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LEXINGTON, KY - Lexington, KY - RCI President Ed Martin called the news that the United States Trotting Association (USTA) will fund research into cobalt and help the New York drug testing program gain access to equipment currently in use elsewhere by racing's leading testing labs a "positive, proactive development that underscores the ongoing efforts of the racing industry and its regulator labs to counter efforts to cheat". A number of racing states have already been testing for cobalt, both in and out of competition, using advanced ICP-MS instrumentation. (ICP-MS is the acronym for Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer). Such instrumentation is commonly found in toxicology and veterinary diagnostic laboratories to detect metal poisoning in livestock (e.g., lead in cattle). Recent concerns about possible attempts to administer cobalt to affect performance have prompted several regulatory jurisdictions to quietly commence efforts in this area. Commissions have been collecting samples for months. A research project being conducted by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium is scheduled for completion this summer to determine an appropriate threshold for cobalt. Cobalt is a naturally occurring substance in the bodies of all mammals as well as being found in the environment. "The challenge is to determine what is an appropriate and normal level and the point in which it can be proven that cobalt levels had been deliberately manipulated in an attempt to affect performance," said Martin. Martin noted that deliberate administrations of cobalt could potentially harm a horse, if used in excess. In 2009, the Ontario Racing Commission issued the following notice: "The Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) advises horsepeople to be very cautious with the administration of the substance cobalt sulphate to their horses. This mineral element is a water-soluble cobalt salt with a variety of industrial and agricultural uses, including being used as an ingredient in feed and mineral supplements. "Used in safe and appropriate formulations, the substance is known to have certain blood building qualities. However, speculation about 'performance enhancing' qualities are doubtful." The ORC's then Veterinarian Supervisor, Dr. Bruce Duncan, noted that "when administered in appropriate quantities, there is likely very little performance benefit. And when used in excess, this element can be toxic to horses." Cobalt is a constituent of vitamin B-12, and as a result, there is no recommended dietary allowance for it. Cobalt is one of the microminerals important for blood cell formation. The microbes in a horse's digestive system, particularly the large intestine, use the cobalt from a normal diet to incorporate it into Vitamin B-12. This vitamin is then used in conjunction with iron and copper in the formation and maintenance of blood cells. Although the USTA funded Maylin-McKeever-Malinowski research project may appear redundant to the effort currently underway by the RMTC, RCI's Martin said that "the more data is developed, our efforts to analyze the science and develop sound policies is enhanced." by Steve May for RCI

Delaware, OH --- It is no secret that leading driver Tim Tetrick has an impressive resume of accomplishments, including most recently setting two world records on May 25. Recently, Tetrick embarked into social media by launching a brand new website allowing fans a closer look into the day-to-day life of a leading catch driver. offers a place for viewers to see his daily racing roster, including horses and tracks he will be competing at, as well as videos and photos of career defining moments. Within the past eight months, the harness racing industry set an initiative to promote the sport through social media, so having a well done website made sense to Tetrick. “I love harness racing and want to promote it the best way I can, to as many people as possible, and this is a great way to do it,” Tetrick said. The well thought out design, colorful photos capturing races won and history made paint a beautiful background and content to the interactive site. In addition, Tetrick’s biography, family, milestones, upcoming races, and causes are creatively laid out. Visit to view the new website and stay connected with Tetrick Racing on Facebook and Twitter for the most up to date news. “My hope is that both old and new fans can learn more about what I do, the sport, horses I drive, and can gain more insight as the Grand Circuit racing season approaches,” Tetrick said. by Winnie Morgan Nemeth, for New Vocations

JK Endofanera solidified his spot atop the Road to The Meadowlands Pace, with another impressive win, this time in the Somebeachsomewhere at Mohawk. He has been perfect so far this harness racing season and the top spot is now his to lose. He headlines one of three North America Cup Eliminations Saturday at Mohawk. Meanwhile, He's Watching made a statement that his performance at Yonkers was nothing more than a aberration as he dominated his Somebeachsomewhere division at Mohawk as well. He moved right back toward the top of the leader board, now listed at No. 2 on this week's Road to the Pace. The biggest mover in the top-10 was Always B Miki, who appears to be getting better and better. He was a solid winner at Mohawk as well Saturday and moved up five spots from No. 9 to No. 4. Doo Wop Hanover makes his first appearance in the top-10 at No. 9 following his New Jersey Sire Stakes win over No. 3 ranked Western Vintage. Somestarsomewhere dropped to the bottom of the top-10 following a disappointing effort at Mohawk and now has to hold off the red-hot Lyonssomewhere who has looked like a serious contender in his last two wins at The Meadowlands and has moved up to No. 11. That's My Opinion has fallen out of the top-10 after making a break in the Somebeachsomewhere. He will skip The North America Cup this week and point to The Meadowlands Pace. The week 9 edition of the Road to the Meadowlands Pace can be found here. Darin Zoccali    

