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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ — May 20, 2018 — The Meadowlands held the $15,000 first leg of the New Jersey Sires Stakes for harness racing sophomore pacers and trotters on Friday (May 18).  The colts raced in non-bettting races, while the fillies were during the regular scheduled card. The 3-year-old pacing colts was won by Melanie’s Fran (David Miller) trained by Kevin McDermott in 1:57.3.  The son of Hypnotic Blue Chip owned by 80 Slot Right Stable of New Jersey, easily beat the competition, Hypnotico. Shoshie Deo (George Brennan) took the first leg of 3-year-old colt trotters in 1:56.2.  Trained by Deshawn Minor and owned by Annemette Minor, Shoshie Deo moved to the front at the quarter after U Need Stones made a break, making it an easy win for him.  U Need Stones (Yannick Gingras) came back to finish second while Brutal Storm (Eric Abbatiello) came in third. The Linda Toscano trainee Hypnotic Tale (David Miller) won the 3-year-old filly pacing division in 1:53.1.  Owned by Ronald Mario, the Hypnotic Blue Chip sired filly sat patiently in the pocket then wore down the competition at the wire.  Hurrikane Empress (Yannick Gingras) held on for second while Cruzinforavictory (Frank Milby) finished third. The 3-year-old filly trotting division was won by Samis Rolin Stone (Brett Miller) also trained by Deshwan Minor in 1:56.4.  The Wishing Stone filly owned by Daniel Lengacher took the lead at the half and never looked back.  Diamondstone Us (David Miller) finished second and Take A Wish (Steve Smith) came in third. The second leg of the New Jersey Sires Stakes for 3-year-olds is scheduled for Friday, May 25, 2018, at the Meadowlands. Courtney Stafford

MANALAPAN, NJ -- May 17, 2018 -- New Jersey Racing Commission Executive Director Frank Zanzuccki said Wednesday he will be retiring from his position effective July 1. He made the announcement at yesterday's NJRC meeting at Monmouth Park. No replacement has been named. Zanzuccki joined the NJRC in 1978 and served in various positions prior to being appointed executive director in 1992. The next meeting of the NJRC is July 18 at Monmouth Park. Courtney Stafford

MANALAPAN, NJ -- May 16, 2018 -- Mark Ford, President of The Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey released the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that New Jersey can implement legalized sports betting:  “Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding the state’s rights to permit sports betting is important to New Jersey’s harness racing industry. We thank all of those who pursued this lengthy litigation, which was designed to help the state’s horse racing and casino industries. “The Standardbred breeding and racing industry has a long and important history in New Jersey and has been a vital part of the state’s economy, maintaining farms and open spaces and providing jobs. We believe that a fair division of profits from sports betting can benefit the state and our industry, and that this new addition to the gambling menu can have a positive impact on the handle on harness races.” “We look forward to working with the state of New Jersey, legislators, and horse racing leadership, to ensure that sports betting is a plus for New Jersey’s horse racing industry.” Courtney Stafford

CREAM RIDGE, NJ — May 14, 2018 — May 12th, from 1 pm to 3 pm Fair Winds Farm hosted an equine event for youngsters from the 4-H and scouting community.  Approximately 60 youngsters and parents attended. The first hour was a presentation by the Harness Horse Youth Foundation. Ellen Taylor, Kati Eick, and Travis Ceppaluni and his Standardbred Let's Elope, gave a harnessing demonstration.  Attendees were also introduced to equine careers and learned about drivers' colors. The second half of the schedule, attendees met driver and trainer Stacy Chiodo.  Also with Stacy was Maggie Romano with her Standardbred, Wicked Business. They showed racing equipment and discussed the harness racing business. Attendees were excited to take a tour of Fair Winds Farm, with Mark Mullen and Suzanne D’Ambrose.  Facts about mares and foals were also discussed, as they walked along the fields filled with active mares and foals.  And an overview of the breeding farm operation was given by Mr. Mullen. The tour ended with Dr. Patty Hogan giving a presentation and tour of her equine medical clinic.  She explained the different types of medical equipment and their uses. The finale of the day was a giveaway of a complimentary week at at HHYF camp at Gaitway Farms.  One attendee from Allentown,NJ was the winner who will be announced at a later date. Courtney Stafford

