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Elkton, MD - Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by the United States Trotting Association is announcing the cancellation of their Thursday (June 29) harness racing program. The program will resume next Thursday (Aug. 6) at 10:30 a.m. Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by USTA can be heard live every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. via their website www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com. by Michael Carter, for Post Time  

Elkton, MD -- Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by the USTA, is excited to announce their line-up for Thursday (July 2) at 10:30 a.m. Guests include Nancy Takter and Dave Little. Takter will discuss the horses in her barn set to take center stage this weekend at The Meadowlands and in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action Thursday at Harrah's Philadelphia. She will also talk about the great rivalry that kicked off in the Miss Versatility between Manchego and Atlanta. Little joins to discuss the Graduate and NJSS legs coming up at The Meadowlands this weekend. The pair will discuss some of the great wagering opportunities that are available this weekend. Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by USTA can be heard live every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. via their website www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com or on the archive at https://www.blogtalkradio.com/ptmikeandmike. by Michael Carter, for Post Time    

Columbus, OH — From a young age, Isaiah Shrake always had a passion for racehorses. Little did he know that at the age of 19 he would co-own and train a rising Ohio-bred harness racing star in the 3-year-old pacing filly Rockin Farrari. Shrake first started going to the races as an 11-year-old with Aunt Sherree Cox who raced at Northfield Park. “I would travel to watch her pacing mare Coupon Lady compete,” said Shrake. Along with watching his family race, fair time was fun time for the aspiring horseman, enjoying the sights and sounds of the horses on the track warming up before each race. A graduate of Canton McKinley High School, Shrake was heavily involved in not just the daily grind of high school athletics, but taking care of a 2-year-old trotting filly named Foolmegypsy, who was trained by his uncle, Jeff Cox. “I would start around six to get her jogging, and get the stall clean before heading to school,” said Shrake. “From there I would have a normal school day, then drive back to the fairgrounds to make sure my filly was good, then back to school for athletics.” Shrake began jogging horses when he was 15 and at the time was too young to get his trainer’s license. In 2019, his uncle Jeff suggested that he get his trainer’s license so he could start being listed on his own horses. “The entire family inspired me to go for it and accomplish my goal of becoming a trainer,” said Shrake. “They have all been great trainers to look up to and help me along the way.” Rockin Farrari (Rockin Amadeus-Look Close) would kick off the first of three straight victories for Shrake on May 29 at MGM Northfield Park against conditioned company. After getting being parked to the first quarter, driver Kurt Sugg took back into fourth allowing the fractions to settle upfront. Sugg tipped Rockin Farrari to the outside and took dead aim at the leaders after the half-mile pole. He would fight the remainder of the mile with Sugarpie Honey Bee, but through the stretch was able to get by the early leader, winning by a length. Rockin Farrari “My first win was unbelievable, I did not expect to win my first start either,” said a jubilant Shrake. “Things like this is what we work for; this feeling is the greatest feeling.” For Shrake, the win had even more meaning as he personally picked Rockin Farrari out before purchasing her for $5,700 at the 2018 Buckeye Classic Yearling Sale. Shrake would go on to win two more starts with Rockin Farrari, including a victory in a $17,500 Buckeye Stallion Series race at Eldorado Scioto Downs, before tasting defeat for the first time on Sunday (June 28) when finishing fifth at Northfield Park. A humble Shrake credits his uncle for helping him with Rockin Farrari and helping him get where he is today as a trainer. He also credits drivers Kurt Sugg and Brett Miller for always giving Rockin Farrari the best chance to win. “This feeling I will remember forever, having my first ever training start come out as a winner to also winning a leg in the Buckeye Stallion Series in the same year.” Shrake hopes to have his own stable one day to create a legacy that will make his family proud. “I started my first semester at Stark State and took three classes at the time, but I had to remember that I still had barn work to do,” said Shrake. “I am still just unsure about college at this point in my life past this semester.” He plans on getting his driver’s license in 2021, during some of the fair races, after gaining more experience and being more aware of his surroundings on the track. “I need more fast training miles in the bike before I can even think of entering a race,” he said. Shrake says he looks up to fellow driver Daren Harvey who has been a wealth of knowledge when it comes to learning to drive in a race. As for future accomplishments, Shrake says that he has already accomplished a few of his goals, but wants to take as much advice as he can from others and put that towards his horses to improve his own status as a trainer. “If you love what you do every day, it won’t even feel like work when you get into it. If you treat the horses right, then they will show you respect as a trainer,” said Shrake. by Michael Carter, USTA Social Media and Publicity Coordinator

