Day At The Track

Pompano Beach, FL...February 13, 2018...All Charged Up, perfectly handled by harness racing trainer John MacDonald, used a late power surge to take top honors in Pompano Park's $11,000 Open Handicap Pace for Mares on Monday night (February 12) in 1:52.3. The seven year-old daughter of Ponder bolted through along the pylons once they straightened away for home to score by a length over Wild Wanda, driven by Ricky Macomber, Jr. Ubetterbeturlife, with Brett Miller making a rare Florida appearance, finished third while Strings finished fourth. Embassy Seelster picked up the nickel in the classy sextet of ladies. As the Hummer Starting Gate left the station, Wild Wanda and All Charged Up both left with alacrity with the latter taking command early before quickly yielding to Wild Wanda at the opening station in :27.2. A well rated second panel left Wild Wanda with the lead half way through in :56.4 with the pace then quickening on the backside as Wild Wanda tried to shake loose from her foes. With three quarters on the board in 1:24.3, Wild Wanda turned for home with a 1 1/2 length lead but drifted out a bit allowing All Charged Up to surge on through along the pylons to score the win--her third of the year in five starts. In a post-race interview, driver John MacDonald said, "my mare (All Charged Up) lives up to her name when the wings fold. She likes to join the party early and tonight was no exception. It was kind of a blessing when Ricky's (Macomber) mare made that early move because my mare likes the cover. In the lane, the inside opened up a bit and she pounced on the opportunity. Lots of traffic last week, not so bad this week! That's the story in a nutshell." All Charged Up, owned by J P Stables, now has 35 career wins in 124 starts, good for lifetime bounty of $295,212. As the slight favorite at 3 to 2, All Charged Up paid $5.00 to her many faithful. A pair of $7,500 co-features for mares also highlighted the Monday program with Galarina and Iced Out annexing those. Galarina, a seven year-old daughter of Dali, enjoyed a picture perfect journey from trainer Andy Santeramo to score in 1:52.4--her winning margin 1 1/2 lengths over Northern Dali, driven by George Napolitano, Jr. Drea's Good Powow as third for John MacDonald after a first over bid around the final bend while Metro Glide rallied from last to finish fourth. Layer Cake earned the minor award in the septet. Galarina is now four-for-six this semester with earnings of $17,425 for owners Ron Ruggles and Tom Santeramo. She paid $5.00 as second choice in the betting. Iced Out, driven by Ricky Macomber, Jr., found some room turning for home and, first, mowed by the 3 to 5 tote-board favorite, Fox Valley Hermia (George Napolitano, Jr.) and then held off the late surging Sue's Night Out (Wally Hennessey) to score in 1:53.2 for her first win of the year in five starts. This eight year-old daughter of Western Ideal, trained by Eric Beach for Little Bapa, was off as the longest proposition on the tote-board at 68 to 1 and returned $138.20 to win. The Iced Out-Sue's Night Out exacta (3-7) paid $832.20 and proved to be the end of anyone enjoying a Pick-6 win, which now has a carryover going into the Tuesday program. Racing continues on Tuesday night with a carryover in the Super Hi-5 finale ballooning to $185,469. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park    

Millstone Township, NJ - February 13, 2018 - The Standardbred Retirement Foundation has many breedings for sale and anticipates others to become available throughout the season.   To access the list, or to donate a breeding and receive a tax deduction for your gift, please contact Tammy at 732 446-4422, or via email at SRFHorsesandKids@gmail.com.   The list of current available breedings can be accessed at AdoptaHorse.org.   SRF is Different: * Is the largest Standardbred adoption program in the U.S. * Helps Standardbreds exclusively, young, aged, injured, neglected, or abused. * Is feeding and caring for more than 300 trotters and pacers. * Is providing lifetime homes for more than 150 retirees and provides lifetime follow-up for every adopted horse, never to be at risk again.   Standardbred Retirement Foundation, 353 Sweetmans Lane, Suite 101, Millstone Twp., NJ 08535  

YONKERS, NY, Monday, February 12, 2018—He came. He saw. He conquered. Thrice. Harness racing driver Billy Dobson celebrated Abe Lincoln’s 209th birthday Monday night (Feb. 12th) with a honest-to-goodness memorable Yonkers Raceway performance. The Saratoga standout came downstate for three drives, resulting in three off-the-pace wins…even if one was behind a trotter. Said trotter was Western Credit ($14.60), who reeled in a stubborn fave Aruba Vacation late in the $7,500 second race. The margin as neck in 1:58.1. Next, a last-to-first Stonedust ($41.60), overcoming the eight-hole in the $10,000, third-race pace (1:56.2). The 4-year-old Sagebrush gelding was making just a seventh career start. Dobson’s three-fer was completed in the $17,000, seventh-race pace, pouncing after a contested battle to prevail with Gussy’s Dragon ($10.20) in 1:55.3. ‘Gussy’ held off 8-5 choice Queen Josephine by a scant nose. Donald Billings trained Western Credit, who turned out to be a one start rent-a-trotter, while Monica Krist trained both Stonedust and Gussy’s Dragon.       Frank Drucker  

