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Accolades Galore At Batavia

Published: November 24, 2015 4:33 pm ET

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There was a full slate of accolades to pass out on Sunday (November 15) when Batavia Downs hosted the USTA District 8 and New York Sire Stakes year-end awards banquet.

This marquee event was presented by the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund.

The gathering of top names in harness racing from the Empire State mingled at a cocktail party in Grandstands Banquet Hall at Batavia Downs that was sponsored by all the harness tracks in the state, before sitting down to a dinner of surf and turf. The awards presentation, which included video highlights of all the winners, began just before dessert.

The focus for many was the announcement of USTA District 8 horse of the year and when the envelope was opened; Crazy Wow took home the hardware.

Crazy Wow (Crazed-No Pan No Gain 1:51.1, $1,260,540) is owned by Our Horse Cents Stable, JT45, J&T Silva Stables LLC and Deo Volente Farms LLC and is a student of Ron Burke. The ownership group purchased the colt at the end of his two-year-old campaign (where he became the NYSS two-year-old trotting colt champion) and Burke guided him to a million-dollar season on the Grand Circuit in 2015.

After starting his three-year-old campaign off winning two of three NYSS events, Crazy Wow began collecting major stakes. He won the $255,325 Empire Breeders Classic at Vernon Downs in a lifetime best 1:51.1 over an off-track. Next he took the $500,000 Colonial Trot at Pocono Downs.

Then after an untimely break in the $500,000 Yonkers Trot, he finished a fast-closing second to Hambletonian winner Pinkman, in the $532,000 Canadian Trotting Classic at Mohawk Racetrack.

Crazy Wow closed out the year with three out of four wins including the $109,000 Bluegrass Stakes at the Red mile, $270,000 Erskine at Hoosier Park and the $243,550 Matron Stakes at Dover Downs.

For the year, Crazy Wow had nine wins in 17 starts and earned $1,027,612 in purses.

The New York Sire Stakes award winners featured some of the best horses in North America this year and in many cases, they outperformed their competition in any jurisdiction for their sex and gait.

Betting Exchange (Bettors Delight-Cheeky Hanover) was named the NYSS three-year-old pacing colt of the year.

Betting Exchange raced against the best three-year-old pacers all year, acquitting himself well in every event. He finished second in the $380,000 Art Rooney at Yonkers and third behind Wakizashi Hanover and Wiggle It Jiggleit in the $810,000 North America Cup at Mohawk. He won three NYSS races including the $225,000 final. His seasonal mark tied the track record of 1:51.2 for three-year-old pacing males at Batavia Downs and his 10 in-the-money finishes carded him $430,975 for the year.

Habitat (Conway Hall-Habits Best) was named the NYSS three-year-old trotting colt of the year.

Habitat started winning early in the year when he took the $133,170 Dexter Cup at Freehold on May 2, which was his seasonal bow. His schedule then turned quickly challenging. He finished second to Crazy Wow in the $255,325 Empire Breeders Classic at Vernon Down, second to Hambletonian champion, Pinkman in the $157,250 Dancer Memorial at the Meadowlands before finishing off the board in the Hambletonian. But Habitat would rebound in a big way, taking the $500,000 Yonkers Trot just a week before winning the $225,000 NYSS final, also at Yonkers. He tallied eight wins for the year and stashed $727,814 in cash for his efforts.

Travel Playlist (Art Major-Village Madonna), who was named the NYSS two-year-old pacing colt of the year, was the fastest two-year-old of his sex and gait in North America this year, taking a 1:49.2 record at Vernon Downs in a division of the NYSS on September 7. In his speedy, albeit abbreviated season, Travel Playlist won five NYSS events which helped him bank $252,570 for the year to go along with his National season’s record.

Dime A Dance (Roll With Joe-Hat Dance Hanover), who was named the NYSS two-year-old pacing filly of the year, set a world record for her sex and gait over a half-mile track when she circled the course at Batavia Downs in 1:52.4 on September 16. She won four NYSS events including the $225,000 final. Those wins figured into eight top-three finishes and they padded her account with $219,989 for the year.

Jim Morrill Jr. was named the NYSS Driver of the Year. Morrill scored 44 victories in the series that earned over $1.8 million in purses for their connections. Morrill also registered an amazing .460 UDR for the entire NYSS season.

Ron Burke was the NYSS Trainer of the Year. Burke campaigned 29 horses on the Empire circuit this year and they account for 31 wins and just under $1.6 million in purses. Burke’s trainees earned cheques 74 per cent of the time in races they competed in.

