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FORT WASHINGTON, MD - A new year of Standardbred racing begins Sunday evening here in Maryland when Rosecroft opens its Winter-Spring Meet of harness racing with a 14-race program. The 37-day meet will feature live racing Sunday and Wednesday. There will be additional live programs on Monday, April 5 and Saturday, May 15. First race post is 7:15 p.m. In response to current state COVID-19 health and safety protocols, the Maryland Jockey Club at Rosecroft is temporarily closed to the public. Fans can watch and wager on Rosecroft at 1stbet.com and xpressbet.com. Jonathan Roberts had the most wins at Rosecroft last year with 70, 11 ahead of John Wagner and 12 more than Frank Milby. Arlene Cameron led all trainers with 55 victories. Megan Roberts was next with 24 followed by Brian Callahan, Shaun Callahan and Trevor Stafford with 20 each. The opening night program includes a $9,000 pace, Maryland preferred. Starship goes for his third consecutive victory and fourth in his last five starts with Roberts in the bike.   Rosecroft

Allmyx’sliventexas, unbeaten in his four trips to the harness racing post at this stand, eyes another snapshot in Sunday evening’s featured $6,200 Open Pace. A 12-race Watch and Wager LLC card is on tap with first post set for 4:55 p.m. and the headliner occupying the eighth race slot. An 8-year-old son of Hi Ho Silverheel’s out of the Distinguisedbaron mare Annie Get Your Gun, Allmyx’sliventexas races for Wayne and Rod Knittel with Bob Johnson the conditioner and Jake Cutting at the controls. For his exploits, Allmyx’sliventexas has been assigned the No. 10 position in the field of seven. He comes into this assignment with 43 wins from his 137 appearances, $248,000 in his bank account and a 1:50 mark that was established at Hoosier Park three years ago. In his first three scores at this meet, Allmyx’sliventexas was handled by Nick Roland, including his victory in the Dave Goldschmidt Pace, while his most recent score saw Jacob Cutting at the controls. Allmyx’sliventexas has been putting his class and versatility on display here, capturing the Goldschmidt on the front end and coming from well back to get the job done by nearly four lengths from well off the pace in his most recent tally. Taking him on this weekend are stablemate Proof, who will be guided by Nick Roland; Hoo Nien for Gerry Longo; Royale Big Guy with Mooney Svendsen; Ponda’s Prospect for Luke Plano; Buddy’s Hope and Intrigued Again, who leaves from the rail with Anthony Kerwood.   Mandeville, Longo join forces for success Mandeville put his class on display last weekend when he got away from arch-rival Silverhill Volo and proved a punctual 4-5 favorite in a conditioned event. The 9-year-old trotter by Majestic Son is owned, trained and was driven by Gerry Longo, who is still going strong at 75 years young, and they make a great team. “I bought the horse in the fall of 2019 when I saw him racing in Kentucky,” Longo related. “What impressed me was that he could be tough on the front end or from behind and he was coming home in :27 and change.” Mandeville recorded eight victories from his 21 starts last season for Longo, including a l:54 lifetime mark over the five-eighths Running Aces oval during the summer. His win her last week was No. 31 from 142 starts and he currently has $270,000 in his bank account. “I’ve loved this horse ever since I got him,” his mentor said. “He was still a little short when he first raced at this meet, but I’ve been training him harder lately and that last start showed what can do.” Gerry was asked if the veteran sidewheeler has a preference when it comes to the size of the track, having raced over so many in his career. “He doesn’t care if it’s a half-mile, five-eighths or a mile like Cal Expo, he’s versatile enough to adjust to the track and any way the race comes up.”   By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

