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CHESTER, PA - From tables and tables loaded with memorabilia to eight Hall of Fame inductees in the crowd, it was a fitting evening of "catching-up" and remembering the "old times" at Harrah's Philadelphia Friday evening for the Garden State Park Reunion Night. Hosted by Harrah's Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association as part of their Summer Series of Racing and Remembering, hundreds of race fans came out to the track and were treated to an evening of live harness racing, live music, mechanical bull rides, outdoor BBQ and terrific memorabilia show and contest with hundreds of pieces on display. "I enjoyed reconnecting with people from Garden State that I had not seen in some time," said Hall of Famer John Campbell, now President and CEO of the Hambletonian Society. "I particularly enjoyed the memorabilia and the race replays that were running on the big TV. It brought back great memories of all the tremendous horses and top-notch races that Garden State hosted over the years." Campbell was one of eight inductees of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame that were in attendance, meeting fans, employees and horsemen and women that all worked, raced or wagered on the harness meets at Garden State Park. Other Hall of Famers in attendance included Cat Manzi, Ron Gurfein, Marvin Bachrad, Leon Zimmerman, Moira Fanning, Jerry Connors and Steve Wolf. Missing from the lineup was another Hall of Famer, Robert "Bob" Quigley, the former President of Garden State Park, who could not make the trip from Florida due to hip replacement surgery. "If not for my surgery," Quigley said. "I would have been at Harrah's for the Garden State Park Reunion Night. I send my deepest regards and well-wishes to everyone who made it out. So many great people, employees and horsemen and women I would love to have seen again. I hope everyone had a great time." Conducting interviews throughout the night was Steve Ross, the former advertising and promotions manager. Other guests were Jay Farrar, who headed simulcasting at the track, race office official Al Kraszewski, publicist Gen Sullivan, former driver Jimmy Larente, Jr., track photographer John Pantalone of World Wide Racing Photos and other horsemen and women, plus numerous former employees including pari-mutuel tellers (some who were still working right at Harrah's Philadelphia), admissions personnel and more. Perhaps the "hit guest" of the evening was none other than former track announcer, Larry Lederman, who called the sixth race on the card, which was the Bill Fidati Memorial, a tribute to the former head of publicity at Garden State Park. "We are really pleased with our Summer Series of Racing and Remembering," said Barry Brown, Director of Racing at Harrah's Philadelphia. "Last month's Liberty Bell Park Reunion Night was great and tonight's Garden State Park Reunion was even stronger with much more memorabilia than expected. It was great that we had to add more tables for the show and contest. Philadelphia's sports radio icon, WIP's Jody McDonald, an avid racing fan, was the judge for the Memorabilia Contest. The top prize, a $150 wagering voucher, was awarded to Dennis Sanford, a big harness racing fan from Woodlynne, NJ for his collection of every collector's glass giveaway, both Harness and Thoroughbred, from Garden State Park. Second prize of a $100 voucher went to former employee Connie Scerati of Mt Laurel, NJ for collection of GSP uniforms and pins, many of which she wore and, of course, saved over the years. Third place with a $50 voucher went to Al Kraszewski, who is currently the assistant race secretary at Ocean Downs in Maryland, for his autographed win photo of the great Secretariat, who won at Garden State Park as a two-year-old. Next month the Summer Series of Racing and Remembering concludes on Friday evening, September 8 with the Brandywine Raceway Reunion Night starting at 6:30 pm. In addition to the memorabilia show and contest, live racing and other activities, the first 400 fans to purchase a Harrah's Philadelphia race program, will get a free Summer Series commemorative t-shirt. "I know we will be needing more tables for the memorabilia show for this night," said Barry Brown. "We really look forward to this final Friday night of live racing as Brandywine Raceway was such a fixture here in the Delaware Valley and the track was located just down the road from Harrah's Philadelphia." By Steve Wolf, for Harrah's Philadelphia & the PHHA        

On Friday, August 11, Harrah's Philadelphia will host, along with the Pennsylvania Harness Horseman's Association (PHHA), the third Summer Series Friday night harness racing card of the season. The theme of the evening will be the Garden State Park Reunion Night with the festivities getting started at 6:00 pm. One of the special highlights of the night will be the 6th race $17,500 pace, The Bill Fidati Memorial. William C. "Bill" Fidati, was the publicity director at Garden State Park and was loved by everyone who ever worked with or for him or was able to be friends with him. He passed away at age 76 in 2011. Before coming to Garden State Park, he worked for two decades for two of the top newspapers in Philadelphia, the Daily News and then the Bulletin. He covered City Hall and in 1970 won the area's Press Association award for his stories. Bill also covered horse racing, both Thoroughbred and Standardbred and became the publicity director of Philadelphia Park in 1982 and then moved across the Delaware River to work at the new Garden State Park four years later. Everyone who was associated, worked for or raced at Garden State Park is invited to Harrah's Philadelphia Friday evening. Special guests in attendance will be Hall of Famers John Campbell and Catello "Cat" Manzi along with former track announcer Larry Lederman and other co-workers and horse people that competed at the track. Patrons are urged to bring in any memorabilia from Garden State Park, win photos, giveaway items, etc. and they will receive a gift from Harrah's Philadelphia. The memorabilia will then be put on display for all to see and there will be $300 in betting vouchers given away to the top three items. Judging the memorabilia contest will be WIP Sports Radio legend, Jody McDonald. After each live race on the program there will be a replay of one of the great races held at Garden State Park and former advertising and promotions manager, Steve Ross, will be interviewing the special guests in the winner's circle. There will also be live music, free mechanical bull rides along with an outdoor BBQ and more, all taking place on the outdoor grandstand patio. The race program will feature a special eight-page insert of photo memories of Garden State Park. Garden State Park was located on Route 70 and Haddonfield Road in Cherry Hill, NJ. It opened on July 7, 1942 as a Thoroughbred track until a disastrous fire burned the Clubhouse and Grandstand on April 14, 1977. Garden State Park no longer held races until securities trader Robert Brennan financed construction of a new $178 million steel and glass grandstand/clubhouse which opened on April 1, 1985. The track held both Thoroughbred and Standardbred races until it closed in 2001. For more information, visit or contact Harrah's Philadelphia at By Steve Wolf, for Harrah's Philadelphia    


