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Yonkers, NY - Empire City Casino President & CEO Timothy J. Rooney, who has owned and operated Yonkers Raceway since 1972, has been selected among the most influential people of the Hudson Valley in City & State Magazine's Westchester Power 50. The Westchester Power 50 list honors the fifty most influential people in business, government relations, culture, and social services. All were saluted Monday, September 17 at an invite-only reception at the Radisson Hotel New Rochelle. Additional Power 50 honorees can be found here. "Good business always starts with community," said Rooney. "It's a privilege and honor to be recognized among so many leaders in their field who always ensure that Westchester and its residents remain a priority." In 2006, Yonkers Raceway underwent a $250-Million renovation to refurbish and revitalize the property, making way for Empire City Casino. After the completion of an additional $50-Million expansion in 2013, the casino now offers more than 5,300 video slot machines and electronic table games and is the largest private employer in the City of Yonkers with nearly 1,200 employees. A passionate philanthropist, Rooney is known for his quiet philanthropic involvement supporting hundreds of charitable organizations throughout Yonkers, New York and beyond, with contributions of more than $1-Million annually made in the form of sponsorships and donations supporting non-profits in the areas of education, hunger, the arts, medical research and more. He regularly makes Empire City Casino available for charitable functions and fundraising activities and provides continuous support of community programs and organizations year after year. As a life-long horse breeding and racing enthusiast, Mr. Rooney has bred standardbred and thoroughbred horses for over 40 years and continues to breed and train them today. He and his wife June have been married for more than 50 years and have five children, Kathleen Mara, Margaret Galterio, Timothy Rooney, Jr., Bridget Koch, and Cara Moore, 24 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. From Empire City Casino  

Yannick Gingras, the leading driver in earnings in North America for the past four years, will represent the United States in the 2019 World Driving Championship in Sweden from May 24-31 next year. Conducted since 1970, the World Driving Championship brings together the world's best harness drivers for an exciting, international competition. "First of all, it's a great honor to be asked," said Gingras who will be making his first WDC appearance. "Only one person can represent the United States and I'm very humble and proud. "I'm looking forward to going to Sweden because I have made good relationships there over the years and have some great friends," added Gingras. "I'll get to spend a couple of weeks there during a beautiful time of the year. The timing and location make the whole package perfect." Gingras is currently the second-leading driver in purses earned this year with more than $7.6 million. For his career, he's on the verge of reaching 40,000 starts, 7,000 wins and $165 million in earnings. "Yannick has been an elite, big race driver for the past several years as demonstrated by his being the top money-winner for the last four years in a row," said USTA President Russell Williams in making the announcement of his selection of Gingras. "He is a fan favorite, is always very good with the media and he will be an excellent representative both on and off the track." Gingras, who turned 39 on Aug. 4, has a long list of career highlights. He was named the Driver of the Year last year and in 2014, when he had a career high $17.3 million in earnings. In 2003, he received the Rising Star Award from the U.S. Harness Writers Association. He has been among the Top 10 drivers in earnings for the past 12 years and has been in the top five in each of the past eight seasons. His $164.9 million in career earnings rank eighth all-time and fifth among active drivers. Gingras is the regular driver of 2017 Horse of the Year Award winner Hannelore Hanover. In 2017, Gingras' top wins included the Maple Leaf Trot with Hannelore Hanover, four Breeders Crown finals (with Hannelore Hanover, Ariana G, Manchego, and Youaremycandygirl) and the Little Brown Jug with Filibuster Hanover. Gingras has won 20 Breeders Crown trophies in his career. Also among his many accomplishments, Gingras is known for his association with pacer Foiled Again, the richest horse in harness racing history with $7.59 million in lifetime earnings. With Gingras in the sulky, Foiled Again got career win No. 100 on July 8 at Harrah's Philadelphia and joined Hall of Famer Rambling Willie as the only pacers with at least 100 wins and more than $2 million in purses in the past 40 years. From the USTA Communications Department    

Manchego with her game second place finish this past weekend in the Elegantimage Stakes, has jumped back to #1 in the Top Ten Poll. Alanta, who was third in the Elegantimage, dropped to 2nd place this week. Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 17 – 9/18/2018 Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Manchego (13) 3tf 10-6-3-0 $564,234 287 2 2 Atlanta (11) 3tf 9-6-2-1 $759,233 277 1 3 McWicked (3) 7ph 12-7-2-1 $902,114 231 3 4 Shartin N (1) 5pm 19-14-1-0 $759,111 210 4 5 Courtly Choice (2) 3pc 12-9-0-0 $655,393 169 5 6 Kissin In The Sand (1) 3pf 11-7-4-0 $599,070 102 7 7 Lather Up (1) 3pc 12-10-0-0 $664,865 99 8 8 Marion Marauder (1) 5th 9-5-4-0 $444,680 98 9 9 Stay Hungry (1) 3pc 11-5-0-4 $650,000 96 10 10 Crystal Fashion (1) 3tg 13-9-3-0 $908,207 94 -- Also: Hannelore Hanover (87); Ariana G (31); Phaetosive (28); Green Manalishi S (24); Captain Ahab (14); Six Pack (12); Plunge Blue Chip (11); The Ice Dutchess (10); Jimmy Freight (9); Dorsoduro Hanover, Wisdom Tree (7); Caviart Ally, Lazarus N, Youaremycandygirl (4); Met’s Hall, Will Take Charge (3); Woodside Charm (2); Melodies Major, Only Take Cash (1).  

Cream Ridge, NJ - Sept. 18, 2018 - Just a month ago, the Standardbred Retirement Foundation (SRF) helped 38 horses in the kill pen, of the 38 one was helped privately, payment made directly to the kill pen and the horse released to that person, SRF had no involvement. Now, that horse, the 12-year old son of Royal Art with earnings of $118,000, Royal Nation, is back there today and pleading for a home.   About 35% of the Standardbreds in kill pens come with the story that the owner found the horse a good home. In addition to Royal Nation, it's only been a few weeks and once again another horse, Apache Rebel, a 15-year-old son of FT Apache Rebel, also taken by an individual directly from a kill pen, is at risk in another kill pen. In the month of August, five horses adopted out by another well-known program with limited follow-up policies, that relinquish ownership to adopters, were also found in kill pens.   These turnarounds are costly and senseless.   SRF urges people who find homes for their horses to look at the contract SRF uses online at their website AdoptaHorse.org and to craft similar requirements. Also, the 29-year-old organization can be reached at anytime if guidance is needed when seeking a home on their own.   These two horses are now in immediate need of safety, good homes and financial support in order to be bailed from the kill pen by 8pm tonight. Of the utmost importance is for these two to have safe home offers.   To offer a home, make a donation so SRF can get them released, should a home offer be received, contact Tammy at 609-738-3255 SrfHorsesandKids@gmail.com. SRF has 413 trotters and pacers under its care and expense, it cannot take them in at this time without additional support or sponsorship to carry their expenses till spring, when adoptions pick up again.   SRF asks you to forward this email to others as well to encourage help. SRF is different than any other organization   From the Standardbred Retirement Foundation

