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Steve Stewart has come full circle in harness racing. Now living in Berlin, New York, Stewart first got involved in the sport decades ago while living in Long Island. He started going to the races in the late seventies at Roosevelt Raceway as a fan and eventually became a groom for trainer Bob Bencal. His career path eventually took him through several jobs both in and out of the business including a stint at the Sports Eye. As life took over, Stewart (who now works in online sales) moved upstate away from the city where he and his wife Laura raised their family. Living only about an hour's drive from Saratoga Raceway, Stewart's love for the trotters was rekindled and it came time for him to revisit an old passion; he wanted to buy a Standardbred. "The idea just kind of came to me randomly since I was living up here and it's been something I've always wanted to do. It was a line on my bucket list to be crossed off. That's all I wanted to do was get into the winner's circle one-time; that was my main goal" said Stewart. Decades removed from the business and not quite sure how to get started, Steve and Laura signed up for a new owner seminar that was being presented by the Harness Horse Breeders of New York at Saratoga Raceway in 2014. That was all it took for him to start what has turned into a very successful venture. "After i attended the seminar I needed to find a trainer to get started and went to the race office at Saratoga. I got the contact information of a couple trainers I was interested in and went from there. The first one I spoke with just didn't feel like a good fit but the next guy clicked with me and that's who I got started with" Stewart recalled. That guy was Mark Beckwith. His first horse was a trotter named Sixth Man. After winning three races, Sixth Man got injured and unfortunately had to be put down. He then bought pacer Artistic Blue, who they raced and then resold after a few starts. After getting off to a less than stellar start, Stewart needed to re-think his strategy and stepped away for a couple of months to regroup. "When I finally decided to get back in I called Mark to see if he had any horses on the radar. But his stable was full and he really couldn't take any more training bills. So he recommended I call Scott Mongeon who he said would be able to get a horse for me" said Stewart. Mongeon told Stewart he could help him out and in a couple of weeks called him about a trotter he knew was for sale named Twisted Pretzel. "When Scott called me about Twisted Pretzel I told him I knew the horse because Sixth Man had raced against him several times and ironically I had a win photo of him with Twisted Pretzel second, just a neck apart. I told him I was definitely interested. We had the horse vetted out, sent them a check and the following week the horse was in the box." Twisted Pretzel won his first start for his new owners in September of 2016 in a lower level condition race. He won two more races after that and moved up the ranks into the weekly trotting feature at Saratoga where he finished third in 1:54.1. But the best was yet to come. The following year in 36 starts, Twisted Pretzel won 13 races (six of which were Open Handicaps), was second three times and third another seven while amassing $121,909 in purses and taking a new lifetime mark of 1:55. The career year Twisted Pretzel had, earned him the designation of 2017 Trotter of the Year from Saratoga Raceway. Now having a solid race horse in his barn, Stewart was ready to expand the operation and get another one. This time however, he wanted a New York bred yearling. "I thought it was time and I wanted to buy a horse that was staked in New York. But I also wanted one sired by Crazed, who was Twisted Pretzel's father. I got the Morrisville Sale catalog and started looking at Crazed-sired yearlings. I saw a few but I particularly liked a horse named Party Saver who was hip #55, which just happened to be my year of birth. Oddly enough my trainer had him on his list as well" Stewart said. Stewart went into the sale with a price of $20,000 in mind. As the bidding went on he reached that plateau, and then was outbid with a $21,000 counter. Stewart thought, turned around and walked away from the ring. "The auctioneer stopped the auction and started talking about the horse, his breeding and such. By the time the bidding resumed I was back to my seat just in time to watch my wife put her hand up and bid $22,000! The gavel fell and we walked away with the horse, thanks to my wife" Stewart recounted. With respect for their stable star, Party Saver was renamed "IM TP's Crazed Bro" and he made his first lifetime start for the Stewarts at Saratoga this year on June 14 in a baby race where he finished second. He will also be starting in the New York Sire Stakes this summer where Stewart will hopefully stand in the winner's circle once again with his wife and New York bred winner. On Sunday (June 24) the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State will be holding another new owner seminar at Tioga Downs and would like to invite all interested parties to join them. This seminar will provide valuable information for prospective new owners and focus on all aspects of horse ownership that can get you on your way to standing in the winner's circle with your own horse. Registration is at 9:30 a.m. and the seminar begins at 10:00 a.m. with beverages and Danishes. The seminar will include materials, lunch, programs and live racing. Tuition is $20 per person or $30 per couple and will be collected upon arrival at registration. To register for this seminar, contact the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State at 518-785-5858, email or through this link. ( ) by Tim Bojarski, for the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State  

