Harness Racing Update Newsletter Archive

Sunday, August 02, 2015
“Dude” Says Adios to the Competition

Photo by Chris Gooden Dude’s The Man had lost six straight coming into the $400,000 Adios at The Meadows, but none of them by more than two lengths. He was a horse knocking on the door, and yesterday they let him in. Winning his first start since the June 6 Somebeachsomewhere, Dude’s The Man turned […]

Saturday, August 01, 2015
Campbell Breaks Wrist in Baby Race Spill at Meadowlands, Still Hopes to Make Hambo

By Bill Finley Hall of Fame driver John Campbell broke his wrist in a spill during baby races yesterday at the Meadowlands. Campbell sat out last night’s races at the Meadowlands and will also pass on his drives tonight. However, he told Harness Racing Update last night that he hopes to drive next weekend. “The […]

Friday, July 31, 2015
At Crawford Farms, the Goals are Growth, Excellence

DURHAMVILLE, NY – It’s hard to hear Michelle Crawford at times. It’s not that she talks softly, it’s that the din of hammers, Bobcats and power saws could drown out anyone. The noise is a constant and somewhat annoying backdrop at Crawford Farms, but a small price to pay when you have a vision, the […]

Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Gingras to Drive Both Mission Brief and Pinkman in Hambo Elims

Yannick Gingras said this morning he will drive both Pinkman and Mission Brief on Hambletonian Day in their respective heats, and that he has been given permission by trainers Ron Burke and Jimmy Takter to do so. Gingras is the regular driver of both Pinkman and the filly Mission Brief, who loom as the top […]

Monday, July 27, 2015
Mission Brief Earns Hambletonian Try With Big Win in Zweig

VERNON, NY – Looking every bit like the Mission Brief of 2014, the 3-year-old filly scored her biggest win of the year in yesterday’s Zweig Memorial for fillies at Vernon Downs. Buoyed by the performance, trainer Ron Burke afterward declared that Mission Brief will start in the Hambletonian rather than the Hambletonian Oaks. “We’re going […]

Sunday, July 26, 2015
Hambletonian Picture Could Be Crystal Clear After Zweig

Can anyone beat Jimmy Takter in this year’s Hambletonian? That question will be a lot easier to answer around 4:30 this afternoon as Takter will send out four of his Hambo hopefuls in the $370,000 Zweig Memorial at Vernon Downs. The Takter quartet, which will be coupled in the wagering, consists of Uncle Lasse, Canepa […]

Saturday, July 25, 2015
Respected Trainer Chuck Sylvester Gets Cobalt Positive

Hall of Fame trainer Chuck Sylvester has been hit with a Cobalt positive in Pennsylvania after a horse he trained tested for an excess level of the banned substance. Sylvester has been handed a 15-day suspension and a $500 fine by the Pennsylvania Harness Commission. An even bigger problem for Sylvester could be his status […]

Friday, July 24, 2015
From the Thoroughbreds, a Less-Is-More Idea Worth Stealing

No different than Coca Cola, Burger King or Wal Mart, harness racing is all about selling a product to consumers, in this case a product that is primarily betting with a dose of sport thrown in. When any product, be it pacers or pancakes, is over-priced and/or of inferior quality the consumer will simply walk […]

Sunday, July 19, 2015
There Is No Wiggle Room to This Debate: He’s the Best

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – Another race. Another chapter. Another success story. The Wiggle It Jiggleit victory tour made a stop in the swamps of New Jersey last night and the result was the biggest win to date in the career of this remarkable, over-achieving gelding. With Montrell Teague driving for his father, owner George Teague […]

Saturday, July 18, 2015
Teague on Wiggle It Jiggleit: Just Win, Baby

For all of his accomplishments, all of the hype and the comparisons to some of the greatest pacers ever, there’s still one thing that Wiggle It Jiggleit has never done: record a sensationally fast mile. Will it happen tonight in the Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace? Owner George Teague Jr. really doesn’t care if it does […]

Friday, July 17, 2015
Mission Brief’s Hambletonian Status Could Hinge on Performance in Del Miller

By Bill Finley Photo: Lisa Photo Ron Burke still believes that at 100 percent Mission Brief would win the Hambletonian. He just doesn’t know if he can have her at 100 percent on that afternoon. But Burke will likely get some answers tomorrow night at the Meadowlands when the daughter of Muscle Hill meets seven […]

Tuesday, July 14, 2015
At USTA Summit, Facing Problems and Searching for Answers

COLUMBUS, OH – There were no magic bullets offered and harness racing’s many problems are not going to be fixed overnight, but the USTA hopes it set the ball in motion yesterday when it comes to finding meaningful solutions to the many issues that plague the industry. The USTA gathered 40 some individuals from all […]

Sunday, July 12, 2015
JL Cruzes to a World Record

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – JL Cruze just keeps getting better and better and so does his incredible story. The same horse that was a non-entity last year at 3, won for the 15th time this year from 17 starts and did so in the fastest ever trotting mile in the storied history of the Meadowlands. […]