It's been 35 years since fans at the Delaware County Fair have seen a horse capture the Pacing Triple Crown with a win in the Little Brown Jug. True, three horses have won the Pacing Triple Crown since Ralph Hanover in 1983, but because the sequence of Crown races often change, none of those horses completed their quests in Delaware, Ohio. In fact, of the 10 Pacing Triple Crown winners to date, only Ralph Hanover and Adios Butler in 1959 finished their feats in the Little Brown Jug. Stay Hungry will try to join them on Thursday. He will become the sixth horse to compete in the Jug with the chance to win the Pacing Triple Crown and first since 1993 when Riyadh finished second. Western Hanover in 1992 and Albatross in 1971 also finished second in their bids. The most recent Pacing Triple Crown winner was No Pan Intended, who in 2003 won the Cane Pace first followed by the Little Brown Jug and the Messenger Stakes. To commemorate the 35th anniversary of the last Pacing Triple Crown coronation at the Little Brown Jug, Ralph Hanover's driver and co-owner Ron Waples recounted his memories of the experience and the horse. "I'd have said it then and I'd say the same thing now, it's probably one of the biggest thrills of my life," Waples said about winning the Pacing Triple Crown. "Going into the Jug, the horse was very sharp and very good. He'd taken on all comers. I think back on it now, and I think I would have been more disappointed if he'd gotten beat than anything. I was just so hyped up about it, so confident that he was going to do well." Ralph Hanover, who was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 1986 and died in 2008, was a son of Meadow Skipper out of Ravina Hanover. He was purchased for $58,000 by trainer Stew Firlotte and Waples, who had decided to partner on the yearling rather than bid against each other. The colt proved to be lazy throughout his career, but knew when it was show time. "He was hard to get to go at all until we got him in with horses," Waples said. "Once he got behind the gate and started to race he woke right up. Even at his best, he was always very, very lazy." Ralph Hanover won seven of 15 races at age 2 before etching his name in history at age 3. In 1983, Ralph Hanover won 20 of 25 races and earned a then-record $1.71 million in purses. He won the Messenger Stakes in June, the Meadowlands Pace and Queen City Pace (later replaced by the North America Cup) in July and three double-heat races -- the Adios, Cane Pace and Prix d'Ete -- in August. He also competed in the double-heat Oliver Wendell Holmes in August, finishing second by a nose. After some time off to freshen up, Ralph Hanover won the Simcoe Stakes before claiming the Little Brown Jug in straight heats on a chilly 50-degree day in Ohio. "He was a lazy colt, but I think that's why he lasted so long," Waples said. "You could leave out of the gate and have him on high gear and two steps later he would be going at a slow walk if you let him. Or you could come first up and he would just relax out there. It made no difference to him. "His manners and his gait were his two large pluses. I was just a minor part." Prior to the Little Brown Jug, Waples called Firlotte to find out how preparations for the race were going. "I watched three other ones train here and they all trained somewhere between 2:05 and two minutes," Firlotte told him. "And how was Ralph?" Waples asked. "I think he trained pretty good," Firlotte responded. "He went a mile in 2:35." "It was funny," Waples said. "That just shows how lazy he was. But once you got him behind the gate and asked him to go, he responded very well." Ralph Hanover won the Little Brown Jug and Pacing Triple Crown in front of a crowd of 46,087. "The Jug is a pretty cool place no matter what you're going to do," said the 74-year-old Waples, who was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 1986 and U.S. Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 1994. "It's just unbelievable. It's quite a thrill. "Time goes by really fast. It doesn't seem that long ago. But it is." The Pacing Triple Crown began in 1956. Following is a list of the 10 horses to win the three races in the series: The Cane Pace, Messenger Stakes, and Little Brown Jug. Year-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1959-Adios Butler-Clint Hodgins-Paige West 1965-Bret Hanover-Frank Ervin-Frank Ervin 1966-Romeo Hanover-William Myer, George Sholty-Jerry Silverman 1968-Rum Customer-Billy Haughton-Billy Haughton 1970-Most Happy Fella-Stanley Dancer-Stanley Dancer 1980-Niatross-Clint Galbraith-Clint Galbraith 1983-Ralph Hanover-Ron Waples-Stew Firlotte 1997-Western Dreamer-Mike Lachance-Bill Robinson 1999-Blissfull Hall-Ron Pierce-Ben Wallace 2003-No Pan Intended-David Miller-Ivan Sugg Here is the video when Ralph Hanover won the Triple Crown at the Little Brown Jug https://youtu.be/Qf1rgX3UTRo.  by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA Media 

YONKERS, NY, - Monday, September 17, 2018- At 2, he won Grand River's Battle of Waterloo. At 3, he's a Yonkers Raceway track record-holder. For a horse that owns all of four career victories, he's certainly living right. Locally-debuting Simple Kinda Man (Jim Marohn Jr., $6.10) found his way into the annals Monday night (Sept. 17th), wiring his way to happiness in 1:51.2. That effort, in the $16,000, seventh-race pace, is the new Westchester watermark for 3-year-old geldings, wiping away Gokudo Hanover's 1:51.3 in 2015. From post position No. 5, Simple Kinda Man cruised through intervals of :26.3, :55.1 and 1:23, then finished it off by four lengths for just his second win in 13 seasonal starts. "I've had him about 10 days," trainer Bruce Saunders said. "The owners (M&L of Delaware) are hands-on and they said to race him with an open bridle because he can be a runaway. I saw the line where he was down in three-quarters in (1):21 and 2/5 in Canada, so I knew he was fast. "The plugs were in and I spoke to Jimmy (Marohn Jr.) after and he never felt as if the horse was getting away from him, so I'm very happy with the effort." by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

HARRINGTON, DE  - Sunfire Blue Chip ($17.20, Mark Macdonald) was a 1:51.1 winner in the 12th Annual $150,000 Bobby Quillen Memorial at Harrington Raceway Monday. The race annually spotlights many of the sport's top older pacers and honors former long-time Delaware legislator Bobby Quillen, who passed away in 2004. Quillen was a regular at the racetrack, who enjoyed live harness racing and was endeared by many in the community. Owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Brixton Medical and R A W Equine, Sunfire Blue Chip, a Jimmy Takter-trainee, notched his 32nd career win off a pocket trip. Scott Rocks closed ground for second with Evenin of Pleasure third. Rockin Ron set the fractions and faded to fourth. An 8-year-old American Ideal stallion, "Sunfire" scored his second straight win in his 108th career start. "My horse was really good last start at Yonkers," said Macdonald. "I kind of had an all-or-nothing approach behind the gate tonight and was able to get a great trip and it worked out. You can do anything you want with him. He's a lot of fun to drive. " It was a productive first visit to Harrington for driver Macdonald, whose a regular at Yonkers Raceway (Ny). Five Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) $20,000 elimination events for 2-year-old pacers were on the undercard with Team Teague stealing the show with three wins. George Teague and K&R Racing's The Lady Sheriff ($8, Montrell Teague) was the first filly winner in 1:57.2 for trainer Clyde Francis. The Southwind Lynx filly registered her first career win off a ground saving trip. The first division for colt and gelding pacers would soon ensue with The Lady Sheriff's stablemate, Dashiki ($3) scoring a 1:54.1 score for the Teague and Francis combo. Dashiki held off a fierce late rally from Chillaxin Away to achieve his first career win in his third lifetime starts. Dashiki is a son of Barber Pole. The second filly division went to The Wiz Kids Stable's Golden Wigglet ($7, Bart Dalious) in 1:57.1. The Mr. Wiggles filly notched her second career win for trainer/driver Dalious with a late rally that reeled in pacesetter Vistamista late. The third filly division saw Edward Walls' Lily's Puddle Jumper ($4.80, David Rearic) score in 1:59.1. The Gamblers Dream filly outkicked pacesetter Miss Giggles to the wire for a one length win. Trained by Walls, it was her second career win. The final colt division to another Teague-tied horse, George Teague Jr.'s Keepmywiglegametyt ($6.40, Montrell Teague) who surged clear of leader Son Of A Lynx in deep stretch for his first career win. The Francis-trainee is a son of Mr. Wiggles. In the $15,000 Open overnight feature, Richard Lombardo, Charles Cochran III and Josh Green's JJ Flynn ($7, Yannick Gingras) was a 1:51.2 winner over Q's Cruise and Options Are A Dream. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway

Every career and every job has this factor. It is the thing that keeps the job going and keeps the consumer interested. It may be a service or a product. It is the reason people do, people buy, and people watch. Harness racing has many different factors that keep the fans in the stands and the horsemen in the barn. It is the lights and camera at the end of the race, the cheers of the crowd in the grandstand, the anticipation and excitement in the paddock at post time. It is watching with tears and screams of joy as the horse you own or the horse you bet on win. More importantly, it is the animal that makes the sport what it is. The horse that is carefully and slowly trained for days, weeks, months, and years. The horse that is cared for on a 24/7 basis with a specific feeding schedule, training regimen, and equipment list. Each horse is treated and cared for individually. The sport of horse racing is plagued by stereotypes that depict the game to be inhumane and cruel. Rumors and lies are spread that convey the sport as abusive to the animal. The uninformed believe the bits and the equipment, the driver and the whip, the stall and the gates, and more are harmful to the wellbeing of the horse. The purpose of each of these and the behind the scenes in the barn is seemingly only known to those who have actually experienced it and lived it. The bit fits comfortably in the mouth where it does not make contact with the teeth. It is used for steering and control. Each piece of equipment is specific to the horse to ensure safety in the race. At a young age, these horses are trained to become accustomed to their harness and equipment. Trainers work slowly with them so that they understand their job and so that they are ready and fit to race. The whip that the driver uses is hit against the numbered saddle pad that the horse wears producing a sound, not pain. The stall a horse sits in is reasonably sized for the animal. It is for the protection and safety of the horse. There is a reason for everything that horsemen do – the only solid and most commonly shared reason is that these are here for the safety of everyone involved (horse, trainer, driver) and for the comfort of the horse. Horses are beasts of power and strength. They are capable of enduring long distances at fast speeds or short distances at even faster speeds. They run courses, go over jumps, race around barrels, and more. They are equally as intelligent as athletic. They have the ability to communicate through movement. Their ears, their eyes, and their nose communicate specific emotions. A simple gesture of the ears forward or back to indicate whether or not best to stay away or come close. The eyes moving directionally or as a retaliation of fear or anger when white. The nose flaring due to activity and motion or fear. They cannot verbally communicate with us but we have the ability to understand them. Harness race horses are individually cared for in the sport. Horsemen do what it takes to adjust them to their stable and their routine. Horsemen understand the personalities and quirks of these animals. They know what the horse’s favorite treat is, whether or not the horse likes a certain grain, how much water they drink, or what allergies they may have. They find the right equipment, right shoes, and right medicine. And, when it is time, they find the right home for the horse after their racing careers have come to an end. These horses power our sport and they have had a significant mark in history while continuing to write it. They are our horses, our pets, our family. No matter if they are a trainer or owner or groom, horsemen do what it takes to ensure the comfort and safety of their horses and a forever home after racing. Hyperion Hanover, now a 15-year-old pacing bay gelding, out of Cam Luck and Hattie. As a two-year-old, Hyperion was purchased out of the Harrisburg sale for $75,000. The trainer lightly raced him and put him back in the sale. Trainer-driver Jim McDonald purchased the colt for $5,500 for SSG Stable. He was shipped to Florida and retrained as 3-year-old. He was a stubborn horse with no good work ethic, according to McDonald. He was schooled multiple times and qualified three times. They started him five times with two wins, one in 54 and last quarter in 27.3 with driver Wally Hennessey. He was shipped to Rob Fellows in Ontario and won his first sire stake in 52. Then, he was shipped to Rod Hennessey in Western Canada where he won the Western Canada Pacing Derby. He made $300,000 as a three-year-old. He continued in Ontario and became an open pacer for another year. He went back to Jim McDonald in Florida and was given the winter off then, qualified, and sent back to Ontario. Once again with Fellows, he won in 1:50 flat. Until 2012, Hyperion continued to be a preferred type horse. He was shipped back to Florida and campaigned with the Open Pace for two more years. At age 12, he began to lose stamina and paced in only 53 and change. Owner Ed James decided rather than putting the horse in a claiming race and continuing to race him, he would retire at age 12. He was turned out in a two-acre paddock at a farm in Florida - Smiley Farms owned by Gary and Caroline Smiley. That farm was sold three years later so the Smiley couple called James and asked him to find the horse a new home. Ed James decided to put him on a truck to a facility in Canada that James is familiar with and has brood mares at already. He paid $1,500 to ship him from Florida to Canada for his new and forever home at Killean Acres in Ingrasall, Ontario. Hyperion Hanover was turned out with other horses upon arriving, the farm owners being wary of how he would act with the others. Within ten minutes he had found himself a buddy. He was never made into a riding horse because of his disposition and because the owners felt he earned his right to retirement. Overall, Hyperion Hanover had 301 lifetime starts (52 wins, 49 seconds, 42 thirds) and over $1.2 million in earnings lifetime with a record of 49.1. Ed James is the owner of Hyperion Hanover and the owner of SSG Gloves and Glasses. He has been involved in harness racing throughout his life, mostly as an owner. He was very active in the Ontario program and is the owner of McWicked. He contributes to the USTA retirement fund and is active in post-racing. He is also supportive in other equine facilities, including the hunter-jumper divisions in West Palm Beach. If a rider is wearing SSG gloves when they win a category in the show, he donates a set amount of money to a charity. A horse with a solid record and an owner with a well-known business, SSG Gloves and Glasses. Despite the large cost to transport the horse from Florida to Canada, Ed James was willing to do whatever it took to bring the horse to his retirement home. Five years ago, Michelle Crawford built her retirement farm. She built it for her love of the horses and great interest in developing a good life after racing for them. “It became this fire in the belly to just make sure they went to good homes,” she said. Michelle has a history of working as an advocate for rescuing and rehoming Standardbreds, including in the involvement of retiring racehorses. She has worked with Standardbred Retirement Foundation and has helped rescuing tons of horses. She had already had some retirees and a breeding farm, but expanded to build the retirement farm. A thousand acres and beautiful facilities that would be forever homes to numerous horses. She has 35 current retirees at her farm, including retired broodmares. It depends on the age, if the horse is young enough and has potential if it is either sold or moved to the retirement farm. “The hardest part is that some of these horses still have purpose, more than to just stand in a field for their lives. Especially, if they are young, but if there isn’t a better option for a better home, it is better they stay in place.” There are Standardbreds and Thoroughbreds at her farm, some that may be broke to ride in the near future with the help of a local woman. Michelle Crawford purchased Fifty Shades Darker as a yearling. He had gotten an injury to his foot that his first trainer rehabbed, but was unsuccessful in getting him back going again. He was finally good enough to be able to race again. The decision was now to race him up and down in the conditions or put him into a claimer. The trainer suggested putting him into a claimer, under the impression that no one would claim the colt. The first race in a claimer and he was claimed. “It broke my heart. I waited a year and a half after that hoping to get the horse back, but he wasn’t in a claimer,” Crawford said. “I watched every race and finally, he was in to go in a claimer at Pocono Downs. I didn’t know anyone there to claim him, but got in contact with trainer Chris Oakes to claim him so I could just retire him.” Chris Oakes convinced Michelle to allow him to try to race him which resulted in winning the first four starts. He made too much money and was back to square one with the decision to jam into the conditions or be put into a claimer again. The decision was made to retire him. He now lives in a paddock with a Clydesdale and four old broodmares. “Everybody loves him. They can just jump on his back. He is just a lovable and wonderful horse. A treat hog and a carrot hog. He was just one of those horses with this distinctive brow line that really set him apart. I just loved him so much and wanted him back for retirement,” Michelle said. Crawford also retired Classic Conway, a horse that she was able to watch being born. It was her “first child coming into this business”. She kept the trotting gelding from birth to retirement, where he now resides at her retirement farm. He is now a nine-year-old pasture mate to other horses at her farm. According to Michelle, Classic Conway had this special personality. He would hear her voice and come running. “He knows he is special,” she said. He won a lot of sire stakes as a two-year-old and had a lot of potential. In his three-year-old year, he hurt himself. Michelle began to nurse him back to health. He was trailered to Morrisville for the spa and towed on the grass for soft footing. He came back and won the final that year. Classic Conway was later retired due to a suspensory. He was and is Michelle’s most special horse with Fifty Shades Darker being right behind him. One horse that could continue racing and one that could not share a great life after racing on the same farm. “I am a huge, professional corporate, but found a place in the horse world to serve a purpose. I want to leave a legacy in making a difference to help animals and to save the Standardbreds or any horse. I hope that we can stop slaughter. I’ve made it my mission to gather troops to promote and do right by the industry and help in the after-racing world.” Michelle was introduced into the business 11 years ago after meeting her husband. She has an owners license and a breeding farm and now, retirement farm. Her farms have 80 broodmares, their 80th mare just being bred and 300 horses of babies, yearlings, and more. She is also a proud owner of Atlanta, the recent Hambletonian winner. Casie Coleman is currently an owner-trainer and former driver in the harness racing business. She was born and raised into it and she says it is all she has ever done. At just the age of 38, her lifetime stats include earning just under 60 million and over 2,000 wins. She has won Canada’s trainer of the year five times. Coleman claimed Our Lucky Killean (“Luck Dog”) when he was three years old out of an allowance claimer that went for $60,000. The pacing bay gelding went on to make over a million dollars in purse money, winning the Molson Pace, Des Smith Classic Pace, and other open events. “He had a mind of his own, a hundred percent,” Coleman said. “He was the boss. If things weren’t done his way or if we fought it, he would tie up easily or just get sour and race poorly.” “When you would walk him to the race track hooked to the jogger, he had days that it would take nearly an hour because he would just stand still, watching the other horses jog by. He wouldn’t move until he was ready to. “Other times he would literally go backwards in the jog cart. One time, he took me up a large hill and tried going backwards. I did my best not to tip over the jog cart!” Casie Coleman retired the gelding when he was ten years old. He was still sound and in great shape, but just wasn’t performing the way he used to. “I didn’t want to cheapen him and I didn’t want him in a claimer,” she said. She found a home with a friend of hers, Jennifer Connor, who worked for Blue Chip Farms at the time. He is now 17 years old and she still has him. “He has an amazing home. I don’t even want to know what stall rent is at the barn he is at, it is gorgeous.” Connor shows “Luck Dog” at Standardbred shows. Coleman found this new and wonderful home with the help of sharing a post about her search on Facebook. Jennifer contacted Casie expressing great interest for the horse. “I knew she would give him this unreal home, so I sent him out to New York,” she said. “He lives like a king now.” Casie is able to see him every him every once in a while, when she is in the area in New York. “Lucky, as I call him, or Luck Dog as Casie calls him is one of the classiest horses I have ever had the privilege to be around,” Jennifer Connor said. “He walked into the indoor arena the day after he arrived and I was able to get right on him. He marched around the arena like he had been doing it his whole life. And he never looked at any of the jumps that were scattered around the arena. “He exudes confidence. He has never refused anything that I have asked of him. He has shown in-hand, under saddle, jumped, been driven, hunter paced, recently went on a camping trip, and was part of a commercial shoot for Chase Bank at Blue Chip Farms. “I love this horse so much. He would jump a table if I asked him to. He walks, trots, and has a pretty decent canter for a pacer. He likes to work and prefers to be stabled with all the amenities like a fan in the summer. He’s always professional. He might not be the most affectionate horse, but he tolerates a lot!” she said. Jennifer Connor grew up in harness racing. She showed jumpers and equitation in most of her childhood. She attended University of South Carolina and rode on the NCAA Division I Team. Lucky is the first Standardbred she has ever retrained for a second career. “He is by far the easiest horse I have trained!” Casie Coleman contributes to retired race horse charities and funds. She even, recently, discovered one of her former horses that she hadn’t owned for years, Rudy the Rock, was located at a slaughter house. She contacted them and sent $1,200 to bail him out. He was rescued and given to Go and Play Stables. Our Lucky Killean is one of many horses Casie Coleman has retired. “Way too many to remember them all,” she said. “I always try to find good homes for them.” Michelle Crawford and Casie Coleman have high profile stables in the racing business. They have done whatever it takes to help provide current and former racehorses with forever homes. Owner-driver-trainer John Hallett and owner-trainer Michelle Hallett are New York and Florida horsemen and, also, my parents. They have both been in the business throughout their entire lives. They began their stable, Hallett Racing Stable, in 1991 and have since raced along the East Coast, more recently out of their stables in Tioga Downs and Pompano Park. Typical New Yorker was short in stature with a thick build. He had a black coat with a small white star in the center of his face. He earned his name as he was a “typical New Yorker”. Across the Tappan Zee bridge, the population of New York City is riddled with the stereotype that they have this overly pompous attitude. They are home to the Bravest and the Finest. New York City is the Big Apple, the land of dreams. The skyscrapers are big, the personalities are big, the attitudes are bigger. If you have ever had the pleasure of traveling across into the city, you understand where all of these notions originate. New York City has definitely earned their title and respect. It is a big and beautiful city. Yet, it is shaded by those ideas that they are better than everyone. A “look at me” attitude surrounded by the fact that they must be the center of the world. Typical New Yorker was nothing short of that. He was small but captured the attention of everyone around him. His name earned him multiple features in Justin Horowitz’s filming of ‘Inside Harness Racing’. If you ever looked into the eyes of this two-year-old colt, you would’ve seen the attitude just flourishing within. His eyes pointed like daggers at everyone around him; except, of course, in the face of a camera or in the presence of Michelle Hallett. New Yorker was her pride and joy. He was spoiled from day one. Of course, all of our horses are spoiled with treats and toys and more; but, this one was different from the start. He had reined her in with his demeanor. He was fed pudding and more. His favorite flavor was Butterscotch. He would eat anything put in front of him. He was extra spoiled when one of his owners, Roger Doire, brought him oranges. He even had a special “New Yorker” lead chain that him and him only could use. John Hallett purchased the yearling out of the Harrisburg Sale in November of 2009. John and Michelle began breaking him to race, trained him, qualified him, and then entered him into the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) once he reached the age of two-years-old in the summer of 2010. He won his first five sire stakes races in a row as a two-year-old. “He was a tough little bugger – fat, but definitely had a lot of heart and strength,” John said. “He was a tough guy until he saw a bird – white birds particularly. He was a perfect gentleman to jog or walk, but once one of those white birds flew by or landed, he was gone. He would take off and throw himself. He was funny like that,” Michelle said. Typical New Yorker was still able to race, but John and Michelle Hallett along with partner Michelle Oglesby agreed that retiring the ten-year-old would be the most beneficial option for the horse, avoiding the possibility that the horse reinjures his leg. He was retired at Tradewinds Park Stables as a trail riding horse for the staff and public. I remember the first time I tried to ride him and, with his attitude, he tried to throw me off. He was, however, a barn favorite at Tradewinds and very well-mannered to ride and go on the trails. “We chose this farm because it was a beautiful facility with practically all-day turn out with a few hours of ‘work’ time as a trail horse. Other Standardbreds were here as well and we knew workers and volunteers at the farm. However, it was the hardest decision to make. It was an easy decision to make to retire him, but so hard to watch him leave.,” Michelle said. From about eight in the morning to four in the afternoon, the horses are pulled from their turnout paddocks and moved into their stalls. They only go on one or two rides on the trail per day, depending on the day. Then, they are moved back to their fields where they spend the rest of the day and night. Their life is easy and comfortable. They have other Standardbreds at the facility. Whenever they have an open stall, they love to get retired Standardbreds due to the ease of transition into saddle. John and Michelle Hallett have shared a lifetime in the business. Michelle Hallett was born into the business with her parents being trainers Bruce and Linda Aldrich. Her brother, Bruce Aldrich, Jr. is a racehorse driver in the tracks of New York. John Hallett was introduced into the racing world at six-years-old and continued throughout