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It is often a busy week at Lucky Lodge, but it was not the horses that were keeping KerryAnn and Robbie Morris busy this time. The leading Menangle Park training duo welcomed their second child into the world on Tuesday afternoon. As for the horses, well, they just had to wait. Little Stella Margaret joined the Morris team just after 2pm on Tuesday and mum and baby are doing well. Stable foreman, Josh Gallagher, was left to represent KerryAnn and Robbie at Tabcorp Park Menangle and while there was no joy on the track, there was plenty back at the stables. But like the professional stable that they are, Robbie will be back in the gig tonight where the now father of two has six drives. He currently sits just four wins behind champion reinsman, Luke McCarthy in the state’s drivers’ premiership, racking up 54 winners in the first four months of the season. KerryAnn, with 43 winners for the same period, trails Belinda McCarthy by three on the trainers’ table, which is dominated by the females with Amanda Turnbull currently running third. Morris heads to Penrith tonight where he will drive two for KerryAnn, another for Michael Teuma and three for in-form trainer Troy Williams. Most of Robbie’s drives are quoted at big odds tonight but the talented reinsman has a happy knack at landing a winner at a juicy price. One of the Morris-trained runners that appears to represent terrific value is Rockindownunder, which is the winner of her past two outings at Maitland and Penrith yet is quoted at $26 in the TAB App Pace (Race 2). Admittedly she faces a sharp rise in grade tonight but there was plenty to like about her recent wins where she clocked fast time on both occasions. The filly that will be the hardest for Rockindownunder to beat is Marmitta, who last start ran second in the Golden Easter Egg at Menangle. Robbie will drive Paidinfull for Orchard Hills trainer Michael Teuma in the opening event, and it will take some skill to get the consistent pacer into the race from his awkward barrier seven draw. He finished second here on April 22, beaten by just three metres behind the heavily-supported Enemy Lines and if Morris can find a way through the pack, he will be running on. Penrith fields tonight can be found here.   Michael Dumesny HRNSW MEDIA

By Jonny Turner    Her horse may not bring winning form to Saturday’s all-teal event at Rangiora but driver Sarah O’Reilly certainly does. After racking up wins at both Oamaru and Manawatu last week the junior driver will test herself against some of the South Island’s most talented reinswomen in the ‘Rangiora Supports Team Teal Pace’. With eighths, ninths and tenths in her last four starts, Eastwood Isabella does exactly have the kind of formline that suggests she is a leading chance. However, the James McDonald trained mare brings a good amount of ability and excellent standing start manners to 2000m event. And she looks a sneaky chance of helping O’Reilly beat out her fellow reinswomen and raise more money for the Team Teal campaign. “She is a good stepper from the standing start and I do think she will in the mix at the finish,” O’Reilly said. “If she can step away like she usually does she should be able to get a good run somewhere and go a nice race.” Team Teal’s leading contributor Samantha Ottley has been rated the biggest chance of racking up another win in the ‘Rangiora Supports Team Teal Pace’. Ottley drives the $2.80 early favourite Miss Impression who comes into race 7 after finishing second to Ifyousayso at Addington earlier this month. Eastwood Isabella opened at $11 win odds and a place price of $3.30. O’Reilly reunites with Mosaic Art ($4.50 & $1.65) in race 9 after the pair combined for an impressive win at Oamaru last week. Though the Michael Purdon trained filly may not have beaten a field of stars, she sat parked throughout to hand her rivals a beating. “I was quite happy with her, she didn’t beat much horse-wise, but she showed enough to say she could win another couple of races,” O’Reilly said. O’Reilly expects Mosaic Art to strip fitter and benefit from the addition of sliding blinds to her bridle. “She is still learning the game, she has got sliding blinds on on Saturday.” “So she should be a bit sharper and she should have improved from her run at Oamaru, too.” O’Reilly will also combine with Chloe Rose ($8.50 & $2.50) who opens her new campaign in race 10. After a fair trial at Ashburton early this month, the four-year-old ran an improved third in her latest public appearance at the Rangiora workouts. “She has taken a couple of trials to get fit,” O’Reilly said. “Hopefully she will be running on, if she trots all the way and she is running on we will be happy with that.” “She might take a run to get to full fitness, but she has been pleasing us with her work.” O’Reilly drives another of her employers Cran and Chrissie Dalgety’s runners in race 6. Shards In Manhattan ($5 & $2) has the ability to feature but will need her driver to find her some clear running from barrier 1 on the second row of the mobile. “The draw is going to be a bit tricky, the one we follow out isn’t the best but hopefully we can get off at some point,” O’Reilly said. “She should be able to sprint over the top of most of them.” “The horse on the outside, Arizonawildcat, has been going good and will be hard to beat." “But Shards In Manhatten should be able to win this race with the right run because it is a big drop back for her.” Shards Of Manhattan ($5 & $2) comes into her 2000m assignment after contesting Off N Gone’s Harness Million Final at Addington last week.

