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Owners of mares in foal that are based in New Jersey are reminded that the deadline to register a mare for the 2018 foaling season to the Standardbred Development Fund is February 28. The registration fee is $100 and the mare registration forms are available on the New Jersey Sire Stakes All checks should be made payable to the New Jersey Sire Stakes and mailed to New Jersey Sire Stakes, P.O. Box 330, Trenton, NJ 08625. Registered mail is encouraged to be certain that the envelope is postmarked no later than February 28. Any questions or requests for further information can be directed to Chris Castens, NJSS Executive Director at 609-292-8830 or to  

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

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Last week's sub-zero wind chills forced the cancellation of harness racing at the Meadowlands, but with forecasts calling for temperatures in the 50s, the Big M returns this Friday night offering some opportunities to hit big on the 14-race card. That's when bettors will have a guaranteed pool of $125,000 to shoot for in the track's Pick 5 wager, which gets underway in Race 3. The bet requires a player to correctly select the winners of Races 3 through 7 and has a base wager of 50 cents. The conclusion of the Pick 5 when the track last raced on the final Saturday of 2017 resulted in a carryover of $28,786, which served as the catalyst for the Big M - in partnership with United States Trotting Association Strategic Wagering - to offer the huge pool promise. Program pages for all Pick 5 races, as well as the $50,000 guaranteed Pick 4 (3 through 11) will be available on the wagering tab at, courtesy of Track Master. Live racing at the Meadowlands takes place every Friday and Saturday evening and has a first race post time of 6:35 p.m. Meadowlands Media Relations  

Trenton, NJ --- The sound of a 2006 Chevy Malibu can be heard roaring along the drive and, suddenly, a bevy of cats emerge from seemingly everywhere to greet the driver. It’s meal time for the felines at harness racing's training center Gaitway Farm in New Jersey. The vehicle’s passengers are Marion Sumpf and Liz Horvath, both known for their work as caretakers, who have been guardian angels for feral cats at the farm for the past eight years, as well as the now defunct Showplace Farms. Marion has retired recently and Liz is on disability. The two are currently feeding 28 cats that have either been dumped off or just appeared at the farm. Rather than take them to a shelter, where they would perish if not adopted, they look out for them. Since ferals do not get along with humans, most of the cats hide in the trees and brush at the end of the back barn. But they wait for the humming of that specific engine.   USTA/Ken Weingartner photo Marion Sumpf and Liz Horvath have been guardian angels for feral cats at Gaitway Farm for the past eight years. “It’s amazing, they know the sound of my car and they all come running like a herd of elephants,” Sumpf said. “It’s pretty cool. “They learn to know who feeds them. It’s not me that they like. There’s a few I can pick up and pet, but the majority are pretty scared. They’ll come when the food is down but as soon as you try to pet them or something, they’re gone. They come right back when I back off. They’re associated with the sound of this car. ‘Oh, here comes the food person, it’s time to eat, let’s rock.’ They come from every corner.” But as much as they like the food, most don’t care to show thanks. “You’re not going to grab them and play with them,” said Sumpf, who worked as a groom at Ron Burke’s stable before retiring. “We may have a few like that, but the majority you can’t pet them and carry on or you’re liable to have cut marks.” Sumpf and Horvath don’t do it to be loved. They do it because they feel it’s the right thing to keep these animals alive and healthy. Part of that is to make sure they don’t multiply and, over the years, have paid out of their own pockets to have them neutered and spayed. Fortunately, they have had help. A few years ago Gaitway paid to have a dozen fixed. Trainers and grooms at the farm have supplied food; remnants of grocery store rotisserie chickens are a favorite with the feline set. Several grooms and trainers on the farm have donated money; Dr. Patty Hogan ran a youth clinic at her clinic and in lieu of tuition, each attendee was asked to bring cat food that was donated to the cause; and an equine veterinarian who requests anonymity helps out by neutering male cats free of charge. But with so many animals, ranging from kittens on up, a big financial burden still falls on Sumpf and Horvath, who refuse to let the cats suffer or perish. “We’ve been doing it just because somebody needs to do it,” Sumpf said. “There’s always the people that say, ‘Phooey on them, just drown them or whatever.’ That’s just normal, sadly. But they don’t go a day without getting fed. They get canned food and dry cat food every day.” While at Showplace, the farm manager kept tabs on the cats and would let the women know whenever a new one came along. At Gaitway it has been more of a team effort, which it needed, as the farm was over-run with cats when Sumpf and Horvath arrived. They managed to track them and get them fixed to put a hold on reproduction; but cats still show up out of nowhere. “A lot of the grooms and some of the trainers will let us know if there’s a cat we don’t recognize that has appeared,” said Sumpf, who has four of the cats from Showplace living with her. While traps are their preferred method of capture, both Horvath and Sumpf have had to resort to netting cats that refuse to come out of barn rafters. “We’ll round them up and get them fixed,” she says. “Sometimes they’ll help us pay for it. What happens is, if you don’t get a handle on it, you can have one female have four or five litters a year. If you multiply that and they have five kittens, that’s a lot of cats. “A lot of it has been our money. Gaitway did help us fix a bunch, and different clinics have helped us. But we still have to take them to people, pay the gas and tolls, pay for the food.” One would think Sumpf would wish to find homes for all the cats to defer her costs; and she has indeed given some away to folks who want them for their farms. But Marion would rather a person’s first choice be to adopt from a shelter, which euthanizes animals if they do not find homes for them after a certain amount of time. “We ourselves will not take any to be euthanized,” Sumpf said. “There are so many in shelters that are so inexpensive, I would almost rather them go there if they want to adopt one. It’s not that I’m against them adopting from us, but I feel so bad when I look online how many get killed at shelters every year. It drives me nuts.” Sumpf noted there are several groups in the Millstone, N.J. area -- where she lives -- that do this sort of thing. “We’re not trying to make an occupation out of this,” she said. “There are just so many of them, it’s just sad. People should just do the right thing; they’d really put a kink in it. At least try to keep them from having more, that’s the whole thing. “I just think it’s a necessity. If we don’t do it, who’s going to? We’ll keep doing it for as long as we’re around here.” Anyone wishing to donate funding for spaying and neutering as needed, cat food or gift cards to Tractor Supply, Petco, or any store selling cat food, to this worthy cause can do so by emailing Sumpf and Horvath at by Rich Fisher, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

