Harness Racing Update Newsletter Archive

Sunday, August 30, 2015
Crazy Wow is for Real

Crazy Wow was coming off a win in the $500,000 Colonial at Pocono Downs, but most everyone thought the victory was a fluke. Did he win only because Hambletonian winner Pinkman chose that night to go on a break? That’s one of those hypothetical questions for which there is no answer, but Crazy Wow made […]

Saturday, August 29, 2015
Maywood to End Meet Early Amid Troubled Times for Illinois Racing

Illinois has become the Greece of the racing world and a dark cloud of uncertainty hovers over the future of the standardbred sport in the financially devastated state. The latest in a series of controversial developments with seemingly dire ramifications came Thursday when the Illinois Racing Board by a 5-4 vote granted Maywood Park permission […]

Friday, August 28, 2015
The Trot Harness Racing Survey: Give Us Value For Our Betting Dollars & We Will Patronize the Sport

*** The results from Trot Magazine’s spring Horseplayer Survey mirror the Horseplayer Association of North America harness racing survey several years earlier. It’s all about value, and it’s always been about value *** This spring, the fine folks at Trot Magazine asked over 300 horseplayers a set of questions relating to harness racing. In general […]

Sunday, August 23, 2015
“Wiggle It” Comes Through on a Night When Pinkman and JL Cruze Stumble

WILKES-BARRE, PA – The top three horses in the Harness Racing Top 10 poll all showed up at Pocono Downs last night and only one went home without his tail between his legs. Wiggle It Jiggleit was marvelous capturing the Battle of the Brandywine, winning by three lengths in 1:48 over rival Wakizashi Hanover. As […]

Saturday, August 22, 2015
Obrigado Shows True Grit

VERNON, NY – Obrigado had more grit than Lindy’s Tru Grit to score a narrow win in the $200,000 Crawford Farms Open Trot Friday night at Vernon Downs. Driven by Mark Macdonald for trainer Paul Kelley, who is one of the owners of the seven-year-old gelding by Boy Band, Obrigado was extremely game after battling […]

Friday, August 21, 2015
Elitlopp Winner Magic Tonight Looks For Better Performance at Vernon

Hambletonian Day was a day of surprises for Swedish trainer Roger Walmann. He thought he could win the Cashman Memorial with Magic Tonight and thought D’One was up against it in the Fresh Yankee. He left that afternoon with a win, but not the one he expected. Magic Tonight, the Elitlopp winner, was dull in […]

Sunday, August 16, 2015
Freaky Feet, Wiggle It Rematch Could be Race of the Year

Wiggle It Jiggleit and Freaky Feet Pete have a lot in common as they are modest Indiana-breds, both with immense talent. But who’s the better horse? Right now, it looks like the answer is Wiggle It Jiggleit as he beat his fellow Hoosier-bred the one time the two met and is an accomplished winner on […]

Saturday, August 15, 2015
Wiggleit Jiggle it Silences the Critics with a Dominating Win in the Milstein

WiggleIt JiggleIt’s back. In a big way. Not that he really went anywhere, but if there were any seeds of doubt planted from his loss in the Cane Pace last weekend – which was induced by a destructive early speed duel – those doubts were erased by another Track Record performance in the $405,000 Milstein […]

Friday, August 14, 2015
All is Forgiven: Gingras Will Continue to Drive Pinkman

Not only is Jimmy Takter not mad at Yannick Gingras for choosing Mission Brief over Pinkman in the Hambletonian, he is giving the drive on the gelding back to his one-time regular pilot. Gingras had to choose between Pinkman and Mission Brief last Saturday after both won elimination races for the Hambletonian. Gingras picked wrong […]

Sunday, August 09, 2015
It’s Another “Takter-Tonian” as Pinkman Beats Mission Brief

Photo: Bill Kortoun AP EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – He’s a gelding, his wins always seem workmanlike and his own trainer was once so down on him that he placed him in the Harrisburg mixed sale last year, hoping someone would take him off his hands. There have been flashier Hambletonian winners, better bred Hambletonian winners […]

Saturday, August 08, 2015
Former Clunker, Pinkman Major Threat in Hambletonian

Jimmy Takter doesn’t buy too many duds at the yearling sales. But he thought he had done just that when gearing Pinkman up for the races last year. Simply put, the horse just wasn’t any good. “He was a very ordinary horse training down,” Takter said. “We paid $77,000 for him. Perry (Soderberg), who helps […]

Friday, August 07, 2015
Defying the Odds, a Bad Back and a Lackluster Start to Her Year, Mission Brief is the One to Beat in the Hambletonian

Just a month ago Ron Burke wasn’t worried about whether he’d be going in the Hambletonian or the Hambletonian Oaks with filly Mission Brief. He didn’t figure either one was a possibility. “Everyone is saying Hambletonian or Hambletonian Oaks and I’m thinking I’ll see you in the fall at Lexington,” Burke said. “This was a […]

Tuesday, August 04, 2015
Hambletonian Draw Not Kind to Takter

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – Sometimes it might seem that Jimmy Takter never has a bad day, but that wasn’t the case Monday at the Meadowlands as the draw for the 90th edition of the Hambletonian was anything but good news for the trainer. Takter entered a powerful quintet of five horses in the Hambletonian, which […]

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 […]