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The Kentucky Derby has its "Run for the Roses"; the Preakness runs for the Black-Eyed Susans; and on Tuesday afternoon, April 22 Monticello Raceway will have its annual "Race for the Matzohs" when the Catskill Mountains oval presents its 16th edition of the Passover Pace, a race strictly for drivers of Jewish heritage. The event will be part of the tracks year-long Heritage Drivers Series which will be followed later this season by other races for different ethnicities. Last year, Bobby Krivelin won the event with Isn't She Lovely in a time of 2:04.1 and it marked the second time in the last three years that Krivelin has been victorious in the Race for The Matzohs. Despite having won again last year still Krivelin trails both Mike Kimelman (1999-2003-2007) and Alan Schwartz (2002-2004-2006) each of whom have won the Passover Pace three times. Alan Charles, who's expected to be among the drivers in this year's race, joins Krivelin as a two- time winner (2012-2010) of the Passover Pace Other recent previous winners include, PJ Lutman III (2009) and Bob Hechkoff (2008). The fastest of all the Passover Paces was a 1:59 mile when Jack Rice won the event with Wildfire King in 2001. "This race may be a little unusual but believe it or not those who compete annually in our Passover Pace have been calling to make sure that we are doing it again this year," said Mighty M general manager, Shawn Wiles. The Passover Pace is open to any licensed harness driver of Jewish heritage who holds a full (A) or a provisional (P) license from the United States Trotting Association. Director of Racing, Eric Warner, is currently seeking drivers who are interested in participating in this year's contest. For further information, or to enter the event, please contact Warner in the racing office at 845-794-4100 x 557; or call the tracks publicity office at extension 455. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

Woody Allen’s Bananas is one of the all time classic comedy flicks. To impress a love interest, the Allen character travels to the mythical banana republic of San Marcos to help a band of revolutionaries oust its ruthless ruler. When the revolutionaries prove successful, their leader declares himself El Presidente, and immediately pronounces that the nation’s new official language is Swedish; that underwear will be worn on the outside at all times and that all children under sixteen… are now sixteen! Real laws can sometimes appear to be as ridiculous as fictional ones. Laws often sound absurd because the facts and circumstances that justified their promulgation have drastically changed. Consider that until relatively recently it was still illegal in New York City to shoot pigeons off the decades-ago extinct Fifth Avenue trolley. Occasionally, deep-rooted traditions are clung to long after everyone else has discarded them. So, while most American jurisdictions have abandoned laws preventing retail businesses from operating on the Christian Sabbath, Bergen County, New Jersey still enforces so-called “Sunday blue laws.” Then again, some real laws appear ridiculous simply because they are ridiculous. Is there a check or limit on what laws a legislature may create? The only true test is whether the law squares with the Constitution. Unless completely devoid of all logic, an otherwise constitutional law will stand. In a 2008 U.S. Supreme Court decision that upheld a completely arcane law concerning the election of judges, Justice John Paul Stevens took note that his late colleague, Justice Thurgood Marshal, was quite fond of saying, “The Constitution does not prohibit legislatures from enacting stupid laws.” While legislatures have wide latitude in their power to make laws, administrative agencies are much more restricted in their ability to pass rules and regulations. The distinction is important, because in most jurisdictions, harness racing is heavily controlled via administrative rulemaking. As a creation of the legislature, an administrative agency may only act in the limited manner that the statute which enables it permits. In most jurisdictions, when an administrative regulation is challenged by someone affected, it will be upheld only if it has a rational basis and is not unreasonable, arbitrary or capricious. In other words, the rule must not just be constitutional; it must also make sense. The additional strictures placed upon administrative rulemaking are many. In New York, for example, the State Administrative Procedure Act mandates that an agency consider in its rulemaking the utilization of approaches which are designed to avoid undue deleterious economic effects or overly burdensome impacts of the rule upon persons. Further, New York law requires agencies to prepare a ‘needs and benefits statement’ for each proposed regulation setting forth the purpose of, necessity for, and benefits derived from the rule. Moreover, the agency must provide a citation for and summary, not to exceed five hundred words, of each scientific or statistical study, report or analysis that served as the basis for the rule, an explanation of how it was used to determine the necessity for and benefits derived from the rule, and the name of the person that produced each study, report or analysis. Additionally, New York specifically requires administrative agencies to give due consideration to the impact a proposed regulation may have on small businesses and rural areas, and to provide  flexibility, even to the extent of exempting some from coverage by the rule, or by any part thereof, so long as the public health, safety or general welfare is not endangered. Further, unlike legislated laws, rules and regulations proposed by agencies must undergo a public comment period before their enactment is considered final. In this vein, the agency may choose to hold a public hearing to better understand how proposed rules impact communities, industries or segments thereof. Against this backdrop, the New York State Gaming Commission recently considered a series of proposals put forth by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium in the RMTC’s quest to establish uniform medication rules in all racing jurisdictions. While the official position of the United States Trotting Association is that uniformity across the states is desired, the USTA requires that the standardized rules must comport with the specific needs of harness racing. In this regard, the RMTC proposals have in many ways proven to be centered solely on the wants and desires of Thoroughbred racing, as well as the customary training and racing attributes of their horses, without the least bit of concern for the Standardbred industry. The RMTC pitch regarding the administration of Clenbuterol is but one glaring example. Clenbuterol is a therapeutic medication used as a bronchodilator. While some question its effectiveness, others swear by its curative and restorative qualities, and urge that there are no legitimate alternatives to treat common respiratory ailments in horses. At least one scientist has put forth a study that long term use of the drug could be associated with heart failure. Yet, neither the purported safety nor efficacy of the medication was the driving force behind the RMTC’s submission to the various racing commissions. The RMTC’s position is that prolonged use of Clenbuterol has a ‘repartitioning’ effect in horses. This means that in certain quantities over certain periods the substance may turn fat into muscle, and thus has a mechanism ostensibly similar to anabolic steroids. Does it, and if it does, how long of an administration is required to cause such an effect? In truth, there are no good peer reviewed scientific studies on the matter. Nonetheless, RMTC recommends that the Clenbuterol withdrawal time for all racehorses be established at 14 days. This means that any administration of the medication given at any time within the 14 day period before a race would be a violation. Such administration would be determined by a scientifically-established threshold. If a race day specimen contained more than the threshold, the assumption would be that the medication was given within the prohibited timeframe. In New York, the previous Clenbuterol withdrawal time for both breeds was 96 hours. The Thoroughbred rule was recently changed to 14 days, and late last year the Gaming Commission proposed a similar 14-day withdrawal time for Standardbreds. Are Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds the same animal? Hardly. While classified as the same species, Standardbreds have been a closed breed since the late 1800s, with Thoroughbreds being a pure breed for at least a century before. It doesn’t require a science degree to perceive that the breeds are distinguishable in both the conformation and temperament of its members. Some argue that despite the foregoing, there remains a physiological identity to all horses. On this point, consider that there is an open question as to whether the supposed increase in muscle mass some attribute to the medication occurs with equal effect, or at all, in Standardbreds. One consideration is that Thoroughbreds have a high percentage of fast-twitch skeletal muscle fibers, while Standardbreds fall into an intermediate range. Such fact would infer that the purported repartitioning effect cannot be lumped upon the entire species. Again, studies are sparse, and legitimate studies involving racehorses are non-existent.   Even more relevant, while members of both breeds might share an equal 64 chromosomes, the marked differences in both the husbandry and placement in service of the distinct breed members are undeniable. Gaits, surfaces, feeding and training routines are all patently dissimilar. The glaring difference, however, is in the frequency with which the breed members compete. The average Thoroughbred makes fewer than 7 starts per year. Whether due to physical necessity or the lack of opportunity offered by the condition book, most runners get several weeks off between races. Standardbreds, on the other hand, race weekly during most of the year. This is especially true when a horse is competing in a high-end elimination series. Thus, the irony is that while a 14-day rule would still present ample opportunity for “loading-up” Thoroughbreds with Clenbuterol for non-therapeutic purposes, the rule for once-a-week harness horses would simply prevent use of the medication as a legitimate treatment option. What is more, the present 96 hour rule prevents an ulterior illicit use of the medication in weekly-competing Standardbreds, since the administration of the substance would be limited to scant days between races. In sum, a 14 day withdrawal rule for Standardbreds would not simply be nonsensical, but also would prove to completely damaging to the health, safety and welfare of horses that industry regulators are charged to protect. It is for all the foregoing reasons that the USTA, in conjunction with New York’s harness horsemen and assisted by equine scientists and practicing veterinarians, made its case against the 14-day rule in a January public hearing before the N.Y. Gaming Commission.   Subsequent to the hearing, the Commission proposed a modified rule. The modification retains a 96 hour pre-race withdrawal period for harness racing, with the exception that if the horse has not raced for a period in excess of 30 days and needs to qualify, that the 14 day withdrawal rule will be in effect for its first race back. In this regard, the Commission has acted in a way consistent with its mandate to do what is both rational and sensible while protecting the health and safety of the horses and the welfare of the horsemen and wagering public. The breed-specific rule ensures that competing harness horses will not denied a necessary therapeutic medication, and also makes certain that one on an extended layoff will not be administered the substance in a way that might cause performance enhancement. Perhaps RMTC will take the hint. Authoritarian regulations that provide strict and inflexible blanket commands which intentionally ignore conspicuous nuances so as to affect one segment of an industry over others might be expected from the ruling junta in San Marcos. Such edicts shouldn’t be generated by a group that is purported to be based in science and objectivity. Finally, those that believe they can steamroll ill-advised rules by threatening the resistant with government intervention and oversight should take pause; New York government just joined the resistance. Chris E. Wittstruck is an attorney, a director of the Standardbred Owners Association of New York and a charter member of the Albany Law School Racing and Gaming Law Network.