The Harness Horse Breeders of New York State has received numerous calls concerning the new Excelsior conditions. We will try to clarify the changes for everyone: If you race in the NYSS #53, or #54, Excelsior "A" or County Fair levels you may go up and down at will. There are no restrictions on what level you race at, you may pick and choose at random. This is the same as last year. Excelsior "B" was created to allow horses to find a level of competition to learn and mature at while earning money . To achieve this, the rules for Excelsior "B" are; you may start higher up in NYSS or Excelsior "A" and drop down to "B" if that is the level you need to compete at. If you race at the Excelsior "B" level you can stay there all season. If your horse improves you can move up to NYSS or Excelsior "A" the only stipulation when you go up is that you cannot return to "B". Your other option is to race between County Fair and Excelsior "B" with no restriction. Excelsior "B" level horses do not receive points and there is no final. The NYSS points program shows points, earning and starts in one column for Excelsior A and earnings and starts with no points for Excelsior B in the second column, listed by track. If anyone needs more information please call the Harness Horse Breeders office at 518-785-5858. Harness Horse Breeders of New York State  

Rallying from off the pace with a three-wide move, Union-Endicott High School student Rachael Oltmer prevailed in the 2014 Tioga Downs harness racing scholarship race, earning a $3,000 scholarship through her victory with Newyorkjoyants.   Oltmer, teamed with Tioga Downs driver Corey Braden for the non-betting race, moved Newyorkjoyants three-wide at the top of the stretch, moving clear of Ten Yard Penalty (Kayla Martin / Phil Fluet) and What About Brian (Megan Vanvorce / Mike Deters) to cover the 5/8-mile race in 1:17. Ideal Temptation (Jason Hill / Tim Lanpher) and Isthatallyagot (Shania Shaver/Edgar "Sparky" Clarke) completed the field.   Oltmer will enter the veterinary technician program at SUNY Canton in the fall.   Thanks to the efforts of the Southern Tier Harness Horsemen's Association, the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State, the New York Sire Stakes, and the New York State Agriculture Fund, all five participating students earned at least $1,000 in scholarship money.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