his life working for various trainers, primarily Wally Hennessey, until creating his own stable with Michelle. They have two kids, Jonathan (John) Hallett and Jessica Hallett (me). They are currently training this summer at Tioga Downs. Typical New Yorker is just one of numerous race horses they have retired to happy and forever homes. Bruce Aldrich, Sr. is a lifetime horseman in the harness racing business. Since the beginning of his journey into the racing world and the beginning of his stable, he has seen and trained many horses. Of all the horses that every horseman has come across in Standardbred racing in general, there are always the select few being the favorites. For Aldrich, it was the trotting colt named Samsawinner. Samsawinner is a 12-year-old trotting gelding. Throughout his career, the horse had 62 wins with a record of 56. The gelding has always been a goofball with a special kind of personality, according to Aldrich. When he was turned out in the paddock at the top of the hill at Monticello Raceway, he was hard to catch. He would swerve and bounce out of reach to avoid being caught. He thought he was funny. Sam wasn’t racing to par, unable to go anymore, and would be forced into a claiming race, so instead he was retired. He is now at a farm in upstate New York living the pasture life. He had a good card with a lot of wins and a lot of money made. Owner Woody Hoblitzell agreed to retire the colt. Bruce Aldrich, Sr. started in the business when he was 12 years old when he cleaned stalls for Bob Tisbert. He has worked and trained for numerous stables in his career, include Carl Allen and Mickey McNichol among others. He has had his own stable as well for many years. He has trained for Woody Hoblitzell for over 20 years. Samsawinner is his first retired horse. Cheri Clarke and her husband, trainer Edgar (Sparky) Clarke, trained racehorse No Monkeys Allowed. “It’s quite humorous don’t you think? Not your typical tough, regal racehorse name and not your typical racehorse,” Cheri Clarke said. No Monkeys Allowed was originally named Issuer Blue Chip. “Someone must have seen his playful attitude and legally changed it to something to fit his personality,” Cheri joked. They got him at the age of four in 2011 for owner Robert Orr of Deerfield Beach, FL and took a career record the following year of 1:50.3 at Vernon Downs. The Rocknroll Hanover gelding with earnings of $358,624 lifetime was retired at age 11. No Monkeys Allowed, or “Monkey”, was very fat, according to Cheri as well as what other people have told her, too. He ate very well and always knew when treat time and lunch time was. “If you are headed to the paddock and it generally takes about ten minutes to get up there, give yourself 20 with Monkey,” said Cheri. He was a very nosy horse and needed time to stop and look around as they would walk to the paddock. He also had this personality that he would just know when to behave, when to stay calm, when he could get away with acting up, and then when to be a racehorse. He would let you know with his eyes if something was not right. Yet, nothing bothered him. He wasn’t afraid of anything. He was just calm and collected. The Clarkes favorite memory of Monkey was pacing in 49 and finishing second in Vernon. As time went on and Monkey got older, as all things do, his pace grew slower. Instead of putting the gelding in a claiming race, they decided to search for a new home, a new life after racing. They checked local farms with no luck due to no space available. Finally, they discovered a horseman with connections in need of a horse for trail riding. Putting the horse in a claimer and if he had been claimed would have led Cheri to wonder and worry. When any horse is claimed, especially a barn favorite, every horseman agrees to just have this thought in the back of their mind, wondering how they are doing or how they are being treated, what is going on in their new lives, where they are. With the home Cheri and Sparky found, there was no worry or wonder. They are updated regularly with pictures and stories. He is a really good riding horse and goes out on trail rides on his own or with other horses just fine. His new home was on a farm in Texas. “Although my career is short by most standards of horsemen, my husband grew up in the business with his brother, Bruce. He has had 1,500 wins and $6.3 million in purse earnings. His father, Roy (Rod) Clarke, was a predominate trainer in the Maritime provinces of Canada,” said Cheri. Sparky and Cheri are currently training at Tioga Downs for the summer and in the winter, Pompano Park. No Monkeys Allowed is their first retired horse. My Sweet Mandy was racing in her two- and three-year-old years when she was discovered by Mandy Lareau. “I wanted her and I followed her through her early years of racing. She was not a claimer, though. “I had family in the grandstand at Tioga Downs at one point and they saw this mare and her name in the race and knew I should have her. “It was a dream for me to have this horse, to get her. She shared my name and I have always wanted a grey horse,” Mandy said. The grey pacing mare was put into an auction in Delaware where Gaston and Mandy Lareau had planned to buy her, but was later taken out. She was moved to Florida where she was entered into a claiming race for her first start and claimed by the Lareau Stable. They kept her for three years until she injured her foot. The veterinarian had said it was an infection and that the horse would need to be put down, a definite no by Mandy Lareau. Four months were put into rehabilitation by Mandy. The mare was able to be brought back to the track again. Yet, the Lareau’s decided to retire her to avoid re-injury to the foot. They started by talking to Laurie Poulin for turnout at her farm. After some time, the final decision was made and now, at eight-years-old, she is a broodmare at Poulin’s farm in Florida. “She’s a sweetheart. I think she will be a great mother. She has taken care of an orphan baby at Laurie’s farm already. She just has a great personality,” said Mandy. Every horse has their own personality. Their own quirks and traits that make them individual and unique. No different than people, they have this character that makes them, them. According to Mandy, the mare has the greatest personality, just her own personality. She didn’t like anything tough on her. No lead chain over the nose. She would kick and squeal when you put the harness on. She was bad to jog. She loved treats. She didn’t wear any equipment at all, didn’t like it. The less equipment the better she would race. She would fight you to race. The easier you were on her, the better she was to you. She had a record of 53. She was a good race horse. She is good to people she is used to. She did not connect with certain people, but, according to Mandy, she loves Laurie Poulin’s granddaughter. At Tioga Downs, My Sweet Mandy was in the first stall. But, at Pompano Park, she took the second stall so that, as Mandy worked on the cross ties, the mare could play with her. If Mandy was put on the trailer second, she would not go on. She was spoiled and loved attention. She always got her way. If you showed her the lead chain she would talk. “In a way, she was like me. I wanted to be like her. She was a free spirit and just happy all the time. “My Sweet Mandy was just a joy. I loved seeing her in the morning. It would make me smile and I miss her, but I know she is in a better place now at Laurie’s farm,” said Mandy. Gaston and Mandy Lareau have each been a part of the business for over forty years. Gaston has owned, trained, and driven. “He is a horseman who loves horses and tries to figure them out, a real horseman,” according to Mandy. They have been together for thirty-eight years. “When he says something, I already know what he’s going to say.” My Sweet Mandy is their first retired horse. Typical New Yorker, Samsawinner, No Monkeys Allowed, and My Sweet Mandy were equally alike in being the barn pets and favorites for the Hallett, Aldrich, Clarke, and Lareau Racing Stables. John and Michelle Hallett; Bruce Aldrich, Sr.; Sparky and Cheri Clarke; and Mandy and Gaston Lareau did whatever it took to bring their cherished babies to a happy and forever home. Michelle MacDougall, D.V.M., is an active advocate in the race to helping find racehorses homes after retirement. She has helped place horses and has been a member on the board of Futures for Standardbreds. She has had quite a few of her own horses that she had placed in forever homes as well. Handleyourscandal is a ten-year-old mare that was retired from racing due to breathing complications while racing. Since retirement, she has foaled three, but was not being bred for the 2018 season. “In early March of 2018, I learned about a good friend, Laurie Poulin, losing her mare shortly after foaling. “I had Scandal at the farm and was not planning on breeding her this season, so I offered to try inducing lactation. Despite cautious optimism from a colleague, he provided a protocol and Scandal was able to produce milk in only four days,” said Doc MacDougall. On March 7th, Scandal was introduced to her foster filly and there wasn’t a moment’s hesitation. “A few nickers back and forth and the filly immediately latched on and successfully nursed,” Doc MacDougall said. “Laurie sent a video of the moment and I actually shed a happy tear or two.” Since then, there hasn’t been a single awkward moment, according to Michelle. The two are inseparable and have joined the broodmare herd. “There are even reports that Scandal has adopted a second colt in the field. Apparently, he prefers to spend time with her rather than her birth mother and Scandal happily nurses both fosters as if they are her own. She is such a wonderful mare.” Michelle MacDougall has also had six other retired horses – Handle My Scandal (4, P, Bay, Mare – $1,830 – Retired 2017), Overseer NZ (15, P, Bay Gelding – $125,296, 1:52.0F – Retired 2013), Twin B Flirt (8, P, Bay, Gelding – $121,080, 1:52.1M – Retired 2017), Surprise Ending (18, P, Bay, Mare – $107,734, 1:54.4 – Retired 2010), Gilbralter (18, T, Bay, Gelding – $129,598, 1:55.3F – Retired 2012), Glors Boy (18, P, Bay, Gelding – $623,421, 1:50.4M – Retired 2012), and To The Point (12, P, Bay, Mare – $80,447, 1:53.0Z – Retired 2012). Handle My Scandal (“Ms. Piggy”) was bred by Michelle MacDougall. A full body scan at the age of two revealed a microfracture in both knees and left tibia and so, the mare did not make the races. Despite the injuries, the only symptom was getting rolly and making breaks at speed in the turns. She was given time off and restarted in her three-year-old year. Another full body scan influenced Michelle to retire the mare. She is now in Maine. She participated in a youth program and graduated and was adopted by one of the youth program kids. Overseer NZ (“Lou”) was a talented racehorse whose career was cut short from a soft tissue injury, according to Michelle. She rehabbed him for over a year before breaking him to ride in the winter of 2014. Michelle set her sights on endurance riding and he was the perfect mount. “He was small, light on his feet, quick, nimble, and would rack and canter when asked,” she said. An injury to Michelle prevented her from participating in her endurance debut, despite tirelessly training Lou. He now serves as “Uncle Lou” in her breeding program where Michelle weans foals from their mothers into the paddock with him. He has raised four years of weanlings for her. Twin B Flirt (“Flirt”) suffered two separate soft tissue injuries. According to Michelle, during her time racing the colt, he was a significantly fun-loving, happy horse with all kinds of spunk and play. He had successful rehabilitation, yet the decision was made to retire him when he faced a Lasix reaction. Michelle decided that best for his health would be to retire him. He is now in a home with a novice reins man, Keith Gordon, president of Blue Star Equiculture that provides home and sanctuary to draft horses at the end of their careers. Flirt enjoys a life of pleasure driving around the farm in Massachusetts; although, at first, Michelle had warned him that driving a draft horse versus a Standardbred is the difference between a Mack Truck and a Maserati. Surprise Ending (“Prize”) suffered a slab fracture in both knees as a 3-year-old, but successfully continued racing for many more years. She was retired when the aches and pains were taking too long to recover after a race. She had a great attitude for life so Michelle decided a second career as a pleasure horse would fit her well. She has been broke to ride and spends many hours pleasure driving down the carriage paths of Arcadia National Park with now owner, Barbara Pretorious. Gibralter (“G-Money”) was a hard-hitting horse with a huge desire to race, but unfortunately was plagued with poor conformation which caused him to interfere at speed one the aches and pains of being an aged racehorse changed his gait. Changing track sizes did not help so the horse was retired. Michelle broke him to ride in 2012 and kept him for two years as a trail horse, riding through the Ocala National Forest. She offered him to New Vocations for placement. He now participates in 25- and 50-mile endurance rides with his new owner. Glors Boy was an incredibly successful racehorse who participated in and won some of the most prestigious races in harness racing. He was well-deserving of a great life after racing and was retired in 2012 as a riding horse for Michelle. She rode him for the next three years through the Ocala National Forest during her winters in Florida. In 2015, she contacted Futures for Standardbreds and Robyn Cuffey to find anyone interested in a “husband horse” because he was so good at being babysitter on the trails. He was placed in a home in the spring of 2015 and even showed and won in a local dressage competition with his new owner. He is now shared as both a trail and show horse throughout southern Maine. To the Point (“Big”) was a super talented free-legged pacer, but was plagued with lameness issues throughout her career. From a young age, she suffered from progressive white line disease and often required significant breaks from racing to allow the hoof to grow out properly. In 2012, she was retired to Michelle’s broodmare program, but, unfortunately, could not carry a foal to term so Michelle broke her to ride. She played around with her in the Ocala National Forest until 2015, when she was donated to Robyn Cuffey to become part of a competitive driving herd. Big was perfect as a singles driving horse, but was unable to relax in the pair due to her competitive nature. She was adopted as a companion to Glors Boy. Doc MacDougall is also a participating member of Racing Under Saddle (the R.U.S) as well as a competitor in the New Jersey National Standardbred Horse Show. She has trained horses to ride under saddle for the RUS and in dressage, hunt-seat, and more for the horse show. Michelle MacDougall, D.V.M., plays an important role in life after racing for harness horses. She has placed her own horses as well as others, contributed as a member of societies for placement, and has trained horses for the transition into new careers after racing. We will be competing alongside each other at the National Standardbred Horse Show in New Jersey at the end of this summer. It is a large venue that gives the opportunity to showcase the talent and flexibility of the Standardbred. It features the transition from harness and race bike to saddle and show ring. From dressage to hunt-seat to jumping, these horses can do it all. Their handlers and trainers do what it takes to ease a transition into a post-racing career. Twelve-year-old trotting gelding Red Victor was claimed to a stable that Rebecca Segal worked for six years ago, at the age of six. During this ownership, the chestnut broke down, taking a year and a half to get back going. Once he was ready to race again, the owner died, causing the horse to be put into the sale. Segal bought the eight-year-old out of the sale and has kept him ever since. She spent six months bringing him back to race ready and qualified him, where he won. “It was the most exciting part of owning him and my favorite memory that he was able to come back after all that time,” Segal said. He was very full of life, according to Rebecca. He had quite the personality, very loving and just cool. “Once the cart was on, he would rear up and just be ready to go,” she said. He didn’t race much and eventually stopped racing due to a broken bone. They were told they would have to put him down. When it came time to actually having to do it, he was moved to the house of a veterinarian and then to another place to actually help him get better. Rebecca got the horse back six months later and has kept him ever since. He travels with her; wherever she goes, he goes. Keeping a retired horse is not entirely cost effective for a groom. Rebecca ensures to keep the utmost comfort for the horse; maintaining up-to-date shoeing, vaccinations, and more. She finds a local farm, within 20 minutes of her at most, where she can board him while she works at the track, from Batavia to Buffalo to Tioga to Pompano. Rebecca finds the farms based off of good references and people that she knows and trusts. She is very specific of where she keeps him and the farm needs to match her views on good horse care, because everyone has their own style and way of doing things. “It is important to me that he has a good life being retired. I have been lucky to have been able to find people that are willing to help us. We have been able to find deals on boarding and shoeing and more that really help us out a lot,” Rebecca said. Rebecca Segal was born into the business and has been in it for all 27 years of her life. Her family is also involved in the harness racing business. She is a groom at Tioga Downs this summer and in Pompano Park in the winter. She just got her owners and trainers license. Red Victor is her first retired horse and she has done whatever it took to keep him comfortable and close-by. His new life involves traveling and a career in casual or pleasure horseback riding on the farm. Regardless if you are a groom, trainer, owner, veterinarian, or anything else, we take care of our horses, our pets, our family.  There are options for racehorses after retirement. From being a trail riding horse to a show horse or a driving horse to a pasture mate, broodmare, or stud, our racehorses have a wide spectrum of opportunity for life after racing. They can be easily broke to ride and are very adaptable to a new environment. Every horse has their own personality, quirks, and traits that make them special, that make them who they are. We, as horsemen, have our favorites. We have small stables and big stables, one horse to a full farm. We are all unique in the way we care for our horses. From the time of day we feed to how we train to how we schedule a race night in the paddock, we all have our own way. But, one thing is for sure, and that is how we treat our horses and that is in the best way possible. We make sure they are comfortable. We show up seven days a week and give them all the attention and care they need. The best part of racing happens behind the scenes. It is when the horseman puts in all the time and effort and does what it takes to keep the animal happy and safe. These horses may or may not be able to continue racing; yet, regardless, their owners and trainers take the time to make the best decision for them whether it be to continue or to sell or to retire. These are only a few of the examples of life after racing and horsemen doing what it takes to give them a forever and happy home for life. by Jessica Hallett, for Harnesslink

