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By Garrick Knight    The fall-out from a horror crash at Cambridge yesterday will see three senior North Island drivers on the sidelines for a couple of months. The incident saw race 8 abandoned soon after the start when Afortunado (Jay Abernethy) couldn’t avoid a galloping Ima Denny Too (Tony Cameron) and fell to the track. A chain reaction saw Comic Book Hero (Todd MacFarlane) and Racketeers Boy (David Butcher) also fall while Matty White was flung viciously from the sulky of Machs Little Soaky. Butcher came out of the crash effectively unscathed apart from some bruising and sore ribs but MacFarlane, White and Abernethy all have significant injuries. Matty White remains in Waikato Hospital having suffered a brain bleed and will have further scans and x-rays on his hip and pelvis this morning. “He’s ok at the moment; he’s awake and alert,” said his wife, Brigette Solomon. “He does have a minor brain bleed though; it’s called a petechial haemorrhage. “He is also displaying really severe concussion symptoms too, repeating himself a lot. “They x-rayed his hip and shoulders last night which came back clear but they’ll do more scans today because he is still getting a lot of pain on his right side.” Todd MacFarlane is also in Waikato Hospital, his worst injury at this stage appearing to be a badly broken wrist. “I spoke to Todd late last night, around midnight, and he said that he had broken and dislocated his wrist,” said good friend, Jeff Darby. “They were looking at whether he needed surgery on it today. “He had a scan on his head and neck which came back with positive results and they’re pretty happy with that. “He also had a concussion and his memory of the race was a bit sketchy.” Jay Abernethy left Waikato Hospital at midnight and was at his doctor’s office first thing this morning. “I’ve broken my wrist. They nerve-blocked my arm to put it back in to place and put a cast on it. “I’m just getting my shoulder checked out this morning because that feels sorer than the wrist but I think it’s just badly bruised.” David Butcher considered himself fairly lucky given what happened to his colleagues. “I’m alright; I haven’t broken anything. “Just bruising. I had x-rays done last night and they were all good. “I’ve talked to (Stipendiary Steward) Steve Mulcay and told him I’ll just be taking it easy for a couple of days but should be fine to drive later in the week.” All four horses escaped relatively unscathed with only minor grazes and cuts reported, Racketeers Boy the only one requiring attention from the on-course vet, for a shoulder laceration. A stewards enquiry deemed no one driver was to blame for the event. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

The Prix de Lille (purse 80,000€, 2100 meters autostart, 16 starters) was the Quinte+ race of the day at Paris-Vincennes and the upper class field was dominated by Jean Michel Bazire trainees. JMB won the event driving 8/10 favorite Dorgos de Guez (7g Romcok de Guez-Lady Fromentro) to a 1.11.2kr score. He was near the fast fractions throughout and took the lead at about the halfway mark from Orlando Jet. Dorgos now has 20 career wins and 520,180€ earned. The 3.9/1 Colonel (8g Goetmals Wood-Royale Star) was a rallying second for Nicolas Bazire, trainer JMB and owner Ecurie des Charmes. Third was JMB trainee and 21/1 Dreambreaker (7g Offshore Dream-Brooke Boko) for Alexandre Abrivard. 49/1 Clif du Pomereux and 24/1 Ange de Lune completed the top five and the exact order Q+ payoff was 3,594.90€ to 491 winning tickets. The Q+ pool was 5,716,595€ and over 11,362,000 was wagered on the race. Four year olds were on stage for the Gr. II Prix de Tonnac-Villeneuve (purse 100,000€, 2700 meters, eight starters) with upset victory to 8.7/1 Green Grass (4f Bold Eagle-Tootsie Smiling). Mathieu Mottier piloted the winner for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Sebastien Dewulf. Frederic Brouilloux bred the now eight time winner for 405,400€ earned. Race time was 1.14.1kr off slow, rated fractions. The 8/10 favorite Gu d’Heripre (4m Coktail Jet-Vedetta d’Heripre) was a very game second with Franck Nivard up for trainer Philippe Billard. 32/1 Gamble River (4m Un Mec d’Heripre) was third for Matthieu Abrivard and trainer Guarato. 4.8/1 Gotland (4m Ready Cash-Sanawa), the early head of this class, was fourth for Eric Raffin and owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. 11/1 Gallant Way (4m Ready Cash-Queen Flore) was fifth for trainer Allaire and pilot David Thomain. The afternoon’s highlight was the Gr. II monte Prix du Calvados (purse 130,000€, 2850 meters, International eligibles) and veteran Bilibili (9m Niky-Quetty du Bonjon) rallied late to score in 1.13kr as the even-money favorite. The victory was his 13th in a storied career that has produced earnings of 1,510,600€, and this win ensures a place in the 650,000€ purse Prix de Cornulier a week before the Prix d’Amerique. Bilibili was ridden by Alexandre Abrivard for trainer L.Cl. Abrivard and breeder/owner Jean Pierre Barjon, now the LeTrot President. Bilibili won this race in 2019 (timed in 1.12.4kr) and 2018 and he finished second in 2017. He also won the Prix de Cournulier in 2019 timed in 1.11.2kr and he was third in the monte classic in 2017 and 2018. Today the 9/1 Bilooka du Boscail (9f Look de Star) was a super game second with Matthieu Abrivard in the irons. 9/1 Etore de Bruyere (6f Kenor de Cosse) took third for Adrian Lamy. 14/1 Catalogne was fourth for Mathieu Mottier ahead of Evening Star. Today’s early afternoon Prix de Vic Sur Cere (purse 59,000€, 2800 meters, European eligibles) went to 1.14.5kr timed Short In Cash (6m Ready Cash-Shorthanded Sallyt-Lindy Lane) as he rallied strongly in the lane for trainer/driver Bjorn Goop for Stall Nikkanen Oy. This is a nice horse and the victory raised his career earnings to 165,030€. The dam’s pedigree follows. The Bucket List F (6m Raja Mirchi-Global Keepsake) was second with Franck Ouvrie up. Speedy Face (6m Joke Face) was third with Dominik Locqueneux up for trainer Adrian Kolgjini.   Shorthanded Sally (SE) (104 0,80 +12) m, 2006 1.16,4v 1.14,0a kr 170,434 37 2-5-2 Lindy Lane (US) (106 1,00) 1993 1.10,1a kr 5,994,283 21 11-3-3 At 2, Winner of Valley Victory, William Wellwood. At 3, Winner of American-National, Stanley Dancer Trot, second in Hambletonian. Valley Victory (US) (109 0,98) 1986 At 2, Winner of Breeders' Crown. At 3, Winner of Yonkers Trot. Baltic Speed (US) Speedy Somolli (US) Speedy Crown (US) Somolli (US) Sugar Frosting (US) Carlisle (US) Karen's Choice (US) Valley Victoria (US) Bonefish (US) Nevele Pride (US) Exciting Speed (US) Victorious Lou (US) Noble Victory (US) Lou Sidney (US) Lindiliana (US) 1988 Sold at Kentucky Standardbred Sale 1989 for 110,000 USD. Speedy Crown (US) Speedy Scot (US) Speedster (US) Scotch Love (US) Missile Toe (US) Florican (US) Worth a Plenty (US) Petrolianna (US) Texas (US) Super Bowl (US) Elma (US) Victoria Regina (US) Speedy Rodney (US) Victory Prize (US) Ottens Tea (SE) (94 0,79 +19) 1995 1.12,5v 1.12,7a kr 1,010,800 118 14-9-13 Texas (US) (93 1,00) 1974 1.12,0a kr 1,612,940 34 8-6-8 At 3, Winner of Kentucky Futurity, second in Hambletonian, third in Stanley Dancer Trot. Super Bowl (US) Star's Pride (US) Worthy Boy (US) Stardrift (US) Pillow Talk (US) Rodney (US) Bewitch (US) Elma (US) Hickory Smoke (US) Titan Hanover (US) Misty Hanover (US) Cassin Hanover (US) Hoot Mon (US) Goddess Hanover (US) Taroka (SE) (82 0,90) 1980 Tarok (DK) Pay Dirt (US) Florican (US) Impish (US) Tina Virup (DK) Ax Frisco (DK) Coboco (DK) Will Me (SE) Near Me (US) Star's Pride (US) Time Me (US) Wilma Will (SE) Earl's Mr Will (US) Scotchburn (SE) by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