January 14, 2021 - Cagnes sur Mer hosted the harness racing Gr. III Prix de la Cote d’Azur (purse 130,000€, 2925 meters distance handicap, International 5-11 year olds) this day with 16 solid starters. The 8/1 odds Golden Bridge (5m Ready Cash-Usenza) rallied mid-stretch to victory timed in 1.13.6kr, with David Thomain the pilot. Philippe Allaire trains the now seven time career winner for 292,850€ earned. Michel Tessier owns the winner. The 1.4/1 favorite Valzer di Poggio (7m Love You-Glory di Poggio) had surged to the front in the lane and gamely held second with Nicolas Bazire up for trainer Jean Michel Bazire. The 25 meter handicapped and 35/1 outsider Bulle de Laumont (10f Hand du Vivier-Ozo de Laumont) was a good third for trainer/driver Stephane Cingland. Alcoy (7m Ready Cash-Divann) was fourth for Christophe Martens, this one off at 14/1 and handicapped 25 meters. 38/1 Dona Viva (8f Love You) and 9/1 Fashion Queen (6f Ready Cash) were fifth and sixth. Golden Bridge (5) The beauty of Cagnes sur Mer is shown below. On Saturday at Paris-Vincennes there are three groupe contests, with entries for the Prix Gelinotte and Prix de Croix shown below. Aetos Kronos will be at the start in the Prix de Croix with J-M Bazire at the lines as he will battle Power, Green Grass and Gu d’Heripre. Jan 16 - 15:50 C4 - PRIX GELINOTTE 100 000€  Groupe II - Attelé - 2700m - Grande piste Course Internationale Pour pouliches de 3 ans (I), ayant gagné au moins 3.000. Jan 16 C5 - PRIX DE CROIX 100 000€ Groupe II - Attelé - 2 850m - Grande piste Course Internationale+Pour 5 ans (G), hongres exclus, ayant gagné au moins 38.000.   Thomas H. Hicks  

Freehold, NJ --- Harness racing trainer Bill MacKenzie and driver Dan Dube are no strangers to success together at Freehold Raceway. They teamed up for a win in the Saturday (January 2) feature, as No Easy Day won the Preferred Handicap pace.   Sent off as the second choice at 2.40/1, Dube took back at the start and put his charge in fourth early on. Around the half-mile, after waiting behind a quarter in 28 2/5 seconds and a half in 58 seconds, Dube elected to make his move first-over.   As they moved up the backstretch the final time, No Easy Day began breathing down the neck of early leader Drinkin Again. Just after passing that point in 1:26 2/5, Dube seized command with No Easy Day. He then fended off a challenge from Mohawk Warrior for the 1 1/4 length victory. The final time was 1:54 3/5.   No Easy Day is co-owned by Vincent Ali and Alma Iafelice.   He's won sixteen times from 74 starts, earning more than $217,000 in the process.   No Easy Day   Dube won four races in total on Saturday. He teamed up with MacKenzie in race 3 as well, scoring with Lettuceriprita A. He got the double with Shneonucrzydiamnd in the 7th race, for owner/trainer Michael Hall. No Easy Day was his third win of the afternoon; the grand slam was completed in race 12 on Izzy Estrada trainee Na Na Na Baatman.   Freehold had a strong business day on Saturday, as the 13-race card handled $701,670. The first two days of the 2021 racing season have handled more than $1.3 million.   Live racing resumes on Thursday (January 7), with a 10-race card beginning at 12:30 PM. There will be a carryover in the pick 5, worth $1,355.51.   Freehold Publicity  

Freehold NJ -- A two-hole journey and a late rally was just what harness racing driver Marianna Monaco needed when she guided 13-1 shot Sb Fine And Dandy to a nose triumph over another longshot, 29-1 Broadway Bruiser, in the American Harness Drivers Club trot at Freehold Raceway on Saturday afternoon, Jan. 2. One could say that Monaco played hardball by not yielding the lead preferring to park-out all comers and though she did, still her trotter had enough in the tank to hold-off a late charge from Broadway Bruiser and driver Tony Beltrami to score a nose decision in the 2:02 trotted mile in the first seasonal event of the 2021 amateur driving series. Starting from the two-hole Monaco first kept Wygant Prince and Paul Minore on the limb and after Minore found a hole along the pylons she braced for a challenge from 10-1 Always A Good Time, driven by Joe Faraldo. As they headed to the half-way point Sb Fine And Dandy and Faraldo's charge hooked up in a duel with Monaco's trotter still holding command all the way to the top of the stretch. As the two leaders headed for home just heads apart Beltrami came from far back with Broadway Bruiser and he and Sb Fine And Dandy charged to the finish line noses apart. It required a lengthy look by the judges but when the decision was made Sb Fine And Dandy was short-nose better than Broadway Bruiser with Faraldo's charge just a tick back in third place. The winner, a 6-year-old Iowa-bred altered son of Claudius Augustus reined supreme for the sixth time in his career. He is currently under lease to Edwin Quevedo. Sb Fine And Dandy Sb Fine And Dandy (#2) paid $29.00; $11.00 & $6.80. Broadway Bruiser (#7) returned $27.20 and $10.80. Together they teamed up for a $544.40 exacta. And the 2-7-5 trifecta was worth $2191.00 by John Manzi for the American Harness Drivers Club    

