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Winbak Farm of Delaware is sad to announce the passing of harness racing trotter CR Commando. CR Commando passed away at the age of 25 on April 9th. He succumbed to complications from colic. “CR Commando helped make Winbak Farm of Delaware successful and he will truly be missed,” said Garrett Bell, General Manager. “He stood his last year this season and will hopefully have a few foals in 2022.” CR Commando, 2, 1:53.2z ($378,602), was a World Champion at 2. He was the USHWA Dan Patch and HTA Nova 2-Year-Old Colt Trotter of the Year.  At 2, his wins included Pennsylvania Sires Stakes division and the Breeders Crown elimination and Final. He was second in the Valley Victory Trot elimination. At 3, he won the Colonial Trot and Canadian Trotting Classic elimination. “According to the USTA, CR Commando’s World Record still stands today,” said Bell. “He set it at Colonial Downs in 1998 and since there are not any current tracks that measure greater than one mile, it might stand for an infinite amount of time.” As a sire, CR Commando was the #1 Trotting Sire for total number of Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund Final Wins by offspring. As of April 12th, CR Commando offspring had won 65 DSBF Finals. “CR Commando offspring winning in Delaware was almost a sure bet,” said Bell. “I think that Winbak Farm of Delaware was very lucky to be the home for his stallion career.” CR Commando had stood at Winbak Farm of Delaware since 2001. His offspring have earned $19,299,721. CR Commando is the sire of 196 Race Winners. CR Commando is the sire of 8 who earned $300,000+ including Med Vac, 1:52.2 ($810,117), Juanita, 1:56.2f ($412,366), Special Command, 1:56.4f ($399,079), Go Sassy Go, 1:54.2f ($367,340), Powerful Committee, 1:55f ($361,729), Vrahos, 3, Q1:57 ($317,281), Twilight Mist, 1:57.4f ($308,953), and Collect The Brass, 1:56.1f ($305,340). His most recent Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund Final Stakes Winners include 2x 2019 DSBF Final Winner, Disco Soliel, 1:58.3f -'20 ($268,479), 2020 DSBF Final Winner, Zulu, 2, 1:58f -'19 ($135,776) and 2020 DSBF Final Winner, Kim’s Command, 2, 2:02.4h -’20 ($74,400). As a broodmare sire, CR Commando has left an impact. Offspring from CR Commando broodmares include I Like My Boss, 1:53f ($654,816), Third Shift, 3, 1:52.4s -‘20 ($384,373), Windshield, 3, 1:56.2f ($327,200), Bluebird Rambo, 1:53.3f -’19 ($319,458),  and Go Byem, 3, 1:53 ($311,950). “CR Commando’s legacy will continue in the Winbak Farm broodmare band,” said Bell. “Winbak Farm is home to a selection of CR Commando daughters including Overnight Command, who is the dam of 2019 New York Sires Stakes Final Winner, Third Shift, 3, 1:52.4s -'20 ($384,373).” Winbak Farm of Delaware would like to thank the breeders, trainers, owners and other supporters who have helped CR Commando be a successful sire. “We want to say thank you to everyone who has supported CR Commando during his breeding career,” said Bell. “We also want to be sure to give a special thank you to the Allen Family who allowed us to purchase their World Champion so that we could stand him in Delaware.” If breeders have questions, they should call 410.885.3059 or email stallions@winbakfarm.com. The Winbak Farm stallion lineup can be found at www.winbakfarm.com.   by Elizabeth Cheesman, for Winbak Farm

The Ontario Select Yearling Sale has announced that it will be held on September 26th at Winbak Farm of Canada. "We believe this date will work well with the major races at Mohawk being on the same weekend," said Pat Woods, Ontario Select Sale Manager. "The Saturday Night program with the Mohawk Million and other lucrative races should bring an exciting list of connections to the area and then they can come to the sale on the following day." Entries are now being accepted. The deadline for entries will be June 1st. Please note that entries will be capped at 160. There is a $250 entry fee. The Ontario Select Yearling Sale commission will be tier-based. The minimum commission will be $500. The commissions will be set as up to $50,000 is 5%, $50,001 to $99,999 is 4% and $100,000 and up is 3%. "We came up with the commission tiers to award consignors who trust us to sell their best horses," said Woods. "We believe that this is a great way to attract Ontario's best to the sale." Those interested in the sale are encouraged to check frequently at www.ontarioselectyearlingsale.com for more information. "We have already received interest from several of last year's consignors," said Woods. "We look forward to working with both returning and new consignors in the coming season." For information on the sale, please contact Pat Woods at pat.woods@winbakfarm.com or call him at 905.838.2145. "The Ontario Select Sale is looking forward to being bigger and better than last year," said Woods. "Last year was our first year and even though we thought it was very successful, we are excited for the opportunity to grow and be even stronger in 2021." From Winbak Farms  

