Harness Racing Update Shared News Archive

Saturday, June 24, 2017
Breaking Stride: Five plays for the neophyte | Episode #5 – Elevator Pitching

Often, business people hop into my Lyft car and begin to speak in foreign languages. Sometimes they talk to me, but most of the time they prattle into their cell phones using terms like bootstrapping, verticals, elevators, and VC entities. They may not sound like Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman, but the job […]

Anything but Irrelevant

Despite being the last yearling to sell at the 2015 Hoosier Classic sale — and fetching just $8,000 — Jesse V has shed his Mr Irrelevant tag for Frank Baldachino and trainer Mark P’Pool. by James Platz Frank Baldachino affectionately refers to sophomore trotter Jesse V as “Mr. Irrelevant.” The son of Jailhouse Jesse has […]

Hollywood’s Hits: Striking similarities — David Miller and Billy Haughton

by Bob Heyden There are striking similarities between David Miller in the Pepsi North America Cup and Billy Haughton in the Hambletonian. Miller won his first North America Cup in his third decade of trying (2016 – Betting Line). Haughton won his first Hambletonian is his third decade of trying (1974 – Christopher T). Miller […]

Bill O’Donnell holds court

The COSA president talks about NA Cup admission, Mohawk improvements, the future of racing at WEG and the decision to retire from driving the same day his friend John Campbell does the same. by Dave Briggs Bill O’Donnell has a few suggestions for the Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) on improvements to come at Mohawk Racetrack […]

Friday, June 23, 2017
Wire To Wire: Retirement of Martin, Clarke not a great sign for racing’s future

by Dave Briggs With the proliferation of racinos and casino companies that run them, the dearth of racing people running racetracks not only becomes more glaring by the year it is also another troubling sign for the sport’s future. This year, the sport will lose two of its better racetrack executives with the retirement of […]

Between The Lines: For entertainment purposes only

by Brett Sturman There’s a growing mindset of late among industry executives that the real trick in attracting new interest to the sport is to sell harness racing as a form of entertainment more-so than a product that can be bet on. That entertainment-first group will get its wish this weekend on Sun Stakes Saturday […]

Herve Filion – 1940-2017

Younger brother Yves Filion remembers Herve as a rock star. by Dave Little Harness racing didn’t merely lose a legend Thursday morning when Herve Filion, who had been in declining health for the last several years, succumbed to complications from respiratory distress at age 77. It lost a figure that was larger than life. “Herve […]

Sunday, June 18, 2017
HRU Feedback (2017-06-18)

Salute to Leavitt Kudos to Alan Leavitt on his Letter to the Editor on June 11 (full feedback here). I’m in complete agreement on all his thoughts. However, one name is conspicuously absent from his recommendations for the first female to be installed in the Harness Racing Living Hall of Fame. Margaretta Wallenius Kleberg should […]

Breaking Stride: Five plays for the neophyte

by Trey Nosrac Episode #4 — Buckeye Banter Another unorthodox method to attempt to connect with people who do not know our sport exists. Each entry targets people who might be willing to have a gambling fling but will not endure agonizing over a race program. Each November, a dozen of my cohorts gather around […]

Dean’s List: Asking the experts the eternal question: Who is the greatest racehorse ever

by Dean A. Hoffman The greatest racehorse ever? For me, it’s Niatross. What is Niatross, you ask? He is my answer to the question “Name the greatest standardbred racehorse ever.” It’s an impossible question to answer, of course. There are so many variables. And most of us are limited to the horses we have seen. […]

Handle tops $4 million, but attendance down on Cup Night

by Dave Briggs Jamie Martin said late Saturday that it’s too early to know the attendance at Mohawk for the Pepsi North America Cup card, but a first-time $10 admission charge likely had an impact on the crowd that was smaller than the record attendance reached a year ago. “I don’t have an attendance number, […]

Hannelore Hanover soars to new heights in Armbro Flight

The trotting mare is the first back-to-back winner in the race since Peaceful Way did it in 2005-06. story by Chris Lomon | quotes by Sandra Snyder If there was any question whether the champ still had it, Hannelore Hanover provided an emphatic answer in taking Saturday night’s C$253,000 Armbro Flight final for older trotting […]

Lady Shadow continues Roses Are Red reign

Mare wins her third straight title to equal Anndrovette’s three-peat. story by Dave Little | quotes by Sandra Snyder Sure, a hat trick is cool. But a natural hat trick? That’s WAY cool. Lady Shadow completed the feat in the $365,000 Roses Are Red for filly and mare pacers last night at Mohawk on North […]