Elkton, MD -- Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by the USTA, is excited to announce their harness racing line-up for Thursday (June 25) at 10:30 a.m. Guests include Jo Ann Looney-King, and Yannick Gingras. The King stable has a lot to look forward to in 2020 from defending Horse of the Year Shartin N to some of the new 2-year-olds hitting the track, the stable has high hopes for the year. Mike and Mike will discuss what their season looks like and find out who some of their top horses are in the stable. The rivalry between Manchego and Atlanta kicked off last Friday in the Miss Versatility. Mike and Mike will talk with Yannick Gingras about the upcoming rivalry and how Atlanta has matured into her 5-year-old season. Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by USTA can be heard live every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. via their website www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com or on the archive at https://www.blogtalkradio.com/ptmikeandmike. Michael Carter Social Media and Publicity Coordinator

Elkton, MD - Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by the United States Trotting Association is announcing the cancellation of their Thursday (June 11) harness racing program. The program will resume next Thursday (June 18) at 10:30 a.m. Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by USTA can be heard live every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. via their website www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com. Michael Carter

Elkton, MD - Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by the United States Trotting Association is announcing the cancellation of their Thursday (May 28) harness racing program. The program will resume next Thursday (June 4) at 10:30 a.m. Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by USTA can be heard live every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. via their website www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com. Michael Carter Social Media and Publicity Coordinator

Columbus, OH — After a week of qualifiers, heavy rain, and anticipation Scioto Downs kicked off their 2020 live harness racing meet on Friday (May 22). “Six days after qualifiers, we were able to start racing thanks to our amazing team,” said Joe Morris, the Senior Vice President of Racing at Eldorado Resorts. Scioto started things off in a big way with just over $127,000 wagered in the first race. The guaranteed Pick-5 was a big hit with horseplayers, surpassing the guarantee with more than $22,000 wagered. Total handle on the 12-race program was $1,054,294.15, the second highest handle in history at Scioto Downs, a number that hasn’t been seen at the five-eighths-mile oval in more than 20 years. “I have to thank our team and the horsemen for helping put on the show,” said Morris. “The horsemen are rugged, it’s been a long week and I’m proud of everyone on a job well done.” Scioto wasted no time getting back to racing on Friday, following the Ohio State Racing Commission in conjunction with Governor Mike DeWine’s office coming up with protocols to race without fans safely. The Commission passed a resolution allowing racing to return at their May 14 meeting. “For three weeks in a row, I thought racing was going to get rolling,” said Morris. “We’re glad to have been given this opportunity by the Commission and Governor’s office to start