WASHINGTON, PA, March 18, 2021 -- Winbak Farm has donated a harness racing breeding to the proven stallion Heston Blue Chip to benefit the College Scholarship Fund of the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA). An on-line auction for the breeding currently is underway at https://ongait.com/Listings/View/10195 (minimum bid $4,000) and ends Tuesday, March 23, at noon. A son of American Ideal-Shot Togo Bluechip, Heston Blue Chip earned more than $1.62 million with a mark of 1:48.3f. In 2012, he won the Dan Patch Award as the sport's best 3-year-old male pacer. He stands for a $6,000 fee. This is the second major donation to the fund in recent weeks. Hanover Shoe Farms earlier donated a breeding to Betting Line that raised $6,200 through a similar on-line auction. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA

Winbak Farm is proud to announce the arrival of its first 2021 harness racing foal. The colt is sired by The Bank and out of the mare, Clover Market. This is the first known foal of The Bank born in North America. He arrived at 7:00 a.m. on Friday, January 15th. He was born at Winbak Farm of Maryland in Chesapeake City, Maryland. "The colt is doing great and is very handsome," said Garrett Bell, General Manager. "We have been highly anticipating the arrival of foals from The Bank." This is the second foal from Clover Market. She is a daughter Victors Vicky, 1:55f ($712,342). The Bank, 2, 1:53.4; 3, 1:50.4 ($1,214,895), stood in Sweden before moving to Ontario in 2020. He was ranked 6th in 2020 for 3-year-old trotters in Sweden against tough trotting competition like Bold Eagle and Muscle Hill. "We look forward to seeing the rest of The Bank's first North American crop," said Bell. "With his pedigree of international champions, we have high expectations for the racing careers of his offspring." The Bank stands at Winbak Farm of Ontario for $5,000 CAD. For more information on The Bank, please visit www.winbakfarm.com or email Pat Woods at pat.woods@winbakfarm.com. Breeding questions can also be answered by calling 905.838.2145. Winbak Farm encourages foal fans to follow the farm on Facebook. Most of the foals born will be posted on the Winbak Farm Facebook Page and fans will be able to submit name ideas. Winbak Farm has previously used many names submitted by Facebook followers with the belief that it encourages interest in the sport when people can follow horses that they named. Elizabeth Cheesman

Chesapeake City, MD — Winbak Farm is proud to announce its harness racing 2021 stallion roster. The farm is standing stallions in Delaware, Maryland, New York, Ontario and Pennsylvania in the upcoming breeding season. Winbak Farm is excited to welcome Trixton to Ontario and Royal Mattjesty to Delaware. Both of these proven sires of stakes winners should be great crosses for mares in their new locations. This is the second year for stakes winners Courtly Choice, Jimmy Freight, McWicked and Stag Party. The farm highly anticipates the arrival of the first crops from these stallions in 2021. Delaware Pacers Badlands Hanover – $4,000 Classic Card Shark – $3,500 Roddy’s Bags Again – $2,500 Royal Mattjesty – $3,500 Delaware Trotters CR Commando – $2,500 Glidemaster – $3,000 Mutineer – $3,000 Political Briefing – $2,000 Maryland Pacers Island Fantasy – $1,500 Quik Pulse Mindale – $2,000 Maryland Trotter CR Renegade – $1,500 New York Pacers Artiscape – $2,500 Boston Red Rocks – $4,000 Courtly Choice – $6,000 New York Trotters CR Excalibur – $3,000 Met’s Hall – $5,500 Ontario Pacers Artspeak – $4,000 CAD Betterthancheddar – $5,000 CAD Bettor’s Delight – $20,000 CAD (contact Blue Chip Farm) Jimmy Freight – $5,000 CAD McWicked – $6,500 CAD Shadow Play – $5,500 CAD (contact Blue Chip Farm) Stag Party – $4,000 CAD Ontario Trotters Archangel – $7,500 CAD My MVP – $4,000 CAD (breed one mare/get one free) The Bank – $5,000 CAD Trixton – $7,500 U.S. (contact Deo Volente Farms) Pennsylvania Heston Blue Chip – $6,000 More information on the stallions can be found at www.winbakfarm.com. Online booking applications are available for the U.Ss Stallions and PDF booking applications are available for most of the Ontario roster and U.S. stallions. Stallion applications for Bettor’s Delight and Shadow Play should be filled out with Blue Chip. Booking applications for Trixton should be filled out with Deo Volente Farms. While on the Winbak Farm website, be sure to sign up for the Winbak Farm mailing and e-mail lists. As always, the Winbak Farm teams at Maryland, New York and Ontario are available for any breeding-related questions. The farm employees can also help you pick the right choice for your mare if you are having a hard time deciding on who to breed to. Winbak Farm

