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EAST RUToHERFORD, NJ - The Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey debuted their Garden State Trot for harness racing 2-year-olds on Saturday (Nov 10) night at the Meadowlands. Battenberg started the night off winning the $50,000 purse in the first race for 2-year-old colt and geldings. Driver Corey Callahan left from post position six to take the lead for every call of the mile. The Joe Holloway trainee nosed out at strong charging Hudson River to stop the clock in 1:56.1. This marks lifetime win number two for the son of Trixton. Owners Crawford Farms Racing and Val D’Or Farms have enjoyed earnings of $66,446 from the New Jersey Bred colt. Hudson River finished a close second with No Drama Please coming in third. The filly trotters took over the stakes action in the third race, battling it out for the $55,000 purse. Andrew McCarthy and Noel Daley teamed up to upset the odds on favorite with Princess Deo. The Trixton filly took the lead in the stretch and held off the competition to win in 1:56.2. This is the fillies third lifetime win earning $173,046 for her owners Deo Volente Farms LLC, Noel Daley, Thomas Pontone and John Fodera. Princess Deo was also bred by Deo Volente Farms LLC of Flemington, NJ. Evident Beauty finished second and Golden Tricks rounded out the trifecta. The SBOANJ applauds it’s Board of Directors Mike Gulotta, owner of Deo Volente Farms, and Thomas Pontone for their continued support and dedication to New Jersey racing. Wishing them them much success in the future. Live racing resumes Friday November 16, 2018 at the Meadowlands with a post time of 7:15 pm. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ  

East Rutherford, NJ - The inaugural edition of a new stake for New Jersey sired 2 year-old trotters christened the "Garden State", a joint effort by the SBOA of NJ and The Meadowlands, will make it's debut on Saturday, November 10.   The colts race in the Saturday opener where three Father Patrick rookies will face three by Trixton for a purse of $50,000.   Reign Of Honor comes in to the Garden State hot on the heels of his mild upset score in last week's $221,540 Kindergarten final. The Father Patrick gelding broke maiden in style with the Grand Circuit stake for owners Deo Volente Farms, Jennifer Dalton Stable and Tom Pontone. Nifty Norman trains and David Miller drives Reign Of Honor.   It is a very competitive group of seven in the $55,000 filly division led by a pair of Trixton fillies, Evident Beauty and Princess Deo, both of whom have been in fine recent form.   Evident Beauty converted the difficult Red Mile double, winning both weeks of Grand Circuit racing in 1:54.4 to go along with her runner up finish in the Peaceful Way. Nifty Norman trains the winner of $178,582 on the year for Mel Hartman, Little E and R A W Equine. Dave Miller has the drive.   Princess Deo raced to a win and a second in Lexington then used a sharp close to nab the place in the Kindergarten filly final. She's at $145,546 seasonally for Deo Volente, Tom Pontone, John Fodera and trainer Noel Daley. Andy McCarthy drives.   The Meadowlands is giving away donuts to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the opening of the new grandstand, stick around for the doughy delights on both Friday and Saturday.   by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands

FREEHOLD, NJ - October 29, 2018 - Freehold Raceway hosted the $15,000 New Jersey Futurity for 3-year-old trotters, sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey. The feature race was held before the regularly scheduled card on Saturday (Oct 27). U Need Stones won the $15,000 purse for trainer Ron Bue rke. Driver George Brennan sent the 3-year-old gelding from post position number two to the front, to lead the competition every step of the way in 2:01.1. The son of Wishing Stone captured lifetime win number eight and earnings of over $150,000 for his owners Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Lawrence Karr, and Phillip Collura. Samis Rolin Stone finished second. Freehold resumes live racing on Friday, November 2, 2018, with a post time of 12:30 pm. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ  