Saturday, July 11, 2015
“Roland” Looks to Rock Meadowlands Pace

Owners Duane and Connie Roland, and to a certain the world of harness racing, are about the find out about the true ability of Roland N Rock, a three-year-old gelded pacer who has been turning heads in county fairs in Iowa and will now face the best of his division in New Jersey at the […]

Friday, July 10, 2015
At Nappanee Raceway, Little Horses Put On a Big Show

NAPPANEE, IN – It’s a Monday night here in the heartland and all is quiet and peaceful, from the stillness of the cornstalks to the lonely, empty rural roads to the Amish buggies parked neatly in a row, the horses waiting patiently while the passengers tend to their business. It’s just what you’d expect from […]

Sunday, July 05, 2015
Wiggle It Jiggleit Leaves No Doubt in Hempt

WILKES-BARRE, PA – So, he isn’t perfect. Wiggle It Jiggleit lost claim to that status when beaten in the finals of the North America Cup, where he was a surprising second behind Wakizashi Hanover. So, let’s just say he’s very good. Or very, very, very, very, very good. Wiggle It Jiggleit moved back on top […]

Saturday, July 04, 2015
Wakizashi Hanover vs. Wiggle It Rematch Tops Stellar Pocono Card

They have a lot in common. Both are talented. Both are trained in Delaware, are modestly bred and wear the label of over achieving underdog. But only one can be No. 1. The battle for supremacy in the 3-year-old male pacing division will be on the line tonight at Pocono Downs in the $500,000 Max […]

Friday, July 03, 2015
Graduate Favorites Doo Wop Hanover and Rockeyed Optimist Leading Resurgence of Steve Elliott Barn

Steve Elliott has the ability to boil everything down to the simplest terms. Why is he doing so well this year after a rare down period in his career? “I have good horses,” he replied. It’s obviously a bit more complicated than that, but Elliott does have a point. In Rockeyed Optimist and Doo Wop […]

Sunday, June 28, 2015
“Wakizashi” and “Wiggle” Win Hempt Elims, Rematch Set

Photo by Curtis Salonick Currently the top two 3-year-old male pacers in the sport, Wakizashi Hanover and Wiggle It Jiggleit will have a rematch of their North America Cup battle in next Saturday’s Max Hempt Memorial finals at Pocono Downs. Both won their elims last night, among the highlights on an action-packed, sloppy and interesting […]

Saturday, June 27, 2015
Critical Horse Shortage Has Meadowlands Owner Considering Drastic Changes In Racing Schedule Next Year

The owner of the Meadowlands Racetrack is concerned about the immediate future of his operation due to a critical horse shortage and is considering making major changes in the racing schedule next year. Jeff Gural told Harness Racing Update that the horse situation is so acute, he may resort to festivals instead of race cards […]

Friday, June 26, 2015
Arguing Gural is Inconsistent With His Edicts, Chris Oakes’ Attorney Fighting to Get Trainer’s Horses Cleared to Race at Meadowlands

The owners of the mares Classic Martine and Frau Blucher have been informed that their horses will not be allowed to participate in any races at tracks owned by Jeff Gural unless they remove the horse from Chris Oakes’ stable. The ownership groups, which, in both cases, include Oakes’ wife Sue, have refused to do […]

Sunday, June 21, 2015
Wakizashi Hanover Lays Down The Sword On Wiggle It Jiggleit

CAMPBELLVILLE, ON – In Japanese, Wakizashi means sword, and Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack a horse called Wakizashi Hanover laid down the sword and slayed the giant Wiggle It Jiggleit in the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup. Wakizashi Hanover, driven by Tim Tetrick, came into the race with four wins and a second in […]

Saturday, June 20, 2015
Five Reasons this Saturday’s Pepsi North America Cup is Pure Harness Racing & Should Not Be Missed

This Saturday evening, the Pepsi North America Cup goes postward at around 10:45. The event has grown in stature year after year and it’s on everyone’s list as the first big three year old event in harness racing. Almost everyone considers it the true first leg of the Pacing Triple Crown. It’s a storied race. […]

Friday, June 19, 2015
With Wiggle It Jiggleit, the North America Cup Should Answer All the Questions

Wiggle It Jiggleit has been on a rampage this year, destroying everything that has stood in his way, be it in New Jersey, Delaware, Indiana or Ontario. No horse has come close to him and he gives the impression every night he hits the racetrack that he is indeed a special horse. There’s just one […]

Sunday, June 14, 2015
Wiggle It Jiggleit Jiggy-Jogs In North America Cup Elimination

By Perry Lefko CAMPBELLVILLE, ON – This much is certain: Wiggle It Jiggleit will face the toughest competition of his career in the $1 million North America Cup this Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack for sophomore male pacing colts, but he’s going into it fresh, fit and full of himself. The much-heralded gelding by Mr. Wiggles […]