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After a flurry of activity and a hearty debate among the IHHA Board of Directors, WE HAVE AN AGREEMENT ON A CONTRACT!  The length of the contract begins Friday, March 14 and continues through June 30, 2015.  In this 16 month contract, the purse cut will be 10% now and stay at that level through January 4 of 2015.  Then, there will be a 24 day dark period (from Jan. 4 through Jan. 28).  On January 29, 2015 the purses will be cut an additional 15%.  The purse overpayment will increase to the amount equivalent to 35% of recapture (or $2.5 million).  Those purse structures almost certainly will get us to June 30, 2015.  Additionally, Wednesday racing will be eliminated in 2015.  Nobody knows more than I how painful purse cuts are but this deal at least gives us 10 months of a relatively small cut and another six months that are at least spelled out for everyone to see in advance.  The fact of the matter is, in our opinion, this is the best we can do with the dreadful hand we are dealt.  Recapture eats up almost 40% of what we generate and that percentage only grows when our handle declines.  This process has been very frustrating and extremely agonizing.  It took crazy twists and turns and at times looked as though no contract would ever be signed.  In the end, we have 16 months of racing ahead of us and three legislative sessions to possibly be "saved." Everyone knows the story and everyone should understand that the clock on the life of Illinois harness racing is ticking.  In addition, I want to earnestly thank the racetracks, not for their unremitting stubbornness, but for the way they conducted themselves publicly with respect to literature and pronouncements they put forth.  Both sides tried very hard to keep the "warfare decibel level" to a minimum and that kept the process shorter than it otherwise would have taken.  Also, let's not forget that the tracks, to their credit, are extending us an interest free line of credit of $2.5 million.  Finally, a huge thank you to all of the people who texted, called, emailed, etc. and all of the staff and directors of the IHHA.  We used all of those communications as a measuring stick of support and we've been overwhelmed by that unwavering backing. Have a great 16 months of racing! From Dave McCaffrey, President of IHHA

Today, the Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association (IHHA) tried to get a temporary contract to begin racing immediately at Balmoral and Maywood Park. Unfortunately, again we could not agree to terms. We will continue as often as possible to work towards a sensible solution. Discussions between all parties (IHHA, May/Blmp, and Illinois Racing Board) took place with no agreement.  The length of the contract continues to be a major sticking point.  On a separate note, I want to comment on mediation; I hope to clear up some possible misconceptions.  First and foremost, mediation has been mandated by the IRB.  This was a result of negotiations that endlessly unfold like the movie "Groundhog Day."  Almost daily, potential deals progress and then inevitably blow up.  After witnessing these events for the umpteenth time over the weekend, the IRB mandated mediation.  The IHHA happily welcomes the IRB mandate of mediation.  Perhaps, with professional help, a deal can actually make it to the finish line and a deal can be made.  The IHHA proposal to race through the mediation process has been met with a thud.  With $5.5 million in our purse account, there is absolutely no reason in the world that we shouldn't be racing for 2013 purses, IF NOT MORE, during the process. In the meantime, we'll keep trying to make a deal that ensures horse people of racing for their money, preferably in 2014.  From Dave McCaffrey, for IHHA

This weekend's USTA online qualifying contests at Maywood Park on Friday, Feb. 28 and Balmoral Park on Saturday, March 1, as well as last week's qualifier at Buffalo Raceway, which was postponed when racing was canceled due to weather, have been rescheduled. Buffalo Raceway's free, online WHHC qualifier is now scheduled for Friday, March 7 with first post time at 6:40 p.m. (EST). The Illinois tracks have been rescheduled for the following weekend with Maywood Park on Friday, March 14 and Balmoral Park on Saturday, March 15. First post for those contests will be 8:10 p.m. (EST). All contestants that registered for each of these three contests on their originally scheduled dates at www.HorseTourneys.com will still be entered on the new dates. New contestants can enter each contest and get free TrackMaster Platinum Plus past performances approximately 48 hours before each contest at www.HorseTourneys.com. These will be the final three dates in the USTA's 10-contest free, online series of qualifiers for the 2014 World Harness Handicapping Championship at The Meadowlands on April 19. by Dan Leary for USTA  

