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HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Barn Bella returns to Buffalo Raceway on Sunday afternoon (June 25) in the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters and she'll be seeking redemption at the half-mile harness racing oval.   Last year's 2-year-old Sire Stakes champion, Barn Bella broke stride turning for home at Buffalo Raceway and finished out of the money. a rare occurrence in her brief 15-race career. But it's been more feast than famine for Barn Bella as she has won 12 times. In her other three attempts, she has been totally off the board.   "This will be her toughest race of the year on Sunday with the tight turns," Barn Bella's co-owner and trainer Steven Pratt of Corfu, N.Y. said. "Buffalo Raceway is my home track and I support them. I've adjusted a few things on her for a half mile track and don't anticipate any problems come Sunday."   Drawing the four hole, Barn Bella (Conway Hall-Bravissima) is tabbed as the heavy 3-to-5 morning line pick in the first division worth $58,000. Jeff Gregory, a native of nearby Churchville, N.Y., will handle the driving duties. It is scheduled as the fifth on the 10-race card that begins at 12:30 p.m.   Barn Bella, a winner of $350,005 lifetime, arrives on a 10-race win streak including a 1:51.3 mile victory in the $228,250 Empire Breeders Classic at Vernon Downs last week. That mark tied the track record set by Check Me Out.   "She had a brutal race last week at Vernon," Pratt said. "She got parked in 26.1 to the first quarter but still trotted home in 27.0. I would say 99 percent of other horses couldn't have done that."   The bad news for others is the fact Pratt believes she'll only get better. "She's just a monster. She's as game as any that I've had including Barn Doll. There's no bottom on her. (Drivers) Jeff Gregory and Jimmy Taggart Jr. each said after Barn Bella's last races that 'there is still plenty left in the tank.'"   With the impressive credentials thus far, Pratt said he along with co-owners Nancy Pratt and The Purple Haze Stables have been offered 'big money' for Barn Bella but there's currently a 'not for sale' sign on her.   "I am content with her and I am enjoying this. She's so easy going, quiet and relaxed." He added, "Barn Bella doesn't train, she just jogs. She knows what to do when she gets behind that starting gate though. It's all business with her."   Pratt stated that Barn Bella will stay on the New York Sire Stakes circuit for the rest of the year but they might supplement her in the Breeder's Crown in October. "That's a pretty big nut to supplement her into that but I truly believe she's one of the top three filly trotters in the country."   The rest of the field trying to spoil the homecoming of Barn Bella includes Maewegonow (Charlie Norris), Mamora Bay (Sam Schillaci), Reverend Nanny (John Cummings Jr.) and Mighty Surf (Jim Morrill Jr.).   The second division, slated as the seventh race, will carry a purse of $59,100. It appears to be a wide-open event with Amber Ella (Jason Bartlett) getting the slight nod off the rail at 2-to-1.   Amber Ella (Chapter Seven-Blushed) finished a distant fourth behind Barn Bella in the Empire Breeder's Classic last week at Vernon Downs. She did win four races in eight tries in 2016, piling up $139,193 in earnings. Amber Ella has yet to find the winner's circle in three chances this year, but does have a pair of second place finishes.   Billie Blue (Conway Hall-Lightfoot) starts from the six spot and is a 3-to-1 pick on the morning line with driver Chris Lems. She's won twice in five appearances thus far in 2017 including a 1:55.4 effort last week at Vernon Downs.   Others ready to do battle in the leg are Deli-Delite (Drew Monti), Scarey Karie (Phil Fleut), Chapter Too (Jeff Gregory) and Heels On Wheels (Morrill Jr.).   The card will also have a pair of $15,000 Excelsior A Series races and a $6,600 Excelsior B Series contest.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Veteran harness racing trainer Paul Hill reaffirmed his status as the king of the kids when he snared the feature two-year-old double at Luxbet Park Hobart in Tasmania last night. Hill prepared star filly Ideal Bliss to win his third consecutive Group 3 Evicus Stakes final and his handy colt Feelin Dusty led throughout to give Hill his second Dandy Patch from the past three editions. "I've been very fortunate to have had some very talented young horses in my care in recent years and I'm hoping this isn't the end of my good run," Hill said. "Ideal Bliss is a very good filly and I have no doubt she will develop into a very good three-year-old." "I also have a decent opinion of Feelin Dusty and when he drew gate two I rated him a top chance of winning even though the raps were big on Todd Rattray's horse (Izaha). "When Ricky (Duggan) was able to lead and not spend too much early on Feelin Dusty I was confident my horse would be very hard to beat and that's how it panned out." Ideal Bliss, owned and bred by Charlie and Connie Beadman, was sent out the $1.40 favourite despite drawing the inside of the second row. However, her driver Rohan Hillier snagged her out the back at the start to ensure he could find a spot in the one-out line while Inwil ($8) showed good speed to lead. Hillier sent Ideal Bliss  (American Ideal-Blissfull Grace) around the field at the bell and when he moved alongside the leader at the top of the home straight she forged clear but had to pull out all stops to fend off Inwil that made a late charge with Jeanette Barry a close-up third. Feelin Dusty ($2.30fav) showed brilliantly gate speed to easily hold the front in the Dandy Patch while Run Wick ($11) faced the breeze with Izaha ($2.40) on its back enjoying the one-out-one-back position. But a lap out and unhappy with the modest tempo Rattray sent Izaha up to face the breeze and put some pressure on the leader and they singled out to fight out the finish. Feelin Dusty responded when Duggan called on the gelded son Mr Feelgood for the big effort and he went on to score by over 10 metres from Izaha with Pezzamystic over 15 metres away third. Peter Staples