YONKERS, NY, Monday, September 17, 2018-Post positions have been drawn for Saturday's (Sept. 22nd) $1.8 million New York Night of Champions, with Yonkers Raceway again hosting the 29th edition of the Empire State's richest night of harness racing. Eight, $225,000 sire stakes finals, each sponsored by a prominent breeding farm or organization, feature the best 2- and 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. Here's a hot-off-the-presses thumbnail of the divisions, which go as the races 2 through 9 during the dozen-race card. First post is the usual evening standard of 6:50 PM. 2nd race (Crawford Farms 2-Year-Old Filly Trot) - Division points leader Winndevie (Trond Smedshammer, post 3) won her first five seasonal starts before a second-place finish at Saratoga. The daughter of Credit Winner, trained by her driver for owner Purple Haze Stables, won twice here, as did Conway Kellyanne (Charlie Norris, post 5). Amal Hall (Andy Miller, post 6) has three wins and four seconds in her seven tries, while Quincy Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr., post 7) has been board-certified in all seven starts (4 wins, 2 seconds, 1 third). 'Quincy' has earned $125,712, making her the richest lass among the octet. 3rd race (Agriculture and NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trot) - Gimpanzee (Brian Sears, post 5) has been more untouchable than Eliot Ness, as in 6-for-6 ($166,358) by a combined margin of 23¼ lengths. The son of Chapter Seven is trained by Marcus Melander for Delray Beach co-owners Courant Inc. and S R F Stable. Gimpanzee enters off a handy win here, as does Thunder (Jason Bartlett, post 3). The son of Conway Hall has won half of his eight seasonal efforts, with all the win in his last five tries. Chip Chip Conway (Jim Taggart Jr., post 8) has hit the board in seven of his nine tries this season. 4th race (Agriculture and NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pace) -Melodie's Major (Tyler Buter, post 1) has won just about everything this season (8 starts, 6 wins, 1 second, $166,433), including the draw for the statebred finale. The Art Major colt is trained by Mark Ford for owner Martin Scharf. Hickfromfrenchlick (Tim Tetrick, post 6) has the 100G final of the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace here leading his 4-for-6 resume. Major Blake (Bartlett, post 8) has won thrice in his five tries. 5th race (Winbak Farm 2-Year-Old Filly Pace) - So Awesome (Tetrick, post 6) led the points parade, winning four races (two here) during here frosh foray ($176,190). The So Surreal miss is trained by Scott DiDomenico for owner William Hartt. St. Somewhere (George Brennan, post 2) strung together three consecutive NYSS wins in July, also with a pair here. Moneyshot Hanover (Buter, post 3) tried her luck in open company north of the border after a pair of statebred wins. 6th race (Allerage Farm 3-Year-Old Filly Trot) -All-age track-record-holder (1:53.1) Plunge Blue Chip (Ake Svanstedt, post 2) has been a beast all season (10 starts, 5 wins, 3 seconds, 2 thirds, $372,601). She did thrown down the new record in the $129,014 Hudson two starts, ago, then won a Saratoga NYSS event by seven-and-change widening lengths. One of her rare poor performances came in last season's statebred finale, however. Svanstedt trains for himself, Blue Chip Bloodstock, Little E LLC, Tomas Andersson and Rick Zeron Stables. Lucky Ava (Bartlett, post 4) did upset to became the frosh champ a season ago and has five wins among her 10-for-11 board finishes this time around. Repentance (Tetrick, post 8) has won her last three tries, a pair in NYSS and a division of the Woodbine/Mohawk Simcoe. 7th race (Cameo Hills Farm 3-Year-Old Filly Pace) - 'Defending' champ Alexis Dream (Morrill Jr., post 3) has not lost a step ($228,000-plus last season, $230,000-plus this season). The daughter of American Ideal is co-owned by West Wins Stable, Jim Fielding J. Robert Darrow & Kevin McKinlay and trained by Casie Coleman. The $112,904 Lady Maud here earlier this month was one of her four seasonal wins. Wisdom Tree (Tetrick, post 4), the group's point leader, has been vicious this season, as in 10 wins and a second in a baker's dozen tries ($274,851). Newsday (Jordan Stratton, post 1) owns a pair of local sire stakes wins. 8th race (Morrisville College Equine Institute 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trot) - With Yonkers Trot winner Six Pack AWOL, runner-up Helpisontheway (Morrill Jr., post 4) becomes one of the targets. The Chapter Seven colt, trained by Linda Toscano for co-owners Camelot & Bay's Stable and Little E LLC, has six win and four seconds in his 12 '18 tries ($355,275). He had four wins in a row earlier this season. Winning Shadow (Mike Simons, post 3) has five wins this season, while The Veteran (Stratton, post 8) has six wins and over $194,000 this season despite drawing poorly more than once. 9th race (Blue Chip Farms 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pace) - No one has exactly stepped up and grabbed the baton in the state's glamour division, Springsteen (Sears, post 1) won a draw-time 'tiebreaker' to get into this race, then won the draw. Thrice a winner in a dozen seasonal starts ($346,729), the Rock N Roll Heaven colt has been tough to figure. Rene Allard co-owns (with Bruce Soulsby, Alan Weisenberg and Kapildeo Singh) and trains. Ghost Dance (Morrill Jr., post 5) enters with consecutive statebred wins, while Rockapelo (Bartlett, post 4) has hit the board in nine of his 12 '18 efforts. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