Latham, NY- With the pending sale of the Empire City Casino and Racetrack the Harness Horse Breeders of NY expect the New York State breeding and racing program to continue to flourish. The sale of Yonkers Racetrack and Empire City Casino was inevitable but the long term commitment made by New York State to support agriculture is well documented. Regardless of any changes of ownership at Yonkers Racetrack and Empire City Casino we are confident that the economic impact made by the Standardbred industry will continue to be protected and supported. Without racing the VLT's would not exist at Empire City. The Breeder's are further aware that the current full scale casinos in upstate New York are not performing at expected levels. Any rush to add another casino is not expected with the current saturation level. The Breeder's believe the VLTs and racing are a lucrative business model at Empire City and expect that will not change for some time. Now is actually a great time to take advantage of the NY breeding and racing program. The current number of 739 yearlings eligible to race in 2019 is the smallest in 15 years. With purses at an estimated $14 million the opportunities to make money could not be better. If you further consider the $1 million in funding for residency Breeders ' awards with the fact that there is a smaller pool of resident eligible horses, breeders awards could easily reach twenty five percent of earnings. The following statements were (taken in part) from an article in Harness Racing Update on June 1st, 2018. The Harness Horse Breeders fully support the comments and strongly recommend the breeding, racing and buying of NY eligible horses. From Harness Racing Update (full article can be read here): Joe Faraldo, the president of the Standardbred Owners Association of New York (SOANY), said there is no reason, yet, to be concerned about racing's future at Yonkers Raceway in the wake of Tuesday's announcement that the Rooney family has reached a deal to sell the Westchester, NY track and its Empire City Casino to MGM Resorts International for $850 million. Reached in France, where he is part of the team scouting French trotters to purchase and bring back to the United States. Faraldo said "the horse people have a contract with Yonkers that provides for more than 230 days of racing annually through 2019." The Harness Horse Breeders expect, as Faraldo stated, "that will continue past its 2019 expiration date, as will the purse enhancement from the VLTs. Racing and VLTs are married in (New York State) legislation for the benefit of the operator as well as the agriculture and racing industry's tens of thousands of jobs." Faraldo added that "MGM Grand may even help grow purses thanks to its expertise in the casino business. Slots contribute, by far, the vast amount of the revenue stream for every casino operator and MGM Grand is one of the best operators I know of," Faraldo said, indicating a growth in slot/VLT revenue would deliver more money to purses. There certainly may be changes but until we sit down with the new people for future terms and conditions governing the conduct of racing, there is no need to engage in wild speculation or make further comments at this time. Faraldo said. "Suffice it to say that the SOA of NY's long standing position regarding the protection of racing and agriculture is well known. We look forward to working with the new management after the official approval is given by the NYS Gaming Commission." From the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State  

Support from sectors of the USA and Ontario Standardbred industry, the arts and educational community , municipal officials , and strong participation by prospective young Derby hopefuls, is fuelling the robust impetus of the Youth Literary Derby. "The Youth Literary Derby is a genius idea that melds creative writing with an introduction to horses," writes Betty Holt, Executive Director of the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State. "To thrive, our industry must continue to be built on the foundation of our youth. To introduce young people to Standardbred horses and to educate them on the economic farming benefits is the only way to make that happen. "The farming and breeding aspects of the horse industry are at least as important as the racing and betting, if not more so". says Holt. "The best way to develop a love of horses is to be in contact with them and to get to know their personalities. To add in the benefit of high education is a win, win for all." The Harness Horse Breeders of New York State are so impressed with the idea they are looking to implement a similar program". Mike Simpson, of Hanover Shoe Farms and the Standardbred Breeders Association of Pennsylvania, is pleased to see that the Youth Literary Derby is offering an opportunity for today's youth to express real world encounters with equine athletes in an imaginative way. "In a sport that is driven primarily by numbers, it is great to see physical interaction and creative writing be a part of the experience, as well." he said . "It's a great initiative. I think that kids are very excited to get a chance to view horses and any time they are offered that opportunity they are bound to be excited." offered Walter Parkinson, president of Standardbred Breeders of Ontario, Association. "I think the literary aspect gives them a way of connecting with horses that is unique." The Youth Literary Derby is an Ontario-wide, juried , horse themed writing contest carrying $2,000 in prize money and free, donated tuition from the University of Guelph for Horse Behaviour and Safety courses. It is designed to encourage writing and literary skills and reaches out for students' evaluations and perceptions of their up-close encounters with Standardbred foals. "Having students write poems about Standardbreds is fantastic. We should follow your lead and do something like this in the States" writes Kimberly Rinker, vice president of the United States Harness Writers Association. "What a great program and incentive to get youngsters involved or interested in harness racing." When Standardbred owner- breeder , Tom Rankin greeted 300-plus, horse loving visitors to his spanking new broodmare facility May 19th, St . Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik was there mingling with mares, foals and excited youngsters anxious to get up close and personal with newborn foals and pen their impressions for the Youth Literary Derby. Mayor Sendzik had high praise for the Youth Literary Derby. " It is a great opportunity for young people to connect their writing and literacy skills with their love of horses, " he said. "I encourage families with an interest in horses to get involved . Thanks to the Rankin family for opening their doors and sharing their love of horses with the community to support youth literacy." Enthusiasm and strong vocal support oozed from Caledon, Ont., Mayor Andrew Thompson when he learned of the Youth Literary Derby. "Caledon is a proud equestrian community and as Mayor I strongly support and endorse the Youth Literary Derby which connects young people to horses through stories and poetry", he said. "It's great to see the large number of partnerships involved from both the private and public sector, all promoting and supporting this incredibly enriching program." Following an early morning presentation May 23rd outlining the Youth Literary Derby concept to Mayor Bonnie Crombie and Councillors of the City of Mississauga, all assembled were vocal and unanimous, in their support and endorsement of the program. The last of the scheduled 20 Open Houses at Ontario farms for Derby hopefuls is now complete. It is now time to put pen to paper and test their creative literary abilities in prose or verse about their impressions of one of God's most beautiful creations, the newborn Standardbred foals. The following words from Mike Douglas, executive director of the Mississauga Arts Council, ring clear and true, and might aptly describe the feelings of one seeing a newborn foal for the first time . "Essential to creative expression is the stimulating effect of experiencing something new, something that engages your senses and prompts you to think differently, see differently and feel differently." As Mike Douglas said: "Sign me up." ENTRIES FOR THE YOUTH LITERARY DERBY MUST BE SUBMITTED BY MIDNIGHT JUNE 15TH, 2018 For complete contest details visit FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:   by Bill Galvin the Youth Literary Derby             