The first crop from the talented A Rocknroll Dance are hitting the track in full force. This month, his 2-year-olds got off to a strong start, hitting the baby races like harness racing seasoned pros.   Many of them show the promise and potential of their sire, even in their first starts.     Here are a couple of names to keep an eye on:   Cuts Like A Knife, filly out of Whetstone Hanover who won her qualifier at Harrah's in 1:55.2.   Yankee Will Dance, a filly out of Bootleg Yankee, a baby race winner and was a strong 2nd in her 1st lifetime start in 1:53.4.   Grand Teton, the half brother to Pure Country, who won his qualifier the other day.   Aldine Hanover, filly out of Armbro Amoretto, another strong qualifier winner.   Davids Coming Home, colt out of Arterra who has put on consistent performances in his baby races this month. ................................................................................ Diamond Creek Farm threw its third annual open house on June 3, at their Wellsville, Pa., location.  “The Open House is a way for us to welcome the community and all the fans to our farm,” said Diamond Creek’s Adam Bowden. “Many people never get a chance to see what happens behind the scenes at a breeding farm, or they are curious about what goes on here when they see all the fences and barns from the road.” The day was a huge success with well over 400 attendees, largely from the community, and with some visitors from as far as North Carolina.  Visitors were able to get up close and personal to stallions such as Southwind Frank, as well as watch two different breeding demonstrations, in which Always B Mike and Sweet Lou were artificially collected. They were then welcomed into the lab, as the farm’s resident vet, Dr. Courtney Pink, processed the semen and answered questions from the group. Down in the mare barn, visitors were welcome to walk around on their own or take a hayride tour around the farm. They had a chance to submit names for a new foal, as well as pet a few, and feed some carrots to some very willing mares. The “guess the weight” game proved to be popular, with guesses to win a t-shirt ranging from 100 pounds to 700. In the end, the colt weighed 500 pounds on the dot. Guests also got to meet Sweet Karen, the Harness Horse Youth Foundation’s outreach ambassador, and learn more about the program from director Ellen Taylor and her group of volunteers, as well as spin their wheel to answer some harness related questions for some of the new 2017 HHYF Harness Hero cards. Pacing For The Cure, represented by the founders, Jeff and Janine Gesek, were present as well, speaking about their work for MS research and raffling off some really great baskets, as well as a trip to the 2017 Hambletonian. With great weather, the farm served close to 600 hamburgers and hot dogs, and Bootleg Creamery gave out more than 400 bowls of ice cream. “We look forward to doing this event every year,” said Rachel Keeney, Diamond Creek’s Administrator Director. “We are already planning on how to make it bigger and better in 2018.” Meet The Staff Working on a breeding farm isn’t all just horses and barn work.  It takes a lot of different people, doing a variety of different tasks to make everything run smoothly.  One of the very important people in this puzzle is Jake Ziegler, our maintenance manager of 3 years.  Jake helps keep the farm in good shape.  He handles everything from snow removal and landscaping, to vehicle repair, to even large building projects on the farm, such as remodeling the breeding shed to redoing the office front porch.  (Jake built the porch of the old farm house, which was built in 1807, as well as repointed and restored the outside of the building)  Jake is local to Pennsylvania, growing up close to the farm in nearby Carlisle.   He first got involved with Diamond Creek in the summer of 2012, when he helped to tear down all the old barns to make way for the new ones.  Jake’s favorite part of the job is the diversity, there is no such thing as a typical day.  He hopes the younger generation gets more involved and keeps growing the sport, as it is a fun and exciting industry to be part of.   (Wishing well built to cover old well, stone is from the original barns and wood is old fence boards) If Jake could time travel he would end back in his hometown of Carlisle, 100 years ago.  The weirdest job he ever had was spent catching pigeons, and he has a secret talent for trivia games.  Included on his bucket list is skydiving and not included is eating squid.   Jake has 2 dogs, Remey and Axel, and some cows on his farm in Carlisle.  And the one thing he can’t live without? His wife, Jen. Shuttle Stallion Series As many already know, Sweet Lou, A Rocknroll Dance, and Always B Miki are getting ready to pack up their bags and head Down Under!    Ever wondered what exactly goes into the making of a "shuttle stallion"? What is life like for them on the farms Down Under?   The next few editions of this newsletter will try and answer some of these questions, pulling in information from some of the many people involved in the entire process, from deciding to send a stallion, to all the paperwork, to life Down Under.    Stay tuned!   Diamond Creek Farm 151 Warrington Street, Wellsville PA 17365 Phone: 717-638-7100 | Fax: 717-638-7111 email:  

JUNE 22, 2017 - Thursday, June 22 was an emotional day for harness racing driver Sylvain Filion. In the early morning hours the Milton, ON resident learned that his uncle, the legendary horseman Herve Filion, had passed away after a prolonged illness. Hours later Sylvain Filion was at Mohawk Racetrack, where he was scheduled to drive in nine of 10 races. In the first race he finished last, but he was the runner-up in the second and before the night was over he would record four victories, including one Grassroots triumph with three-year-old colt pacer Doc Semalu. "It was a pretty emotional day for me," admitted Filion at the end of the 10-race program. "I knew it was coming, we knew he was very sick, but it's always a shock when you hear that, you know." Filion's victories came in the fourth race with Toxicity, a three-year-old pacing gelding co-owned by his father Yves' Bayama Farms, in the sixth race with three-year-old trotting filly Royal Witch, in the seventh race with Grassroots competitor Doc Semalu, also co-owned by Bayama Farms, and in the ninth race with seven-year-old pacing gelding Crocadile Canyon. In addition to the four victories, Filion also recorded three runner-up finishes. Of the four victories, Filion's Grassroots triumph was particularly impressive, coming from Post 10 in Doc Semalu's first Ontario Sires Stakes start of the season. The pair was able to find a spot on the rail in fifth and held that position through fractions of :27, :56 and 1:24.3 before finding space coming off the final turn. Manoeuvered into an open lane in the stretch, Doc Semalu sprinted home to a three-quarter length victory over Dream Of Luck and Master The View in a personal best 1:54. "He's got a few issues, but he's got lots of go in him, and we were lucky enough to