Day At The Track
Search Results
1 to 16 of 74927
1 2 3 4 5 Next »

Backtrack, a USTA newsroom feature that will look back at memorable races and harness racing performances, will appear Tuesdays and Fridays in April. Hightstown, NJ — On Oct. 19, 2013, Foiled Again held off all challengers in a furious stretch drive to win the Breeders Crown Open Pace by a nose over Pet Rock in the slop at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. With the victory, the then 9-year-old gelding became the oldest horse ever to capture a Breeders Crown. Winning driver Yannick Gingras recently looked back at that memorable performance and the memorable Foiled Again. THE FIELD Foiled Again’s eight rivals in the 2013 Breeders Crown Open Pace were (in alphabetical order) Bolt The Duer, Clear Vision, Golden Receiver, Michael’s Power, Modern Legend, Pet Rock, Sweet Lou, and Warrawee Needy. In January, Sweet Lou was named among this year’s horses elected to the Harness Racing Hall of Fame. Michael’s Power was Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2012 and Warrawee Needy and Modern Legend both also received an O’Brien Award during their careers. Every horse with the exceptions of Modern Legend and Golden Receiver set or equaled world records in their careers. Golden Receiver earned $2.21 million lifetime. “The group he beat in the Breeders Crown, you had great horses in there,” Gingras said. “I think it was as good a group as ever. He was beating very quality fields every time out. There were so many good ones. “That win in the Breeders Crown, he took on all comers. He had Pet Rock on his back and Warrawee Needy second over; those are tremendous horses that had the right trips. It’s not like he beat them because they had bad trips. He beat them because he was better. He didn’t luck into that win or anything like that.” THE LEAD-IN Foiled Again, trained by Ron Burke, was already the richest pacer in history in the fall of 2013. He began that year in the Levy Memorial Series, winning three preliminary rounds and finishing second in the final. Other early-season Grand Circuit action saw him third in the Molson Pace and second in the Roll With Joe before — in what proved to be a bit of foreshadowing — winning the Ben Franklin Pace by a nose over Pet Rock in the slop at Pocono on June 29. Following the Franklin, Foiled Again, who often went through difficult stretches in the summer, endured an eight-race losing streak. He snapped the skid with a victory in an elimination for the Quillen Memorial on Sept. 9 at Harrington Raceway and finished second in the final. He then won the Kane Memorial Invitational at Batavia and his elimination for the Breeders Crown. “Every year in the summer he would fall off a little bit,” Gingras said. “That year, the part where he wasn’t quite as sharp wasn’t as long as other years. He definitely was on top of his game (for the Breeders Crown). “I had confidence in the horse, I thought he had a great chance to win it. With Foiled, he could do it the rough way, but you had to have a good post to be able to be first over, to be able to get to the front. He liked to take on challengers and fight them off. I just had to make sure I could get in a spot where he could fight. He didn’t care if he was chasing or being chased, he just liked being in contention and being able to show his grit.” THE RACE Foiled Again started from post two. Bolt The Duer, Golden Receiver, and Pet Rock rocketed off the gate and battled for the lead in an opening quarter of :25.3. Foiled Again got away fourth and before the dust had time to settle was on the move. He took the lead from Pet Rock on the second turn but was unable to clear his rival and drop to the inside until just prior to the halfway point. Once in front, Foiled Again faced pressure up the backstretch from Modern Legend. Foiled Again prevailed in the tightest of photo finishes in a time of 1:49.2. USTA/Mark Hall photo. “After getting away fourth, I was committed,” Gingras said. “You have to make your move to the front and hope you make it there because they were really pacing, they were going so fast. If you don’t make it, you’re going to be first up and now you’re carrying the back group into the race. I was happy when I was able to make the front, it was a little bit of a relief. “But then there was somebody coming right at me right away. (Modern Legend) took it to me too. It wasn’t like he was just riding first over, he was taking a shot. We were pacing, that’s for sure.” Coming around the final turn, Foiled Again still had Modern Legend to his outside and Warrawee Needy was three wide. As the group turned for home, Pet Rock edged toward the inside passing lane and it looked as though Foiled Again would be swallowed by a sea of horses. “That’s the way it felt on the track, too,” Gingras said. “Here comes the cavalry, they were coming from everywhere. (Foiled Again) was going all out from start to finish. At the top of the stretch, you start wondering if it was going to be too much, at some point he’s going to stop. But he was just so game.” Foiled Again prevailed in the tightest of photo finishes in a time of 1:49.2. To view a replay of the race, click here. To view exclusive USTA race footage and interviews, click here. “I knew Pet Rock was coming on the inside and he was fairly fresh,” Gingras said. “He got used during the first quarter, but he sat on my back the rest of the way. I really thought he would be the one beating me but Foiled just refused to lose. “Neither one of us knew who won, it was just that close,” Gingras added, referring to Pet Rock’s driver David Miller. “Of course, you’re hoping, but I’d be lying if I told you I knew I had it.” THE AFTERMATH Foiled Again raced four times following the Breeders Crown, finishing second to Pet Rock in both the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby and American-National before closing his campaign with wins in the last preliminary round of the TVG Series and the TVG Series Open Pace championship, which included 3-year-old Captaintreacherous in the field. Over his final nine starts of 2013, he posted six wins and three seconds. “If I had to pinpoint one part of his career when he was the best, I think it would have been around that time,” Gingras said. “It might have been the time he was sharpest and most dominant. Not dominant in terms of beating them by a lot, but he was getting the job done. It was a great ride.” For the year, Foiled Again won 11 of 29 races and $1.40 million. He received the Dan Patch Award for best older male pacer, marking the third consecutive year he earned the honor, equaling the record set by Rambling Willie in the mid-1970s. He finished second to Captaintreacherous in balloting for Pacer of the Year. By the end of his career, Foiled Again had won 109 races and $7.63 million in purses. His earnings are the most in the history of harness racing and his win total ranks eighth among all pacers. He was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2019. And of all his wins, Gingras puts the Breeders Crown at the top. “That race is my favorite because of the horse, of course, and the way he did it,” Gingras said. “I’ve won maybe bigger races and there were other races with him that were special to me, like the (2012) Canadian Pacing Derby, but if I had to pick one that was my favorite, it’s definitely that race. It’s just a special race for me.” by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

