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Thursday, July 25, 2013


EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ -- Susan Sommer-Luarca - Official Artist of the 2013 Hambletonian -- has been invited by the Meadowlands Racetrack to paint live at the at Hambletonian Stakes scheduled for Saturday, August 3, 2013.  The 88th Hambletonian will be telecast live on CBS Sports Network. 


Susan Sommer-Luarca's commemorative painting will be donated to the Standardbred Retirement Foundation and be auctioned off to support of its great work. 


Jason Settlemoir, GM, Meadowlands Racetrack stated, “It is thrilling that such an accomplished artist as Susan Sommer-Luarca will be the official artist of the 2013 Hambletonian.”   


Jeff Gural, Chairman of New Meadowlands, LLC, stated “We are excited that artist Susan Sommer-Luarca will paint live at the 2013 Hambletonian – and capture the final Hambletonian at the racetrack as we have known it since it was opened in September 1976.  We are equally looking forward to Susan capturing on her canvas the new Meadowlands Racetrack’s state-of-the-art racing and entertainment venue scheduled to have its grand opening on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013! 

Susan Sommer-Luarca stated from her studio in Springfield, MO, “I can’t wait to paint live at 2013 Hambletonian at the Meadowlands Racetrack. I am confident that I  will capture the magic and energy of such a classic race. I understand it's an historic racing day because it's the final day of racing of the Hambletonian at this 36-year-old racetrack. But I am excited and looking forward to painting at the new Meadowlands Racetrack that's opening in a few months - it's going to be the one of the most amazing racetracks in the U.S. at which to paint live!" 



2013 Hambletonian Day  

Hambletonian Day -- Harness Racing's Greatest Day – features the $1.2 Million Hambletonian and $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks.  The 2013 Hambletonian will once again feature heat racing as conducted from 1991-1996, with eliminations and the final on the same day.  


Hambletonian Day has something great for everyone in the family: 

An epic sporting event, free outdoor concert, rides and games, and of course, great giveaways.  Each attendee will receive an official 2013 Commemorative Hambletonian hats (baseball caps for adults; bucket hats for children). 


Paddock Park Events include:  

•Live Music by The Nerds- 12 noon to 4 p.m.  

•Moon bounce, rock wall, carnival rides & games  

•Live WFAN remote with Marc "Moose" Malusis   

•Night School Tour Fan Education Tent at the Wedge  

•Pony rides 11:00 am to 4:30 p.m.  

•Face Painters under the Park tent - 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p .m.  

•Character appearances: Hambo Tony   


For more information about Hambletonian Day, please visit: 

Fans can follow all the action at, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and on Twitter at #Hambo13.  

To access the CBS Sports Network channel finder, go to  


About Susan Sommer-Luarca 

Susan Sommer-Luarca grew up on a ranch in southwest Missouri. At an early age and with no formal art training, Susan was drawing and painting the many horses on the farm with great attention to detail. Susan has now been painting larger than life murals and fine works of art for more than twenty years, capturing humankind, wildlife and the world around us for all to enjoy. Early in Susan's career, she was an artist for Bass Pro Shops headquarters in Springfield, MO. She then traveled  extensively for Bass Pro, creating giant works of art across the country during their corporate nation-wide expansion. 

Susan was chosen to paint at all three "Triple Crown" horse races for 2007 and 2008, including the "Breeders Cup World Championships" and the "Travers" at the famed and historic Saratoga racetrack in New York. Susan was the first artist to be chosen paint at all of these events in a single season and has been honored recently as the Official Triple Crown artist. Susan has also been the Official Artist of many Kentucky Derby and Preakness winners. 

Susan was invited to paint at Super Bowl XLII in 2008 by the NFL. She completed two paintings LIVE of the competing quarterbacks Eli Manning and Tom Brady, and those paintings were unveiled on FOX "Super Bowl Sunday" to millions of television viewers worldwide. 


Susan was chosen for the very rare and distinguished honor to be an Official Olympic Artist for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Susan is honored again as Official USA Olympic Artist for the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver. Being chosen to be an "Official Olympic Artist," Susan follows in the footsteps of other internationally known artist including Andy Warhol, Leroy Neiman, Peter Max, Michael Delacroix, Pierre Matisse and very few other artists who have had this honor. 

Susan's talents to paint not only wildlife but a varied subject matter in any number of different mediums and styles has been recognized throughout the art world from Susan's abstracts to realism, fine art paintings, and sculptures.  NASA invited Susan to paint live and commemorate the last space shuttle launch of Discovery, at Cape Canaveral, 2011.   

In 2003, Susan was commissioned to create Official Paintings for the P.G.A. Nationwide Tour.  Susan was the first woman chosen for this distinguished honor. Susan was honored again when she was chosen in 2004. Both paintings were inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in Susan's Home state of Missouri. 

Susan received the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor in New York City May 7, 2011. She joined medal recipients; Legendary Entertainer Jerry Lewis, Actress Doris Roberts (Everyone Loves Raymond), Actor John O'Hurley (Seinfeld), Legendary NFL Coach Don Shula,  & FDNY  Commissioner & 9-11 Hero Salvatore Cassano. Past Ellis Island Medal of Honor recipients include six Presidents of the United States, Nobel Prize winners, athletes, leaders of industry, artists and others whose work has made a lasting impact on humanity.  They are awarded annually to outstanding American citizens, from all walks of life, who have distinguished themselves through their significant contributions to this country.  The Ellis Island Medal of Honor ranks among the nation's most prestigious awards.  The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have officially recognized the Ellis Island Medals of Honor, and each year the recipients are listed in the Congressional Record. 


Susan's work has been seen and aired by many of the national media outlets including NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, ESPN, New York Times, LA Times, LIFE and People Magazine just to name a few. In 2006, Susan started her own wildlife conservation and preservation foundation, Susan Sommer-Luarca for Habitat. Susan is committed to her vision of garnering awareness to the preservation of wildlife and its natural habitat. Susan served as a board member, national spokesperson, and helps raise funds for the Alzheimer's Association. Susan began the first "Memories in the Making" painting therapy for Alzheimer's patients in southwest Missouri. Her mother was stricken with early-onset Alzheimer's. Thanks to the program, this therapy is now benefiting many patients yearning to express themselves. Susan is the Official artist of the Cattle Baron's Ball , the largest fund raising event for the American Cancer Society. Her father passed away from lung cancer in 2005 so this cause is also very near to her heart. 


For additional information, please visit: 


*The Grand Opening of the Meadowlands Racetrack’s State-of-the-Art Racing & Entertainment Venue is Scheduled on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013* 

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