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Check Me Out in foal to Credit Winner

Check Me OutMontgomery, NY –
World champion and $1.9 million winner Check Me Out has been pronounced in foal to Credit Winner. The daughter of Donato Hanover-Illusion Bi retired as the richest trotting filly of all-time and was a Dan Patch award winner at ages 2 and 3. She was trained by Ray Schnittker and driven by Tim Tetrick during her brilliant career.

As a 2-year-old she set a world record on a five-eighths-mile track (1:53.2) and set stakes records in the Merrie Annabelle, Breeders Crown, Bluegrass, Champlain, Matron and Tompkins-Geers. Winning 14 of 16 starts, Check Me Out was the fastest and richest 2-year-old colt or filly of 2011.

She returned at 3 to win the Elegantimage, Hudson Filly, Hambletonian Oaks elimination, Delvin Miller Memorial, Zweig Filly, Bluegrass, and three Pennsylvania Sires Stakes, including the final, making her the richest 3-year-old filly of 2012. She raced for owners Charles Iannazzo and Ray Schnittker and is now owned by Steve Jones and Ray Schnittker.

RUS NY kicks off the 2014 Racing Under Saddle Fair
Series at Historic Track

By CJ Millar, Horsefly Group

RUSRUS NY, an organization that helps promote the sport of Racing Under Saddle in New York State, is excited to announce a 2014 RUS Fair Series.

Kicking off over the July 4th weekend at the oldest harness racing track in the world, the first qualifier will take place at Goshen Historic Track. Qualifying races will also be held at the Afton Fair in Afton, Seneca County Fair in Waterloo, Otsego County Fair in Morris, Chenango County Fair in Norwich, and Steuben County Fair in Bath.

The seven race series will feature six qualifying races to be held at county fairs across the state, culminating in a championship final race to be held at the Tompkins County Fair in Trumansburg.

The series will run throughout the months of July and August, giving participants the opportunity to earn points towards qualifying for the final. Flagship sponsor New York Sire Stakes has generously donated initial purse money, and RUS NY will be offering additional sponsorship opportunities.

Points earned based on race finish will be tallied to determine the entrants in the championship final race at the Tompkins County Fair to be held on Aug. 19. Read more...

On the Road in France with John Manzi

Maharajah Ever been to Paris? Ya’ know, Paris- like in France.

I always wanted to visit the city of lights, and just recently I had an opportunity to do so. And whatever you’ve heard about Paris probably doesn’t do it justice. With magnificent attractions like the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Musee du Louvre, Notre Dame , the new giant Ferris Wheel sticking out high above the river Seine, and all the other glorious attributes the city has to offer, I was mystified, and you’d be, too.

I was lucky to go with a contingent of horse people who were invited guests of France’s Harness Racing Association (Le Trot) and its Chairman of Cheval Francois, the very gracious Dominque de Bellaigue. The dozen, or so, who made the trip were from the U.S Trotting Association, the Standardbred Owners Association of NY, Yonkers Raceway, and the New York State Breeders Association, along with other dignitaries.

The major purpose of that French trip was to work with Le Trot to set up simulcasting from the US to France and eventually co-mingling of wagering pools so the French would be able to bet directly into American pools. And with Yonkers president, Tim Rooney and SOANY president, Joe Faraldo among us, they also are working to reinstate the International Trot, won twice by both Roquepine and Une de Mai, which the French were quick to remind us of. The International Trot was very popular decades ago and it may return to Yonkers Raceway before you know it .

And it appears that both objectives will come to fruition. Read more...

Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund sponsors USTA Driving School

The Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund is a new major sponsor of the 2014 USTA Standardbred Driving School, which will take place June 11-15 at Goshen Historic Track. For a limited time, New York State residents who register for the school will receive a $100 discount on the $350 registration fee. Those that are already signed up for the school will receive a $100 refund on their pre-paid fees.

“We are extremely pleased to have the Agriculture and Horse Breeding Development Fund join us as sponsors for the driving school,“ said school coordinator Kent ”Chip” Hastings. “I can’t think of a better way to help promote and foster interest in the New York program.”

