Harness Racing Update Newsletter Archive

Sunday, May 24, 2015
Father Patrick Returns With A Bang; Beats Magician

CHESTER, Pa–Jimmy Takter said it again yesterday, about 45 minutes before the Maxie Lee at Chester. Father Patrick was unequivocally the best horse has ever trained, a huge statement considering the plethora of superstars that have been under his care since he came from his native Sweden.

Trainer Graham Lewis Won’t Give Up The Fight Against New York Gaming Commission

Is trainer-driver Graham Lewis a violent, unhinged hothead who doesn’t belong in the sport, or a misunderstood, wronged man who is at the receiving end of a vendetta from the New York Gaming Commission? That will be the question Tuesday when Lewis appears before the Gaming Commission to ask it to reconsider his last application […]

Saturday, May 23, 2015
Take a Breath, It’s Early

By Dean Towers April and May are the months in harness racing I love, and kind of love to hate. The three year olds we all watched, followed and examined at two are coming back, the qualifiers are fast, frequent and furious, and stakes season is just on the horizon. During this time we also […]

Friday, May 22, 2015
Father Patrick and the Next Chapter of the Great Experiment

Breeding + Racing =Success. That’s the formula, an unconventional one in the U.S. harness racing, that Adam Bowden, Jimmy Takter and their partners have pieced together this year for the standout 4-year-old trotter Father Patrick. With a horse of this caliber, no one has ever tried to breed and race in the same year. But […]

Sunday, May 17, 2015
Bee A Magician Does It Again, Showdown With Father Patrick is Next

She is definitely back. Is she ever. Bee A Magician did it again last night, winning the Arthur Cutler Memorial at the Meadowlands. In the process, she kept her 2015 record perfect at 3 for 3 and became the first mare ever to win this race. Next up for the super mare and 2013 Horse […]

Saturday, May 16, 2015
Mission Brief Impressive in Sophomore Debut

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – Mission accomplished. Mission Brief, last year’s two-year-old champion filly trotter and world-record holder, returned to the track last night for her sophomore debut and stayed on stride in a $25,000 New Jersey Sires Stakes race at the Meadowlands. For a horse that won nine of 13 races last year and failed […]

Friday, May 15, 2015
Is Wiggle It Jiggleit Ready to be the Sport’s Next Megastar?

Can anybody beat Wiggle It Jiggleit? For that matter, can anybody come close to beating Wiggle It Jiggleit? Based on what happened on an otherwise sleepy Monday evening earlier this week at Harrington Raceway those are legitimate questions. Maybe he’ll come crashing down to earth when he faces better competition. Or maybe he’ll just keep […]

Sunday, May 10, 2015
Bee A Magician is Back

She was sensational in 2013 and anything but in 2014. But it looks like Bee A Magician is back and poised for a huge 5-year-old campaign. There was no other conclusion to come to after she beat males in last night’s $50,000 prep for the Cutler Memorial at the Meadowlands and did so from the […]

Saturday, May 09, 2015
Can Wiggle It Jiggleit Crack High Society?

Wiggle It Jiggleit is a modestly bred gelding who might just take the sport by storm this year. But can he overcome his breeding and how often do horses not by top sires win top Grand Circuit races? Dean Hoffman has the answers in today’s HRU.

Friday, May 08, 2015
Disappearing Act: Revisiting the Sites of Brandywine, Liberty Bell and Garden State

You go to these places and it’s hard to imagine there was once so much life there, places where harness racing once thrived. Now they’re Home Depots, Burger Kings, Cheesecake Factories and Dollar Stores. Or they’re condo or housing complexes, such familiar sights all over America that they overwhelm you with their boringness.

Sunday, May 03, 2015
Drugs? To Hell With It…Just Make Them Legal

How do you solve harness racing’s apparent problem with the use of illegal substances? Prominent breeder Mitchell Skolnick has a suggestion, as off the wall as it may be: just make everything legal. That’s right, use whatever you want, just report it to the judges and betting public.