Nicknames for participants in harness racing—human and equine—have played a role in the sport from the beginning. Many are straightforward and self-evident: The Redman, Scooter, Muscles, Catman etc.; but a lot of the better ones are more creative and mysterious. Bill Haughton was dubbed “The Master,” for obvious reasons. He and Stanley Dancer were christened the “Gold Dust Twins” back in the 1950s when the pair ruled the two Metropolitan New York half-milers. Dancer arrived in 1947 and Haughton showed up the following year. The only options for the 15-20,000 fans who showed up each night were win-place-show betting and the Double. The pair revolutionized the sport with their aggressive style and win at all cost tactics. For an understated guy, trainer-driver Joe O’Brien generated a lot of nicknames. He was “Gentleman Joe,” which became the title of the biography his friend Marie Hill published in 1975.  And he was “The Ice Man,” thanks to his tendency to sit chilly whenever possible. He was also “Jolten Joe” and “Jigglin Joe,” in deference to his penchant for dancing in the bike, as opposed to using the whip. Announcer Frank Salive is “The Velvet Fog,” thanks to his super-smooth delivery. Best known for his WEG stint between 1991 and 2005, Salive has also called races at Pompano Park, Western Fair, Hanover, Clinton and Woodstock. We all know Yannick Gingras as “The Green Hornet,” but Harold Story, who logged his first win back in 1947, and was a mainstay at Saratoga in subsequent decades, was also “The Green Hornet.” Story won 3,000 races and handled the great trotting mare, Scenic Regal. He was a “crafty” type in the Eddie Cobb tradition—feared and respected by any knowledgeable bettor. Lew Williams, the sport’s greatest African-American driver, was “Super Lew.” He tore up Northfield in the 1970’s and was also very successful at Pompano and Windsor. He’s best known for making speed with FFA pacer Whata Baron at The Meadowlands. Williams battled substance abuse issues throughout his career, and died tragically in a tractor accident at age 42. Ulf Thoresen, the first European to win the Hambletonian (Nuclear Kosmos), was both “The Wizard” and “Mr Goldfinger.” Fans loved him because he often won with outsiders. There’s a race in his honor each July at Jarlsberg. Another fan favorite, who also brought home plenty of horses that had little chance on paper, was “Magic Man” Bill O’Donnell. Ron Gurfein, who won the Hambletonian with Victory Dream, Continentalvictory and Self Possessed, all in rein to Mike Lachance, is “The Trotting Guru.” He has always been a sage when it comes to shoeing a trotter for success when the big money is up for grabs. Thankful, the Hoot Mon mare who gave the world the beastly and dangerous, but very fast, Nevele Pride, carried the barn name “Little Evil.” Harry Pownall said Pride’s daddy, Stars Pride, would kick him right out of the bike if he touched him with a whip, so, in fairness, he may have also contributed to the champ’s charming demeanor. Nick’s Fantasy, the only Maryland bred to win the Little Brown Jug, was somewhat lethargic by nature, so he was dubbed “Mr Dozy.” The Tyler’s mark gelding also went by the more respectful “Sir Nick.” He was born in a trailer racing to cross the Maryland line before the blessed event, so he’d be eligible to that state’s sire stakes program. John Campbell drove him for the first time in the Jug, where he set a world record for a sophomore gelding on a half. Nick’s owner, Don Sipe, who was very sick, heard him win the three-year-old classic on the radio, and passed a few hours later. For some reason Run The Table, the only millionaire by the Meadow Skipper stallion Landslide, was “Artie.” He was big and lazy, but John Campbell said he was at his best firing from the gate, which always required some encouragement. Run The Table, who was the first to beat Jate Lobell, was also part of the first father-son team of Adios winners. Strong Yankee (Muscles Yankee), who won the 2005 Yonkers Trot, Kentucky Futurity and Breeders Crown for Trond Smedshammer, was known as “Teddy,” probably due to his cuddly, pet-like nature. He beat Vivid Photo, Classic Photo and Ken Warkentin in the Futurity. Staying Together, the 1993 Horse of the Year in the US and Canada, was known at the Kentucky Horse Park as “Stanley.” Speedy Scot, still a top five trotter 56 years after his birth, was, for obvious reasons, “The Castleton Cannonball.” Western Ace, George Teague’s chippy little Western Ideal gelding, who won the Wilson and Niatross , was “Little Man.” Armbro Ranger, the featured attraction in Steady Star’s less than impressive portfolio, was “Little Nero.” The latter was one year older and they both took their divisions in 1975. Ranger was from Steady Star’s first crop; his grandpa Tar Heel’s line was fading fast at that point. Nero, who, as I recall, carried the barn name “Garbage” due to the oversized dark goggles, elaborate headgear and varied and sundry other crap he wore when he raced, was syndicated for a record $3.6 million by Alan Leavitt. Sometimes great horses draw unflattering barn names. Triple Crown winner Super Bowl, who stood 16.1 hands, was good naturedly referred to as “Big Dummy” by his groom. And Beach Towel, who won 29 of 36 starts for $2.5 million and was Horse of the Year at three, was “Bozo.” Big Towner, with his ancient bloodlines and unpleasant disposition, was labeled “Simpson’s Folly” when he entered the stud ranks at Hanover, but he proved to be anything but. It’s all in a name. Joe FitzGerald has been an avid harness racing fan and historian for the last half-century. He writes a weekly blog for Joe's commentary reflects his own views and not that of Harnesslink.