Columbus, OH --- The committee reports from the recently-held 2014 USTA Annual Meeting in Columbus, Ohio, are now available on  To see the reports, click here. The reports are from the following committees that met during the past weekend:  Registration – Owners/Breeders, Pari-Mutuel, Driver/Trainer, Regulatory, Fairs, Communications/Marketing, Rules, and Finance. The Rules Committee report includes each of the proposed rule changes for 2014 with the recommendations to the Rules Committee from each of the other committees. Following are the 2014 rule changes that were approved by the USTA Board of Directors: 1.    A proposal to amend §4.153 Record / Standard Record – by adding the following language to the end of the first sentence “at the standard distance of one mile.” APPROVED §4.135  Record / Standard Record - The fastest time made by a horse in a heat or race which he or she won at the standard distance of one mile.  A Standard Record is a record of 2:20 or faster for two-year-olds and 2:15 or faster for all other ages.  Effective May 1, 2014   2.    A proposal to amend §6.16 Timers – by changed the word “fifths” in the send sentence to read “tenths”.   APPROVED AS AMENDED by Pari-Mutuel Committee –  Change timing to 100ths of a second effective January 1, 2016.  Pari-Mutuel §6.16 Timers. – At each race there shall be three timers in the judges’ or timers’ stand except when an electronic timing device is used, in which event there shall be one timer.  All times shall be announced and recorded in fifths of seconds.  Effective January 1, 2016 and thereafter, all times shall be announced and recorded in 100ths of seconds.  An approved electronic or electric timing device must be used where horses are started from a chute. The timers shall be in the stand 15 minutes before the first race is to be contested.  They shall start their watches when the first horse leaves the point from which the distance of the race is measured.  The time of the lead horse at the quarter, half, three-quarters, and the finish shall be taken.  If odd distances are raced the fractions shall be noted accordingly. Effective January 1, 2016 3.    A proposal to amend §9.03 Leased Horses – to eliminate all racing leases for an “indefinite” period of time and require a termination date of not more than two years from the effective date of the lease. APPROVED AS AMENDED by Regulatory Committee §9.03 Leased Horses. – Any horse on a racing lease must race in the name of the lessee.  No electronic eligibility will be issued to a horse under lease unless a copy of the lease is filed with the USTA.  For purposes of issuance of electronic eligibility and/or transfer of ownership, a lease shall be terminated at the end of the term or by signature of all parties.  No new racing lease shall be recorded with a termination date of more than two years.  Effective May 1, 2014 4.    A proposal to amend §24.01 Timing of Races  - to change the words “fifths of seconds” in the third line of the first sentence to read “tenths of seconds. APPROVED AS AMENDED BY Pari-Mutuel Committee §24.01 Timing of Races.  – In every race, the time of each heat or race, shall be accurately taken by three timers or an approved electric timing device, in which case there shall be one timer and placed in the record in minutes, seconds and fifths of seconds and upon the decision of each heat the time thereof shall be publicly announced or posted.  Effective January 1, 2016 and thereafter, all times shall be announced and recorded in 100ths of seconds.  No unofficial timing shall be announced or admitted to the record and when the timers fail to act no time shall be announced or recorded for that heat.  Effective January 1, 2016   5.     A proposal to add language to existing §26.03 Non-Standardbred – to require that any such horse be spayed or neutered as a requirement for registration by adding the following language to the end of the first sentence:  “and verification that the horse has been spayed or neutered.”   APPROVED §26.03 Non-Standardbred. – Any horse may be registered as Non-Standardbred upon filing application showing satisfactory identification of the horse and verification that the horse has been spayed or neutered. This identification may be accomplished by furnishing the name, age, sex, sire, dam, color and markings, and history of the previous owners.  A mating certificate must accompany this application showing the sire to be some type of a registered horse.  Any owner standing a Non-Standardbred stallion for service must include the fact that it is Non-Standardbred in all advertisements of such service.   Other provisions of these rules notwithstanding, the Registration Committee may register as Non-Standardbred any horse which does not qualify for such registration under this section if, in their opinion, such horse should be registered Non-Standardbred.  Effective May 1, 2014 From the USTA Communications Department  

