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Standardbred Canada has organized an industry-wide initiative to review the rules of racing in hopes to create a rule book for every harness racing jurisdiction to adopt and enforce. The initiative co chaired by Dan Gall, CEO/President of Standardbred Canada and Hambletonian Society President John Campbell, will conduct a detailed and comprehensive review of the rules of racing with input from all stakeholders.   The initial goal of this effort is to identify rules that should be clarified, modified or expanded to enhance uniform adoption and interpretation and to more accurately reflect contemporary racing conditions. The group will ultimately work to incorporate changes to existing rules and seek their adoption with provincial racing commissions. "Our members have been asking for uniformed rules across the country for years and this was demonstrated overwhelmingly in a recent Standarbed Canada online survey that was conducted this past spring. I believe that we have put together an incredibly strong, credible group of industry leaders that can make what some might describe a 'pipedream' a reality, and it all begins with a goal, a vision and a great team to make things happen," stated Gall.   "We should have universal rules throughout harness racing, throughout North America," says Campbell. "That is something I've felt quite strongly about for a long time. I don't believe some of our rules are worded as well as they could be. That can make it difficult for the judges to rule consistently. If the wording were made more concise and definitive, it would be easier for judges. The beneficiaries are twofold -- this will benefit the gamblers betting on our game across Canada as well as for the participants and judges. It will be better for all involved to get this accomplished," said Campbell. It's anticipated that there will be some review and revision of rules completed this autumn with the goal to be completed in 2018.   While every aspect of the rules of racing will be considered, the initial areas of scrutiny will be driver safety and fitness, fair start, recall and starting gate rules, horses coming out of a hole, causes of interference, and in the era where so much handle is generated by simulcast wagering, conduct of post parades. Members of the committee include; Regulators from all provincial jurisdictions including; Mike Brown (B.C.), Doug Fenske (Alta.), Doug Schneider (Sask.), Larry Huber(Man.), Brent Stone (Ont.), Marc Bergeron (Que.), Dr. Paul Hogan (Atlantic region), retired Hall of Fame Driver and SC Director Bill O'Donnell, Bill McLinchey(WEG/SC Director), Judge Roger DesRoches (P.E.I.), Driver Gerry Hudon (Alta.) along with co-Chairs John Campbell and Dan Gall. Communications Manager Darryl Kaplan will serve as the Standardbred Canada representative to assist in coordination and execution of our committee agendas. In addition, there will be two non-voting members; Dean Towers, representing horseplayers (NS), and a horseman to be determined. The first meeting of the Rules of Racing Committee is scheduled for September 29, 2017.   Darryl Kaplan Manager, Industry Communications and Business Development Standardbred Canada Editor, Trot Magazine 905-858-3077, ext. 241 dkaplan@standardbredcanada.ca

At the Annual Meeting of the Members of the Hambletonian Society held in Rutherford, NJ, in conjunction with the 92nd Hambletonian stakes, two new members were elected to the harness racing board. Ann Straatman of Lucan, Ontario and Linda Toscano of Freehold, New Jersey, were elected to serve on the board of the Hambletonian Society. Both have diverse and long-term involvement in harness racing, and are deeply invested in the future of the sport in North America. Straatman is the Reproduction Manager at Seelster Farms in Lucan, Ontario. With more than 20 years in this position, Straatman and members of the Van Bussel family are the third generation to manage Canada's largest and most successful breeding farm. Seelster Farms encompasses over 600 acres and stands eight of the sports top sires. The farm stood the breed-changing pacing stallion Camluck until his retirement in 2014. Camluck passed away the following year at age 28, leaving an extraordinary legacy of more than $214 million in purses won by his offspring. Straatman is also the current Sale Manager and President of the Forest City Yearling Sale, which Seelster owns in partnership. Straatman has been a Director of Standardbred Canada and was the Chair of the Breeders Committee. Toscano, a native of Brooklyn whose introduction to harness racing came through the metropolitan racetracks of Roosevelt and Yonkers, worked her way through the ranks to become one of the top trainers in the sport today. She was the first female trainer to win the Hambletonian, sending Market Share to victory in 2012. That same year she was voted Trainer of the Year, and another of her charges, Chapter Seven, was voted Trotter of the Year and Horse of the Year honors. Toscano has tallied more than $46 million in purses since striking out on her own in 1984. Her first divisional champion was Giant Mermaid in 1995, but she has had multiple stake winners of both gaits, including the free-for-all pacer Jet Laag, who set a world record in 1999 and earned more than $1 million. Most recently her two-year-old trotter Walner was named champion of his division in 2016. "Both Ann and Linda can provide valuable insight to the board," said Hambletonian Society president John Campbell. "They have been long-time contributors to the sport in the most positive ways possible. We look forward to having them assist the Society in our mission." Other business of the meeting included approval of the conditions of Hambletonian No. 95, the stake for the Hambletonian and Oaks of 2020, and the 2021 Hambletonian Maturity. The Hambletonian Society is a not-for-profit organization formed in 1924 to sponsor the race for which it was named, the Hambletonian Stake. The Society's mission is to encourage and support the breeding of Standardbred horses through the development, administration and promotion of harness racing stakes, early-closing races and other special events. The Hambletonian Society services 131 of harness racing's richest and most prestigious events at 14 different tracks, including harness racing's most prominent race, the Hambletonian for 3-year-old trotters, a filly division, the Hambletonian Oaks, the Hambletonian Maturity, and the sport's championship series, the Breeders Crown. The organization was responsible for the disbursement of more than $14.8 million in purses last year. John Campbell is president of the Hambletonian Society and Jim Simpson chairs the executive committee.  

