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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.

Ed Hart’s Finest Hour

Saturday, July 23, 2011  By: Mike Farrell
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Ed Hart’s Finest Hour




It’s been hectic week for the quiet man. Trainer Ed Hart has been inundated with phone calls and text messages since Roll With Joe (Cam’s Card Shark) captured The Meadowlands Pace last weekend.



The victory triggered a wild, pulsating celebration in the winner’s circle that looked like New Year’s Eve as the celebrants whooped it up.



In the middle of all of it stood Hart, looking shell shocked and overwhelmed by the enormity of what transpired. Hart has a reputation as a dedicated hard-working horseman who never seeks the spotlight. His horses do the talking. World champions Four Starzzz Shark, Village Jolt and Space Shuttle are testimonials to the quality of Hart’s work.



There is no cover now, when you’ve just won a $1 million race.



“It’s been pretty crazy, I’ll tell you that,” Hart said. “It was pretty overwhelming. It was a great night for me. So many people called and texted me, it was really nice. I really wish everybody could have that moment.”



It was an overdue moment. Hart, 54, has spent much of his life at The Meadowlands but never had a Pace starter until Roll With Joe came along. Until now, it just never seemed to be in the cards. The closest Hart came was Space Shuttle, who did not make the cut in the 1999 Pace eliminations.



“He was sick in the elimination,” Hart said. “I though he had a real shot.”



Hart got Village Jolt after his 3-year-old season and Four Starzzz Shark wasn’t eligible.



The stars finally aligned this time, and Hart had not only a Pace starter, but a winner. Meadowlands Pace success won’t likely spoil Hart who grew up around Goshen, N.Y. and still trains there. Two nights after winning The Pace, Hart rolled up his sleeves.



“I had to do my own paddock because we were a little short on help,” Hart said. “It was back to the real world. You just keep on going.”

 



And keep enjoying the roll with Roll With Joe. After winning The Pace, the decision was made to skip the Adios eliminations this weekend. With the Northeast in the grip of a punishing heat wave, the decision to stay home is looking better and better.



“With all this weather, it would have been too hot for him,” Hart said. “He raced awfully tough in that final.”



Next up for Roll With Joe is the Oliver W endell Holmes at The Meadowlands on Hambletonian weekend followed by the Battle of Brandywine



GIVING THANKS



Thanksgiving, the traditional time for counting blessings, came early this year for harness fans. As The Pace unfolded, I was struck by how close we came to losing it all: the race, the racetrack and all the memories and traditions that flow on Pace night.



Sure, there was going to be at least one more Hambletonian at the Big M. The state of New Jersey is contractually obligated to host the trotting classic next month. Gov. Chris Christie admitted that, offering a final one-week meet centered around the Hambo when he threatened to tear the house down.



The Pace was a race in jeopardy. Seeing Jeff Gural, the new operator, in the Pace winner’s circle was a reminder of how close the sport came to the precipice and the extraordinary efforts required in the rescue mission.



For now, the threat has passed. For that, we should all be grateful.



Hollywood Hot List-3 YO Colt Pacers



1) Roll With Joe showed his true colors besting the cream of the crop in a 1:48.2 Meadowlands Pace score. Bettors Delight may soon have a full brother standing nearby at Blue Chip Farms.