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East Rutherford, NJ- Saturday night at The Meadowlands is bursting with action and activities. The racing action is fierce with some really competitive fields coming together. There are several higher class conditions and three divisions of the popular Racing for G-Notes short series.   Vegas Vacation gave a really good account of himself in his very first start at The Meadowlands last week, finishing a good second to a razor sharp Bettor's Edge. He actually drops a class here but it's no easy stroll with several formful foes including a raging Rockin Robert from the rail, Reuben Brogden N off the layoff and the always dangerous National Seelster awaiting him in Saturday's second race. Jimmy Marohn, Jr drives "Vegas" for trainer Andrew Harris.   There's another division of that same class in race 11 and Calvin B (Corey Callahan) looks like the horse to beat in that one. He's always done well over the mile for owner Delores Smiel and trainer Heidi Rohr and is rounding into top form. Pansformative is a danger from his inside post and Mattamerican should move forward off a no chance spot at Yonkers.   The top class is a $15,000 condition pace (race 7) with a field of nine really nice horses that match up really well. Doctor Butch is the slight morning line choice over Ontario Success and Hillbilly Hanover in that one. "Butch" is the kind of horse everyone would like to have, grinding out a few hundred thousand every season for owner Kenny Jacobs and trainer Linda Toscano. Marohn has the drive on this one, too.   All the standard horizontal guarantees are in place with the largest pools in all of harness racing and free program pages are available for the Late Pick 4.   Off the track there's a chili cook-off with a people's choice element so you can taste and vote, too. The "Own A Horse" sign up ends Saturday, so get that done right away! Trackside dining is available in Pink.   Racing begins at 7:15 p.m.   From the Meadowlands Media Department

Harness racing owner Adriano Sorella is a happy guy and he admits being in this sport is a bit of a roller coaster ride at times.                 So, how does Adriano handle the ups and downs? Just like everyone else. “My horses won some races I didn’t expect them to win, so yes that has me content and happy.” Adriano says. “I’m a happy camper when I’m winning races and to be able to have these horses.”                 The beginning of the year didn’t blossom quite as Adriano and his connections had expected. “Things started to turn around at the beginning of June. Prior to that it wasn’t all roses, that’s for sure” explains Adriano.                 With Adriano and his connections having already committed a lot of money towards Stake races for their babies, it was time to see if their investment would pay off.                 “The babies aren’t racing yet, Vegas Vacation is on the shelf for 2014 plus I have another horse coming off an injury and some aren’t racing well.” Adriano continues, “There are fourteen mouths to feed, train, stabling bills, vet bills and with Stakes fees on top of that and no money coming in, you’re scratching your head wondering what you are going to do.”                “You know one of the worst things you can do is sit there and bleed (money)”, says Adriano. “It’s a tough decision to make but sometimes you need to invest more money into it. It’s like having three restaurants and two aren’t doing well and the third is making money trying to support the other two. You’re figuring out what you need to change.”        Before June rolled around Adriano was perplexed but his faith never wavered. Adriano would receive text messages informing him the babies were coming along well even though they hadn’t raced to date.                 One thing with Adriano is he’ll ask questions but if you’re teamed with him, it’s for a strong reason.           “All of a sudden June rolls around and the babies come to the plate… I’m so glad I bought these Sportswriter babies!” Adriano exclaims. “I’ll admit I was a little scared at first. I see Casie with the horses and how she checks them out and I said ‘let’s do it’. You haven’t seen my best ones yet because they haven’t raced.”                    “I’m pretty sure you’ll see Sportswriter babies on the grand circuit. Just give it time, watch.” Adriano admits, “I wish I owned that Stud. I’m really happy for Casie and Steve.”                 The summer continues to look bright for Adriano and his connections. “I have my filly set to race in the Empire elims this weekend, Major Dancer. She’s a very nice looking horse. We held on to her even though she had an injury before she was two. She was lightly raced at two and she’s looking really good… she’s definitely one to look for and she has been sharp.”                 Adriano considers Major Dancer to vie for the Jugette this September. (FYI: Tickets are still available for the Jug).       Another horse of Adriano’s is 2-year-old American Legend. Adriano has high expectations for American Legend. “He’s good enough for the Grand Circuit. Hopefully we see him in the Metro elims and hopefully the finals.”                 On August 4th, Adriano has Bob Ben and John set to race in the Battle of Waterloo finals at Grand River Raceway. Bob Ben and John drew the 3 spot and what’s very interesting is 5 of the 9 horses slated to race are Sportswriter babies, including Bob Ben and John.                 “We didn’t pay much for Bob Ben and John” says Adriano. “Ever since he started training over here, he’s been a different horse.”                 There are actually 13 Sportswriter babies scheduled to race throughout Monday’s card at Grand River Raceway plus one Also Eligible.              One thing harness fans should know is Adriano enjoys interacting with fans and having a laugh or two. Even if you need advice on how to stay positive through difficult times in your life, you can count on Adriano for that too.         For all of Adriano’s success, he remembers his roots and where he came from. It wasn’t too long ago Adriano was struggling as a single father. With perseverance and a positive attitude, anything can happen. by Roderick Balgobin, for Harnesslink.com

The Raceway at Western Fair is pulling out all the stops on Friday for their special Molson Pace Night of harness racing with more than $530,000 in purses headlined by the $150,000 Molson Pace. The weather forecast for Friday’s 12-race program is clear skies and temperatures in the 50’s (10 Celsius) which will make for near perfect race conditions. In addition to the Molson Pace featuring many of the best older pacers in the sport, the track is also hosting four $52,500 Gold Divisions of the Ontario Sire Stakes for three-year-old trotting colts and four finals of the City of London Series for trotters and pacers. In total, nine of the twelve races on the program are major stakes events. With such an outstanding race program, any number of track records could fall by the wayside at the Western Fair half mile oval. With the exception of perhaps Captaintreacherous and Vegas Vacation, the 12th race Molson Pace is a star-studded field of world class performers including two world record holders in Foiled Again and Dancin Yankee. The 3-1 morning line favorite is State Treasurer and rightly so. The local horse is trained by Dr. Ian Moore and has been on a tear at Mohawk and Woodbine, coming into the race with three straight win for driver Chris Christoforou and last week ripped off a 1:48.3 lifetime mark. Foiled Again at 4-1 is the class of the field, in fact he is the class of all of harness racing with $6.2 million in career earnings, 80 lifetime wins and comes into the race off a brief layoff but as a tune-up for this race he won a qualifier at the Meadowlands in 1:51.2 over none other than Captaintreacherous. Dancin Yankee is the nation’s speedster this year with an impressive eight wins including a world record 1:47.2 triumph in his last start at Pocono Downs.  He has won three of his last four starts and has the gate speed needed to set himself in perfect scoring position. Rounding out the field are Bettor’s Edge, Bandolito, another local favorite in Apprentice Hanover, $567,000 Levy Pace Final winner P H Supercam and Captive Audience. The Molson Pace is the last race on the Western Fair program Friday evening but with such a superb undercard it will be the icing on the cake for every die hard harness racing fan. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

Before Adriano Sorella entered the arena of harness racing, Adriano was a part owner in Thoroughbred racing. What drew Adriano to Standardbreds was the fact that Standardbreds race more often. "I hung out at Mohawk Racetrack (Campbellville, ON) and really liked it. I got involved in the SBOA (Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association) program that gets new owners in and pretty much from there its history." Adriano explains. "I love the sport... I actually think it's turning around and if people focus more on the positives than the negatives it can be a lot better." Eight years ago Adriano was working away as a plumber in high-rises. This wasn't what Adriano was about or even who he was. Sometimes doing what is right for oneself can be the hardest choice to make. However, with the right support and determination, anything can happen. "I hated going to work" states Adriano. "Working on the 20th floor and the wind is cutting through like crazy. There are no windows yet and you're on a six or eight foot ladder putting together cast iron pipes and the wind is blowing in your ears. "It was totally wrong for me. "You got to find what you love and do just that.... People always worry about money, I get it," says Adriano. "If you give fifty percent to a job you hate, you're just going to bring that home and you're going to end up fighting with your wife or girlfriend or family. If you give a hundred percent to what you love, you're going to end up giving more than that because you're going to want to prove you can do what you love and be successful at it. It's a passion and not a job." "I believe if you love it, it will happen" states Adriano. "Eight years ago I was living in a basement apartment and didn't have much." Adriano says. "I was pretty much broke and I turned it all around. It wasn't just because of harness racing but the business I got into and it exploded for me." Adriano turned from plumbing to advertising. At the time Adriano had a handicapping website and he was always able to find advertisers to help fund his site so Adriano decided to step it up. "I ended up finding a recruiter who was awesome." Adriano explains. "He ended up landing me a job with this company. So this company (The Infinity Network), I worked for them for 4 years, they moved their offices from LA to Toronto and within six months they seen my abilities, called me into the boardroom and my position changed." "I took over all their ad sales and it blew up from there." Adriano credits The Infinity Network CEO Adam Small for helping him structure his pay and contract so he could buy a house. "The company totally took care of me" says Adriano. It didn't take long for Adriano to buy his home. Once Adriano had his house, he was looking to expand his horizons. "Within a year I had so much revenue coming in from ad sales and commission earnings, I got into horse racing." "I look at it now and the reason I want to help people is because I took a shot and it worked out. I want to help people if I can, hopefully it will make it easier for them. "At Christmas time, I looked for a family that could use some money and I randomly picked a family. I didn't even know the people." Adriano says. "I wired them money for Christmas and the girl sends me messages saying 'you totally changed my life, I can't believe someone would do something like that for somebody they didn't even know'. Sometimes you need that little push. I'm trying to help where I can. "I would rather focus on what things can be instead of how it was because it's done and gone. If you focus on the negatives you will end up in a rut." Adriano says. "If you surround yourself with the good people in the industry, the people who are always thinking positive.... You can be successful." Adriano says. "There's a quote and I always say it, 'if you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room.' I want to be with people smarter than me, I know what I can do and I want to be with people with different abilities" When Adriano first started out, the first two horses he bought didn't return a profit. Luckily the third horse he bought was Vegas Vacation. "In his 2-year-old campaign... he showed us the potential of being a great race horse" says Adriano. "That's what happened as a 3-year-old, he turned into a millionaire. You have to be able to see that and if you truly believe in what you're doing, you're doing it right, you're smart enough to do it then keep doing it. Don't give up! You only have yourself to blame if you give up. "I always do what I want to do. I know some people don't like that and it turns some people's crank the wrong way.... I'm having fun and I want people to join in and share." Adriano says. "I want people to have a positive spin on racing. "Do you know how many times people tell me to tone it down?" Adriano asks. "I have a watch collection and I love my cars. That's because eight years ago I had zero. Zero!" Adriano offers some great ideas on how race tracks can attract more customers, especially the younger generation. "People come in for one product and then they end up buying another" explains Adriano. "That's the trick. "I look at Poconos in the US and they have big time restaurants in there." Adriano says. "They have Ruth's Chris Steakhouse right in there, why are we not doing anything like that? If we have a game plan, the government is willing to help us. Why not remodel some of these racetracks and bring in outside vendors like restaurants. If anyone wants to eat, they'll say 'why don't we go over to Mohawk Racetrack? They have the Keg.' All of a sudden you're creating a shopping mall idea but you also have racing there. Incorporate racing into those products." That's a great point! Even if Ontario race tracks offered Tim Horton's coffee that would be a delightful first step. "Have restaurants lease property from the race tracks" says Adriano. "You need to have a proper plan and pitch it to the right people. It's right there for you, maybe even have mobile betting with people walking around the restaurant taking bets. I saw it at the Poconos, they do it there and it's successful to me. "It's the reason they stick Tim Hortons at Esso gas stations, its right there" explains Adriano. "Why did Esso gas stations get away from their own kind of coffee? They know it's a product that is successful and you're killing two birds with one stone. Pitch it to the government where the government is not just handing out money. They are investing in a product that will offer a return on the money." Since Adriano became an owner in harness racing, it's easy to imagine how many awesome memories he must have. Vegas Vacation alone probably offers a book full. "It's been a great experience so far" says Adriano. "You go in buying your first set of babies and end up with a horse like Vegas Vacation and winning the Little Brown Jugs was such a thrill. That was life changing for me. Winning those trophies... and being the best of the best at the time is what makes me want to keep investing in Standardbreds." When it comes to investing, Adriano believes strongly about investing in people and one person that caught Adriano's attention is Sydney Weaver. The 13-year-old is a licensed groom, horse owner, writer and public speaker with Cerebral Palsy who is an inspiration to many including Adriano. "They did a story with her and in the interview Sydney said 'I know it's only a $6,000 race horse but to me it's a million dollar race horse.' You got to remember she's a kid. I have a daughter that's 14 who is basically Sydney's age. "I remember what it was like having a 10 claimer and all of a sudden I have a million dollar race horse. It got to me; I understand that relationship between an owner and a horse." Adriano explains. "When she said it was a million dollar horse, it just got to me." When Sydney's horse Pinky aka Sydney Seelster was claimed earlier this year at Flamboro Downs, Adriano was set to claim the horse back for her. "Guy Gagnon got a lot of backlash and he could have walked away and I'm sure he didn't know (the story)... but instead he gave the horse back and showed there are good people out there." Adriano continues "I was prepared to claim the horse myself for them, we were getting it all set up to do that and then when I saw what was going on I thought what else can I do to help?" That's when Adriano decided to buy Sydney a custom made jogging bike. "I noticed she had a special seat made, like a NASCAR seat so she could get on and jog her horse." Adriano explains. "I was flipping through pictures and saw her jog carts were a green one and a black one.... I thought wouldn't it be cool to get her a pink one!" "So I called up Casie (Coleman) and she's in Florida and asked who do you buy your joggers from?" Adriano continues, "Casie told me who was the best... so I called up the company and told them what I wanted. The sales rep said if you buy it, we'll take care of the custom paint job. So I bought it and they shipped it. The rest is history. "I still think I'm a nobody in this business" says Adriano. When I heard that comment I nearly fell of my chair. To think someone who gives back to the community considers himself a nobody was heart breaking. Regardless of Adriano's last statement, it's clear to see he matters to a lot of people. In harness racing and beyond! Roderick Balgobin's column will appear weekly on Harnesslink. You can contact him at rod.balgobin @supernovasportsclub.com or Twitter: ScSupernova