Grove City, Ohio - Pass The Vape hit the board in half of his starts, winning eight times, as he is named the 2020 Ohio Aged Trotter of the Year. Pass The Vape, son of Dejarmbro out of Vapor Rises, started 24 races for harness rascing trainer Derek Watiker and his father, the owner, Lionel Watiker. Pass The Vape earned $109,642 in 2020. Pass The Vape scored his biggest win of the year in the $85,000 Ohio Sires Stakes Aged Trotting Championship at Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway. "It's nice having a homebred perform so well," said Derek Watiker. "He shows up every week and I'll take a full barn of racehorses that show up every week." Pass The Vape will be honored during the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association's virtual award show on January 16, 2021. The awards show is scheduled to air on the OHHA YouTube channel at 7:00 PM. For more information:   Frank Fraas ffraas@ohha.com 614-221-3650

When a yearling is sold for $350,000 anywhere in the Harness Racing World , you can be sure it will tick all the boxes in relation to Conformation and Pedigree. Well at Harrisburg in late 2018 a colt named Capt Midnight found himself in a bidding duel and when the hammer dropped he was off to join the powerful Tony Alagna barn in New Jersey. Tony of course had trained his sire Captaintreacherous to a $3.148 million career, whilst the Dam of this powerful and stunning colt, It Was Fascination, compiled a record of 1.51.2 and $317,222 in prizemoney. The fact that the first foal of the Dam, Captain Trevor was showing some extreme juvenile speed also helped the Breeder to his big payday. Captain Trevor in fact won six of his nine starts as a 2 year old and joined that elite group of freshman pacers to take a sub 1.50 record - 1.49.2. Capt Midnight was a readymade two year old evidenced by the fact he powered home his last quarter in 25.2 in his debut race at The Meadowlands in July 2019. He certainly was the dominant 2 year old in North America for the first half of the 2019 season with victories in the Dream Maker Series Final [in 1.49.4] , the Champlain Stakes, the Nassagaweya Stakes and an Elimination of the rich Metro Stakes - all at Woodbine Mohawk Park in Ontario. 2019 Dream Maker Stakes Final: Woodbine, Mohawk Park, August 12, 2019 - Race 3 His reinsman Andrew McCarthy was most impressed with his ability after his win the Elimination of the Metro Stakes. Metro Elimination "I rank him probably on top of all the 2 year old's I've ever driven. Once you ask him to go he gives you goose bumps." The racecaller that night described that easy win - "He's a beast, He's a weapon" will Andy McCarthy ever cut him loose." Capt Midnight is now being retired to Stud duty with a two season resume of - 25 starts, 8 wins, 7 placings and prizemoney of Can$662,286 or US$551,567. Highlights of that career included ; ## Wins at two in the Nassagaweya Stks , Champlain Stks , Dream Maker Series , International Stallion Stks [Red Mile] and an Elimination of the Metro Stks. ## The leading Stakes winning 2 year old son of Captaintreacherous in 2019. ## Paced in sub 1.48 on three occasions as a 3 year old. ## Paced 14 of his 15 starts as a 3 year old in 1.49.4 or faster. His other start was in a Heat of the Little Brown Jug when he was timed in 1.50.1 on the half mile track. Bred on a Golden Cross. Capt Midnight is from the second crop of sensational sire Captaintreacherous and is the second foal of the Stakes winning American Ideal mare It Was Fascination 1.51.2 $317,222. Captaintreacherous has been a revelation since retiring to Stud in 2015. From his 330 foals of racing age he has sired 217 winners [to 23rd Dec 2020] including an unbelievable 30 in 1.50 and 170 in 1.55. His 270 starters have averaged in excess of $100,000 per starter. It Was Fascination counted a victory in a New York Sires Stakes Final [3 year old Fillies] amongst her 6 wins and $317,222 in prizemoney. She now has a unique record of being the only Broodmare in History to produce two sub 1.50 Two Year Olds [from her first two foals] in Captain Trevor 1.49.2 and Capt Midnight 1.49.4. The cross of Captaintreacherous over the Western Hanover line mares