McWicked final quarter leads to Gold Cup win

Owner Ed James reunites the pacer with Casie Coleman and David Miller and cashes in. story by Dave Little | quotes by Sandra Snyder McWicked picked up an ideal second-over trip before exploding home in a sensational :25.3 to score a three-quarter-length win in the $100,000 Mohawk Gold Cup for invitational pacers Saturday night at […]

Bettors Up upsets in fantastic edition of Fan Hanover

Locals Doug McNair, Scott McEneny and Brad Grant celebrate popular victory. story by Chris Lomon | quotes by Sandra Snyder After finishing second in last week’s elimination, Bettors Up went one better in the final of the $440,000 Fan Hanover for sophomore pacing fillies on Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack. The diminutive daughter of Bettors Delight—Fresh […]

A one-two, father-son finish in Goodtimes final

Scott Zeron — wearing Lindy Farms colors — out-dueled his father, Rick, to win the Goodtimes with Moni Maker’s son, International Moni. story by Chris Lomon | quotes by Sandra Snyder Scott Zeron, piloting International Moni, bested his father, Rick, driving Mass Production, in the final of the $251,000 Goodtimes final Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack. […]

Dragon roars to victory in $1 million Pepsi North America Cup

Thanks to a jaw-dropping :52.1 half by stablemate Downbytheseaside, Brian Brown’s other entry, Fear The Dragon, produced an all-Ohio victory in the 34th edition of the continent’s richest pacing race. story by Dave Briggs | quotes by Sandra Snyder and Lauren Lee It took driver David Miller 22 years to win his first Pepsi North […]

Saturday, June 17, 2017
The Color of Moni

Last Saturday, driver Scott Zeron wore Lindy Farms colors rather than his own while driving International Moni to victory in his Goodtimes elimination. Lindy’s Frank M. Antonacci said he hopes it’s just the beginning of drivers wearing owner colors in marquee events. by Dave Briggs Anyone thinking Lindy Farms was staging a publicity stunt last […]

Hollywood’s Hits: North America Cup baker’s dozen

by Bob Heyden 1. Mike Lachance’s first two (of three) North America Cups were with horses he never drove before — and who paid 30-1 and 29-1 (Safely Kept in 1992 and Straight Path in 1998) 2. Dave Magee is the only driver who went into the Hall Of Fame in the 21st century (2000) […]

Brush And Crush: The admission test

Tonight, Woodbine will be charge $10 for admission to watch and wager on the North America Cup. I think it’s the correct strategy. by Dean Towers There are a great many opinions in harness racing. Whether a discussion is about uniform rules, passing lanes, drivers sitting back in the bike, takeout rates (or a hundred […]

European Report: Twister Bi unstoppable in Oslo Grand Prix

by Thomas Hedlund American native trainer Jerry Riordan has always a smart and fast comment after his horses races. But when five-year-old Twister Bi won Oslo Grand Prix in Norway last Sunday (June 11), Riordan seemed almost speechless. Italian bred Twister Bi (Varenne—Lorraine Bi) was a real long shot in this year’s edition of Oslo […]

Gural confident Vernon Downs will survive

The track owner has announced closing dates for both the Vernon track and casino, but he is hoping the New York Assembly will side with him to avert the closure. by Bill Finley Though he has announced closing dates for both the racetrack and casino at Vernon Downs, track owner Jeff Gural said Friday that […]

Cotolo’s Cup Picks

Veteran handicapper Frank Cotolo breaks down tonight’s Pepsi North America Cup card at Mohawk. by Frank Cotolo In some events for tonight’s Pepsi North America Cup program at Mohawk I choose as many as four contenders. However, there are other races where I may only note two or three, assessing the remainder of the finishing […]

Friday, June 16, 2017
Buzzworthy: Head numbers cause second incident in a week at Mohawk

by Garnet Barnsdale Does harness racing really need to use head numbers anymore? Following the second incident in two racing cards at Mohawk Racetrack involving head numbers on the track causing incidents in the stretch drive, the driver involved in the one that occurred Tuesday answers “no” to the question. “I don’t see why we […]

WEG making $10 million investment in Mohawk

Upgrades include winterizing the grandstand so year-round harness racing can begin at the newly-named Woodbine at Mohawk Park in the spring of 2018. by Dave Briggs / Mark McKelvie, WEG standardbred communications Tuesday afternoon at the Pepsi North America Cup draw at Mohawk Racetrack, Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) CEO Jim Lawson made two major announcements […]