Darren Crowe is a 23 year veteran who feels blessed to have been able to be in harness racing for this long. Darren has been one of the leading drivers at Truro Raceway for many years and has made quite an impact on horsemen throughout his career, including last year's top driver, Ryan Ellis. "The last four years we've been going at it" says Darren about the competition between him and Ryan Ellis for top driver at Truro Raceway. It's definitely about bragging rights and as Darren says "we give it to each other pretty good." One thing all horsemen enjoy is joking and having fun with one another. "I enjoy my job and I love getting out of bed each morning and coming to work and a lot of people can't say that" says Darren about his passion for working with horses. Darren in past years raced in Alberta and in Ontario at Western Fair Raceway and Flamboro Downs. One key race Darren drove in was the Nat Christie in Alberta. "It was pretty cool; I just got there a couple days before I went to work for Meridian Farms. Bill Andrews, he had a couple of horses in it and one of them made the finals, so it was pretty cool to be in it. I think Hawaiian Cowboy won it that year." Darren says. Hawaiian Cowboy won the Nat Christie in 2001 by 4 ½ lengths driven by Luc Ouellette. Darren is currently the Active Director for Standardbred Canada in the Atlantic region and his goal is to voice the opinions and concerns of his fellow horsemen constructively. Darren is a family man with a two-year-old son Brennan and his wife of three years is Robyn. "We weren't going to have any children, but we decided to have one.... I love spending the afternoons with him. We have this little fella and we are happy with him so we are going to quit at one." Darren says with a chuckle. To the point, when it comes to horse racing, Darren's most proud of being able to do what he loves for this length of time. He definitely doesn't take his work for granted. "Once you have a kid your perspective on life changes a bit. Things that used to bother me, like getting parked in a race or a horse going lame... things happen and you move on. I can go home and see my little fella and hangout with him." "For example I grew up on a dairy farm" explains Darren. "My best friend growing up has a dairy farm and in the afternoon if my little fella wants to go do something we'll go hangout there and do some field work or milk some cows, he enjoys it. That's how I unwind." With Darren growing up on a dairy farm, he got into horses through his best friend's dad and grandfather, who both had horses. "I kind of took a liking to them and came up through that way, cleaning stalls and jog their horses."Darren explains. "They were friends with Phil Pinkney who was an O'Brien award winner for Horsemanship and he's in the barn next to me and I grew up around Phil, watching what he did with young horses and shoeing. I shoe horses for Phil now, probably 18-20 years and I learned so much from him in regards to shoeing and looking for soundness." "I've had great owners over the years" says Darren. "Good owners, that's the key. You have to have owners that are going to stand behind you." Through the years, Darren has had quite a few horses pass through his care that have gone on to be quite successful, but the biggest name of all would be Somebeachsomewhere! "I got to shoe Somebeachsomewhere when he was here in the Maritimes." Darren says. "That was cool, going on to be the horse he was. I got to say I got to shoe him as a yearling til his 3-year-old year when he left." "As it turned out now, nobody knew he was going to be the horse he was as a yearling. He is just a nice horse, a little rough to shoe cause he would throw you around a little bit." Darren admits. "Now that he's the sire he turned out to be its pretty cool thinking I got to shoe that horse when he was here." Darren does have a pair of Somebeachsomewhere's shoes left as a keepsake which is pretty awesome, what a piece of horse racing memorabilia to have! Darren plans on getting the shoes chromed and then displayed on a plaque. Darren likes to keep shoeing simple and not make it complicated as others try to make it. It's about having proper angles and keep the levels right. "Horses are horses and you got to keep it simple" says Darren. "A lot of people get hung up on shoeing in regards to different shoes and fancy shoes... messing with their angles. A lot of it has to do with confirmation of the horse. If the horse has good confirmation, chances are you're not going to mess with the shoeing very often. Just keep it simple and he'll be what he's going to be. God made them that way, that's how they're going to be." Darren doesn't get hung up on what races he has won or hasn't with the exception of one given that he's a Truro native. "The Exhibition Cup, that's the free for all race of the year. During the Grand Circuit week and it wasn't for a lot of money, maybe $7,500 but I had the longest shot on the board at 99-1 and the horse ended up winning that race." Darren says. One major aspect to horse racing Darren feels the sport needs is better marketing and more attention. "I always thought the show they had on Monday nights on the Score was a pretty good show. Then they changed it a little to Bet Night Live, I think people like the interaction and interviews with the drivers and trainers talking about their horses. It's not on anymore, probably due to funding." During the discussion with Darren, they idea of company sponsorship came up such as putting company names on numbers or even if Nike got into the business and designed helmets for drivers. Having the Nike logo on the back or side of helmets would be awesome and the ad revenue can go towards purses or even to drivers. With drivers including Sidney Crosby or Steven Stamkos and sporting shirts in ads and being paid to do so. What if Scott Zeron had his race jacket designed by Reebok and in billboard ads you see him sporting the jacket with the Reebok logo and the next big upcoming race featured right beside the logo and which track the race would be taken place? Even t-shirts with the Under Armour logo and the name of top horses like Foiled Again or Vegas Vacation beside it. That could be a fashion trend that could draw potentially millions of dollars for the horse racing industry. Drivers, trainers, owners and race tracks could all draw in funds in sponsorship revenue. All other sports do it, why not horse racing? Start with the biggest races and have it trickle down to the point where all tracks and all races can attract news fans through new trends. Kids might want to sport a pair of Nike Shoes that are nicknamed 'The Captain' and have Captaintreacherous' profile on the shoe, or major stake names that he's won designed in the trainer's or driver's colors. Why not? It's different and new, if it hasn't been done up to now, who says it can't work? "Look at NASCAR and what they do with their sponsorship" says Darren. "It's boring up until the last ten laps but look how much they do." In the TV show Duck Dynasty, the characters are sporting Under Armour camouflage shirts... if hunting can get that type of sponsorship, why not horse racing. "It's a great show" says Darren. "Why not? It would have to be the right sponsor and they'd have to get some kind of bang for their buck right." "There's a lot that can be done promotion wise, but I think TV would be the best route." Darren explains. "If Jody Jamieson won a race on national television and he had Nike on his suit, that's a pretty good plug for Nike." Or after certain races, the winning driver is filmed drinking Powerade or Gatorade or Chocolate Milk. Drinking Milk would help promote another farming industry as well. "Jeff Gural at the Meadowlands, he runs it his way but it seems to be working" according to Darren. "He wants people to bet and he's pretty well on the right track I think." Definitely check out the interview by Standardbred Canada's website featuring Trot Radio host Norm Borg and Meadowlands' owner Jeff Gural, (Episodes 319 and 320). It's a beautiful discussion about open communication and drawing positive attention to the sport. By, Roderick Balgobin www.supernovasportsclub.com  Twitter: ScSupernova