One might think that horse ownership is just for the rich. Or that you need to be an industry insider to be certain that you are getting good advice as to what horses to buy and which trainers to use. Yeah, horse ownership is just too tough for regular folks. Forget that. It's simply not so. The excitement that goes with being a horse owner could be just one owner's seminar away, and many who have taken the plunge have done so after attending these events. Want to know how a seminar can get you into the harness racing business? Just ask Rick Hare. Hare is a recently retired 59-year-old, who, along with his nephew Dan, make up the partnership Finish Line Investors. They are not big players on the harness racing scene. But they are playing and having the time of their lives. Rick and Dan went to an owner's seminar, sponsored by the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State, in September of 2012. Rick was always interested in the harness game, having gone to the races at Buffalo Raceway and Batavia Downs his entire life. His dad and uncle had a few horses when Rick was young, but by the time he was 17, they were out of the game. After Rick's owner's seminar experience five years ago, he got into the game. "The new owner's seminar is really good," said Hare. "It gives a high-level overview of things you need to know. It takes a look at what some of the costs are in broad brush strokes. The trainer fees, the veterinarian fees. They give you a really good look at things, like a good introductory course in college. There's a lot of good information to take in." It wasn't even a certainty that Hare was going to the seminar in the first place. "Some of our friends were going and they were bugging me to go. The seminar I went to at Batavia, it was a real good deal. It's pretty inexpensive to go. You get a buffet dinner and a program. You talk to the race secretary and the judges and go to the paddock. It's a pretty reasonable deal they offer up." Hare did not recommend that one go straight out of a seminar and become an owner. With a pursuit such as this, one must do their due diligence. "You need to look for a trainer," said Hare. "See what they want as compared to what you want. But the basic information is there. This needs a significant investment of time and money, so you want to make sure you know what you are getting into." After attending his seminar, Hare started following some horses and talking to trainers. Hare's preference is owning "overnight" stock to "stakes" stock. An overnight horse is one who races week in, week out at the track in claiming or condition races. Stakes horses race for higher purses, but the risk factors are higher because you are buying young horses who are as of yet unproven. Five months after his seminar, Hare jumped in the pool. Things did not go swimmingly. "The first horse we got was a $12,500 claimer," said Hare. "We never got him to do anything, so our trainer recommended we sell him back to his previous owners. They bought him back and did well. It was disappointing but it's part of the game. Some horses you are going to lose money on." Determined to stay with it, Hare bought Hour Lavec for $20,000. The horse had been racing in Ontario at Mohawk Raceway. "We brought him down and raced him in the open trot," said Hare, speaking of his horse as a proud dad might brag about his son. "He was third in his first start and then first two or three times in a row. He was good at both Buffalo and Batavia during 2013 and 2014. He then had some problems, so we retired him. In fact, I still own him. My wife fell in love with him. He's now my wife's riding horse." Hare, who currently has three horses, has owned about a dozen since getting into the game. He says the overall experience has been good but that there are "ups and downs". Sometimes, however, it's not merely good. It's fabulous! "In 2016, we claimed one for $6,600 and in five months she made over $40,000 for us," said Hare. "Then somebody claimed her from us for $15,000." The math is simple. Hare claimed the horse for $6,600, the horse made $40,000 and then got claimed for $15,000. That's close to $50,000 gross on one horse. Pretty good stuff. But to be fair, it's not always peaches and cream. "Last fall, we bought a horse at auction," said Hare. "We brought him home, but he had trouble at Batavia. My trainer took him down to Florida and one morning, he goes to see the horse and he had a broken tibia. We had to put him down." Sad stuff, to be sure, but part of the game. One of the things that Hare, who was a quality compliance engineer for Johnson & Johnson, loves about ownership is how close he can get to his horses. "I'm a very hands-on kind of guy," said Hare. "I want to be able to go see my horses, so it's very important to pick the right trainer. I want a guy I can talk to and some trainers don't do that. That's not a guy I'd like to be with. John Mungillo is my trainer and I'm very happy with John. I go see my horses three or four times a week at Batavia. I help groom. I brush them. I clean them up. That's one of the beauties of harness racing as compared to thoroughbred racing. It is so much easier and more accepted to have an owner involved." Hare's been an owner for five years now and he stills gets fired up talking about his horses. "Last year we have a good one in our barn," said Hare. "Striker Ace was his name, and he won the open trot at Buffalo two weeks in a row." Hare wants to share the good vibe, and extended an invitation to yours truly. "If you ever see a horse with the ownership Finish Line Investors, if we win, come on and jump in to the winner's circle photo. We love to have people join us." Sure, horse ownership is a roller coaster ride, but for Rick Harp, it's seat belts on and let it go full speed. "I am living the dream," said Hare. Who knows? Maybe you will, too. And it might take just one owner's seminar to get you on your way. The Harness Horse Breeders of NYS will host the next new owner seminar at Tioga Downs on June 24th. To register please call 518-785-5858 or email By Dave Little, for the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State  

