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WASHINGTON, PA, Jan. 28, 2021 -- Lordofwinterfell is now 8 with more than $241,000 in his bank account and a mark of 1:51.2. You might figure that this accomplished harness racing pacer would relish retirement and a respected spot as elder statesman in the Norm Parker stable. Not this guy. In fact, he's begun 2021 with a new vocation. He's a trotter now, and he'll make his second start on his new gait Friday at The Meadows. The Western Ideal-Caila Fra gelding leaves from post 6, race 2, with Jim Pantaleano driving. Dual-gaited performers are rare in harness racing. Indeed, Parker, who trains Lordofwinterfell for Jeff Weaver's Jacobs Creek Racing, had no intention of starting him on the trot until the horse told him that's what he wanted. "He trots all the time while jogging, but a lot of horses do that, so you don't think much about it," Parker said. "Then one day he wouldn't turn on the pace without hopples, so I trained him on the trot." Parker was amazed and impressed when Lordofwinterfell lowered his time in his morning works on the trot from 2:27 to 2:03, back half in a minute. That's when the idea to campaign him on the trot took hold. "As a pacer, at this point in his career, it would be tough for him to make the same kind of money he did a few years ago," Parker said. "I thought, if he can rise through the ranks and trot in 1:55, he has a chance to make a lot more money than if he paces in 1:52 or 1:53. "It's something different. Jeff is excited about it. Most people I talk to are excited about it. He trots happily, and he still wants to beat horses." Lordofwinterfell's brief career on the trot has had mixed results so far. He won his lone qualifier handily in 1:59.1, but in his Jan. 9 pari-mutuel debut at MGM Northfield Park, he caught what Parker calls a soft spot on the track and broke stride, finishing ninth. Northfield's players, who sent him off at 1-9 for that race, learned the hard way the reason we toss out all a horse's records when he switches gaits: success on one gait doesn't guarantee it on the other. It certainly did for the Argentine-bred Chucaro Ahijuna who, according to USTA, is the fastest dual-gaited Standardbred ever. He paced in 1:51.4 and wrapped up his title in 2005 with a 1:53.3 win on the trot. That gave him a combined mark of 3:45.2. To reach that, Lordofwinterfell would have to trot in 1:54. At this point, though, Parker is reluctant to talk of world records. "I hope this is a nice, easy race for him and he shows some ability. Let's just say the experiment continues." By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

Courtney Polan, who works in the Norm Parker Stable based at The Meadows, has been named the recipient of the 2019 Caretaker of the Year Award sponsored by Fair Island Farm in conjunction with the U.S. Harness Writers Association (USHWA). Polan, 27, has worked for Parker since October 2014, joining the stable after a two-year stint working for Tim Pinske. "This is amazing," said Polan, a Pennsylvania native who turned to harness racing after graduating with a degree in biology from Thiel College in Greenville, Pa. Polan, who owns a retired Standardbred and Quarter Horse, currently takes care of eight horses in the Parker Stable, including the 2019 Meadows Horse of the Year Wild Wild Western. Wild Wild Western is owned in part by Jacobs Creek Racing's Jeff Weaver, who nominated Polan for the Fair Island Caretaker of the Year Award. "I have observed just how special Courtney is at developing a unique relationship with all of her charges," wrote Weaver. "Each horse garners her attention as though she was all theirs. Each receives full care, unique and individual attention and even when called for, discipline." Polan said one word in the dictionary describes her strength as a caretaker: Caring. "I care. I care a lot," said Polan. "My biggest thing is that sometimes I care too much. I just love all of them. I don't have human kids yet, so they are my kids." All caretakers in North America were eligible for the award, with nomination letters submitted detailing the skills and special qualities of the nominee. A seven-member panel -- all of whom were former caretakers themselves -- selected Polan as the winner. As winner of the Fair Island Farm Caretaker of the Year Award, Polan will receive a cash prize of $500, transportation, hotel accommodations and two tickets to USHWA's annual Dan Patch Awards banquet on Sunday, Feb. 23, at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Fla., where she will be presented a trophy. Polan, along with all the USHWA 2019 award winners, will be recognized during the Dan Patch Awards banquet. Information on accommodations at Rosen Shingle Creek and dinner tickets can be found at From the U.S. Harness Writers Association

WASHINGTON, PA, July 19, 2019 -- With its rich purse and tradition, the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids at The Meadows usually attracts a mix of top national performers and emerging local harness racing hopefuls. Such is the case with the 53rd edition of the Adios this year. The 26-horse field loaded with prominent talent includes two locally connected contenders, Wild Wild Western and Volley Ball Beach, each trained by The Meadows-based Norm Parker. "I've been pretty lucky over the years to come up with horses for the Adios," Parker says. "We're here, it's our home track, and it's nice to take the shot." The $475,000 Adios kicks off Saturday at The Meadows with three $25,000 eliminations (races 7, 8, 10); the top three finishers in each elim return for the final. The card, which begins at 1:05 PM, also features a pair of stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers. The $400,000 final anchors a July 27 program that includes a total of six Grand Circuit stakes as well as a $50,000 Invitational Pace. Foiled Again, who retired as the richest Standardbred all time with more than $7.6 million in earnings, will lead the post parades for the Adios and the Invitational, which has been named in his honor. First post Adios Day is 11:25 AM, with the Adios final scheduled as race 15. Locally based horses long have made noise in the Adios, but it wasn't until 1986 that one of them, Barberry Spur, captured the orchids. Team Spur -- including owner Roy Davis and trainer/driver Dick Stillings -- campaigned Barberry Spur. The late Davis' business, Royal Travel, was headquartered just off the main entrance to The Meadows, so Barberry Spur couldn't have been much more local. When Pine Valley won the 2001 Adios for The Meadows-based trainer David Knight, his ownership group included western Pennsylvanians Daniel Miller and Charles Gajda. And the Burkes of nearby Fredericktown have won a pair of Adios titles -- in 2007 with May June Character when family patriarch Mickey Burke headed the operation, and last year's event, won by Dorsoduro Hanover for Mickey's son Ron, harness racing's perennial leading conditioner. Parker has started four horses in the Adios before this year, with mixed success. In 2013, Mattamerican failed to reach the final but took the consolation; he continues to perform in fast classes today. In 2015, Angelo J. Fra reached the final but broke stride there and finished