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Harrisburg, PA --- Through the close of sales on Wednesday, the cumulative yearling average at the Standardbred Horse Sale made up some ground from losses against 2013 as the average of all horses sold is down about 5.1 percent. However, comparing Wednesday against Wednesday from last year to this, the day was up about 5.1 percent, which helped make up ground from the previous two days. Paul F. “Pete” Spears, CEO of the Sales company, has no clear indication of the soft spots in the market. “We picked up a little bit of ground today, not enough to make up for the first two days, but it was stronger today. We do have certain consigners that like to backload their consignments and obviously it’s not a usual thing to have a $200,000 filly sell on Wednesday (hip No. 751, High Fashion Model, Western Terror–Makes You Wonder, bought by John Como Jr. from the All American Harnessbred consignment) so it’s an example of that. “I’ve been walking around and asking people what they think of the sale and many people have said to me that they’re scratching their heads, too. Certain horses that were going to bring too much money for them -- so they didn’t bother to look at -- suddenly they’re bargains, but because they didn’t look at them, they didn’t bid. Other horses that they wanted to go after they suddenly found they couldn’t touch, so it’s been a very schizophrenic sale. “I think we kind of obsess a little too much about average some times and I think that’s part of the reason we are so focused on the average of each and every single day. When I talk to people, they’re still looking for horses and as I say some are still puzzled. Some of them have told me they’re going to intensely re-review tomorrow in more detail because of what has happened to them, so they don’t overlook a good horse tomorrow.” Wednesday’s yearlings averaged $20,156 overall against $19,170 last year. Trotting fillies dropped a bit from last year, averaging $17,220 against $19,663 in 2013, while the trotting colts moved a bit ahead with an average of $22,946 against $21,527 in ’13. On the pacing side, colts this year averaged $20,584 but last year were $21,336. Buoyed by the $200,000 High Fashion Model sale, the average for pacing fillies was $17,320 this year and $15,250 last year. Comparative Sales Stats–Day Three Year-Gait/Sex-No. Sold-Gross-Average 2014-Pacing Colts-59-$1,214,500-$20,584 2013-Pacing Colts-70-$1,493,500-$21,336 2014-Pacing Fillies-81-$1,403,000-$17,320 2013-Pacing Fillies-80-$1,220,000-$15,250 2014-Trotting Colts-75-$1,721,000-$22,946 2013-Trotting Colts-56-$1,205,500-$21,527 2014-Trotting Fillies-59-$1,1016,00-$17,220 2013-Trotting Fillies-62-$1,218,500-$19,663 2014 Totals-275-$5,541,500-$20,150 2013 Totals-268-$5,137,500-$19,170 Cumulative Totals Year-Gait/Sex-No. Sold-Gross-Average 2014-Pacing Colts-210-$9,045,000-$43,071 2013-Pacing Colts-222-$10,273,500-$46,277 2014-Pacing Fillies-217-$6,460,000-$29,770 2013-Pacing Fillies-215-$6,307,000-$29,335 2014-Trotting Colts-205-$8,933,000-$43,576 2013-Trotting Colts-187-$8,335,500-$44,575 2014-Trotting Fillies-177-$6,089,500-$34,404 2013-Trotting Fillies-161-$6,292,000-$39,081 2014 Totals-810-$30,551,500-$37,718 2013 Totals-785-$31,208,000-$39,753 DAY 3 – TOP 20 Hip-Sex-Gait-Name-Sire-Dam-Buyer-Price 751-F-P-High Fashion Model-Western Terror-Makes You Wonder-John Como Jr.-$200,000 739-C-T-All Time Lindy-Cantab Hall-Love To Lindy-Brixton Medical-$130,000 568-F-T-Pizza Queen-Credit Winner-Armbro Domino-Noel Daley-$100,000 832-C-P-McPhil-McArdle-Philadelphia-Ed James-$90,000 775-F-T-Alamos-Conway Hall-Misty Ridge-Steven Pratt-$75,000 622-F-T-Kindly Reminder-Kadabra-Friendly Persuader-Yves Filion-$67,000 724-C-T-Don Lindy-Crazed-Lindy’s Madonna-Marco Folli-$65,000 736-C-P-Love Tap Hanover-Big Bad John-Love Lace Mindale-Mark Harder-$60,000 651-C-T-Conway Cloud-Conway Hall-Headintheclouds-Chris Oakes-$57,000 657-F-T-Sylvia Express-Conway Hall-Hernameissylvia-David Spagnola, agent-$55,000 759-F-P-Megaball Hanover-Western Terror-Mary Mattgalane-Jerry Silva-$55,000 687-C-T-I Mean Business-Swan For All-Kalibrated-Denise Dennis-$50,000 731-C-T-Lean Hanover-Donato Hanover-Lives Like A Queen-PC Wellwood Ent.-$50,000 839-C-T-Password Hanover-Cantab Hall-Playwood-William Zendt-$50,000 794-C-P-Costume Cruiser-Yankee Cruiser-Native Costume-Ron Desyllas-$46,000 822-C-P-Orly Hanover-Somebeachsomewhere-Ozmopolitan-Geoff Lyons-$45,000 660-C-P-Numerouno Bluechip-Art Major-Ichiban Blue Chip-Linda Toscano, agent-$42,000 758-C-T-Millbrook Hanover-Muscle  Massive-Mary Ana Hanover-Ake Svanstedt-$42,000 786-F-T-Nookie Blue Chip-Explosive Matter-Up Front Hotsey-Reijo Liljendahl-$42,000 629-F-T-Night Watch-Credit Winner-Giulie Bi-Andy Miller, agent-$40,000 649-C-P-Nvestment Bluechip-Shadow Play-Haze’s Zure Bet-Dave Menary-$40,000 680-F-T-Jinx-Muscles Yankee-Jodi’s Jayme-Doug Hurhins-$40,000 761-C-T-Nahuel Blue Chip-Credit Winner-Mathers Ginger-Linda Schaefer-$40,000 783-C-T-Craziville-Crazed-Musclelini-Ted Gewertz-$40,000 811-C-T-Marty De Vie-Explosive Matter-On Broadway De Vie-Todd Buter-$40,000 Pizza Queen sells for $100,000 The pizza was timed just right, according to Carter Duer, proprietor of Peninsula Farm, whose consignment includes the  $100,000 Credit Winner–Armbro Domino filly, Pizza Queen, hip No. 568. The six figure sales price is an outlier for Wednesday, when yearlings are generally more modestly priced than Monday and Tuesday. Noel Daley signed the sales slip on the February 22 foal. Her mother hadn’t really done anything and she had one go to Russia (multiple European stakes winner Betterthancheckers). I guess that’s the reason she was there (Wednesday),” said Duer. “I’d just as soon have her there than somewhere else. She was better (priced) today than she would have been Monday. She had a great video and she’s very correct -- and just a great video -- that was it.” For Duer, age 75, the return to routine farm tasks like videotaping yearlings was not a foregone conclusion after a car accident in June. “We didn’t video until the Lexington sale and I was there then, but I was in the hospital for seven weeks in Virginia. I had surgery in Norfolk, Va., and I was there about 10 or 12 days then to rehab. I’m still doing rehab, but I got a week off this week. “I broke this (his right, still splinted) arm, I’ve got a plate from my elbow to my wrist. I broke this (right) hip and this (right) femur and I’ve got a rod going down my leg and I broke some ribs on this (left) side, but I’m doing OK. The ribs were OK after about two and a half weeks.” Shopping with Dave Menary -- what he doesn’t want watching him Two years ago, Dave Menary got the bargain of a lifetime at Harrisburg when he bought the eventual $1.1 million winner He’s Watching for a mere $3,000. He’s shopping again this year, but without the illusion that there’s another $3,000 millionaire to be found. “I just take it by the right situation,” he said. “I wouldn’t try to make a living buying $3,000 horses. You’re going to go broke pretty quick, but that one (He’s Watching) worked out.” Compromises have to be made when shopping in that price range and Menary said he made concessions for He’s Watching. “Size. He had a great foot and back end on him. He had a great pedigree. I didn’t think he was a $3,000 colt, he wasn’t on my short list, I pegged him at $25,000-$30,000. I wasn’t looking for a June (birthday), New York sired colt, but when I saw him in the ring, I thought they’d brought out the wrong horse. I actually had to make two bids, but I owned him at $3,000. “The only two things I won’t take are a horse that’s back at the knees and I don’t want to train any walleyed horses,” he added, referring to horses with white around their eye. “It doesn’t affect them, but it gives me a bad feeling every day. They don’t get a fair start from the beginning, so I try to just stay away. I think they’re always looking at me the wrong way.” by Ellen Harvey, for Harness Racing Communications

