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Sunday, March 4, 2012

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The Sport's Young Guns...p2 R. Peter Heffering Dies...p5 Ooh's n Aah's Milestone...p5 Letters...W e Get Letters....p.6 trip and it became a brand-new way to play, and enjoy, harness racing. Today however, with speed so prevalent and with the Meadowlands' (slotless) fields smaller and less contentious than they were only five or six years ago, we've lost quite a bit of that. The prices are sinking. There is less and less chaos. It's not the same Meadowlands. Currently, we see the fine folks at the Big M trying to meet this challenge head-on. They've tried to card better races, they've alerted the drivers that being half in and half out waiting for cover is not acceptable. They've even, without very much success, tried some distance racing. Distance racing is not very well liked in our country. Some drivers have publicly stated they don't feel safe competing in them. In a 2011 Horseplayers Association of North America survey, adding distance and upping field size was liked about as much as going to the dentist. W hen we run them, handles are not great. (Cont. P. 2)

Are Added Distance Racing Supporters On To Something? I was surfing the internet a few years ago when the debate in thoroughbred racing about Polytrack was at its zenith. The anti-poly forces were unhappy about having to change the way they handicap, and the pro-poly forces were happy about the uncertainty the surface change brought. The people who disliked the surface vastly outnumbered their opponents, and it was a pretty stout brawl. One reply I read on a chat board during the debate was from Dick Powell of Brisnet. Dick noted that in the 1970's harness handicappers were up in arms about the Meadowlands when it opened. He said that 20 or so years later, the Meadowlands was the staple for the sport and he felt that given time, Polytrack would be viewed the same way. I think he was right on with that comment. Before the Meadowlands opened, half-mile track racing ruled the land. Analyzing harness racing on a half oftentimes involved trip handicapping, with a little bit of a pace adjustment. For example, if you felt the rail horse had supreme speed, and he was a decent enough sort, you began to ask yourself some questions. Questions like, "who'll fill the hole behind him?," "will anyone even try to leave?", will the three be first up in slow enough fractions to give him a strong chance of completing the exacta?" These were the days of 1,3 with 1,3 with 2,9 tri's and 1,3 with 1,2,3,9 exacta part wheels. It was how a lot of people learned harness racing, and with 15% or lower takeouts it allowed people to grind out a little bit of scratch if they were correct. W hen the Meadowlands was opened this all changed. Horses came from everywhere. On the Road Again could be parked three high in the Meadowlands Pace surging to the lead and Guts could be coming "relentlessly on the outside" from 9th, for an impossible-to-trip-handicap result. Nihilator could set a world record for 2 year olds from third over. The classic Meadowlands shuffle took its bite out of the 1/8th pole leader on a nightly basis. Over time though, a funny thing happened. People grew to love it. The deep fields and uncertainty brought prices up, allowed some sharp handicappers seeking an edge a way to find one, and it put on an excellent show for racefans. W e were now betting the horse more than the

Out of this world: Rapide Lebel making his first start since his race against San Pail in the Breeders Crown, won the Prix de l'Union Europeene at Paris-Vincennes yesterday over nine others and the outcome was never in doubt.. Click here for the video. .

· 3/4/12 PAGE 2 of 9

Dean Towers, cont. One might wonder why we'd even bother trying them if both our participants and current bettors don't like them. I think we bother, because if we stick with it, with a plan, distance racing may give our sport what the Meadowlands gave us 35 years ago--more chaos and higher prices. Each year I attend Xtreme Racing at Georgian Downs. Not only is the day fun, it is also very exciting to handicap. By far the most interesting races for me to bet are the added-distance trots These races, with 18 trotters covering some serious ground, might seem like crap-shoots, but if you really analyze them, they can be formful and profitable. Each year you will see people going through their programs looking at more than just running lines. I have heard these comments from friends and customers while handicapping these races: "The 18 is French bred and raced twice at this distance overseas." "The 8 is driven by Tomas Dalborg and he's been in these races before." "The 4 is trained by a trainer from Sweden and he's got horses ready for these races." "I have looked at post position stats for this type race and the outside five posts are not the handicap that people think they are." Invariably, because of lots of choices and plenty of angles, we see a very good odds board. The favorite is usually no less than 4-1 and probably a severe underlay, making a lot of horses overlays. This opens up exotics as well. For large bankrolled players, playing "alls" in superfecta ticket slots can be a gold mine (if the pool is large enough). For the casual player, or a group of them in the dining room, boxing up five or six horses can pay tremendous dividends. There's a lot to like. The cynics will point to the fact that handle on these races is low. That's true, but Georgian Downs is not a high handle track to begin with, and having a race like this once or twice a year can't build any momentum anyway. Rome wasn't built in a day either. Just like the Meadowlands took years to become the flagship track for bettors, any change will take time. I believe if we had a track with enough trotters in the area to try this on an ongoing basis, that had slots cash backing them so they could increase purses for the event, there is some opportunity to grow. If they did a few other things, like guaranteeing a big superfecta pool for the race each week, promoting it as a race of the week on TVG or HRTV and generating some buzz, we might make it successful. As well, Betfair might be coming to New Jersey in the near future, and world punters love big fields. Harness racing at a 2 mile distance would allow for some interesting in-running betting for the people who enjoy playing the sport that way on a betting exchange, too. Distance racing is a tough sell and any change in racing is difficult to achieve in the first place. However, the folks who are proponents of distance racing have some facts on their side. Just like the Meadowlands 35 years ago, changing the way we bet harness racing might not sound overly palatable on the surface, but it may work. Victor and the Youth Movement

