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Walner Honoured At Goshen Banquet

Published: November 18, 2016 3:07 pm ET

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On Sunday, November 13, the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund and the United States Trotting Association held their annual New York Sire Stakes and District 8 awards banquet in Haughton Hall at the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y.

The biggest names in Empire State racing that gathered to fete the accomplishments of their stars began the evening with a cocktail party sponsored by the District 8 member tracks (including Batavia Downs, Buffalo Raceway, Monticello Casino & Raceway, Saratoga Casino & Hotel, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs) before being seated for dinner and the awards presentations.

The big announcement of the night was that two-year-old trotting colt Walner was named the District 8 Horse of the Year.

Walner (Chapter Seven-Random Destiny 1:51.3, $484,037) is owned by Ken Jacobs, trained by Linda Toscano and driven in all of his starts by Tim Tetrick. Jacobs purchased Walner at the 2015 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale for $90,000 and placed under the tutelage of his longtime trainer Linda Toscano. Since then, the New York-bred colt has developed into the top two-year-old male trotter in North America.

Having won seven of his eight starts in 2016, Walner was not shy to make headlines.

After winning two NYSS events over the summer, Walner won the $280,000 International Stallion Stakes at the Red Mile in October, setting a world record of 1:51.3 for two-year-old trotting colts, breaking the old standard of 1:52.2 set by Southwind Frank in 2015.

Three weeks later, he won the $600,000 Breeders Crown at the Meadowlands in 1:53, trotting away from the field by four and a half lengths. This performance was a track and stake record for two-year-old trotting colts.

Then, to put an exclamation mark on his season, Walner was victorious in the $200,600 Kindergarten Classic final at the Meadowlands in 1:53.2 by an overwhelming seven lengths.

Walner’s achievements during his freshman campaign were both dominant and record breaking and have firmly entrenched him as the early favourite in the 2017 Hambletonian.

There were some outstanding seasons put together by those awarded for their performances in the New York Sire Stakes this year, including some who impacted the Grand Circuit as well.

Smalltownthrowdown (Cash Hall-Anns Promise) was named the NYSS three-year-old trotting colt of the year.

After winning five legs of the NYSS during the year, Smalltownthrowdown was crowned the division champion after taking the final at Yonkers Raceway. On Saturday (September 3), Smalltownthrowdown competed in the $500,000 Yonkers Trot and was beaten only a head by Hambletonian winner Marion Marauder, who would go on to become the trotting Triple Crown winner. Smalltownthrowdown had seven wins in 16 starts and earned $446,263 in purses for his efforts. His seasonal (and lifetime) mark of 1:54.4 was taken at Saratoga Raceway.

Non Stick (Lucky Chucky-Meucci Madness) was named the NYSS three-year-old trotting filly of the year.

After being crowned champion of the two-year-old trotting filly division last year on the strength of an undefeated season, Non Stick repeated as three-year-old champion this year after winning four NYSS events over the summer. The highlight of 2016 for her came at Vernon Downs on Sunday (June 19) when she won the $225,000 Empire Breeders Classic wire to wire from post eight in 1:54, which was a new lifetime mark.

Non Stick won six starts in 12 attempts and banked $363,787 in those outings.

Jim Morrill Jr. repeated as NYSS Driver of the Year after he posted a 28-26-26 record off of 144 starts, which equated to a .355 UDR. His drives earned his owners just under $1.65 million in purses.

Ron Burke repeated as NYSS Trainer of the Year while campaigning 25 horses on the circuit. His students won 20 races and earned cheques 70 per cent of the time. Those added up to $1.26 million in earnings for their owners.

Winbak Farm was once again Breeder of the Year.

The complete list of award winners appears below.

2016 USTA DISTRICT 8 CHAMPIONS

2-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROTTER
Barn Bella
Owners: Steven Pratt, Nancy Pratt & Purple Haze Stables LLC

2-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACER
Planet Rock
Owners: Kenneth Jacobs

3-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROTTER
Fad Finance
Owners: Purple Haze Stables LLC, Marc Goldberg & Rojan Stables

3-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACER
No Clouds Bluechip
Owners: Richard Carney, Farrell Carney & Barbara Berger

2-YEAR-OLD COLT TROTTER
Walner
Owner: Kenneth Jacobs

2-YEAR-OLD COLT PACER
Funknwaffles
Owners: Crawford Farms Racing & Susan Oakes

3-YEAR-OLD COLT TROTTER
Smalltownthrowdown
Owners: Ann-Mari Daley, James Crawford IV, Donald Brenner & Richard Lombardo

3-YEAR-OLD COLT PACER
Missile J
Owners: KJ Stables LLC & Purple Haze Stable LLC

COUNTY FAIR DRIVER OF THE YEAR: Mark Whitcroft
RISING STAR AWARD: Joseph Chindano Jr.
PARI-MUTUEL DRIVER OF THE YEAR: Jim Morrill Jr.
TRAINER OF THE YEAR: Linda Toscano