With the stakes season waning, each remaining race takes on greater importance for end of the year Dan Patch award honors. One race that voters will watch carefully is the $200,350 Matron Stake for 3-year-old male trotters this Thursday evening (Nov. 6) at Dover Downs. The race, set to go as race 10 at about 7:30 p.m., features on the far inside at post one, Father Patrick (Yannick Gingras), and the far outside in post eight, Nuncio (John Campbell). Nuncio comes into the race with four straight stakes wins, including two legs of the Trotting Triple Crown, the Kentucky Futurity and the Yonkers Trot. His stablemate Father Patrick has a pair of wins in the American-National and Bluegrass Stakes and two second place finishes in his four most recent starts. The two share the air at their home in East Windsor, N.J. and a trainer in Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter, but they'll be looking to separate themselves from each other in end of the year balloting. Here is a look at the numbers behind the 2014 season, with each horse putting in 15 starts. Data Point Nuncio 15-10-5-0 $1,297,896, 1:50.4m Father Patrick 15-11-3-0 $1,443,081, 1:50.2f Average margin of victory                   2.4 lengths                   3.82 lengths Fastest last quarter                   :27 – three times                   :27 – two times Races won for over $100,000                   2                   6 Average earnings per start                $86,526.40              $96,205.40 Race timed at 1:52 or better                   6                      4 Winning favorite                 88%                    73% Wins from post 8 or higher                 0 for 1                    3 for 4 Head-to-head                 33% - 2 for 6                    66% - 4 for 6 by Ellen Harvey, for Harness Racing Communications

Freehold, NJ --- Town Pro p,3,1:51.4 ($1,229,582) died in her sleep at the age of 27 at her home at White Birch Farm, in Imlaystown, N.J., on Oct. 26, 2014. She was buried at the high point of the farm, overlooking the paddocks and adjacent training track. A headstone will be erected in her memory, according to Farm Manager Steve Williams, who reports that she was active and comfortable until the end. Town Pro (by Big Towner out of Programmed) was the 2- and 3-year old pacing filly of the year in both Canada and the US in 1989 and 1990. She was inducted to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2004. She’s a two-time Breeders Crown winner, along with the American-National, Simcoe, Tarport Hap and Fan Hanover stakes. She is the dam of 17 foals, 12 starters who have collectively won $3,979,791, including her daughter, the $2.9 million winner Darlin’s Delight. The following story about Town Pro’s life after racing appears in the 208 page coffee table book, Standardbred Old Friends, with photos by Barbara Livingston and stories by Ellen Harvey.  Town Pro By Big Towner – Programmed by Bret Hanover April 12, 1987 St. George, Ontario, Canada Which came first, the horse or the name? Rarely has a name, typically chosen at less than a year of age, suited a horse so precisely as it fit Town Pro. Her name, derived from sire, Big Towner, and her dam, Programmed, could not have been a better fit. She never had a rookie phase. Her first two races, in June of 1989, were the last times she raced at less than the highest level of competition. Off a humble debut, at Grand River Raceway in Elora, Ontario, she raced 63 more times, collecting 38 more wins. She rarely missed a paycheck for her owners, the Pro Group Stable. In the end, her bankroll added up to $1.2 million. “From the very start, she just had the whole package, everything you want,” said Doug Brown, who drove Town Pro through her entire racing career and didn’t see anything dainty about her. “I always said if you looked way down deep inside her, you’d find a set of testicles. She was like a stud in some ways; she had the big chest, a big back end. “She always had the speed, but from two to three, that’s when she changed physically,” says Brown. “She got the big chest and she just grew. She fit in perfectly with Stew (Firlotte, her late trainer), because he was one to train them hard between starts; that suited her just fine.” For all the success Town Pro had with Brown and Firlotte, she was never fond of either. In fact, she was downright hostile. “We just had to walk past the door and she was ears back and both feet firing,” said Brown. “I guess she figured out we were the ones that made her work.” She was bought at the close of her racing career by the late Joe Parisi as a broodmare for his White Birch Farm in New Jersey. White Birch Farm Manager Steve Williams has a love/hate relationship with Town Pro. He loves her. She hates him. “She is the toughest, smartest horse I’ve ever been around,” he says. Williams’s admiration stems from Town Pro’s life-threatening year, from 2006 to 2007. “Within a year’s period, she had three colics,” says Williams. “Probably would have killed a normal horse. She had a full 360 degree twist in all of them. She showed very little pain. In fact, the second and third time I took her to the hospital, if I hadn’t known her and seen how much pain tolerance she had, I wouldn’t have taken any other horse. She needed surgery all three times. Two of those times, she was in foal and she kept them.” Toughness may have saved Town Pro, but her memory nearly killed Williams. “This was in 2007, and until early 2012, I was not allowed near her,” he says. “She associated me with pain. Anyone else could walk in to her stall and catch her. She was always a little frisky and might turn her butt at you. But when I went in there, it was more than that. She was firing, aiming and meant to hit. She did not want me around. I told her, ‘Don’t you know I saved your life three times?’ She associated me with pain. That’s the only explanation.” After three surgeries, Town Pro has the luxury of conceiving, but not carrying her foals. When it’s time for a short trip to the veterinary clinic for the embryo transfer, she still gets surgery flashbacks. “It takes three men and a boy, a blindfold, please and thank you to get her on the trailer,” says Williams. “Coming home, all I have to do is open the door and tell her to get on.” Williams has to constantly out-think Town Pro, both to prevent colic and to deal with age-related Cushing’s Disease. “We think what may have caused the colic is that she gorges on grass,” he says. “She doesn’t lift her head. So now, she’s out all day, in a trimmed paddock, watching her friends in the fields. Then she comes in the penthouse, has her meal and stays the night.” Town Pro is also apparently able to distinguish color. “Her Cushing’s medication is a red paste,” says Williams. “She was fine with it in her feed tub or squirted in her mouth. Toward the end of the first batch, Dr. (Richard) Meirs brought more of the same medication, but it was white. “She absolutely refused, wouldn’t take it, and wouldn’t let the groom get close to her when he tried to give it to her. She walked away from her feed tub when it was in there. I told Richie, ‘I know you’re going to think I’m crazy, but can we go back to the red medicine?’ The next day he brought the red medicine and don’t you know, it was like nothing ever happened. She’s the smartest animal I’ve ever been around.” by Ellen Harvey, for Harness Racing Communications