racing.” The road to the start of racing kicked off on Saturday (May 16), as 16 qualifiers went to the track, followed by four more days in preparation for the opening night card. “Our Race Secretary, Jason Roth, had a great idea to write the condition sheet for qualifiers like he would a race card,” said Morris. “His great idea ensured that we would have the right horses to fill Friday’s card.” “It’s been a busy week with all of the qualifiers,” said Roth. “Everyone has been very receptive to the protocols that have been put into place.” The first program of the year featured a pair of Open races, one for Filly and Mare pacers (race six) and one for trotters (race eight). Rosemary Rose (inside) held off a hard charging Sally Fletcher A to win the $18,000 Filly and Mare Open. Conrad photo. A compact field of six went to the gate in the distaff Open and St Lads Gidget (Aaron Merriman) wasted no time leaving the gate, looking to control the fractions. After a strong first-quarter of :26.4, Merriman was able to ration out the speed with a :28.3 second panel, but he was forced to step on the gas dealing with pressure from Golden Paradise moving up the backstretch. Rosemary Rose (Chris Page) was patient through the mile, riding second over cover to three-quarters before firing down the stretch. After putting away St Lads Gidget she dealt with a late charge from Sally Fletcher A (Brett Miller), but was able to hold on by a nose in 1:51.2. For Rosemary Rose, it was her third victory of the year in 10 starts for owners Burke Racing Stable, Jason Melillo, and Weaver Bruscemi and trainer Ron Burke. The 6-year-old, who has shown no signs of slowing down, has bankrolled $567,207 in her career. Rosemary Rose was one of six victories on the card for driver Chris Page. The photo finish camera couldn’t separate the Open Trot competitors as Peggy Sue (Brady Galliers) and Eye Ofa Tiger AS (Elliott Deaton) hit the wire together in a strong stretch battle. The photo finish camera could not separate Peggy Sue (inside) and Eye Ofa Tiger AS (outside) in the co-featured $18,000 Open Trot. Conrad photo. There were fireworks early on as heavy favorite Workinitonbroadway (Page) made a costly miscue at the start allowing Wildfire Seelster (Tyler Smith) to get to the front through the first quarter in :28.1. Wildfire Seelster was able to get a breather in the second quarter (:58) before having to sprint up the backstretch. Eye Ofa Tiger AS pulled first up heading to the three-quarter pole, forcing the hand of Peggy Sue and Galliers to make a first-over grind. After hitting three-quarters in 1:26.3, Wildfire Seelster fought gamely through the stretch, but was collared late by Peggy Sue and a hard charging Eye Ofa Tiger AS in 1:55.1. Peggy Sue was able to lock up her third victory of the year, moving her earnings to $48,230 for owner Galliers Racing and trainer Brady Galliers. Eye Ofa Tiger AS scored his first victory of the season for trainer Anette Lorentzon and owners ACL Stuteri AB and Kjell Johansson. His career earnings now stack up at $577,768. Live racing at Scioto Downs returns on Saturday night (May 23) with a 6:30 p.m. first post. The card features a $10,000 guaranteed Pick-5 in conjunction with the United States Trotting Association Strategic Wagering Program. Past performances provided by TrackMaster can be found by clicking here.    by Michael Carter, USTA Social Media and Publicity Coordinator