When the Lee family and friends purchased Code Bailey, it was with aspirations that the pacer could become a harness racing topliner. On Friday night at Lord's Raceway, the five-year-old fulfilled those lofty hopes with a dominant win in the $70,000 Group 2 Bendigo Pacing Cup. Trained at Terang by Margaret Lee, and driven by son Jason, Code Bailey withstood plenty of pressure up front to deliver a new track record performance. The official margin was 12.9 metres to the Emma Stewart-trained Phoenix Prince, with a brave San Carlo, who was aiming for back-to-back cup wins, able to hang on for third ahead of Maryborough and Yarra Valley cups winner Code Black. To watch the video replay click on this link. It was a proud moment for Jason Lee, whose only previous drive in the Bendigo Pacing Cup produced a third aboard Bad Billy, in the 2018 race won by Messini. He was quick to laud the son of Christian Cullen's tenacity and ability to dispel the doubters after accounting for a crack cup field. "There was probably a few unknowns coming in, but to be honest, from our point of view, we were pretty confident that if we could find the front we were were going to be very tough to beat. And even if he didn't he was going to run a great race," Lee said. "When we purchased the horse, what we were aiming at was the top level. "His first preparation he was good without being great, but he's had a spell and he's come back an absolute lion." Testament to Code Bailey's courage and ability, he was able to outstay one of the biggest and strongest cup fields in many years, while stepping up in grade. Third up from a spell and coming off a win at Melton, Lee was convinced the gelding could withstand the big race pressure. "First up he absolutely broke the clock, came from last and chased an absolutely highly-rated, freak of a horse (Ride High), who has all before him at the moment, and last start he just worked around, sat parked and jogged up the straight to win," he said. "He's probably had a bit of a different form line to some of the others coming in, but we were confident. "It was a really good field; it was probably his first look at the really big boys in open class level. "I know it's hard to make ground from out wide, but every horse had their chance with the work he (Code Bailey) had to do, so all credit to our bloke, he was awesome. "I think he can race at the very top level in those open class races; we just need to keep him sound and happy. "If we can do that, on that performance, there's no reason why we can't get him to the top level." Lee said the $110,000 Ballarat Pacing Cup on January 18 was just one option open to connections going forward. He described the win as special on several fronts, with the horse being trained by mum Margaret and owned by family and friends, including former Brisbane Lions team-mates Lewis Taylor (now with Sydney) and Darcy Gardiner. Special praise was reserved for popular stable hand Lochie Cook, whose efforts since joining the Lee team were rewarded with him being awarded a part-share in Code Bailey. "Lochie is someone, who came from no background in the (racing) game - he worked in the numbers room at the local track at Terang," he said. "I didn't know him that well, but knew his family. We got to get know him better working in the numbers room and one day he started doing a bit of work for us at the stable after school.  Jason Lee "Now he wants to be a professional driver. From the last 15 or 16 months he's gone from never having driven a horse to driving in trials. "He is one of the hardest working kids I know and if anyone is going to make it in the game, it's going to be him. "He was working so hard that we felt we needed to give him a reward, so we gave him a share in the horse. He's a very happy lad tonight." By Kieran Iles Reprinted with permission of The Bendigo Advertiser

Bill Ellis, Club Menangle Executive Director and one of the Club’s appointed Directors to the Australian Pacing Gold (APG) company, has highlighted the fantastic opportunities available to race age-based harness racing horses in New South Wales. Bill’s vast experience in harness racing is respected across Australasia. Bill is a doyen of harness racing reporting in Australasia. Bill has told Harnesslink the changes made to the APG format via this year’s sales, provide an outstanding opportunity to race horses, particularly in age-based Group races in the Premier State. Over recent months APG has consulted with owners, vendors and trainers on the future of the APG Race Series. A massive 75% of respondents (clear by any means), voted to move away from the APG National Series format. Accordingly, a new State-based Series will be introduced from this year’s APG Sales. Across Australia the APG series will offer 32 Group Races per season across the 2yo, 3yo and 4yo age groups. Bill was particularly excited by the fact purchaser at the Sydney APG Sales will not have to travel interstate for the series. That’s unless they want to do so. NSW Breeders Challenge bred horses purchased through the sales will have a delectable choice of opportunities here in NSW and Club Menangle will be doing everything in its power to increase opportunity and interest. Afterall, Tabcorp Park Menangle is the fastest and largest racing circuit in the Southern Hemisphere and we want to showcase the standardbred at its best. Club Menangle looks forward to hosting the NSW APG Series where the age-based and separate sex races will include: 2yo Finals of $125,000 3yo Finals of $125,000 4yo Finals of $50,000 But wait, there’s more. NSW and Victoria will each host an End Season Series for 2yo and 3yo Divisions, featuring $30,000 Finals. Club Menangle has worked hard with the State’s regulator, HRNSW to provide participants with increased opportunities at country, metropolitan and Group meetings. Bill noted that without the leadership of HRNSW, opportunities available in NSW would not be possible. Accordingly, NSW will have a plethora of Group racing available across the State in 2020. Kicking off in March is the cornerstone race series, the Bathurst Gold Crown. Universally accepted as the first test for 2yos in Australia. The series features separate 2yo and 3yo Group 1 races. Oh, and the $1m Ainsworth Miracle Mile in March - and the Sky Carnival of Miracles packed with nine Group 1 races to boot! Next up will be the first running of the 4yo and 5yo NSW Breeders Challenge eligible Group 1 races at Riverina Raceway, Wagga Wagga in April. Separate racing for the boys and girls at $100,000. Let’s not forget the first ever running of the $1m Pace at Tabcorp Park Menangle in May! June heralds the Finals of the NSW Breeders Challenge separate sex races for the 2yo and 3yo eligible youngsters. The 2yo races worth $125,000 and the 3yo races worth $150,000. It does not end there, Bill noted next-up it’s Christmas in July! July will see the Finals of the NSW Breeders Challenge True Blue Series Finals worth $50,000 and funded by Club Menangle. This series is for NSW Breeders Challenge eligible horses which were sired by stallions standing in NSW and mares served in NSW. But wait, there is still more! We forgot the steak knives. HRNSW will host the Regional Finals for 2yo and 3yo NSW Breeders Challenge eligible horses at Newcastle Paceway. Separate sex races at Group 2 level worth $50,000. And if that’s not enough, it’s on to the Breeders Crown program in Victoria to wind-up a year of excitement, records and interest in harness racing. With some exciting yearlings being presented at the APG Sales across Australia, Bill figures our North American cousins will be looking at the opportunity, the exchange rate and the value available down-under. Bruce Christison Club Menangle