Freehold, NJ --- The cheering never really stopped for Monterey Rebel and Saddle The Wind. Now 25 and 21, respectively, and known as “Rebel” and “Saddles,” the two pacers left the track in the late 1990s, but every day they hear the cheers of thousands. The two work as a team, along with four other Standardbreds, at Santa Anita Park in southern California, where they’re part of the charm factor at the 80-year-old track. “They pull the starter in the carriage to the starting gate and the patrol judge to his tower,” said Paige Rickard, operations director at Santa Anita. “Before each race, they pick them both up at the winner's circle. One goes in one direction; one goes in the other, depending on the distance of the race. Then they pick them up after each race and take them back to the winner's circle.” Santa Anita, being in southern California and all, hosts the occasional celebrity to take for a ride. “We do give rides to VIPs every once in a while. They’ve given a ride to (Standardbred owner) George Foreman and Melissa Joan Hart from Bewitched.” The senior members of Santa Anita’s all-Standardbred carriage crew get high praise from Rickard. “They are the best team I have,” says Rickard. “They have great dispositions and are well behaved horses; very well behaved horses. They came that way.” Even at 25, Rickard sees the racehorse he once was in Monterey Rebel, who she bought for $2,000 from a movie-outfitter in Oregon. “He still gets out on the track and wants to go, he’s a tough one. He is a pistol, but he stands very well and lets the people get on and off.” In truth, while Monterey Rebel raced long and hard, 103 times over six years, he’s heard a lot more applause at Santa Anita than at the California harness tracks at Los Alamitos and Sacramento. He won but one race (out of eight lifetime) in the year Rick Cisco leased him, from June 1994 to July 1995. “He’s a big boy, and when he was in his racing career, he could grab on to you, let me tell you,” says Cisco. “He was a nice horse and he did the job. He was perfect around the barn. I enjoyed the horse, he was pretty easy to handle. He was a nice little horse, well, actually he was very big.” Monterey Rebel ultimately won more hearts than races. “He’s the one I bring out for third-graders,” said Rickard. “He’s the one who will put his head down for somebody in a wheelchair. Same thing with strollers. He puts his head all the way down in the stroller for the kids. He’s absolutely the best horse ever for that, the best. “You don’t have to worry. He doesn’t do anything, not anything. He’s in their hand looking for food. I get kids here who are severely handicapped and sometimes they get carried away and actually hit him in the head. He just takes it.” Monterey Rebel’s carriage-mate, Saddle The Wind, was the more accomplished racehorse, winning 14 of his 115 starts over five years, making $100,000 against some of the best horses in California. The selection process Rickard employed to buy him for $250 in Los Alamitos’ backstretch was a simple one. “I needed a bay, he was the right size and he would match Rebel,” she said. While Rickard picked out and purchased the horses for Santa Anita, it’s Francisco Sanchez, called Paco, who drives them at work and knows them best. “Rebel, I have known since 1996,” says Sanchez. “I started here when I was a kid and now look at us, we’re both old grandpas. But he doesn’t know that. When he hits the racetrack, man, you have to hold him because he’d be gone. With another horse he loves to compete. He wants to be the first, he wants to be the leader. “Rebel is a very, very smart horse. He always thinks way ahead of you. There were several occasions where we almost had an accident, but when I need the help, he’s always right there and he stops.” Sometimes, though, Montery Rebel’s inclination to stop is not so appreciated. “He hates to start the buggy (from a dead stop),” says Sanchez. “If we have people standing around the buggy to get a picture, Rebel is traumatized looking back at all the people and thinks that they’re all going to get in. Here comes my regular passenger and he won’t move. “I say, ‘C’mon Rebel,’ and he looks back at the buggy to make sure there’s only one person in the buggy, because if you have a buggy full of people, forget it, he won’t move.” Montery Rebel’s teammate, Saddle The Wind, brings a different demeanor to the pair, says Sanchez. “Saddles is a hard working horse, too. When we first got him, he was smaller and leaner from being on the track. When he was off the track, he got fat and too lazy and refused to pull. He wanted to lag behind the other horse. I had to work with him to say, ‘No, no, no, don’t be lazy, you have to pull the buggy, you’ve got to put up with other horses.’” Sanchez took Saddle The Wind back to the track to improve his outlook, this time with a saddle and a Thoroughbred in tow. When Sanchez worked as a lead pony rider, Saddle The Wind was his pony. “That’s how I got him fit for pulling the buggy,” he said. “He reminded me so much of an Arabian horse. I’m so used to the Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses warming up in the first half-mile. Saddles, he warms up by the third horse he ponies. He was a very comfortable horse, most of the time he preferred to pace or sometimes he’d gallop in front and pace in back (legs).” Sanchez is loyal to his equine partners, now in their second decade of work together. Monterey Rebel wins accolades for his work with the youngest of racing fans. “He is a really sweet horse you can trust with all your heart with kids. He takes care of them, he loves kids.” Of the occasionally reluctant Saddle The Wind, Sanchez sees only the best. “He’s not lazy, he’s smart, he wants the other horse to pull the buggy!” by Ellen Harvey, for Harness Racing Communications

