Harness Racing

Lindy Farms: It's Better Than Kentucky by Allen Gutowski

Check out this three part series on the beautiful Lindy Farms in Connecticut... For the link to the full series CLICK HERE

"Lindy has some 30 horses in training at it farm and the horses are spoiled with the very best facilities and care — including an impressive equine therapeutic spa that features a cold water Jacuzzi, water treadmill and a vibrating floor under a gigantic heat lamp that can be lowered just above a horse’s back. Farm manager John Belskie said the spa is great for dealing with horses suffering from inflammation and soreness."

Waples and Alagna team up for Thursday triple by Allen Gutowski

Congratulations to ECB Spa client Tony Alagna on a great night at Mohawk Racetrack!

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 25 – The combination of driver Randy Waples and trainer Tony Alagna has been red hot at Mohawk Racetrack and Thursday night the hot streak continued.

Alagna sent out three horses on Thursday’s 10-race card and all three scored victories with Waples in the sulky. 

The successful evening for the duo began in the opening race, as rookie trotting colt Signal Hill broke his maiden with a 1:58.3 score. The son of Muscle Hill, who sold for $250,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, was making his third career start and trotted home in :27.4 for the victory.

Signal Hill is owned by Brittany Farms, David McDuffee, Marvin Katz and Adriano Sorella.

Vintage Babe gave Waples and Alagna their second victory with a 1:54.2 triumph in the third-race. The sophomore pacing filly was competing at the non-winners of two or $25,000 lifetime level and shot home in :27.3 for her third career score.

The daughter of Vintage Master is owned by Alagna Racing LLC and Jodi Siamis.

The third victory of the night for Waples and Alagna came in the eighth-race, as Winter Harbor picked up his second consecutive victory. The three-year-old son of Muscle Hill grinded away first up throughout the middle-half and pulled ahead in the lane for a 1:56.1 score.

A $240,000 yearling purchase at the 2014 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, Winter Harbor didn’t make his three-year-old debut until August 5th and now has two wins from three starts to improve his career record to three wins in six starts. He is owned by Brittany Farms, John Cancelliere, Little E LLC and Winter Harbor Partners.

The combination of Waples and Alagna is winning at almost 50 per cent this season at Mohawk. They will team up twice on Friday’s card with a pair of impressive ladies.

Ontario Sires Stakes star Caprice Hill will be looking for her fifth win of the season in the Casual Breeze Stakes, while four-year-old pacing mare Bedroomconfessions has won four of her last five starts and goes for another victory in the Mares Preferred.

For full article, CLICK HERE

Oaks Hat Trick For Takter And Gingras by Allen Gutowski

Oaks Hat Trick For Takter And Gingras - Congratulations to ECB clients Jimmy Takter and the connections of All The Time with 1st, and Tony Alagna and Caprice Hill on a close 2nd!

Oaks Hat Trick For Takter And Gingras: 

Yannick Gingras and Jimmy Takter do it All The Time.
Gingras rallied in the stretch with All The Time in 1:52.1 to win by 3¾ lengths over Caprice Hill to capture the 91st edition of the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old fillies on Hambletonian Day Saturday at the Meadowlands.
Gingras won his third straight Oaks, as did Takter, who now has six victories overall in the Hambletonian’s sister event.
“I was hoping to follow Brian Sears (with Windowshopper), I thought his filly was one of the fillies to beat, and they had a little bobble on the backstretch,” said Gingras. “She felt so strong and she was able to catch the gap really quickly. I was just hoping not to be first up around the last turn. I figured John (Campbell) would come (with Celebrity Eventsy) and when he did it, it made my job really easy.”
The 2-year-old Breeders Crown champion from last year paid $9.20, 4.40 and 3.00. Caprice Hill, the 5-2 favorite with Tim Tetrick aboard, finished second, paying $4.40 and 3.00, and Celebrity Eventsy, driven by John Campbell and the fifth choice at 5-1, rounded out the top three, paying $3.60 for show.
“She was really sharp today. She had a good week and the timing had to be perfect. I know I had a ticket that was very strong with a couple of good fillies. We pulled the front shoes on her, which I think might have kicked her up a little bit. It was the first time she ever did that,” said Takter. “There were three horses in the race that I had tremendous respect for. We were the lucky ones.”
Tetrick had Caprice Hill on the lead at the top of the stretch, but Gingras had another gear and was able to cruise to the finish line as All The Time improved to 11-for-19 all-time, snapping a two-race losing streak.