How many harness drivers have been saluted by racetracks where they competed upon their retirement from driving? Few if any, but Catello (Cat) Manzi was. And not by one, but two racetracks, and the biggest ones in the game; The Meadowlands last summer and Yonkers Raceway on Saturday, Oct.18. Both racetracks responded wonderfully by inviting Cat’s family and his close friends to the salute at each, replete with dinner and cocktails for the entire groups. And at each venue a portion of the facility was set aside for “The Catman” and his well-wishers. I, of course, went to both racetracks as did many from our family. Track managements at both tracks really outdid themselves by offering all the amenities without charge. And at both venues the salute was highlighted with the feature race on the card named in Cat’s honor and they had him sign autographs on pictures they supplied for the attending fans in front of the winners circle after the race presentation. I know Mr. (Tim) Rooney at Yonkers and Mr. (Jeff) Gural at the Meadowlands were appreciative of Cat’s tenure at both racing facilities. And they put their money where their heart is. Take it from me, not many would do that, but class always shows. I’m not sure that many know that Cat that was born in Monticello on June 27, 1950, eight years to the day before Monticello Raceway had its inaugural program. Cat grew up in nearby Liberty(NY) and comes from a long line of harness horsemen. His dad Al, and uncles, John, Sr. and Dick, became involved in the standardbred business in the spring of 1951 and the family’s second generation, which included Cat, his brother, Steve, and cousins, Ed Lohmeyer, Richard Manzi, Jr., and yours truly, all started racing at Monticello Raceway. Cat drove his first race at the Mighty M in the fall of 1968 and by 1972  he  became the dominant force on the driving scene there. On the warm summer night of August 21, 1973 he won six races in six drives on one card, a world record at that time. After dominating the driving colony at the Mighty M in the mid-1970’s in the fall of 1976 Cat decided to try his luck at the new mile track that opened in the swamplands in East Rutherford, NJ which became known as The Meadowlands. And from its inception “the Big M”  was, and continues to be, the  premier racing facility in North America. Cat has been the regular pilot behind a number of record setters, including 1992 Horse of the Year Artsplace; Beat The Wheel, Pacific Fella and Hit Parade, to name a few. Over the years  “the Catman”, as he’s referred to by his legion of fans, has also won driving titles at Liberty Bell Park, Garden State Raceway, Yonkers Raceway and Freehold Raceway, where he has garnered an incredible 18 driving titles. He has also won a countless amount of “Classic Races” including: the Yonkers Trot, three times; the World Trotting Derby, the Cane Pace, the Driscoll Final; the Niatross; the Lady Maud; the Woodrow Wilson, the Dexter Cup ; the Hambletonian Oaks; the Breeders Crown;  the U.S Pacing Championship, twice; the William Haughton Memorial, three Hudson Filly Trots, the Sheppard Pace; and the $1.6 million North American Cup. His career reached a pinnacle in 2002 when he was inducted into Harness Racing’s Living  Hall of Fame, the only Monticello native to receive such honor. For the record, Cat didn’t retire completely…. he retired from driving but he still trains, currently for the Cancelliere Brothers. He finished with outstanding career totals of 14,812 driving victories and purses of $158,560,663. by John Manzi  

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, October 15, 2014-To successfully salute Catello Manzi's career, one would need a vast vocabulary as well as a gaggle of gold stars. Manzi and his harness racing achievements shall be recognized by Yonkers Raceway Saturday night (Oct. 18), appreciated by friends, fans and competitors. Take in the Catman's career numbers for a second...more than 91,000 drives, a figure unmatched by any jockey or driver. Then, there are the 14,800 wins and $158 million in purses. Let those figures sink in. For four decades, he was among the elite drivers everywhere he hung his hat, from Monticello to Liberty Bell to Freehold to Garden State Park to the Meadowlands and Yonkers Raceway. Of course, there are the highlights from a Hall of Fame in a trio of Yonkers Trots, a North America Cup, a Meadowlands Pace, a William Haughton Memorial, three Hudson Filly Trots, a division of the Lady Maud and the richest Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace ever. Throw a Driver of the Year award into the mix and you see why the affable Catman found himself in some rare air. It's fair to say his harness racing resume shall never be duplicated. Manzi retired earlier this season and Saturday night, the Raceway pays tribute to an unmatched career and the gentleman behind it. Congratulations, Cat. (Note...Yonkers is 'forcing' Manzi to sing for his supper, as Cat makes the presentation for Saturday night's sixth race Open Handicap Pace, then signs autographed photos directly outside the winner's circle). The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday (trio of stakes eliminations) at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. By Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