MANALAPAN, NJ -- December 7, 2020 -- The Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association is looking for additional harness racing pacing stallions to stand stud in the state of New Jersey. While our state is fortunate to have a strong selection of trotting stallions for 2021, our hope is to increase our representation on the pacing side. The SBOANJ has developed the Home-Grown Pace for pacing foals in an attempt to increase racing opportunities for pacers. The offspring from any new pacing stallions in New Jersey in 2021, will have the opportunity to race in this program in addition to the revitalized NJ Sire Stakes. If you are interested in standing a pacing stallion in New Jersey, or if you have any questions, please call the SBOANJ office at 732.462.2357. The deadline for registering a new stallion for the 2021 breeding season is February 15, 2021. Courtney Stafford

The Castlemaine/Bendigo  District are mourning the sudden passing of long time owner/trainer and industry participant Keith Semmens in Bendigo last Thursday. I first got to know Keith and wife Margaret many years ago after purchasing a horse by the name of Tuddy from them when they were living in Harcourt, having earlier been residents of Bagshot. Tuddy was tried in a couple of stables without success and Keith rang me to ask if he could have him back to train as he feared that he was fretting away from home, he won two races after being returned and was eventually sold to Queensland. Having pottered around with some ordinary steeds, Keith’s big break came when a Bar Adios filly by the name of Shady Glade came along and was successful in winning the 1979 Youthful Stakes at Moonee Valley when driven by Keith giving him and Margaret a huge thrill as she came from well back with a barnstorming finish. Easy Find was to leave a handy mare in La Poem But it was the trotters which Keith really excelled at after very smart trotter Con’s Poem (Toliver Bay-Easy Find) came along in the eighties going from maiden to open class. It was after this that the majority of the Semmens horses carried the “Poem” name in some form and the majority all won their share of races Downunder Barkers (Downunder Muscles-La Poem) is racing at the moment. Sincere thoughts and sympathy are extended to Margaret, Jon, David, Wendy and Robyn and their respective families. Funeral arrangements will be announced in coming days.   Len Baker

Inglewood, ON — On Saturday (Oct. 17), Winbak Farm of Ontario will be hosting the new Ontario Select Yearling Sale. The sale will be held the same weekend as the Ontario Sire Stakes Super Finals. There will be 100-120 horses to be sold; limited entries are available. “In response to the COVID-19 and the cancelling of the in-person London Sale, we came up with the sale idea to make it easier for buyers,” said Joe Thomson, Winbak Farm owner. “We wanted to give the buyers a chance to inspect our horses in person where they are prepped and at a central location. The sale will start at noon in order to give buyers a chance to preview the yearlings before the sale starts. Sale management hopes the time will also give attendees a chance to get to Woodbine Mohawk Park before the races start. “We plan on having a sale preview day on Friday and a one-day sale on Saturday,” said Pat Woods, Winbak Farm of Ontario Manager. “Closer to the sale date, Winbak Farm will have 47 yearlings at the farm available for early viewing. The plan is to have them on-site 30 days prior to the sale.” Additionally, Preferred Equine Canada will be having a consignment representing fellow Ontario breeders. “We will list on the website where other consignors will be available for viewing prior to the sale,” said Thomson. “The sale will conform to Ontario guidelines regarding the virus.” It is important for potential consignors to note that the sale entry deadline will be July 17 or at an earlier date if the available slots are full. The plans for the sale include live video streaming and phone and internet bidding. Interested parties are encouraged to call Pat Woods at 905.838.2145 or email him at as soon as possible due to limited amount of consignment spots available. More information for this sale will be available soon. The Ontario Select Yearling Sale website will be coming soon. Winbak Farm of Ontario

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - The Marc Campbell harness racing stable will pack a one-two punch in the Thursday evening featured event at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. First race post time is 6 P.M. for the Thursday card with the $2,900 Fillies and Mares Open the top class of the night in race 9. Starting with the Thursday card race fans will be able to place their wagers in the new drive-in betting venue at Red Shores Charlottetown from 12-4 P.M. on the trackside patio. That venue will also be offered from the same times on Friday and Saturday with patrons able to purchase tickets on live or simulcast racing at that time. In the Fillies and Mares Open, Dreamfair Zenfire was the boss in her East Coast debut last week for trainer-driver Marc Campbell but the Winsloe reinsman will elect to drive stablemate Arc Light from post 6 on Thursday after her impressive six-length victory in last week's back-up class. Open class winner Dreamfair Zenfire will have the driving talents of Walter Cheverie in the bike with post 4 for owners Ryan and Everett MacLeod of Souris. The Sunfire Blue Chip pacer pocket rode behind pacesetter Berazzled last week and won in the stretch drive. Berazzled will have Mike McGuigan back in the bike from the Jonah Moase stable from post 5. Race analyst Les MacIsaac will look for a similar result from Dreamfair Zenfire on Thursday as he pegs her on top."Dreamfair Zenfire had an impressive local debut and kept her perfect record for the 2020 season intact at 3 for 3," MacIsaac said. "She loses Marc but there's nothing wrong with Walter as a replacement and until she goes down to defeat, she's the one to knock off." Other entries in the top event are Private Di (To be driven by Kenny Arsenault), Miss Kabana (Vincent Poulton) and Much Adoo (Brodie MacPhee). The evening finale features the back-up class of pacing mares vying for a $2,400 purse. Woodmere Chella (Dowling) finished a close third to Dreamfair Zenfire and Berazzled last week and drops down in class this week for trainer Marvyn Webster and owner Valleygrove Farms of Kensington. The Atlantic Sires Stakes graduate will look for the first win of her five-year-old campaign. Top contenders in the class include Killean Finale (Ken Murphy) and Rocknrols Image (Jason Hughes). Catch all the action live at and wager online at By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