MANALAPAN, NJ — April 27, 2018 — The SBOANJ urges all of the Nominators to the new harness racing stakes program which includes the Home Grown Pace and the Garden State Trot, to continue with their payments on May 15th.  These new stakes are important to help maintain New Jersey's breeding program and need your continued support. Sustaining payments due May 15th are the Garden State Trot #1 for 2-year-old trotters in the amount of $400, the New Jersey Trotting Futurity #53 for 2-year-old trotters in the amount of $300, and the Home Grown Pace #1 for 2-year-old pacers in the amount of $300. Nomination Payments for 2017 foals are also due May 15th.  Last year the SBOANJ paid nomination fees for all New Jersey sired foals.  This year owners will be required to make the nomination payments.  On the trotting side, the yearling payments for both the Garden State Trot #2 and the New Jersey Trotting Futurity #54 are $25.  The payment for the Home Grown Pace #2 for New Jersey sired yearlings that are SDF eligible is $25, the payment for yearlings that are New Jersey foaled but not SDF eligible is $150. Visit for payment schedule and forms.   MAY 15 DEADLINE TO NOMINATE YEARLINGS TO NJSS & OTHER NJ STAKES Important payments are due Tuesday, May 15 to make and keep horses eligible to the New Jersey Sire Stakes Program and the Standardbred Development Fund. Nominations are due for foals of 2017 that are yearlings in 2018. All horses nominated must be registered with the U. S. Trotting Association (USTA), Canadian Standardbred Horse Society (CSHS) or another appropriate breed registry. The fee is $50 for the NJSS Premier Division if a copy of the yearling’s registration certificate accompanies the nomination.  Without a copy of the certificate, the fee is $75.  It is important to note that the yearling nomination fee is $100 if the foal being nominated is the result of the interstate transport of a registered New Jersey stallion’s semen to a mare outside the state of New Jersey, provided a copy of the certificate accompanies the fee.  Without the certificate, the interstate semen transport nomination fee is $125. Yearling nominations are also due for the New Jersey Standardbred Development Fund for horses by non-New Jersey based stallions whose dams have been previously registered for the program.  The fee is $50 for the NJSDF if a copy of the yearling’s registration certificate accompanies the nomination.  Without a copy of the certificate, the fee is $75. Yearlings by sires located in New Jersey do not have to pay a separate fee as nomination to the Sire Stakes automatically results in nomination to the SDF program. All pacing yearlings eligible to either the NJSS Premier Division or the Standardbred Development Fund are also eligible to be nominated to the Renaissance Pace.  The Renaissance Pace nomination fee, which is also due May 15, is an additional $25 for the open division and $15 for the filly division. Nomination forms may be obtained from the NJSS website at All payments should be mailed to NJSS, P.O. Box 330, Trenton, NJ 08625.  NJSS strongly suggests the use of certified mail to avoid potential problems in mailing or delivery of payments. No late payments will be accepted. For further information contact Christopher C. Castens (609) 292-8830 Courtney Stafford

The second payment of the SBOANJ sponsored Charles Smith Trot and Helen Smith are due April 15, 2018 in the amount of $300.  The Charles Smith Trot for 3-year-old colts elimination will be held at Freehold Raceway on September 1, 2018 with the final on September 8, 2018.  The Helen Smith Trot for 3-year-old fillies elimination will be held at Freehold Raceway on September 21, 2018 and the final on September 28, 2018. Courtney Stafford