Dream Away passed away at the age of 26 on August 18th at Winbak Farm of Delaware. Dream Away, p, 2, 1:52 2/5; 3, 1:50 ($1,342,071), had 15 wins before retiring from harness racing to stand at stud. At 2, he won the International Stallion Stake and was second in the Governors Cup elimination. At 3, Dream Away won the Bluegrass Series division, Little Brown Jug elimination, Meadowlands Pace elimination and Final, Messenger Stakes elimination, New Jersey Classic elimination, 2 New Jersey Sire Stakes divisions, and the Progress Pace elimination and Final. He was second in the Adios Stakes elimination, Messenger Stakes Final, Tattersalls Pace and New Jersey Sire Stakes division and Final. At 4, Dream Away was second in the Breeders Crown, Classic Series Final, and Driscoll Series elimination and Final. After retiring from racing, Dream Away sired multiple stakes winners. Dream Away stood at stud for 21 years and sired sire stakes winners in New Jersey, New York and Delaware. His offspring in North America have earned $40,204,222. As of August 19, 2020, Dream Away had sired 375 race winners including 118 who have earned at least $100,000. He is the sire of 12 who have earned $500,000 including 54x Winner, Monochromatic, p, 3, 1:54 3/5; 1:50 4/5f ($869,905), New Jersey Sire Stakes Winner, Spring Break, p, 2, 1:57 4/5h; 3, 1:50 3/5z ($787,057), and New York Sire Stakes Winner Handsome Harry, p, 3, 1:51 3/5f; 1:51 ($713,486). He also had success as a stallion in the southern hemisphere. As a broodmare sire, Dream Away has sired the dams of many winners including Christen Me N, p, 1:49 2/5f  ($2,330,869), Eighteen, p, 3, 1:51 3/5s; 1:49 1/5f ($910,224) , and Spreester, p, 2, 1:52 3/5s; 1:51 2/5f ($858,872). The connections of Dream Away would like to thank the breeders, trainers, owners and other supporters who have helped Dream Away be a successful sire. If breeders have questions, they should call 410.885.3059 or email stallions@winbakfarm.com. From Winbak Farm of Delaware