In addition to the race on the track, Hambletonian Day is a chance to salute harness racing champions of days gone by. This year, the trotters will be led to the post by four-time Hambletonian winning driver Mike Lachance. Lachance, 66, is now retired, but he won the race four times, between 1994 and 2003. He's fourth on the all-time money winning list with $190 million and 10, 422 victories. Lachance will also present the trophy to the winning driver of the Hambletonian. Lachance will be driving the four-year-old trotter, Chukkar, owned by the Arden Homestead Stable and Janice Connor. Chukkar will be competing in the Hambletonian Amateur Drivers race on Friday at The Meadowlands with Peter Gerry driving. Chukkar will be pulling a high wheel sulky from the collection of the Harness Racing Museum in Goshen, N.Y. The Miller High Wheel Cart #1 was produced in about 1903. At the time of production, the manufacturer characterized it as, "in a class by itself." Jim Campbell, who trained 1995 Hambletonian winner Tagliabue, will present the trophy to the winning trainer of this year's Hambletonian champ. Sylvia Hovde, who cared for 2009 Hambletonian winner Muscle Hill, will present to the winning caretaker. Substituting for William Mulligan, breeder of the 2016 Hambletonian winner, Marion Marauder, will be the manager of Mulligan's Marion Farms, Lynda Barnhart. Barnhart will present the trophy to the person who bred this year's Hambletonian winner. From the Hambletonian Society      

Freehold, NJ --- Meadowlands Pace winner Huntsville moved to No. 2 in this week’s Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll while harness racing stakes-winners Walner and Agent Q joined the Top 10. Huntsville rose from fourth in last week’s rankings to sit behind idle No. 1 Fear The Dragon. Hannelore Hanover, who won a division of the Miss Versatility on Saturday, remained third while Delvin Miller Memorial division winner Ariana G moved up a spot to fourth. Lady Shadow, who lost for the first time when she finished second to Nike Franco N in the Golden Girls, dropped from second to fifth. Walner makes his first appearance in the Top 10, at No. 6, after winning a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial in a stakes-record 1:50.2. Hambletonian Maturity winner Marion Marauder jumped three places to No. 7 while Mistletoe Shalee winner Agent Q takes the 10th spot. The Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll does not determine Horse of the Year. The U.S. Harness Writers Association votes in December on all Dan Patch Award division winners plus Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year and Horse of the Year. Rankings based on the votes of harness racing media representatives on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Fear The Dragon (24) 3pc 8-7-1-0 $711,953 313 1 2 Huntsville (5) 3pc 7-5-2-0 $614,341 269 4 3 Hannelore Hanover (4) 5tm 5-4-1-0 $161,138 266 3 4 Ariana G 3tf 5-4-0-1 $193,872 200 5 5 Lady Shadow 6pm 6-5-1-0 $328,235 179 2 6 Walner (2) 3tc 2-2-0-0 $83,615 175 -- 7 Marion Marauder 4th 4-3-0-1 $372,717 162 10 8 Downbytheseaside 3pc 8-5-1-1 $498,906 121 7 9 Crazy Wow 5th 6-3-3-0 $324,000 77 6 10 Agent Q 3pf 8-5-2-0 $379,124 40 -- Also: Keystone Velocity (38); Resolve (17); Devious Man (15); Nike Franco N (12); Long Tom (11); Mach It So (7); Sintra (6); International Moni (5); Emoticon Hanover, Tuonoblu Rex (4); Beckhams Z Tam, Holy Trout, Mossdale Conner N, Obrigado (1). by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications   