Elkton, MD -- Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by the USTA, is excited to announce their harness racing line-up for Thursday (May 21) at 10:30 a.m. Guests include Rick Moore, Dave Bianconi and Gabe Prewitt. As racing begins to restart following the COVID-19 pandemic, Mike & Mike will talk with some of the tracks that are getting ready to kick off their season and what changes will be implemented. The pair will discuss wagering, safety protocols, and what horsemen need to know for racing. Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by USTA can be heard live every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. via their website www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com or on the archive at https://www.blogtalkradio.com/ptmikeandmike. Michael Carter Social Media and Publicity Coordinator

By Michael Carter — It’s a name not recognized on the Grand Circuit stage, but a local New York favorite, Percy’s Z Tam, is a former harness racing champion who continues to shine bright after returning home to where it all began. Percy’s Z Tam, a $75,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase in 2015, showed a lot of promise through his 2-year-old season for owners M & M Harness Racing, Royal Flush Stable, Z Tam Stables and Pat Lachance. After qualifying at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and The Meadowlands, trainer Lachance put his blossoming 2-year-old into the New York Excelsior Series “A” program. Percy’s Z Tam excelled on a half-mile track in 2016, with all five of his victories on the four-turn ovals. His only miscue was at Vernon Downs, making a break heading to the three-quarter pole to finish a disappointing ninth. He concluded his season with an Excelsior Series final victory at Saratoga after making up 5-3/4 lengths in the final quarter-mile. His 3-year-old season wasn’t as easy of a road for the hard hitting son of American Ideal-Mintjulep Bluechip, scoring just one victory on his way to another New York Excelsior final. This time, however, he had too much ground to make up as Geez Joe cruised to an easy front-end victory. After a private purchase near the end of his 4-year-old season he was brought to Northfield Park under the care of trainer Herman Hagerman. After winning his first start in Northeast Ohio, the long season caught up with the talented gelding who didn’t hit the board for the remainder of the year. Percy’s Z Tam would return the following season in 2019 to hit the board in 16 of 44 starts, making just over $30,000. He would make his return to New York through the 2020 Blooded Horse Sale as a $14,500 purchase for owner Mike Torcello and trainer Gerry Sarama. Torcello saw a lot of promise in the hard-knocking gelding and thought the return home would be good for him. “I thought he would be a good fit in Western New York. His best racing took place at the New York half-mile tracks as a 2- and 3-year-old,” said Torcello. “I thought someone might try to buy him and take him back to Yonkers; luckily I was able to get him for a reasonable price and shipped him to Buffalo.” Torcello’s focus when purchasing horses is to try and find horses that can get around the half-mile tracks at Buffalo or Batavia. That move back to New York proved to be beneficial as Percy’s Z Tam quickly moved up the ranks, winning three of his first five starts facing some of the area’s top pacers. When the COVID-19 pandemic shut racing down, there was some uncertainty about what his training schedule would look like, but thanks to the management of Buffalo Raceway, Percy’s Z Tam was able to adjust to his new schedule well. “We were fortunate in WNY that management, through an agreement with the horsemen’s association, has allowed us to remain on the racetrack and keep horses in training pointed towards a reopen whenever the state deems it safe,” said Torcello. Looking ahead to the gelding’s future, Torcello says the uncertainty that surrounds the sport makes it difficult to know if they will race him on a different circuit than the one he is on now. “Our plan is to continue racing in WNY as we have done in the past, I think it is the perfect place for a horse like Percy. We’re all going to have to be flexible depending on when and where racing resumes.” Percy’s Z Tam is just one of 18 horses trained by 50-year veteran Gerry Sarama and second-trainer Sam Smith. His caretaker Sierra Smith has cared for him since entering the barn. “He knows how to take care of himself,” said Smith. “I love horses that know what works for them and can relax and do what they have to do.” by Michael Carter, USTA Social Media and Publicity Coordinator  

Elkton, MD -- Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by the USTA, is excited to announce their harness racing line-up for Thursday (May 6) at 10:30 a.m. Guests include Gordon Waterstone and Curtis MacDonald. Waterstone, recently appointed to the Hall of Fame Screening Committee, will join to discuss how the process works and how someone goes about getting nominated for the Hall of Fame. He will also talk about the role that USHWA play along the way. Cujo Entertainment's Curtis MacDonald joins to discuss the newly implemented COSA TV, hosted by Greg Blanchard. MacDonald will talk about the installation of the new video systems at tracks in Ontario and what HD has done to make their signals more prominent. Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by USTA can be heard live every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. via their website www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com or on the archive at https://www.blogtalkradio.com/ptmikeandmike. Michael Carter Social Media and Publicity Coordinator U.S. Trotting Association | 6130 S. Sunbury Rd. | Westerville, OH 43081-3909

