Racing canceled in Ohio through April 30

on 03/31/2020 1:49 PM
Bill Crawford, executive director of the Ohio State Racing Commission, issued the following directive Tuesday morning to all racetracks in the state:   Please be advised that the Ohio State Racing Commission has issued an Order effective March 31, 2020.  The details follow. 1. Horse racing is cancelled at your facility through April 30, 2020; 2. If your backside (including d...
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Segal, Katz, Stewart, Bell, Arnold address industry concerns

on 03/31/2020 10:15 AM
Following is a letter sent to U.S. Trotting Association President Russell Williams and his response to five prominent harness horsemen — George Segal, Marvin Katz, Steve Stewart, Myron Bell and Richard Alan Arnold — who called for action from the industry because it “owes a debt and profound obligation to two essential and dependent constituencies without whom our sport cannot ...
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Russell Williams: The Way Forward—Some Initial Steps

on 03/30/2020 5:47 PM
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 h...
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Maryland spring stakes rescheduled for fall

on 03/30/2020 1:15 PM
The Maryland Standardbred Race Fund Advisory Committee would like to notify all owners and trainers that the spring stakes scheduled at Rosecroft in April and May will be rescheduled in the fall when Rosecroft reopens.   The affected dates are: April 14 – 4 & 5 year old MSS Open Pace and the 4 & 5 year old Open Trot April 26 – MSS Prelim 1 all 3 year old divi...
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USTA creates COVID-19 resource center

on 03/30/2020 11:22 AM
To assist harness horsemen during the current circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Trotting Association has created a resource center of valuable information for industry participants.   The USTA COVID-19 Resource Center can be accessed through the banner on the home page of or at this link.   Among the information avail...
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Florida Hall of Famer Warren Harp dies

on 03/30/2020 9:38 AM
Warren Harp, 83, died Saturday, March 28. He was born in Norwich, N.Y., on Jan. 6, 1937, the son of George I. Harp and Jennie (Cole) Harp. He grew up and remained in the harness racing industry his whole life. At 16 he drove his first pari-mutuel race for his father, George Harp Sr. At 19 he went on the Grand Circuit with noted trainer Harry Fitzpatrick to learn the ways of training Grand Circ...
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Kurt Sugg reflects on racing

on 03/30/2020 9:12 AM
When Kurt Sugg looks back on his childhood, some of his fondest early memories of harness racing involved climbing into the family’s Ford Ranchero and accompanying his father, Ivan, on trips to the county fairs in Ohio. Sometimes, they would stop on the way to pick up driver Jeff Fout, then continue on their journey to the races. One horse in particular at that time, a pacer named On Br...
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Running Aces delays opening of Stable area

on 03/28/2020 10:02 AM
With the recent “stay at home order” through April 10, 2020 and continued closure of non-essential businesses through May 1, 2020, Running Aces will delay the opening of its backside to no earlier than May 18, 2020.  Running Aces will continue to review stall applications and will continue contacting people directly to discuss timelines for allocation as well as any changes to e...
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Fillies & mares to battle in Saturday Cal Expo feature

on 03/28/2020 7:07 AM
Capitol Hill and Virgin Eyes, two hard-knocking performers, get top billing in Saturday night’s $5,400 filly and mare pacing feature. Watch and Wager LLC will present 10 races with first post set for 6:10 p.m. Capitol Hill is a 9-year-old daughter of Badlands Hanover who goes about her business for George McChrystal and Kathie Plested with Steve Wiseman training and Jacob Cutting ...
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Steve May named executive director of Minn. Racing Commission

on 03/28/2020 6:46 AM
 Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced the appointment of Steve May of Georgetown, Ky., as the next executive director of the Minnesota Racing Commission on Friday, March 27. May will assume his new duties in late April, succeeding Tom DiPasquale, who retired in February after serving as director since 2013. "I am very fortunate to have spent the past  four years at th...
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May new executive director of Minnesota Racing Commission