If anyone knows Jonathan Dury, aside from always being busy, they know he is truly a student of harness racing. From his time working with his father, Barry Drury, at Mohawk Racetrack, (Campbellville, ON), during the summer to picking up on slight nuisances' at all possible moments is what has driven Jonathan to the level of achievement he is currently earning as one of the top drivers at Woodbine Racetrack. Jonathan would help his dad anytime he was not in school. When Jonathan was very young, his ideal dream job would have been to drive big trucks. Moving several years down the line, when Jonathan was in high school, he contemplated having a career in architecture but due to his on-track success, that venture has been put on hold. If what we have seen of Jonathan the past few years is any indication of what lies ahead, there's a strong feeling he may put a permanent hold on entering the field of architectural design. Jonathan's dad still trains horses and Jonathan noted his dad used to work for harness racing legend Ron Waples back at the old Meadowlands as an assistant trainer. Jonathan started out at Woodstock Raceway and the first horse he drove was "a trotter for Chris Christoforou Sr. "It was my first time start and it was with a trotter" says Jonathan. "I like driving both pacers and trotters and I have had success driving trotters. A lot of trotters are trickier to drive than pacers but I still love driving trotters a lot." Away from the track earlier in his career, Jonathan enjoyed playing golf in the summer and hockey during the winter. "I was playing hockey for a few years for fun, then I broke my arm and called it quits for that..." says Jonathan with a laugh. Jonathan worked for several high caliber stables, such as Anthony Macdonald who had a lot of trotters. "I really learned a lot about how to handle a trotter" says Jonathan. Anthony Montini and Casie Coleman are two other elite trainers Jonathan worked for. "You see different ways of doing things." Jonathan explains. "Anthony Montini is a really nice guy; he even let me drive Primetime Bobcat in one of his last career starts. I can't say I learned one thing from anybody, its things you pick up and expand on when you work for someone else." It's about growing and learning while remaining humble and approachable that can you a long way in every aspect of life. As he progressed Jonathan moved on to drive at Kawartha Downs, (located in Fraserville, ON), "I really dug Kawartha Downs, I love driving on the 5/8th mile track. I spent time last summer driving at one at Pocono Downs. Kawartha was a great experience because I got to drive a lot of the better horses that went down there." Jonathan explains. "I was driving all of Corey Johnson's horses at one point and I was driving a lot of Tommy Riley's horses plus I was driving whatever Casie (Coleman) brought down there." Jonathan notes he learned a lot from driving horses for top notch trainers. How did Jonathan get to the point of driving all of Corey Johnson's horses? Well, Jonathan says he didn't know Corey at first but kept seeing his name listed to drive Corey's horses. "I was having a lot of luck down there and I was one of the top guys there driving for Tommy Riley... then the entries came out one day and I was listed to drive on three of Corey's horses and it was all trotters and I won with all three of them." Take off indeed, what was set in motion at Kawartha Downs truly snowballed for Jonathan, to the point that he was able to make a seamless transition to Canada's biggest racetracks, Woodbine and Mohawk. Winning with Vegas Vacation was special to Jonathan. "I actually spent a lot of time training him when I was working for Casie. I got to qualify him and I won with him on his first lifetime start." It holds a special spot in Jonathan's heart, especially given what Vegas Vacation has accomplished. "Vegas is a wicked horse with a ton of potential, I think he is going to get bigger, stronger and better" according to Jonathan and it is safe to say everyone would agree with his opinion. I certainly do! Jonathan admits it can difficult to get good drives and yes, if it was that easy everyone would be number one on the leader board. "I just try to work hard to get me to where I am" says Jonathan. "Carmen Auciello gave me the opportunity to go down to the Poconos to drive his horses down there and it was a great experience. I think it really helped me to be to where I am at today. It's a different style of racing down (at the Poconos), it taught me a lot and I am able to use that to my advantage now." "I love the Poconos and the track; it's a beautiful facility and a fast track that also gets a lot of good horses down there." I hear the architecture aficionado in Jonathan's voice when he's describing the facility at Pocono Downs. Jonathan was at the Meadowlands for the past three weekends driving Corey Johnson's trotter Hldontghttoyurdrms in the Horse and Groom series and expresses how much the new facility at the Meadowlands has improved. Jonathan's focus is to keep driving and learning more and more so he can better not only himself, but also better the results for the trainers and owners. His approach is to zone in on a team goal, not as an individual. "That's the best thing you can do is know as much as you can" Jonathan says when it comes to learning about other horses. "Knowing your horse, and knowing the rest of the horses, you can find ways to beat them with what you know about them." Jonathan enjoys watching elite drivers like Tim Tetrick and Brian Sears, "they can get so much out of their horse, put them in all the right places." Jonathan says. "I try to learn things from everybody to better myself." "I am very content racing horses; it's something I love doing so how can I complain about something I love?" Jonathan admits. "Horse racing has been a big part of my life, and now it is my life." "I like aggressive horses racing wise, I feel I can keep them calm" says Jonathan. When he's not driving, Jonathan will go out to his dad's barn to give him a hand or in the summers past he would help with Casie Coleman's stable. "If I have time off, I take it easy for the most part; maybe play some golf in the summer. Really I try to get some rest so I am ready to go." Jonathan explains. "I haven't raced since I was at the Meadowlands on Saturday. I had Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday off and I was bored out of my mind having so many days off." In his time off, what keeps Jonathan mentally busy is music. "I'm a huge country music fan and also a huge Eminem fan. My favorite country group is Florida Georgia Line. I like all kinds of music depending on the mood I am in, but generally I listen to country." Jonathan says. As any avid music listener, Jonathan has his list of favorite concerts he has attended. The Jay Z and Eminem Home and Home tour concert, which took place in Detroit, is at the top of the list. A close second would be the concert he saw earlier this year that featured Jason Alden and Florida Georgia Line. This August, Jonathan will be rocking out to Linkin Park at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. A group he's been wanting to see live for quite some time. I posed the question to Jonathan, that if he could record a song with anyone or any group, he chose Florida Georgia Line. "Only because they look like they have a wicked time in their music videos." Jonathan says. A twist to his music curiosity is if Jonathan had the opportunity to sit down and talk with any music artist about their career, hands down it would be famed rapper, Eminem. "I've actually sat down and read through the meanings of all the lyrics to a bunch of his songs." Jonathan explains. "He's lived a very different life and gives you the courage not to give up.... He's come from a pretty rough family and battled against everything to get to where he is today. I read a documentary on him and he has boxes of papers with little groups of words scribbled on them that he just randomly has pop in his head." "And (Eminem) kept them in case he could ever use them in a song. It's really amazing what he can do with words and how each song has a meaning deep down inside the lyrics that you may not understand just listening to it." When it comes to interacting with fans, Jonathan truly enjoys the experience He's more than willing to sign autographs or give his whip away. One time at the Meadowlands, Jonathan was set to drive a couple of races and ended up giving away his whip to a fan without realizing he didn't have any more whips, as he only brought one with him to the track. Luckily Scott Zeron was there to help him out. So if you see Jonathan, don't be afraid to ask for an autograph as he is more than willing to oblige. "I wasn't expecting anyone to ask for my whip because at Woodbine the fans are so far away, you don't see them. It was shocking to see the fans up so close at different tracks. Once over a three night period at the Meadowlands, I won one race each night and gave away my whip after each race I won." How many sports can you account where the athletes and players involved give away game used items? Maybe baseball if you catch a foul ball, once in a blue moon an NFL football or a hockey puck, but in no other sport is this possible, only in harness racing where a fan can meet the people they cheer on and get an autograph on a nightly basis. by, Roderick Balgobin, www.supernovasportsclub.com Twitter: ScSupernova      

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec, March 27, 2014 - Excitement is the air as 28 nominations from the top four-year-old pacers in North America were received for the September 21st harness celebration at Hippodrome 3R for the renewal of the Prix d'Ete. The race will be the richest purse for four-year-old pacers in 2014 at $200,000. In fact nine of the top ten three-year-old money winning colts and geldings of 2013 were nominated. The field is led by Vegas Vacation, trained by Casie Coleman and a winner of over $975,000 in 2013 with a record of 10-4-1 in 20 starts, which saw the winner of the 2013 Little Brown Jug take the prestigious O'Brien Award for three-year-old pacing colts & geldings. His impressive stablemate Lucan Hanover is also nominated. Sunshine Beach, trained by Mark Steacy, is the fastest of the nominees in the inaugural renewal of the Prix d'Été by virtue of his world record mile of 1:47.4f taken in winning the Battle of Brandywine in 2013. In that race he defeated the 2012-2013 Pacer of the Year Captaintreacherous in arguably one of the best races of the year. Sunfire Blue Chip, winner of the Adios and Hempt stakes, and trained by Jimmy Takter is an accomplished potential contender. Twilight Bonfire, second in last year's North America Cup, behind Captaintreacherous, Fool Me Once and Rockin Amadeus are additional top caliber nominees. Apprentice Hanover, a winner of nine straight races, including the Cleveland Classic, until finishing third to Foiled Again in Saturday's first leg of the George Morton Levy Series at Yonkers Raceway could be a serious contender. Nominated, from the powerful Ron Burke Stable, is Dedi's Dragon, who defeated Captaintreacherous, in winning the Monument Circle last season. Quebec fans will be cheering potentially for Hippodrome track record holder (1.52.4h) and champion Ontario 3YO pacing colt, Duc D'Orleans, as well as Captive Audience and Normandy Invasion. Nominees are required to make a sustaining payment of $1,000 by April 15th to maintain their eligibility. This group, with 16 nominees holding sub 1:50 records, has the potential of offering Quebec harness fans the best and most competitive fields of world class pacers seen in the La Belle Province since the last Prix d'Été in 1992. Stay tuned! From the Quebec Jockey Club  

It's all about team work. That's the feeling I get when listening to Casie Coleman describe the dedication of her harness racing employees. Casie Coleman is one the most recognized names when it comes to trainers. There's no doubt that every time you see one of her horses listed to race, that horse is bringing its 'A' game, ready to contend. Casie admits her success, aside from her work and the owners providing quality horses, is all due to her employees. Casie values everyone on her team as equals, people with heart and soul who dedicate their lives along side hers' to get the best out of the horses in the Coleman stable. Take the best race horse currently running and if it went without proper care and attention, guaranteed in a short period of time that horse's value will diminish alongside its health. "Before I went on my own, I worked for a lot of people" Casie explains, "and I know what it's like when you work long hard days and you don't get paid so (well) or treated so (well)." It's due to the tough experiences Casie had to grind through for her to know how important it is to recognize the staff on her team. "We work long hard days here, and I try to keep everyone happy... if you're miserable, then your horse is going to be miserable." Casie notes, "I knew when I started training I wanted the best help I could find. You need to pay them and take care of (the employees)." "I have employees here who have been with me for the past 8 or 9 years. That being said, I've been through a whole lot of staff come through and work for me, and it's not saying they are not good; everybody is good in their own way. It's just the long hard hours we do and in my program some people aren't up for that." 110% is what Casie expects out of her staff but at the same time, Casie gives them 110% back in way of pay and recognition. "It's definitely not an easy job working for me, by no doubt but we have some good guys here." So what did Casie go through or see to realize how valuable a trainer's staff is? "Whether its people I worked for or whether it be people that I watched working for another stable. Some of the things you see in the paddock, I say to myself 'I'll never treat my staff that way'." Casie continues the mentality should always be "treat people right". With Casie having had a large or you could even say huge stable (over 100 horses), she's had to hire more help and become more of a trainer/barn manager. "If you're just a small stable, you're able to things yourself but when you get a big stable like I do, I am only as good as my staff. I can't manage all these horses by myself, no doubt." Casie provides a great explanation of how intense it can be, especially in the summer time when racing is at peak season. "There's going to be good and bad days. Some of my staff start at 4-4:30 in the morning and a normal day we will get done around 2:30-3pm or some days it might be 4:30-5pm depending how busy we are. Then in the summer time, we race at night so we'll get a couple of hours to go home and shower then go racing and you might not get home until 1am. Then the next day you do it all over again, and you are only getting 3 or 4 hours of sleep." So what happens when Casie and her team are having a rough day, Casie will throw a barn barbeque for the entire staff full of steaks and burgers. As I type this, I am getting hungry! "Just last night" Casie says, "I had the whole staff over to my house for a steak barbeque and all the alcohol they wanted. We played poker, we were up late and had a busy day today and everything went good. Now I just ordered some pizza and pasta and they are all happy. Today was a long day, but they all know I am out here with them and know I'm feeding them. You got to keep them happy, keep the morale up." As the interview was going on, Casie had to take a moment to sign for the pizza she ordered for her staff. Growing up, it was a rough go for Casie and her family. She would work for her parents and go to school, money was tight. Back in British Columbia, Casie would find jobs wherever she could so she could get by. "Whenever somebody would buy you lunch or take you out for dinner, something like that to me was a huge thing because growing up we never had the money to go to these types of places. I realized how much I liked it when someone would take me to a steakhouse, I appreciated it." Something Casie said really hit home for me, and it's how people change their perspective of a person once money is involved. The line Casie quoted was, 'if you are not doing well you're an idiot and if you're doing well, you are doing something wrong'. "You'll hear a lot of people say that I'm 'stuck up'." Casey says, "When I started doing well there were a lot of horsemen that didn't like me too much. Anybody who asks me something I will answer them, if they need something answered about their horse or anything, I try and help out." "Now that I am fortunate to have luck in racing, I want to give back... any charity that asks me for help, I will help. It's just the way I was brought up, to help others when you can." Since Casie has been quite successful, she has opted out of racing in claimers. Now Casie focuses on 2 and 3 year olds and older stake horses. "I was up to 120 horses a couple of years ago. Right now I have 38 here in Florida and I am much happier." Casie explains the relief with fewer horses is fewer owners, less staff and a lot less stress. Now that Casie has fewer horses, she can purely focus on training horses as opposed to training and being a barn manager. Having a stable of 120 horses kept Casie busy with a ton of paperwork and constantly having her on the phone entering horses into various races. Casie's lightened office work allows her to enjoy jogging horses. "I took the winter off from racing so I don't have to worry about entering anywhere. I got back into the bike and I really enjoy being back in the bike. I'm sad I got away from (being in the bike) and now I'm happy to be back." Casie's plan for stake season definitely involves the Little Brown Jug! "I'd love to try a threepeat of the Little Brown Jug. I won two in a row and saying that I have a couple of really nice pacing 3 year old colts... whether they are going to be of that caliber I'm not sure about that. I think they are going to be nice Sired Stakes... and I have some really nice 3 year old pacing fillies that could be better than the colts." "I would love to win the Canadian Pacing Derby at my home track, (Mohawk Racetrack located in Campbellvile, ON)." Casie says, "I have Vegas Vacation, Lucan Hanover and Michael Power entered into that race." If Mark MacDonald decides to come back and race at Mohawk Racetrack, Casie definitely wants him to drive her horses. Casie first met Mark at Flamboro Downs, (Hamilton, ON) and it's been a great relationship ever since. The synergy between Mark and Casie is quite unique and if you remember when they were in action together, they seemed unstoppable. Casie acknowledges how important Mark's feedback is after every drive of her horses. Currently Mark is racing at Yonkers, (New York) and hasn't decided what his summer plans may be. If not Mark, Casie is still pondering which driver will lead her horses past the wire first. A really neat event Casie would love to be a part of is the World Poker Tour. She enjoys playing poker with friends and kicking back to watch a movie. Casie's top 3 favorite movies is Rounders, Seabiscuit/Secretariat and 8 Seconds. Casie loves going to Las Vegas. Her first Vegas experience was with her boyfriend, and one of her owners paid for her to stay at the Caesars because he thought she needed a break. Casie quickly realized what she was missing out on with her always being with her stable and now makes sure she takes time for herself and hitting Vegas at least once a year! It's only fitting that one of Casie's top horses is Vegas Vacation! by Roderick Balgobin, www.supernovasportsclub.com Twitter: ScSupernova