Louisville, KY. April 2nd, 2020 – Sky Racing World, the Louisville, Kentucky-based distributor of international horse-racing content and subsidiary of Australian wagering operator Tabcorp, has announced the launch of a new simulcasting product that will make Japan National Association of Racing (NAR) horse racing available to North American audiences. The service will officially launch on Sunday night,  April 5th, with races from Tokyo City Keiba, Oi Racecourse. The Japan National Association of Racing is Sky Racing World’s exclusive partner in distributing the weekly simulcasts every Sunday through Thursday night. At commencement, racing will be offered from three tracks: Tokyo City Keiba, Funabashi and Kawasaki, with Sunday night’s first post at 1:30am ET (i.e. early Monday morning). All tracks and races will be conducted on a dirt surface. Audiences will now be afforded access to an additional range of quality Japanese racing events, including the Tokyo Sprint (Listed) on opening night and the Gr1 Japan Dirt Derby (1m 1/8) from Tokyo City Keiba on July 7th. A familiar range of betting types will be available, including: Win, Place, Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta, Pick 3, and Pick 4. The Japanese offering is the latest addition to Sky Racing World’s extensive catalogue of thoroughbred simulcasting, which includes racing from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Korea and Singapore. By expanding their product and further complementing US-based offerings, the distributor continues to cement its status as a leading provider of world-class horse racing. Races are available to live-stream and wager at all ADW platforms and skyracingworld.com. Fans can also get free access to past performances at skyracingworld.com. About David Haslett A former Managing Director of Sportech Racing, David was appointed President and CEO of Sky Racing World in April 2014. The Louisville, Kentucky-based company, a subsidiary of Australian wagering firm Tabcorp, provides Australian, New Zealand, South African and South Korean thoroughbred racing and Australian Harness racing content for simulcast horse-race wagering to multiple North America-facing ADW brands and race-tracks. Reprinted with permission of Calvin Ayre

Trainers Jorge Navarro and Jason Servis entered pleas of not guilty to federal charges of involvement in a misbranding conspiracy during an April 2 teleconference arraignment before United States District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil. Navarro and Servis are among 19 defendants in United States vs. Jorge Navarro, et al., who face misbranding charges stemming from the March 9 indictments of the two trainers and 25 others in four separate cases of conspiracies to manufacture, distribute, and administer adulterated or misbranded performance-enhancing drugs that were administered to racehorses. All 19 of the defendants entered a plea of not guilty in a case presented by the United States Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York. Navarro and Ross Cohen, a former harness racing trainer, were the only defendants who participated in the call. The rest were represented by their attorney. Navarro said little more than "not guilty" during the arraignment. Assistant United States Attorney Andrew Adams said during the arraignment that the evidence collected by the government was voluminous, with much of it from wiretaps, leading to projections of a discovery period that could last for about six months. That would likely push the start of the trial into 2021. In describing the case, Adams said it was a case that has "focused on doping and the use of performance-enhancing drugs to win professional horse races in the Thoroughbred and Standardbred industries. It has involved a number of different forms information-collecting that would include in-person meetings and covertly recorded meetings by confidential sources. It cites a number of wiretaps over a series of phones and in a total span of one year of time." The federal prosecutor assigned to the case added that there were search warrants for a place "where a horse under Mr. Servis' control was located, and at a bar, and what the government will describe as a small pharmacy controlled by (defendant Christopher Oakes)." He also said there were warrants and searches of several cell phones, bank records, and "the fruits of grand jury investigations." Adams said that roughly 17 of the 19 defendants had at least one cell phone seized by the government and computers were also taken for evidence. He said the investigation is still going on and there could be additional indictments pending the information gleaned from records and documents still coming into the government. Attorney Robert Baum, counsel for defendant Alexander Chan, spoke on behalf of a consortium of the defendants' attorneys, saying wire taps involved seven defendants and there are "tens of thousands" of conversations. He added that motions being contemplated will be "extremely lengthy, complex and extensive. We are talking about motions involving the wire taps, search warrants, statements, the seizure of physical evidence. There may be motions attacking the government's intent to resent scientific evidence." During the proceedings, which were conducted by teleconference due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Judge Vyskocil ordered the government and counsel for all of the defendants to submit a revised bail agreement to her by April 6. The indictment claims Navarro "executed this scheme by using PEDs designed to evade drug tests, physically concealing containers of PEDs and drug paraphernalia from state regulators and racing officials, administering and directing others to covertly administer PEDs, and shipping certain products designed to mask the presence of PEDs through a straw purchaser." It also charged that Servis "orchestrated a widespread scheme of covertly obtaining and administering adulterated and misbranded PEDs, including a PED called SGF-1000, to virtually all of the racehorses under his control." Navarro is a seven-time leading trainer at Monmouth Park and the leader at the 2018-19 Championship Meet at Gulfstream Park, while Servis is best known for training the 2019 3-year-old champion male, Maximum Security, who won the $20 million Saudi Cup Feb. 29 and was disqualified from first to 17th for a racetrack foul in last year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1). On the indictment, the defendants are listed in order as Navarro, Erica Garcia, Marcos Zulueta, Michael Tannuzzo, Gregory Skelton, Cohen, Seth Fishman, Lisa Giannelli, Jordan Fishman, Rick Dane Jr., Oakes, Servis, Kristian Rhein, Michael Kegley Jr., Chan, Henry Argueta, Nicholas Surick, Rebecca Linke and Christopher Marino. By Bob Ehalt Reprinted with permission of the Bloodhorse

