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WASHINGTON, PA, May 18, 2018 -- Last year at 2, Hockey Hanover achieved a rare, if not unprecedented, double, winning the harness racing championships of both the PA Fairs and the PA Stallion Series. This year, he's aiming for an even bigger prize -- the PA Sires Stake title. He begins his quest Saturday at The Meadows in the Super Bowl, a $174,888 PASS event for sophomore colt and gelding trotters. First post is 11:25 AM. While Hockey Hanover competed primarily in stallion series and fair stakes last year, he faced elite trotters in a single PASS appearance. The son of Explosive Matter-Hotentrot Hanover lost to Crystal Fashion by a nose. Says his trainer, Wilbur Yoder: "We wanted to make sure he would make the stallion series final. Once we were sure of that, we decided to try him in a sires stake. He showed he can go with them." If all goes as planned, Hockey Hanover will stay on the PASS trail this year and de-emphasize fairs. "He was a big, strong colt last year, and he grew up a little bit," Yoder reports. "He seems pretty sound and healthy right now. I think we have enough stake races this year to keep him away from the fairs. That's the game plan, anyway." John McMullen of McMullen Stable, which owns Hockey Hanover, is a fixture on the PA Fairs circuit. He notes that the colt would need to race at a minimum of five fairs to be eligible for the championship. "We've put him in races where we've never raced before," McMullen says. "We'll just see how the early part of the year works out. The fairs final is a pretty nice thing." McMullen Stable has bred, purchased and campaigned dozens of horses over the years, naming 39 of them to honor Pennsylvania counties. The Keystone State has 67 counties, so McMullen had plenty of opportunity to change Hockey Hanover's name and extend the tradition. "We thought about it, but Hockey Hanover is a pretty nice name. We decided to leave it, and I'm glad we did." Hockey Hanover leaves from post 7 in race 8, but Yoder, his regular pilot, is recuperating from what he describes as a broken sternum and several broken ribs suffered in a race mishap. Yoder estimates he'll be sidelined another month, so Brian Zendt will take the reins. Saturday's action-packed Preakness Day card also features an $80,000 PA Stallion Series stake for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters and a pair of rich guarantees -- $7,500 for the Pick 4 (races 4-7), $5,000 for the Pick 5 (races 11-15). Fan-centered activities include: A DJ and food and beverage specials at BBQ tents on the apron; Paddock tours and jog cart and starting gate rides, courtesy the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA); "Plinko" games offering such prizes as hats and betting vouchers. To register or for more information, stop by the MSOA table in the Racebook. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

HARRISBURG PA - Tim Bojarski, the immediate past president of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) and now the chairman of the board, the organization's webmaster, and a publicist for Batavia Downs (NY) and Plainridge Park (MA), has been named to a six-year term on USHWA's Hall Of Fame Screening Committee, it has been announced by Shawn Wiles, current president of USHWA, the largest harness racing organization devoted to standardbred communicators. Bojarski, of Akron NY, has a background in harness horse ownership and training, and has driven in qualifying races. He has been a member of USHWA for 17 years, 11 of them as a Director of the Association. Voted in as national second vice-president in 2012, he progressed "up the chairs" to become the organization's president from February 2016 to February 2018, and per the USHWA bylaws will serve as the Chairman of the Board until the 2020 national meetings. Tim is familiar with the procedures of the Screening Committee, as the president of USHWA is an ex officio voting member of all committees, so he has attended the group's last two sets of screening sessions. Bojarski works with his "hometown track," Batavia Downs, as the publicist during their racing season, and since has linked with Plainridge Park near Boston and the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts. He is a regular columnist for Hoof Beats magazine, the acclaimed publication of the United States Trotting Association (USTA). Tim is also kept busy updating the USHWA website, bringing the latest of information about the organization, its activities, and major racing news to all visitors to www.ushwa.net. And in case that doesn't fill all his time, Bojarski also serves as the president and secretary of the Upstate New York chapter of USHWA. "Tim brings with him a wide range of knowledge of harness racing and its vast and glorious history," said USHWA president Wiles upon making the appointment. "As past President of USHWA he is familiar with the inner workings of this committee. He will be a welcome addition to an already-strong slate of members on this prestigious committee." Bojarski will begin his new term, which expires after the 2023 meeting, with the gathering of the Screening Committee during Hall of Fame weekend at the Hall / Harness Racing Museum in Goshen NY, that weekend culminating with the induction of the newest Hall of Famers at a dinner on Sunday, July 1. United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA)