East Rutherford, NJ -- The earlier release regarding OOC testing incorrectly included the Hambletonian Maturity among the stakes addressed. That race is administered by the Hambletonian Society and the entrants to it are subject to testing per the conditions of that race.   The revised statement is below;   The Meadowlands has announced that all horses entered in the following stakes; Graduate Finals Trot & Pace, Meadowlands Pace, Mistletoe Shalee, WR Haughton Memorial, Golden Girls, Stanley Dancer Memorial and Del Miller Memorial will be required to be stabled at an approved training facility within a 150 mile radius of The Meadowlands by 8:00 pm (EDT) on Monday, July 3 and be made available for Out Of Competition testing as requested.   Trainers for all of the horses entered in those stakes are responsible for informing The Meadowlands Racing Office at (877) 782-5130 to disclose where each horse will be stabled from July 3 until the stakes have been raced.   A requirement of a similiar time frame will be made for horses racing in those stakes surrounding and on Hambletonian Day, August 5. Further details will be released as they become available.   Nick Salvi  

Harness racing yearling nominations for all races serviced by the Hambletonian Society are due Monday, May 15. Payments for foals of 2016 to be nominated to any stakes events administered by the Society should be postmarked no later than midnight on Tuesday, May 16. This is the most important eligibility payment for those events that do not allow supplements, including the $1 million Hambletonian to be raced in 2019 at the Meadowlands. 2017 Races with a May 15 sustaining payment are also listed below. For more information or to obtain nomination forms, call 609-371-2211 or visit us on the web at www.hambletonian.com. May 15 Sustaining Payments May 15 Sustaining Payments Breeders Crown Cleveland Trotting Classic Supplement Courageous Lady Supplement The Elevation Fox Stake  Hoosier Stakes 2YO Kentuckiana Stallion Mgt. Pace & Trot (for 2YO Fillies) Landmark Stakes 2YO  Keystone Classics 2YO  Liberty Bell Early Closer 2YO Matron Series 2YO W.N. Reynolds Memorial Early Closer 2YO   John Simpson Memorial Early Closer 2YO Ralph Wilfong Horsemen 2CT The Spirit of Massachusetts 3YO & Older Trotters Tompkins Memorial & Geers Early Closer 2YO May 15 Yearling Payments Delvin Miller Adios (and Adioo Volo Filly Division) Arden Downs Stakes Breeders Crown Cane Pace (and Shady Daisy) Currier & Ives Trot (and Filly Trot) Dexter Cup (and Lady Suffolk Trot) Fox Stake Hambletonian (Hambletonian Oaks & Maturity) Hoosier Stakes The Horseman´╗┐ Messenger Stakes (and Lady Maud) Progress Pace Art Rooney Pace (and Lismore Filly Division) Ralph Wilfong Horseman Stake (for 2YO Trotters) Yonkers Trot Delaware (OH) Grand Circuit Yearling Nomination Payments Due Owners are reminded that the yearling nomination payments for the Delaware (OH) Grand Circuit events for foals of 2016 (to be raced in 2019) are due May 15, 2017. The nomination fees are as follows: Little Brown Jug #74 and Jugette #49                      $50.00 Old Oaken Buckete #67 and Buckette #67            $25.00 Make checks payable and send all entries to: The Delaware County Fair, Tom Wright, P.O. Box 1560, Powell, OH 43065. For the latest news, information and nomination forms, please visit the Little Brown Jug website: www.littlebrownjug.com. Ohio Breeders Championship Stallion Subscriptions Due Ohio stallion owners are reminded that the stallion subscriptions for the Ohio Breeders Championship are due May 15, 2017. Payment of the stallion subscription will allow foals of 2016 by stallions registered with the Ohio State Racing Commission to establish eligibility for his foals to compete in the OBC championship events. This year’s payment will cover foals of 2016 to be raced at the Delaware County Fair as two-year-olds in 2018 and three-year-olds in 2019. Last season the Ohio Breeders Championships raced for a combined $871,000 during Little Brown Jug week. The 2017 subscription fee is one half of the stud fee charged in the year of conception (2015), minimum of $300.  Payments must be sent to: Delaware County Fair, Attn: Tom Wright, P.O. Box 1560, Powell, OH 43065. For a complete set of rules and a subscription form, please visit www.littlebrownjug.com under the racing tab.

