DOVER DE—Bob Marks, the longtime marketing guru of Perretti Farms and a noted writer and handicapper, and Kathy Parker, the editor and general manager of the Horseman and Fair World publishing company, have been selected by the Directors of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) during their annual meetings here this weekend to be the ballot candidates for election into the Communicators Hall of Fame this summer.
Chapters of USHWA nominate men and women of exceptional communicating abilities to their Board of Directors, and the Directors draw upon information in provided biographies and their own experiences with the nominees to select two outstanding individuals that will go before the general membership of USHWA this summer. Candidates garnering 75% of the yes-no votes submitted are inducted into the Communicators Hall of Fame.
Marks has been a vital and active part of the racing game for over 50 years, first establishing himself as a handicapper of renown during the Golden Years of the Roosevelt-Yonkers circuit, then contributing a steady stream of informed and reasoned articles to the top trade publications.
In 1988 Marks took the job as pedigree analyst and marketing director at the noted Perretti Farms in New Jersey. During a quarter century of work at Perretti’s farm, Marks developed pioneering techniques in presenting stallions on video and assembled eye-catching print and electronic ads that drove home the main assets of the Perretti stock. Bob also named more than 2,000 horses, most of the monikers featuring some offshoot of their sire’s name to not only make the yearlings distinctive, but also to keep the stallions and their achievements in the public eye.
Parker spent her formative years in Ohio and then western Pennsylvania as part of an extensive and talented racing family, which today includes her husband Dan Coon, son of Hall of Fame trackman Charlie Coon and himself a noted track worker. Parker started her employment at the Horseman and Fair World, a Lexington KY-based weekly trade magazine, while still attending the University of Kentucky, and her talent saw her rise through the ranks until arriving at the top by being named editor and general manager in 1995.
As communications changed and evolved in harness racing, Parker had the Horsemen at the forefront of emerging innovative news dissemination techniques. The Horseman’s website, www.harnessracing.com, started in 1998, and in 2009 the acclaimed weekly originated a “Harness Racing Weekend Preview,” giving an insightful oversight on the upcoming big races. Parker has traveled extensively worldwide covering the races, and in 1992 she won a John Hervey award for harness writing excellence from USHWA.
The ballot for the candidacy of Marks and Parker will be distributed during the summer, after this year’s candidates for the Living Hall of Fame are determined during the Fourth of July Weekend in Goshen, the home of harness racing’s Halls of Fame.
by Jerry Connors, USHWA National Secretary