Television host, racing personality and philanthropist - Heather Vitale Moffett admits she probably wouldn't have undertaken the career path she has today had she not been raised in a third generation harness racing family.
The lady with the big heart, who thrives on voluntary work and raising thousands of dollars for less fortunate people and horses with no homes, admits harness racing has been gushing throughout her veins since the day she was born.
“I’ve always loved horses and harness racing for as long as I can remember. My Mum (Joann Looneyking) was the first woman to ever win a race at the Meadowlands and my grandparents – Elmer and Helen Looney withdrew all their savings to buy a free legged pacer named Reggie Scott back in the 1950s.
“That’s when it all started,” Heather Vitale Moffett told Harnesslink.
Now almost 40, the award winning television host of ‘Post Time’ and ‘PA Harness Week’ is fully immersed in harness racing – that’s when she’s not giving up her time to work voluntarily for both horse and human needs.
“When you are a volunteer you are always a winner because you put the needs of others first. I get a huge thrill out of the community service work I do. In fact the more I do the happier it makes me.
“I also enjoy being the voice for harness racing. It is very important to me that harness racing keeps heading in the right direction and with my two television shows I am in a fortunate position to be able to do that.
“It is really important that I try and attract more people to our wonderful sport,” Vitale Moffett said.
Since 1998 the Harrington-based mother of two has written produced, and hosted ‘Post Time’ – a CBS and Fox affiliated half hour show that airs every week.
And for the last three years she has also co-hosted (with Steve Ross) ‘PA Harness Week’ – another half hour harness racing show shot at Harrahs Chester.
“My work all stems from the day when my grandparents bought that free legged pacer. Who knows what I’d be doing now if they hadn’t dipped into their savings.
“I am a lucky woman. I have a fantastic husband (Billy Moffett) and two wonderful children – Wyatt (9) and Trey (4) that makes my busy life so happy. Billy is so patient and kind. Being a wife is easy with him because he is the greatest husband - and being a Mum is the most precious and enjoyable part of my life.
“I have been blessed to have a great family,” Vitale Moffett said.
Vitale Moffett was born in Dover (Delaware) and after graduating from her New Jersey high school she went to University where she achieved a Bachelor of Arts majoring in communications.
From there she worked as an intern in the Meadowlands publicity department before branching out to PR at Freehold Raceway, Garden State Park and Rosecroft raceway.
Thereafter Vitale Moffett worked in TV for ESPN2 before relocating to California where she worked at Hollywood Park in Los Angeles. That was her only foray into the thoroughbred world.
“It was about 1998 when I started to miss my family, especially my mother, so I decided to return to Delaware. I hadn’t been there since I was growing up and now on hindsight it was the best move I have made,” Vitale Moffett said.
“That’s when I got my ‘Post Time’ gig. It’s my pride and joy. Unlike ‘PA Harness Week’ where I only present I do everything with ‘Post Time’ (see videos below).”
Vitale Moffett’s step father Jim King junior has a stable in Harrington and the family farm has a five eighth mile training track on it so Vitale Moffett still plays a hands-on role in harness racing as well.
In fact she has a trainer’s license and between 1999 and 2009 has conditioned 38 winners. She’s also placed 91 times for $382,716 in purses.
“I don’t train any more because of family and work commitments but I’m still involved in ownership. At the moment I have one horse – a2-year-old filly named Mama Grizzly. She is trained by my Mum in Harrington,” Vitale Moffett said.
“Tim Tetrick drove her in her only start at Harrahs Chester on July 15 and she finished fourth,” she added.
On June 12 this year Vitale Moffett also took part in the Mrs Delaware United States pageant at the Schwartz Centre in Delaware. She had earlier been named Mrs Harrington.
She won the ‘People’s Choice Award’ and ‘Best Interview’ in the 2009 pageant.
By Duane RANGER (editor)
Heather and co-host Steve Ross