By Lucas Marquardt

Most 13-year-olds spend their free time on Xbox or playing pick-up games at the gym. Adam Victor Jr., on the other hand, was handling phone calls from trainers and scanning condition books. And while most 16-year-olds are flirting on Facebook and worrying about driver's permits, Victor was helping manage a multi-million dollar harness racing operation. Now 25, Victor and his father, the energy mogul Adam Victor Jr. USTA who runs TransGas Energy Systems, have been one of the true success stories in racing over the past decade. Together, they built Adam Victor & Son Stable from a single-horse operation into a racing powerhourse. Among other star performers, the stable has campaigned, alone or in partnership, the likes of $3.5 million earner and 2005 Trotter of the Year Mr. Muscleman (Muscles Yankee), two-time Dan Patch award winner My Little Dragon (Dragon Again), and reigning Breeders Crown Filly Trot heroine and champion Cedar Dove (Andover Hall). Victor is still young enough to be considered one harness racing's young guns, and spearheads a group of up-and-comers that in all likelihood will help direct where the sport goes in the future. That's a good thing, as Victor represents the demographic that racing desperately needs to attract--young, hip, and affluent. Victor and others like him are embracing the role of ambassadors for the sport, and hope to bring harness racing--viewed by many in the general population as a sport for old men and past its



Sponsored by:

The Agriculture & NY State Breeding and Development Fund, New York Stallion Owners, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs

Raced at Tioga Downs


$12,500E Eliminations: $250,000E Final:

(2011 Purse $289,925)


$12,500E Eliminations: $250,000E Final:

(2011 Purse $279,175)

Sunday, August 5 Sunday, August 12

Sunday, August 5 Sunday, August 12

Raced at Vernon Downs


$12,500E Eliminations: $250,000E Final:

(2011 Purse $235,900)


$12,500E Eliminations: $250,000E Final:

(2011 Purse $234,900)

Friday, June 1 Friday, June 8

Friday, June 1 Friday, June 8


MARCH 15 SUPPLEMENTAL ENTRY FEE $1,000 $6,000 $2,500


(This payment must be made for nominees to be eligible as three year olds in 2013)


$350 $1,000



Event (#6 - Colts) // Event (#7 - Fillies)

OPEN EVENT FOR TWO YEAR OLD TROTTERS / Separate Colt & Filly Divisions Five $10,000G Legs with $175,000E Finals & $10,000 Consolations

Actual Purse for 2011 Finals: Colts $200,500 Fillies $180,500

(Horses must start in a minimum of two legs of the series to be eligible for the finals)


Thursday, July 26 Thursday, August 2 Thursday, September 13 Thursday, September 20 Friday, October 19 @ The Meadowlands @ The Meadowlands @ The Red Mile @ The Red Mile @ Vernon Downs

FINALS & CONSOLATIONS Friday, October 26 @ Vernon Downs




Sponsored by: Blue Chip Farms



Sunday, June 10

2011 Purse $178,000


Sponsored by: Brittany Stallion Management

Sunday, June 10

2011 Purse $208,000

@ TD Purse $200,000E

($60,000 Added)


@ TD Purse $200,000E

($60,000 Added)



Friday, Sept 7

2011 Purse $218,000


Friday, Sept 7

2011 Purse $164,000 $2,000 $2,000 $3,000

Sponsored by: The Credit Winner Syndicate

Sponsored by: The Muscle Hill Syndicate

@ VD Purse $200,000E

($60,000 Added) March 15 April 15 Entry Fee

@ VD Purse $200,000E

($60,000 Added)


Racing Conditions for Events #8 ­ 11

The Bettor's Delight & Artiscape will be limited to the ten (10) highest money winning horses in 2011/2012 combined, amongst those that enter, as of the entry date for that race. The Credit Winner & Muscle Hill will be limited to the ten (10) highest money winning horses in 2012 amongst those that enter, as of the entry date for that race. USTA records shall be accepted as official. In the event of more than ten (10) but fewer than sixteen (16) entries, a horse that is declared for these events but does not draw into the event due to the above condition (including a horse drawn as also eligible that does not draw into the race) and meets the qualifying standards for the host track will have their nomination and sustaining fees refunded in full and shall not be liable for the Entry Fee. If sixteen (16) or more horses declare for any event, those horses that do not draw into the main event will be drawn into a consolation race for a purse of $60,000 that carries an Entry Fee of $1,000.


Sunday, May 20 Sunday, July 1 Friday, August 17 Sunday, August 26 Thursday, September 20 Sponsored by: Allerage Farms & The LBJ Society @ Mohawk Racetrack @ Mohawk Racetrack @ The Meadowlands @ Tioga Downs @ Little Brown Jug

Must start in a minimum of two legs to be eligible for Final

*Connections of those mares participating in the Miss Versatility Final will receive a hospitality package from the Little Brown Jug including tent access and seating

Leg #1 $40,000E Leg #2 $40,000E Leg #3 $40,000E Leg #4 $40,000E Final $100,000E (2011 Purse $96,000)

PAYMENT SCHEDULE EVENT 12 March 15 $1,500 April 15 $1,500 Entry Fee (Payable only once) $2,000


All owners, trainers and drivers of nominated horses must be approved to race or entry may be denied.