find a spot there closer to the front and everything opened up in the lane," said Filion. "It worked out good for us. He showed some grit." The win was the Mach Three son's second straight, the first coming at Rideau Carleton Raceway on June 15 with Yves Filion in the race bike. Stephane Larocque trains Doc Semalu for the elder Filion's Bayama Farms Inc. of Saint-Andre-D'Argenteuil, QC and Zoom And Fish Stable Inc. of Mont-Royal, QC. Doc Semalu Filion came close to making it five victories with Tremendous Play in the final $19,500 Grassroots division. After battling for the lead through the first two quarters the Shadow Play son did not have enough in reserve to secure the victory in the stretch, yielding to a fast closing Oak Island. Fan favourite Lindy The Kid also went by Tremendous Play, but caused interference while on a break and was placed back to seventh, elevating Tremendous Play to second and Bills Fella to third. "I thought he raced really, really good," said Filion of Tremendous Play, who is trained by Rockwood, ON resident Benoit Baillargeon for Claude Gendreau Stable Inc. of Buffalo Grove, IL. "He raced tough tonight, real tough." Oak Island was piloted to the three and one-half length victory by Elora, ON resident Bob McClure. The 1:53.2 victory was the Vintage Master colt's first in Ontario Sires Stakes action, and also marked trainer Justin Darling's first win in the provincial program. The Cambridge, ON resident conditions Oak Island for Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, PA. Oak Island The other Grassroots trophy went home with Nascar Seelster, who got a head in front of Mach Déjà Vu and favourite Southwind General at the wire. Milton resident Randy Waples crafted the come-from-behind 1:53.1 score for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and his partners Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, Mardon Stables of Loretto and James Walker of Port Perry, ON. Like Doc Semalu and Oak Island, Thursday marked Mach Three son Nascar Seelster's debut in the Grassroots winner's circle. All three colts will have an opportunity to add to their trophy collection in the third Grassroots event on July 13 at Mohawk Racetrack. Nascar Seelster Filion's successful evening was a fitting tribute to his uncle Herve, whose talent and prodigious work ethic saw him finish many days with multiple wins, often at more than one racetrack. Inducted into both the Canadian and US Harness Racing Hall of Fames, Angers, QC native Herve Filion won an impressive 16 seasonal dash titles and was the world's leading money-winning driver seven times during a career that spanned six decades and 15,180 victories. Knowing that his uncle was at peace, free of pain, and that he would soon gather with family to share memories and offer support allowed Filion to concentrate on his evening's work, but at the end of the program the third-generation horseman was simply looking forward to heading home. "I'm just happy this night is over, you know," he said on his way back to Milton. "I'll go kiss my daughter." Mohawk Racetrack will host its seventh Ontario Sires Stakes event on Tuesday, June 27 with the three-year-old trotting colts preparing to battle in their second Gold Series event. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: Ontario Racing

Plainville, MA---It's the same old story, but one his connections won't soon tire of. Mambo Lindy spotted the field seven lengths before roaring back to notch another harness racing victory at Plainridge Park as he won the $17,000 Open Handicap on Thursday (June 22). Mambo Lindy (Greg Merton) got away last in the field of seven as Mistress Valentine (Mark Eaton) rolled down the road in :27 and :55.2 with her followers strung out behind. At that station, Tag Up And Go (Chris Long) pulled first-over and Mambo Lindy followed in step. Halfway up the backstretch Mistress Valentine got foul-gaited and broke stride, leaving the pocket-sitting Guiltywithanexcuse (Jim Hardy) with the lead. Outside of him, the tiring Tag Up And Go had enough forcing Mambo Lindy to tip three-deep. When Merton made that move, Mambo Lindy was flying and took that momentum down the stretch. As Merton had already tucked the whip, Mambo Lindy cleared and drew off by three to the easiest kind of win in 1:53.3. It was the fourth straight feature trot win for Mambo Lindy ($3.40) at Plainridge Park and it expanded his bank account for the year to $32,000. The 6-year-old gelded son of Donato Hanover is owned by Greathorse of Hampden, Massachusetts and is trained by Frank Antonacci. Mambo Lindy is eligible to the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot at Plainridge Park on Friday (July 28) and would certainly have the home field advantage in that race as a starter. Mambo Lindy was only one highlight of Merton and Antonacci's day as both horsemen put up lofty numbers on the afternoon. Greg Merton posted another six-win day, extending his dash driving lead over Kevin Switzer to 31. Merton finished first with Only Passing Thru ($2.40, 1:55.4), World Of Lindy ($4.60, 2:00), Mambo Lindy ($3.40, 1:53.3), Northern Nandi ($9.40, 1:58.1), City Pie ($3.40, 1:53.2) and Waiting On A Woman ($4.60, 1:56). His 1:55.4 win with Only Passing Thru in the second race tied the track record for 3-year-old trotting colts set by Backstage Pass (Eddie Davis Jr.) on May 4 of this year. Merton now boasts a gaudy 86 wins for this meet, 31 ahead of his 2016 total to this point when he won a track record 229 times. If he were to keep up this pace he would end up with 314 wins at this session. Frank Antonacci started three of his Lindy Farm trainees (Only Passing Thru, World Of Lindy and Mambo Lindy) and watched as all of them bested their fields. Antonacci now has 18 training wins out of 26 starts this meet, giving him a 65% win percentage. Other horsemen with notable performances were Chris Long with a driving double and Kyle Spagnola that had a training pair of wins. Live racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (June 23) at 4 p.m. The Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta carryover for Friday is $2,265.42 and that wager is available only in the sixth race.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

