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Courtney Polan, who works in the Norm Parker Stable based at The Meadows, has been named the recipient of the 2019 Caretaker of the Year Award sponsored by Fair Island Farm in conjunction with the U.S. Harness Writers Association (USHWA). Polan, 27, has worked for Parker since October 2014, joining the stable after a two-year stint working for Tim Pinske. "This is amazing," said Polan, a Pennsylvania native who turned to harness racing after graduating with a degree in biology from Thiel College in Greenville, Pa. Polan, who owns a retired Standardbred and Quarter Horse, currently takes care of eight horses in the Parker Stable, including the 2019 Meadows Horse of the Year Wild Wild Western. Wild Wild Western is owned in part by Jacobs Creek Racing's Jeff Weaver, who nominated Polan for the Fair Island Caretaker of the Year Award. "I have observed just how special Courtney is at developing a unique relationship with all of her charges," wrote Weaver. "Each horse garners her attention as though she was all theirs. Each receives full care, unique and individual attention and even when called for, discipline." Polan said one word in the dictionary describes her strength as a caretaker: Caring. "I care. I care a lot," said Polan. "My biggest thing is that sometimes I care too much. I just love all of them. I don't have human kids yet, so they are my kids." All caretakers in North America were eligible for the award, with nomination letters submitted detailing the skills and special qualities of the nominee. A seven-member panel -- all of whom were former caretakers themselves -- selected Polan as the winner. As winner of the Fair Island Farm Caretaker of the Year Award, Polan will receive a cash prize of $500, transportation, hotel accommodations and two tickets to USHWA's annual Dan Patch Awards banquet on Sunday, Feb. 23, at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Fla., where she will be presented a trophy. Polan, along with all the USHWA 2019 award winners, will be recognized during the Dan Patch Awards banquet. Information on accommodations at Rosen Shingle Creek and dinner tickets can be found at www.ushwa.net. From the U.S. Harness Writers Association

The names of the 2019 award winners have been announced so it's time to make room reservations at the luxurious Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Fla., for the U.S. Harness Writers Association's (USHWA) annual Dan Patch Awards banquet on Sunday, Feb. 23. If you are planning to attend the gala festivities that will honor the best equines and humans in the sport in 2019, room reservations must be made by Friday, Jan. 31. Rooms will go quickly now that the names of the honorees are known so make sure you don't get shut out! The USHWA rate for a standard room at Rosen Shingle Creek is $199 (plus tax). For a direct link to the Rosen Shingle Creek special page to make USHWA room reservations, please click here. Depending on availability, rooms may still be available after Feb. 1, but can only be made by calling the hotel directly at (866) 996-6338 and asking for the "Dan Patch Awards rate." This is the third consecutive year that Rosen Shingle Creek will host the Dan Patch Awards festivities. This year's banquet, which will be held in the Gatlin B ballroom, gets underway with the Red Carpet cocktail hour sponsored by Shartin N at 5:30 p.m., with the awards ceremony starting promptly afterward. The highlight of the evening will be the much-anticipated announcements of Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year and E. Roland Harriman Horse of the Year. Tickets for the Dan Patch Awards banquet are $180, with a filet mignon dinner featured. Tickets can be ordered until Feb. 17 by contacting Judy Davis-Wilson at zoe8874@aol.com or 302-359-3630. Remember, all attendees will receive a 10-percent discount at all of the hotel's restaurants, a 10-percent discount at the Spa at Shingle Creek, and a green fees discount at the Shingle Creek Golf Club. If you are attending, make sure you tell your restaurant server prior to ordering you are a Dan Patch Awards attendee. To take out a congratulatory ad in the popular USHWA journal, please contact Kim Rinker at trotrink@aol.com or 708-557-2790. From U.S. Harness Writers Association (USHWA)

MONTICELLO, NY - Don Marean, one of the strongest advocates for harness racing in the state of Maine for going on three decades, and Adriano Sorella, an Ontario advertising executive who is also looking to put harness racing in a more positive light, have been selected for President's Awards by Shawn Wiles, top officer of the United States Harness Racing Association (USHWA), the sport's leading media organization. Marean owned a hardware and feed company which he sold to his employees, then with his wife Linda took up the operation of Lin-Don Farm Inc., a commercial breeding and owning establishment. As Marean's understanding of the framework of the industry grew, he ran for the state House of Representatives in Maine, and has won election six times. He has been president and director of the Maine Standardbred Owners Association, and a Director of the Maine Harness Horsemen's Association. Don's service to harness racing also extends to the national and North American level. He is the vice-chairman of the United States Trotting Association and is District chairman for District 9 (New England). Marean's service has previously been recognized with the Distinguished Service Award for the Maine Harness Horsemen's Association and with an Appreciation Award from Harness Horsemen International. "Don serves as the Vanguard of harness racing in the great state of Maine," Shawn Wiles said in making the announcement. "He has fought long and hard in Maine politics for many years to protect the interests of our sport and its horsemen throughout the state." Adriano Sorella is a high-powered marketing executive who has enjoyed success at the uppermost levels of North American harness racing, starting with Little Brown Jug winner Vegas Vacation. His most recent success has been Jimmy Freight, who is going to stud in 2020 after winning $1.3 million, being a major factor in the Ontario Sire Stakes, and then progressing to high competitiveness against the fastest pacers in the sport. Jimmy Freight also gives a good example of Sorella's ability to cross-leverage to harness racing's advantage - Sorella used Facebook and other cutting-edge technologies to create quite a Jimmy Freight Fan Club, with seasoned and new fans alike following the horse. The humanitarian side of Sorella showed when he was one of the leaders after Classy Lane Stables suffered a horrendous fire in 2016, in which 43 horses perished, helping to raise funds for horsemen whose careers were literally wiped out by the devastation. USHWA President Wiles notes: "Adriano's skill set of being social media-savvy, combined with his promotional prowess and outside-the-box thinking, showcases our great sport in a refreshing and positive light, geared to the general audience and perhaps even more importantly showcasing the sport to our younger fan base." Don Marean and Adriano Sorella will be honored at USHWA's annual Dan Patch Awards Banquet, celebrating the best and brightest of harness racing in the past year. The banquet honoring the champions of 2019 will be held on Sunday, February 23, 2020 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando FL, the climax of a weekend that also finds USHWA holding its annual national meetings. The Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year, and Horse of the Year will be revealed for the first time at the Banquet. Tickets for the Dan Patch Awards Banquet are $180, with a filet mignon dinner featured; "post times" on February 23 are cocktails at 5:30 p.m., with dinner to follow. Tickets, and other Banquet-related information, can be obtained through Dinner Planning Committee Chair Judy Davis-Wilson, at zoe8874@aol.com or 302 359 3630. Hotel reservations for those attending can be made through USHWA's website, www.ushwa.net; a link to the hotel's computer is on the front page of the website. Those who would like to take out congratulatory ads for awardwinners in the always-popular Dan Patch Awards Journal can do so by contacting Kim Rinker at trotrink@aol.com or 708 557 2790 (the 2019 journal is online at the writers' website). From the United States Harness Writers Association