DOVER, Del. ---Papa Ray won the Lincoln’s Day feature at Dover Downs, one of three harness racing victories for driver Victor Kirby, trainer Wayne Givens and owners Reggie Hazzard and Legacy Racing on Feb. 12. Kirby finished with four wins. Gallic Beach (Corey Callahan) raced alongside Papa Ray from the three quarters until mid-stretch when Kirby finally shook off his challenger to pull away for a 1:51.triumph, his first of the New Year in four tries giving the Village Jolt-Liamatters horse his 43rd lifetime win to up his career earnings to $613,488. Gallic Beach was followed by Pretty Boy Hill (Jonathan Roberts) third. The same driver, trainer, owners combination came back to races later when Downthehighway turned back eight opponents in 1:52.1 to beat I Found My Beach (Callahan) and Hide Me Away ( ).The five-year-old winner is a son of Dontgetinmyway-Happy Tears and is a $368,937 lifetime winner. Earlier, Inforce, a Western Hanover-Kats Treasure five-year-old scored a 1:54.4 success to start the trio of Kirby, Givens winners. Skyful Of Lighters (Sean Bier) was runner-up. Bobby The Greek (Callahan) finished third.   Kirby finished with four winners, Givens , Legacy Racing and Reggie Hazzard had three winners, Morgan and Russell Foster had two wins. ROYAL BECCA J, ONE TO BEAT, IN $25,000 OPEN TR0T TUESDAY Super-sharp Royal Becca J takes on Theresademoninme, Celebrity Pegasus and Moonlight Cocktail in an eight-horse field on Tuesday, Feb. 13 at Dover Downs. Post time is 4:30 p.m. Riding an impressive two-ace win streak in the Open and a winner of three of her last five starts with two seconds, Jack Park Jr. drives the blossoming eight-year-old owned by Chip Moore from post 7 facing two multi-winners of this event, Mike Casalino and Dylan Davis' Theresademoninme with Jonathan Roberts at the controls and Art Stafford Jr. driven Celebrity Pegasus, from outside post 8 for trainer Eric Ell and owners Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar, Steve Iaquinta and Minisink Farms. The list also contains Richard Gutnick and TLP Stable's Moonlight Cocktail leaving from the rail with Tony Morgan in the bike. Former Delaware-bred champion I Like My Boss and Allan Davis is alongside. Lazurus piloted by Tim Tetrick has a win, a place and a show in his last three outings for Dana Parham, CC Racing and Triple D Stables. John DeVito's fast Golden Son reined by Russell Foster and newcomer Elysium Lindy piloted by Corey Callahan for Burke Racing, J. Di Scala and Weaver Bruscemi make up a strong lineup of contenders. A strong card of trotters includes a $13,000 Winners-Over led by driver Tim Tetrick and Triple D Stable's Soda Pump, a winner of two of his last four; Midsize Construction's Blownoutofthewater (Vic Kirby) a winner last start; Wood, Dittmar, Iaquinta and Tribbett Racing's Perseverance (Stafford Jr.) drew the rail with Jenny Melander leased Wisenheimer (Roberts) alongside after a wire-to-wire qualifying win over an off track. Not to be overlooked in the field of nine are Mike Casalino's steady Tough Mac (Callahan) from the second tier; Bamon Racing's Crazshana (Allan Davis), dropping down from the Open; William Cantrell's Deacons Valley (Eddie Davis Jr.), William Mofftt's sharp Gillie The Kid (Ross Wolfenden) with an inside post; and Mark Ford's Moose Madness (Kirby). A $13,500 trot has Wood, Dittmar, Iaquita and Walls' Filled Donut , the program favorite; Magic Maddy (Morgan), fresh from a win for Lou Catana and Vince Bradley and Fred Hertrich's Gravitator (Eddie Davis Jr.) among nine starters. Dover Downs features a 50-cent Pick 5 wager starting with the 2nd race through the 6th. A late daily double is carded for the 12th and 13th races. Dover Downs races four days a week, Monday through Thursday with post time at 4:30 p.m. An excellent selection of food is available while watching the races at the acclaimed Winner's Circle Restaurant Buffet. Call 302-674-4600 for reservations. Simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred races each day from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight in the Race and Sports Book. Marv Bachrad