Nominator:___________________________________ Trainer:_________________________________________________ Address:_____________________________________________________________________________________________ Phone:_______________________________________Email:__________________________________________________

Race Office: Phone: (607) 699-7688 Fax: (607) 699-3901 Complete conditions for all stakes, nominee & stallion information available at Checks Made Payable to Tioga Downs Send to: Racing Office c/o Tioga Downs 2384 West River Road, Nichols, NY 13812

· 3/4/12 PAGE 3 of 9 As the stable's honor roll grew, the Victors began to stress quality over quantity. They now have roughly 50 horses, about half in training. And though he still has a major say in purchases and high-level decisions, Victor's role in the day-to-day operations has also lessened. Much of that has to do with the fact that he's parlayed his early success in the sport into a promising young career on Wall St. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 2008, he took a position at Goldman Sachs, and today is an international equity associate. Make no mistakes, however--Victor has no intentions of abandoning the sport he loves. "It's just fun," he said. "Some of the best times of my life have been being around horses, especially those horse like Mr. Muscleman--it's been beyond special," he said. Victor says it isn't just about the fun. Over a decade in the business taught him plenty of lessons that he applied to his life away from the track. "On an emotional level, dealing with disappointment often, dealing with things going wrong, dealing with owners who demand a lot--there are dozens and dozens of things the horse business has taught me, and dozens of things it can teach young people about life," he said. "A lot of guys helped me growing up, and I hope to help a lot of the young guys behind me." Youth Brigade... So who are some of those guys behind Adam Victor, Jr.? Two names that come to mind are Philip Antonacci and Nate Grossman, both shy of 20 years old by a ways, but both already with plenty of experience in the sport. Antonacci, 17, is the son of Frank Antonacci, Sr., one of the patriarchs of the famed Lindy Farms. Philip's brother Frank Antonacci, Jr. is, at 29, already a top trainer in the sport, with horses like champion Crazed (Credit W inner) on his scorecard, while numerous other family members are involved. "It's been great growing up around the sport," said Philip, a junior at W ilbraham and Monson Philip Antonacci Academy, located not far from the family farm in Connecticut. "Every summer, going to the barn and following my brother around, and following the horses around. It's a lot of fun. It's really hooked me." W hile Antonacci is too young to remember many of the exploits of Lindy Farm's great mare Moni Maker (Speedy Crown), he said watching Crazed (Credit Winner) do his thing as a 3-year-old in 2008, when the trotter ran second to Deweycheatumnhowe in the Hambletonian, was an "awesome" experience. "It was my brother's first big

prime--back into the mainstream. "W e have a majestic animal and an amazing product, but the gambling experience needs to catch up," Victor opined this week. "We also have way too many races, and care too much about what's going on on a W ednesday night. W e need to focus on 20 or 30 big racedays a year--make them exciting events that are a lot of fun. That's important." Harness racing was very much in Adam Victor Jr.'s blood. His father, Adam Victor Sr., attended the races with his own father, and put himself through college by working as a groom in the summers. As Adam Sr. became a player in New York State--his company operated a major power plant in Syracuse--he carried on the tradition. Nearly every Friday and Saturday night for five years, he and Adam Jr. attended the races at Yonkers Raceway. Adam Jr. was only seven or eight when they started, but he immediately fell in love with the sport. Father and son were soon making trips across the Hudson to The Meadowlands. "W e were passionate spectators at that point," Adam Jr. said. Since his his father's occupation demanded time and energy, Victor was immediately tasked with helping run the stable after its inception. He relished the opportunity. "I would track the horses, I talked to all the trainers, I wrote out all the checks and bills," he explained. At first, Victor did the bookkeeping by hand. Later, he learned how to use QuickBooks. "I learned a lot from the experience," he added. The rise of the stable was meteoric. W ithin five Mr. Muscleman Big M photo years, the stable grew to over 110 horses, and included over two dozen ownership partners. "[They] made some big strides in a short amount of time," Victor Leonardis, a partner and co-owner of the New Jersey-based D'Elegance Stable, was quoted in The New York Observer in 2005. "[Adam] and his son and Noel Daley, their trainer, they do a lot of homework and research. They run a good program. They spare no expense. They go after the best horses and the best care and the best driving." In addition to Mr. Muscleman, whom Daley trained, the stable sent out horses like the claim-to-fame pacer E Dee's Cam (Cam Fella), Explosive Matter (Cantab Hall), an earner of over $1.5 million, and the first-class filly Little Miss Dragon (Dragon Again). During it all, Victor never took any flack because of his young age. "Unlike other aspects of my life, where age has been an impediment, never once has it been in the horse business," he commented. "People in this business love people who are passionate about the sport--we don't have the luxury to have age discrimination. The trainers I talked to, the owners I talked to, we all had a common bond, and they wanted us to do well."

· 3/4/12 PAGE 4 of 9 reached out to a guy named Dr. Ron Groves, who is a professor in Australia," Grossman explained. "Ron developed a program,, which is a tool that helps make breeding decisions. "Everybody talks about what makes a great racehorse--what breeds through--and a lot of people say time and earnings. W hat we found with Ron was that, with time and earnings, both change dramatically in time. W hat this program does is that it takes a few Classic races--in North American the Triple Crown races, the Breeders' Crown races--and the horses that won those races goes into the program, and they make up the best maternal families. W hen we were sitting around booking meetings, it was another tool, and for once I was able to add something new." The service can be found and used free of charge at Blue Chip is coming off a big Nate Grossman year as co-owner--along with Stephen Demeter, Not to W orry Stable and breeder W inbak Farm--of the 3-year-old Male Pacer of the Year Roll With Joe (Cam's Card Shark). The Ed Hart-trained colt won, among others, the $1 million Meadowlands Pace. He retired to stand alongside the aforementioned Crazed for the 2012 season with over $1.8 million in earnings. "That was a once-in-a-lifetime thing," Grossman said of Roll W ith Joe's sophomore campaign. "It was the most fun, following him around the country and watching him race." Grossman said he hopes to major in business and engineering in college before deciding what path to take in life, but said that racing will always be something he's involved with. "It's a great business, and I love it," he said. Grossman is actually a fan of both of the major race breeds--Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds--but his business sense already tells him which one he prefers. "I like to watch Thoroughbreds, but as a game, harness racing just makes more sense," he said. "Thoroughbreds run once a month, and unless you have a top one, they don't earn any more. The Thoroughbreds can bring millions as yearlings; you can get a really nice harness horse for a lot less. People compare it to Thoroughbreds, and a lot of the Thoroughbred guys disrespect us, but the truth is you can buy a horse for a much smaller investment, have that run horse run more frequently, and who makes relatively the same amount of earnings. I think it's a great business, and I'd love to stay involved." As for Adam Victor Jr., he sees plenty of promise in both Antonacci and Grossman. "Both of their fathers have been beyond instrumental in my life as mentors," he said. "In life, they're certainly two of my best friends and two people I love, and it's amazing I

