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News and Insight On Winbak Farm

Read below for the latest on Winbak Achievements and graduates. Stories are from the leading industry news sources.

The Rain and the Cane

Friday, September 9, 2011  By: Mike Farrell
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The Rain and the Cane



My wife and I, along with the Cane Pace, became evacuees this past week. We were all forced to flee the rising water as Tropical Storm Lee relentlessly soaked the streams, creeks, rivers and soggy ground already saturated by Hurricane Irene.



Lee was a sneak attack, following too closely on the heels of Irene. The entire East Coast braced for Irene including preparations that culminated in the unprecedented shutdown of the New York City subway system.



Perhaps we let down our guard too soon. Lee came rolling into central New York and promptly stalled. On radar, the center settled close to Syracuse and the bands of rain spun far and wide. And they didn't stop.



We live on the upper Delaware River which by Wednesday was running high, wide and muddy. It was time to go.



We hastily headed west, seeking higher, dryer ground and wound up in Wilkes Barre, just down the road from Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.



Little did we know, the Cane Pace was right behind us.



While there were flooding issues along the Delaware, the devastation there paled in comparison to the damage wrought by the rampaging Susquehanna River.



There are stretches of the Susquehanna that run parallel to Route 17, the main highway leading to Tioga Downs. The surging river pummeled towns along the way like Vestal, Owego and Binghamton.



There was no way the Cane could go on as scheduled Saturday night at Tioga.



Sometimes a crisis brings out the best in us. This was another shining example as Pocono Downs stepped in on incredibly short notice to host the Cane. It's not the first time Pocono Downs rode to the rescue.



Track management and the Pennsylvania HHA banded together last year to host the Breeders Crown when the Meadowlands could no longer support the season-ending championships.



There was ample time to prepare for the Breeders Crown. The Cane Pace was another matter, needing a home in a matter of days.



Ron Battoni, executive vice president of the local HHA, and Pennsylvania State Harness Racing Commission, pulled together to ease the transition.



For now, it appears the Cane will be safe and dry at yet another location. The Cane was a longtime fixture at Yonkers Raceway from 1955 to 1997. It shifted to Freehold Raceway in 1998.



Earlier this year, Freehold surrendered the Cane to Tioga which was far better suited and able to promote the opening leg of the Pacing Triple Crown. And now it's on the road again.



The $342,875 race will go as originally drawn for Tioga, transitioning from one five-eighths track to another.



The Cane now becomes the centerpiece of a 17-race card that also features the Pennsylvania Sires Stake Championships for 2-year-olds.



Roll With Joe (Cam's Card Shark), the Meadowlands Pace and Battle of Brandywine winner, is the 5-2 morning line favorite from post No. 8.



Trainer Ed Hart had prepped Roll With Joe for Tioga, qualifying him there on Sept. 2. The colt glided around the track, winning the Q for fun in 1:54.3.



Hart doesn't see a problem with the new location.



"I don't think it alters my plans at all," Hart said. "I'm not worried. He's pretty experienced now. I don't think it matters that much. He gets around a five eighths pretty good."



The greater concern was Tropical Storm Lee. Despite the heavy rain in the

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