has been a proven recipe for producing " Elite " two and three year old Pacers including; ## Lyons Sentinel 1.49.2 ($1.228 million). ## Tall Drink Hanover 1.48 ($893,532). ## Rocknificent 1.49.1 ($585,040) ## Blue Diamond Eyes 1.51 $546,527 [2yo Filly in 2020] ## Notorious Pink 1.51.2 $276,081 [2yo Filly in 2020]. Capt Midnight is a descendant of the grand Broodmare Romola as is his own sire Captaintreacherous and the sire of his Dam American Ideal. This Family has arguably been the most productive of Families in the Pacing Stud Book for both Stallions and Millionaire racetrack performers. Art Major, Sportswriter, Western Ideal, Life Sign, Whats Next [Leading Australian Sire in the 1990's] and Romeo Hanover and Silent Majority in days of old are further examples, whilst two new exciting Stallions to enter the Breeding Shed in 2021 in Tall Dark Stranger and Bettors Wish are further representatives. In todays World of Harness Racing there is no substitute for extreme speed and Capt Midnight has it bred into him. His sire Captaintreacherous was a 1.47 performer [1.47.1], the sire of his Dam American Ideal was a 1.47 performer [1.47.4] way back in 2005 whilst he also has a double cross [4 X 4] to one of the fastest Pacers in History, Matts Scooter. Capt Midnight on his arrival in Kentucky for fertility testing. Capt Midnight has recently been test bred in Kentucky with outstanding results. He will commence his Breeding career in 2021 based at Premier Acres in Indiana for an introductry fee of $4,000. Contact Dennis Bontrager on (250) 585 4927 Or email premieracres@gmail.com  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Stellenbosch withstood bitter pressure in a dazzling harness racing effort on a rainy Friday night at The Meadowlands, taking the $18,000 featured high-end conditioned pace for fillies and mares in wire-to-wire fashion. Driver Scott Zeron, who raced Stellenbosch from off the pace after drawing outside posts in her previous two outings, fired away from post four in the nine-horse field, grabbing the lead on the first turn before hitting the quarter in :26.4. There was no spot for Callmequeenbee A, who left from post eight, and that one had to rough it uncovered on the rim. She engaged Stellenbosch in a cut-throat battle to the half over the track rated 'good' in an eye-popping :53.4. Enter 6-5 favorite Ivana Flybye N, a Woodbine at Mohawk Park shipper that hadn't raced in 26 days, who circled up three-wide around the far turn under a full head of steam on the way to an apparent score as Callmequeenbee A predictably faltered. But Stellenbosch wasn't having it. Zeron and the 2-1 second choice kept to their task as Ivana Flybye N flattened out and went on to a 2½-length win. The pocket-sitting She's Nun Bettor N out-finished Ivana Flybye N in the race for place. "Because I had driven her aggressively in the past," said Zeron. "I knew I could leave with her. We took back with her two weeks in a row and were waiting for the right spot. I definitely didn't think she would be that good for the final half-mile but if she was ever going to be at her best, it was going to be tonight. Everything led up to her putting forth a good effort." Despite the soggy conditions, Stellenbosch, a 7-year-old daughter of Mach Three-Catch A Wish who paid $6.00 to win, lowered her previous lifetime best by one-and-three-fifth seconds, hitting the wire in 1:50.2. The Scott Blackler trainee, who is owned by Millar Farms, now has 14 wins from 102 lifetime starts and earnings of $184,474. A LITTLE MORE: The off-going didn't alter the form as seven favorites scored on the 14-race card. Overall, winner's odds were 3-1 or less for 12 of the races. ... Dexter Dunn and Yannick Gingras led the driver's colony as both won three races on the program. ... Jeff Cullipher and Ron Burke had training doubles. ... All-source handle totaled $2,878,592. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 6 p.m. ... Check out the Dan Patch Awards show on the live Meadowlands feed. It gets underway at 5 p.m. after which Dave Brower will interview a special guest in another edition of "In the Sulky".   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