ninth. On paper, the Adios elims look wide open, and Parker considers his horses live. "There are a lot of competitive colts in here -- that's why we got 26 of them," Parker says. "I know neither one of my horses is the best, but they're competitive with the others. They could make it interesting." Unraced at 2, Wild Wild Western (race 7, post 6, Mike Wilder) has earned more than $112,000 this year, third best in his elimination. Jacobs Creek Racing, Andrew Altobelli and John Deters purchased the son of Western Ideal-Caila Fra for $55,000 as a yearling. Deters, by the way, is no stranger to big races. He was part of the ownership group for Numeric Hanover when she won the 2003 Jugette. Wild Wild Western winning a March 15 late closer series leg at The Meadows Wild Wild Western took a Pennsylvania Sires Stake leg this year; in another, he was second to the speedy Southwind Ozzi, the morning line favorite in the third Adios elim. "He has good gate speed, but gate speed is relevant to who else is in the race," Parker says. "He's calm and well mannered. I'm looking forward to racing him for years to come. You know how hard nice horses are to come by." Bred and owned by Bob Key, Volley Ball Beach (race 8, post 8, Tony Hall), has blistering speed, which Parker calls "the best and worst attribute at the same time" for the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Alladorable (a full sister to Mattamerican). "When you move with him," Parker says, "he wants to go 1,000 miles per hour the rest of the way -- even if a horse is covering him up. We've made a lot of equipment changes to try to get him to respect the way we want him to race. Our job is to get him to use his speed at the right time." While Parker is confident his colts can go with their opponents, he's more worried about a more traditional foe -- the weather. With forecasts calling for a 100+ heat index for the next few days, Parker has trained his horses earlier in the morning, reduced their workload and increased their fluid intake. By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

Washington, PA — After a scheduled brief hiatus, harness racing returns to The Meadows on Saturday (April 27) with four Late Closer finals being contested. Trainer Ron Burke is loaded with talent in these races and looks to complete a sweep of the events. The $28,700 Margaret Provost Memorial Trot (race three) for 3-year-old filly trotters is led by the Ron Burke trained Firedbylindie, a daughter of Explosive Matter who was an easy winner in the first two legs of the series, with a career best 1:56 mile in her last start. Starting from post four, the filly will be driven by Dave Palone. Her main competition looks to be coming from the Norm Parker trained Sweet Madam and driver Ronnie Wrenn Jr. from post eight. The $26,300 Ruby Cook Memorial (race four) for 3-year-old filly pacers looks like a match race between the two Ron Burke trained 3-year-old daughters of Sweet Lou, Pretty N Fast and Walk On Air. Both fillies have won their divisions in the first two legs of the series. Dave Palone has driven both fillies in the previous legs and has elected to go with Pretty N Fast, while Mike Wilder picks up the mount of Walk On Air in the final. The two fillies will start next to each other from posts four and five, respectively. The $31,100 Ben Wood Memorial Trot (race five) for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters is led by another Burke trainee, Capt Chaps Hanover, from post position two. Winless in nine starts as a 2-year-old, the gelded son of Explosive Matter is three-for-four in 2019, winning both of his legs in the series. His main competition looks to be from Cash Hit off the rail for trainer Steven Walters and driver Brady Brown, the Karen Fread trained Papi Hanover, post four, and Dirk Simpson’s Explosive Magic from post nine. The $25,400 Tom Kirwan Memorial Pace (race six) for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers looks to be a wide open affair led by a trio of previous series winners. Doctor Jimmy drew the coveted rail with Ronnie Wrenn Jr. for trainer Brian Brown, Doc’s Hooligan drew post two for trainer Bruce Riegle and driver Tony Hall, and Wild Wild Western drew post nine for Norm Parker and Mike Wilder. Although winless in the first two legs, the Ron Burke trained Yacht Week looks formidable after a third place finish in his only start in the series. Yacht Week starts from post eight and sports a 2-year-old record of 1:51.2 at Lexington’s Red Mile. The Meadows will be rolling out its new starting gate on Saturday, with a reduced slant of seven feet, down from the previous slant of 13 feet. Post time for the 14-race card is 1:05 p.m.   from the Meadows

STICKNEY, IL - Over $1.1 million in purse money will be on the line Saturday night at Hawthorne as Night of Champions will take place. Eleven stakes finals for Illinois-breds will highlight the card and will be joined by a pair of tough invite races to compile the 13 race program. In addition to the races, top drivers in Illinois racing history will be on hand for an autograph session from 7:30 - 8:30 PM on the first floor of the grandstand. Food trucks and the outdoor barbeque will serve food as fans can get up close and personal with all of the racing action. Here is a preview of the 13 race card: Race 1 - $136,142 Incredible Finale Championship - 2yo Colt & Gelding Pacers Illinois-bred juvenile pacers kick off the action as a full field lines up. Two horses have been standouts at this level throughout the summer as Meyer on Fire and The Bucket look to battle to the finish. Meyer on Fire comes from the barn of trainer Erv Miller for owner Engel Stable of Illinois LLC as he rides a four race win streak into this final. He got the best of The Bucket last week, winning leg four of this event by three lengths and will look to get the jump again tonight. Mike Oosting drives Meyer on Fire on Saturday. The Bucket races for owners Ken Rucker and George Dremonas as he has won seven times on the year and finished in the money in all ten starts. He was parked without cover in last week's final leg but may look to take the race to Meyer on Fire earlier on Saturday night. Casey Leonard will be in the bike once again for trainer Terry Leonard. Race 2 - $45,000 Plesac Championship - 3yo & up Trotters Illinois-bred aged trotters take to the track as the top female trotter in the state looks to beat the boys. Annas Lucky Star will start from the outside for owner Danny Graham and trainer Nelson Willis. A winner of half of her 16 starts on the year, Annas Lucky Star controlled the pace for driver Kyle Wilfong from the rail in last week's prep but may have to work out a trip from the eight-hole on Saturday. Picky Picky Valor has been equally impressive this year for owner Shelley Steele and trainer Gerald Hansen. With eight victories and 20 top three finishes from 22 starts, Picky Picky Valor and driver Casey Leonard will look to turn the tables on Annas Lucky Star from his second-place finish to her last week. Race 3 - $132,874 Incredible Tillie Championship - 2yo Filly Pacers Juvenile Pacers match up in one of the more wide open divisions of the Night of Champions card. Fox Valley Torrid looks to benefit from the inside draw as she