Day At The Track
Some Chapter, harness racing

'Driver Of The Year' wins 4 at The Big M

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Before the start of Saturday night's harness racing card at The Meadowlands, driver Dexter Dunn was named the United States Harness Writers Association's Driver of the Year for a second consecutive season in a virtual Dan Patch Awards ceremony that the entire sport could view on the internet or at any simulcast venue. Then Dunn went out and showed why that considerable amount of hardware sits on his mantle. The 31-year-old New Zealand product, whose 131 wins during 2020 led all Big M drivers, registered four scores on the 15-race program - after winning three on Friday - to seize control of the top of the Meadowlands' standings with 15 victories in the early stages of the Winter-Spring-Championship Meeting. Dunn scored with 4-5 favorite Some Chapter in the opener, a high-end conditioned trot, and followed that up by guiding 7-1 shot On Accident to the winner's circle in the third in a low-end conditioned pace. Thndrfrmthethron N, the 9-5 second choice, was winner No. 3 in another low-end conditioned pace in the fourth, before Dunn capped his grand slam with 3-2 public choice Italian Delight N in a mid-range conditioned pace in the eighth. Thndrfrmthethron N HANDLE TOPS $3 MILLION AGAIN: For a fourth consecutive Saturday, all-source wagering surpassed $3.4 million, as a total of $3,458,896 was put in play. Over the last four Saturdays, betting at The BIg M has totaled $15,386,226, an average per card of $3,846,556 at the industry's handle leader. THARPS IS THE KING: Backers of provisional driver Devon Tharps may not have known that the 27-year-old Ohio native who works for Tony Alagna had never won a pari-mutuel race in his previous 52 tries, and when the second race was over, those who bet him didn't care either way. Tharps guided Acting Out to a victory from off the pace in the Martin Luther King Remembrance Race, an event that pays tribute to the civil rights leader that features African-American drivers. Tharps and Acting Out were fifth at the three-quarter-mile mark before pacing home in :28.3 to upset the field of $12,500 claimers at odds of 9-1, returning $21.60 to win after completing the mile in 1:54.4. Acting Out A LITTLE MORE: Shnitzledosomethin worked out a perfect pocket trip and took the featured $22,500 high-end conditioned pace in 1:49.4 for trainer Dylan Davis and driver Corey Callahan. The 12-1 outsider returned $26.80 to his backers in upping his win streak to three. ... Callahan finished the night with three winners. ... If you missed the Dan Patch Awards show, you can see it from start to finish by going to The Meadowlands YouTube channel. ... Racing resumes Friday at 6 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations  

Action Uncle, harness racing

Action Uncle named Ohio Horse of the Year

Grove City, Ohio - Action Uncle, the Ohio harness racing 3-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year has been named the 2020 Ohio Horse of the Year. Action Uncle, the son of Uncle Peter out of Action Broadway, won nine out of ten races in 2020 earning $351,960 for trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. and owners Carl Howard, Joyce McClelland, and Larry Wills. In 2020, Action Uncle set a world record, winning the Ohio Breeders Championship at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in 1:52.4. The victory completed the Ohio Triple Crown for Action Uncle as he won the Ohio Sires Stakes and the Ohio Fair Stake earlier in the year. Morgan said Action Uncle is a classy horse. "He just loves to do his work. I knew from an early point as a two-year-old that he had extreme talent. I knew he was something special, but I am a little biased because I trained his mother." Action Broadway, Action Uncle's dam, was a Dan Patch winner earning $1.2 million. The 2020 season ended in disappointment for Action Uncle. Morgan says the plan was to race Action Uncle in the Breeders Crown. "He raced at Hoosier Park the week before the Breeders Crown and came out of the race sore," said Morgan. X-rays showed a broken wing tip of the coffin bone forcing the change of plans. "We felt he deserved to race on the national scene and were very disappointed that we couldn't take an Ohio-bred to the Breeders Crown," said Morgan. Morgan said they are going to do the right thing and write off the 2021 season. "The injury will heal. He is doing extremely well," said Morgan. "We are going to give him more than enough time off. He will be back." In 16 career starts, Action Uncle has 12 wins, three second place finishes and one third place with earnings of $577,535. Action Uncle was honored during the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association's virtual award show on January 16. Frank Fraas

