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Columbus, OH — Applications for the 2021 Matching Funds Grant for harness racing fair meets in the USA, sponsored by the USTA, are now available. Applications, and materials to help you create your application, are available at this link. There is once again $10,000 of funding available. Applications must be postmarked or emailed by May 1; late submissions will not be considered. Once the application is received, an email confirmation will be sent to the contact person as submitted on the application cover sheet. If you have not received an email confirmation, your submission was not received. Please note that in order for your application to be considered complete, it must include: — Filled out application cover sheet — Typed marketing plan, between 250-1,000 words — Typed budget, including your total applicable expenses and details how much you are requesting from the USTA (max. $1,000) — Copies of quotes — Proposed copy/draft ad, to ensure that 75 percent of the marketing efforts focus on harness racing There is another program available to assist fairs in purchasing promotional items for grandstand giveaways. There is $10,000 in funding available for this program as well. To receive reimbursement, up to $1,000 per requestor, please email a copy of the paid invoice and a photo of the item with a harness horse on it to jessica.schroeder@ustrotting.com. Funding is available on a first come, first served basis. Questions about the Matching Funds Grant can be directed to Jessica Schroeder at 614.224.2291, ext. 3212. by Jessica Schroeder, for the USTA

Columbus, OH — Race conditions for the 2021 USTA stakes and early/late closers are now available online. Also available are sections of the Event Guide, including harness racing payment schedules, 2020 race results and race schedules by division. Access the current year information at horsemen.ustrotting.com/stakes. Payments are due starting Feb. 15 for many 3-year-old and some 2-year-old races. Race dates are still being submitted for some sire stakes programs and will be included in the Stakes Calendar, which is scheduled to go to print mid-February with an in-hand date of March 1 (the calendar runs March 2021-February 2022). You can pre-order your copy by simply logging into your USTA MyAccount (available to both members and non-members), visiting shop.ustrotting.com or by calling Member Services at 877.800.USTA. by Jessica Schroeder, for the USTA

Columbus, OH — The 2020 Yearling Nomination Book (for harness racing foals of 2019) is now available to be mailed out. Pre-orders are currently being shipped and will be completed early this week. The book contains conditions and information to nominate yearlings to various North American stakes, as well as a chronological payment schedule. Orders for the book can be placed through the USTA store or via your USTA MyAccount (available for both USTA members and non-members) by signing in, clicking ‘Click here to view products available from the USTA Store’ and choosing ‘Publications.’ Conditions will be available online at horsemen.ustrotting.com May 4. by Jessica Schroeder, USTA Membership Enrichment and Outreach Coordinator

Columbus, OH --- The United States Trotting Association is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 Matching Funds Grant program. The winners were selected from 29 applications submitted vying for their share of $10,000. A total of 20 fairs and horsemen’s associations were awarded money for advertising and promoting harness racing at their fairs, with eight of them being awarded money for the first time since the program was started in 2006. Winning proposals included billboard, radio and newspaper advertising; door hang tags; television commercials; posters; banners; road signs and social media promotions. The following fairs were 2017 recipients: Agricultural Society of Oswego County (Sandy Creek, NY) Columbiana County Fair (Lisbon, OH)  Cuyahoga County Ag Society (Berea, OH) Darke County Fair (Greenville, OH) Defiance County Fair (Hicksville, OH) Delaware County Fair (Delaware, OH) Erie County Fair (Wattsburg, PA) Farmer City/Dewitt County Fair (Farmer City, IL) Fayette County Harness Horsemen (Washington C.H., OH) Fowlerville Harness Horsemen (Fowlerville, MI) Goshen Historic Track (Goshen, NY) Jayland Trotting Association (Portland, IN) Madison County Amusement Park (Camden, MS) Mahoning County Agricultural Society (Canfield, OH) Morrow County Fair (Mt. Gilead, OH) Ottawa County Fair (Oak Harbor, OH) Richland County Fair (Richland Center, WI) Wapello County Fair (Eldon, IA) Western Michigan Fair Association (Ludington, MI) Wisconsin Harness Horse Association The Matching Funds Grant program was started in 2006 to aid county fairs and horsemen’s associations to support a grassroots marketing initiative at the fair level. The need for assistance this year ranged from $84-$1,000 (with $1,000 being the maximum assistance provided by the USTA to an applicant), proving that marketing and promotion can be done at any level. There is an additional $10,000 available to assist fairs and horsemen’s groups in purchasing items to be given away during the races at their fairs. Groups must submit the invoice for and a photo of the product to jessica.schroeder@ustrotting.com and they will be reimbursed for half of the cost, up to $1,000 per group. Reimbursement is available first come, first served until the $10,000 budget is reached. The USTA also has some racing promotional items available for purchase, which can be viewed here. For more information about the program, visit the Matching Funds Grant webpage on the USTA website. by Jessica Schroeder, USTA Outreach & Membership Enrichment Coordinator 