break, and we got to travel around to Canada, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, just following him around," said Antonacci. "Crazed was truly a special horse. It was very exciting." Antonacci said he's already planning a career in the sport. Having grown up in one of the most fertile environments for learning about harness racing you could ask for, Antonacci's career could go in any number of directions, and he appreciates the different challenges each discipline of the sport carries with it. "The breeding game is a puzzle, and you have to figure the equation with mares and stallions," he said from school last week. "Training's the same thing--you have to figure out the horse, you have to teach him good habits, and hope you can turn him into the next world champion." Right now, however, it might be driving that most interests Antonacci. For the last two years, he has taken part in a few amateur series races, including a strong runner-up effort in his debut at The Red Mile back in October of 2010. "It was pretty nerve-wracking, especially the first time during grand circuit week--everybody was there," he said of competing in the Gentlemen's Driving Trot. "The winner sprinted off to win by seven lengths in :55 or something, and I think we clocked in at :56 and change. Last year, I had three or four seconds, as well." Antonacci has plenty of time to figure out what path he'd like to take. Like his brother Frank, Jr., he plans to attend college for four years before making a decision. "I've been looking at BC [Boston College], UPenn, maybe even Duke," he said. "The tough thing is that I'd still like to be involved with the horses even while I'm still going to school, so I'm trying to figure out what schools are around racetracks so I can easily access the. I've been around it my whole life, and it would be tough not to be." A shrinking racing industry is a major concern for youngsters dedicating their time and passion, but Antonacci is hopeful of a renaissance. "I think our sport has a lot of potential with the younger crowd," he said, adding that tracks need to take a different approach to marketing racing to his generation. "You have to make a spectacle out of it. Kids these days like events--they like concerts, they like premier events. You can't have 20 minutes between races with nothing on the screen--when need to have concerts, celebrity appearances, that kind of thing. My friends that I've taken to the track were very interested in it. Nobody hates horses--everybody love horses, and just have to make that connection." Blue Chip Prospect... Another upstart you're likely to hear from in the future is Nate Grossman, who at 15 is already thinking about ways to gain an edge on guys four times his age. Grossman is the son of Blue Chip Farms owner Tom Grossman, and grew up not far from the farm's base in W allkill, New York. After studying statistics in high school, Grossman got the idea of employing data-driven information in Blue Chip's breeding decisions. "So I talked to my dad about it, and we

· 3/4/12 PAGE 5 of 9 ceived the first ever honourary doctorate awarded by SUNY Canton in Animal Science. Peter is survived by his wife, Apryll; son, David and his wife, Nora; and granddaughters Taylor and Abbie. He was predeceased by his son, Richard, who passed away last year. There will be an announcement of a celebration of Heffering's life later this spring. Ooh's N Aah's Achieves Major Milestone W hen Omen Hanover (W estern Hanover-Ooh's N Aah's) $1,001,569 1:50, won the 7th race at Yonkers Raceway on March 2, 2012; she established a major milestone in harness racing history. W hile achieving millionaire status, Omen Hanover vaulted Ooh's N Aah's as only the third pacing mare ever that earned over a million dollars who has also produced a millionaire daughter. The other two mares to achieve this distinction were Stienam's Place-Put On A Show and Town Pro-Darlin's Delight. Additionally, there are only six other pacing mares that have earned over a million dollars and produced a millionaire foal: Ooh's N Aah's (Albert Albert-This Year Kisses) $1,139,429 1:51.1s won 44 races in her career. She was first, second or third 109 out of a total of 177 races. Ooh's N Aah's won most of her races in Ontario and became a Canadian favorite during her exceptional racing career. She achieved her record 1:51.1s as an eight year old in 2000. Later that year, she was purchased and retired as a brood mare. Since then, she has produced six foals that have earned in excess of $1.5M in earnings. Ooh'a N Aah's was bred by Robert A. Tucker, Glen Gardner, NJ. She is owned by Badlands Racing, LLC in Chadds Ford, PA and resides at W inbak Farms, Chesapeake City, MD. She is currently in foal to Badlands Hanover. Omen Hanover, was bred by John Celii in conjunction with Hanover Shoe Farm. She is owned by Kdm Stables, Corp. and trained by Nicholas Surick.

see now to see their two sons and how incredibly intelligent both of them are. And how much they both do for their fathers' businesses is unbelievable. Both Frank and Tom are very successful, busy people, and for example, a guy like Nate Grossman who knows every single mare on Blue Chip Farm. He knows the pedigrees going back 20, 30 years. At 15, it's just sensational. And a guy like Phil--who's an amateur driver already--no one knows the business better. No one is more humble in victory or polite in defeat as he is. The guys know the game, they have respect for the game. The sky's the limit for what those two can do both in the business, and outside of it."