HARRISBURG, PA - Three-year-old trotting colt Greenshoe, who was the highest moneywinning trotter in North America during 2019, had the largest margin of victory among six trotters elected to Dan Patch Award divisional honors in year-end voting conducted by the United States Harness Writers Association, the sport's top media organization, and the American Harness Racing Secretaries. The trotting side also produced the closest decision in the 12 categories for both trotters and pacers. Four-year-old mares Atlanta and Manchego, who combined have won over $4 million lifetime, produced as good a finish as any on the track, with Atlanta edging out her rival, 74-72. Also elected divisional trotting winners were 2-year-old gelding Real Cool Sam, 2-year-old filly Ramona Hill, 3-year-old filly When Dovescry, and 4-year-old stallion Six Pack. There were 147 participants in this year's Dan Patch Awards racehorse voting. Greenshoe's margin was 123-22 over Gimpanzee, the group's defending champion and his stablemate in the barn of Trainer of the Year Marcus Melander. Greenshoe, a Father Patrick colt out of Designed To Be, was bred by co-Bergstein/Proximity winners Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz, driven by Brian Sears, and owned by Hans Backe, Lars Granqvist, Morten Langli and Owner of the Year Anders Ström's Courant Inc. Greenshoe won 10 of 13 starts and $1.27 million; in his three other races he was second, and suffered interference in two of them. Among his notable victories were the Kentucky Futurity, the Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial, a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial, and sire stakes championships in Kentucky and New Jersey. He took his mark of 1:49.4 in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes at The Red Mile. Defending Trotter of the Year Atlanta got the barest of nods among the trotting mares for her campaign in which she won eight of 15 races, hit the board a total of 13 times, and earned a division-best $769,950. She won the Charlie Hill Memorial and two legs and the final of the Graduate Series in mixed company, along with the Armbro Flight and Miami Valley Distaff. A daughter of Chapter Seven-Hemi Blue Chip bred by Order By Stable, Atlanta raced for trainer Ron Burke, driver Yannick Gingras, and the ownership of Crawford Farms Racing, Brad Grant, and Howard Taylor. Six Pack joined Atlanta as a repeat champion in 2019, collecting 56 percent of the vote among older male trotters. Six Pack won four of 12 starts and was worse than third only once on his way to $581,314 in purses. An authoritative 1:49.2 win at Lexington in the Allerage Open Trot and a strong rallying victory in the TVG Series final were among Six Pack's wins. The son of Muscle Mass-Pleasing Lady was bred by Breeder of the Year Brittany Farms and campaigned by trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt for his Ake Svanstedt Inc., Little E-Knutssontrotting, Stall Kalmar Inc., and L Berg Inc. The champion among 2-year-old male trotters, Real Cool Sam, was a success from the word "go," winning his first nine starts and suffering defeat only at the Breeders Crown, where he got too far behind in off going and could only rally for fourth. The son of Muscle Hill is out of the mare Cooler Schooner, a world-record-setter in her racing days, and in 2019 Real Cool Sam set no fewer than five divisional world records, including in his division of the International Stallion Stakes, where he dead-heated with Big Oil in 1:52.1, making him the fastest freshman trotting gelding ever, and the time also the fastest dead-heat ever on the trot, regardless of age. Other wins for Real Cool Sam included the Peter Haughton Memorial and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. Fashion Farms bred and owns Real Cool Sam, who was trained by Jim Campbell and driven by David Miller. Ramona Hill ensured her selection among 2-year-old trotting fillies by rocketing to the lead from the outside post 10 in her Breeders Crown final, surrendering the advantage, then coming back on to win by four lengths, leaving Sister Sledge and Hypnotic AM, respectively, both second and third in the race and in the year-end voting. For the year, Ramona Hill won six of seven races and $405,400. She is a daughter of Muscle Hill-Lock Down Lindy, bred by Crawford Farms, and owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Brad Grant, Robert Leblanc, and In The Gym Partners. She is trained by Tony Alagna and was one of driver Andrew McCarthy's four Breeders Crown winners. When Dovescry first made noise in the 3-year-old trotting filly division by winning her Hambletonian Oaks elimination on July 27, then came back the next week to win the final of the prestigious event. Further triumphs in the Matron and divisions of the Simcoe and Bluegrass stakes boosted her earnings for the year to $644,380. The daughter of Muscle Hill-Cedar Dove was campaigned by the brother team of trainer Rene Allard and driver Simon Allard. She was bred by William Weaver III and is owned by Go Fast Stable, Yves Sarrazin, Kapildeo Singh, and Lawrence Dumain. All of the honorees and their connections will be honored at USHWA's annual Dan Patch Awards Banquet, celebrating the best and brightest of harness racing in the past year. The banquet honoring the champions of 2019 will be held on Sunday, Feb. 23, at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando Fla., the climax of a weekend that also finds USHWA holding its annual national meetings. Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year, and Horse of the Year will be revealed at the banquet. Tickets for the Dan Patch Awards Banquet are $180, with a filet mignon dinner featured; "post times" on Feb. 23 are cocktails at 5:30 p.m., with dinner to follow. Tickets, and other banquet-related information, can be obtained through Dinner Planning Committee Chair Judy Davis-Wilson, at zoe8874@aol.com or 302-359-3630. Hotel reservations can be made through USHWA's website, www.ushwa.net; a link to the hotel's computer is on the front page of the website. Those who would like to take out congratulatory ads for award-winners in the always-popular Dan Patch Awards Journal can do so by contacting Kim Rinker at trotrink@aol.com or 708-557-2790 (the 2019 journal is online at the writers' website).   TWO-YEAR-OLD MALE TROTTER REAL COOL SAM, gelding (91 votes, 61.9%) Muscle Hill - Cooler Schooner - Broadway Hall Breeder: Fashion Farms LLC Owner: Fashion Farms LLC Trainer: Jim Campbell Driver: David Miller Races: 10-9-0-0 Purses: $497,774 Mark: 1:52.1 at Lexington. Top wins: $324,550 Peter Haughton Memorial; $252,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship TWO-YEAR-OLD FEMALE TROTTER RAMONA HILL (67 votes; 45.6%) Muscle Hill - Lock Down Lindy - Lucky Chucky Breeder: Crawford Farms LLC Owners: Brad Grant, Crawford Farms Racing, Robert Leblanc, In The Gym Partners Trainer: Tony Alagna Driver: Andrew McCarthy Races: 7-6-0-1 Purses: $405,400 Mark: 1:52.2 at Lexington Top wins: $600,000 Breeders Crown; divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion stakes THREE-YEAR-OLD MALE TROTTER GREENSHOE, colt (123 votes, 83.7%) Father Patrick - Designed To Be - Donato Hanover Breeders: Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz Owners: Courant Inc., Hans Backe, Lars Granqvist, Morten Langli Trainer: Marcus Melander Driver: Brian Sears Races: 13-10-3-0 Purses: $1,277,049 Mark: 1:49.4 at Lexington Top wins: $450,000 Kentucky Futurity; $330,000 Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial; $250,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes championship; $200,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes championship THREE-YEAR-OLD FEMALE TROTTER WHEN DOVESCRY (90 votes, 61.2%) Muscle Hill - Cedar Dove - Andover Hall Breeder: William Weaver III Owners: Go Fast Stable, Yves Sarrazin, Kapildeo Singh, Lawrence Dumain Trainer: Rene Allard Driver: Simon Allard Races: 12-5-4-3 Purses: $644,380 Mark: 1:50.1 at Lexington Top wins: $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks; $176,150 Matron Stakes OLDER MALE TROTTER SIX PACK, 4-year-old stallion (83 votes, 56.5%) Muscle Mass - Pleasing Lady - Cantab Hall Breeder: Brittany Farms LLC Owners: Ake Svanstedt Inc., Little E-Knutssontrotting, Stall Kalmar Inc., L Berg Inc. Trainer/driver: Ake Svanstedt Races: 12-4-3-4 Purses: $581,314 Mark: 1:49.2 at Lexington Top wins: $350,000 TVG Open championship; $145,000 Allerage Open OLDER FEMALE TROTTER ATLANTA, 4-year-old (74 votes, 50.3%) Chapter Seven - Hemi Blue Chip - Cantab Hall Breeder: Order By Stable Owners: Crawford Farms Racing, Brad Grant, Howard Taylor Trainer: Ron Burke Driver: Yannick Gingras Races: 15-8-4-1 Purses: $769,950 Mark: 1:49.1 at Meadowlands Top wins: $250,000 Graduate Series championship; $220,000 Charlie Hill Memorial; $192,000 Armbro Flight From the United States Harness Writers Association

