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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014 New Year's Resolutions From Your Favorite Harness Racing Figures


I intend to pace that over the hill fossil, Foiled Again, into the ground next year. It annoys me to no end that voters would even consider choosing him over me for POY in 2013. After I get through routing that grey beard in one FFA after another, we’ll see how many votes he gets for anything. My New Year’s resolution is to make the world forget about Foiled.

Jeff Gural

Is there a bigger bunch of whiners on the planet than harness bettors? No! I built a new facility when everyone else is knocking down tracks and putting up shopping malls. I did it with my own money; Fat Boy in Trenton is about as useless as a fifth leg on a trotter. And we don’t card those five and six horse fields the way they do at other places—full ten horse fields at the Meadowlands. Do I get any thanks for this? Of course I don’t. All they do is piss and moan about minutia. “The grandstand is too small; I feel claustrophobic.” “What’s gonna happen on Hambo Day? Where’s everybody gonna sit?” Shut up and sit down, fool. We want them moving around, betting, eating and drinking, not falling asleep in a chair.  “I’m a small bettor; the cartels are taking advantage of me.” “I want a rebate on my two dollar wagers.” In 2014 I’m going to start telling these bozos to take their twenty dollar bill and their complaints to Yonkers and see what that gets them.

Market Share

My New Year’s resolution is to take control of the trotting world in 2014. Last year most slotted me behind my stablemate Chapter Seven—he got twice as many HOY votes as I did. But he didn’t win the top dollar stakes the way I have—no Hambletonion, CTC or Maple Leaf on his card. He didn’t crack the two million mark, while I’ve already passed three million. I’m one of the best big money trotters of the modern era, with notches for the Hambo, BC, CTC, Maple Leaf and TVG on my bridle. Call me Mr. Underrated. In 2014 I’ll be heading for the Elitlopp where I’ll school the Euros. They’ve had it too easy with old man Arch. Czernyson says he may send Maven. Get real. I let her go on ahead in the American National, until crunch time, when I rolled right by her. Maven will have her hands full with Bee. She better stay clear of me.

Dragon Again

I resolve to make Hanover pay for relocating me to Ohio in the same truck as that loser, Yankee Cruiser. In this world you’re judged by the company you keep and, while I’m no SBSW, I deserve better than to be sent to that purgatory for unfulfilled stallions with the likes of him. And they dropped my fee, too. Charisma Hanover is my daughter. The Captain slayer, Dedi’s Dragon, is my son. Foiled Again is mine. In 2014 they’ll pay for humiliating me like this.

Yannick Gingras

After Foiled won the TVG I laid the praise on him with a heavy hand. That backfired on me when folks pointed out that I chose Lou over him earlier in the season when it looked like he was done. My New Year’s resolution is to never lose faith in my boy Foiled again, no matter how sour his form gets. Sweet Lou might be razor sharp, but Kakaley can drive him; I’ll stick with Foiled. Ronny’s new kids in the division—Ultimate Beachboy and Dedi’s Dragon—might impress with those young legs, but I’ll stick with the old timer in 2014. I learned my lesson, maybe.


I can’t wait to annihilate the matronly pair at the top of the aged—good word for them—mares pacing division. Anndrovette will be seven and Rocklamation six, and they both have a lot of hard miles on them. Me, I’m young and fresh. I had my problems with Nitelife but I’ll knock those old ladies  for a loop with my speed.


Who is “The Big Daddy of Harness Racing”? Is it Meadow Skipper? No. Sampson Hanover? No. The Big Daddy is Adios, my great, great, great grandsire, and he’s on his way back to the top, thanks to yours truly. It’s about time. My paternal brother, Art Major, had a great year, turning out the likes of my 3/4 sister Precocious Beauty, Fool Me Once and She’s Da Bomb, but his top siring prospect, Art Official, didn’t turn many heads with his first crop and Santana and Hypnotic were both rejected by the breeders, so I guess it’s up to me. My first Down Under crop has been very impressive and I expect the same in NA come summer. Heaven’s yearlings brought a lot more than mine did at the sales and he gets a ton more love than I do from those supposedly in the know. My New Year’s resolution is to bury his with mine next summer, just the way I crushed him in the NA Cup.

Scott Zeron

I forfeited the driving title to Filion when I left for the Meadowlands, but I’m glad I finally made the move. Things were slow at the start. I got shut out the first three nights and some said I’d head home with my tail between my legs. No chance. That natural hat trick I had the other night put me in the top five. I dropped down to number seventeen from number nine on the earning’s list this year. My New Year’s resolution is to get back into the top ten in 2014 and stay there. Leaving Ontario is the best thing I ever did for myself. Why did I wait so long.