2016 NEW YORK SIRE STAKES CHAMPIONS

2-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT
Barn Bella (Conway Hall — Bravissima)
Owners: Steven Pratt, Nancy Pratt & Purple Haze Stables LLC
Breeder: Morrisville Col Fdn Inc.
Trainer: Steven Pratt
Driver: Jeff Gregory
NYSS Earnings: $200,287

2-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE
Tequila Monday (American Ideal — Margarita Monday)
Owners: Susan Oakes & Chuck Pompey
Breeder: Winbak Farm
Trainer: Chris Oakes
Driver: Brian Sears
NYSS Earnings: $176,206

3-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT
Non Stick (Lucky Chucky — Meucci Madness)
Owners: Ake Svanstedt Inc. & Little E LLC
Breeders: Michael Andrew & Steve Stewart
Trainer: Ake Svanstedt
Driver: Ake Svanstedt
NYSS Earnings: $231,907

3-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE
Wishy Washy Girl (Roll With Joe — Wish All You Want)
Owners: Michael Cimaglio & Stephen Demeter
Breeders: Scott Dillon & Thomas Dillon
Trainer: Tracy Brainard
Driver: Jim Morrill Jr.
NYSS Earnings: $172,329

2-YEAR-OLD COLT TROT
Devious Man (Credit Winner — Miss Garland)
Owner: Stroy Inc
Breeder: Winbak Farm
Trainer: Julie Miller
Driver: Andy Miller
NYSS Earnings: $264,647

2-YEAR-OLD COLT PACE
Funknwaffles (American Ideal — Hatsoff Hanover)
Owners: Crawford Farms Racing & Susan Oakes
Breeder: David McDuffee
Trainer: John Butenschoen
Driver: Jim Morrill Jr.
NYSS Earnings: $234,785

3-YEAR-OLD COLT TROT
Smalltownthrowdown (Cash Hall — Anns Promise)
Owners: Ann-Mari Daley, James Crawford IV, Donald Brenner & Richard Lombardo
Breeder: David Firmstone
Trainer: Dan Daley
Driver: Dan Daley
NYSS Earnings: $304,447

3-YEAR-OLD COLT PACE
Roll Away Joe (Roll With Joe — Chatelaine)
Owners: Howard Taylor, Stephen Demeter & Thomas Lazzaro
Breeder: Twinbrook Limited
Trainer: Tracy Brainard
Driver: Jason Bartlett
NYSS Earnings: $312,382

BREEDER OF THE YEAR: Winbak Farm
TRAINER OF THE YEAR: Ron Burke
DRIVER OF THE YEAR: Jim Morrill Jr.

2016 NYSS CONSOLATION WINNERS

2-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT
Teasin N Pleasin (CR Excalibur – Brontease)
Owners: Edward Reich, Thomas Corelli & Fred Corelli
Breeder: Winbak Farm
Trainer: Thomas Corelli
Driver: Jeff Gregory
NYSS Earnings: $63,296

3-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT
Zette Starlet (Credit Winner – Scottish Starlet)
Owner: Cozette McAvoy
Breeder: William Donovan
Trainer: Cozette McAvoy
Driver: Charlie Norris
NYSS Earnings: $54,280

3-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE
Major Millie (Art Major – Gravity)
Owner: SSG Stables
Breeder: Flintlock Farm Inc
Trainer: Steve Elliott
Driver: John MacDonald
NYSS Earnings: $58,650

2-YEAR-OLD COLT TROT
Top Flight (Angel Archangel – Top Photo)
Owner: Legendary Standardbred Farm
Breeder: Alan Hainsworth
Trainer: Megan Wilson
Driver: John Cummings Jr
NYSS Earnings: $28,756

3-YEAR-OLD COLT TROT
Royal Bachelor (RC Royalty – Becca J)
Owners: Ann-Mari Daley, James Crawford IV & Michael White
Breeder: Kenneth Jacobs
Trainer: Dan Daley
Driver: Dan Daley
NYSS Earnings: $50,800

3-YEAR-OLD COLT PACE
JK Heaven Sent (Rock N Roll Heaven – JK Owhatanite)
Owners: Michi Abday, Barbara & Donald Arnstine
Breeder: 3 Brothers Stables
Trainer: Gilbert Garcia-Herrera
Driver: John MacDonald
NYSS Earnings: $41,850

2016 NEW YORK-BRED EXCELSIOR CHAMPIONS

2-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT
Royal Oaks (RC Royalty — Mystical Oaks)
Owners: Jessica Okusko & Ronald LaClair
Breeder: Dunroven Stud LLC
Trainer: Jessica Okusko
Driver: Stephane Bouchard
NYSS Earnings: $41,250