HARRISBURG, PA - None of the six pacing divisional winners for the 2019 Dan Patch Awards were able to garner all the votes in their division, but three came close - pacing mare Shartin N and 3-year-old filly Warrawee Ubeaut were selected on all but two ballots and 3-year-old colt Bettor's Wish saw only three votes go against him. The remaining pacing divisional winners were 2-year-old colt Tall Dark Stranger, 2-year-old filly Lyons Sentinel, and 8-year-old stallion McWicked. The voting was conducted by the United States Harness Writers Association, the sport's top media organization, along with the American Harness Racing Secretaries group. Shartin N, Warrawee Ubeaut, and McWicked were repeat winners. Among the females, we'll follow the adage "age before beauty," or in this case "Ubeaut," and say first that 6-year-old Shartin N received 145 of the 147 votes, with late-season nemesis Caviart Ally getting the other two. Shartin N won 15 of 19 races, finished second three times, and earned $982,177. She became the fastest female in harness racing history with a 1:46.4 victory in the Lady Liberty at The Meadowlands. Other wins included the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series final, Roses Are Red, Golden Girls, and Artiscape. Shartin N is a New Zealand-bred daughter of Tintin In America-Bagdarin, bred by G. J. Crabbe, trained by Jim King Jr., and driven by Tim Tetrick, who is co-owner through his Tim Tetrick LLC with Jo Ann Looney-King, Jim's wife, and Richard Poillucci. Three-year-old filly Warrawee Ubeaut also received 145 of the votes cast in her division; Tall Drink Hanover gathered the other two. Warrawee Ubeaut had an eight-race win streak in the prime of the season, which included her Breeders Crown final, the Glen Garnsey Memorial, the Jugette, and her Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. For the year, she won 12 of 19 races, finished off the board only twice, and earned $950,610. A daughter of Sweet Lou-Great Memories, Warrawee Ubeaut was bred by Warrawee Farms and owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Phillip Collura, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. She was trained by Ron Burke and driven by Yannick Gingras. Bettor's Wish drew 144 votes out of 147 after having a season with 13 wins and six seconds in 19 starts bring him the top earnings honor of all North American Standardbreds of $1.64 million. His victories included the Carl Milstein Memorial, Art Rooney Pace, a division of the Tattersalls Pace, the Matron, and Kentucky Sire Stakes championship. The Bettor's Delight-Lifetime Star colt was bred by Breeder of the Year Brittany Farms; owned by Bettors Wish Partners, Fair Island Farm Inc., Bella Racing Ltd., and trainer Chris Ryder; and driven by Driver of the Year Dexter Dunn. McWicked, the 2018 Horse of the Year, won his third divisional crown at age 8, going along with his coronations at ages 3 and 7. He was involved in the closest vote among the pacers, winning 73-70 over Lather Up, who earlier in the season tied the 1:46 all-time record. For the second year in a row and record-equaling third time in his career, McWicked posted a million-dollar season. He won six of 17 races and $1.03 million, with victories including the Jim Ewart Memorial, Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial, and Dan Rooney Invitational. The son of McArdle-Western Sahara was bred by Andray Farm, owned by S S G Stables, trained by Casie Coleman, and piloted by Brian Sears. In contests among the 2-year-olds, the Captaintreacherous-Tutu Hanover filly Lyons Sentinel won by more than 100 votes over her nearest rival. Bred by Hanover Shoe Farms and owned by Threelyonsracing, Lyons Sentinel gave trainer Jim King Jr. and driver Tim Tetrick a second divisional winner among the pacing distaffs, as she earned $801,809 to top all other freshmen of either gait or sex. Lyons Sentinel won nine of 14 races, with her victories including the She's A Great Lady, her Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, and Matron Stakes. Tall Dark Stranger topped the 2-year-old colts and geldings, getting 86 votes to outdistance rival Papi Rob Hanover by 36. Tall Dark Stranger, a Bettor's Delight colt out of Pacing Broodmare of the Year Precocious Beauty, had eight wins and a second in nine starts and earnings of $717,514. His wins for trainer Nancy Takter and driver Yannick Gingras included the Breeders Crown, Metro Pace, and a division of the International Stallion Stakes. Owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms, and Howard Taylor, Tall Dark Stranger was bred by James Avritt Sr. All the honorees and their connections will be honored at USHWA's annual Dan Patch Awards Banquet, celebrating the best and brightest of harness racing in the past year. The banquet honoring the champions of 2019 will be held on Sunday, Feb. 23, at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando Fla., the climax of a weekend that also finds USHWA holding its annual national meetings. Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year, and Horse of the Year will be revealed at the banquet. Tickets for the Dan Patch Awards Banquet are $180, with a filet mignon dinner featured; "post times" on Feb. 23 are cocktails at 5:30 p.m., with dinner to follow. Tickets, and other banquet-related information, can be obtained through Dinner Planning Committee Chair Judy Davis-Wilson, at zoe8874@aol.com or 302-359-3630. Hotel reservations can be made through USHWA's website, www.ushwa.net; a link to the hotel's computer is on the front page of the website. Those who would like to take out congratulatory ads for award-winners in the always-popular Dan Patch Awards Journal can do so by contacting Kim Rinker at trotrink@aol.com or 708-557-2790 (the 2019 journal is online at the writers' website). TWO-YEAR-OLD MALE PACER TALL DARK STRANGER, colt (86 votes, 58.5%) Bettor's Delight - Precocious Beauty - Art Major Breeder: James Avritt Sr. Owners: Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms, Howard Taylor Trainer: Nancy Takter Driver: Yannick Gingras Races: 9-8-1-0 Purses: $717,514 Mark: 1:49.1 at Woodbine Mohawk Park Top wins: $600,000 Breeders Crown; $562,500 Metro TWO-YEAR-OLD FEMALE PACER LYONS SENTINEL (129 votes, 87.8%) Captaintreacherous - Tutu Hanover - Western Ideal Breeder: Hanover Shoe Farms Inc. Owner: Threelyonsracing Trainer: Jim King Jr. Principal driver: Tim Tetrick Races: 14-9-4-1 Purses: $801,809 Mark: 1:49.3 at Woodbine Mohawk Park Top wins: $405,000 She's A Great Lady; $252,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship; $176,400 Matron THREE-YEAR-OLD MALE PACER BETTOR'S WISH, colt (144 votes, 98.0%) Bettor's Delight - Lifetime Star - Western Ideal Breeder: Brittany Farms LLC Owners: Chris Ryder, Bella Racing Ltd., Fair Island Farm Inc., Bettors Wish Partners Trainer: Chris Ryder Driver: Dexter Dunn Races: 19-13-6-0 Purses: $1,643,745 Mark: 1:47.4 at Lexington Top wins: $400,000 Carl Milstein Memorial; $300,000 Art Rooney Pace; $270,000 Tattersalls Pace division; $250,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes championship; $248,350 Matron THREE-YEAR-OLD FEMALE PACER WARRAWEE UBEAUT (145 votes, 98.6%) Sweet Lou - Great Memories - Apaches Fame Breeder: Warrawee Farm Owners: Burke Racing Stable LLC, Phillip Collura, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, Weaver Bruscemi LLC Trainer: Ron Burke Driver: Yannick Gingras Races: 19-12-2-3 Purses: $950,610 Mark: 1:48.3 at Lexington Top wins: $550,000 Breeders Crown; $253,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship; $216,000 Glen Garnsey Memorial; $155,760 Jugette OLDER MALE PACER MCWICKED, 8-year-old stallion (73 votes, 49.7%) McArdle - Western Sahara - Western Ideal Breeder: Andray Farm Owner: S S G Stables Trainer: Casie Coleman Driver: Brian Sears Races: 17-6-3-3 Purses: $1,034,091 Mark: 1:47.2 at Lexington Top wins: $440,000 Jim Ewart Memorial; $260,000 Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial; $250,000 Dan Rooney Pace OLDER FEMALE PACER SHARTIN N, 6-year-old (145 votes, 98.6%) Tintin In America - Bagdarin - Live Or Die Breeder: G. J. Crabbe Owners: Richard Poillucci, Jo Ann Looney-King, Tim Tetrick LLC Trainer: Jim King Jr. Driver: Tim Tetrick Record: 19-15-3-0 Purses: $982,177 Mark: 1:46.4 at The Meadowlands Top wins: $402,600 Blue Chip Matchmaker Series final; $247,500 Roses Are Red; $183,500 Lady Liberty; $179,550 Golden Girls From the United States Harness Writers Association