Winbak Farm of Ontario and the Angus Hall syndicate have announced that Angus Hall, 2, 1:54.4z; 3, 1:54.3 ($830,654), has been retired from stallion duty. "Angus Hall has left an incredible impact on trotting pedigrees for generations to come," said Pat Woods, Winbak Farm of Ontario Manager. "We are very thankful that we got to stand him for as long as we did." Angus Hall was inducted into the Canadian Racing Hall of Fame in 2019. His sire, Garland Lobell, is a member of both the Canadian and Harness Racing Hall of Fame. His dam, Amour Angus, is a member of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame. Angus Hall is a full-brother to Andover Hall, 2, 1:56.2s; 3, 1:51.3 ($875,047), and Conway Hall, 2, 1:57.2; 3, 1:53.4 ($818,884), who have had both had successful stallion careers of their own. "It has been a wonderful experience from the time Angus Hall was purchased as a yearling to his retirement as a Hall of Famer," said Bob and Lynda Stewart, Angus Hall syndicate members. "We feel blessed to have been a part of his journey." Angus Hall had a successful racing career. At 2, he won a Breeders Crown elimination, Champlain Stakes division, John F Simpson Stakes and Valley Victory Stakes elimination. He was second in a Bluegrass Stakes division and Campbellville Stakes division. At 3, Angus Hall won a Hambletonian elimination and Matron Stakes elimination. He was second in the American-National Stakes, Bluegrass Stakes division, Hambletonian Final and World Trotting Derby heat. Before Angus Hall stood at Winbak Farm of Ontario, he stood at Glengate Farms. "Glengate Farms was extremely fortunate to initially secure for stud, and syndicate Angus Hall," said Jim Bullock, owner of Glengate Farms. "It's not an overstatement to say as a stallion, Angus Hall immediately became a dominant force in Ontario racing. From the outset, his offspring showed up in both unprecedent quantity and quality within the Ontario Sires Stakes." Angus Hall has stood at Winbak Farm of Ontario since 2006. "When Glengate Farms suspended its stallion station in 2006, Angus Hall was clearly the number one trotting stallion in Ontario," said Bullock. "While many farms sought him out, in my mind Joe Thomson and Winbak Farm represented the perfect relocation for Angus Hall. I was pleased to have Angus Hall's stallion career continue unabated and managed by the very professional folks at Winbak." Angus Hall is the sire of 6 Canadian Millionaires including Peaceful Way, 1:51.4 ($3,245,055), Majestic Son, 3, 1:52.2s ($1,993,157), Elusive Desire, 1:52.1 ($1,383,848), Winning Mister, 1:51.3 ($1,142,759), Frenchfrysnvinegar, 1:52 ($1,111,627), and Laddie, 3, 1:54s ($1,029,920). His offspring have earned $104,377,525. He is the sire of 280 who have won $100,000 or more. "The induction of Angus Hall to the Canadian Racing Hall of Fame this past year is a most fitting recognition of his stallion accomplishments as Angus Hall begins a well-deserved retirement," said Bullock. Angus Hall was the leading stallion in the Ontario Sire Stakes from 2003 to 2007 and he was the second leading trotting stallion from 2008 to 2012. "Angus Hall's legacy will continue to grow as he has become a successful broodmare sire," said Woods. "With over 15 Angus Hall-sired broodmares in the Winbak Farm broodmare band, Angus Hall will continue to be on Winbak Farm pedigree pages for years to come." Top horses that have Angus Hall as their grand-sire include Millionaires, Pinkman and What The Hill. He is also the grand-sire of Impinktoo, who has a record of 1:49.4. "We would like to say thank you to the Angus Hall syndicate for allowing us to stand Angus Hall for 14 years," said Woods. "We also want to thank the breeders and trainers who have continued to support Angus Hall and his offspring for more than a decade." From Winbak Farm  

Winbak Farm of New York, in conjunction with Perretti Farms, has announced the retirement of legendary trotting stallion Muscles Yankee. Muscles Yankee, 2, 1:56.3; 3, 1:52.2 ($1,424,938), was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2009. He was inducted as both an outstanding racehorse and a standout stallion. Muscles Yankee was born at Yankeeland Farms, Inc. (of Frederick, Maryland) in 1995. Muscles Yankee was trained by Hall of Famer Chuck Sylvester during his career and driven by Hall of Famer John Campbell. “He was a dominant horse in his two years of racing,” said Sylvester. “He had a foot that bothered him some, but when it didn’t, they couldn’t beat him.” At two, Muscles Yankee won the Bluegrass, Breeders Crown elimination, Champlain, International Stallion Stakes, Standardbred elimination and Valley Victory elimination. He won six of nine starts and equalled the two-year-old record of 1:56.3 in his Valley Victory elimination. “He was a pleasure to deal with training and racing. He did everything you wanted,” said Sylvester. At three, Muscles Yankee won the Beacon Course elimination and final, Bluegrass, Breeders Crown elimination and final, Yonkers Trot and Hambletonian elimination and final. His Hambletonian winning time of 1:52.2 was the fastest record of a three-year-old trotter in 1998. For his winning efforts, Muscles Yankee was awarded the USHWA three-year-old colt trotter of the year award. With $1.25 million earned, he was the richest performer of that year. Once retired from racing, Muscles Yankee went on to a productive stud career at both Perretti Farms in New Jersey and Winbak Farm of New York. To date, he has sired 1,474 registered foals. “He was a good size horse that went on to be a good producer,” said Sylvester. “He was definitely a pleasure to have.” He is the sire of 12 millionaires, including: • Mr Muscleman, 1:51.1s ($3,582,823) • 2009 US Horse of the Year, Muscle Hill, 3, 1:50.1 ($3,273,342) • Deweycheatumnhowe, 3, 1:50.4 ($3,155,178) • Strong Yankee, 3, 1:50.3 ($1,434,351) • Costa Rica, 3, 1:54.3s ($1,394,757) • Neighsay Hanover, 1:52.2f ($1,276,548) • Muscle Massive, 3, 1:51 ($1,239,138) • Little Brown Fox, 3, 1:51.2 ($1,192,403) • Housethatruthbuilt, 3, 1:52.4 ($1,164,931) • Looking Hanover, 1:53.2f ($1,125,136) • Muscles Marinara, 1:52.1 ($1,057,700) • Blur, 3, 1:55.1s ($1,022,268) Sons of Muscles Yankee won the Hambletonian three years in a row from 2008 through 2010. His offspring have earned over $98 million. His impact is also being felt as an impressive broodmare sire and sire of sires. Muscles Yankee will be returning to his home at Perretti Farms in Cream Ridge, New Jersey for his retirement. “It was a great honour to work with such an outstanding sire,” said Noelle Duspiva, Winbak of New York manager. “He will be missed here at the farm, but his retirement is well deserved at the age of 25.” From Winbak Farm/Perretti Farms