Tara Hills's Heffering Passes Away R. Peter Heffering, the owner of Canada's Tara Hills Farm, passed away Saturday. He was 80 years old. A Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame and Canadian Agriculture Hall of Fame inductee, Peter was also a breeder of champion Holstein cattle. His Hanover Hill Holstein herd was arguably the most famous Holstein herd in the world for many years. R. Peter Heffering In 1989, Heffering made his enTara Hills photo trance into harness racing and enjoyed great success. He owned, either in whole or in part, an impressive list of horses that included Precious Bunny, Riyadh, Pacific Rocket, Kadabra, Strong Yankee, and Majestic Son. His champions won the most coveted races in the sport, including the Little Brown Jug, North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace, Canadian Trotting Classic, Kentucky Futurity, Breeders Crown and numerous Ontario Sires Stakes events. In 1996, he and his son David opened Tara Hills Stud in Port Perry, Ontario, that is today one of North America's premier Standardbred breeding operations. In 2012, 11 stallions stand in their state-of-the art stallion barn. Heffering bred a number of elite Standardbreds, including 2001 U.S. Horse of the Year Bunny Lake, a winner of over $3 million as well as $1.3 million-winner Precious Delight. Born in the state of New York to Canadian parents, Peter earned a degree in Animal Husbandry at the State University of New York (Canton). In 2004, he re-

Seasons & shares available to top stallions like Muscles Yankee & Rock n Roll Heaven.

Call Geoffrey Stein or Liza Norcross at 914-773-7777 or email [email protected]

P.O. Box 2200 · Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510 ·

Does anyone have a clue about our modern race bikes? W hy don't we bring pay telephones to the track and lock them during racing so no one can call their bookies? David Haaker, Livingston NJ

· 3/4/12 PAGE 6 of 9 P.S. I believe Charles Dudley W arner should be correctly attributed for that quote but everyone likes to give Mark Twain the credit :>) Yes Bill, I would like to receive your publication, some of the ideas were good, but when a horse runs off in a race, its not the sulky, or the distance, or the harness, it's the illegal drugs the horse is getting that the commission can't seem to find a test for that come from France or other countries that gives the unfair advantage over the rest. That's what's wrong with our industry. The bettors are sick of the favorites always winning, The trainer that can take millions of dollars in purses per year and can claim your horse and improve it four seconds in one week, that's not training, believe me. I have been in this business all my life and it sickens me to see what has happened to it. If it meant that we could go back to the way it was before all the chemistry became what it means to be a good trainer, I would be glad to give up the slot money, because then people could bet on a horse and everyone would be on an even playing field. On distance racing, tell Peter it's hard on the horses to go the distance when they're trained for going only a mile. They break down, especially the older cheaper claimers. Also the super trainers that are using ITPP, which is short for Myo-inositol-trispyrophosphate (NormOxys), would still keep winning all the races. So that really won't help our business either. --Karen Fread, in PA racing at the Meadows Bill, I'm writing you this letter because, for starters, we both have three things in common; 1) we both love horse racing 2) we are both members of the Bourbon Slush Stable and 3) we both worked for The New York Times (I for 41 years in various non-news departments, until my retirement in 2008). My love for harness racing dates back to 1968, when I first went to Yonkers Raceway with some colleagues from work. Throughout the '70's, I worked full time during the day and, at night, attended Queens College to pursue my BS in accounting. Several times during the school term, I would pass the exit for QC on the Grand Central and head straight to Roosevelt Raceway. I was a $2 bettor and would have to stand in separate lines to bet win or show and then go around back to cash. I credit this "therapy" for getting me through eight years of night school successfully. For the past four years, I have co-owned several standardbreds racing at Yonkers, although not currently. It seemed to me that the playing field there was not level. I was hopeful that would change when Yonkers requested Lou Pena to stay away indefinitely. However, in his place, his "beards" continued to win races at a pace above the norm. Now that Pena is back, his 41% win rate (Trackmaster program of 3/1/12) equals that other icon of

After reading the comments from horseman about the idea of going back to heat racing for The Hambletonian, I could only shake my head in disbelief with the consensus feeling it's the best thing to do. Most horseman acknowledged how breeding has put an emphasis on speed and not durabilitym, yet they want to go back to heat racing in likely 90-degree temperatures in August. Along with this, everyone is on board with the ban on sires retiring after their 3-year-old season and not having their first crop available for the major stakes. On one hand, we keep pushing the emphasis on 2- and 3-year-old stakes racing and now wanting to make it even more difficult on them physically, and on the other hand, we want to bring them back at 4 and 5 to develop future "stars" to attract new customers. Just look in your 2012 stallion registry and see the success rate of top 3-year-olds trying to come back at 4. Already, it's not very good and yet the sport now wants to add heat racing for its 3-year-old old major trotting race, only making it more difficult. It's hypocrisy at its best. --Ken Tucci I'd like to respond to Mr Guagliardo's comments of my letter "brushing off" the integrity issue. My whole point of the letter was to try to focus the attention on issues that are within OUR control. I am reminded of Mark Twain's quote: "everyone complains about the weather but nobody ever does anything about it." The fact is the enforcement of our sport has always been relegated to state agencies and mostly beyond our control. I would be the first one to decry the "Keystone Cop" approach they have taken and criticism of their incompetence is richly deserved, but there's apparently not much we can do about it. There's been some talk of subsidies coming from horsemen's purses to improve the testing but most horsemen's associations feel they are not willing to set a precedent and take responsibility in what they feel is the state's and management's obligation. Some managements have instituted policies to exclude certain trainers at the expense of fairness and due diligence. Meanwhile, vilification and defamation of your own industry in my opinion is not a promotional policy. The fact is we need to look within ourselves and find ideas that can transform this business and look at this process from the standpoint of the consumer/gambler, not from the same incestuous perspective that's been prevalent the last 60 years or so since the states awarded us this monopoly on gambling which has summarily been taken away. Jeff Gural has been on the forefront of this ideology and horsemen have done everything in their power to look after their own vested interests with a shortsightedness that boggles the mind. Things that need to be seriously looked at like shortening of meets, reducing the takeout, non-compete strategies, distance racing, lotteries, horsemen investment in their own promotion and many more, are ideas that have all received a very cold shoulder from breeders, trainers & owners. W e prefer to complain about the weather. ­Gaetan "Gates" Brunet