Monday's harness racing action at the Delaware County Fair featured the $101,700 (div) Ohio Breeders Championship for three-year-old filly trotters. In the second $50,850 division, Impinktoo and Kayne Kauffman took the lead before the ¼ mile pole and cruised to a 2 1/2 length win in 1:55 4/5. Sesame (Ryan Stahl) and Non Smoker (Dan Noble) rounded off the top three. The daughter of Manofmanymissions has earned $401,610 in her career for William Walters, Joe McLead and RTK Racing. Impinktoo is trained by Ron Burke. Risky Deal with trainer Crist Hershberger in the bike edged California Love (Aaron Merriman) by a neck in the first division. The Break The Bank K lass scored for the fifth time this season in a lifetime best 1:56. To Russia (Ryan Stahl) rounded out the trifecta. Risky Deal owned by Deborah Kvernmo of Georgetown, Kentucky. The Monday undercard featured six divisions of the Buckeye Stallion Series for three-year-old colt and filly pacers. Dancin Dragon (Dan Noble) took the fastest of the three $15,000 colt divisions with his 1:53 win over Mcwiz (Kayne Kauffman) and Rock On Creek (Ryan Stahl). The Dragon Again gelding is owned by trainer Jim Arledge, Jr. and breeder Mark Marroletti. The other sophomore colt paces went to Long Train Runnin (Chris Page) in 1:53 2/5, Bambino Joe (Aaron Merriman) in 1:53 2/5 and Medoland Brutus (Kayne Kauffman) in 1:55 1/5. The two filly divisions were won by Our Miss Reese (Hugh Beatty) in 1:56 2/5 and Bringhomethemail (Dan Noble) in 1:57 1/5. Tuesday's 13 race card will start at 1:00 PM. The simulcast show will begin at 12:30 PM. by Jay Wolf, for the Little Brown Jug