The Living Horse Hall of Fame committee of the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame has announced the selections for the 2020 broodmare inductees into the Harness Racing Living Horse Hall of Fame. Danae 3,1:54.2 ($529,099) and Precious Beauty p,2,1:53.3 ($112,842) were elected. Danae's offspring include 2019 Swedish Horse of the Year Propulsion 1:52.1 ($3,572,969), 2017 Matron Stakes winner Dream Together 1:51.3 ($801,782) and world champion D'Orsay 1:51.4 ($445,732). Precious Beauty's offspring include 2009 Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt of the Year and 2010 North America Cup winner, world champion Sportswriter p,3,1:48.3 ($1,566,460); 2013 Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year and She's A Great Lady winner, world champion Precocious Beauty p,1:50.1 ($838,004) and 2018 Three Diamonds winner Prescient Beauty p,2,1:50.4 ($464,250). Danae and Precious Beauty will be inducted on Hall of Fame Day which is tentatively planned for Sunday, July 5, 2020. The ceremonies honoring these extraordinary Standardbred broodmares will take place during the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame's annual dinner. For information on the Hall of Fame weekend and other festivities surrounding this important occasion visit www.harnessmuseum.com from April 2020 onward or call or write the Museum at 240 Main Street, Goshen, NY 10924. Phone: 845-294-6330. Standardbred broodmares are eligible for nomination to harness racing's highest accolade only if they comply with the following strict criteria: Annually on March 1st, a list of living broodmares that have produced two Dan Patch winners, OR two millionaires, OR one Dan Patch winner and one millionaire are assembled for the Living Horse Hall of Fame Committee to review. Committee members can also nominate a broodmare that does not meet those criteria. Each of the committee members votes for his or her top 5 broodmares, voting results are tabulated and the top two vote getters are elected to the Living Horse Hall of Fame. The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame is located at 240 Main Street in Goshen, New York. For information on the Museum, membership, special events, gift shop services and educational programs the Museum offers, please call (845) 294-6330 or visit www.harnessmuseum.com. The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame

A little more than a decade ago, Amateur harness racing driver Dave Yarock decided it was time to give up playing basketball. He had played throughout his life; in high school and college and was still going full court two or three times a week into his mid-50s. After putting hoops on hold, he needed a way to satisfy his competitive nature. That is when he discovered harness racing. Yarock was introduced to the sport by a friend and was captivated by the opportunity to drive in races. He soon became a mainstay on the amateur circuits, winning 67 races over the years, and co-founded the GSY Amateur Club. "Here was something I could do competitively and combine it with my love of the horses," Yarock said. "That's what drew me to it, and still draws me to the sport." But his involvement in the harness racing community has extended beyond the track. Since 2008, Yarock has coordinated an educational scholarship fund to assist the children of horsemen and horsewomen pursue careers in equine fields. The fund has given out more than $200,000 in aid since its inception, Yarock said. Ordinarily, the GSY club uses membership dues, driver commissions, and individual donations to support the Edward Weiner & Edward Yarock Scholarship Fund, but this year the club will use its funds to assist horsemen and horsewomen in need because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its first donation was to the Fusco family, which last month lost four family members to the virus, including trainers Carmine and Vincent. "I'm trying to do my best, whatever I can do," Yarock said. "It's for the industry, it's for the people. Basic needs are going to be pretty profound. People are going to need to feed their horses, feed themselves. A lot of people don't really have a safety net. I'm trying to address that in my own small way. "If people have any particular needs, they should let us know and we'll try to help as best we can. We have limited resources and we want to try to stretch them out and do the best we can to help as many people as we can. I would love to be able to broaden it out, make it bigger, but everyone has their own issues right now. We're all trying to do what we can do." Anyone wanting to make a tax-deductible donation to the "EWEY Scholarship Fund" for distribution to those in need can send contributions to Dave Yarock, 70 Sherwood Road, Tenafly, NJ 07670. Requests for assistance, with a brief explanation of the circumstances, can be emailed to daveyarock@gmail.com. "We're here to help the horsemen," Yarock said. "We'll take whatever help we can get. We're all in this together." Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager

Jeff's interview begins five minutes into the harness racing show after the Standardbred Retirement Foundations message. Meadowlands owner Jeff Gural and the Harness Racing Alumni Show hosts discuss the recent FBI indictments and the 5 Stones investigation that led to the indictments.  We also talk about the extensive PRISON TIME and large fines that are appropriate for the 'chemist' race horse trainers and veterinarian drug lords. And STAY TUNED because MORE INDICTMENTS ARE FORTHCOMING. Don't miss this captivating broadcast....!!! Harness Racing Alumni Show Jeff Gural 4 2 20     ;