· 3/4/12 PAGE 7 of 9 that amount would be almost $20 million, according to US Dept Of Labor CPI Inflation calculator! The SBOA brags whenever the handle reaches a million). I hope you will make these suggestions in your columns, only after investigating if they have not been proposed previously and rejected by the racing authorities. And I look forward to the success of BettorwithBourbon and Lil Miss Bourbon in 2012 (I think the filly will be a good one). --Regards, W illiam Daniti

horse racing, Richard Dutrow (wasn't he suspended for ten years?). Mark Kesmodal gets suspended and his beard, PJ Fraley, steps in and wins at a 25% clip. (Fraley trains Tracy Brainard's horses--what happened to her??). The NYSRW B fined and suspended 16 harness trainers last year for using Afrin, an over-the-counter bronchial dialator. But they can't seem to come up with a drug test to catch some of the most serious offenders (see above paragraph). I remember an article you wrote in The Times about the dispute between the NYSRW B & Cornell about the cost of the drug testing program and the fact that no tests were being performed on NYS blood samples despite the installation of the $10 starting fee to fund said testing. There are "clean" trainers that are successful in the sport. Ray Schnittker, Frank Antonacci and Mark Ford come to mind. I once read that Allen Jerkens, the "giant killer," never had a positive test. Here is my suggestion to clean up the sport. There appears to be three types of illegal drugs in horse racing. Those that mask pain, those that improve breathing and those that enrich the red blood cells. There seem to be tests that detect the first two, but not the third kind. From what I understand, an EPO test costs around $800 dollars. Instead of trying to detect the cause, why doesn't the NYSRW B look for the result--an elevated red blood cell count above the norm. I've attached a blood test from one of my horses. (Click here to download.) Note the middle section bordered in black. The RBC is the red blood cell count. In this case, it is 10.31, which falls within the range noted to its right (6.8 to 12.9). I propose that blood samples be taken from each horse in the paddock prior to racing. The inexpensive blood test could be done by the NYS vet on the premises immediately and any horse that has an RBC greater than 12.9 be scratched from his race. The transgression would be that no horse could attain this level legally or that this high level is not good for the long-term health of the horse. The vets and judges can come up with whatever level and/or combination of results they deem appropriate. This procedure would eliminate the need for post-race disqualifications due to positives (which doesn't happen enough anyway), suspensions and lawyers. The offending trainer would be fined and the owner would not get his horse raced, even though he would still have to pay the trainer his shipping and paddocking fee! After a couple of scratches, I think the owner would shop around for a new trainer. I'm sure the racetracks would complain that this would lead to many scratches on the program and result in smaller fields. Initially, this would be true. However, the bettors would have more confidence that the remaining horses in the race are more evenly matched and the playing field more level. Legitimate trainers would fill the void left by the "vacated" trainers. More competitive racing would lead to higher handles. (By the way, the record handle at Yonkers Raceway for a race card was $3,220,686 in December 15th, 1969. Adjusted for inflation,

Saturday's Results: 5, M, $22,500, Pace, N/W $22,500 in Last 5 Starts or N/W $10,000 in 2012 AE: N/W $150,000 Lifetime AE: 4 Year Olds, 27.2, 55.4, 1:24.1, 1:51.0, FT Great Vintage (h, 4, American Ideal--Art's Vintage, by Artsplace), $65,000 2009 LEX-SEL O-Christina Takter & John D Fielding, CA & Goran N Anderberg, SD & Falkbolagen Ab. B-Brittany Farms & Brian P Monieson Revtrust. T-Jimmy Takter. D-David Miller, $11,250, Lifetime Record: 21-7-6-1, $278,248 To view replay click here 10, M, $22,500, Pace, FOUR LEAF CLOVER 5 Year Olds & Under N/W 6 Extended PM Races or $200,000 Lifetime Up to & Including 12/10/2011 1st Leg, 26.4, 56.3, 1:26.2, 1:52.4, FT 1-Risk Management (g, 4, Western Hanover--Catch A Wish, by Jenna's Beach Boy) O-Burke Racing Stable LLC & W eaver Bruscemi LLC & Jjk Stables LLC. B-Millar Farms, CA. T-Ron Burke. D-Yannick Gingras, $11,250, Lifetime Record: 37-6-6-7, $121,279 2-Fools Gold (h, 5, I Am A Fool--Trinketsntreasures, by Artiscape), $25,000 2008 LEX-SEL O-Daryl Scott Bier & Glenn F Del Russo & Charles A Dombeck. B-James G W ilhite Jr. T-Daryl Bier. D-Daryl Bier, $5,625 3-Art Z (g, 4, Artiscape--Celebrity Ball, by Presidential Ball) O-Richard M Lombardo. B-Robert McIntosh Stables Inc, CA & C S X Stables. T-Jordan Rubin. D-David Miller, $2,700 Calls: 1T, 1H, 1, H, NK Finish Order: I W anna Go Fast, Intrigued Royally, Touch The Rock, Boi, Freddy Day Hanover, Master Of Desire, Southern Sport To view replay click here Risk Management ($13.60), a 4-year-old gelding by Western Hanover, picked up his first win of the season after scoring in the opening leg of the Four Leaf Clover Series. Driven by Yannick Gingras, Risk Management left from post eight and took command before the first quarter.

