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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - The New York Sire Stakes is urging harness racing participants to consider submitting 2- and 3-year-old payments due on April 15 online due to the uncertain climate surrounding COVID-19. Business as usual continues at the NYSS, but this request is being made so that we may continue to process your payments in a timely manner in the case of office closures or mail disruption in the future. Invoices for 2 and 3-year-olds were mailed on March 13. The payment deadline remains April 15. You can submit online payments here. If you decide to mail your payment, we strongly encourage utilizing Certified Mail to have documentation of on-time payment. Yearling nomination payments are due on May 15. These payments cannot be made online and must be mailed. We encourage Certified Mail in this instance as well. Yearling nomination forms were mailed to mare owners on March 16. The nomination form is also available online here.  We are working hard to make sure our office is available and communicating with you at this time. The most reliable way to contact the New York Sire Stakes is to email info@nysirestakes.com. We will continue to update all participants if circumstances require. If you do not already have an email address on file, please send that to us at the email above to ensure direct receipt. Thank you for your understanding. About the Agriculture & NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund: The Agriculture & NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund is a public benefit corporation established in 1965 by the Laverne Law (Laws of New York, Chapter 567 of the Laws of 1965). The mission of the fund is to promote agriculture through the breeding of Standardbred horses and the conduct of equine research within the state. To carry out its legislative mission, the Fund administers the New York Sire Stakes races, Excelsior/State Fair Series races, and County Fair Races.  

Cranbury, NJ.... The Hambletonian Society office is following state and federal guidelines in regard to the suppression and containment of the COVID-19 virus. Credit card payment of stakes fees is working successfully in the inaugural use, and mail and overnight delivery has been uninterrupted so far. Most work is being done remotely from home and employees are staggering office attendance to deal with the influx of stake payments but minimize contact. If you have any questions or need help with staking before the midnight March 17 postmark deadline please call 609-371-2211 or email our staking manager David Janes at Davidjanes@hambletonian.org. Our office will respond as quickly as we can. The Hambletonian Society Winter Board Meeting scheduled for March 22 will be conducted via teleconference. Further updates will be made available when the situation changes. The health of the racing industry and our Standardbred community continues to be our priority.  

Frank J. Bellino, 85, owner of hundreds of harness racing during his life including 2010 Horse of the Year Rock N Roll Heaven, passed away Tuesday morning (March 17) of a heart attack. Bellino, who founded a successful construction firm and also owned commercial real estate throughout the United States, started in the harness racing industry in 1982 and has owned a number of top pacers and trotters by himself and in partnership with his sons Joe and George. In addition to Rock N Roll Heaven, a 2017 Harness Racing Hall of Fame inductee who earned $2,748,818 during his career and went on to stallion duty, Bellino owned Pet Rock ($1,780,454), another stallion who stands at Midland Acres. While the resident of Bronxville, New York may be best remembered for some high-priced yearling purchases along with the above stallions, his eye for upper-level conditioned horses was second-to-none. The list includes several horses that earned hundreds of thousands as part of Bellino's stable. Classic Rock NRoll earned $814,556 during his career, nearly three-quarters of that for Bellino. Casimir Jitterbug spent six years on the track for Bellino and brought in approximately $800K while American Rage and Polak A also earned well north of $300K each for the stable. "He loved harness racing more than any business he was ever involved with," said Joe Bellino, who added that his father's favorite race was when Rock N Roll Heaven won the Little Brown Jug in 2010. Bellino is survived by his son Joe and many grandchildren. Funeral arrangements were not available at this time.

LEBANON, OH. - K'Love (Kyle Ater) and Cassius Lane (Kayne Kauffman) captured $15,000 divisions of the first leg of the harness racing Dr. Dan Farwick DVM Memorial Trotting Series at Miami Valley Raceway on Tuesday afternoon (March 17). The Farwick Memorial is one of nine annual "Lebanon Legends" series honoring the memory of former fixtures at old Lebanon Raceway and throughout harness racing circles in southwest Ohio. K'Love is a seasoned Ohio county fair standout who now sports 19 wins, but who had less than six at commercial pari-mutual tracks at nomination time. The 6-year-old gelded son of Triumphant Caviar won for the third straight time with his 1:55.1 performance, taking command just past the quarter for Ater and cruising all the way to the finish line with a two length advantage. Back Door Man (Jeremy Smith) and Aunt Percilla (Trace Tetrick) were next to trip the beam. He is owned and trained by Charles Ringger. K'Love Cassius Lane used similar tactics for Kauffman, grabbing the lead just past the first quarter and frontstepping from there to the wire in 1:55.3. Cash Hit (Brett Miller) ended up a length behind and ER Kim (LeWayne Miller) nabbed the show dough. Trainer Ken Rucker co-owns the winner with The Panhellenic Stable. Cassius Lane paid $18.40 for winning his initial start of the 2020 season. Gregg Keidel