An exciting new year for harness racing young co-trainers Maddie Ray and Haydon Gray is off to a promising start. The Bendigo pair struck success with their first runner of 2020 at Kilmore on Thursday (January 2), courtesy of Rigondeaux. A maiden before this week, the four-year-old trotting gelding had not finished any closer than fourth in his seven previous starts, despite having shown considerable promise on the training track during his short career. Up against a field of eight other trotters, Rigondeaux showed more than glimpses of his potential by registering a convincing victory. His breakthrough win came on the heels of the couple recently formalising their training arrangement as partners. "This is my second season training, but we've been pretty much training them together anyway," Ray explained. "Haydon has kind of backed off the driving a bit because he has a full-time job ... just to have a bit of a breather. To watch the video replay click on this link. "We're really enjoying working the horses together, which we have always done, but he might as well get some recognition for it." Ray described the win as 'the perfect way' to kick-start both the new arrangement and a new year. "Especially with him (Rigondeaux) because when we first got him as a three-year-old we had a lot of challenges with him," she said. "He was working well at home and trialing okay, but he was just falling to pieces at the races. "But this time around as a four-year-old, he has matured a lot and he's a lot more relaxed and happy. "His last two trials were goods, especially the last one at Maryborough behind Sky Eagle. But (on Thursday) he just seemed to put it all together. "We were hoping he maintained everything he had been doing at the trials because has been trotting a whole lot better this time around." With Gray, who had drive the gelding in four of his seven previous starts, unavailable due to his work commitments at Sandhurst Stockfeeds, Ray took advantage of a rare race drive to notch her 10th career win. It was a mix of jubilation and relief for the 24-year-old, after she was stranded on nine wins for close to three years. "I used to drive a little bit more, but with our own horses, I feel Haydon has a lot more experience than I have, so it's probably silly for me to drive more than him," Ray said. "I drive Rigondeaux a lot at home and do know him well, so I thought I might as well have a go and it worked out well for us.  Maddie Ray and Rigondeaux. Picture: KIERAN ILES   "Getting to 10 wins was a bit of a goal for me, being stuck on nine for about three years." Ray said consideration was being given to running Rigondeaux in a restricted race at Melton next week, with the couple still 'playing it by ear'. The win added to a bright start to 2020 for the Bendigo region training ranks, with the female trainers leading the charge. Kate Hargreaves got the ball rolling with a race-to-race double at Echuca on New Year's Day with Beyond A Shadow and Beau Garcon (both driven by Alex Ashwood), while Thursday's meeting at Kilmore also brought a win for Toolleen trainer Lynne Mercieca with Art Finest. Adding to the mix was Sebastian trainer Wayne Gretgrix, who, picked up a win with Manassa Sky at Kilmore, with Bendigo newcomer Jayden Brewin the successful driver With six horses in their stable and Rigondeaux providing crucial early momentum, Ray was hopeful their next winnrer was not far off. "They are all young horses ... Rigondeaux is the oldest and he is only four,' she said. "We had two three-old-trotters who raced at Bendigo on Friday night and went around for experience. "We have another three-year-old trotter Dark Cloud, who raced as a two-year-old, and had his first start at Kilmore and ran fourth. "He was very big and immature and we probably should have spelled him straight away. He is in work at the moment, but I think he will be a bot of a 'time' horse. "All of them show potential to at least win a race or two. "We own a lot of them ourselves and have shares with family and friends, which makes it a lot of fun." By Kieran Iles Reprinted with permission of the Bendigo Advertiser

The Harness Racing industry is doing its bit to help with bushfire aid as eastern Australia continues to be devastated by horrendous fires. Owners, trainers and drivers; transport operators; feed suppliers and others have joined forces to donate to the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund. Those connected to the industry are renowned for being generous and willing to assist wherever there's a need - and initiatives are emerging each day on a number of fronts. Mildura Harness Racing club CEO Michelle McGinty has made a plea, on behalf of Performance Saddle Fits, for urgent supplies. "Our club is hoping to collect new and used horse gear that's in good condition so it can be donated to fire affected horse owners throughout Australia," Ms McGinty said. "The sorts of things we are looking for are veterinary items such as wrap, tape and creams for burns, antiseptic sprays, Manuka honey and supplements particularly magnesium," she said. Images of Malua Beach in NSW "Also, things such as fly veils, halters, leads, rugs, buckets, harness, tack and brushes - anything that horse owners need." The club has asked for all secondhand items please be clean and in good condition so they can be passed onto those in need without delay. Anyone who can assist can drop off donated items to the club during business hours or contact Ms McGinty on 0447 380214. The powerful Yole team in Tasmania will donate $50 from each winner landed this month to the bushfire appeal. Stable representative Samantha Gangell said the pledge kicked off last week. "We landed four winners last Wednesday at St Marys so we've already made $200 for the appeal," Gangell said. "Let's hope we can kick home heaps of winners to help out all the desperate people in need who have been effected by this horrible disaster," she said. And in addition, generous South Australian owner-trainer Aaron Bain has answered the call for donations in the best possible way. "Every winner we own with the Ben Yole racing team, it's double up!" Bain said. New South Wales reinsman Brad Elder has also promised $50 from every winner in January. "Hopefully I can get a few-and it would be fantastic if other trainers and drivers get on board and do the same," Elder said. Seven-year-old bay gelding Iconic Value raced for an extra special cause at Gloucester Park, Perth, last Friday night. A pledge of $1000 was made to the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal and Fire Wildlife Rescue from clients of the Ross Olivieri stables if the horse was successful. Iconic Valor, owned by Jemma Hayman, was driven a treat by Chris Voak to get the job done. The Hygain Team Teal Lady Drivers donated their driving fees at the Bendigo Pacing Cup meeting on Saturday to the Victorian bushfire victims. Other offers again showing the generosity of horsy people include empty holding yards near Bendigo, and a couple offering free horse transport services - M and J Peterson Horse Transport has a truck and two-horse float based at Wangaratta. "Our semi carries 10 horses with water available on board. We have portable cattle yards to load unhandled and difficult horses as well as other livestock," Matt said. The thoroughbred industry has also jumped on board. Champion jockey Tommy Berry will donate $250 for every January winner he lands, while one of the most famous racing establishments in the world, the Godolphin empire, will kick in $100 for every winner. For every horse sold during this week's Magic Millions sale, the vendors will contribute $500 per horse. A facebook page "Victoria Bushfire Horse Help" is helping to coordinate offers of assistance and donation items. Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - It was about two months ago when the Jeff Cullipher-trained Endeavor pulled off an 11-1 harness racing upset in the Nov. 10, $100,000 Potomac Invitational Pace at Maryland's Rosecroft Raceway, defeating some tough customers such as Dealt A Winner, American History, Dorsoduro Hanover and Courtly Choice. After that, he failed to hit the wire first in his next four outings, but Saturday night at the Meadowlands, the 7-year-old gelded son of American Ideal-Jett Diamond found his way back to the winner's circle, taking the $25,000 featured high-range conditioned pace in 1:50.3 over a track rated 'good' with a -1 variant. On a night when a majority of the races saw winners on the lead or close to it, driver Jim Marohn Jr. moved Endeavor out of the three-hole after the quarter and moved to the top before the half, stopping the clock at that station in :55.1. Endeavor continued to move well over the soggy track, hitting three-quarters in 1:22.4 while clear of the pocket-sitting Shoreview and first-over American Boy N. Through the stretch, Endeavor drew clear of those foes, hitting the wire 1¾ lengths in front of a fast-closing 6-5 favorite Franco Totem N. Keystone Phoenix closed ground late for third. As the 8-5 second choice, Endeavor returned $5.40 to his backers and has now won 32 of 110 lifetime starts, good for earnings of $673,937 for owners Pollack Racing and Jeff Cullipher. "I was very confident in him coming into tonight," said Cullipher. "After the Potomac, right before the TVG, he popped a quarter crack. It was somewhat minor but it put a damper on things because I had him really good. It's completely healed now." Is Endeavor good enough to take on the older male pacing division's best during 2020? "He may not go in every single one of those races," said Cullipher. "But we'll take our chances in some of them." Endeavor REPLAYS ON TVG: To see the replays of the Thursday, Friday and Saturday races, tune in to TVG at 10 a.m. Monday morning. A LITTLE MORE: Fall Meeting leading driver Dexter Dunn, recently named the United States Harness Writers Association's Driver of the Year, was up to his old tricks, visiting the winner's circle five times on the program. ... Joe Bongiorno had a driving triple, Ron Burke a training double. ... Wagering was strong in the track's two popular multi-leg puzzles. A total of $63,798 was poured into the 50-cent Pick-5 pool while $94,701 was pushed through the windows in the 50-cent Pick-4. ... The Late 20-cent Jackpot Super High-Five failed to result in a single-ticket winner, bloating the carryover to $94,800. ... All-source wagering on the 14-race card was $2,744,633. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