Students that sign up will be immersed in a public racing stable environment, doing barn work each morning of the school, and then will listen to guest speakers in afternoon classroom sessions. To sign up and receive the discount, fill out this application and send it in with a $250 check or call 877.800.8272, ext. 3212 to complete your registration over the phone with a credit card. For more information about attending the 16th annual USTA Driving School, visit www.USTADrivingSchool.com.

RUS NY (Cont.)

Currently RUS NY has secured several major national brands as series sponsors, including Draper Therapies and Horse Quencher. These national brands will bring a heightened sense of awareness to the sport, as well as cross-promote the RUS series and race sponsors on their own social networks, blogs, and across the web. There is also the opportunity for local, regional, and national businesses to become a race sponsor for the 2014 series, to help promote RUS as well as to gain exposure for their company.

Benefits vary by level of sponsorship, and include mention in fair programs, across the web, and ongoing mention in all publications online and off — including social, blogging, press releases and in the winner’s circle at the conclusion of each race.

All RUS NY marketing, including promotion for the 2014 Fair Series and all sponsorship packages, is being handled by Horsefly Group, an international marketing agency with expertise in the equestrian sporting world. This will offer sponsors the opportunity to get additional exposure through packages that include marketing above and beyond traditional purse sponsorships.

Horsefly Group’s digital director, CJ Millar, is also the marketing director for RUS NY, and a licensed RUS jockey as well as an avid equestrian. All sponsorship inquiries can be directed to her at cj@horseflygroup.com or 973.626.3673.

Riders wishing to participate in the series must hold a current active RUS license with the USTA and be familiar with the rules and requirements of RUS racing in New York State. Horses must be trotters registered with either the United States Trotting Association or Standardbred Canada in the name of the current owner. No horse under the age of three shall be eligible to start for the RUS NY 2014 Fair Series, while horses older than 14 will be permitted.

Horses used in the 2014 Fair Series races must show a charted mile in 2:18 or faster under saddle. Horses must compete and finish in any two of the six qualifying races to be eligible for the 2014 Fair Series final. Entries for the final race are to be selected based on points earned for finishes in the series qualifying races.

Full race series conditions and point systems will be published prior to the start of the season and available on the RUS NY Facebook page, as well as through a press release distributed via USTA and RUS America.

HHYF 2014 Summer Programs Schedule
Goes Back to the Future

HHYFWestfield, IN - The Harness Horse Youth Foundation has announced its 2014 summer program schedule which includes a return to Ocean Downs for the first time since 2000; a full five-day program at Harrington Raceway after an absence of several years; and a leadership camp at the Goshen Historic Track. Complete 2014 schedule information, along with applications for the Foundation’s Youth Camps, and one- and two-day introductory events, is available at http://www.hhyf.org/schedule-applications.

HHYF’s popular overnight youth camps, for students 12-14, will be held June 21-35 at Harrington, in Delaware; July 14-18 at Vernon Downs in New York; and July 21-25 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, in Pennsylvania. These camps culminate with a driving exhibition on Hambletonian Day at The Meadowlands on August 2.

A leadership camp for high school age students with previous HHYF experience is set for Goshen Historic Track for July 7-11.
All of these camps feature hands-on experience, including driving, using the organization’s stable of Trottingbred horses. Shorter introductory programs for children ages 11 and up are scheduled for Ocean Downs in Maryland on June 27; Gaitway Farm in New Jersey on July 30-31; and at Scioto Downs in Ohio on August 5. Check the website for possible added programs. HHYF will also conduct special programs for equine oriented groups throughout the summer. The Foundation, which is dedicated to creating the next generation of harness racing fans, will also have a presence at the Pinehurst Matinee, the Little Brown Jug, the Hambletonian at The Meadowlands, the Open Space at Freehold Raceway, and at The Red Mile on Kentucky Futurity day.

“We anticipate another busy summer with lots of potential new young fans ready to learn about harness racing,” said Executive Director Ellen Taylor. “HHYF truly appreciates the support of our sponsors each year so that we can continue our educational efforts which are so important to the industry’s future.”

