Since the demise of Roosevelt Raceway back in 1988, Yonkers Raceway has been one of harness racing's few year-round venues.
Night after night, month after month, the Raceway is, more often than not, in use. Thus, the job of keeping the racing surface--and the paddock, too, for that matter--in consummate condition is more than a bit important.
Fortunately, Yonkers Raceway has the perfect man for the job. Ed Ryan, who's celebrating 50 years of making horse racing better for all concerned, has been the Raceway's track manager since December, 2006. Not surprisingly, he has made the product better for both its two- and four-legged participants.
With the help of right-hand man, track superintendent Bob Young, and a cast of 14 (give or take a few), Ryan makes sure the track withstands the grind as well as the elements. In fact, during the recent--and rare--break in racing, the oval was completely resurfaced.
Yonkers is just one of the racing operations which has benefitted from Ryan's expertise. He's worked in positions ranging from "trackman" to general manager, traversing the continent and perhaps even a body of water or two.
In addition, he's always ready to share his knowledge throughout the industry.
And to think. it all began in June, 1962, at Monmouth Park as part of the track crew.
“I always enjoy watching the horses,” Ryan said. “We just try to keep the track in the best shape we can.”
Tonight (Saturday), the Raceway and the Standardbred Owners Association of New York join in saluting Ryan, who's done a whole lot in a half-century. Congratulations, Ed.
by Frank DRUCKER