Cranbury, NJ... April sustaining and nominating payments for Hambletonian Society harness racing stake events are due Saturday, April 15 and per USTA Rule 12 section 2, must be postmarked by midnight on Monday, April 17. Payments mailed from Canada must be postmarked by midnight Tuesday, April 18, as Monday is a legal holiday in Canada with no postal service. Due at this time is the first nomination payment for the inaugural $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot, to be raced July 28 at Plainridge Park Casino, Plainville, Massachusetts. The remaining payments due on April 15 are those races with previous payments in March. Eligibility lists for races with final payments in February or March of this year have been posted on the website. Race conditions, payment forms and much more information is available online at www.hambletonian.org. For additional information call the Society offices at 609-371-2211. April 15, 2017   Breeders Crown Battle of Lake Erie Supplement The Carl Erskine (was Oliver Trot) 3-year-olds The Elevation 2-year-old Pacing Colts Dayton Derby 4 & Older Jenna's Beach Boy Kentuckiana Stallion Mgt. Filly Pace & Trot (for 2YO Fillies) Madison County 2-year-olds (was Circle City) Matron Series (2-year-olds) Matron Series (3-year-olds) Miami Valley Distaff Monument Circle 3-year-olds The Spirit of Massachusetts 3YO & Older Trotters  

WILKES-BARRE PA - The $6,000,000+ Breeders Crown Championship series of stakes, the annual year-end arbiter of the top horses in every harness racing division ("It all comes down to the Breeders Crown"), will be returning to The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono during the 2018 racing season, the third time the all-star extravaganza will be hosted by The Downs, following 2010 and 2013.   The announcement was made during the season-opening press conference/luncheon held in the Pocono clubhouse in the early afternoon Monday, a couple of days after Saturday's start to 2017 racing was delayed by last week's midweek snowstorm - the trotters and pacers will start racing over Pocono's red clay oval tomorrow night (Tuesday), at 6:30 p.m.   For video of the live announcement click here.    The Breeders Crown Championships are administered by the Hambletonian Society, which itself is currently undergoing a major change - John Campbell, harness racing's leading alltime moneywinning driver with earnings approaching $300 million, will be assuming the duties of president and chief executive officer of the Society, as Tom Charters, who has been in charge of the Breeders Crowns since their inception in 1984 and Hambletonian Society CEO since 1998, will be easing into well-deserved retirement during the last part of the season.   "John called me after we announced that the Breeders Crown was going to Pocono in 2010," Charters recalled. "He said, 'Tom, you must get criticized for some of the things you do and that the Society does. But I will assure you that no one will ever say a word about the Breeders Crowns going to Pocono.' I've been looking forward to the races returning here since we raced here in 2013, and I'm thrilled that Pocono will again be the host in 2018."   Joining Campbell, Charters, and Hambletonian Society Director of Event Operations Moira Fanning in the announcement were Tony Carlucci, president and general manager of The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, and Dale Rapson, Mohgean Sun/Pocono VP/Racing Operations; Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association president Sam Beegle; and Jim Simpson, squire of Hanover Shoe Farms and representing the breeders of Pennsylvania.   The two previous Breeders Crowns visits to the 5/8-mile speedy mountain oval attracted over 17,000 improvers of the breed to Pocono, and total all-sources wagering, inside and out of the state, reached over $8 million. The 2013 edition won a special award from the Keystone Chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association as "The Greatest Night in Pennsylvania Harness Racing History."

Harness racing's living legend and youngest person every inducted into the Hall of Fame, John Campbell, was the special guest after the first intermission of the Devil's hockey game Sunday afternoon on MSG Network.  John talked about racing and then skipping over to watch a period of hockey and, of course, the news of his retirement from racing to take over as President and CEO of the Hambletonian Society. To view his interview click here. 