Creatine, trained by Bob Stewart for owner/breeder Diamond Creek Racing, is on a roll. The 4-year-old trotter has won the $173,000 Allerage Stake at The Red Mile in a career best 1:51.2 on Oct. 5, followed by a three length win in the $166,300 American-National at Balmoral on Oct. 11. This Friday, he's headed to the $160,000 Dayton Trotting Derby at Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway, where he has post six in the nine horse field. Dan Noble will drive, as he has in two of Creatine's last three starts. The card also includes the $122,000 Dayton Pacing Derby, headlined by the Ron Burke-trained duo of Foiled Again - the richest harness racing horse in North American history with $6.70 million - and Clear Vision, as well as 18-race winner Dancin Yankee. Creatine's form change has been a welcome one for Stewart, after a summer with no stakes wins at the top level of the sport. Creatine has $322,571 in 13 starts this year, all of them in stakes or open races. "On the surface it looks like a change of drivers, but it's not," he said. "We brought him back from New Jersey (where he was based most of the summer), did a little minor throat surgery and I think that moved him to the next level. "We actually did a little throat surgery last year and he raced very well after it. We did it again this year and he's really raced well. He's raced well every time except once at Hoosier Park. It was three hours and a half to get up there (for a $22,000 Invitational Trot in which he finished fourth after fading from the lead). We got within a half hour of the track and there was a fatality wreck in front of us. We sat on the interstate for an hour and a half and the ambulances and fire trucks were going by with sirens blaring. He tied up a little that night but other than that, he's raced very well since then. "It wasn't like he was racing bad before, but he kept drawing outside and just getting rough trips and the 14 hole (in the Hambletonian Maturity on July 5). He's put it together now and it looks like we're going to have a good rest of the fall." The throat ailment from which he's now recovered had no particular symptoms and Stewart said it was his wife who led to indirectly discovering the problem. "I give my wife (veterinarian Dr. Lynda Stewart) all the credit," said Stewart. "One night at The Meadowlands, Lynda said to have the veterinarian in the paddock scope him. We did and he was flipping his palate. He actually had a little ulcer on his throat where he had flipped his palate previously. So that's when we brought him home and did the laser surgery at Dr. Wes Sutter's clinic here in Lexington." Aside from his throat, Stewart says Creatine's age also worked against him earlier in the year. "He was a victim, I think, of the way things are set up this year with no 4-year-old races starting out," he said. "His very first start we went to Scioto Downs and raced against Market Share and Modern Family and then right into Sebastian K, who was on a serious roll at the time. He had a time getting his feet underneath him. "Much to his credit, he was not used to getting beaten very often at three and mentally, he was able to work his way through it and not lose his desire. Even with maturity, racing against the older horses right off the bat is awful tough." Stewart and Creatine will head to Dayton from their home base near Lexington, Ky., after some fresh air, a "must" in Creatine's schedule. "He's got a routine, he gets turned out every day," says Stewart. "It will just be a one day trip. He likes being turned out every day -- religiously, even Sunday and in the rain." In the Dayton Pacing Derby, 10-year-old Foiled Again will try to pick up career win No. 83 after consecutive losses by a head, in the American-National Stakes and Allerage Farms Open Pace. His victories this season include the Bobby Quillen Memorial. Clear Vision, who has won $2.15 million lifetime, is coming off a third-place finish in the American-National. Dancin Yankee has won 18 of 28 starts this season, with his victory total ranking No. 4 among all harness racing horses in North America. His connections paid $15,000 to supplement into the race. Here is the field for the $160,000 Dayton Trotting Derby, race 12, post time 10:15 p.m., with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Fearless Man, Rick Zeron, Rick Zeron; 2. DW's NY Yank, Brett Miller, Ron Burke; 3. Opening Night, Ronnie Wrenn Jr., Jim Campbell; 4. Market Share, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano; 5. Fusion Man, TBA, Jeff Smith; 6. Creatine, Dan Noble, Bob Stewart; 7. Daylon Magician, Jack Moiseyev, Jack Moiseyev; 8. Southwind Pepino, Hugh Beatty, Hugh Beatty; 9. Wishing Stone, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; AE: Lindy's Tru Grit, Scott Zeron, Frank Antonacci. Here is the field for the $122,000 Dayton Pacing Derby, race 11, post time 9:55 p.m., with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Night Pro, Ronnie Wrenn Jr., Dale Decker; 2. Clear Vision, Brett Miller, Ron Burke; 3. Foiled Again, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 4. Apprentice Hanover, Jody Jamieson, Thomas Wallace; 5. Santa Fe Beachboy, Josh Sutton, Brian Brown; 6. Beach Memories, Dave Palone, Brian Brown; 7. Dancin Yankee, Tyler Buter, Todd Buter. by Ellen Harvey, for Harness Racing Communications

As the racing career of award-winning pacer Captaintreacherous comes to an end, with a retirement ceremony scheduled for next week at The Red Mile, an heir apparent competes Saturday night at the famed Lexington oval. Artspeak, who like Captaintreacherous is from the stable of trainer Tony Alagna, is 6-for-6 as he heads to The Red Mile for his division of the Bluegrass Stakes for 2-year-old male pacers. He is coming off a 3-1/2 length win in 1:50.2 in the Metro Pace on Aug. 30 at Mohawk Racetrack. The colt has won all six of his races by a minimum of 1-3/4 lengths. "He's done everything we've asked of him," driver Scott Zeron said. "I don't think we've seen his bottom yet. Tony's done a good job of making sure that every time he gets behind the gate he's fully prepared. "He's got heart. That's something you just have to pray you have in a horse. He's a horse that every time he steps onto the track he wants to beat other horses. He kind of actually wants to demolish them. That speaks for itself. So far he's proven that he's a major player." Captaintreacherous, who will be honored Oct. 2 at The Red Mile, won eight of 10 starts at age 2 and became the first 2-year-old in 25 years to be named Pacer of the Year. Last season at age 3, he won 13 of 16 races and received his second Pacer of the Year award. "A lot of the people have been comparing the two," Zeron said. "Obviously, they were both dominant at this point in their careers when you compare them at 2. Every time I sit behind (Artspeak) he's just a pleasure. He's so nice to handle. Tony has taught him to really know what he's doing out on the racetrack." Artspeak is a son of stallion Western Ideal out of the mare The Art Museum. He was purchased for $100,000 at the 2013 Lexington Selected Sale and his family includes 2007 Meadowlands Pace winner Southwind Lynx. Artspeak is owned by co-breeder Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco, and In The Gym Partners. He races in the third of four Bluegrass divisions and is the 4-5 morning line favorite. "His being undefeated isn't something that crosses my mind every time we race," Zeron said when asked if there was pressure driving a horse like Artspeak. "I just want to try to drive him to where he can display his abilities. That's my job, to make sure I give him every chance to display what he can do. "We were 1-9 in the Metro Pace; I don't know if people call that pressure or a weight off your shoulders. I'd rather be the 1-9 shot going into those races." The Canadian-born Zeron has 11 drives Saturday night at The Red Mile, with 10 of them behind Alagna-trained horses. The 25-year-old, who is the son of driver Rick Zeron, moved to the U.S. with the hopes of advancing his career. It has worked out better than he imagined. Zeron, who in 2012 became the youngest driver to win the Little Brown Jug behind Casie Coleman-trainee Michael's Power, has earned $4.30 million this year, good for No. 14 among all drivers in North America. "Tony told me if I did make the move he would help me out and try to make me first call on the (young horses), and he's done just that," Zeron said. "So I give him credit for the majority of my (success) this year. "All I ever wanted was to be on the Grand Circuit. Now to be down at The Red Mile and have multiple drives on every card, it's a thrill. I'm happy to be at the point I'm at. This is where every heavy hitter comes and to be racing with them on a nightly basis is amazing." Among Zeron's other drives are It Was Fascination and Beach Gal in divisions of the Bluegrass for 3-year-old female pacers. It Was Fascination is 6-1 on the morning line and Beach Gal is 3-1. Both start from post eight in eight-horse fields. It Was Fascination, trained by Alagna and owned by Riverview Racing, Alagna Racing and The Bay's Stable, has won four of 13 races and earned $246,028. She is coming off a win in the New York Sire Stakes championship. "She's had a phenomenal year," Zeron said. "You'll never have a horse that tries as hard as she does. She always tries to be right in the money - 1, 2, 3 - every week. Coming down to Lexington, Tony said she's been great. We'll hope for a big effort from her. She always seems to deliver. "We didn't draw that well, but she has tactical speed and hopefully we can forwardly place her." Beach Gal is the only non-Alagna horse Zeron will drive Saturday. Trained by Dave Menary, she has won three of 14 races and $227,127 for owners Kenneth Ewen, Hewvilla Farms, Denis Breton and Larry Menary. "I drove her almost her whole 2-year-old year; I know her really well," Zeron said. "She's a trip horse. You wouldn't find a horse that could come off a helmet any faster than she could last year. I'm excited to go behind her. "She's had a very good year. We didn't draw well, but maybe we can hope for some hot fractions or maybe I'll try to get her out of there and hope for a second-over trip." Sunday: Father Patrick, Lifetime Pursuit headline trotters at Red Mile Driver Yannick Gingras is atop the national purse standings with $11.72 million heading into Friday evening, and this Sunday he has engagements with two trotters who have contributed to that total considerably. Father Patrick, who leads all horses in earnings with $1.13 million, and Hambletonian Oaks winner Lifetime Pursuit, who has banked $652,054, are among the horses that have dates with Gingras at The Red Mile on Sunday. Both horses are trained by Jimmy Takter. Lifetime Pursuit, who has won eight of 13 races this year and set multiple world records, has post two in the first of two Bluegrass Stakes divisions for 3-year-old female trotters. She has won six consecutive starts, including the Hambletonian Oaks, divisions of the Casual Breeze and Simcoe stakes, and most recently the Buckette at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio. Gingras says the Brittany Farms-owned filly is an uncomplicated assignment. Lifetime Pursuit is the 7-5 morning line favorite in her Bluegrass split. "She'll do anything I want her to do," Gingras said. "She's really a sweetheart, very easy on herself, easy for me to drive. Her last two starts before Delaware, I thought she was due for a covered-up trip, but at Delaware, on a half-mile track at (odds of) 1-9, it is what it is, she was much the best. "Going back to a big track down here, I'd like to have her covered up and if she's the best horse in the race, she'll do what she has to do in the stretch." Gingras says the daughter of Cantab Hall-Queen Of Grace has matured emotionally over the racing season. "She was one early on that needed an easy trip and needed to get mentally ready," he said. "She wasn't quite ready to cut miles or go first over, nothing like that. But as the year went along, she got better and better with that and now I can do whatever I want. She was the one that early on, I really had to babysit a little bit, whereas Father Patrick, he's just a sweetheart." Father Patrick and Gingras will team up once again in the second of two Bluegrass Stakes for 3-year-old male trotters. Father Patrick, the 3-5 morning line favorite, has post one. The colt, a son of Cantab Hall-Gala Dream, has won nine of 11 races this season and 19 of 22 in his career. His lifetime earnings are $1.88 million. He enters the Bluegrass off a win in the Canadian Trotting Classic on Sept. 13 at Mohawk Racetrack. Father Patrick was the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter. "There's nothing about him not to like, you can do whatever you like," Gingras said. "You can come from the back, be first over or in the front. It doesn't matter to him, he'll get it done. "He's been the same horse, but obviously he's a little stronger now than he was in his first couple starts. But as far as manners and what he can do on the racetrack, he's the same horse, just a perfect horse." The two-week Red Mile meet provides both drivers and trainers with a few more tools to utilize in seeking a top performance from their horses, Gingras says. "The clay is definitely the biggest difference, you can race horses barefoot here, which on most stone dust tracks, you can't," Gingras said. "Trainers can come here and take their (horses') shoes off and sometimes it improves their gait big time. It's something you can't do every week, but you'll see certain horses that step up here versus racing at other tracks because you can make changes here. "The Red Mile is probably the last track left in North America that's not a speed favoring track. You can win races from the front, but it's a track where you can actually come from the back very easily and win races. The other tracks we go to, they're speed favoring, most of them." by Ken Weingartner & Ellen Harvey, for Harness Racing Communications