YORK, UK - Come this Saturday afternoon there will be an attempt to break the all-age world record for harness racing Under Saddle on a half mile track at York Harness Raceway in England. The current world record holder is Santo Domingo, who at age 8 in 2015, set the mark for jockey Marita Volstad with a 1:59.3 clocking at Flamboro Downs in Canada. The early favorite is Teresa Haythornwaite's Rhyds Design, who has already won at York with a sulky in 1:57. Rhyds Design will be ridden by Lauren Moran. Another major contender who could set the record is Rocker Laidler's Evenwood Sonofagun, who will be ridden by the Rocker's wife, Alexis Laidler. Rocker said he feels that the record can be broken on Saturday. There are six horses entered in the race. Post positions are drawn the day of the event. Also entered from the Nicholson Stable are Burning Dust and Afan Romeo and the Laidler Stable is also entering JMs Hallstar and Rhyds Solution. The race will be featured live on Facebook from Craig Stevenson. By Craig Stevenson, for York Harness Raceway  

Evenjobb, UK - With summer in full flow the Old Radnor trotting races at Evenjobb provided a wonderful afternoon of harness racing entertainment. The public with racecard in one hand and icecream in the other witnessed superb racing, as the speedy horses responded to top of the ground conditions. Three nursery races preceded the serious races, in the first Kentucky Roam belonging to the Perks family from Presteigne enhanced his growing reputation with another win. In the second race it was Bets All Off (Sargeant Llandrindod) on his first time on the track who claimed first place, while in the third nursery another one with a few runs on the books Immortal Storm (Meaney Merthyr) was first passed the post. The Novice section is very competitive at the moment and this week was no exception as the backmarker Lakeview Meg (Atherton Rees, Narberth) with Debbie Hitchcock on board stormed to victory in the first heat in front of Fronfelen Duchess (Preece Llanbister) with Tyssul Pennylane (Broome, Bromfield) in third. In the second Novice heat Evenwood Thumps Up (Lewis, Llanyre) romped away to victory with Mel Langford at the controls in front of the fast finishing Fantasizing (Havard, Dinmore) while the ever reliable Lanehouse Patch (Thomas, Merthyr) was third. In the first Grade B the in-form George Gentle despite his ten yard handicap claimed an heroic victory for his young owner, trainer, driver Zak Lewis from Welshpool, in second was Arctic Prince (Gwatkin Evenjobb) with Tyssul Pearl (Thomas, Llanbister) in third. Meadowland Maverick with owner, trainer Oliver (OJ) Jones from Evenjobb on board produced a classy run to take the second Grade B heat from the handsome Ayr Ontario (Weigle Llanddewi Velfrey) while Tillies Larg (Evans, Brecon) ran on well to be third. In the first Baby Novice the newly promoted Cool Ice (Gething, Ewyas Harold) partnered by her trainer Derek Pritchard ran a mature race to win from the well respected Talavary Zara (Jones, Evenjobb) with newcomer The Chancer on his first time with Mid Wales racing (Knox, Pandy) was third. Universal Soldier belonging to long time trotting enthusiasts David & Marion Powell from Merthyr Cynog and driven by his trainer Oliver (OJ) Jones won the second Baby Novice race ahead of Rhyds Panalulah (Gething, Ewyas Harold) while Ook Whos Coming (Evans, Brecon) was third. After the break the racing continued with a saddle race where five jockeys battled it out, the spoils going to the experienced Jayne Bevan on No Mercy (Weigel, Llanddewi Velfrey) with Habberley Haste (Lloyd, New Radnor) in second and Nia Patrol (Williams, Ludlow) in third. Four juniors lined up in the next race with experience counting as Ellie Tromans driving Makemeamilliaonayr (Weigel, Llanddewi Velfrey) was first passed the post in front of the hard pulling Wellfield Wally (Bevan, Builth Wells) driven by Rachel Bevan-Thomas while the striking Camden Lock (Lloyd & Samuel, Painscastle) ridden by Jess Samuel was third. The Novice final saw another display of speed from Evenwood Thumps Up (Lewis, Llanyre) as Mel Langford urged him to the front where he remained, despite the efforts of his pursuers, again Fantasizing (Havard, Dinmore) finished strongly in second while Fronfelen Duchess (Preece, Llanbister) was third. The Grade B Final produced another fine run by the much respected George Gentle with his nineteen year old, owner Zak Lewis at the controls beating Ayr Ontario (Weigel Llanddewi Velfrey) into second while Fold the Notes (Perks, Presteigne) ran on well to be third. The final race of the day was the Grade A, with nine horses lined up, it was Best of the Fleet with owner Matt Lewis from Welshpool claiming a thrilling victory from Chinatown Kolt (Jones, Llanllwni) with Ithon Inmate (Price, Brecon) finishing in third. The Lewis family from Welshpool registering a significant double by winning both the Grade A with Matt Lewis driving and the Grade B with son Zak driving. Next week is the prestigious Presteigne races held on Broadheath common on Saturday, June 24 starting at 1.30 pm. By Brecon and Radnor Reporter in Equine Reprinted with permission of The Brecon And Radnor Express

Five years ago when Dave Palone became the leading driver in career wins in North American harness racing history, he looked to the man he surpassed with respect and awe. “When I was a kid,” Palone said, “Herve was my idol. In soccer, there’s Pele. In harness racing, there’s Herve. When you say ‘Herve’ everyone knows who that is. “I don’t think I could ever replace Herve as the legend that he is.” Herve Filion, a Hall of Famer in the U.S. and Canada who retired in 2013 with 15,179 career wins, passed away Thursday at the age of 77. Filion, a native of Quebec, was North America’s leading driver in wins 16 times, earning his first title in 1968 and final crown in 1990. The Filion family at midday Thursday posted on Facebook: “God saw you getting tired and a cure not meant to be. So he put his arms around you and whispered ‘come to me.’ Our dad, Herve Filion, crossed the finish line like the champion he is and became our angel today. “A true champion he will always be – doctors have told us this is one for the books for sure! We appreciate all the well wishes and the memories that have been shared these past few weeks. We thank you for giving us our privacy during this heartbreaking time.” Filion first came to the U.S. in 1961. At 21 he was racing at Vernon Downs before migrating to the Delaware Valley circuit, where he rewrote the books at both Brandywine and Liberty Bell while also establishing himself as a power at Freehold. When Filion left to go to New York in 1970, he became a fulltime doubleheader driver, racing at Freehold in the afternoon and the metropolitan New York tracks at night. A teenage Palone watched in 1979 when Filion drove Hot Hitter to victory in the Adios at Palone’s hometown track, The Meadows in western Pennsylvania. When he was in his 20s, Palone got to meet his idol while participating in a driving competition at Freehold. “He was just like people always said he was, bubbly and positive,” Palone said today. “He treated me just like he treated all the other drivers and it meant a lot to me. He told me, ‘All you need is power, kid.’ That’s what he would always tell me. I’ll just always remember the way he treated me. He always had a smile on his face.” Filion’s roots in racing traced back to his childhood in Angers, Quebec, a remote farming community. “We had work horses and road horses because we didn’t have a car,” Filion once said. “In those days my father would do anything to make a buck, to raise 10 kids – eight boys and two girls. My father started racing as a hobby in 1949. I raced for the first time when I was 12, and finished second. At 13, I won my first race, with Guy Grattan, at Rigaud, Quebec.” Record numbers of wins followed. In 1968, Filion became the first driver to surpass 400 wins in a year, recording 407 victories en route to his first North American title. He continued to raise the bar from there, with 486 wins in 1970, then 543 in 1971, 605 in 1972 and 637 in 1974. When Mike Lachance broke Filion’s record with 770 wins in 1986, Filion reclaimed the mark with 798 triumphs in 1988. He pushed the record to 814 wins a year later. “He was one of the greatest drivers our sport has ever had,” Palone said. “No one was smoother with a horse. I think horses felt that and responded to him. He could keep a horse going forever.” Palone became the winningest driver in North American harness racing history on July 5, 2012 at The Meadows. Filion was in attendance. “Having him there meant so much to me,” Palone said. “He was so supportive and so encouraging when I was getting near the record. He kept telling me I was going to do it. I thought it was cool to have him in my corner. He hugged me when I broke the record and I could feel he was as happy for me as I was. “To this day it doesn’t seem right to me that I have the record. There’s only one Herve.” In addition to his years as the sport’s leading driver in wins, Filion topped the purse standings seven times. He finished his career with $88.4 million in earnings. Top horses driven by Filion included Grades Singing, who won the 1986 Maple Leaf Trot, American Trotting Championship and Breeders Crown Mare Trot with Filion in the sulky. Filion was a two-time winner of the Little Brown Jug, with Nansemond in 1971 and Hot Hitter in 1979, and enjoyed multiple stakes victories with millionaire Dorunrun Bluegrass. In addition to winning a Breeders Crown with Grades Singing, he won a trophy with Caressable in 1985. Filion, who won the inaugural World Driving Championship in 1970, was the youngest person ever elected to harness racing’s Living Hall of Fame, when he was inducted at the age of 35 in 1975. (John Campbell was also inducted at age 35 in 1990.) In 1976, Filion became the youngest driver inducted into Canada’s Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Other awards for Filion included the Lou Marsh trophy as Canada’s leading professional athlete; the Hickok Professional Athlete of the Month Award (the only individual in harness racing ever so honored); and the 1973 Proximity Award. “This is a sad day for harness racing,” Palone said. “There will never be another one like him.” Additional obituary information and information regarding services will be published when available. Ken Weingartner

East Rutherford, NJ - A field of seven pacing fillies including the darling of the morning trials Rainbow Room, comprise the first harness racing two-year-old race of the 2017 season as race three on Friday at The Meadowlands.   Rainbow Room has impressed onlookers and delighted her connections with a pair of effortless wins in Meadowlands Baby Races. Her first appearance was on June 3 where she toured the oval in the day's fastest of 1:55 and social media lit up with superlatives. She returned Saturday past with a similar effort, closing out the 1:55.2 win with a 26.4 final quarter under no encouragement from driver David Miller.   By Somebeachsomewhere from Rainbow Blue, both World Champions and Horse of the Year following their respective three-year-old season, Rainbow Room clearly possesses the championship gene. She was bred by Vieux Carre Farms and Steve Jones and was a $100,000 purchase from the 2016 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale by Crawford Farms, Val D'Or Farms and Ted Gewertz who placed her with trainer Joe Holloway.   Holloway has trained plenty of champions including some of the sport's best filly pacers including the fastest ever in Shebestingin. Joe recognized early on that Rainbow Room had the potential to follow in that tradition and now sets her on that course.   The competition includes several others who have impressed in morning trials including KJ'S Bekah who was a good second to Rainbow Room on June 17 and has gone well in both of her qualifiers. The American Ideal lass was plucked from the Lexington sale by Kenny Jacobs for $140,000 and is trained by Linda Toscano. Tim Tetrick has the drive.   All On Top Hanover is from the first crop of Betterthancheddar and has been an easy winner in her pair of qualifying efforts for trainer Erv Miller and driver Marcus Miller. She was a bargain buy from last year's Goshen Yearling Sale, costing Erv and partners Ron Michelon & GT Golemes a mere $14,000.   It's a ten race program that gets underway at 7:15 p.m.   Nick Salvi    

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (June 22, 2017) - The Meadowlands Racetrack will honor Hall of Famer John Campbell and celebrate his five-decade career with a series of events and tributes on Friday, June 30, the final night of his driving career. The 62-year-old is harness racing's most decorated and accomplished driver with career earnings just under $300 million. He has won a record six Hambletonians, seven Meadowlands Paces, and 48 Breeders Crowns. He was elected to the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 1990 at age 35, the youngest person ever to receive that honor. The celebration of Campbell's five decades in the sport will include a video tribute played throughout the evening and a series of interviews with some of Campbell's closest friends and competitors over the years that will be in attendance. There will also be an autograph signing with Campbell from 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m., a commemorative poster giveaway (while supplies last), and a series of contest giveaways featuring signed Campbell memorabilia. A special Campbell retirement cake will also be on display and fans in