Monticello Casino & Raceway is reportedly not in any danger of closing despite the Feb. 8 opening of the new 1.6 million square foot, luxury five-star casino located in Thompson, Sullivan County, approximately 90 miles north of New York City. The Times Herald-Record reports that several visitors who attended Thursday’s grand opening of the $920 million Resorts World Catskills wondered if the owner-operator of both properties, Empire Resorts, Inc. (NYNY:NASDAQ GM), would turn its back on the harness racing track and racino that opened its doors almost 60 years ago. Not so says Charlie Degliomini, Executive Vice President of Governmental Affairs and Corporate Communications for Empire Resorts. “We think of it as a business that will still be active and vibrant,” said Degliomini. According to Degliomini, who has been an employee or consultant of Empire Resorts, Inc. since 2004, the property which added the casino component in 2004 and currently offers approximately more than 1,000 video lottery terminals (VLTs) and 40 electronic table games including blackjack, roulette, three card poker and craps, all of the venue’s features will be maintained and it will continue to book musical acts, reports the Times Herald-Record. Degliomini reportedly said that they [Empire Resorts] “definitely wanted to keep it open,” and that “There’s still jobs there.” He went on to say that about 200 people are employed by Monticello Casino & Raceway and that that level will be maintained, with some moving back and forth between it and Resorts World Catskills located just 10 minutes away. Village Manager David Sager reportedly said that the racino’s VLTs provide Monticello with “substantial” revenue. He reportedly estimated that the village receives approximately $180,000 a year. Sager went on to say that while he doesn’t think the racino will be a big-time draw for visitors to Resorts World Catskills, he said that he believes “certain people will be overwhelmed by the five-diamond resort casino” and visit it providing an opportunity for increased activity, according to the news agency. Sager said he is hopeful that the continued presence of both Empire Resorts’ properties will be a catalyst for the return of visitors to the area. Degliomini reportedly said that recently the company has made improvements to the racino including the successful replacement of the buffet with a sports bar, installing a new mini grandstand and relocating betting and horse racing operations nearer to the casino floor in order to create a more compact experience. According to the Times Herald-Record, the opening of Resorts World Catskills has Degliomini feeling optimistic that the racino will be successful. While he did not give specific numbers, he reportedly described visitor turnout at the racino as “competitive,” and that they win their fair share of the market. He said, “it’s been steady and continues to improve.” K Morrison Reprinted with permission of World Casino News

The Wednesday race card at Buffalo Raceway has been cancelled due to weather and track conditions caused by a repeated thaw/freeze, which is expected again mid-week. There will now be a double draw on Wednesday for races on Friday and Saturday. The Race Office will be issuing a revised Condition Sheet so please check for the updates. Racing is scheduled to take place Friday night at 5:00 pm and Saturday at 6:00 pm.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays, results and entries, go to www.buffaloraceway.com

The Harness Horse Youth Foundation (HHYF) is seeking a part-time Office Manager with in depth knowledge of social media and experience with administrative tasks, as well as general knowledge of the horse industry. The Office Manager will oversee office operations, including maintenance of HHYF website and social media accounts as well as assist with program services including camps. This will be a salaried, remote position and require 20-25 hours of work per week. Full job description below. Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume and two professional references to ellen@hhyf.org. Office Manager Description: The Office Manager works closely with the Executive Director, HHYF board of trustees and other staff members. This individual is responsible for the daily administrative tasks which assures a well-managed and well-organized organization. He/she will oversee office operations, assist with program service including camps and other activities, maintain website, develop and manage social media programs. Individual recommends changes in office practice and procedures. The Office Manager is a critical team member whose focus is to ensure the efficient operations of the organization. As this is a remote position, independent judgment is required to plan, prioritize and organize diversified workload. Employee will need to provide his/her own personal computer with MS Office suite, printer, internet access, and phone line. Duties & Responsibilities Handle phone, email and postal mail inquiries and respond appropriately. Oversee dissemination of promotional materials and press releases on a regular basis. Assist with basic finance operations (filing, requests from accountants etc.). Manage and execute special projects as assigned. Act as a project manager for special projects which may include: planning and coordinating presentations and special event planning. Coordinate the planning of the youth camps, including camp registrations, lodging, transportation and specific details to make camps run smoothly. Maintain files, donor databases as well as other recordkeeping information. Maintain the HHYF website including posting news articles, updating contacts and links, etc. as well as managing its Search Engine Optimization. Plan, manage and implement all social media activities including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Coordinate e-newsletter compilation and distribution. All other duties as assigned. Note: The above list reflects the general details necessary to describe the principle and essential functions of the position and shall not be construed as the only duties that may be assigned for the position. An individual in this position must be able to successfully perform the essential duties and responsibilities listed above. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of this position. Job Requirements The requirements listed below are representative of the experience, education, knowledge, skill and/or abilities required. Bachelor degree or equivalent experience in business administration/office management/marketing. Ability to self-manage and work with little day to day supervision. Capable of managing multiple projects at the same time. Strong interpersonal skills and work well with other staff members and trustees. Strong writing and communication skills. High level of flexibility and time management. Represents the organization in a professional manner. Comfortable speaking to clients, vendors, donors, etc. Strong knowledge of MS Office including Word, Excel, PowerPoint. Strong knowledge of social media landscapes, networks, toolsets. Strong knowledge of website management is a plus. Physical & Mental Demands The mental and physical requirements described here are representative of those that must be met by an individual to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. This is a largely sedentary role. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear, type and engage in repetitive motion. The employee frequently is required to walk; use hands to finger, handle or feel; and reach with hands and arms. The employee is occasionally required to stand or grasp. The employee is intermittently required to stoop or crouch; push or pull; or kneel. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 10 pounds and intermittently lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus. 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. Keith Gisser    