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The harness racing meet's leading driver, George Napolitano Jr., was named on four horses on the overnight sheet for the $14,000 distaff claiming handicap pacing feature at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Monday night. They were the 5-2 early choice, and a 4-1 shot, a 5-1 shot, and a 6-1 shot on the morning line. He took the longest shot of the four at 6-1, Intoview, then swept from seventh down the backstretch to reach the wire first in 1:53, a length to the good of Tataria. Sea's Ideal and Unbeamlieveable fought for the early lead well past the 26.3 marker on a track rated "sloppy," with the former finally able to clear to the lead, only to have favored LK's Nancy Lee start up uncovered at her by the 55.3 half. "George Nap" swung Intoview three-wide from fourth-over late on the backstretch, got cover from Tataria in the three-path on the far turn, then swung even wider and, after Tataria had made the stretch lead, was able to get by the gritty rival for the decision. A daughter of Mach Three, Intoview won her second straight race for owner/trainer Gilbert Garcia-Owen. Napolitano continued his recent hot form with three winners, giving him 20 visits to Victory Lane since last Friday, racing Saturday-Sunday-Monday at Pocono and Friday-Sunday at Harrah's Philly. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

Plainville, MA --- Two 2-year-old late closer stakes, one on the trot and one on the pace, offering a total of $40,000 were contested at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Sept.17) offering some fantastic finishes and state-bred stars in the making. The $20,000 Wood End Light final for 2-year-old trotters of both genders was won by the Massachusetts-bred The Fixer (Trixton-Give You My Word) who was a major upset. The Fixer (Shane Taggart) and Prenuptial (Domenico Cecere) trotted side by side from the gate to the top of the turn, setting fractions of :28.2, :59 and 1:27.4 along the way. The two traded leads during the course of the trip but one never cleared the other. That was until the top of the stretch when Prenuptial tired and The Fixer trotted away to a two length win in 1:58, blowing up the tote board at 31-1. It was the first lifetime win and a lifetime mark for The Fixer ($64.80) who was bred and is owned by Thomas Dillon. Gretchen Athearn trains the winner. The Fixer is Massachusetts Sire Stake eligible and should be in action during the first leg of the 2-year-old division which kicks off at Plainridge Park on Monday (Oct. 1). Then later, the $20,000 Nauset Light final for 2-year-old pacers of both genders was won by Fight Like Mike (Rock N Roll Heaven-Delco Voracious) who made a big late move. Sylvia Trench (Jim Hardy) was the pacesetter who was under duress the entire mile. First Bangor (Jimmy Whittemore) pushed him to the half in :57 and at the three-quarters, Fight Like Mike (Mitchell Cushing) came flying three wide to draw alongside Sylvia Trench to argue from there until the wire. Sylvia Trench was at the pylons with Fight Like Mike alongside spinning out of the last turn. Hardy and Cushing were both rocking and knocking all the way down the lane until Fight Like Mike just got a head in front before the wire and won in 1:56. It was also the first lifetime win and mark for Fight Like Mike ($6.20) who was bred and is owned by Jesse De Long andis trained by Jim Nickerson. Tuesday afternoon's (Sept. 18) card of racing at Plainridge Park has been postponed until Wednesday (Sept. 19) due to the remnants of Hurricane Florence that is expected to affect the greater Boston area with torrential rains and flash flooding tomorrow. Post time for the first race Wednesday will be at 2 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts    

