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As region-based racing reached Terang for the first time last night it also presented a chance to reminisce on one of the greats, with reinsman Bruce Clarke joining Talking Trots on Track to pay tribute to the great Gammalite. Joining hosts Blake Redden and Michael Howard in the segment Lunch with a Legend, Clarke glowingly remembered the first standardbred to win $1 million in Australia. "He took me and my family to many parts of Australasia, and it was just great to go along for the ride with him," he said. "He was a dour horse, he had an iron constitution and he was capable of performing at his best when he left home. You could time him up to a gum tree and he would still eat and still race at his best." CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN IN:   HRV Trots Media

Much-travelled freelance driver Adam Richardson is setting up a harness racing training establishment in the heart of the Riverina region in southern NSW. Richardson and his partner Alanah Pitt recently made the move from Brisbane to call Leeton home and are excited to be working towards building up a nice team of horses. "We've moved onto a 180-acre property which back in the day was used as a harness racing training complex. So, with a bit of hard work and a tidy up, it'll soon be ship-shape," Richardson said. "I grew up in Wagga, while Alanah is a Leeton girl, so obviously one of the main reasons for the shift was to get back closer to family," he said. Richardson admits he was perhaps a late bloomer in getting interested in the sport. "I was right into cricket. That was all I would think about when I was a youngster. I was probably at least 16 or 17 years old when my uncle Darren Richardson talked me into helping him with the horses," he said. "And since then that's all it's ever been-I have never got back to playing cricket!". Richardson said he got a big break when leading Brisbane horseman Darrell Graham took him under his wing and gave him a job. "Darrell got me going in harness racing. He was fantastic and I'll always be grateful for his advice and what he taught me," he said. "I then spent time with Tony Peacock when he was based at Kilmore. Tony was flying at the time. He was right up there on the metropolitan leading trainers' board and ended up finishing second." Richardson had another stint at the Graham stable, before again being lured south by Peacock, who had transferred his stable operations to Moama, on the NSW side of the Murray River from Echuca. "I was shifting about, but I was forever learning about the industry," he said. Richardson again got the travel bug and once again packed his bags for the Sunshine State, giving away the training side and concentrating on establishing himself as a freelance driver. 2017-18 was Richardson's breakout season, landing 76 winners and 136 placings for stakes of $360,000. "That was by far my best-ever season in the cart-I'd always been around the 20 to 30 winners mark before that," he said. The following year saw Richardson crank it up even further, cracking the ton for the first time and ending up with 116 wins and 193 placings for over $660,000. "I was lucky to get involved with some good stables, such as Charlie Cini and his wife Cristina Monte, and also Ian Gurney. As well there was great support from a whole bunch of little trainers," he said. "I thoroughly enjoyed my last three years in Queensland. I did miss it earlier this week when it turned quite cool in Leeton and the day took ages to warm up. "I admit I was jokingly questioning myself about the decision to move. But honestly, we are looking forward to it. We have nine in work and everything will turn out okay." Richardson hasn't wasted anytime in getting amongst the winners after the recent move. He landed three in three days at meetings held at Wagga, including a double for trainer Kim Hillier with King Fisher (Mr Feelgood-Shelly Lobell (Jeremy Lobell) and Miss Rixon (Modern Art-Sabina (Torado Hanover). Adam Richardson and King Fisher – the first leg of a winning double at Wagga last Friday "It's a one-and-a-half hour trip down to Wagga from home, but the track is awesome. Hopefully I can keep having some success," he said. While Richardson has the form on the board, it won't be long before Pitt makes a name for herself. The former Leeton High School student grew up around horses and came through the pony trots circuit. She has shown plenty of poise and skill since landing her first winner, Lancelot Hall, at Wagga in May, 2018.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

In the wake of trying times recently, we are excited to share a bit of good harness racing news and positive spirit.   An auction of four 2020 stallion breedings will be donated to help those New Jersey horsemen most affected by the Coronavirus crisis. The proceeds will be donated directly to the SBOANJ Benevolent Fund.   Deo Volente Farms’ owners Thomas Pontone and Michael Gulotta are announcing a donation of 2020 breedings to Lazarus, Trixton and Lis Mara to benefit the SBOANJ Benevolent Fund.  In addition, the original ownership group of Six Pack - Jeff Gural, Svanstedt Stables, Stall Kalmar Inc., Lars Berg, and Knutson Trotting - are also generously donating a 2020 breeding to Six Pack to the Fund.   Lazarus N                                                                                                                Lis Mara  Six Pack                                                                                                             Trixton 100% of the proceeds generated from the online auction of these four breeding will go directly to the SBOANJ Benevolent Fund. Jeff Gural, Chairman of the Meadowlands, said “It is the right thing to do. New Jersey horseman have been particularly hard hit and I am extremely happy to lend a hand.”  The auction will take place on Ongait beginning on Passover, April 8, 2020, and running through Easter Monday, April 13, 2020.  Winning bidders will make their checks out directly to the SBOANJ Benevolent Fund. The winning bidders will be offered one breed back opportunity in a subsequent breeding season in the event that the 2020 breeding does not result in a live foal.  When Mark Ford, President of the SBOANJ, heard about the program he responded by saying, “I really appreciate these owners stepping up to help the horsemen.  These are unchartered waters for us as an industry right now. We as an organization will make sure that these funds get into the right hands.” Mike Gulotta President and CEO of Deo Volente Farms said: ” I am a strong believer in the commandment to love our neighbors. Especially at this religious time of the year, lending some assistance to those most affected by the virus is entirely consistent with the season and with that commandment.” Thomas Pontone added ” I love harness racing and its community. It hurts to witness the pain being borne by our horsemen. I needed to help and I am proud to do so.” Questions about the auction may be directed to Joe Savare at Deo Volente Farms at 908-399-8400 or to joe@deovolentefarms.com.   Linda Petrenko, Stallion & Breeding Administration Deo Volente Farms LLC 487 Quakertown Road Flemington, NJ 08822 Office 908-782-4848   Fax 908-782-4870 www.deovolentefarms.com

Moving one of New Zealand’s biggest horse sales totally online could mean a fast forward to the future of the standardbred sales industry. Because while the major yearling sales every year look certain to remain a physical experience what is about to unfold in May could be an interesting test case for the future of secondary sales. New Zealand Bloodstock’s Standardbred division has been forced to move its All Aged Sale next month to the Gavelhouse.com platform because of the Covid-19 restrictions. The sale is usually held at the sales grounds and many of the larger prices have been for weanlings, with buying them later enabling good pinhooking opportunities at the yearling sales nine months later. But with a physical sale not possible this year the entire catalogue of 148, including 125 weanlings will be sold via Gavelhouse. Gavelhouse started as a steady burner for New Zealand Bloodstock but has now built up a registered buyer base of over 1000, with that number set to rise quickly. While online platforms are sometimes considered an easy option for those wanting to sell excess stock, including going horses and broodmares, that has changed dramatically in the last few months. Firstly group one thoroughbred mare Consensus was sold for huge money online and then last month 1000 Guineas winner Hasahalo followed, showing the online platform can work for elite level stock. Now it is harness racing’s turn. Gavelhouse has already been hosting regular standardbred sales but they have yet to skyrocket, with the going horse market to Australia and North America already a successful avenue for selling horses of all price ranges. So moving the All Aged Sale to Gavelhouse is going to greatly raise awareness of online selling in the harness racing industry. The catalogue is online now, then moves to the Gavelhouse platform with more pics and information on the horses on May 1 and bidding starts on May 20, with a week until the sale closes on May 27 at 5pm. The horses never have to leave home and either do the buyers, who have the whole week to decide on their final bid price. And the bottom line is, it cheaper for vendors, with no transportation costs for a start. But to get the best out of harness racing sales on Gavelhouse they will need vendors to step up their presentation levels. At present online harness racing lots vary from well-presented lots with professional photography to pics of horses taken with cellphone up against the side of a shed. New Zealand Bloodstock boss Andrew Seabrook says his team led by James Jennings are going to work with vendors to provide the best advice on how to present the horses in an online world. “For this particular sale a lot of the horses are being sold by Woodlands and Alabar so they will have a good handle on presentation already,” says Seabrook. “James and the team will be sending out some hints on what to look for and it is a real chance for the whole standard to go up. “Gavelhouse is getting bigger every day and the two top thoroughbred mares we were able to sell for Australasian record prices recently show what is possible. “And while we would love to be holding the sale as normal we are thrilled to still be able to offer it using Gavelhouse.” Seabrook is hoping that if and when Level 4 restrictions are lifted that could allow at least some potential buyers to get out to see some of the horses on offer, particularly the weanlings. But if they can’t the onus goes on vendors to take high quality photos and/or video, the use of which has been enormously beneficial to yearling sales vendors who have embraced it in the last three years. And don’t be surprised if a successful sale on Gavelhouse and the resulting more registered standardbred buyers doesn’t see the platform open up even more. That could see flexibility soon whereas rather than having one sale her code per month there hare smaller, more specialised sales, maybe even just one high profile lot, which goes up for a week and can test a truly international market. While there will always be those who want to see the horses in the flesh, when it comes to actual going racehorses or recently retired broodmares most of what potential buyers want to know is readily available and vet reports can always be uploaded. The moving of the May sale to Gavelhouse comes as the far richer Inglis Easter Sale in Sydney is conduced this week entirely online, with not a horse leaving its home base. While it saw varied results, Seabrook says any sale could experience that at the moment. “We have great faith in the Gavelhouse platform and what it has already achieved and it is obvious is it only going to get better and play a larger role in both industries. “But as for this May sale, it is coming up at a very unusual time in the world economy so it will be very interesting. “But could mean so real bargains for buyers.”   Michael Guerin