Hightstown, NJ --- Carl Becker was barely a teenager when he provided play-by-play for a summer softball league in Altamont, Ill., but at that moment he knew he wanted a career behind a microphone. Becker’s election to harness racing’s Communicators Hall of Fame is the result of his ambitions fulfilled, although not exactly as he imagined during those early days. “I thought I was the next Cardinals baseball broadcaster; I had no doubt in my mind that’s what I was going to be,” Becker said with a laugh as he recalled his start. “Things took a little turn. It worked out the best for all of us, including the Cardinals fans probably.” Becker, who has spent more than five decades calling horse races, will be honored at the Dan Patch Awards banquet in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 25, with his official enshrinement in the Communicators Hall of Fame coming July 1 at the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y. “It’s a tremendous honor when you think about the people that are in the Hall and the ones that are going in,” Becker said. “It’s something I didn’t expect and I really appreciate it.” Also elected to the Communicators Hall of Fame was writer Dave Briggs. Elected to the Hall of Fame were Jules Siegel and Margareta Wallenius-Kleberg, two of the sport’s most successful breeders and owners. Becker’s introduction to harness racing came at the Effingham County Fair in Altamont. “I would watch the horse races and I loved them,” Becker said. “When I got to high school, my buddies and I would pick a number and play for a penny or a nickel. I couldn’t get away from it. I liked the excitement of it. I had a favorite horse named Trigger Colleen. When he raced at Altamont I was on edge the night before and couldn’t wait to see what happened the next day. It just kind of grew from there.” His path to the racetrack announcer’s booth was gradual, but his career picked up steam quickly once he headed that direction. Becker graduated from the University of Illinois, where he majored in agricultural education and minored in animal science, and spent five years as a teacher. He was 27 when he began calling races regularly at the fairs and soon found himself on some of the sport’s biggest stages. “The announcing part, I thought I could do that,” Becker said. “It all just fell into place. I just thoroughly enjoy watching horses race. We would have some very competitive races at the county fairs. “I did the Illinois State Fair, and that was a dream come true. Back then, the Grand Circuit went from Springfield to Indianapolis to Du Quoin, and The Red Mile was a few weeks later. I did the Illinois State Fair, and I did Indiana, and Du Quoin and The Red Mile. It was a six-week period and it was exciting. I saw all the great drivers, all the great horses. It just was a real trip.” Two of Becker’s many memorable days occurred in 1980. The first was Billy Haughton winning the final Hambletonian Stakes at Du Quoin with Burgomeister, a horse owned by his late son Peter, who had died in a car accident earlier that year. The second was Niatross’ 1:49.1 world record time trial at The Red Mile, which marked the first time a horse broke the 1:50 barrier. “I was very blessed,” Becker said. “Two of the greatest moments in harness racing I was fortunate to be part of. The Haughton win with Burgomeister, there were a lot of tears flowing. It was a very emotional time. “The Niatross time trial, to this day I haven’t seen anything like it. The emotion was unbelievable. When he hit the wire the crowd erupted. People were rushing onto the track wanting to touch the horse. (Trainer/driver) Clint Galbraith was so generous and so good; he spent a lot extra time on the track making sure people did get to touch Niatross.” Other top races for Becker included Workaholic’s win in the first Breeders Crown in 1984, the world-record 1:51.2 dead heat between Jaguar Spur and Laag in 1987, and Trim The Tree’s world-record 1:53.3 mile in the rain in 1982. All three were at The Red Mile. Becker’s career in harness racing has also involved owning and breeding horses as well as serving as a pedigree reader for numerous auctions. The 80-year-old remains active as a pedigree reader and still calls races at the fairs. “I do seven or eight fairs a year now,” Becker said. “I do as many as they ask me to do. It’s fun. My son Kurt does a few fairs when he’s home. Between us we do most of the fairs in the area.” Becker’s enthusiasm for harness racing has been a key to his success. “You have to be excited about what you’re doing,” Becker said. “If you’re not excited, it’s hard to call races. For two minutes, you have to put something into it. I believe it’s always come naturally because I’ve always felt that way. I’ve always been excited.” by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