Standardbred Canada today reports that data from Standardbred Canada and the United States Trotting Association indicates that pari-mutuel wagering on harness racing posted an increase North America-wide in 2019. Numbers indicate that total wagering on Canadian racing surpassed $491.4 million in 2019, up more than 8.3 per cent from the $453.7 million total in 2018. The number of races with pari-mutuel wagering stood at 11,671 for the year, providing a per race handle of $42,303, up 9.39 per cent from 2018's per race handle of $38,672. Total purses across Canada were also up in 2019. Combined purses offered reached $119.7 million, up from the $106.6 million offered in 2018. The total wagering on harness racing at U.S. tracks in 2019 surpassed $1.42 billion, a 3.53 percent increase compared to 2018 according to statistics provided by the U.S. Trotting Association. During the past year, the $1,424,886,558 wagered on pari-mutuel harness racing stateside was up from the 2018 total of $1,376,360,696. Despite a 1.3 percent drop in race days, the average handle per race was up 4.45 per cent. The $39,991 average handle per race bested the $38,253 average posted in 2018. In addition, there was an 2.36 per cent increase in total purses awarded nationally with $439.5 million distributed in 2019 versus $429.4 million in 2018. (Please note: Includes U.S. and Canadian common and separate pool wagers on races contested in the U.S. Data source: United Tote (US) and Standardbred Canada.)

January 4, 2019 - Today’s Vincennes featured Gr. II Prix Emile Riotteau (monte, purse 100,000€, 2700 meters International) went to 1.13.3kr timed and 7/10 odds Fado du Chene (5m Singalo-Star du Chene) ridden by jockey P.Ph. Ploquin for harness racing trainer Julien Le Mer and owner Claude Guedj. This was Fado’s 12th career victory now for 735,700€ earned. 3.4/1 Feeling Cash (5m Ready Cash-Royale Star) was second for Eric Raffin and third went to 3/1 Flicka de Blary (5f Sam Bourbon) with Camille Levesque aboard. This race began an interesting program at Paris-Vincennes today and tomorrow. The day’s Quinte+ race was the Prix de Breteuil (purse 51,000€, 2100 meters autostart) and the 1.11.7kr clocked winner was 3/2 favorite Caliu des Boss (8g Pomerol de Laumac-Quest For You) with owner/trainer/driver Gabriel Angel Pou Pou aboard. This was his third win in his last five appearances and tenth in the career now for 249,990€ earned. 4.2/1 Callas du Bouffey (8f Look de Star) was second for Matthieu Abrivard up and 7.3/1 Biniou de Connee (9g Ni Ho Ped d’Ombree) was third for Eric Raffin. The next two finishers were off at 22/1 and 20/.1 and there were 1,210 winning exact order tickets that each paid 878.40€. The Q+ pool was 4,361,524€ and there was over 9,341,000€ wagered on the race. Caliu des Boss   In the Prix d’Epinal (purse 37,000€, 2100 meters autostart) the 16/1 outsider Erasme Williams (6m Quai Bourbon-Miss Williams-Sancho Panca) scored, clocked in 1.12.5kr. Philippe Daugeard owns, trains and teamed the winner to his fifth career win now for 113,570€ earned. The winner’s dam is a daughter of Goetmals Wood-Hippodamia-Workaholic, she the dam of Carat Williams (by Prodigious) an 18-time winner for 1,072,989€ earned. Erasme Williams The Prix de Maisons-Alfort (59,000€ purse, 2850 meters, European eligibles) saw 7/10 favorite Vipera Killer Gar (6f Varenne-Uakland) score for Eric Raffin and trainer Vitale Ciotola. The Italian invader is owned by Scuderia Fioedigio and she recorded her fourth victory in France and now has career earnings of 197,598€. Race time was 1.13.9kr. 5.3/1 Virginia Grif (5f Varenne-Francy Capar) was second with Bjorn Goop driving for trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro and owner Horses Our Passion Srl. 19/1 Eive d’Herios (5f Ni Ho Ped d’Ombree) was third. Vipera Killer Gar The 2019 French stallion results were issued today and Ready Cash led the way followed by his sons including Bold Eagle, Brillantissime and Bird Parker. Quite an accomplishment!!! Thomas H. HIcks  

In harness racing if you want speed he’s got more than the rest. Always B Miki in 1.46! It’ll be hard to go anywhere around the 2020 national standardbred yearling sales without hearing about the progeny of Always B Miki. Officially the fastest standardbred of all time after posting 1:46 at the Red Mile in Lexington in 2016 Always Be Miki received good support at the weanling and aged sales in May last year and that should continue when this, his first Australasian crop of yearlings, take their turn in the sales rings in February. A multiple Breeders Crown winner and harness racing "Horse Of The Year" Always B MIki achieved success throughout a four year racing career in North America. Australasian buyers may also be bouyed by the fact that, contrary to other North American sire trends, Always B Miki achieved his greatest successes at an older age after returning from a run of injuries.    A highlight from his crop to be offered in Auckland at the 2020 National Standardbred Yearling Sale include a standout type from Breckon Farms who should attract attention throughout Australasia given the recent successes of close relative. Lot 106, named I’llavabubbles, is a bay filly with close ties to the Breckon Farms matriarch mare in Megeara and is out of known producer Delightful Dale who has already foaled progeny that have met with great success on both sides of the Tasman, both Shandale (3rd NZ Derby and an Inter Dominion heat place among his racing record and over $300’000 in career earnings) and Shandance who has notched nine wins on Australian soil are testament to the progeny and their winning ways while half sister Gladamare has notched up four wins in little time for New Zealand based trainer Brent Mangos. Shandale who has 14 wins on his card with $305,000 in earnings Always B Miki promises to be an exciting and new addition to the sire-lines for this tried and tested maternal line.  Always B Miki Retirement 2016 A new and exciting sire with all the credentials in the world. He’s got what everyone wants. Speed.  That’s Always B Miki.        Ben McMillan  