The old adage ‘you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone’ will ring true with many of New Zealand’s trotting breeders.   Muscle Hill is a sire who averages $100K+ with drafts of 100+ every year in North America.His service fee commands an undisclosed figure rumoured to be north of $40,000 and yet several of this year’s age group trotting winners couldn’t get near that figure at the NZ yearling sales when offered by their vendors.   Cracker Hill, the brilliant winner of the Hambletonian was passed in for $40,000.   Chloe Rose, a New Zealand record holder this term when winning the Sires Stakes Classique, was sold for $21,000.   New Zealand Two Year Old Trotter of the Year Bolt For brilliance was sold for $30,000.   Muscle Mountain was knocked down for $30,000 and Midnight Dash passed in for $40,000.   What do they all have in common?   They were all sold at the 2018 Premiere Sale in Christchurch and they have all exceeded $30,000 in stakes.   They have achieved this despite the limited prize money on offer for square gaiters in their two year old season and early into their three year old campaigns, with their lucrative three year old season riches of the Derbies and Sires Stakes Features yet to be run.   New Zealand Oaks winner Vacation Hill is another to add to the same list of Muscle Hill yearlings offered that year, and her breeder Bruce Hutton is still scratching his head as to how.   “I think they must have thought what is Bruce Hutton doing selling this horse when he keeps and races all of his, but I had already made the decision early on that she would be sold and she never got a bid,” he said.   Despite having no obvious faults, the daughter of Muscle Hill out of Vacanza, a Dream Vacation NZ record holder from the paternal family of Sundon and Pine Chip was unwanted.   “She was a lovely filly, and a couple of days later Kevin Townley called me to see if she was still for sale and he bought her over the phone.   “I got to break her in which was part of the deal and I remember Kevin coming to look at her and quite liking her,” said Hutton.   “He made the comment that his yearlings were usually bowling along a little more when he broke them in.   “I told him because the mother could pull, we’ve really kept her quiet and never told her that she’s got speed and I think he adapted that into his own training of her.   “She just had a great style and she was bred to be good as well. We just thought we will never tell her how fast she is,” he said.   Despite qualifying as a late two-year old, the decision was made to tuck the blue-blood filly away to allow her the time to develop into her big frame.   “We all knew very early on she would make a good filly and even as a two-year old Kevin really rated her. She will get better with time and she’s in the right hands with Kevin to do so. She was too big and immature to go early and he’s looked after which is what she needed.   Vacation Hill’s mother, Vacanza, was a late bloomer and never begun her race career until January of her four-year old season.   After wins at Geraldine and then Methven, she showed she wasn’t just a toff for the grass when she then broke the 1950m mobile record for trotting mares at Addington.   She trotted the sprint trip in 2.25.2 and a MR of 1:59, breaking a 12 year old record held by Valley of the Moon.   “She was a funny mare because she pulled terribly in the prelim but in a race she was a dream to drive.   “You put her in the paddock and she takes off at a thousand miles an hour, does one lap around the paddock and then she’s as good as gold. I dunno why she did it, cover on, cover off, it didn’t make any difference,” he said.   Vacanza (Dream Vacation) was in utero as a package deal when her mother Sunny Lane (2000 Lindy Lane) was purchased.   That was a great result in itself because like Vacanza, Sunny Lane was a nightmare to get in foal and only produced three in her time at stud from eleven years of trying.   “She was at Nevele R and she always had breeding issues and didn’t get in foal that easy. We just happened to fluke that she got in foal to Dream Vacation first go,” said Hutton.   Three years after Vacanza, Sunny Lane produced a Majestic Son colt called Solar Storm who won three but disappeared in Australia after being sold.   Three years later she produced a Muscle Hilly filly called American Jewel who was purchased as a weanling by Pat Driscoll of Yabby Dabby Farm.   “American Jewel was showing exceptional talent as a three year old and was just about to race, but injured herself in a pool accident and hence never made it,” said Driscoll.   “She was bred to Love You in 2018 but we lost the foal and is now  in foal to Father Patrick, so hopefully all going  well we have a healthy foal this spring,” he said. Both Hutton and Driscoll will be hoping for some good fortune as American Jewel was where the road ended for Sunny Lane as a mare despite several more efforts.   Sunny Lane was bred by Jim Dalgety having successfully raced her dam, the exceptionally talented Sunny Action.   Sunny Action did a lot of her Open Class racing in Mark Purdon’s care, but ultimately won her three biggest races in the colours of Dalgety including the Yearling Sales Final and the NZ Trotting Stakes at three.   She was back in his colours with a young Terry Chmiel when she downed Lyell Creek in the 2000 NZ Trotting FFA, ending his unbeaten streak at 20.   The Sundon mare was line bred 2x3 to her grandam Roydon Gal and was one of the few bred on this cross by the great Sir Roy McKenzie to have much success on the track.   A few astute breeders will know this story but when researching the family I came across this nugget in Sir Roy’s book, The Roydon Heritage.   It details how fortunate we as an industry were in Sir Roy securing Roydon Gal for many reasons, none more so than the fact she left Arndon, and in turn Sundon.   “At the 1976 ‘Adios’ there was a yearling sale which featured a Super Bowl filly I was keen to secure. My aim was to help breed good young trotters. This was not a very attractive financial investment but probably necessary long term. As well as driving her before the sale, I drove a Noble Victory colt who impressed me as an ideal cross for our Game Pride mares and as a result, I had a difficult decision to make between the filly and the colt.   The sales area was crowded but my wife and daughter Robyn got seats and shortly before the filly came in, I gained one in front of them.   There was some quick and frantic bidding, but I finally secured her, though my family didn’t think so. She had cost more than I bargained for. The colt, Noble Art, sold for $4000 less later in the sale. He was purchased by Del Miller and the Grants and he became the top money winning two-year-old of 1977. He has earned over $100,000 and he will have a sub 2min record any day.   We named the filly Roydon Gal and she trained really well as a two-year-old but showed some soreness when due to race at that age. We later qualified her in 2:10 and she has now been bred to Arnie Almahurst to whom she is in foal. In 1979 she will be brought back to New Zealand. A full brother to Roydon Gal, Superbly sold at the yearling Sales for $70,000 in 1978.   The advent of time would tell us that Noble Art never broke two minutes and Roydon Gal would be one of the most influential, if not the most influential trotting mare to the New Zealand stud book ever.”   Unfortunately for Hutton, Vacanza has carried on the family tradition of struggling to get in foal.   “She’s been to some of the best vets and nobody seems to know whats wrong there.   “She doesn’t cycle or ovulate properly. We got her in foal first go with frozen semen (Vacation Hill) and thought it was easy, but she’s proved hard since,” he said.   Matings to frozen semen consorts in Muscle Hill (2017), Wishing Stone (2018) and Southwind Frank (2019) coupled with two seasons of trying the fresh semen route with Majestic Son (2020) all came up empty.   “We’ll try a few different things this year and see how we go,” said Hutton.   Hutton is perhaps best known for the deeds of his trotters from the wonderful producer, Belday.   He won the Yearling Sales Final for three-year olds with Rhythm of the Night as well as a heat of the Victorian Trotters Derby.   He still has a full-sister in Fire in the Night who was a bonnie mare and should have won a New Zealand Trotting Oaks if not for breaking in the run home where she still ran fourth and only six lengths from the winner, Commander Jewel.   Hutton has had better luck producing from this breed with three foals from Fire in the Night (in foal to Majestic Son) including a Muscle Hill mare Luminosity.   She was on track to clear maidens having run second four times in her last five starts before Covid-19 abruptly ended the season.   Injured while racing as an early two-year old, Luminosity was put in foal and produced a Love You colt that is doing its early education at the present.   “We like him but he’s not a natural trotter at this stage,” said Hutton.   “I’m also breeding from Insignificant who has a Southwind Frank colt on her and is back in foal to Majestic Son,” he said.   Hutton has never been shy when it comes to trying to improve his breed and has been one of the great disciples of Muscle Hill, well before his stock began to produce the results they have today.   His theories on breeding are simple.   “Both Fire in the Night and Insignificant are nice quality mares with a reasonable pedigree behind them. You’ve gotta try and back yourself don’t ya?   “Breed the best to the best and hope for the best. I sell a lot of horses up to American and I’ve got a lot of contacts up there who I’ve always spoken to about their breeding scene and what’s working well.   “I’ve been looking to see if I can find a quality horse up there to bring down and actually race here with a view to breed from, but of course with all the stuff that’s happening now it’s probably going to be prohibitive,” said Hutton.   Another prohibitive factor in recent years has been Hutton’s health with the Canterbury horseman battling cancer, but he is fighting back having recently undergone stem cell treatment.   It’s a good thing he’s a fighter, because Vacation Hill’s win in the Oaks provided him with his biggest thrill as a breeder.   “It was actually my first ever Group win as a breeder and was a massive thrill to see the horse win for Kev and connections,” he said.     By Brad Reid Read more articles like this in the Breeders Update: www.bit.ly/BreedersUpdate78 Subscribe here: www.bit.ly/SignUpBU 