MANALAPAN, NJ -- March 28, 2018 -- The Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey (SBOANJ) will unveil a new program, Caretaker Care, Saturday at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The program will offer clean, gently used, clothing to caretakers and horsemen at no charge. The donated clothing will be located on a rack between the doors of the drivers lounge and medical office in the paddock. There are so many people in our sport that put in long hours and mean so much to what we do, said SBOANJ Second Vice President Bob Boni, who thought of this as an industry-wide initiative after donating clothing on an individual basis. This is an opportunity to provide a service to them and also show our appreciation for their dedication and hard work. Recipients are asked to neatly look through the clothing on the rack, leave hangers, and keep the area clean. Anyone wishing to donate clothing for the Caretaker Care program can drop off clean, gently used, items at the SBOANJ office at the Meadowlands Racetrack or at the SBOANJ office on Route 33 in Manalapan. Courtney Stafford

MANALAPAN, NJ -- March 10 , 2018 -- The SBOANJ is proud to announce the award-winning lineup of New Jersey harness racing stallions for 2018. Three world champion trotting stallions - Muscle Hill, Trixton, and Walner. In addition, four pacing stallions - Great Vintage, Lis Mara, Santa Fe Beachboy and Sunfire Blue Chip. Muscle Hill is the 2009 “Horse of the Year” and 2017’s leading money-winning trotting sire.  He has sired 7 millionaire trotters from his first five crops.  He led all trotting sires in average price at both the 2017 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale and at Harrisburg.  He also sired the sale toppers at both sales, $480,000 and $320,000, respectively.  The son of Muscles Yankee with lifetime earnings exceeding $3 million stands at Southwind Farms in Pennington, NJ for a private treaty stud fee. Trixton, sired by Muscle Hill, is the winner of the 2014 Hambletonian, Goodtimes, Simcoe, Reynolds and NJSS Final bringing his earnings to $947,057.  Trixton’s first crop of foals will race this season.  He continues to stand at Deo Volente Farms in Flemington, NJ  for a 2018 stud fee of $12,000. Walner, the 2016 Dan Patch two-year-old trotting colt of the year, with a record of nine wins in 10 starts and a lifetime mark of 1:50.2. Walner was the 2016 Breeders Crown Champion and has earnings of $567,652.  The son of Chapter Seven debuts his stallion career at Southwind Farms with a stud fee of $20,000. On the pacing side, Great Vintage is one of the fastest and richest sons of leading sire American Ideal.  He has bankrolled over $1.1 million in lifetime earnings and holds a mark of 1:49.1.  Great Vintage stands at Walnridge Farm in Cream Ridge, NJ for a stud fee of $2,000. Lis Mara’s 1:47.3 Breeders Crown win in 2006 makes him the fastest and richest son of champion sire Cambest.  Lis Mara previously stood in Ontario but has been in New Jersey since 2015.  His total foal earnings currently exceed $12 million.  He stands at Deo Volente Farms for a stud fee of $2,500. Santa Fe Beachboy comes to New Jersey after a racing career that includes earnings over $500,000 and a lifetime mark of 1:49.1.  The son of world champion Somebeachsomewhere stands at Walnridge Farm for a stud fee of $2,000. Sunfire Blue Chip, the son of American Ideal, defeated some of the toughest competition throughout his racing career to gain a mark of 1:48.3 and $1.2 million in earnings.  During his three-year-old campaign he won the $450,000 Adios, defeating the likes of Vegas Vacation. Sunfire Blue Chip will stand at Walnridge Farm with a $3,000 stud fee. Owners that breed their mares to any of the above-mentioned pacing stallions will be eligible to receive a 50% paid stud fee rebate (up to $1,250).  Visit for details on the 2018 pacing stallion rebate program. For New Jersey breeding information or pacing stallion rebate program guidelines please contact the SBOANJ office. Courtney Stafford