TORONTO, February 26 - If you take a close look at the Woodbine drivers standings this season, there is a noticeable change near the top of the leader board. Twenty four-year-old Jonathan Drury is currently in second place, three wins behind three-time O'Brien Award winner Jody Jamieson. Drury, a resident of Rockwood, has certainly made the most of his drives this season accumulating 23 trips to the winners circle and $335,471 in purse earnings. Drury is also the regular pilot behind Hldontghttoyurdrms, who has captured the $34,000 Preferred Trot for a fourth week in a row for trainer Corey Johnson. "It's definitely horse power," Drury said explaining his stellar start in 2014. "When you get that kind of power to sit behind every night and get results, obviously your confidence goes up. So far this season, everything couldn't be better and I'm very fortunate." Drury was born into the harness racing business. His father, Barry, has operated a small stable for many years. Drury, who appears poised in his yellow and blue silks, a nod to his father's colours, is thankful for the valuable lessons he learned at a young age. "All the fundamentals of this sport came from my parents," Drury said. "My dad was stabled along the Mohawk backstretch for many years and my mother (Patricia) was in the barn too. When I wasn't in school I was in the barn or on the track." Drury also ventured out to other trainers before and after getting his trainer's license and he gained valuable experience while working with such trainers as O'Brien Award winner Casie Coleman, Tracey Brainard and Tony Montini. "That was a great learning curve for me," Drury said. "I got to see other methods of training and see the way they do it and run their operation. I've worked for Casie off-and-on for the past three years and got the opportunity to drive for her, which was amazing." After gaining his license in 2008, Drury began driving at Flamboro and Georgian Downs, but the move to Kawartha Downs a few years later and teaming up with top trainers in Corey Johnson and Carmen Auciello yielded great dividends for the young reinsman. "I was a regular driver there (Kawartha Downs) and they started using me and we developed a relationship and it just snowballed from there," said Drury. "Now they both have powerful stables at Woodbine and I'm just thankful to get the work." Perhaps the most valuable experience Drury gained was a summer spent at Pocono Downs in Pennsylvania where he drove regularly for Ontario-based trainer Carmen Auciello, who sent a team of roughly 12 head. "Driving with a different bunch of guys at Pocono was a lot of fun," he said. "It's a little different style of driving and I learned so much in a short period of time. That was the most valuable experience I got, especially when I came back to Ontario." Drury was also a key player in the development of O'Brien Award winner Vegas Vacation. Drury "baby-raced" the son of Bettors Delight, before guiding the colt to victory in his first lifetime start at Mohawk Racetrack. "I was working for Casie at the time and would sit behind her two-year-olds on a regular basis," Drury said. "She asked me to baby-race him and teach him in his early stages and that was a lot of fun to sit behind that type of animal." Needless to say, Drury certainly has gained a lot of experience north and south of the border at a young age, and with a little patience and a lot of talent, it appears to be paying off nicely for the man they call JD. by Greg Gangle, for WEG

"My theory on that is it's not really kicking. Like you said, it's nudging or urging -- one way or the other." During Friday's In The Sulky pre-race card show from the Meadowlands Racetrack, driver Tim Tetrick was asked about "kicking" a horse by The Meadowlands' Sam McKee. Tetrick was one of two drivers fined for using his foot to urge a horse last year at The Red Mile -- the other being Brian Sears while driving Vegas Vacation -- during Grand Circuit racing. Tetrick clarifies that the action is not a kick but merely a brush of the foot to the horse's hock and "it definitely does not hurt the animal." "At the time, everybody's trying to urge them and make a great race...instead of everybody talking about the 'kicking' in that race I think we should have seen how two great champion three-year-olds were fighting it out down the lane. 'Captain' was passed at the seven-eighths, he fought back and fought that other horse off. Was it the 'kicking' or not, or the nudging? He just fought in and did what he had to do." Tetrick also talks about his second hip replacement, going to the Elitlopp with Market Share, the configuration of the New Meadowlands race surface and the renovations to the track's amenities.

