Horses

Harness Racing Roundup

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Another Chapter is racing in 2018 for new connections Credits: Ken Weingartner
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Another Chapter for Campbell and Farber

by Ken Weingartner/USTA Media Relations Manager

The Campbell-Farber combination has tasted success in the past and hopes to get another taste with Another Chapter.

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Jim Campbell trains Another Chapter for Scott Farber’s Runthetable Stables. Campbell’s connection with the Farber family began 31 years ago when he trained millionaire pacer Run The Table for Farber’s father, Sandy, and has continued to include the likes of Farber’s stakes-winning trotter Opening Night.

Another Chapter is ready to make his debut for Campbell and Farber on Friday at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The 4-year-old trotter is in the ninth race, which is the third of three races that will be shown from 9-10 p.m. on SNY (SportsNet New York) as part of the Meadowlands Harness Live broadcast.

Farber bought Another Chapter for $90,000 during the mixed sale portion of November’s Standardbred Horse Sale. Another Chapter, a stakes-level performer whose wins last year included an elimination of the Dexter Cup and a division of the New York Sire Stakes, is 9-2 on the morning line. Brett Miller will drive.

“My plans are for him to return to being a stakes-level performer,” Farber said. “I’m a very conservative guy. This business will make you a conservative guy. But I got a little taste of it with my father with Run The Table and got another little taste of it with Opening Night. The idea is to try to win some big races.”

Farber and Campbell will take a look at Another Chapter this winter and determine how to stake him this year, with an eye toward events restricted to 4-year-olds. The horse is eligible to the Hambletonian Maturity, which meets that condition.

“I basically go off what Jimmy tells me,” Farber said. “The horse is going to tell us what we can do. The horse holds all the answers. If he earns it, I’ll stake him.”

Another Chapter, a half-brother to millionaire Spider Blue Chip, was purchased as a yearling under the name Orthodox Blue Chip for $125,000 and raced most recently for trainer Per Henriksen.

“I liked him as a yearling,” Campbell said. “He was a racy-looking colt. He shows he’s got some speed and he seems like the type of horse that will go around any size track.”

Campbell first met Sandy Farber while stabled at the Meadowlands. The encounter eventually led to Sandy Farber buying Run The Table in 1987.

“He stopped by the barn and said he was looking to buy a horse,” Campbell said. “I asked him how much he wanted to spend and he said he didn’t care, just to find a nice horse. It took me several months before I bought him a horse. I told him about Run The Table and I still had no idea how much he wanted to spend. He said that if I liked him, he’d buy him. The rest is history.

“Sandy was a first-class gentleman. I was 27 or 28 at the time. I really learned a lot from him. He was a man of his word. And (Run The Table) was one of the horses that helped me along with my career.”

Sandy Farber, who was an insurance broker and mayor of Palisades Park, N.J., died in 2004. Scott Farber continued the family’s participation in harness racing and has a small stable of horses, all trotters, at the moment.

“My family has been with Jim since 1987 and Jimmy is the very best at what he does,” Farber said. “If he were to leave this business, I’d be leaving with him. Once you have a taste of the best it’s very difficult to top that.”

Weather Causes Cancelations

The weather is wreaking havoc with racing schedules.

After several thoroughbred cards were canceled due to the extreme cold, other races had to stop because it was too warm. The Meadows in western Pennsylvania also canceled the Jan. 11 live card after three races when a rapid thaw created soft, potentially unsafe spots on the track.

Dave Palone swept the three races completed, including a pair of wins for trainer Ron Burke.

Yonkers Eliminates Passing Lane

YONKERS, N.Y. —Yonkers Raceway’s has eliminated the passing lane.

Tracks, particularly those smaller than a mile started installing passing lanes nearly three decades ago. More tracks followed suit during the 1990s. The horses on the lead are not allowed to use the passing lane. The extra inside space prevents horses from being locked in on the rail. As the horses enter the stretch, the leading horse must stay on course, leaving enough room to the left to allow the horse behind him to pass. Tracks had hoped the passing lane would stimulate wagering because it was believed bettors were getting turned off by losing when good horses got stuck in traffic.  

Those now proposing the removal of passing lanes argue that the result has been more boring races.

Pennsylvania tracks are considering removing their passing lane. The Meadowlands, a mile track, does not have one.

“We did this to produce earlier movement and make the races more exciting,” Yonkers Raceway COO Bob Galterio said. “It should eliminate horses sitting in and change the strategy for both drivers and handicappers.

“This is something our fans have requested, and we appreciate the cooperation of the horsemen and the Gaming Commission in allowing this to happen. We encourage everyone to take a look at our product, and feedback is always welcome.”

Yonkers began its 2018 season on Jan. 7. The first race was a tight-photo win by a first-up Union Man Hanover driven by Matt Kakaley in 1:57.3.   

Thus, Kakaley became the perfect initial candidate to discuss the new layout. “I probably would have waited a bit longer (moving from third) with the passing lane,” he said. “I wanted to make sure I was out there. I think first-over is going to going to be more advantageous now, but it was just one race.” Kakaley ended up with four winners during the 12-race card.

One obvious observation was the pocket-sitting Scarlet Chaser (Jordan Stratton) extricating himself from the cones, slipping out to race second-over early in the final turn. “(Scarlet Chaser) won in the passing lane his last start, but that wasn’t an option here,” Stratton said. “I was able to move him outside and he raced well. The new rules are in place, and we’ll figure it out. “It is what it is.”

