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2017 RACE DATES

MEADOWLANDS - Post Time 7:15pm
January 26 - March 11, 2017
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March 17 - August 5, 2017
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September 8 - September 16, 2017
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November 17 - December 2, 2017
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December 7 - December 30, 2017
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FREEHOLD - Post Time 12:30pm
January 5 - March 25, 2017
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Special Race Day Monday February 20, 2017

March 31 - May 6, 2017
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September 1 - December 9, 2017
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Special Race Day Monday September 4, 2017

December 28 - December 30, 2017
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CAVIART ALLY AIMS TO KEEP THREE DIAMONDS IN FAMILY; BURKE PASSES $20 MILLION

-- Stories by Ken Weingartner/Harness Racing Communications/USTA

MANALAPAN, NJ -- November 15, 2016 -- Winning races might be in Caviart Ally’s blood and there could be no more appropriate time for the 2-year-old female pacer to get her first open stakes victory than Saturday’s C$427,000 Three Diamonds Stakes at Woodbine.

After all, Three Diamonds is in her blood too.

Caviart Ally hails from a family of stakes winners, starting with half-brother All Speed Hanover and half-sister Allamerican Coed. Dam Allamerican Cool is a half-sister to Hall of Fame mare Eternal Camnation and Caviart Ally’s fourth dam is Hall of Fame mare Three Diamonds. The family also includes stakes-winners Life Sign and Threefold, who were both out of Three Diamonds.

“I think it’s sort of cool that she’s in this race,” said owner Buck Chaffee, referring to Caviart Ally’s connection to Three Diamonds. “We buy yearling fillies to become broodmares. She had just a great family, really deep. We picked her out because of the breeding and we’re just really happy that she’s developed into a nice racehorse.”

Chaffee and his wife Judy own Caviart Farms, a 230-acre breeding and boarding facility in Paris, Ky., and have enjoyed their share of success over the years, most notably with multiple-stakes-winner Caviart Sydney.

Caviart Farms purchased Caviart Ally, whose sire is Bettor’s Delight, under the name Airlie Hanover for $35,000 at last fall’s Standardbred Horse Sale.

“It’s just really nice to have one at this level,” Chaffee said.

Caviart Ally heads to the Three Diamonds off a win in her elimination last Friday at Woodbine. Caviart Ally won by a half-length over That’s The Ticket in 1:54.3 with Andy McCarthy driving for trainer Noel Daley.

In her previous start, Caviart Ally finished second by a neck to Breeders Crown winner Someomensomewhere in the Kindergarten Classic Series championship at the Meadowlands. It was Caviart Ally’s fourth second-place finish in a span of five starts, with none of the setbacks coming by more than a half-length.

For the year, Caviart Ally has won two of 13 races, hit the board a total of nine times, and earned $110,479.

“We’ve liked her from the beginning,” Chaffee said. “She trained down super. Her first (qualifier) she raced really great. She came the last quarter in :25.4, just really strong. We didn’t know if she was going to be able to race at the top level or not, but we thought she was going to be a good horse.

“But we knew it was going to take her a little while. She was a late foal, she’s a June foal, so we tried to give her as much time as we could to let her develop. She’s really come on recently. She got a little sick in the middle of the year and had a couple of bad races, but other than that she’s been right there. We’re just happy that now she’s gotten to compete against some really nice fillies.”

Caviart Ally was eligible to the Breeders Crown, but her connections decided to skip the event.

“We didn’t think she was quite ready,” Chaffee said. “In retrospect, that might have been a mistake on our part. But maybe it turned out for the better, too, because she’s still pretty fresh and racing well. Next year she’s staked to all the big races and we’re looking forward to that as well.”

Idyllic Beach won the other Three Diamonds elimination by a neck over Someomensomewhere in 1:55.3. In September, Idyllic Beach won the She’s A Great Lady Stakes at Mohawk.

Saturday’s Woodbine card also includes the C$520,000 Governor’s Cup for 2-year-old male pacers, C$447,000 Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old female trotters and C$404,000 Valley Victory for 2-year-old male trotters.

The Governor’s Cup features the top three finishes from the Breeders Crown --- Huntsville, Downbytheseaside, and Miso Fast. Eliminations were unnecessary for the Governor’s Cup and Goldsmith Maid. Snowstorm Hanover and Jake won eliminations for the Valley Victory.

Burke passes $20 million in 2016 earnings

Trainer Ron Burke’s stable surpassed $20 million in purses for the fourth consecutive year on Monday night (Nov. 14) when Encore Deo won the seventh race at Yonkers Raceway.

No other trainer in history has ever reached $20 million in purses in a season. In 2014, Burke’s stable set an all-breed record of $28.4 million in purses.

Burke has led the sport in wins and purses each of the past seven years and is set to do it again in 2016. Burke leads the win standings with 799, holding an advantage of 397 wins over second-place Rene Allard, and has doubled second-place Jimmy Takter in earnings.

For his career Burke has won 7,471 races and $168 million in purses, both records. The majority of the wins and earnings have been accumulated since 2008 when Burke took over his family’s stable fulltime.

Burke was the U.S. Harness Writers Association’s Trainer of the Year in 2013 and 2011. His father Mickey was Trainer of the Year in 2006.

In 2013, Burke Racing and the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi received the Owner of the Year Award.

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