Dover, DE - The Delaware Standardbred Owners Association (D.S.O.A.) has been working to help our harness racing community during this Covid-19 pandemic while our racing has been suspended. We are happy to announce that Delaware Harness Racing Commission approved a plan on March 31, 2020 to distribute purses from the final two weeks of the Dover Downs meet that were not contested. Please see the following correspondence from D.S.O.A. Executive Director Sal DiMario for details. Members of the Delaware Harness Racing Community:   On behalf of the Directors of D.S.O.A. I am pleased to inform you that the Delaware Harness Racing Commission approved the revenue distribution plan submitted by D.S.O.A. and Dover Downs to distribute purse money for the final two weeks of the shortened 2019-2020 Dover Downs scheduled meet. Separate weekly direct deposits will be made this week and next week; you will receive email notifications from Dover Downs prior to receiving the deposit as usual. The plan that was approved complied with all relevant Delaware statutes that govern how purse money may be used. A six week "look back" period was employed, February 3rd to March 16th, 2020; every "owner entity" (owners and partnerships) that raced a minimum of two starts during that period were included; every owner entity's starts were totaled and then divided by six (six weeks) to get that entity's weekly "per start average", that P.S.A. was then multiplied by the "purse payment per start amount", which is the total purses paid for each week (total purses minus 5% trainers and driver fees) divided by the total number of owner entities.   The trainers and drivers' fees were calculated the same way. Example: ABC partnership had 18 total starts for a per start weekly average of 3 which was multiplied by the "purse payment per start amount". 18 6 = 3 X p.p.s.a. = amount you will receive. I wish to extend D.S.O.A.'s thanks to John Hensley and Dover Downs for their assistance and cooperation. I want to express D.S.O.A.'s gratitude to Secretary of Agriculture Michael Scuse for his leadership and hard work on this entire project, we could not have done it without him as he was the liaison between all the stakeholders including the Governor's office.   And finally, I want to thank the Delaware Harness Racing Commission for their prompt action reviewing and approving this plan. I also want to thank the Board of D.S.O.A. Directors for their tireless dedication to the horsemen and women they work hard to represent.   I also thank you, the members of the racing community, for your patience and cooperation, we will get through this one day at a time. Sincerely Yours, Salvatore DiMario Executive Director In addition, the D.S.O.A. is also in early discussions with the Department of Agriculture regarding a possible "interest free loan program" similar to the one the Governor's Administration recently approved for the restaurant and hospitality industry. This is in the early stages and will require further discussion, but it is being pursued. As the Harrington Raceway meet approaches the D.S.O.A. will keep you updated on the status of the 2020 Spring Meet.   Please go to the D.S.O.A. website at DSOAOnline.com and the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/DEStandardbredOwners/ for ongoing updates on Covid-19 issues surrounding our Delaware racing community. Thank you to the horsemen and women of Delaware for their patience and know that the D.S.O.A. is working to find every possible solution to help our racing community.

Lake Worth, FL - It was an exciting morning at Olympia of Palm Beach Training Center (formerly the South Florida Trotting Center) as five qualifying races were held with two race finishes decided by a head and a neck. The first race trot saw driver Fern Paquet, Jr. cut slow fraction as the pocket-sitting Celebrity Titan (Sam Stathis) went off-stride at the half mile. Paquet then just needed to keep Hall OF Faith on-stride and they won by 20 lengths in 2:10.1. It was only the second qualifying race for Hall Of Faith. The three-year-old filly by Conway Hall is trained by Jennifer Sansone for owner Reuben Graber of Sugarcreek, Ohio. Paquet was greeted in the winner's circle with some rolls of toilet paper. Each winning driver will receive a 12-pack of the hard-to-get item. Paquet, whose daughter Meghan was the outrider for the qualifying races, made a return trip to the winner's circle in the second race trot. It was Sam Stathis going right to the lead with Celebrity Bianca with Paquet was content to sitting the two-hole trip with Celebrity Miracle, who had just won on March 16 at Pompano Park in a lifetime best clocking of 1:54.3. Stathis widened his lead with Celebrity Bianca trying to bottom out Celebrity Miracle and Paquet, going to the first quarter in :29.2, then past the half mile in :59.3. Paquet began to gain ground with Celebrity Miracle, closing to within two lengths of Celebrity Bianca at the three-quarters in 1:30.1. Racing neck and neck around the final turn, Paquet put a nose up over Celebrity Bianca and the pulled away in the stretch to win by two lengths in 2:01. A four-year-old gelded son of Celebrity Maserati, Celebrity Miracle is trained by Sam Stathis and is owned by his Celebrity Farms of New York, NY. It would turn out that Celebrity Miracle's mile was the fastest of the day. The third race all belonged to Sam Sathis and his stallion, Celebrity Maserati, but it was a tough mile at the finish wire. Stathis started off the show going right to the lead with Celebrity Maserati. Also, in the race was Celebrity Serena (Fern Paquet, Jr.), who is sired by Celebrity Maserati, so the race was father against daughter. Celebrity Serena (who is named after the tennis star) was content with the pocket trip as Celebrity Maserati cut all the fractions. Starting around the final turn, Paquet pulled the pocket and started to come after her sire, Celebrity Maserati. Those two horses dueled neck and neck down the stretch with Celebrity Maserati winning by a head in 2:05. A $198,000 career stakes winner at age two and three, Celebrity Maserati is a ten-year-old stallion by Andover Hall. Due to injuries he was unable to race for years, but still was able to service numerous mares for Celebrity Farms and will return to the races once the tracks are able to reopen. Celebrity Maserati is trained by Stathis and owned by his Celebrity Farms. The fourth race was for pacers with trainer/driver Dan Daley sitting a pocket trip with Sweet Deisel while Jimi Wind Ricks and driver Scott Zeron cut the mile. Through fractions of :31.3, 1:02.2 and 1:32, Jimi Wind Ricks was strong on the lead, but Dan Daley kept Sweet Deisel right in the pocket until the final turn and then came after Jimi Wind Ricks. It looked as if Jimi Wind Rocks and Zeron would be able to hold on, but Sweet Deisel kicked in a :28.4 last quarter mile and nipped Jimi Wind Ricks by a neck in 2:01.1. It was the second fasted mile for the day. Daley, an inductee to the Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame, trains Sweet Deisel, a four-year-old gelding by Sweet Lou who is co-owned by his wife, Ann-Mari Daley and Crawford Farms. Sweet Deisel last year scored seven wins and won $43,000. Due to scratches, the fifth race pace featured just one starter, Roll With Angel and driver Scott Zeron. They cut fractions of :32, 1:02.1, 1:32 and won the race in 2:01.4. Trained by John Mungillo, Roll With Angel is a three-year-old filly by Roll With Joe and is co-owned by Finish Line Investors, Thatsideofthefence, J. Papernik and L Wiler. She started 12 times last year at age 2, earned over $43,000 in the New York Sire Stake and had never won a race until Wednesday's qualifier. "This was just a super day," Said Sam Stathis, who owns Olympia of Palm Beach Training Center. "We tried to make this event something special for people to watch. We had some Facebook Live and the video and droning of the races will be on our Olympiapalmbeach.com website later today. I want to thank everyone that came out today and made things happen and kept proper social distances. "We hope to do more events like this in the future," Stathis added. "I know this virus is a terrible thing, but we will beat it and come back and be strong again. Video of each of the five races and the droning that took place will be available to view at www.olympiapalmbeach.com. By Steve Wolf, for Olympia of Palm Beach  