East Rutherford, N.J. - Friday night at the Meadowlands celebrated the remarkable career of Cat Manzi with that Hall Of Famer meeting fans then joining friends and family for a night at the races. On the track, the night featured the eliminations for the top freshman trotting stakes of the 2014 Championship Meet, the Peter Haughton Memorial colt stake and the Merrie Annabelle for the fairer sex. The Peter Haughton required a single elimination of ten colts after three of the top seasonal earners accepted a bye into next week's $355,500 final. The first seven in the official order of finish would move on. Centurion ATM was the 1:54.2 winner here for trainer driver Ake Svanstedt. The SJ's Caviar colt settled in fourth early as his stable-mate Amicus and The Bank took turns on the lead through early splits of 28.2 and 57.2. Ake steered Centurion ATM over into the passing lane as the field trotted 'round the final bend and as he headed The Bank, that one went offstride, leaving the winner to an open length lead. At the wire it was Centurion ATM trotting home in :28 flat to be clear by three and a half lengths over Uncle Lasse with Cruzado Dela Noche third. The winner is co-owned by European interests Courant AB and Knutsson Trotting. Trainer / driver Svanstedt has had a clear impact on the scene this summer, his first in the US after moving his entire operation from Sweden. With his experience in Europe primarily training older horses, Ake has adjusted quickly to the American emphasis on early speed and clearly will be a player throughout the stakes season. The eliminated horses were The Bank, Broken Record and True Blue Stride. Joining the qualifiers for next Saturday's Hambletonian Day final will be Canepa Hanover, Guess Who's Back and Honor And Serve. Lock Down Lindy won the first of two Merrie Annabelle eliminations for the potent Tony Alagna / Scott Zeron combination in a personal best of 1:55. Zeron held the first crop Lucky Chucky filly behind cover from the three eighths forward as race favorite Gatka Hanover cut the mile after working hard to get the lead. Fanning wide in the drive, Lock Down Lindy went by willingly as Zeron rode along confidently through her personal sub 28 final quarter for the half-length score. Gatka Hanover held the place with Love Me Madly third. Lilu Hanover and Wordie Hanover took the final spots for next Saturday's $352,500 final. The winner is owned by Mystical Marker Farms, Crawford Partners, Joe Sbrocco and In The Gym Partners who bought the filly from Love Lockdown for $60,000 last fall in Lexington. The wickedly fast Mission Brief won the second elim in the dominant, front end style she has displayed for the past few weeks, this time in a track record 1:53.2. The Muscle Hill filly has a remarkable turn of foot and can carry that high speed, tacking a 27.3 final stanza on the record mile and was five lengths clear of the field at the wire with driver Gingras saying whoa the whole way. Jolene Jolene was second and Onda Di Mare third while Livininthefastlane and Sarcy both moved up a position into the final by the disqualification of Flirting Filly from fourth for a pylon violation. Mission Brief's dam is Breeders Crown winner Southwind Serena. Trainer Ron Burke as Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, J&T Silva and Our Horse Cents Stables were compelled to pay $150,000 for the filly as a yearling last fall in Kentucky. She certainly looks like a bargain at this point. Yannick reported post-race, "She was much more rateable this week. She's figuring things out and I'm figuring her out. She's got it all." The twelfth race was the $20,000 second leg of the Ima Lula series for mare trotters aged four years and Classic Martine was a courageous winner in 1:51.2. Bee A Magician asserted herself from rail position and insisted on the lead early for Brian Sears, forcing leavers NF Happenstance and Classic Martine to take a tuck toward the 26.4 quarter. Sears was able to give his charge a nice breather in the middle half as Tim Tetrick moved Classic Martine to the outside for a long, uncovered grind. When the two met in mid-stretch, it was Classic Martine with more and she edged clear late, tacking a 26.4 final quarter on the mile, which was a mere fifth of a second from Bee A Magician's world record of a fortnight ago. The winner has now won six of eight starts for earnings of $195,732 and has the five-eighths mile world record of 1:51.2 on her resume this season. She is trained in the Chris Oakes stable for Hauser Bros Racing, Susan Oakes, Conrad Zurich and Ed Gold. The night began with the well-bred three year old trotting colt Royal Ice taking advantage of an absolutely delightful evening to break maiden in a dazzling 1:51.3. Only Hollywood Heyden might be able to intelligently address the topic, but it's fairly safe to say that was the fastest any trotter has ever left the maiden ranks. The meet's leading driver Yannick Gingras was aboard for the first time on the son of Muscle Hill from The Ice Queen and he just went to the front and improved his position to an eventual eight length victory. Trond Smedshammer trains the colt (who may have just become an instant Hambletonian contender) for Marc Goldberg. An added bonus after race two was the second leg of the Racing Under Saddle series with seven trotters facing starter Danny Dale for a $10,000 purse. Stephanie Werder has come from her native Sweden to compete in the series, which culminates with a $28,000 final next Friday and she rode her mount O U Gus to a 1:59.4 win in tonight's race. Stephanie sat just behind the lead of Chinese Cuisine and Tina Duer and was patient when one of last week's winners, Flowing James and Tara Hynes moved swiftly toward the lead and sat quietly until an opening appeared mid-stretch for the win. Live racing resumes tomorrow night at 7:15 with the John Cashman Memorial FFA trot eliminations headlining the card. Find tomorrow's entries, tonight's results and video replays by visiting The Meadowlands website. Darin Zoccali Director of Racing Operations

Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment is proud to host "Cat Manzi Night" this Friday, July 25th, honoring one of the greatest careers in harness racing history. Manzi, a winner of 14,812 races, placing him 4th all time will spend his evening along with upwards of forty of his closest friends and family at The Meadowlands on Friday. Manzi's night will begin with an appearance "In The Sulky," on The Meadowlands in-house and simulcast pre-game show at 6:45 P.M. A video will then air paying tribute to Manzi's career at The Meadowlands, including many of his greatest moments in the bike. From there, Manzi will sign autographs for his fans from 7:00 P.M. until 7:30 P.M. Additionally, The "Cat Man" will make the Winner's Circle presentation for the sixth race Free For All Handicap Trot. Manzi along with his family and friends will spend the evening enjoying the racing from one of The Meadowlands Skybox Suites. The event is being sponsored by Jeff Gural's Allerage Farm. "Catello Manzi has had one of the greatest careers in the sport of harness racing," said Meadowlands Chairman Jeff Gural. "Honoring that career is the least we can do at The Meadowlands, given how much of that career was spent right here. We are very much looking forward to the evening and seeing the fans give the Cat Man a night to remember as well." by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands  