attendance can enjoy a piece of the cake beginning at 8:00 p.m. in the clubhouse lobby. "John Campbell is truly the Michael Jordan, Babe Ruth, and Wayne Gretzky of harness racing all wrapped up into one," said Meadowlands GM/COO Jason Settlemoir. "Nobody has revolutionized our sport or more importantly, been a better ambassador and promoter of our industry. We hope the night can be a fitting celebration of a true giant in our sport." Upon Campbell's official retirement from driving, he will compete in a pair of exhibition races, one at the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in Goshen, NY on July 2 and the other at Clinton Raceway in Ontario on July 30 where Campbell got his start as a driver. While Campbell will no longer compete on the track, he will still be involved with the sport. Beginning July 1, he will take over as president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Hambletonian Society, 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. Fans are encouraged to RSVP to the event on the official Meadowlands Facebook page. Live racing begins at 7:15 p.m. For more information and complete schedule of events, visit Justin Horowitz

Chicago Bull's return to the racetrack earlier this month was nothing short of sensational. The Little Bull returned to the harness racing track after his stellar summer - dominant wins in the Group 1 $300,000 Fremantle Cup (2536m) and the Group 1 $450,000 WA Pacing Cup (2936m) - in an unsuitable scamper over the 1730m sprint trip at Gloucester Park. He was drawn wide and was taking on race-hardened rivals, some of whom were good frontrunners and were being touted as hard to get over but it all mattered for little when Chicago Bull's regular driver Gary Hall Jr asked the pony-sized pacer for an effort after the field settled down following the early speed burn. Chicago Bull accelerated so quickly that he went from first to last and took the lead from Erskine Range at the bell lap. A second quarter of 27.5 had his rivals off the bit and chasing hard but the little bloke had plenty in reserve as he led the field home. New World Order and Our Jericho were taking ground off Chicago Bull near the line, but the bird had well and truly flown. It was an outstanding return to the racetrack - the mile rate for the 1730m was 1:53.2, only 0.8 of a second outside of Run Oneover's track record for the distance - and underlined the raw talent of Chicago Bull. On Friday night at Gloucester Park Chicago Bull takes on a field of M2-M4 pacers in the $23,000 Buy A Share In A Horse Today With Trotsynd Pace (2130m) and he will be odds-on to take his prize money past the $900,000 mark and lift his splendid record to 20 wins and eight placings from his 32 starts. It's an imposing record and one that Chicago Bull will certainly add to in the future. The Chicago Bull drive is just one of many top drives for champion reinsman Hall. He also has excellent prospects of taking home the major end of the purse in the Try Our New Winter Menu at Steelo's Westbred Pace (2130m) with the much-improved Soho Wall Street. This Glenn Elliott-trained horse has "jumped out of the ground" of late and has now progressed to fast-class ranks. He can win again on Friday night, despite the wide draw.  Junior also has sound each-way prospects in earlier events with Three Blind Mice in the Trotsynd - The Cheapest and Easiest Way to Own a Horse Pace  (2130m) and Beaudiene Boaz in the $35,000 Winter Cup (2536m).  Wayne Currall

WASHINGTON, PA, June 21, 2017 -- Call For Justice, who hadn't won in five starts since leaving The Meadows, made a triumphant return home Wednesday with a front-end harness racing victory in the $20,000 Preferred Handicap Trot. A 5-year-old son of Justice Hall-Mika's Mazurka, Call For Justice opened the year with five straight victories at The Meadows before shifting to Hoosier Park to face the trotting elite there. He hit the board in all five Indiana outings but couldn't reach the winners' circle. He ended that frustrating streak when he made the front past the quarter for Dave Palone and held off the pocket-sitting Classicality by a neck in 1:53.2, with Boy Meets Girl K third. Ron Burke trains Call For Justice, who now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $358,167, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. In Wednesday's companion feature, the $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot, 1-2 favorite Barn Girl withstood the first-over challenge of Dirty Secret and prevailed by 1/2 length in 1:54.3. Bessie rallied for second while Dirty Secret held show. Aaron Merriman drove the 5-year-old daughter of Cash Hall-Turquoise Sweetie, who extended her career bankroll to $480,268, for trainer Bill Bercury and owner Renee Bercury. Elsewhere on the card, Kristy'sgingergal became harness racing's fastest freshman filly trotter on a five-eighths-mile track when she won at first asking for trainer/driver Tyler Stillings and owner Baby Horses LLC. The daughter of Pilgrims Chuckie-Outback Kristy scored in 1:59.1. Stillings enjoyed another victory with a debuting 2-year-old filly from his stable when Swan Mama (Swan For All-Little Rigs) broke her maiden in 2:00.1. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Friday with a special twilight program, first post 5 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Less than a week ago, harness racing trainer Julie Miller was uncertain whether she would send Devious Man to the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial. Devious Man's performance in last Sunday's Empire Breeders Classic made the decision easier. Devious Man won the EBC championship by four lengths over Bill's Man in 1:52.2, prompting Team Miller -- Julie and husband Andy -- to enter the colt in the Beal. The event for 3-year-old trotters attracted 23 horses, including award-winning filly Ariana G, so three eliminations will be contested Saturday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Devious Man is the 5-2 morning line favorite in the second division. Giveitgasandgo, coming off a win in a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes, is the 5-2 favorite in the first elimination and New Jersey Sire Stakes filly champion Ariana G is the 2-1 choice in the third. The top three finishers from each elimination advance to the $500,000 final July 1. Eliminations for the Ben Franklin for older male pacers, Max C. Hempt Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers, and James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers are also on the Saturday card at Pocono. Devious Man, owned by Stroy Inc. and the Andy Miller Stable, is