Champion trainer Gary Hall Snr is looking forward to giving New Zealand import Balcatherine her chance to lead in a strong fillies and mares race at Gloucester Park this Thursday night. The lightly raced American Ideal mare has drawn barrier one for the Retravision Pace (2130m) with Stuart McDonald set to drive. Balcatherine hasn’t been seen at the track since winning a WA Oaks Prelude on April 26 last autumn at just her third start in the state. In her WA career so far she has had to contend with barriers eight, nine and 10. Hall Snr picked had Balcatherine join the stable early last year off the back of two wins in New Zealand, before she failed to win at her first two starts for her new stable. The WA Oaks Prelude win was enough to see her secure a start in last year’s three-year-old fillies feature but she suffered a quarter crack in the week leading up to the event. The Hall of Fame trainer said he was eager to see how the four-year-old goes leading against some of the state’s toughest mares. “She’s been working well,” Hall Snr said. “She’s a quite hand and she works like a good mare. “She’s a good filly but she just hasn’t drawn well and we don’t know how she goes leading. “We will try to lead this week because if you hand over the lead you hand over the race.” McDonald is the beneficiary of Gary Hall Jnr’s decision to drive Justin Prentice’s talented mare Dracarys, who looks a live chance despite drawing barrier eight. Mares Classic winner Gotta Go Gabbana, who has been impressive in her first two runs back from a short break, has drawn barrier nine. Pick My Pocket, a last start winner of the Empress Stakes, will have her work cut out to win from barrier seven. Exciting mare Typhoon Tiff makes her eagerly anticipated return from barrier four. In the Free-For-All event of the evening, Shockwave will get another stern examination on his progress when he lines up from barrier seven of seven in the Simmonds Steel Pace (1730m). Golden State gets a big opportunity to lead from barrier one, while co-trainers Greg and Skye Bond will start Ocean Ridge, Galactic Star and Our Jimmy Johnstone from barriers two, three and four. Meanwhile, Hall Snr said he’s hoping to have Chicago Bull back at the races next Friday night.   Tim Walker

New Brunswick, NJ — In a joint project by the Equine Science Center at Rutgers University; Equine Integrated Medicine, Georgetown, Ky.; Duer Forensic Toxicology, Clearwater, Fla.; and the New York Drug Testing and Research Program, Morrisville State College; a recently published journal article shows that a sterile solution of cobalt salts (50 mg of elemental cobalt as CoCl2 in 10 ml of saline, given IV for three consecutive days) did not affect aerobic or anaerobic performance or plasma erythropoeitin concentration in race fit harness racing horses. The study was funded in part by the United States Trotting Association. “The Evaluation of Cobalt as a Performance Enhancing Drug (PED) in Racehorses” study sought to determine if cobalt acts as a performance enhancing drug by altering biochemical parameters related to red blood cell production, as well as markers of aerobic and anaerobic exercise performance. The study also identified the normal distribution of plasma cobalt in a population of horses on a maintenance dietary ration without excessive cobalt supplementation. Research was conducted using 245 Standardbred horses with no supplementation of cobalt from farms in New York and New Jersey, including those at the Rutgers University Equine Science Center. The authors concluded that a threshold of 25 micrograms per liter in plasma, currently in place in many racing jurisdictions, may result in horses exceeding the threshold without excessive cobalt administration. They suggest that a threshold of 71 micrograms per liter be considered. The study also found that plasma cobalt concentrations over 300 ppb had no adverse effects on horses’ well-being or on performance. However, we caution that investigators have found that higher doses are purportedly being illicitly administered to horses with reported dangerous adverse and life-threatening effects on the horses. The present study does not address the effects of administering the much larger doses that racing officials and investigators have suggested are being misused to enhance performance. Cobalt in salt form (closeup) According to Dr. Kenneth H. McKeever, Associate Director for Research at the Equine Science Center, “The results of this study are the first to document that administration of cobalt salts at the level studied does not stimulate the production of red blood cells and does not affect markers of performance in race fit horses. Horses appear to respond in a species-specific fashion that is different from human studies that showed toxicity at plasma concentrations above 300 ppb. This study presents data rather than speculation for the decision-making process for setting thresholds.” The study has been published as an open access paper, accessible for free at this link. The Rutgers Equine Science Center

BATAVIA — With the virtual shutdown of the entire State of New York, everything has taken a major hit; from schools and athletics to businesses and every day lives, things won’t be the same again for quite some time, if ever. That, obviously, also has applied to one of the oldest and most cherished sports in the world — the sport of horse racing. More specifically, harness racing. While every track in New York has been shut down, including the thoroughbred venues, there have been a small number of tracks that have remained open throughout the country, though none of those include harness tracks, like the oldest lighted harness track in the country at Batavia Downs. “All New York state racetracks are currently shut down until further notice and are anxiously awaiting word when they can reopen,” said Todd Haight, the Director/General Manager of Live Racing at Batavia Downs.”Before the New York State racetracks ceased racing operations, they were racing with no patrons in attendance. That could be a way of getting these racetracks open sooner rather than later.” Yet as of March 16, tracks across the state have been temporarily closed to the COVID-19 pandemic, including Buffalo Raceway, which was midway through its current season. However, though there will not be any live racing any time soon, the state mandates have not shuttered all aspects of the sport down completely. “The racetracks that were open before the shut down remain open for training purposes,” Haight said. “Equines must be allowed to get out of their stalls for exercise and receive their proper care. The only real change there is training hours have been reduced. Racetracks that were scheduled to open in April and early May have all delayed their openings; in fact, Vernon Downs and Tioga Downs have delayed opening up their barn areas until further notice.” With the majority of racing shut down, three “major” thoroughbred tracks have remained open, which includes Oaklawn Park, Tampa Bay Downs and Gulfstream Park. Oaklawn Park is in Arizona, while the remaining two are in Florida, with Gulfstream having hosted the 2020 Florida Derby just over a week ago, with Tiz the Law winning easily in front of zero spectators. Is that something that is capable of being maintained? “Of the three it appears in the short term they will be allowed to complete their season,” Haight said. “That said, Oaklawn Park is scheduled to close for the season on May 2 and Tampa Bay Downs May 3. Of the major tracks that would leave just Gulfstream Park — located in South Florida — racing although officials at Santa Anita in California are feverishly trying to that track reopened.” With the lack of any major sport taking place during the spread of coronavirus, increased majoring on horse racing has followed suit. Though Haight isn’t 100 percent sure that has to do with there being no baseball, basketball, hockey, etc... “I’m not sure I can attribute the increased handle numbers to the lack of sporting events. Rather I think the lack of competition from many or any racetracks running at the same time,’ he said. “I can tell you at Batavia Downs Racetrack our biggest total handle of the week is Wednesday night, which I’m sure surprises many people. Yes, on Saturday night we by far draw our biggest crowds but due to so many other tracks racing we don’t see the big off-track wagering numbers that we see on Wednesdays. In fact, it can be as high as 50 percent greater than the other race nights and this is all due to the lack of competition.” However, there may still be a correlation nonetheless between the lack of gambling options and the increased interest in horse racing betting. “Yes racetracks have reported increases in handle due to the lack of competition. Gulfstream Park saw an all-sources handle for the Florida Derby card, March 28, a record $53,555,529, eclipsing the previous mark of $49,909,070 handled in 2018,” Haight said. “And remember this number was attained with not one person wagering in the grandstands as the races were closed to the public. That’s truly remarkable.” There have also been other tracks across the country that have reported huge increases, including Fonner Park in Nebraska and Will Rogers Downs in Oklahoma, with the former still up and running without spectators. Will Rogers Downs saw a 657.5% increase in the March 2020 handle over March 2019 with betting up nearly $13.7 million from the same period last year, according to Haight, while Fonner Park, saw a 272.7% increase in March handle, up more than $8.4 million. Specifically with Batavia Downs, they have also seen an up-tick in wagering in the recent weeks, for whatever the reason may be. In 2014 the Downs introduced Batavia Bets, an online wagering platform that has continued to be highly success, while Haight says it took in nearly $200,000 in wagers last week alone. Haight has also seen a small increase in the number of signups for Batavia Bets since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, with horse racing being virtually the only sport still running that people can gamble on. Moreover, cable networks such as Fox Sports 1 and NBC Sports have continued to show live racing on television, including the Florida Derby in late March. “And keep in mind that’s with many of our customers most popular racetracks current closed,” Haight said in the increased wagering at Batavia Downs. “When you take Aqueduct, Meadowlands and Buffalo Raceway off the board it is going to have an effect on wagering numbers. We’re very pleased with the success of Batavia Bets.” For Haight and the rest of the world of racing — and life in general — everything at the moment is simply a waiting game. And the effects of the last month are something that the world will likely never fully get over. “COVID-19 has changed the landscape of horse racing - that’s for sure. We are living in unprecedented times and the safety of our patrons, employees, and horsemen remain a top priority,” Haight said. It remains to be seen how long it will take to get back to normal and what the new normal will indeed be. “The effects of this pandemic have been felt worldwide and in all sports,” he added. “We’ll continue to monitor the situation and provide updates on our website, social media and via press releases in regards to our live racing product which is scheduled to begin on July 22. We’ll be working very closely with the New York State Gaming Commission and the Western New York Harness Horseman Association on this process.” Here’s to hoping at least part, if not all, of the upcoming Downs season will go on as usual. By Nate Rider Reprinted with permission of The Daily News Online