Columbus, OH --- The 2014 Annual Meeting in Columbus, Ohio concluded Monday afternoon with the organization moving into the future with some new and updated initiatives. During the two-day meetings, the directors were updated on the progress made in the industry’s social media initiative; given a detailed overview with a video presentation of the USTA’s innovative, new online entry platform; voted to change the timing of races to one-hundredths of a second starting in 2016; allocated $100,000 this year for research by the USTA Medication Advisory Committee; and received details on the expansion of the USTA Driving School with a new “graduate” program and sponsorship from the New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund.  In addition, it was announced that four ad hoc committees would be formed, including one to deliberate the funding of a national TV package for harness racing in 2014 and another to consider a move of the USTA headquarters and sale of the buildings in Columbus.       Rob Key, the CEO and founder of the award-winning social marketing agency Converseon, gave a detailed presentation of the industry’s initiative in the Communications and Marketing Committee on Monday.  He presented the new Harness Racing Fan Zone website ( and Social Ambassador Program while encouraging the directors and the rest of the industry to become more involved. “We now have major league assets like NASCAR, the NFL and NHL to showcase our sport,” said Key. “Harness racing is an exciting sport that has a rich history and tradition that we need to share in order to create and engage new fans.” Among the announcements on the concluding day of the Annual Meeting were that the USTA Online Entry application, which has been in beta testing at numerous racetracks, will be ready to go live on April 7 at all participating tracks and that the keynote speaker for the 2014 USTA Driving School in Goshen, NY from June 11-15 will be trainer Ron Burke. On Monday, the board also held its Recognition Luncheon where Phil Langley presented his annual President’s Awards to USTA Director Gabe Wand and USTA website contributor Bob Carson. “These awards are presented to those who have done things over and above what is expected in racing or may not have been recognized for their contributions,” said Langley.       Wand was recognized for his efforts on behalf of fair racing in Wisconsin, while Carson was lauded for his informative, entertaining and thought-provoking stories on “A writer without a platform is like a pole vaulter without a pole,” said Carson in accepting the award.  “I’d like to thank the USTA for giving me that platform.” The 2014 budget was approved and the dates for the 2015 USTA Annual Meeting were tentatively announced for March 14-16 at the Columbus Hilton at Easton in Columbus, Ohio.  There will be discussion of extending the meetings next year that could affect those dates. From the USTA Communications Department

Columbus, OH --- The annual convocation of directors of the United States Trotting Association got underway Sunday afternoon (March 30) in Columbus, Ohio. With Chairman of the Board Ivan Axelrod presiding, the assembled directors heard from Robert Schmitz, chairman of the Ohio Racing Commission. Schmitz spoke on the importance of harness racing to the Ohio economy and the support of Governor John Kasich in recognizing racing’s roots in the farm community.       In remarks video streamed live to members on, President Phil Langley updated the group on the USTA’s efforts to work with the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium in developing model rules and medication guidelines without overlooking the differences in breeds. Usage patterns and racing patterns have highlighted some major differences between the less-frequently raced Thoroughbreds versus Standardbreds, who often race weekly. There were no challengers to the existing slate of USTA officers, which will remain: Phil Langley, president; Ivan Axelrod, chairman of the board; Russell Williams, vice chairman; Dick Brandt, treasurer and Barbara Brooks, secretary. Rob Key, CEO and founder of Converseon, updated the group on the social media platforms that have been developed, including a centralized harness racing website,, which recently was unveiled with a “100 Greatest Moments in Harness Racing” interactive contest. He emphasized that it was a joint venture among the USTA, Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame, and the U.S. Harness Writers Association. The Harness Racing Fan Zone (@harnessracingFZ on Twitter) mirrors similar platforms offered by major league sports, like Major League Baseball, the National Football League and NASCAR. “The foundation is in place,” said Key. “We need to spend time on transparency and openness and create communities.” Key predicted the new website would, “give people a feel for what it's like to be in the sport.” He spoke about the social media ambassador’s platform that has been created for participants to share their experiences in the sport. Moving forward, tracks will be urged to partner with the Fan Zone in order to significantly expand awareness and interest in harness racing. A replay of the full board session may be viewed by clicking here or on the link at the top of the story. Committee meetings followed, with rule changes considered in the Fairs, Pari-Mutuel, Regulatory and Registration Committees. Further discussion of rule change proposals will take place Monday in the Rules Committee and the final vote will be rendered at the meeting of all directors Monday afternoon. by Ellen Harvey for Harness Racing Communications