R I P Tony Chiaravalle. He owned the 1993 Pace winner Presidential Ball and was the original owner of the third place finisher that year Riyadh. R I P Matts Scooter-1988 Meadowlands Pace winner-sire of Mach Three 2002 Pace winner. Grandsire of Somebeachsomewhere-THE most prohibitive Pace favorite of the 21st century/ R I P Joe Muscara. He owned the 2002 Pace winner Mach Three and his Muscara Trust co-owns elim divisional winner He's Watching, one of the favorites in this Saturday's race.   $776,000 Pace Purse. Not counting the two years with a supplemental entry, (2000 and 2008), this is the first time since 1990 that the purse is at least $100G higher than the previous year: 1989 $852,000 Dexter Nukes 1990 $1,153,500 Beach Towel   Sire Well Said looks to do-with two chances-what has been done SEVEN TIMES in Meadowlands Pace history. Win the Pace with his first crop. (Sometimes Said, Tellitlikeitis) 1984 Happy Motoring sired On The Road Again 1985 Niatross sired Nihilator 1997 Artsplace sired Dream Away 1998 Life Sign sired Day In A Life 2005 Western Ideal sired Rocknroll Hanover 2008 Art Major sired Art Official 2013 Somebeachsomewhere sired Captaintreacherous   If you're betting either He's Watching or Luck Be Withyou, you have recent history on your side. Tim Tetrick and Ron Pierce have won 6 of the last 7 editions of the Meadowlands Pace, THE most dominant TWO-driver run in the races 37 year history. (Of those 6 wins between them, 3 each, 4 of those 6 were NOT favored)   Ron Burke will try and do what has been done THREE TIMES before. Be the Leading trainer at the Meadowlands for the meet AND win the Meadowlands Pace. J K Endofanera 1993 and 1994 Bill Robinson did it with Presidential Ball and Cams Card Shark 1997 Brett Pelling did it with Dream Away 2004 Mark Harder did it with Holborn Hanover, who was 2-22 lifetime coming into the race and lit up the board at 58-1   "MILLER TIME?" Maybe. There are three driving "MIllers" in the race-Dave and Brett and Marcus. That doesn't even count trainer Erv. The first ever TRAINER named Miller to be in the Pace-as well as the first ever drive-BOTH finished 3rd. Del Miller trainer 3rd 1980 Tyler B Jim Miller driver 1979 3rd with Tijuana Taxi   THROWBACK TIME? Some Pace participants in 2014 were prominent at the Meadowlands in the 1980s. Val D'Or Farms (Always B Miki) 3 times made a 1980s Pace final. 4th with Masquerade in 1986, 7th and 11th with Ringaleevio and Paladium Lobell in the 1988 edition Steve Elliott was 10th with Souffle in the 1986 final of the Pace, and was 3rd and then 2nd in the 1988 and 1989 Trainer Standings here Joe Holloway won FOUR races at the Meadowlands in the 1970s-including twice with a pacer named Pentagon as a DRIVER. In the 1980s, Joe became the first ever Meadowlands trainer to win as many as 106 races in a singe meet-1988 Jim Campbell was the 1989 Meadowlands Training Leader. He also started in the Pace with a pair in 1987-3rd with Run The Table and 12th with Dictionary   Peter Blood is one of the owners of Doo Wop Hanover. As a trainer here-he was second in the 1988 Wilson-the LAST one to go for $1 Million-with Nukes Image to Kassa Branca. The following year, he went 1-2 in the Wilson conso.   Pierce Pace Potpourri Ron Pierce drove the shortest priced Pace winner of the new millennium-$2.80 Well Said 2009. Ron Pierce UPENDED the shortest priced Pace STARTER of the new millennium-Somebeachsomewhere-10 cents on the dollar-in 2008 with Art Official. (Art Official-incidentally-sold as a $4,000 WEANLING at a Meadowlands January sale)   NUMBERS 17 of the 37 Pace winners were sired by a horse who himself raced in the Pace final. ONLY ONE-Real Desire is the ONLY horse to win $3 Million-be Horse Of The Year and win the Meadowlands Pace and NOT be in the Hall Of Fame ONLY ONE Pace winner won from the second tier-On The Road Again 1984 Post 12 THREE Homebreds in the Pace final field. The 2013 Hambletonian had three homebreds win all three eliminations and then the final. Creatine, Smilin Eli and Royalty For Life 20-1 or better-Tellitlikeitis will surely be one of the longshots in the 2014 Pace final field. Rarer than rare for the North America Cup FAVORITE-ALSO the Meadowlands Pace elimination FAVORITE, to be an also-ran in the wagering in the Pace final. FIVE catch-drivers have gone into the Hall Of Fame the past TWO decades. Only five.   ANNIVERSARY 23 years to the day of Precious Bunny winning the 1991 Meadowlands Pace. July 12, 1991. That marked the first time in history a horse won TWO million $ races in the same year (Nihilator did it in 1984 and 1985) John Campbell drove him in the North America Cup to victory, but opted off for Artsplace in the Pace final and Jack Moiseyev won with the Cam Fella colt. HOY. It was also the first of four STRAIGHT Pace winners for Cam Fella as a stallion-ironic when you consider that Cam Fella finished his career 57 straight times on the board-the last time he MISSED the board? 1982 Meadowlands Pace elimination!! 7th   Ron Pierce is on top in North America in $$$. 58 Years of age. This stat is especially interesting when you consider that-in 2006-he was and is the ONLY 50 Years Old to EVER lead the way, and now at 58 is threatening to do the same   Golden Receiver's barn change-AFTER winning $2 Million-brings back memories of possibly the two greatest horses to ever undergo a barn change. Seatttle Slew and Artsplace.   WIDE OPEN PACE?