Ron Burke

I have fifty two-year-olds developing in Florida right now. In 2014, in addition to controlling the overnight market, I’ll be going after the freshman and sophomore markets more aggressively than I have up until now. Watch out Takter, Alagna, Toscano, Czernyson and friends; I’m coming for your cake in 2014.

Cantab Hall

A couple of years ago, during the economic downturn, Hanover cut my stud fee in half to $7,500. They kept that filly stallion Donato at $20,000 and that lost soul Dewey was also getting twenty in Kentucky. Talk about being humiliated. Then they dropped Donato to fifteen and bumped me up to ten. Now Dewey is at ten, Donato at fifteen and I’m king of the hill at twenty. It’s about time. My New Year’s resolution is to have Father Patrick run the table and in addition to produce a third freshman champion in a row, forcing Hanover to step me up to thirty, just like Beach.

San Pail

I’ve been commiserating with my pal Goo on the trials and tribulations of having an eccentric trainer. I only started six times in the last two years, and just two of those were in 2013. I beat Knows Nothing in a preferred at Mohawk. They treated my ankle injury with stem cells but it just isn’t the same. I turn ten tomorrow. Enough is enough. Hughes made me qualify six times before the two starts I made at Mohawk in the fall. I want to retire to Florida. Give me that warm sunshine and green grass. No more aborted comebacks.  My resolution is to retire right now.

Bee A Magician

Aside from Maven, this is the sorriest class of aged trotting mares in the history of the sport. I’m blessed; I get to move from one historically weak class to another. Beatgoeson deserves some respect, but the Euros scooped her up at the sales and took her home with them. Cedar Dove won once this year. D’Orsay is a head case. Ma Chere Hall was the best of a bad bunch in my class but she’s all too familiar with what my big butt looks like. I’ll beat the boys, who are also weak. Buck I St Pat did just fine with them and I’m a lot better than she ever was. All this talk about whether Maven should race in mixed company is getting on my nerves. I’ll put her in her place as soon as the season starts. My New Year’s resolution is to win the TVG Trot.

Vegas Vacation

I intend to send a message to Brian Sears and Sunfire Blue Chip in 2014. Sears said I won’t win that many races because I’m not “handy,” while Sunfire Blue Chip will win quite a few because he is handy. If I kick him in the nuts next time he sits behind me, he’ll know how handy I am. Regardless, I never claimed to be the easiest horse on the planet to navigate around a track, but I’ll win plenty. Sunfire beat me in the Adios on the front end, but despite having to come from way back, four deep on the last turn, I almost got him. The Tattersalls was his only other significant win. He beat a division full of slugs that day—Fool Me Once was the 2/5 favorite—while I had The Captain to contend with and finished second in that split. I beat Sunshine in the Simcoe and the EBC. I won the Jug and the Matron. Sunshine couldn’t even beat Ronny Bugatti in the Messenger. How weak is that? Sears will have a mouth full of sorry come the fall.

George Brennan

Yeah, Sears beat me for the Yonkers title this year. So what! Awards don’t matter to me anymore; I’m beyond that. I was DOY in 2010 and 2011, and I won the HTA DOY award the last two years. These other buffoons are running ragged from track to track while I simply drive to Yonkers and back every day, and I’m still seventh in earnings for 2013 with more than nine million dollars. My New Year’s resolution is to tune out all the naysayers who claim I’m no longer a big time player and keep doing exactly what I’ve been doing.

Brian Sears

I’m much happier doing the bulk of my driving at Yonkers. The judges at the Meadowlands got on me about allowing the occasional horse to drop in front of me—when it made strategic sense for me to do so. And Jeff made plenty of noise when I moved to Yonkers a year ago, but look how that’s worked out for me. I have the best of both worlds; I get plenty of drives on the Grand Circuit and I have Yonkers as a lucrative base. I’m third on the money list with fewer drives than any of the others in the top ten. That speaks to quality of life. It’s my New Year’s resolution to stay on the same path I’m on. You won’t see me getting into a pissing match with Gural the way George did over Pena. No way. I have six driving titles at the Meadowlands: are they gonna set up a “preferential driver program” and keep me out? I don’t think so. I’m in a sweet spot right now and I intend to stay there.


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