Yonkers, NY — Despite no concrete timetable for his — or anyone’s — return to the races, harness racing driver Jason Bartlett is well into his recuperation from COVID-19. Bartlett, a 22-year veteran of the sulky with over 8,400 driving wins to his credit, recently discussed his experience recovering from the novel coronavirus with Yonkers, N.Y., media outlet News 12 Westchester. “I was just stuffy,” Bartlett said about his bout with COVID-19. “One thing that was weird was my eyes were killing me — I couldn’t really look side to side; I could only look straight ahead.” After coming in contact with John Brennan — who passed on March 10 from complications of COVID-19 — in late February, Bartlett decided to get tested for the virus after experiencing some of the common symptoms. “I wanted to protect my family and everyone I work with,” he continued, noting concern for the horsemen he works closely with in addition to his son’s youth basketball team, which he coaches. Fortunately, Bartlett has been able to weather the storm well, indicating that he has “been pretty lucky with the whole thing,” but he is quick to show deference to trainers and caretakers, whose round-the-clock responsibilities continue — racing or no racing. “At this time, we’re all one,” Bartlett remarked. “The trainers still have to feed these horses … these horses still have to be taken care of.” The USTA Communications Department

Columbus, OH — According to a story on The Paulick Report, several of the defendants in a federal case focusing on drug misbranding and the doping of racehorses will be arraigned via teleconference later this week. The defendants scheduled to be arraigned include Jorge Navarro, Erica Garcia, Marcos Zulueta, Michael Tannuzzo, Gregory Skelton, Ross Cohen, Seth Fishman, Lisa Giannelli, Jordan Fishman, Rick Dane Jr., Christopher Oakes, Jason Servis, Kristian Rhein, Michael Kegley Jr., Alexander Chan, Henry Argueta, Nicholas Surick, Rebecca Linke, and Christopher Marino. The teleconference is scheduled for April 2 at 2:30 p.m. To read the full story, click here. The USTA Communications Department

Sacramento, CA — Velocity McSweets made it two in a row at Cal Expo, winning Tuesday’s (March 31) harness racing fillies-and-mares open pace by a half-length over Alwaysalittlemore in 1:53.1. Sent off as the 4-5 favorite, Velocity McSweets and driver James Kennedy left from post six and sat second behind Alwaysalittlemore through three successive quarters of :28.1 before kicking home in the stretch for the victory. Dancingonthesand finished third. Velocity McSweets is a 5-year-old daughter of McArdle out of Playful Sweetheart. She has won two of three races this season, including the fillies-and-mares open pace in her previous start, for owner/trainer Jennifer Sabot. For her career, the mare has won 18 of 69 races and $178,047. The win was one of two for Kennedy on the 10-race card. He also won with 4-year-old gelding Hi Ho Julio at odds of 33-1 in the sixth race conditioned pace, helping ignite $1 payouts of $1,654.10 for the trifecta and $5,708.40 for the superfecta. Joining Kennedy with driving doubles were Luke Plano, Nick Roland, and Braxten Boyd. Plano is the leading driver at Cal Expo, with 73 wins. Roland is second with 55, followed by Kennedy with 53. The $50,000 guaranteed Pick-4, races seven through 10, produced a pool of $92,228 and $1 payout of $414.10. Winning horses in the Pick-4 were Velocity McSweets (No. 6), Vicious Aloicious (2), Senga Nitro (1), and Sweet One (5). Racing at Cal Expo resumes today (April 1) at 3:30 p.m. Pacific/6:30 p.m. Eastern. For free TrackMaster past performances, click here. For Tuesday’s complete Cal Expo results click here. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

Elkton, MD -- Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by the USTA, is excited to announce their harness racing line-up for Thursday (April 2) at 10:30 a.m. Guests include Joe Faraldo and David Siegel. The topic of COVID-19 will continue to be discussed as Mike and Mike talk with Joe Faraldo about how he is feeling following his bout with COVID-19. Siegel will join to discuss some of the challenges he believes faces harness racing as a whole. Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by USTA can be heard live every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. via their website www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com or on the archive at https://www.blogtalkradio.com/ptmikeandmike. Michael Carter Social Media and Publicity Coordinator