-2013 TOLD US EXACTLY THAT Many live candidates to win the 2014 Meadowlands Pace. And why not. In 2013-the LEADING 2 YO colt pacing earner made $390G-Arthur Blue Chip. This marked the first time since 1977 that the leading $$-winning freshman pacing colt did NOT have at least $400G on his card. No No Yankee had $211G in 1977 (Ironically-the FIRST year of the Pace)   Dave Miller-John Campbell Dave Miller-6 days after entering the Hall Of Fame, hopes to do what only John Campbell has done prior. Go into the Hall Of Fame and win either the Hambletonian or the Meadowlands Pace the SAME year. 1990-John Hambo Harmonious. Dave handles Always B Miki   IF Marcus Miller wins the Meadowlands Pace-he WILL become the YOUNGEST driver ever to do so. Tetrick also did it at 25 in 2007 with Southwind Lynx, Marcus a few months younger.   Canadian Influence 5 of the 6 inside posts in the 2014 Meadowlands Pace have Canadian ownership. 6 of the first 12 Meadowlands Pace winners (1977-1986) had Canadian ownership.   "Hall" Pass-OOPS Pace Five of the first 10 winners of the Meadowlands Pace had trainers who were Hall Of Famers. BUT-only ONE of the last 27 training winners of the Meadowlands Pace did it. Ray Remmen 1990 Beach Towel. Jimmy Takter has two shots at ending that 24 year 0-fer.   Coyne-Operated Ron Coyne (National Debt) has been in the Pace before. 1999 with Washington VC. 8th. That colt then sired a $3 Million career earner by the name of Themightyquinn   If either John Campbell or Ron Pierce win the Meadowlands Pace, they will be the oldest to do so. 59 and 58. Cat Manzi at 56 in 2006 with Artistic Fella currently holds than distinction.   Steve Elliott is the ONLY trainer in the 2014 Meadowlands Pace field who has won this race before. And he did it twice. 2006 and 2009. There are only two trainers in Meadowlands Pace history who have won the Pace multiple times and were FAVORED in all of their wins: Elliott, Billy Haughton  Billy Did it with Falcon Almhurst in 1978-9/5 choice over eventual HOY Abercrombie-and with Nihilator at 1-9 in 1985 heading a prohibitive 5 horse entry.   "Starter" Kit NO 2014 Pace finalist has more than 8 starts in 2014. Yet 16 of the first 24 Meadowlands Pace winners had at LEAST NINE starts on the season entering the Pace final.   Jimmy Takter (Tellitlikeitis and Lyonssomewhere) will try and do what Brett Pelling did last. Go 1-2 in the Pace. Pelling did it with Rocknroll Hanover in 2005 and Village Jolt second.   He's Watching's June 13 foaling date would be THE latest ever for any Meadowlands Pace winner. (TWO of the more famous JUNE foals of all time used to be stablemates-Art Major and McArdle)   SLOW STARTS? NO PROBLEM IN THE PACE Your year isn't going the greatest going INTO the Meadowlands Pace? This doesn't mean a whole lot-or at least it didn't to these brand names: 2001 Real Desire 1 for 5 going into the Pace 2000 Gallo Blue Chip 5 for 10 entering the Pace 2010 One More Laugh 2 for 6 going into the Pace 1988 Matts Scooter Just 2 for 9 entering the Pace (NOTE-the 2 YO Champion (He's Watching 2-5)-and the 2YO Breeders Crown winner (Luck Be With You 1-5)-are a combined 3/10 entering the 2014 Pace)   The "OUTSIDERS?" The three outside horses in the Pace were all sired by a Pace favorite: Post 8 Sometimes Said (Well Said 2009) Post 9 Always B Miki (Always A Virgin 2007) Post 10 Doo Wop Hanover (Rocknroll Hanover 2005)   Takter's Pace Breakthrough? NO Trainer in the 21st century who's campaigned a Horse Of The Year has made it to the Hall Of Fame. Jimmy Takter is the last trainer to do both-having won the HOY titles in 1997-1998-1999. Bob McIntosh went into the Hall Of Fame in 2002-and a full decade later-won his first MILLION $ race going 1-3 in the 2012 NA Cup. Jimmy Takter is looking for his very first Pace score. Ron Burke just scored his first Million $ win taking the NA Cup with J K Endofanera.   The Two oldest drivers to hit the board in the Meadowlands Pace? 1978 Joe O'Brien 59-thid with Flight Director 1982 Billy Haughton 58 3rd with McKinzie Almahurst John Campbell is 59 and Ron Pierce 58   Campbell-Meadowlands Pace-Post 10 The man is amazing. Post 10 in the Meadowlands Pace in 2014 with Doo Wop Hanover. His history from post 10 in the Pace is almost beyond belief. ALL of the following are from Post 10-IN The Meadowlands Pace: 1982 Hilarion winner-first ever catch-driver to win a Million $$ race. 1997 At Point Blank second at 14-1 the colt was WINLESS (0-15) on the year!! 1999 The Panderosa got post 10 initially-AND on the redraw-and still dominated with a 26 flat final quarter in 1:49.3-then a record mile in the Pace and thus becoming the first horse ever to win TWO million $$ races BOTH in sub 1:50) 2004 3rd with Metropolitan from post 10 2007 third with Artriverderci from post 10. 5 different trainers from post 10-five times on the board. Consider that in the other 30 times any driver raced in the Pace from post 10-combined-those drivers were 3-30 ON THE BOARD!   OTHER Post 10 notes...... Dave Miller's Pace debut-1995-Cinder Lane Sam came from post 10-5th-flying home in 26.1.....Pat Crowe drove exactly once in the Pace-from post 10-in 1984 12th with a colt by the name of Greener Pastures.....Brett Pelling made his Pace debut in 1993 from post 10 (No check)....Pinocchio raced in the Pace-from post 10 for Neal Shapiro...   15 times in history the Meadowlands Pace winner has been THAT YEAR'S Leading $$ winner among ALL Pacers.(MOST common of any race of the leaders)   Just HOW tough is it to WIN The Meadowlands Pace? This stat might tell it best. The last THREE Triple Crown winners in the sport-NONE of those three finished first OR second in the Meadowlands Pace!! 2003 No Pan Intended 4th 1999 Blissful Hall 7th 1997 Western Dreamer 3rd   Who are the three richest ever horses to have participated in the Meadowlands Pace final and NOT gotten a check? Boulder Creek $3,425,853 8th 2003 Red Bow Tie $2,673,920 9th 1997 Western Hanover $2,541,647 7th 1992   Super Tough Quiz: Can you name the three colts who led all pacers in year end earnings but did NOT compete in the Meadowlands Pace final? 1977 Governor Skipper $522,148 1998 Shady Character $1,070,569 2002 Art Major $1,562,779   Compiled by Bob "Hollywood" Heyden