John Campbell, a Hambletonian Society director since 1992 and harness racing's leading money-winning driver of all time, was recently elected president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Society in a unanimous vote of the board of directors at the winter board meeting held March 12 in Boca Raton, Florida. He replaces current president Tom Charters effective July 1, 2017. Campbell will fulfill his driving commitments through June of this year.  "I want to thank the Hambletonian Society for their support and confidence in this new and exciting opportunity," said Campbell. "It is a challenge that I am looking forward to. "I would also like to thank and commend Tom Charters for all his years of service. I have worked with Tom on various projects over the years and have tremendous respect for his opinion and passion for harness racing. I have sought his advice many times over the years and will continue to do so moving forward. "He has worked tirelessly for the betterment of our sport, many times in the background, not receiving the credit that was his due," Campbell emphasized. "Going forward, I will be reaching out to all facets of our industry, encouraging them to make decisions that are in the best interest of our sport. We have our issues and problems, no question, but I believe very strongly that from a betting and entertainment point of view our sport can be relevant and attractive." Tom Charters, the current president and CEO of the Hambletonian Society, had informed the board last August of his intent to cut back on his schedule. He will step down as president, a position he has held since 1998. He will remain on staff through the Breeders Crown at Hoosier Park in October and on the Society board as a director. The Hambletonian Society is a not-for-profit organization which supports and encourages the breeding of Standardbred horses by sponsoring and administering stakes and other special events in harness racing. The Society was founded in 1924 to organize the Hambletonian Stake, one of 37 races it currently owns, and one of the 131 stakes events it oversees. These races are some of the richest and most prestigious racing events across North America, held at 14 different racetracks, involving the processing of more than 51,700 individual payments totaling $11.6 million and responsible for the disbursement of more than $14.8 million in purses. No active driver or jockey has amassed more purse money than John Campbell. His career earnings top $299 million from more than 10,600 victories in his four decades of driving. He has led all North American drivers in earnings 16 times and has won every major race in the sport - including a record six Hambletonians - at least once. His remarkable career on the racetrack saw him elected to the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 1990 at age 35, the youngest person so honored and the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 1987. He was voted Stanley F. Bergstein-Proximity Achievement Award Winner in 2012; voted U.S. Harness Writers Driver of the Year in 2006 and W. R. Haughton Good Guy in 2002; the Harness Horse Youth Foundation Service To Youth honoree in 2003; awarded a Meritorious Service Medal for his commitment to harness racing by the Governor General of Canada in 2000 and is president of the Grand Circuit and a director of the Little Brown Jug Society. Charters was originally hired by the Society in 1984 to guide the newly created Breeders Crown championship series. "I am proud of what the Society has accomplished over the last three decades, especially in sponsoring the two preeminent events in harness racing, the $1 million Hambletonian and the $6 million Breeders Crown," said Charters. "I believe this is the perfect opportunity for the Society. John's accomplishments on the race track are beyond compare and his knowledge and broad grasp of the traditions of the sport and the current day challenges of the industry will be of enormous benefit to the Society. "I look forward to continuing to work with John, as he has provided valuable counsel in past matters, and his leadership qualities and the industry-wide respect he commands represent make him a unique choice for the Society. "The timing is right," concluded Charters. by Moira Fanning for the Hambletonian Society  

Cranbury, NJ... March sustaining and nominating payments to 131 Hambletonian Society stake events at 14 different harness racing tracks are due Wednesday, March 15 and per USTA Rule 12 section 2, must be postmarked by midnight on Thursday, March 16.   Please note that there is a separate Breeders Crown 2-year-old future eligibility payment of $500 due March 15 that maintains eligibility for the Breeders Crown 3-year-old events of 2018.   The Landmark, W.N. Reynolds Memorial, and the Tompkins-Geers races for two-year-olds have been restructured as early closers that race in the year payments are collected. There will now be a single nomination fee per colt or filly due March 15, 2017 and a single sustaining fee due May 15 2017, payable to the Hambletonian Society should you wish to participate in the race(s). The entrance fee to start in any division of the races will apply.   There is also a March 15 sustaining payment due for the new Pegasus Series for 3-year-old Pacers and Trotters to be raced at Hoosier Park as an undercard event to accompany the Breeders Crown weekend.   The Hambletonian Society services most of the sport's richest and most prestigious events and provides one-stop shopping for your staking needs. The website Hambletonian.com contains all the tools and information necessary to stake your horse yourself.   All forms are available on the web site and are PDF fillable. Race conditions, payment forms and much more information are now available online, as well as eligibility lists for races that had a final payment on Feb. 15, 2017.   For additional information call the Society offices at 609-371-2211. Listed below are the stakes with payments due for all ages due March 15. Delvin Miller Adios (and Adioo Volo Filly Division) Arden Downs Stakes Battle of Lake Erie Breeders Crown Cane Pace (and Shady Daisy) The Carl Erskine Centaur Stakes Circle City Cleveland Trotting Classic Courageous Lady Filly Pace Currier & Ives Trot (and Filly Trot) Dan Patch Dayton Derby Trot and Pace Dexter Cup (and Lady Suffolk Trot) The Elevation Fox Stake Hambletonian (and Hambletonian Oaks) Hoosier Park Pacing Derby Hoosier Stakes The Horseman Kentuckiana Stallion Mgt. Filly Pace & Trot (for 2YO Fillies) Keystone Classics Landmark Stakes Liberty Bell Early Closer 3yr Liberty Bell Early Closer 2yr Madison County (previously the Circle City for 2-year-olds) Matron Series Messenger Stakes (and Lady Maud) Miami Valley Distaff Monument Circle Pegasus Series (New Early Closer) 3yr Progress Pace W. N. Reynolds Memorial Early Closer Art Rooney Pace (and Lismore Filly Division) John Simpson Memorial Early Closer The Crossroads of America The USS Indianapolis Memorial Tompkins Memorial & Geers Early Closer Ralph Wilfong Yonkers Trot  