LATHAM, N.Y. - A seminar for new and prospective owners will be hosted by Harness Horse Breeders of New York State and will be held at Tioga Downs in Nichols, New York. This seminar will provide valuable information for prospective or new owners and focus on all aspects of horse ownership. The seminar is scheduled for Saturday June 24th, 2018. Registration is at 9:30 and the seminar starts at 10:00 am with beverages and Danish. The seminar will include all materials, lunch, programs and live racing. The seminar will cover the rewards and risks of horse ownership, actual costs, choosing young horses or claimers and how to choose a trainer. Participants will have the opportunity to meet the Race Secretary. They will also hear from trainers and talk with successful owners. Tuition is $20 per person or $30 per couple and includes the seminar, materials, lunch, live racing, membership to HHBNYS and follow-up services. The seminar requires advance registration no later than June 20th. For more information or to register for the seminar, please call Harness Horse Breeders at 518-785-5858 or e-mail Harness Horse Breeders of New York State  

Albany - Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 2018-19 budget plan has proposed some subtle changes in the state's gaming industry, which includes horse racing, video lottery, harness racing, racinos and full-scale casinos. But some observers have expressed disappointment with the budget plan's overall lack of attention to the gaming industry, "A big zero," said Donald Groth, president and CEO of the Catskill OTB, who wants to be able to offer video lottery terminals, or VLTs, in his parlors. Other struggling Off-Track Betting operators including Capital District OTB had previously sought permission to install the slot-like terminals but have been denied. The problem, Groth said, is traditional OTB parlors like Catskill and Capital District still rely on horse wagering, even as other forms of gambling are coming on line. The Long Island OTBs in Nassau and Suffolk counties were both allowed to deploy VLTs, offering gamblers yet another option. With upstate New York's fourth Las Vegas-style casino set to open in February, the Empire State and its neighbors appear to be saturated with casino options, said Alan Woinski, president of Gaming USA, a gaming-industry news service. In keeping with that, some of the governor's budget proposal call for simplifying and streamlining the rules and tax brackets that VLT racinos pay to the state. For instance, they want to lower from 27 to 7 the various tax rates that racinos across the state pay. The proposal also seeks to eliminate a hold-harmless provision that would have made casinos give money to racinos in their geographical regions if they cut into their business and the taxable money available for the state. That hasn't yet happened, so the governor wants to eliminate the hold-harmless clause. There are three Las Vegas-style casinos across upstate: Tioga Downs in Tioga County; del Lago in the Seneca County community of Tyre; and Rivers in Schenectady. A fourth, Resorts World Catskills, is set to open near Monticello in February. The existing casinos' operators have been saying in recent months that revenues haven't met their expectations. "The reality is the reason why the three casinos are not doing well is because they are still competing with the (racino) race tracks," Woinski said. In December, Schenectady officials reported that they wouldn't be getting as much tax revenue as they had expected from Rivers. While they earlier said the casino, which opened approximately 11 months ago, would allow them to cut property taxes by 18 percent, the final number came in at only 1 percent. Additionally, Moody's Investor Services recently downgraded its rating for the del Lago resort to a negative outlook. While initially projected to earn $250 million in its first year, the operation, nine months after opening, will make $150 million, according to Moody's. News of the lower revenue shouldn't mean the casinos should pay less to their host communities, said Westchester Democratic Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, who chairs the Racing and Wagering Committee. "They are making money," he said. "But they had these glossy, flowery projections." Adding to the list of worriers are horse breeders and racers, especially in the state's struggling harness racing industry. Harness tracks are connected to the VLT parlors and revenues from the slots have long helped support the racing. With the competition from new gaming venues, many expect an ongoing slide in VLT revenue, which will ultimately mean less for the harness people including New York farmers who have more than 1,000 breeding mares. "Every one of those horses needs food, shelter and care so it's a huge agricultural program," said Betty Holt, executive director of the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State. 518 478 0309 @RickKarlinTU  

The Harness Horse Breeders of New York State (HHBNYS) are pleased to offer our members a unique incentive to purchase a New York-Bred at the Goshen Yearling Sale and the Morrisville Yearling Sale. The Harness Horse Breeders of NYS have been overwhelmed by the support of old and new members. To show its appreciation, the HHBNYS will make both sustaining payments due in 2018 for two 2017 New York sire stakes-eligible yearlings that are sold in New York. The total value of those payments is $1,100 each. Any member that purchases a yearling at either sale will automatically be entered in the drawing. New York sales are a great place to purchase a harness racing yearling and we hope members attend and purchase a yearling to support the sales companies and the New York breeders who consign to them. The rules for the payment opportunity are: 1. To be entered into the drawing, you must be a member of Harness Horse Breeders of NYS, or join before the respective sale begins. In addition, you must have your name listed as purchaser on the sales slip of at least one New York-Bred yearling at one of the designated sales. 2. The Harness Horse Breeders will make the payment directly to the NYSS office. 3. The drawing will pull one member name after each sale. If the first name does not correspond with the name on the sales results for a yearling, drawing will continue until a match is made. 4. To be eligible, the yearling chosen by the winner of the drawing must be from a verified sale as certified by the sale company. No bid in's or buy backs will be eligible for the drawing prize. 5. The drawing prize is non transferable between HHBNYS members. HHBNYS Board of Directors and staff are not eligible. 6. Winners have ten days after notification to assign the prize to a specific yearling if multiples were purchased, and to notify HHBNYS of that name. If the specified yearling is subsequently sold before the NYSS payment is due to be made, the award will follow the yearling. It will be owner of record's responsibility to notify the HHBNY to sustain that horse ten days in advance of the staking deadline. 7. Any HHBNYS member in a partnership will also be eligible to enter the drawing. 8. If the decision is made not to sustain the horse at the time of either of the two payments, there is no cash equivalent and a donation in the amount of the payments will be made to the Morrisville Standardbred After Care. 9. A yearling must be paid for in full for the winner to be assigned the prize. The drawing for Goshen Yearling will take place on Saturday, September 16th, at Morrisville and the drawing for Morrisville Yearling will take place Saturday, September 23rd. This will allow for membership verification and payments in full to be processed. If you have any questions please call Betty at 518-785-5858. Harness Horse Breeders of New York State