Lake Worth, FL - In harness racing there are purses and prizes to be won when competing, whether it's going for over $1 million in the Hambletonian Trot, or just a local fair race for $2,500, there is always a prize that awaits the winner. Perhaps for the first time ever in horse racing history there will be races held on Wednesday (April 1) and what does the winner of the race get when they arrive in the winner's circle? You guessed it, a case of 12 rolls of toilet paper. And this is no April 1 Fool's Joke! Olympia of Palm Beach Training Center, formally known as the South Florida Trotting Center, will be holding five qualifying races Wednesday morning. Due to the Coronavirus-19, the public is not allowed to attend, but track management is hopeful to have live video and droning of the trotting races. Sam Stathis owns Olympia of Palm Beach Training Center. He has his Celebrity Farms Stable there and has entered seven of his horses in the qualifying races. "We wanted to have a prize for the winner of each race," Stathis said. "and we wanted to have some fun with it. At first the races were going to be for non-winners of a ham sandwich, but due to the hoarders grabbing up all the toilet paper, we switched the prize from a ham sandwich to a 12-pack of toilet paper. Maybe I'll thrown in a six-pack of Corona beer too!" Usually qualifying races are held to determine if a trotter or pacer can go in a specified time to meet the standards set by racetracks. There are never purses or prizes for qualifying races. "Right now," Stathis explained. "While everyone else is building bunkers and waiting for the world to end from Coronavirus-19, we take this virus very seriously and recommend and practice social distancing. It's ironic in a sport where we want to get fans to attend, this time we want them to stay away for everyone's protection. But in turn, we are trying to keep our horses exercised, keep moral up and show the world that we can have some fun with this incredible sport." Of the 12 horses that are competing in the five qualifying races, there is one unique standout performer. His name is Celebrity Maserati. The oldest horse in the field at age ten, Celebrity Maserati, was a top stake winning trotting colt at age two and three, amassing $198,000 in earnings for Sam Stathis's Celebrity Farms and has a record of 1:53. Over the years he has had some injuries that kept him from racing, but not from breeding horses. Over the years Celebrity Maserati (sired by Andover Hall), has bred numerous mares, enough in fact that he not only has three of his sons and daughters competing in the qualifying races, but in the third race Celebrity Maserati starts from post three with Stathis driving and its daughter, Celebrity Serena, starts alongside him in post three. The other "Celebrity" horses that Celebrity Maserati has sired include recent 1:54.3 winner at Pompano Park, Celebrity Miracle (race two), and Celebrity Bianca, whom also starts in race two. Another Celebrity horse, Celebrity Titan, who is sired by Yankee Glide, starts in the first race. He is a brother to Celebrity Miracle. The fourth and fifth races are for pacers and features $101,000 winner Jimi Wind Ricks in the fourth race against $49,000 winner Sweet Deisel. The fifth race spotlights $77,000 winner Rose Run Slider against $43,000 winner Roll With Angel. Some of the sports top harness racing drivers will be competing in the qualifying races including Scott Zeron, Jim Meittinis, Dan Daley and Fern Paquet, Jr. To get a program proof and to watch the video and droning of the qualifying races that will begin at 11:00 am Wednesday, go to www.olympiapalmbeach.com and look for the special links on the home page. Ann-Mari Daley will also be doing Facebook Live of the races from the starting gate. By Steve Wolf, for Olympia of Palm Beach    

You are hereby directed:   1. Horse racing is cancelled at your facility through April 30, 2020;   2. If your backside (including dormitories) is open, it SHALL remain open and operational until further notice;   3. If your track is available for training, it SHALL remain open for reasonable equine exercise until further notice.   The intent of this directive:   1. Prevent horse abuse/abandonment;   2. Allow for consolidated feed operations;   3. Prevent homelessness for those who temporarily/seasonally reside on the backside;   4. Provide adequate exercise for horses on property needed to prevent injury potentially caused by confinement   It is incumbent on the horsemen organizations in the State of Ohio and the racing permit holders operating as Racinos in the State of Ohio to submit a 30-day and a 60-day plan to comply with this directive (including financials) to the Ohio State Racing Commission (Commission) not later than midnight April 2, 2020.   The Commission considers themselves a partner with the horsemen and permit holders in reaching a solution to the issues and stand ready to assist the parties in compromise.   You should take all reasonable measures possible to continue social distancing practices.   The Commission will continue to update you as pertinent information becomes available.   Thank you for your patience as we all deal with this unprecedented and very fluid situation.   If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at 614-466-2758.   If you need further information on COVID-19, please visit, coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-427-5634.   Ohio State Racing Commission