WASHINGTON, PA, March 16, 2020 -- Perlucky shot the harness racing "Lightning Lane" to capture Monday's $18,000 Open Handicap Trot at The Meadows, a triumph that sent him over $400,000 in career earnings. Perlucky and Dave Palone patiently stalked Icanflylikeanangel from the pocket, then shot by him in mid-stretch. As it turned out, the greater threat was the first-over Wind Of The North, but the 10-year-old millionaire fell 1/2-length short. Icanflylikeanangel saved show in the 1:53.4 mile. Ron Burke trains Perlucky, a 5-year-old Lucky Chucky-Paper Girl gelding, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Phillip Collura. Perlucky Jim Pantaleano, Palone and Burke each fashioned a triple on the 13-race card. The Meadows announced that it is temporarily suspending all operations at the facility, including racing, effective 6:00 AM Tuesday, March 17. The suspension was mandated by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board as part of community-wide efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. Updates will be announced as appropriate. By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY (March 16, 2020) - Saratoga Casino Hotel announced today that it is temporarily shutting down effective as of 8pm tonight. Although there have been no known cases of COVID-19 at the property, Saratoga Casino Hotel officials said they have decided to close after consulting with the New York State Gaming Commission. The casino and simulcast wagering areas of the property will close, however the hotel will remain open and harness racing will resume as scheduled on Wednesday, March 18 without fans in the stands. Fans can wager remotely on the races on SaratogaBets.com or on any other New York State approved online waging platform. Morton's The Steakhouse will also remain open offering take-out and delivery service between noon-8pm daily. Employees impacted by the shutdown will receive 2 weeks' pay during the suspension. "We will continue to monitor the situation and carefully follow the advice and guidance of the state and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)." said Alex Tucker, General Manager of Saratoga Casino Hotel. Madison Winters Marketing Coordinator

March 16, 2020 - Washington, PA. As you know our country as well as the world finds itself in an unprecedented set of circumstances attempting to control the spread of Coronavirus. Many governmental entities are implementing restrictions on group gatherings in an effort to thwart the spread of the virus in our communities. To that end the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has issued a mandate, we have no choice but to temporarily suspend all operations at The Meadows including racing. This will go into effect at 6:00 AM March 17. This is a very fluid situation. Updates will be announced when appropriate. The Meadows      

STICKNEY, IL - In consultation with, and approval from the Illinois Racing Board, Hawthorne Race Course will close its public wagering facilities at the harness racing track and all Illinois off-track betting locations to limit the spread of COVID-19. The decision was made in support of Governor Pritzker's mandate that all Illinois bars and dine-in restaurants close on-site operations until March 30th. In cooperation with the Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association, Hawthorne will host "studio racing" at its 113-acre facility. Races will be broadcast nationally allowing for mobile, online and retail wagering from venues in other states and around the globe. "Many people think of the race tracks as the only business entities involved in the operation of racing, but the truth is that there are hundreds of small businesses throughout the state owned and operated by Illinois horsemen. While we want the public to be able to enjoy live racing, these are unprecedented times. This option keeps people working in our industry and maintains the fitness and safety of horses while limiting public interaction," said Tim Carey, president and general manager of Hawthorne Race Course. Beginning with the Friday, March 20 racing card (Hawthorne's next scheduled night of racing), only personnel essential to conduct races will be allowed onto the grounds of Hawthorne. Additionally, only licensed personnel will be allowed into the backstretch and paddock area for racing and daily care of horses stabled at Hawthorne. On-site wagering at Hawthorne and Illinois OTBs will close beginning March 17th. Hawthorne will continue to work closely with the Illinois Racing Board, Governor's Office, and Illinois horsemen in keeping with the latest recommendations from the Center for Disease Control regarding business operations during the coronavirus pandemic to ensure the safety of the public. Jim Miller  