For full article, CLICK HERE

Impressive Efforts In Town Pro for Lindy Farms by Allen Gutowski

Congratulations to ECB Spa owner Lindy Farms and Frank Antonacci!

Lindys Nightmare and Collective Wisdom captured first round divisions of the Town Pro Series on Friday night (June 24) at Mohawk Racetrack.

The Town Pro Series has been used as a launching pad by lightly raced three-year-old pacing fillies over the years, and after Friday’s first leg it appears the 2016 edition will continue that tradition.

Lindys Nightmare turned in a sizzling 1:50.4 performance to capture the first division.

The Frank Antonacci trainee took over the lead in the second-quarter for driver Rick Zeron and reached the half in :56.1. Lindys Nightmare paced her third-quarter in :27.4 and still had plenty of energy left for the stretch drive. The 3-2 favourite rocketed home in :26.4 to draw away from her five rivals to score a 4-3/4 lengths victory in a career-best 1:50.4.

For full article, CLICK HERE

Race 2 from Mohawk, June 24, 2016.

Stakes Triple for Zeron by Allen Gutowski

Congratulations to ECB Spa clients Crawford Farms and Tony Alagna... we love to see our clients' successes!

Scott Zeron manufactured a trio of New York Sire Stakes win Monday afternoon at Monticello Raceway, as the half-mile oval hosted three-year-old pacing colts and geldings.

On a day when being on the front end meant almost certain defeat, seven of the afternoon’s 13 races were won by the horse sitting the pocket at the top to the stretch.

Talk Show was a perfect example of this. Missile J left strong from outside in Race 2 and was used hard. He didn’t get to the lead until past the quarter for driver Tim Tetrick, and once he gained the front Talk Show was content to sit the pocket and brush past Missile J to score in 1:53.3. The son of Art Major–Lush Limbaugh is trained by Steve Elliot for owners Talk Show Partners LLC. It was Scott Zeron’s first of three wins on the afternoon’s card.

The second division saw Craftship track Artmagic the entire mile in the garden spot en route to prevailing in 1:53.2 - the afternoon’s fastest race of the day. The well-bred son of Art Major–Capri Hanover is trained by Tony Alagna for winning owns Crawford Partners, J. Fodera, N M Frank Stable and J. Sbrocco.

Manny was content to let Fine Diamond and JK Heaven Sent slug it out on the front end in the other division. JK Heaven Sent never saw the wood and was parked the entire mile. Manny, a son of American Ideal-Foolish Kiss, saved ground at the rail and rallied in the lane to score in 1:54.2 He is trained by Jessica Okusko and was driven to victory by Chris Lems.

For full article, CLICK HERE

ECB Spa at Crawford Farms

ECB Spa at Crawford Farms

ECB Spa owner Jimmy Takter wins a record six Crown finals by Allen Gutowski

Oct. 24, 2015 Breeders Crown 32 in the books
The Breeders Crown, harness racing’s championship evening, returned to Woodbine Racetrack for the first time since 2012 as many of the current and future stars of the sport were showcased. But it was veteran trainer Jimmy Takter who shone brightest and enjoyed a night to remember, winning a record six Crown finals, including the Three-Year-Old Colt Trot with The Bank, who upset stablemate and Hambletonian winner Pinkman.  

ECB Spa owner Jimmy Takter sweeps the Kentucky Futurity and the Kentucky Filly Futurity by Allen Gutowski