A great many horsemen and women got their start in the sport of harness racing at an early age. Winbak Farm of New York Farm Manager Noelle Duspiva was no different. Duspiva started as a kid taking horseback riding lessons and horse showing. After graduating high school in 2000, she attended SUNY Morrisville College studying equine science and management. "The summer of 2001, I decided to stay in Morrisville for the summer work program," Duspiva said. "I worked that summer in the breeding program, where I foaled out my first mare, bred my first mare, collected my first stallion, and prepped my first set of yearlings for sale." At that point, Duspiva was hooked, she admits. Duspiva went on to complete a 15 week internship at Winbak Farm of New York. Upon it's completion, she was hired as the Assistant Manager. In 2010, she was promoted to Farm Manager. As Manager, Duspiva oversees the farm's daily chores, which includes working with the vet checking mares, working in the lab collecting stallions, foaling out mares, sales prepping yearlings, and more. During her time at Winbak, Duspiva has had the opportunity to work with world champions such as Malabar Man, Muscles Yankee, Artiscape, Broad Bahn, Dream Vacation, and many others. "Being here for fourteen years, there are a lot of memorable moments," Duspiva said. "Having some of our stallions get inducted into the hall of fame as well as our broodmares means a lot." At the present time, Duspiva is preparing for the 2019 breeding season. Getting the stallions working in the breeding shed, and the barren mares under lights are just a few of the processes Duspiva is working on. As with most breeding farm managers, Duspiva's goal is to have a high conception rate with her broodmares and stallions. When asked what the future holds, her answer was that of a true lover of equine athletes. "I want to continue working with these great horses and watching their offspring do well in the future," Duspiva said. Winbak Farm had 2,150 winners in 2018, with $21,965,100 in seasonal earnings. Winbak Farm has consistently been a top breeder in New York for Sire Stakes, Excelsior Series and County Fairs (2007-2013, 2015, 2016 and again in 2017). The farm is home to six stallions with three young millionaires; Bolt The Duer, Boston Red Rocks, and Met's Hall. The other three; Artiscape, CR Excalibur, and Muscles Yankee are all proven sires of stakes winners. By Mike Bozich Post Time With Mike and Mike

Chesapeake City, MD — Courtly Choice’s ownership group has decided that top harness racing three-year-old will race at age four. He was a fun horse to race and we are looking forward to racing him in 2019,” said Joe Thomson, Courtly Choice’s co-owner. “There are several stakes that we will be aiming for in the upcoming season. Courtly Choice’s trainer, Blake MacIntosh, had mixed feelings about standing him at stud. He discussed Courtly Choice’s future with each of the owners and they decided racing would be the better option. We decided to take the initiative to support Jeff Gural with the increase in Meadowlands purses,” said MacIntosh. The group believes that the work Gural has done to save the Meadowlands deserves their full support. We are also deciding to race him at four because we are unsupportive of the New York semen transport rule,” said Thomson. Thomson believes that mares shouldn’t have to be shipped in state to be bred. Several of the mares being booked to Courtly Choice were from outside the state of New York. The ownership group collectively apologizes to breeders who have already booked their mares. For more information, please contact Winbak Farm of New York at 845.778.5421. by Elizabeth Cheesman, Winbak Farm public relations