The 2013 Dan Patch Award winner in the 2-year-old pacing filly division, Precocious Beauty, makes her 2014 harness racing debut on Friday in a $41,300 division of the New York Sire Stakes at Vernon Downs. Precocious Beauty races in the first of three divisions and is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line. "I've already got the butterflies, that's for sure," said breeder/owner Jim Avritt Sr. "She came through the winter fine, trained well down in Florida. Qualified well there and at Mohawk, I didn't get down to see her since I have a bunch of broodmares and yearlings [at his Kentucky farm] and just couldn't get away." Avritt said trainer Gregg McNair had no particular goals for the winter. Last season, Precocious Beauty won seven of 11 races, including the She's A Great Lady Stakes, and finished second on three occasions. She equaled the world record of 1:50.1 for a 2-year-old filly pacer on a mile track when she won a division of the International Stallion Stakes at The Red Mile. "Just tried to maintain what we had," he said. "She's a filly who will give you whatever she has to give; she just goes what she has to go. The other filly I have [in the sire stakes the same night], Barefoot Beauty, she is also a very talented filly, but she's always wanting to give you everything she's got, and more too. It's hard to rein her back, she qualified and came the last half in :55.4." Avritt will not be able to make the debut, but hopes to catch up with his homebred soon. "I've got another mare to foal out. I might save my air miles for the Fan Hanover (eliminations June 7 at Mohawk Raceway and final on June 14) if we're lucky enough to make the final." Avritt has a yearling filly from broodmare Precious Beauty, a Rock N Roll Heaven-sired half-sister to Precocious Beauty at home in the wings. Precocious Beauty is by Art Major. "We have a half-sister to break next fall - Passionate Beauty," he said. "I'll keep all the fillies out of Precious Beauty from here on." Precocious Beauty's driver for much of last year, Doug McNair, son of trainer Gregg McNair, is optimistic about her form coming into the season. "She wintered pretty good, she was down in Florida all winter," McNair said. "She was a big filly last year, but she filled out a little bit more this year. Size-wise, she looks great. She feels about the same. She qualified a couple times and we schooled her once and she seems like she should be ready to go a pretty good trip here." Blush Hanover is the 2-1 favorite in Precocious Beauty's NYSS division. The Linda Toscano-trained filly has won three of four races this year after being unraced last season. That sire stakes split also includes Delightful Dragon, who was slow to make it to the races last season because of issues with her knees but finished the campaign by winning the Three Diamonds Stakes. "She's come back very sound," trainer Noel Daley said. "She can go right with the top ones, I think. She's a big strong filly. She's got the will and the desire. She didn't have a tough year by any means. A few of the speedy ones last year had a lot of racing; it's always interesting to see what comes back." Sweetnsinful, who finished second in last year's New York Sire Stakes championship and is trained and co-owned by Homer Hochstetler, is the favorite in the second NYSS division. Bill Donovan's Medusa, trained by Paul Kelley, is the favorite in the third division. She was unraced at 2, but has won all five of her starts this year. * * * Some of the top contenders on the road to August's $1.2 million Hambletonian Stakes head to The Meadows in western Pennsylvania for three divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for 3-year-old male trotters on Friday. Leading the way is last season's Dan Patch Award-winner for best 2-year-old male trotter, Father Patrick, who on May 21 won his seasonal debut by 4-1/2 lengths in 1:53.3 in a division of the Historic-Dickerson Cup at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Father Patrick brings a 10-race win streak to The Meadows. "I love this horse," trainer Jimmy Takter said. "He's a serious, serious animal. I think he's the horse I've been waiting for that's really, really, special." Also racing in the sire stakes are Hambletonian hopefuls Amped Up Hanover, Auspicious Hanover, DD's Hitman, Datsyuk, Exodus Hanover, Fashion Tagman, Il Sogno Dream, JJ Alex, Journey, Nuncio, Outburst, Sarcastic Man and Uva Hanover. For more about Friday's PASS for 3-year-old male trotters at The Meadows, check out Evan Pattak's story. * * * At New York's Vernon Downs on Friday night, Hambletonian eligible trotters Lukas Hall and Expressive Action are the favorites in their respective eliminations for the Empire Breeders Classic. Lukas Hall, the 7-5 choice in the first elim, has made three starts this year and finished second twice. He was second to Flyhawk El Durado in a division of the New York Sire Stakes and second to Trixton in the Simpson Memorial. He is driven by Jim Morrill Jr. and trained by Kevin McDermott. Expressive Action, who is 9-5 in the second elim, is 1-for-1 this season for trainer John Grasso and driver Mike Simons. He opened his campaign by winning a division of the New York Sire Stakes. Other Hambletonian hopefuls in the Empire Breeders Classic eliminations are Karets, Mister B's Way, and Rocky De Vie. * * * The top three horses in the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll - Sebastian K, Perfect Alliance, and Somwherovrarainbow - are idle this weekend, but four of the older male pacers in the Top 10 are in action. Three of the group - No. 4 Foiled Again, No. 6 Dancin Yankee, and No. 8 P H Supercam - are in Friday's Molson Pace at Western Fair. Seventh-ranked Sweet Lou is in Sunday's Roll With Joe at Tioga Downs. Also in action from the Top 10 is Trixton, who is in Saturday's New Jersey Sire Stakes final for 3-year-old male trotters. Trixton is Hambletonian eligible. Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications

While there are no new faces to this week's Road to the Meadowlands Pace, the top 10 took on a different look with a new horse standing atop the division. Following the loss suffered by He's Watching, the Ron Burke trained JK Endofanera has moved into the top spot leading into the Somebeachsomewhere, where he will get a stiff challenge from the No. 3 ranked pacing colt, Luckbewithyou. He's Watching, who had been No. 1 for the first seven weeks of the Road to the Pace fell six spots to #7 after finishing last in a field of six in his Art Rooney Elimination. Of the 10 horses on this week's list, six (JK Endofanera, Luck Be Withyou, Always B Miki, Somestarsomewhere, That's My Opinion and He's Watching) are all in to go in the Somebeachsomewhere on Saturday at Mohawk. The No 2. Ranked Western Vintage is an overwhelming favorite in his New Jersey Sire Stakes Final Saturday at The Meadowlands, while Limelight Beach (No. 8) is entered in an overnight Thursday at The Meadows. Some of the biggest movers outside the top-10 were Lyonssomewhere who moved from No. 35 to No. 25 following an impressive overnight score at The Meadowlands. Additionally, Somewhere Fancy moved from No. 43 to No. 29 after also winning at The Meadowlands. Journeyman jumped seven spots to No. 26 following an impressive qualifier and Stevensville cracked the top-20 after winning his Art Rooney Elimination. The Road to The Meadowlands Pace is available here: by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands

The 1935 Bronco Nagurski. The Pikachu llustrator. And of course, the 1909 Honus Wagner. They are the most valuable trading cards in the world. But what about the 2014 Bee A Magician or the 2013 Foiled Again? They may not be quite as valuable, but more importantly, they are available to harness racing fans. The Harness Horse Youth Foundation is pleased to announce that its 2014 set of HARNESS HEROES cards may now be ordered. Featuring human and equine divisional winners, as well as historical stars of harness racing, the thirty-five card set is available postage paid for a suggested donation of $15 ($25 in Canada). Limited numbers of previous years' sets are available at the same price. Proceeds from HARNESS HEROES card sales help support HHYF summer youth camps and its scholarship program. To order, send your check or money order to HHYF, 16575 Carey Road Westfield, IN 46074. Orders received after June 10 will be filled in August. Make sure to designate which year's set(s) you wish to receive. You can also order on-line through PayPal by going to the HARNESS HEROES page at the HHYF website,, and following the ordering directions. The Harness Horse Youth Foundation is a charitable 501(c)3 organization dedicated to providing young people and their families educational opportunities with harness horses, in order to foster the next generation of participants and fans. The Foundation has been making a difference in young people's lives since 1976, and its programs include interactive learning experiences with these versatile animals, scholarship programs, and creation and distribution of educational materials. For more information on opportunities through HHYF, or to support its mission, go to For more information on this release, contact Keith Gisser, or 216-374-1392. From the Harness Horse Youth Foundation

MANALAPAN, NJ - May 23, 2014 - The truth is the weather was frightful, causing a 90 minute delay prior to the second race, but heavy showers did not deter 8/5 favorite Speak The Truth, who won the first of three second-round divisions of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for three-year-old trotters on Friday night, May 23, 2014 at the Meadowlands. Tim Tetrick, who piloted Speak The Truth, also won the third division, the 11th race, with 1-9 favorite Odds On Amethyst in a New Jersey Sire Stakes record for three-year-old trotting geldings of 1:53.4. Speak The Truth, a son of Muscle Hill-Tady's Comer, won his 2014 debut with a mile in 1:54.3 on a sloppy track, finishing two and three-quarter lengths ahead of Dexter Cup winner Sumatra [Muscles Yankee] with Skates N Plates [Revenue] in third by three and a quarter lengths. The third-race co-feature for colts and geldings carried a purse of $21,500. The team behind trotting stars Market Share and Chapter Seven - driver Tetrick, trainer Linda Toscano and owner Richard Gutnick - were back in the winner's circle with Speak The Truth [$5.20], who had two wins and one second in his five starts at two. Speak The Truth sat fifth most of the race, was sent after the lead on the turn for home and tipped out four-wide in the stretch. A $65,000 Harrisburg Yearling Sale purchase, Speak The Truth has earned $24,750. The half-brother to millionaire Hez Striking is eligible to the Hambletonian. Tetrick picked up his third driving tally of the night with Odds On Amethyst [Muscle Hill- Mystical Sunshine] in the $21,000 second colts and geldings division. Odds On Amethyst [$2.20] took the lead on the first turn and held on through fractions of 28, 56.2 and 1:25.2, where he opened up distance between himself and the pocket-sitting Resolve [Muscle Hill], who closed ground near the wire to narrow the margin to three-quarters of a length. King City [Muscle Hill] was third. Odds On Amethyst, also Hambletonian-eligible, trained by Chris Ryder, crossed the wire in 1:53.4, eclipsing the New Jersey Sire Stakes three-year-old trotting gelding record of 1:54.1 set by Green Day in 2007. It was Odds On Amethyst's second win in three starts this year and improved his record to four wins and two seconds in 13 career starts, banking $108,248 for Diamond Creek Racing of Wellsville, PA. In the $40,000 division for fillies, carded as the fifth race, winner Cee Bee Yes [Muscles Yankee - Embeecee] posted a lifetime mark of 1:54.1 with driver Marcus Miller at the lines. The Julie Miller trainee, winner of the Lady Suffolk on May 2 at Freehold, chased 8/5 favorite Heaven's Door [Muscle Hill] into the stretch, getting up for a two and a half length victory over My Inspiration [Chocolatier], who nipped Heaven's Door for second place. Heaven's Door, driven by Ake Svanstedt, was third across the wire but was placed last by the judges for racing inside three pylons in the stretch, moving Scream And Shout [Muscles Yankee] into third place. Cee Bee Yes, a $45,000 Harrisburg Yearling Sale purchase, won the New Jersey Sire Stakes Final at two. She now has six wins, three seconds and two thirds from 14 career starts and has banked $237,057 for the ownership of Jason Allen of Vincentown, NJ and Douglas Allen of Southampton, NJ. A quartet of $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Finals for three-year-old trotters and pacers, fillies and colts, will be contested on May 31. Another Hambletonian eligible trotter earned a victory on tonight's card as Mister B's Way scored in 1:54.3 in a non-winners of 2 event despite being parked out to the half mile pole for driver Ron Pierce. The brother to Win Missy B and Winning Mister is a homebred for Robert Key. In the finale, the impressive Sandbetweenurtoes made it a perfect two for two on the season, scoring a decisive win in a very sharp 1:50.3, easily the fastest mile of the night. Rebuffed to the half-mile pole, Brett Miller guided is filly from the pocket to soar right past Up Front Elizabeth who cut sharp fractions of 26.4, 54 and 1:22 before finishing second to the odds-on favorite. Sandbetweenurtoes is trained by Larry Remmen for owner Bradley Grant. Racing resumes on Saturday with first post time at 7:15 P.M. The Saturday program features the second leg of the New Jersey Sires Stakes for three year old colt and filly pacers as well as the second leg of the TVG Free For All Pacing Championship. Carol Hodes for SBOANJ and Meadowlands Media Department