Harness racing fans, harnesslink community, we have some important and exciting news to share with you. The current iteration of our website is now over ten years old and while it has done it's job incredibly well, the time has come for an upgrade.  Due to a number of technological changes, our current website has started to experience several problems behind the scenes which need to be solved. This has also fortunately given us the chance to review our current design as website design has changed a lot over the last ten years.  Our new website will be coming sometime in the next few weeks and should bring with it a faster, cleaner, more modern design. We know that change is hard but we also hope that you will keep an open mind and enjoy our new look when it is launched. Here's to the next chapter! John and the Harnesslink team Here is a picture of our original Website dated 2002

LEBANON, OH. – Pace Baby Pace, named to mimic Miami Valley handicapper Pacey Mindlin’s signature sign-off slogan, won her first open company race in southwest Ohio on Friday night (Jan. 15).  Driver Chris Page was content to race midpack in the early going, then moved into the outer flow following The Bethinator (Tyler Smith) as the field approached the halfway point of the $22,500 Mares Open.  Swinging three wide for the stretch drive, Pace Baby Pace edged past The Bethinator and then collared frontrunner Miss You N (Jeremy Smith).  The 1:52.4 score was the 13th of the winner’s harness racing career and pushed the 5-year-old daughter of Sweet Lou’s earnings over the $200,000 plateau, much of it coming from wins versus top company at The Meadows. Pace Baby Pace is a homebred owned by Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi.  Finalists were also determined during Friday action for the first two of nine Claim To Fame series currently underway at Miami Valley. Five divisions were necessary in the final preliminary leg for $12,500 claiming male pacers.  Quickest winner was Sprinter N, who won his second straight in the series, this time in 1:52.  Brett Miller drove the winner who paid $7.40.  Other winners were Franzo (Sam Widger, 1:52.3, $3.60), Commentariat (Miller, 1:54.1, $5.40), The Great Buzz N (Trace Tetrick, 1:53.2, $7.80) and Ohio Larry (Kayne Kauffman, 1:54, $32). The nine top money winners in the preliminary legs, who will compete for a $25,000 championship purse next Friday, are (in order of earnings): Sprinter N, Commentariat, Franzo, Ohio Larry, The Great Buzz N, Armabluechipboy N, J M Jet Set, Persistent Threat A and Panoramic View. Two splits for $20,000 claiming mares also went postward with repeat winners in both divisions.  American Cheer (Josh Sutton, 1:52.3, $3.40) and M E Radar Girl (Tetrick, 1:53.2, $10) established themselves as the favorites for the $30,000 final. The championship field will include: American Cheer, M E Radar Girl, Duck Duck Dragon, Malnificent, Part Time Hanover, Juslikeaqueen, American Empress N, D Gs Elsa and I Choose You.   Gregg Keidel

Winbak Farm is proud to announce the arrival of its first 2021 harness racing foal. The colt is sired by The Bank and out of the mare, Clover Market. This is the first known foal of The Bank born in North America. He arrived at 7:00 a.m. on Friday, January 15th. He was born at Winbak Farm of Maryland in Chesapeake City, Maryland. "The colt is doing great and is very handsome," said Garrett Bell, General Manager. "We have been highly anticipating the arrival of foals from The Bank." This is the second foal from Clover Market. She is a daughter Victors Vicky, 1:55f ($712,342). The Bank, 2, 1:53.4; 3, 1:50.4 ($1,214,895), stood in Sweden before moving to Ontario in 2020. He was ranked 6th in 2020 for 3-year-old trotters in Sweden against tough trotting competition like Bold Eagle and Muscle Hill. "We look forward to seeing the rest of The Bank's first North American crop," said Bell. "With his pedigree of international champions, we have high expectations for the racing careers of his offspring." The Bank stands at Winbak Farm of Ontario for $5,000 CAD. For more information on The Bank, please visit www.winbakfarm.com or email Pat Woods at pat.woods@winbakfarm.com. Breeding questions can also be answered by calling 905.838.2145. Winbak Farm encourages foal fans to follow the farm on Facebook. Most of the foals born will be posted on the Winbak Farm Facebook Page and fans will be able to submit name ideas. Winbak Farm has previously used many names submitted by Facebook followers with the belief that it encourages interest in the sport when people can follow horses that they named. Elizabeth Cheesman