Standardbred Canada has announced the winners of the 2013 O’Brien Awards, which honour Canada’s best in harness racing over the past season. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the event, the annual Black Tie Gala was held in Charlottetown, PEI, at the Delta Prince Edward Hotel and PEI Convention Centre. The awards are named in honour of the late Joe O’Brien, an outstanding horseman and member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. O’Brien was born in Alberton, PEI. Bee A Magician who was perfect in her 2013 season, was the unanimous choice in the Three-Year -Old Trotting Filly division and was also voted Canada’s Horse of The Year. Bee A Magician won all 17 of her races last season and earned in excess of $1.57 million for a perfect sophomore campaign. The daughter of Hall of Fame sire Kadabra took a mark of 1:51 at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The invincible filly’s stakes victories included the SBOA elimination and final, the Casual Breeze, the Elegantimage elimination and final, three Ontario Sires Stakes events including the Super Final, the Delvin Miller, Hambletonian Oaks elimination and final, the Simcoe, Breeders Crown elimination and final, American National and Moni Maker. Sylvain Filion successfully defended his Driver of The Year title. In 2013 he led all reinsmen in the nation in terms of purse earnings, as his mounts banked $6,111,736. Filion finished as the leading money-winning driver on the Woodbine Entertainment Group circuit with over $5 million to his credit between Mohawk Racetrack and Woodbine Racetrack. The resident of Milton, Ont. earned the Lampman Cup for the second straight year, as he topped the Ontario Sires Stakes standings for drivers. Filion celebrated his richest win of the season while steering Boomboom Ballykeel to a 10-1 upset victory in the $683,000 Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack. Richard Moreau was voted Trainer of The Year following an impressive season that saw his stable win 279 races and earn $3,623,805 in purses. The resident of Puslinch, Ont. earned training titles across Ontario at Georgian Downs, Grand River Raceway, Mohawk Racetrack, The Raceway at Western Fair District and Woodbine Racetrack. Moreau topped the Canadian trainer standings with $3.5 million in earnings and 270 wins. He celebrated the biggest win of his career this past season when Boomboom Ballykeel captured the Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack. The 2013 season marked the 14th consecutive year that his stable has surpassed the $1-million mark in purse earnings. Alberta’s Kelly Hoerdt won the O’Brien Award of Horsemanship. Hoerdt is a successful driver/trainer who is annually near the top of the training and driving charts in Alberta. The 2013 season was another productive year for Hoerdt, as he trained 82 winners and horses to $623,000, and drove 66 winners and horses that earned over $490,000. Hoerdt was the leading trainer in terms of earnings at Alberta Downs. His stable was led by sophomore pacing colt Premium Attaction, a multiple stakes winner that rattled off six wins in 11 races and over $111,000 Precocious Beauty was honoured as Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly of The Year. Precocious Beauty won seven of 11 races, $462,912 in purses and took a mark of 1:50.1 which tied a world record for a one-mile track. Her richest payday was a victory in the Shes A Great Lady at Mohawk. The two-year-old pacing colt title went to Arthur Blue Chip, who scored six wins in 11 starts and bankrolled $400,120 for his connections. The son of Shadow Play took a mark of 1:51.2 in his Metro Pace elimination at Mohawk before being scratched ‘sick’ from the final. His most lucrative payday was a runner-up finish in the Governor’s Cup. He also won a handful of Ontario Sires Stakes races, an elimination of the Battle of Waterloo and a division of the Nassagaweya Stakes. I Luv The Nitelife returned as a seasoned sophomore in 2013 and added another O’Brien (Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly of The Year) to her trophy case. The talented filly boasted a record of 13-1-1 in 15 races and $1.2 million in earnings. She took a mark of 1:48.4 in the Valley Forge at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. She also set a two-heat world record of 3:42.2 in the Jugette. She swept the Fan Hanover, the Lynch, the Mistletoe Shalee and closed the season as strongly as she began with a win in the Breeders Crown and runner up finish in the American National. Little Brown Jug winner Vegas Vacation took the hardware home as Canada’s Three-Year-Old Pacing Colt of The Year. Vegas Vacation gave his connections the ride of a lifetime in 2013. Conditioned by Casie Coleman, the son of Bettors Delight put together a sophomore record reading 10-4-1 from 20 starts while banking $976,037 in purses. He wheeled off victories in his first four races which included the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes and an elimination of the Pepsi North America Cup. On September 19 he captured the Little Brown Jug in straight heats – both timed in 1:50. ‘Vegas’ finished his sophomore season with a win in the Matron Stakes to put his bankroll at just over $976,000. Anndrovette continued to dominate the pacing mare ranks in 2013, and, for the third consecutive year, was crowned Canada’s Older Pacing Mare of The Year. The daughter of Riverboat King was on the board in all but three of her 21 races. Some of her major wins included three legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway along with the Roses Are Red and Breeders Crown eliminations. On July 20 at Mohawk Racetrack she captured the Roses Are Red final in a career best 1:48. The talented mare now has 35 lifetime wins and a career bankroll of almost $2.6 million. The $6 million horse, Foiled Again was voted Canada’s Older Pacing Horse of The Year. Foiled Again didn’t show any signs of slowing down in his nine-year-old season, as he won 11 of his 29 starts, including three Levy divisions, the Ben Franklin elimination and final, as well as the Breeders Crown elimination and final for his third straight million-dollar campaign. He entered the year within reach of the all-time earnings record for pacers, and he managed to obliterate that mark by adding $1.4 million to his bank account while visiting 11 different racetracks along the way. He closed the season by sweeping the elimination and final of the TVG Free For All Pace at the Meadowlands. Riveting Rosie was the winner in the two-year-old filly trotting category. Riveting Rosie closed out her rookie campaign with six wins in eight starts and earnings of $468,613. Her major victories included the Peaceful Way Final, her Ontario Stakes Super Final and a division of the Champlain Stakes. In the Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt division, it was Father Patrick who took the O’Brien trophy. He topped the earnings chart in his division and was flawless in 10 stakes starts with his only blemish coming in an early season two-year-old race where he was beaten by just a head. Father Patrick amassed $752,395 in earnings with major wins in the Breeders Crown, Peter Haughton Memorial, William Wellwood Memorial Trot, Champlain Stakes and Bluegrass Series. Flanagan Memory was voted Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year after a productive season which saw him win seven of 11 races and $408,798 in earnings. He clocked a season’s best 1:53 effort in winning his Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final at Mohawk. He also scored victories in the Goodtimes and several OSS events. Maven was voted Canada’s Older Trotting Mare of The Year. Since winning the 2012 Breeders Crown at Woodbine Racetrack, Maven has been one of the most consistent trotters in North America. She added wins in the Miss Versatility Trotting Series, an elimination and final of the Armbro Flight, and the Allerage. She showed just how good she was by claiming a second Breeders Crown title. At season’s end Maven had won 10 of 14 races, and added $513,485 to her bankroll. For the second consecutive year, Mister Herbie captured the title as Canada’s Older Trotting Horse of The Year. Although Mister Herbie only won one race in 2013, he was a strong contender in many of the major stakes and scored six runner-up finishes in stakes competition, including the Maple Leaf Trot, Allerage, John Cashman Memorial and Breeders Crown, finishing the season with $492,067 in purses. Seelster Farms, of Lucan, Ont. was honoured as the Armstrong Breeder of The Year. In 2013, Seelster-bred horses scored 248 wins and $2.1 million in earnings. In the Future Star category, the winner of this first-time award was trainer/driver Travis Cullen. The 21-year-old Alberta-based horseman closed out Alberta Downs' 2013 meet with five wins on the final card of the meet while securing both the Lacombe track's driving and training titles. Amidst a career-best year, the Edmonton horseman concluded the Alberta meet with a chart-topping 64 training victories and 86 driving wins. The complete list of winners follows. 2013 O’BRIEN AWARD WINNERS PACERS Two-Year-Old Filly Pacer - Precocious Beauty owned by James L Avritt Sr., Lebanon, KY Two-Year-Old Colt Pacer - Arthur Blue Chip owned by Dr. Ian Moore, Guelph, ON – R G McGroup Ltd., Bathurst, NB – Serge Savard, Saint-Bruno, QC Three-Year-Old Filly Pacer - I Luv The Nitelife owned by Richard P. Young, Boca Raton- Joanne Young, Coconut Creek, FL Three-Year-Old Colt Pacer - Vegas Vacation owned by West Wins Stable, Cambridge- Adriano Sorella, Milton – Anthony B Beaton, Waterdown – Phyllis M Saunders, Hamilton, ON Older Pacing Mare - Anndrovette owned by Bamond Racing LLC, Brick – Joseph Davino, Clarksburg, NJ Older Pacing Horse - Foiled Again owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Fredericktown – Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Canonsburg, PA – JJK Stables LLC, Fort Lauderdale, FL TROTTERS Two-Year-Old Filly Trotter - Riveting Rosie owned by Parkhill Stud Farm, Peterborough – Don Allensen, Wyoming – J And T Stable Newmarket – John F Hayes, Sharon, ON Two-Year-Old Colt Trotter - Father Patrick owned by Father Patrick Stable, East Windsor, NJ Three-Year-Old Filly Trotter - Bee A Magician owned by Melvin Hartman, Ottawa, ON – Herb Liverman, Miami Beach – David H McDuffee, Delray Beach, FL Three-Year-Old Colt Trotter - Flanagan Memory owned by Liette Flanagan, Repentigny-Rene Dion, Saint-Lazare, QC Older Trotting Mare - Maven owned by William J. Donovan, Ft Lauderdale, FL Older Trotting Horse - Mister Herbie owned by Jeffrey R Gillis, Hillsburgh – Mac T Nichol, Burlington, ON- Gerald T Stay, Buffalo, NY PEOPLE AWARDS O’Brien Award of Horsemanship Kelly Hoerdt, Beaumont, AB Armstrong Breeder of The Year Seelster Farms, Lucan, ON Driver of The Year Sylvain Filion, Milton, ON Trainer of The Year Richard Moreau, Puslinch, ON Future Star Award Travis Cullen, Edmonton, AB STANDARDBRED CANADA MEDIA EXCELLENCE AWARDS The Media Excellence Awards program, established by Standardbred Canada in 2008, is aimed at honouring exceptional work that covers Canadian harness racing in a manner that is extraordinary and of broad national appeal. Outstanding Written Work Paul Delean ’Reaching Improbable Heights’ 'Reaching Improbable Heights', written by Paul Delean, was published in the December, 2012 issue of Trot Magazine. It tells the story of trotter Intimidate’s incredible journey from obscurity to harness racing’s biggest stage and the ride of a lifetime that two smalltime owners from Quebec are still pinching themselves over. Outstanding Broadcast Woodbine Entertainment Group North America Cup HD Broadcast Woodbine Entertainment Group’s North America Cup broadcast aired across Canada on The Score television network on Saturday, June 26, 2013. The one-hour special of the $1-million North America Cup was the first live high definition broadcast of a standardbred race in Canada. The show featured live race coverage of the main event, a feature on Marvin Katz (co-owner of eventual winner Captaintreacherous) and a profile of a very special racing fan – Sydney Weaver. The broadcast was a production of WEG’s broadcast department, produced by Rob Platts and directed by Kris Platts. Outstanding Photography Clive Cohen Clive Cohen captured the sunset behind trainer Rene Dion warming up Ocean Mist Beauty on September 19, 2013 at Mohawk Racetrack. The image was published on WEG’s Facebook page later that night. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca

In our prominant harness racing sire series we have reviewed American Ideal and Art Major so far and today we have produced an in depth review for Bettors Delight. Enjoy the read. BREEDING - By the great sire Cams Card Shark, he is out of the averagely bred Armbro Emerson mare in Classic Wish. But that is the only thing that is average about this mare. Taking a record of 1:52 on her way to earning $436,273 makes good reading but it is her record at stud which places her up with the all time brood mare greats. Apart from Bettors Delight p3,1:49.4 ($2,581,461) she has left Roll With Joe p3,1:48.2 ($1,799,250) now at stud, No Pan Intended p3,1:50.3 ($1,613,180) now sire of over $28,000,000 in stakes, and Classic Rocknroll p3,1:50.1h ($780,210). Her 10 winners to date have produced total stakes of $7,445,000 a massive effort for any brood mare in history. The other feature for Classic Wish is that her progeny at the sales have always sold for big money as the following list shows; 1998 Bettors Delight  by Cams Card Shark (Harrisburg lot 59)                      $65,000 1999 No Wishes by No Nukes (Harrisburg lot 186)                                        $100,000 2000 No Pan Intended by Pacific Fella (Tattersalls lot 50)                             $150,000 2001 Western Wish by Western Hanover (Tattersalls lot 40)                           $70,000 2002 Wishforall Fullhouse by Cams Card Shark (Harrisburg lot 229)         $310,000 2003 Classic Card Shark by Cams Card Shark (Harrisburg lot 119)            $240,000 2005 Classic Star by Cams Card Shark (Harrisburg lot 78)                            $130,000 2006 Regal Wish by Cams Card Shark (Lexington Select lot 82)                     $70,000 2007 Classic Rock Nroll by Rocknroll Hanover (Winbak Farm lot 60)            $180,000 2008 Roll With Joe by Cams Card Shark (Lexington Select lot 81)                 $100,000 2009 Rocknroll Wishes by Rocknroll Hanover (Harrisburg lot 112)                   $40,000 2011 Classics Greatwish by Somebeachsomewhere (Harrisburg lot 131)   $185,000 RACE RECORD - Started just twenty six times for 15 wins and 7 placings for $2,581,461 in stakes, racing just at two and three. Took a mark of 1:51.3s at two which he reduced to 1:49.4 at three. He won the $871,475 Breeders Crown as a  2yr old  and the $1,148,500 North American Cup and $348,867 Little Brown Jug as a 3yr old.  AMERICAN STUD RECORD - Very hard to do it justice really.There are too many crops to review individually but right from his first crop he has stamped himself as one of the all time greats. What has really set him apart from his competition is his ability to sire such great fillies and mares. His very first crop born in 2003 produced his richest performer the sensational mare Darlins Delight p4,1:49.1 ($3,024,304). He had 114 foals born that year,107 have raced for 92 winners and that crop has earned $16,327,315 to date. His second crop once again produced a mare that was his highest stake earner of the year, the champion mare Southwind Tempo 1:48.2 ($2,445,541) and to top that year off he produced another mare that made a million, Symphony In Motion 1:49 ($1,065,949). Besides those two mares he left two other millionaires that year in Kenneth J and Forensic Z Tam. Four millionaires from one crop - That is incredible. That crop has 111 foals for 95 winners of $21,000,000 to date. His third crop in 2005 produced just 87 foals but once again Bettors Delight showed just how good he is by producing the outstanding gelding Bettor Sweet 1:47.2 ($2,816,287) his only $1 million plus winner from that crop. The 2006 crop had just the 89 foals for 75 winners of $12,398,000 in stakes with no millionaires to date. Then the 2007 crop produces his next millionaire in Hulas Z Tam 1:52.2h ($1,016,860) racing almost entirely in New York state. One must remember that New York State has the most money for racing any where in North America. Therefore there is a big advantage for stallions standing in New York State. The three stallions that we have profiled to date American Ideal, Art Major and Bettors Delight have all stood at stud in New York State and have completely dominated the breeding Industry in that state. After 10 seasons standing in New York State Bettors Delight was moved to stand in Canada in 2012 before moving again to stand in Pennsylvania in 2013. Never the less we move on to Bettors Delight 2008 crop and you will not believe it he does it again producing two millionaires, his best colt to date in Betterthancheddar 1:48 ($1,636,086) and the champion 3yr old filly See You At Peelers who had just the 31 starts for 26 wins and $1,566,900 in stakes. That 2008 crop has 134 foals, 121 have raced for 99 winners for a total stakes of $13,635,886. The 2009 crop has no millionaires as yet but they are only 4yr olds and I am betting that two of them will be millionaires in the not to distant future as both Dynamic Youth 1:48.1 ($847,878) and Bettors Edge 1:49 ($756,301) are both top end racehorses and they finished 1st and 2nd in a feature race just last night at The Meadowlands (4th of January) with Bettors Edge winning this time round. His 2010 crop (3yr olds in 2013) has produced the outstanding Vegas Vacation and yes you guessed it, another millionaire at $1,071,788. The 2011 crop of 2yr olds by Bettors Delight has been by his standing a very average crop with his richest earner Delightful Dragon earning just $227,329 for the year. All in all Bettors Delight has produced millionaires in six of his nine crops to the races so far in a siring career in North America that one could only dream off. He has a stunning and outstanding record that would be hard to duplicate anywhere. US statistics Eligible to race - 973 Winners - 706 % of winners to foals born 3yr old and older - 72% $1,000,000+ 10 Sub 1:50 - 45 Average earnings per starter - $126,831 Average earnings per eligible horse - $107,670 Total earnings to date - $104,762,708 AUSTRALIAN STUD RECORD -  It started with four small crops via frozen semen which totaled just 30 foals of which 21 were winners including such smart types as Emjayem Grand 1:49.6 ($420,157) Vegas Bound 1:52.5 ($334,589) and Roman Stride 1:53.7 ($261,513). His first crop via fresh semen in the 2007 / 2008 season was his biggest to date in Australia and numbered 117 foals of which 67 have been winners including such top liners as Caribbean Blaster 1:52.6 ($939,208), Beautide 1:50.2 ($803,437), Aussie Made Lombo 1:55.1 ($578,456), Suave Stuey Lombo 1:51.8 ($323,394) and Abettorpunt 1:54.9 ($306,255). His next three crops have produced just 216 live foals (80, 80 and 56) of which 111 have been winners including the outstanding Border Control 1:50.6, (a NZ record) with stakes of $405,558 in Australia and New Zealand combined, Im Smouldering 1:55.8 ($249,688), L Machane 1:54.6 ($317,760), Musical Delight 1:53.1 ($243,188), Waldenburg 1:53.8 ($198,848 and Caesar Augustus 1:54.5 ($166,923). Has not done as well as his North American competitors as a sire of fillies and mares in Australia. Still he has left the brilliant Aussie Made Lombo 1:55.1 ($578,456), Bellas Delight 1:54.8 ($376,035), L Machane 1:54.6 ($317,760) and Im Smouldering 1:55.8 ($249,688) to date. Australian statistics Foals 3yr old and older - 363 Winners - 197 % of winners to foals born 3yr old and older - 54% $100,000 plus - 24  $1,000,000, plus - 0 Average earnings per starter - $46,097 Average earnings per eligible horse - $33,636 Total earnings to date - $11,846,986 NEW ZEALAND STUD RECORD - Bettors Delight started breeding mares in New Zealand via frozen semen in 2003 with several small crops (13, 6, 25 and 7) which totaled just 51 foals. That group produced 24 winners including Highview Tommy ($1,021,904) and Bettors Strike ($890,201). He has four crops in NZ via fresh semen (261, 127, 243 and 117) and has been dominant from day one with his larger crops. His standouts include such horses as Gold Ace ($1,028,621), Bit Of A Legend ($640,178), Five Card Draw ($347,021) and Ohoka Punter ($478,402), Percy The Punter ($241,611), Texican ($282,707) and the unbeaten 3yr old this year in Tiger Tara ($132,200). Like in the US it is as a sire of fillies that he has excelled in NZ. Three champions in Bettor Cover Lover ($1,061,534), Carabella ($693,615) and the sensational Adore Me ($582,976) are all as durable as they are fast.  Other very good fillies are Dancing Diamonds ($343,276), Ardens Darlin ($245,829) and Donegals Delight ($205,428). Foals 3yr old and older - 799 Winners - 391 % of winners to foals born 3yr old and older - 49% $100,000 plus - 29  (+26 in Australia) Total - 55 $1,000,000 plus - 3 Average earnings per starter - $32,214 Average earnings per eligible horse - $19,272 Total earnings to date - $15,398,520 POSITIVES - Has left great fillies and mares especially in the US and New Zealand. His progeny can run at two and carry on as older horses onto the Grand Circuit and are just very good race horses durable and good allrounders. He has a decent record as a percentage sire especially in the US. He is known for his great fertility and is still breeding huge crops even at the age of 16 years old in New Zealand and Australia. Not many stallions can keep producing millionaires year after year but that is what Bettors Delight has done. In 2013 Bettor's Delight was the leading money winning pacing stallion in the NY Sire Stakes program as well as the leading All age money winning stallion in North America. NEGATIVES - With such large numbers on the ground now world wide Bettors Delight has seen a drop off in his yearling sale prices in the US and no doubt the same will happen in Australia and New Zealand as he continues to breed large books of mares. Bettors Delight is just a little fellow and I mean real small in size and he leaves a lot of small foals which has not helped him at the yearling sales. Although he has left great fillies in the US and in New Zealand he has failed to leave any colt that was anywhere near as good as himself with his richest colts Betterthancheddar 1:48 ($1,636,086) and Kenneth J 1:49.2 ($1,592,755) only just able to command enough respect to stand at stud anywhere in the world today. Now one must remember that he has ten crops in North America and eight crops in Australia and New Zealand with a staggering 2,135 foals that are now 3yrs old or older with total stake earnings of $132,008,214. With these huge numbers on the ground he has still failed to leave that very special colt, anywhere in the world to date.  OVERVIEW - Just an incredible racehorse sire anywhere he has stood at stud. Unbelievable ability to sire great fillies and mares sets him apart from all his competition. A tremendously fertile stallion and being from such a great brood mare and leaving such great fillies and mares bodes well for his future as a brood mare sire. Has to be a very big question mark over him ever being a sire of sires! With his richest colt to date, Betterthancheddar, standing at Alabar in New Zealand for the first time this 2013/2014 breeding season, one would hope that that he may fill a much needed void for this great son of Cams Card Shark.. OVERALL RATING - 9 / 10  JC A Sire review - American Ideal A Sire review - Art Major Harnesslink has had such positive feedback on our "forgotten sires series" that we are running a series of reviews on our more prominent harness racing sires. As they say in racing you can criticize some ones car, house or wife but never their horse, and that still rings true. As a disclaimer to our next chapter of analysis we look to provide educated opinion based on years of industry knowledge and the truest form of critique backed by statistical data. The above PREVIEWS are set to strip back any sugar coated publicity often associated with Stallion promotion and give you the cold hard facts as JC sees them.  (All statistical data was provided by TrackIt for North American stats and the official organizations of New Zealand and Australia)  And here is "The forgotten sires series" This is a series of stallion reviews that Harnesslink have already completed with a view to sheading some light on some of  the "forgotten"sires in Australasia. Elsu - Redemption awaits McArdle - The quiet achiever Santanna Blue Chip - On the up and up! Major In Art - Big and fast Mr Feelgood - Dual hemisphere champion Pay Me Christian - Blistering speed Monkey Bones - All class Tinted Cloud - Still going strong Real Desire - The real deal Washington VC - Continuing excellence Wetern Ideal - A superstar sire Bacardy Lindy - Blue blood Monarchy - Out of Sundons shadow Artiscape - Frozen semen blues? Dream Vacation - Frozen semen superstar Badlands Hanover - Great value Lis Mara - The quiet achiever Brylin Boyz - Potential fulfilled