Anderson, IN - The Harness Horse Youth Foundation (HHYF) and the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) are seeking items for its Silent Auction that will be held at the Dan Patch Awards Banquet - Night of Champions on Sunday February 23, at Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Florida. Donations of unique one-of-a-kind items, vacation packages, vintage memorabilia, themed gift baskets and/or gift certificates for industry services are just a few ideas! Donations and arrangements may be made by contacting Ellen Taylor - 317.908.0029 or ellen@hhyf.org - or Barry Lefkowitz - barryl22@aol.com - preferably no later than January 22 to insure inclusion in pre-event advertising, All proceeds from the Silent Auction jointly benefit HHYF Summer Programs and USHWA outreach projects. From HHYF and UHSWA

The announcement of the Dan Patch divisional racehorse winners will take place tomorrow (Friday).   At 6:45 p.m. tomorrow, video of the announcement of the winners can be seen at the USHWA Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/USHarnessWriters, as it is shown live during the pre-races show at The Meadowlands, which can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/user/MeadowlandsRacetrack. The Meadowlands television crew produced the video.   Press releases with voting information will be e-distributed immediately at the announcement's conclusion.   Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year, and Horse of the Year will be announced for the first time LIVE at the Dan Patch Awards Banquet on Sunday, February 23 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando FL.   From the U.S.Harness Writers Association

HARRISBURG, PA - Derick Giwner, a director of the New York City Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), who will in 2020 celebrate his 25th year with the highly-regarded racing publication starting life as Sports Eye and now part of the mammoth Daily Racing Form empire, has been selected as the Member of the Year in USHWA (also known as USHWAn of the Year) by a blue-ribbon committee headed by the association's president Shawn Wiles. In announcing Giwner's selection, Wiles said, "Derick's passion and hard work over the years has not gone unnoticed by his fellow USHWA members. His unique and interesting articles are refreshing, and often tailored to the blood of the industry, the handicappers of the sport." Born in Brooklyn and now a resident of Massapequa Park NY, Giwner, a Hofstra graduate, noted his family "worked in the automobile trade, which is kind of ironic," but the change in horsepower to the kind in the sulky sport began with attendance at Yonkers Raceway as a teen. Later, he would answer a newspaper ad for an editorial position with Sports Eye, and with the showing of his abilities came enlarged responsibilities, resulting in his present position of Editor of DRF Harness for the Daily Racing Form. Giwner was a major spearhead behind this fall's innovative cooperative effort between the DRF and the U.S. Trotting Association in creating educative handicapping materials, both print and video, around the time of the Breeders Crown events at Woodbine Mohawk Park, efforts that tried to both make thoroughbred players take a chance on harness gambling (often by pointing out the sports' commonalities) and also give non-racing fans a deeper understanding of what goes into reading the program and picking a winner. In USHWA, Giwner has been a Director of the New York City Chapter for four years. He serves on the Association's important Integrity and Budget Committees, and is also on committees for planning of the annual Dan Patch Banquet and its Journal, and for gathering new USHWA members. As is virtually everybody who worked for Sports Eye, Giwner is a top-level handicapper and chartcaller. He also announces, and he recorded driving victories in three purse races and several others in events for amateurs. Derick Giwner will be honored at USHWA's annual Dan Patch Awards Banquet, celebrating the best and brightest of harness racing in the past year. The banquet honoring the champions of 2019 will be held on Sunday, February 23, 2020 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando FL, the climax of a weekend that also finds USHWA holding its annual national meetings. The Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year, and Horse of the Year will be revealed for the first time at the Banquet. Tickets for the Dan Patch Awards Banquet are $180, with a filet mignon dinner featured; "post times" on February 23 are cocktails at 5:30 p.m., with dinner to follow. Tickets, and other Banquet-related information, can be obtained through Dinner Planning Committee Chair Judy Davis-Wilson, at zoe8874@aol.com or 302 359 3630. Hotel reservations for those attending can be made through USHWA's website, www.ushwa.net; a link to the hotel's computer is on the front page of the website. Those who would like to take out congratulatory ads for awardwinners in the always-popular Dan Patch Awards Journal can do so by contacting Kim Rinker at trotrink@aol.com or 708 557 2790 (the 2019 journal is online at the writers' website). From the U.S. Harness Writers Association

HARRISBURG, PA - The remaining winners of Dan Patch Awards in the human and broodmare categories, as voted on by the membership of the United States Harness Writers Association, the sport's leading association, have been announced. The Rising Star and the Breakthrough Awards are for up-and-coming stars in harness racing, in the trainer/driver and non-trainer/driver category respectively; the Good Guy Award is given to someone who thinks and speaks positively about the sport and has a good relationship with the media, while the Unsung Hero is someone performing important tasks for the sport out of the spotlight. In grouping these four awards and their winners for description, the combinations of the foursome falling on male and female lines, as expressed in the title, is interesting. Dawnelle Mock is the Director of Marketing for the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association. In her three years at the western Pennsylvania track, she has been the spearhead for the MSOA onto multiple digital platforms. She has shepherded several successful charity events; she has reached out to form a partnership with the Pittsburgh Penguins ice hockey team, a project with a large crossover potential; and she has been the MSOA liaison with the operators of The Meadows' racetrack for a number of successful promotions, which contributed to a 6% year-over-year rise in handle at the track. Mock "works well with others," but much of her success has been born of her own initiative and vision. Wanda Polisseni has long campaigned harness horses under the name Purple Haze Stable with success, mostly in her home state of New York. She has founded a humanitarian organization to improve the standard of living - education, human services, civic improvement - in Upstate New York. Long an advocate for the after-track life of racehorses, on both the Standardbred and the Thoroughbred side of racing, Polisseni has now undertaken to buy a farm in New York that will serve as a home and a base for the Purple Haze Standardbred Adoption Program, for state-bred horses, that will also be the headquarters of the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State. If Wanda Polisseni can help, you can count her in; like Mock, she makes things happen. Both Bob McClure, based in Ontario, and Jim King Jr., who races out of the state of Delaware but competes at all the major tracks, come from generations of horsepeople, and as such are not the type to seek the spotlight, though they cooperate with the media when attention comes their way. Attention came to McClure in a big way during 2019, when he won the most prestigious harness race in North America, the Hambletonian, with Forbidden Trade. The victory was the culmination of a decade of continuous growth for the graduate of smaller raceways to the Grand River-Georgian Downs-Western Fair circuit and then right to the "A" class of his province's racing at Woodbine at Mohawk Park, where he ranks among the colony's top drivers. He earned over $5 million (Can.) for the first time in 2019, despite suffering a broken pelvis on April 25 - he was back racing in less than a month, using the cutting-edge technology of a hyperbaric chamber to aid his recovery. Jim King Jr. has a reputation as a "ladies' man," but only in the best sense. In addition to having in his family two of the sport's best spokespeople - wife Jo Ann Looney-King, a former winner of the Good Guy Award, and the self-proclaimed "harness racing firecracker," awardwinning communicator Heather Vitale - King seems to have a particular touch with the pacing ladies, as evidenced by his two 2019 stars: the free-for-all Shartin N, who won over $2 million in 2018-19, and the precocious two-year-old Lyons Sentinel, North America's biggest earner as a freshman while banking over $800,000. In keeping with his winning the Good Guy award, King will give honest, thoughtful answers to the media's questions, never assuring success, but conscious of the power of the stable that his talents has built. Brittany Farms LLC, breeders of the 2019 "Millionaires' Row" of Bettor's Wish, Manchego, Six Pack, and American History among other top trotters and pacers, was voted as Breeder of the Year by USHWA. Also earning honors was the dam of Manchego, Secret Magic, who was picked as the Trotting Broodmare of the Year. Brittany Farms, owned by Hall of Famer George Segal, was purchased in the late '80s and has been among the leading nurseries in the sport throughout Segal's ownership. In 2019 Brittany ranked third among breeders with offspring winning over $12 million, despite a much lesser number of produce racing than many other establishments. Brittany bred three Breeders Crown winners in 2019 - American History, Manchego, and Reflect With Me - to raise their all-time total to 25 Crown champions, one behind Hanover Shoe Farms. As noted, the Cantab Hall-Chorine Hanover matron Secret Magic earned honors as Trotting Broodmare of the Year, primarily because of the $2 million world champion Manchego, but also contributing was In Secret, a ten-time winner and $200,000 earner against Open company. Brittany bred Secret Magic, raced her, and then kept her as a broodmare until selling her early in 2019 to Hanover. The Art Major-Precious Beauty matron Precocious Beauty has only two foals of racing age - the powerful, Breeders Crown-winning freshman pacing colt star Tall Dark Stranger and the filly Beautyonthebeach, a winner of $540,428 who lowered her mark to 1:49.2 during 2019. These two sharp stakes performers were enough to secure Pacing Broodmare of the Year honors for Precocious Beauty, herself a racetrack winner of $838,004 and with ever-increasing prospects as a broodmare for James Avritt Sr., who bred her, raced her, and continues to own her as a broodmare. This release completes the announcement of the Dan Patch Awards in the human and broodmare categories. The twelve racehorse divisional champions will be announced this Friday, January 3, at 6:30 p.m. on The Meadowlands' "pre-races" show, with media releases following (availability to view that announcement will be released shortly). All of the honorees in this release and their connections will be honored at USHWA's annual Dan Patch Awards Banquet, celebrating the best and brightest of harness racing in the past year. The banquet honoring the champions of 2019 will be held on Sunday, February 23, 2020 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando FL, the climax of a weekend that also finds USHWA holding its annual national meetings. The Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year, and Horse of the Year will be revealed for the first time at the Banquet. Tickets for the Dan Patch Awards Banquet are $180, with a filet mignon dinner featured; "post times" on February 23 are cocktails at 5:30 p.m., with dinner to follow. Tickets, and other Banquet-related information, can be obtained through Dinner Planning Committee Chair Judy Davis-Wilson, at zoe8874@aol.com or 302 359 3630. Hotel reservations for those attending can be made through USHWA's website, www.ushwa.net; a link to the hotel's computer is on the front page of the website. Those who would like to take out congratulatory ads for awardwinners in the always-popular Dan Patch Awards Journal can do so by contacting Kim Rinker at trotrink@aol.com or 708 557 2790 (the 2019 journal is online at the writers' website). From the U.S. Harness Writers Association