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

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - New Meadowlands Racetrack is pleased to announce that Dave Little has been added to the Big M's television and media relations staffs. His first appearance will be during this evening's nine-race harness racing card that gets underway at 7:15 p.m. Little will serve as the primary co-host (alongside Dave Brower) and occasional host of the track's award-winning nightly simulcast production that is seen in every venue that takes action on Meadowlands racing. He'll serve in the same capacity on the "Racing from the Meadowlands" replay show, which can be seen on SportsNet New York (SNY) after a live race card. The long-time harness racing aficionado will also be responsible to send out the nightly release that recaps the evening's action. "We are happy to have Dave back at the Meadowlands," said track chief operating officer and general manager Jason Settlemoir. "Dave did plenty of TV work at the track years ago, and more recently, did our morning-line odds and program analysis. He has been a patron of the Meadowlands for nearly four decades and we are looking forward to having him - and that wealth of experience he brings - on our team." Little was a long-time newspaperman, first handicapping both harness and thoroughbred races for the New York Post before moving on to the New York Daily News, where he served as racing editor, columnist and handicapper for 24 years. He is the Grand Circuit Week track announcer at Goshen (N.Y.) Historic Track and also calls the action every year at the Orleans County Fair in Barton, Vermont. By Meadowlands Media Relations  