was narrowly defeated last week after winning four consecutive races prior to that start. Owned by Fox Valley Standardbreds and trained by Rodney Freese, Fox Valley Torrid has shown versatility as she may look to rate close from the inside post on Saturday. Casey Leonard drives. Perch got off to a bit of a later start this summer but has been sharp, winning half of her eight starts and finishing in the top three in all of her races. She is familiar with outside draws, closing strongly from the back in championship races from the outside in both Springfield and DuQuoin. Jay Garrels trains Perch. Race 4 - $119,470 Kadabra Championship - 2yo Colt & Gelding Trotters The Kadabra became a very interesting race after the Monday draw as the top two contenders both drew in the outer half of the field. A winner of the last two legs of this race, Trixie's Turbo drew the ten-hole Saturday for owner Charles Doehring, trainer Jared Finn and driver J D Finn. A winner of six of nine on the year, Trixie's Turbo is normally committed to the front end early but showed some versatility in an elimination victory from off the pace in Springfield. Louscardamon starts in post seven as he has speed but has battled staying on stride throughout the summer. Racing for the partnership of Flacco Family Farms LLC and Dr. Patrick Graham for trainer Steve Searle, Louscardamon has shown flashes of brilliance, winning five of his eight starts. He broke stride just after the start last week though, leaving some questions going into the Saturday final. Mike Oosting will be in the bike behind Louscardamon. Race 5 - $45,000 Tony Maurello Championship - 3yo & up Filly & Mare Pacers The Maurello final brings forth one of the most consistent older pacers of the summer to face off against another that may be peaking at the right time. Bucklegirl Bobette has been very good throughout the summer, winning nine of 21 races and taking on tough open company pacers at Hawthorne throughout the summer. Coming from the barn of trainer Rob Rittof, Travis Seekman will likely have her in her familiar front-end position early. A pacer with the opposite racing style, Fancy Creek Jolene will be hoping for a quick and contested pace upfront early for her to close into late. Trained by Kim Hamilton, Fancy Creek Jolene and driver Bobby Smolin teamed up mid-August, winning three races in just over a month, including a score in last week's elimination. Normally one to come from off the pace, she could be the horse that is hitting her stride at the right time. Race 6 - $122,504 Fox Valley Flan Championship - 2yo Filly Trotters Multiple horses vie for the title of top female juvenile trotter in the state as half of this field can make a strong case that they are best. Louzotic looks to benefit from the inside draw for owner Flacco Family Farms and trainer Steve Searle as she has won six of ten starts on the year, along with winning her division of the last two legs of this race. E L Game On has finished in the top three in 10 of 11 races this summer, closing as the runner-up to Louzotic in her last two starts. Donald and Sharri Huddleston own for trainer Mike Rogers. The winningest juvenile trotter in North America starts right next to E L Game On as Loussolataire looks for her 17th victory of the year for owner Steven Renard. Also trained by Steve Searle, Loussolataire snuck through along the inside late to score in the final leg of this race last week. Puddin Cheeks has early speed and has been a bit of a later bloomer this summer. Racing for trainer Jared Finn, Puddin Cheeks was a strong winner in leg three of this series and just missed to Loussolataire here last week. Encantado will have to work out a trip from her outside draw as she races for trainer Jim Eaton. A winner of four of seven on the year, she has shown she can close late and looks to get a heated pace ahead of her early on Saturday. Race 7 - $45,000 Robert S. Molaro Championship - 3yo & up Pacers Aged pacers line up Saturday as Unlocked leads this field off a game victory in last week's elimination. Owned by Megan Rogers Racing Stables Inc. and trained by Norm Parker, Unlocked has made only five starts in 2018. After a bit of a slow start to the year, the seven-year-old gelding put together a good pair of qualifiers at the Meadows before shipping into Hawthorne last week. Driven by Jim Pantaleano, Unlocked got a perfect tracking trip and was able to draw clear at the wire. With 32 victories from 100 career starts for over half a million in earnings, Unlocked will be the likely favorite again on Saturday. Race 8 - $99,032 Beulah Dygert Memorial Championship - 3yo Filly Trotters Trainer Steve Searle has a bunch of live trotters on the Night of Champions card as he sends out Trotting Grace in this final. After a good two-year-old campaign in 2017, she got off to a bit of a slow start in 2018. Things have turned around at the right time for her for owners Mystical Marker Farms LLC, Bill Wright and Steve Searle as she has won five of her last six races coming into this final. Regular driver Kyle Husted will be back in the bike once again. Just to Trotting Grace's inside may be her toughest competition, coming from Maui Mama. Also owned by Bill Wright, Maui Mama is trained by Mike Brink and gets Casey Leonard in the bike. She has found the board in all nine of her races in 2018, but has finished behind Trotting Grace in each of her last four races. Race 9 - $25,000 Invitational Trot The first of two full field invitational races on the Night of Champions card pits a strong field of trotters, coming together from five different locations. With nearly $700,000 in career earnings, Satin Dancer draws well in the middle of this field for owner Summit Pacing Acres LLC and trainer Byron Hooley. A winner three times on the year, Satin Dancer has been competitive in open races at Pocono, The Meadowlands, and Yonkers. Swan Chase draws the far outside, but comes into the invite hitting the board 12 times from 14 starts on the year. He comes in off a strong string of races at Hoosier Park into this spot and has shown an ability to close with a rush late. Swan Chase is owned by John Barnard for trainer Bill Crone. Race 10 - $25,000 Invitational Pace A very fast field of pacers will look to go sub-1:50 as trainer Ron Burke sends out Dancin Yankee on Saturday. With over $1.8 million in career earnings, Dancin Yankee has won nine times on the year for over $160,000 in earnings. A versatile pacer in style, Dancin Yankee looks to go favored in this tough field. New Talent comes in off back to back sub 1:49 miles at Hoosier as he will look to overcome the far outside draw. Owned by Thomas Pollack and Jeffrey Cullipher and trained by Tim Clevenger, New Talent returned off a tough trip in the Dan Patch at Hoosier to come back with a seven-length triumph in 1:48.3 in his next start. Race 11 - $160,080 Robert F. Carey Jr. Memorial Championship - 3yo Colt & Gelding Pacers Reigning 2017 Illinois-bred Horse of the Year Fox Valley Gemini looks to continue his string of undefeated races over the Hawthorne track as he leads this talented field. With 17 victories at Hawthorne, Fox Valley Gemini made amends after facing his first two career defeats in Springfield at the Illinois State Fair this