Mundijong harness racing trainer-driver Corey Peterson claimed the $10,000 Lion New Year’s Cup (2265m) with consistent pacer Dontstopbelievin at Harold Reid Paceway last Friday night. Peterson, pictured, took over the training of Dontstopbelievin late last year from Kristian Hawkins and she broke through for her first race victory since October, 2018 when winning last week’s feature race. The five-year-old mare, driven by Peterson, sat outside the early leader Kid Colossus before charging to the lead on the final lap and careered away to win by 16.4m over Mister Rollins. Dontstopbelivin was well supported into $2.50 on the tote and gave 19-year-old Peterson a big thrill as a trainer-driver. Favourite Bettor Finish had to overcome trouble at the start of the race and finished third, beaten nearly 30m. Peterson finished with a double in the sulky on the eight-race card, also steering the Lang Inwood-trained Party Boy to victory in race 7. Visiting trainers Nathan Turvey and Terry Ferguson made sure it was a difficult night for the local trainers, as they both notched winning trebles. Turvey had red-hot favourite Alfredi win the opening event and that was followed by victories to Rakasinc ($1.30 favourite) and Jack William ($1.40). Turvey, who is based in Ravenswood, is the leading trainer and driver at the Albany Harness Racing Club after the first two meetings. Turvey played a part in Ferguson’s night out, driving Faiselle home in The Bottle O Fillies & Mares Pace (2265m), edging out Voodoo Babe by 2.3m in an exciting finish. Major Beachboy bounced back to the winners list with a narrow 1.1m triumph over 1832m later in the evening as reinsman Trent Wheeler lifted him powerfully to the line. Ferguson then had the driving services of Turvey to thank as he won the final race with Bettor Pack It, in another close finish as Adda Tarantella finished just 1.8m away in second place. Albany’s third meeting of the season will be run tomorrow night, a nine-race card that starts at 5.56pm. The meeting is highlighted by the $7500 Harry Capararo Memorial Sprint Prelude (1832m) which has attracted a strong field of 10 runners. Peterson has One For Dave Andme engaged but Tyron Terranova appears the one to beat for trainer David Hunter. By Cameron Newbold  Reprinted with permission of The Albany Advertiser

By Jonny Turner Invercargill horsewoman Ellie Barron is being hailed a hero after coming to the aid of fellow harness racing driver Ricky May when the champion reinsman collapsed during a race. May was revived after suffering a medical event, slumping in his sulky and falling to the track when driving A G's White Socks at a Central Otago meeting. He was in a serious but stable condition yesterday in the intensive care unit at Dunedin Hospital. Barron was among the first to May's side after he fell. She began giving CPR on the reinsman with the help of another driver, Lawrence McCormick. Barron is being hailed a hero by many who witnessed the incident. She was quick to deflect any praise and said her concern was for May's recovery. "I am just hoping for the best for Ricky, it is sounding positive from all accounts. I just hope he improves, really." Barron is a trained physiotherapist who has worked with the Southland rugby team. She credited her training for providing her with the skills to help revive May. "He was breathing when I got there, so I was worried about his neck and head. Then we had to change plan a wee bit." Barron also credited the paramedics and off duty medical staff that rushed out of the Omakau crowd to assist May. "It all happened so fast – there were two doctors there in what felt like a minute, then the paramedics came." "Everyone that could help did – it was good – but terrifying at the same time." Ricky May is in intensive care after collapsing during a race. Photo / file An intensive care paramedic played a crucial role in stabilising May, Barron said. "She waltzed in and she was so calm and she sort of just took over. I feel like he was so lucky to have been where he was when it happened. He could have been at home on the tractor." May's horse, A G's White Socks, has drawn praise following Thursday's incident. The 6yr-old is known to be a slightly moody type on race days. That was evident when the horse bolted frantically back to the stables after winning a race at Oamaru in 2016. But the horse did not panic without the control of his driver and angled wide on the track before May fell from his sulky. The remaining horses and drivers were able to easily manoeuvre past May when the race was called off. Canterbury driver John Dunn was driving the horse following A G's White Socks when May collapsed. He showed quick reactions to slow his horse, Heisenberg, when it was apparent May was unwell. Courtesy of The New Zealand Herald

Diminutive West Australian harness racing driver Lauren Jones is taking an unbelievably brave act on the racetrack all in her stride. Twenty-three-year-old Jones, driving Combat Crusade, calmly grabbed a driverless horse while charging up the home straight to the finish line in a race at Perth's Gloucester Park this week. The courageous decision to take hold of Glowing Report certainly controlled a dangerous situation and potentially averted a nasty accident. "I really didn't think twice about it. I knew he was driverless because he cut me off on the corner," Jones said. "Then I got past him soon afterwards and he sort of popped in behind me. I was worried he was going to strike my wheel and puncture it, so I just leaned out a little and grabbed him by the bridle," she said. "There was never any drama. He just tagged along and kept up!" Watch the replay of the action here: Jones said after going across the finish line in third placing with Combat Crusade, she just steered the pair toward the outside fence. "I think the clerk of the course came to my rescue as I was easing up and took charge of Glowing Report from me, but he wasn't playing up or anything. He was pretty cool," she said. Twenty-three-year-old Jones, driving Combat Crusade The sensational drama unfolded in the $7500 Etch Coatings Pace at Gloucester Park last Monday afternoon. Stewards reported that with 700 metres to go, race leader Reacher became unbalanced and galloped. As a result, Prince of Smiles was checked and broke. It then shifted out while galloping and contacted the sulky of Glowing Report, dislodging driver Deni Roberts. After being examined by paramedics, Roberts was cleared to fulfil her other driving engagements at the meeting. Reacher was sent back to the trials for one satisfactory performance before being able to race again. The race was won by Art Tutor (Art Major-Atomic Fusion (Nuke Of Earl), driven by Michael Grantham. Carramar Philemon (Shannon Suvaljko) ran second and Combat Crusade, third, for Jones. The course commentator was full of praise, remarking that it was a great piece of driving and that Glowing Report had been "miraculously" reined in by Jones. Old timers in the sport also described it as a remarkable display of skill and poise on the racetrack. Jones is an expatriate Queenslander, the daughter of well-known Sunshine State horseman Peter Jones, and has made a huge impact since crossing the Nullarbor six years ago. She joined the strong Hall stable after spotting a job advertisement on a harness racing website. "I moved from my hometown in early 2014 and learnt so much at Halls. Gary Hall Snr was great, while the boys were always giving me tips to improve on my driving," she said. "I left there a while ago and I'm now training with my partner (trainer-driver Kyle Harper) at Byford. We have 10 in work including a few nice ones." Jones cut her teeth in the pony trots, celebrating a memorable 16th birthday in Auckland, NZ, while representing Queensland in the 2011 Mini Trotting Championships and finishing third. She drove her first race winner on Old Golden Black at the now defunct Gold Coast track in 2013 and has driven over 150 winners since, all but 19 of these in the West. Meanwhile Harper has been in red-hot driving form recently with a double last week at Gloucester Park. He then wound up 2019 with a similar tally for trainer Michael Brennan at Bunbury on New Year's Eve. Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura               P 0498 490 672   E   W      

