by Michael Carter, for Post Time with Mike and Mike
Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by BetAmerica is proud to announce the nominees for the second annual Post Time Awards to take place on Thursday (Dec. 8).
Each category listed below features nominees which were decided by the fans of harness racing. Voting has begun and will conclude on Wednesday (Dec. 7) at 11:59 p.m. Please note there is only one vote per person and the award ballet can be found herehttps://goo.gl/forms/YorJQ5TFEF8oYjBF2.
Foiled Again Iron Horse of the Year
Nadia B Fella has been racing on the New York and New Jersey circuit for most of her 14-year-old life. She has a mark of 1:58, which she set at Freehold during the 2016 season and has 22 wins in 381 career starts. While she doesn’t win a ton of races, she hits the board 34 percent of the time. She was bred in Somerville, N.J. by Gary Ihling, is owned by Colleen Posner and is trained by Michael Posner.
Walton Shaw A has been racing on the Delaware and Maryland circuits through most of his 14-year-old life. He set a mark at age 10 of 1:53.1 at Harrington Raceway and has 44 wins in 292 starts. Towards the beginning of his career, he had some success in Australia before coming to the United States. He currently has just over $300,000 in career earnings. He was bred in New Zealand by B J Shaw and G L Shaw, is owned by Kevin Fitzgerald and Leonard Jones III, and is trained by Jay Shores.
Haste is a 14-year-old who has raced from Ohio to N.Y. and back, but for the better part of 2015 and 2016 he has spent his racing time at Northfield Park in Ohio. He set his career mark at age 14 at Northfield Park with a time of 1:57.1. During the beginning of his career, he raced on the Ohio Sire Stakes and Ohio Fair Circuit where he had some success. Haste has made just under $650,000 in his career, winning 52 times in 388 starts. He was bred in Ohio by Success Acres Inc., owned by Garry Martin, and is trained by Sue Stockwell.
Wynnfield Scamp is a 14-year-old stud racing on the Maryland circuit. Early in his career he raced in Canada as a horse staked to the Ontario Sire Stakes where he had a little bit of success. Wynnfield Scamp has made just over $337,000 in his career, winning 44 times in 277 starts and set a mark of 1:51.1 at Colonial Downs as a 4-year-old. He is owned and trained by Pamela Polk.
Armbro Casino is a 14-year-old gelding who was a $25,000 purchase in 2003. He has raced all over the East Coast and started his career in the Kentucky Sire Stakes. Armbro Casino has a mark of 1:53.3 set during his 12-year-old season at Harrah’s Philadelphia and has just over $600,000 made in his career. He was bred by Armstrong Bros, owned by Anthony Gruppo and USHWA President Tim Bojarski, and trained by Priscilla Mooney.
Ted Barcus Race Fan of the Year
Brandon Valvo helps to run and write for Harness Racing America. Valvo is very active on social media and is very apt on his international racing. When Bold Eagle attempted his Triple Crown in France in 2015, he helped to lead Post Time with Mike and Mike on knowing the horses, how to pronounce names, and helped the duo understand the differences in racing in France versus the United States. He writes for the Saratoga Special during the Saratoga Thoroughbred meets.
Raymond Lance is a freelance photographer and groom in Ohio. Lance has a big social media presence, specifically on Twitter, where he helps to congratulate some of the stakes winners by sharing photos he has taken of them. He most recently attended the Little Brown Jug where he shot some photos for Harness Link.
Louie Sorella is a Canadian harness racing fan who follows the Western Fair Meet in London, Ont. His selections and insight can be found on Twitter, but his selections are also used on the Western Fair feed. He is more commonly known by the folks at Western Fair as #LouKnows. Sorella promotes the sport of harness racing and tries to help new fans grasp the gambling aspect of the game.
Sydney Weaver, from Canada, is the owner of Sydney Seelster who raced in Canada. She currently writes for Harness Link with her On The Rail series, chronicling her travels and experiences to different race tracks and harness racing events. Her horse, Sydney Seelster, is currently in foal to Rock N Roll Heaven. Weaver helps to market the sport by showing up at racetracks with her family, cheering horses and horse people on, and helping to create a positive attitude towards the sport on social media.
Russ Adams runs a harness racing handicapping group on Facebook and helps to promote the Western Fair and Rosecroft product specifically. He has his selections highlighted on the Western Fair feed and promotes racing by highlighting big events in his Facebook group and visiting different racetracks to participate in handicapping contests.
Steve Roth is the track photographer at Buffalo Raceway. Roth started as the photographer full time in 2014 and has a big social media following in Western New York, where he shares some of his professional work. Roth attends the races in the off season at Batavia Downs and has learned a lot about the sport of harness racing.
Chris Van Hattern has a big Twitter following and helps to promote the sport of harness racing by posting videos of a majority of the stakes races around the world on YouTube. Van Hattern is from New Zealand and has worked with Post Time with Mike and Mike before by helping to post a video of the American race call provided for Bold Eagle’s Triple Crown attempt in France.
Tom Dubrick has an extensive Facebook following and is a two-time Post Time award nominee. Dubrick brings a positive presence to the industry through his numerous Facebook posts regarding the racing action at Hoosier Park.
Race Call of the Year
Sam McKee is the announcer at the Meadowlands Racetrack and Red Mile. McKee called Always B Miki in his world record performance of 1:46.