summer. He returned to Hawthorne and qualified with the addition of Lasix and then proceeded to destroy a field by over seven lengths in the final leg of this series. Casey Leonard drives for trainer Terry Leonard and owner Jim Ballinger. You'remyhearthrob is the one that snapped Fox Valley Gemini's streak in Springfield, when he scored in driver Kyle Wilfong's 1,000 career driving victory. Trained by Brett Wilfong, You'remyhearthrob has finished in the top three in all 14 starts this season, including a strong victory in his division of the final leg of this race last week. Race 12 - $125,140 Plum Peachy Championship - 3yo Filly Pacers Allbeastnobeauty headlines the field in the Plum Peachy final as she enters this race with eight victories from 14 starts on the year. Owned in partnership by trainer Mike Brink, Josh Carter, Mark Brown, and Lawrence Crawford, Allbeastnobeauty was game in victory in four straight races before finishing third in the final leg of this series. Her versatility should put her close to the pace as she will look to take over late for driver Mike Oosting. A champion in 2017, Fox Valley Jazzy will be looking to get the jump on Allbeastnobeauty as she draws inside of her on Saturday night. After winning eight of 13 races in 2017, she has scored just twice from eleven 2018 starts, but has finished in the top three nine times. She races on Saturday for owner Cathy Finn-Kanitz and trainer Dale Kanitz as Ridge Warren drives. Race 13 - $83,696 Erwin F. Dygert Memorial Championship - 3yo Colt & Gelding Trotters The final race on the Night of Champions card looks to be very competitive as Majistic Caprice and Illinimight lead this field of ten. Illinimight races for owners Keith and Kevin Miller and trainer Mike Brink as he looks to follow the same pattern that was successful for him in 2017. After a slow start last year, he peaked late, racing well in the final month of the meet. He has had a similar season this year, posting wins in three of his last four races, including a strong score in the final leg of this series last week. Casey Leonard drives. Majistic Caprice has won half of his 18 starts on the year as he draws in the middle of this field. A horse with versatility, he finished fourth behind Illinimight last week, but also had to overcome an outside draw. Majistic Caprice races on Saturday for trainer Roshun Trigg. Hawthorne Race Course, Chicago's Hometown Track, continues the summer harness season through September 24. Fall thoroughbreds close out the year, running from October 5 through December 29. For more information, visit or contact Hawthorne at 708-780-3700. by Jim Miller, for Hawthorne Race Course

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 17, 2018 -- Chef Lee had little trouble reaching the point in the compact field of four, but he had to dig in late to preserve his second straight victory in Monday's harness racing feature at The Meadows, a $13,000 Conditioned Trot. Mike Wilder gave Chef Lee a comfortable 29.3 second quarter, but he couldn't shake the pocket-sitting Explosive Leggs, who fell 1/2 length short in the Lightning Lane, with Mac Deeno a ground-saving third. Winning time for the 6-year-old Cantab Hall-Summer Savory gelding was 1:55.4 over a sloppy surface. Norm Parker owns and trains Chef Lee, who lifted his career bankroll to $360,165. Dave Palone collected four wins and Wilder three on the 12-race card. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

Friday the 13th proved to be lucky for Looking For Zelda as she romped to a near six-length triumph in the first of two $50,000 Ohio Sires Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies on a perfect summer evening at Scioto Downs, timed in a new track record clocking of 1:54.1. Conditioned by The Meadows-based Norm Parker for breeder-owner Robert Key of Leechburg, PA, the leggy sophomore daughter by Break The Bank K grabbed the lead early and was never headed throughout. In fact, Looking For Zelda was already on top by a full three lengths in the final turn--after flying by three-quarter mile marker in a hasty 1:24.3 in rein to Tony Hall. The victory was Looking For Zelda's third of the year in five starts and her tenth lifetime in 16 tries. She now has $295,902 in her coffers. She was sent off at as the 1-5 favorite, with 6-1 Sesame (Aaron Merriman) second by 5¾ lengths and 50-1 Infrontandforgetit (Kayne Kauffman) getting up for third, 7½ lengths back. To no one's surprise, Non Smoker captured the second OSS division in 1:55.1 as the 9-5 favorite, besting the late-rushing 5-2 Impinktoo (Kayne Kauffman) by a scant neck. The My MVP lass trotted solidly for trainer-driver Danny Noble in front-stepping fashion the entire mile, before nabbing her third consecutive victory in this OSS series. Mild 12-1 longshot California Love (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) was third, three-quarters of a length behind the winner. Bred by Stephanie Smith-Rothaug of West Jefferson, Ohio, Non Smoker has earned $102,161 lifetime for Norman Rae Racing of Xenia, Ohio from six wins in 14 career starts. The fourth and final leg of this OSS series will be contested on Aug. 20 at Northfield Park, with Non Smoker the clear leader in this series with 153 points, while Impinktoo sits second with 78 points and Looking For Zelda and California Love tied for third with 73 points each. Red Storm has 70 points; Spunky Bottom Girl (53); Sesame (45); Risky Deal (28); To Russia (24); and Count On Rosey (18). Points will be tallied after the fourth OSS leg to determine which of these fillies will be eligible to the $275,000 Final which will be contested on Sept. 8 at Scioto Downs. Kimberly Rinker, OSDF Administrator

WASHINGTON, PA, June 5, 2018 -- Freshened by a month off, Looking For Zelda grabbed the early lead from post 4 for Tony Hall and rolled home in a stake-record 1:54.1 in Tuesday's $73,835 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old filly trotters at The Meadows. The stake was conducted over three divisions, with Mike Wilder and trainer John Butenschoen teaming to take the other splits with Nixie Volo and Bill's Lady. Looking for Zelda hadn't raced since finishing third in a May 4 Ohio Sires Stake at Miami Valley. Trainer Norm Parker said the vacation just happened to work out that way -- and work for the best -- for the daughter of Break The Bank K -- My Winning Way K. "Any time a filly has to ship down to near Cincinnati to race twice, it's a little bit stressful for her," Parker said. "The break was a good thing. She came back really good." In the Currier & Ives, she thwarted the first-over bid of Msnaughtyashill and held off the Lightning Lane charge of Kenziesky Hanover by 1/2 length. Msnaughtyashill saved show. The time knocked a tick from the previous stake mark established by Smokinmombo in 2015. Parker said Bob Key's homebred, who lifted her career bankroll to $271,902, would next race Monday in an Ohio Sires Stake at Northfield Park. Nixie Volo entered the Currier & Ives off a powerful 1:54.3 triumph in a PA Sires Stake at Pocono, and bettors took note, hammering her down to 1-9. The daughter of Yankee Glide-No I'm Not did not disappoint, seizing the lead from post 6 and coasting to victory in 1:56. Donato's Jewel rallied