LEWISTON – John T. Butler Sr. died peacefully at his home on his own terms with much dignity and love on April 6, 2020, at the age of 98. He was born in Lewiston, Maine, on July 4, 1921, to Arabella and Patrick F. Butler who immigrated to the U.S. from Ireland in 1915.A 1941 graduate of Lewiston High School, John was drafted in 1942 to serve his country in World War II. He entered the United States Air Corps (now the U.S. Air Force) and was stationed at Paine Field in Everett, Washington. His compassionate nature and empathy for others earned him a promotion to the 235th Medical Corps where he proudly served in Africa, India and China until the war ended in 1945. His World War II experiences were memorable and he often recounted to his children and grandchildren stories of the medical team with whom he served. He viewed his years of service to his country as an important part of his life. After the war ended, he worked for his uncle, Jim Butler, who invented head numbers for horses that are still used today in the harness racing industry. John traveled to state fairs and racetracks throughout New England and New York state renting these head numbers.  While working at the racetracks on weekends, John spoke often to the jockeys who complained about the lack of comfort with their riding boots. Being a young entrepreneur, John listened to their needs and created a boot, called “the Butler 500”, which quickly became a favorite among the harness racing jockeys. He had the boots manufactured in Maine and he sold them by mail order throughout the U.S. and Canada.  During the week, he worked for O’Brien Dye Co. who produced products for the shoe industry. He worked for them until 1952 when he and his brother Frank Butler decided to start their own business, Butler Bros., to supply products to the thriving shoe industry in New England. Today, Butler Bros. is run by his son, Patrick, and the Company has grown into a full line industrial distributor serving customers in 48 states with 130 employees. John rarely missed a day of work and still came into the office right up until the weeks preceding his death.John also found the time to serve on the Board of Directors of Peoples Savings Bank for 20 years. John married his true soulmate, Rosemarie Cote, at St. Patrick’s Chapel in Lewiston in 1953 after meeting her at a City Hall dance and sweeping her off her feet with his boyish charm and sparkling blue eyes. Their loving marriage spanned 65 years and they had 5 children. John lived a remarkable life and made a lasting impression on everyone he met. He was a charming, funny, decent, honest and hard-working man. An incredible father, he stressed to his children the importance of a strong work ethic, common sense, and fairness to others. He also knew how to have a good time by organizing nightly neighborhood baseball games (where he was the designated pitcher) and creating lasting family memories with summers spent at Old Orchard Beach. Born on the Fourth of July, John’s annual birthday celebration with family and friends was the highlight of the summer. Always in rare form and the center of attention for his special day, he joked that the fireworks that day were for him and not our country’s birthday. Hard work was the theme of his life; and, he even had a poem that his children, grandchildren, co-workers, and friends had to learn and recite back to him (sometimes for a dollar). The poem was called “Work” and it went like this—”Work, this is my work, my blessing and not my doom. For all who live, I am the one by whom, this work shall best be done, and in the right way!” John was an avid golfer and played competitively for many years with his dear friends. He had an uncanny memory for great golf matches and great shots, and he would retell those stories often and with amazing accuracy, much to the chagrin of his playing companions. He also enjoyed weekly poker games with longtime friends and played well into his 90s. He was predeceased in death by his beloved wife Rosemarie, “the love of his life”, his son John, Jr., his four siblings and their respective spouses, sister Margaret and husband Russell Stinson, sister Josephine, brother Frank Butler, and sister Madeline and spouse Martin Pierter. John will be remembered and sadly missed by his children, Shaun Butler and husband Ray Harris of New York City, Kathleen Butler Simpson and husband Steve Simpson of Lewiston, Patrick Butler and his wife Patricia of Lewiston and Portland, Mary Lou Harris and husband Tim of Lewiston, and Ann Butler of Lewiston. John was also deeply loved by his grandchildren and step grandchildren who brought much joy into his life. They include Jamie Caouette, Nik Caouette and partner Nongnuch (Kum) Makarom, Jason Butler and wife Titayawan (Fon) Butler, Tori Butler Doucette and husband Jeff, Alexandria Butler Paradis and husband Michael, Michael Butler, Matthew Butler, Andrew Butler, Jonathan Powell, Jessica Harris and Corey Harris. In addition, he loved his seven great grandchildren, Madison, Natalie, Braden, Zhylis, Chama, Tavin, Jorah, and his beloved dog, Izzy, his constant companion to the end. The family would like to extend special thanks to John’s youngest daughter Mary Lou Harris for her devotion and selfless daily care so John could stay in his home until his death. The family also wishes to thank his granddaughter Jamie Caouette and caregiver Nancy Cole, as well as the hospice staff, Peg Phelan and Beth Dubois, for their loving and thoughtful care. Condolences and fond memories may be shared with John’s family at Visiting hours and details of the upcoming funeral will be provided at a later date. Arrangements are under the care of The Fortin Group Funeral Home, Cremation and Monument Services 70 Horton St. Lewiston, 784-4584. Arrangements are under the care of The Fortin Group Funeral Home, Cremation and Monument Services 70 Horton St. Lewiston, 784-4584.In lieu of flowers, please consider making donations to one of the organizations important to John Butler. The Store Next Door at Lewiston high School is a program managed by John’s granddaughter, Jamie Caouette, to provide basic needs such as food, hygiene products, clothing and school supplies to homeless and at-risk students. Online gifts can be made online at or checks can be made out to “The Store Next Door” and mailed to: The Store Next Door, Attention Jamie Caouette, 156 East Avenue, Lewiston Maine, 04240. Alternatively, gifts can be sent to Honor Flight Maine, a nonprofit to honor veterans for their sacrifice and service. For more information or to donate online visit