Chip Lackey gave the Gene Vallandingham-trained Giant Sculpture a perfect drive in last weeks Open Handicap Pace, working out a two-hole trip with the son of Village Jolt and posting a four-length decision in a lifetime-best 1:52 clocking. "I dont have many winners circle pictures on my wall, but this is one Ill be proud to put up there," said the veteran Lackey. "Winning an Open Pace and having the picture taken with Gene and Lou Pena was very special." Vallandingham and Lackey go back to 1973, when Gene first came to California. I went to work for Gene when he first got out here, and then I went back with him to Maywood Park the next year and he was the leading trainer. The victory with Giant Sculpture was the second in five starts with Lackey in the sulky. The first time I drove him back in January he was 11-1 and put in a real game, first-over effort and got there by a nose. He had also put in some solid races coming into last week, giving me a good finish every time. According to Chip, post position played a big role in his strategy last week. We had been drawing outside Docs Zippy every week and I didnt want to battle with him early, but this time we were inside and I sent my horse and was able to work out a pocket trip. They may have been going :55 to the half that night, but I knew I had a ton of horse. I made sure to ease out a little early so we didnt get trapped in, and he gave me a super kick. It was very gratifying to go out there and win a race like this for such great people. Sire Stakes, Open Pace, Jim Grundy Series on tap A $10,000 California Sire Stakes for 3-year-olds that finds King Of The Crop and Rikybrnthegaragdown renewing their rivalry; the opening leg of the Jim Grundy Trotting Series featuring Donna Letsgo and an Open Pace are the main attractions at Cal Expo Saturday night. King Of The Crop had to settle for second in the first stakes clash for the sophomore pacing colts on January 18, but has posed for pictures following the last two big-money events. The Little Steven homebred carries the banner of Frank Nevarez with James Kennedy doing the driving and training. The bay performer left little doubt in the February 1 clash, drawing off by five and a half-lengths that evening in a snappy 1:55 1/5 mile. Backed down to 1-5 for the most recent gathering of this group two weeks ago, he had to work much harder as he opened up on the lead at the head of the lane and held by a head over Rikybrnthegaragdown. The latter is by Living It Up out of the Sportsmaster mare Sports Bra and races for Maryann Plano with son Luke reining and training. He made every pole a winning in the first Sire Stakes of the season on January 18, was a distant third in the next one and then fell just short of catching his arch-rival in that last added-money affair two weeks ago. He returned last week to post a convincing score in a conditioned event. Last weeks Open Pace saw Giant Sculpture pulling off the upset. He is a 6-year-old son of Village Jolt who carries the banner of A Piece Of The Action LLC, is conditioned by Gene Vallandingham and will once again be handled by Chip Lackey. He was able to work out a perfect trip in the most recent clash at the head of the class, sitting the pocket and then exploding in the stretch for a four-length score in a lifetime-best 1:52 performance. One And Only had to settle for the exacta completion that evening while leaving from the outside post as the 1-2 favorite for owners Richard Morita and David Yamada, conditioner Lino Pacheco and pilot Luke Plano. He rattled off five straight victories at this top rung between December 21 and January 21, including a score from the demanding No. 10 post. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness    

Hinsdale, IL - For the second week in a row, live harness racing in Illinois has been cancelled because of a contract dispute between the owners of Maywood and Balmoral Park Racetracks and the Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association (IHHA). The central conflict surrounds the question of what rights do the horsemen have in directing their own bank account known in racing as the purse account. "At the core of this dispute is who decides how to spend money that is clearly earmarked for purses, which essentially are paychecks for the people who make horseracing possible." said IHHA President Dave McCaffrey. "Those people are grooms, trainers, drivers, veterinarians, blacksmiths, farmers and breeders. Our purse account currently has over $5 million and we want to start racing for that money." The current impasse exists because the racetracks have proposed an immediate, substantial cut to purses so that purse money can be dribbled out over the next couple of years. The IHHA has countered saying that horsemen would rather race for similar money as in 2013 at least until the end of the next legislative session. "It's very difficult for horsemen to make a living at the current purse levels," said IHHA board member Mike Knicley. "A decrease in purses now will only make it more difficult to stay employed in this industry." The IHHA believes that the very people who provide the horses to race, have a better understanding of the impact that purse levels have on the day to day operations. They say that the racetracks miss the point on the effect that an immediate purse cut will have on the quality of life for horsemen. "It's like cutting someone's hourly rate from $12 to $9," said McCaffrey. "People have to be able to make a living right now. Our money is being held hostage and those purses are paychecks for our families. The bottom line is that the $5 million is our money; we're not asking for increases, just to use our money to add some stability." McCaffrey emphasized that other factors may play a role later in 2014. "Things can change very quickly in Springfield," he said. "We don't know what the legislature will do in the next year, but we do know that hardworking people in racing need to have control of their own money. The question is, do we allow the racetracks to chop purses now so they can race for a couple of more years by having their "labor force," the ones who put on the show, working for miserable wages, or do we race for 2013 purses now and try and maintain a decent existence?" While the future for Illinois horse racing is uncertain, a gambling bill is gaining steam again in the Illinois Legislature. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has said in the past that once a pension bill is passed, he will be able to turn his attention to gambling expansion. Pension reform legislation was signed by the Governor in December 2013. Illinois horseman can only hope that the much needed relief that a signed gaming bill will bring does not come too late.   submitted by the IHHA