Latham, NY --- The Harness Horse Breeders of NYS and the Goshen Sales Company will host an interactive seminar with Anthony MacDonald at the Goshen Yearling Sales Arena for those interested in investing in harness racing ownership. The seminar is open to both prospective owners and horsemen. If you have always thought that owning a racehorse was only for the select few you need to attend this seminar. Anthony MacDonald has designed an innovative ownership concept to allow anyone that has an interest in horse racing an opportunity to buy into the excitement. This will be the first time this concept will be shared in New York. MacDonald will be on hand Sunday morning from 10:00-11:30 a.m. to discuss his fractional ownership website,, with prospective owners and horsemen. "In all honesty, the response to our platform has been overwhelming," said MacDonald. "My wife and I started to sell percentages of horses. What we quickly discovered is that we're selling an experience. When packaged right, there's no end of consumers. We're equal parts social network, investment, family farm, and the sport of kings." markets horses to clients in increments as low as one percent. Owners receive weekly video updates on their horses and stay connected through social networks and training events at The Stable's base of operations in Campbellville, Ontario. "The lifeblood of the industry is owners. No owners, no horses. No horses, no anything," said MacDonald. "We make ownership fun, accessible and stress-free. We didn't start to be a revolutionary change agent, but we're seeing its potential -- and not just for our operation. For trainers that want to understand our recipe, we're happy to share." purchased horses at the Goshen Yearling Sale last year and this could be an opportunity to join in an adventure from the ground up. Harness Horse Breeders of NYS and the Goshen Yearling Sales Company support any initiative that will provide growth in the Standardbred Industry with an emphasis on the NY breeding, buying and racing program. Both organizations are pleased to offer this seminar to those who have an interest in becoming a horse owner. Please call Betty at 518-785-5858 to reserve a seat. Reservations are not necessary but appreciated. Refreshments will be served. Harness Horse Breeders of New York State

Tioga Downs, the Southern Tier Harness Horsemen's Association and the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State are once again hosting their Annual "Scholarship Race" for area high school seniors. Five local high schools are participating with one senior from each school. The students along with their designated trainers will guide their horses once around the Five-eighth mile oval at Tioga Downs. Each student will receive $1,700 for their participation. Representing Union Endicott High School is Jacob Pylypciw. Jacob will be attending Stony Brook University in the fall, studying Clinical Laboratory Science. Jacob will be joined in the sulky by trainer Jeff Byron. They will be piloting Thumpem N. From Vestal High School is Alicia Cygan. Alicia will study Occupational Therapy at Nazareth College in the fall. Alicia will be with trainer Mickey Mc Nichol behind their horse, Revenant. From Oswego Free Academy is Ethan Pryor. Ethan will attend Seton Hall and studying communication this fall. Ethan will share the seat behind College Major with trainer Jason Mac Dougall. Newark Valley High School is sending Anna Raymond. Anna will be going to Morrisville State and studying Equine Science and Management in the fall. Anna will be joined by trainer Joe Scowyra, driving Hot Patootie. From Tioga Central High School is Ashley Tiffany. Ashley will be going to Arnot Ogden School of Nusing this fall to become a nurse. Ashley's partner for the race will be trainer Michael Sinclair as they try to guide Spring House Mojo to victory. The scholarship race will take place after race two during the Tioga downs afternoon card. Post time for Sundays at Tioga are 1 p.m. For more information go to John Horne for Tioga Downs.