BATAVIA — With the virtual shutdown of the entire State of New York, everything has taken a major hit; from schools and athletics to businesses and every day lives, things won’t be the same again for quite some time, if ever. That, obviously, also has applied to one of the oldest and most cherished sports in the world — the sport of horse racing. More specifically, harness racing. While every track in New York has been shut down, including the thoroughbred venues, there have been a small number of tracks that have remained open throughout the country, though none of those include harness tracks, like the oldest lighted harness track in the country at Batavia Downs. “All New York state racetracks are currently shut down until further notice and are anxiously awaiting word when they can reopen,” said Todd Haight, the Director/General Manager of Live Racing at Batavia Downs.”Before the New York State racetracks ceased racing operations, they were racing with no patrons in attendance. That could be a way of getting these racetracks open sooner rather than later.” Yet as of March 16, tracks across the state have been temporarily closed to the COVID-19 pandemic, including Buffalo Raceway, which was midway through its current season. However, though there will not be any live racing any time soon, the state mandates have not shuttered all aspects of the sport down completely. “The racetracks that were open before the shut down remain open for training purposes,” Haight said. “Equines must be allowed to get out of their stalls for exercise and receive their proper care. The only real change there is training hours have been reduced. Racetracks that were scheduled to open in April and early May have all delayed their openings; in fact, Vernon Downs and Tioga Downs have delayed opening up their barn areas until further notice.” With the majority of racing shut down, three “major” thoroughbred tracks have remained open, which includes Oaklawn Park, Tampa Bay Downs and Gulfstream Park. Oaklawn Park is in Arizona, while the remaining two are in Florida, with Gulfstream having hosted the 2020 Florida Derby just over a week ago, with Tiz the Law winning easily in front of zero spectators. Is that something that is capable of being maintained? “Of the three it appears in the short term they will be allowed to complete their season,” Haight said. “That said, Oaklawn Park is scheduled to close for the season on May 2 and Tampa Bay Downs May 3. Of the major tracks that would leave just Gulfstream Park — located in South Florida — racing although officials at Santa Anita in California are feverishly trying to that track reopened.” With the lack of any major sport taking place during the spread of coronavirus, increased majoring on horse racing has followed suit. Though Haight isn’t 100 percent sure that has to do with there being no baseball, basketball, hockey, etc... “I’m not sure I can attribute the increased handle numbers to the lack of sporting events. Rather I think the lack of competition from many or any racetracks running at the same time,’ he said. “I can tell you at Batavia Downs Racetrack our biggest total handle of the week is Wednesday night, which I’m sure surprises many people. Yes, on Saturday night we by far draw our biggest crowds but due to so many other tracks racing we don’t see the big off-track wagering numbers that we see on Wednesdays. In fact, it can be as high as 50 percent greater than the other race nights and this is all due to the lack of competition.” However, there may still be a correlation nonetheless between the lack of gambling options and the increased interest in horse racing betting. “Yes racetracks have reported increases in handle due to the lack of competition. Gulfstream Park saw an all-sources handle for the Florida Derby card, March 28, a record $53,555,529, eclipsing the previous mark of $49,909,070 handled in 2018,” Haight said. “And remember this number was attained with not one person wagering in the grandstands as the races were closed to the public. That’s truly remarkable.” There have also been other tracks across the country that have reported huge increases, including Fonner Park in Nebraska and Will Rogers Downs in Oklahoma, with the former still up and running without spectators. Will Rogers Downs saw a 657.5% increase in the March 2020 handle over March 2019 with betting up nearly $13.7 million from the same period last year, according to Haight, while Fonner Park, saw a 272.7% increase in March handle, up more than $8.4 million. Specifically with Batavia Downs, they have also seen an up-tick in wagering in the recent weeks, for whatever the reason may be. In 2014 the Downs introduced Batavia Bets, an online wagering platform that has continued to be highly success, while Haight says it took in nearly $200,000 in wagers last week alone. Haight has also seen a small increase in the number of signups for Batavia Bets since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, with horse racing being virtually the only sport still running that people can gamble on. Moreover, cable networks such as Fox Sports 1 and NBC Sports have continued to show live racing on television, including the Florida Derby in late March. “And keep in mind that’s with many of our customers most popular racetracks current closed,” Haight said in the increased wagering at Batavia Downs. “When you take Aqueduct, Meadowlands and Buffalo Raceway off the board it is going to have an effect on wagering numbers. We’re very pleased with the success of Batavia Bets.” For Haight and the rest of the world of racing — and life in general — everything at the moment is simply a waiting game. And the effects of the last month are something that the world will likely never fully get over. “COVID-19 has changed the landscape of horse racing - that’s for sure. We are living in unprecedented times and the safety of our patrons, employees, and horsemen remain a top priority,” Haight said. It remains to be seen how long it will take to get back to normal and what the new normal will indeed be. “The effects of this pandemic have been felt worldwide and in all sports,” he added. “We’ll continue to monitor the situation and provide updates on our website, social media and via press releases in regards to our live racing product which is scheduled to begin on July 22. We’ll be working very closely with the New York State Gaming Commission and the Western New York Harness Horseman Association on this process.” Here’s to hoping at least part, if not all, of the upcoming Downs season will go on as usual. By Nate Rider Reprinted with permission of The Daily News Online