WASHINGTON, PA, Jan. 15, 2021 — Showing no ill effects from a layoff of nearly nine weeks. Rainbowinthewest powered to the lead from the rail and won as she pleased in Friday’s harness racing co-feature at The Meadows, a $9,400 Filly & Mare Conditioned Trot. Although Rainbowinthewest could have released a pair of early challengers, trainer/driver Brian Zendt would have none of it. He kept the pedal to the metal and the 6-year-old daughter of Andover Hall-Miss Milwaukee responded, scoring in a sharp 1:54.3. Matterlei finished second, 2-1/2 lengths back, with Impulse Buy third. Brocious Racing  Stable and Lone Wolf Stable campaign the winner, who boosted her career bankroll to $168,120. In Friday’s other co-feature, a $9,400 Filly & Mare Conditioned Pace, Dark Force encountered a surface downgraded to sloppy. But the 6-year-old daughter of Bettor’s Delight-Skinny Dip quarter-poled confidently to the lead and held on late to prevail in 1:53.4 for Tony Hall and trainer Randy Bendis, who co-owns with Pollack Racng LLC. Dave Palone collected four wins and Hall three on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Wednesday when the program features an $8,068.54 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 PM.   By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

Freehold, NJ --- Melady's Monet began his 12-year-old harness racing season on a winning note Friday afternoon, taking the Preferred Handicap trot at Freehold Raceway.   Making his first start since December 11, he was sent off as the 3/1 second choice in the field of eight. In the early stages, he grabbed cover from favored The Veteran, who left to his direct inside. As soon as The Veteran cleared to the front, just before the opening quarter, Eric Abbatiello took the lead with Melady's Monet.   As they rounded the final turn, Melady's Monet continued to hold sway, but The Veteran loomed menacingly from the pocket. Entering the stretch, Dan Dube ripped The Veteran off the pylons and took his crack at the leader. However, he couldn't get by Melady's Monet, who reported home a half-length in front. The final time was 1:57.3.   This was the 68th win in the long and successful career of Melady's Monet, who pushed his earnings to $1,714,278 with this win. Although he's won top races up and down the east coast, this was his first win at Freehold since 2012. He's owned by Melady Enterprises and trained by Hermann Heitmann.   Friday's card also featured the second leg of the Vinny Fusco Jr Memorial Pacing Series. Duck N Roll won the lone split of the first division, for horses with a TrackMaster Horse Rating between 68.00 and 71.50. She rallied wide in the stretch to get up for the 8/1 win, for owner John Foti, trainer Izzy Estrada, and driver Luke Hanners.   The second division, for horses with a TrackMaster Horse Rating between 71.50 and 75.00, was split into two races. Western Showgirl surged from behind to win the first race, for owner Michelle White, trainer Robert Ginsburg Jr, and driver Dan Dube.   Tall Poppy N won the second race, in dominant style. She swept both of the first two legs, and will look for a final win next week. George Brennan had the winning drive, for owner Curtin Anz Stable and trainer Kelvin Harrison.   Live racing continues at Freehold on Saturday, with a 13-race card starting at about 12:30 PM. The card is headlined by the second leg of the Harold Kelly Memorial Pacing Series.     Publicity Freehold Raceway

2021 Stallion Breeding Auction to Benefit the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame has an outstanding list of stallions for this year's breeding auction. The complete list of the 2021 stallions, along with conditions and bidding form has been posted at www.harnessmuseum.com under the Fundraising tab. To date the list of stallions includes Always A Virgin, Andover Hall, Art Director, Artiscape, Artspeak, Betting Line, Boston Red Rocks, Captain Ahab, Credit Winner, Domethatagain, Don't Let'Em, Fool Me Once, Glidemaster, Helpisontheway, Heston Blue Chip, JK Endofanera, Let's Drink On It, Lost In Time, Manningly, Mister Big, My MVP, New Jersey Viking, Possess The Will, Racing Hill, Royal Mattjesty, Somestarsomewhere, So Surreal, Sportswriter, Stevensville, Stormin Normand, Triumphant Caviar, Well Said, Western Vintage, We Will See and World of Rocknroll. We want to thank those of you who have donated breedings. If you have a breeding, or know someone not using a breeding, and want to donate to this important fundraiser please contact Joanne as soon as possible. This list will be updated as additional breedings are donated - please check the Museum website under the Fundraising tab. Bids must be called in (Joanne at 845-294-6330), emailed (development@harnessmuseum.com) or postmarked (Harness Racing Museum, 240 Main St., Goshen NY 10924) by Saturday, February 13, 2021. Any breedings not receiving successful bids may still be available after that date.   Janet Terhune