The USHWA Youth Membership Committee is pleased to introduce the third in a year-long series of harness racing 2020 Racetrack Reviews below by Edison Hatter.   While most harness racing remains on indefinite pause due to widespread COVID-19 concerns, the sport's loyal fans and supporters are looking forward to the day when it is safe for everyone to get back to the races. Edison Hatter, Rosecroft Raceway's Wednesday night racecaller, is understandably disappointed by the hiatus during his first season of announcing, but the 20-year-old turned his attention to the important business of promoting his track's visibility as a family-friendly destination, writing the following USHWA Youth Racetrack Review. Expect to hear more about Edison in the coming months, in a major harness racing publication. The USHWA Youth Membership Committee welcomes inquiries from young racing fans and participants who would like to review their favourite or local harness track, focusing on what makes the track a youth- and family-friendly place. We will be circulating a Racetrack Review every month of 2020. Please contact USHWA Youth Membership Committee chair Melissa Keith for additional details and/or to apply to review a racetrack this year.   Family Friendly Fun & Racing At Rosecroft The Spring 2020 meet at Rosecroft Raceway marked the 71st year of live harness racing in Fort Washington, MD. Rosecroft has a spacious outdoor apron where fans of all ages can watch drivers and horses race around the 5/8ths mile track. Additionally, the winner’s circle is located directly in front of the apron, so fans can get up close and personal with the winning horse after each race. Children often enjoy hanging out behind the winner’s circle and sometimes even snag an autograph or a pair of goggles from a winning driver if they are lucky. Rosecroft Raceway (Edison Hatter Photo) The biggest day of the year for Rosecroft is in November or December when the $100,000 Potomac Pace is contested. Previous race participants have included Endeavor, McWicked, American History, and many other big names in harness racing. Likewise, the biggest night of racing at Rosecroft also brings out some of the biggest drivers in the country, including Tim Tetrick, Joe Bongiorno, and Matt Kakaley. Each year, drivers take time before the big race to sign autographs in the grandstand for fans both young and old. A unique family friendly event at Rosecroft is the “I Want To Be A Driver” event, held several times during each meet. Participants in the event get a behind-the-scenes look at harness racing at Rosecroft, get to spend time in the paddock, and learn more about harness racing and strategy from a driver. As part of the event, participants even get to be part of an exhibition race, get to sit in a sulky with one of our Rosecroft drivers, and compete against other participants. Another point of youth Rosecroft can boast is one of the youngest announcers and one of the younger race handicappers in the country. At just 20 years old, I announce every Wednesday night card at Rosecroft and am one of the youngest race callers in the country. I am exceedingly grateful to Rosecroft for giving such a young person such a tremendous opportunity. Furthermore, our track handicapper, Russ Adams, a.k.a the Hanover Hustler, is just shy of 30 years of age and is one of the younger track handicappers in the country. Finally, Rosecroft even has some of the youngest drivers and owners in the country, including driver Declan Donoway and owner Katie Van Vleit, both just into their 20s. For more information about Rosecroft and our product, visit www.rosecroft.com.  By Edison Hatter