Pinkman won Saturday's $527,000 Kentucky Futurity for 3-year-old trotters at The Red Mile, biding his time through the early portions of the race before taking the lead in the stretch and posting a 1-1/4 length victory over longshot Crescent Fashion in 1:51.2. French Laundry finished third. The triumph gave trainer Jimmy Takter a sweep of the Kentucky Futurity and the Kentucky Filly Futurity for 3-year-old female trotters. Wild Honey, with John Campbell in the sulky, upset 1-9 favorite Mission Brief in the Kentucky Filly Futurity by three-quarters of a length in 1:50.4. Pinkman's win in the Kentucky Futurity gave the gelding two jewels of the Trotting Triple Crown. In August, Pinkman captured the first jewel, the Hambletonian Stakes, at the Meadowlands. Habitat, who won the second jewel, the Yonkers Trot, was not entered in the Futurity. Pinkman is the 20th horse to win two legs of the Trotting Triple Crown, a feat most recently accomplished just last year by Takter's Nuncio. Pinkman, who started from post nine, raced in third place for nearly three-quarters of a mile before challenging leader Crazy Wow on the final turn. He pulled away from the field in the stretch before holding off Crescent Fashion to win the 123rd edition of the Kentucky Futurity. Muscle Diamond followed French Laundry, with Crazy Wow finishing fifth. A gelding by Explosive Matter out of the mare Margie Seelster, Pinkman has won 11 of 15 races this year and earned $1.75 million. His other victories include the $532,000 Canadian Trotting Classic, $1 million Hambletonian, $500,000 Beal Memorial, and $370,000 Zweig Memorial. Pinkman is owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Joyce McClelland, and Herb Liverman. For his career, Pinkman has won 17 of 23 starts and $2.31 million. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2015, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farm is the sponsor for the 2015 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past week's action: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,236; 2. David Miller - 911.5; 3. Tim Tetrick - 819; 4. Brett Miller - 556; 5. Brian Sears - 517. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,491; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,198; 3. Tony Alagna - 512.5; 4. Jeff Bamond Jr. - 330; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 311. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 337.3; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 290.35; 3. Bamond Racing - 265; 4. Christina Takter - 193.75; 5. George Teague Jr. Inc. - 170. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will once again take place next week at Woodbine Racetrack with Breeders Crown finals in all 12 categories (2- and 3-year-old colt and filly pacers and trotters and older horse and mare pacers and trotters). Vernon Downs (Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old trotters) and Hoosier Park (Circle City for 2-year-olds and Madison County for 3-year-olds) will also be hosting Grand Circuit racing. Read the full article on Harnesslink.
Paul Ramlow
Grand Circuit Publicity Director


ECB Client Tony Alagna top buyer on day one at Lexington Selected Yearling Sale by Allen Gutowski

Trainer Tony Alagna came to the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale at the Fasig-Tipton Pavilion on Monday night with a fistful of money and some new investors. While he failed to bring home the sale-topper, he led all buyers in both horses purchased and total spent.

For the second straight year the sale produced positive results. A total of 98 yearlings went through the ring for an average of $109,531, a 4.3% increase over 2014 when the average was $104,959 for 97 yearlings.

For Alagna, he signed for seven horses at a total of $1,232,000. According to the trainer he came away with 10 new horses for the barn and attributed his ability to spend on some new blood on the ownership side. Some of those newbies included Courant AB and Tristan Sjoberg, who came in for 25% each of the $275,000 price tag on HIP 86 Evelix AM, a pacing filly by Art Major out of Credit Rating. Bradley Grant took the remaining 50%.

“When you have good years you get new interest and I’m glad to have people who are new to the barn,” said Alagna, referencing recent success with Captaintreacherous, Artspeak and Caprice Hill. “We’ve had consecutive good years and we were able to get some new people into the barn.”

Other top buys by Alagna included: HIP 104 Mountain Of Love ($280,000), a colt by Muscle Hill out of Somebody To Love; HIP 37 Signal Hill ($250,000), a Muscle Hill colt out of Special Appeal; and HIP 84 Major Account ($200,000), a Western Ideal-sired colt by CPA.  

“Pedigree and individual,” said Alagna on his formula for picking out those particular yearlings. “We follow a pretty easy pattern. People can see what we like. We buy the same families every year, but we have success with them, so that’s what we stick with.”

Alagna, who owned part of 40-something horses in 2014, puts his money on the line rather than just training.

“People see me putting my money in too. When they see you owning the horses as well, I think it is a vote of confidence that they like to see,” said Alagna.

Topping the sale was a pair of $350,000 purchases. The ticket for HIP 21 Federal Hill (Muscle Hill-Gala Dream) was signed by Mario Zuanetti for Atlantic Trot. The colt is a half-brother to Father Patrick. Live For Greatness (HIP 31) went to Robert Lindstrom, who ranked second in money spent on the night at $970,000. The half-brother to millionaire Muscle Massive is by Cantab Hall and out of Forever Graceful.

The final horse to break the $300,000 threshold was HIP 40 Julieann B, a Cantab Hall filly by Yankee Blondie for went for $310,000 to Nancy Johansson as agent for Stall Courant AB.

Co-sales manager Randy Manges was very happy with the results of the first night.

“I was ecstatic. To be up that much over last year was really terrific, even with all of our outs. I can’t even imagine how good of a sale we would have had if those horses were in,” said Manges, alluding to the 11 horses that were withdrawn from the sale.

“I think we had a really good group of horses that sold here tonight. The pedigrees were there and the horses matched the pedigrees.”

The sale eclipsed the $100,000 average in consecutive years for the first time in over 20 years and will look to keep the momentum going on Tuesday night.

“I think it is very equal to last year,” said Manges about the second night offerings. “I wouldn’t be disappointed if we were down a little but I don’t expect to be down a whole lot.”