Columbus, OH --- The applications for the 2014 Matching Funds Grant are now available. For the first time, you can apply online via the Matching Funds Grant webpage at fairs.ustrotting.com/funds.cfm. On that same webpage is also a link to the PDF form that can be printed out and mailed or faxed into the USTA offices. Proposals must be postmarked or submitted online on or before May 15. Since 2006, the Matching Funds Grant program has helped individual fairs, horsemen’s associations and colt circuits to promote racing at the fair level. Each applicant can apply for up to $1,000 in assistance from the USTA; the applying entity has to contribute an equal amount to what they are applying for, either with cash or by receiving sponsorships or in kind donations. For more information about the Matching Funds Grant program, contact Jessica Schroeder at 877.800.8782, ext. 3212 or e-mail jessica.schroeder@ustrotting.com. by Jessica Schroeder, for USTA

Columbus, OH --- The 2013 trainer of the year, Ron Burke, will be the keynote speaker for the USTA Standardbred Driving School, held June 11-15 at the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y. Burke’s familiar grey and gold colors have been seen at every major racetrack in North America,” said driving school coordinator Chip Hastings. “We are thrilled he will be speaking to the next generation of harness racing participants and share some of his personal racing experiences.” Ron took over the main training duties for the family business in November 2008. He has horses near his hometown of Canonsburg, Pa. (near the Meadows Racetrack) and at Gaitway Farm in south New Jersey, while his father Mickey oversees the winter training of young horses at the old Reveille Farms in Astor, Fla.; all told there are about 250 horses under his care. Burke became the first trainer in harness racing history to win more than 1,000 races in any given year and also the first to surpass $20 million in earnings in one season. Lifetime, horses he has trained have earned more than $95 million, including the well-known Foiled Again, Won The West, Buck I St Pat, Wishing Stone, Sweet Lou, Rocklamation and so many more. For more information about attending the 16th annual USTA Driving School, visit www.USTADrivingSchool.com. by Jessica Schroeder for USTA

Hard-luck Carol’s Comet won the last $20,000 Open Pace at Scioto Downs Racino in 2013 by a nose, in 1:50.2.  The hard luck gelding finished second the last three starts at the track but this week driver Aaron Merriman had a different strategy to make the outcome different, and make his way to the winner’s circle. “I thought I was in the position last week to get the trip and they told me he really didn’t like the passing lane,” said Merriman.  “I opted to go to the outside so I think I cost myself the race with the drive.  Today, up in the passing lane the horse really appreciated it, the shorter trip around the track.”  Sitting the pocket Merriman waited patiently during the first three quarters that went in 26.3, 55.2 and 1:22. “He’s very nice, a Cadillac to race,” Merriman continued.  “He really wants to go so that really makes it nice.  He’s very good gated and good behind the gate.” Audrey’s Dream (Tony Hall) got up for second while Special Forces (Chris Page) held on for third after cutting the mile. Previous to the evening’s races, Carol’s Comet had made 16 starts and had three wins with eight seconds and one third making $77,275 just this year racing exclusively at Scioto for Delaware, Ohio based trainer Ron Potter. The striking 4-year-old gelding son of Yankee Cruiser out of the Jenna’s Beach Boy mare Modern Medicine is owned by Martin Presser, Bill Moore, Matthew Moore and Whiskey Tango Stable (Dawn Hornsby, Dawn Potter and Kimberly Rowe). The evening’s race card also held two divisions of the “Best of the Rest” which was open to horses paid into the Sire Stakes but were not eligible for the $150,000 last week.  Majesty Dream (Chip Chip Hooray-Donna L’s Hope) and Kayne Kauffman took the 2-year-old trotting filly division in 2:00.4.  Trained by Jim Arledge, Jr. for owners Up Front Racing LLC (Ed Mullinax) and Thomas York Jr.  She is now set to race in the Ohio Breeders Championship at Delaware on Sept. 17. The 3-year-old colt pace was the only other division to fill and was won by Dusto and Kauffman in 1:55.1.  The time was a new lifetime mark for the Stand Forever-Doctor Cindy colt who now has $82,540 in career earnings for owner/trainer William Hartman and co-owner Saundra Andre’. Even though the live racing season is over at Scioto, the racetrack will still be open for simulcasting from noon-midnight.  Racing will resume in May 2014, dependent on approval from the Ohio State Racing Commission. Scioto Downs Racino