The freshman pacer White Bliss may have garnered all of the attention last fall due to his pure white appearance, but at The Meadows, an unusual trotter has picked up quite a following thanks to her "fancy" look.   Fancy Sierra Star is a rarity in her own right. She is a pinto Standardbred, getting her coloring from her second dam. A daughter of Sierra Kosmos out of a Lark's Crown mare, the second dam is listed as "breeding not proven" in the official United States Trotting Association log. Now a member of the Bill and Moira Fahy Stable, Fancy Sierra Star stepped in front of the camera at The Meadows this week in a video produced by Jeff Zidek.   To view the video, follow this link:   For further information, contact Jeff Zidek, 724-228-3644.   From the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

Columbus, OH --- The 2014 USTA annual meetings are scheduled for Sunday (March 30) and Monday (March 31) at the Hilton Columbus at Easton in Columbus, Ohio. Following Rules and Executive Committee meetings in the morning on Sunday, the Board of Directors general session, which will be streamed live on the USTA website (, will begin at 12:30 p.m. (EDT). Keynote speaker for the general session will be Ohio State Racing Commission Chairman Robert Schmitz. Among the topics on the agenda are: the introduction of new USTA directors, proclamations and recognition of former directors, an election of officers, the president’s report from Phil Langley and executive vice president’s report from Mike Tanner, a financial report, presentation/vote on revised bylaws, and rule change proposals. The final item on the general session agenda will include a discussion of medication rules and a presentation on harness racing’s social media initiative by Rob Key, CEO of Converseon, the USTA’s social media marketing agency. Meetings are scheduled Sunday afternoon and Monday morning involving the following committees: Fairs, Pari-Mutuel, Regulatory, and Registration-Owners/Breeders on Sunday and Driver/Trainer, Finance, Rules and Communications/Marketing on Monday. The President’s Awards luncheon honoring 2014 recipients Bob Carson and Gabe Wand will be held on Sunday at 11:45 a.m. The 2014 USTA annual meetings will conclude with a general session commencing at 2:30 p.m. (EDT) on Monday that will include committee reports, ad hoc committee assignments, approval of the budget, and announcement of the location and dates for the 2015 annual meetings. All USTA members are welcome to attend the meetings with the exception of the Executive Committee, which is limited to committee members only. Visit for the live video stream of Sunday’s Board of Director’s general session from 12:30–3 p.m. (EDT) as well as daily recaps of the important news from the meetings. From the USTA Communications Department

Columbus, OH -- To help drive greater awareness of and engagement with the sport of harness racing to current and new fans, the United States Trotting Association ("USTA"), in partnership with social consultancy, Converseon and key industry constituents, have officially launched a new socially powered, consumer-facing website, The Harness Racing Fan Zone ( The Harness Racing Fan Zone is an innovative new, online content hub designed for current and potential new fans and owners to "see, share, connect and play" through the power of social media. The mission of the Fan Zone is not to replace current industry websites or marketing initiatives but to serve as a key central platform that will help unify, amplify and positively brand the sport. "The Fan Zone is designed to meet the increasing demands and expectations of a new generation of digitally and socially-savvy consumers who have grown accustomed to key features that let them become not just spectators to a particular sport, but active digital participants," said Mike Tanner, USTA executive vice president and CEO. "The Fan Zone now provides harness racing with a new 'major league' consumer experience that fully leverages social media for fans, potential fans, owners and sponsors. We expect this to be a key resource for racetracks, large and small, and other related groups to better amplify and support their marketing efforts." Select key features include:  Allows fans to deeply engage with the sport via social media functionality, videos, photos, plugins and more.  Interconnects with other key social platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Vimeo, YouTube, Vine, Instagram and more to help create a more comprehensive Fan Zone presence for the sport. Provides pages for individual tracks and industry groups to be profiled. Aggregates and promotes all industry/track promotions in one place so they are easy to find and participate in. The Fan Zone's first promotion is its recently launched 100 Top Moments in Harness Racing. Click here. Shows real time conversations about the sport so that fans can listen, share or join in. Celebrates the owners, fans, and horseman involved in the sport and helps show fans the personalities and stories behind the names. Provides a place for socially-active fans to sign up and become part of the sport's Ambassador Program. Via the Ambassador Program, fans can win rewards, visibility, and points for helping to spread the word about the sport. Provides key marketing and sponsorship support assets for sponsors Allows fans to upload their photos/videos and stories to be featured in the Fan Zone About the USTA The United States Trotting Association, located in Columbus, Ohio, is a not-for-profit association of Standardbred owners, breeders, drivers, trainers, and officials organized to provide administrative, rulemaking, licensing and breed registry services to its members. For more information on the USTA, please visit About the Harness Racing Social Media Initiative Launched in September, 2013, the Harness Racing Social Media Initiative is a partnership between the United States Trotting Association, the social media consultancy, Converseon, and key industry groups to help drive marketing innovation and engagement with current and new fans for the sport. The initiative's mission is to help support key racetracks, industry groups and help provide foundational support and a common, "best practice" framework by leveraging social technologies and platforms and strategies to help positively brand the sport of harness racing and generate greater awareness, visibility and engagement with a new generation of fans. by Dan Leary, for USTA Communications Department  