The SBOANJ stakes payments and supplemental nominations are due March 15. Payments for harness racing 2-year-olds include the Garden State Trot #1 in the amount of $250, the New Jersey Trotting Futurity #53 in the amount of $200, and the Home Grown Pace #1 in the amount of $200. The New Jersey Futurity #52 for 3-year-old pacers and trotters has a payment of $300. Any 2-year-old who missed nominations for the New Jersey Trotting Futurity #53 or the Home Grown Pace #1 can supplement with a payment of $300 along with the sustaining fees listed above. Since, the SBOANJ nominated and paid the fees for all the foals eligible to the Garden State Trot #1 the only payment due is the March 15th payment of $250. Also, if you bred, own or purchased a trotter at one of the sales please include with your payment a copy of the registration papers. The Garden State Trot #1 makes its debut this year for 2- and 3-year-old New Jersey-sired trotters. Meadowlands Racetrack will host the 2-year-olds in 2018 while the 3-year-olds will race at Freehold Raceway in 2019. Remember both the Garden State Trot and the Trotting Futurity are just for New Jersey-sired foals. On the pacing side, the SBOANJ's breeders committee is offering the Home Grown Pace for foals that are: New Jersey sired or New Jersey Sire Stakes Development Fund eligible or foaled in New Jersey. Freehold Raceway will host these races for both 2- and 3-year-olds in October, allowing for a longer schedule for the New Jersey stakes program. New Jersey-sired money-earners will receive an added bonus. The SBOANJ continues to evaluate stakes conditions in order to offer racing incentives for those who breed, race and board mares in New Jersey. Visit for the stakes payment schedule, stakes payment forms, and incentive breeding programs. Courtney Stafford

MANALAPAN, NJ -- March 1, 2018 -- The SBOANJ has extended the deadline for new membership enrollment to March 31st based on the impact of our new member discount program. This year the SBOANJ has announced a special member discount program. Members will be able to receive discounts, special offers or free gifts from various vendors by simply showing their SBOANJ membership card. This is just one benefit of being a member of the SBOANJ others include third-party liability insurance coverage, as well as insurance coverage for damaged or destroyed sulkies for those who race in New Jersey. In addition, the SBOANJ administers and financially assists a driver/trainer Retirement Program and provides health insurance for eligible individuals and their families. Membership is now required for participation in SBOANJ sponsored stakes races and breeding incentive programs. If you are not a member but would like to become one click for the membership form or call the office for more information. Courtney Stafford

MANALAPAN, NJ — February 6, 2018 — Don’t miss these Feb 15th sustaining payments. New Jersey Sire Stakes - 2 & 3 Year Olds •  Premier Division sustaining payment in the amount of $300.00 •  Standardbred Development Fund sustaining payment in the amount of $100.00 The February 15th payment must be made in order to maintain eligibility. For more information and payment forms visit the New Jersey Sire Stakes website at or call (609) 292-8830. SBOANJ Sponsored Stakes - 3 Year Old Trotters •  Charles Smith sustaining payment in the amount of $200.00 •  Helen Smith sustaining payment in the amount of $200.00 The Charles Smith and Helen Smith Trots will be contested at Freehold Raceway in September. For more information and payment forms visit the SBOANJ’s website at or call (732) 462-2357. Courtney Stafford  

MANALAPAN, NJ — February 2, 2018 — The New Jersey Department of Agriculture held the 61st Annual New Jersey Harness Racing Breeders Awards Luncheon, this past Sunday (Jan 28) at O’Conners Restaurant in Eastampton, NJ. SBOANJ directors in attendance were Anthony Romano, Michael Klau, Sam Landy, Mark Mullen, Richard Meirs, Bob Boni and Executive Administrator Al Ochsner. Ariana G was awarded the New Jersey Standardbred of the Year, and the New Jersey Sires Stakes Horse of the Year. Accepting the award for the Takter Stable were Per Engblom, his wife Helene, and Perry Soderberg. Richard Miers presented Mark Mullen of Fair Winds Farm the Breeder of the Year award. Margret Romano, wife of SBOA director Anthony Romano received the Horseperson of the Year presented by Karyn Malinowski. The committee also honored Sam McGee and Dr. David Meirs for all their help, support and participation over the years. The SBOANJ congratulates all of the award winners and wishes them more success in the year to come. Courtney Stafford