On Wednesday, December 18, Standardbred Canada announced the finalists for the 2013 O’Brien Awards, which honour Canada’s best in harness racing over the past season. The winners will be announced at the annual O’Brien Awards Black Tie Gala on Saturday, February 8, 2014. This year marks the 25th edition of the O’Brien Awards, named in honour of the late Joe O’Brien, an outstanding horseman and member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Nine past O’Brien Award winners are looking to add to their trophy collections and are either defending titles or are nominated in a new division. These past winners include: Anndrovette, Bee A Magician, Foiled Again, I Luv The Nitelife, Intimidate, Mister Herbie, Sylvain Filion, Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. and Seelster Farms. Sylvain Filion will defend the Driver of the Year title against first-time nominee Doug McNair. Filion, 44, of Milton, ON, is currently the leading money winning driver on the WEG circuit with over $5 million to his credit between Mohawk and Woodbine. With 281 victories, he is closing in on Scott Zeron for the title as WEG’s top dash winning driver. He has a good shot of achieving that as Zeron has moved to The Meadowlands. A career winner of 7,477 races, Filion recently surpassed $6 million in earnings in 2013 in addition to going over $80 million in his career. He is also the regular driver for O’Brien finalist, Intimidate. Doug McNair, 24, of Guelph, ON, is enjoying a productive year as he’s driven 292 winners to go along with $5.6 million in purse earnings, his second best year on record ever for money. McNair was the regular driver for O’Brien finalists Precocious Beauty and Love Canal. There will be a new name beside the Trainer of the Year category as Gregg McNair and Richard Moreau are looking for their first National title. McNair, 52, of Guelph, ON, is en route to a career year and sits second in the Canadian trainer earnings standings. McNair conditions O’Brien finalist Precocious Beauty and to date has trained 109 winners and horses to $3.1 million in purse earnings. Moreau, 49, of Puslinch, ON, was a finalist in this category last year. The conditioner has been a mainstay on the WEG circuit for the last decade. He leads the Canadian trainer standings with $3.5 million in earnings and 270 wins. He celebrated the biggest win of his career this past season when Boomboom Ballykeel captured the $683,000 Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack. Kelly Hoerdt, 47, of Beaumont, AB, receives his third nomination for the O’Brien Award of Horsemanship and he is up against first time nominee Paul MacKenzie. Kelly Hoerdt is a successful horsemen who is annually near the top of the training and driving charts in Alberta. He’s been training in Alberta on and off for 25 years. Hoerdt was the leading trainer in earnings at Alberta Downs this year. He’s currently in the top five trainers at Northlands for both wins and money and sits in sixth at Northlands in the driving charts. Hoerdt has 66 wins and $487,528 in earnings as a driver and 81 wins and $616,517 as a trainer. Paul MacKenzie, 52, of Puslinch, ON, has been driving and training for over 35 years and has managed to be one of the top B circuit drivers for decades. The Charlottetown native is the all time leader in driving wins at Flamboro Downs. In 2013 he was the third leading dash winner at Grand River and in the top 10 drivers at Flamboro. Paul drove 169 winners and horses to earnings in excess of $1 million in 2013. He didn’t focus much on training. Unfortunately MacKenzie suffered some injuries at Grand River in late October and has not driven since. Precocious Beauty and Shes Da Bomb, both sired by Art Major, are the finalists in the Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly category. Precocious Beauty won 7 of 11 races, $462,912 and took a mark of 1:50.1 which happened to tie a World Record for the mile track. Her richest payday was a victory in the $451,000 Shes A Great Lady at Mohawk. Shes Da Bomb had 5 wins in 8 starts and earnings of $216,056. She paced to her season’s record of 1:50.3 at The Red Mile. Both fillies captured divisions of the Eternal Camnation Stakes and Champlain at Mohawk. Arthur Blue Chip and Luck Be Withyou didn’t battle each other much on the racetrack but the two will vie for the Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt title. Arthur Blue Chip scored 6 wins in 11 starts, bankrolled $400,120 and took a mark of 1:51.2 in an elimination of the Metro at Mohawk before being scratched from the final. His most lucrative payday was a runner-up finish in the Governor’s Cup. He also won a handful of Ontario Sires Stakes races, an elimination of the Battle of Waterloo and a division of the Nassagaweya. Luck Be Withyou’s victory in the Breeders Crown at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs was the highlight of a 40 year partnership between owner John Craig and trainer Bill Cass. Luck Be Withyou had 5 wins in 11 races and $363,402 in purse earnings. He took a mark of 1:50 in an elimination of the Breeders Crown, and also scored a victory in a division of the Champlain at Mohawk. I Luv The Nitelife returned as a seasoned sophomore and looks to add another O’Brien to her trophy case. She is up against Love Canal in the three-year-old pacing filly division. I Luv The Nitelife boasted a record of 13-1-1 in 15 races and $1.2 million in earnings. She took a mark of 1:48.4 in the Valley Forge at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. She also set a two-heat world record of 3:42.2 in the Jugette. She swept the Fan Hanover, the Lynch, the Mistletoe Shalee and closed the season as strongly as she began with a win in the Breeders Crown and runner-up finish in the American National. Love Canal put together a record of 4-3-1 in 13 races, earned $344,693 and took a mark of 1:50.1 at Mohawk in the Canadian Breeders Championship one week after her win in the elimination. She also had victories in the final of the SBOA Stake and an Ontario Sires Stakes event. Sunshine Beach and Vegas Vacation are finalists in the sophomore pacing colt category. Sunshine Beach hit for 16 top three finishes, including eight wins in 20 starts for earnings of $913,702. He defeated Captaintreacherous in the Battle of the Brandywine in a 1:47.4 world record mile at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in August and was a runner-up to the division leader in the Breeders Crown. He was also victorious in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, Bluegrass Stakes and the Progress Pace. Vegas Vacation put together a sophomore record reading 10-4-1 in 20 starts while banking $976,037 in purses with major wins in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, Empire Breeders Classic, Simcoe Stakes, Little Brown Jug and the Matron Stakes. He was also a close runner-up in the Hempt Memorial, the Tattersalls Pace and the Adios. Anndrovette is looking to defend her crown as Canada’s Older Pacing Mare against the talented Rocklamation. Anndrovette is looking for her third consecutive trophy as the country’s top pacing mare following a season where she scored 7 wins and bankrolled $564,827. She took a mark of 1:48 at Mohawk in the Roses Are Red Final -- a Canadian record -- and also posted a win in the elimination. She won three legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker, an elimination of the Breeders Crown and finished third in the final. Rocklamation won 5 of 21 races and earned $546,217 on the season while posting a mark of 1:49.3 in the Golden Girls at The Meadowlands. She won two legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and captured the Milton Stakes at Mohawk. A Rocknroll Dance and Foiled Again are the Older Pacing Horse finalists. Multiple World Champion A Rocknroll Dance was the first horse in harness racing history to pace three consecutive sub-1:48 wins. Those scores came this year in an invitational at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs (1:47.4f) and in the elimination and final of the Canadian Pacing Derby (1:47.3-1:47.2). He established World Records as a four-year-old on both five-eighths and half-mile tracks. His 1:49.1 world mark on a half was taken winning the Battle Of Lake Erie at Northfield over Foiled Again, and his 1:47.4 world mark on a five-eighths came in an invitational race at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. He defeated the best older pacers of the year in winning the Canadian Pacing Derby at Mohawk in track and Canadian record time. A Rocknroll Dance has been retired from racing and will begin his stud career in 2014 at Diamond Creek Farm in Pennsylvania. The $6 million horse, Foiled Again didn’t show any signs of slowing down in his nine-year-old season as he won 11 of his 29 starts, including three Levy divisions, the Ben Franklin elimination and final as well as the Breeders Crown elimination and final, for his third straight million-dollar campaign. Following Foiled Again's final start of the year, trainer Ron Burke noted that the iron tough pacer has exceeded his expectations with all of his accomplishments. He earned $1.4 million on the year, while surpassing the $6 million career marker and closed the season sweeping the elimination and final of the TVG Free For All Pace at The Meadowlands. Miss Aultsville and Riveting Rosie are nominees in the two-year-old filly trotting category. Miss Aultsville established a stakes, track and Canadian record of 1:59.2 for two-year-old trotting fillies on a half-mile track in an Ontario Sires Stakes event, one of her two season wins. She earned just over $151,000 on the season. Riveting Rosie closed out her 2013 campaign with six wins, one second and one third in eight starts and earnings of $468,613. Riveting Rosie’s major victories were the Peaceful Way Final, The Ontario Stakes Super Final and a division of the Champlain. Father Patrick and Muscle Matters will face off in the Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt division. Father Patrick topped the earnings chart in his division and was flawless in 10 stakes starts with his only blemish coming in an early season two-year-old race where he was beaten by just a head. Father Patrick amassed $752,395 in earnings with major wins in the Breeders Crown, Peter Haughton Memorial, William Wellwood Memorial Trot, Champlain Stakes and Bluegrass Stakes. Muscle Matters was lightly raced but earned $218,800 in 6 starts, half of which he won. He took his mark of 1:55.4 in winning the OSS Super Final at Mohawk. Bee A Magician, who was perfect in her 2013 season, is up against Motown Muscle in the Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly division. Bee A Magician won all 17 of her 2013 races and earned in excess of $1.57 million for a perfect sophomore season. The invincible filly took a mark of 1:51 at The Meadowlands and won the SBOA elimination and final, the Casual Breeze, the Elegantimage elimination and final, three Ontario Sires Stakes events including the Super Final, the Delvin Miller, Hambletonian Oaks elimination and final, the Simcoe, Breeders Crown elimination and final, American National and Moni Maker. Motown Muscle enjoyed a productive 2013 campaign, hitting for 6 wins in 14 races and $331,423 in purse money. She took a mark of 1:53.4 at Mohawk and racked up wins in a division of the Casual Breeze, Canadian Breeders Championship elimination and final, and several Ontario Sires Stakes events. Flanagan Memory and Your So Vain are the sophomore trotting colt nominees. Flanagan Memory won seven of 11 races for $408,798 in earnings. He clocked a season’s best 1:53 effort in winning the OSS Super Final at Mohawk. He also scored victories in the Goodtimes and several OSS events. Your So Vain was a winner of 5 of 13 and $382,105. He posted a mark of 1:52.4 in winning an elimination of the Canadian Trotting Classic. He also added wins in the Simcoe Stakes, Bluegrass Stakes, and a heat of the Kentucky Futurity to his resume. Bax Of Life and Maven are the Older Trotting Mare finalists. Bax of Life won 4 of 23 races and earned just over $155,000. She took a mark of 1:52.2 at The Red Mile. She was a nose winner in a Breeders Crown elimination and second in the Miss Versatility. Since winning the 2012 Breeders Crown at Woodbine Racetrack, Maven has been one of the most consistent trotters in North America. She swept the Miss Versatility Trotting Series including a 1:51.4 World Record in the final at Delaware. She also added wins in an elimination and the final of the Armbro Flight and Allerage to her credentials. She showed just how good she was by claiming a second Breeders Crown title. At season’s end Maven had won 10 of 14 races, and added $513,485 to her coffers. Intimidate and Mister Herbie are the Older Trotting Horse finalists. Both horses were O’Brien winners in 2012 – Intimidate as Canada’s Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year and Mister Herbie as Canada’s Older Trotting Horse. Intimidate stepped up to the Older Trotting Horse ranks to win 7 of 9 on the year and bank $176,000. He won several Preferred events and took a mark of 1:51 in the Credit Winner at Vernon Downs. Although Mister Herbie only won one race in 2013, he was a strong contender in many of the major stakes and scored six runner-up finishes in races including the Maple Leaf Trot, Allerage, John Cashman Memorial and Breeders Crown, finishing the season with $492,067. Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. and Seelster Farms are nominated in the Armstrong Breeder of the Year category, and are both previous winners of this award. McIntosh’s 98 starters have accounted for 228 wins and just over $2 million in earnings in 2013, while Seelster-bred horses have posted 254 victories and $2.1 million in purse earnings. In the Future Star Category, the finalists for this first-time award are Travis Cullen and Patrick Shepherd. Horseman Travis Cullen, 21 of Edmonton, AB, closed out Alberta Downs' 2013 meet with five wins on the last day of racing while securing both the Lacombe track's driving and training titles. Amidst a career-best year of over $366,000 in trainer earnings and over $577,000 in driving earnings, the Edmonton horseman concluded the Alberta meet with a chart-topping 64 training victories and 86 driving wins. His 2013 total of 109 training wins in Canada places him fourth among all trainers while his .430 UTRS leads the nation. Patrick Shepherd, 21, of Lynden, ON, trained 112 winners and horses to $542,799 in earnings. His Canadian win total ranks as the third best among all conditioners, as does his .389 training average. One of the 24 horse nominees will be honoured as Canada’s Horse of the Year. The winners will be announced at the O’Brien Awards Gala on Saturday, February 8, 20114, at the Delta Prince Edward in Charlottetown, PE. The complete list of finalists and owners is as follows. 2013 O’Brien Award Nominees Pacers Two-Year-Old Filly Pacer Precocious Beauty - owned by James L Avritt Sr., Lebanon, KY Shes Da Bomb – owned by F. Bellino And Sons LLC, Bronxville, NY   Two-Year-Old Colt Pacer Arthur Blue Chip – owned by Dr. Ian Moore, Guelph, ON – R G McGroup Ltd., Bathurst, NB – Serge Savard, Saint-Bruno, QC Luck Be Withyou – owned by John H. Craig, North York, ON   Three-Year-Old Filly Pacer I Luv The Nitelife - owned by Richard P. Young, Boca Raton- Joanne Young, Coconut Creek, FL Love Canal - owned by Let It Ride Stables Inc – Robert Cooper Stables LLC, Boca Raton, FL - J and T Silva Stables LLC, Long Beach, NY   Three-Year-Old Colt Pacer Sunshine Beach - owned by Hudson Standardbred Stb Inc., Hudson- Conrad Leber, Montreal QC – Diane Bertrand, Edmonton, AB Vegas Vacation – owned by West Wins Stable, Cambridge- Adriano Sorella, Milton – Anthony B Beaton, Waterdown – Phyllis M Saunders, Hamilton, ON   Older Pacing Mare Anndrovette - owned by Bamond Racing LLC, Brick – Joseph Davino, Clarksburg, NJ Rocklamation - owned by J and T Silva Stables LLC, Long Beach, NY – Stable 45, Boynton Beach, FL- Our Horse Centre Stables, Clifton Park, NY   Older Pacing Horse A Rocknroll Dance - owned by A Rocknroll Dance Stable, Wauseon, OH Foiled Again - owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Fredericktown – Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Canonsburg, PA – JJK Stables LLC, Fort Lauderdale, FL   Trotters   Two-Year-Old Filly Trotter Miss Aultsville - owned by Old Aultsville Stable, Mississauga, ON – Pealer Pen, Camp Hill, PA – John Kopas Stables Ltd. Milton, ON Riveting Rosie - owned by Parkhill Stud Farm, Peterborough – Don Allensen, Wyoming – J And T Stable Newmarket – John F Hayes, Sharon, ON   Two-Year-Old Colt Trotter Father Patrick - owned by Father Patrick Stable, East Windsor, NJ Muscle Matters - owned by Nunzio Vena, Bolton – Santo Vena, Brampton – Benoit Baillargeon, Rockwood – Richard Thompson, London, ON   Three-Year-Old Filly Trotter Bee A Magician – owned by Melvin Hartman, Ottawa, ON – Herb Liverman, Miami Beach – David H McDuffee, Delray Beach, FL Motown Muscle - owned by Bet Max Stables Inc., Casco – Benenati Inc., Clinton Twp, MI   Three-Year-Old Colt Trotter Flanagan Memory - owned by Liette Flanagan, Repentigny-Rene Dion, Saint-Lazare, QC Your So Vain – owned by P G Van Camp Stables, Port Perry, ON   Older Trotting Mare Bax Of Life – owned by Jerry Duford – Joanne S Wray, Campbellville, ON Maven - owned by William J. Donovan, Ft Lauderdale, FL   Older Trotting Horse Intimidate – owned by Judith Farrow, Hemmingford – Luc Blais, Lochaber Ouest, QC Mister Herbie – owned by Jeffrey R Gillis, Hillsburgh – Mac T Nichol, Burlington, ON- Gerald T Stay, Buffalo, NY   People Awards   O’Brien Award of Horsemanship Kelly Hoerdt, Beaumont, AB Paul MacKenzie, Puslinch, ON   Armstrong Breeder of the Year Robert McIntosh Stables Inc., Windsor, ON Seelster Farms, Lucan, ON   Driver of the Year Sylvain Filion, Campbellville, ON Doug McNair, Guelph, ON   Trainer of the Year Gregg McNair, Guelph, ON Richard Moreau, Puslinch, ON   Future Star Award Travis Cullen, Edmonton, AB Patrick Shepherd, Lynden, ON