Columbus, OH — While COVID-19 has halted harness racing throughout North America, many horses are still gearing up for their 2020 campaign. For Southwind Amazon (Camluck-Artoonist), it has been business as usual for the gutsy gelding who became a millionaire at the beginning of the year. Trainer Paul Holzman says that his talented horse is ‘confused’ with no racing taking place as this is the first break he has had in four years. After a slow start to his career, Southwind Amazon began to turn things around in 2015, his 5-year-old season, racing on the Ontario circuit. He banked $60,953 that year and won seven times in 27 starts. Southwind Amazon was purchased for C$30,000 in February 2016 and wasted no time getting to work for trainer Paul Holzman. He quickly turned heads with a spine-tingling 1:49.2 performance just five starts after moving to his new connections. “He was racing for a friend of mine at Rideau Carleton,” said Holzman. “When he started to get too good for the track, he called me up and asked me if I wanted to purchase him.” For Southwind Amazon, racing has come as second nature, and he doesn’t take to training or jogging regularly. Before COVID-19, his longest break in racing was in 2016, a three-week break while traveling from Florida to Pennsylvania. Holzman currently has him on a different schedule of training once a week to keep him fit and allowing him a good amount of paddock and ‘play’ time, which he enjoys. Holzman attributes his breeding to the success of his career. “Every Camluck I have owned are very rugged and willing racehorses and able to overcome anything,” he said, adding he has been impressed with Southwind Amazon’s toughness and versatility. “He always tries 110 percent, even if he isn’t 100 percent.” Southwind Amazon has won 92 times in 230 career starts. Skip Smith photo. Southwind Amazon has gotten the opportunity to take on some of harness racing’s greatest champions in Grand Circuit events. While he hasn’t always had the best racing luck, Holzman feels that he can compete with the upper echelon. Currently, his schedule focuses on the Open circuit of Scioto Downs and Northfield Park, but Holzman doesn’t count out attending some of the bigger events. “The plan is to go week by week with him. I tend to go wherever he goes, and my ears are always open to race as long as it’s feasible.” Northfield Park has been “home” for Southwind Amazon, having competed in Northeast Ohio in 98 of his 126 starts since 2017. He has become the hometown favorite as he competes against some of the best horses not only in Ohio but in North America. “When you’re talking about horses that I consider ‘local’ or ‘Northfield regulars,’ Southwind Amazon is the best horse I have seen in my 29 years here,” said Dave Bianconi, Executive Vice President of Racing and Simulcasting at MGM Northfield Park. “No horse has been as dominant as long in our top overnight classes as him.” Holzman feels that Southwind Amazon has put him and owner, Ameer Najor, on the racing map. “I’ve done a lot of great things at a smaller level, but it’s not been as fun as racing Amazon.” At 10-years-old, Southwind Amazon is still at the top of the conditioned game in Ohio and the plan is to continue with him until his 14-year-old season. Holzman compared his success as an older pacer to the great Foiled Again. “He’s no Foiled Again, but he (Southwind Amazon) feels like it to us. Foiled Again did it at a level that has never been heard of, he did it the hard way.” As long as he is healthy, Southwind Amazon will keep on rolling. by Michael Carter, USTA Social Media and Publicity Coordinator

Elkton, MD - Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by the United States Trotting Association is announcing the cancellation of their Thursday (Arpil 23) harness racing program. The program will resume next Thursday (April 30) at 10:30 a.m. Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by USTA can be heard live every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. via their website www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com. Michael Carter Social Media and Publicity Coordinator

Elkton, MD -- Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by the USTA, is excited to announce their harness racing line-up for Thursday (April 16) at 10:30 a.m. Guests include Vic Kirby, Tim Tetrick, and Rich Mattei The pair will discuss the COVID-19 pandemic and find out what each are looking forward to most, when Harness Racing returns. Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by USTA can be heard live every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. via their website www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com or on the archive at https://www.blogtalkradio.com/ptmikeandmike. Michael Carter Social Media and Publicity Coordinator U.S. Trotting Association | 6130 S. Sunbury Rd. | Westerville, OH 43081-3909

Elkton, MD -- Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by the USTA, is excited to announce their harness racing line-up for Thursday (April 2) at 10:30 a.m. Guests include Joe Faraldo and David Siegel. The topic of COVID-19 will continue to be discussed as Mike and Mike talk with Joe Faraldo about how he is feeling following his bout with COVID-19. Siegel will join to discuss some of the challenges he believes faces harness racing as a whole. Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by USTA can be heard live every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. via their website www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com or on the archive at https://www.blogtalkradio.com/ptmikeandmike. Michael Carter Social Media and Publicity Coordinator

Elkton, MD -- Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by the USTA, is excited to announce their harness racing line-up for Thursday (March 26) at 10:30 a.m. Guests include Mike Tanner, Sam Beegle, and Derick Giwner The topic of COVID-19 will continue to be discussed with CEO of the USTA Mike Tanner and Sam Beegle. The USTA continues to remain open to its members, offering the same services and providing the same customer service that members have come to know and enjoy. Tanner will discuss what has been happening at the USTA, and talk about how the industry in handling COVID-19. The PHHA has said they will pay their members insurance premiums for the month of April. Beegle will tell the pair more about what the PHHA is doing to help its members get through this trying time. Giwner joins the program to discuss some Cal Expo handicapping and some of the angles he uses at the Sacramento track. Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by USTA can be heard live every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. via their website www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com or on the archive here. Michael Carter

Elkton, MD - Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by the United States Trotting Association is announcing the cancellation of their Thursday (March 11) program. No reason was given for the cancellation. The program will resume next Thursday (March 19) at 10:30 a.m. Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by USTA can be heard live every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. via their website www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com. by Michael Carter, for the Post Time Show  

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