Lexington, KY --- The Kentucky Horse Park will host a book signing for Standardbred Old Friends with author Ellen Harvey on Wednesday (Oct. 1) from 10 a.m.-12 noon. A collection of endearing stories on the lives of legendary Standardbred horses, this book is a collaboration with award-winning equine photographer Barbara Livingston, whose popular books Old Friends and More Old Friends, painted a sentimental portrait of champion racehorses long gone from the spotlight. Guests who purchase a copy of the book will receive half off admission to the park on Oct. 1 and the special all-Standardbred Hall of Champions Show at 1:15 p.m. organized for the occasion. A collection of Standardbred sulkies will also be put on display this day for guests to view, including a rare tandem sulky and a sulky used with Hall of Fame pacer Rambling Willie. Guests may pre-order the book through the park’s online gift shop,, or at 859.259.4234, to ensure they have a copy, or to have a copy held for them if they are unable to attend the event. The first 50 books pre-ordered will also be signed by the book’s photographer, Barbara Livingston. Books may be picked up anytime between Oct. 1 and Oct. 12, or shipping can be arranged. Standardbred Old Friends focuses on the distinctly American breed that evolved from a horse that carried the family to church, raced at the county fair and now competes world-wide at a trot and pace.  Standardbred Old Friends portrays 43 horses, ages 19 to 37, most of them millionaires with Hall of Fame membership, but some of more modest distinction -- occupied as show horses, in law enforcement or as hardworking, blue-collar performers. With Harvey telling the rich tales of horses from Sweden to Southern California, from Maine to Florida, Livingston has captured images of horses whose achievements are now decades past, but whose memories will last a lifetime.  Standardbred Old Friends looks at the lives of horses like the Kentucky Horse Park’s own champion Standardbred pacers, Staying Together and Western Dreamer. Staying Together was foaled in nearby Georgetown, and won 21 of 26 starts in 1993, setting a speed record, in one of harness racing’s most memorable seasons. Stanley, as he is known, is now blind due to an incurable eye disease, but he has been able to adapt due to his own tenaciousness and his handlers’ care of him. Western Dreamer, or Dreamer, is the park’s resident Triple Crown winner, winning pacing’s Triple Crown in 1997 and becoming the first gelding of any breed to win a Triple Crown. Born just three miles from the Kentucky Horse Park, Dreamer is the son of Western Hanover, one of the most influential Standardbred sires in history.  Other Standardbred horses featured in the book include North American and European superstar Mack Lobell, now 30, at his home along the shores of Lake Malaren in southern Sweden, 2004 Horse of the Year Cam’s Card Shark at historic Hanover Shoe Farm in central Pennsylvania, and mother-daughter Hall of Famers Country Kay Sue and CR Kay Suzie among the live oaks at their home in central Florida. For a video sample of the photos in the book and a look at the making ofStandardbred Old Friends, featuring 30-year-old champion Standardbred roadster Autobahn at Cane Run Farm in Kentucky, go to this link. The Kentucky Horse Park is open daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. through Nov. 2. Admission is $16 for adults and $8 for children 7-12, and includes the next day free. Children 6 and under are always admitted free of charge when accompanied by a paying adult. Admission includes the International Museum of the Horse, a Smithsonian Affiliate; and the “Showplace for Saddlebreds” -- The American Saddlebred Museum & Gift Shop. From the Kentucky Horse Park