Dexter Cup champion Lord Cromwell has the biggest win in his division so far this year, but he will have his hands full Memorial Day Monday afternoon when he takes on last year's New York Sire Stakes champion Devious Man in the second (race 6) of three divisions of the NYSS for harness racing 3-year-old colt trotters at Vernon Downs. Each carries a purse of just under $40,000. "He was a little immature last year," said Lord Cromwell's trainer, Ed Hart. "He had some medical issues. We gelded him in late spring but he had complications from that. It was just a variety of things. But he had shown some flashes of brilliance, so I turned him out over the winter for three or four months. He's not a big horse so he gets around a half super. That's his forte, quick speed. But he did surprise me that day." That day was the May 6 Dexter at Freehold, where Lord Cromwell's dexterity served him well as he negotiated the half-mile track to the tune of a resounding 5¼-length score in 1:55. The son of Chapter Seven departs from post 3 with Jason Bartlett driving and is 9-2 on the morning line. "He's not a big powerful horse and that worries me a little bit," said Hart. "But he's got a heart of gold and I'll think he'll be OK." Off a marvelous 2016 campaign that saw him win seven-of-12 starts - including the NYSS Final - and earn $308,233, Devious Man is the one Lord Cromwell will be going after in the sixth race (division two). The son of Credit Winner, who will be making his first start of 2017, established his lifetime-best of 1:53.2 at Lexington in the International Stallion Stakes on October 6 of last year. He is the 2-1 early choice from post 4 for the trainer-driver team of Julie and Andy Miller. In the first division (race 4), Bill's Man is 5-1 on the early line from post 2 with Corey Callahan driving, but figures to be shorter at post time off a good-looking 1:53.2 score at the Meadowlands. "He faced older stock (last week) and won," said trainer John Butenschoen of his Credit Winner progeny. "He had a good winter, his qualifiers went well and he did what we were hoping for in his first two starts of the year." The George Ducharme-trained Stick With Me Kid is the 9-5 favorite with Brian Sears in the bike. The Deweycheatumnhowe product, who will leave from post 5, has won three times in 12 lifetime starts and has hit the board on 10 occasions. Enterprise tops the third division in the ninth race for trainer Marcus Melander. The son of Chapter Seven will leave from post 4 with Sears driving and is listed as the 2-1 favorite. The lightly-raced colt has won all three of his lifetime starts, including his two outings this year at the Meadowlands (on April 21 and May 5) in identical clockings of 1:54.2. Post time at Vernon Downs on Monday is 1:05 p.m. By Dave Little, for the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State             Harness Horse Breeders of New York State   12 Avis Drive, Suite 1   Latham, New York 12110   Tel: 518-785-5858   Fax: 518-785-5848           CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This e-mail message and any attachments are intended solely for the use of the intended recipient, and may contain information that is confidential, privileged and exempt from disclosure under applicable law. If you are not the intended recipient, you are not permitted to read, disclose, reproduce, distribute, use or take any action in reliance upon this message and any attachments, and we request that you promptly notify the sender and immediately delete this message and any attachments as well as any copies thereof. Delivery of this message to an unintended recipient is not intended to waive any right or privilege. If you received this transmission in error, please immediately notify us by reply e-mail at or by telephone at (518)-785-5858, and destroy the original transmission and its attachments without reading or saving them to disk. Thank you.      

The Harness Horse Breeders of New York State are reminding NYSS eligible horse owners and trainers that the first NYSS event is on May 28th at Tioga Downs for harness racing 3-Year-Old Trotting Fillies. They will be followed by the 3-Year-Old Trotting Colts at Vernon Downs on May 29th. Draw schedules can and do change please be aware of closing dates for all NYSS events. Reminder to also review the NYSS #56 conditions. The total number of 2017 eligible 3YO's for the NYSS program are as follows: 3YO Pacing Colts (163 total) 121 NYSS 141 Excelsior 44 County Fair 3YO Pacing Fillies (158 total) 115 NYSS 130 Excelsior 49 County Fair 3YO Trotting Colts (165 total) 116 NYSS 154 Excelsior 61 County Fair 3YO Trotting Fillies (140 total) 99 NYSS 126 Excelsior 55 County Fair *data from Harness Horse Breeders of New York State  

In 2016, Harness Horse Breeders of NYS and the Morrisville College Equine Institute took on a new initiative for Standardbred aftercare. All Morrisville harness racing 'Yearling Sale' consignors pledged support of the new initiative and joined in supporting NY-bred aftercare. Harness Horse Breeders of New York State coordinated the donations to be used for NY-Bred horse's support services and with further assistance from the Standardbred Retirement Fund worked to provide safe homes for these horses. Erin Shantal of Morrisville College, states "We are truly thankful for the commitment of our consignors to provide for the animals they create. We thank the Harness Horse Breeders of NYS for providing an opportunity for all of us to give back and be responsible breeders." The total donated by the consignors was $4,850, with this money 9 NY-Bred horses were moved to safety. Funds were also used to cover shipping and QT if it was necessary. Harness Horse Breeders of NYS donated another $2,000 to make sure no NY-Bred's were left behind. The initiative will continue in 2017 for all yearlings owned and sold by Morrisville College. At the yearling sale to be held on September 17th the College will donate $100.00 from the purchase price of each of their horses to a reserve fund to support any NY-Bred Standardbreds found to be in need. Morrisville College Equine Institute and the Harness Horse Breeders of NYS are once again asking consignor's to support this initiative to provide a safety net for our NY-Bred horses. For a sponsorship form please contact Mary Taylor at Morrisville College Equine Institute at 315-684-6355. Harness Horse Breeders of New York State  