Trainer Joe Holloway's top two female pacers will be in action Sunday in Pennsylvania, but at different tracks. Shebestingin is the 3-1 morning line favorite in the $250,000 Betsy Ross Invitational at Harrah's Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon and Somwherovrarainbow is the 5-2 choice in the $25,000 Mares Preferred at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Sunday night. Holloway would have preferred to see both 4-year-old mares in the Betsy Ross, but was limited to one starter. Shebestingin and driver John Campbell will start from post eight in the eight-horse Betsy Ross field. The remainder of the field, in post order, is Drop The Ball, Rocklamation, Jerseylicious, Monkey On My Wheel, Anndrovette, JK Letitgo, and Yagonnakissmeornot. "I have the eight hole, but I don't know what would be a good post position with the way the race might unfold," Holloway said. "John will work out a trip. To me, I know she's the best in the race. As long as we get a trip we'll be fine." Shebestingin has won 17 of 25 career races and $724,102. This year, she has won twice in three starts, including a track-record 1:50.4 triumph in the Chip Noble Memorial at Miami Valley Raceway on May 4. Last week, she finished second to Jerseylicious in the fillies and mares free-for-all handicap at the Meadowlands. The winning time was 1:50.1 over a sloppy track. "She's the kind of horse that needs to train a bit more, needs to get a little tight," said Holloway, who trains Shebestingin for Val D'Or Farms, Ted Gewertz, and L&L DeVisser. "She's finally getting there. She didn't race as well last week but it was teeming down rain. She is a bit of a diva, she has her quirks, and she didn't really like the heavy rain at the time. She was pacing along just fine. There was nothing really wrong." Somwherovrarainbow, who has won five of seven races this year and earned $266,750 for owners Ted Gewertz and Diamond Creek Racing, will start from post seven in a seven-horse field at Pocono Downs. Tim Tetrick will drive. The remainder of the field, in post order, is American In Paris, Scandalous Hanover, Continual Velocity, Krispy Apple, Show Runner, and Feeling You. Somwherovrarainbow is coming off a win in the fillies and mares free-for-all handicap at the Meadowlands on May 9. Both of Holloway's mares are scheduled to head to the Roses Are Red Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack following Sunday's action. The Roses Are Red eliminations are June 7 and the final is June 14. "I think I have two of the best fillies in the country and only one of them will get to race (in the Betsy Ross)," Holloway said. "I wanted to find a start for (Somwherovrarainbow) between now and next Friday because we can't go a month without racing before the Roses Are Red." .................................................. Two $40,000 eliminations for the Art Rooney Pace for 3-year-old pacers are on Saturday's card at Yonkers Raceway, with Dan Patch Award-winner He's Watching leading the list of hopefuls. He's Watching, who was voted the best 2-year-old male pacer of 2013, is undefeated in eight career races. His Rooney elim, the first of the two divisions, will be his seasonal debut. He has three wins at Yonkers, including the New York Sire Stakes championship in his 2013 finale. The 3-5 favorite in his elim, He's Watching and driver Jim Morrill Jr. will start from post two. The rest of the field is Unlocked, Forty Five Red, Gold Rocks, Bondi Hanover, and Stevensville. "He's right where I want him to be," trainer Dave Menary told Yonkers' Frank Drucker earlier this week. "We're looking forward to coming back (Yonkers). He loves the track and we're anxious to have him start the season. "He's muscular, with heart and stamina. I've never seen a horse dig through the ground the way he does." Menary owns He's Watching with Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and the Muscara Racing Trust. The second Rooney elimination features 4-5 favorite All Bets Off from the stable of trainer Ron Burke. The rest of the field is Ideal Fashion, Some Playa, Thereisapaceforus, and Maxi Bon. Also on Saturday's card are two $20,000 eliminations for the Lismore Pace for 3-year-old fillies. Burke's Southwind Silence is the 3-5 favorite in the first division, which also includes It Was Fascination, Bettor Business, A Little Starstruk, and Palm Beach. Casie Coleman's Also Encouraging is the 3-5 favorite in the second split, which also has Tyra, JK Molly, Gentlemens Delight, and Rusty's Bliss. The top four finishers from all the eliminations advance to their respective finals. The $300,000 Art Rooney Pace final and $124,744 Lismore Pace final are May 31. ............................................... He's Watching is the early favorite to win the Meadowlands Pace, according to Big M morning line oddsmaker Darin Zoccali, who has the colt at 3-1. Several other horses in the Top 15 also will be in action this weekend. Ron Burke-trained JK Endofanera, who is No. 2 in the Meadowlands Pace odds at 4-1, is the favorite in his division of the Historic-Pocono Cup on Saturday at Pocono Downs. His Pocono Cup division also includes John Butenschoen's Allstar Partner, who is No. 14 in the Pace ratings. Capital Account, trained by Jimmy Takter, is the favorite in the other Pocono Cup division. On Saturday night at the Meadowlands, Steve Elliott's Doo Wop Hanover, No. 15 on the Road to the Meadowlands Pace, is the favorite in his division of the New Jersey Sire Stakes. Jim Campbell's Sometimes Said, who is No. 12, is the favorite in a conditioned race at the Big M. North of the border one night earlier, Carmen Auciello's Bugger Bruiser (No. 11) is the second favorite in a division of the Ontario Sire Stakes Gold at Western Fair. Richard Moreau's Boomboom Ballykeel (No. 13) races in a Gold division earlier on the card. The Meadowlands Pace is July 12. ............................. Top Hambletonian contender Father Patrick, who received the 2013 Dan Patch Award for best 2-year-old male trotter, won his seasonal debut Wednesday night in 1:53.3 over a "good" track in a division of the Historic-Dickerson Cup at Pocono Downs. "He had plenty of trot left," said driver Yannick Gingras, who sits behind the colt for trainer Jimmy Takter. "I knew he was ready to go and he proved me right." Several other Hambletonian hopefuls are in action this weekend. Flyhawk El Durado, trained by Mark Ford, is the favorite in his division of the New York Sire Stakes at Tioga Downs on Friday. The colt won the New York Sire Stakes championship last season. John Grasso's Expressive Action and Dan Daley's Daley Lovin are the top picks in the other sire stakes split at Tioga. New Jersey Sire Stakes action for 3-year-old trotters Friday night at the Meadowlands finds Hambletonian eligibles Dave Briggs, Hillustrious, King City, Lightning Force, Martiniwithmuscle, Odds On Amethyst, Resolve, Royal Ice, Skates N Plates, Southwind Poseidon, Speak The Truth, Sumatra, and Well Built all going behind the gate. Elsewhere, Harper Blue Chip, who was second to Father Patrick in last year's Wellwood Memorial, makes his first qualifying effort for trainer Mark Steacy on Friday morning at Mohawk. Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications U.S. Trotting Association