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands puts up eleven live races on Friday with harness racing twin-features coming up as races 6 and 7, full and competitive fields of trotters and pacing mares each for a purse of $11,000.   Patti and Rob Harmon do a lot of racing at The Meadowlands through the winter months, on Friday they bring no fewer than eight horses to race including a pair that go as an uncoupled entry in the sixth race.   Quick Deal is one of those and has been tabbed as the morning line favorite for the race. The speedy but erratic nine-year-old has been to the mountain top earlier in his career with a fast 1:51.4 record and $400,000 in the bank. He faced the top trotters in the game during his most productive years but breaks, particularly at the gate, have been his undoing on many occasions. Owners Our Horse Cents Stable and Rossie Smith have had Quick Deal in several top barns trying to unlock the mystery behind his self destructive tendencies and thus far the Harmon experiment has gone well.   In last week's race Jim Marohn, Jr settled Quick Deal into the pocket until the stretch and when called upon the old horse had plenty to get the 1:55.1 score. The pair had drawn post six and move up a class on Friday but if he's on his game Quick Deal appears to be the one to beat.   The usual array of dining options are available to you should you choose to attend live and if not free program pages and a plethora of guaranteed pools await your remote wagering dollars.   Post time is 7:15 p.m.   NO NEED TO BE A BIG FISH TO SWIM IN BIG M PICK 10 POOL If you think you have to bet big or be part of a syndicate to rake the pot in the Meadowlands' new 20 Cent Survivor Pick 10 wager, you've got it all wrong. The early returns are in on the Big M's challenging new bet, and not only is it popular, but the results prove that a small player can hit a nice ticket if they can survive and advance. “Thus far (through nine days),” said Meadowlands chief operating officer and general manager Jason Settlemoir. “The average winning ticket paid $6,552 with an average ticket cost of $80.82. One of our sharp patrons hit a winning ticket when he or she invested only 80 cents.” The wager calls for a handicapper to select the winner of the first race. If they do that, they advance to the second. Then the third, and so on until no "survivor" remains, with that patron or patrons taking home the cash. Those looking to jump into the Pick 10 pool when racing resumes tonight have one less race to worry about as the nine-race program – as well as the Survivor Pick 9 – gets underway at 7:15 p.m. Through the end of December, the Big M will race Thursday through Saturday. Post time is 7:15 p.m.   Nick Salvi  

East Rutherford, NJ - Live harness racing returns to The Meadowlands on Thursday with a nine race offering set to begin at 7:15 p.m.   The program features full fields including two divisions of the popular GSY Driving Club events and a carry-over of more than $35,000 in the last race Jackpot Super Hi-5 wager.   Racing Secretary Pete Koch has taken a page from the Thoroughbred condition book and written a short Starter Allowance series. The second of two preliminary legs goes on Thursday where twenty-two declarations resulted in a pair of eleven horse fields with returning winners Esprit De Kayjay A and May I Cruise West among the entrants.   Access expert selections and free program pages from The Meadowlands website.   The Meadowlands will race live Thursday through Saturday for the balance of December with post time set for 7:15 p.m. each card.   Nick Salvi

The New Jersey General Assembly reportedly approved proposed legislation last week that would allow the state’s three horseracing tracks to sign deals with Atlantic City casinos in order to offer online gambling to race-goers. According to a report from FlushDraw, the lower house in Trenton passed Assembly Bill 4255 by a vote of 60 to twelve with one abstention on Thursday and the measure is now destined to go before the 40-member and Democratic-controlled New Jersey Senate for further consideration. G3Newswire reported that New Jersey legalized online gambling in November of 2013 and the industry has so far generated aggregated revenues of around $682.6 million with some $119.4 million of this going to the state including approximately $3.6 million in October alone. However, current regulations reportedly forbid any land-based venue located outside of Atlantic City from offering real-money online gambling but Assembly Bill 4255 would alter this prohibition by creating a special carve-out for horseracing tracks such as Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport. The legislation purportedly envisages permitting such locations, which would continue to be prevented from offering slots and table games, to create bespoke areas where punters could wager over the Internet between race sessions. Assembly Bill 4255 reportedly states that thoroughbred and harness racing tracks in New Jersey would be allowed to ‘enter into an agreement with a casino located in Atlantic City or such a casino’s Internet gaming affiliate’ in order to make their premises ‘available as a venue at which the holder of an Internet gaming account may place wagers at casinos using the Internet’. According to a report from The Associated Press news service published by The Providence Journal newspaper, Ralph Caputo, a Democratic member of the New Jersey General Assembly, stated that Assembly Bill 4255 is a way to ‘bring more traffic into the racetracks’ as they ‘need it desperately’. Dennis Drazin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Monmouth Park Racetrack, reportedly told The Associated Press that he is hoping the proposed legislation receives the full support of the casino industry as ‘absolutely nothing will happen unless they agree to allow it through an agreement with a track’. “Nobody is forcing anything on them,” Drazin reportedly told The Associated Press. “This is really a win-win for the racing industry and the casino industry.” By Adam Morgan Reprinted with permission of World Casino News