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ — January 17, 2018 — On Tuesday, January 16th the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association (SBOA) and their Political Action Committee, TrotPAC, were represented at Governor Phil Murphy's inaugural ball at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands.  Representing the SBOA were Mark Ford and Bob Boni.  Representing TrotPAC were Anthony Perretti and Mark Mullen. All four attendees spent time with members of Governor Murphy's administration including Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver, senior staff to the governor, and several appointees who have been assigned to various cabinet departments and agencies.  Fellow guests included state legislators, local and county elected officials, lawyers, business leaders, and public policy advocates. Courtney Stafford PR Consultant SBOANJ 64 Business Route 33 Manalapan, NJ 07726

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ — December 17, 2017 — Thursday night (Dec 14) BCAP hosted a holiday party for New Jersey harness racing horsemen in the Meadowlands paddock.  All horsemen were invited to the event, which included a full buffet, festive decorations, Christmas music and goody bags. JoJo’s Paddock cafe catered the wonderful dinner which was sponsored by the SBOANJ.  Over 150 people enjoyed ham, turkey, sausage and peppers with mashed potatoes, stuffing and many more delicious treats.  Chris Samaha transformed the paddock into a holiday extravaganza with the wonderful decorations and music he provided. Courtney Stafford

MANALAPAN, NJ -- December 1, 2017 -- Ariana G has been named the recipient of the Secretary of Agriculture’s trophy as New Jersey Standardbred of the Year for 2017. In November, the 3-year-old filly trotter was named New Jersey Sire Stakes Horse of the Year. She will be honored for both accomplishments at the 61st annual harness racing Breeders Awards Luncheon on Jan. 28 at O’Connor’s Restaurant in Eastampton. A daughter of Muscle Hill out of Cantab It All, Ariana G won 12 of 15 races this year and earned $1.12 million for breeders/owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. She was trained by Jimmy Takter and driven by Yannick Gingras. For her career, Ariana G has won 21 of 26 races and earned $1.86 million. This year, Ariana G won both of the New Jersey-restricted races that she entered, including the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship for 3-year-old filly trotters in a lifetime-best 1:51.1 at the Meadowlands. She used those races as a springboard to success in open stakes, capturing the Hambletonian Oaks, Breeders Crown, Elegantimage, Simcoe, and divisions of the Delvin Miller Memorial and Bluegrass. Ariana G spent much of this season ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 in the weekly Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll. She ended the season at No. 2. “She’s a fantastic, exceptional, one-of-a-kind type filly,” Katz said following Ariana G’s season-ending win in the Breeders Crown. “Right now, she’s at the pinnacle of the sport. She gotten so many accolades, that she richly deserves. She’s been a star for the whole industry for the whole year. She’s really an exceptional, rare filly. She’s one of these fillies that comes along every five or 10 years. “Jimmy Takter, Yannick Gingras; they deserve all the credit. They’ve managed her fabulously.” Courtney Stafford  

FREEHOLD, NJ -- December 1, 2017 -- Nick Surick notched his 1,000th training win on Friday November 24th at Freehold Raceway. The 29 year old harness racing conditioner sent out six winners Friday afternoon. Uppercutz’s fifth race victory gave Surick his 1,000th career training victory. Surick has been a regular at Freehold Raceway since starting his training career in 2009.  Just eight years later, with virtually no racing background the Freehold native, is on the verge of capturing his second training title at Freehold Raceway.  The young trainer is dominating the Freehold racing scene. He is currently the leading trainer with 181 wins, 101 seconds and 65 thirds in just 487 starts. This season, he has already matched his career-best seasonal earnings of $1.7 million with a month left to go. His career earning total currently sits at just under $10 million lifetime. The Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey would like to congratulate Nick Surick on his milestone. Courtney Stafford 

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