Sweet Lou returned to The Meadowlands in style in the first round of the TVG Free For All Championship series with a dominant and compelling performance on May 10th, sailing around the East Rutherford oval in 1:48.3. Among those left in his wake was his stable-mate and the richest pacer in history, Foiled Again. "(Sweet Lou) was super last week. That mile was as good as I have seen him since he was two," was the reaction from trainer Ron Burke. "We tried him at Yonkers, but it didn't seem to suit him, but all his efforts on the bigger tracks this year have been excellent." He will be driven by Ron Pierce once again. Sweet Lou (post 10) leads a three-pronged Ron Burke attack in the second $50,000 TVG Free For All Championship leg Saturday night at The Meadowlands. Joining him this round are stable-mates Clear Vision (post 1) and Bettor's Edge (post 9). While conspicuous by his absence, Burke explained why Foiled Again is qualifying this week and not entered in the TVG FFA event. "Each leg I want to race three out of the four I have in there. This week Foiled gets the night off." Clear Vision, who just missed to Dancin Yanee in a world record mile of 1:47.2 at Pocono last week is having an excellent campaign thus far for Burke and will be driven by Matt Kakaley. "He has been awesome this year," Burke added. "He'll be a factor in there." The last of the trio is Bettor's Edge, piloted by Joe Bongiorno, who despite his last two race lines, has been better than one may think. "He had no chance last week the way the race shaped up, but he was super," said Burke. "The key with him is getting him into the race and if he gets a trip, he'll be right there." The Burke entry has been installed as the 8/5 morning-line favorite for this week's $50,000 TVG Free For All leg. Warrawee Needy (post 3) will begin as the second choice, sporting a 3-1 morning line with Tim Tetrick at the lines once again. Warrawee Needy came up a neck short to Allstar Legend in the $30,000 Free For All Handicap last week at The Meadowlands after setting a blistering pace, getting to three-quarters in 1:19.4. Bolt The Duer made a favorable impression in his 2014 debut, finishing a solid third behind Sweet Lou and Foiled Again. "He was really good," said his regular driver Mark MacDonald. "He acted like he needed that start. He was racing against horses that had all been racing quite a bit already this year. I really think he is ready to step up and have a very big year." Bolt The Duer will start from post 2 and is 4-1 on the morning line. The remainder of this week's TVG FFA leg consists of Thinking Out Loud, Modern Legend, Word Power, Golden Receiver and Dovuto Hanover. Total earnings for the field of 10 is over $12.5 Million. This $50,000 TVG FFA leg will go postward as race six on a 13-race program that also features the second leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for three year old colt and filly pacers. Post time is 7:15 P.M. Darin Zoccali Director of Racing Operations