Freehold, NJ --- Bee A Magician completed a perfect season Saturday night at Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment when she won the Moni Maker Stakes and finished the year as the No. 1-ranked horse in the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Poll. The Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Poll does not determine Horse of the Year. The Horse of the Year award, and all divisional titles, are voted upon by the U.S. Harness Writers Association. Finalists for year-end honors will be announced by USHWA later this month.   Captaintreacherous remained No. 2 in the rankings but lost ground to Bee A Magician after finishing sixth in the TVG Free For All Series championship for pacers. The Captain, a 3-year-old, was taking on older foes.   Nine-year-old pacer Foiled Again made a big move thanks to his win in the TVG final, where he defeated a field that included not only Captaintreacherous but also No. 10-ranked Pet Rock.   Market Share, who won the TVG Free For All Series championship for trotters, moved from ninth to sixth in the rankings, one spot behind Father Patrick and two spots behind I Luv The Nitelife.   Shake It Cerry also saw her stock rise with a win Saturday night. She captured the Goldsmith Maid at the Meadowlands and moved from No. 10 to No. 8 in the poll. FINAL Hambletonian/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 28 – 12/3/2013                                               Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Bee A Magician (32) 3tf 17-17-0-0 $1,547,304 344 1 2 Captaintreacherous (2) 3pc 16-13-2-0 $2,055,033 284 2 3 Foiled Again (1) 9pg 29-11-6-7 $1,404,984 258 6 4 I Luv The Nitelife 3pf 15-13-1-1 $1,253,757 253 3 5 Father Patrick 2tc 11-10-1-0 $744,057 215 4 6 Market Share 4th 14-6-1-5 $1,077,356 138 9 7 Maven 4tm 14-10-2-0 $509,220 135 5 8 Shake It Cerry 2tf 11-8-2-0 $827,769 96 10 9 Royalty For Life 3tc 14-7-2-0 $1,277,130 69 8 10 Pet Rock 4ph 18-6-4-1 $972,820 65 7 Also: Shebestingin (22), He’s Watching (18), Vegas Vacation (12), Spider Blue Chip (9), Anndrovette, Sunshine Beach (3), Sevruga (1). by Ken Weingartner for Harness Racing Communications      

I went four for eight last week, some of my favorite horses got beat, which is bound to happen every now and then. I actually won $.90 (based on $2 win bet each race). We are still in the minus earning column at -$36.30 going into this weekend and we will try once again to bring that number down more. We start off the weekend at the Meadowlands Saturday will a great final stakes program of the season headed by seven major events including the TVG Series Finals and then on Sunday it's the Progress Pace final at Dover Downs. It promises to be a great weekend of racing action! $456,150 Final GoldSmith Maid 2YO Filly Trot 2nd race Saturday, Meadowlands - This race could well wrap-up year-end honors in this division as Shake It Cerry has been super throughout the season for the Jimmy Takter Stable. She should be 1/9 and rightfully so having won her last four-starts and is 7 for 10 on the year with earnings of nearly $600,000. She is a trotting machine and has beaten everyone in this field from on and off the pace. $167,500 Nadia Lobell 3YO Filly Pace 3rd race Saturday, Meadowlands - With I Luv The Nitelife out for the season with a fractured knee this race becomes a two-horse match-up with Shebestingin taking on Charisma Hanover. Both are superb fillies in their own right. Charisma Hanover come in on a five-race win streak with 13 wins this year. But I am going with Shebestingin. She has 11 wins this year, won in Lexington at a mile in world record time of 1:47 and if need be can grind it out on the outside. Will be a classic match-up! $494,750 Valley Victory Final 2YO Colt Trot 4th race Saturday, Meadowlands - With Father Patrick turned out for the season this race should belong to Nuncio. This colt has great speed, first or second in all of his nine starts this year and does not like to be passed. Look for him to get to the front and never look back and has trotting master John Campbell in the sulky too! $500,000 TVG Series Final Open Trot 6th race Saturday, Meadowlands - You can just about make a case for any of the seven horses in this field being able to win. Wishing Stone returned to his winning ways last week in the snow, Mister Herbie was super impressive in his qualifying race, Market Share is total class but I am once again going with Arch Madness. Classy "old man" in the field still has plenty of trot, has beaten this competition before and as long as Trond gets him geared up on the outside by the three-quarters he can grind it out for an upset score. $534,500 Governor's Cup Final 2YO Colt Pace 8th race Saturday, Meadowlands - This will be a very competitive race and I am looking at somewhat of a newcomer grabbing the winner's share of the purse. JK Endofanera showed a :25.4 final quarter mile in a nose lost in a Meadowlands qualifying race, his second nose defeat. Prior to that he shows winning in 1:51.4, has gate speed to insure good position to strike from and has yet to finish worse than second in six lifetime starts. $394,950 Three Diamonds Final 2YO Filly Pace 9th race Saturday, Meadowlands - I think this is a two-horse race between JK Molly and Ali Blue. JK Molly prepped for this final with two sharp qualifying races at the Meadowlands and figures to try and lead all the way in here. But I am going with Ali Blue. She needs mainly to watch her manners and stay on stride but when she is right, which she has been in her last two starts she has the speed to beat JK Molly. $512,000 TVG Free For All Final Open Pace 10th race Saturday, Meadowlands - This is the race many of us have been hoping for all season long. Captaintreacherous, king of the three-year-olds, taking on Foiled Again, Pet Rock and some of the best older pacers in the sport. A lot is riding on this race as Pet Rock and Foiled Again can claim Older Pacer of the Year honors by winning. Foiled Again can even look at possible Pacer of the Year honors with a victory, but both of these game performers have to do one thing first, beat Captaintreacherous. Even with drawing the outside post eight, I think Captaintreacherous has been pointed and primed for this race and that he can beat his older rivals. I don't think he will ever see the lead until mid to late stretch, but if he gets any live cover he will be in position to grind a victory. And when he wins he can claim not only Pacer of the Year honors for the second straight year but also have a shot at Horse of the Year honors. $253,000 Moni Maker 3YO Filly Trot 11th race Saturday, Meadowlands - What can you say about perfection? Bee A Magician looks to close out her superb three-year-old season unbeaten as she goes for her 17th straight win. She has beaten everyone she has faced and done so impressively all season long. Another strong showing in her final race of the year should all but nail down Horse of the Year honors for her...unless the "Captain" can win his race, in which it will be a nail-biter decision that won't be announced until February 23. Either way Bee A Magician has giving us her best week in week out all season long and I can't wait for her to return next year. $284,160 Progress Pace Final 3YO Colts 10th race Sunday, Dover Downs - With Vegas Vacation turned out for the year, the elimination race last week was Sunshine Beach's to win or lose and he lost! Twilight Bonfire turned the tables on Sunshine Beach with an upset win at odds of 20-1. I don't see that happening again today. Sunshine Beach may have it rough at first, having to start from the outside in post eight, but I think that John Campbell will be on the lookout and will rate his colt the best he can and still have something left for the final quarter mile.

DOVER, Del. ----The Progress Pace, the signature event of Dover Downs' impressive month-long "Novemberfest" of stakes racing, is the $284,164 feature of more than $500,000 in events on a big Sunday, December 1 program. Last Sunday, in the Progress Pace elimination and with race favorite Vegas Vacation scratched, Twilight Bonfire, owned by Bob Key, pulled a stunning upset at 20-1 odds on a cold and windy night. Tim Tetrick urged the three-year-old from off the pace to nip Sunshine Beach in the last step. Hall of Famer John Campbell drives Sunshine Beach, a Matron elim winner and second in the final, for trainer Mark Steacy and owners Conrad Leber, Diane Bertrand and Hudson Standardbred. Dedi's Dragon, who owns a victory over Captaintreacherous this season, finished third in the elim but makes a big change in post positions leaving from the rail this time with Yannick Gingras driving for P. Collura, T Hendler, Mark Weaver, Mike Bruscemi and Burke Racing. Another rival, Wake Up Eagles Soar and Wake Up Peter Partners, L.Willinger and Brittany Farms' Wake Up Peter is teamed with Scott Zeron. They were a fourth-place finisher last week. Emeritus Maximus reined by Simon Allard got a fifth-place check in the elim for owners Alan Alber, Eagle Soar Partners and Cheap Speed Stable. The other contenders in the $100,000 test are Messenger Stake-winner Ronny Bugatti, owned by E.A. Prevost, B.T. McNeese and T.L.Houghton, who cut out most of the early pace for driver Jason Bartlett a week ago, Clint Westwood, owned by Weaver-Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino, Ed Smith and Burke Racing with meet leading driver Corey Callahan and Good Day Mate, with Matt Kakaley in the bike for Good Day Mate Partnership, Also on the strong Sunday card are two $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) finales for two-year-old pacers. In the DSBF Filly Final, the program favorite is Garnet O'Mara's homebred Seboomook Fool Yah. Her competitors are The Wiz Kids Stable's Jonigold (Bart Dalious), Treasure Valley (Corey Callahan), George & Tina Dennis and The Wiz Kids Stable's I'm Won Rum Wiser, and Jeff Bartels' Crushed Again (Vic Kirby), all winners in previous prelim divisions among the eight starters. Karen Walls' Elite Awards (George Dennis) a winner of seven straight races in eight lifetime outings is the one to beat in the $100,000 colt and gelding pace. Cavalli Pazzi Stables' Casino Bags Carlo (Vince Copeland) and Joan Hamstead's Lewiebyalength (Corey Callahan), from post 8, won both their prelims and Winbak Farms' Hawker (Jeff Fout), has post 1. There is a Dover Downs Progress Pace cap giveaway in the track's Simulcasting. Show your Capital Club card, or get one free, to pick up your all blue 2013 Progress Pace cap. Sunday post time is 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; post time is 4:30 p.m. There is no live racing on Fridays and Saturdays. For those planning to watch racing from the Winner's Circle Restaurant, reservations are suggested. Call 302-674600. There is no charge for parking or admission at Dover Downs.   by Marv Bachrad for Dover Downs  

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