ECB Clients Among Top Five Trainers in the 2015 Grand Circuit Standings by Allen Gutowski

Three out of the top five trainers in the 2015 Grand Circuit Standings are ECB Spa clients... best wishes to Jimmy Takter, Tony Alagna and Erv Miller! READ MORE

Grand Circuit Standings: In 2015, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farm is the sponsor for the 2015 Grand Circuit awards.

Here are the leaders following the past week's action:

Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 849; 2. David Miller - 526.5; 3. Tim Tetrick - 517; 4. Brian Sears - 447; 5. Corey Callahan - 352.5.

Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,109; 2. Jimmy Takter - 762; 3. Tony Alagna - 315.5; 4. Jeff Bamond Jr. - 300; 5. Erv Miller - 216.

Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 260.1; 2. Bamond Racing - 235; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 234.4; 4. George Teague Jr. Inc. - 140; 5. Christina Takter - 131.7.

Spa Owners Win Hambletonian Day! by Allen Gutowski

ECB congratulates Jimmy Takter on a fantastic Hambletonian day! Takter swept the Hambletonian and the Hambletonian Oaks for the 2nd straight year. Pinkman gave Jimmy his fourth win in the classic race, in addition to Takter horses taking the 3rd and 4th place spots. Wild Honey, owned by many of the same members of the Pinkman team, won the companion event giving the trainer a fifth Oaks. Wild Honey was bred by another ECB Spa owner, Lindy Racing Stable... for the full race results, CLICK HERE

HAMBLETONIAN NO. 90 3 Year Old Open FINAL - 1:51 - Driver: Brian Sears - Trainer: Jimmy Takter 2nd: Mission Brief 3rd: Uncle Lasse

ECB Spa owner Jimmy Takter sweeps Dancer by Allen Gutowski

Pinkman (Yannick Gingras) became harness racing's newest millionaire when he won the $157,250 first division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial for 3-year-old trotting colts at The Meadowlands on Saturday (July 18) in 1:52.2. Habitat (Brian Sears) was second and Canepa Hanover (Jimmy Takter) was third in the prep for the Aug. 8 Hambletonian.
Pinkman is owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Joyce McClelland and Herb Liverman and is trained by Jimmy Takter. The son of  Explosive Matter-Margie Seelster posted his 11th win in 14 lifetime starts, lifting his career bankroll to $1,002,925.  READ MORE

ECB Client Crawford Farms Sponsors Meadowlands Pace by Allen Gutowski

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (December 23, 2014) – Crawford Farms, a leading New York-based breeding operation, and Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment have agreed to a three-year sponsorship deal that will make Crawford Farms the title sponsor of the Meadowlands Pace through 2017. Crawford Farms served as a major sponsor of “The Pace” in 2014.

“We have made a long term commitment, which the industry needs, to the Meadowlands and the Meadowlands Pace and we are ecstatic that this race is held at a venue like no other in the sport,” said Michelle Crawford of Crawford Farms. “It is a dream come true to be able to sponsor one of the biggest events in harness racing and to be able to bring people to a state of the art entertainment facility with top restaurants and clubs.”

The Meadowlands Pace has been held annually since 1977, when Escort won the inaugural edition. He’s Watching won the 2014 Pace in a record time of 1:46.4.

“We are grateful to Crawford Farms for stepping up to the plate and partnering with us to help promote the Meadowlands Pace for the next three years,” said Jason M. Settlemoir, CEO/GM of Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment. “The Crawfords continue to make a major investment in harness racing that is paramount to the long-term success of the entire industry.”

Crawford added: “We strongly believe that regardless of your level of participation in this amazing sport, everyone on every level from owners to trainers to drivers need to step up and contribute their time and money to the sport that pays them back so it stays alive with passion and is able to thrive for years to come.”

Live racing resumes at the Meadowlands Friday and Saturday nights beginning at 7:15 p.m. For more information, visit www.PlayMeadowlands.com.


Crawford Farms is a family-owned and operated farm since 1966. The farm is located on more than 100 acres in Durhamville, NY. In the recent years Albert & Michelle Crawford have greatly improved and expanded the Crawford Farms facility to include approximately 55 broodmares, more than two dozen racing horses, state of the art breeding/foaling facilities, plush pastures, a retirement paddock, and a half mile trotting track. Visit Crawford Farms online atwww.crawfordfarms.com.

by Rachel Ryan, for the Meadowlands


Wingate Farms Now Offers Lay-Up and Rehab Services by Allen Gutowski

In Eastern PA, facilities with equine swimming pools and spas are hard to come by, but these tools can be invaluable when it comes to conditioning sport horses or helping horses rehabilitate from surgery or injury.