The temperatures may be cooling off but the racing is still hot at Scioto Downs Racino. With just two race nights left, track records are still being broken. Run and Tell Pap and Tony Hall took almost another full second off the aged trotting record when they crossed the line in 1:53.2 in the $20,000 Open Trot on Friday. The previous record of 1:54.1 was held by Dunkster, Hesza Laser and JJ Hall. In his 100th start, Run and Tell Pap left from the seven hole and never looked back to win by a neck over Lindys Jersey Boy (Dan Noble) and Undercover Strike (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr). Run and Tell Pap is by High Falls out of the Noble Jade mare Adele’s Jade. The six-year-old gelding is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and M1 Stable LLC. Scioto Downs Racino

Pet Rock & Dan Noble set the new world record for pacers on a 5/8 mile track when they crossed the line in 1:47.2 Saturday (Sept 7) at Scioto Downs Racino. Previously held at Pocono Downs (Wilkes-Barre, PA), the record was in trouble from the word "go" with Noble parking A Rocknroll Dance & Kayne Kauffman to an opening quarter of 25; the pair hit the half in 52.4 and the 3/4 in 1:20.1 before crossing the line first in 1:47.2. "He was real strong in the lane and had plenty left," said Noble. Virgil Morgan, Jr. trains the 4-year-old stallion for owner Frank Bellino of Bronx, NY. Morgan had a big night even before Pet Rock won as he became the first trainer in history, since the United States Trotting Association has kept records, to hit 5,000 lifetime wins. Earlier in the evening he was also presented as the leading trainer at his home track for the 2013 racing season. Jessica Schroeder

Big Bossman wasn’t the boss of the Ohio bred 2-year-old pacing colts earlier this year but he’s finding the right time to hit his stride. “I went to warm him up that (first) night and as I turned him to go a mile, he made a right hand turn and almost hit two horses head on,” explained trainer Doug Hinklin. “When Grismore (driver Greg Grismore) took him behind the gate, he just lost his mind because of two recalls and when they let them go at the start, he paced down to the first turn and made a right hand turn and almost went through the fence.” That first mile out resulted in a DNF but Hinklin went ahead and entered the second leg of the Ohio Sire Stakes, which would be his second lifetime start. Unfortunately the result was basically the same. “He was just a head case,” said Hinklin. “I’ve been in this game 40 years and I’ve seen that before, so I just tried something that worked for me years ago and put telescope blinds on him with a fly screen over the top of the blinds and plugged his ears and it worked. He’s been fine ever since, except the night he drew the nine hole at Scioto and he kinda reverted back to his old ways there. He’s a super fast colt but he’s a head case.” Big Bossman won the Ohio State Fair on August 3, pacing in 1:54.4 with a last quarter of 27.1. He went on to win the last two legs of the Sire Stakes in 1:57.2 (at Raceway Park) and 1:54.4 (at Scioto) last week “When he’s concentrating on the game, he’s very very fast. I knew that when I got down training him in April. I got him down to about 2:15 and I started brushing him and I knew he was a super fast colt. “If he behaves, he’ll be a force to be reckoned with. If he behaves himself, they won’t beat him.” Big Bossman is by Feelin Friskie, out of the Matt’s Scooter mare Lovely America. His dam already has a couple $100,000 winners and Big Bossman is well on his way with $49,835 in earnings so far. Hinklin bought the gelding as a yearling for Parent Racing Stable LLC in November 2012 at the Blooded Horse Sale. No matter the outcome of the OSS Final Saturday at Scioto, this horse will be well on his way to becoming a great colt. Big Bossman could possibly start Hinklin on the road to his second back-to-back Sire Stakes victory seasons. Who knows what could happen when the head case of a colt starts behind the Mike Woebkenberg starting gate Saturday, but with the two hole, he shouldn’t be scared of that first turn. Scioto Downs Racino