The Harness Racing Museum, in Goshen, NY, is packing up its gift shop and moving 550 miles west to the home of the Little Brown Jug, Delaware, Ohio. From Sunday, September 14 through Thursday, September 18, the Museum's gift shop will be in residence in the tent across from the second turn, and will again have tack supplies from Big Dee's, from 9 am until the last race each day. Items in every price range, all with a harness racing motif, will be offered, including $10 T shirts, hoodies for adults and children in a new range of colors, as well as sleepwear and toys for little harness racing fans. A limited selection of gift shop items including previous years Little Brown Jug shirts, hats and housewares will be available at the Ohio Selected Jug Yearling Sale on Monday, September 15 at the Eden Park Equestrian Complex in Sunbury, Ohio. On Wednesday and Thursday, Ellen Harvey will be signing her book, Standardbred Old Friends, featuring profiles, with the photos of renowned equine photographer, Barbara Livingston, of 43 Standardbreds of distinction, now in the twilight of their lives. 1997 Little Brown Jug winner Western Dreamer is among those profiled. Harvey will be at the Museum tent from 9 am to noon on both days, as well as after the races and periodically throughout the card. 100% of profits benefit the Museum's mission. The newly released Remember Roosevelt! book will be available as well as Halters For Hope. Halters available include American Ideal, Chocolatier, Continentalvictory, Malabar Man, Peaceful Way, Presidential Ball, See You At Peelers, and Somebeachsomewhere. The sale of these halters benefits horse rescue organizations that cater to helping Standardbreds. The popular clearance rack, with many one of a kind items, will be back for bargain hunters and $2 can koozies (3 for $5) will be offered for fans looking to keep their beverages cold. Historians of the sport will want to check out the selection of used harness racing books, the sale of which benefits the Peter D. Haughton Memorial Library at the museum. Shoppers who would like to purchase items in the morning can leave them at the gift shop for pick up after the racing card. The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame is located at 240 Main Street in Goshen, NY and is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm (last tour 4:00 pm). Thanks to U.S. Trotting Association support, the Museum is currently offering free admission for walk-in visitors and group docent-guided tours at a minimal charge per person. For additional information about the Museum, its membership program, special events and educational programs, please call 845-294-6330 or visit From the Harness Racing Museum    

Freehold, NJ --- Winky’s Gill, winner of a heat of the 1983 Hambletonian, dam of 1993 Hambletonian Oaks winner Winky’s Goal (1:54.4, $844,924) and 1987 Peter Haughton Memorial winner, Supergill (1:53.3, $664,194) died at the age of 34 on August 8 at Perretti Farm, her home of 14 years.   She was buried in the farm’s equine cemetery.  The daughter of Bonefish and Lassie Blue Chip was bred by Ulf Moberg and was born January 31, 1980 in Lexington, Kentucky. Her stakes wins include the 1982 Merrie Annabelle, Acorn, Review, Hayes and Lexington Filly Stakes.  In addition to a heat of the 1983 Hambletonian against colts in which she was third overall, she won the Coaching Club Oaks, Breeders Filly Stakes, Review and the Bluegrass Stake.  Her 15 wins in 27 starts got her purse earnings of $472,154 and a mark of 1:55.2. In her later years, Winky’s Gill served as babysitter for yearling fillies at Perretti Farm, a job at which she excelled, but only after two tries.  “We tried her back when she was a young girl in her mid-twenties,” said Breeding Operations Manager Lindsay Taylor in the book Standardbred Old Friends, in which Winky’s Gill is one of 43 horses featured.  “Winky decided she really didn’t want to come in to the barn any more.  It became a problem.  She figured out that every time we were coming out, she was coming in the barn and would be separated from her charges.  “She decided she was the matriarchal mare and she was going to round up her herd and take off for the foothills.  She regarded it as her responsibility to round up the babies and take them to a safe place. It was actually pretty funny if you weren’t the one out there trying to catch them.” Given another chance a few years later, Winky’s Gill got the hang of the job and made life easier for farm staff by leading fillies in to the barn for farrier and veterinary care.  “It’s like the Pied Piper,” said Taylor.  “Where ever she goes, they follow her in a little line. She usually selects one or two favorites, or they select her, I’m not sure which way it goes.  “She’ll have a couple; we call them her lieutenants, who have a special affinity for her or she for them.  She keeps them within 20 or 30 feet.  They form a kind of bond.  When she moves, they go with her.  If not, she usually goes back and round them up and takes them with her.” Taylor said that Winky’s Gill liked those she knew well, but had a definite opinion about one particular profession.  “She’s been around enough veterinarians that she’s a little leery of them.”  Ellen Harvey, Harness Racing Communications  Courtesy of the US Trotting Association Web Newsroom

Scarborough, Maine (Friday, August 01, 2014) - For the 10th consecutive year, Scarborough Downs will host Family Fun Day as a day of “Harness Racing Education and Fun for the Whole Family.” Scheduled for Sunday (8-3), the day will feature a wide range of activities suitable for the whole family with a unique focus on the Standardbred horse. “It’s very important to us that people understand all facets of the sport of harness racing, including its enormous impact onMaine agriculture,” says Scarborough Downs president, Sharon Terry.  “From how a horse gets its shoes to what it eats during the big race, people can get up close and personal to the animals and really learn about the industry.” Doors open at 12 noon with the activities taking place in the Grandstand building.  Highlights include a live mare and foal for the kids to pet, a horse shoeing demonstration, a harness demonstration, a mini horse, games, contests and much more. As a special feature this year, the nationwide "Old Friends" book tour comes to town on Sunday featuring the rollout of the latest exciting installment in the popular series. The book (3rd in the series) by accomplished equine photographer Barbara Livingston and noted harness journalist Ellen Harvey spins the stories of horses which once captured front page attention but have now disappeared from the limelight. The tales of their second careers and homes provided by loving caretakers will warm the heart of the reader. On hand to promote the book will be two retired standardbreds who are featured in the work, Dreamy Starlet, who will be marshaling the day's program and McKeever Hanover, a former racing star on the state of Maine Circuit. Live racing begins at 1:05 and features the Maine Sire Stakes program as the two-year-old colt pacing division swings into action in twin splits contested for purses of $9979 apiece. Admission to the event is free and open to all ages. For more information, visit or our Facebook page. By Michael Sweeney for Scarborough Downs