Hanover, PA - Pick your catastrophe. We face a world health crisis worse than any we've seen for over a century. Meanwhile, the Governor of Pennsylvania is engaging in some state budget buccaneering that would, if the General Assembly permits it, destroy a two-century-old, native horse racing industry that brings $1.6 billion in economic impact and 20,000 jobs to the state. If this succeeds, what will happen in other states? And, finally, a long list of Thoroughbred and Standardbred industry participants face a reckoning that, looking at their conduct as alleged, you would think they never expected. This last situation is in the forefront of the minds of our Board of Directors as we work through our "annual meeting from home" this week and next. We all abhor the allegations in the indictments and criminal complaints, and we roundly condemn all conduct of the kind. At the USTA, however, there is an obligation to forego the luxury of performative outrage and, instead, to concentrate on what concrete steps our mandate requires us to take. Our record in dealing as an association with cheating and horse abuse is excellent. Now I write to call for concrete action that will move us forward in the right direction. In this editorial, I offer some recommendations. Others will join in, I hope, offering additions and corrections. At last, I hope, everyone of good will in harness racing will contribute time and money to the work that must be done. We can resolve to embrace change and to bear its cost, because we know that only then can our racing sport thrive in the modern era. The Narrative We love horses. This is our narrative, its beginning and its end, and it consists of countless stories of courage, hope, and love for horses that totally contradict the acts of a criminal few. Perhaps our very survival as a sport requires us now to make sure that the world learns about our true selves. When a horse puts its nose ahead of another horse's nose, evolution is at work. Taking the lead is part of a horse's social nature, so (unlike dog racing, for example) horse racing is entirely natural, and horses thrive on it. Horsepersons can tell inspiring stories of horses that found a way to win against unplanned-for adversity, just as we must overcome adversity now. Caring well for horses, and we do care well for them, involves trying to understand these beautiful creatures that cannot communicate with us in human terms. But those of us who employ their intelligence to understand and communicate in something like horse terms become better people for it. There are wonderful stories of lives that have been transformed, not merely economically, but in a deeper way, by the bond with the horse, an animal that evolved along an entirely different strand of the net of creation from humans. Horses can teach us things about courage and beauty, even love, that we would otherwise never learn. Some people do not know that our award-winning writers and photographers have been telling the story of harness racing in Hoof Beats since before the USTA was founded. But today the USTA has more powerful resources for telling the story of harness racing than it has ever had: our website is the most visited in harness racing and is closely watched by other breeds, and our social media presence is a serious force on the internet. Our Communications Department is unrivaled among breed associations, and our ability to put these resources to use is limited only by the cooperation of our membership. Finally, the USTA Board of Directors is meeting as I write, by means of a series of teleconferences, and advanced communications is under discussion. As the USTA and the membership find new and more effective ways to tell the true story of harness racing, we can correct the cultural narrative and propel our sport into its rightful place in the future. "The Feds" In the United States, the federal level provides the services that a central government should provide, while the states retain authority over every other matter. Federal prosecutions are usually the best way to address criminal activity occurring in multiple states. Although the conduct alleged took place in several states, the indictments and criminal complaints under discussion issue from the Southern District of New York, one of the most sophisticated offices within the United States Justice Department. We must not fall prey to the ignorant notion that there is any magical connection between the Justice Department and the Horseracing Integrity Act which, if it ever were to see passage, would be governed by the Commerce Department. As Ed Martin, president of the Association of Racing Commissioners International (representing state authority), has pointed out: nobody needed a Horseracing Integrity bill to make these prosecutions happen. The laws that make the allegations in the indictments illegal, and the federal, state, and private agencies that built these cases already exist, and we should build on the existing system to prevent cheating and horse abuse, and to incentivize best practices in our sport. The serious problems that the Horseracing Integrity Act poses for harness racing have been explained elsewhere. Yes, we have problems of our own to solve, but instead of throwing this poorly-considered federal Hail Mary, instead of ignoring the states' established knowledge and experience in regulating horse racing, and instead of relying on some unspecifiable federal magic to solve our problems, our effort must be to support and extend the growing cooperation among state racing commissions. The state racing commissions themselves called for this over a year ago, by proposing a dedicated unit among key federal and state agencies to investigate racing matters and, where appropriate, to refer them for prosecution. This call was ignored by those proposing so-called racing integrity bills at the federal level, but individual state racing commissions are continuing nevertheless to strengthen their ties with state and federal enforcement agencies. An even more significant development is taking place. "Interstate compacts" provide a contractual structure that enhances cooperation among states regarding regulations and enforcement. This is not a new concept: for years an interstate licensing compact has existed, simplifying licensing for owners, trainers, drivers, jockeys, and other licensees across the country. In a similar but more important way, an interstate medication compact would bring about consistent medication regulation nationwide. (We don't use the word "uniform," because Standardbred and Thoroughbred medication rules can't be uniform. They must differ in a few areas because the two breeds have different performance models.) Interstate medication compacts are working their way through several state legislatures, and we may be approaching passage of a multi-breed medication compact in one of the leading racing states. If this happens, I believe that the other racing states will quickly follow suit. Reading legislative bills (and enacted statutes) can be extremely tedious for most people. But someone has to do it. And if you read the Horseracing Integrity draft bill, you will discover something very surprising: recognition in the bill's own language of the primacy and importance of interstate compacts and, by implication, state authority. It's almost as if the federalization special interests felt compelled to acknowledge that the states have already done all the work and already have all the know-how regarding medication regulation. Section 4(e) of the draft bill says that the whole federal house of cards collapses if, "after the expiration of five years following [the effective date of the Act]," an interstate compact is established. Amazingly, the draft then goes on, in subsection 4(e)(2), to recite important steps that we should take to develop an interstate medication compact. Let us not wait five years enduring some sort of expensive and pointless federal intermission before we do what should have been done in the first place: to fully establish the breed-specific medication compact that is presently evolving in the states. The Ethical Climate We can achieve a radically new regulatory process that will render extinct the criminal activity of a few horsepersons and veterinarians, and we can do it without having to purchase any expensive federal snake oil. The type of criminal activity under discussion was, in the past, often veiled by certain legal concepts and, to some extent, aided by a certain "don't ask don't tell" attitude within the industry. We now have the opportunity, maybe our last, to change this permanently. First, the days of turning a blind eye to suspicious activity are over. They never should have existed. I offer, as a good counterexample to horsepersons who failed, in the past, to report suspicious activity, the American bar. If a lawyer becomes aware of an ethical infraction and fails to report it, he or she becomes guilty in turn of another serious ethical infraction. In other words, the legal community has a self-policing system that can be expected to work much better than the "don't ask don't tell' system that we have tolerated in racing. In grade school, if you told on someone, you were a "rat." Unfortunately, this way of thinking persisted into adulthood among some horsepersons. It was never valid. We must police ourselves, because our obligation is not to be a "stand-up guy." Our obligation is to ensure the health and welfare of our horses, and to preserve the integrity of our industry. Second, we must recalibrate our internal affairs. No longer can we be excused for leaving investigation and enforcement up to our chronically underfunded racing commissions. But rather than pouring more of our money into the state commissions, we should develop private investigative capabilities that support the regulators' powers and we should demand the commissions' formalized cooperation with the investigations that must be carried out. Much of the investigative work that went into the current prosecutions was carried out not by the FBI, but rather by a private firm called "5 Stones intelligence" or "5Si." We have contracted with investigative firms in past years, but never did we make the sort of commitment that was made to 5Si. Maybe this should be the model going forward: use the power of private investigations wherever necessary to support the work of the racing commissions. Indeed, as Ed Martin pointed out, the current prosecution demonstrates the way to protect racing. No federal Hail Mary is necessary. Third, all licensees in racing should be required to consent to investigation by any racing authority, in any public or private place, at any time, and also to consent to all appropriate, effective corrective action pending a hearing. If you want to participate in our industry, this comes with the territory. I'm aware of a case in which a trainer was caught doing something blatantly wrong to a horse, behaved extremely guiltily when caught, and then influenced a veterinarian to lie about the matter. The USTA suspended this individual and never looked back, but the state racing commission did nothing about it, because it thought that its hands were tied. Let us untie the hands of the racing commissions and other racing authorities, including the USTA, which has always been a powerful investigative force in harness racing. Where are the large sums of money going to come from that will be needed for all of this? This is something that we will have to figure out, and now the discussion has begun. But I can tell you this: the funding we come up with to make effective the work of the state regulators is sure to be less than what the Horseracing Integrity Act would cost us. According to the testimony of a Thoroughbred witness before the Congressional subcommittee that is presently considering the Horseracing Integrity Act, the cost to the Standardbred industry would be about $13.8 million. Even if we had to put that much into the existing system to make it work effectively, at least we would know where the money was going. Conclusion and Invitation Times of peril are also times of opportunity. We're aware, we're outraged, we're worried. But we're also energized as perhaps never before. Now is our chance to do things that probably could not have been done before. The USTA will act. I invite industry stakeholders to join the USTA in developing a comprehensive template that will protect real integrity, support the health and welfare of our horses, and permit the beautiful narrative of horse racing to continue uninterrupted. Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association

1 to 16 of 74927
1 2 3 4 5 Next »