Millstone Twp., NJ - The Standardbred Retirement Foundation's 22nd Annual Charity Golf Outing on Tuesday, June 3, 2014 at the beautiful and private Battleground Country Club in Manalapan, New Jersey is fast approaching. Green fees, cart, lunch, hors d'oeuvre and cocktail hour, dinner, charity auction, trivia, and all the fun is only $215.00 per player if paid before May 27, 2014 with an increase after that date. Registration and lunch begin at 11:00am. Shotgun start is at 1:00pm. We welcome non-golfers to join us for cocktails, dinner, and the evening events at $49 pp. The online auction through SRF's website is now up and running...come check it out and start bidding on some Fabulous items! We have just added a Spyder Bike and Yankee Tickets along with a Pennsbury Jog Cart; the Jets vs. Miami Tickets on the 50 yd. line Hyperbaric treatments; a full equine body bone scan; gift certificates from well known Veterinarians; boarding at training facilities; artwork and many other exciting items. We even have a once in a lifetime ride in the Mobile Starting Gate at the New Meadowlands. There is still time to donate for the auction and raffle such as tickets to sporting events, travel tickets/packages, dinners, and memorabilia. All are greatly appreciated and tax-deductible as well. Donors of gifts will see their names on our Golf webpage ( If you cannot donate for the auction, Sponsorship levels are available from $500 to $5,000 and all levels include SRF's Recognition Package. To sponsor, play, make a donation, or for more information regarding golf or online bidding, contact Jannine Kraus at 732 446-4422, email or visit our website at Standardbred Retirement Foundation | 353 Sweetmans Lane, Suite 101 | Millstone Twp. | NJ | 08535

MANALAPAN, NJ - May 17, 2014 - Western Vintage opened his 2014 harness racing campaign on a winning note, capturing the $50,500 first leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings on Saturday night, May 17, 2014 at the Meadowlands. The son of Western Ideal was sent off as the 6-5 favorite in the 12th race and provided driver Yannick Gingras with his sixth win of the night. Western Vintage moved up with cover on the outside tier down the backstretch and then three-wide on the turn for home where he engaged Doo Wop Hanover [Rocknroll Hanover] until pulling away in the final sixteenth, stopping the clock at 1:49.4 for the mile. The Nancy Johansson trainee was a one-length winner over Doo Wop Hanover, and it was three lengths back to Frankandjoanne [Rocknroll Hanover] in third. Western Vintage [$4.40] picked up his sixth win in nine career starts and pushed his earnings over the $342,000 mark. He races for Perry L. Soderberg of Hightstown, NJ and Marvin Katz of Toronto, Ontario. Carol Hodes for SBOANJ      