Columbus, OH --- Matt Minger from New Lenox, Ill. won Thursday's USTA qualifier for the 2014 $60,000 World Harness Handicapping Championship at the Meadowlands in April, by selecting 19-1 longshot Coopers Beach, who paid $16.80 to place, and raised his total earnings to $134.50 on the 12-races contest from Dover Downs. Entering the final race of the contest, the top four contestants Joseph Desposito ($124.30), Minger ($117.70), Randy McMillan ($112.50) and Joseph Ernsthausen ($111.30) each had a different selection in Dover's Race 15. While McMillan picked the winner #6 Fancy Colt with his alternate selection, he still only finished third when the favorite paid only $6.00, $4.20 and wasn't enough to catch Minger with his $16.80 score. Despite being shut out in the finale, Desposito held on for second. A total of 616 entered the Dover Downs contest. With his victory, Minger earned a free berth ($800 value) to the $60,000 World Harness Handicapping Championship (WHHC), which will be held at the Meadowlands on Saturday, April 19, 2014. The next contest in the series of 10 USTA Free, Online Qualifiers to the WHHC takes place Saturday night, Feb. 15 with the first 12 races from Cal Expo where first post time is 8:45 p.m. (Eastern). Contestants can enter free at www.HorseTourneys.com prior to the start of the first race. Free TrackMaster Platinum Past Performances are available now on that site. Following are the top 10 finishers in the fifth USTA online qualifier for the WHHC: USTA Free, Online WHHC Qualifier 5 - Dover Downs, Feb. 13, 2014 # Name Earnings 1 Matt Minger $134.50 2 Joseph Desposito $124.30 3 Randy McMillan $122.70 4 John Jones $117.50 5 Lewis Falton $115.00 6 Joseph Ernthausen $111.30 7 Ken Snyder $109.40 8 Brian Spaeth $107.80 9 Rob Luke $106.80 10 Jerry Carney $105.80 Following is the schedule/results with featured racetracks for the 2014 USTA Free, Online WHHC Qualifying Series: Date                      Track                 Winner Thursday Jan. 30 Northfield Park Gerry Tuzzolino Friday, Jan. 31 The Meadows Jeffrey Arnold Friday, Feb. 7 Meadowlands Arthur Nigro Saturday, Feb. 8 Yonkers Rick Arbiter Thursday, Feb. 13 Dover Downs Matt Minger Saturday, Feb. 15 Cal Expo 8:45 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21 Buffalo Raceway 6:40 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22 Pompano Park 7:05 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28 Maywood Park 8:10 p.m. Saturday, March 1 Balmoral Park 8:10 p.m. by Ellen Harvey for Harness Racing Communications  

Racing Secretary "Doc" Narotsky has announced that qualifying dates for both Balmoral Park and Maywood Park will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 12th and Friday, Feb. 14th, as horsemen and management continue to try and iron out details for a 2014 contract.   Balmoral Park will hold qualifiers on Wednesday, Feb. 12th with a start time of 10:30 a.m. Entries for that qualifying date will close at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 11th.   Maywood Park will conduct qualifiers on Friday, Feb. 14th with a start time of 11:00 a.m. Entries will close at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 13th. A 45-day qualifying standard will still be in effect at both ovals in order to give handicappers the best possible information regarding each horse's fitness when racing resumes at both tracks. For complete information on both tracks visit www.maywoodpark.com and www.balmoralpark.com by Tom Kelley for Balmoral and Maywood Park