Columbus, OH - The U.S. Trotting Association understands that there is a great deal of anxiety and confusion regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the impact that it is having on everyday life and harness racing. The USTA is monitoring and following the guidelines and advice of federal, state and local government authorities. Here in Ohio, our governor has declared a state of emergency and closed schools, restaurants and bars. While these circumstances are creating personal and professional challenges for all of us, our first and foremost concern is for you and your families. The health and safety of our members, employees, racing fans and visitors to our office are our top priorities during this public health crisis. In order to minimize the possibility of being infected by and spreading the virus at work, the USTA is closing our office to visitors effective Monday (March 16) and will have most of our employees work remotely from home. Only employees whose functions require that they be present in the office will work from there. However, be assured that the USTA will continue to provide the reliable access to important services that are needed. Many USTA employees already work remotely at night and over the weekends. Preparations have been made and are already in place to allow us to seamlessly conduct business remotely. As a reminder, all online services are available as usual. In addition, pictures of completed forms can also be emailed to memberservices@ustrotting.com with payments made by including that information in the photos or by calling the phone numbers on the forms. As new developments occur and additional information becomes available, we will keep you informed. Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager

East Rutherford, NJ - Based on the new CDC guidelines limiting public gatherings of 50 or more to limit the spread of COVID-19, the Meadowlands Racetrack and Winners Bayonne will be closing beginning at 8 p.m. today, Monday March 16. The health and safety of our employees, horsemen, patrons and community are our top priority. Meadowlands Racetrack will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates when possible. The properties will remain closed for simulcasting and live racing indefinitely. Meadowlands Media Relations

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Based on the changing circumstances and in the interest of public health, Buffalo Raceway announced on Monday (March 16) that live harness racing will be cancelled for 45 days due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.   An expected restart date is Saturday, May 2.   Buffalo Raceway COO James Mango stated, "We will continue to monitor the recommendations of health professionals and abide by the regulatory direction from our local. state and federal officials.   For updates and current news from Buffalo Raceway, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Out of concern for our employees and harness racing patrons, Harrington Raceway and Casino will be closing at 4 p.m. today (March 16) until April 1. The closure is applicable to all bars/restaurants and gaming on the property, including Murphy's Race/Sportsbook and Grill. All shows and entertainment during this timeline are canceled and any applicable ticket sales for such events will be subject to a refund. Matt Sparacino  

Monticello, NY - Effective immediately Monticello Raceway will limit all incoming traffic to the barn area until March 30, if harness racing horseman do not have horses on the grounds they are not permitted in the barn area. Only horsemen, (trainers, drivers, grooms and owners) that have horses on the grounds and support staff such as veterinarian, blacksmiths, feed and supply vendors will be able to enter the barn area until March 30. Shawn Wiles

MANALAPAN, NJ - March 16, 2020 - The Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey would like to announce to their harness racing members that there is no need to come into the office to make insurance payments. Please just mail them or put them in the SBOANJ's drop box near the front door. We appreciate everyone's cooperation at this time. We are doing our best to keep in compliance with social distancing ourselves from others. If you have any questions please call the office at 732-462-2357. Courtney Stafford

Anderson & Shelbyville, IN--March 15, 2020-- Based on changing circumstances and in the interest of public health, Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, Indiana Grand Racing & Casino and Winner's Circle Race, Sports, Pub locations in Downtown Indianapolis, New Haven and Clarksville - will be closing for at least 14 days beginning at 6:00 a.m. on Monday, March 16, 2020. The Indiana Gaming and Indiana Horse Racing Commissions announced that all licensed gaming and racing operations in Indiana will close at 6:00 a.m. on Monday, March 16, 2020. There have been no reported cases of COVID-19 at Caesars Entertainment's Indiana gaming and racing properties to date. This decision is a precautionary measure. The health and safety of our team members and guests are always a priority. Caesars Entertainment's Indiana properties are closely monitoring this evolving situation and will work with the Indiana Gaming and Indiana Horse Racing Commissions to establish a reopening date as soon as it is appropriate to do so. We look forward to welcoming back team members and guests soon. From Harrah's Hoosier Park  

MANALAPAN, NJ - March 15, 2020 - The Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey has announced purse increases for the following 2020 races. The purse for the New Jersey Garden State Trot #2 for both 3-year-old colt and fillies at Freehold Raceway has been increased to $80,000. The purse for the New Jersey Garden State Trot #3 for both 2-year-old colt and fillies at the Meadowlands increased to $90,000. All other SBOANJ sponsored races remain as advertised in the USTA stake guide. If you have any questions please call the office at 732-462-2357. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ  

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