Joe Zambito is the announcer at Batavia Downs and called Foiled Again in the 2016 Kane Memorial, where he closed from off the pace to win against a stacked field.
Barry Vicroy is the announcer at Scioto Downs, Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway, and Miami Valley Gaming. Vicroy got to call one of the historic stretch battles between Wiggle It Jiggleit and Always B Miki in the 2016 Jim Ewart Memorial.
James Witherite is the announcer at Vernon Downs and Tioga Downs. He posted a video on Facebook of him calling the closing race of the 2016 meet at Vernon Downs and it was nominated by several harness racing fans.
Shannon “Sugar” Doyle is the announcer at Western Fair Raceway in Ont. Doyle called the exciting upset of Evenin of Pleasure in the 2016 Molson Pace.
Ayers Ratliff is the announcer at Northfield Park. Ratliff got to announce the 2016 Carl Milstein Memorial where Betting Line dominated the field after throwing a few steps in around the far turn.
Horsewoman of the Year
Hannah Miller is a one of four two-time Post Time with Mike and Mike nominees. She has participated in a bunch of amateur events in 2016 and has won 30 starts in just over 100 this year.
Casie Coleman won the 2016 Little Brown Jug with Betting Line, who had a career season in 2016, which ended after a spider bite just before the Breeders’ Crown at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Coleman races a majority of her starts in Canada and in 2016 she has won 54 times in 194 starts.
Devan Miller is an Ohio-based trainer and is the daughter of Hall of Fame driver David Miller. Miller has trained horses around the country throughout her career. In 2016 she has won 29 races in 224 starts.
Emily Gaskin is the media analyst and a representative at Hoosier Park. Gaskin owns her share of horses and helps to actively promote the sport of harness racing on Twitter and Facebook. She has worked very hard to help promote the Hoosier Park brand and also helps the interns that work at the track to learn to be professionals. Gaskin is a two-time Post Time award nominee.
Trainer Linda Toscano has had another spectacular training season, including training one of the fastest 2-year-old trotters in history with Walner. Toscano has raced all over in 2016, including sporting her champion horse, Market Share, at venues such as Harrah’s Philadelphia, the Meadowlands, and Mohawk Racetrack. In 2016, Toscabo has just under 700 training starts and has won 132 races.
Larry Rheinheimer Small Stable of the Year
Trainer/driver Marc Campbell is a Canadian-based horseman who is from Prince Edward Island. He won the Gold Cup and Saucer with Take It Back Terry in 2015 and had multiple nominations for this award. Campbell only has 186 training starts this year, but has shown his stable success by winning 58 times and has a UTRS of .430.
Jeff Gregory is a trainer/driver on the New York Sire Stakes circuit. Gregory trains sensation Barn Doll, who has been racing against some of the top horses in 2016, and won the Miss Versatility on Sept. 22 at the Delaware Ohio County Fair. Gregory was second this year with Spicedbourbongirl in the Kentucky Filly Futurity, which is one of many stakes races he has participated in this season. In just two years training full time after many injuries, he has won stakes races in three different states.
When Marion Marauder came to the stable of Paula Wellwood, there is no way she could have known what he would do for her stable. In 2016, Wellwood led Marion Marauder to a Triple Crown season capped by a win in the Kentucky Futurity. She is a Canadian-based trainer and in 15 starts has won 8 this season.
Maria Rice is a Western New York-based trainer and a two-time Post Time award nominee. Rice has won 84 starts in 399 starts as of the time of this writing. Rice conditions horses at Batavia Downs and Buffalo Raceway. One of her favorite horses is a trotter named Keystone Bernard, who she calls Bernie. She shows him sleeping on Facebook leading up to races. She has a UTRS of .364 in 2016 and has just over $500,000 in purses.
Jim and Jo Ann Looney-King have become fan favorites and are also a two-time Post Time award nominees. Jo Ann is the mother of Heather Vitale, and is the trainer of Wakizashi Hanover. She led Newborn Sassy to the Breeders’ Crown final at the Meadowlands in October. She currently has just over $1 million dollars in the bank and has won 52 times in 223 starts.
Upset of the Year
Throughout 2016, the main battle has been between Wiggle It Jiggleit and Always B Miki, but in August another horse showed that he could be dominate with a shocking victory in the US Pacing Championship. Shamballa, trained by Rick Zeron, showed that he belonged with this group by winning easily.
Mark MacDonald has been trying to win the Molson Pace at Western Fair for a long time. This looked like his year, except Sylvain Fillion and Evenin Of Pleasure had other plans. Late in the stretch Sylvain went by at astronomical odds to prove he was the best that night.
Imacrazynewyorker shocked trotters in New York at Saratoga, winning at odds of 102-1 for trainer John Hallett and driver Mark Beckwith.
In 2016, Bold Eagle attempted to become the first horse to winning the French Triple Crown. He won the first two legs easily, but the final leg the Prix de Paris wasn’t as easy as the first two. Bold Eagle rode a first-over journey and turning for home took the lead, but Lionel had other plans springing a monumental upset in the shadow of the wire.
The Jackpot High-5 wager is one that has taken form at some racetracks in North America. At Pompano Park, Diamonds Princess upset at a 44-1 causing one patron to win just over $182,000.