In honor of one of the greatest careers in the history of harness racing, the Meadowlands will present an evening that will honor the career of Catello (Cat) Manzi. On Friday, July 25th, the "Cat-Man" as many fans called him, will return to the Meadowlands, not to drive any horses, but to take part in an evening that will look back and pay tribute to his storied career. Manzi, a winner of 14,812 races, currently third all-time, spent many of his best years driving at the Meadowlands, where he finished in the top five in the driver's standings 12 times. Manzi's greatest win at the Meadowlands was undoubtedly the 2006 Meadowlands Pace with the great Artistic Fella. Details for the evening will be announced shortly. In the meantime, make plans to come out to the Meadowlands on Friday July 25th to help honor the magnificent career of Cat Manzi. by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands

Harness racing driver Jim Morand is quickly approaching his 9,000th career win and now needs just 11 victories to reach that impressive milestone. Only 13 other drivers in the history of harness racing have ever achieved that milestone. they are Dave Palone, Herve Filion, Cat Manzi, Tony Morgan, Dave Magee, Walter Case, Jr., Billy Parker, Jr., John Campbell, David Miller, Mike Lachance, Jack Moiseyev, Kevin Wallis and Peter Wrenn. on the training side, Edgar Clarke, who last raced at Tioga Downs, is just one win away from his 1,000th training victory and Roger Hammer, known perhaps more for his driving, is only 19 wins away from his 2,000th training triumph. Driver Wins First Middle Last Name Suffix LTD Wins LTD Earnings Last Track Last Start James A Morand   8,989 $61,704,457 Har 5/18/2014 Samuel D Widger   4,972 $39,296,169 BmlP 5/18/2014 Norman Chris Boring   3,979 $19,828,659 RP 7/6/2013 Gene G Vallandingham   2,990 $13,420,569 CalX 5/10/2014 Timothy W Curtin   2,985 $20,936,317 May 6/6/2013 Lemoyne D Svendsen   2,982 $9,497,188 Canon 5/17/2014 David Floyd Carey   2,980 $2,440,282 Truro 5/18/2014 Rodney J Bolon   1,996 $9,416,626 Mea 5/13/2014 Ron Paul Wrenn   1,995 $6,069,816 SpCk 10/2/2013 Todd G Trites   1,993 $2,825,110 Truro 5/18/2014 Bret E Brittingham   1,989 $11,418,392 Har 5/18/2014 Jerry G E Landess   1,980 $2,037,837 Green 8/23/2013 Kelly R Sheppard   1,971 $9,414,957 FlmD 5/17/2014 RONALD I MATHESON   989 $1,057,275 Chrtn 5/17/2014 Stephen K O'Toole   986 $2,423,974 PRc 9/3/2012 GORDEN A MCKNIGHT   985 $2,915,314 Lon 5/12/2014 Trent P Stohler   985 $5,646,957 HoP 5/17/2014 Clayton   Faurot Jr 981 $2,458,705 Mea 5/15/2014 anthony P Haughan   981 $6,923,286 Clntn 5/18/2014 Joseph   Ricco Jr 978 $3,728,352 MR 10/31/2013 Nick Royce Roland   976 $3,088,040 Canon 5/17/2014 Rocky Joe Loney   975 $2,413,577 TRR 5/7/2014 John D Finn   975 $3,616,740 BmlP 4/23/2014 D Jimmy Whittemore   975 $5,289,560 VD 5/17/2014 Yves   Gauthier   972 $3,959,060 RidC 2/23/2014 Jeffrey A Smith   971 $2,731,809 HoP 5/14/2014 Steven B Norris   970 $2,548,332 RidC 5/14/2014 JIM Russel MILLER   970 $6,556,254 SGR 4/29/2014                 Driver earnings First Middle Last Name Suffix LTD Wins LTD Earnings Last Track Last Start Michel   Lachance   10,390 $189,946,822 Phl 5/18/2014 George   Brennan   8,345 $139,795,813 M 5/17/2014 Luc R Ouellette   8,548 $129,700,484 FlmD 5/11/2014 David R Magee   11,753 $99,863,150 BmlP 5/18/2014 George   Napolitano Jr 6,120 $49,786,988 PcD 5/18/2014 Eric C Goodell   4,881 $49,528,639 Phl 5/18/2014 Bradley H Hanners   4,732 $39,659,811 HoP 5/17/2014 Norman Chris Boring   3,979 $19,828,659 RP 7/6/2013 Randy T Tharps   4,661 $19,763,879 ScD 5/17/2014 Jay L Randall   3,711 $19,691,940 Stga 5/18/2014 Thomas D Strauss   2,552 $19,687,609 Wdb 4/5/2014 Darrell L Coville   6,588 $19,653,222 RidC 5/11/2014 Richard Lee Farrington   1,251 $9,974,966 HoP 5/17/2014 Below that are trainers who may be approaching win milestones. USTA started tracking trainer statistics in 1991, so the trainers listed in green may have had training starts and wins prior to 1991, so the Life Wins column for those trainers may not be accurate. Trainer Milestones First Middle Last Name suffix Life Wins Life Earnings Last Track Last Start DOB Roger R Hammer   1981 $17,051,802.00 Mea 5/17/2014 2/18/1946 Edgar R Clarke   999 $5,428,081.00 TgDn 5/18/2014 12/6/1955 Dirk   Simpson   979 $10,712,582.00 BmlP 5/18/2014 8/2/1957 Gabriel   Boily   978 $2,657,872.00 TrRvs 5/18/2014 4/26/1949 Trond   Smedshammer   976 $41,748,775.00 Phl 5/18/2014 3/22/1967 Melissa   Beckwith   975 $6,418,995.00 Stga 5/18/2014 3/3/1970 Leo   Tourigny   974 $8,178,919.00 TrRvs 5/11/2014 6/5/1939 by Steve Wolf, for with statistics from Anne Chunko from the USTA

MANALAPAN, NJ -- March 27, 2014 -- Hall of Fame driver Cat Manzi is hanging up his driving colors after a 40-year career. In an exclusive interview with Gen Sullivan for "Harness Racing Weekend Preview," Manzi acknowledged that he would accept a position with the Cancelliere Stable at Magical Acres. "Usually all the other times [I was injured], I would just wait, work on it, get better and go on," he told Sullivan. "But I really can't take that chance anymore." Manzi, 63, was in the multi-horse January 10, 2014 spill at Freehold and suffered multiple fractures and a punctured lung only a few weeks after returning from a pelvic fracture. Manzi has career totals of 14,812 wins and $158 million in purses. For the complete story click here.