Harrisburg, PA --- The Dan Patch Awards Dinner is rapidly approaching and along with it, the annual silent auction held in conjunction with the evening's festivities on Feb. 25 in Orlando. Once again the Harness Horse Youth Foundation and USHWA's industry outreach will benefit from the sales. This year's auction features a wide variety of items so there is sure to be something of interest for everyone in attendance. Phone bidding is possible but must be arranged prior to February 24. Lots available include: 14K horsehead necklace with diamond and chain (donated by Bow River Jewelry); 2018 Preakness Stakes Package (donated by Maryland Jockey Club); The "Campbell Collection" of memorabilia including board game, posters, shirts, hats, programs and more - most autographed by the one and only John Campbell; Custom harness racing stained glass panel (donated by Barbara Dresser and Callie Davies Gooch); Signed and numbered Always B Miki mounted pen & ink print (donated by Michelle Hogan); "Night on the Meadowlands TV Set" experience; "Handicapping Session with Garnet Barnsdale"; Production of audio advertising piece by Retromedia; (PR services for audio production, script and voiceover: donated and provided by Mark McKelvie and Melissa Keith) Red Mile Package $1000 value Dinner and programs for 4 in The Red Mile Clubhouse (excluding alcohol) and Railbird Box Seats (for up to 6 people) - all during  2018 The Red Mile Grand Circuit meet! Exact location for box seats to be determined. (Donated by the Red Mile) Rosen Shingle Creek hotel vacation package (donated by same); Baseball package including tickets for Mets and Phillies games (donated by Nick Saponara); Collection of framed, vintage cigar box labels of Ashwood, Peter Manning, and Single Kay; Off & Pacing game package; Limited-edition Cam Fella print by equine artist Fred Stone: (donated by The Farm Ventures (Off and Pacing/Ryan Clements/Landon Mulhall) Set of 6 hand-painted goblets (donated by Suzanne D'Ambrose); Variety of gift baskets from Batavia Downs, Hoosier Park, Ohio Sires Stakes, Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, and Hambletonian/Breeders Crown; (Canadian horse racing gift basket: items donated by Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, Retromedia Publishing, and Melissa Keith) Gift certificates from Fennell's, Big D's and The Red Mile Gift Shop; And perhaps a few late entries! Proceeds from the silent auction go to fund the Harness Horse Youth Foundation's Summer Programs as well as the U.S. Harness Writers Association's industry outreach initiative, which this past year made contributions to the Harness Racing Museum, Historic Track rebuilding fund, the Filion family and the Clyde Hirt Media Workshop during Hambletonian week. For complete information, item descriptions, available photos and bidding instructions, please visit www.ushwa.org or call Steven Wolf at 954-654-3757 or Ellen Taylor at 317-908-0029. by Ken Weingartner, for USHWA

Pompano Beach, FL...February 12, 2018...Waikiki Beach A, the harness racing Australian bred six year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere, scored a repeat win in Pompano Park's $11,000 Open Handicap Pace on Sunday night (February 11). The gallant gelding, who made a successful debut at the South Florida oval in 1:51.4 one week ago, overcame the assignment of the outside eight post and seven classy foes to score in a lifetime best 1:50.2--eking out a photo finish win over another Aussie bred gelding, Hollywood Sign A, handled by Matt Krueger. Fritzie Pic Up Man, cutting fractions of :26.2, :54.3 and 1:21.4 along with way, finished third for George Napolitano, Jr. Doo Wop Hanover and Dee's Rocketman picked up the minors in the octet. At the opening bell, Waikiki Beach A "half-heartedly" left and went in search of a better spot, finally finding one in fifth around the opening turn. On the backside, Zeron tilted his charge out and began gnawing away but was still some three or four lengths away around the final bend. Once they straightened away, Waikiki Beach A was in full attack mode, sticking his nose in front right on the wire. In a post race interview, driver Scott Zeron lamented, "He had to overcome a lot in the mile tonight and I couldn't have asked for much more finishing. I will say that these were two great starts prepping for the Levy." Trained by Ross Croghan for the Let It Ride Stables, Waikiki Beach A is, of course, a perfect two-for-two in the U.S. to go along with his newly established mark. Lifetime, Waikiki Beach A has banked $719,019--$11,000 of that in his two starts this year. Off at even-money on the tote-board, Waikiki Beach A paid $4.00 to win. In other Sunday action, Lyons Johnny, with Wally Hennessey handling the lines, won the $9,000 Claiming Handicap, scoring in 1:52.1 over The Onlyest One, with George Napolitano, Jr. in the bike. E R Melvyn, driven by Rick Plano, was third while Backup A finished fourth. E Y Cowboy picked up the nickel in the sharp sextet. The win was the 40th career-wise for the 10 year-old altered son of Mach Three, whose earnings leaped to just under the $400,000 mark--$399,019 to be precise. Lyons Johnny was trained by Ray Vizzi for owner Mildred Ventriglio and was promptly claimed for the $30,000 tag. Off as the second choice at 3 to 2, Lyona Johnny rewarded his many faithful with a $5.00 mutual. Another noteworthy performance was put in by A Cool Card, driven by Rick Plano. This 10 year-old gelded son of Cole Muffler toured Pompano Park's slick five-eighths mile over in 1:51, highlighted by a final half in :54 flat. A Cool Card carded panels of :27.3 and :57 before beginning his lethal sprint on the backside, reaching the third station in 1:23.3. Driver Rick Plano also trains for owner Maryann Plano. It was the first success of the season for A Cool Card, who now has 41 career wins and $473,909 in bounty. Off at 4 to 5, A Cool Card paid $3.80 to win. Racing continues on Monday night with a Super Hi-5 season high carryover of $181,597. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park        

