It's that time of year! We're so grateful for wonderful fans like YOU! It means more to us than words can say that you take time to watch us on TV during the summer and follow our coverage all year round on social media. On behalf of our entire team, we wish you and yours the warmest, happiest and most beautiful holiday season.
The annual Harrisburg Sale is where so many of the horses you see on track get their start. Held each November at the giant PA Farm Show Complex, it's a massive five-day event where horses sell for as much as $500,000 each and top horse owners and trainers from around the globe descend to bid on and buy the most promising equine athletes.
In this special report, we talk to some of the top players and show you how horses get from the sale ring to the racetrack. We check out Delaware Valley University's hands-on program, where students actually breed and sell horses to fully prepare them for their future careers in racing. We also talk to the sale's first-ever female auctioneer, trainers, sale officials, the "shippers" who actually transport horses by land and air to homes as far away as Europe and Australia, and more!
The first female bid taker in the history of the Harrisburg Sale talks being a third-generation auctioneer, what she likes best about her job and even shows off her skills auctioning Sharla's hat.
We talk to the fans...the big winners...and go behind the scenes with some of the biggest players like first-time Crown winner George Napolitano, Jr., an elated Ernie Martinez, track announcer Jim Beviglia, Matt Kakaley, Brian Sears, Casie Coleman and more! Plus Heather hits the bar to learn how to mix up the night's signature drink, named after the great Foiled Again. We talk to the broadcast team who makes all the magic happen on TV. And of course, we check out the big wins from superstar horses including Tactical Landing, Percy Bluechip, Homicide Hunter, Shartin, Lazarus and McWicked.
We're back for an encore! Breeders Crown 2018 is Saturday, October 27th and Heather and Sharla are here with a special preview. From a recap how the top horses and drivers made it all the way to the Crown, to interviews with all the big starts, plus handicapping tips, trivia and more.
Bridles are essential for communicating with horses. They're made with several straps, usually leather, that fit over the head and face of the horse, allowing the driver to control the horse through the use of a bit. The blind bridle, for example, obscures sight from the sides as well as from behind, which prevents the horse from seeing anything that may cause anxiety. In this video, driver Tom Jackson shows Heather a few different kinds and what each one is used for.
It's our 300th episode and we're celebrating this big milestone with a special season finale. Yep, it's true—this is our final episode for 2018, but we'll be back next year with even more of harness racing's fastest-paced half hour! But before we sign off, we've got a lot to cover including:
• Longshot College Hanover pulls off a stunning 99-1 win at Pocono, paying a whopping $336.60 -- off to a great start since it's also the horse's first lifetime win.
• We catch up with driver and trainer Mike Simons, who talks about how growing up in Lexington's horse country instilled a love of horses and led to an exciting 40+ year career in racing.
• You've probably heard of a bridle, but do you know there's different types and different reasons why horses wear them? Driver Tom Jackson explains it all.
• Driver Yannick Gingras talks about what it was like driving the great Foiled Again in some of the sport's most unforgettable moments, and what he's feeling as the horse quickly approaches retirement.
• Plus, we've got new installments of Trivia Time, a Blast From the (not too distant) Past with Foiled Again in 2013, plenty of Libery Bell series action from Harrah's and more!
Kissin In The Sand had a rough start in life. But things got better when trainer Nancy Johansson started looking after her. Then the "terrible twos" hit and Kissin became a little bit of a stinker...for awhile. These days, she's a sweet girl on a serious winning streak!
Summertime fled The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in a hurry – it was 59 degrees when the races started on Saturday evening -- but the change in temperature made no difference to the American Ideal gelding Ideal Kiss, who won for the fifth time in his last six starts when he won the $20,000 claiming handicap pacing feature in 1:50.4 over “good” going.
A FEISTY FILLY, GREAT RACING AND A LOOK AT ONE OF RACING's most important pieces of equipment on this week's show
· What are hopples? Trainer Arlene Cameron shows you this important piece of equipment that helps horses run safely, soundly and on gait.
· There's not just one Race of the Week--there's four! That's because PA Sire Stakes and Great Northeast Finals happened all on the same night and we recap all the wins including Phaetosive driven by Trond Smedshammer, Kissin In The Sand with Scott Zeron, Crystal Fashion with Tim Tetrick and Dosoduro Hanover with Matt Kakaley.
· Trainer Nancy Johansson's Kissin In The Sand was one of the big Sire Stakes winners—and also a big handful to raise! We talk to her about bringing up her headstrong filly. Plus, Stallion Series action...Marcus Miller interview...trivia fun...a great Breeders Crown Blast From The Past from 2010....and more cutness as we troll the Interweb for the latest and greatest horse cuteness.
-----------------------PA Harness Week