Plainville, MA---Walpole, Massachusetts native George Ducharme left his Vernon Downs base of operations to return home with two of his state-bred trotters and came away with two wins, two lifetime marks and a tie for a harness racing track record for his students after their day of work at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (May 17). Last year's Massachusetts Sire Stake (MASS) 2-year-old champion Hashtagmadeyalook bounced back from a disappointing start in a $40,600 New York Sire Stake at Vernon Downs last week to defeat nine rivals in the $12,500 Highland Light Series for 3 and 4-year-old trotters at Plainridge today. Leaving from post three, Hashtagmadeyalook (Shawn Gray) took a quarter to get the lead, but when he did it was for good. After cutting fractions of :28, :57.3 and 1:26.3, Gray kept his trotter on task and held off a rush from a late-closing Now's The Moment (Mike Stevenson) to win by a half-length in 1:55.4. The time was a new lifetime mark for the winner. Hashtagmadeyalook ($3.20), who is a 2018 Hambletonian eligible, is owned by his breeder Ray Campbell Jr. Ducharme's other entry was 2016 2-year-old MASS champion Muscles Jared who made heads turn in the $12,000 conditioned overnight trotting feature. In a similar manner to his stablemate, Muscles Jared (Shawn Gray) left and cleared past the quarter and dictated every station after that. After settling the field in with a tepid :57 half, Gray tapped the gas pedal and went back to back :28.1 and :28.4 quarters to win by five, stopping the clock in 1:54 flat. The time equaled both his lifetime mark and the track record for 4-year-old trotting geldings. Muscles Jared ($3.20) is owned by Al Ross. In the second division of the $12,500 Highland Light Series, J-S Miss Carolyn (Steeven Genois) scored an impressive gate to wire victory in 1:57.4. Owned by Adam Friedland and trained by Jim Nickerson, J-S Miss Carolyn ($8.80) scored her first win of the year, and at Plainridge, in her first ever trip here. There was also two divisions of the $10,000 Ralph Waldo Emerson trotting series on Thursday. Saratoga invader The Lindy Treaty (Shawn Gray) took early cover before pulling first-up at the three-quarters to trot by the front-running Manssive (Ron Cushing) down the lane and win by three lengths in 1:54.3, which was a new lifetime mark for the 7-year-old. The Lindy Treaty ($13.80) is owned by Barry Wishard and is trained by Brett Derue. The second division saw Jericho (Joe Di Stefano) follow cover second-over past the half to eventually out-muscle Candy Lane (Matt Athearn) by a nose at the wire in 1:55.1, which was yet another lifetime mark. Jericho ($14.20) is owned by Linda Kenney, Robert Kenney and the Di Stefano and Son Stable and is trained by John Di Stefano. Shawn Gray led all drivers with three wins on the card. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Friday (May 18) at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

CHESTER PA - The Donato Hanover gelding Deep Impact, glad to see no Hannelore Hanovers or any other bearcats on the track with him, made two speed moves and went on to an in-control harness racing victory in the $17,000 trotting feature at Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday, touring the sloppy oval in 1:53.4. Trainer Ãke Svanstedt, who took over conditioning of the winner of $184,735 before the campaign, saw his new charge earn a first and a second in the Shiaway St Pat series at The Meadowlands before facing the cream of his division in the Cutler last week. Svanstedt took sulky duty Thursday and sent his charge to the front, briefly yielded then retook in front of the stands, and the pair came home solidly in 56.1 to keep a resilient EI EI O at bay by 1¼ lengths for the Van Camp Trotting Corporation. The 1:53.4 clocking was also achieved by Watkins and driver Brett Miller in the $14,500 trotting co-feature. Looking buried as the fourth-in horse late in the backstretch, Watkins found room to move as the outer tier collapsed, swung wide for the stretch battle and caught favored You're Majestic by a half-length. Jack Franklin trains the Striking Sahbra gelding, still going strong at age 11 and with $869,280 in the bank, for owner Thomas Ceraso Jr. Driver Tim Tetrick, after winning five races at Philly on Wednesday, came back with four more triumphs on Thursday, giving him 28 visits to Victory Lane at the riverside oval in May. PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