undefeated in three races this year. For his career, he has won 10 of 15 starts and earned $455,393. "We were on the fence about going to the Earl Beal, but that last start solidified that he deserved a chance," Julie Miller said. "We were really happy with that start. You couldn't have mapped it out any better; when Andy (came off cover from second over) he just scooted down the lane. "He didn't have to over-exert himself in his last couple starts, so we should have a nice fresh horse going to the Earl Beal. These starts this year have been confidence boosters. I'm really pleased with that." Of Devious Man's 10 lifetime wins, nine have come in races restricted to New York-bred horses. But the colt did win on the Grand Circuit last season, capturing a division of the International Stallion Stakes in 1:53.2 at Lexington's Red Mile. The clocking was the sixth-fastest win time of 2016 for a 2-year-old trotter. "He was solid last year and he won in Lexington so I thought he could maybe step up to the Grand Circuit level, but you don't want to put that kind of pressure on them," Miller said. "You don't want to over-stake them or over-train them trying to work on a schedule. We pretty much let him decide how he was going. "He trained down good this year. He gave me every indication we could enter him in these kinds of stakes races. I know he's only faced New York company so far this year, but he's raced really well. I think he deserves a chance against open company in the Earl Beal." Devious Man is among a group of 19 Beal participants eligible to the $1 million Hambletonian Stakes on Aug. 5 at the Meadowlands. Devious Man, a son of Credit Winner out of the mare Miss Garland, is a half-brother to 2005 Hambletonian winner Vivid Photo. "If my horse can work it out, that's great for us," Miller said. "I think he's a smart horse and a very versatile horse. No matter the size of the track Andy can drive him the way the race develops for him. We don't always have to be on the front, we don't always have to have cover. "There are three (Beal) divisions, which shows there are a lot of nice horses. No one is bowing out. But I feel confident in our chances. He's given us no reason not to give him a chance." Ariana G, who received the 2016 Dan Patch and O'Brien awards for best 2-year-old female trotter in the U.S. and Canada, is bidding to become the first filly to win the Beal in its seven-year history. She is this year's fastest 3-year-old trotter, with a mark of 1:51.1. Her trainer, Jimmy Takter, has won the Beal three times. For a look at all the entries for Saturday at Pocono, click here. ROAD TO THE HAMBLETONIAN A look at open stakes for 3-year-old male trotters and state-restricted stakes featuring Hambletonian eligibles Date - Track - Event - First - Second - Third May 6 - Freehold - Dexter Cup - Lord Cromwell - Gustavo Fring - Southwind Cobra May 19 - Meadowlands - NJSS - Long Tom - Yes Mickey - Deacon Tony May 19 - Meadowlands - NJSS - What The Hill - Southwind Cobra - New Jersey Viking May 20 - Meadows - PASS - Sortie - Giveitgasandgo - High Glider May 20 - Meadows - PASS - Andy M - Gustavo Fring - Stealth Hanover May 20 - Meadows - PASS - Common Parlance - Brown Bear - Brand New Key May 29 - Vernon - NYSS - Stick With Me Kid - Bill's Man - Top Flight Angel May 29 - Vernon - NYSS - Devious Man - Lord Cromwell - Aces And Eights May 29 - Vernon - NYSS - Enterprise - Swell Chap - Meetmeinthemiddle June 2 - Meadowlands - NJSS Final - Long Tom - King On The Hill - What The Hill June 3 - Meadows - Currier & Ives - Fraser Ridge - Meme Hanover - Muay Hanover June 3 - Meadows - Currier & Ives - Moonshiner Hanover - Giveitgasandgo - Lars Perry June 3 - Meadows - Currier & Ives - Sortie - Dover Dan - Always A Good Time June 9 - Mohawk - Goodtimes Elim - International Moni - Guardian Angel As - Jake June 9 - Mohawk - Goodtimes Elim - Enterprise - AWOL Hanover - Shake It Off Lindy June 9 - Vernon - EBC Elim - Bill's Man - Such An Angel - Stick With Me Kid June 9 - Vernon - EBC Elim - Devious Man - Swell Chap - Lord Cromwell June 10 - Pocono - PASS - Rubio - Muscles Jared - Di Oggi June 10 - Pocono - PASS - Dover Dan - Moonshiner Hanover - Sir John F June 10 - Pocono - PASS - Giveitgasandgo - President Lindy - Andy M June 17 - Mohawk - Goodtimes - International Moni - Mass Production - Seven And Seven June 18 - Vernon - Empire Breeders Classic - Devious Man - Bill's Man - Stick With Me Kid June 24 - Pocono - Earl Beal Jr. Elims - July 1 - Pocono - Earl Beal Jr. Memorial - July 9 - Pocono - PA All Stars - July 15 - Meadowlands - Stanley Dancer Memorial - July 22 - Meadowlands - Tompkins-Geers - July 29 - Meadowlands - Reynolds - Aug. 5 - Meadowlands - Hambletonian - Hambletonian eligible in bold Ken Weingartner

Today the Norwegian Trotting Association published the verdict in the doping case against French harness racing trainer Fabrice Souloy, who had four trotters test positive for Cobalt in June 2016 at Bjerke, Oslo. Souloy was banned from training and driving for 15 years and fined $60,000. The association had wanted Souloy banned for life and fined $25,000. Souloy is still awaiting a verdict from the Swedish Trotting Association regarding a positive test from the Elitlopp 2016 -- also for Cobalt -- and it was thought that the two Scandinavian associations would have published their verdicts together. However, due to vacation the Swedish verdict is first expected to be known around July 5. At present Souloy is serving a one year ban in France after a positive test for Cobalt. by Karsten Bønsdorf, USTA Senior Newsroom Correspondent

The horsemen at Fraser Downs have made great strides since several standardbred owners and trainers came forward earlier this year to express concerns that the 40-year Cloverdale industry was in trouble. The severe winter weather cancelled several race dates, cutting into a live racing schedule that has been getting shorter every year. In 2010, Fraser Downs had 87 live racing days a year. In 2015, there were 62. This year, winter storms – and the havoc they played on the condition of the track – led to the cancellation of nine race days in total. For more: Fraser Downs horsemen predict end is near Letter: Casino couldn’t care less if Horsemen survive The rough weather and the resulting issues opened a dialogue between Harness Racing BC (HRBC) and Great Canadian Gaming Corporation (GCGC) concerning maintenance and the race calendar. Last week, it was announced that the horsemen would get four race dates added to October, to help make up for the cancellation, and that the track maintenance issues – such as the fence surrounding