The Meadowlands Racetrack, longest-running host track of the classic Hambletonian race for harness racing 3-year-old trotters, has set a date of Saturday afternoon August 5, 2017 for the 92nd edition of the classic event. The Hambletonian Society, which owns the race, and Jeff Gural, chairman of the New Meadowlands Racetrack LLC, have an existing contract to host the Hambletonian through 2021. The $1 million Hambletonian, and the companion race for 3-year-old fillies, the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, are the richest of their kind currently offered in harness racing, and among the richest worldwide, regardless of breed. There are currently 350 colts and 347 fillies eligible to make sustaining payments in February 2017 to remain eligible to participate in next year's race. "Despite the likelihood that the casino referendum will be defeated, the Meadowlands is fully committed to host the Hambletonian next year on August 5 and continues to expect to fully promote this prestigious race as our signature event," said Jeff Gural. Hambletonian day continues to set North American handle and attendance records in the new Meadowlands grandstand, with more than $6.9 million wagered in 2016. The Hambletonian race is also the longest-running live national TV broadcast in harness racing. For more information contact Moira Fanning at the Hambletonian Society (732-306-6713) or Rachel Ryan at the Meadowlands Racetrack (201) 842-5015. Moira Fanning Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown

ANDERSON, Ind.-Oct. 3, 2016 - The Breeders Crown, harness racing's annual series of 12 championship events valued at $5.8 million, will race over two nights in the fall of 2017 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson, Indiana. The Hambletonian Society, which owns and administers the events, and Hoosier Park management have chosen a traditional October weekend for their Crown showcase, with the Crown races to be held Friday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Oct. 28. Eliminations, if necessary, would be raced the weekend prior, Oct. 20 and 21. Hoosier Park, home of harness racing in Indiana, has made enormous strides in establishing the state as home to champion Standardbreds, competitive overnight racing and host of world class racing. The Indiana breeding program has produced such stars as 2015 Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit, Breeders Crown champions Freaky Feet Pete and Always B Miki and top-ranked mare trotter Hannelore Hanover, among many others prominent on the national stage. "Over the next twelve months, our team at Hoosier Park and Centaur Gaming will be working diligently as we prepare to welcome thousands of racing fans and members of the horse racing industry to our property, as well as showcase the best in harness racing to thousands more across the world," said Rick Moore, Hoosier Park's vice president and general manager of racing. In addition, Hoosier Park takes the spotlight in 2017 as the presenting sponsor of the Dan Patch Awards in Las Vegas on Sunday, Feb. 26. The Dan Patch Awards are for top equine and human performers, Harness Horse of the Year honors, as well as the first introduction of the newest member(s) to the Hall of Fame. The seven-eighths mile track, which opened in 1994 and is now owned by Centaur Gaming, is the 31st racetrack to host the Breeders Crown. It is the final host track featured in a three-year agreement announced in 2014 by the Hambletonian Society that saw Woodbine Entertainment Group in Toronto set a Canadian Standardbred record handle of CDN $5,748,950 for the 13-race card at Woodbine Racetrack in 2015; The Meadowlands in East Rutherford, NJ will host the 2016 Breeders Crown events on Oct. 28 and Oct.29, as the historic New Jersey oval celebrates its 40-year anniversary; and Hoosier Park becomes the latest track to host the Breeders Crown for the first time in 2017. Hoosier Park will also be the first track to host the event in the Midwest since 1995 when it was last held at Northfield Park and the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Ohio. "The Breeders Crown series, the horsemen, owners, fans and racetracks benefit in every way by rotating among the best tracks in North America," said Tom Charters, president of the Hambletonian Society. "Hosting the 2017 Breeders Crown is an honor and certainly a recognition of the hard work and dedication from the entire Hoosier Park team, the Indiana Horse Racing Commission, Indiana Legislature, Indiana Standardbred Association and all of our partners in the racing industry," said Jim Brown, Centaur Gaming's president and chief operating officer. "Centaur Gaming is fully committed to the success of the 2017 Breeders Crown in hopes that Hoosier Park will continue to share the responsibility of hosting the events for years to come." The 33-year-old series has typically crowned champions in every division for trotters and pacers and has been the deciding factor in Horse of the Year honors since 1984. More than $180 million in purse money has been disbursed over 370 events. Originally conceived and executed as a traveling series, the Crown has traveled to racetracks across North America and been raced as single night and multiple night events. Emily Gaskin