for place, 2-1/4 lengths back, while Lady Palema completed the ticket. "I talked to John (Butenschoen) about her today, and he really couldn't tell me anything I wouldn't like about her," Wilder said. "I tried to keep her out of harm's way, and she did the rest. I think she has a pretty bright future." Nixie Volo now has earned $127,486 for Kentuckiana Racing Stable, VIP Internet Stable and 83 Racing. Bill's Lady made it look just as easy, moving to the point past the quarter and opening a 4-length lead at the half. The daughter of Donato Hanover-Homefortheholidays cruised home in 1:56.3, 1-1/2 lengths better than the rallying Andovermizbrenda, with D'Bomb third. "I drove her once last year and got her beat on the lead," Wilder said. "It was late in the season (in the Keystone Classic), so she might have been getting a little tired, but she sure seems good this year. She matured quite a bit." William Wiswell and M&L Of Delaware campaign Bill's Lady, who vaulted over $100,000 in lifetime earnings. Wilder finished the 13-race card with four wins while Dave Palone and Hall each fashioned a triple. Wednesday's card at The Meadows features the $110,260 open division of the Currier & Ives, which goes as races 1 and 3. First post is 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

Harness racing trainer Norm Parker has a way with the ladies. At least the four-legged kind.   The 56-year-old conditioner has done nothing less than condition two of the top Ohio-bred freshman trotting fillies to a starting berth in the $250,000 Ohio Sires Stakes 2-Year-Old Filly Championship on Saturday, Sept. 2 at Scioto Downs.   Looking For Zelda and Sugar Break finished first and seventh respectively in the freshman trotting distaff division with the former sweeping all four legs of the series and the later winning leg 2 and finishing second in leg 3--the only two OSS events she started in. These young Standardbreds have drawn posts one and two in the Championship, slated as Race 2 on the 15-program. Both are by the stallion Break The Bank K, and both are owned and were bred by Robert Key of Leechburg, PA. "You always worry when you get into a big race about the draw," Parker said. "It's the first step in the process of a major race. For me, it's very exciting to be racing in Ohio as it's been awhile since I've been here, and we couldn't have asked for better post positions." Born and raised in Cincinnati, Parker spent his first decade traveling with his father throughout the Buckeye State, racing horses. "I have a lot of great memories about sitting on the Scioto backstretch, waiting for my dad to finish racing," Parker recalled. "We moved to Welston, Ohio, when I was about 11 and raced at Scioto during the summertime. So I have a very big place in my heart for Ohio and for being able to be part of the Championship program. This is what we--as trainers--work for every day. " Looking For Zelda is the undefeated, $101,000-winning homebred second foal out of the Conway Hall mare My Winning Way K 3, 1:59.4f ($77,488), and is a half-sister to Boyz N Guitars (by Muscle Massive) 2, 1:58.3f ($24,007). Besides her sweep of the OSS legs, she also captured a $42,000 Ohio Fair Stake on July 27 in 1:57.1. Parker says she is nothing short of perfect. "She's handled everything perfectly that we've thrown at her," he confirmed. "She responded in the baby qualifiers just the way we had hoped, and hasn't stopped from there. She's very professional." Looking For Zelda began her career via a trio of qualifiers at The Meadows on June 2, 8 and 22, finishing fifth, third and winning the third one in 2:00.4 with Tony Hall at the lines. Her career debut came on July 3 at Northfield Park when she wired the field in the first of her four $40,000 OSS events, stopping the timer in 1:59.1. "It's nice to get a horse like her that does everything for you," Parker acknowledged. "It makes my job easy. She has the ability, which is the best part of training her. She's very simply rigged and shod and only wears trotting boots behind and has pretty much been a plain Jane or plain Zelda." Looking For Zelda's stablemate, Sugar Break, is not as easy to work with, despite being loaded with talent, Parker says. She is the first foal out of the Angus Hall mare Sugar Heart 3, 1:57.4f ($36,485) and owns a lone win scored in her OSS contest, along with a pair of second-place finishes, with $36,485 in her coffers. "She's been kind of a late developer so we raced her in the Stallion Series first and she was second in her first start at Northfield," Parker said. "Overall, we're pretty pleased with how she's developed, but she's a big, strong mare and tends to get anxious about racing so we've been trying to teach her how to race and keep her calm at the same time. We've kept an ear hood on her and that seems to help keep her more comfortable." Sugar Break won her July 19 OSS event at Scioto Downs in 1:57.4, before finishing fourth in a $42,000 Ohio Fair Stake there on July 27. She was a strong second in her third OSS leg on Aug. 4 but had to be scratched from Leg 4 when she came up sick. "In that last sires stakes race she started getting sick and then we weren't able to race her at Northfield," Parker lamented. "She came down with an ugly viral infection, and we think we have it pretty well cleared up for the championship. "We plan on racing both of these fillies at Delaware, too," he continued. "They're both staked heavily and their ability level will tell us where we go from there. Zelda is eligible to the Breeders Crown and a lot will depend upon what happens in the next two weeks with her." Parker says having an owner-breeder to train for is a bonus--as in this case when Key owns the stallion Break The Bank K. "Bob (Key) is so passionate about the sport--he wants to breed champions, and he's got his own broodmares and his own sires that he breeds too and it's just another way for him to enjoy the business," Parker stressed. Having a good partnership with a driver, who is cognizant of a horse's ability--never hurts either, Parker admitted. "I use Tony (Hall) as much as I can," Parker explained. "I like his driving style and I know he likes to go to Ohio to race and I picked him to drive Zelda originally because I thought he fit her well. He's a really good driver and understands what I like and what I expect in regards to what a horse needs from a driver. "It also really helps when a driver has affection for a horse," Parker continued. "When Tony first qualified Zelda, he told me she was a nice horse and that he'd like to stick with her. The third time he qualified her, he asked her to go a little bit in the stretch and she won easily. That time, when he bought her back, he looked at me, put his fingers to his lips and went 'shhhhhhhhhhh.' That's when I knew he thought a lot of her." About the Ohio Sires Stakes: Ohio-breds are made eligible to the four-part series--featuring $40,000 purses per divisional leg--divided by age, gait and gender, by their owners with a March 15 payment. In 2017, the Ohio Standardbred Development Fund (OSDF) received 1,148 nominations of 2- and 3-year-old foals sired by Ohio-registered pacing and trotting stallions. The most lucrative of any series for Ohio-bred Standardbreds, the Ohio Sires Stakes saw a 6% gain in nominations from 2016 (1,091 nominees) and a 49% increase of 2015 nominations (774). Horses in the series are awarded points based on where they finish in each of the legs. Accumulated points are totaled after Leg 4, and Championships eligible-youngsters are posted on the Ohio State Racing Commission website ( Post time for the Ohio Sires Stakes Championships is 6:30 pm.   by Kimberly Rinker, OSDF Administrator    

