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Chicago tracks honor top driver/trainers

on 01/09/2012 12:00 AM
With the 2011 season in the books Balmoral Park and Maywood Park honored their leading driver and trainers this past weekend. Youngster Marcus Miller was a runaway winner in the drivers' standings at both tracks while longtime conditioner Robert Phillips notched his first training title at the Crete oval. On the Maywood side of the docket a very exciting training battle came right down to the...
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Brennan named HTA Driver of the Year

on 01/09/2012 12:00 AM
George Brennan, the 44-year-old driver from Monticello, N.Y., is Harness Tracks of America’s Driver of the Year for 2011, the rigorous achievement that remains the most difficult in the sport of harness racing to win. Hard evidence again this year is the fact that of 3,631 drivers who competed for purses in North America last year, only six were able to finish in the top 10 in money won, races...
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Judge delays decision in Pena case

on 01/09/2012 12:00 AM
Judge Stanley Chesler, hearing the request of trainer Lou Pena for a temporary restraining order of his exclusion from competing at the Meadowlands Racetrack, opted to reserve his decision after a hearing Monday at Federal District Court in Newark, NJ.   Theresa Trivino, clerk to Chesler, confirmed late Monday afternoon that Chesler would review materials regarding the matter and make a rul...
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Keep On Flirtin wins Pompano feature in 1:51.1

on 01/09/2012 12:00 AM
The 5-year-old mare Keep On Flirtin had less than $65,000 in career earnings heading into Monday evening's Mares Open Handicap Pace on January 9 at The Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park. In the end, she wasn't intimidated one bit by the combined life's earnings of more than $1.5 million of the 2-5 favored entry of Special Sweetheart and I'm Just Special.   The race started...
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Victory Is Coming takes top Meadows mare trot

on 01/09/2012 12:00 AM
Victory Is Coming controlled the mile with a quarter-pole move but had to dig in late to preserve her victory in Monday’s $22,500 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows.   Victory Is Coming charged to the front for Mike Wilder and discouraged the early challengers. When Anastasia Whinnie rallied from 7-1/2 lengths back, Victory Is Coming showed grit and class to defeat th...
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Big increase in handle Saturday at Meadowlands

on 01/08/2012 12:00 AM
After a strong opening, the wagering momentum continued to build Saturday night at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The live handle was $442,822, up 40 percent over the $316,205 wagered the previous year. The $2,725,660 total handle represented a 6.5 percent increase over the $2,558,273 wagered in 2011.   This year's opening night, Friday, Jan. 6, card also produced strong numbers, notably a...
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Olive To Party ripe for Dover upset

on 01/08/2012 12:00 AM
Meet-leading driver Corey Callahan steered 24-1 longshot Olive To Party between horses to win the $15,500 pace on Sunday afternoon at Dover Downs.   After three straight eighth-place finishes, Olive To Party awakened in the stretch to come on for a 1:56.1 victory in a four-horse photo. Trained and owned by Corey’s dad, Nick Callahan, the altered 5 year old by Three Olives-Lock M...
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Red Star Hottie scores for Burke brigade

on 01/07/2012 12:00 AM
Red Star Hottie overcame a poor post and a lengthy layoff to score a front-end victory in Friday’s $22,500 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Also on Friday, Tony Hall drove four winners and Dave Palone had three on the 15-race card.   Although she hadn’t raced since Dec. 9 and was saddled with post 9, Red Star Hottie vaulted to the lead for&nb...
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Dan Noble, Woebkenberg honored in Ohio

on 01/07/2012 12:00 AM
Dan Noble, who won more races than any other harness driver in North America in 2011, has been voted the “Winners Circle Award” by the Ohio chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers for his accomplishments in the sulky last season. Noble drove the winners of 773 races to take the title over George Brennan and Tim Tetrick.   Mike Woebkenberg, a starter at Ohio tracks and county fairs, will rec...
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Odysseus Blue Chip, Mystician Willowdale winners

on 01/07/2012 12:00 AM
There were 14 four-year-old pacers--two fields of seven--competing in the first leg of the Willowdale Pacing Series Saturday night at Woodbine.   In the first $30,000 division, the Baillargeon brothers, Ben and Mario, pulled off the 6-1 minor upset with Odysseus Blue Chip in 1:52.3.   Odysseus Blue  Chip, a son of Cams Card Shark, was in no hurry in the early goin...
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Big Bad John wins, becomes millionaire