We had to take a bone chip out of a hind ankle. Dr. Patty Hogan did the surgery and we pretty much followed the textbook bringing him back." Sevruga made a statement last year that he could compete with harness racing’s best older trotters. Trainer Julie Miller hopes Katie Said can announce herself in similar fashion when she takes on stakes-calibre three-year-old filly pacers later this season. Katie Said, who was limited to two starts last year, and Sevruga were among four winners for Miller at last Friday’s qualifiers at the Meadowlands. The others were six-year-old trotter Bambino Hall and three-year-old pacer The Lunch Pail as Team Miller -- Julie and her husband, driver Andy -- went 4-for-4 on the day. It was the six-year-old Sevruga’s second qualifier of the season, a winning effort in 1:54.2 as he comes back from bone chip surgery that forced him to miss the end of last year. Sevruga won nine of 22 races and earned $484,575 in 2013 for owner KDM Stables.   His wins included the John Cashman Jr. Memorial and Arthur J. Cutler Memorial, both at the Meadowlands, and he finished worse than third only once in his first 19 starts. He was off the board in his last three races and missed the final of the TVG Free For All Series after ending the preliminary rounds as the points leader. "He’s had two nice qualifiers. We’re going to qualify him back again because the level he has to race at, with the top horses in the country, I’d like to have one more tightener for him. But so far he’s done everything we’ve asked of him.” Sevruga, who finished fifth in purses among all older trotters in North America last year, is staked to a similar schedule in 2014. “He’s got all the big races,” Miller said. “If you can get a piece of those, you’re doing good. It’s a tough division, but (Meadowlands Chairman Jeff Gural) putting together those nice races for the older horses to keep them on the track, it’s been great to see that competition.” Katie Said, a daughter of stallion Well Said, is a half-sister to Kikikatie, the 2003 Dan Patch Award winner for best two-year-old filly pacer, and stakes-winner Just Wait Kate. Katie Said’s mother, Katies Lucky Lady, is a full sister to millionaire Camluck. Purchased as a yearling for $67,000 at the 2012 Standardbred Horse Sale, Katie Said is owned by the Andy Miller Stable and Black Horse Racing. She won her first start last year in 1:55.3 at Harrah’s Philadelphia in early October, but in her second race made a violent break while challenging for the lead and went to her knees. “She grabbed a shoe,” Miller said. “She just had some scrapes and scratches, but instead of going on with her, we turned her out and did the right thing by her. It’s working out.” Katie Said won her qualifier last week in 1:55.2. She is eligible to the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes circuit as well as a number of stakes including the Lynch Memorial, Adioo Volo, Shady Daisy, Reynolds and Tompkins-Geers. “Andy said she was vicious in her qualifier, just under wraps,” Miller said. “As a two-year-old, she was a late-comer. She had some maturity issues, not physically, but mentally. She’s got a nice three-year-old (stakes) season for this summer. She’s been a pleasant surprise. Hopefully she’ll be a nice racehorse for us this year. We’re really looking forward to her.” The Lunch Pail was another late bloomer, after getting an attitude adjustment. The now gelded son of Yankee Cruiser-Noble Marty, won a division of the Historic-Goshen Cup in 1:51.3 at Harrah’s Philadelphia and finished second in divisions of the Reynolds and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes after a slow start to his career. “He was a little bit of a project for us,” Miller said. “He grabbed a shoe one time at The Meadows and got jammed up another time and was making some breaks. In the stall, he was a nipper and biter and kind of would buck around and kick. We decided to geld him and keep his mind on his business. “As soon as we did that, he had a dazzling performance in (1):51.3 at Harrah’s Philadelphia. It’s amazing what they can accomplish when they keep their mind on their business.” The Lunch Pail, who was purchased as a yearling for $44,000 under the name Bud Bay at the 2012 Lexington Selected Sale, is a full brother to stakes-winner Marty Party. The Lunch Pail was owned by the Millers, but three days after his 1:52.4 qualifier win was sold to Michael Ouriel, who also owns Marty Party. He is eligible to the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes as well as events such as the Hempt Memorial, Adios, Reynolds and Historic. He also could go to the Bobby Weiss Series, which begins Saturday at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. “He’s a nice bred horse,” Miller said. “He’s got pedigree, he’s got the conformation, and now he’s got a great attitude too.” From the United States Trotting Association

Columbus, OH --- In celebration of the rich history of harness racing, the United States Trotting Association, in partnership with the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame, announced today the launch of the “Top 100 Moments in Harness Racing” contest. The contest will allow fans from around the world to upload and share their favorite personal harness racing moments for industry recognition and a chance to be become part of the sport’s history. The winning top moments will be celebrated in a special exhibit at the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y. The contest, which starts on Tuesday (March 18) at 9 a.m. (EDT), is accessible at and leverages Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms, together with the new Harness Racing Fan Zone ( The Fan Zone is an exciting, new social media-oriented content hub that allows fans, new and old, a place to “See, Share, Engage and Play” with the best of the sport and interconnects with other key industry digital properties. Using a crowd-sourcing approach, the contest, which ends June 15 at 9 p.m. (EDT), allows participants to upload, display and share their photos, videos, stories and memories and enables fans to vote for their favorites. Entries will be divided in the following categories: Horses, People, Races, Places, as well as a special “Heart” category designed to celebrate some of the personal stories that exhibit extraordinary determination and courage. Voting will be split between fans and a five-person judging committee consisting of a representative from the USTA, the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame, the Hambletonian Society, United States Harness Writers Association and sport historian Dean Hoffman. The committee will oversee final judging. “Social media provides us with a powerful new and innovative platform to drive forward our core mission of collecting, preserving and sharing the incredibly rich history of Harness Racing,” said Janet Terhune, Director of the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame. “Through this exciting digital initiative, fans can become key contributors by sharing their stories and helping us pass our history to a new generation of fans. We encourage everyone to participate as we hope to uncover new stories, photos and moments that have not yet been archived or recognized. No story is too big or too small.” “The USTA is proud to support this initiative through our growing social media presence, which is allowing the industry to partner together and connect with current and potential fans in new and compelling ways,” said Mike Tanner, Executive Vice President and CEO of the USTA. “The sport of harness racing has a history second-to-none,” said Rob Key, CEO of Converseon. “Yet some of our greatest moments are hidden away in drawers and attics. This contest allows participants to dig through their archives, dust off their memories and share their stories in a new and exciting way. This is a chance to celebrate those moments, and become part of the history at one of the sport’s greatest jewels, the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame.” About the Harness Racing Museum The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame, founded in 1951, is located in the historic village of Goshen, N.Y., known as “The Cradle of the Trotter” for its origins in the sport of harness racing, which was America’s first national pastime. More than 20,000 visitors each year enjoy the many examples of local, state, national and international history and art preserved by the museum along with artifacts dating from harness racing’s beginnings to modern times and hands-on interactive exhibits, including a 3-D harness racing simulator. The museum also maintains an extensive research library of books, videos and industry periodicals documenting the great sport of harness racing. Serving as the Hall of Fame for the sport, the museum honors each inductee with a unique portrait sculpture and highlights each member’s illustrious career in informational interactives. About the Harness Racing Social Media Initiative Launched in September 2013, the Harness Racing Social Media Initiative is a partnership between the United States Trotting Association, the social media consultancy, Converseon, and key industry groups to help drive marketing innovation and engagement with current and new fans for the sport. The initiative’s mission is to help support key racetracks, industry groups and help provide foundational support and a common, “best practice” framework by leveraging social technologies and platforms and strategies to help positively brand the sport of harness racing and generate greater awareness, visibility and engagement with a new generation of fans. Key foundational elements of the initiative to date include the Harness Racing Ambassador Program and the newly-launched From the USTA