Trainer Norm Parker had a banner night at Scioto Downs on July 19, winning a pair of four $40,000 Ohio Sires Stakes contested for harness rcing 2-year-old trotting fillies. Parker, 56, made the trek to Scioto Downs from his home base of The Meadows in Pennsylvania and his rookie fillies--who are each owned and bred by Robert J. Key of Leechburg, PA--more than paid their way. First, Parker harnessed 2-1 Looking For Zelda to victory, who finished second but was placed first when 3-1 Tickle My Fancy (Josh Sutton) made several choppy breaks in the late stretch.   The Break The Bank K lass had won OSS Leg 1 at Northfield in 1:59.1 for driver Tony Hall, who was back in the sulky for this second triumph.   "Paul Reed trained both of these fillies down in Florida all winter for (owner) Bob (Key) and we got them the first part of May," Parker offered. "We just put the finishing touches on their training. 'Zelda' has been perfect throughout, and we've been careful to keep her quiet, as the Break The Bank Ks can tend to get a little hot.   "Tony (driver Hall) certainly wanted to win with 'Zelda' but he wanted to do it the right way and that's why he sat in with her tonight," Parker explained. "He told me that he wants to teach her to race correctly so that she can control her speed as she progresses."   Tickle My Fancy was placed third and that moved third-place finisher, 28-1 longshot Dashanay (Chris Page) up to second. The victory--Looking For Zelda's second in as many starts--upped her career earnings to $40,000. Time for the mile was 1:56.3, which equaled the Scioto track record for 2-year-old trotting fillies.   Looking For Zelda is the second foal out of the Conway Hall mare My Winning Way K 3, 1:59.4f ($77,488) and is a half-sister to the Muscle Massive colt Boyz N Guitars 2, 1:58.3f ($24,007), who is also owned by Key.   Parker then tightened the girth on 9-5 Sugar Break, another Break The Bank K lass who was clocked in 1:57.4 in her first career victory with Hall in the sulky.   "She's been a bit more slow to mature, but is a nice big filly, who is getting there," Parker said. "She's getting the hang of things, just a bit more slowly than the other filly."   Hall moved Sugar Break three-wide around the final turn and the solidly-gaited filly got up just in time to best 65-1 longshot Risky Deal (Crist Hershberger) by a head at the wire. Champagne Hall finished third, two lengths back, at odds of 5-2 for driver Aaron Merriman. Sugar Break now has $23,125 in her bank account for owner-breeder Key. She is the first foal out of the Angus Hall mare Sugar Heart 3, 2:02.2f ($7,199).   Impinktoo, a Jim Dailey-trainee, posted a 1:57.4 clocking via her OSS victory. Peter Wrenn was in the sulky behind the 4-1 choice, who is owned by Billy Walters and Joe McLead of Delaware, OH and Rtk Racing of Powell, OH. The Manofmanymissions lass used come-from-behind tactics to score the win, the first of her career in two starts. Red Storm was second at 6-1 for Aaron Merriman, while 14-1 Simplyamission was third with Tyler Smith at the controls.   Impinktoo had previously finished second in Leg 1 at Northfield Park on July 3 to the aforementioned Looking For Zelda and now has $30,000 in lifetime earnings. Bred by Jay Mossbarger, Impinktoo is a half-sister to world champion Pinkman 3, 1:51 ($2.5+ million) and is the third foal out of the Angus Hall mare Margie Seelster 6, 1:55.1s ($247,483). Co-owner McLead purchased the filly for $27,000 at the 2016 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale.   Sesame was given a perfect steer by Aaron Merriman to win her OSS division in 1:58.4. The Triumphant Caviar daughter was sent off as the even-money choice and prevailed by a neck over the hard-driving, 14-1 longshot Ed's Chargin lady (Tyler Smith), while Storm Beach O'Kidd was third with Peter Wrenn at the lines.   Conditioned and co-owned by Chris Beaver in partnership with Wilbur Lang of Jamestown, OH, Sesame had won her OSS-leg 1 event at Northfield Park on July 3 in 1:59. Bred by Ohio's Jonas L. Schlabach, she is now two-for-two, with $40,000 in her seasonal coffers. Sesame is the fifth of six foals out of the Credit Winner mare Jewell Creek and is a half-sister to Explosive Ripple (by Explosive Matter) 4, 1:58.f ($84,089).   by Kimberly Rinker, OSDF Administrator

WASHINGTON, PA, March 13, 2017 -- Terrortina spotted the leader 4 lengths down the backside, then gobbled her up in the lane to capture her second straight Donna Dunn Memorial Pace split at The Meadows. Flight On Board, a 25-1 long shot, took the other $12,500 division in Monday's second leg of the series for harness racing 3- and 4-year-old fillies and mares. Terrortina was fourth when Jim Pantaleano sent her after Handover The Art. She moved into second and settled back to the pylons for a quick breather before polishing off Handover The Art and prevailing in 1:56.3. Kaks Dragon Attack rallied for second, 1/2 length back, in her first start of the year while Ashlees Cocktail was fourth-placed-third. Norm Parker trains Terrortina, a 4-year-old daughter of Western Terror-Alladorable, for owner/breeder Bob Key. In the $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace, Show Runner blew by Lakeisha Hall in the Lightning Lane to down her by a neck in 1:53.4 for Jim Pantaleano, trainer Christen Pantaleano and owner A Piece Of The Action LLC. Spreester earned show. The 7-year-old daughter of Little Steven-Peace Runner now boasts a career bankroll of $429,691. Mike Wilder and trainer Paul Corey teamed for a pair of winners on the 12-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Chef Lee whipped up a new "Specialty of the House" Wednesday at The Meadows -- a 59-1 upset harness racing victory in the $16,500 Winners Over $10,000 Life Trot. Mike Wilder hustled Chef Lee from post 9 to the front, where he released the lead to I Know My Chip. The 4-year-old Cantab Hall-Summer Savory gelding stalked I Know My Chip from the pocket and edged him by a neck in the Lightning Lane in a career-best 1:53.3. TSM Photo Bugger finished third. Norm Parker trains and owns Chef Lee, who now boasts $216,914 in career earnings. Jim Pantaleano piloted three winners on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday, when the program features two stakes for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters: a $167,303 Pennsylvania Sires Stake and a $100,000 PA Stallion Series event. First post is 1 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