YONKERS, NY-The final leg of the NAADA Trotting Series was contested tonight (May 17) at Yonkers Raceway and when the dust had settled Paul Minore and Dr. John Kokinos each emerged victorious in their respective divisions and both were repeat winners in the harness racing series. Minore and his old war horse Wygant Prince, used the front-end route for a 1:59 victory and "Dr John" used similar tactics to notch a 1:58.3 triumph behind Here Comes Numbers. However both drivers needed the photo finish camera to verify the decisions. In his contest Minore set sail from the three-hole with his 11-year old SJ's Photo gelding and cut nearly equal fractions of :29.1; 1:00 and 1:29.4 before turning back his stubborn competition. Still with a solid one length lead as the field turned for home Minore was busy urging his charge as Bobby Ciarvardini and Balimor AS supplied constant pressure but when the photo-finish carmera snapped Wygant Prince had notched his 36th career triumph which raised the trotter's lifetime earnings to almost $410,000. Fox Valley Steffen took home the show dough for Jennifer Lappe. The winner is owned by Minore and trained by Taylor Gower. Employing his usual strategy, Kokinos, who seems to like the front-end, sent the 10 year old altered son of Here Comes Herbie to the lead and played catch me if you can... and nobody could, although his competitors made a race out of it as they headed for paydirt. Still seemingly comfortable as the field heard for paydirt a hard charge by Master of Excuse and driver Monica Banca nearly made the outcome in question. But Here Comes Numbers gave Dr. John his fourth winning ride in the series as the veteran trotter tripped the camera for a neck triumph in 1:58.3. Lurking closely behind the leaders another neck farther back was third place finisher Soul Train and Joe Lee. The winner is owned by Patrick Laiso and Jennifer Lappe and trained by Ms Lappe. Slated next week is the consolation followed by the $15,000 series finale. by John Manzi for NAADA  

Millstone Township, NJ - May 17, 2018 - Tuesday May 29th, will mark Standardbred Retirement Foundation's (SRF) 26th Annual Charity Golf Outing being held at the beautiful Battleground Country Club in Manalapan, NJ. This much anticipated event is held in conjunction with SRF's online auction which will open for bidding beginning Friday, May 25th and end at 7PM on Thursday, June 7th. The outing highlight will be the "Million Dollar Shot" which will kick off the event at 1pm. Additionally there will be several Hole-in-One contests throughout the day with separate prizes of $10,000, a set of Callaway golf clubs, a 50" Ultra High Definition TV worth $4,000, and a door prize of an Apple iPad. The price for those wishing to join us for this wonderful event is just $215 pp which includes all greens fees in addition to lunch, cocktails, dinner, and the awards presentation ceremony. If you are unable to join us for golf, you are welcome to join us for cocktails and dinner. Registration and sponsorships can be found on the SRF website at www.AdoptaHorse.org.   Some of the online auction items being offered this year include an exhilarating "Top Gun Experience," which includes the thrill of flying with a fighter pilot in an aerobatic aircraft while experiencing G-force combat maneuvers. If you prefer a more relaxing day, a tour at a California winery or a New Orleans Jazz Cruise coupled with a cooking class may be what you are looking for. Many other fabulous experiences and collectables are being offered including harness racing memorabilia, driver's racing colors, prints, Hambletonian collectibles, stallion halters, driver's bobble heads and so much more.   The SRF welcomes any and all businesses, organizations, friends and their friends to participate as a sponsor, golfer, and/or donor. Donations and bidders are greatly appreciated for auction items. SRF depends on events such as this to help fill the feed buckets of the nearly 400 trotters and pacers in need of homes. Be sure to check the SRF website for updates at www.AdoptaHorse.org. For more information contact Tammy Cailliau SRFHorsesandKids@AdoptaHorse.org, 732-446-4422. SRF is Different: Is the largest Standardbred adoption program in the U.S. Helps Standardbreds exclusively, young, aged, injured, neglected, or abused. Is feeding and caring for nearly 400 trotters and pacers in need of homes. Is providing lifetime homes for more than 190 retirees and provides lifetime follow-up for every adopted horse, never to be at risk again.     Standardbred Retirement Foundation, 353 Sweetmans Lane, Suite 101, Millstone Twp., NJ 08535