On Sept. 23, 2010, Rock N Roll Heaven dominated the Little Brown Jug with a historic and still unparalleled harness racing performance. The colt won his first Jug heat in a world-record-equaling 1:49.2 and returned later in the afternoon to sweep the event by winning the second heat in a duplicate 1:49.2. It was the first time in history a horse won twice on the same day with sub-1:50 miles. There have been 27 Little Brown Jug miles since Rock N Roll Heaven's victory a decade ago and only twice has 1:49.2 been equaled or bettered. Wiggle It Jiggleit won his first heat in 2015 in 1:49.2; Betting Line won the second heat in 2016 in 1:49. Rock N Roll Heaven's trainer Bruce Saunders recently looked back at that memorable day and memorable year for his colt. THE FIELD Rock N Roll Heaven's seven rivals in the second, and final, heat of the 2010 Little Brown Jug were (in alphabetical order) Classic Rock Nroll, Doc's Yankee, Dreamlands Art, I'm Gorgeous, Piece Of The Rock, Razzle Dazzle, and Rockin Image. One More Laugh was scratched. "He beat a very nice bunch of horses," Saunders said. "People want to say they weren't that good, but if the race went in (1):50 and a piece or (1):51, it would have been a very competitive race. The fact Rock N Roll Heaven was up to going (1):49 and a piece, and came home as quickly as he did, dwarfed the other horses' ability that particular day. "It made the race fairly boring as far as competition was concerned, but it wasn't boring for us." THE LEAD-IN Rock N Roll Heaven won four of his first five races in 2010, including the Berry's Creek and New Jersey Sire Stakes championship before a costly blip in a division of the Burlington Stakes at Mohawk. Racing in heavy fog, Rock N Roll Heaven got the lead on the backstretch but was frightened by a light on the infield's half-mile timer and went off stride. He had to qualify three days later to compete in the North America Cup eliminations. He won his qualifier in 1:52 and four days after won his Cup elim in 1:48.4. In the North America Cup final, he finished fourth. "He scoped full of pus and mucous," Saunders said. "I think he was definitely the best horse in the North America Cup. In my mind, it was that extra (1):52 mile he had to go in the middle of the week that stressed his immune system enough that he wasn't on his game for the final. It was what it was." Rock N Roll Heaven bounced back with a win in his Meadowlands Pace elimination, then finished second by a head to One More Laugh in the final after battling for the lead through hotly contested early fractions. A second-place finish by a head to Rockin Image in the Oliver Wendell Holmes followed, but the colt would not lose again the rest of the season. He captured the Battle of the Brandywine in a stakes- and track-record 1:48.4 over a rain-soaked "good" surface at Harrah's Philadelphia and then headed to Delaware, Ohio, for the Little Brown Jug. LITTLE BROWN JUG DAY In his first heat, the first of three Jug eliminations, Rock N Roll Heaven started from post two and was third for the first quarter. On the second turn, driver Dan Dube sent Rock N Roll Heaven on his way and the colt powered to a three-length win over Razzle Dazzle in 1:49.2, equaling the world record for a 3-year-old pacing colt on a half-mile track set by Somebeachsomewhere at Flamboro Downs in the 2008 Confederation Cup final. Classic Rock Nroll won the second elim in 1:50.4 and I'm Gorgeous won the third in 1:50.2. When the field was set for the second heat, Rock N Roll Heaven again started from post two. This time, Dube only waited to come off the first turn to move Rock N Roll Heaven to the front. He was not threatened from there, winning by 2-1/4 lengths over I'm Gorgeous, again in 1:49.2. He paced the second half of the race in :53.4 and final quarter in :26.2. Rock N Roll Heaven's two-heat time of 3:38.4 established the world record, lowering the former time of 3:40.1 set by Shadow Play in the 2008 Jug. Wiggle It Jiggleit is the only Jug winner to threaten Rock N Roll Heaven's mark, missing by a fifth of a second in 2015. "Winning the Jug was an unbelievable experience; it was sensational," Saunders said. "I guess as races go, there were far more exciting ones in the Jug than Heaven's dominant win in 2010, but his performance may not be beat for a while. His last half in the last heat, home in :26.2, without being contested was pretty remarkable." To view a replay of the race, click here. Following the race, Saunders told reporters, "I've been reluctant to call him a great horse, but he is a great horse." Looking back at that comment, Saunders said, "I aspire to Tim McGraw's song, 'Humble and Kind.' I think it's best to be humble, be kind, to your competition. But once (Rock N Roll Heaven) got to that level, I think he established himself. It wasn't braggadocious, it was more just a statement of fact." The atmosphere at the Delaware County Fairgrounds, where fans visit with the horses in the Jug Barn in the days preceding the race and 48,118 showed up for Jug Day, made Rock N Roll Heaven's victory even more memorable. "The two or three days when you're there, it's kind of like an out-of-body experience," Saunders said. "You go through doing what you've got to do (to prepare) and try to accommodate all the people that come by to see the horse to make sure it's a great experience for them as well as you. "Like most horses, he loved the attention. Horses love to be looked at and spoken to, they know when they're the focus. That whole aspect of it was very rewarding. The fans there love the game, they love the horses, and love the winner. To put in that kind of effort was special." THE AFTERMATH Rock N Roll Heaven won his remaining seven starts following the Little Brown Jug on his way to U.S. Horse of the Year honors. Five of those victories were by at least three lengths and the triumphs included the Breeders Crown, Tattersalls Pace, Messenger Stakes, and Matron Stakes. For the year, he won 16 of 21 races and earned $2.15 million. He paced a record 11 sub-1:50 miles, with victories in 1:49.2 or faster on every size racetrack -- half, five-eighths, seven-eighths, and mile. The colt, a son of Rocknroll Hanover out of Artistic Vision, was owned by Frank Bellino and bred by Steve Stewart, Charles "Cotton" Nash, Julie Nash, and Francene Nash. In 2017, Rock N Roll Heaven was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame. "He was an unbelievable horse in so many regards," Saunders said. "One of the remarkable attributes he had was that he could pace away from a field of horses any time during the mile. In the middle part, the first part, from the top of the stretch home; if he was fresh, he could just sprint away from horses. And a lot of them stood on their toes trying to keep up with him. "To get a horse that is Horse of the Year is pretty spectacular. He was special." At the end of the 2010 campaign, The Meadowlands Racetrack produced a video looking at Rock N Roll Heaven's season, which can be viewed here. Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager

She may just be 15, but Gracie Mae Barr has always had a thing for the horses. This young Thamesford, Ontario miss grew up watching both of her parents, Scott and Bethany, work in the business of harness racing. “There is no chance that I wasn’t going to be into the horses,” states Barr. “My parents are into harness racing - my Dad trained full time and my Mom works the London Selected Yearling Sale… The day I was born (March 8, 2005) my Dad raced two horses, Coyote Sam and Future Honey, at Western Fair Raceway and they both won! For me - I think it’s just meant to be… ” Though it’s been a lifetime of horses, for Barr, it’s only been over the last few seasons that she’s been attending the races in London. “My first actual memory of the Raceway was when my Dad took me in to see a ‘mini pony race’. We went to watch and cheer on our friend Travis Moore who was racing his pony Wally,” she says. “And now I enjoy watching and cheering on many who race in London… Sue McNeight and the Horner Stable, Lorne House, Paul Chapman, Brent Belore, the Reibeling’s and there’s lots more - pretty much anyone than can get me to the track on race days - I’ll cheer them on too…” So being this young lady, relatively new to the backstretch, we asked if there was a horsewoman that Barr has noticed and now looks up to on race nights… “It’s Teesha Symes - no question,” she says. “From watching her I can tell she’s a hard worker and I can see that she cares a lot for her horses too… She’s always smiling so she must love what she does and her horses always look great when they walk into the race paddock - everything just looks so professional…” Barr’s favourite racehorse, this meet in London, has been Hidden Potential - a former top class pacer who found his form with the ‘seniors pace’ events. “He’s a really nice horse, to be around, except in the winner’s circle,” notes Barr. “He has knocked me over, in there, but other than that - as long as he has his chew chain and carrots - he’s a happy boy.” Another Raceway fave for Barr, this racing season, would be her victory with Family First. “He was my first win, paddocking by myself, for trainer John Pentland,” she says “John is a family friend that we’ve known for years. I started going to his barn with my Dad on the weekends and now, with school shut down, I’ve been busy working at his stable… My parents are OK with it as long as my grades don’t suffer.” And in her spare time Gracie Mae - like so many others in the business - has a retired racehorse to ride…”His racing name was Nospeednofeed, but I call him ‘Buddy’. My Dad used to race his mother Tenacious Dream.” Another connection for Barr and Pentland has been the impressive filly Lauras Love - they share ownership on this lightly raced daughter of Betterthancheddar. “She didn’t race as a two-year-old, because she was a little on the immature side and John wanted to take things slow with her,” she explains. “That way she could maybe have a strong three-year-old season and so far she has.”  Indeed she has… Lauras Love would debut at Woodbine Mohawk Park, on January 23 of this year - finishing sixth, but her strong 26.3 final quarter would indicate that she may be good to go next time out. And just one week later - that she was… “When she won that night - as she crossed the finish line - there may have been a few tears, not only because it was my first win as an owner, but because it was our first win together. I’ll also never forget Ken Middleton giving me the shout-out in the winners circle - it was just a real special night!”  Now a winner of 4 from 5 career starts - Lauras Love gets some down time to freshen up as Ontario - and the rest of North America - awaits the return of harness racing. “I’m just beyond proud of what she has accomplished,” says Barr. “I knew last year that she had some talent, but I had no idea she would go out and win four in a row. She’s the first horse that I’ve officially owned and there’s no other horse I’d rather own than her. She’s super goofy - with a lot of personality, but she’s just meant for me…” And the future plans for Lauras Love - is there any chance that we’ll see her at The Raceway going forward? “I’m not sure where else she’ll race - other than at Woodbine Mohawk Park,” reports Barr. “It’s completely up to her trainer to decide… And I’ll trust that he’ll do what’s best for her - he’s been right so far!” Shannon ‘Sugar’ Doyle Track Announcer - The Raceway  