Harness driver Tim Tetrick needs just two wins to reach the 8,000 win mark in his already exciting career. Driver Wins First Middle Last Name Suffix LTD Wins LTD Earnings Last Track Last Start Tim A Tetrick   7,998 $141,173,613 M 3/8/2014 Stephane L Bouchard   7,974 $70,744,000 Stga 3/9/2014 Randall W Waples   5,992 $104,195,978 Wdb 3/3/2014 Norman Chris Boring   3,979 $19,828,659 RP 7/6/2013 Gene G Vallandingham   2,985 $13,400,823 CalX 3/8/2014 Timothy W Curtin   2,985 $20,936,317 May 6/6/2013 David Floyd Carey   2,978 $2,438,403 Truro 12/8/2013 Lemoyne D Svendsen   2,970 $9,448,948 CalX 3/8/2014 Ron Paul Wrenn   1,995 $6,069,816 SpCk 10/2/2013 Rodney J Bolon   1,995 $9,404,071 Mea 3/4/2014 Todd G Trites   1,993 $2,824,943 EPR 12/8/2013 Jerry G E Landess   1,980 $2,037,837 Green 8/23/2013 Kelly R Sheppard   1,973 $9,414,915 FlmD 11/20/2013 Kody Ray Massey   999 $3,060,649 Nor 3/8/2014 DANIEL R                             OBRIAN        996 $2,161,984 FlmD 3/6/2014 Darren R Crowe   992 $1,477,417 Chrtn 2/7/2014 Alfred G Carroll   991 $5,727,082 FlmD 3/8/2014 RONALD I MATHESON   988 $1,054,352 Chrtn 2/7/2014 Stephen K O'Toole   986 $2,423,974 PRc 9/3/2012 GORDEN A MCKNIGHT   984 $2,907,264 FlmD 3/5/2014 John J De Long   982 $5,083,079 BmlP 2/26/2014 Clayton   Faurot Jr 981 $2,458,705 Mea 3/5/2014 Joseph   Ricco Jr 978 $3,728,352 MR 10/31/2013 Trent P Stohler   976 $5,581,230 HoP 11/9/2013 John D Finn   975 $3,616,740 BmlP 2/19/2014 Rocky Joe Loney   973 $2,411,599 Leb 11/23/2013 Nick Royce Roland   972 $3,086,220 Whtn 9/22/2013 Yves   Gauthier   972 $3,959,060 RidC 2/23/2014 Jeffrey A Smith   971 $2,731,809 MVR 2/20/2014 anthony P Haughan   971 $6,870,682 FlmD 3/8/2014 Steven B Norris   970 $2,548,332 RidC 9/19/2013                 Driver earnings First Middle Last Name Suffix LTD Wins LTD Earnings Last Track Last Start Michel   Lachance   10,387 $189,836,627 BmlP 11/9/2013 Luc R Ouellette   8,546 $129,653,359 Wdb 3/7/2014 Paul J MacDonell   5,139 $99,976,932 Wdb 3/8/2014 David R Magee   11,730 $99,692,391 BmlP 3/6/2014 Raymond W Schnittker   2,642 $39,938,493 YR 3/8/2014 PHILLIP Alan HUDON   3,777 $39,577,125 Wdb 3/8/2014 Trevor S Henry   5,179 $29,861,161 FlmD 3/8/2014 Michael A Forte   3,277 $19,992,756 MR 3/6/2014 Norman Chris Boring   3,979 $19,828,659 RP 7/6/2013 Jonathan W Roberts   2,442 $19,779,347 DD 3/9/2014 Thomas D Strauss   2,552 $19,687,609 Lon 11/25/2013 Darrell L Coville   6,580 $19,627,570 RidC 3/2/2014 Randy T Tharps   4,625 $19,540,003 MVR 3/9/2014 Jay L Randall   3,694 $19,535,295 Stga 3/9/2014 Richard Lee Farrington   1,250 $9,971,066 HoP 11/7/2013 Below that are trainers who may be approaching win milestones. USTA started tracking trainer statistics in 1991, so the trainers listed in green may have had training starts and wins prior to 1991, so the Life Wins column for those trainers may not be accurate. First Middle Last Name suffix Life Wins Life Earnings Last Track Last Start DOB Gilberto   Garcia-Herrera   1994 $13,009,657 YR 3/8/2014 8/2/1962 Roger R Hammer   1980 $17,024,284 Mea 3/5/2014 2/18/1946 Edgar R Clarke   998 $5,409,632 PPk 3/9/2014 12/6/1955 Dirk   Simpson   976 $10,688,518 May 2/7/2014 8/2/1957 Leo   Tourigny   974 $8,178,091 RidC 11/28/2013 6/5/1939 Gabriel   Boily   971 $2,623,591 RidC 3/2/2014 4/26/1949 by Anne Chunko, for USTA