Leo Salter, PhD., spent 40 years helping patients overcome difficult times and mental illnesses in his work with Volusia County’s Mental Health Center. But retirement for this busy mental health doctor didn’t mean a relaxed, easy-going kind of transition. Instead, he’s busier than ever with a new career, a new band and new goals on the horizon. In December 2012, he retired at 75, and the now 80-year-old Dr. Salter hasn’t slowed down, focusing now on breeding horses, raising gardens and publishing exciting works of fiction from both his DeLand home and his mountain retreat in Lake Junaluska, N.C. He also has formed a band in N.C., having missed his Florida band which performed for more than 20 years in Volusia County, he said. He plays upright bass for the group, which plays a variety of music. Although Dr. and Evelyn Salter still enjoy six months of each year at their 43-acre DeLand farm where they raise floral greens and breed racing horses, Dr. Salter said his new passion is writing, something he had wanted to do for some time. “The novel, 'Therapeutic Deception,' has as its main character a Dr. Thorton, a quiet, unassuming psychotherapist who is much like (me),” he said. “The novel takes the reader through the untoward actions and accusations by a patient of the doctor that lead to a courtroom scene.” While he drew on his personality for the main character, nothing quite like that happened in his real-life when he worked with patients for more than 40 years, he said. However, his latest novel, “Boys of the Corner,” which is nearing completion, does draw on real-life experiences, with lots of fictional creative license and characters loosely-based on himself and boys he grew up with in Decatur, Ga. “His friends call Leo a ‘Renaissance man’ because of his many and varied interest,” said Ms. Salter with obvious pride as she listed his accomplishments. “Through the years, many articles have been written about his musical career with his popular band of 20 years; his military career, having served eight years in the U.S. Navy; his psychology career as executive director and chief psychotherapist of the county mental health center; his farming career as a commercial grower of ferns and floral greens; his horseman career as a breeder and trainer of harness race horses and now, his latest accomplishment as a published author.” Dr Salter’s first book is available on Amazon in paperback. Although he does not yet have a competition date set for his current book, he said he enjoys writing and would like to continue. By Gina McKee Reprinted with permission of The Hometown News Volusia

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - The forecasted rainy weather on Saturday, May 19th is no match for Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment's 3rd Annual Spring Beer Fest. Doors open for VIP at 4:30 pm with General Admission at 5:30 pm and beer is poured until 9:30pm. It is an evening of great craft beer and horse racing. The event is rain or shine, all beers will be served under large tents or covered bars and festival goers are encouraged to bring umbrellas and ponchos. Ponchos will also be available for sale during the event. Should strong storms become forecasted some tastings will move inside to the Track's Food Court to provide additional cover from the rain. Sixty-three breweries and cideries are participating with over 160 beers and ciders available for tasting. The complete list of breweries including and the full beer lineup is at posted https://meadowlandsracetrack.ticketleap.com/2018-meadowlands-racetrack-beer-festival/details Special VIP only tastings include a Blue Point cask of Mosaic IPA with cucumber, Devil's Backbone Oso Muerte, an Imperial Stout with chili peppers, Neshaminy Creek's Leon, a Russian Imperial Stout, 7 Mile's Walter White, Bolero Snort's Pina Bullada and Lone Eagle's Bourbon Barrel GOLDEN Stout. Johnny Checo from Neshaminy Creek will be the featured speaker providing festival goers the chance to learn about the brewing process and about Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company. The 3rd Annual Beer Fest will be held in the Backyard and on the East Apron rain or shine and will open to the public at 4:30 pm for VIP admission. The VIP ticket is $75 and includes an additional 1 hour of sampling, exclusive VIP Tent beer samplings, and food. General Admission begins at 5:30 pm and is available in advance for $35 or at the door for $45. Live harness racing will commence at 7:15 pm. To purchase tickets : https://meadowlandsracetrack.ticketleap.com/2018-meadowlands-racetrack-beer-festival/  

High Glider, 4-year-old son of Yankee Glide-Highland Ridge has been sold to Brixton Medical of Matawan, New Jersey, it was announced by Sue Agopian, a principal of Deo Volente Farms. Unraced at two, High Glider was painstaking prepared for his 3-year-old season by rising star Marcus Melander and lovingly groomed by caretaker Elise Tillerflaten  eventually trotting in 1:55.1f at three while earning $91,109. Deo Volente farms had previously participated in the ownership of High Glider who in effect had been prepared for what will prove to be” a Global Career as will all our trotters”  according to Ms. Agopian. “From the outset, Marcus prepared this horse for global competition and I will closely follow his career there and yes I’m a huge fan of Marcus Melander” continued Ms. Agopian. Daniel Reden will train High Glider upon his arrival in Sweden. Deo Volente Farms is the home of Hambletonian champion Trixton (Muscle Hill-Emile Cas El) whose impressive first crop will race this year and has been the subject of glowing training reports.  