FREEHOLD, NJ - October 22, 2018 - This weekend three $50,000 New Jersey Standardbred Development Fund finals were held at Freehold Raceway. Apollo's Creed kicked off the sires stakes action, taking the NJSDF final for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters. Andy Miller sent the Erv Miller trainee to the front, from post position number three, and lead every call of the mile to stop the clock in 1:58.2. This is lifetime win number five for the son of Muscle Hill. Boosting his earnings to $55,840 for owners Ron Michelon, Daniel Plouffe and J&T Silva Stables LLC. U Need Stones finished second with Allindotime coming in third. The second NJSDF final held on Friday was for 3-year-old filly trotters. Take A Wish trained by Dawn Anderson won in similar fashion to the colts. Driver Steve Smith left from the three hole and lead every step of the way in 1:59.0. This is win number two for the Wishing Stone filly. She has earned $81,845 for her New Jersey based owners Dawn Anderson and Mark Schollstrom. Diamondstone Us came in second with Chapreress finishing third. On Saturday, Thor De Vie took the NJSDF final for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers. Jason Bartlett drove the odds on favorite to the winners circle in 1:55.3 for trainer Ed Hart. This is win number 12 for the So Surreal gelding. Iluvtomakemoney finished second with Fordham Sixty Two coming in third. Freehold resumes live racing Friday October 26, 2018 featuring the New Jersey Futurity for 3-year-old trotters with a post time of 12:30 pm. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ

FREEHOLD, NJ - The Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey's annual board of director's meeting and election was held on Friday (Oct 19) at Freehold Raceway. The committee summary reports were given by board of directors. Mike Gulotta reported that the Pension Funds are benefiting from the change of investment managers with returns better than expected and funds in line with benchmarks. Chris Ryder reported that racing days in New Jersey are still in negotiations however, he is hopeful that 2019 race dates will be similar to the 2018 dates. He also reported that the Benevolent Fund has assisted many members and horsemen with health issues and funeral assistance. Mike Klau reported that over 400 mares were bred in New Jersey this season. Insurance committee head Anthony Romano announced that there will not be any changes to insurance benefits and no increases to premiums for members in 2019. Anthony Perretti reported that TrotPac is continuing to build important relationships with Legislators to help raise awareness to the need for alternative revenue to support our industry and to help push the $20 million dollar appropriation bill through. The board of director election results were announced from the 360 ballots that were received. Mike Gulotta and Richard Meirs were each re-elected in the breeder category as they ran unopposed. Thomas Pontone and Dennis Lane were both running for one spot in the owner category. Incumbent Thomas Pontone will continue to represent the owners as board of director. The driver/trainer category had two open seats available this election. The nominees were incumbents Chris Ryder and Thomas Luchento, and new comers Linda Toscano and Ray Baynes. Chris Ryder and Linda Toscano were elected to fill the two positions. The SBOANJ would like to thank all members who ran and voted in this years election. It is important to have members involved in all aspects of the election. We would also like to thank all those that attended the meeting especially Mr. Taylor Palmer, one of the original founders of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ  

  East Rutherford, NJ - At the request of the New Jersey Racing Commission The Meadowlands has submitted a revised 2019 live harness racing schedule application comprised of 76 dates with the addition of eight racing dates in September.   Monmouth Park has submitted an application for 20 Fall Thoroughbred dates at The Meadowlands, racing Friday & Saturday from October 4 through December 7.   The Meadowlands, in conjunction with the SBOA of NJ, continues to make every effort to secure a purse subsidy for 2019. If that purse subsidy should become a reality,   The Meadowlands would add $1 million from the sports betting proceeds and will attempt to work with the management and horsemen of Monmouth Park with the ultimate goal 83 live harness racing dates and the preservation of the fall stakes program.   With the subsidy at the discussed level of $20 million with $6 million of that directed to Meadowlands purses plus the $1 million from sports betting we should be able to increase overnight purses by 75% beginning in January as well as maintaining all of the existing stakes that we raced in 2018.   by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands    

MANALAPAN, NJ -- October 11, 2018 -- The following message is from Mark Ford, President of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey.  "Contrary to our ongoing dialogue with the Meadowlands, we were not given any notice and were as much surprised as anyone to read their release indicating that they were putting in for a 68 day meet with a significant reduction of added-money events. We found this particularly disappointing in that we have been working very hard with various legislators and did feel that we had made progress in getting some assistance from the state. That said, a 68 day meet at the Meadowlands in 2019, which does violate their contract with the SBOA regarding a minimum amount of days, is clearly unacceptable and we will address that immediately." by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ   