It's time to start booking rooms for the U.S. Harness Writers Association's (USHWA) 2020 Dan Patch Awards banquet, which returns for the third consecutive year to the Rosen Shingle Creek resort in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, Feb. 23. Room reservations are now available by using the USHWA link to the hotel's reservation page that can be found below. Rosen Shingle Creek played host to the harness racing Dan Patch Award weekend for the first time in 2018 and proved such a popular venue it was unanimously voted to return to the stunning 230-acre property in 2019. That dinner was highlighted by a surprise appearance by Stan Bergstein Proximity Award winner Foiled Again that many proclaimed one of the most memorable moments ever in racing. "USHWA is ecstatic to return to Rosen Shingle Creek for the third consecutive year," said USHWA President Shawn Wiles. "This is a first-class venue that our dinner guests and attendees thoroughly enjoy coming to." Located just off Universal Boulevard, within 10 minutes of the Orlando International Airport and minutes from the many area attractions, the 1,500-room Rosen Shingle Creek is a five-star property that is ranked a top-20 U.S. meeting hotel by Cvent. Rosen Shingle Creek includes four swimming pools, two lighted tennis courts, a spa with nine treatment rooms, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and an 18-hole Arnold Palmer redesigned golf course. There are also 15 restaurant/lounges, including the upscale steakhouse A Land Remembered, the fine-dining bistro Cala Bella, Café Osceola, Tobias Burgers and Brews, Banrai Sushi, Mi Casa Tequila and Taquiera, and a 24-hour deli. Dinner ticket prices and menu will be announced later, with a reduced price available for children 12 and under. All attendees will receive a 10-percent discount at all of the above mentioned restaurants, a 10-percent discount at the Spa at Shingle Creek, and a green fees discount at the Shingle Creek Golf Club. The Dan Patch Awards banquet annually honors the best and brightest performers, both human and equine, of the previous season. The award winners are selected by USHWA, with all winners announced in advance except for Pacer of the Year, Trotter of the Year, and Horse of the Year, which will be revealed at the conclusion of the banquet. USHWA will hold its annual directors meeting on Saturday, Feb. 22, and its general membership meeting the morning of the banquet. All standard rooms under the USHWA block are $199 nightly (plus applicable taxes). For room reservations, please click here for USHWA's dedicated hotel link, which can also be found at the USHWA website www.ushwa.net. Reservations must be made by Jan. 31, 2020. To inquire about several sponsorship opportunities for the weekend, including live video streaming, the Red Carpet reception and live feed hosted by Heather Vitale and Heather Wilder, please contact USHWA President Wiles at swiles@empireresorts.com. From the U.S. Harness Writers Association

Sheila Napier, who works in the Chris Beaver Stable, has been named the recipient of the 2018 Caretaker of the Year Award sponsored by Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park (HRRNP) in conjunction with the U.S. Harness Writers Association (USHWA). Napier, 37, has worked for Beaver for three years, and in 2018 her horses included the $500,000-winning 3-year-old filly trotter Custom Cantab. She also had four horses that made the Ohio Sires Stakes championship card at Scioto Downs, including three in the 2-Year-Old Filly Trot. Prior to working for Beaver, Napier's 10-year stint with Ron Potter including being the caretaker of the 2011 Little Brown Jug winner Big Bad John. "I've always read about this award and this is really great," said Napier, a native of Cincinnati whose first job working with horses came while in high school in 1995 at the Delaware (Ohio) Equine Lab. "I've been doing this for a long time and something I looked forward to as far as possibly getting, but maybe in Ohio and not this big." All caretakers in North America were eligible for the award, with nomination letters submitted detailing the skills and special qualities of the nominee. A seven-member panel - all of whom were former caretakers themselves - selected Napier as the winner. Beaver nominated Napier, and in his letter he noted, "Sheila takes unrivaled pride in the condition of her horses. I can rest at ease when she has a horse racing. I know it will get on the road on time and will be wearing all the right equipment, even if I can't make it. "Her horses are never shorted on the care that I expect for them and that is required," added the Ohio-based Beaver, who also winter trains at Spring Garden Ranch in Florida. "She can't stay away from her horses. She truly loves them and takes incredible pride in their accomplishments. My life would be a lot easier if more grooms brought the passion into their work that Sheila has." Napier said she usually has at least eight horses under her care in the Beaver barn, and it was Custom Cantab who was the star in 2018. Included among Custom Cantab's 13 wins were the Indiana Sires Stakes Super Final at Hoosier Park and the season-ending Matron at Dover Downs. "Oh, that filly," said Napier, whose travels always include her 11-year-old daughter Jess. "Custom Cantab is one of those special little fillies that wants to finish in the top three her whole life. She's quite sassy, amazing and full of heart. I absolutely love that filly; she is very special." As winner of the HRRNP Caretaker of the Year Award, Napier will receive a cash prize of $500, transportation, hotel accommodations and two tickets to USHWA's annual Dan Patch Awards banquet on Sunday, Feb. 24, at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, where she will be presented a trophy. Napier, along with all the USHWA 2018 award winners, will be recognized during the Dan Patch Awards banquet. Information on accommodations at Rosen Shingle Creek and dinner tickets can be found at www.usha.net. Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park/USHWA  