It's a long time from April to August, but it is never too soon to dream Hambletonian dreams. Trainer Norm Parker hopes his dream can become a reality with Breedlove. Breedlove was a slow-to-develop 2-year-old who saw his 2015 season cut short by sickness. Now at age 3, the colt has won two preliminary rounds of the Classicality Trot Series at The Meadows and is the 5-2 morning line favorite in Tuesday's $33,100 final. Following the series, Breedlove is expected to compete in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. If all goes well, a trip to the Meadowlands for the $1 million Hambletonian Stakes on Aug. 6 could be in his future. A long shot? Perhaps. But that's what dreams are made of. "You can't always be the one who has the favorite going into those races," said Parker, who trains Breedlove for Neil and Pamela Kelly's Shaleni Farm LLC. Pamela is the sister of Parker's wife Paulette. "If everybody only raced when they had the favorite, you wouldn't have a race. You go and buy these horses and you have to dream big. "The home run race is the Hambletonian. It's a long way to go to get there, but it's out there and it would be a dream. I don't know if he's that good, obviously, but he's got a lot of potential. We all have those dreams, so we took a shot. He's going to have to get faster and make quite a bit of money before we would do it, but I would love to race in it." Breedlove is a son of stallion Cantab Hall out of the mare Siren Hall. He was purchased for $34,000 at the 2014 Standardbred Horse Sale. He is a half-brother to Evil Urges, who won three preliminary divisions of the New York Sire Stakes in 2011 and finished second in the final. Breedlove's dam is a half-sister to two-time Kentucky Sire Stakes champion Shaman Hall as well as overseas winner Angelo. "We were looking for a trotter," Parker said. "We had a bunch of them picked out and found we weren't able to spend enough money on some of the other ones we wanted. We came to him. Our limit was $30,000 at the time, but we decided we had to spend a little bit more if we want a horse like this. "We liked what he looked like and his pedigree was pretty nice. Being a Cantab; I had (trotter) Chef Lee and liked him a lot. I thought I'd like a Cantab if I could get one, which everybody does of course. I loved the way (Breedlove) trotted on the video and just took a shot." Parker owns Cantab Hall-bred Chef Lee, who last year finished second to Jacksons Minion in a division of the Arden Downs Stakes one week before Jacksons Minion finished fifth in the Hambletonian. Chef Lee wasn't eligible to the Hambletonian, but after seeing Jacksons Minion's performance Parker was left to wonder what might have been. "I thought, that would be such a thrill; a neat thing," Parker said. Breedlove finished off the board in his first two races last year, but then started to show improvement. By the time the colt won in 1:57.3 in his sixth start, Parker began thinking the colt might be open-stakes worthy, even toying with the idea of entering the Breeders Crown if the horse continued to make positive strides. But Breedlove was found to be sick following his next start, finishing sixth in a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes, and was unable to return to health in a timely manner so Parker decided to stop with him. "He was a very slow comer," Parker said. "He's had some issues being around other horses, to get comfortable trotting around the other horses. It took a while for me to get the equipment on him that he needed. When he started racing he was a little green in doing things so we brought him along slowly. When he won his maiden race in (1):57.3 he did it real handily and we thought we were going in the right direction. We thought we could get him back (from his illness) but he didn't come out of it well so we just shut him down. "We didn't get as much out of the year as we expected but I still thought I had a really nice horse to bring back this year," he added. This year, Breedlove finished fifth in his seasonal debut --- and was found to be sick again --- but bounced back with consecutive victories in the Classicality Trot Series. He will start Tuesday's final from post No. 3 with regular driver Mike Wilder at the lines. "He's so good gaited," Parker said. "He's got a good attitude. I just think there's a lot of upside to him. Everything is working to plan so far, using this series as a good experience and hopefully making some money and then taking a shot in the sire stakes. I know there are some nice horses there, but I think he's got the ability to trot with them." Parker is thankful for the Classicality Trot Series and the opportunity to get more experience for Breedlove. "It's a very good thing because you're not racing the older horses (in conditioned races) that have more experience," Parker said. "In a series like this, you can kind of educate (the horse) while racing your own kind. I think the tracks need to keep them going. "You spend a lot of money on young horses to try to make them into solid racehorses that also are feeding our overnight races, and if you get lucky and get a stakes horse you can reap the benefits. That's where our racehorses come from; people buying young horses and developing them. Our sport needs more of them, so these are good races for that." As for the Hambletonian, a trip to the Meadowlands on Aug. 6 could be a family affair in more ways than one. In addition to training Breedlove for his sister-in-law and her husband, Parker's sister Kathy has a well-regarded 3-year-old female trotter named in her honor. Kathy Parker, the person, is the editor of The Horseman And Fair World magazine and a member of the Harness Racing Communicators Hall of Fame. Kathy Parker, the trotter, earned $343,797 for trainer Jimmy Takter and is eligible to the Hambletonian Oaks. "Wouldn't that be exciting; I don't know who would be more nervous, me or Kathy," Parker said about the possibility of Breedlove and Kathy Parker both racing in Hambletonian events. "It's just pretty exciting to have a nice horse like this. It's a good family bonding thing and everyone enjoys it." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

Dismissed at 19-1, Breedlove launched an explosive uncovered move that gobbled up the field and carried him to a 19-1 upset victory in Tuesday's opening leg of the Classicality Trot at The Meadows. The event for harness racing 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters honors Classicality, a fast-class trotter currently performing at The Meadows for Dunn Stable. Breedlove, with only a maiden victory to his credit, got away third from post 8 and moved willingly first over for Mike Wilder down the backside, He drew off to score in 1:58.1, 5-1/4 lengths better that early leader Chip's Halloffame, with Treasure Quest K third. Norm Parker trains the son of Cantab Hall-Siren Hall for Shaleni Farm LLC. The other $17,500 Classicality division was an odd-looking affair that began innocently enough when Moneycounts De Vie left for Dan Rawlings from post 8 and appeared to be settling in the pocket. But the leader, Judge Russell, broke stride, left the course and continued to race inside the pylons. In all the confusion, Moneycounts De Vie found himself shuffled, without apparent racing room. But Rawlings angled him off the cones, and the Andover Hall-Nordicdish gelding powered home to triumph in 1:57.3. The first-over Meadowbranch Memo was second, 3/4 lengths back, while Edinburgh earned show. Dirk Simpson conditions Moneycounts Di Vie for James Bafia and Dirk Simpson Stable. Wilder piloted five winners on the 15-race card while trainer Mark Goldberg enjoyed a triple. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Jim Pantaleano collected five wins -- including three for trainer Norm Parker -- on Monday's 15-race harness racing program at The Meadows, perhaps not big news because those guys roll up impressive statistics regularly. Steve Walters won race 11 with Night Music on the Monday card, and that is big news because Walters was making only his fourth start in a purse race since 2008. His last win came in 2007 at The Meadows. Ironically, Walters wasn't originally named on Night Music. But when Tony Hall had to call off his assignments, trainer Jim Rothfuss tabbed Walters to replace him on the 3-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Michelle My Gal, a four-race maiden. The public wasn't deterred by Walters' long absence from the sulky, making Night Music the third choice at 7-2 in the $8,200 Non-Winners of 1 event for fillies and mares. Walters handled her capably and confidently, reaching the lead with a quarter-pole move and rationing her speed. She scored in 1:56.3, a neck ahead of Bettor Than Silk, with Cedar Wapsi Road third. Michael Ouriel and Howard Ouriel campaign Night Moves. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

When Jim Clarke Sr. invited longtime friend Andy Altobelli to join him in buying a harness racing yearling a little more than four years ago, he set their budget at $35,000. After Clarke exceeded that number by two grand to purchase female pacer Coffee Addict at the 2011 Standardbred Horse Sale, he joked the toughest part of the day was calling Altobelli with the news. "I was quite happy, but the hardest thing for me was telling Andy that I had to go a little bit above what we intended to spend," Clarke said, adding with a laugh. "He said don't worry about it, that's all right. I said, 'good.' "We've been crazy about her ever since. She's a really nice mare." Now a 6-year-old, Coffee Addict has won 23 races and earned $463,779 during her career. Clarke has owned horses off and on since the late 1970s, but Coffee Addict was Altobelli's first racehorse. "Maybe it was just beginner's luck," said Altobelli, a 63-year-old pharmacist and pharmacy owner from York County, Pennsylvania. "She was just a good horse right from the get-go." Coffee Addict, a daughter of stallion Dragon Again out of the mare Kahlua Queen, wasn't on Clarke's list of horses when he went to the auction. Clarke attended the sale with Zan "Pete" Kaiser and Kaiser's son, Zach, and Pete suggested Clarke take a look at the filly after Clarke was unsuccessful in buying several other horses. Kaiser was unfamiliar with Coffee Addict, but had seen her full brother Mudslide race recently and thought he was a nice colt. "When I got back to see her, she was being prepped to go up to the ring," Clarke said. "I looked at her and couldn't see a pimple on her. Then I sat down in a chair and just watched her demeanor for about 20 minutes. She stood perfectly. She didn't even flick her ear. She was just so attentive. She was showing me that she was a smart horse. She had a head on her shoulders. "I thought I had to buy her. I was so glad Pete suggested I go back and look. I probably wouldn't have looked at her going through the ring." Kaiser trained Coffee Addict through the middle of her 3-year-old season, when she moved to trainer Bruce Saunders and captured a Keystone Classic division at The Meadows in 2013 and later became a top performer in the Fillies & Mares Open Handicap ranks at Yonkers Raceway. Last September, Coffee Addict joined the stable of trainer Norm Parker at The Meadows. She has raced almost exclusively at the western Pennsylvania oval since then, winning seven of 17 starts and hitting the board a total of 14 times. She has won back-to-back races in the top-level handicap division for filly and mare pacers at The Meadows and is entered again for Monday (Feb. 15). "Pete is great at starting up horses, bringing along the young ones, and Bruce did a great job with her too," Clarke said. "At this point in her career I decided I wanted her to race where she lives, and I had done business with Norm a few years ago with Fionavar Hanover. He's been doing a terrific job." Added Altobelli, "We've had people right on through who have done a very good job with her. We've been very fortunate, very lucky. It's been a thrill, for sure." The calm demeanor Coffee Addict displayed while Clarke watched her prior to the yearling sale is not always evident these days on the racetrack. "She's relatively calm, but when she gets on the track she turns into a whole different person," Clarke said. "She had two personalities, I feel. But one thing about her, she's always trying." The 76-year-old Clarke is the retired former owner of a chain of building supply/home improvement centers in southcentral Pennsylvania. He also worked for 84 Lumber for a number of years prior to starting his own business. He was hired at 84 Lumber in 1966 by company founder Joe Hardy and went on to manage several stores. Clarke's interest in harness racing goes back to his days growing up in western New York. He worked as a groom at Buffalo Raceway when he was a teenager and also had a cousin involved in horse ownership. "I've always loved the sport," Clarke said. "I was transferred to Atlanta many years ago for work and we would travel to Hawkinsville to watch the horses at the winter training center and I would talk with all the horsemen. I couldn't wait to get back north and get back involved in harness racing because I could afford to own horses. I came back in 1975 and in 1978, I believe, I bought my first horse. I've been on and off owning horses since then." Altobelli grew up in New Jersey, but spent time as a teenager helping out at his grandfather's dairy farm in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. In 1985, Altobelli bought his own farm in Pennsylvania and raises beef cattle in addition to working as a pharmacist. His interest in harness racing was fueled in part by living near renowned breeding facility Hanover Shoe Farms, as well as his own interest in breeding and genetics. "There were many times we would stop over at Hanover Shoe Farms and see the foals and just look around," Altobelli said. "I really study the stallions and the classic families. I'm trying to get a better background. Even though I've been in it for five years I feel like I'm an amateur. Jim has been kind of a mentor to me and I'm always wanting to learn more." Clarke and Altobelli own three more horses together now: 5-year-old female pacer Adelita Hanover, 4-year-old female pacer Picksync Hanover, and 2-year-old male pacer Gossip Boy (who is a half-brother to millionaire McCedes). "It's a great partnership," Clarke said. "I don't know where it will go, but I'll be doing it for as long as I can. For us to have a horse like Coffee Addict, it's meant a lot. I've gotten a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction out of her. It's just satisfying for us to have what we consider a pretty nice one for just two guys from the York County area." Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications  

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