On April 27th the contracts put out for bid for the administration and promotion of the NY Sire Stakes program were awarded to Capitol Hill Management Services by the Agriculture and New York State Breeding and Development Fund (Fund). A contract for both services was previously held by the Harness Racing Horse Breeders of New York State (HHBNYS). While the HHBNYS is disappointed that the "Fund" has made this change for the promotion and marketing part of the program it remains optimistic that new ideas and a bigger financial commitment by the Fund Trustees will result is a positive impact on the vested interests we all have in the Standardbred breeding industry. The HHBNYS board is hopeful that the Fund is correct in their decision and we will see an increase in breeding, handle and track attendance. HHBNY's commitment to the NY breeding program is unwavering. The Board feels this is the best program in the nation and that some of the world's best horses are produced here. The purse structure is solid and reliable. The administration of the program does concern us; but the HHBNYS will continue to monitor the changes that are occurring. We truly appreciate all of the support in our time of change. We ask everyone in the industry to continue to support the NY Breeding program and have confidence in the knowledge that HHBNYS is still active and will remain on duty to serve the Breeders and Owners who chose to breed and compete in the New York Sire Stakes Program. The Harness Horse Breeder's of New York State own and manage the Zweig Memorial Trot. There will be no changes to this race and it is in no way affiliated with the New York Program. The Harness Horse Breeders website ( is also owned and managed by HHBNYS. That said, going forward all NYSS race replays belong to the NYSS program and will be removed from site. The HHBNYS anticipates that the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund or Capitol Hill Management Services (CHMS) will put out a statement in the near future. CHMS will be taking control of all functions on May 1st, 2017. You should contract them for all your needs. All 2 and 3-Year-old payments have been entered by HHBNYS and those horses are all listed on the NYSS website. Yearling nomination payments can be sent to the address as listed on the forms and our office will forward them to the address provided by the Fund. The following people are currently providing direction for the program. If you have problems or concerns in the upcoming months please reach out to them for assistance. Peter Arrigenna- Agriculture and NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund Trustee, 585-721-4869 Mike Kimelman- Agriculture and NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund Trustee, 845-249-5693 Ronald Ochrym- Agriculture Fund Acting Executive Director 518-388-0178 The office will remain open and will continue to provide services for members. The HHBNYS will continue to solicit your suggestions and comments for the program and will submit them to the Fund for consideration. Our office will also continue to work with Farm Bureau to protect the Agriculture aspects of the breeding industry and lobby on your behalf. It will continue to advocate for the New York wholly owned bill with the hope to obtain its passage this year by the Legislature. As we move forward and become a true breeder representative for those who choose to breed and participate in the NY Breeder's award program we will be providing promotional opportunities on our website. Please check in the near future for more information. Finally, our board and staff expect to see all of you at the tracks as the racing season gets underway and at the sales in the fall. We thank everyone who has supported the organization throughout the years and continues to do so today. Harness Horse Breeders of New York State

The support from the Standardbred industry members has been truly amazing and much appreciated by the Harness Horse Breeders of New York. It seems with bad news also comes the realization of how we are all connected and how much we all love this sport. The contract issues do not look good for us but the Harness Horse Breeders will continue to support the NY program and devote all of our efforts and time representing our membership. As Breeders we are proud to have been the driving force in creating the NYSS program and will continue to watch over it. Our office received many calls and emails of support over the last few days and we would like to share one letter (with firsthand knowledge of what can happen in a state) and thank the following people for their support and a special thank you to all those who contacted the Trustees directly. Tom Grossman, Blue Chip Farm David Hanson Leatherstocking Equine Edward Mower All Leavitt, President Walnut Hall Limited Keith Hamilton, past Agriculture and NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund Trustee and USTA representative Carol Cramer USTA Stakes Director Nicola Adams, Perretti Farm Seth Rosenfeld, Birnam Wood Farms   Letter of support shared by Perretti Farm Dear Ronald I read with dismay that you are considering replacing the Harness Horse Breeders of New York with an outside firm. At Perretti Farms we have found the Harness Horse Breeders of New York are exemplary in the services that they offer the harness racing community. There is nothing else in the industry that compares to the wealth of information, always updated accurately and timely on their website. Also their printed publications, the stallion guide and periodic magazine provide very useful information in a very polished and professional manner. Here at Perretti Farms, a 700 acre equine facility in Cream Ridge, NJ, just this past weekend we advertised one of our stallions standing in NY. Our ad included the statement that NY was the best Sires Stakes program in the nation. This is something that NY should be trying to protect. We have seen all too clearly in NJ what can happen when administrators and politicians turn their backs on their programs. NJ's once thriving standardbred industry has all but left the state. In NY you have fostered and encouraged your harness industry and have achieved great results. Our advice is where you see excellence and leadership, don't be tempted to replace it with a budget service. Sincerely Nicola Abrams Manager Perretti Farms   Harness Horse Breeders of New York State 12 Avis Drive, Suite 1 Latham, New York 12110 Tel: 518-785-5858 Fax: 518-785-5848