Burlington, NJ --- Harness Horsemen International will hold their annual meetings and awards luncheon beginning Sunday (March 2) at the Embassy Suites Deerfield Beach Resort & Spa, Deerfield Beach, Fla. Featured speakers include Jay Hickey, president of the American Horse Council; Phil Langley, president of the United States Trotting Association; and T.C. Lane, the USTA’s director of registry & member services. Registration starts at 2 p.m. on Sunday, followed by a welcome reception at 5:30 p.m., with general sessions to begin daily on March 3, 4 and 5. In addition, HHI committees will meet on Tuesday (March 4) to discuss pertinent industry issues and concerns. As well, harness racing’s John Brennan, Don Marean and Robert Schmitz will be feted with HHI’s most prestigious awards for 2013 at the HHI awards luncheon on March 5. Brennan, a New Jersey-based writer, is the 2013 Clyde Hirt Media Award winner; Marean, a longtime Maine breeder, is the 2013 HHI Appreciation Award winner; while Schmitz, chairman of the Ohio State Racing Commission, is being honored as HHI’s 2013 Man of the Year. The HHI annual meetings will conclude with a farewell breakfast on Thursday (March 6). HHI is comprised of horsemen’s associations from the United States and Canada who collectively represent the agriculture based industry of harness racing in North America. HHI’s governing body consists of representatives from its member associations. by Kimbery Rinker, for HHI

In an exciting announcement for the Pryde's EasiFeed Great Southern Star, it has been revealed that star US reinsman Corey Callahan will be in Australia for the International extravaganza on March 22. In just its second year, the $400,000 Pryde's EasiFeed Great Southern Star trotting series held across one sensational night at Tabcorp Park Melton has attracted some massive names and it continues with Callahan adding his name to the list of visitors for the richest squaregaiting event in the southern hemisphere. Having only started his career at the age of 27, eight years later he has quickly become one of the leading drivers in North America. Growing up under the tutelage of his father Nick, Corey decided to turn his hand to college ambitions before returning to harness racing where he has driven thousands of winners. In fact since 2010 he has never driven less than 500 winners in a season, an extraordinary statistic that proves just how prolific the talented driver has been. He is also currently leads the United States Trotting Association Drivers' Premiership, 29 ahead of Ron Pierce . And it's not just his consistency that has him on top, he has also mixed it at the top level, taking out the $500,000 Hoosier Cup with Mr Wiggles in 2009 and competed in the World Driving Championship, representing the US. But it was 2013 which was the year that put the 35-year-old on the world stage as he raked in over $9.7 million in stakes earnings, placing him in the upper-Echelon in North America. He drove standout winners like Golden Receiver, D'Orsay and Drop The Ball. But, Australian trots fans will know him for his association with Ma Chere Hall, owned by Australian interests, however his win with Allstar Partner in the $260,000 PA Sires Stakes Championship was the highlight of his season. Callahan has been a fixture of some of the best tracks in America, racking up over 100 wins at The Meadowlands last season. Callahan will be involved during the week of the Great Southern Star and will compete in the Drivers Invitational on the all-squaregaiting night. Callahan arrives in Australia on March 18 and is available for drives. Interested trainers should call the Racing Office on (03) 8378 0200. For media enquiries contact Brett Boyd on (03) 8378 0250. BLAKE REDDEN COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER [Harness Racing Victoria]

At the recently completed national meetings of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) Monticello Raceway's Shawn Wiles was elected vice president of the organization. President Steve Wolf ended his two year term at those meetings which then opened the position of second VP as other officers moved up the chairs. Wiles will now serve in his newly elected capacity for two years. Presently the general manager of the Monticello Raceway, Wiles has been a longtime member of the Monticello -Goshen Chapter USHWA and currently is the chapter's vice president. "I am excited to work with the present youthful USHWA Board," Wiles said. They are an extremely capable bunch of young men, who I can learn from." Wiles is referring to his newly elected president, Chris Tully and vice president, Tim Bojarski, both of whom moved up the chairs to their current two year positions. Wiles has long been a director of United States Trotting Association from District 8 where he now serves as the chairman of that district. His career in harness racing started in the backstretch of Monticello Raceway during the 1970s where he worked as a groom for Richard Sturgis, Robert Camper and Jim Grundy. He then went on in search of a Grand Circuit stable to work for and found success with the famed trotting specialists of Continental Farms under the guidance of Hakan Wallner, Hall of Famer Berndt Lindstedt, and Jan Johnson. Wiles was the first American second- trainer to work for the famed Scandinavian trotting experts from 1980-1986. During his tenure as a groom he rubbed many top performers, most notably the crack stakes filly Dominant, and then worked for Castleton Farms from 1986-1988. Wiles joined Monticello Raceway in 1996, working under John Manzi in publicity and Bill Sullivan in operations. Wiles was initially promoted to assistant GM of Monticello Casino and Raceway, and lately promoted to General Manager of the entire facility. He was recently lauded by the local scribes on his tough stance on racing integrity. Wiles is actively involved in many civic and community oriented endeavors. He is a past president, now trustee, of the Fallsburg Central School District Board of Education, past president of the Woodridge Housing Association, and a longtime AYSO soccer coach as well as vice president of the Monticello-Goshen Harness Writers Association, The proud parents of Brody , 19, and Samantha, 16, Wiles and his wife, Lisa, Superintendent of the Ellenville School District, reside in Woodridge, N.Y. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway  

