behind the early speed battle in third position and started to rally through on the inside in the stretch as the leaders fell back, but the closers also passed him by and he had to settle for third.   The complete order of finish was: Some Or Lis, The Green Knight, Buckeye Baddler, I Do Hanover, You Bet Your Glass, and Stonebridge Master. Some Or Lis is owned by Richard Dow of Holland Patent, New York and trained by Stephen Marsh.   The driving star of the night was John Macdonald who scored three victories and three seconds on the 11-race program. He was a winner with Bandini in the 1st race, MacKenzie's Bliss in the 7th race, and That's Ideal in the 9th race. He was second with The Green Knight in the 2nd race, Beignet in the 8th race, and Tactical Attack in the 11th race.   No live racing on Thursday with a concert being held by Jerrod Niemann and Love & Theft. The concert benefits The Food Bank of Central New York. Tickets are available for $15 and the Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment, Jeff Gural, will be personally donating $10 for every ticket sold to the Food Bank of Central New York with a goal of raising $100,000 to benefit the Food Bank.   Live racing will resume at Vernon Downs on Friday, July 4 with a 6:45pm post time. The Friday program will feature the first leg of the Racing Under Saddle Series. There will be a special July 4th Fireworks Display following the conclusion of the live racing program.   by Michael Chamberlain, Vernon Downs Publicity    

MANALAPAN, NJ - June 27, 2014 - French Laundry took the rest of the field to the cleaners, coasting to a five and three-quarter length victory in the $39,000 opening round of the New Jersey Sires Stakes for two-year-old harness racing trotting colts and geldings, the first race on Friday, June 27, 2014 at the Meadowlands. The Muscles Yankee colt, out of the Hambletonian Oaks winner Creamy Mimi, trotted the mile in 1:56 flat, equaling the stakes record set by Yankee Glide in 1996. The 3-5 favorite, under a confident hand-drive by Yannick Gingras, won his pari-mutuel debut, paying $3.20, following up on a two-for-two record in baby races. The Jimmy Takter trainee was a $115,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase by Christina Takter of East Windsor, NJ and Ontario-based John Fielding, Jim Fielding, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. In the battle for second, True Blue [Muscle Hill], with Tim Tetrick driving, got up and Broken Record [Muscles Yankee], with Ron Pierce, held on for third by nine lengths. Saturday Mornings, driven by David Miller, collected top money in the $38,500 New Jersey Sire Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies in the fifth race. It was a wire-to-wire effort for 6/5 Saturday Mornings [$4.40] who trotted the mile in 1:57.2, finishing a length and three-quarters ahead of Demons N Diamonds. Southwind Cartier was third by two and three-quarter lengths. Trained by Joe Holloway, Saturday Mornings was a $32,000 Lexington Selected Sale yearling purchase for Bluestone Farms of Hopewell, NJ. Mission Brief, the 4/5 favorite broke early and finished last. All seven of the starters were daughters of Muscle Hill NJSS PACING DIVISIONS TO STACIA HANOVER, DEALT A WINNER, CASHAWAY & WEAPONS DEALER Stacia Hanover by Western Ideal popped out of the pocket in the stretch and out-sprinted the pacesetter The Show Returns for a half- length victory in the $25,500 first division of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for two-year-old pacing fillies in the third race. Driven by Scott Zeron and trained by Steve Elliott, Stacia Hanover paced the mile in 1:59.1, with a last quarter in 25.4 seconds, after The Show Returns [Rocknroll Hanover], with Brian Sears driving, cut slow, unpressured fractions. Rocknroll Allnight [Rocknroll Hanover], rough in the stretch, survived an inquiry, finishing third by nine lengths. Stacia Hanover, sent off at 3-5, paid $3.20. She was a $35,000 Harrisburg Sale purchase for David Van Duse of Madison, OH and Michael Cimaglio of Lyndhurst, OH. In the second $25,500 filly pacing division, the 11th race, 3-5 Cashaway [$3.40] held off challenges from Ideal Nuggets [Western Ideal] and Smart Zone [Rocknroll Hanover] to win in 1:55 flat. Tim Tetrick guided Cashaway, a daughter of Western Ideal out of the proven producer CPA, to the neck victory with a half-length to Smart Zone in third. The Tony Alagna trainee was a $105,000 Lexington Selected Sale purchase. She is owned by her co-breeder, Brittany Farms of Versailles, KY, in partnership with Marvin Katz of Toronto, Ontario. Dealt A Winner [$8.20} paced a New Jersey Sire Stakes record for two-year-old geldings when he stopped the clock in 1:52.4 in the ninth race, the $27,000 first division for pacing colts and geldings. David Miller brushed the Cam's Card Shark gelding from sixth to the lead down the backstretch, taking command from Western Pioneer, the 4/5 favorite, and would not be caught, winning by a length and a quarter. Hurrikane Ali gained ground in the stretch to finish second while Ticket To Roll was three and a half lengths back in third. Both are sons of Rocknroll Hanover. Dealt A Winner, trained by Edward Hart and owned by Jeff Snyder of New York City, was a $35,000 Harrisburg Sale yearling purchase. The 1:52.4 mile eclipsed the gelding mark of 1:53 shared by Fancy Creek Storm [1997] and Western Ace [2005]. In the 12th race, the $27,000 second division for pacing colts and geldings, Weapons Dealer by Western Ideal had the ammunition in the stretch to post a length and a half victory over Too Darn Hot [Rocknroll Hanover] in 1:54.2. Mr Censi [Cam's Card Shark] was four and a half lengths back in third. Brett Miller was in the sulky for the victory. Isaac Waxman trains for Brenda Waxman of Dundas, Ontario and Aaron Waxman of Burlington, Ontario, who acquired the White Birch Farm-bred colt for $10,000 at the Harrisburg Sale. By Carol Hodes, SBOANJ and Darin Zoccali  