MANALAPAN, NJ - May 17, 2014 - A pair of daughters of Rocknroll Hanover were winners in opening round divisions of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for harness racing  three-year-old pacers on Saturday night, May 17, 2014 at the Meadowlands. Gettingreadytoroll, sent off at odds of 1-5, claimed her victory with a front-end performance in the fourth race while Atsallrite Hanover, 7-2, closed from last to first to make her first trip to the winner's circle in the fifth race. Gettingreadytoroll [$2.60] doubled-down on her 1:50.1 winning effort in the Reynolds Stakes last week with an easy two and a quarter length victory in a matching 1:50.1 clocking in the $27,500 first division. Yannick Gingras, who won the first three races on the card, made in four straight, brushing the filly to the lead early in the backstretch and repelling a challenge from Rockingham Park. In the battle for second, Sayitall BB [Tell All] held off Act Now [Western Ideal], who was third by three lengths. Gettingreadytoroll, who won her only start at two, now has two wins in three starts at three. The Jimmy Takter trainee has banked nearly $44,000 for the ownership of Christina Takter of East Windsor, NJ and brothers John and Jim Fielding of Toronto, Ontario. Corey Callahan was at the lines of Atsallrite Hanover in the $27,000 second division as the filly picked up her first win in her second career start in 1:51.4. Callahan launched Atsallrite Hanover [$9.20] at the back of the outside tier and peeled out mid-track in the stretch to claim the two and a quarter length tally with a 26.1 final quarter. Blixtra, driven by Ake Svanstedt, was second across the wire but placed eighth for interference in the first turn. Highland Rockstar was placed second and Fanticipation was placed third. Both are by Rocknrolll Hanover. Atsallrite Hanover, trained by Ron Burke, is owned by the partnership of Burke Racing Stables LLC of Fredericktown, PA; Weaver Bruscemi LLC of Canonsburg, PA; Michelle Yanek of McDonald, PA and Phillip Collura of Mountain Top, PA.     -By Carol Hodes for SBOANJ      

Over a hundred runners, walkers and striders hit the Meadowlands Racetrack under partly sunny and breezy skies this afternoon in the 5th annual Stride For A Cure at the E. Rutherford oval.   The winning time of 19:39 was set by Mike Favocci of Hawthorne, NJ. The 24-year-old medical supply distributor broke from the start and never looked back to complete 3.1 mile course faster than the rest.   Several prominent people from inside the harness industry participated in the event, as well as several people with close ties to the Meadowlands. Director of Television/Announcer Sam McKee entered the event as did both his daughters, Lindsey and Melissa, who finished 1-2 respectively, in the women's group. Lindsey a former M1 publicity department employee, finished the race 2nd overall in just over 20 minutes.   Along the race route, Rudy Maag, long-time M1 stall man could be seen keeping pace with stakes administrator Andrea Caswell. Carrie Davies-Gooch from the Hambletonian Society made her second appearance in the event. Bob Boni, well-known horse sales agent and owner of Northwood Bloodstock was also keeping the pace.   Kids as young as four-years-old participated in the event, as well as adults in their 60s.   The event was founded by Meadowlands track photographer Michael Lisa and his wife, Annette, a breast cancer survivor. Runners and walkers, who paid a $25 entry fee which benefits the American Cancer Society, enjoyed their chance to trot around the racetrack before the horses take the stage for tonight's big card featuring the $175,000 Cutler Memorial. Billed as a 'Clash of the Titans' the race features a match-up between local hero Market Share and Swedish star Sebastian K.   by Chris Tully, for Harnesslink  

Harrisburg - The Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission reminds standardbred horse owners of the May 15 deadline for Sire Stakes payments. The final payment of $100 for three-year-old horses competing in the Fair Division is due May 15. No other payments are due for three-year-olds. For two-year-olds, the second payments of $400 for the Pari-Mutuel Division and $50 for the Fair Division are also due May 15. Failing to make the second payment prohibits two-year-olds from racing in the 2014 Sire Stakes. Owners who made the previous March 15 payment retain eligibility to race those horses as three-year-olds. Direct questions to Gary Heffner at 717-346-0426 or For more information, visit and search "sire stakes." Media contact: Samantha Elliott Krepps, 717-787-5085 William R. Nichols | Press Aide Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture | Press Office 2301 North Cameron Street | Hbg PA 17110 Phone: 717.787.5085 | Fax: 717.705.8402  

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