Freehold, NJ --- Four-year-old female trotter Hannelore Hanover, who extended her win streak to eight with a harness racing track-record in last Friday’s Muscle Hill at Vernon Downs, moves to No. 2 in this week’s Hambletonian Society / Breeders Crown poll. The mare is the only horse to make a gain in the rankings. Wiggle It Jiggle, who was idle, remains in the No. 1 position following a quiet week. Marion Marauder, who won the Yonkers Trot elimination last Saturday, and Lady Shadow, who finished second to Solar Sister in Sunday’s Artiscape, joined Hannelore Hanover as the only Top 10 horses in action last week. The Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll does not determine Horse of the Year. The U.S. Harness Writers Association votes in December on all division winners plus Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year and Horse of the Year. Rankings based on the votes of harness racing media representatives on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 15 – 8/30/2016 Rank Name (First Place Votes) A/G/S Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Wiggle It Jiggleit (18) 4pg 18-11-5-2 $1,055,927 321 1 2 Hannelore Hanover (7) 4tm 14-13-1-0 $662,639 282 4 3 Betting Line (10) 3pc 10-9-1-0 $971,830 268 2 4 Always B Miki 5ph 10-6-3-0 $657,570 229 3 5 Marion Marauder 3tc 9-7-1-0 $874,905 215 5 6 Southwind Frank 3tc 9-6-3-0 $910,023 157 6 7 Control The Moment 3pc 9-4-1-2 $737,463 105 7 8 Racing Hill 3pc 10-4-5-1 $961,702 91 8 9 Lady Shadow 5pm 13-6-2-1 $475,451 68 9 10 Pure Country 3pf 12-6-2-2 $713,706 49 10   Also: Obrigado (32); Darlinonthebeach (23); Ariana G (15); Resolve (13); All The Time (11); Rockin Ron (10); Solar Sister (9); Caprice Hill (7); Lookslikeachpndale (5); Luck Be Withyou (3); Bar Hopping, Funknwaffles, L A Delight, Newborn Sassy (2); Freaky Feet Pete, Huntsville, Muscle Hustle, What The Hill (1). by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