“There are going to be some strategy changes, that’s for sure,” Brent Holland said. “Sitting the two-hole may not always be a good spot,” he said after getting shuffled out when the leader tired in day’s trotting feature. “It didn’t work out for me.” The last word for the first day went to six-time local driving champ Jason Bartlett. “It certainly makes things different,” Bartlett said. “It’s hard to say how much, because you have to see how each race unfolds. We just have to try to put the horse in the best position.”

Hall of Fame Broodmare Flat Foot Fluzy Dies

by Ken Weingartner/USTA Media Relations Manager

MILLSTONE, N.J. — Hall of Fame broodmare Flat Foot Fluzy died Jan. 4 in New Jersey, equine surgeon Dr. Patty Hogan, the wife of owner Ed Lohmeyer, said. Flat Foot Fluzy was 31.

Lohmeyer bred Flat Foot Fluzy, a daughter of Direct Scooter out of Quinella Blue Chip, with William Simon, who was Secretary of the Treasury during the Nixon and Ford administrations. Simon, who enjoyed success as a co-owner of Lohmeyer-trained multiple-stakes-winner Landslide, and Lohmeyer had bought Flat Foot Fluzy’s dam with the intentions of getting into the breeding business.

Flat Foot Fluzy’s career on the racetrack was cut short by injury as a 2-year-old, but she made her mark as a broodmare. Her first foal, a son of Albert Albert named Pacific Rocket, was a Dan Patch Award winner who earned $2.33 million lifetime.

Overall, Flat Foot Fluzy was the dam of 12 horses, of which five earned six figures. Those horses included Pacific Titan, who won 32 races and $800,072, and Pacific Missile, who won 32 races and $378,797.

Flat Foot Fluzy was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2002.

“She was nasty,” Lohmeyer said about Flat Foot Fluzy in the 2014 book Standardbred Old Friends. “She’d put her ears down the back of her neck, wanted to bite, she wanted her own space. I don’t think she liked anybody. But oh boy, was she a great-gaited filly. She had an effortless, long gait that covered a lot of ground.

“She’s a big part of my life. She’s been around a long time and was the start of my being able to breed some nice horses.”

In recent years, Flat Foot Fluzy’s favorite companion was Keystone Wallis, the grandam of Always A Virgin. The two shared a paddock for eight years until Keystone Wallis’ passing on June 4, 2017.

Officers and directors have been selected to the 2018 RUS New York Management Committee

Ashley Eldred, who ran unopposed, will serve as the RUS New York Management Committee’s president and be the lead contact for membership. Eldred has served as secretary and has been participating in racing under saddle for six years. Her goals include, but are not limited to, creating more competitive/conditioned races, more participation from riders/owners/trainers and more qualified horses and to reevaluate the terms necessary to gain wagering.

Hillary Hartnett has accepted vice president responsibilities.She will also be the lead contact for sponsorships. Hartnett has two years of RUS under her belt including capturing the RUS NY Fair Final Championship last season. The Morrisville Equine Breeding Management alumni does not come from a harness racing background but does love working with horses. Hartnett works at Leatherstocking Equine Center in New Berlin as a breeding manager.

Michelle Miller, who served as president of RUS NY since establishing the group into a more formal non-profit in 2015, will be the group’s acting treasurer and marketing director. Hannah Miller will fill the secretary seat, a role she has served in the past.

Those accepting director roles on the committee include Sophie Engerran, Jocelyn Gale, Heather Reese, Sasha Moczulski, Michelle Crawford, Cathy Gearwar and Victoria Labelle.

Directors commit to taking on at least one lead responsibility for the group and attending meetings either physically or via internet.

Membership of RUS NY is open to any individual who supports the sport of Racing Under Saddle and is interested in helping the group to achieve its aim and willing to abide by the rules of the group. Members do not need to be from New York but are encouraged to attend meetings, help fundraise and participate in discussions. Membership does not give the power to vote. The only time members get to vote is during the group’s annual general meeting to elect a Management Committee.

RUS NY’s aim is to help organize and promote under saddle races for Standardbreds across the state. The main goal is to promote racing under saddle and the versatility of the Standardbred breed as both a racing and a riding horse, to help Standardbreds find great homes after they finish their days on the track.

To learn more, visit www.rus-newyork.com.

For more information on membership e-mail rusnewyorkseries@gmail.com.

Grecale AS and Schalom G are retired at Monticello Raceway

It is rare to have a 14-year-old veteran campaigner stay sound long enough to race until their 15th birthday, but on Dec. 27, Monticello Raceway had two 14-year-old warriors race in their final career start in the same race, Grecale AS and Schalom G.

Grecale AS retires as the winningest aged trotter in North America in 2017 with 17 wins. The son of Sugarcane Hanover has a stellar season with yearly earnings over $50,000. Grecale AS is trained by Don Hoover of Ballston Spa, N.Y., his final career tally race is 299 starts, 59 wins, 42 seconds and 24 thirds, $393,089 and a lifetime mark of 1:56 as a 10-year-old.

The other elder statesman is Schalom G, a son of Toss Out – Pleasure Way, took his lifetime mark (1:52.4) as the age of 10 also. Schalom G is owned and trained by harness racing blue blood Jim Doherty Jr. of Monticello N.Y. His final career tally is 245, 43-34-27 and $373,520. Schalom G recently did his Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer impression over the weekend for his young fans in Liberty NY.

Grecale AS and Schalom G. are both foreign bred, Grecale AS was foaled in Italy and Schalom G was foaled in Germany, in 2003.

The barefooted Grecale AS, went out in style as he scored an easy wire to wire victory in 2:03.4 with Monticello Raceway leading dash winner James Devaux at the helm, Schalom G finished a game fourth.

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