HARRISBURG, PA - Three-year-old trotting colt Greenshoe, who was the highest moneywinning trotter in North America during 2019, had the largest margin of victory among six trotters elected to Dan Patch Award divisional honors in year-end voting conducted by the United States Harness Writers Association, the sport's top media organization, and the American Harness Racing Secretaries. The trotting side also produced the closest decision in the 12 categories for both trotters and pacers. Four-year-old mares Atlanta and Manchego, who combined have won over $4 million lifetime, produced as good a finish as any on the track, with Atlanta edging out her rival, 74-72. Also elected divisional trotting winners were 2-year-old gelding Real Cool Sam, 2-year-old filly Ramona Hill, 3-year-old filly When Dovescry, and 4-year-old stallion Six Pack. There were 147 participants in this year's Dan Patch Awards racehorse voting. Greenshoe's margin was 123-22 over Gimpanzee, the group's defending champion and his stablemate in the barn of Trainer of the Year Marcus Melander. Greenshoe, a Father Patrick colt out of Designed To Be, was bred by co-Bergstein/Proximity winners Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz, driven by Brian Sears, and owned by Hans Backe, Lars Granqvist, Morten Langli and Owner of the Year Anders Ström's Courant Inc. Greenshoe won 10 of 13 starts and $1.27 million; in his three other races he was second, and suffered interference in two of them. Among his notable victories were the Kentucky Futurity, the Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial, a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial, and sire stakes championships in Kentucky and New Jersey. He took his mark of 1:49.4 in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes at The Red Mile. Defending Trotter of the Year Atlanta got the barest of nods among the trotting mares for her campaign in which she won eight of 15 races, hit the board a total of 13 times, and earned a division-best $769,950. She won the Charlie Hill Memorial and two legs and the final of the Graduate Series in mixed company, along with the Armbro Flight and Miami Valley Distaff. A daughter of Chapter Seven-Hemi Blue Chip bred by Order By Stable, Atlanta raced for trainer Ron Burke, driver Yannick Gingras, and the ownership of Crawford Farms Racing, Brad Grant, and Howard Taylor. Six Pack joined Atlanta as a repeat champion in 2019, collecting 56 percent of the vote among older male trotters. Six Pack won four of 12 starts and was worse than third only once on his way to $581,314 in purses. An authoritative 1:49.2 win at Lexington in the Allerage Open Trot and a strong rallying victory in the TVG Series final were among Six Pack's wins. The son of Muscle Mass-Pleasing Lady was bred by Breeder of the Year Brittany Farms and campaigned by trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt for his Ake Svanstedt Inc., Little E-Knutssontrotting, Stall Kalmar Inc., and L Berg Inc. The champion among 2-year-old male trotters, Real Cool Sam, was a success from the word "go," winning his first nine starts and suffering defeat only at the Breeders Crown, where he got too far behind in off going and could only rally for fourth. The son of Muscle Hill is out of the mare Cooler Schooner, a world-record-setter in her racing days, and in 2019 Real Cool Sam set no fewer than five divisional world records, including in his division of the International Stallion Stakes, where he dead-heated with Big Oil in 1:52.1, making him the fastest freshman trotting gelding ever, and the time also the fastest dead-heat ever on the trot, regardless of age. Other wins for Real Cool Sam included the Peter Haughton Memorial and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. Fashion Farms bred and owns Real Cool Sam, who was trained by Jim Campbell and driven by David Miller. Ramona Hill ensured her selection among 2-year-old trotting fillies by rocketing to the lead from the outside post 10 in her Breeders Crown final, surrendering the advantage, then coming back on to win by four lengths, leaving Sister Sledge and Hypnotic AM, respectively, both second and third in the race and in the year-end voting. For the year, Ramona Hill won six of seven races and $405,400. She is a daughter of Muscle Hill-Lock Down Lindy, bred by Crawford Farms, and owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Brad Grant, Robert Leblanc, and In The Gym Partners. She is trained by Tony Alagna and was one of driver Andrew McCarthy's four Breeders Crown winners. When Dovescry first made noise in the 3-year-old trotting filly division by winning her Hambletonian Oaks elimination on July 27, then came back the next week to win the final of the prestigious event. Further triumphs in the Matron and divisions of the Simcoe and Bluegrass stakes boosted her earnings for the year to $644,380. The daughter of Muscle Hill-Cedar Dove was campaigned by the brother team of trainer Rene Allard and driver Simon Allard. She was bred by William Weaver III and is owned by Go Fast Stable, Yves Sarrazin, Kapildeo Singh, and Lawrence Dumain. All of the honorees and their connections will be honored at USHWA's annual Dan Patch Awards Banquet, celebrating the best and brightest of harness racing in the past year. The banquet honoring the champions of 2019 will be held on Sunday, Feb. 23, at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando Fla., the climax of a weekend that also finds USHWA holding its annual national meetings. Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year, and Horse of the Year will be revealed at the banquet. Tickets for the Dan Patch Awards Banquet are $180, with a filet mignon dinner featured; "post times" on Feb. 23 are cocktails at 5:30 p.m., with dinner to follow. Tickets, and other banquet-related information, can be obtained through Dinner Planning Committee Chair Judy Davis-Wilson, at or 302-359-3630. Hotel reservations can be made through USHWA's website,; a link to the hotel's computer is on the front page of the website. Those who would like to take out congratulatory ads for award-winners in the always-popular Dan Patch Awards Journal can do so by contacting Kim Rinker at or 708-557-2790 (the 2019 journal is online at the writers' website).   TWO-YEAR-OLD MALE TROTTER REAL COOL SAM, gelding (91 votes, 61.9%) Muscle Hill - Cooler Schooner - Broadway Hall Breeder: Fashion Farms LLC Owner: Fashion Farms LLC Trainer: Jim Campbell Driver: David Miller Races: 10-9-0-0 Purses: $497,774 Mark: 1:52.1 at Lexington. Top wins: $324,550 Peter Haughton Memorial; $252,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship TWO-YEAR-OLD FEMALE TROTTER RAMONA HILL (67 votes; 45.6%) Muscle Hill - Lock Down Lindy - Lucky Chucky Breeder: Crawford Farms LLC Owners: Brad Grant, Crawford Farms Racing, Robert Leblanc, In The Gym Partners Trainer: Tony Alagna Driver: Andrew McCarthy Races: 7-6-0-1 Purses: $405,400 Mark: 1:52.2 at Lexington Top wins: $600,000 Breeders Crown; divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion stakes THREE-YEAR-OLD MALE TROTTER GREENSHOE, colt (123 votes, 83.7%) Father Patrick - Designed To Be - Donato Hanover Breeders: Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz Owners: Courant Inc., Hans Backe, Lars Granqvist, Morten Langli Trainer: Marcus Melander Driver: Brian Sears Races: 13-10-3-0 Purses: $1,277,049 Mark: 1:49.4 at Lexington Top wins: $450,000 Kentucky Futurity; $330,000 Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial; $250,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes championship; $200,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes championship THREE-YEAR-OLD FEMALE TROTTER WHEN DOVESCRY (90 votes, 61.2%) Muscle Hill - Cedar Dove - Andover Hall Breeder: William Weaver III Owners: Go Fast Stable, Yves Sarrazin, Kapildeo Singh, Lawrence Dumain Trainer: Rene Allard Driver: Simon Allard Races: 12-5-4-3 Purses: $644,380 Mark: 1:50.1 at Lexington Top wins: $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks; $176,150 Matron Stakes OLDER MALE TROTTER SIX PACK, 4-year-old stallion (83 votes, 56.5%) Muscle Mass - Pleasing Lady - Cantab Hall Breeder: Brittany Farms LLC Owners: Ake Svanstedt Inc., Little E-Knutssontrotting, Stall Kalmar Inc., L Berg Inc. Trainer/driver: Ake Svanstedt Races: 12-4-3-4 Purses: $581,314 Mark: 1:49.2 at Lexington Top wins: $350,000 TVG Open championship; $145,000 Allerage Open OLDER FEMALE TROTTER ATLANTA, 4-year-old (74 votes, 50.3%) Chapter Seven - Hemi Blue Chip - Cantab Hall Breeder: Order By Stable Owners: Crawford Farms Racing, Brad Grant, Howard Taylor Trainer: Ron Burke Driver: Yannick Gingras Races: 15-8-4-1 Purses: $769,950 Mark: 1:49.1 at Meadowlands Top wins: $250,000 Graduate Series championship; $220,000 Charlie Hill Memorial; $192,000 Armbro Flight From the United States Harness Writers Association

