Welcome to New York Sire Stakes

Welcome and thank you for visiting the Agriculture & New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund website—the official home of the New York Sire Stakes!

The New York Sire Stakes is the state’s premier harness racing program designed to promote the breeding, buying and racing of standardbred horses in New York State. Administered by the Agriculture & New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund, the New York Sire Stakes is the nation’s oldest harness racing program of its kind.

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Great Time To Buy NY-Bred Pacers

Tuesday, 16 September 2014 14:29

 LATHAM, NY—Even though the New York Sire Stakes finals have just been completed, yearling buyers are already looking ahead to the fall yearling sales to select the next champion. With a smaller class of pacing yearlings nominated to the New York Sire Stakes this year than in the recent past, buyers of these sidewheelers will have an even greater opportunity for their piece of the rich Sire Stakes purses in 2015 and 2016.

A recent shuffle of pacing stallions in New York State has resulted in a smaller crop of yearlings this year with approximately 125 (27%) fewer pacing-bred youngsters nominated in 2014 than were in 2013. Purses, however, are still estimated to top $16 million next year for the entire program, with an equal amount of state funds split between both gaits. Nominations of trotting yearlings have remained relatively steady.

The first major offering of New York-bred yearlings will occur at the Morrisville College Yearling Sale Sunday, Sept. 21st followed by Lexington Selected Sale on Sept. 30 – Oct. 4th and then Harrisburg Sale beginning November 3rd.

Yearling buyers interested in learning more about the multi-tiered New York Sire Stakes program can contact Harness Horse Breeders of New York State at 518-785-5858, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit the New York Sire Stakes website at www.nysirestakes.com.

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Commissioner encourages horse owners to vaccinate their horses against diseases

Tuesday, 16 September 2014 08:42

  by Lee Park, director of communications, New York State Gaming Commission Schenectady, NY --- State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today urged horse owners across New York State to vaccinate their horses against Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile Virus.

 This is especially important since parts of New York have mosquito activity into late November.

  In 2014, New York has already seen six cases of EEE found in horses in Madison, Wayne, Oneida and Oswego counties.The Department of Agriculture and Markets has made veterinarians across the state aware of these confirmed cases of EEE. No cases of West Nile Virus have been reported in horses in New York State in 2014.

  “A simple vaccination can go a long way toward protecting horses against mosquito-borne diseases,” said Commissioner Ball. “If you’re a horse owner and your horse is in need of a vaccination, I encourage you to make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible.”

  Humans cannot become infected by handling or being exposed to an infected horse. Horses cannot spread either virus to or from other horses, people or pets. From a veterinary perspective, mosquitoes transmit both diseases from birds to horses.

 Typical symptoms of EEE in equines include staggering, circling, depression, loss of appetite and sometimes fever and blindness. Clinical signs of WNV in horses include lethargy, weakness in the hind quarters, stumbling, lack of awareness, head tilt and head twitching, convulsions, circling, partial paralysis and coma. 

  The State Department of Agriculture and Markets works closely with local health departments, as well as the State Health Department, when incidents of EEE and WNV occur.

   Horses suffering from neurologic problems must always be handled with extreme caution, since they may be unpredictable and there is also the possibility that Rabies may be the cause.

Vaccines are available to drastically reduce the incidence of EEE and WNV in horses. The vaccines can be effective for six to 12 months and horses should be re-vaccinated at least annually. In an area where the diseases occur year round, many veterinarians recommend vaccinations every six months. For the vaccine to be effective, it must be handled and administered properly, prior to an anticipated increase in mosquito activity in a local area.

Other prevention methods include eliminating standing water breeding sites for mosquitoes, using insect repellents and removing animals from mosquito-infested areas during peak biting times, usually from dusk to dawn.

Scott Palmer, New York’s Equine Medical Director, said, “The virulence of EEE and WNV is high and the prognosis for successful treatment is poor, with a high chance for fatality or neurologic complications. For these reasons prevention is key. As the New York State Equine Medical Director, I enthusiastically support Commissioner Ball’s recommendations for vaccination of all horses in New York for these dangerous and preventable diseases.”

There is no human vaccine for EEE or West Nile Virus. Humans should reduce contact with mosquitoes. Wearing protective clothing and insect repellents, and avoiding the outdoors during dawn and dusk are all ways to avoid mosquito bites.

"Taking a few basic precautions provides New Yorkers the best defense against mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile Virus and EEE,” New York State Department of Health Acting Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said. “In addition to wearing shoes, socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods of time, individuals should remove all standing water from their property and apply appropriate mosquito repellent. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on repellent use.”