July 27, 2014~Chicago, Illinois...Alexander Scurto, 18, has been awarded the 2014 Harness Horsemen International $4,000 Jerome L. Hauck Scholarship.   Alexander is the son of Joe and Tracey Scurto of Naperville, Illinois.   In addition to the Hauck Scholarship, Alexander received a Presidential Scholarship which will pay his tuition to Illinois' College of DuPage, where he plans on majoring in Environmental Science and Engineering in the fall of 2014.   "I have been fortunate enough to have the same interest and career goals ever since I began my journey in high school," Alexander offered. "Every class I have taken since my freshman year has pointed me down a single path through which I found a career that I would love, and that path has been toward environmental science."   An Illinois State Scholar for the past two years, Alexander has been on the Honor Roll during his final seven semesters at Naperville North High School and has been a member of the National Honor Society throughout his junior and senior years, when he sported a 4.2 grade point average. Alex is also co-owner in the 4-year-old Real Artist gelding Plenty Of Spunk, currently racing in Chicago. He owns the gelding in partnership with his father Joe.   Besides harness racing, Alexander's other passion is soccer, a sport at which he has excelled. He has been a member of the Naperville North High School Soccer team from his freshman through his senior years, and was awarded the Junior Varsity Sportsmanship Award in 2013 and the Varsity Most Improved Player Award for 2014.   Alexander has been involved with community activities, serving as a lifeguard at the Huntington Estates Bath & Tennis Club since 2011, and has taught swimming lessons since 2010. As well, he helped out at the West Suburban Community Pantry from 2010 to 2011 and worked with the Feed My Starving Children organization this past February.   Harness Horsemen International is delighted to present this scholarship to such a deserving candidate as Alexander Scurto.   by Kimberly A. Rinker, for HHI    

