It will be a long time, if ever, before another Stan Bergstein comes along. As many of you know by now, "Mr. Harness Racing" passed away Wednesday (Nov.2) at his Tucson, Az. home.
You can use every adjective in the dictionary to describe Stan's life and what he meant to the sport and still there would be plenty of words left over.
We will forever draw on his accomlishments which Harness Tracks of America (HTA) spelled out in their news release.
One of the many thrills Stan provided for this writer came in the early 1970's when he hosted racing from Roosevelt and Yonkers at 7 p.m. and I didn't miss a telecast.It ran for 12 years.
Stan of course had a multitude of friends and was most proud of the people he mentored in Harness Tracks of America.
As the HTA pointed out he did it all. Writer, innovator, broadcaster (15 Hambletonians),hall of famer, master of ceremonies, auctioneer, etc. He was best known as the Executive vice-president of the HTA, a job he held for 50 years.
Gary Piontkowski, CEO of Plainridge Racecourse and a friend of Stan's thought so much of him that several years ago he named a race after him named the "Stan Bergstein Pace,' which carried a purse of $25,000.It prompted Stan to say on several occasions, "I'm probably the only guy who has a race named after him while he's still alive."
Piontkowski once flew to Las Vegas at Stan's urging to take part in an HTA seminar.
Stan was always available to offer advice to Plainridge's General Manager Stephen O'Toole.
His tireless work ethic can best perhaps be contained in a book.He was a star in every role he took on. He spoke little of his experiences in World War ii storming the beaches of Normandy during the D-Day Invasion.
His achievements are endless. His accomplishments may never be duplicated.But he left behind a work ethic we can all hope to attain.
His passing at 87 diminishes us all.
By Jack GINNETTI