James "Jimmy" Scott Murray, 60, of Chesterfield, NJ, passed away on September 29th, 2018 at his home. There will be a celebration of life held at The Chesterfield Inn on October 13th, 2018 at 1:00PM. Jimmy was born in Lewiston, Maine to Elizabeth “Betty” and John Murray on July 14th, 1958. He went to high school at East Bridgewater High School in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts. He worked most recently as Second Trainer for Ron Coyne Harness Racing Stable, along with various others throughout the years. He loved harness racing, watching his beloved New England Patriots, cooking, watching the Three Stooges, music, and mostly being with family and friends. He had an incredible sense of humor and the ability to make everyone around him laugh and feel loved. He was an amazing horseman and was an all-around animal lover. There is no doubt he is still raising trouble with his brothers Greg and John carrying out practical jokes and bringing laughs to everyone. Jimmy is survived by his mother Elizabeth Murray, George Bartlett, Susan Murray, and Valerie Murray: children, Julie Dimakis, Jamie Lendon, Chris Lendon, Sarah Rogers, Stephanie Murray and Shawn Herrick: brothers, Dan Murray, Joe Murray, and Jason Murray. He is preceded in death by his father John Murray, brother Greg Murray, and brother John Murray Jr: and many friends and family that loved him dearly. In lieu of flowers please consider making a memorial donation in Jimmy’s name to either The Standardbred Retirement Foundation or The New Jersey Standardbred Owners Association (Benevolent Fund). The family wishes to extend their gratitude to Knott's Colonial Funeral Home for all their help! The Chesterfield Inn 633 Chesterfield Arneytown Rd Chesterfield, NJ 08515 Standardbred Retirement Foundation 42 Arneytown-Hornerstown Rd Cream Ridge, NJ 08514 609-738-3255 SBOANJ  Benevolent Fund 64 Route 33 Manalapan, NJ 07726 732-462-2357 by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ  

FREEHOLD, NJ -- October 8, 2018 -- Freehold Raceway hosted two divisions of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey's Homegrown Pace for 2-year-olds on Saturday (Oct 6). The first division of the Homegrown Pace for 2-year-old pacing fillies was held as a non-betting race before the regularly scheduled card.   The Mark Harder trainee Surreality captured the $21,000 purse in 1:56.4. George Brennan and Surreality left from the rail position to lead the way every step of the mile. This is win number six and boosts her lifetime earnings to $83,361 for owners Joseph Jannuzzelli, Mark Harder and Dawn Colucci all New Jersey natives. Hurrikane Lori Ann finished second with Miss Raggedy Ann coming in third. The second division was for the 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers with a purse of $25,000. This division was won by odds-on favorite Hurrikane Emperor for trainer John McDermott Jr. Driver Dan Dube sent the Hurrikane Kingcole colt out of the gait to take the lead and never relinquish it stopping the clock in 1:55.1.   Hurrikane Emperor continued his winning ways for owners Jonathan Klee Racing, Kuhen Racing LLC, Pegasis Investment Group and George Viemo banking $226,900 in lifetime earnings.   Hurrikane Emperor is also a dual sires stakes winner as he won the KYSS Final and the NJSS Final earlier this year. Trente Deo was second with Cool Your Heels finishing third. Live racing resumes at Freehold Raceway on Friday, October 12, 2018, with a post time of 12:30 pm. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ  

FREEHOLD, NJ - October 3, 2018 - On Saturday (Sept 29) Freehold Raceway held the $59,885 Renaissance final for 2-year-old filly pacers. The Nancy Johansson trainee Jk American Beauty sat in the two hole until just past the half where she brushed past the leader and never looked back to stop the clock in 1:56.1 for driver Jordan Stratton. This is the first-lifetime win for the daughter of American Ideal, and boost her earnings to $125,395 for 3 Brothers Stables. Miss Raggedy Ann finished second with Surreality coming in third. Freehold resumes live racing on Friday (Oct 5) with a post time of 12:30 pm, featuring the SBOANJ sponsored Futurity #53 for 2-year-old trotters. Then on Saturday (Oct 6), they will host the Home Grown Pace #1 for 2-year-old pacers. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ 

FREEHOLD, NJ -  September 28, 2018 - Today Freehold Raceway hosted the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey sponsored Helen Smith Final for 3-year-old harness racing trotting fillies and an NJSDF Final for 2-year-olds. The $20,000 Helen Smith Final was held before the regularly scheduled racing card as a non-betting race. Samis Rolin Stone sat a pocket trip and nosed out the competition in 2:00.2 for trainer Dewayne Minor. This is lifetime win number three for the Wishing Stone filly owned by Daniel Lengacher. Diamondstone Us finished a close second for trainer Noel Daley. The 2-year-old trotting colt, No Drama Please was the winner of the $50,000 NJSDF Final. Leaving from post position number one, the odds-on favorite lead every call of the mile to win in 2:00.3 for trainer Julie Miller. The Trixton colt notched win number three and $71,732 in lifetime earnings for owner Stroy Inc. Gerris Trix finished second while Warrior One come in third. Freehold resumes live racing Saturday, September 29, 2018, with the featured Renaissance Final for 2-year-old fillies, post time of 12:30 pm. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ

FREEHOLD, NJ -  September 16, 2018 - Freehold Raceway hosted two more harness racing legs of the NJSDF and one final over the weekend. The $7,500 second leg for 2-year-old colt trotters took place on Friday (Sept 14), while Saturday (Sept 15) held the second leg for 2-year-old pacing colts and the NJSDF final for 2-year-old pacing fillies. The second leg for the 2-year-old trotting colts was won by Bordogna for Julie Miller. Bordogna defeated his competition in 2:01.1 from post position four. The Trixton colt earned his sixth-lifetime win and increased his earnings to $11,375 for his owners Rick Huffman, Caroll Huffman, Larry Mather and Alan Eden. Apocalypse came in second with Holiday Hangover finishing third. Saturday (Sept 15) Freehold held the 7th annual Open Space Pace with the featured $50,000 NJSDF final for 2-year-old filly pacers. Odds on favorite Surreality left from the two hole to take the lead and never looked back, stopping the clock in 1:56.2. Trained by Mark Harder finished her New Jersey series off with a win and a second in the two legs and a big win in the final. Notching win number 5 and lifetime earnings of $64,625 for owners Joseph Jannuzzelli, Mark Harder and Dawn Colucci. Hurrikane Lori Ann finished second with Surrealism coming in third. Later in the card, another odds-on favorite Trente Deo won the second leg of the NJSDF for 2-year-old colt pacers. The Michael Hall trainee nosed out Mark Witha K to stop the clock in 1:58.0. The Captaintreacherous colt earned his second-lifetime win and $34,316 in earnings his owners Michael Hall, David Hamm, and CTC Stable. Downtown Cruiser finished off the trifecta. Live racing resumes Friday, September 21 with a post time of 12:30 pm. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ  

Above statement made by Mark Ford, President of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey. MANALAPAN, NJ -- September 7, 2018 -- There was a time in New Jersey when the best of the best came to compete at Freehold Raceway on Labor Day. It was not long ago, but seemed a distant memory Monday when the track was closed because of a lack of entries. In an announcement regarding the decision to close on Labor Day, Freehold General Manager Howard Bruno said, “Overall, it is increasingly difficult for us to compete in a market where we have the lowest purse structure in the region.” The statement is not hyperbole, it is fact. For more than a decade, New Jersey’s racing industry has suffered while horsemen in neighboring states have enjoyed increased purses thanks to casino-enhanced funding. Monday’s closure of Freehold illustrates the erosion of New Jersey’s standing in sport – once the envy of the industry — and the seriousness of the situation. A year ago, the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle ran a story titled “How VLTs saved NY horse racing.” According to the story, New York’s seven harness racing tracks saw purses escalate from $35 million to $118 million since 2003. The average purse per race went from about $4,000 to $11,000 over the 14 years — putting New York among the top five in the nation.  “The figures have been extraordinary at some tracks: Batavia Downs’ purses grew from $1.8 million to $5.5 million; from $4 million to $18 million at Saratoga harness; and from $20 million to nearly $63 million at Yonkers,” the story stated. The average purse per race this past Saturday at Freehold was less than $5,000. Tracks in New York and Pennsylvania could be found offering averages — at a minimum — of 46 percent more than Freehold, up to the $30,000 average Yonkers offered for eight non-stakes races that night. A decade ago on Labor Day, Freehold hosted a card that included the prestigious Cane Pace and other top stakes. Freehold was home to the Cane Pace from 1998 through 2010, when the track gave up hosting the race because of purse-funding issues. It is clear the industry needs to see purses augmented in the absence of racinos and the ability to compete with neighboring states on a level playing field. Without it, the state’s billion-dollar equine industry will likely suffer the loss of thousands of jobs and tens of thousands of acres in open space while the state loses tens of millions of dollars in revenues. State Assemblyman John Burzichelli, D-Gloucester, told NJOnlineGambling last week, “The challenges faced by horse racing lead to an erosion of the ancillary [equine] economy — breeding, horse farms, and so on. That warrants our attention, because once a horse farm goes away, it never comes back. Nobody tears down a condo development to build a horse farm.” The Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey implores the state’s legislators to consider the magnitude of any decision regarding the enhancement of purses and preservation of the equine industry in the Garden State. Time is running out. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ

FREEHOLD, NJ  - August 26, 2018  - This weekend Freehold held the first leg of the Standardbred Development fund for 2-year-olds. The $7,500 filly trotting divisions were held on Friday (Aug 24), while the $7,500 pacing divisions went on Saturday (Aug 25). The first leg of the two divisions for trotting fillies was won by Princess Deo for trainer Noel Daley in 1:59.4. Princess Deo captured her first-lifetime win for owners Noel Daley, Deo Volente Farms and John Fodera. The Trixton filly was bred by Deo Volente Farms. Big Weezy finished second with July coming in third. The Jimmy Takter trainee Flos Conch Shack won the second division on Friday in 2:01.3. The Father Patrick filly wired the field to notch her first-lifetime win for owner John Fielding. Marveloustrix finished a close second with Questing third. Saturday held all the pacing divisions for both colts and fillies. The first division for filly pacers was won by Hurrikanesky. Owned, trained and bred by Patrick Hlubik, the daughter of Hurrikane Kingcole nosed out the odds on favorite in 1:57.4. Surreality finished second with Devious Delight coming in third. The first division for pacing colts went to Just Plain Loco trained by Tom Fanning, in 1:57.1. This marks win number three for the Well Said colt’s owners Paul Lang and Fanning Racing LLC. Just Plain Loco was bred by Joseph Jannuzzelli of New Jersey. Trente Deo was a close second and Big Sky Boom was third. Miss Raggedy Ann took the second division for fillies for trainer Stacy Chiodo. The Bettor’s Delight filly stormed past the competition in the stretch to stop the clock in 1:59.2. Miss Raggedy Ann, bred by Timothy Tobias Stable in New Jersey, earned her first-lifetime win for owner Donald Wolf. After a little interference in the lane Love Love Me Too was placed second and Surrealism was placed third. The last division of the day for the pacing colts was won by Clintock for trainer Jason Skinner. The Hurrikane Kingcole colt nosed past a Aperfectdeal at the wire for the win in 1:58.4, while Cloudbreak finished third. Clintock earned his first-lifetime win for owner Kathleen Brewer. Live racing resumes Friday, August 31 with a post time of 12:30 pm. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ -- August 14, 2018 -- The Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey election and general meeting will be on Friday, October 19th. Please check our website (sboanj.com) for updates. Anyone interested in running for director in one of the following categories: breeder, owner or driver/trainer, may do so. There are two positions open in the breeder and driver/trainer category and one in the owner category. In order to run for one of the positions, you must send a letter of intent to the SBOANJ office by August 24, no later than 45 days prior to the date of the election as stated in the by-laws. You may also drop your letter off in person. In order to qualify, you must have been an active member in the designated category you wish to run for at least two years. A copy of the by-laws can be found on our website. Send your letters to: SBOANJ 64 Business Route 33 Manalapan, NJ 07726 by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ - August 6, 2018 - Travis Ceppaluni, Katie Eick, Ryan Fusco, Liam McDermott and Olivia Miller were selected to receive the SBOANJ and BCAP scholarships for 2018. Travis Ceppaluni of Jackson, N.J., is the son of Christopher Hubert and Shannon Ceppaluni and was also a 2017 SBOANJ scholarship recipient. He will continue to study at Ocean County Community College this year, where he received High Honor Roll his first two semesters. Katie Eick of Farmingdale, N.J., was the National Honor Society Award winner for the 2017 - 2018 school year and captain of the field hockey team at Howell High School. Daughter of Floyd and Jennifer Eick, has been accepted to many top universities, but plans to attend Rutgers University and majoring in Animal Science. Ryan Fusco, graduate of Jackson Liberty High School, has committed to attend University of North Carolina Charolette in the fall. Son of Paul and Robyn Fusco, Ryan was the recipient of the Science National Honor Society and Captain of his Varsity Golf team. Liam McDermott of Allentown, N.J., was captain of the Allentown wrestling team and received the Principals Award Senior Male Student. Liam is the son of trainer Kevin McDermott and Sheri McDermott, he plans to attend Roger Williams University. Olivia Miller, daughter of driver Andy Miller and trainer Julie Miller of Millstone, N.J. will attend Fairleigh Dickinson University where she will purse a degree in Nursing. Olivia received the National English Honor Society award while Cheerleading at Allentown High School. Each student received a $2,000 check and a plaque from the SBOANJ and BCAP associations at the Meadowlands. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ

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