It was poetic that Lex Crosby's two year old filly Read About Lexy drew barrier eight in Sunday's Breeders Challenge Final at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The daughter of Sportswriter is from a family that is now into its eighth generation with the Crosby's and a win on the weekend would be a very emotional one considering the history attached to the breed. "It would be a big day for the whole family if Read About Lexy could win on Sunday afternoon. My father started it all back in 1955 when he bought Winsome Like in foal to Conflagrate and the resultant foal was Rapid Flow," Crosby said. "Rapid Flow fell over at a Fairfield gymkhana with my brother Russell driving and neither of them ever competed again but Dad continued to breed from the family." After the passing of Crosby's parents he made the decision to continue breeding from the mares within the family. "Rapid Flow produced Flowing In and she in turn had Big Sister and after both Mum and Dad had passed away I told the family that I wanted to keep Big Sister and continue the family which I have done." "Big Sister produced Aunty Alice, then Lexy Lobell came along, she had Lexys Laughing and she is the mother of Read About Lexy." When Crosby was born he was the youngest of ten and there are plenty of his family members that will be interested in Sunday's result. "Read About Lexy will have a cheer squad of about ten people trackside on Sunday afternoon but there will be a much bigger contingent tuning into watch or listen to her race because of the family connection." Crosby is the President of the popular country harness racing club at Eugowra and also trains thoroughbreds. After growing up in Sydney, Crosby made the move to Cowra in 1974 and has enjoyed the country lifestyle since. By Greg Hayes (Harness Racing NSW)  

June 22, 2014 - A trio of handicappers highlighted this weekend's action in HANA Harness' Grand Circuit Handicapping Shoot-Out Contest sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, DRF Harness, Meadowlands Racing & Gaming, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs thanks to the appearance of Sebastian K in the TVG FFA Series by earning triple digit gains for the week. Meanwhile, Mark McKelvie took on a $200 loss to back up towards the field as the leader now has a slim $14.50 lead over second place handicapper Brandon Valvo. The trio, which had the best performance of the fifteen handicappers, was Ray Garnett, profit of $247.50; Gordon Waterstone, $150; Bob Zanakis, $125. Three additional handicappers showed smaller profits for the week. Friday night's big winners were Ray Garnett's $50 exacta partial wheel of three horses ($150 cost) which paid $375; Rusty Nash's 4 horses $20 partial exacta wheel ($80) paying $150; Ann Stepien's $75 win ticket paying $120; Gordon Waterstone's $250 win wager paying $400; Bob Zanakis' $50 two horse exacta partial wheel ($100) paying $375. Standings as of June 20, 2014 - Leg 14 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind 1st Mark McKelvie ($200.00) $1,318.00   2nd Brandon Valvo $0.00 $1,303.50 $14.50 3rd Derick Giwner ($24.43) $710.57 $607.43 4th Bob Zanakis $125.00 $65.50 $1,252.50 5th Earl Paulson ($150.00) ($80.50) $1,398.50 6th Brian McEvoy $12.50 ($302.50) $1,620.50 7th Ray Garnett $247.50 ($360.95) $1,678.95 8th Josi Verlingieri ($85.30) ($518.75) $1,836.75 9th Sally Hinckley $0.00 ($689.80) $2,007.80 10th Gordon Waterstone $150.00 ($703.20) $2,021.20 11th Dennis O'Hara ($240.00) ($1,177.60) $2,495.60 12th Ann Stepien $69.20 ($1,258.90) $2,576.90 13th Garnet Barnsdale ($250.00) ($1,538.00) $2,856.00 14th Rusty Nash $50.00 ($1,592.40) $2,910.40 15th Ray Cotolo ($250.00) ($2,722.00) $4,040.00   This week, the handicapping Shoot-Out moves to Pocono Downs for Saturday’s stakes-laden card including the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial (3yo Open Pace), $300,000 James M Lynch Memorial (3yo Filly Pace), $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial (3yo Open Trot) and $500,000 Ben Franklin (FFA Pace) in addition to any possible consolations which may be carded.  For further information regarding the Handicapping Shoot-Out, you may visit the contest website http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com. Allan Schott HANA Harness Coordinator allan@hanaweb.org Visit our blog at HANA Harness Blog. Keep up with the latest HANA Harness Handicapping Contest.