Horses exhibiting neurologic signs, like those listed above, need to be promptly reported by veterinarians to the State Department of Agriculture and Markets’ Division of Animal Industry at 518.457.3502 in addition to their local health department.

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Mike Mullaney to Florida Equine Communications

Monday, 15 September 2014 12:40

By Blood-Horse Staff

Mike Mullaney, a long-respected journalist and publicist who currently serves as executive director of the New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund, will be returning to his former home state of Florida to serve as the managing editor of Florida Equine Communications in Ocala.

The announcement was made by Lonny Powell, FEC publisher and chief executive officer and CEO of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association, and Brock Sheridan, editor-in-chief.

FEC is a wholly owned subsidiary of the FTBOA. "We have a solid team here at FEC and FTBOA, and I have every expectation that Mike will be a great fit and an immediate impact player," Powell said in a release. "He brings to the table a proven background in journalism, publicity, and the Florida Thoroughbred industry, particularly with his long stints at Daily Racing Form as a features and regional editor followed later by his media relations directorship at Gulfstream Park. "Toss in his other communications, management, magazine, and even his current breeders' fund administration and related duties in New York, and it is difficult to imagine anyone better suited to join Brock and our team as managing editor."

Mullaney has more than 10 years of experience running the media relations department at Gulfstream in Florida. "It's very exciting to once again be part of a talented team that represents Thoroughbreds and the state of Florida," Mullaney said. "Some of the FTBOA staff I have met prior to my arrival, some I haven't. Whether I became acquainted with them personally or by reputation, the common thread is an unwavering work ethic and dedication to this industry."

Mullaney will work with Sheridan in producing and editing the company's four primary publications:The Florida Horse monthly magazine; Wire to Wire, a daily Thoroughbred digest, Wire to Wire.net; which is distributed daily at all Ocala Breeders' Sales auctions; andHorse Capital Digest, the official publications of the world-class Horses In The Sun show held each year in Ocala from January through March. He also will assist the company's ongoing expansion plans into the digital and broadcast arenas, including current television program Thoroughbred Week, website development, and social media.

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Sunday, 14 September 2014 12:42

 Frank Drucker,B Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, September 13, 2014—Yonkers Raceway Saturday night hosted the 25th edition of the New York Night of Champions. The $1.8 million event--richest night of racing in the state--offered eight, $225,000 sire stakes finals for 2-and 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. Once again, each race was sponsored by a prominent Empire State breeding farm. Despite Mother Nature sticking her nose in--rain throughout first half of card and delays due to track maintenance—the state’s best were summarily saluted. Here’s the chronological compendium…

Crawford Farms 2-Year-Old Filly Trot—Slight second choice Barn Doll (Jeff Gregory, $4.40) was the best coming in and best going out, winning (from post position No. 5) by five lengths in a soggy 2:00.4. Nunkeri (Mark MacDonald) was second, with Betcha (Jim Morrill Jr.) a recovering third after a break. Concentration (Brian Sears), also at 6-5 but the tepid favorite, broke early, though came back to finish fourth. For Barn Doll, a daughter of Conway Hall co-owned by (trainer) Steve & Nancy Pratt and Purple Haze Stables, it was her seventh win in nine seasonal starts (3-for-3 here). The exacta paid $44, with the triple returning $192.50. “She just knows what she’s doing, a total pro,” Gregory said. “I wasn’t worried about her coming up sick (in her last scheduled NYSS start, because Steve said it wasn’t that bad and she had trained well. I’m hoping she keeps it going next season as a 3-year-old..

Cameo Hills Farm 3-Year-Old Filly Pace—As expected, the 11-10 choice, pole-sitting Spreester (Jason Bartlett) cut the mile, but she was no match for the lass on her back, It Was Fascination (Brett Miller, $6), from post 2, ducked inside and won by a length-and-a-quarter in 1:57.2. Table Talk (Matt Kakaley) was a first-up third. For “Fascination,” a daughter of American Ideal co-owned by (trainer) Tony Alagna, Riverview Racing and Bay’s Stable, it was her fourth win in 13 ’14 tries. The exacta paid $12.20, the triple returned $38.60 and the superfecta (Major Dancer [Sears] was fourth) paid $85.50. “I’ve never driven her before, but I watched her replays and thought if she was close enough, she’d have a chance,” Miller said.