Northfield Park, Harness racing

$60,000 Total Pick 5 Pool guarantee

$16,163 Carryover/$60,000 Total Pick 5 Pool Guarantee Sunday at MGM Northfield Park MGM Northfield Park has announced a $60,000 guaranteed Pick-5 total pool for Sunday's (January 17) race card. Beginning in race six, the $60,000 guarantee includes a carryover of $16,163. The guarantee is being offered at part of the Strategic Wagering Program through the United States Trotting Association. The evening's eighth race starts the 50¢ (non-jackpot) Pick-6 offering a healthy $10,174 carryover. Northfield's Pick-3s, Pick-4s, Pick-5, Pick-6 and 20¢ Super High Five offer a reduced take-out rate of just 14%. Sunday's post time is 4:20 p.m.   Ayers Ratliff

Harnesslink Logo

A brand new Harnesslink coming!

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

LEBANON, OH. - Despite ducking to the back of the pack from an assigned outside post position, razor sharp GD Western Joe circled the entire harness racing field to win Miami Valley's $22,000 Open Pace on Saturday (Jan. 16), his fourth win at the head of the class to go with one runnerup finish in his last five starts. After leaving the gate for good early position in his last six starts, driver Chris Page implemented a different strategy in this outing. Starting a length off the gate, Page guided the six-year-old son of Real Desire to the pylons trailing all eight of his adversaries when the quarter was reached by favored Stars Align A (Dan Noble) in :26.2. Sensing a rapid pace, Page was content to keep his charge in arrears past the halfway juncture in :55.1. It wasn't until the field was nearing the 1:23.1 three quarter mark that GD Western Joe was moved into the outer flow. Moving wider and wider around the final turn, Page was five wide as the stretch drive got underway. When the early fractions took their toll on Stars Align N a cavalry charge to the wire ensued. GD Western Joe prevailed in 1:52, followed by Tivo Hanover (Kayne Kauffman) and The Dark Shadow (Trevor Smith). The winner, trained by Ron Burke, paid $8.40. A $2 exacta was worth $49.40, a 50-cent trifecta returned $97.10, and a correct 10-cent Buckeye High 5 ducat returned $1,263.43. Five $22,500 divisions of the final preliminary leg of the Claim To Fame series for $20,000 horses and geldings determined the finalists for next week's $32,500 championship tilt. Saturday winners were Ron's EOM (Trace Tetrick, 1:51.3, $9), Jet Rock (Tyler Smith, 1:52.2, $3.60), Cyclone Kiwi N (Tetrick, 1:52.4, $4.20), Polak A (Tetrick, 1:53, $10.20) and Townline Flight (Josh Sutton, 1:53.3, $6). Repeat winners Jet Rock and Townline Flight tied for the most series earnings and will be joined in the final by Dubious Claim, Polak A, Windsun Gotham, Ron's EOM, Absolut Rocks and Jeremes General.   Gregg Keidel

Harrisburg, PA --- Tall Dark Stranger, a 3-year-old male pacer who was harness racing’s lone millionaire last season, cashed in on his winning ways Saturday when he was named 2020 Horse of the Year by the U.S. Harness Writers Association. Trained by Nancy Takter and driven by Yannick Gingras, Tall Dark Stranger won 11 of 13 races and $1.30 million last year. He also was named Pacer of the Year and the sport’s top 3-year-old male pacer during USHWA’s virtual Dan Patch Awards show Saturday. The show replaced the organization’s traditional awards banquet, which was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Four-year-old Gimpanzee was named Trotter of the Year and best older male trotter. Trained by Marcus Melander and driven by Brian Sears, Gimpanzee won eight of 11 races and $980,964 last season. His earnings were second to Tall Dark Stranger. Trotters winning divisional Dan Patch Award honors in addition to Gimpanzee were 2-year-old male Venerate, 2-year-old female Anoka Hanover, 3-year-old male Amigo Volo, 3-year-old female Ramona Hill, and older female Manchego. Pacers garnering divisional awards in addition to Tall Dark Stranger were 2-year-old male Perfect Sting, 2-year-old female Fire Start Hanover, 3-year-old female Party Girl Hill, older male Bettor’s Wish, and older female Kissin In The Sand. Tall Dark Stranger, Bettor’s Wish, Kissin In The Sand, Gimpanzee, Ramona Hill, and Manchego all were Dan Patch Award winners in previous years. Takter, the 2020 Trainer of the Year, had three division champions: Kissin In The Sand, Manchego, and Tall Dark Stranger. Nifty Norman and Chris Ryder trained two each; Norman had Amigo Volo and Fire Start Hanover while Ryder had Bettor’s Wish and Party Girl Hill. Dexter Dunn, the 2020 Driver of the Year, was the regular driver of six champs: Amigo Volo, Bettor’s Wish, Fire Start Hanover, Kissin In The Sand, Manchego, and Party Girl Hill. In voting for Horse of the Year, Tall Dark Stranger received 89 votes, followed by Party Girl Hill with 29 and Gimpanzee with six. Receiving two votes each were Bettor’s Wish, Perfect Sting, and Ramona Hill. Anoka Hanover rounded out the balloting with one vote. Pacer of the Year voting saw Tall Dark Stranger outdistance runner-up Party Girl Hill, 93-31, among five horses receiving at least one vote. Trotter of the Year balloting saw Gimpanzee with 80 votes, followed by Ramona Hill with 29 and Amigo Volo with 11. Three other trotters also received at least one vote. Tall Dark Stranger, by Bettor’s Delight out of Precocious Beauty, is the 19th 3-year-old male pacer to be named Horse of the Year since the award began in 1947. He is only the second male pacer in 35 years to receive a Dan Patch Award at age 2 and return to be Horse of the Year at 3. The other was Somebeachsomewhere in 2008. Among Tall Dark Stranger’s wins last year were the North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace, Cane Pace, and Kentucky Sire Stakes championship. He finished second by a neck in the Breeders Crown. “He’s just the toughest horses ever,” Takter said. “I’m going to have to add smart to that, too, because he figured out what this is all about. He knew that he was supposed to be first, and he made sure that he was first. “Where ‘heart of a champion’ is in the dictionary, Tall Dark Stranger’s name and picture are right next to it.” Tall Dark Stranger is owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms, and Howard Taylor. He was bred by Jim Avritt Sr. The colt is Takter’s second Horse of the Year winner, joining JK She’salady in 2014. She is the 13th trainer in history with at least two different Horse of the Year honorees. Gingras has driven three Horse of the Year winners. “It feels amazing,” Takter said. “To have the opportunity just to be involved with these great horses is a humbling experience. A lot of people put faith in me to make champions when we buy horses as yearlings and to be able to execute on that is a very rewarding feeling.” Trotter of the Year Gimpanzee counted the Breeders Crown Open Trot, Hambletonian Maturity, John Cashman Memorial, Graduate Series championship, and Caesars Trotting Classic among his wins last season. He became only the third trotter in history to capture a Breeders Crown at ages 2, 3, and 4. Trotter of the Year Gimpanzee           Dean Gillette Photography Gimpanzee, who was a Dan Patch Award winner at 2 in 2018, is owned by Courant Inc. and S R F Stable. The stallion is a son of Chapter Seven out of Steamy Windows and was bred by Order By Stable. He is Melander’s second Trotter of the Year, joining Greenshoe in 2019. There were no unanimous divisional champions. Tall Dark Stranger, Gimpanzee, Party Girl Hill, Bettor’s Wish, Ramona Hill, and Amigo Volo each received at least 97 percent of the votes in their respective divisions. The closest race was among older female trotters, where Manchego won 72-58 over Atlanta. The Dan Patch Awards show will be archived and available on the USHWA website and USHWA Facebook page, as well as the U.S. Trotting Association’s YouTube channel, on Sunday, Jan. 17. Following is a look at the 2020 Dan Patch Award division winners. Listed drivers were either the horse’s regular driver or won at least one Grand Circuit final with the horse.   TWO-YEAR-OLD MALE PACER PERFECT STING, colt Always B Miki – Shebestingin – Bettor’s Delight Breeders: Brittany Farms, Val D’Or Farms Owners: Brittany Farms, Val D’Or Farms Trainer: Joe Holloway Driver: David Miller Races: 10-10-0-0 Purses: $534,300 Mark: 1:49.2 at Red Mile Top wins: $600,000 Breeders Crown; $250,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes final   TWO-YEAR-OLD FEMALE PACER FIRE START HANOVER Somebeachsomewhere – Fit To Frame – Art Major Breeder: Hanover Shoe Farms Owners: Pinske Stables, David Hoese, Lawrence Means Trainer: R. Nifty Norman Driver: Dexter Dunn Races: 13-8-2-0 Purses: $592,562 Mark: 1:50.3 at Red Mile Top wins: $600,000 Breeders Crown; $151,030 Kindergarten Classic Series final   HORSE OF YEAR, PACER OF YEAR, THREE-YEAR-OLD MALE PACER TALL DARK STRANGER, colt Bettor’s Delight – Precocious Beauty – Art Major Breeder: James Avritt Sr. Owners: Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms, Howard Taylor Trainer: Nancy Takter Driver: Yannick Gingras Races: 13-11-1-0 Purses: $1.30 million Mark: 1:47.1 at Meadowlands Top wins: $760,000 North America Cup; $636,650 Meadowlands Pace; $273,125 Cane Pace; $250,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes final; $239,500 Tattersalls division   THREE-YEAR-OLD FEMALE PACER PARTY GIRL HILL Captaintreacherous – Look Cheap – Geartogear Breeder: Tom Hill Owner: Tom Hill Trainers: Chris Ryder, Chantal Mitchell Drivers: Dexter Dunn, Doug McNair Races: 16-15-0-1 Purses: $880,345 Mark: 1:47.2 at Red Mile Top wins: $304,000 Fan Hanover; $253,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final; $239,500 Tattersalls division; $237,725 Jugette; $154,450 Matron   OLDER MALE PACER BETTOR’S WISH, 4-year-old stallion Bettor’s Delight – Lifetime Star – Western Ideal Breeder: Brittany Farms Owners: Chris Ryder, Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm, Bettors Wish Partners Trainer: Chris Ryder Driver: Dexter Dunn Races: 13-6-3-2 Purses: $685,432 Mark: 1:47.3 at Meadowlands Top wins: $340,000 TVG Series Open final; $229,660 Sam McKee Memorial; $176,500 Dayton Pacing Derby; $150,000 Allerage Farms Open   OLDER FEMALE PACER KISSIN IN THE SAND, 5-year-old Somebeachsomewhere – Kiss Me Kate – Real Artist Breeders: Christina Takter, John Fielding, R A W Equine, Concord Stud Farm Owners: Marvin Katz, Hatfield Stables Trainer: Nancy Takter Drivers: Dexter Dunn, Jody Jamieson Races: 12-8-1-0 Purses: $491,984 Mark: 1:47.4 at Meadowlands Top wins: $300,000 Breeders Crown; $175,000 Dayton Distaff; $161,250 Milton; $150,000 TVG Series Mare final; $72,000 Allerage Farms Mare   TWO-YEAR-OLD MALE TROTTER VENERATE, colt Love You – Peaceful Kemp – Muscle Hill Breeders: Steve Stewart, Kemppi Stable Owners: Pinske Stables, Andy Miller Stable Trainer: Julie Miller Drivers: Andy Miller, Andrew McCarthy Races: 10-5-0-3 Purses: $772,914 Mark: 1:51.4 at Red Mile Top wins: $1 million Mohawk Million; $250,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes final   TWO-YEAR-OLD FEMALE TROTTER ANOKA HANOVER Donato Hanover – Aunt Mel – Yankee Glide Breeder: Hanover Shoe Farms Owners: Noel Daley, L.A. Express Stable, Caviart Farms Trainer: Noel Daley Driver: Todd McCarthy Races: 14-10-1-1 Purses: $587,758 Mark: 1:52.3 at Meadowlands Top wins: $451,800 Goldsmith Maid; $252,340 Kindergarten Classic Series final   THREE-YEAR-OLD MALE TROTTER AMIGO VOLO, gelding Father Patrick – Margarita Momma – Yankee Glide Breeders: Kentuckiana Farms, Jorgen Jahre Jr. Owners: Pinske Stables, David J. Miller Trainer: R. Nifty Norman Driver: Dexter Dunn Races: 15-9-1-2 Purses: $939,498 Mark: 1:50.2 at Dover Downs (world record) Top wins: $500,000 Breeders Crown; $444,000 Kentucky Futurity; $252,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final; $162,350 Matron   THREE-YEAR-OLD FEMALE TROTTER RAMONA HILL Muscle Hill – Lock Down Lindy – Lucky Chucky Breeder: Crawford Farms Owners: Brad Grant, Crawford Farms Racing, Robert LeBlanc, In The Gym Partners Trainer: Tony Alagna Driver: Andrew McCarthy Races: 10-6-1-1 Purses: $915,615 Mark: 1:50.1 at Meadowlands Top wins: $1 million Hambletonian; $266,000 Elegantimage; $253,500 Del Miller Memorial; $160,140 Harry M. Zweig Memorial Filly   TROTTER OF YEAR, OLDER MALE TROTTER GIMPANZEE, 4-year-old stallion Chapter Seven – Steamy Windows – Muscle Massive Breeder: Order By Stable Owners: Courant Inc., S R F Stable Trainer: Marcus Melander Driver: Brian Sears Races: 11-8-1-1 Purses: $980,964 Mark: 1:50 at Meadowlands Top wins: $500,000 Breeders Crown; $464,900 Hambletonian Maturity; $291,350 John Cashman Memorial; $250,000 Graduate Series final; $150,000 Caesars Trotting Classic   OLDER FEMALE TROTTER MANCHEGO, 5-year-old Muscle Hill – Secret Magic – Cantab Hall Breeder: Brittany Farms Owner: Black Horse Racing Trainer: Nancy Takter Driver: Dexter Dunn Races: 13-6-2-2 Purses: $599,451 Mark: 1:49.3 at Plainridge Park (world record) Top wins: $320,000 TVG Series Open final; $300,000 Breeders Crown; $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts   For complete vote totals, click here.   Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association www.ustrotting.com

HARRISBURG PA - The United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), the leading media organization in North American harness racing, has announced the winners of its Dan Patch Awards balloting for excellence exhibited among both equines and humans. The "best of the best" are normally honored at the writers' Dan Patch Annual Awards Banquet, but that event was cancelled this year due to the ongoing health crisis, so a special Virtual Awards show was broadcast Saturday. The Dan Patch Awards Show will be archived & available on the USHWA website (www.usharnesswriters.com) & USHWA Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/USHarnessWriters) and also on USTA's YouTube channel, on Sunday, January 17, 2021. This release focuses on the human and broodmare award winners. The racehorse winners, including the Horse of the Year, will be listed in a separate release being sent at approximately the same time as this one. DRIVER DEXTER DUNN, BREEDER BRITTANY FARMS REPEAT AS WINNERS IN THEIR DAN PATCH CATEGORY Dexter Dunn, a nine-time winner of the driving title in his native land of New Zealand before the age of 30, has now been in the United States and Canada for two years, and he has been voted Driver of the Year both years. 2020 was an especially rich year for him, in two senses of the word: he was the leading money-winning driver last year with almost $11.2 million bankrolled by his charges, many of whom were voted champions of their respective divisions. In September, October, and November alone in the shortened season, he drove the winners of 26 races worth more than $100,000, including the pacing filly champions in both the 2- and 3-year-old ranks, Fire Start Hanover and Party Girl Hill; the two champions among the older pacing set, stallion Bettor's Wish and mare Kissin In The Sand; champion trotting mare Manchego; and champion sophomore trotting male Amigo Volo. He again won four Breeders Crown races. During 2021 Brittany Farms has a very good chance of being only the third breeding concern to have been the first home of the winners of $200,000,000 - and that figure achieved despite producing a good many fewer horses than their nearest competitors. They have tied Hanover Shoe Farms as the #1 breeders of Breeders Crown winners at 27. Among the farm's divisional winners in 2020 were Manchego, Bettor's Wish, and the undefeated two-year-old colt pacer Perfect Sting. They were third among breeders in 2020, with their progeny earning over $5.5 million - again, with fewer starts that others clustered at the top of the list.   PINSKE STABLES GIVEN NOD AS OWNERS OF THE YEAR; KELLY SMITH VOTED LEADING CARETAKER Fifty years in the sport with their familiar gold and green colors, the Pinske Stables, in their current composition Marlys Pinske, her son Karl, and her grandson Carter, had a great year to win the closest vote in all of the Dan Patch categories, 55-48, over another family operation, the Chaffees' Caviart Farms. The Pinskes were in various tracks' winners circles after several victories by the richest two-year-olds of both sexes, the trotting colt Venerate ($767,914) and the pacing filly Fire Start Hanover ($592,562), along with the leading three-year-old trotting colt, Amigo Volo, who won his Breeders Crown and the Kentucky Futurity. All three were voted divisional championships in the writers' Dan Patch balloting (more detail in Racehorse release). The winner of the 2020 Caretaker of the Year Award, sponsored by Art Zubrod and Leah Cheverie's Fair Island Farm, is Kelly Smith, a longtime worker in the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Chuck Sylvester. Smith was nominated by Sylvester himself, who called her "my unsung hero." Smith began working for Sylvester three decades ago, with one of her first champions being the 1993 Hambletonian Oaks winner Winky's Goal. Another of Smith's many champions and one of her all-time favorite horses is 2013 Breeders Crown champion Spider Blue Chip. In all, 16 nominations for the Fair Island Farm Caretaker of the Year Award were submitted, with Smith chosen as a winner by a select group of seven USHWAns, all of whom were former caretakers themselves.   CHAMPION RACEHORSE JK SHE'SALADY NOW 2020 PACING BROODMARE OF THE YEAR; VOTE FOR TOP TROTTING BROODMARE GOES TO STEAMY WINDOWS Voted Horse of the Year after going undefeated in twelve freshman starts, the Art Major - Presidential Lady pacing mare JK She'salady is also showing her quality as a broodmare by winning that Dan Patch Award against strong opposition. Bred and owned by 3 Brothers Stables, JK She'salady from her first two foals has produced two outstanding fillies who ranked among the best of their divisions - the Western Ideal miss JK First Lady, a winner of over $700,000 and a sub-1:50 performer at both two and three, and the Always B Miki distaff JK Alwaysbalady, who won her Breeders Crown elimination then was second in the final. Both raced for 3 Brothers Stable. Her trotting counterpart is Steamy Windows, a daughter of Muscle Massive - Commando Queen who was bred and is owned by Order By Stable. She produced the Trotter of the Year, the Chapter Seven stallion Gimpanzee, who won his third straight Breeders Crown and dominated the free-for-all ranks, raising his career bankroll to $2.7 million. Gimpanzee's two-year-old full sister, Iteration, won half of her ten freshman starts and bankrolled over $300,000. Nancy Takter, trainer of Horse of the Year Tall Dark Stranger, was previously announced as the Glen Garnsey Trainer of the Year after being nominated for the award by all of USHWA's chapters.   VOTING TOTALS 130 out of 185 (70.3%) of eligible voters submitted ballots Nancy Takter unanimously selected as Trainer of the Year by USHWA's chapters Caretaker of the Year selected by an USHWA panel   OWNER OF THE YEAR PINSKE STABLES 55 Caviart Farms 48 Crawford Farms 25 abstain 2 DRIVER OF THE YEAR DEXTER DUNN 114 David Miller 13 abstain 3 BREEDER OF THE YEAR BRITTANY FARMS 88 Order By Stable 30 Runthetable Stables 7 abstain 5 TROTTING BROODMARE OF THE YEAR STEAMY WINDOWS 79 Margarita Momma 31 Dunk The Donato 8 Nantab 7 abstain 2 PACING BROODMARE OF THE YEAR JK SHE'SALADY 48 Great Memories 39 Beachy Girl 31 Swinging Beauty 8 abstain 1   U.S. Harness Writers Association

Freehold, NJ--He may not have had the best harness racing horse in the race but John Calabrese put his trotter in a place where he could win and that's just what Stinglike ABK did in the $9000 American Harness Drivers Club Trot at Freehold Raceway on Saturday afternoon, January 16. After starting from the six-hole Calabrese hustled his charge away from the gate and they settled in second behind Caulfield and driver Todd Whitney who then led the field by the first quarter in 30 seconds over a track that was rated 'good'. Heading to the halfway point in 1:01.1 Caulfield got mild pressure from The Cuse Is Loose (Tony Verruso) who had made a break before the start but Whitney' and his trotter remained undaunted and they kept showing the way. As the field approached the three quarters in 1:31.1 Calabrese kept Stinglike AB K tight on Whitney's back and when they rounded the final turn and headed for home Caulfield's strides began to shorten and he started to fade. In the deep stretch Dawn Anderson joined the fray with Take A Wish and although they made up a lot of ground they couldn't overtake Stinglike AB K who went under the wire a length and a half winner in the 2:01.1 clocked mile Caulfield hung on for the show dough. Sent off at odds of 9-2 Stinglike ABK paid $11.00 for the win. The 5 year-old son of Andover Hall is owned by Robert Key and trained by Aaron Lambert   John Manzi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Before the start of Saturday night's harness racing card at The Meadowlands, driver Dexter Dunn was named the United States Harness Writers Association's Driver of the Year for a second consecutive season in a virtual Dan Patch Awards ceremony that the entire sport could view on the internet or at any simulcast venue. Then Dunn went out and showed why that considerable amount of hardware sits on his mantle. The 31-year-old New Zealand product, whose 131 wins during 2020 led all Big M drivers, registered four scores on the 15-race program - after winning three on Friday - to seize control of the top of the Meadowlands' standings with 15 victories in the early stages of the Winter-Spring-Championship Meeting. Dunn scored with 4-5 favorite Some Chapter in the opener, a high-end conditioned trot, and followed that up by guiding 7-1 shot On Accident to the winner's circle in the third in a low-end conditioned pace. Thndrfrmthethron N, the 9-5 second choice, was winner No. 3 in another low-end conditioned pace in the fourth, before Dunn capped his grand slam with 3-2 public choice Italian Delight N in a mid-range conditioned pace in the eighth. Thndrfrmthethron N HANDLE TOPS $3 MILLION AGAIN: For a fourth consecutive Saturday, all-source wagering surpassed $3.4 million, as a total of $3,458,896 was put in play. Over the last four Saturdays, betting at The BIg M has totaled $15,386,226, an average per card of $3,846,556 at the industry's handle leader. THARPS IS THE KING: Backers of provisional driver Devon Tharps may not have known that the 27-year-old Ohio native who works for Tony Alagna had never won a pari-mutuel race in his previous 52 tries, and when the second race was over, those who bet him didn't care either way. Tharps guided Acting Out to a victory from off the pace in the Martin Luther King Remembrance Race, an event that pays tribute to the civil rights leader that features African-American drivers. Tharps and Acting Out were fifth at the three-quarter-mile mark before pacing home in :28.3 to upset the field of $12,500 claimers at odds of 9-1, returning $21.60 to win after completing the mile in 1:54.4. Acting Out A LITTLE MORE: Shnitzledosomethin worked out a perfect pocket trip and took the featured $22,500 high-end conditioned pace in 1:49.4 for trainer Dylan Davis and driver Corey Callahan. The 12-1 outsider returned $26.80 to his backers in upping his win streak to three. ... Callahan finished the night with three winners. ... If you missed the Dan Patch Awards show, you can see it from start to finish by going to The Meadowlands YouTube channel. ... Racing resumes Friday at 6 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations  
Grove City, Ohio - Action Uncle, the Ohio harness racing 3-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year has been named the 2020 Ohio Horse of the Year. Action Uncle, the son of Uncle Peter out of Action Broadway, won nine out of ten races in 2020 earning $351,960 for trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. and owners Carl Howard, Joyce McClelland, and Larry Wills. In 2020, Action Uncle set a world record, winning the Ohio Breeders Championship at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in 1:52.4. The victory completed the Ohio Triple Crown for Action Uncle as he won the Ohio Sires Stakes and the Ohio Fair Stake earlier in the year. Morgan said Action Uncle is a classy horse. "He just loves to do his work. I knew from an early point as a two-year-old that he had extreme talent. I knew he was something special, but I am a little biased because I trained his mother." Action Broadway, Action Uncle's dam, was a Dan Patch winner earning $1.2 million. The 2020 season ended in disappointment for Action Uncle. Morgan says the plan was to race Action Uncle in the Breeders Crown. "He raced at Hoosier Park the week before the Breeders Crown and came out of the race sore," said Morgan. X-rays showed a broken wing tip of the coffin bone forcing the change of plans. "We felt he deserved to race on the national scene and were very disappointed that we couldn't take an Ohio-bred to the Breeders Crown," said Morgan. Morgan said they are going to do the right thing and write off the 2021 season. "The injury will heal. He is doing extremely well," said Morgan. "We are going to give him more than enough time off. He will be back." In 16 career starts, Action Uncle has 12 wins, three second place finishes and one third place with earnings of $577,535. Action Uncle was honored during the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association's virtual award show on January 16. Frank Fraas
$16,163 Carryover/$60,000 Total Pick 5 Pool Guarantee Sunday at MGM Northfield Park MGM Northfield Park has announced a $60,000 guaranteed Pick-5 total pool for Sunday's (January 17) race card. Beginning in race six, the $60,000 guarantee includes a carryover of $16,163. The guarantee is being offered at part of the Strategic Wagering Program through the United States Trotting Association. The evening's eighth race starts the 50¢ (non-jackpot) Pick-6 offering a healthy $10,174 carryover. Northfield's Pick-3s, Pick-4s, Pick-5, Pick-6 and 20¢ Super High Five offer a reduced take-out rate of just 14%. Sunday's post time is 4:20 p.m.   Ayers Ratliff
Harness racing fans, harnesslink community, we have some important and exciting news to share with you. The current iteration of our website is now over ten years old and while it has done it's job incredibly well, the time has come for an upgrade.  Due to a number of technological changes, our current website has started to experience several problems behind the scenes which need to be solved. This has also fortunately given us the chance to review our current design as website design has changed a lot over the last ten years.  Our new website will be coming sometime in the next few weeks and should bring with it a faster, cleaner, more modern design. We know that change is hard but we also hope that you will keep an open mind and enjoy our new look when it is launched. Here's to the next chapter! John and the Harnesslink team Here is a picture of our original Website dated 2002
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