This is part two of two of the Jeff Fout Story. Fout is currently the harness racing head trainer at Winbak Farm in Chesapeake City, Maryland. He also drives, primarily on the Delaware / Maryland circuit. Fout has 4,563 driving wins and $23,255,101 in career earnings. Jeff Fout has been the Head Trainer at Winbak Farm in Maryland for approximately nine years. He is in charge of getting yearlings ready for their racing careers. As one can imagine, his day starts with the suns first rays. "The first thing I do is check results on the computer," Fout said. "I try to watch every horse that races. At that point, I'll get with Joe Thomson (Winbak Owner) and we talk about them." Fout and Thomson will assess the performances of the horses, and decide the best course of action going forward for each horse. Fout will get a hold of each trainer, and will either offer, or in some cases seek, advice about each race horse. After the morning meetings, Fout then heads to the barn to train. "I physically like to train 25-45 head per day myself," Fout explained. Afterwards, the head trainer and his team will pack feet, wrap legs, and feed the horses. Fout also races 2-3 nights per week, usually at either Dover or Harrington. Sunday is usually a day off, but Fout explains there are always things to do. "I like to do various activities, including track maintenance," Fout said. "At a farm, you have to do a lot of things yourself. If something breaks, you fix it. Any grass that grows, you mow it. It's hard work, but I enjoy it." Fout credits much of the success of Winbak yearlings to the training track itself. "I want my horses to experience everything on this track that they will experience on a racetrack of any size," Fout said. "I have a water truck, tractor, pylons, and starting gates to school them up. I try to make horses as user friendly as possible." The track itself is a five-eighths mile track with half-mile turns. "The track has sharp turns and long stretches. We want horses set up to go on the small and large racetracks," Fout said. Although the infrastructure is in place, working with young horses presents its share of challenges. "You have to get them to think right," Fout laughs. "They are like kids out there. Some of them get panic stricken, so the goal is to get them happy and comfortable." Fout prefers a slow training style when breaking babies. Fout explains that it's part of a philosophy to not press hard in the very beginning. "I don't want them to start off thinking it's like work," Fout said. "I build them up slowly so they are in condition to work, then I will slowly increase the work load." A lot of the yearlings Fout breaks for Winbak are horses that are called 'keeps'. These are yearlings that weren't sold for a variety of reasons. "It's kind of like raising kids," Fout said. "You take pride in bringing along a horse that was a slow learner." Despite the many challenges that goes along with teaching babies the ropes, Fout continues to enjoy his time at Winbak Farm. "Mr. Thomson has accumulated a real good team to work with," Fout said. "Everyone here knows their job inside and out." Fout explained that first and foremost, everyone that works at Winbak loves horses. "I don't know if I ever met someone that loves horses more than Mr. Thomson," Fout said. "Mr. Thomson and his team spend a lot of money and time on care of horses. They spend a lot of resources to make sure that these yearlings have the possible chance of becoming great race horses." This is Part One of Two of the Jeff Fout Story. by Mike Bozich for Post Time with Mike and Mike  

This is Part One of Two of the Jeff Fout Story. Fout is currently the head trainer at Winbak Farm in Chesapeake City, Maryland. He also drives, primarily on the Delaware / Maryland circuit. Fout has 4,563 driving wins, and $23,255,101 in harness racing career earnings.   Sitting in his office at Winbak Farm in Maryland with a coffee in hand, long time horsemen Jeff Fout stared at his perfectly conditioned training track. With a bit of a reflecting grin on his face, he admitted he had to be much more than a trainer to deal with yearlings. "I'm like a Doctor Phil," Fout joked. "I'm a psychiatrist, a blacksmith, a trainer, a doctor, and a mechanic all rolled into one."   Fout is the Head Trainer of the Winbak Farm private racing stable. He is in charge of a process called 'breaking', which is a term that means getting yearlings used to the racing world. Fout trains on a five-eighths of a mile training oval, which is located just steps from his office. As many as 45 yearlings can be jogging on the track at one time.   The Jeff Fout story started simple enough. "I found a girl in high school and thought she was pretty hot," Fout said. "I started dating her and found out that her Father raced horses up in Michigan. On weekends, I would go with them to watch her Father race." Her Father was Joe Marsh Jr. Marsh, who passed away in 2016, won over 5,800 races and $36 million. He was one of the leading drivers in the world at the time.   Fout, who liked to race motorcycles and cars at the time, was instantly turned on to harness racing.   After Marsh took him under his wing, Fout eventually quit his job at Whirlpool to make the full-time transition to harness racing. "They built a brand new factory near me in Ohio, and I would have been in on the ground floor there, probably retired by now," Fout reflects. "It wasn't any fun. Racing is fun. It's something!"   Marsh put Fout right to work, the old fashioned way. "I was leading broodmares, cleaning stalls, getting my toes stepped on, and smelling like horse manure all day," Fout quipped. He managed to work his way up from groom, to following along in training trips, to eventually driving horses. "He (Marsh) was such a good guidance to me, and I met a lot of high profile horsemen through him that I forged relationships with," Fout said. "It was important to me not to embarrass him. I worked really hard at it, because I was always told you don't know anything about racing when I started."   When it was time to go on his own, Fout bought his first horse from the Amish for $500. His name was Sam The Timer. "He was an old gelding that had bumpy old knees, but he was a good horse," Fout explained. Sam The Timer had a lot of success, primarily racing in Ohio and Michigan. "That horse just seemed to know when I needed money," Fout joked. "He made me look like a way better driver than I was. Most of the time if you didn't hit a tree, you had a good chance to win."   From there, Fout won enough to upgrade his stock. He trained Breeders Crown winner Paige Nicole Q (1995 2-year-old filly pace) with Hall-of Famer Chuck Sylvester among others. "I have been fortunate to have alot of good, smart horsemen and productive owners in my life," Fout said. "I've been fortunate enough to win heats of pretty much every stake race there is, with the exception of the Hambletonian."   Part two will take an in-depth look at his duties on the farm, how he goes about breaking Standardbreds, and his reflections of his nine-plus years at Winbak Farm.   by Mike Bozich   Poat Time With Mike and Mike