Winbak Farm 2-Year-Old Filly Pace—The three-headed, Ron Burke-trained monster in Band of Angels (George Brennan), Sassa Hanover (Morrill Jr.) and Bettor N Better (Kakaley) were considered so potent, they were barred from all wagering. The finished fourth, fifth and eight (last). It was just-over even-money Mosquito Blue Chip (John Campbell, $4.10)—seventh at the three-quarters from post No. 6—furiously closing to snap Bossers Joy (Bartlett) by a nose on the money in 1:56. Heavenly Bride (Sears) was a from-last third. “Sassa” led to the lane before tiring to fifth. For “Mosquito,” a Bettor’s Delight lass co-owned by (trainer) Paul Jessop, Our Three Sons Stable and Donato Falcicchio, she’s now 4-for-9 this season. The exacta paid $18.60, with no triple wagering due to the limited number of wagering interests. “I thought Jason (Bartlett, driving Bossers Joy) had lost me around the last turn, but in the straightaway, my filly just kept going,” Campbell said. “She’s a lot calmer than when I baby-raced her, maybe a bit too calm, but she was strong at the finish.”

Stirling Brook Farms 3-Year-Old Filly Trot—Last season’s champ is now this season’s champ. Odds-on Market Rally (Morrill Jr., $2.40, part of entry) put a whuppin’ on her outclassed foes. From post No. 6, she had open-length lead seemingly from the post parade. Up 10 at the half, she coasted home by 5¾ lengths in 1:58. Second went to Cutup Hanover (Gregory), Glowngold (Sears, part of another entry) third. For Market Rally, a daughter of Cash Hall co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bu7rscemi and Panhellenic Stabler, it was her seventh win in 10 ’14 efforts. The exacta paid $31.60, with tbe triple returning $82. Market Rally is 6-for-6 here in her career.

Morrisville College Equine Institute 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trot—Odds-on Crazy Wow ($3.80) and driver Dan Rawlings are each a perfect 2-for-2 locally, winning the draw and leading at every pylon in 2:00.1. Wings of Royalty (Sears) was a first-up second—beaten 3½ lengths—with Buen Camino (Trond Smedshammer) third. For Crazy Wow, a son of Crazed owned by Joseph Hess and trained by Dan O’Mara, he’s now 4-for-7 in his first season. The exacta paid $15.80, with the triple returning $34.80. “I really didn’t care where I was leaving the gate, as long as he left trotting,” Rawlings said. “I saw too many horses ‘blow up’ earlier and I wanted to make sure he didn’t. The fact that I was able to get a breather made me happy.”

Blue Chip Farms 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pace—Odds-on All Bets Off (Kakaley, $2.30, part of entry) beat down his overmatched foes. From post No. 5, he took no prisoners, going down the road by four lengths in 1:54. Stay Up Late (MacDonald) was a first-up second, with Western Conquest (Brent Holland) third. For Art Rooney Pace winner All Bets Off, a son of Bettor’s Delight co-owned (with Frank Baldachinio, Panhellenic Stable and Rosemary Shelswell) by trainer Burke, he’s now 9-for-12 this season (career earning nearing $830,000) for an original $7,000 yearling purchase). The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $6.60. “He’s just better than these horses,” Kakaley said. “Ronnie has had him good all season. There wasn’t much to it tonight.”

Genesee Valley Farm 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pace—Driver and trainer teamed up again, this time with Cartoon Daddy ($15.40), though not before surviving an inquiry. Away third from post No. 6, he extricated himself from the cones just before Oneisalonelynumber (Bartlett) came to him on the outside. That move placed Cartoon Daddy second-over behind Berkley, before grabbing that rival and winning by a couple of lengths in 1:55. Betting Exchange (Sears), as the 3-2 choice, crossed the line, but was set down to seventh for impeding Oneisalonelynumber soon after Cartoon Daddy was acquitted for possibly doing the same thing. Southwind Masimo (Pat Lachance) and a tiring early leader Americanprimetime (Morrill Jr.) were advanced to third and fourth, respectively. For fourth choice Cartoon Daddy, a Aert Major frosh trained by Burke for himself (as Burke Racing) and Joe DiScala Jr., it was his fifth win in nine seasonal starts. The exacta paid $125.50, the triple returned $681 and the superfecta paid $1,526

Allerage Farm 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trot—Defending champ Flyhawk El Durado (MacDonald) led to the lane, only to make a bad break and take any suspense out of his meeting with Gural Hanover (Morrill Jr., $2.90, part of entry). The latter, never out of range from post No. 2, then had the race all to himself. He defeated Zoey De Vie (Sears) by 4¾ lengths, with Daley Lovin’ (Dan Daley) third. “El Durado” recovered to finish fourth. For Gural Hanover, a Crazed gelding co-owned by trainer Burke, Little E and Panhellenic Stables, it was his eight consecutive (sire stakes) win and his ninth win in 11 ’14 tries. The exacta paid $21, with the triple returning $187.50. . Saturday’s $44,000 Open Handicap Pace was won by Bigtown Hero (Kakaley, $17) in 1:53.2 The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily.