· 3/4/12 PAGE 8 of 9 2-Upfront Hoosierboy (b,g,6 - Western Hanover-Artaffection-Artsplace) O-Richard Berthiaume BHanover Shoe Farms Inc,PA T-Benoit Baillargeon D-Mario Baillargeon 3-Camaes Fellow (b,g,4 - Mach Three-Camae-Camluck) O-Frank J Bellino B-Larry J Murrell, Mcmaster Stable TTony O'Sullivan D-Doug McNair W inning Margin: 1H To view replay click here 9, Wdb, PACE, $40,000. CAM FELLA - 2ND LEG - 4 & 5 YEAR OLDS. NW $150,000 LIFETIME AS OF DECEMBER 31, 2011 1-Reibercrombie (b,g,5 - Cheyenne Rei-Abso Skippy-Abercrombie) O-Casie Coleman Stables Inc, Steve W Calhoun B-Bonley Farm Inc,MI T-Casie Coleman D-Jody Jamieson Lifetime Record: 45-17-9-3, $187,559 2-Mach Wheel (b,g,4 - Mach Three-Armbro Reno-Dexter Nukes) O-Joseph P Hudon Jr, Karen R Hudon B/T/DJoseph Hudon Jr., Acton,ON 3-Audreys Dream (br,g,4 - Rocknroll Hanover-Belovedangel-Artsplace) O-Bradley J Grant BSusan E GrangeLothlorien Eque T-Benjamin W allace DScott Zeron To view replay click here Reibercrombie ($6.20) and driver Jody Jamieson took the other Cam Fella division when they scored in 1:53.1. It was the second victory this year in seven starts. Jody Jamieson left for the early lead with Reibercrombie but was eventually pushed back in the three hole nearing the half. They pulled first over from that spot at three quarters and swarmed in on the pacesetting Guns An Roses (Jack Moiseyev) entering the stretch to draw clear 1-1/2 lengths to the wire. Mach W heel (Joseph Hudon Jr.) followed the winner's cover to rally up for second while Audreys Dream (Scott Zeron) finished third after a pocketsitting trip. Reibercrombie is a 5-year-old gelded son of Cheyenne Rei-Abso Skippy that has now won 17 career races in 45 starts with earnings of $187,559 for trainer Casie Coleman, who also owns a piece with Steve Calhoun. 11, Wdb, PACE, $27,000. NW $25,000 LAST 5 STARTS. AE: NW $160,000 LIFE. 27.1, 56.1, 1:23.2, 1:52.4, FT Hare Craft (b,g,4 - Yankee Cruiser-Hare Trigger-Jennas Beach Boy) O-Steve L Heimbecker, Aaron Byron B-Schare D Adams,KY T-Ryan Maxwell D-Randall W aples. Lifetime Record: 34-13-8-2, $249,602 To view replay click here

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They set the pace from that point on under no real threat and then dug in gamely to hold off the late closing rally of Fools Gold (Daryl Bier) at the wire by a neck in 1:52.4. Art Z (David Miller) finished third after sitting a perfect pocket trip. Risk Management, trained by Ron Burke, was part of the Burke Racing LLC/W eaver Bruscemi LLC entry. JJK Stables LLC share ownership in Risk Management, who now has $121,279 in career earnings.

Saturday's Results: 2, Wdb, PACE, $40,000. CAM FELLA - 2ND LEG - 4 & 5 YEAR OLDS. NW $150,000 LIFETIME AS OF DECEMBER 31, 2011. 27.1, 55.1, 1:23.2, 1:51.4, FT 1-Modern Legend (b,g,4 - Modern Art-Ruby Cam-Camluck) O/B-Dave Drew Associates Inc,ON TDavid Drew D-Jack Moiseyev Lifetime Record: 14-10-2-0, $161,085 2-Rock Me Amastreos (b,h,5 - Astreos-Queens Arms-Armbro Emerson) O-David W Snowden B-David W Snowden,Bowmanville,ON T-Arthur Balson D-Scott Zeron 3-Red Bugler (b,g,5 - Cammibest-My Friend Flicka-Firm Friend) O-Donald F & Sheila M Anness B-Donald F Anness,Emo,ON T-Matthew Dupuis D-Keith Oliver To view replay click here Modern Legend ($3.30) and driver Jack Moiseyev cruised to victory once again in the second round of the Cam Fella Pacing Series. It was his seventh straight for trainer David Drew. Jack Moiseyev pulled Modern Legend off the rail from third position and brushed to command past the half. The 4-year-old gelding had things his own way from that point on and pulled away 2-1/2 lengths clear in 1:51.4. Rock Me Amastreos (Scott Zeron) who rallied on the far outside down the stretch was second while Red Bugler (Keith Oliver) finished third. Modern Legend is a homebred son of Modern Art-Ruby Cam with career earnings now of $161,085. 3, Wdb, TROT, $27,000. NW 4 (FM 6) RACES OR $105,000 (FM $125,000) LIFETIME. AE: 4 YEAR OLDS, CLAIMING $75,000. 28, 57.3, 1:25.3, 1:55.4, FT Lakefield (br,g,4 - Striking Sahbra-Flores-Balanced Image) O-Andrea Lea Racingstables Inc, Asa Farm BW estwind Farm Canada Ltd,ON T-Richard Moreau DSylvain Filion Lifetime Record: 34-10-5-5, $182,138 To view replay click here 5, Wdb, PACE, $50,000. OPEN. 27.1, 55.2, 1:23.1, 1:51.3, FT 1-Bay Of Sharks (b,h,6 - Cams Card Shark-Whitley Bay-Tylers Mark) O-Michael J Sergi B-W inbak Farm,MD T-Corey Johnson D-Paul MacDonell Lifetime Record: 7117-8-8, $416,007