2-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE
Pirineas Princess (Roll With Joe — Chant A Nuka)
Owner: Latz A Luck Stable
Breeder: Joseph Pirinea
Trainer: Dennis Laterza
Driver: Stephane Bouchard
NYSS Earnings: $49,100

3-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT
Wendys Girl (Lucky Chucky — East Creek Wendy)
Owners: Howard Taylor & Edwin Gold
Breeder: East Creek Stable
Trainer: Tracy Brainard
Driver: Jim Morrill Jr.
NYSS Earnings: $64,950

3-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE
Ghost Runner (Art Major — Spirit Of The West)
Owners: Dr. Scott Leaf, Deborah Mackenzie, Gerald Fielding & Tom Jackson
Breeder: Stonegate Standardbred Farms
Trainer: Erv Miller
Driver: Marcus Miller
NYSS Earnings: $43,050

2-YEAR-OLD COLT TROT
Barn Winner (Credit Winner — Hallmarker T)
Owners: Steven Pratt, Nancy Pratt & Out In The Country Stable
Breeders: Moni Market Breeders & Jeffery Ruch
Trainer: Steven Pratt
Driver: Jeff Gregory
NYSS Earnings: $45,000

2-YEAR-OLD COLT PACE
Percys Z Tam (American Ideal — Mintjulep Bluechip)
Owners: Pat Lachance, Z Tam Stbs LLC, M&M Harness Rcg LLC & Royal Flush Stb LLC
Breeder: Michael Parisi
Trainer/ Driver: Pat Lachance
NYSS Earnings: $58,650

3-YEAR-OLD COLT TROT
Just For Today (Credit Winner — Brandnewgirlfriend)
Owners: Patricia Stable, Joe Sbrocco & Hatfield Stables
Breeder: Valley High Stable
Trainer: Paul Kelley
Driver: Matt Kakaley
NYSS Earnings: $46,800

3-YEAR-OLD COLT PACE
Endeavor (American Ideal — Jett Diamond)
Owner: Helene Fillion
Breeder: Barbara Muschera
Trainer: Pat Lachance
Driver: John MacDonald
NYSS Earnings: $41,850

BREEDER OF THE YEAR: Winbak Farm
TRAINER OF THE YEAR: Erv Miller
DRIVER OF THE YEAR: Jim Morrill Jr.

2016 NEW YORK COUNTY FAIR CHAMPIONS

2-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT
Too Cool To Fool (Conway Hall—Travelin Deal)
Owner: Angela Jackson
Breeders: Matthew Gartland & Beryl Taylor
Trainer: David Dewhurst
Driver: Jim Morrill Jr.
NYSS Earnings: $9,550

2-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE
Bonita Island (Artiscape — Malita Island)
Owner: Robert Gale
Breeder: White Birch Farm
Trainer: Robert Gale
Driver: Truman Gale
NYSS Earnings: $7,943

3 -YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT
KZ Crazee (Crazed — Lindys Almond Joy)
Owner: Beth Smith
Breeder: Lindy Farms Of Conn
Trainer: Cheryl Whitcroft
Driver: Mark Whitcroft
NYSS Earnings: $10,527

3-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE
Niche Blue Chip (Art Major — PW Spare)
Owners: Elizabeth & Dyce Spalluto, Veronica Dylo & David Widzinski
Breeder: Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc.
Trainer: Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr.
Driver: Drew Monti
NYSS Earnings: $10,365

2-YEAR-OLD COLT TROT
DWs Revenge (Archangel — Princess Maddie)
Owner: Sally Cartier
Breeder: WD LaPage Stable
Trainer: Sally Cartier
Driver: Mark Whitcroft
NYSS Earnings: $11,520

2-YEAR-OLD COLT PACE
Napper Tandy (Art Major — Cammara)
Owner: Donald Cosgrove
Breeder: Donald Cosgrove
Trainer: Angus MacDonald
Driver: Chris Lems
NYSS Earnings: $11,025

3-YEAR-OLD COLT TROT
Trooper Jim (Conway Hall — Alpine Goal)
Owners: Heather & Barry White
Breeder: Barry White
Trainer: Barry White
Driver: Truman Gale
NYSS Earnings: $12,617

3-YEAR-OLD COLT PACE
Midnite Pass (Kenneth J — The Company Store)
Owner: Gary Cartier
Breeders: Michelle & Albert Crawford
Trainer: Sally Cartier
Driver: Mark Whitcroft
NYSS Earnings: $17,367

BREEDER OF THE YEAR: Steuben Farms
TRAINER OF THE YEAR: David Dewhurst
DRIVER OF THE YEAR: Mark Whitcroft

RACING UNDER SADDLE

CHAMPION
Vanessa Karlewicz, riding Admirable Hanover

HIGH POINT HORSE
Jeanie Marie
Rider: Heather Reese
Trainer: Jennifer Sansone
Owner: Mo Choo Inc. & Jonathan Klee Racing

TRAINER OF THE YEAR
Michael Miller

(Harness Horse Breeders of New York State)


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