Vernon, NY - On Friday night, Vernon Downs will host five $12,500 elimination races for the Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) the first major event of the season for harness racing 3-year-old trotting fillies and colts as races five through nine.   The box was overflowing with entries for the filly division with twenty-six declared for the eliminations resulting in three divisions with the top three on the official order of finish returning for the $265,000 final.   The most accomplished of the lot include Plunge Blue Chip who dominated the class at two, last season's surprise New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) final winner Lucky Ava and the fleet Atlanta who trotted to a 1:52 win in her first start of the new season at The Meadowlands last week.   Plunge Blue Chip and Lucky Ava both hail from the barn of Ake Svanstedt who has no fewer than five fillies in the elims and will drive both on Friday.   The only blemish on Plunge Blue Chip's freshman season was a shocking out of the money finish in the NYSS final where her barn mate Lucky Ava picked up the mantle and scored what is by far her biggest win. Svanstedt owns a piece of each, partnered with Blue Chip Bloodstock and Tomas Andersson on "Plunge" and Little E, LLC and Van Camp Trotting Corp sharing the title on Lucky Ava.   Atlanta captured everyone's attention with her stunning 1:52 win against a field that included older horses and a legitimate Hambletonian contending colt in a Meadowlands overnight last week. She zoomed by the field with a withering stretch burst to claim the win with Scott Zeron driving for his father Rick who trains her. Holland Racing Stable, HA Taylor and Brad Grant own Atlanta in partnership with the trainer.   Svanstedt also has one of the top contenders among the nineteen colts in last year's NYSS final winner Six Pack. A winner five times in nine lifetime outings, Six Pack is the fastest of the colts by virtue of his 1:53.1 win in a NYSS event at Vernon just a week ago. Svanstedt own him in partnership with Little E, Stall Kalmar and Lars Berg.   The second division of colts is a very competitive, balanced field that includes the winner of last year's Kindergarten final, Tito. Driver Andy McCarthy will have to chart a winning course from an outside post eight for the Erv Miller trainee who was third in his seasonal debut last week. Anthony Lombardi, George Golemes and Louis Willinger are Tito's owners.   From the pair of colt divisions, the top four and one of the fifth place finishers drawn by lot will advance to the $248,000 final. Both of the rich finals will be part of the Labor Day matinee card on Monday, May 28.   The EBC eliminations will be carried live on The Meadowlands broadcast, spaced between the Meadowlands races.   Races 6-9 will comprise the Pick 4 with a $2,500 guaranteed pool in concert with the USTA Strategic Wagering initiative. Program pages will available on the web.   First race post time is 6:10 with the EBC races slated to begin at 7:30.   Nick Salvi

WASHINGTON, PA, May 17, 2018 -- When Fashionwoodchopper won last year's Pennsylvania championship for harness racing 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters at 38-1 -- from post 8, no less -- he surprised everyone but his trainer, Jim Campbell. "We liked him all along, but it took him a little while to get himself set," Campbell says. "I'm really happy with the way he's come back." Fashionwoodchopper leads a trio of talented Campbell-trained 3-year-olds into Saturday's $174,888 PA Sires Stakes opener, known as the Super Bowl, at The Meadows. He'll go in race 9 from post 6, with David Miller up. His stablemates, Crystal Fashion (race 10, post 8) and Patent Leather (race 8, post 1) will have the services of Tim Tetrick. Jules Siegel's Fashion Farms owns all three hopefuls. First post is 1:05 PM Fashionwoodchopper added victories in the International Stallion Series and Bluegrass to his impressive resume, earning $258,449 for the year. He opened his sophomore campaign with a strong show finish in a tough overnight at the Meadowlands, timed in 1:52.2. "He's a really nice horse to be around, a real pleasure to train," Campbell says of the son of Donato Hanover-Woodshopper. "It's early in the season, so my main concern is that he doesn't get roughed up. I want to get a good race into him without too tough a trip." Fourth in last year's PASS final, Crystal Fashion, a Cantab Hall-Window Willow gelding, banked $161,292 at 2 and launched his sophomore season with an impressive victory at Harrah's Philadelphia. "Where Fashionwoodchopper can race either way, Crystal Fashion likes to come from behind," Campbell says. "He's really good if he can sit on the outside and grind horses down. He really seems to thrive on that." Although he's the least heralded of the three, Patent Leather earned $77,992 last year while racing through injuries. "He's a real gutsy horse, "Campbell said. "He forgot all about those injuries when he raced last year. He has quick speed, and he's gritty." The son of Broadway Hall-Designable enters the Super Bowl after a win in a Harrah's Philadelphia overnight. Saturday's action-packed Preakness Day card also features an $80,000 PA Stallion Series stake for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters and a pair of rich guarantees -- $7,500 for the Pick 4 (races 4-7), $5,000 for the Pick 5 (races 10-15). Fan-centered activities include: A DJ and food and beverage specials at BBQ tents on the apron; Paddock tours and jog cart and starting gate rides, courtesy the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA); "Plinko" games offering such prizes as hats and betting vouchers. To register or for more information, stop by the MSOA table in the Racebook. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Harness racing horsemen flooded to the Champions Center, the new site for the Blooded Horse Sale, in Springfield, Ohio, on May 15, seeking racehorses and breeding stock among the 404 catalogued. It was the strongest Spring Sale in its 55 year history with a lot of happy sellers and happy buyers. "Everyone seemed to appreciate the fresh new venue," said sale manager Jerry Haws. "It's bright, spacious and easily accessible. The racehorse market is booming with good purses driving demand." The sale topper at $52,000 was the ultra-consistent conditioned pacer Outrajus Blue Chip who just finished 2nd in 1:51.3 at Miami Valley. The 4-year old was purchased by Keith Pippi of PA and came from Kim Dailey's powerful consignment that also sold the promising pair of Pet Rock 3-year olds Missplaced Rock for $42,000 and Big CCs Rock for $37,000. Those Ohio eligibles were purchased respectively by Andy Gardner of PA and Allard Racing Inc. Runner-up honors at $45,000 each went to the 3-year-old NYSS placed Art Major filly Line Dancer consigned by Frank Chick and the 7-year-old Open pacing gelding Always The Sun consigned by Duck Creek Farm. They were purchased respectively by Rick Bucci of NY and Noble Racing LLC. The lone trotter among the top 12 horses was the precocious 3-year-old gelding Vote for Pedro, a winner in three of four lifetime starts. Tom Pollack consigned the son of Dejarmbro who was purchased by Steve Taylor of Ontario for $43,000. Allard Racing was the leading buyer with 16 horses. In addition to Big CCs Rock, above, those purchases included the royally bred Indiana Sires Stakes winning Rockin BB for $40,000 and Ohio Sires Stakes eligible That's Amazing for $35,000. The Summer Blooded Horse Sale will be held Tuesday Aug. 28 and Wednesday Aug. 29 at the Champions Center. This sale includes a black type yearling session in addition to several hundred racehorses. The black type yearling session closes July 1. Mixed entries will be taken until full. Visit www.bloodedhorse.com to enter or order a catalogue. Please direct any questions to jhaws@bloodedhorse.com Dot Morgan