on 01/07/2012 12:00 AM
After seizing command of the pace in :27 and the half in :56.3, Big Bad John removed the drama in his quest to join harness racing's millionaire set on Saturday evening (Jan.) 7 at The Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park. The win in the $12,000 purse event pushed the lifetime bankroll of Big Bad John to $1,000,559.    Even with second choice Rick's Sign vacating the pocket going into ...
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O'Reailly doubles up in Lifetime Dream

on 01/06/2012 12:00 AM
Trainer Frank O’Reilly sent a pair of 4-year-old mares postward in the first round of the Lifetime Dream Trotting Series Thursday night at Woodbine and both captured the lion’s share of the $25,000 purse. Maplegrove Shaelyn and Sashay found the winner’s circle in their respective divisions.   Maplegrove Shaelyn, who made her second start over the Toronto oval, captured the second d...
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Free Meadowlands Preview now available!

on 01/06/2012 12:00 AM
The New Meadowlands Racetrack opens on Friday night as Jeff Gural’s 31-year lease is now in full swing. There are plenty of changes at the Big M, including a newly-banked racetrack surface, and you can read how some believe the differences will likely come into play in this week’s free HarnessRacing Weekend Preview. There are also changes to the wagering offerings, and the full menu can ...
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Winbak offers discount for early bookings

on 01/06/2012 12:00 AM
Winbak Farm will be giving a $1,000 discount to anybody who books by the end of February to Riverboat King and Village Jove.    Riverboat King, p, 2, 1:54.1; 3,1:50.1; 4,1:48.3 ($1,234,576), is a son of Cam’s Card Shark, out of the No Nukes mare, Why Won’t Ya. He is the sire of 2011 Dan Patch Award Winner, Anndrovette, p, 2, 2:01.4h; 3, 1:52.1s; 4, 1:49.2s -'11($1,325,080) who rece...
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Pena files suit against Meadowlands ban

on 01/06/2012 12:00 AM
NorthJersey.com has reported that trainer Lou Pena, who said he was told by officials at the New Meadowlands Racetrack that he would not be allowed to race his horses at the track in 2012, has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against track lessee Jeff Gural and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority.   The report indicated Pena is requesting an immediate and permanent injuncti...
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Put On A Show to return for Overbid

on 01/06/2012 12:00 AM
Trainer Chris Ryder told harnessracing.com Friday morning that the 2010 Three-Year-Old Filly Pacer of the Year Put On A Show, who did not make a start in 2011 after having surgery to remove a bone chip in a knee, is on schedule to return to the track in the Overbid Series that begins March 2 at the Meadowlands. “She’s been in 2:15 and I expect she’ll qualify in about five or six weeks,...
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Gural thanks industry, asks for support

on 01/06/2012 12:00 AM
Jeff Gural issued the following press release Friday afternoon prior to the kick-off for the 2012 Meadowlands meet.   "I would like to thank all of the fans for honoring me with the Railbird Recognition Award.  It is very much appreciated.  I promise that I will do everything I can to promote harness racing at the Meadowlands and make the product that we present the finest possibl...
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Handbook for Ontario Resident Mare Program, OSS

on 01/06/2012 12:00 AM
The Ontario Horse Improvement Program has published the 2012 Program Criteria Book for the Standardbred Improvement Program (SIP), which includes the Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) program and the Ontario Resident Mare Program (ORMP). The book provides the specific details for the suite of Standardbred programs worth over $23 million in 2012. To read the full release which includes changes and highlig...
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Meadowlands live on-track handle up 50%

on 01/06/2012 12:00 AM
Live handle was up more than 50 percent on opening night of the 2012 harness meet at Meadowlands Racetrack. On-track wagering was $380,499 versus $245,139 the previous year, a 55 percent increase. The $2,166,584 total handle was on a par with 2011, despite one less race on the card. The numbers are a promising start to the Meadowlands’ first season under private management.   Si...
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Keystone Thomas continues to win at Pompano

on 01/05/2012 12:00 AM
The Wednesday card at Pompano Park featured the first Open Handicap Trot of 2012 and Keystone Thomas gave no clue that his 2011 successes will be curtailed anytime soon.   Jaavos Boy, in rein to David Ingraham, was trying to repeat his heroics of Dec. 28 with another front-end try which lasted into the stretch after a third-quarter battle with Pembrook Street to the final turn in 1:25....
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