COLUMBUS, OH (Feb. 10, 2014) - Rick Arbiter of Kingston, N.Y. and Arthur Nigro from Tuckahoe, N.Y. won the weekend's two USTA World Harness Handicapping Championship Free, Online Qualifiers to earn berths ($8,000 value) to the $60,000 World Harness Handicapping Championship (WHHC) at the Meadowlands on Saturday, April 19, 2014. Arbiter started slowly in Friday (Feb. 7) evening's contest involving the first 12 races at the Meadowlands. With only three-second place finishers selected through the first seven races, he had only $29.40 in his bankroll. But he rallied to pick the winners of the last five races, including #6 Solid Queen (Race 8), who paid $31.00, $12,20, and Race 11 victor #5 Nutmeg's Cider, who returned $19.40, $7.80, to finish with $139.00. John Merola, who also hit the final three races to earn $109.20, was second best among the 816 entries. Last year's 2013 WHHC champion Jeff Klahr finished 38th. In the Yonkers contest on Saturday (Feb. 8), Nigro scored for $90.40 of his winning total in the last four races. His $165.00 total was $13.20 better than runnerup David Schanker's $151.70. Shanker held the lead with two races to go but was shutout in the contest's final two races while Nigro picked Race 11 winner 7 Whogoesfirst $14.40, $6.40 and finale runnerup #4 Hello Hot Shot $14.80 to earn his victory. There were 799 total entries. The next two contests in the series of 10 USTA Free, Online Qualifiers to the WHHC take place Thursday, Feb. 13 with the last 12 races from Dover Downs and Saturday, Feb. 15 with Cal Expo's first 12. Contestants can enter free at www.HorseTourneys.com prior to the start of the first race. Free TrackMaster Platinum Past Performances are available now on that site. Following were the top 10 finishers in each of the the USTA online qualifiers for the WHHC during the past weekend: USTA Free, Online WHHC Qualifier 3 - Meadowlands, Feb. 7, 2014 #          Name                                 Earnings 1         Rick Arbiter                          $139.00 2         John Merola                         $109.20 3         Charlie Carden                    $108.00 4         Patrick Ruta                         $103.80 5         Randy Bauer                        $ 99.20 6         Patrick Garvin                      $ 98.60 7         Jim Bourgoin                        $ 97.40 8         Ray Garnet                          $ 95.80 9         Jeff Kingsbury                      $ 93.20 10       Diane McClyment                $ 91.40 USTA Free, Online WHHC Qualifier 4 –  Yonkers Raceway,  Feb. 8, 2014 #          Name                                  Earnings 1         Art Nigro                               $165.00 2         David Schanker                   $151.70 3         Carl Hiel                                $139.40 4         John Iannone                        $129.70 5         John Mucciolo                       $126.60 6         William Johnson                   $123.40 7         Lewis Falton                          $120.50 8         Glenn Mink                             $119.30 9         Glenn McConaughy               $117.60 10       Jim Peake                              $116.80 Following is the results/schedule with featured racetracks for the 2014 USTA Free, Online WHHC Qualifying Series: Date                                       Track                          Winner Thursday Jan. 30                Northfield Park       Gerry Tuzzolino Friday, Jan. 31                     The Meadows        Jeffrey Arnold Friday, Feb. 7                        Meadowlands        Arthur Nigro Saturday, Feb. 8                    Yonkers                Rick Arbiter Thursday, Feb. 13             Dover Downs               4:30 p.m.  Saturday, Feb. 15                Cal Expo                    8:45 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21                  Buffalo Raceway          6:40 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22              Pompano Park             7:05 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28                    Maywood Park            8:10 p.m. Saturday, March 1               Balmoral Park             8:10 p.m. by Dan Leary, for USTA          

With discussions continuing between management and horsemen to get a contract ironed out that will preserve the standardbred industry in Illinois, management has announced that the “normal” Feb. 15th date for nomination payments for the 2014 stakes season has been pushed back to March 1st. “While we hope and expect our live racing product to resume very soon, we felt it would be in the best interests of horsemen in both Illinois and throughout the country to extend the deadline for nomination payments until March 1st in order to allow everything to be finalized.”   Information on the 2014 stakes schedule and nomination forms will be available once a full racing scheduled has been announced at www.balmoralpark.com and www.maywoodpark.com.  