Columbus, OH --- The Harness Racing Social Media Initiative, sponsored by the United States Trotting Association and key partners, today announced a new "30 out of 30" Grand Circuit Challenge, which provides fans the opportunity to win a $1 million prize if they can pick the winners of 30 designated top races during this year's racing season. Entrants can enter the contest immediately at www.harnessracingambassadors.com where they will find specific details of the contest, rules and access information about each race. Sign-up generally takes less than five minutes. The first race will be the Meadowlands Pace on July 12. The contest features key Grand Circuit races, including the Hambletonian, Little Brown Jug and Breeders Crown at leading tracks in North America, including Mohawk, The Meadows, The Meadowlands, Hoosier Park, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs, Northfield Park, Saratoga, Delaware (OH), The Red Mile, Scioto Downs, Balmoral Park, Dover Downs, Yonkers and Maywood Park. A full list and schedule is available at www.harnessracingambassadors.com/million_dollar_challenge. The hashtag, #Harnessracing1m, has been created for sharing. "This contest is designed in the spirit of one of harness racing's most treasured traditions, the Grand Circuit," said John Campbell, president of the Grand Circuit. "The Grand Circuit has always been a traveling roadshow to success and riches for horsemen and horses alike," added Campbell. "This contest now allows fans to come along and participate, while having the chance to become a millionaire in the process." For those who miss a race and don't qualify for the $1 million grand prize, there are $10,000, $5,000 and $2,500 second, third and fourth prizes available for those who choose the most correctly. Each week, entries will be posted online to give fans the opportunity to pick the winners in advance of each race. A leaderboard will help all entrants track their progress so that they can play along throughout the racing season. Fans can also participate in the optional Harness Racing Ambassador program, to connect with other fans, earn rewards and share their experiences through social media. All sign-ups for the $1 million prize must be received before noon on July 12, 2014 and are limited to one per person. About the Harness Racing Social Media Initiative Launched in September 2013, the Harness Racing Social Media Initiative is a partnership among the U. S. Trotting Association, the social media consultancy, Converseon, and key industry groups to help drive marketing innovation and engagement with current and new fans for the sport. The initiative's mission is to help support key racetracks, industry groups and help provide foundational support and a common, "best practice" framework by leveraging social technologies and platforms and strategies to positively brand the sport of harness racing and generate greater awareness, visibility and engagement with a new generation of fans. Other active promotions include the 100 Top Moments in Harness Racing Contest (http://harnessracingfanzone.com/promotions/top100moments). Key foundational elements of the initiative to date include the Harness Racing Ambassador Program and the www.HarnessRacingFanZone.com. from USTA Communications Department  

LATHAM, N.Y. A seminar for new and prospective harness racing owners sponsored by the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund and hosted by Harness Horse Breeders of New York State will be held at Saratoga Casino and Raceway in Saratoga Springs, New York. This seminar will provide valuable information for prospective or rookie owners and focus on all aspects of horse ownership. The seminar is scheduled for Saturday July 12th, 2014 at Saratoga Casino and Raceway The seminar will start at 1:30 p.m. and include a meal and live racing. It will cover the rewards and risks of horse ownership, actual costs, choosing young horses or claimers and how to choose a trainer. Participants will have the opportunity to tour the racing facility and meet the Race Secretary and the Presiding Judge. They will also visit a trainer's stable and talk with owners. Tuition is $20 per person or $30 per couple and includes the seminar, materials, dinner, live racing, a pathways certificate, membership to HHBNYS and follow-up services. The seminar requires advance registration no later than July 9th. For more information or to register for the seminar, please call Harness Horse Breeders at 518-785-5858 or e-mail info@hhbnys.com. by Betty Holt, for the NYSS

