Congratulations to the connections of Keystone Velocity on winning the $532,000 George Morton Levy final for the second straight year! Keystone Velocity with trainer Frank shown here in the ECB Spa at Wingate Farm...
Caprice Hill enjoys a spa treatment at the Alagna Racing Barn at Sunshine Meadows...
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.
Grand Circuit Publicity Director
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.”
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.”
ABOUT CRAWFORD FARMS
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
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.