Wingate Farms in Wind Gap, PA houses both an equine pool and a cold salt-water horse spa, and horse owners can make appointments to take advantage of both therapies, or board their horses at Wingate for lay-up or rehabilitation.

Wingate Farms’ equine spa uses cold salt hydrotherapy to treat and prevent lower leg injuries in horses. The horse is led into a chamber which is filled with salt water that measures a chilly 35 degrees. The cold, aerated salt water reduces swelling and inflammation in the legs. This can be an effective treatment for injury, or used as a preventative measure following exercise.

Horses recovering from injury or that need to build fitness can also benefit from swimming in Wingate Farms’ equine pool. Because swimming is an impact-free form of exercise, it can help build muscle, stamina, and cardiovascular strength without wear and tear on the joints.

If you are interested in using the equine pool or spa at Wingate Farms, contact Carina for more information: 610-653-6772  




Monticello, NY–Few harness racing horse breeders have made a larger multi-media splash this year than Crawford Farms of Durhamville, New York.

From the second-story Crawford Farms mural at The Meadowlands to the Red Mile Grand Circuit meet where the water trucks proudly displayed the farm’s iconic insignia, racing fans are constantly reminded of the dynamic duo’s substantial commitment to the sport.  Evident across multiple digital platforms, the Crawford’s are very active on social media and have produced and broadcast several TV commercials during key, nationally televised harness races, including the Hambletonian.

Driven by a passion for the sport, and a desire to help harness racing prosper, the Crawford’s have sponsored this season’s Meadowlands Pace, Kindergarten Classic, Crawford Farms Trot and the Red Mile Grand Circuit meet.  In addition to vast purse support, they have recently completed a state-of-the-art equine therapeutic spa, 40-stall barn, and an 8-stall horse exerciser at their central New York breeding & racing operation.

For their considerable investment in the future of the Standardbred and support of harness racing and breeding in the state of New York, the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association has awarded Crawford Farms their annual Excelsior Award.

The award will be presented on Nov. 16 at the chapter’s 56th annual awards banquet.  Somewhat surprised when they learned of the award, Michelle and Albert Crawford were humbled by the honor.

“We love this business, and we are very pleased that someone has noticed and appreciated our efforts” noted Albert, son of the late Jim Crawford who was the affable former president of the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State.

“My wife and I are committed to breeding top horses in New York State and supporting the industry in the process.  We know that it is a considerable challenge, but we are rolling up our sleeves and eager to do the work!”

Michelle, the spark that energizes much of the daily operations added, “Every day that I am on our farm I am amazed at the work ethic and dedication that our staff contribute to our vision.  Whether we are breeding, foaling, weaning or performing racehorse rehab, they always give 110%, and for that I am very grateful.”

The farm, which was founded in 1966 by Jim and Patricia Crawford, continues to be a family affair.  The 100-acre nursery has continued to expand not only their footprint, but also their broodmare band.  Their yearling consignments to Lexington and Morrisville have continued to improve in scope and scale.

When they are not raising future harness racing stars, Michelle and Al own and operate one of the most successful healthcare lending institutions in the nation, Bankers Healthcare Group.  In fact, BHG was ranked as the 5th Fastest Growing Private Company by Inc.

Formed in 1992 from a modest group of four finance experts, BHG now employs close to 200 business professionals.

Source: http://www.harnesslink.com/USA/Crawford-Farms-to-receive-Excelsior-Award

ECB Equine Spa owner Jimmy Takter rules Hambletonian Day by Allen Gutowski

ECB Equine Spa owner Jimmy Takter rules Hambletonian Day! Jimmy has owned our Spa since 2011... Team Takter placed 1st and 2nd in the Hambletonian with Trixton and Nuncio and 1st in the Oaks with Lifetime Pursuit! Lifetime Pursuit upset her stable mate Shake It Cerry in the stretch and posted a world record mile of 1:50.4 in giving driver Yannick Gingras his first ever victory in the Hambletonian Oaks.  For more, click here.

HAMBLETONIAN NO. 89 - FINAL 3 Year Old Open - 1:50.3 - Driver/Trainer: Jimmy Takter 2nd: Nuncio 3rd: Harper Blue Chip

HAMBLETONIAN OAKS NO. 89 - FINAL 3 Year Old Fillies - 1:50.4 - Driver: Yannick Gingras - Trainer: Jimmy Takter 2nd: Designed To Be 3rd: Take The Money