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Southwind Massimo

Friday, 12 September 2014 11:04

Lachance is fitting Southwind Masimo for a NYSS crown
by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

Freehold, NJ --- Pat Lachance is betting on a son of Bettor's Delight to make Saturday’s New York Sire Stakes championship for 2-year-old male pacers a joyous event.

Southwind Masimo, trained by Lachance, was his division’s top points earner through the preliminary rounds and will start Saturday’s $225,000 final from post No. 1 at Yonkers Raceway. Lachance will handle the driving, as he has in all but one of the colt’s previous five races.

The race is part of the Night of Champions card at Yonkers, where eight NYSS champions will be crowned. Post time is 7:10 p.m. for the first race.


USTA/Ken Weingartner photo

Pat Lachance will start Southwind Masimo in the NYSS final for 2-year-old male pacers.

Southwind Masimo, owned by Hudson Standardbred Stable and Conrad Leber, has won four of five starts -- all on the sire stakes circuit -- and earned $85,481. He is the 7-2 second choice on the morning line, behind Tom Fanning’s Betting Exchange, who starts from post two and is 3-1.

Betting Exchange, also a son of Bettor's Delight, has won two of five races and earned $66,125. His victories have come in his two most recent starts, including a 1:51.1 triumph in a sire stakes division on Aug. 30 at Vernon Downs. Only six 2-year-old pacers have won with a faster time so far this season.

“I don’t know who the best one is in there, but there’s a few of them that can go,” Lachance said. “There are some good ones for sure. I think (Southwind Masimo) has got as much of a chance as anybody.

“I’m going to try to get away as close as I can to the front and we’ll see what happens. With a little racing luck we’ll be in good shape, I think.”

Southwind Masimo is the first foal out of the dam Max’s Leading Lady and was purchased for $65,000 at last October’s Lexington Selected Sale. Max’s Leading Lady was a multiple winner on the New York Sire Stakes circuit and second dam Ascending won an Ontario Sire Stakes Super Final and Canadian Breeders Championship.

Lachance has trained two million-dollar-earners by Bettor's Delight, Forensic Z Tam and Hula’s Z Tam, so that was another prime selling point. Hula’s Z Tam was the 2009 New York Sire Stakes champion for 2-year-old female pacers and Forensic Z Tam was a two-time runner-up to Kenneth J in NYSS finals.

Bettor's Delight has been very good to me, so that was the first thing I liked about him,” Lachance said about Southwind Masimo. “He had decent size and his conformation was good. We were just trying to get the best conformation, the best pedigree possible, obviously for what you can afford. He was well put together and we took a shot at him.”

Following the New York Sire Stakes championship, Southwind Masimo is scheduled to head to Lexington’s Red Mile for the Bluegrass and International Stallion stakes. He also is eligible to the Matron and Breeders Crown.

“We’d like to go on and give him a chance,” Lachance said. “He’s always showed ability and racing in New York is as good as anywhere. You’re going to race against Grand Circuit horses Saturday night.

“I think he’ll like a big track,” he added about his colt, who has raced so far only on half-mile and five-eighths-mile ovals. “He certainly can get around a half very well, but I think a big track will really help him. I think he’ll step up. I don’t think it will be a problem at all.”

Lachance’s hopes in the NYSS are not limited to Southwind Masimo. He sends out longshot Sir Sam’s Z Tam in the final for 3-year-old male pacers, starting from post three at 20-1 on the morning line. Ron Burke’s entry of All Bets Off, a multiple stakes-winner, and Forty Five Red is the 4-5 choice.

“We’re shooting for a check,” Lachance said. “He’s had a decent year. He’s not the best one in there, but I hope to hit the board with him.”

For more about Saturday’s Night of Champions, read here.



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NYSS Night of Champions

Thursday, 11 September 2014 12:00

Trotting talent abounds on the $1.8 million NYSS Night of Champions

By Tim Bojarski for the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State

 Latham, NY--- Aficionados of the diagonal gait are in for a treat Saturday night (Sept. 13) at Yonkers Raceway when the top performing New York bred trotters go postward for their share of $1.8 million in purses during the Night of Champions. Four $225,000 finals for 2 and 3-year-old trotters of both sexes will be contests worth watching.

 The 2-year-old filly trotters go in the second race which is sponsored by Crawford Farm LLC.

 Barn Doll (Conway Hall-Headintheclouds) led this class with 275 points and won five out of seven legs throughout the state this year, cashing for $93,188. Her last start was her best, taking a lifetime mark of 1:58.4 at Yonkers. But she was scratched sick at Saratoga on September 3 and that means 19 days off coming into this final. Jeff Gregory is on board again for trainer Steve Pratt.

 Concentration (Conway Hall-Super Starlet) tracked Barn Doll all year and finished a close second behind her with 250 points. She won four legs of this series and comes into this race winning three out of her last four. Trainer George Ducharme gave the call to Brian Sears for this race who drove her to a convincing 1:59.3 victory at Yonkers on August 25.

 Pig Hunt (Conway Hall-Chippewa Street) has three sire stake victories this year, two of them (including her lifetime mark of 1:59.4) at Yonkers. Her gait speed should get her to the front again where she likes it and George Brennan (who drove her in both Yonkers victories) is a master of rating a mile.

 The 2-year-old colts and geldings line up in race six which has been named for the Morrisville College Equine Institute.

 Buen Camino (Cash Hall-Baby Bella) has been dominant of late and that helped him finish tops in points with 233. After racing the colt from behind in his first three lifetime starts, trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer made the switch to the front end in a race at Batavia and took a lifetime mark of 1:58 over that half. He has won three in a row since then that added to his kitty which now stands at $125,340. Post six should not be an issue with his current style and form.

 Crazy Wow (Crazed-No Pan No Gain) had been racing primarily at large tracks with good results until his last two starts over two half’s. At Saratoga he made a break at the start and was never really in the race. Then at Yonkers he won wire to wire in 1:58.2. The win purse from that race accounts for almost half of the $72,617 annual earnings for the colt that just captured the last spot in the final. Dan Rawlings is back in the bike for trainer Dan O’Mara and the rail gives him a definite early advantage over Buen Camino.

 The 3-year-old trotting fillies convene in race five which is sponsored by Stirling Brook Farms Inc.

 Ron Burke has a powerful one-two punch with his stable entry of Market Rally and Avalicious.

 Market Rally (Cash Hall-Supreme Dish) was named the USTA District 8 horse of the year 2013 and there hasn’t been any sophomore jinx for her coming back this year. After being sold at the conclusion of her first year of racing, Market Rally blossomed under the guidance of her new trainer Burke and has teamed with driver Jim Morrill Jr. to become a force to be reckoned with on the track. She won six of seven NYSS events and finished second in the other after an early break at Batavia on August 13. She set a lifetime mark of 1:54.4 at Tioga Downs and has banked $262,900 for the year on the strength of being sent off the prohibitive favorite in her last eight straight races. That is dominance.

 Her stablemate Avalicious (RC Royalty-Say Your Prayers) won an elimination of the Empire Breeders Classic before finishing second in the $217,725 final. After winning a NYSS event at Tioga on June 23, she was transferred to the Burke barn where she has since won two more. Her last start was in the $150,000 (filly) Zweig Trot at Vernon where she finished fourth in the 1:53.4 mile after leading the race at the three-quarters in 1:24.3. Matt Kakaley is up this week for Morrill who is driving Market Rally.

 The final event of the Night of Champions is the 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings carded as race nine and sponsored by Allerage Farm.

 Flyhawk Eldorado (Conway Hall-El Paso Gal) has been a monster in his last five starts. After sweeping four straight NYSS races in July and August (for a total of five for the year) the colt locked horns with the 2014 Hambletonian post time favorite Father Patrick and his stablemate, Nuncio, in the $340,000 Zweig Trot at Vernon and finished a close third behind them in 1:52.2. His lifetime mark of 1:52.4 was set at Vernon just the week before and his NYSS earnings exceed $227,000. He draws the rail for trainer Mark Ford and has his regular driver, Mark MacDonald along for the ride once again.

 Gural Hanover (Crazed-Givemearing) is another powerhouse from the Ron Burke stable that enters the final on a tear. He has won seven straight NYSS races culminating with a lifetime best effort of 1:53.3 in his last at Vernon and has earned over $266,000 in the series this year. The bulk of his success came after Burke and Morrill began guiding his fortunes and that pair sends the colt to the gate from post two. This contest has the makings of a race for the ages.


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