Reminder that sustaining forms and possible payment are due Feb. 15, 2018 for the 4 & 5 year old Open Maryland Sire Stakes for harness racing trotters and pacers (foals of 2013 & 2014).   Three Year Old payments (foals of 2015) are due to the Maryland Standardbred Fund and the Maryland Sire Stakes on Feb. 15, 2018.   All stallion pedigree's, staking forms, and stake dates are now available online including a printable calendar! Please use our website www.msrfonline.com for all your current MSRF info and any updates as they become available.   We recommend that all payments be sent by certified mail. Please remember to check and make sure you use this address for the Maryland Standardbred Race Fund, P.O. Box 540, Union Bridge, MD 21791.   Regulations can be found on our website at www.msrfonline.com or you may call 410-775-0152 (o) or my cell at 240-285-0326.   By Cheri Stambaugh

A South Jersey horse trainer indicted in 2015 on animal cruelty charges for her alleged poor treatment of horses in her care has been admitted to the state's pre-trial intervention program. Monica Thors, 57, Mullica Hill, was charged with third-degree animal cruelty in the deaths of four horses that had to be euthanized, according to a 2015 report. All four were overweight and suffered from chronic laminitis, an inflammatory condition of the connective tissue inside the hoof that causes lameness. She also faced five counts of fourth-degree animal cruelty for allegedly "causing serious bodily injury, also by failure to provide care" for an additional four horses and a goat, according to prosecutors. All of these animals were described as overweight and suffering from hoof problems. The indictment came after officers from the NJSPCA seized several horses and the goat from a South Harrison Township farm where Thors was planning to shoot a documentary about the care of harness racing horses. Over the objections of the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office, Superior Court Judge M. Christine Allen-Jackson last Monday granted Thors admission to PTI for a period of one year. PTI is a diversionary program for non-violent offenders. If she meets conditions of the program for a year, her charges will be dismissed. Under the program, she must report to a supervisor, avoid new offenses and, if she wishes to take care of horses, must do so under the supervision of a professional, according to the prosecutor's office. If she fails to comply with the terms of the program, her case will be returned to criminal court for prosecution. By Matt Gray Reprinted with permission of the NJ.com site

LEBANON, OH. - Sandy's Victory, who was named the harness racing 2017 Aged Trotter of the Year in Ohio, shows no signs of letting up at age 7. The Dan Ater owned and trained daughter of Victory Same won for the 17th time from 51 starts over the last 13 months by capturing the $22,000 Open Trot at Miami Valley on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 11. Ater's son Kyle put the favorite on the engine early and led four classy geldings through fractions of :28.4, :58.1 and 1:27.2 before sealing the deal by open lengths in 1:56.2 over the rain-soaked five-eighths mile oval. Walter White (John DeLong) rallied for second with MJB Got Faith (Kayne Kauffman) grabbing the show dough. On Saturday night, trainer Jimmy Byers notched his 100th training win when he sent out Herlin (Josh Sutton) and won a $6500 claimer in 1:55.4. DEADLINE APPROACHES FOR MIAMI VALLEY 'LEGENDS' LATE CLOSERS The nomination deadline is rapidly approaching for the first three out of nine total annual “Lebanon Legends” late closers to be raced at Miami Valley Raceway, primarily in March and early April.  Entry forms must be submitted to the race office or postmarked by Saturday, February 17.  All three series are for non-winners of four pari-mutuel races or $40,000 lifetime as of the entry deadline date.  The Herb Coven Jr. Memorial will feature pacing fillies and mares; the George Williams Memorial will showcase male pacers; and the Ray Paver Sr. Memorial is for trotters that meet the conditions criteria. “Due to the unfortunate current quarantine of almost 500 horses at the Warren Co. Fairgrounds and a nearby training center, we expect lower nomination numbers than usual for these popular series,” said Race Secretary Gregg Keidel.  “We still hope to get the required 18 available nominees to begin each series, however.  Additionally, owners of horses currently in quarantine are welcome to nominate and their checks will not be cashed if they are not released from quarantine in time to enter the first leg.” Deadline for entries into the other six “Legends” series, for either non-winners of 2 pari-mutuel races or $20,000 lifetime; or non-winners of 6 pari-mutuel races or $60,000 lifetime is March 3. Nomination forms can be found at www.miamivalleygaming.com, by using the Racing and then Horsemens Info tabs, or can be picked up in the Miami Valley Race Office. Gregg Keidel        