the track, which is rotting through in some places – would be addressed before the start of the fall season. Carla Robin, executive director of Harness Racing BC (HRBC) said that the horsemen were now negotiating for additional race days in September. “GPEB (Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch) is behind us on that too because they know the standardbreds can race a longer season than the thoroughbreds,” said Robin. “We need a minimum of eight months (of racing) to have a really sustainable industry.” “Take a look at what’s happening back east in Ontario,” she said. Woodbine Entertainment Group, which operates Woodbine Race Track and Mohawk Raceway has recently decided to take standardbred racing out of Woodbine and run standardbred racing 12 months of the year at Mohawk. “Now, why would you be [running] an industry at Mohawk for 12 months of the year if it isn’t good for the economy?” said Robin. “You’d just let them race six months. But Ontario says, ‘No. The standardbred industry is a great industry and it has a lot of economic generation into the community.’” “People here would love to have the 10 months of racing, like we used to have,” she said. “But if we had a minimum of eight, then we’d have people who are really willing to invest in the industry in the longer term, breed more horses, etc.” “At this point there is no discussion about adding more days,” said Darren MacDonald, director of Racing Operations BC, Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. “The four race dates were added to give the horsemen a chance to make up the days that were missed last winter. HRBC created some incentive programs to try and attract more horses which gave us more confidence in running three days a week,” said MacDonald. For more: Negotiations ongoing at Fraser Downs racetrack HRBC’s additional incentives aim to bring more horsemen, and more horses, to Fraser Downs. A starting incentive is in place for the fall season to encourage racers to stay the full season and see what it’s like to race at Fraser Downs. There will be a 10 per cent purse increase as well. “With our incentives, and increasing the purses, those are things to get people here, hang onto their horses and race them here until such time as we can get more racing,” said Robin. Robin added that the shorter racing season has a negative impact on the local economy. “The farmers suffer, the hay suppliers, feed, grain, you name it,” she said. “The front side (of Elements Casino) will be closed for five months. There’s no jobs there for that time.” MacDonald said that it wasn’t the shorter season that impacted the casino and business in the area, but rather the extreme winter weather that Cloverdale experienced this past year. “The overwhelming factor impacting all of our business lines – including casino gaming – was the unusually bad weather we all experienced. Just getting to the site, for both our team members and guests, was a huge challenge, and thus, all of our business lines were negatively impacted,” he said. The four added race dates to October will fall on Tuesday, which MacDonald said would gain the races at Fraser Downs the most attention from wagerers across North America. “In today’s horse racing industry, the most critical factor for success of a product is large wagering pools, and that only happens if those races are simulcast across North America for wagering purposes,” said MacDonald. “Our goal was to find a day where there was very little other racing product available in North America, to try and maximize the size of those wagering pools. Tuesday was the day where we thought our racing would get the most exposure,” said MacDonald. Getting back on track Track maintenance issues, which The Reporter first reported in “Horsemenpredict end is near” on Feb. 22, are also being addressed. “Great Canadian is going to replace the fence and they’ve said they’ll have it done by the end of July,” said Robin. Serious track training for young horses is done during the summer months, so a construction schedule is being worked out, but Robin expects to see it finished before the fall season starts. The track will be resurfaced in certain areas, and Robin said that GCGC has bought a new tractor and new equipment for spreading the stone. Robin also said that a worker has also been hired to fix the stalls in the barns. “As we came out of the poor weather the track was much improved and very good at the end of the racing season,” said MacDonald. “Some new equipment has been purchased to assist with track maintenance going forward.” “We are in the final stages of sourcing out a builder for the new fence, and will be planning on having it done in time for the start of the season,” said MacDonald. In some places, the wood of the outside rail surrounding the track has rotted completely through, as seen here in this Feb. 22 photo. (Sam Anderson) By Samantha Anderson Reprinted with permission of The Surrey Now-Leader

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - Harness racing double-millionaire Resolve returns to the scene of his world-record romp Saturday night (June 24th), headlining Yonkers Raceway's $55,000 Open Handicap Trot. When last working in Westchester, the now-6-year-old son of Muscle Hill made short of his rivals in last October's million-dollar Yonkers International Trot. Resolve went the (mile-and-a-quarter) distance in a spiffy 2:23.4. Resolve began this season by winning the $200,000 Cutler Memorial (Meadowlands), then hightailed it to Solvalla, where he was second (elimination) and third (final) at the Elitlopp. Assigned outside his seven rivals in Saturday night's sixth race, trainer Ake Svanstedt takes his usual seat for owner Hans Enggren. There are few lightweights in this week's marquee trot. Obrgiado (Mark MacDonald, post 6) and his $1.6 million resume started his season with a solid second in Scioto's $200,000 Hill Memorial, while veteran statebred Gural Hanover (George Brennan, post 4) has been rock-solid in his last three tries across the river. Melady's Monet (Jason Bartlett, post 7), though not being able to reach from a 12-hole here a week ago, had won two of his previous three local Open Handicap tries. Barn Doll (Jeff Gregory, post 3) defends the honor of the fairer sex going after a 20th career win. Springbank Sam N (Jordan Stratton, post 1), Money Maven (Eric Goodell, post 2) and Red Hot Herbie (Dan Dube, post 5) complete the octet. Saturday night's co-featured 55-large Open Handicap Pace (8th race) finds Western Fame (MacDonald) banished behind the eight-ball. Frank Drucker

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