HARRISBURG PA -- Heather Vitale, secretary of the Delaware Valley Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), international harness racing video journalist, self-proclaimed "Harness Racing's Firework," two-time Sam McKee Broadcasters Award winner, and probably the only person in harness racing who both holds Madonna as a role model and also has her own Wikipedia page, has been announced by USHWA President Shawn Wiles as the organization's Member of the Year. "Make no mistake about it, there is only one Heather Vitale!" USHWA president Wiles said. "Her colorful and lively persona always adds excitement to any event. We look forward to seeing Heather again at this year's Dan Patch Awards Dinner, on the Red Carpet, as we have for many years. She has been a great voice and face for Harness Racing in her region and for USHWA." Heather comes from a multi-generational harness family in Delaware. Her mother, Jo Ann Looney King, was the first woman to drive a winner at The Meadowlands, and she is the co-owner of 2018's outstanding pacing mare Shartin N, trained by husband Jim King Jr. Heather is a graduate of Monmouth (NJ) University, with a focus on public relations/journalism, and she chose to follow that career path rather than working with the horses. Her show "Post Time" has aired on the CBS affiliate in the Delmarva region for some twenty years, and she also co-hosts the weekly show "Pennsylvania Harness Week," a position in which she has served for nearly a decade. She has worked for ESPN and for the Little Brown Jug network. But a person of Heather's ambition, flamboyance, and talent cannot of course be confined to any one country. Her journalistic travels have taken her not only to Canada, a logical extension because of the fluency of the U.S./Canada harness crossing, but also to Ireland and Australia, where she appeared as an on-air reporter during a major stakes day. (And speaking of international recognizability, Heather was also a driving force behind getting the richest harness horse world-wide, Foiled Again, into the famous "stable" of Breyer collectible horse models.) Heather is a prolific user of social media since its inception, with many followers of her frequent postings on the various platforms. "I'm not a bettor," she says, "so I focus my stories on the horses and the people in the sport, trying to tell their interesting stories, and trying to appeal to people to come out to the track and watch the races. I want to expose the sport outside of the fans we already have." Her presentation is tirelessly upbeat and positive in the service of harness racing. Perhaps the best summation of Heather Vitale was offered by Joe Thomson of Winbak Farms, who once told her, "The best business I could be in is to bottle your attitude and sell it." The Harness Writers Association has benefited a great deal from her attitude and her talents, and that's why she has been named USHWAn of the Year. Heather Vitale (and her family in their connections to Shartin N) will be honored at USHWA's annual Dan Patch Awards Banquet, celebrating the best and brightest of harness racing in the past year. The banquet honoring the champions of 2018 will be held on Sunday, February 24, 2019 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando FL, the climax of a weekend that also finds USHWA holding its annual national meetings. Tickets for the Dan Patch Awards Banquet are $175, with a filet mignon dinner featured; "post times" on February 24 are cocktails at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. Tickets, and other Banquet-related information, can be obtained through Dinner Planning Committee Chair Judy Davis-Wilson, at zoe8874@aol.com or 302 359 3630. Hotel reservations for those attending can be made through USHWA's website, www.ushwa.org; a link to the hotel's computer is on the front page of the website. Those who would like to take out congratulatory ads for awardwinners in the always-popular Dan Patch Awards Journal can do so by contacting Kim Rinker at trotrink@aol.com (the 2018 journal is online at the writers' website). Jerry Connors      