HARRISBURG, PA - None of the six pacing divisional winners for the 2019 Dan Patch Awards were able to garner all the votes in their division, but three came close - pacing mare Shartin N and 3-year-old filly Warrawee Ubeaut were selected on all but two ballots and 3-year-old colt Bettor's Wish saw only three votes go against him. The remaining pacing divisional winners were 2-year-old colt Tall Dark Stranger, 2-year-old filly Lyons Sentinel, and 8-year-old stallion McWicked. The voting was conducted by the United States Harness Writers Association, the sport's top media organization, along with the American Harness Racing Secretaries group. Shartin N, Warrawee Ubeaut, and McWicked were repeat winners. Among the females, we'll follow the adage "age before beauty," or in this case "Ubeaut," and say first that 6-year-old Shartin N received 145 of the 147 votes, with late-season nemesis Caviart Ally getting the other two. Shartin N won 15 of 19 races, finished second three times, and earned $982,177. She became the fastest female in harness racing history with a 1:46.4 victory in the Lady Liberty at The Meadowlands. Other wins included the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series final, Roses Are Red, Golden Girls, and Artiscape. Shartin N is a New Zealand-bred daughter of Tintin In America-Bagdarin, bred by G. J. Crabbe, trained by Jim King Jr., and driven by Tim Tetrick, who is co-owner through his Tim Tetrick LLC with Jo Ann Looney-King, Jim's wife, and Richard Poillucci. Three-year-old filly Warrawee Ubeaut also received 145 of the votes cast in her division; Tall Drink Hanover gathered the other two. Warrawee Ubeaut had an eight-race win streak in the prime of the season, which included her Breeders Crown final, the Glen Garnsey Memorial, the Jugette, and her Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. For the year, she won 12 of 19 races, finished off the board only twice, and earned $950,610. A daughter of Sweet Lou-Great Memories, Warrawee Ubeaut was bred by Warrawee Farms and owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Phillip Collura, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. She was trained by Ron Burke and driven by Yannick Gingras. Bettor's Wish drew 144 votes out of 147 after having a season with 13 wins and six seconds in 19 starts bring him the top earnings honor of all North American Standardbreds of $1.64 million. His victories included the Carl Milstein Memorial, Art Rooney Pace, a division of the Tattersalls Pace, the Matron, and Kentucky Sire Stakes championship. The Bettor's Delight-Lifetime Star colt was bred by Breeder of the Year Brittany Farms; owned by Bettors Wish Partners, Fair Island Farm Inc., Bella Racing Ltd., and trainer Chris Ryder; and driven by Driver of the Year Dexter Dunn. McWicked, the 2018 Horse of the Year, won his third divisional crown at age 8, going along with his coronations at ages 3 and 7. He was involved in the closest vote among the pacers, winning 73-70 over Lather Up, who earlier in the season tied the 1:46 all-time record. For the second year in a row and record-equaling third time in his career, McWicked posted a million-dollar season. He won six of 17 races and $1.03 million, with victories including the Jim Ewart Memorial, Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial, and Dan Rooney Invitational. The son of McArdle-Western Sahara was bred by Andray Farm, owned by S S G Stables, trained by Casie Coleman, and piloted by Brian Sears. In contests among the 2-year-olds, the Captaintreacherous-Tutu Hanover filly Lyons Sentinel won by more than 100 votes over her nearest rival. Bred by Hanover Shoe Farms and owned by Threelyonsracing, Lyons Sentinel gave trainer Jim King Jr. and driver Tim Tetrick a second divisional winner among the pacing distaffs, as she earned $801,809 to top all other freshmen of either gait or sex. Lyons Sentinel won nine of 14 races, with her victories including the She's A Great Lady, her Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, and Matron Stakes. Tall Dark Stranger topped the 2-year-old colts and geldings, getting 86 votes to outdistance rival Papi Rob Hanover by 36. Tall Dark Stranger, a Bettor's Delight colt out of Pacing Broodmare of the Year Precocious Beauty, had eight wins and a second in nine starts and earnings of $717,514. His wins for trainer Nancy Takter and driver Yannick Gingras included the Breeders Crown, Metro Pace, and a division of the International Stallion Stakes. Owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms, and Howard Taylor, Tall Dark Stranger was bred by James Avritt Sr. All the honorees and their connections will be honored at USHWA's annual Dan Patch Awards Banquet, celebrating the best and brightest of harness racing in the past year. The banquet honoring the champions of 2019 will be held on Sunday, Feb. 23, at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando Fla., the climax of a weekend that also finds USHWA holding its annual national meetings. Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year, and Horse of the Year will be revealed at the banquet. Tickets for the Dan Patch Awards Banquet are $180, with a filet mignon dinner featured; "post times" on Feb. 23 are cocktails at 5:30 p.m., with dinner to follow. Tickets, and other banquet-related information, can be obtained through Dinner Planning Committee Chair Judy Davis-Wilson, at or 302-359-3630. Hotel reservations can be made through USHWA's website,; a link to the hotel's computer is on the front page of the website. Those who would like to take out congratulatory ads for award-winners in the always-popular Dan Patch Awards Journal can do so by contacting Kim Rinker at or 708-557-2790 (the 2019 journal is online at the writers' website). TWO-YEAR-OLD MALE PACER TALL DARK STRANGER, colt (86 votes, 58.5%) Bettor's Delight - Precocious Beauty - Art Major Breeder: James Avritt Sr. Owners: Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms, Howard Taylor Trainer: Nancy Takter Driver: Yannick Gingras Races: 9-8-1-0 Purses: $717,514 Mark: 1:49.1 at Woodbine Mohawk Park Top wins: $600,000 Breeders Crown; $562,500 Metro TWO-YEAR-OLD FEMALE PACER LYONS SENTINEL (129 votes, 87.8%) Captaintreacherous - Tutu Hanover - Western Ideal Breeder: Hanover Shoe Farms Inc. Owner: Threelyonsracing Trainer: Jim King Jr. Principal driver: Tim Tetrick Races: 14-9-4-1 Purses: $801,809 Mark: 1:49.3 at Woodbine Mohawk Park Top wins: $405,000 She's A Great Lady; $252,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship; $176,400 Matron THREE-YEAR-OLD MALE PACER BETTOR'S WISH, colt (144 votes, 98.0%) Bettor's Delight - Lifetime Star - Western Ideal Breeder: Brittany Farms LLC Owners: Chris Ryder, Bella Racing Ltd., Fair Island Farm Inc., Bettors Wish Partners Trainer: Chris Ryder Driver: Dexter Dunn Races: 19-13-6-0 Purses: $1,643,745 Mark: 1:47.4 at Lexington Top wins: $400,000 Carl Milstein Memorial; $300,000 Art Rooney Pace; $270,000 Tattersalls Pace division; $250,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes championship; $248,350 Matron THREE-YEAR-OLD FEMALE PACER WARRAWEE UBEAUT (145 votes, 98.6%) Sweet Lou - Great Memories - Apaches Fame Breeder: Warrawee Farm Owners: Burke Racing Stable LLC, Phillip Collura, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, Weaver Bruscemi LLC Trainer: Ron Burke Driver: Yannick Gingras Races: 19-12-2-3 Purses: $950,610 Mark: 1:48.3 at Lexington Top wins: $550,000 Breeders Crown; $253,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship; $216,000 Glen Garnsey Memorial; $155,760 Jugette OLDER MALE PACER MCWICKED, 8-year-old stallion (73 votes, 49.7%) McArdle - Western Sahara - Western Ideal Breeder: Andray Farm Owner: S S G Stables Trainer: Casie Coleman Driver: Brian Sears Races: 17-6-3-3 Purses: $1,034,091 Mark: 1:47.2 at Lexington Top wins: $440,000 Jim Ewart Memorial; $260,000 Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial; $250,000 Dan Rooney Pace OLDER FEMALE PACER SHARTIN N, 6-year-old (145 votes, 98.6%) Tintin In America - Bagdarin - Live Or Die Breeder: G. J. Crabbe Owners: Richard Poillucci, Jo Ann Looney-King, Tim Tetrick LLC Trainer: Jim King Jr. Driver: Tim Tetrick Record: 19-15-3-0 Purses: $982,177 Mark: 1:46.4 at The Meadowlands Top wins: $402,600 Blue Chip Matchmaker Series final; $247,500 Roses Are Red; $183,500 Lady Liberty; $179,550 Golden Girls From the United States Harness Writers Association