Pompano Beach, FL...May 17, 2018...Hall of Fame harness racing driver Wally Hennessey put on a hall of fame performance at Pompano Park on Wednesday night (May 16), winning six of his seven driving assignments. In pushing his Pompano Park seasonal total to an astounding 219, Hennessey improved on his already lofty "Ty Cobb" like UDRS of .405 coming into the action, while improving his winning percentage to over 26%. He took the opener with Northern Dali ($3.40), finished third in the second race, and, after sitting out in race three, captured the remaining five races on the eight race program, winning with Just Like Lloyd ($5.20), Metro Glide ($3.60), Vodkancaviar ($6.80), Pink Gardenias ($3.60) and William Star ($3.20). Hennessey now has won 9,696 races during his Hall of Fame career. His heroics enabled trainers Gaston Lareau and Jamie Daley to attain training doubles with Lareau's successes being with J P Houle Stables Northern Dali and Lareau Stables own Metro Glide while Jamie Daley enjoyed winner's circle ceremonies with the Mike White and Dale Gilmour owned Just Like Lloyd and David Linker's Vodkancaviar--both enjoying their first win of the season. Reflecting on the night, a humble Hennessey said, "It's OK to give me credit for getting them home but, when you get catch-drives like this, it's very important to give credit to the trainers and caretakers of these horse getting them ready to go to the gate and perform at their best. "You never know how they'll be going to the gate, so, tonight, besides Gas (Gaston Lareau) and Jamie (Daley), both (Tom) Bigler (James) Quinn had their horses ready to race tonight. So, they and their caretakers are really the ones what deserve the credit." Racing continues on Sunday night with post time set at 7:20. The Super Hi-5 Finale has a carryover of $12,232. by John Berry for Pompano Park