Wednesday's scheduled start of the 2014 Illinois harness racing season has been pushed back after contract negotiations between the Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association and Balmoral Park and Maywood Park management reached an impasse. Racing was originally scheduled to begin on Wednesday at Balmoral Park. Maywood Park's Thursday opening also will likely be scrapped. The Illinois Racing Board requires us to have a contract before we race and we've been unable to come to terms with the racetracks in regards to handling our purse account," said Tony Somone, IHHA's executive director. "We're hopeful things can be worked out in time for our season to start by this weekend.' Members of the IRB have been mediating meetings between the two groups. Another is scheduled for today. by Mike Paradise for the Daily Journal  

Hinsdale, IL --- After six hours of negotiations (mediated by the Illinois Racing Board), no agreement was reached between Maywood/Balmoral and the IHHA.   The IHHA is trying to lessen the harmful effects of recapture as they relate to purses. We, along with the Illinois Racing Board, will keep trying to come to a compromise through the weekend. Submitted by IHHA

Columbus, OH --- Minnesota resident Gerry Tuzzolino won the inaugural USTA online qualifier for the 2014 World Harness Handicapping Championship on Thursday evening by one dollar with a total of $108.80. Only two dollars separated the top three finishers in the contest involving the first 12 races from Northfield Park among the 942 who entered.   Bryan Jackson ($107.80) and James Gillam ($106.80) were second and third, respectively. Fourth-place finisher Keith Rosintoski was only another three dollars back with $103.80.   Tuzzolino clinched the first USTA qualifier when his original choice #5 Lets Just Dance scratched and his alternate selection #6 Calchips Muscle won paying $5.60 and $3.60 in Race 12, the final race in the contest. Each of the other top four finishers correctly selected the winner.   With his victory, Tuzzolino earned a free berth ($800 value) to the $60,000 World Harness Handicapping Championship (WHHC), which will be held at the Meadowlands on Saturday, April 19, 2014.   The second contest in the series of 10 USTA Free, Online Qualifiers to the WHHC takes place tonight (Friday, Jan. 31) with the first 12 races from The Meadows where first post time is 6:55 p.m. (Eastern).   Contestants can enter free at www.HorseTourneys.com prior to the start of the first race. Free TrackMaster Platinum Past Performances are available now on that site.   Following are the top 10 finishers in the first USTA online qualifier for the WHHC:   USTA Free, Online WHHC Qualifier 1 - Northfield Park, Jan. 30, 2014   # Name Earnings 1 Gerry Tuzzolino $108.80 2 Bryan Jackson $107.80 3 James Gillam $106.80 4 Keith Rosintoski $103.80 5 David Miller $101.00 6 Richard Riccaldo $100.00 7 Joseph Ferriero $ 97.00 8 Joe Barre $ 96.00 9 William Stanczak $ 95.60 10 Charles Amsden $ 95.00   Following is the schedule/results with featured racetracks for the 2014 USTA Free, Online WHHC Qualifying Series:   Date Track Winner Thursday Jan. 30 Northfield Park Gerry Tuzzolino   Friday, Jan. 31 The Meadows 6:55 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7 Meadowlands 7:15 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8 Yonkers 7:10 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13 Dover Downs 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15 Cal Expo 8:45 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21 Buffalo Raceway 6:40 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22 Pompano Park 7:05 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28 Maywood Park 8:10 p.m. Saturday, March 1 Balmoral Park 8:10 p.m.   by Dan Leary for USTA

At 4:00 pm Wednesday afternoon, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed the Advance Deposit Wagering Bill into law to avertising a crisis in the state's horse racing industry announced Illinois Harness Horseman’s Association President Dave McCaffrey. McCaffrey explained that there was an issue Wednesday morning regarding some of the wording in the bill. After the wording was removed, the legislation went to the Senate where it passed by a vote of 47-4. The bill then went to the House where it was passed via a 95-10 vote. The legislation then went to the desk of Governor Pat Quinn, who signed it into law. In a statement uploaded to the IHHA website, McCaffery stated, “So, what does this mean? First and foremost, it means that the Illinois Racing Board will award the racing dates in ‘Scenario 1’ of the dates order. In short, we'll race three days a week at Balmoral and two days a week at Maywood for most of 2014 (there is about a 10 day break during the State Fair in August).” McCaffery explained that Illinois horsepeople will now have to negotiate a contract with the operators of Balmoral Park and Maywood Park. “If the racetracks refuse to defer any recapture, we're facing major purse cuts,” McCaffery stated. He went on to say, “Today was a good day; now let's hope that we can get a decent contract that protects purses.” (With files from the IHHA)

Time is quickly ticking away in regard to the Advance Deposit Wagering saga in Illinois. With a racing crisis looming, a spokesman for Governor Pat Quinn has issued a positive statement in regard to the situation. The current agreement sees a portion of funds from ADW funnelled to the Illinois Racing Board so it can regulate live horse racing in the state. That agreement is scheduled to expire on January 31, therefore leaving the future of Illinois horse racing in limbo. The earliest possible time that state legislators can vote on an ADW bill – which has already passed the Senate – is January 29. There has been some talk this week that the deadline may be extended into early February, but arrangements are not officially in place for that scenario. According to an article by the Belleville News-Democrat, a spokesman for Quinn has said that the governor supports the bill which would see a new three-year extension on an ADW agreement. "The governor supports extending advanced deposit wagering," said Gov. Quinn’s spokesman, David Blanchette. "The governor intends to sign it if it reaches his desk." Last week, Illinois Harness Horseman’s Association President Dave McCaffrey issued a press statement in which he said that it is imperative that Illinois legislators take time to pass the ADW bill so the Illinois Racing Board can continue to regulate horse racing in the state. “Without ADW funds, the IRB cannot sufficiently carry out its responsibilities,” McCaffery said. “Consequently, harness racing would see a 95 per cent reduction in racing dates, from 251 racing days in 2013 to just 13 racing days in 2014. Such dramatic cuts will effectively kill Illinois horse racing and the thousands of jobs it creates.” (With files from the Belleville News-Democrat)

COLUMBUS, OH (Jan. 28, 2013) - Free TrackMaster Platinum Past Performances are available for the first in a series of 10 USTA free, online qualifying contests for the $60,000 World Harness Handicapping Championship (WHHC), which will be held at the Meadowlands on April 19, 2014. For complete information, to enter the USTA qualifying contests, and to get a link to free TrackMaster Platinum Past Performances for the races at Northfield Park on Thursday, Jan. 30, please visit www.HorseTourneys.com. The link to free TrackMaster past performances for all qualifiers will be posted at www.HorseTourneys.com approximately 48 hours before each contest. Past performances for Friday (Jan. 31) night's contest for The Meadows will be available on Wednesday, Jan. 29. Check each contest page on that site for the time that selections can be made. The USTA WHHC Free, Online Qualifying Series consists of 10 tournaments that will be conducted from Jan. 30 through March 1 over five consecutive weekends and will involve handicapping races at 10 different USTA member racetracks. The winner of each qualifier gains a berth ($800 value) into the WHHC final at the Meadowlands. In each contest, contestants must select one horse and an alternate, in case of a late scratch, for a $2 Win-Place wager on each race at the featured track that evening. In the case of both selections being scratched, the contestant will receive the post-time favorite. All selections must to be submitted prior to post time of the first race in the contest. Each qualifier will be limited to 12 races. A complete listing of rules and regulations is available at www.HorseTourneys.com. Following is a schedule with featured racetracks for the USTA Free, Online WHHC Qualifying Series: 2014 WHHC Online Qualifiers Date Track First Post (Eastern time) Thursday, Jan. 30 Northfield Park 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31 The Meadows 6:55 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7 Meadowlands 7:15 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8 Yonkers 7:10 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13 Dover Downs 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15 Cal Expo 8:45 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21 Buffalo Raceway 6:40 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22 Pompano Park 7:05 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28 Maywood Park 8:10 p.m. Saturday, March 1 Balmoral Park 8:10 p.m. by Ellen Harvey for Harness Racing Communications

Balmoral Park has announced that Wednesday's (Jan. 29th) qualifiers have been cancelled due to the severe cold that continues to grip the region.   Balmoral will conduct qualifiers on Friday, Jan 31st. Entries for that qualifying day will close at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 30th. Starting time for that day is scheduled for 10 a.m. (central).   Maywood Park will conduct qualifiers on Thursday, Jan. 30th. Entries will close at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 29th. Qualifiers will begin at 10 a.m. The first draw for the anticipated Wednesday, Feb. 5th start date at Balmoral Park will be held on Friday, Jan. 31st. A 45-day qualifying standard will be in effect at both ovals. For complete information on both tracks visit www.maywoodpark.com and www.balmoralpark.com by Tom Kelley for Balmoral and Maywood Park  

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