The Harness Horse Youth Foundation is a charitable 501(c)3 organization dedicated to providing young people and their families educational opportunities with harness horses, in order to foster the next generation of participants and fans. The Foundation has been making a difference in young people’s lives since 1976, and its programs include interactive learning experiences with these versatile animals, scholarship programs, and creation and distribution of educational materials. For more information on opportunities through HHYF, or to support its mission, go to www.hhyf.org.
Contact Keith Gisser, hhyfkeith@earthlink.net or 216-374-1392 • 216-374-1392.

On the Road with John Manzi (Continued)

Perhaps the best part of that journey was that we went as V.I.P.’s, and as guests of Le Trot we were chauffeured all around, wined and dined, but for airfare and money spent out of pocket.

On the evening of our arrival our contingent were guests at a gala Le Trot Banquet and the next two days were spent at the races at Vincennes—their magnificent racetrack—where France’s premier trotting event, the Prix d’ Amerique-- a 1.2 Million Euro spectacle-- is raced. And both days we were treated to outstanding luncheons at the track and the Moet Champagne flowed like water.

Prior to the races on Prix d’ Amerique Day the afternoon began with a grand spectacle on the racetrack of different breeds of horses, men on big-high stilts and a Corvette automobile parade with the Prix D’ Amerique drivers waving to the huge crowd. That race is the French way of paying homage to the Americans who helped free France during World War I.

Even though I’m not a betting man, on the day of the big race I wanted a souvenir so I wagered five Euros on a pick that I made from the 18 starters figuring I’d have a ticket to remember my trip by. But, lo and behold, the horse I picked, Maharajah, won the race and I won nearly fifty U.S. bucks, which was a heck of a lot better than a souvenir losing ticket.

We spent three nights in Paris and on the fourth day we were taken by bus to Gros Bois, the unbelievably magnificent training center on the outskirts of Paris, where over 2500 horses are stabled and trained on five or six different size tracks. I even got to meet and take a photo with Maharajah, who was stabled there.

After a wonderful luncheon at Gros Bois —with Moet flowing again- we had a three hour trip north to Normandy and for the next two days we visited many training facilities in that part of France. On our last night in Normandy we stayed in Caen, a city rebuilt after it was devastated in World War II, and our group dined at a fine restaurant with the officials of Le Trot who joined us to solidify a co-mingling betting agreement. (And guess what? The Moet flowed there, too. ) On our way back to the airport on our final day of the trip we went by the race track in Caen as our hosts explained that there are over 234 different hippodromes in France, which surprised everyone in the group.

It took more than three hours for us to get to the airport in Paris for our return to the USA. While traveling through the city I was amazed at the amount of graffiti that seemed to be everywhere, similar to what you might see in our subways in New York City.

We made it to the plane on time and then we prepared for the nine-hour trip back home to JFK.

Although I had been to Europe in the late 1980’s on two different occasions as publicist for the North American Amateur Drivers Association visiting various cities in Holland, Belgium, as well as Berlin, then in West Germany and before the Wall was taken down. As wonderful as those cities were — there is only one Paris!

Historic Track Moves its Track Office to the Arden Clubhouse

Our New Office!For decades the Track Office at Goshen Historic Track has been underneath the longstanding grandstand and recently work has been completed to move the main office to the Arden Clubhouse which has been totally restored.

“The new move has been absolutely wonderful and greatly appreciated,“ noted Linda Myers, the longtime secretary to the Board. “It’s such an improvement and so nice to have this building restored and utilized after all these years.“

The new track office, which is located near the facility’s front gate, still has the same phone number (845.294.5333) and the same fax number (845.294.3998).

According to members of the Board, it has been a costly move for the not-for-profit corporation but extremely necessary since the area beneath the grandstand, which previously housed the offices, has seen its best days.

Since the needed move at the National Historic Landmark was expensive. donations will be graciously accepted to help defray costs. Should anyone want to make a donation, please address all correspondence to Goshen Historic Track, 44 Park Place, Goshen, NY 10924.

Memberships to Historic Track for family ($35), patrons ($100), and corporations ($200) are also encouraged and would be greatly appreciated. Sign up now and be a part of our exciting new year!