Grove City, Ohio - The Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association (OHHA) 2020 Virtual Awards Show will air Saturday, January 16, beginning at 7PM. The show can be seen on the OHHA's YouTube Channel https://youtu.be/fvfl_HNH-d8. The awards show will feature Ohio's top equine athletes of 2020 including the announcement of the 2020 Horse of the Year. Other Ohio award winners honored will be the Terry Holton Youth Award, Maynard and Stella Hagemeyer Significant Contribution Award, Ohio Outstanding Groom Award, and the Special -Service to Harness Racing Award. In addition, the United States Harness Writers Association - Ohio Chapter annual awards will also be presented as will the Ohio State Racing Commission's Kaltenbach Awards. For more information:   Frank Fraas ffraas@ohha.com 614-221-3650

Bertha Vanation, fresh from a 25-1 upset at the head of the class over a gutty Brighten Your Life; and Velocity McSweets, who had to settle for third that evening in a blanket finish as the prohibitive favorite, get a rematch in Saturday night’s $6,200 Filly and Mare Open Pace. There will be 13 races presented under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 4:55 p.m. with the main harness racing event scheduled as the second event on the evening. Bertha Vanation is a 6-year-old daughter of Voracious Hanover who races for Cathy Dessert and is reined and trained by Nick Roland. She was able to leave into a perfect pocket trip in that last score and prevailed by a nose over Brighten Your Life, who carved out all the fractions. The latter is a Shark Gesture mare who led every step but the last and will be looking for some revenge this weekend. Tyler Gunderson and Jenna Cornelison own, Cornelison trains and will once again be handled by Tony Succarotte. Velocity McSweets will be looking for some revenge after getting the worst of things while beaten only a neck for the whole thing last time. Jennifer Sabot owns and trains and Cordarius Stewart handles the lines. Leaving from the outside slot in that last assignment, Velocity McSweets sat behind slow fractions, put in a big move around the final bend but could not quite reach the leaders that evening. Completing the cast are Delightfully Wild, who will be seeking her third straight victory for owners Richard Morita and David Yamata and trainer Jessie Pacheco; and Robert Staats winner Paloma Ruiz for Melinda Smith and driver/trainer Jake Cutting. The co-featured conditioned trot carries a $5,500 purse and brings out a solid cast consisting of Major A-Mar, MD Magic, Teachmehowtotry, Mshindi and Flameon.   Big Guy, Lassena give Svendsen pleasure drives Mooney Svendsen had a couple of nice winners in the sulky last week, guiding Royale Big Guy to a convincing victory in the Open II Pace and sitting behind the mare River Lassena when she waltzed home by 14 lengths in a conditioned affair. Royale Big Guy is a 7-year-old son of Ashlee’s Big Guy who carries the banner of Scott Ehrlich and takes his lessons from Kathie Plested. After suffering some traffic behind the streaking Allmyx’sliventexas in the January 3 Open, he appreciated the class relief last time around and responded with a length score in 1:53 flat. “This horse has never gone a bad mile for me,” Svendsen noted. “I was pretty confident going into that last race, so I just let him settle and then came first over with him on the backside. He was awfully strong to the wire.” Svendsen had some idea what he had when he climbed behind the 4-year-old distaffer River Lassena for Mark Anderson and Gordie Graham, but wasn’t prepared for the overwhelming mile the daughter of Riverboat King was going to give him. After sitting the pocket early, he was out and moving with her to final bend, took complete control of things from that point and romped to the line with 14 lengths back to the nearest rival. “I’d never driven her before, so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect,” Mooney noted. “All I did was hit the wheel disk once and she absolutely took off. I said to myself that Andersen has another good one. “As far as the margin goes, I did drive one once that won by 18 lengths, but this was certainly close and quite a ride.” No kidding.   By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