Cream Ridge, NJ - 4/6/2020 - Nearly 32 years of helping thousands of Standardbreds, and shining under numerous awards from the Racing Commissioners International, the American Associations of Equine Practitioners, the Harness Tracks of America and many others, the harness racing of the Standardbred Retirement Foundation, (SRF) are facing serious trouble during this Covid virus pandemic.   Paula Campbell and Judy Bokman have worked tirelessly to keep this mission going, but potential adopters are holding off, horses scheduled for homes are on hold, SRF is unable to continue to feed and care for 382 horses with its social fundraisers cancelled, they need help now.   There have not been any government or industry grants available to assist these horses, 94% of the success of the mission is attributed to the generosity of individuals.   The many facilities SRF uses to board these horses are making some concessions to help get through this.   The monthly cost for feed and care is now down to $76,800 for the 382 horses.   SRF is pleading for help for them.   Tax-deductible donations are the only way to save these horses.   Donations can be made through SRF's website at https://www.adoptahorse.org/donate, by mail to SRF PO Box 312, Millstone Twp., NJ 08535, (SRF requests a message of a gift in the mail in order to arrange for care) or by telephoning 609 738 3255.   There is very limited staff time, messages will be returned as quickly as possible. ____________________________   Further Information   For nearly every Standardbred racehorse, when injured or no longer competitive, they are sold off the track to dealers in rural communities. They are then resold either for the price of meat in Canada and Mexico, or as work horses to plow fields, haul heavy logs, clear land, and for street transportation. Sadly, the care of many of them is not to humane standards. When in their teens these horses are usually then "turned over for fresh ones" and sold for slaughter. SRF diverted thousands of these trotters and pacers to safety, rehabilitation, then to loving homes; some have gone back to owners for a safe retirement.   Every animal is at the mercy of the care it is in, for some, that is a wonderful place to be, but that is not the case for all. SRF, being the model program, the oldest, most productive organization of its kind remains the guardian for its horses, even when adopted, so no horse is at risk again.   A few SRF has helped that were in the slaughter pipeline: UPFRONT HOOSIER BOY -  $802,426  SWINGIN GLORY - $817,082   THINK GOLD -  $699,994   SLEEP EASY - $651,145 - his owner found him a home and followed up and still he was found tagged for slaughter. He is back home now. DRIVE ALL NIGHT $628,121 - OIL MAGNET - $417,780 FAMOUS MARK -  $543,784 CASIMIR BAD BOY - $547,036 EAGLE NOW - $553,717 LET'S GET SERIOUS  $621,912 HOT N SPORTY   $519,769 FRANKO HAT TRICK N  $521,512 KILLEAN CUT KID $315,239. CORLEON HANOVER -  $488,153  LONESOME ATTACK - $415,705 EOOS -  $402,128 WESTERN SMOOCHER $472,417 GOOD FEELING - $476,584  I'M A GOOD UN $301,141 JOBO DA'SHABRA - $363,945 OUTLAW BLUES $300,290     The list of horses currently under SRF's care and expense: ·     African Doctor ·     Airy Heir ·     Alpine Thunder ·     Andrew's Linedrive ·     Another Lady ·     Another Tino ·     Apache Fur ·     Apocalypse Hanover ·     Aprettycharm ·     Art Dialing ·     Arteffect ·     Artful Dodger ·     Ashlees Cool Guy ·     At His Best ·     Auriga Vixen ·     Ava ·     Baltimore Tyler ·     Bamboo Hanover ·     Beat My Drums ·     Beechwood Diana ·     Benns Hruby ·     Benny Marvel ·     Best Beluga ·     Big Boy Toz ·     Big Money ·     Big Run ·     Big Sky Devil ·     Blu's Girl ·     Bodine Hanover ·     Bogert's Best ·     Bold Master ·     Bold Xample ·     Bomba Rumpus ·     Boone Forever ·     Brandy ·     Bright Hope ·     Bright Tune ·     Brooklyn Character ·     Brother Tony ·     Buddy's Money ·     Bulletproof Billy ·     C J Smoke ·     C-Mon Big Guy ·     Caleb ·     Cambe Jade ·     Cambeaster ·     Cancun Time ·     Careless Sam ·     Carolina Valley ·     Casino View ·     Catch Me Kid ·     Caviar on the Menu ·     Cedarhurst ·     CHELEMARK TAFFY ·     Chernucson ·     Cheryl's Dream ·     Christian Skipper ·     Ciros Best ·     Classic Action ·     Classic Storm ·     Coast Guard Grad ·     Color Me Khaki ·     Confluence Park ·     Contumelious ·     Converse Hanover ·     Cowboy Roundup ·     CR Machomacho Man ·     CR Rhat ·     Crazy Horse ·     Cresus Popette ·     cripplecreek bambi ·     CryinCheatinLyin ·     Customized Cruiser ·     Czech This Name ·     Dakota Victor ·     Dale's Master ·     Dancer Springs ·     Danish Dancer ·     Danny ·     Danny boy ·     Derby's Goal ·     Desist Hanover ·     Dex Appeal ·     Diane's Shark ·     Diego Gram ·     Direct advantage ·     Divine Setup ·     Doccoon ·     Dollar Sign ·     Dollys Red Scooter ·     Dominion ·     Don't Ruffle Me ·     Double D Fine ·     Double HH Caroline ·     Down Time ·     Dr. Zip ·     Dutch Hill General ·     Dutchie Odonnell ·     Dynamic Dude N ·     Easy Ed ·     Eden Roc ·     EDUM-UP ·     Electric Smile ·     Empress Mine ·     Eoos ·     EP Great Drive ·     Eres Tu ·     Excuse Me Pleez ·     Falkland Fighter ·     Fedorov ·     Feel So Bad ·     Fico ·     Final Armour ·     Fine Feathers ·     First Season ·     Fizz Bone ·     Flash Larue ·     Four Starzzz Hall ·     Fourowonfreddy ·     Fox Valley Roper ·     Franco Hat Trick N ·     Fred'd Lil Scraper ·     Freedom Fry ·     Funny Girl ·     Futureflyer ·     Gaal Pal ·     Garvey In Motion ·     GD Rosanne ·     Giorgi's Superstar ·     Girles Son ·     Glenwood Skipper ·     Golden Falcon N ·     Good Feeling ·     Goodgolly Ms Holly ·     Gospel Joe ·     Gottcha Back ·     Grampa's Grounded ·     GTO ·     Have It Your Way ·     He's A Bug ·     He's A Demon ·     Heavy Hitter ·     Hello Miss Mo ·     Henrys Crown ·     High Arsenal ·     Hitch ·     Hobo Bryan ·     Hoorayforvacation ·     Hoosier HH King ·     Hummer Boy ·     Hurry Up Jeannie ·     Ideal Cash ·     Idylwood Phoenix ·     Igotthegasthetolls ·     Ikester Lavec ·     Im The Money ·     Island Flower ·     J D's Dragon ·     J. B. Nero ·     Jake's Nordic ·     Japa's Grand Gal ·     Jedrik Hanover ·     Jeremiah ·     JK LETSHANGON ·     Jody's Pearl ·     Jovial Whisper ·     Juan Miguel ·     Just Win Baby ·     Justy ·     Kaa Dee Elmo ·     kasstastic ·     Kathy's B.G ·     KD'S Bounty Hunter ·     Kendra Oaks ·     King Boogaloo ·     Kiowa Moon ·     Kirksbackincourt ·     Kiss'M Goodby Sam ·     Kisses Sweet ·     Lady D Kosmos ·     Lainies Choice ·     Lake Club ·     Lantern's Law ·     Lassy's Sand Chaser ·     Le Cheesecake ·     Learjet ·     Lets Go Get Em ·     Letthegamesbegin ·     Limestone Ridge N ·     Lip Tattoo Mare ·     Little Rosey ·     Logans A Winner ·     Lotsa Chrome ·     LOVE N STREET ·     Lovemaker K ·     Lucy Montcalm ·     Machonthewildside ·     Macie the farmer ·     Majestic Echos ·     Major Mahogony ·     Major Stand ·     Man Among Men ·     Mare unknown ·     Mario's Discovery ·     Matt's Smokin Lil ·     MCKY D ·     Mikesells Dream ·     Miss Bonnie Nicol ·     Miss Tagliabue ·     Mockingbyrd Hill ·     Mohawk Shy Star ·     Mokey ·     Mollie Muggins ·     Moment Like This ·     Moonstruck's Friend ·     More Sugar Added ·     Mr Bell ·     My Pal ·     Mystical Deal ·     Nasty by Nature ·     Naughty Nancy ·     NF Brookline ·     Nights High Ball ·     Nike Ambro ·     Noble Buster ·     Noble Fashion ·     Noble Marshall ·     Nod Ya Head ·     Northern Patriot ·     Not Arthur ·     Nova SS ·     Novel's Finale ·     Now You See Her ·     NYStateofMind ·     Old Bob ·     Old Guy ·     Olive Goil ·     On Cue ·     Organizer ·     Oxford Sport ·     Party Lights ·     Patty's Girl ·     Peace and Love ·     Peace Rules ·     Perfect Bubbles ·     Phil Bambino ·     Phillipedes ·     Pipe ·     Pleasemesleazy ·     Pleasure Valley ·     Pocket Money ·     Power Eagle ·     Powerful Ball ·     Premier Luck ·     Prince Argon ·     Princetown Tyler ·     Psycho Chicken A ·     Queen of Cam ·     R K Redneck ·     R Lucky Dakota ·     R M Fantasie ·     Rader Dan ·     Rader Detector ·     RC Focus ·     Real Bullets ·     Realist Hanover ·     Red Leader ·     Revenge Again ·     Riklees Cash Deal ·     Rob's Thunder ·     Royal Flag T ·     Royalton Star ·     Rubis Du Faubourg ·     Rubys Bob ·     Rucker Place ·     Ruff Stuff Jackson ·     Ruffles and Lace ·     Ruthie Ruthless N ·     S S Hummer ·     Sailingon The Edge ·     Samspace ·     Samurai's Revenge ·     Sand Avaland ·     Sandys Candystore ·     Scarfie N ·     Seawind Perry ·     Secret Assured ·     Seymour Sam ·     Shark Claws ·     Shark Tank ·     Shelby's Sweetie ·     ShouldITellYa ·     Sid's Mystery ·     Sierra's Secret ·     Sir Gawain ·     SlapYoMomma ·     Smokey Song ·     Smokin Jacket ·     Snowy ·     So Shanelle ·     Soft And Sweet ·     Spinthrift Hanover ·     Spokesman ·     Sprewell ·     srf mascot / jerry ·     SRF's Lady Ray ·     Star Recruit ·     Stare Down ·     Steve's Got Plenty ·     Stirling Bravado ·     Stone Tree ·     Stormy Leon ·     Striking Yarri ·     Sudden Interest ·     Swingin Glory ·     T G Rev ·     T-N-T Dozer ·     Taft ·     Tag 030 ·     Tag 3140 from Bastrop ·     Tag 37 ·     Tag 388 "Unregistered Gelding" ·     Tag 4303 ·     Tag 4560 ·     Tag 4962 ·     Tag 527 ·     Tag 5527 ·     Tag 6551 ·     Tag 695 ·     Tag 9096 ·     Tag 9118 ·     Tag 9584 ·     Terrific Ann ·     Tesori ·     Thatll Be Hot ·     The Lighter Side ·     The Rail Message ·     Three Bee's ·     Tiki Time ·     Too Bad Ellie ·     Too Boisterous ·     Tortuga Bay ·     Towel Time ·     Towne Hoss ·     Townline Roll On ·     Toy Factory ·     Tractor Charlie ·     Traindenfer Semalu ·     Trooper Bob ·     Trotzilla ·     Tyler's Legend ·     Tylers Bella ·     Tzarina ·     Ugottahaveheart ·     Unregistered Aged Gelding ·     Vacation hall ·     Val's Jeannie ·     Valatact ·     Valentine ·     Velvet Glove ·     Victory Chief ·     Viking Serenade ·     Vincenne ·     Wanna Roll ·     War King Ton ·     Warrior's Law ·     Way of Life A ·     Weapons Dealer ·     Whitesand Sakic ·     Wilson ·     Winbak Zoom ·     Winco Buddy ·     Windestructable ·     Windsong's Queen ·     WindsongCopacabana ·     Windy City Toots ·     Winnaspur ·     Winning Ways ·     Woodmere Somterror ·     Wynsum Princess ·     Yankee Slugger ·     You'll Be A Hit    AdoptaHorse.org, for questions please email SRFhorsesandkids@gmail.com, or call 609 738 3255. PO Box 312, Millstone Twp., NJ 08535. This an emergency.    Standardbred Retirement Foundation provides humane care and services for horses in need of lifetime homes, and in crisis, through rehabilitation, training, adoption, life-long follow-up or life-time sanctuary, and offers therapeutic equine opportunities for children and adults.   SRF is a 31 year old registered non-profit organization, donations are tax-deductible.       Tammy Cailliau