on 03/27/2020 8:11 PM
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has announced the appointment of Steve May of Georgetown, Ky., as the next executive director of the Minnesota Racing Commission. May will assume his new duties in late April, succeeding Tom DiPasquale, who retired in February after serving as director since 2013.   May is the Director of Pari-Mutuel Wagering and Compliance for the Kentucky Horse Racing ...
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Financial relief for Ohio’s harness horsemen

on 03/27/2020 7:04 PM
The Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association and Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Health Insurance  (O.H.H.H.I.T.) Trustees as administrators of the Harness Horsemen’s Health Insurance Trust would like to announce financial relief for all Harness Horsemen’s Health Insurance Plan Participants.    As-of the date of the first Order canceling racing (March 20, 202...
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Ontario Racing announces COVID-19 aid package

on 03/27/2020 5:20 PM
 Ontario Racing today announced financial support in line with existing race cancellation practices aimed at the province’s Standardbred horsepeople in light of the COVID-19 virus pandemic which has resulted in the cancellation of live Standardbred horse racing in Ontario.   Financial relief, a total of $300 per horse, is being offered to those involved with Standardbred racehors...
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Thirty 4YOs nominated to Prix d’Ete

on 03/27/2020 5:03 PM
A total of 30 four-year-old pacers have nominated to the $200,000 Prix d’Ete at the Hippodrome 3R on Sunday, Aug. 23.   The Prix d’Ete, once the premier pacing event in all of Canada, will feature the top eight seasonal money winning entrants in the final and for the first time the race will also feature a $50,000 consolation race on the same day for entrants that do not m...
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Resorts World helping Monticello horses & horsemen

on 03/27/2020 4:35 PM
Alan Schwartz president of the Monticello Harness Horsemen's Association, said that we were informed that racing at Monticello Raceway was going to cease on March 16.  "Our family of drivers, trainers, grooms was devastated, Schwartz noted. "Not only did they fear for themselves being unable to eat but what was going to happen to the horses at the track. They need care...
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Chicago track operator Billy Johnston dies at age 84

on 03/27/2020 11:59 AM
Billy Johnston, an influential but sometime polarizing figure on the Chicago harness racing scene for more than 50 years, died March 26 at age 84. Phil Langley, longtime Director of Racing and race secretary at Sportsman's Park, Maywood Park and Balmoral Park for Johnston, told longtime Chicago racing writer Neil Milbert: “I started working with Billy in 1965 and for the next 50 ...
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Cal Expo approved to race Tuesday/Wednesday

on 03/27/2020 7:31 AM
At Thursday’s special meeting of the California Horse Racing Board, Watch and Wager LLC received approval to race on Tuesday and Wednesday beginning next week. First post for these programs will be 3:30 p.m. (PDT). Meanwhile, this week will find the trotters and pacers in action at Cal Expo on Friday and Saturday night, with 10-race cards and a first post of 6:10 p.m. (Cal Expo)...
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New HarnessRacing Special Edition Preview available!

on 03/26/2020 4:09 PM
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cal Expo is currently the only harness track still open in North America. But there are still plenty of things happening in the sport and the new and free HarnessRacing Special Edition Preview  has the latest information.   Kathy Parker spoke to Jeff Gural about the recent indictments of 29 individuals and how he helped fund the task force ...
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Racing businesses may qualify for federal assistance

on 03/26/2020 2:40 PM
A massive federal stimulus package passed by the U.S. Senate committed more than $2 trillion to assist the public and businesses—a record aid package. The House of Representatives is expected to approve that legislation Friday, March 27, and President Donald Trump has said he will sign it.   The stimulus package will provide aid and support, and horses racing and breeding par...
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Other Canadian April 15 stakes payments suspended

on 03/26/2020 2:20 PM
Woodbine Entertainment announced Wednesday (March 25) the suspension of all Standardbred stakes payments due on April 15. The suspension of payments is for all Woodbine administrated stakes event. This includes the Confederation Cup at Flamboro Downs and the Battle of Waterloo & Belles at Grand River Raceway. Woodbine will reevaluate all stakes purses and sustaining payments in May. ...
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