Columbus, OH --- The United States Trotting Association is seeking a full time employee with in-depth knowledge of harness racing and social media to help create and implement the USTA’s social media strategy. This position, located at the main office in Columbus, Ohio, will be in the Communications Department at the USTA and requires an in-depth knowledge and extensive experience with social media and social media platforms. In addition, the position requires the ability to write and edit stories for various USTA media vehicles,especially the newsroom on the company website,, as well as for the USTA’s monthly magazine Hoof Beats and other media. The Social Media Promotion and Publicity Manager position will include travel and some weekend and weeknight rotating shifts. An undergraduate or associate degree is preferred as well as professional experience utilizing social media platforms and campaigns, and writing and editing for publications and websites. Applications for this position close on March 7. More information on working for the USTA, the full job description and information on how to apply for this position can be found here. Submitted by the USTA

There is a “grass roots” movement currently going on in harness racing, which is being led by two prominent horse owners, Richard and Joanne Young of South Florida. They have been owners in the Standardbred industry for 20 plus years. Joanne has been riding and showing Arabian horses for 30 years. Over the years they have had the pleasure of owning not one, but two world champion performers, Put On A Show (31 wins in 50 starts with earnings of $2.4 million) and I Luv The Nitelife (17 wins in 25 stars with earnings of $1.9 million) in addition to other stakes winners over the years. I Luv The Nitelife was recently announced as the Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year for 2013. They travel throughout the country to watch their horse’s race and are big supporters of the industry. Now the Young’s are on a different mission, one that has been involved in a series of hotly debated discussions for years but solutions have been far from being solved. The Young’s want every track and state racing commission that has harness racing to put a stop to drivers who over use the whip in races and take their feet and touch or kick their horse during a race. This all came about because someone did a blog on the internet last Fall, regarding the non compliance with the rules regarding kicking and whipping that woke Joanne Young up. The Young’s took the initiative and started asking and inquiring about the rules and regulations of various states. They sent letters and emails to major race and industry officials throughout the country and learned quite a bit. “I couldn’t tell you how many emails, letters and calls we made,” Joanne said. “ We got back some calls and about a half dozen emails and some of them were so encouraging. Most states have rules but track management and the judges need to enforce them and in some cases increase the fines and suspensions significantly so drivers will not abuse the horses as many do.” “Tracks and judges make their own rules and maybe give a fine after a couple of offenses.” Young said. “It’s like a slap on the wrist and some drivers may say it’s worth the fine to win the race because of the purse. Personally I don’t see why either method is used.  These horses are bred to race and I don’t believe that a whip or a “kick” does anything to make the horse perform better.  To those people that say the “kick” is nothing and does not hurt the horse, I say all you have to do is watch what happens to the driver’s leg when he comes into contact with the hock.  The leg is forcefully pushed back and looks like kicking.  So whatever you want to call it, it looks horrible and the public perceives it as abuse.  For that reason alone it needs to be banned.”  According The United States Trotting Association’s penalties that are suggestions as guidelines to pari-mutuel state gaming commission and racetracks are:  “The penalty for kicking as defined herein shall not be less than 9 days suspension.”  For excessive whipping the suggestion is, “The mandatory minimum penalty for a whipping violation shall be a fine in the amount of $100 and a 3 day suspension from driving for the first offense and for each subsequent violation the mandatory minimum penalty shall increase in the amount of $100 and 3 days (e.g. $200 and 6 days for the 2nd offense, $300 and 9 days for the 3rd offense, etc.)”  “These rules are a joke and everyone in the harness racing business knows it, because either they are not enforced or the penalty is too lenient.” Joanne Young said. “ We want to see a cohesive rule that states that the right hand remain on the right line and the left hand remain on the left line during the race and that the feet must have no contact with the horse.    “The penalty for not following these rules will be suspension for 2 months and a $5,000 fine,” Young continued, “or placement of the horse. We need to make the punishment harsh enough to stop the actions.  Of course an easier fix is just to ban both practices immediately. Other countries have rules in place and no kicking or one handing whipping is allowed or tolerated. If the owners/drivers/trainers lose money you can bet that the drivers will stop immediately. We need to bring some credibility back to this sport.” Jeff Gural, the prominent owner and CEO of three racetracks, the Meadowlands, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs, wrote back and also talked with the Young’s about their quest and encouraged them with this scenario. “I met with the drivers before the start of the meet,” Gural said, “and told them anyone kicking a horse would not be allowed to drive at our tracks, period. No one complained. The whipping is tricky because to change the rule in NJ you need public hearings, etc. The drivers are opposed to this but we have implemented a temporary rule which has cut it way down, but I will back any effort to make the rules stricter.” Joanne has been in touch with the Ohio and Kentucky Racing Commission in regards to their recent rule changes.  She is also in the midst of trying to get a rule change on the agenda with the New Jersey Racing Commission. The Young’s also have had encouraging conversations with prominent owners, drivers and trainers who are on board with rule changes and harsher penalties.  Not everyone though wants to publicly share his or her personal views.  According to Joanne, this is due to the fact that the  “old school” of racing sees nothing wrong with the status quo and some fear repercussions.  “We had one judge,” Richard Young said, “Who actually said he had no problem with a driver touching the hock or flank of a horse when racing and that as long as a driver did not slash a horse with a whip, it was okay. He said horses are tough and can take it. That just infuriated us to no end. How can anyone, especially, a racing judge, say something like that?  “We want this movement to be in a positive light,” Joanne Young explained. “There is a public perception of abuse and we can and should stop it. It is an easy fix for the harness racing commissions to all agree to a cohesive and enforceable rule. I also believe the drivers would like the same rule for all the harness tracks making their job easier.  The USTA is going to be meeting this March. If you a proponent of banning the kicking and one handed whipping please voice your opinion with them or contact me. All we need is for the racing commissions to agree, and we can finally put this controversial subject to rest.” By Steve Wolf for

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