In her role as a harness racing driver Amy Rees has found herself having to make plenty of adjustments in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, but her challenges extend beyond that. As the Bathurst Harness Racing Club's media manager Rees has also had to come up with plans on how to best perform her job given the new restrictions. With spectators banned from attending all harness racing meetings in New South Wales, the demand to let Bathurst club members and supporters know what unfolds on track has increased. For the finals night of the recent Gold Crown Carnival - a meeting which usually attracts a bumper crowd - it meant winning drivers had to stand at one side of the stage, master of ceremonies Chris Gray at the other while Rees produced a live stream video. "It's been that fine line between trying to do everything we can to keep people interested and informed about what is going on without violating any of the regulations that have been put in," Rees explained. "I've had a lot of people say they really enjoyed all the content that was up there and I think people seem to like the videos I put after the Gold Crown even though there was no crowd. "We've had to put in a lot of regulations and change a lot of things up at the club, but we are lucky enough to still be earning money. "We just have to abide by the rules that have been put in if we want to keep racing for as long as possible." The conduct of trials have been altered, meetings are only being held at six venues across the state, drivers must wear just one set of colours at a meeting, and those attending meetings have to sign a disease declaration form. They are just some of the restrictions, but Rees is happy racing is still on at a time when most sporting codes have been forced to shutdown. "I suppose in the back of my mind I've got this feeling of 'They can't shut us down, they can't shut us down', but in reality they can," she said. "Some days it feels like a bit of a ticking time bomb other days you think about just taking it as it comes and hope for the best. "We've just got to take each day as it comes."   By Anya Whitelaw   Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate

Mike and Dawn McQuoid celebrated their biggest thrill as breeders on Friday night when they cheered home Patronus Star in the Group One Western Australian Derby. Currently in lock down in Roxborough with family, Mike said the family stayed up late to take in the result, win, lose or draw. “We knew it was on and we thought we would have a punt and either make some money, or lose some money. And as it turned out, we made some money,” he laughed. The North Canterbury businessman owns a scrap metal company and has only been involved in harness racing since 2007. He attended an auction for the estate of Bill McDonald with the intention of buying a broodmare. “We purchased Star Command (2000 In The Pocket) as a dry mare for $7000 after being put onto through a mate of ours who had Nursemepocket and she was a close relative. “When she came into the ring, he made sure to turn around and tell us to not let her get away and pay what we needed too to secure her. We probably would have drawn the line somewhere, but we got what we came for in the end,” said McQuoid. On paper the mare doesn’t jump out as mare you have to have, but when you dig a little deeper you soon see this was a family that has a bit more than meets the eye. And as I have since learned, it was a well-respected breed that was damn hard to get into. Star Command was unraced but was out of a full sister to the former Open Class pacer Starship in Venetian Star. Venetian Star and Starship were both by Lordship and the latter took on the town hall company of his era. Bill McDonald did the training of Starship at two, but the colt ran into Tuapeka Knight who we know was nigh on unbeatable as a juvenile. Starship ran second to Tuapeka Knight an incredible eight times, but still won six races including the G3 Forbury Juvenile and amassed $70,000 in stakes. At three and four it didn’t get any easier running into the sensational Dillon Dean and Godfrey. After getting his toes wet in Open Class in 1988, he transferred to the care of John Reedy where was produced fresh up in the Ashburton Flying Stakes having not races since Cup Day the year prior to win the Group 3 ahead of Debbie’s Boy and his old foe Dillon Dean. He ran second in the Flying Stakes a year later and finished second in the 1990 New Zealand Cup behind Neroship. He beat Christopher Vance and Master Musician in the 1991 Kaikoura Cup and was second behind Christopher Vance in the 1991 Auckland Cup. Although he never won a Group One, Starship was there abouts in most of the big races in a tough era of racing, winning over $350,000 and 16 races. He would be tried at stud and despite some fairly good numbers early on, never quite measured up, leaving 39 winners from 209 live foals. Starship’s full sister Venetian Star was unraced, but as her brother was going to war on the track, she was about to leave a star of her own. From her first foal in 1991 she left a Vance Hanover colt by the name of Anvils Star. He never raced at two and waiting for him in the three-year-old ranks was Il Vicolo who was simply a class above. Anvils Star was second to Il Vicolo in the Sires Stakes final in 1994 however and ran with distinction into his Open Class career without ever bagging a Group One. Having won the 96’ Hannon Memorial, he ran 2nd in the New Zealand Cup that year behind Il Vicolo as the rank outside in the field. Soon after he was off to Victoria where in his first three runs on Aussie soil, Anvils Star won the Bendigo cup, ran 2nd in the Victoria Cup behind Desperate Comment and was 2nd a fortnight later in the Hunter Cup behind Surprise Package. On his return home he won the 1998 Waitakere Flying Mile while it was still held at Alexandra Park in a career best 1:54.8, having run fifth in the Auckland Cup four days earlier. He finished his career with $444,000 in stakes and won 15 races. Other good performers from the immediate family of Venetian Star include; Rocket Star ($411,000) Out of a full sister to Star Command in Star Rhapsody Marshal Star ($100,669) Crystal Star ($148,406) Star Friendship ($53,000) What the family lacks in depth it makes up for with some good, tough horses who now with the advent of modern bloodlines, appear to be resurgent with some speed being bred into the breed. Back to the McQuoid’s who bred the Derby winner after having decided to get into the breeding caper as a hobby. “We’ve had the mare at Wai Eyre farm for nearly 13 years now and always go out to see the foals and have raced most of the progeny,” said McQuoid. The first foal they bred from Star Command was a Bettor’s Delight colt who didn’t want to be a pacer. “Kairanga Star was a high gaited thing and a wee bit crazy on it and was sent down to the road to Joe Clementson and is possibly still there, “he laughed. The second foal they bred by American Ideal was much better and was to be the McQuoid’s first horse at the races and kick start a bit of success in the 2014/15 season. “He won three in a row with Phil Burrows and then won the Futurity on Show Day which was a bit of a buzz and shortly after that race we sold him to Perth. “He ended up running third in the Golden Nugget at his first start behind Libertybelle Midfrew,” said McQuoid. He would win $145,000 and 12 races in W.A where he finished his career. The same season Billies A Star came on the scene, the friend (Ray Churches) who had talked the McQuoid’s into the breed did a deal on a mare of his own from the same family, albeit a different taproot. “He wasn’t going to serve his mare called Nurseme Pocket (In The Pocket – Star Mystery) so I agreed to breed a few with him,” said McQuoid. “We bred her to Real Desire and got Gracious Star who was a bloody nice mare (won four at four) until she had a freak injury in the Harness Jewels mares’ race and broke her front leg,” he said. Although the season finished on a sour note, the McQuoid’s had a year to remember in 2015 winning eight races in total. The next mating of his own mare was to Rocknroll Hanover who at $20,000 didn’t come cheap. “Perfect Circle won one race, but she was just a wee dot and wasn’t very big, but we gave her away as a hack. Someone recently asked me where she is and she’s enjoying life as a riding horse for a young girl. Better someone else be having a bit of fun with her but she could be bred from one day,” he laughed. “We actually got a discount mating to Four Starzz Shark for having bred our mare to Rocknroll Hanover and we used it on Ray Churches mare to get Mista Shark. “He was a nice horse who we sold to Perth and he actually won the San Simeon Final (G2) the same night Lazarus won the Interdominion Final at Gloucester Park,” he said. After missing with American Ideal to Star Command in 2014, the McQuoid’s waited another two years before serving their mare with the same sire. The resultant foal produced a full brother to Billie’s A Star and last week’s WA Derby winner, Patronus Star. “We originally had our progeny trained by Phil Burrows but when Ronnie Dawe sold his property and Phil went to work at the Dunn’s, we sent Patronus to Gavin Smith,” said McQuoid. Gavin Smith had done a lot of the driving for the McQuoid’s charges in their brief time racing horses, so it wasn’t a completely new association for either party. Smith always felt the horse would improve with time, and potentially the style of racing, but admits he never saw Derby potential. “I couldn’t have said he’d win the derby, but he was a really nice horse that was just coming to it after needing time to strengthen. “His two starts at Blenheim without a trial we’re super. He was very much on the up as American ideals tend to do with time and they seem to thrive in Perth as long as they have speed, which he did,” said Smith. Patronus Star barely went a bad race in New Zealand before going to WA. He won his second start at Timaru after placing on debut, ran third on Cup Day behind Ascalabus paying $17 a place and did a nice job on the Blenheim circuit with a win and a second over the two-day meeting. Patronus Star won fresh up over a mile at Bunbury in a 1:53 mile rate and was sent out a $7.50 chance in the Derby a week later. In what was an enthralling race with several tactical moves, Gary Hall Jnr launched the favourite, Major Martini with a lap to go making a line of three setting up a third quarter of 27.3. Patronus Star was sitting four the pegs and sweating a run which never came until several runners tired on the final bend. With plenty of work to do, Patronus Star gobbled them up right down the outside to nail a gallant Major Martini on the wire. Having celebrated their greatest breeding achievement under the constraints of the Covid19 lockdown, the next goal for the McQuoid’s is understandably to get their Group One producer back in foal. “We couldn’t get her in foal this year, but we will be going to American Ideal this coming season,” Said McQuoid. With the stallion now Vic Bred eligible, the resultant progeny will have a lot of value on both sides of the tasman.   By Brad Reid Read more articles like this in the Breeders Update: www.bit.ly/BreedersUpdate78 Subscribe here: www.bit.ly/SignUpBU 