The Meadowlands has a couple of good reasons to take a hard look at Friday's harness racing card with a $17,117.45 carryover in the Pick 5 (races 2-6) that will likely result in an inflated pool with takeout negated to around $115,000. It is a fifty cent base wager.   Another attraction is the last race 20 cent Super Jackpot Hi 5 with the jackpot pool now over $30,000.   You may access free program pages for these wagers compliments of The Meadowlands and Trackmaster.   Saturday Night at The Meadowlands   The Meadowlands' Saturday night card offers a dozen pari-mutuel puzzlers for those horseplayers questing for value. The fields are solid in size and quality with the better classes for pacers and trotters alike being concentrated on the Saturday card.   Jody Reidel's Can Do is a contender in the fifth race $13,000 conditioned trot. Can Do has been in Jody's barn for some time now and the 8-year-old shows up pretty much every week to do his work. In 39 starts this season Can Do has won 7 and been on the board in 21 of them for earnings of $83,325 and only recently crept past the half million dollar mark in career earnings. He'll begin from post four on Friday with Anthony Napolitano in the sulky.   Always At My Place (PP #4) will look to repeat in the pacing feature for the top trainer/driver team of Ron Burke and Yannick Gingras in the $17,500 third race. Gingras floated Always At My Place from the gate, ground to the front past a 26.4 opening quarter then set an honest pace using a 27.3 close to hold Art History at bay in 1:50.4. Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Karr and Phil Collura share ownership of the career winner of more than $750,000.   Pink offers a delightful buffet and a grand view of the racing action for the hungry handicapper.   Post time is 7:15 p.m. on both nights.   Nick Salvi

East Rutherford, NJ - Friday night at The Meadowlands brings eleven overnight races led by the $17,500 final of the popular "Dash for the G-Note" short series. That race comes up as the seventh on the harness racing card, kicking off the $50,000 Guaranteed Late Pick 4 Pool.   Ron Burke sends three entries out in pursuit of the top prize including ten-year-old class-master Ideal Matters, a recent addition to the barn. Ideal Matters (PP #9) has raced the best around the East coast for the past few seasons then finally found the claimers a few weeks ago and eventually was transferred via a private purchase.   The fresh surroundings apparently agreed with him (a perfect trip from driver Anthony Napolitano certainly didn't hurt) as he dashed from the pocket to wear down 1-5 race favorite Kotare Yael N for a comfortable win with something left.   Ideal Matters now races in the Burke stable colors for the interests of the trainer as Burke Racing, LLC in partnership with Weaver Bruscemi, LLC and Napolitano retains the drive on Friday.   Moonlight Ransom collected his first win of the 2017 season in last week's elim and has drawn well, starting from post three on Friday. Moonlight has shown steady improvement since joining the Jenn Bongiorno stable for owner Michael Singer and is poised to contend for driver Simon Allard.   Justified is the third horse returning off a win last week for trainer-driver Eric Abbatiello. Another "War-Horse" the nine-year-old winner of nearly a third million dollars went the fastest mile in the elims when he crossed the wire in 1:52.2. He races in the familiar colors of The Red Man Stable.   Promotions-wise The Meadowlands is in holiday mode with the direction being cash for the giving season. Friday it's that old chestnut "Money Machine Fever", a true fan favorite, that is not to be missed.   The fun starts at 7:15 p.m.   There will be a Pick Five carryover at the Meadowlands Friday for the second straight week. $17,117.45 will be added to the pool tomorrow that covers Races 2-6. It carries a 50-cent base wager and a low 15-percent takeout rate. Free pps for Friday’s Pick 5 can be found here - In other Meadowlands wagering news the Early Pick 4 (Races 3-6) returned $10,625.    Nick Salvi    

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

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (December 1, 2017) - Horseplayers will be treated to a Saturday night special at the Meadowlands thanks to a series of harness racing longshots triggered a Pick Five carryover of $18,646 on Friday. The Friday night Pick Five featured zero winning favorites and winners that paid $34.80, $37.40, $6.20, $16.40, and $23.20. With an always-low 15-percent takeout, Saturday's carryover sequence will have an effective takeout of zero with up to $124,310 in the pool. This provides horseplayers with their ideal scenario - a large pool with zero or negative takeout. Saturday's sequence covers Races 2 - 6 and features fields with an average of 8.6 wagering interests. Free past performance pages are available here The parade of longshots also led to a lone winning ticket worth more than $14,000 in the new Pick 10 Survivor wager and an Early Pick Four that paid $3,893. Jim Marohn, Jr. and trainer Patti Harmon teamed up to win four races on the card. Live racing continues Saturday with a 7:15 p.m. post time. For more information, visit Justin Horowitz