Tom Brinkerhoff only has four horses in his barn on the backside of Scioto Downs Racino but two of them qualified for the Ohio Sire Stakes Final for 3-year-old colt pacers that will be held this Saturday (Sept 7). The horse he entered, Outdoor Fever, has had a rough go of late but his early season success warranted him a shot at the winner’s share of $150,000.  Leaving from post two, the pair is set at 8-1 morning line odds, not the favorite, but definitely in contention. “He’s a nice horse, but he’s just about a second and a half away from being a good horse,” said Brinkerhoff.  “He’s good and sound, a nice horse to drive and good mannered.  We just gotta have some luck before we can get any money.” Mike Wilder will be the seventh driver of the season to sit behind the colt who was second placed first in his seasonal debut, the first leg of the OSS at Lebanon.  He paced in 1:57 that day (May 4) and three weeks later in the second leg at Scioto he was third, pacing in 1:54.4.  He skipped the third leg, but went to the fourth at Raceway Park on August 25 and finished seventh. “Well that was at Toledo and they got down to the half real slow, and he was sitting back ninth,” explained Brinkerhoff.  “He paced his last half in 55.1 but he was just back too far and couldn’t reach.  He raced good, it was just the circumstances.” The ages of the human connections of Outdoor Fever are the opposite end of the age spectrum from their equine counterpart.  Brinkerhoff will turn 76 just five days after Super Night, while his groom, Lenny Slygh, is 61 and breeder/owner Leonard Buckner is 80.  The Brinkerhoff/Slygh pair have been working together for six years now and have the relationship of two long time friends that are enjoying their “retirement years” with some frisky young colts.  But Brinkerhoff’s relationship with Buckner has really stood the test of time “I’ve been training horses for him for 31 years,” said Brinkerhoff who first started training horses with his dad when he was nine years old.  “And we’ve had about one argument in all those years.  He doesn’t come to the races (because of health reasons) but he watches all the races at home.” Outdoor Fever is by Stand Forever out of the Ruffstuff Baker mare Bang The Door.  Coincidentally, Brinkerhoff trained Ruffstuff Baker for Buckner and said he was one of the best horses he has ever trained in his 67 year training career. The other horse that was eligible to the OSS Finals this year, My Myster E, is also owned in part by Buckner and was in the dance for the finals as a 2-year old.  Finishing third in that $100,000 final to Feelin Lika Winner, Brinkerhoff had high hopes for him this year but “he’s been the biggest disappointment for me in 10 years. “They (Outdoor Fever and My Myster E) were raised together and have been beside each other for two years now in training.  They’ve always been together.”  When you have a pair of nice colts, one can always make up for the shortcomings of the other.  But both of them will now have faced Feelin Lika Winner in their shot in the finals. Feelin Lika Winner is trained by Scott Mogan and installed as the 5-2 second favorite (behind 6-5 favorite That Friske Feelin). "I trained with him (Feelin Lika Winner) the other day, and I couldn’t get by him,” said Brinkerhoff.  “It will all depend on how the race goes, you gotta have some luck.  I’m hoping they will drag race down to the three-quarters and then maybe we’ll be able to pick up some pieces on the end.” When one-quarter of your stable is going for the rich $150,000 finals and you take care of the quality horses in your barn, sometimes age and experience will overcome the odds.  For one 75-year-old, he’s hoping he has this great chance to be in the winner’s circle. Scioto Downs Publicity Department