Whether they play golf, basketball or do ballet, every athlete can agree that the shoes they wear impact their performance. The same can be said when it comes to equine athletes. In order to perform at their highest level, our harness racing equine athletes need nothing but the best on their hooves. They might not get listed in the programs but the farriers that fit and customize the shoes our equine athletes wear are crucial members of the team of people that are involved in getting a horse to the races. Farriers begin their day in the early morning hours. As trainers and grooms are strapping on tack, they are loading up their rigs and organizing their office which is their truck. Their day will end many hours later when they return home and take the keys out of the ignition as the hum of the trucks motor fades.  In the hours in between, they will spend it either in their mobile office, driving to farms seeing clients and their human advisers. Once there they will spend their time bent over, doing strenuous labour, always being close to the sound of clanging metal. One might ask why they choose the lifestyle? It is the passion for the horse and the sport that we all exhibit that motivates them. Being a farrier is both a science and an art. It is a science because it takes careful calculations and an understanding of equine kinesiology to select then customize the perfect set of shoes. A farrier is also an artist because it takes a delicate hand and a precise eye to craft metal in the unique and necessary way that is required to make a shoe fit perfectly. It requires a gentle touch that is strong at the same time. Every farrier has their own story of why they chose their craft and profession. Their stories are unique.  Here are two of those stories in their own words. For Adam Carter,  it is in his blood. As a third-generation farrier, his work is more than an occupation, it is a tradition, a family legacy. “I [have] been on my own the last 13 or 14 years. I started going to the [Blacksmith] shop at Mohawk, hanging out with dad and grandpa. It was during the summer of ninth grade that I started helping Dad full-time. [From then on] every summer, March or Christmas break [I would] be pulling shoes off. I slowly did a little more and Dad taught me how to weld. I did not start it as a full-time job until after high school. I then worked with Dad five days a week, gradually taking on my own clients”.     For other farriers, the reason they acquire their particular skill set is more economical. This is the case for Mark Herlihy: “I was a trainer first and worked for a local farrier when I was on horses to learn a bit more. Prior to that, I had little knowledge. I could tack on shoes and maybe shoe a horse jogging back. I trained mostly on the “B” tracks…[so] you needed [to be able to] save money where you could.” The old saying, communication is the key may be a cliche but when it comes to horse racing it is truly the key to victory. Herlihy says, “It's important to know when a horse is going too low to high or too wide or too narrow. Then try to communicate with the [farrier] what changes need to be made”. When it comes to the relationship between a trainer and a farrier, that level of communication has a direct impact on the success of a horse. In North America, harness racing happens to matter the season it is. This means the sport is well adapted to the bitter cold, snow and ice that are a staple to winters in Canada and the upper  United States. This is where farriers come in to lend a hand. They add little studs to the [horse]shoes, called ‘corks’. These give horses added traction they need to best grip the track, despite snow or ice. The contributions that farriers have on the sport plays a key role in why harness racing is able to be around despite the climate. To most people, the horseshoe is a symbol of good luck and while this may be the case; for those that work with horses, whether they are an owner, trainer, caretaker or a driver, a horseshoe represents much more. In addition to good luck, in their eyes, horseshoes also represent hopes, dreams and the possibility to achieve greatness. Farriers both embody and make these hopes, dreams and possibilities come alive. As society has modernized, our sport has too. Our sport is everchanging. Every day horses are redefining the meaning of speed; sulkies have evolved to allow drivers to be more arrow- dynamic. Technology enables a fan to watch as well as wager on races taking place across the province or across the world from their own home. Despite all of the changes, the craft of being a farrier has not. It is a craft that has stood the test of time. There is no automated machine to nail on a shoe or file the hooves of a horse. It takes the careful eye and sturdy, yet gentle that only a human has. Farriers are the modern-day connection to a simpler past.    A trainer once told me something and not only did it resonate with me but it is perfect for this story as it captures the sentiment of the story perfectly. He said, “I’ve never met a farrier who [does not] take pride in his work. That being said, I truly believe whenever they set up a horse [as] they do, they are trying their best. It may not always work out, but I believe they are doing their best”. There is also an old-time saying in the horse racing industry, "no hoof, no horse." A horse weighs between 800 and 1,200 pounds, all resting on four hooves that weigh maybe 20 pounds. The farrier is the one who is responsible to make sure those hooves get the best possible care to help them when racing. The work of a farrier is celebrated every time a fan cheer is heard cheering as a horse takes their final stride across the wire and the hoof makes contact with the ground signalling victory. Every time someone takes a used horseshoe and mounts it for sentimental reasons, memories are forever enshrined and a piece metal sculpted into the shape of a horseshoe and tailored to have perfect by a farrier becomes much more than that. It becomes a cherished keepsake. As that once worn shoe sits on display, a farrier is forever thanked for doing a job well done. From an early age, the role of a farrier plays a key role in a horse’s life. Before they are old enough for [horse]shoes, farriers venture into the fields to trim their hooves. The foals may not realize it, but farriers are laying the groundwork for the essential skills and understanding that is required in order for a horse and farrier to have a positive relationship.  They are there for a horse throughout their racing careers to provide routine maintenance and new shoes when they are required.  Farriers are also there years later to take off the last set of shoes off that same horse when their time on the racetrack is done. The career of a horse starts and ends with a farrier. There is something special about this thought- how a farrier brings the career of a racehorse full circle. And just like any friendship, when one friend enters another stage in life their friend checks up on them every now and then; a farrier visits a horse from time to time to carry out routine trims and keep the feet of the horse in tip-top shape. This story is to say thank you to all of the farriers that make our sport go from the ground up. Without you and your special skills, our sport would not be the same, our horses would not be able to excel as they do. So, thank you! Footnote: Since his initial interview Mark Herlihy has been focusing on his work as a farrier; although he has not ruled out a return to training in the future.    Footnote: A special thank you to Mr. Adam Carter and Mr. Mark Herilhy for their contributions to my story. Their insight and anecdotes were invaluable in the writing of this story. by Sydney Weaver, for Harnesslink

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