McWicked and Shartin N, ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the sport's year-end harness racing poll, were landslide winners for division honors among pacers in Dan Patch Award voting released Thursday by the U.S. Harness Writers Association. Shartin N, a 5-year-old mare, was named best older female pacer on all but one ballot while McWicked, a 7-year-old stallion, was named best older male pacer on all but three. Also named division winners were 2-year-old colt Captain Crunch, 2-year-old filly Warrawee Ubeaut, 3-year-old gelding Dorsoduro Hanover, and 3-year-old filly Kissin In The Sand. All of the winners with the exception of Dorsoduro Hanover received at least 90 percent of the vote in their division. Dorsoduro Hanover won, 65-53, over runner-up Courtly Choice in the closest divisional balloting among either pacers or trotters this year. A total of 130 Dan Patch Award ballots were returned by eligible members of the U.S. Harness Writers Association and American Harness Racing Secretaries. Dan Patch Award winners will be honored at the organization's banquet Feb. 24 at Rosen Shingle Creek resort in Orlando, Fla., at which time Trotter, Pacer, and Horse of the Year will be announced. Divisional trotting champions were announced Wednesday. McWicked led the sport in earnings this year, with $1.57 million. He became the first horse older than the age of 5 to top the money standings since 7-year-old trotter Savoir in 1975. McWicked also became the oldest male pacer to ever win a Dan Patch Award at age 2 or 3 and capture another trophy as an older horse. His first honor came at 3 in 2014. For the season, McWicked won 12 of 19 races, capping his campaign with a five-race win streak, and hit the board a total of 17 times. His victories included the $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace, $471,100 William R. Haughton Memorial, $462,000 Canadian Pacing Derby, $430,000 Breeders Crown, $350,000 TVG Series Open championship, $250,000 Dan Rooney Invitational, and $179,000 Allerage Farms Open. His 1:46.2 clocking in the Allerage was the second-fastest race mile in history. Brian Sears was McWicked's primary driver, but David Miller also posted Grand Circuit wins with the Casie Coleman-trained stallion. McWicked, a son of McArdle out of Western Sahara, is owned by Ed James' S S G Stables. He was bred by Andray Farm. Shartin N became the first pacing mare to earn $1 million in a season, finishing the year with $1.05 million thanks to 19 wins in 24 races. The New Zealand-bred mare joins Hall of Famer Cardigan Bay as a "Down Under" import to receive a Dan Patch Award. Cardigan Bay, also from New Zealand, was a two-time honoree (1965 and 1968). Trained by Jim King Jr. and driven by Tim Tetrick, Shartin N's wins included the $373,000 Blue Chip Matchmaker Series championship, $281,200 Roses Are Red, $270,000 Breeders Crown, $197,400 Lady Liberty, $175,000 TVG Series Mare championship, $161,000 Artiscape, $150,000 Betsy Ross Invitational, $102,200 Chip Noble Memorial, and $98,500 Allerage Farms Mare Pace. She also finished the year with a five-race win streak. Shartin N, a daughter of Tintin In America out of Bagdarin, is owned by Richard Poillucci and Jo Ann Looney-King. She was bred by GJ Crabbe. Dorsoduro Hanover got the nod among 3-year-old male pacers after leading the division with $1.28 million in purses, the second-highest total in the sport. He won 10 of 22 races, with his victories including the $530,000 Breeders Crown, $400,000 Delvin Miller Adios, and $253,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. He also had six second-place finishes, including in the Meadowlands Pace and Little Brown Jug. Ron Burke trained the gelding, who was driven by Matt Kakaley. Dorsoduro Hanover is owned by Sylvia Burke's Burke Racing Stable, the partnership of Jerry Silva, Theresa Silva, Purnel Jones Jr. and Elizabeth Jones, the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, and the Wingfield Five (Bradley, Charles, Kimberly, Robert and Thomas Wingfield). The son of Somebeachsomewhere out of Deer Valley Miss was bred by Hanover Shoe Farms. Two-year-old filly Warrawee Ubeaut also is part of the Burke Brigade. She won seven of 12 races and earned a division-leading $646,995 for trainer Burke and driver Yannick Gingras. Her wins included the $600,000 Breeders Crown and $207,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes. In addition, her 1:48.3 victory in a $61,250 division of the International Stallion Stakes at Red Mile made her the fastest 2-year-old pacer in history. Warrawee Ubeaut is owned by Sylvia Burke's Burke Racing Stable, Phil Collura, the partnership of Jerry Silva, Theresa Silva, Purnel Jones Jr. and Elizabeth Jones, and the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi. A daughter of Sweet Lou out of Great Memories, she was bred by Warrawee Farm. Three-year-old filly Kissin In The Sand and 2-year-old colt Captain Crunch both are from the stable of trainer Nancy Johansson and were driven by Scott Zeron. Kissin In The Sand won 10 of 15 races and never finished worse than second on her way to a division-best $845,495 in purses. Her wins included the $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial, $253,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, $191,800 Mistletoe Shalee, and $126,000 Bluegrass Stakes. She was second in the Breeders Crown and Fan Hanover. Marvin Katz and Bud Hatfield's Hatfield Stables own Kissin In The Sand, who is a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere out of Kiss Me Kate. The filly was bred by Christina Takter, John Fielding, RAW Equine, and Concord Stud Farm. Captain Crunch won six of 10 races and earned a division-leading $616,113. His triumphs included the $600,000 Breeders Crown and $469,300 Governor's Cup. He is owned by 3 Brothers Stables (Alan, Ron and Steve Katz), Christina Takter, Norman and Robert Aerenson's Rojan Stables, and Judy and Buck Chaffee's Caviart Farms. Captain Crunch, a son of Captaintreacherous out of Sweet Paprika, was bred by Walnridge Farm and Sherri Meirs. For more information about the Dan Patch Awards banquet and Rosen Shingle Creek resort, visit the U.S. Harness Writers Association's website. 2-YEAR-OLD MALE PACER Captain Crunch (126 votes/96.9 percent) Captaintreacherous - Sweet Paprika - Artiscape Yearling price: $85,000 under the name Captain Bean at Standardbred Horse Sale Breeders: Walnridge Farm, Sherri Meirs Owners: 3 Brothers Stables, Christina Takter, Rojan Stables, Caviart Farms Trainer: Nancy Johansson Driver: Scott Zeron Races: 10-6-1-1 Purses: $616,113 Mark: 1:49.1 at Red Mile Top wins: $600,000 Breeders Crown; $469,300 Governor's Cup 2-YEAR-OLD FEMALE PACER Warrawee Ubeaut (124 votes/95.3 percent) Sweet Lou - Great Memories - Apaches Fame Yearling price: $70,000 at Lexington Selected Sale Breeder: Warrawee Farm Owners: Burke Racing Stable, Phil Collura, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, Weaver Bruscemi Trainer: Ron Burke Driver: Yannick Gingras Races: 12-7-1-2 Purses: $646,995 Mark: 1:48.3 at Red Mile (world record) Top wins: $600,000 Breeders Crown; $207,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes 3-YEAR-OLD MALE PACER Dorsoduro Hanover (65 votes/50 percent) Somebeachsomewhere - Deer Valley Miss - Artsplace Yearling price: $100,000 at Standardbred Horse Sale Breeder: Hanover Shoe Farms Owners: Burke Racing Stable, Silva, Purnel & Libby, Weaver Bruscemi, Wingfield Five Trainer: Ron Burke Driver: Matt Kakaley Races: 22-10-6-2 Purses: $1.28 million Mark: 1:49.4 at Pocono Top wins: $530,000 Breeders Crown; $400,000 Adios 3-YEAR-OLD FEMALE PACER Kissin In The Sand (117 votes/90 percent) Somebeachsomewhere - Kiss Me Kate - Real Artist Yearling price: $130,000 at Standardbred Horse Sale Breeders: Christina Takter, John Fielding, RAW Equine, Concord Stud Farm Owners: Marvin Katz, Hatfield Stables Trainer: Nancy Johansson Driver: Scott Zeron Races: 15-10-5-0 Purses: $845,495 Mark: 1:47.4 at Red Mile Top wins: $300,000 Lynch Memorial; $191,800 Mistletoe Shalee OLDER MALE PACER McWicked (127 votes/97.6 percent) McArdle - Western Sahara - Western Ideal Yearling price: $35,000 at Standardbred Horse Sale Breeder: Andray Farm Owner: S S G Stables Trainer: Casie Coleman Drivers: Brian Sears, David Miller Races: 19-12-3-2 Purses: $1.57 million Mark: 1:46.2 at Red Mile Top wins: $500,000 Ben Franklin; $471,100 Haughton Memorial; $462,000 Canadian Pacing Derby; $430,000 Breeders Crown OLDER FEMALE PACER Shartin N (129 votes/99.2 percent) Tintin In America - Bagdarin - Live Or Die Yearling price: None, sold privately at age 4 Breeder: G J Crabbe Owners: Richard Poillucci, Jo Ann Looney-King Trainer: Jim King Jr. Driver: Tim Tetrick Races: 24-19-1-0 Purses: $1.05 million Mark: 1:48.2 at Red Mile Top wins: $373,000 Blue Chip Matchmaker final; $281,200 Roses Are Red; $270,000 Breeders Crown; $197,400 Lady Liberty From the U.S. Harness Writers Association  