View Fines and Suspensions for the week of January 15, 2021 as reported to the USTA by harness racing commissions in the United States. This bulletin reports actions that have been taken by the USTA and rulings as submitted by the various racing commissions in an abbreviated form; we are not responsible for the accuracy or timeliness of such information. For full ruling text, or if you have questions or concerns about the information found in this report, please contact the racing commission where the ruling was issued. All reported rulings, current and past, may be found by using Pathway, the USTA’s official database. Although there is no charge for this information, a USTA account is required. For a list of archived bulletins, click here. Looking for Canadian Rulings? View rulings posted at Standardbred Canada. This information is collected and posted by Standardbred Canada. The USTA assumes no liability for errors or omission. Michele Kopiec, USTA Racetrack Operations & Licensing Manager  

WASHINGTON, PA, Jan. 15, 2021 — To young harness racing driver Drew Monti likes his home in Buffalo, but he also likes working regularly. Thus, the 26-year-old reinsman has decided to drive at The Meadows, even as he continues his regular schedule at Buffalo Raceway. Monti made his Meadows debut Wednesday and had four assignments the following day, although he’s idle Friday. With Buffalo now racing Wednesday and Saturday, Monti expects  to work at The Meadows each Thursday and Friday, with Wednesday doubleheaders a possibility. Monti has been something of a phenom in western New York, where he’s won a total of three driving titles spanning Buffalo Raceway and Batavia Downs. He debuted in 2012; the very next year, the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association named him its “Rising Star.” From 2017-2019, he recorded at least 260 wins per season with a UDR of at least .301 each year. He’s won more than $11 million in purses. For all that, Monti knows that landing assignments at a new track with a deep driver colony can be a challenge. “I have a couple friends at The Meadows, a couple of ‘ins,’ and it’s not too far from home, so I thought I’d give it a try,” he said. Monti can make it to The Meadows from his home in about two hours. It’s a commute that might intimidate some, but he’s used to an even more demanding travel schedule. “I commuted to Plainridge last year — that’s six hours each way for me,” he said. “So this is a breath of fresh air.” All that highway time didn’t seem to affect his performance, as he finished second in the Plainridge driver standings. He’s looking forward to a similar outcome at The Meadows as well as networking opportunities. “I like it here,” he says. “The track and barn area are good, and they race a full schedule year round. So far, there’s nothing not to like. “I love being able to go to new places. That helps you sharpen your skills and meet new people who may help you down the road. That’s never a bad thing.” By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

Grove City, Ohio - Street Gossip was a model of consistency in 2020, hitting the board in all eight of his starts earning him 2020 harness racing Ohio 2-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year honors. Street Gossip, the son of Cash Hall out of the Yankee Glide mare The Young Princess won four out of his eight races and collected a pair of second- and third-place finishes for trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. and owner Carl Howard and the Jesmeral Stables, earning $171,761. Street Gossip was purchased in July by Howard and Jesmeral Stable after a third-place finish in a leg of the Ohio Sires Stakes. "I saw him racing in his first sire stakes race at Northfield Park. He was very competitive," Morgan said. "I was elated once we got him. To see how good gaited he was and that we really had something to work with." Morgan credits the horse's consistency as the reason he was named the 2-Year-Old trotting colt of the year. "He was a model of consistency. His body of work throughout the year was the difference. He was ultra-consistent." Street Gossip will be honored during the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association's virtual award show on January 16, 2021. The awards show is scheduled to air on the OHHA YouTube channel at 7:00 PM. Frank Fraas ffraas@ohha.com 614-221-3650

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