In just three days, Saturday, September 7, Scioto Downs Racino will host one of the most exciting race nights in recent history at the Columbus oval.  The best 2 and 3-year-old horses in the state will duke it out for top honors in the Ohio Sire Stakes Finals and some of the best horses from across the country will make up the 134 horses vying for nearly $1.5-million in purses.  The 16 race card has a first post time of 6:30 p.m. "Last year our Super Night card went for just over $900,000 after the VLT facility was open for three months," said Scioto’s General Manager of Racing Operations Stacy Cahill.  "Now, another year later, we have been able to boost our purses, and help our horsemen, even more.  We've had a great racing season so far and expect Saturday's card to be be another exciting event for our fans." There will be a couple different wagering opportunities that are not available on any other race night at Scioto.  A $7,500 guaranteed Pick-8 bet for the eight OSS finals is available for a minimum 20-cent bet; those finals are set as races 4-11.  There will also be a $5,000 guaranteed Pick-4 for races 9-12.  The four races that are included for that bet are the last 3 OSS finals for 3-year-old pacing fillies, trotting colts and pacing colts, as well as the $125,000 Jim Ewart Memorial Invitational Pace. Before the races, there will be beanie and trucker-style hat give-a-ways.  After winner’s circle pictures are taken and interviews conducted with the winning connections, t-shirts will be thrown to the crowd.  There will also be drawings for Jug tickets, Ohio State cornhole boards, wagering and food vouchers. As Ohio Super Night at Scioto Downs draws closer, stay tuned for more in depth previews for some of the night's feature races.  For more information about live harness racing at Scioto Downs Racino, visit www.SciotoDowns.com/racing.  Racing will be held Wed-Sat this week and next, with closing day for the 2013 season on Saturday, September 14. Scioto Downs Racino

The leading trainer in the country and the leading trainer at Scioto Downs Racino have their go-to drivers for their horses when they race at the Columbus, Ohio 5/8 mile track. Friday evening each trainer took a different $20,000 Open race to keep securing their foothold as the top trainers in the top class races.  In the Open Trot, Ronnie Wrenn Jr drove Virgil Morgan Jr.s Undercover Strike to victory in 1:55. Parked the last half mile, the 5-year-old gelded son of Striking Sahbra won handily for owner Frank Bellino. Trotslikethewind (Kayne Kauffman) was second and Chilitodayhotamale (Tony Hall) held on for third after cutting the mile. Undercover Strike raced earlier this year at The Meadowlands and Mohawk, where he took his fastest mark of 1:52.3 in 2012. The win Friday marked his second in a row in the Open Trot at Scioto and he has now earned $313,994 lifetime. Tony Hall turned the tables on Wrenn when he took the Fillies & Mares Open Pace with Darena Hanover for Ron Burke in 1:51.3. Leaving from assigned post position nine, the 4-year-old daughter of Yankee Cruiser sat back in the five hole while Wrenn sent Princess Cruiser to the front in 26.1. The pair lead all the way to the top of the stretch and finished three-quarters of a length behind Darena Hanover. She’s Shocking (Ray Paver) posted a 27.1 last quarter to get third. Darena Hanover, owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, has now surpassed $620,000 in lifetime earnings. In 2012 she won both the Jugette and Matron finals and took a mark of 1:50.2 at Pocono Downs. Racing continues Saturday at Scioto with a first post of 6:30 p.m. Scioto Downs Racino  

Scioto Downs Racino hosted the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association first Charity Race Night Thursday and by all accounts it was an instant success. Three of the 10 charities were interviewed at a time in between races so each one could promote their mission and goals.  Then after the sixth race, the draw was conducted to partner a charity up with a horse in the seventh race; how the horse finished determined how much money the charity would receive, based on the percentages purses are distributed. When it was all said and done, Standing Danette and Tony Hall crossed the line first for the Arthritis Foundation of Central Ohio in 1:54.  The win got the Foundation a $5,000 donation to their charity and bragging rights as the winner. “We would like to thank the OHHA and Standing Danette for her wonderful $5,000 donation to the Arthritis Foundation,” said Susan Davis, their Regional Vice-President.  “The OHHA has been awesome this evening, and Scioto Downs was great - they were very helpful and supportive of us.  The food was wonderful and it’s been an amazing evening.  We at the Arthritis Foundation are just very excited and proud to be here at the inaugural event.” Finishing second was Grace Seelster (Greg Grismore) who was partnered with the National Parkinson’s Foundation and earned $2,500 for the charity.  Kay Low (Jeremy Smith) and R E O Speeddragon (Kayne Kauffman) finished third and fourth respectively to earn $1,200 for ALS Association and $800 for 4-H Youth Development.  The charities whose horses finished 5-10 got $500. Scioto also donated $500 per charity, so no one left the track with less than $1,000. Racing resumes Friday and Saturday with a 6:30 p.m. post time. Jessica Schroeder