Hambletonian-winning filly Atlanta led a distinguished group of trotters named division champions in Dan Patch Award voting released Wednesday by the U.S. Harness Writers Association. Atlanta received 96.1 percent of the votes for best 3-year-old female trotter, the highest total among the six trotting honorees. Also named division winners were 2-year-old colt Gimpanzee, 2-year-old filly Woodside Charm, 3-year-old colt Six Pack, 6-year-old gelding Homicide Hunter, and 4-year-old mare Ariana G. Ariana G, who received the nod for best older female trotter, was the only repeat winner. She collected her third trophy and joined CR Kay Suzie (1994-96) and Peace Corps (1988-90) as the only female trotters to receive a Dan Patch Award at ages 2, 3 and 4. A total of 130 Dan Patch Award ballots were returned by the U.S. Harness Writers Association's membership this year. Dan Patch Award winners will be honored at the organization's banquet Feb. 24 at Rosen Shingle Creek resort in Orlando, Fla., at which time Trotter, Pacer, and Horse of the Year will be announced. Divisional pacing champions will be announced at noon Thursday during a live stream broadcast on the Facebook pages of both the U.S. Harness Writers Association and U.S. Trotting Association. Atlanta, who received 125 votes, became the first filly to win the Hambletonian since 1996 when she captured the $1 million final Aug. 4 at the Meadowlands. Trained by Rick Zeron and driven by his son Scott, she won eight of 14 races this year and earned a division-leading $1.01 million. Her victories also included the $320,000 Kentucky Filly Futurity and $238,613 Empire Breeders Classic. She finished second in the $500,000 Breeders Crown. A daughter of Chapter Seven out of Hemi Blue Chip, Atlanta is owned by Rick Zeron, Michelle and Al Crawford's Crawford Farms, William Holland's Holland Racing Stable, Howard Taylor, and Brad Grant. She was bred by Order By Stable. In the division for the 3-year-old colts and geldings, Six Pack received 54.6 percent of the vote in the closest balloting among trotters. He outdistanced runner-up Tactical Landing, 71-46. Six Pack, a son of Muscle Mass out of Pleasing Lady, won 11 of 15 races this year and earned a division-best $1.15 million. His triumphs included the $620,000 Kentucky Futurity, $500,000 Yonkers Trot, $223,673 Empire Breeders Classic, $210,150 Matron Stakes, and a $181,000 division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial. His winning time of 1:49.1 in the Kentucky Futurity final is the fastest mile ever by a 3-year-old trotter. Ake Svanstedt trained and drove Six Pack in addition to owning the colt with Jeff Gural's Little E LLC, Tomas Olofsson's Stall Kalmar FF, and Lars Berg. Six Pack was bred by Brittany Farms. Ariana G added to her hardware collection by receiving 63.8 percent of the vote for best older female trotter, finishing 50 votes ahead of second-place Emoticon Hanover. Ariana G was trained by Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter, who retired at the end of the season, and posted victories with drivers Yannick Gingras, Brian Sears, and David Miller. The homebred mare, a daughter of Muscle Hill out of Cantab It All, won five of 14 races this year and earned a division-leading $597,802 for owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. She beat male rivals in all her wins, including the $405,850 Hambletonian Maturity and $250,000 Graduate Series championship, which were for 4-year-olds, as well as the $150,000 Dayton Trotting Derby and an elimination of the Maple Leaf Trot. She finished third in the Maple Leaf final. Homicide Hunter, the fastest trotter in history thanks to his 1:48.4 winning mile in the Allerage Farms Open on Oct. 6 at Red Mile, received the Dan Patch Award for best older male trotter with 73.8 percent of the vote. Marion Marauder, the division's 2017 champion, was the only other vote-getter. In addition to winning the Allerage, Homicide Hunter captured the $500,000 Breeders Crown, $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial, and $100,000 Great Northeast Open Series championship. George Napolitano Jr., Aaron Merriman, and Brian Sears each had a Grand Circuit victory with the Chris Oakes-trained gelding. Homicide Hunter, a son of Mr Cantab out of Evening Prayer, is owned by Michelle and Al Crawford's Crawford Farms Racing and was bred by Patrick Graham. Gimpanzee and Woodside Charm were undefeated, marking the first time both 2-year-old trotting champions completed unblemished campaigns. They also were the two richest 2-year-old trotters this season. Marcus Melander-trained Gimpanzee, who got 90 percent of the vote, dominated the New York Sire Stakes circuit, winning six preliminary rounds and the $225,000 championship, before finishing his season by winning his Breeders Crown elimination and the $600,000 final. His 9-for-9 performance resulted in earnings of $591,358 for owners Anders Ström’s Courant Inc. and Lennart Agren's SRF Stable. Brian Sears drove Gimpanzee, who became the first undefeated 2-year-old male trotter to receive a Dan Patch Award since Wheeling N Dealin in 2012. Gimpanzee, a son of Chapter Seven out of Steamy Windows, was bred by Order By Stable. Woodside Charm, who received 93.8 percent of the vote, won all seven of her starts for owner-trainer-driver Verlin Yoder. Her wins included the $600,000 Breeders Crown and $236,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes. She also won a division of the New York Sire Stakes at Saratoga in 1:53.4, the fastest mile ever by a 2-year-old trotter on a half-mile track. A daughter of Chapter Seven out of Fireworks Hanover, Woodside Charm was bred by AV & Son Bloodstock. She became only the second unbeaten 2-year-old filly trotter to win a Dan Patch Award, following 2017 honoree Manchego. 2-YEAR-OLD MALE TROTTER Gimpanzee (117 votes/90 percent) Chapter Seven - Steamy Windows - Muscle Massive Yearling price: $170,000 under the name Army Of Monkeys at Standardbred Horse Sale Breeder: Order By Stable Owners: Courant Inc., SRF Stable Trainer: Marcus Melander Driver: Brian Sears Races: 9-9-0-0 Purses: $591,358 Mark: 1:54.3 at Vernon Downs Top wins: $600,000 Breeders Crown; $225,000 New York Sire Stakes final 2-YEAR-OLD FEMALE TROTTER Woodside Charm (122 votes/93.8 percent) Chapter Seven - Fireworks Hanover - Muscles Yankee Yearling price: Private Breeder: AV & Son Bloodstock LLC Owner: Verlin Yoder Trainer: Verlin Yoder Driver: Verlin Yoder Races: 7-7-0-0 Purses: $521,658 Mark: 1:53 at Pocono Top wins: $600,000 Breeders Crown; $236,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes 3-YEAR-OLD MALE TROTTER Six Pack (71 votes/54.6 percent) Muscle Mass - Pleasing Lady - Cantab Hall Yearling price: $30,000 at Lexington Selected Sale Breeder: Brittany Farms Owners: Ake Svanstedt Inc., Little E LLC, Stall Kalmar FF, Lars Berg Trainer: Ake Svanstedt Driver: Ake Svanstedt Races: 15-11-2-1 Purses: $1.15 million Mark: 1:49.1 at Red Mile (world record) Top wins: $620,000 Kentucky Futurity; $500,000 Yonkers Trot; $210,150 Matron Stakes 3-YEAR-OLD FEMALE TROTTER Atlanta (125 votes/96.1 percent) Chapter Seven - Hemi Blue Chip - Cantab Hall Yearling price: $60,000 under the name Django Unchained at Standardbred Horse Sale Breeder: Order By Stable Owners: Rick Zeron/Crawford Farms, Holland Racing Stable, Howard Taylor, Brad Grant Trainer: Rick Zeron Driver: Scott Zeron Races: 14-8-5-1 Purses: $1.01 million Mark: 1:50.3 at Vernon Downs Top wins: $1 million Hambletonian; $320,000 Kentucky Filly Futurity OLDER MALE TROTTER Homicide Hunter (96 votes/73.8 percent) Mr Cantab - Evening Prayer - Like A Prayer Yearling price: Homebred, sold privately at age 4 Breeder: Patrick Graham Owner: Crawford Farms Racing Trainer: Chris Oakes Drivers: George Napolitano Jr., Brian Sears, Aaron Merriman Races: 16-9-0-2 Purses: $605,770 Mark: 1:48.4 at Red Mile (world record) Top wins: $500,000 Breeders Crown; $200,000 Hill Memorial; $145,000 Allerage OLDER FEMALE TROTTER Ariana G (83 votes/63.8 percent) Muscle Hill - Cantab It All - Cantab Hall Yearling price: Homebred Breeders: Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld Owners: Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld Trainer: Jimmy Takter Drivers: Yannick Gingras, Brian Sears, David Miller Races: 14-5-1-1 Purses: $597,802 Mark: 1:50.2 at Meadowlands Top wins: $405,850 Hambletonian Maturity; $250,000 Graduate; $150,000 Dayton Derby From the U.S. Harness Writers Association  

GOSHEN NY - At its annual Hall of Fame Induction Dinner on Sunday, July 1, the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame was a recipient of a check for $5000 from the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), the sport's leading media organization. Two years ago, the Directors of USHWA made a change in the organization's rules and regulations of operation, mandating a $5000 contribution to the Hall and Museum. USHWA has been entrusted with conducting the annual elections for the sport's highest honor, acceptance into the Hall of Fame, with its membership joining with present Hall of Famers in voting to honor the best of the best. The organization is proud of the work of the Hall and the Museum, and is glad to contribute to ongoing operations. Shawn Wiles, president of USHWA, is also Manager of Racing Operations at nearby Monticello Raceway; in fact, his USHWA chapter is named the Monticello-Goshen Chapter, and he is very aware of the importance of and the ongoing good work done by his "backyard neighbor." Noted Wiles, "The preservation and promotion of the achievements of the sport's greatest participants who have been honored by election to the Hall would be enough for many organizations. But the Hall/Museum also serves as the sport's main repository of history for today's racing fans, and often is on the road with exhibits, furthering exposure for the sport; it also has a component that tries to encourage the fans of tomorrow, to introduce them to harness racing at a young age." The Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame is open 361 days a year in Goshen NY; their website's address is www.harnessmuseum.com. From the United States Harness Writers Association

MONTICELLO NY - The United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), the sport's leading group of Standardbred journalists, has announced that it will be donating $2,500 to the unfortunate horsemen who lost more than two dozen horses and their associated equipment - basically, their means of livelihood -- in a barn fire at the Mount Hope Training Center in Otisville, Orange County NY during the morning of June 2. "Even the mere mention of the word FIRE sends shivers down the spine of every horseman, every track executive, every shedrow in the world," notes Shawn Wiles, president of USHWA, executive director of racing at New York's Monticello Raceway, and a former caretaker. "Any loss of equine life is horrific. "It is during catastrophes such as this that the industry comes together and rallies behind those who have lost everything. The U.S. Harness Writers Association makes this donation in an effort to help horsemen get back on their feet and get their lives together again." A GoFundMe page, for others who want to help these devastated horsemen, has been set up jointly by North American Harness Update Picks and Post Time with Mike & Mike, and it has now raised over $10,000. The website for making donations is www.gofundme.com/MtHopeFire. From the United States Harness Writers Association

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