MANALAPAN, NJ - July 18, 2014 - A late afternoon summer storm failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the 110 golfers who competed at the 19th Annual SBOANJ Golf Outing & Fundraiser on July 14, 2014 at Gambler Ridge Golf Course in Cream Ridge, NJ. A total of 125 golfers and banquet attendees feasted on a prime rib dinner. Numerous door prizes were distributed along with presentations for golfing prowess. Best foursome honors went to Kunz Equine Team of Simon Spicer, Mike Seddon, Shannon Murphy and Johnny Pregman. The "most honest" foursome award went to Jim Hogan, Jesse Johnson, John Hynes and Frank VanWie. Longest drive-prizes went to Hannah Miller, who won Kindle Fire tablet, and Jeff Bamond Jr., who received a Boze Bluetooth speaker Closest to the Pin was Simon Spicer from of the Kunz Equine Team, who won a 32-inch HD TV. Putting contest honors - and $145 - went to Kelly Breen. Frank Lomangino won the drawing for a Track Trainer jog cart, which was donated by Allen Eggert of Pennsbury Enterprises. The 50-50 winner was Garrett Federico, whose share was $895. Sponsorships, key to the fund raising effort which benefits New Jersey's standardbred horsemen in need, were provided at several levels. The overall tournament sponsors were Shay Cowan of Katz/Pierz, and Thomas Cordovano and John Macri of the La Ferla Group. At the Gold Level, the donors were the Meadowlands Racetrack; Drucker, Math & Whitman CPAs; Berman, Gara & Rutsky Group/UBS Financial Services; Joie de Vie Farms and Rollermagic Roller Rinks. At the Silver Level, the donors were Showplace Farms, Gaitway Farms, Federico's Landscape Design, Santoro & Santoro [Dennis Dowd], Valley High Stables, Freehold Raceway, Eposimato Stable, Mark Ford Training Stable, Nick Salenetri, Aetna/Meritain Health, Hambletonian Society and Val D'Or Farms. At the Bronze Level, the donors are Advocacy Management Group, Network Security Group, New Jersey Community Bank, Chris Ryder and Nick Surick. Additional fundraising was accomplished through the donation of goods and services by Bluestone Farms, Deo Volente Farm, Gambler Ridge Golf Club, Ellen Harvey, Meadowbrook Industries, Makefield Highlands Golf Club, Northwood Bloodstock, Pennsbury Enterprises, Reynolds Hay & Straw/Tribute Equine Nutrition, Rick's Saddle Shop/Purina, Baker Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram and Newport Graphics. Dinner, lunch and competition awards were underwritten by Martin Scharf, Deo Volente Farm, Berman, Gara & Rutsky, Electric Battery Company, Network Security Group, Nick Surick, Marc and Marcia Goldberg and Green Acquisition Corp. Hole sponsors were Berman Gara & Rutsky, John and Paula Campbell, Drucker, Math & Whitman, Thomas J. Durkin/ Joseph Spadaro, Green Acquisition Corp, Joie de Vie Farms, Katz/Pierz, La Ferla Group, Meadowlands Racetrack, Andy Miller, Ervin Miller Stable, Network Security Group, Rollermagic Roller Rinks and Suydam Insurance Agency. The SBOANJ golf outing is co-chaired by SBOANJ directors Ed Razzetti and Bob Baggitt Sr. by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ

The author of Standardbred Old Friends, a coffee table book featuring the work of renowned equine photographer Barbara Livingston, will sell and sign copies of the book on Governor's Day at the Delaware State Fair in Harrington, Delaware, on Thursday, July 24. The 216 page book features 150 photos and author Ellen Harvey's stories of 43 horses of great achievement, long gone from the spotlight, but still cherished and well cared for in the twilight of their lives. For a video about the making of the book, click here. The signing will benefit Horse Lovers United (HLU), a Delmarva group that places Standardbreds and other horses in to second careers and adoptive homes after their racing days are over. HLU placed one of the horses featured in the book, Dust Devil, who is now 24 years old and living on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Harvey will be signing at the M & T Grandstand from 3 p.m. to the close of racing that evening; the book is $30, with a portion of proceeds going to help HLU care for and place horses in need of homes. To learn more about Standardbred Old Friends, which features high profile horses like Mack Lobell, Cam's Card Shark, Winky's Gill, Staying Together, Western Dreamer and the late Moni Maker, Matt's Scooter and Giant Victory, "like" Standardbred Old Friends Book on Facebook. For more information on Horses Lovers United, go to by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

Goshen, NY - If you have ever been the caretaker, trainer or owner of a horse that had a special gift of speed and talent--then you recognize it when you see it.   If you have ever shared a unique bond with that almost "human" horse--then you have experienced that indescribable feeling.   If you have ever wondered what ever happened to that horse that provided you with some of the biggest thrills of your life--then you know that inescapable wonder.   It's all in here. Every picture and every page contains yet another one of those stories.   Standardbred Old Friends is as unique a book as the equine characters it chronicles. Historical in nature, existential in substance.   From Hall of Fame trotters to Horse of the Year pacers--dozens of them. Each with their own legacy, each with their own people that loved them. Each story more inspiring than the next. The authors visited Mack Lobell in Sweden and Miss Easy in Hanover. From California to Maine and from Florida to Kentucky, they traveled far and wide to meet and greet horses big and small.   With such an expansive distance between these stone-dust heroes, compiling this compendium of athletes was a feat as remarkable as the authors themselves. The photographer, Barbara Livingston, is a multiple Eclipse award-winning legend who has captured some of the most iconic equine images of our generation. She partnered with Ellen Harvey, who left no stone unturned in her quest to reveal some of the most touching accounts of the bond between animal and person, as well as between two stablemates.   Together they tell the stories of 43 horses that have left the racetrack long ago, yet still have loyal fans and followers. Like the story of 25-year-old Staying Together who is living out his days at the Kentucky Horse Park. Despite his blindness, the 1993 Horse of the Year continues to serve as a goodwill ambassador. The pictures are breathtaking with stories to match.   The account of Flat Foot Fluzy and her friend Keystone Wallis give credence to the notion that horses are gregarious creatures. Or the California pacers who have happily pulled a carriage after they quit pulling a sulky in the 90s. Or the New Jersey-bred colt that became a Saratoga police horse for an encore. Or the mother/daughter reunion that had an unexpected surprise.   So many great horses, and how they are surrounded by the people who love them. Some reunited, some returned home, all with dignity.   by Chris Tully for              

Goshen Historic Track in New York will welcome a pair of celebrity guest outriders for the Friday, July 4, racing card. Leading the horses to post for the 1 p.m. card will be the 23-year-old former Standardbred racehorses Dreamy Starlet, ridden by her owner, Elizabeth Tewksbury, and McKeever Hanover, ridden by his owner Shelly Topham. The two are among the 43 horses featured in the new book Standardbred Old Friends, a collection of photos and stories about horses of distinction, now in the twilight of their lives. The book is the third in the Old Friends series of books by renowned equine photographer Barbara Livingston. The two pacers, who live in Maine, have nearly 300 starts and four foals between them, but it is off the track that they have found their next and best careers. Both horses, who started under saddle in their teens, excel in the show ring, competing in English and Western style competitions, team penning, fox hunting and jumping. They have won hundreds of ribbons and trophies, while also finding time to outride at Maine's pari-mutuel and fair tracks. Additionally, McKeever Hanover has volunteered at Make A Wish Foundation events, where his primary responsibility has been to stand nicely and let adults and children pet him. After race five on Friday, the horses will come off the track to greet fans behind the grandstand. Copies of the book in which the pair is featured on Maine's Popham Beach at sunset in October 2013 will also be for sale that day with a portion of proceeds to benefit Goshen Historic Track. Livingston and Ellen Harvey, who wrote the stories to accompany the photos, will be hand to sign books. Goshen Historic Track is located at 44 Park Place in Goshen, New York. Admission is $5 for adults and includes a program. Children are free. For more information go to or call 845-294-5333.   From Harness Racing Communications      