As Standardbred horsemen that participate in the harness racing New York Sire Stakes program we have very real reason for concern. The Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding and Development Fund, which oversees monies used to administer the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS), is on the verge of replacing the Harness Horse Breeders of New York (HHBNYS) with the Albany based firm, Capitol Hill Management Services Inc. The President of Capitol Hill Management Services Inc. is John Graziano Jr., a politically appointed trustee on the New York Thoroughbred Breeding Development Fund as well as a registered lobbyist. For the past 50 years, since 1967 and the inception of the New York Sire Stakes program, the HHBNYS have been the administrative arm of the program. Handling the processing of NYSS eligibility payments, eligibility lists, the residency mare program, stallion registry, breeders rewards program, mares bred reports, shipped semen records, NYSS points records and purse breakdowns. The HHBNYS also provides for representation at NYSS race draws and representation at most NYSS racing events, as well as management of an industry website which tracks daily changes in the points based system for all divisions of Sire Stakes, Excelsior and County Fair events. The HHBNYS provides this service with a staff headed by Betty Holt and two office employees. Their projected budget for 2017 was to be $157,500. Conversely, Capitol Hill Management Services Inc. has submitted a working budget of $48,500 to administer this same program for 2017. With this bid, the New York Sire Stakes program will be one of 300 clients of this firm. As horsemen that are invested and interested in the future welfare of the New York program, we have several grave concerns with the direction in which the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding andDevelopment Fund is steering us. Prior to this year, the bylaws governing the administration of the management and integrity of the NYSS program has always contained a "lobbying clause" in each and every contract between the HHBNYS and the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund. Specifically Political Activity. Funds provided pursuant to this Agreement shall not be used for any partisan political activity, or for activities that may influence legislation or the election or defeat of any candidate for public office. Based on Capitol Hill Management Services Inc. connection with political lobbying, we find it very curious that this language was removed from the contract this year. Further, we feel this proposed arrangement with Capitol Hill Management Services should not proceed until its officers and the officers of the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding and Development Fund explain, publicly under oath, why the so called "lobbying clause" in the agreement was deleted this year after being a part of the contract for so many previous years. Did Capitol Hill Management Services lobby for the change in the contract knowing that it would benefit from it? Did the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding and Development Fund members who approved the change receive some sort of benefit for deleting the clause? At a minimum the timing of the change in the proposed agreement and a lobbyist's push for the work, raise profound questions of ethics and propriety that must be answered for industry participants- owners, trainers, drivers, breeders, etc.- to have any measure of confidence that the proposed new agreement isn't some sort of "sweetheart" deal. Another requirement clause in the contract calls for the successful bidder to have a minimum of two years experience in the scope of work required. The successful bidder must have demonstrated knowledge of competitive equine racing programs that include point standings. While John Graziano Jr. may have some knowledge of Thoroughbred racing, we argue it doesn't make him necessarily experienced in tracking and administering a NYSS points based system program that involves multiple categories of sex and gait. NY Thoroughbred racing does not have a like format. In fact, no argument can be made that Capitol Hill Management Services has the requisite training under the rules. Nor has Capitol Hill Management Services publicly explained how it is going to do the same job or a better job of administering the program for one-third the cost, a difference that is so great as to raise questions about whether it is even possible for the scope of work to be performed at a level to which the industry has become accustomed. At a minimum, Capitol Hill Management Services should be required to publicly and precisely disclose how it intends to do the work. Which people, specifically, will be involved and what is their knowledge? What will be the scope of their work? As experienced horsemen that have worked for years with the HHBNYS, we know full well the depth of work involved and hours of commitment needed to provide the excellence in service required to fulfill the needs of this program. Each day there are a myriad of issues be it breeding, racing or otherwise that must be addressed by experienced and confident personnel. Race draw oversight, coupled entries and eligibility issues are regular issues that need professional and seasoned people to oversee and implement a successful and orderly program. As participants in the New York Sire Stakes program we rely on the ease of communication between horsemen and the HHBNYS to help answer and sort sometimes difficult interpretations of bylaws. Often times needing answers at odd hours of the day, weekday or weekend. These are circumstances that are often unpredictable but in need of immediate attention and direction. These are issues that we have historically relied upon the HHBNYS to respond to and handle with confidence. Everyone wants to keep costs down but the suspicious manner in which the contract was changed and they way in which the new group seeks to proceed, raises fundamental questions that must be cleared before the HHBNYS is replaced. We realize that the HHBNYS has not always perfectly administered the program but it has done so consistently in a way that has earned it the trust and respect of virtually every participant in the NYSS program. The HHBNYS deserves better than to be cast aside in this manner. As investors and participants in the New York Sire Stakes program we are outraged and dismayed with the current direction of the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding and Development Fund. This is not the type of leadership we can endorse or accept. The Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding and Development Fund has a planned meeting scheduled for April 27th, at which time they are expected to "rubber stamp" their approval of Capitol Hill Management Services Inc. as the new administrative arm of OUR New York Sire Stakes program. We suggest that fellow horseman that feel similarly with us, contact the members of the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding and Development Fund directly to express your like disdain. Ronald Ochrym, Agricultural Fund Acting Executive Director, 518-388-0178; Peter Arrigenna, NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund Trustee, 585-721-4869; Mike Kimleman, NYSS Horse Breeding Development Fund Trustee, 845-249-5693; Richard Ball, Commissioner of Ag and Markets, 518-457-8876 Time is of the essence people. Please make the call or send an email now. Let's keep control on how OUR New York Sire Stakes program is administered. Respectfully submitted.... Paul Kelley Linda Toscano Ken Jacobs Steve Jones Ray Schnittker George Ducharme Jeff Gregory Joe Faraldo Pres. SOA of NY Wanda Polisseni Harness Horse Breeders of New York State

There will be double entries taken for New York Sire Stakes and NYSS harness racing Consolations at Yonkers on Tuesday September 20th by 9:00 am. The top 8 point earning horses entered will draw into the NYSS final and the next group of 8 point earners will be drawn into the consolations at Saratoga for Sept. 29th . Any horse entered at Yonkers on Tuesday September 20th that needs to re-qualify for the 2-year-old NYSS consolation at Saratoga will have until the actual Saratoga post position draw on Friday, September 23th by 4:00pm to do so. You do not need to re-enter your horse. If there are not at least 6 entries in a consolation it will be cancelled.  All Excelsior Finals will follow regular draw schedules at the respective tracks. Please view individual track condition sheets for entry to the Excelsior Finals Final point standings can be found on homepage of Harness Horse Breeders of New York State

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