And the NYSS Breeder of the Year was Winbak Farm. The 21 horses bred by Winbak earned $778,238 in the NYSS over the year and earned purse cheques 72 per cent of the time.

Here is a complete list of all the New York Sires Stakes champions:

2015 USTA DISTRICT 8 CHAMPIONS

2-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROTTER
Goosbump Hanover
Owners: Burke Racing Stable, J&T Silva Stables, Crawford Farms & Joseph Di Scala Jr.

2-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACER
Dime A Dance
Owners: Our Horse Cents Stables, Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc.& J & T Silva Stables

3-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROTTER
Barn Doll
Owners: Steven & Nancy Pratt & Purple Haze Stables LLC

3-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACER
Divine Caroline
Owners: Michael Ouriel, Val D’Or Farms, Ted Gewertz & Rojan Stables

2-YEAR-OLD COLT TROTTER
Dayson
Owners: Margaret Butler & Amy Butler

2-YEAR-OLD COLT PACER
Travel Playlist
Owners: Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc., Ronald Michelon, Taylor Made Stallions & Frederick Hertrich III

3-YEAR-OLD COLT TROTTER
Crazy Wow
Owners: Our Horse Cents Stable, JT45, J&T Silva Stables & Deo Volente Farms

3-YEAR-OLD COLT PACER
Penji Hanover
Owner: W. Springtime Racing Stable

DRIVER OF THE YEAR
Jim Morrill Jr.

TRAINER OF THE YEAR
George Ducharme

HORSE OF THE YEAR
Crazy Wow

2015 NEW YORK SIRE STAKES CHAMPIONS

2-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: Daniel Dube
NYSS Earnings: $178,948

2-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE
Dime A Dance (Roll With Joe- Hat Dance Hanover)
Owners: Our Horse Cents Stables, Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc. & J &T Silva Stables
Breeders: Eugene Kurzrok, Richard Taylor & Stephen Springer
Trainer: Ron Burke
Driver: Matt Kakaley
NYSS Earnings: $214,016

3-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT
Jewels In Hock (Credit Winner -Jewels Galore)
Owner: KJ Stables LLC
Breeder: Steve Jones
Trainer: Linda Toscano
Driver: Jim Morrill Jr.
NYSS Earnings: $293,553

3-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE
Band Of Angels (Rock N Roll Heaven-Time N Again)
Owner: WJ Donovan
Breeders: Steve Stewart & Birch Hollow Farms
Trainer: Ron Burke
Driver: Jason Bartlett
NYSS Earnings: $206,569

2-YEAR-OLD COLT TROT
Allerage Echo (Conway Hall- Echonomical)
Owner: Kenneth Jacobs
Breeder: Little E LLC
Trainer: George Ducharme
Driver: Brian Sears
NYSS Earnings: $261,939

2-YEAR-OLD COLT PACE
Travel Playlist Art Major — Village Madonna
Owners: Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc., Ronald Michelon, Taylor Made Stallions & Frederick Hertrich III
Breeder: Winbak Farm
Trainer: Erv Miller
Driver: Marcus Miller
NYSS Earnings: $234,695

3-YEAR-OLD COLT TROT
Habitat (Conway Hall- Habit’s Best)
Owners: Burke Racing Stable LLC, Our Horse Cents Stables & Weaver Bruscemi LLC
Breeder: Fredericka Caldwell
Trainer: Ron Burke
Driver: Jim Morrill Jr.
NYSS Earnings: $158,375

3-YEAR-OLD COLT PACE
Betting Exchange (Bettor’s Delight- Cheeky Hanover)
Owners: Howard Taylor, Susan Kajfasz & Tom Fanning
Breeder: Flintlock Farm Inc.
Trainer: Tom Fanning
Driver: Jason Bartlett
NYSS Earnings: $201,437

DRIVER OF THE YEAR
Jim Morrill Jr.

TRAINER OF THE YEAR
Ron Burke

BREEDER OF THE YEAR
Winbak Farm

2015 NEW YORK-BRED EXCELSIOR CHAMPIONS

2-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT
Outsidecourt (Conway Court-Getaway Cheyenne)
Owner: P&J Stables
Breeder: P&J Stables
Trainer: Gary Messenger
Driver: Bruce Aldrich Jr.
NYSS Earnings: $46,800

2-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE
Lyra (American Ideal- Hypnotize)
Owners: Stephen Schneider, William Siegel & Marthe Drolet
Breeder: Winbak Farm
Trainer: Jean Drolet
Driver: John Cummings Jr.
NYSS Earnings: $58,050

3-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT
Barn Girl (Cash Hall-Turquoise Sweetie)
Owners: Steven Pratt, Nancy Pratt & Out In The Country Stable
Breeder: Morrisville Col Fdn Inc.
Trainer: Howard Okusko
Driver: Jeff Gregory
NYSS Earnings: $41,100

3-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE
Hey Kobe (Bettor’s Delight-American West)
Owners: Stephen Schneider & William Siegel
Breeder: Hanover Shoe Farms Inc.
Trainer: Jean Drolet
Driver: Matt Kakaley
NYSS Earnings: $53,250

2-YEAR-OLD COLT TROT
Boxall (Credit Winner -Vallaire)
Owner: Little E LLC
Breeder: David Anderson
Trainer: Jessica Okusko
Driver: Jim Morrill Jr.
NYSS Earnings: $42,000

2-YEAR-OLD COLT PACE
Artmagic (Art Major-Sammy’s Magic Girl)
Owner: Purple Haze Stables LLC
Breeder: Hanover Shoe Farm Inc.
Trainer: Trond Smedshammer
Driver: Jim Morrill Jr.
NYSS Earnings: $38,700

3-YEAR-OLD COLT TROT
Andy Ray (Crazed-Crown N Lindy)
Owners: Paymaq Racing, Ronald Michelon & Harvey Eisman
Breeder: Lindy Racing Stable
Trainer: Erv Miller
Driver: Andy Miller
NYSS Earnings: $46,425

3-YEAR-OLD COLT PACE
Masterson (Bettors Delight-Tug River Princess)
Owner: Let It Ride Stbls.Inc., Robert Cooper Stables LLC & Jerry Silva
Breeders: Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc.
Trainer: Tracy Brainard
Driver: Jim Morrill Jr.
NYSS Earnings: $56,250

DRIVER OF THE YEAR
Jim Morrill Jr.

TRAINER OF THE YEAR
George Ducharme

BREEDER OF THE YEAR
Winbak Farm

2015 NEW YORK COUNTY FAIR CHAMPIONS

2-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT
Linda’s Choice (Conway Hall-Howard’s Sister)
Owner: Philip Hale
Breeder: Philip Hale
Trainer: David Dewhurst
Driver: James Devaux
NYSS Earnings: $8,850

2-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: Mihalo Zdjelar Jr.
Driver: Gregory Merton
NYSS Earnings: $12,857

3 -YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT
Hollywood Jess (Conway Hall-Howard’s Sister)
Owners: Philip Hale & David Dewhurst
Breeder: Philip Hale
Trainer: David Dewhurst
Driver: Truman Gale
NYSS Earnings: $10,925

3-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE
Maya Scape (Kenneth J-AB Seascape)
Owner: Laurier Sauve
Breeder: Howard Stables
Trainer: Henry Westbrook III
Driver: Henry Westbrook III
NYSS Earnings: $11,875

2-YEAR-OLD COLT TROT
Trooper Jim (Conway Hall- Alpine Goal)
Owners: Heather & Barry White
Breeder: Barry White
Trainer: Barry White
Driver: Bruce Aldrich Jr.
NYSS Earnings: $7,585

2-YEAR-OLD COLT PACE
Americanation (American Ideal- Cool World)
Owner: Pine Hill Stables
Breeder: George Miller
Trainer: Jeffrey Johnson Jr.
Driver: Truman Gale
NYSS Earnings: $7,275

3 -YEAR-OLD COLT TROT
J A T O (Big Apple Deli-Highwaytoheaven)
Owners: Margaret & Amy Butler
Breeder: Steuben Farms
Trainer: Margaret Butler
Driver: Douglas Ackley
NYSS Earnings: $17,787

3-YEAR-OLD COLT PACE
Adonis Bay (If I Can Dream-Kiss Me I’m Lucky)
Owner: Harold Smith
Breeder: Bulletproof Enterprises
Trainer: Harold Smith
Driver: James Devaux
NYSS Earnings: $11,757

DRIVER OF THE YEAR
Truman Gale

TRAINER OF THE YEAR
David Dewhurst

BREEDER OF THE YEAR
Winbak Farm

(Harness Horse Breeders of New York State)


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