East Rutherford, NJ — Heavy public choice Evident Beauty marched to the front for harness racing driver David Miller and never looked back, scoring in the $124,000 first division of the Del Miller Memorial for 3-year-old trotting fillies at The Meadowlands on Saturday night (July 13).   The New Jersey-bred daughter of Trixton stopped the timer in 1:52.3, equaling her lifetime best.   Evident Beauty, trained by Richard "Nifty" Norman for owners Melvin Hartman, Little E LLC and RAW Equine, displaced Beautiful Sin from the lead at the :28.3 opening quarter. From there a soft :57.3 half gave the 1-5 favorite the confidence she would need. Cloud Nine Fashion and Tim Tetrick made a strong coverless challenge at the half and looked on the verge of going by the favorite through three-quarters timed in 1:25.3.    But once into the homestretch, Evident Beauty was driven by Miller and found her best stride to turn back Cloud Nine Fashion with a :27 final quarter.   Miss Trixton finished third behind the winner, who returned $2.40 as the prohibitive favorite.   "I felt pretty confident," Miller said after the second-half duel. "My mare held strong."   The $126,500 Del Miller division saw Millies Possession remain undefeated, capturing her seventh straight career outing in impressive fashion. The Fashion Farms LLC homebred by Possess The Will scored in 1:53.2.   Dexter Dunn rated Millies Possession in the early stages, allowing Starita to cut fractions of :28.1 and :57.3 before taking any interest. Dunn moved up methodically as Sears and Starita hit three-quarters in 1:26 and were in control. But in the homestretch, Millies Possession just kept eating up ground and devoured the leader, eventually drawing clear with a :27.2 final quarter. Queen Of Trixs was airborne in closing late for second, with The Ice Dutchess finishing third.   Also sent off as the public choice, Millies Possession returned $3.00 to win.     "I knew we were going slow, but at the moment she seems to overcome these kind of trips," said Dunn of Millies Possession, who last week was parked the mile winning the Reynolds and followed it up with another overland journey.   The victory capped a huge night for trainer Jim Campbell and Fashion Farms, who captured the $450,000 Hambletonian Maturity earlier in the night with Crystal Fashion. by Jay Bergman, Meadowlands Media