Hightstown, NJ --- Chuck Connor Jr. stood in the race paddock at the Meadowlands Racetrack one recent morning and looked around at the 2-year-old trotters and pacers on hand for a training session at the North Jersey harness racing oval. “Right now, everyone has got hope,” Connor said. “This is where the dream starts.” Connor would like to be living the dream in several months when the 2-year-olds are in the midst of their rookie seasons. Connor and his wife Janice, along with their son Brian, train a small stable of horses in Goshen, N.Y., based at Historic Track adjacent to the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame. The Connors have a stable of 17 horses at the moment, with nine 2-year-olds. Six of the 2-year-olds made the trip last week to the Meadowlands for their first training session away from home. “You have some that look like an A, some that look like a B, some that look like a C,” Connor said with a laugh. “But right now I’m hopeful that we’ve got a couple of As. It’s looking OK. It’s their first time here and things are a little exciting. It’s a little different for them, but at least they’re learning.” The Connors’ 2-year-olds on the trip, all trotters, included colts Amico Mio Bi (Donato Hanover-Lapponia) and The Chutzpah Kid (Conway Hall-Ms Fushsia) and fillies Muscle N Beauty (Muscles Yankee-Cabaret Hall) and Taja Mahala (Trixton-Kindling). Muscle N Beauty’s dam Cabaret Hall is a half-sister to stakes-winner Cash Hall and full sister to stakes-winners Cartier Hall and Capetown Hall. Taja Mahala’s dam Kindling is a half-sister to Personal Banner, who upset Moni Maker in the 1996 Breeders Crown. “You hope for soundness, number one,” Connor said about evaluating his 2-year-olds. “Then that they show you a little speed and each week they increase that speed a little bit. That’s what you’re hoping they show up with. And manners are key. “They accomplished everything I was looking for here. I was looking for around 2:09, 2:10 and everybody went there. They were all comfortable and did it well. That’s what you hope for.” In recent years, the Connors’ top horse was Rules Of The Road, who finished second to Wild Honey in the 2015 Hambletonian Oaks. Last year, trotter Whats The Word had success on the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes circuit, but went off stride as the 9-5 favorite in the series championship. The stable also had a stakes winner in pacer Real Rayenbow. “You could always have a better year, no matter how good it is,” Connor said, laughing. “You never win enough races and you never make enough money. You just hope you don’t have disappointments along the way, and last year we had a few disappointments. But we still had pretty good horses. “You stay positive and hope everything works good and comes together. That’s why we’re here.” by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