GRATZ, PA - The Pennsylvania fair circuit's trotters, pacers, and horsemen moved to the eastcentral portion of the state on Sunday and Monday for the annual meeting in this town, which is the next-to-last start on the PA fair circuit this year - and thus important for horses looking to solidify spots in the Fair Championships at The Meadows on Saturday, October 6. One divisional track record was set during the meet, as the Russell Hanover - Applique Hanover freshman pacing gelding Aflame Hanover scorched the track with a 1:56.4 clocking while going wire-to-wire, far eclipsing the former mark of 1:58.1 set by Ya Gotta Go in 2010. Aflame Hanover, who is 5-4-1-0 at the fairs and has been competitive with "the big boys" on the pari-mutuel circuit, is owned by driver Tony and trainer/wife Linda. Ironically, the horse who finished the distant second to "Aflame," Way To Close, clinched the seasonlong points title for the baby pacing colts division with his place finish for Tony's brother Todd Schadel. Among the group's female counterparts, the star has been the Well Said - Chantal Hanover filly Crew Sock Hanover, who is trained and driven by Dave Brickell, also co-owner with Mitchell York - the same pairing behind 2016 North American freshman dashleader Camera Lady. At Gratz Crew Sock Hanover was the first horse to post parade for the weekend, and she was also the first horse home, the 2:00 mile running her record to 9-for-9 on the Keystone twicearounds. (And it took until this race for "Crew Sock" to clinch her points title.) Talk about dominating a division - in the two-year-old diamondgaited colt ranks, Todd Schadel swept the two "A" divisions with Oceanato Hanover (7-5-2-0 at the fairs) in 2:05 and Sinister Hanover in 2:04.1. And with those results, a third member of Team Todd, Keystone Bentley, mathematically eliminated the opposition to become the points champion. Among their filly counterparts, the winners were RT Gloria De Dios (2:02.2) and I'mallthatmatters (2:05). This is the only freshman section that did not have a horse "clinch" its point title - the two it will boil down to at Bloomsburg will be Bumper Hanover (second at Gratz) and Misty Lane (third). That the three-year-olds got to race at all on Monday was in part due to Gratz's track surface, probably the most "waterproof" on the circuit, but in probably larger part due to the efforts of the Wiest family, who handled a steady rain with skill and kept an excellent surface under the circumstances for the horsemen. Dave Brickell won Sunday's first race with Crew Sock Hanover, and he took the initial Monday contest with the redoubtable Well Said pacing gelding Venier Hanover, who came his own last quarter in 28.2 to post a 1:57.4 victory for Team Brickell/York. But Venier is not only not a "clinched" pointleader, he's not even in the lead in the division, as second again was Cirrus De Vie, the 2017 Championship winner, running his fair scorecard to 13-7-6-0 (all six seconds to you-know-who). Venier, who now has won eight in a row at the fairs, could even win at Bloomsburg this weekend, and if Cirrus De Vie finished second, "Cirrus" would be the pointleader (Venier was not at his best early in the year). The battle for point honors among the sidewheeling filly set is even closer after Monday wins by friendly rivals that date back to their high school wrestling days - Roger Hammer (Birch Bark, 2:01.2) and Same Beegle (Alexis May Hanover, 2:02.2). Geisha Seelster is currently in the lead, but depending upon Bloomsburg results both Keystone Diamond and Pretty Proud (the 2017 point and Championship winner) could take the honors. Given the tricky weather on Monday, the two three-year-old colt trotters, both late bloomers at the fairs, were as impressive as anybody - Tymal Advocate won in 2:00.3 to run his recent fair record to 4-for-5, while Show Me The Magic has triumphed in 5 of his last 7 fair outings after a 2:01 score. The sectional point title, though, will be another three-way late battle, among Grapple Hanover, Eiffel Hanover, and Yougottabecrazy. The only fair competitor who had been able to clinch a point title before Gratz, the three-year-old Blow Back, was second at Gratz to Bellamente in 2:03, with Blow Back now showing a still-impressive 13-8-5-0 fair scorecard. She'll have to stay at her best through Championship time, though, to deny Critical Hanover (11-6-5-0 at the fairs), who won the other Gratz division in 2:01.2. Todd Schadel again was the big winner at Gratz, with six victories on both the training and driving side, and is uncatchable no matter the results at Bloomsburg, which races on Friday at 1:00 p.m. and Saturday at 11:00 a.m. From the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association  

Delaware, OH - Ohio-bred champion Lather Up and supplemental entry Courtly Choice, drew the coveted rail positions in their eliminations for the $642,000 Little Brown Jug, presented by the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association, to be held Thursday, September 20th at the Delaware County Fair. Lather Up is a homebred son of I'm Gorgeous and has won $738,965 for Gary and Barbara Iles. He has won 14 of 19 career starts including the $760,000 North America Cup and the $275,000 Ohio Sire Stakes Final. Lather Up will be driven by Montrell Teague and is trained by Clyde Francis, the same connections that won the 2015 Little Brown Jug with Wiggle It Jiggleit. Courtly Choice has won nine starts this season and has banked more than $700,000 lifetime. The bay son of Art Major is owned by Huff Racing Stable, Mac & Heim Stables, Daniel Plouffe and Touch Stone Farms. Courtly Choice is conditioned by Blake MacIntosh and driven by the four-time Jug champion David Miller. Courtly Choice was not Jug eligible, but thanks to his win in the $701,830 Meadowlands Pace his connections could pay the $45,000 supplemental payment. Drawing post #4 in the second elimination is Stay Hungry, who is looking to become the 11th horse to win pacing's "Triple Crown." It has been 15 years since No Pan Intended accomplished this feat. The Sombeachsomewhere - My Little Dragon colt has won $1.1 million, including the $281,000 Cane Pace and the $500,000 Messenger Stake. Stay Hungry is owned by Bradley Grant and the Estate of Irwin Samelman, trained by Tony Alagna and will be piloted by Doug McNair. The first four finishers in the $102,720 eliminations will return for the second heat. The winner of the $436,560 final heat will be declared the 73rd Jug champion. The complete Little Brown Jug field and announced drivers: $102,720 - 1st Elimination (first four finishers return for second heat) PP - Horse (Driver/Trainer) 1. Lather Up (Montrell Teague/Clyde Francis) 2. This Is The Plan (Andrew McCarthy/Chris Ryder) 3. Babes Dig Me (Yannick Gingras/Tony Alagna) 4. Done Well (Tim Tetrick/Brian Brown) 5. Key Advisor (Chris Page/Tony Alagna) 6. Nutcracker Sweet (Jordan Stratton/Jimmy Takter) 7. Wes Delight (Yannick Gingras/Chris Oakes) $102,720 - 2nd Elimination (first four finishers return for second heat) PP - Horse (Driver/Trainer) 1. Courtly Choice (David Miller/Blake MacIntosh) 2. Hayden Hanover (Andy Miller/Julie Miller) 3. Hitman Hill (Brett Miller/Chris Oakes) 4. Stay Hungry (Doug McNair/Tony Alagna) 5. Dorsoduro Hanover (Matt Kakaley/Ron Burke) 6. Decoy (Jimmy Takter/Jimmy Takter) $436,560 - 2nd Heat Post time for the Thursday card will be 11:00 AM. by Jay Wolf, for the Little Brown Jug

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 17, 2018 -- Chef Lee had little trouble reaching the point in the compact field of four, but he had to dig in late to preserve his second straight victory in Monday's harness racing feature at The Meadows, a $13,000 Conditioned Trot. Mike Wilder gave Chef Lee a comfortable 29.3 second quarter, but he couldn't shake the pocket-sitting Explosive Leggs, who fell 1/2 length short in the Lightning Lane, with Mac Deeno a ground-saving third. Winning time for the 6-year-old Cantab Hall-Summer Savory gelding was 1:55.4 over a sloppy surface. Norm Parker owns and trains Chef Lee, who lifted his career bankroll to $360,165. Dave Palone collected four wins and Wilder three on the 12-race card. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

LEXINGTON, KY - Owners of the Red Mile, the Hambletonian Society and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission have announced the creation of a $3 million race day. The event will take place on Sunday, September 29, 2019, and will include the Commonwealth's first-ever $1 million race in The Red Mile Million for Standardbreds. "The Red Mile Million is intended to attract the world's best two-year-old trotters to Lexington to compete at the historic Red Mile and highlight the Kentucky Sire Stakes Championship Day as part of The Grand Circuit meet in 2019," said Joe Costa, the track's President. "More than that, it is intended to attract fans and guests to our exciting new entertainment destination." John Campbell of the Hambletonian Society explained the Red Mile Million format. "This is a new idea for our sport," said Campbell. "With ten slots to be acquired for $100,000 each, the race for two-year-old trotters will be a signature event for The Grand Circuit at The Red Mile going forward. There is already tremendous interest from our racing community." Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Executive Director Marc Guilfoil noted that the September 29 card at The Red Mile with The Red Mile Million and eight $250,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes Championship races will be the second richest race day in the Commonwealth, trailing only Kentucky Derby Day. "Beginning next year, our state will play host to an amazing day of racing and unprecedented purse structure for Standardbred racing," said Guilfoil. "The Red Mile Million will become a can't-miss event." With the Red Mile Million, The Grand Circuit Meet and the revitalized Kentucky Sire Stakes Program, over $11 million in harness racing purses will be competed for at The Red Mile over a seven-week period from August 2019 to October. "We are working closely not only with our racing industry, but also local and state tourism officials to make this a memorable weekend for our region," added Costa. "Stay tuned as we plan more announcements in the coming weeks." For more information, contact Brian Miller at the Bluegrass Sports Commission at bmiller@bluegrasssports.org or by phone at 859-420-4191. by Amy Ratliff, for the Red Mile

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