Day At The Track

Breeders Award to Purple Haze

05:44 AM 05 Dec 2019 NZDT
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Wanda Polisseni, harness racing
Wanda Polisseni petting one of her horses
Chris Tully photo

Goshen, NY - When the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association holds their 61st annual Awards Banquet, on Sunday, December 15, 2019, Wanda Polisseni's Purple Haze Stable will receive the Cradle of the Trotter Breeders Award for their continued commitment to breeding Standardbred race horses in the State of New York.

Probably best known as a prominent horse owner and philanthropist, Wanda Polisseni's Purple Haze Stable was also one of the leading breeders in the lucrative New York Sire Stakes program this season. Although she ranks fourteenth in the standings, Purple Haze bred just one participant in this year's program and ranks ninth in earnings for breeders with four or less starters.

It was her home-bred Chaptiama 2,1:56h-'19 ($182,235), a World Champion 2-year-old gelding by Chapter Seven from the Credit Winner mare Crediama, that put breeder Purple Haze Stables in the NYSS spotlight.

Setting a world mark at Saratoga while winning a $76,750 leg of the New York Sire Stakes for trainer-driver Trond Smedshammer, the freshman trotter had eight seasonal starts, with 2 wins, 4 seconds and a third, racing exclusively in New York.

Finishing a hard-charging second in the $225,000 NYSS final from post 7 at Batavia, Chaptiana completed the season as the second leading money-winning 2-year-old male trotter in the Empire State.

Perhaps overshadowed somewhat by owner Purple Haze Stables' other Standardbred stars, like Breeders Crown champion Winndevie 3,1:53 ($787,682), the breeding arm of the operation is in good company with other successful NYSS small breeders such as Anders Strom's Courant AB, Jeff Gural's Little E, Stefan Balazsi's Order By Stable and Joie De Vie Farm.

A resident of Fairport, NY, Polisseni owns over 100 Standardbreds and Thoroughbreds and has previously owned many hundreds more. She has also bred nearly 50 harness horses.

It is this close connection to the animals that prompted Polisseni to establish several racehorse adoption and aftercare programs and facilities. Her latest project is the Purple Haze Standardbred Adoption Program (PHSAP) which sits on a beautiful 100+ acre farm in Oxford, NY that is being outfitted to accept retired New York-bred Harness Horses exclusively.

A loyal owner and an avid fan of harness racing, Polisseni is working hard to ensure that racehorses have a safe haven once their competitive days are over.

Never one to seek accolades, she quietly goes about her days making life better for those that may not be able to stand up for themselves.

She is also the co-founder of the Polisseni Foundation, which is a humanitarian association that assists organizations and groups in meeting community needs and improving the quality of life in the areas of education, human services and civic improvement within Upstate New York.

As a breeder, Wanda Polisseni can honestly say that she cares for racehorses from start to finish.

In addition to the year-end awards for horses and horse people from the local tracks, the Monticello-Goshen chapter will also honor Mickey Burke (Lifetime Achievement Award); Noelle Duspiva (Excelsior Award); Barbara Martinez (Amy Bull Crist Distinguished Service Award); Larry Lederman (John Gilmour Good Guy Award); Dave Brower (Phil Pines Award); Tony Verruso (Amateur Driver); Joe Chindano, Jr. (Rising Star), etc.

Just a few days remain to place a congratulatory ad in the souvenir journal, please contact Chris Tully immediately at (845) 807-7538 or Email:

Tickets for the gala event at The Fountains at Wallkill Golf Club, Middletown, NY, can be reserved by contacting Shawn Wiles at (845) 794-4100 extension 458 or Email:

by Chris Tully, for the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of USHWA


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