Everyone in the harness racing industry is somewhat used to the highs and lows that Standardbred racing can bring.   Winbak Farm's Yearling Manager James Ladwig got to experience it first hand on a late summer afternoon in Delaware, Ohio.   As the gates swung open in the second elimination of the Little Brown Jug, Winbak bred and 2018 Meadowlands Pace winner Courtly Choice made an uncharacteristic break at the start.   After a few tense seconds, the horse recovered, and was able to finish 3rd (placed 2nd) to make the final, which he went on to win.   "It was great," said Ladwig. "As you get older you realize those moments don't happen every day and you appreciate them more than you did when you were younger."   Ladwig grew up in Mystic, Connecticut, where he got his start working with quarter horses. He later worked for Billy Buckley, training mostly pleasure and halter horses. He also rode quarter horses, and was the CJQHA reining champion in 1983 and 1984.   After graduating from Johnson and Wales University with a degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management, Ladwig went out west and worked on guest ranches and for elk outfitters in Alaska, Colorado, California, and Wyoming. He also spent ten years in Lake Tahoe as a lift operator, snow maker, and ski patroller, while working with horses in the summer.   Ladwig and his family decided to move back east after the birth of their son (Quinn) to be near family. "I was selling roofs at the time and Joe Thomson (Winbak Owner) called," said Ladwig. "He was my parent's best friend's brother. He offered for me to come down and check out Winbak and it was amazing." Ladwig accepted the job.   That's when the 52-year-old got started in the industry. "It was April of 1999," Ladwig reflected. "I started working with the yearlings in the morning, and doing breeding runs to New York and working in the office learning about the breeding and business end of it. It was very intense the first few months."   As a Yearling Manager at one of the sport's top breeding farms, Ladwig's duties are numerous. "My crew (8 in the spring and up to 40 for yearling prep) are equine EMTs and day care providers," Ladwig explained. "We keep them up to date on vaccinations, trim their feet, and keep them well fed and safe. My job is also to make sure my crew has all the necessary tools and information to get the job done. I also, along with Dr. Deugwillo, do weanling confirmation evaluations, yearling confirmation evaluations, yearling sale placement, and assist with breeding picks."   Ladwig brings the yearlings to prep between six to seven weeks before a sale. They bring them into the barns to shoe them, and then hand walk them for a day or two. Then they start them on the equi-ciser slow and easy before building them up to about 25 minutes at a good clip with a cool down at the end. Then they are hosed off and cooled down.   "They get rubbed on every day, taught to stand, load in a trailer, get a bath and stand in cross ties." Ladwig says it's all about getting them ready to be a race horse. "We ready them for the real world," Ladwig said. Winbak Farm will prep about 280 yearlings this year.   As with all yearling managers at breeding farms, Ladwig wants his customers to be happy. "The advice I would give to someone going to the sale and bidding for the first time would be to bring someone who knows what they're doing," Ladwig suggested. "Do your homework. Know what you want to look at, have a price range and stick to it." Ladwig also suggests to new participants to bring your trainer, as they will be the one working with the horse the most, and they know what they are looking at.   According to the USTA, Winbak Farm is currently second in North America in wins (1,846) and earnings ($18,807,213).   By Mike Bozich, for Post Time