Saturday, May 02, 2015
Season Starts for JK She’salady, the Harness Queen

Nancy Johansson says that all systems are go for the 2015 season as her reigning Horse of the Year JK She’salady is getting ready to kick off her 3-year-old campaign. She took the first step toward what figures to be many trips to the winner’s circle this year when she won a qualifier yesterday morning […]

Friday, May 01, 2015
Lou Pena: Questions and an Attempt at Answers

It’s been a tough week for trainer Lou Pena, who, on Monday was hit with a proverbial sledgehammer by the New York Gaming Commission. In a case that goes all the way back to 2012 and has gone back and forth in the courts, the Gaming Commission finally issued a ruling against Pena for 1,717 […]

Sunday, April 26, 2015
With Perfect Pocket Trip, Domethatagain Wins Levy Final

It pays to draw the rail at Yonkers. Both the finals of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and the Levy were won by the horses that drew post one last night at Yonkers as Venus Delight captured the race for mares and Domethatagain won the $529,000 Levy final for the boys. The other connection between the two is that […]

Saturday, April 25, 2015
Just Call Him P H Super Unlucky

P H Supercam has clearly been the best horse among the many who have gone in the preliminary legs of the Levy series, but the final is always a race where luck is more important than talent. After going 4 for 4 in the prelims, the unlucky 8-year-old gelding drew post eighth for tonight’s $529,000 […]

Friday, April 24, 2015
The Harness Racing Blacksmith Who Just Might Become President of the United States

Lincoln Chafee left home in his twenties to begin a career in the standardbred racing game as a farrier in western Canada and now some 30 years later he is considering a run for the President of the United States. And if it’s true that America is indeed the land of opportunity, the former Governor […]

Sunday, April 19, 2015
The System is Broken and a Little Common Sense Would Go a Long Way

Penalties and testing in horse racing goes a little something like this. —A trainer’s horses are racing out of their skin; he or she is improving horses taken from great horsemen by leaps and bounds, fly by night owners are, in turn, racing to fill up their stalls.

Saturday, April 18, 2015
P H Supercam is the Maine Man

The P H Supercam you know is the terror of Yonkers. He won the rich Levy series last year and looks well on his way to another title. He’s raced in three legs entering tonight’s card at Yonkers and has won all three. Should he win tonight and then draw anything other than a terrible […]

Friday, April 17, 2015
The Declining Foal Crop: A Further Look

When Harness Racing Update surveyed some of the smartest minds in the sport of harness racing and asked why the annual foal crop of standardbreds keeps falling, most weighed in with similar answers. The conventional wisdom was that not enough money was allocated to 2-year-old races and therefore the only reason people would buy yearlings […]

Sunday, April 12, 2015
Though Dealt a Serious Setback, Star Swedish Trainer Bergh Ready to Tackle US Racing

Top Swedish horseman Robert Bergh, who will be training a string of horses in the U.S. for the first time, is looking for someone to oversee seven two-year-olds based in Florida following the sudden passing last month of 60-year-old Ken Oscarsson.

Saturday, April 11, 2015
Newly Turned Sexagenarian, Campbell Expecting Big 2015

He just turned 60, a milestone he reached last Wednesday. But it’s not a number that has him worried or, for that matter, excited. John Campbell is going about his business the same way he always has. To him, all that matters is getting good horses to drive.

Friday, April 10, 2015
Burke Concedes Levy, But Not Giving up on Foiled Again

Foiled Again will not make the April 25 final of the George Morton Levy Series at Yonkers. Trainer Ron Burke all but guaranteed that when he failed to drop his name in the entry box for tomorrow’s fourth leg of the series. Even if he races the following week, which is no certainty, it’s highly […]

Sunday, April 05, 2015
Corey Johnson: My Side of the Story

MILTON, ON – At the age of 25, Corey Johnson has learned that fame and success can be fleeting. The Quebec native rose up the ranks quickly as one of the hottest, young trainers in Canada, and in only five years trained a Breeders Crown winner, Traceur Hanover, who won the two-year-old race for male […]

Saturday, April 04, 2015
Polak A, The Wonder From Down Under, Touches An Emotional Chord in Horsemen in Australia And America

Polak A, the Australian-bred horse that has come to the United States and beaten some of the best aged pacers in the first two legs of the Levy Series at Yonkers Raceway, has a lot of people asking about his name. The answer might just move you to tears.

Friday, April 03, 2015
The “Declining Foal Crop Crisis.” Why It is and What to Do About It

The problem already exists. There simply aren’t enough horses available to put on the type of product that the customer demands. Saturday night, Yonkers will offer a $42,000 Open trot, and it drew just five horses. The Meadowlands, the supposed Mecca of harness racing, has been reduced to racing just two nights a week. Back […]