East Rutherford, NJ - With stakes racing concluded for 2017 the Winter Meet kicks off at The Meadowlands on Friday evening with an 11 race overnight harness racing card and a dozen more on tap for Saturday.   Friday's offering features optimum field size and competitive groups. With the recent closing of Pocono and Plainridge there are horses and drivers coming from every direction making for some real pari-mutuel puzzlers.   Among the drivers on the Friday card is Anthony Napolitano who took the crown as leading driver of the 2016 Winter-Spring meet in his first extended stay at The Meadowlands. Anthony put together an impressive run, enjoying remarkable success over the mile oval without the benefit of a top barn to drive for. As a result he became a favorite of the longshot player by bringing in an inordinate number of winners at long odds.   Misfortune struck soon after that accomplishment was realized when Anthony sustained a serious injury to his back in a racing accident at Pocono at the end of May keeping him out of the sulky for two months and compromising his season.   A winner of nearly 2,500 races in a career that began in 2001, Anthony recovered gradually and put together another solid season at Pocono in 2017 and has over $2.4 million on his card in 2017.   On Friday Napolitano picked up drives in 10 of the 11 races, including a couple for perennial leading trainer Ron Burke which can only help his quest to resume Big M success.   Another live steer is on Lauderdale in the featured seventh race trot who Napolitano steered to a career best 1:53.1 win this spring for trainer Jonas Czernyson. The strapping seven-year-old career winner of over $400,000 is getting class relief and has drawn post nine on Friday for owner Millstream Farms.   All of the Meadowlands signature guaranteed wagers are in place for Friday including the Survivor Pick 10, Pick 5 and pair of Pick 4's and the 11th race Jackpot Hi 5 carry-over pool is up to nearly $25,000.   Program pages for some exotics and Dave Brower's race reviews are available at no cost via The Meadowlands website.   Post Time is 7:15 p.m.   Nick Salvi    

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (November 14, 2017) - All harness racing drivers that compete at the Meadowlands are required to attend a meeting with Meadowlands chairman Jeff Gural, GM/COO Jason Settlemoir, and Presiding Judge John Tomasello on Saturday, November 18 at 6:15 p.m. The meeting will take place in the racing office. The mandatory drivers-only meeting will cover a variety of house rules and policies at the Meadowlands. Drivers are asked to contact the race office with any questions. For more information, visit Justin Horowitz

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (November 11, 2017) - Week Two of the new Pick 10 Survivor harness racing wager at the Meadowlands picked up steam as the pool size increased to $16,188, up nearly 40 percent from its debut. While 33 tickets shared in the bounty last week, one single survivor took down the entire pool (minus 15 percent takeout) on Saturday for a $13,751.26 score on the 20-cent winning combination. The ticket was purchased through Unlike last week when a longshot eliminated 93 percent of the tickets after Race 1, odds-on favorites scored in the first two races of the evening. Favorites were defeated in the next three races, leaving just 44 tickets alive heading into Race 6. 3-to-5 favorite Express Stride scored in the sixth race, but only 13 tickets were still alive at that point. Race 7 served as the Saturday night feature. Some Attitude, a 3-year-old taking on older competitors, turned in the race of his life with a front-end score in 1:50.1 on a 32-degree evening. The win was his fifth in seven starts since moving to trainer Jackie Greene. The 7/2 wagering choice was one of three wins on the evening for Marcus Miller, but more importantly, only one live ticket in the Pick 10 Survivor used Some Attitude, leading to the five-figure score. Earlier in the night, highly-touted freshman pacer American History blasted a field of non-winners of two in 1:52.3 to maintain his undefeated record in three starts. The American Ideal colt, trained by Tony Alagna and owned by Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, and American History Racing, will head to the Governor's Cup eliminations scheduled for next Saturday at the Meadowlands. His stablemate and Breeders Crown champion Stay Hungry also tuned up for the Governor's Cup eliminations by winning a Big M qualifier on Saturday in 1:53/:26.3. Total handle on the 12-race card was $2,009,394. Live racing resumes next Saturday with a 7:15 p.m. post time. For more information, visit   Justin Horowitz

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