LEXINGTON, KY - Lexington, KY - RCI President Ed Martin called the news that the United States Trotting Association (USTA) will fund research into cobalt and help the New York drug testing program gain access to equipment currently in use elsewhere by racing's leading testing labs a "positive, proactive development that underscores the ongoing efforts of the racing industry and its regulator labs to counter efforts to cheat". A number of racing states have already been testing for cobalt, both in and out of competition, using advanced ICP-MS instrumentation. (ICP-MS is the acronym for Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer). Such instrumentation is commonly found in toxicology and veterinary diagnostic laboratories to detect metal poisoning in livestock (e.g., lead in cattle). Recent concerns about possible attempts to administer cobalt to affect performance have prompted several regulatory jurisdictions to quietly commence efforts in this area. Commissions have been collecting samples for months. A research project being conducted by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium is scheduled for completion this summer to determine an appropriate threshold for cobalt. Cobalt is a naturally occurring substance in the bodies of all mammals as well as being found in the environment. "The challenge is to determine what is an appropriate and normal level and the point in which it can be proven that cobalt levels had been deliberately manipulated in an attempt to affect performance," said Martin. Martin noted that deliberate administrations of cobalt could potentially harm a horse, if used in excess. In 2009, the Ontario Racing Commission issued the following notice: "The Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) advises horsepeople to be very cautious with the administration of the substance cobalt sulphate to their horses. This mineral element is a water-soluble cobalt salt with a variety of industrial and agricultural uses, including being used as an ingredient in feed and mineral supplements. "Used in safe and appropriate formulations, the substance is known to have certain blood building qualities. However, speculation about 'performance enhancing' qualities are doubtful." The ORC's then Veterinarian Supervisor, Dr. Bruce Duncan, noted that "when administered in appropriate quantities, there is likely very little performance benefit. And when used in excess, this element can be toxic to horses." Cobalt is a constituent of vitamin B-12, and as a result, there is no recommended dietary allowance for it. Cobalt is one of the microminerals important for blood cell formation. The microbes in a horse's digestive system, particularly the large intestine, use the cobalt from a normal diet to incorporate it into Vitamin B-12. This vitamin is then used in conjunction with iron and copper in the formation and maintenance of blood cells. Although the USTA funded Maylin-McKeever-Malinowski research project may appear redundant to the effort currently underway by the RMTC, RCI's Martin said that "the more data is developed, our efforts to analyze the science and develop sound policies is enhanced." by Steve May for RCI

Delaware, OH --- It is no secret that leading driver Tim Tetrick has an impressive resume of accomplishments, including most recently setting two world records on May 25. Recently, Tetrick embarked into social media by launching a brand new website allowing fans a closer look into the day-to-day life of a leading catch driver. TetrickRacing.com offers a place for viewers to see his daily racing roster, including horses and tracks he will be competing at, as well as videos and photos of career defining moments. Within the past eight months, the harness racing industry set an initiative to promote the sport through social media, so having a well done website made sense to Tetrick. “I love harness racing and want to promote it the best way I can, to as many people as possible, and this is a great way to do it,” Tetrick said. The well thought out design, colorful photos capturing races won and history made paint a beautiful background and content to the interactive site. In addition, Tetrick’s biography, family, milestones, upcoming races, and causes are creatively laid out. Visit www.TetrickRacing.com to view the new website and stay connected with Tetrick Racing on Facebook and Twitter for the most up to date news. “My hope is that both old and new fans can learn more about what I do, the sport, horses I drive, and can gain more insight as the Grand Circuit racing season approaches,” Tetrick said. by Winnie Morgan Nemeth, for New Vocations

JK Endofanera solidified his spot atop the Road to The Meadowlands Pace, with another impressive win, this time in the Somebeachsomewhere at Mohawk. He has been perfect so far this harness racing season and the top spot is now his to lose. He headlines one of three North America Cup Eliminations Saturday at Mohawk. Meanwhile, He's Watching made a statement that his performance at Yonkers was nothing more than a aberration as he dominated his Somebeachsomewhere division at Mohawk as well. He moved right back toward the top of the leader board, now listed at No. 2 on this week's Road to the Pace. The biggest mover in the top-10 was Always B Miki, who appears to be getting better and better. He was a solid winner at Mohawk as well Saturday and moved up five spots from No. 9 to No. 4. Doo Wop Hanover makes his first appearance in the top-10 at No. 9 following his New Jersey Sire Stakes win over No. 3 ranked Western Vintage. Somestarsomewhere dropped to the bottom of the top-10 following a disappointing effort at Mohawk and now has to hold off the red-hot Lyonssomewhere who has looked like a serious contender in his last two wins at The Meadowlands and has moved up to No. 11. That's My Opinion has fallen out of the top-10 after making a break in the Somebeachsomewhere. He will skip The North America Cup this week and point to The Meadowlands Pace. The week 9 edition of the Road to the Meadowlands Pace can be found here. Darin Zoccali    

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