Brandon Maxwell was never much into the horses. When Brandon was young, his father was an accomplished harness-racing trainer. The Maxwells, though, lived in Ontario, and running horses outside didn’t agree with the harsh Canadian winters. They needed an escape route. The Maxwells found one in Orlando at a renowned facility on Lee Road that has faded into history. Ben White Raceway was a big deal. It is the reason why Brandon Maxwell’s birth certificate was signed in Winter Park and why the U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team has a tie to this area. “All he wanted to do was play hockey,’’ said Maxwell’s father, Brad. “Go to school and play hockey. That was his whole life.’’ Maxwell is a goalie with Team USA, which will play its first match Wednesday against Slovenia in Pyeongchang, South Korea. “Being a part of the Olympic team for me is the ultimate honor and privilege you can have in sports,’’ Maxwell said by email. “It’s something you dream about from a young age.’’ The American squad is comprised of international players, collegians and players in the American Hockey League, a rung below the NHL. Maxwell, 26, is in his fifth season of playing overseas, mainly in the Czech Republic. “Embrace it. Enjoy it. It’s an opportunity that you may never get again,’’ said Mike Eruzione, captain of Team USA’s “Miracle on Ice’’ gold-medal-winning squad in 1980. “Just go out there and have fun. You can’t play any differently because it’s the Olympic Games than you do any time you play. Don’t make the stage bigger than it should be. “It’s still a hockey game, and you’ve got to go out and stop pucks and play the way you’ve played your whole life.’’ Maxwell started playing hockey in Canada when he was 6 or 7, several years after his father discovered Ben White Raceway. Ben White won four Hambletonian Stakes — the sport’s equivalent of the Kentucky Derby — as a driver and a record-tying five as a trainer. White first arrived in Orlando in 1920, but he was a self-made man before then. “He was known as the dean of colt trainers,’’ said Ben White III of Altamonte Springs, who trained horses for 53 years before retiring. “My grandfather came from Canada [to near Buffalo, N.Y.] when he was 15 years old, walked on a racetrack and got a job. He knew nothing about horses. He went from the bottom to the top.’’ In 1946, area business leaders, led by L.B. McLeod, bought the land near Lake Fairview for an equestrian site. It was dedicated in White’s honor two years later. In the facility’s heyday, White’s grandson said about 550 horses trained there from around the world, mostly from Canada. White died in 1958. “There was no Disney,’’ Ben White III said. “There was no nothing. There was nothing else. I can remember that part of Lee Road was dirt, from Edgewater to [U.S. Highway] 17-92. From [U.S.] 441 to 17-92 … nothing but dairy farms.’’ Some dirt turns into fertile ground. “It was unbelievably run,’’ Brad said. “It was so great to go there. Everybody knew about it. It was tough getting into the place because it was always full. All the great horses trained there.’’ Being a part of the Olympic team for me is the ultimate honor and privilege you can have in sports.— Brandon Maxwell, Team USA goalie The raceway is known not only for the myriad championship standardbares that kicked up its dirt. It was the site where World War II hero Michael McCoy died when his B-47 aircraft crashed in 1957. The Air Force base that bore McCoy’s name is now the site of Orlando International Airport. Ben White Raceway also left behind an Olympic hockey player who spent part of his formative years there. How improbable is that connection? “Never would have dreamed in a hundred years, and I grew up in Minnesota,’’ said Bill Becker, a former City of Orlando administrator who helped oversee the raceway. Brandon Maxwell went to high school in Ann Arbor, Mich., and was a sixth-round draft pick by the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche in 2009. He instead played three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League before heading to the University of Guelph, about 1½ hours west of Toronto, for one year. “He demanded so much of himself, and through his effort, he just demanded that [teammates] work like he did,’’ Guelph coach Shawn Camp said. “He did that in a really positive way. We knew he was going to go pro at some point, and when he did, we knew he would be very successful.’’ Maxwell, 26, landed with a club in Sweden for the 2013-14 season, and with the exception of one game for the Utah Grizzlies the following season, he has remained in Europe. The Grizzlies play in the ECHL, the same league that includes the Orlando Solar Bears. In 36 games with Mladá Boleslav BK, a Czech team, Maxwell is 14-22-0 with a 2.42 goals-against average and a .920 saves percentage this season. “I’m knowledgeable in Czech, Swedish, Russian and French, but Google Translate has been a highly used app,’’ Maxwell wrote. Maxwell likely will learn a few Korean words before the Olympics end Feb. 25. “When I see stories like Brandon, it’s fun,’’ said Marco Marciano, a goalie coach who has worked with Maxwell. “At the end of the day, it’s the biggest pay, you know. You spend so much time and tell them, ‘Don’t quit. Keep going,’ and push them, and after that, they call you and say they made it. That’s huge.’’ Besides training horses, Brad coached youth hockey and in the OHL, a top junior league. “You try to develop [players] slowly and bring them along and keep them happy, so they love the game,’’ he said. “The same as the horses. The odd ones are Michael Jordan, but most of them aren’t.’’ Brad and his wife, Christina, are hopeful that Brandon plays at the Olympics, which is no certainty. Team USA is assured of games against Slovenia and the other two teams in its group, Slovakia and Russia. Regardless of whether Brandon plays, the Maxwells are thrilled to experience such an uncommon occurrence. It is special really, not unlike a harness-racing facility that brought his family to Central Florida in the first place. Reprinted with permission of The Orlando Sentinel