MTR Gaming Group/Scioto Downs Racino has added $5,000 to the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association Charity Race Night at Scioto on Thursday (August 15). Each of the 10 previously selected charities will receive $500 from the racetrack. “We saw what the OHHA was doing to support the local charities and we wanted to contribute even more to each noteworthy cause,” said Joe Billhimer, Jr., Acting President and Chief Operating Officer of MTR Gaming Group, Inc. “Each charity will now receive at least $1,000 when they leave Scioto on Thursday.” The ten charities represented for the OHHA Charity Race Night at Scioto Downs are: ALS Association Alzheimers Association American Cancer Society American Red Cross Arthritis Foundation Big Brothers/Big Sisters Harness Horse Youth Foundation Parkinson's Disease Foundation Ronald McDonald House 4-H Youth Development Organization In addition to the $500 each charity will receive from MTR, they will also be coupled with a horse and driver combination in the seventh race on Thursday’s program via random draw. Based on where the horse finishes, they will be awarded prize money; $5,000 will go to the winner (first place); $2,500 will be given for second place; $1,200 for third place; $800 for fourth place and $500 for those horses finishing fifth through tenth. Throughout the evening, charity representatives will be interviewed in the winner's circle, giving racing fans an opportunity to gain a better understanding of each philanthropic organization. by Scioto Downs Racino  

Feelin Lika Winner sure did when he won the Director of Agriculture Pace for 3-year-old colt pacers at Scioto Downs Racino on Saturday in an eye-opening 1:51.4.  Part of the week’s State Fair races, two divisions of sophomore colts went to the gate for $30,000 each. Taking back from the five hole to last in a six horse field while the lead horses battled it out up front to a 26.4 opening quarter, Feelin Lika Winner made a move before the half  to come first up and challenge pacesetter Outdoor Fever and Greg Grismore.  Taking the lead by the time they hit the three-quarter pole, Feelin Lika Winner and Kayne Kauffman came home in 28.2 to win by three-quarters of a length. Owned by trainer Scott Mogan, Diamond Chip Stable (Judy Weber), AWS Stables (Allen and Carol Schmidthorst) and Charlie Guiler, the gelding by Feelin Friskie now has six wins in 16 starts and $126,985 in career earnings.  The mile on Saturday set a new lifetime record for Feelin Lika Winner. The winner in the other 3-year-old colt division was race favorite That Friske Feelin and Tony Hall for trainer Ron Burke.  Also a Feelin Friskie gelding, that Friske Feelin won in 1:53.3 over Hanky L (Jack Dailey).  He is owned by Howard Taylor, Edwin Gold and Richard Lombardo and has now earned over $100,000 lifetime. Feelin Friskie colts dominated the Ohio State Fair races on Saturday when two of his freshmen won their $34,000 divisions as well.  Big Bossman (Greg Grismore) won by a head over Friskie Adam (Chip Noble) in 1:54.4.  The gelding used a 27.1 last quarter to win for trainer Doug Hinklin and owner Parent Racing Stable LLC (Brent & Tiffany Parent).  Hawks Cry Hoboken (Dan Noble) won for trainer Virgil Morgan, Jr. and owners Carl Howard, Herres Stables LLC (Steve & Natalie Herres) and Gerrie Tucker. Saturday’s races concluded the State Fair weekend of racing, but just like the Ohio State Fair, there is one more day to be had.  Sunday (Aug 4) will be a special race card to make up for one of the days of racing lost back in June.  A special post of 5:00 p.m. will start off the 11 race card. by Jessica Schroeder

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