MANALAPAN, NJ - January 16, 2014 - In a 90-minute meeting, mediated by Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey President Tom Luchento, more than 150 horsemen had an opportunity to verbalize their concerns to Freehold management. The meeting, conducted in the Renaissance Room at Freehold Raceway on January 15, was focused on track conditions, medical response and other issues triggered by the horrific spill that occurred in the fifth race on Friday, January 10, 2014. Five drivers - Cat Manzi, Debra Rucker, Vincent Ginsburg, Chris Scicluna and Jim Pantaleano - ended up at area hospitals and a sixth driver, Rick Pantano, was also checked out after the starting gate slide into the field on the first turn. Horses suffered cuts and bruises. Representing Freehold were general manager Howard Bruno, director of racing Karen Fagliarone, starter Robert Blum and track supervisor Michael Fagliarone. "As a result of this meeting, we all seem to agree that there is a need for an independent track expert to review the track surface and the manner in which it is maintained," said Luchento. "We've also called upon Freehold to pay for the replacement of the racing bikes, colors, veterinarian bills and other costs that derived out of this accident. Additionally, the owners of the horses that did not get to race because of the cancellation of the balance of the card on January 10 will be reimbursed $125." All seven of the starters in the fifth race will equally split the $4,300 purse. Some speakers described the freeze-thaw cycle of the afternoon of January 10 as the "perfect storm" for the track conditions to turn dangerous in a short amount of time. Others expressed concern that if they complained or scratched horses on bad weather days, they would face retribution. Both Luchento and Karen Fagliarone assured horsemen that this would not be the case and that it was important for there to be an open dialogue between drivers and the judges. While outrider Beth Cumberland was praised for her quick response to gathering up the loose horses, there were questions about the slow response time for additional ambulances from local hospitals. This was exacerbated by the volume of black ice road accidents in the region, it was explained. Cat Manzi, who suffered multiple broken ribs and a punctured lung, was released from Jersey Shore University Medical Center on Wednesday, January 15. Debbie Rucker, who had internal bleeding in her leg, was discharged the prior day. by Carol Hodes for SBOANJ        

MANALAPAN, NJ - January 14, 2014 - Rick Wills of Rick's Saddle Shop and Purina have come to the aid of the six drivers injured in a dramatic spill in the fifth race on January 10 at Freehold Raceway. Approached by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey, Wills and Purina responded with a $700 gift certificate, redeemable for Purina Equine Feed, for each of the injured drivers: Cat Manzi, Debra Rucker, Vincent Ginsburg, Chris Scicluna, Jim Pantaleano and Rick Pantano. "The SBOANJ went to Rick for his help, and he and Purina were quick to step up and offer something that will help these horsemen get back on their feet," said SBOANJ President Tom Luchento. "We greatly appreciate their solid effort on behalf of these horsemen. Hopefully, there will be others who will make similar offers." Rick's Saddle Shops are located in Cream Ridge and Englishtown, NJ. The dramatic spill unseated all six drivers when the starting gate car lost control and slid into the field as it entered the first turn. Hall of Famer Manzi and Rucker are still hospitalized. Manzi has multiple broken ribs and a punctured lung while Rucker has a leg injury. The accident will be the subject of a special meeting of horsemen and track management on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 in the Renaissance Room at Freehold Raceway at 4 p.m. by Carol Hodes for SBOANJ                

After the start of the fifth race at Freehold Raceway Friday afternoon the starting gate car slipped on the muddy track surface and slid down into the upcoming field of harness horses. All but one of the seven starters in the race crashed into the starting gate. Fortunately, all of the horses in the race escaped with only minor injuries and were able to walk off the track. Of the seven drivers involved in the accident, most were not able to walk off the track. Five drivers, Catello Manzi, Debra Rucker, Vincent Ginsburg,  Chris Scicluna and Jim Pantaleano were taken to the hospital to be checked out. After the fifth race trot got underway, Civic Duty and James Clarry had moved to the early lead and they were able to miss the accident by only a couple of inches. The video of the race shows that after entering the first turn the starting gate began to slide in the mud and then headed towards the infield. After Civic Duty barely cleared by, Silver Delivery and driver Debra Rucker ran right into the starting gate and that caused a chain reaction accident among all but one of the trailing horses. The horse in last place at the time actually ran into the end of the gate and the hood of the starting gate car. Race officials declared the race a non-contest and refunded all wagers. They also canceled the rest of the live race program that afternoon. By Steve Wolf for 

YONKERS, NY, Friday, December 20, 2013--The password is "penultimate," as in next-to-last card of Yonkers Raceway's season. Friday night's $37,000 co-featured Opens--a blind-draw Pace for the ladies and a Handicap Trot who all with letters of recommendation--were won by people's preference Ramalama (Matt Kakaley, $3.40) and a last-early (Kakaley again, $7.30). In play early from post position No. 2, Ramalama--as the 7-10 choice--worked around pole-sitting Blissful Romance (George Brennan), taking the lead after a :27.4 opening quarter-mile. Then, it was an elongated move by Economy Terror (Mark MacDonald), with that one's turn in the big chair. Economy Terror found a :55.1 intermission before Blissful Romance moved from third. She changed her mind, leaving Rock N Load (Jordan Stratton) first-up toward a 1:23.3 three-quarters. That one wasn't gaining, and Ramalama pulled an antsy pocket before the final turn. However, Economy Terror wouldn't go down without a fight. Ramalama did prevail, however, winning by a length in 1:52.1. Ideal in Vegas (Cat Manzi) was third--beaten fourth lengths--with Rock N Load and Sweet Hedge (Dan Dube) settling for the minor awards. For Ramalama, a 4-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock and trained by David Duspiva, it was her 10th win in 27 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $17, with the triple returning $53.50. The week's marquee trot had one similar element of last week's marquee trot...the implosion of all-age track record-holder Quick Dream (Brennan). This time around, that one, as the 9-10 favorite, was well-situated fourth early before doing the dance of the damned. It was Likeabatoutahell (Dube) two-moving around last week's winner, Lorenzo Dream (Eric Goodell), with intervals of :28, :56.3 and 1:25.1. Meanwhile, Super Manning-unhurried from post No. 6--was continuing a long backside move, engaging the leader in and out of the final turn. Super Manning edged away mid-stretch, widening to 2 3/4 lengths in 1:54.4. Third went to Justa Rebel (Stratton), with War Cry Hall (Jason Bartlett) and And Heez Perfect (MacDonald) rounding out the payees. For second-choice Super Manning, a 5-year-old homebred Diamond Goal gelding owned by Joseph Pennacchio and trained by Kevin Carr, it was his seventh win in 29 '13 tries. The exacta paid $55, the triple returned $274.50 and the superfecta paid $1,415. The Raceway's live schedule concludes Saturday night, with the customary 7:10 PM first post. The 2014 season is scheduled to begin Monday, Jan 6, pending NYS Gaming Commission approval. Frank Drucker

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