· 3/4/12 PAGE 9 of 9 9, YR, $20,000, Pace, NON-W INNERS OF $18,000 IN LAST 6 STARTS, 28.0, 57.3, 1:26.0, 1:54.3, FT Hypnotist (g, 8, Astreos--Elanthropist, by Cam Fella) O/T-Ettore Annunziata. B-Roger F Mayotte, CA & Ross W arriner, CA & Stavros Kourgiantakis. D-Jason Bartlett, $10,000, Lifetime Record: 156-25-24-15, $432,569 To view replay click here 10, YR, $20,000, Pace, NON-W INNERS OF $18,000 IN LAST 6 STARTS, 28.2, 58.3, 1:26.3, 1:54.1, FT Emjayem Grand A (g, 7, Bettor's Delight--Queen Xena, by Silent Spring) O-R.B.H. Ventures Inc & Gerrie S Tucker, CA. B-Brooklyn Lodge Aberdeen Pty LTD, AS. T-Lou Pena. D-George Brennan, $10,000, Lifetime Record: 86-22-21-11, $304,380 To view replay click here 11, YR, $20,000, Pace, CLAIMING ALLOW ANCE $50,000 W INNERS OVER $65,000 IN LAST 6 STARTS NOT ELIGIBLE. 3 YO 50%, 4 YO 25%, F&M 20%, 28.0, 56.2, 1:24.1, 1:53.0, FT Report For Duty N (g, 10, Washington Vc--Aerospace, by Sokys Atom) O-Gilberto Garcia-Herrera & Michi Yvette Abday & Barbara D & Donald G Arnstine. B-B D W est, NZ. T-Gilbert Garcia-Herrera. D-Tyler Buter, $10,000, Lifetime Record: 105-30-9-15, $562,452 To view replay click here 12, YR, $23,000, Pace, NON-W INNERS OF $25,000 IN LAST 6 STARTS, 27.1, 55.1, 1:24.1, 1:53.3, FT Lucky Man (g, 7, Camluck--Under Her Spell, by Artsplace), $90,000 2006 LEX-SEL O-Thomas Hill, EN. B-Brittany Farms & Daisy Acres. T-Casie Coleman. D-Mark Macdonald, $11,500, Lifetime Record: 103-22-19-15, $892,039 To view replay click here

Saturday's Results: 5, YR, $20,000, Pace, NON-W INNERS OF $18,000 IN LAST 6 STARTS, 27.0, 55.1, 1:22.4, 1:51.4, FT Big Bay Point (g, 5, Camluck--Great Memories, by Apaches Fame), $30,000 2008 CAN-OPEN O-Lightning Lane Stable. B-W arrawee Farm, CA. T-Lou Pena. D-George Brennan, $10,000, Lifetime Record: 63-17-10-9, $403,021 To view replay click here 6, YR, $33,000, Pace, OPEN HANDICAP POST POSITIONS 1-3 ASSIGNED POST POSITIONS 4-8 DRAW N, 27.0, 56.0, 1:23.3, 1:52.3, FT 1-Tobago Cays (h, 5, Rocknroll Hanover--Bunny Lake, by Precious Bunny), $45,000 2008 SHS-HBG O-Brian Nixon. B-W Springtime Racing Stb & John W Stark Jr. T-Ross Croghan. D-Jim Pantaleano, $16,500, Lifetime Record: 76-15-9-10, $501,288 2-Rock To Glory (g, 4, Rocknroll Hanover--Faded Glory, by Laag), $25,000 2009 LEX-SEL O-Mac T Nichol, CA. B-Emerald Highlands Farm & W James Sprow III. T-Casie Coleman. D-Eric Goodell, $8,250 3-Real Nice (g, 7, Real Artist--Dreamland's Jo Jo, by W estern Hanover), $25,000 2006 SHS-HBG O-Beverly & Gary R Paganelli & Anthony C Scussel. B-Dreamland Farms. T-Richard Banca. D-Jason Bartlett, $3,960 Calls: 5T, 2, 1H, 1H, 3H Finish Order: Code Word, Jerry's Brown Gold, Gallant Yankee, Fitz's Z Tam, Sea Venture To view replay click here 7, YR, $25,000, Pace, NON-W INNERS OF $32,000 IN LAST 6 STARTS, 27.3, 57.1, 1:25.0, 1:53.1, FT Andy Roo (g, 7, The Panderosa--Shelly's Smile, by Cambest), $30,000 2006 SHS-HBG O-Baron Racing Stable. B-Frederick W Hertrich III & Lewis Arno. T-Pj Fraley. D-George Brennan, $12,500, Lifetime Record: 124-29-24-18, $604,763 To view replay click here 8, YR, $27,000, Pace, W INNERS OVER $25,000 IN LAST 6 STARTS HANDICAP POST POSITION 1 ASSIGNED POST POSITIONS 2-7 DRAW N POST POSITION 8 ASSIGNED, 27.2, 56.3, 1:24.3, 1:53.1, FT Wayne The Lefty (g, 5, Allamerican Ingot--Camiana, by Camluck), $12,000 2008 LEX-SEL O/T-Lester Gelardi Jr. B-Anvil Hill Farm LLC. D-Larry Stalbaum, $13,500, Lifetime Record: 56-14-14-7, $282,906 To view replay click here

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3-3, Aversa. Premio A. Andreani (G2), $55,000. 1,660 meters. Auto start. 2:00.1 (mile rate) Obama Gar (h, 4, S.J.'s Photo - Fancy Gar) O-Elena Villani Orlando. B-All. Garigliano. T-Pasquale Palumbo. D-Enrico Bellei, $27,500

3-3, Axevalla. Flerklasslopp. $60,000. 2,640 meters. Volt start. 2:01.2 (mile rate) Belgrado (h, 5, Pine Chip - Donna Degato) O-Boko Stables Holland BV. B-Broline International AB. T & D-Per Lennartsson, $30,000


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