Saratoga to host Wally Hennessey Night Friday

06:27 AM 30 Jul 2014 NZST
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Wally Hennessey, harness racing
Wally Hennessey Night is this Friday at Saratoga Raceway
Photo by Skip Smith

SARATOGA SPRINGS, New York (July 29, 2014) – On August 1st, the Saratoga Harness Horseperson’s Association (SHHA) and Saratoga Casino and Raceway will host ‘Wally Hennessey Night,’ at the casino’s harness track. The night will be dedicated in honor of the legendary driver who made his Saratoga debut in 1987. Following the third race of the night, Hennessey will be honored by world famous horse racing announcer and local favorite, Tom Durkin.  

 “Wally Hennessey Night” will offer fans plenty of fun filled activities in addition to the evening’s harness racing card. Stewart’s will be on hand offering up free ‘make-your-own’ sundaes while supplies last, sponsored by the Agriculture and NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund. 

Additionally, following the third race, a group photo will be held on the harness track near the winners circle. All guests will have the opportunity to join the photo with both Wally Hennessey and Tom Durkin in what is being planned to be the largest group photo in the history of the harness track. The photo will be available to purchase and take home later that evening. 

Drawings will be sponsored and conducted by the SHHA for all horsemen and guests who present a valid New York State racing license, for a chance to win grain and other equine supplies. Parking and admission are free, as always, and in honor of the event, programs for the evening’s races will be available for no charge. The first post time for the August 1st event is at 7:05pm

“Hosting an event like this is truly an honor for us,” said John Matarazzo, Director of Racing Operations at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. “We’re very proud to be a part of Wally’s historic accomplishments and couldn’t be more excited to celebrate such top class in harness racing.” 

Hennessey will be inducted in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in Ontario on August 6th where he will join an elite group of standardbred drivers. Hennessey is already a member of the Saratoga Harness Hall of Fame, the Florida Hall of Fame, the Prince Edward Island Sports Hall of Fame and the Prince Edward Island Wall of Fame at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino in Charlottetown. Immediately following his induction in Canada, Hennessey will be traveling to Ireland, where he will be driving in the Ladbroke's Vincent Delaney Memorial series at Portmarnock Trotting Track in Dublin. 

“The SHHA is honored to be part of such a special event honoring Wally Hennessey for being inducted in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame and being invited to represent the United States at the Delaney Memorial in Ireland,” said Tom McTygue, Member of the Board of Directors for the SHHA. “We hope to have the opportunity to do this for other drivers in the future to showcase and promote the sport of harness racing.”

Wally Hennessey’s storied career began in the early 70’s and has brought him to tracks all over the world. Since then, Hennessey has become one of the premier drivers in all of harness racing, amassing 8,588 career wins and nearly $58 million in purse earnings. 

by Tom Engle, for Saratoga Raceway 

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