One of the good guys of harness racing in the strong Bathurst region, Bernie Hewitt, reached a memorable milestone recently at his home track. Hewitt, who is based at nearby Georges Plains, watched talented youngster Iamajoyride (Lincoln Royal NZ-Onajoyride (Grinfromeartoear USA) take out the 2yo Gold Tiara Consolation event. The victory was Hewitt’s 1500th as a trainer, but it probably had added significance with the horse being owned by his wife Cath and driven by their eldest son Jason. “I must be honest and say that I don’t keep records and I really had no idea until I was told that someone had posted it on Facebook,” Hewitt said. “It was a nice surprise. I’ve been at it for a while though, probably over 36 years,” he said. “I grew up with horses and once it’s in your blood, it’s there to stay. But on reflection, I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do anyway.” Hewitt grew up with his two brothers Mark (now based at Grenfell) and David (Goulburn) and their sister Jenna (married to Grant Picker, of Bigga). Their parents Tom and Angela owned farmland at Crookwell. “We were brought up with sheep, especially fat lambs, as well as merinos. Dad also had cattle, but got rid of those in the drought of 1972,” Bernie said. “There was also the horses and dad raced a few nice ones, including Nikalong Shadow who won 10 races as a two-year-old and about just as many as a three-year-old. He also stood quite a number at stud.” Nikalong Shadow (Shadow Star-Tondara Queen (Duke Duane USA) continued to show his brilliance as an older horse, winning many feature races in the metropolitan areas as well as on the country cups circuit. He finished with 45 wins and 50 placings for $271,000. Hewitt said in his younger days there was always plenty of farm work to do and he also learnt the art of shearing. “But it was the horses that all of us got interested in. I suppose you could say that we all got the bug,” he said. “All of us, my brothers and Jenna and their families are right into it. My sister and her husband have four boys and they are all involved one way or another.” Hewitt has a 90-acre property which includes a 700m jog track and a 800m fastwork track, as well as stabling and plenty of paddocks. He has been a full-time trainer for the past 20 years. “We are a family affair.  My wife Cath’s always giving us a helping hand, and our boys Jason and Doug, and our daughter Gemma are here every day, too, either with training, fast work or breaking-in youngsters,” he said. “Doug and myself have been doing a lot of the driving, but with Jason back after a stint in Queensland and Gemma doing trials driving and hoping to become licensed, there could be a bit of jostling when it comes time to do the race nominations down the track. “It’s been good to have Jason back, though, because he’s had a win and a second on Iamajoyride and he’s also a farrier so I’m more than happy to share that workload with him!” Hewitt said while there were hardships around racing at the moment, it was at least an opportunity for everyone to earn something. “The authorities are doing a great job in keeping the industry going because a lot of us thought it may have been closed by now,” he said . “All of our racing up here is at Bathurst and with big numbers of horses, there’s some missing out with balloting. We also can’t travel to Menangle with our better horses, but the main thing is that we are still operating.” Hewitt, who enjoys nothing better than a few beers and a catch-up with family and friends (when social distancing rules permit!), is sure to keep the winners rolling in. But as for keeping tabs on records, well that’s a different story!   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Morisset reinsman Jack Callaghan savoured a special win on Yourblueyescrying as part of a harness racing career-best five victories at one meeting at Newcastle Paceway on Monday. The 18-year-old, who dominated Hunter Valley pacing in 2018-19 with 50 victories in his first full season, had just one winning treble before Monday's breakthrough success on the eight-race card. He guided Miss Ciriello, Yourblueyescrying, Repartee, Misterfire and For The Bettor to wins in consecutive events. To watch the replay of Miss Cirello click here To watch the replay of Yourblueyescrying click here To watch the replay of Repartee click here To watch the replay of Misterfire click here To watch the replay of For The Bettor click here "I thought I had a pretty good book going into it but you never expect to have days like them, so it was good to pull it off," Callaghan said. The 1.5-metre win of Yourblueyescrying, trained by Chris Bourke, was a highlight for Callaghan. The mare was bred and is owned by Dean Latter and his late wife Anne Bourke, who died in February when hit by a car while crossing a road at Heddon Greta. Yourblueyescrying had not won since July 2018. "That was a pretty special win," Callaghan said. "Dean and the rest of the family were rapt with that and I was just lucky to be a part of a special win like that." Callaghan started his winning streak with the Margot Lennox-trained Miss Ciriello. "She's racing really well at the moment and when she gets into the lead or a forward position, she seems to really relish that," he said. "Margot has her going really good at the moment and it was good to get a win on her." Jack's father, Mark, trains Repartee and For The Bettor, while Misterfire, which hung on in a photo finish, is trained by Joe Clark. "It was good to get a win for Joe, he's a mate of ours and he really enjoyed it," Jack said.   By Craig Kerry   Reprinted with permission of The Newcastle Herald

April 5, 2020 - Top harness racing action on the weekend was Saturday at Jagersro and Sunday at Umaker. First at Jagersro was the V75 Silver for a purse of 24,496€ and raced over 2140 meters autostart. Prosperous (6g Prodigious-Glorify-Super Arnie) was victorious timed in 1.13.5kr for pilot Bjorn Goop, trainer Henk Grift and owner Draviet Stables. This 3.5/1 odds winner scored from post 12 in this his fourth straight victory. Niky Flak (7g Love You) and Can Lane (7g Pastor Stephen) trailed Prosperous. On the L.C. Peterson-Broddas Minne 2020 (purse 29,272€, 2140 meters autostart, 12 starters) the 4.2/1 odds Cyber Lane (7g Raja Mirchi-Sybaris Hanover-Cantab Hall) scored in 1.11.4kr with trainer Johan Untersteiner at the lines. Levaux AB owns the winner that was making his first start this year. Velvet Gio (6g Nad Al Sheba-Mind Wise As-Lemon Dra) was second for Carl Johan Jepson and Tae Kwon Deo (5m Muscle Hill-Brigham Dream-Kaisy Dream) was third for Adrian Kolgjini. Cyber Lane There were several other interesting winners on the program. Rajesh Face (7g Raja Mirchi-Nippy Girl-Ginger Somolli) took the Summer Meeting Monte (purse 8,767€, 1640 meters autostart) in a quick 1.11.8kr with Sofia Adolfsson the jockey. The Derby Trial 2020 (purse 29,271€, 2640 meters autostart, four year olds) saw a 1.15.7kr timed victory to Upset Face (4m Joke Face-Iona LB-Supergill) reined by trainer Adrian Kolghjini. Power (4m Googoo Gaagaa) was second for Robert Bergh. The Klass I event (purse 21.679€, 1640 meters autostart) went to 1.11.7kr timed and 2.1/1 odds Van Gogh ZS (6m Love You-Oyapock Oaks-Andover Hall) with trainer Robert Bergh the pilot. In an event for three-year olds (purse 12,367€, 2140 meters autostart) the 2.8/1 odds Gilmore Trot (3m Muscle Hill-Caddie Geisha-Love You) scored in 1.16.6kr for trainer/driver Peter Untersteiner. This was his second straight victory in as many outings. Looking ahead, on April 10 at Farjestad is the Prins Carl Philips Jubileumspokal and it has drawn ten entrants including Italy’s Varenne Fas in a likely competitive group. On April 5th racing at Umaker was center stage with a host of good races. Shown below are Amperage Hanover and the Tap In roan daughter Redhot Tap Dancer. Trotting in Sweden has continued and has drawn excellent following on the ATG and PMU networks. Resumption of racing in France has been rumored to begin April 21, however, prominent industry players question that rumor. Amperage Hanover Redhot Tap Dancer   Thomas H. Hicks  

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