As racing fans across the globe peruse the headlines of the 2018 Hambletonian, they are not likely to come across the name Met's Hall very often. That's quite all right with part owner and driver Andy Miller, who is more than comfortable with the underdog role.   The 3-year-old colt by Cantab Hall-Met's Inn made headlines at age two, but has since been lightly raced. "We brought him back slowly after his 2-year-old season," Miller said. "He still had issues with soundness so we kind of had to take our time with him." He is in the first of two Hambletonian eliminations at The Meadowlands on Saturday afternoon.   Bred by Winbak Farm, Met's Hall caught the eye of yearling manager Jim Ladwig early on. "I thought he was a nice colt with lots of potential," Ladwig said. He went on to the Harrisburg Sale, where he was purchased for $132,000 by Stroy Inc, along with Andy and Julie Miller.   Despite some soundness issues that have hampered the colt thus far in his racing career, Miller says Met's Hall has a real big gait and a whole lot of speed. That speed was on display in his second career start, as he set the track record for 2-year-old colt trotters (1:55.1) at Harrah's Philadelphia in a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes event. He suffered his first defeat in a Peter Haughton Memorial elimination race, and had to settle for fifth in the finals after a less than desirable trip. He was also battling respiratory problems, which sidelined him for close to a month after the race.   He bounced back well to wrap up his freshman campaign with wins in the PASS Consolation, Kindergarten Classic, and The International Stallion at The Red Mile before finishing second in The Breeders Crown at Hoosier Park. "He didn't really get around the track at Hoosier all that well," Andy Miller said. "He got an inside trip and shook loose late and was really charging at the wire. We were very happy with his performance."   As a 3-year old, the jury is still out. "He's got a lot bigger and stronger from his 2-year-old season, but we had to take our time with him because of the soundness issues," Miller said.   "We pointed him to the Hambo, so hopefully that pays off." After a trio of qualifiers at The Meadowlands, he has improved in each of his three pari-mutuel starts in his sophomore season, with the latest being a win in 1:53 in the Reynolds Memorial at The Big M. When asked what sealed the deal in terms of entering the Hambo, Miller said the victory in the Reynolds was the dealmaker. Met's Hall drew post 3 in his Hambo elimination, and is 10-1 in the morning line.   The Miller team have been close to the Hambo Trophy in recent years, with Devious Man in 2017 (3rd placed 2nd) and Sutton in 2016 (2nd), but have yet to win the elusive crown. When asked what it would mean to win The Hambletonian, Andy Miller admitted it's the race every horsemen strives for.   As for Winbak Farm, it would be their third Hambletonian trophy. They won it in 2005 with Vivid Photo, and 2009 with Muscle Hill.   by Mike Bozich, for Post Time with Mike & Mike

Harness racing.com has reported that Joe and JoAnn Thomson, owners of Winbak Farm (one of North America’s largest Standardbred farms), and Pacer Financial, have a lot to celebrate. Pacer Financial is a national sales company bringing unique solutions to the financial marketplace (i.e. exchange traded funds "ETFs"). ETFs are the fastest growing product in financial services today. Pacer Financial just celebrated its second birthday for ETFs while at the same time crossing the $1 billion mark in assets under management. Pacer celebrated with its 50-plus employees at Winbak on June 16th. The employees and their families went on the official tour, learning about Winbak Farm’s rich history and its mark on the Standardbred horse industry with its breeding, yearling and racing divisions. The families were able to interact with the horses and see the newest Winbak additions, the 2017 foals. The guests enjoyed miniature horse cart rides, horseback riding (with a retired Standardbred) and Clydesdale wagon rides. To read the rest of this story click here.

Goshen, NY -- The complete roster and pedigree pages for the second annual Goshen Yearling Sale on Sunday, September 18, 2016 at the Mark Ford Training Center in Middletown, NY are now available on the web.   GoshenYearingSale.com houses a PDF link of the printed sale catalog, complete with all the pedigrees for the 162 yearlings being offered. In addition, a complete sortable roster is also available with individual links to TrackIT pedigrees which offer real time updates to current performers.   The sale features strong consignments from Hanover Shoe Farms, Winbak Farm, Blue Chip, Concord Stud and Cameo Hills, just to name a few. Colts and fillies by popular sires such as Roll With Joe and Chapter Seven are included in the 70 trotters and 90 pacers cataloged.   The sale facility is centrally located within a ninety-minute drive of all the Standardbred hot spots in the tri-state area.   Printed catalogs are being mailed on August 1, and will be available at the Hambletonian Festival at The Meadowlands racetrack, as well as at other area racetracks and training centers in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.   To request a sale catalog, please call 201-863-2082 or fill out an online request on our website: GoshenYearlingSale.com   From the Goshen Yearling Sale  

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