Cream Ridge, NJ --- New Jersey celebrates June as the month of the horse and Fair Winds Farm got into the holiday spirit and threw open their doors to the public on Sunday (June 29). Well over 200 people were in attendance, a mix of local residents curious about the farm and its equine inhabitants, 4H Club members and horse lovers. Close to half of the visitors were school-aged children. Dr. Patricia Hogan opened her surgical clinic on Fair Winds’ grounds and demonstrated the X-ray, arthroscopic and ultrasound machines to packed crowds who came in three shifts throughout the afternoon. Visitors also learned how horses are hoisted on the operating table and how they recover from injuries and go on to race. The “white colt,” White Bliss, now in training with the Ake Svanstedt Stable, came back to his place of birth for the day, and though he was less white with each roll in the paddock, was eager to show off a bit, cavorting around his paddock and going up to the fence to say hello. uzanne D’Ambrose brought her retired trotter, Independent Act, who is now a successful Western pleasure horse, and who had the fingerprints of hundreds of visitors on him by the end of the day. He stood patiently for three hours of brushing and petting by visitors from infancy to senior citizen status. Farrier Tom Mulryne gave some equine pedicures for visitors, who also got to see a display for the various types of hay and grain that Fair Winds horses consume. The paddocks around the farm were full of mares and foals. Representatives from the USTA, New Jersey Farm Bureau, NJ Horse Council, FFA, Harness Horse Youth Foundation and the Rutgers University Equine Science Program were on hand as well. Local political leaders Nancy Grbelja, Ron Dancer and Lilliam Burry also spoke about the importance of horses to the New Jersey economy. by Ellen Harvey for Harness Racing Communications

Nuncio spent a lot of this past winter learning to use his natural talent in a more productive way, and it shows. The 3-year-old trotter, who is 3-1 from post two in Saturday's $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs is undefeated in four starts in 2014 after a barn change following his 2-year-old season. New trainer Jimmy Takter concentrated on teaching the son of Andover Hall to conserve and use his speed judiciously and driver John Campbell said he's passing the course so far. Last year, Nuncio led at the half-mile point in eight of his 10 races. This year, he's been no better than third at the halfway point of any race and not seen the lead until the stretch. "I'm very happy with the way he's been coming along," Campbell said. "He just got so aggressive and so wound up at the end of last year that you just couldn't rate him at all. That was to his detriment in a couple races and it cost him winning. Jimmy trained him from behind all winter and we've qualified him that way and raced him that way and he's started to figure it out, so I can be a little more aggressive with him at the gate. "He left a little bit last week and didn't get wound up. I'm very happy with his manners so far. He's been very relaxed and that's important because if they're worked up and you're fighting with them, you just take away energy. He's always been able to go; speed hasn't been an issue ever with him. It's more been just manageability." Nuncio won his Beal elimination last weekend by a half-length over Datsyuk in 1:52.2. His previous three wins this season all came in divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. Last year, he won five of 10 races and never finished worse than second on his way to $461,074. His earnings were third most among 2-year-old trotters, behind Takter-trained colt Father Patrick and Takter-trained filly Shake It Cerry. Four of Nuncio's second-place efforts were against Father Patrick, in the eliminations and final of the Peter Haughton Memorial and elims and final of the Breeders Crown. Nuncio won the Matron Stakes and a division of the Reynolds; he also was runner-up to Muscle Network in the Valley Victory. Father Patrick, who received the 2013 Dan Patch Award for best 2-year-old male trotter, also won his Beal elimination last week. He drew post No. 8 for the final and is the 5-2 morning line favorite with driver Yannick Gingras. "I'd certainly rather have the two hole than outside, that is for sure, but once we get in to the race, everybody will know at the quarter whether it's good or bad," Campbell said. "But going in to the race, I'd rather be down inside." Father Patrick won his Beal elim by 2-1/4 lengths over Harper Blue Chip in 1:52.4. He is 4-for-4 this year and brings a 13-race win streak into the Beal final. Last year, Father Patrick won 10 of 11 races, including the Breeders Crown at Pocono Downs, the Wellwood Memorial and the Peter Haughton Memorial. His only setback came against Nuncio in July. "This is the first time all year that he'll be asked to go," Gingras said. "He's more than ready after four easy starts." Saturday's stakes-laden card at Pocono Downs also includes the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old pacers, the $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace for older pacers, the $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers, and $100,000 Sun Invitational for older trotters. Post time is 6:30 p.m. for the first race. The Sun Invitational is race No. 8 and will be followed by the four stakes. Following are Saturday's Sun Invitational and stakes fields in post order with drivers, trainers and morning line: Race 8, $100,000 Sun Invitational - 1. Arch Madness, Brian Sears, Trond Smedshammer, 10-1; 2. Sevruga, Ron Pierce, Julie Miller, 5-1; 3. Market Share, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano, 7-2; 4. Amigo Ranger, Simon Allard, Rene Allard, 12-1; 5. Archangel, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 6-1; 6. Modern Family, Dave Palone, Daryl Bier, 3-1; 7. Sebastian K, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt, 2-1. Race 9, $300,000 Lynch Memorial - 1. Uffizi Hanover, David Miller, Jimmy Takter, 5-2; 2. Sayitall BB, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 5-1; 3. Also Encouraging, Brett Miller, Casie Coleman, 15-1; 4. Fancy Desire, George Napolitano Jr., Kevin Carr, 3-1; 5. Southwind Silence, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 10-1; 6. Cinamony, Corey Callahan, Alex Rice Jr., 6-1; 7. Gallie Bythe Beach, John Campbell, Jim Campbell, 12-1; 8. Weeper, Dave Palone, Kelly O'Donnell, 4-1; 9. My Lady Day, Tim Tetrick, Joe Holloway, 20-1. Race 10, $500,000 Hempt Memorial - 1. Cammikey, Brian Zendt, Bill Zendt, 6-1; 2. Allstar Partner, Corey Callahan, John Butenschoen, 12-1; 3. McWicked, David Miller, Casie Coleman, 5-2; 4. Sometimes Said, John Campbell, Jim Campbell, 4-1; 5. At Press Time, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 5-1; 6. Stevensville, Tim Tetrick, Ray Schnittker, 20-1; 7. Bushwacker, Ron Pierce, Chris Ryder, 15-1; 8. All Bets Off, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 3-1; 9. Limelight Beach, Brian Sears, Brian Brown, 10-1. Race 11, $500,000 Franklin Pace - 1. Bettor's Edge, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 12-1; 2. Allstar Legend, Scott Zeron, Ron Burke, 15-1; 3. Foiled Again, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 4-1; 4. Sweet Lou, Ron Pierce, Ron Burke, 5-2; 5. Domethatagain, Simon Allard, Rene Allard, 10-1; 6. Bolt The Duer, Mark MacDonald, Peter Foley, 5-1; 7. Captive Audience, David Miller, Corey Johnson, 20-1; 8. Captaintreacherous, Tim Tetrick, Tony Alagna, 3-1; 9. Sunshine Beach, Brian Sears, Mark Steacy, 6-1. Race 12, $500,000 Beal Jr. Memorial - 1. Amped Up Hanover, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 10-1; 2. Nuncio, John Campbell, Jimmy Takter, 3-1; 3. Harper Blue Chip, Brian Sears, Mark Steacy, 5-1; 4. Don Dorado, Tim Tetrick, Robert Baggitt Jr., 4-1; 5. Outburst, Andrew McCarthy, Noel Daley, 15-1; 6. Well Built, Jim Meittinis, Chris Ryder, 20-1; 7. Datsyuk, Charlie Norris, Charlie Norris, 6-1; 8. Father Patrick, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 5-2; 9. Sumatra, Brett Miller, Tom Fanning, 12-1. by Ellen Harvey, for Harness Racing Communications  

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