For Andrew Harris, the inaugural Trotting 4 Charity event speaks to his two biggest loves -- harness racing and his wife Amanda. The New Jersey-based trainer is thrilled with the promotion organized by TrotCast's Ryan Macedonio, which will be held May 18-20 at racetracks throughout North America. Participating drivers and trainers will wear a custom-made replica jersey of their own colors, with their selected charity logo displayed on the jersey. During the weekend, drivers will race in their jersey, while trainers like Harris will have jerseys made for them. After the event, auctions will be held for fans to bid on the jerseys and all proceeds from winning bids will be donated to the corresponding charities. Andrew will be donating to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, for a very good reason. "My wife was diagnosed three years ago with breast cancer," he said. "She went a year-and-a-half battling it. It looked like she got by it, they told her she was in remission, and a year ago we were notified it had metathesized to her lung and her thigh. So that charity is near and dear to me." Harris said Amanda is currently doing all right. "She's on chemo, fighting the fight," he said. "No bad news yet other than she's got to keep fighting it." Not only is Amanda battling the disease, she is raising a 4-year-old and 7-year-old, which her husband feels is more of a blessing than an obstacle. "It keeps her mind off the negative thoughts," Harris said. "If you're focusing on them you're not focusing on your own problems." And for the first time in his career, Harris is focusing on his future as the whole experience has been eye-opening. "It's completely changed our lives," he said. "It just even changed my outlook on life. I put a lot of family first and I take my business way more serious than I used to. Before I was training horses and working with (Casie Coleman) and stuff, and it wasn't about setting myself up for the future. Now I'm trying to set myself up for the future and making sure my kids are taken care of because you just don't know anymore." Participating in Trotting 4 Charity is merely an extension of Harris' life. Ever since Amanda was stricken he has donated as much as possible to breast cancer research. "When I saw this charity event come on I saw this was a no-brainer to pick this one," he said. "Hopefully it will shine a light on it and hopefully have some others donate to it so 20 years from now another young family doesn't have to go through this again." Like most everyone involved in the event, Harris has nothing but superlatives to say about it and would love to see it return each year. "I think it's amazing," he said. "It's really neat to see who everybody picked for a charity and shine a light on some. I thought it was great Matt Kakaley picked a local one at Pocono (Marley's Mission). It's something I never heard of and I looked just to see what it was about after I saw he picked it." Harris' brother, J Bradley, and Travis Henry are also driving for breast cancer research. "It does get people's attention within the industry," Harris said. "If we can do it every year, even if we just get decent money, I'm sure over time this will take off and hopefully we can all contribute enough that it helps in the long run." Canadian driver Doug McNair certainly wouldn't argue with that. McNair is donating to Autism Speaks, mainly because the 2-year-old son of his sister Amy has autism. "It's definitely something I want to raise money for and hopefully help this cause," McNair said. Doug said his nephew is doing well and that Amy and her husband, driver Billy Davis Jr., "have done a good job with him. You just have to teach him a little bit differently, that's all. He wouldn't even know he had autism." Robert Shepherd has also made Autism Speaks his charity, and McNair is happy to see what this event means to drivers. "I can't say enough about it," he said. "There are a lot of guys involved. There's nothing wrong with raising money for charities. Whatever happens (in the races), you're winning for sure." One of the more popular organizations chosen is St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, as Andy McCarthy, Declan Donoway, Montrell Teague, Pat Berry and Tyler Smith have all made it their charity of choice. Teague, based in Delaware, has no personal connection to St. Jude but admires the work it does. "I'm just a fan of parents bringing children in there, they don't have to worry about bills, they just worry about getting their child back," he said. "You have kids in there that should be on playgrounds instead of in a hospital bed. They're going through radiation and treatment. It just kills me. That's the worst thing. Cancer doesn't discriminate who it goes to, but usually when you think of cancer you think of somebody older, instead of a child." And since St. Jude's main source of financing comes from donations, Teague is delighted to see the harness racing community doing its part. "I think it's a great idea," he said. "We don't really promote too much, this would be a good promotion for other charities to get involved. They see we're trying to help out. The public will be seeing that we'll be wearing jerseys and we support different organizations other than ourselves. We're not even worried about winning any race, it's just having a jersey on and hoping people will try to bid on my jersey and help out a good cause and get a jersey." Also supporting an organization that helps kids are Brady Galliers and Roger Plante, who will donate to Ronald McDonald House. "That's just the kind of charity I've always been most interested in," said Ohio's Galliers. "They take them in, take care of them and do different things, like arts and crafts and games. All those kids that have a disease, they don't get to do the everyday normal thing, so every little thing for them counts. Just having people going and hanging out with them, doing fun stuff like that, I'm sure it means the world to them." Just as Trotting 4 Charities means the world to Galliers. "It's a really good thing that Ryan and those guys are doing," he said. "It's good for everybody. I don't think this has ever been done and to reach out and do something for the business along with it being a charity event is phenomenal." Following is a list of drivers and trainers participating in Trotting 4 Charity, with their corresponding charities. Allan Davis - Nemours Children's Hospital Andrew Harris - The Breast Cancer Research Foundation Andy McCarthy - St. Jude Children's Research Hospital - Science and Medicine Andy Miller - Pacing For The Cure Bob McClure - Children's Wish Foundation of Canada Brady Galliers - Ronald McDonald House Charities Brian Burton - Potomac Valley Boxing Association Chris Page - Jimmy V Foundation Colin Kelly - Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Corey Callahan - Harness Horse Youth Foundation Declan Donoway - St. Jude Children's Hospital Dolores Basilone Case - American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Doug McNair - Autism Speaks Emily Hay - Leukemia Research Foundation Frank Milby - Talbot Special Riders, Inc. J Bradley Harris - Breast Cancer Research Foundation James MacDonald - Canadian Cancer Society Jim Morrill - Wounded Warrior Project Julie Miller - Pacing For The Cure Louis-Philippe Roy - Fondation Rêves d'enfants, Québec - Children's Wish Foundation, Quebec Marc Campbell - IWK Foundation Marcus Miller - Dogs For Better Lives Matt Kakaley - Marley's Mission Montrell Teague - St. Jude Children's Hospital Pat Berry - St. Jude Children's Hospital Robert Shepherd - Autism Speaks Roger Plante - Ronald McDonald House Russell Foster - Freedom Hill Horse Rescue Ryan Macedonio - Big Brothers Big Sisters Scott Young - Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Scott Zeron - Standardbred Retirement Foundation - Adoptahorse.org Sean Bier - Cardiac Kids Simon Allard - Wigs For Kids Timmy Offutt - Maryland International Harvest Foundation Tom Jackson - Lung Cancer Research Foundation Travis Henry - Breast Cancer Research Foundation Trevor Henry - The War Amps Tyler Buter - Wounded Warriors Tyler Smith - St. Jude Children's Hospital Yannick Gingras - National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation Pictures of each jersey will be available at trotting4charity.com or trotcast.com by Rich Fisher, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

MANALAPAN, NJ -- May 17, 2018 -- New Jersey Racing Commission Executive Director Frank Zanzuccki said Wednesday he will be retiring from his position effective July 1. He made the announcement at yesterday's NJRC meeting at Monmouth Park. No replacement has been named. Zanzuccki joined the NJRC in 1978 and served in various positions prior to being appointed executive director in 1992. The next meeting of the NJRC is July 18 at Monmouth Park. Courtney Stafford

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