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, February 10, 2018—Lone lass NF Happenstance (Jack Parker Jr., $7.20) and a repeating Killer Martini (Jason Bartlett, $13.20) were the big cheeses Saturday night (Feb. 10th), winning Yonkers Raceway’s moist, harness racing co-featured $40,000 Open Handicaps. NF Happenstance exacted a measure of revenge upon Rubber Duck (Joe Bongiorno) in the weekly featured trot. In play from post position No. 6, NF Happenstance waited her turn as Cash Me Out (Eric Goodell) made the first lead The lady took over before a 28-second opening quarter-mile, then was immediately flanked by 7-5 choice Rubber Duck. There would be no reverse chivalry here, as NF Happenstance hung Rubber Duck. After a 56.3 intermission and 1:25.2 three-quarters, Rubber Duck had enough while NF Happenstance was just getting started. She opened four lengths in and out of the final turn, finishing her rounds in 1:55.1…fastest local trot mile of the season. Dog Gone Lucky (Jordan Stratton) won the scrum for second, beaten 3½ lengths, while Le Reveur N (Dan Dube) and Cash Me Out wound up in a heater for third. Lily’s Swan Pond (George Brennan) picked off the final pay envelope.   For second choice NF Happenstance, an 8-year-old daughter of S J’s Caviar owned by James Moore and trained by Carol Jamieson-Parker, it was her fifth win in six seasonal starts. The exacta $39.20, with the triples returning $71 (Le Reveur N third) and $81.50 (Cash Me Out third). The week’s pacing feature saw an early scrum with a handful of leavers, all of whom found seats except for 2-1 favorite Orillia Joe (Brent Holland). Wide early, he engaged Dream Out Loud N, who gave him the back of his hoof. Early intervals of :26.3 and  :55.4 were going to set it up for someone, and that someone was Killer Martini. Patient from post No. 5, he went wide around a fading Orillia Joe and a stalled bid of All Down the Line  (Goodell). Dream Out Loud N maintained the lead through a 1:23.3 three-quarters, taking a length-and-a-half into the lane. While that one fought the good fight, he was about to get rolled over. It was Killer Martini sustaining his attempt, edging away to win by a length-and-a-quarter in a season’s-best 1:53. Thisjetsabookin’ (Stratton) rallied for second after leaving for a seat and angling out. Dream Out Loud N los the place photo, with Gokudo Hanover (Matt Kakaley) and Don’tcallmefrancis (Greg Merton) settling for the minors.   For Killer Martini, a 6-year-old Camluck gelding Alberta owned and trained by Ricky Bucci, it was—as the fifth choice--his second win in five ’18 tries. The exacta paid $147.50, with the triple returning $733. As for Foiled Again (Brennan), his 307th career start—and third attempt at a 100th victory—was not the stuff of legend. Stuck behind the eight-ball in the $20,000, ninth-race pace, harness racing’s richest-ever equine never entering contention, trailing his seven rivals throughout the soggy sojourn. Frank Drucker

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - On a night that saw steady rain and heavy fog for most of the 13-race harness racing program, Western Joe emerged from the mist to explode by the field in the Meadowlands Saturday night feature, the $20,000 Preferred Pace. Starznheaven, fresh off an upset win in this event one week ago at 22-1, made his way to the lead after the quarter and was still on the point at three-quarters in 1:23.2 while being pressed by 36-1 longshot Ponyta Boy. Then the pace fell down. Awesomeness, the even-money favorite, tipped off his live cover and was raging through the lane, on the way to what appeared to be an easy win. But Western Joe had other ideas. The 4-year-old son of Western Ideal, who won this race on January 20 as the even-money choice, was forgotten in the wagering this time around, sent to the gate at 14-1, the sixth choice in the seven-horse field. Driver Pat Berry handled Western Joe patiently, sitting a three hole from the outset. He swerved off the rail in mid-stretch and exploded past the field using a final quarter of :27 to catch Awesomeness by a neck. Bettor's Edge finished third. Western Joe won for the third time in four starts this year and completed the mile in 1:50.4 for trainer Chris Choate and owner Anthony Ruggeri. He returned $30.20 to his backers. A LITTLE MORE: The Early Jackpot Super High Five resulted in a single-ticket winner. Even though 6-5 favorite Big Top Hanover won the ninth race, that one bettor walked away with a payout of $15,071.64. ... There were two players who lasted six legs in the 20-Cent Survivor Pick 10, with each cashing in for $7,964.88. ... The Pick-4 saw a total pool of $78,199 and despite the middle two legs being won by favorites, the payout was $1,099.80 for a 50-cent bet. ... All-source wagering was $2,463,011. ... The Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High Five did not result in a single-ticket winner, swelling the carryover to $101,270.81. ... Racing resumes at the Big M Friday night at 6:35 p.m. SUPER HIGH FIVE RETURNS $15K AT BIG M  Giant payoffs are not expected when 6-5 favorites win races, but Saturday night at the Meadowlands, that trend was bucked in the Early 20-Cent Jackpot Super High Five. One shrewd player wagering into the Oregon Express hub was the only ticket holder of the winning combination of 2-7-10-9-8 in race nine when post-time choice Big Top Hanover hit the wire first, and as a result, cashed in for $15,071.64. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations