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ANDERSON, IN -- Little Rocket Man turned in another authoritative performance to take home top honors in the featured harness racing event of the evening, the $20,000 Open Pace, on Friday, April 23 at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. With driver John DeLong in the bike, Little Rocket Man stopped the timer in 1:49.1 to record his fourth straight victory and remain undefeated in four starts this season. The 1:49.1 victory is also the fastest mile of the 2021 season through just 16 nights of live racing. Leaving from post six in the abbreviated field of six, Little Rocket Man was unhurried from the gate and settled along the rail in fourth. LeWayne Miller sent Family Recipe away from the gate firing to grab the early lead through the opening panel in :26.3. As the field approached the half, Trace Tetrick had Beaumond Hanover out and on the attack to grab the lead through the half mile time in a snappy :53.4. Beaumond Hanover led the field through the three-quarter clocking in 1:22 but was joined on the outside by Little Rocket Man who had a full head of steam turning for home. Utilizing a :27.1 closing quarter, Little Rocket Man coasted to the wire under minimal urging to finish a length in front of a hard-charging Brassy Hanover and Sam Widger. He'zzz A Wise Sky and Kyle Wilfong also rallied well late for third. As the publics' second choice, Little Rocket Man returned $5.60 at the betting windows. LITTLE ROCKET MAN REPLAY   Trained by Missy Essig, Little Rocket Man has now won all four of his starts at Harrah's Hoosier Park this season while pushing his lifetime purse earnings to $325,530. The former Indiana Sires Stakes champion and overall co-track record holder is owned in partnership by Russell Beeman and Jack Freeman. The five-year-old gelded son of Rockin Image -- Gt Miss Royal has now won 21 of 33 lifetime starts. Little Rocket Man's victory was one of three wins on the program for trainer Missy Essig. Essig teamed up with Louis Philipe Roy to get Pauly Wally to the winner's circle in the evening's third race on the card. Essig also sent out Nick's Monster who was a winner in the $9,500 Mark Fransen Memorial Pace Consolation in a new lifetime best of 1:51.2 with driver John DeLong in the bike. DeLong won a total of four races on the evening's 14-race card. Live racing will return to Harrah's Hoosier Park on Saturday, April 24 with a 14-race card. Saturday's 14-race card will feature a $20,000 Open Trot and a $20,000 Open Pace for Fillies and Mares. First post is 6:30 pm. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule at Harrah's Hoosier Park, please visit For full race results, click here. by Emily Ratcliff, for Harrah's Hoosier Park      

LEBANON, OH. - EyespywithmylileyeN (John DeLong) completed her harness racing sweep of the Herb Coven Jr. Memorial Series on Friday night (March 13) at Miami Valley Raceway by besting Pace Baby Pace (Chris Page) and Spee Dee Shark (Ricky Macomber Jr.) in 1:51.3. The winner also triumphed in divisions of both preliminary legs of the series which featured female pacers who were non-winners of four races or $40,000 when the competition commenced. Alesha Binkley trains EyespywithmylileyeN for the Trent Stohler Stable. With the 50% share of the $25,000 championship tilt the 5-year-old daughter of Mach Three now has earned $55,375 with six wins and four place finishes in her first 16 lifetime starts. All Ohio casinos and racinos were ordered to comply with Governor Mike DeWine's decree that gatherings over 100 people are banned until further notice, due to Coronavirus concerns, at the close of business on Friday, effectively shutting them down. Horsemen are advised to check regularly for updates at the website , especially if not signed up to receive race office text alerts. From Miami Valley Raceway    

LEBANON, OH. - Hilary Barry N (John DeLong) stamped herself as the harness racing favorite in the George "Red" Owens Memorial series for green pacing fillies and mares, winning the quickest of three first round divisions on Sunday (Feb. 9) at Miami Valley Raceway. The late closer is limited to non-winners of two pari-mutuel races or $20,000 lifetime and attracted 27 nominations. Heavily favored Hilary Barry N, a 4-year-old New Zealand bred daughter of Bettor's Delight, glided over Miami Valley's damp five-eighths mile oval in 1:56.1 for DeLong to easily defeat Crowntimerockette (Brett Miller) and Vinecancruise (Chris Page) without an anxious moment. Trainer Trent Stohler also owns the winner who looked every bit the part of a 1-9 favorite, paying just $2.10 to win. Big Bad Mosa (Tetrick) captured a split of the Owens Memorial in 1:57.1 over Jazzie Babe (Trevor Smith) and Rockinattheryman (LeWayne Miller). Ronnie Roberts trains the winning sophomore filly by Ohio stallion Big Bad John for owner Watson Stable of Illinois. She paid $3.60 to her backers. Pray The Rosary (Luke Ebersole) was the other winner, besting Lookintomyeyes (Tyler Smith) and Model Number Five (Tetrick) in 1:59.1. Ebersole found a seam in deep stretch to gain the nose victory, the third in five lifetime tries for the 3-year-old daughter of Art Official. Robert Boggs owns the winner, who kicked back $6.80 to her backers at the betting windows. Racing resumes Monday afternoon (Feb. 10) at Miami Valley when four $6000 divisions of the second elimination round of the popular Survivor Series for $5000 male claiming pacers will go postward; plus three $10,000 first round divisions of the Omar Hiteman Memorial series for non-winners of two or $20,000 lifetime colt and gelding pacers. Tuesday's action at Miami Valley will feature a $24,000 Open Trot, second round eliminations in the Survivor Series for $5000 claiming mares, and three second round splits in the Robert J. Brown Memorial series for non-winners of two or $20,000 lifetime trotters. From Miami Valley Raceway    

DAYTON, OH. - Always Giggling (John DeLong) sat chilly near the back of the pack as Imajean Rocks (Brett Miller), seeking her fifth consecutive victory at Hollywood Dayton Raceway, set torrid fractions in the weekly Friday night feature--the $17,500 Mares Open Pace.   The strategy paid big dividends as the :27, :54.4 and 1:22.4 fractions resulted in a relatively slow :29.2 final panel in which Always Giggling was able to rally from seventh to grab a narrow victory in the last quarter.   The final clocking of 1:52.2 resulted in the five-year-old daughter of Always A Virgin garnering her fifth seasonal win, the 16th of her stellar career which has now produced $434,527 in purse earnings. She is owned by Jeffrey Fought and trained by Peter Redder.   Always Giggling, dispatched at 10-1 odds, paid $23.40. Coupled with morning line favorite Imajean Rocks the perfecta returned $98.80. Eliza Dushku N (Mike Oosting) got the show dough, while Newsday (Trevor Smith), Knockout Queen (Jeremy Smith) and Elysium Seelster (Tyler Smith) also earned checks in the ten horse field.     The curtain comes down on Hollywood Dayton Raceway's sixth season on Saturday night (Dec. 28) when a strong 14-race card commences at 6:15 p.m.   From Hollywood Dayton Raceway

DAYTON, OH. - Talk about incredible seasonal statistics!   Fan Of Terror captured his 18th harness racing victory of the 2019 season on Saturday (Dec. 21) winning Hollywood Dayton Raceway's $17,500 Open Pace in 1:50.2. As if 18 wins isn't impressive enough, the seven-year-old gelding's annual earnings swelled to $219,705 racing exclusively in top level claimers to start the year and top condition and Open events the rest of the way.   It is believed the $219,705 figure may be the highest yearly total ever for a horse racing exclusively in Ohio and Indiana overnights, without the benefit of a single penny in stakes money.   Driver John DeLong rocketed out of the gate to grab early command with Fan Of Terror, but wisely relinquished the lead to heavily favored I'm A Big Deal (Brett Miller) at the :26.3 first quarter beam. Sitting cozy in the pocket through middle half fractions of :55 and 1:22.4, DeLong was content to watch My Hero Ron (Mike Oosting) pressure the frontrunner while awaiting a chance to pounce on the leader.   That opportunity presented itself at the head of the home stretch when My Hero Ron, who finished a game third, tired and a battle royale ensued until the winner finally prevailed in the final strides over I'm A Big Deal.   Therl Hensley owns the winner and entrusts his stable stalwart's career to trainer Peter Redder.   Just one week remains in the Hollywood Dayton meet. Following a 2:15 matinee on Monday (Dec. 23), the southwest Ohio oval will close out the season with 6:15 programs on Thursday (Dec. 26), Friday (Dec. 27) and Saturday (Dec. 28).   From Hollywood Dayton Raceway

DAYTON, OH. - It's not often a harness racing track record is obliterated on a December night when the temperature is hovering around the 32-degree freezing mark. But that is exactly what happened on Thursday (Dec. 19) at Hollywood Dayton Raceway when Whata Swan, the only three-year-old in the race, found another gear in the stretch and swept to a 1:53.2 score.   The old standard for sophomore colt trotters at Dayton was 1:54.1 taken in September by Lane Of Stone.   John DeLong drove the new track standard bearer, who had also won an Open at Dayton four weeks ago in his first trip over the track.   Taking advantage of his rail post position draw, DeLong was able to get away third behind quick gate leavers Walter White (Jeremy Smith) and Signal Hill (Shawn Barker II). Following a :27.3 initial panel, however, Whata Swan was out and moving first-over on the outside before the :57 half. A quick third quarter (:27.3) kept DeLong and his charge on the limb around the final bend, but the pair dug down deep in mid-stretch to tally the impressive victory over the aforementioned frontrunners, who held for second and third.   Whata Swan is a black son of Swan For All and now sports eight wins in 2019 and $134,909 in seasonal earnings. Lightly raced at two, the colt notched just two wins in nine starts and earned $22,418.   Owned by John Barnard of Miami, Florida, Whata Swan is trained by Luis Quevedo who visited the Dayton win circle for the first time in his 15th try.   Hollywood Dayton has just six cards left in its 78-day meet. Races will be presented Friday (Dec. 20) and Saturday (Dec. 21) at 6:15 p.m., Monday (Dec. 23) at 2:15, and close out the season with night programs on Thursday (Dec. 26), Friday (Dec. 27) and Saturday (Dec. 28).   From Hollywood Dayton Raceway  

DAYTON, OH. - Fan Of Terror has been on a tear throughout the 2019 harness racing season. The 7-year-old son of Western Terror won the $17,500 Billy Hamm Memorial Open Pace at Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Saturday (Dec. 14) for his 17th triumph of the year and 27th on-the-board finish in 37 trips to post.   Driver John DeLong, leaving from the rail, chose to let even money favorite I'm A Big Deal (Brett Miller) clear to the pylons in front as the field sped through a speedy :26.1 opening quarter. Getting a pocket ride the rest of the way, DeLong and Fan Of Terror were boxed in through the middle two quarters as third choice My Hero Ron (Mike Oosting) was parked out and pressing the leader at the :54.1 and 1:22 half-mile and three-quarter-mile stations.   Finding clearance midway down the stretch, Fan Of Terror ground down I'm A Big Deal in the final strides to notch a 'head' decision in 1:50.4. Dispatched at 5-2 odds upon his return to the Open ranks after winning two top level condition events, Fan Of Terror has now earned $210,955 on the year racing exclusively in overnight races in Ohio and Indiana.   Trained for the past seven months by the brother combo of Ricky and Peter Redder, following brief successful stops in numerous stables early in the year as a top level claimer, owner Therl Hensley could never have imagined the ride he was about to embark on when he plucked him out of a race at Miami Valley for $30,000 in April.   The race honored the memory of popular local horseman Billy Hamm, who passed away recently, following a lengthy career as a caretaker and second trainer for numerous stables at or near old Lebanon Raceway. Family and friends of Hamm gathered in the winner's circle to present the commemorative blanket to Fan Of Terror and his connections.   Fan Of Terror     From Hollywood Dayton Raceway

DAYTON, OH. - The Open Trot at the 2019 Hollywood Dayton meet has produced a host of different harness racing winners and in keeping with the trend the weekly $17,500 feature produced another new winner's circle visitor on Thursday night (Nov. 21). Whata Swan (John DeLong), a sophomore son of Swan For All, added his name to the lengthening list by beating Lindy's Big Bang (Brandon Bates) and Sweet Mr Pinetucky in 1:54.2 as the lukewarm favorite. The Katricia Adams trainee got away fourth for DeLong, moved up to third on the outside at the half, overtook frontrunner Tugboat Tuffy (Josh Sutton) at the three quarters, then held off a quartet of closers in the stretch. It was the seventh win in 24 tries for Whata Swan and increased his seasonal earnings to $124,059. The 1:54.2 clocking was just two-fifths of a second off his lifetime best which was taken in stakes action at Harrah's Hoosier Park this summer. John Barnard of Miami, Florida owns the classy colt who earned $22,418 as a two-year-old before bursting onto the Indiana stakes scene this year. What Swan paid $6.40 to win; coupled with 10-1 shot Lindy's Big Bang the $2 exacta returned $34.80. Racing resumes Friday night at Hollywood Dayton including a $6000 guaranteed pool in the seventh race 20-cent Hi-5. First race post time is 6:05 p.m. From Hollywood Dayton Raceway  

ANDERSON, IN  After an all-age track record equaling mile in the $330,000 Dan Patch Stakes by Lather Up on Friday, Harrah's Hoosier Park's track surface continued to sizzle on Saturday, August 10 as the evening's 10-race card was highlighted by a track record performance in the featured event of the evening. Bridge To Jesse's, with driver John DeLong in the sulky, became Harrah's Hoosier Park's newest harness racing track record holder with a 1:51.1 performance in the $20,000 Open Trot. Using an impressive :26.3 closing kick, Bridge To Jesse's used the long Hoosier Park stretch to his advantage and rallied from well off the pace to win by three lengths. The 1:51.1 clocking marks the fastest trotting mile ever over Harrah's Hoosier Park's oval, re-establishing the overall trotting track record, a mark that was previously held by Homicide Hunter with a 1:51.2 mile set in Grand Circuit action in 2017. Leaving from post five in abbreviated field of six, Bridge To Jesse's was unhurried from the gate and settled along the rail in fifth. Two OB Wonkenobi and Sam Widger were the quickest away from the gate and grabbed the lead through the opening panel in a snappy :26.2. Churita and Trace Tetrick also left with authority to grab the coveted pocket seat with Perfect Chapter As and Peter Wrenn next in line third. As the field hit the second station in :55.2, Ross Leonard had Donatover pointed to the front and he grabbed the lead approaching the three-quarters in 1:24.1. Just as the leaders began to tire on the front, Bridge To Jesse's was winding up to make his attack. DeLong tipped Bridge To Jesse's out in the middle of the track and the veteran trotter powered home to get the win. Churita, who is quickly approaching $1 million in lifetime purse earnings, rallied well for second while Donatover, the post time favorite, held on for third. Bridge To Jesse's returned $2.10 at the betting windows. Bridge To Jesse's is trained by Roger Welch, who also co-owns the six-year-old trotter in partnership with W. DeLong, W. DeLong, Sth Blt and R. Delong. With the victory, the Indiana Sires Stakes Champion recorded his second win of the season from 11 starts and established a new lifetime best in the process. The gelded son of Jailhouse Jesse-Bridge To Nowhere increased his lifetime bankroll to $863,605 and sports a 80-36-17-10 lifetime record. The win was one of two winners on the card for trainer Roger Welch and one of three victories for driver John DeLong on the evening's program. Live racing will continue at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino with an 11-race card. With a daily post time of 6:30pm, live racing at Harrah's Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 9. For more information on the upcoming entertainment or live racing schedule at Hoosier Park, please visit by Emily Ratcliff, for Harrah's Hoosier Park  

Trenton, NJ — As he looks ahead to his 2,500th career driving win, harness racing driver John DeLong also took time to look back on a year of extreme highs and lows; and feels blessed to be back on a big-time high. On June 2, 2018, DeLong and fiancée Tabby Canarr had what John termed “a life changing experience,” in a good way when their baby Jessica was born. Just over five months later, DeLong was on the opposite end of the emotional scale when he suffered what could have been another life changer in a truly bad way. Fortunately, a worst-case scenario never occurred. There was a seven-week bout with pain and apprehension and, while that was certainly unpleasant, it was not life-altering enough to end the talented driver’s career. He has recovered with a vengeance and currently is tied for first place with Sam Widger in the Harrah’s Hoosier Park drivers’ standings with 113 wins. He celebrated Jessica’s first birthday 19 days ago and is just nine victories shy of getting halfway to 5,000. “Things are really good for me right now,” DeLong said. But for a seven-week stretch, an uncertain future loomed due to an incident that occurred while working in his Anderson, Ind. barn last Nov. 6. “We were putting hobbles on a yearling for the first time and I got kicked in the face,” DeLong said. “It was just kind of a freak deal. I’ve trained colts ever since I can remember. Me and my three brothers all trained colts with my dad (Jay) growing up. That’s just the risk you take, I guess. It actually caught us by surprise. Well, me anyway. I was picking up a back leg, and got cow kicked. I got hit on the left side of the face, broke my cheekbone and the orbital bone in my left eye.” With some such mishaps, the pain is so severe a person goes into shock and doesn’t feel it, or at least is knocked unconscious. DeLong had no such “luck.” “I didn’t get knocked out and I didn’t get a concussion, but the pain was unbelievable,” he said. “I had that pain all the way to the hospital. It was pretty bad.” Upon arriving at the emergency room, he was referred to an ear, nose and throat surgeon. Until that visit, 1,000 thoughts ran through John’s mind. “When I first got hurt, I was pretty down for a while,” he said. “My eye was swollen shut. But after my appointment with the doctor, I felt a lot better. I really didn’t know what was going to happen there for a while. I had quite a bit of damage.” That’s like Warren Buffett saying he has quite a bit of money — a huge understatement. DeLong underwent surgery to have two plates and eight screws inserted into his face and a very tender eye. There was ample nerve damage and he needed to have all his sinuses rebuilt (he goes back to the doctor in three weeks to see if another surgery will be needed to remove a plate). Once the operations were completed, DeLong was confined to his home for a month, “because they said I had the chance of losing my eye if it got infected.” Shortly before Christmas, John got his doctor’s clearance and the first thing he wanted to do was work on a trotting filly named GD Lone Survivor, who he had invested ample time in before the accident. Her maiden start came on the day he got kicked in the face, and her first few races were not up to DeLong’s expectations. Armed with a newly designed mud apron to help knock down some of the dirt in his face, he trained GD Lone Survivor at his farm. “I wanted to make sure if I took some dirt to the face a little bit, I would be able to take it,” he said. “I didn’t want my face to be sore or tender. Then I went to Cleveland (Northfield Park) and drove her and she finished second, trotted three seconds faster than she had been so I was pretty happy about that. It was good to get that out of my system and kind of get back on the horse.” He was not rushing into anything, however, and took it easy through the winter. Upon returning to driving, DeLong opened in Ohio. “I had a slow start when I first started back,” he said. “It probably isn’t the best stock over there but it’s OK. I wanted to ease myself back into racing so when we got to Hoosier I was ready to roll. It’s been good so far, no complaints. Stakes season is starting to get going here. Hopefully we’ll catch a couple good colts.” John DeLong drove Homicide Hunter, the future world-record-setting trotter, at ages 2 and 3.      (Linscott Photography). In 639 driving starts this year, DeLong has won 116, placed in 93 and finished third in 82. In 55 training starts he has nine firsts, seven seconds and seven thirds. There have been few remnants to remind him of his misfortune. “To be honest, it’s a lot better than I thought,” he said. “I had a very good doctor; he was very confident in what could be done.” As for his impending milestone, John was low key when asked if they mean something. “The big ones do,” he said. “I’m the first person in our family to race horses professionally as a full-time career. These are something that probably down the road I’ll sit back and be pretty proud of what I’ve done. Right now it’s just kind of day by day and night by night. You just have to do the best you can. Every night you get in the truck and go to the track. If things are going good and you’re doing things right, those things will come.” They have been coming in bunches since he made the move to Hoosier Park four years ago. A Wisconsin native who grew up learning the ropes under his dad, DeLong got his first win in 2005 driving Fox Valley Bono, a horse trained by his uncle “Bo” (William). He won the driving title at Running Aces during its inaugural 2008 season at the ripe old age of 19. After making a name for himself at the Chicago area tracks, John moved to Indiana in 2015 and built a 36-stall barn and a half-mile racetrack on 35 acres that sits just two miles from Hoosier Park. He and Jay owned two stellar horses that encouraged him to make the move. “Homicide Hunter was a 3-year-old and he was one of the driving forces in getting me to do it,” said DeLong, who drove the future world-record-setting trotter at ages 2 and 3. “I knew if I had a good horse to follow and get me going I should do it. Seventimesavirgin was a 2-year-old then, and when Seven was a 3-year-old, it just launched.” Seventimesavirgin, a DeLong family homebred, won the Indiana Sire Stakes championship as a 3-year-old and was a Breeders Crown starter at age 4. (Dean Gillette photo). Seventimesavirgin, a DeLong family homebred, won the Indiana Sire Stakes championship as a 3-year-old and was a Breeders Crown starter at age 4. She is racing this year and will then begin breeding. Since driving predominantly at Hoosier Park, DeLong has won more than 1,200 races and $14 million. Needless to say, he’s happy to have made the move. “Absolutely,” DeLong said. “I honestly don’t know what I’d be doing at this point if I hadn’t moved down here. I bought a farm, built a track and a barn and I live right on the farm. It’s kind of everything coming full circle. When I was a kid, I always wanted my own farm and wanted to catch drive and stuff like that, and now I’m doing it all.” Can it get any better? Sure it can. On Nov. 16, the Saturday after he is done racing for the season, DeLong and Tabby will be getting hitched. Which will be a lot more fun than it was getting kicked just one year earlier. by Rich Fisher, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

ANDERSON, IN -Egomania turned in a dominant performance to deliver as the heavy favorite and take home top honors in the featured event of the evening, the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings, on Thursday, July 12 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. Scoring in 1:51.4 with John DeLong in the bike, Egomania recorded his second consecutive win at Hoosier Park and made a clean sweep of the first round of Indiana Sires Stakes action this season. The 1:51.4 clocking established a national season's mark for two-year-old pacing colts on a seven-eighths mile oval and was a new lifetime best for the rookie pacer. Leaving from post five in a talented field of ten, DeLong sent Egomania away from the gate firing but Elliot Deaton and elimination winner Tellmeaboutit were a step quicker to get the first call through the opening panel in :26.4. Egomania settled in second but not for long, DeLong gave him the green light and he was back out and firing approaching the half in :56. Egomania led the field through the third split in 1:24.3 with Alway's Close and Trace Tetrick beginning the first-over attack approaching the final turn. Tellmeaboutit tipped from the pocket late in the lane but Egomania was able to put him away and hold off an impressive late rally from Outloud and Peter Wrenn to get the win by a head. Meadowbrook Crown and Sam Widger utilized a ground saving trip to rally for third place honors. As the heavy 1-2 favorite, Egomania returned $3.00 at the betting windows. "He's been nice all winter," said Shane Bowermaster, who handles the training duties for the Indiana contingent of the Brian Brown stable. "But after his qualifier, we knew we had a nice colt. He's really laid back, versatile, and easy on himself." Owned in partnership by Country Club Acres, J. Sbrocco, R. Lombardo, and J. Fodera, Egomania has now amassed $47,500 in lifetime purse earnings. The son of Always A Virgin-Has An Attitude is now two for two in 2018. Live racing continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, July 13 with a 13-race card. With a daily post time of 6:30 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 10. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park  

LEBANON, OH. - After near misses in four consecutive recent starts in Miami Valley's weekly Open Trot, harness racing driver John DeLong was on a mission Sunday afternoon (Feb. 16) with 6-year-old Walter White. After springing off the starting gate into an immediate lead, DeLong and Walter White played "catch me if you can" with seven talented foes, but none of them could. Coasting through fractions of :27.4, :58 and 1:25.4, the winner maintained a one to two length lead throughout, tacking on a :28.4 closing quarter to post a relatively easy 1:54.3 triumph. Cantab Lindy (Tyler Smith) parlayed a pocket ride into a runnerup finish, while Deep Question (Tony Hall) benefitted from an inside post and forward ground-saving position to grab the show dough. Sandys Victory (Kyle Ater), last week's gate-to-wire winner, was forced to try the overland route the final four furlongs and rallied to finish fourth. Jim Eaton trains Walter White, who now boasts 17 career wins and close to $400,000 in earnings for owner Robert Silberberg. Patrons who backed Walter White received $8.20 returns on their $2 win tickets. The exacta returned $27.20 and a correct 50-cent trifecta kicked back $91.05. Note to horsemen: In an effort to fill the Ray Paver Sr. Memorial late closer, the entry deadline has been extended to Wednesday morning (Feb. 21), the day of the draw for the first leg on Monday, Feb. 26. Series conditions have been altered slightly to read: Non-winners of 4 (Mares 5) pari-mutuel races or $40,000 lifetime. If enough nominations are still not received, the race will be contested as a single overnight event for a $12,000 purse. Gregg Keidel

When harness racing driver John DeLong makes his Breeders Crown debut Friday, it will be special. Of course, such an occurrence would be exceptional under any circumstances, but the fact his appearance will come with a homebred horse at his adopted hometown track makes the moment even more extraordinary. DeLong will drive Seventimesavirgin on Friday in the second of two Breeders Crown Mare Pace eliminations at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. Seventimesavirgin was bred by DeLong's father, Jay, and raised at his family's farm in Wisconsin. DeLong also trains the 4-year-old mare, who is 5-1 on the morning line. So, did he ever imagine anything like this when he was growing up? "No, not even remotely close," the 28-year-old DeLong said with a chuckle. "It's pretty exciting. Just to be part of it, to have a horse that's even considered good enough to put in the entry box, is the first thing. You sit and watch it on TV year after year and to have one that's good enough to think about putting in is pretty cool. "She's a pretty special horse, for us as a family. She's earned her right to compete against the top horses. She doesn't owe us a thing. (The Breeders Crown) is on her home turf and we're going to give her a shot. Not many people get that chance." Seventimesavirgin has won 23 of 39 career races and earned $566,110. Last year, she was the Indiana Sire Stakes champion after going undefeated in 11 races on the circuit. The mare is a daughter of stallion Always A Virgin out of the mare Mrs Grant Seven, who was a stakes winner in Illinois. "She does no wrong," DeLong said. "She's given me some of the biggest wins of my career. This year, she's had a few troubles, but she's worked through them and she always tries hard." DeLong's drive behind Seventimesavirgin will be the first of three drives this weekend in Breeders Crown eliminations. He also will drive Trent Stohler's 2-year-old female pacer Rock On Ladys on Friday and Jeff Cullipher's 5-year-old stallion Rock N' Roll World in Saturday's elims for the Breeders Crown Open Pace. Rock N' Roll World has won 18 of 77 career races and earned $705,477. He is 8-1 on the morning line in his elimination, where Sintra is the 5-2 favorite. "That's a tough division, but he's showed spots where he can go with them," DeLong said, noting a troubled-trip third-place finish in the Dan Patch Invitational at Hoosier Park. "I thought I had a big shot in that race, but it just wasn't his night. He's not the top horse in that group, but he's a horse that can get a check." Rock On Ladys, who has won two of 11 races this year, is a 20-1 long shot in her elimination but finished third in the Indiana Sire Stakes championship. DeLong was 19 years old when he won the driving title at Running Aces in its inaugural season in 2008. In 2016, he set career highs with 375 wins and $4 million in purses. In August, DeLong got career win No. 2,000, which occurred at Hoosier Park, where he is this season's No. 3 driver in victories. His family, which operates a worldwide agricultural-distribution business based in Clinton, Wis., has been involved in harness racing for decades and is one of only two families enshrined in the Wisconsin Harness Racing Hall of Fame. DeLong, who now lives in Anderson, Ind., is looking forward to the Breeders Crown at Hoosier Park, which is hosting the $6 million event for the first time. "There's a lot of excitement surrounding it," DeLong said. "The track owners are rolling out the red carpet. They're really trying to put on a spectacle and display what we have here in Indiana and really make it nice." Click here for Friday's complete Hoosier Park card. Click here for Saturday's complete Hoosier Park card. Ken Weingartner

ANDERSON, Ind.-October 5, 2017 - Hoosier Park Racing & Casino highlighted the Thursday, October 5 harness racing program with two $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals for the sophomore trotting colts and pacing fillies and it was driver, John DeLong, who made a clean sweep of both divisions. The stakes wins were two of four wins on the evening's 14-race card for DeLong, who is currently third on the leading driver standings at Hoosier Park for the 2017 season. Swan Chase continued his winning ways and turned in a gritty performance to capture the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings. With a final time of 1:54, the William Crone trainee recorded his fifth consecutive Hoosier Park victory. DeLong sent Swan Chase away from the gate to get the first call through the opening panel in :27.3 but would eventually yield the lead to the Bluebird Rambo and Sam Widger just before the half in :57. Bluebird Rambo continued to call the shots through the three-quarter clocking in 1:25.4 and looked strong on the front. As the field turned for home the stage was set for a battle down to the wire with Bluebird Rambo on the front and Swan Chase poised to strike from the pocket. DeLong sent Swan Chase up the passing the lane but Bluebird Rambo didn't go down without a fight. Using a :28 closing quarter, Swan Chase was able to stick a nose in front of Bluebird Rambo on the line. Ideal Jesse and Verlin Yoder rallied well to round out the trifecta. As the 3-5 post time favorite, Swan Chase returned $3.40 to his backers at the betting windows. With the win, the son of Swan For All-Precisionist notched his 12th win from 18 seasonal outings. Owned by John Barnard, Swan Chase has now won 15 of 29 lifetime outings while bankrolling $268,543 in lifetime purse earnings. DeLong would find the winner's circle just a few races later, this time scoring the 18-1 upset with Amazing Arya in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for three-year-old pacing fillies. Scoring in 1:52.1, Amazing Arya found racing room late in the lane to prevail in a tight photo and establish a new lifetime best in the process. Owned in partnership by William C De Long., William P De Long, and Ray E De Long, Amazing Arya recorded her fourth victory from 16 trips behind the gate in 2017. The daughter of Rockin Image-Honey's Luck is trained by Roger Welch and has now won eight of 30 lifetime outings while earning $172,559 in purse earnings. With the wins, Amazing Arya and Swan Chase solidified their spots in the $200,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Super Final for their respective divisions slated for October 13, Hoosier Champions Night, at Hoosier Park. Hoosier Champions Night will culminate the 2017 Indiana Sires Stakes program and feature eight $200,000 finals. Live racing will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, October 6 with a 14-race card featuring Indiana Sires Stakes action and a $4,980.74 carryover in the Hoosier High-5 wager which is offered in the last race of the evening. With a daily post time of 6:30 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 17. The 24th season of live harness racing is highlighted by the 34th edition of the Breeders Crown, harness racing's championship event valued at $6 million, on Friday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Oct. 28. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit . Emily Gaskin

ANDERSON, Ind.-August 16, 2017 - Driver John DeLong recorded the 2,000th win of his career after he piloted Easy Ace to victory in a condition pace at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, August 16. The 1:55 victory marked the third win of the season for the three-year-old gelded son of United Ace-Slotto Queen and a career milestone for the 28-year-old Wisconsin native. Trained by Stanley Miller, Easy Ace was able to stage big rally late in the lane to track down his competitors and get the win by a head. Owned by Stanley Miller, Easy Ace now sports a career bankroll of $36,067. DeLong came into the 14-race card at Hoosier Park on Wednesday just two wins away from his milestone. He also found the winner's circle with Becky's Giftedangel for trainer Casandra Uppal on the card before reaching 2,000. Hoosier Park's Vice President and General Manager of Racing, Rick Moore, along with members of DeLongs's family were in the winner's circle to congratulate and acknowledge his accomplishment. "On behalf of Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, I'd like to congratulate John on win number 2,000," Moore noted. "I commend John on an outstanding career thus far; he is a great ambassador for our sport and a wonderful addition to our driving colony at Hoosier Park. We wish John continued success for the remainder of this season and throughout his career." Starting his driving career in at the Illinois fairs in 2005, DeLong was 19-years-old when he won the leading driving title at Running Aces in its inaugural season in 2008. Now at the age of 28, DeLong has over $15 million in career purse earnings. Last year in his just his second full season at Hoosier Park, DeLong set a career high with over $4.2 million in purse earnings and multiple stakes wins to his credit, doubling his stats from previous years. In addition to driving, DeLong works with the family's stable of horses including campaigning Indiana's three-year-old pacing filly of the year, Seventimesavirgin. DeLong is currently third on the 2017 leading driver standings at Hoosier Park with 133 trips to the winner's circle and over $1.3 in purse earnings. Trace Tetrick leads all drivers with 219 victories with Sam Widger in second with 198 winners. Emily Gaskin

ANDERSON, Ind.--May 19, 2017 --  G's High Shooter made his second start for Hoosier Park Racing & Casino's fractional ownership group, First Turn Stable, on Friday, May 19 and found the harness racing winner's circle in thrilling fashion to the delight of many of the First Turn Stable members that were in attendance. With driver John DeLong in the bike, G's High Shooter stopped the timer in 1:53.1 and established a new lifetime best in the process. G's High Shooter left alertly from post three to find a spot along the rail in sixth throughout the early stages of the mile while Frass Bluegrass and driver Todd Warren dictated early fractions of :26.4 and :56.2. As the field approached the third station, DeLong tipped G's High Shooter to the outside to grab a second-over seat behind the heavily favored Mike's Hope and Trace Tetrick. Utilizing a :27.1 final quarter, G's High Shooter surged past his rivals late in the lane to win by three parts of a length over Scary Harry and Ricky Macomber Jr. Mike's Hope held on to round out the trifecta. G's High Shooter returned $8.00 to his backers at the betting window. "What an amazing opportunity," First Turn Stable member, Art Small noted in the winner's circle after the victory. "The winner's circle is a beautiful place to be and we are so thrilled to be a part of this group." Trained by Jeff Cullipher, G's High Shooter recorded his second win of the season from 18 outings. The five-year-old son of Sand Shooter-High Season has now earned $67,494 in lifetime purse earnings. The first of its kind in the state of Indiana, First Turn Stable returned for a second season at Hoosier Park in 2017 and was designed to provide fans an easy and affordable way to experience the excitement of horse ownership for a one-time, $250 buy-in. Updates for First Turn Stable will be posted weekly and via e-mail so members can follow along with the racing action throughout the season. Along with interactive social media pages, monthly financials will be shared with the group to provide a transparent and behind-the-scenes look into the real costs of owning a racehorse. On-site teaching tools and other resources will also be made available to the members. Gerries Sport winning on the night. Live racing will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, May 20 with a 12-race card and an adjusted post time of 7:10 pm. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit Emily Gaskin Race Marketing Manager, Commentator & Publicist

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