(August 28, 2016) - Michael Carter (110.48 points) muscled past Adam Friedland (101.1) to win weekly honors in the 2016 Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge sponsored by DRF Harness, Green Acquisition Corporation, The Hambletonian Society, Hoosier Park Racing and Casino, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Northfield Park, The Raceway at Western Fair District, Red Shores Charlottetown Driving Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs. Finishing third for the week was Sally Hinckley with 99.45 points. Unlike the first half of the harness racing season, this half is much closer with the second half leader (and first half winner) Jay Hochstetler having three handicappers on his tail, less than 50 points separating the quartet. Overall, Hochstetler is cruising along on his quest for overall champion, still 650.78 points ahead of his nearest competitor, Adam Friedland with Russ Adams sitting in third, another 0.87 points back. Despite the dominating lead, the second half of the contest is only in its second week and there is much more handicapping to go, so there is time for other handicappers to get hot. On Friday night, Michael Carter and Sally Hinckley hit the Pick-4, sweeping the contest card earning 72.28 points with winners in the Muscle Hill and the Crawford Farms Trot at Vernon Downs as well as the two divisions of the Casual Breeze at Mohawk Raceway. While no one hit the Pick-3 on Saturday evening, Carter, Adam Friedland, Dennis O'Hara, Anne Stepien, and Gordon Waterstone had two out of three but Friedland's duo was more lucrative than the remainder of the quintet as he took down Wildflower ($31.00) in the Hudson Filly Trot earning 52.5 points to the other's 18.23 for the evening. Sunday was Friedland's day, the only handicapper to pick three out of four selections with his final selection finishing second, earning him 38.5 points. The condensed standings after this weekend's action follows. For the complete standings, visit the HANA Harness contest website. 2nd Half and Overall Standings Position Handicapper Points This Week Total Points Points Back Overall Position Overall Points Overall Points Back 1st Jay Hochstetler (FHW) 42.28 307.53 - 1st 2096.63 - 2nd Russ Adams 42.20 264.05 43.48 3rd 1444.98 651.65 3rd Sally Hinckley 99.45 262.55 44.98 5th 1432.43 664.20 4th Michael Carter 110.48 259.85 47.68 8th 1352.40 744.23 5th Mark Deutsch 46.68 241.78 65.75 9th 1219.98 876.65 6th Gordon Waterstone 49.93 227.58 79.95 6th 1396.05 700.58 7th Ray Garnett 26.10 213.35 94.18 14th 1002.13 1,094.50 8th Dennis O'Hara 61.93 200.13 107.40 7th 1377.03 719.60 9th Adam Friedland 101.10 199.70 107.83 2nd 1445.85 650.78 10th Anne Stepien 71.60 175.20 132.33 11th 1111.70 984.93 11th Joe Bengston 16.10 174.70 132.83 12th 1090.05 1,006.58 12th Rusty Nash 38.60 146.13 161.40 4th 1442.28 654.35 13th Matt Rose 42.88 109.43 198.10 10th 1211.48 885.15 14th Ray Cotolo 36.00 108.55 198.98 15th 904.08 1,192.55 15th Bryan Owen 30.38 74.05 233.48 13th 1051.33 1,045.30 The action begins early this week as Monday evening Tioga Down’s card wraps up the Tompkins Series for two-year old pacers of both gaits.  The first Thursday evening of the contest season has the handicappers taking on the Champlain Stakes for two-year old filly trotters at Mohawk, followed up by Friday’s Champlain Stakes for two-year old open trotters and Simcoe Stakes for three-year old filly trotters.  Saturday evening has races from Mohawk (Canadian Pacing Derby, Simcoe, She’s A Great Lady) and Yonkers Raceway where the Yonkers Trot and Messenger Stakes will be contested.   Racing fans may continue getting the handicappers’ selections and other contest-related information from HANA Harness’ contest website  http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com. Allan Schott Check out the HANA Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge

Freehold, NJ --- Three-year-old male pacer Betting Line, who won the Battle of the Brandywine with a world-record performance last Saturday, surges four spots to the No. 2 position in this week’s harness racing Hambletonian Society / Breeders Crown poll. Wiggle It Jiggleit, the runner-up to Rockin Ron in the Prix d’Ete, remains No. 1. Also gaining ground is 3-year-old male trotter Southwind Frank, who moves from eighth to sixth following his win in the Colonial. The Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll does not determine Horse of the Year. The U.S. Harness Writers Association votes in December on all division winners plus Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year and Horse of the Year. Rankings based on the votes of harness racing media representatives on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 14 – 8/23/2016 Rank Name (First Place Votes) A/G/S Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Wiggle It Jiggleit (18) 4pg 18-11-5-2 $1,055,927 318 1 2 Betting Line (10) 3pc 10-9-1-0 $971,830 277 6 3 Always B Miki (1) 5ph 10-6-3-0 $657,570 254 2 4 Hannelore Hanover (5) 4tm 13-12-1-0 $580,189 250 3 5 Marion Marauder 3tc 8-6-1-0 $854,905 184 4 6 Southwind Frank 3tc 9-6-3-0 $910,023 167 8 7 Control The Moment 3pc 9-4-1-2 $737,463 114 5 8 Racing Hill 3pc 10-4-5-1 $961,702 97 7 9 Lady Shadow 5pm 12-6-1-1 $425,451 70 10 10 Pure Country 3pf 12-6-2-2 $713,706 46 9 Also: Darlinonthebeach (38); Resolve (24); Ariana G (16); All The Time (14); Rockin Ron (12); Shamballa (10); Homicide Hunter (9); Mel Mara (7); State Treasurer (6); Dr J Hanover, Fear The Dragon (3); Bar Hopping, Devil Child (2); Caprice Hill, Freaky Feet Pete (1). Resolve received 1 first-place vote. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

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