East Rutherford, NJ -- Hannelore Hanover, the 2017 harness racing Horse of the Year, proved to be too much in the second leg of the $40,000 Miss Versatility on Saturday (June 13) at The Meadowlands.   A surprising 9-5 second choice, Hannelore Hanover held off a late charge by even-money favorite Darling Mearas S to capture her second straight victory by three-quarters of a length in 1:50.2.   Both mares went head-to-head at the top of the stretch, but Hannelore Hanover, driven by Yannick Gingras, dug in and had an extra gear. It was her third win of the year and it raised her total to 45 victories in 76 lifetime starts.   "She was very good tonight and hopefully she can build from here," said Gingras. "When she got alongside me, I wasn't sure what was going to happen, but when he did get there, my horse was digging and the last 10 to 15 strides I knew I was home free."   The Swedish-owned and bred Darling Mearas S, driven by up-and-coming star Dexter Dunn, joined J L Cruze (2015) and Plunge Blue Chip (2018) just last Saturday as the only 1:49.4 performers in the history of the Big M.   Hannelore Hanover paid $5.80 to win for her efforts in the eight-horse field.   Satin Dancer finished third at 99-1, and Ice Attraction finished fourth at 44-1.   Shartin N wins ninth straight in Golden Girls   Shartin N, the 1-5 favorite driven by Tim Tetrick, took command early and held off a charging Caviart Ally and Andy McCarthy by three-quarters of a length to win the $179,550 Golden Girls TVG for pacing mares, covering a mile and an eighth in 2:02.1.   Shartin N, who paid $2.40 to win, recorded her ninth straight victory and her 10th of 11 starts this season, and she captured career win number 36 in 48 lifetime starts.   "My trainer (Jim King, Jr.) told me that we were good to go off the layoff and that's who I believe," said owner JoAnn Looney-King. "She is so easy and is such a happy horse. I'm so blessed to have this mare."   Apple Bottom Jeans took third at 19-1, and 15-1 Seaswift Joy N finished fourth.   Shartin N   by Lou Monaco, Meadowlands Media  

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, June 16, 2019 -- A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Monday evening's (June 17th) harness racing Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $4,154.49 and a $15,000 guaranteed pool. The guarantee is in conjunction with the U.S. Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Program. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 Monday night. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Saturday evening), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. Program pages for the Monday Pick 5 accompany this release. Frank Drucker

The 94th Hambletonian Future Wager at the Meadowlands will open its first pool Friday, March 15 at 11:00 a.m. in conjunction with the final payments taken on the harness racing trotters for the $1 million Hambletonian and $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks. This will be the first of four pools opened in advance of the race to be held Saturday, August 3 at The Meadowlands, East Rutherford, NJ. Wagering will be available at racetrack and online sites throughout North America and internationally and wagering for the first pool will close on Sunday, March 17 at 11:00 p.m. (EDT) A team of harness racing analysts and handicappers led by Meadowlands announcer Ken Warkentin, whose Road to the Hambletonian annually tracks the leading candidates to the race, selected a group of 14 trotters out of the 199 colts, fillies and geldings that were made eligible to start in the Hambletonian after the final February 15 payment. The wager will be discussed at length on The Meadowlands weekend simulcast show. Though fillies have their own division in the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, several have started in the $1 million event for males in recent years, most recently Atlanta, who became just the 14th filly to win a Hambletonian. The 14 horses assigned odds in the pool will be listed in alphabetical order. The mutuel field, #15, will consist of the remaining horses eligible, including all fillies eligible to the Oaks. There are no supplements permitted to the Hambletonian or Oaks. The minimum future wager is $1.00 and all future wagers are win wagering only. The winner of each pool will be determined by the official first-place finisher in the 2019 Hambletonian. The second future pool will open Friday, May 31 at 11:00 a.m. through Sunday, June 2, closing at 11:00 p.m. The third future wager pool will open Friday, July 5 at 11:00 a.m. through Sunday, July 7, and close at 11:00 p.m. The fourth and final pool opens Thursday, August 1, after the entries and elimination heats are sorted, and close at post-time of the first elimination and/or heat of the Hambletonian on Saturday, August 3. The Hambletonian Future Wager will be set-up in the tote system as one separate event. The event code is MZX. Past performance lines for the Hambletonian eligible horses will be available free of charge on the Meadowlands website All rules and updates can be found there and on 2019 Hambletonian Future Wagering - Pool #1 HD - Horse - Morning Line Odds 1. CHAPTER FASHION 20-1 2. CHIN CHIN HALL 10-1 3. DONT LET'EM 10-1 4. FORBIDDEN TRADE 15-1 5. FORECAST 20-1 6. GIMPANZEE 4-1 7. GREEN MANALISHI 6-1 8. GREENSHOE 8-1 9. HUDSON RIVER 20-1 10. KINGS COUNTY 20-1 11. OSTERC 20-1 12. PROSPECT HILL 15-1 13. SOUTHWIND AVENGER 10-1 14. SWANDRE THE GIANT 12-1 15. All Other Horses - 8-1 ***************************************************************** The 2019 Hambletonian Future Wager Official Rules The 2019 Hambletonian Future Wager Official Rules 17% Takeout Win Wagering Only - $1 Minimum The Hambletonian Future wager will be four (4) separate wagering pools during the months of March, May, June, July and August, with the winner of each pool being determined by the official first place winner of the Hambletonian on August 3, 2019. Each pool will remain open for a period to be determined by the association, but in any event, not less than three (3) days nor more than ten (10) days. The pools shall each be open for the same length of time. The starting and closing date of the wager will be determined by the association and will be promoted to the public. Each Hambletonian Future wager shall be win wagers only and each pool shall be separate and independent. Calculation and distribution of winning wagers will be made following the official results of the 2019 Hambletonian. The minimum wager shall be one dollar ($1.00). Each pool shall be comprised of up to fifteen (15) betting interests. The top fourteen (14) betting interests shall be determined by the New Meadowlands Racetrack handicapper and listed alphabetically. The number fifteen (15) betting interest shall represent the mutuel field, which will include all other runners not listed in numbers one (1) through fourteen (14). The fifteen (15) betting interests will appear in the daily race program with morning line odds on each day the wager is offered. Following the close of each month's Hambletonian Future wagering pool, the final odds and/or probable payoffs will be listed in the racing program and released to the media. No refunds will be issued. All wagers are final once the patron has left the window. Career-ending injuries, death and failure to start are not subject to refunds. If the New Meadowlands Racetrack and/or Hambletonian Society becomes aware that a horse suffers a career-ending injury or becomes deceased after the numbers (1) through fourteen (14) are printed, but before Future Book Wagering has begun, the number shall be scratched and no wagers shall be accepted on that horse. That scratched horse will become part of the field number fifteen (15). If the New Meadowlands Racetrack and/or Hambletonian Society becomes aware that a horse suffers a career-ending injury or becomes deceased after the numbers one (1) through fourteen (14) are printed, and after Future Book Wagering has begun, wagering on that number shall be suspended. No refunds will be issued on the suspended number. Notwithstanding the above, in the event the 2019 Hambletonian is not run or does not produce an official winner, all wagers shall result in a refund. Also, in the event that there is a coupled entry or mutual field in the 2019 Hambletonian, for the purpose of the Hambletonian Future wager, each entry or mutuel field shall be considered a single betting interest. All calculations and payoffs for the Hambletonian Future wagers shall be governed by the New Jersey Racing Laws and Rules. Each pool shall be separately and independently calculated and distributed. Takeout shall be deducted from each gross pool as stipulated by law. The remainder of the monies in the pool shall constitute the net pool distribution as payoff on winning wagers. The amount wagered on the betting interest which finishes first is deducted from the net pool, the balance remaining being the profit; the profit is divided by the amount wagered on the betting finishing first, such quotient being the profit per dollar wagered to win on that betting interest. The net pool shall be distributed as a single price pool to winning wagers in the following precedence, based upon the official order of finish: (a) To those whose selection finished first; but if there are no wagers, then To those whose selection finished second; but if there are no wagers, then (b) To those whose selection finished third; but if there are no wagers, then (c) The entire pool shall be refunded on win wagers for that contest. If there is a dead heat for first involving: Contestants representing the same betting interest, the pool shall be distributed as if no dead heat occurred or Contestants representing two or more betting interests, the pool shall be distributed as a profit split. The Hambletonian Future Wager will be set-up in the tote system as one separate event. The event code is MZX and the future wager pools will be placed as follows: * Race 1: Hambletonian Future Wager Pool 1 March 15 - March 17 * Race 2: Hambletonian Future Wager Pool 2 May 31 - June 2 *Race 3: Hambletonian Future Wager Pool 3 July 5 - July 7 * Race 4: Hambletonian Future Wager Pool 4 August 1 - August 3 Real time odds, pool data and updates on field participants for the 2019 Hambletonian Wagers and current odds will be shown on various simulcast shows including New Meadowlands Racetrack. For the Hambletonian Society & Meadowlands Racetrack    

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Apparently, Trolley did not get the memo. You know the one. The one where Muscle Diamond goes off as the 1-5 harness racing favorite in Friday night's featured $21,000 Preferred Handicap for trotters at the Meadowlands and wins his sixth in a row for fun. No, Trolley was clearly not on board with that. In what is developing into a great rivalry, Trolley and driver Marcus Miller powered their way past Muscle Diamond in deep stretch to win for the fourth time in five starts, using a little racing luck along the way. For the first three-quarters, it was the longest shot on the board, 43-1 chance Two AM, cutting the fractions. Muscle Diamond vacated the four-hole at the half and gradually made up ground on the leader as Trolley sat inside, racing in the three-hole as the flow developed, putting himself in a tough spot with no place to race. But at the top of the stretch, Miller found his way off the rail as Muscle Diamond was starting to create separation between himself and the rest of the field. In deep stretch, the relentless Trolley found a seam between horses and charged at the leader, and with a late burst got past the odds-on choice by three-quarters-of-a-length in 1:54. Dover Downs invader Fraser Ridge rallied well for third. As the 5-1 second choice in the betting, Trolley returned $12.00 to his backers for trainer Erv Miller and owners Michael Anderson, Leland Mathias, Greg Gillis and Louis Willinger. Lifetime, the 6-year-old son of Donato Hanover-Lakeside Bride has won 12-of-26 starts and banked $302,959. A LITTLE MORE: Wagering on the 50-Cent Pick-4 exceeded the $90,000 plateau for a fifth straight program, as $93,295 was pushed through the windows. ... Driver Shane Taggart recorded his first career win at the Meadowlands, guiding Nows The Moment to a 1:54 score in the sixth race conditioned trot. ... Dexter Dunn drove three winners on the card while Corey Callahan, Andy Miller and Pat Berry all had two apiece. ... All-source wagering on the 14-race program was $2,504,720. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m. Special guest announcer Larry Lederman will call the races. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

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