Day At The Track

Racing tradition continues in Martinsville

03:26 PM 15 Jun 2017 NZST
Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print
Martinsville Fair
Martinsville Fair

Temperatures were on the hot side in the Wabash Valley on Tuesday and the track at the Martinsville Ag Fairgrounds was hot after 14 heats of harness racing were run.

Coverage of harness racing by this newspaper began in the 1960s by Forrest Garderwine. Carl Jones and I then took it up when Frosty retired and we have continued it with other reporters having been assigned to cover the action at times, especially when races were scheduled for three or four days — they were all run in the afternoon until recently.

Now, the race schedule is down to one day but Tim Wilson Jr. says he hopes to convince the fair board to have two sessions next summer.

Wilson and his dad had been synonymous with the fair for a long time as drivers, owners until his father passed away. Wilson Jr. now has added announcer to his resume. He again was on stage on Tuesday, commenting on the racing and other topics and announcing winners of pick-a-winner choices made on each race at no cost.

(We got lucky on one race and won some ice cream from the Farm Bureau stand. It was good.)

Wilson and Curt Becker, the race announcer, both provided bits of history about the fair and harness racing, in general. Becker keeps busy.

He is the track announcer at Keeneland in Kentucky and is a regular member of the team that provides radio coverage of NASCAR events. He said he will be back for the races later in the summer at the Edgar County Fair at Paris.

He said no races are slated for this summer at Marshall.

The feature races on Tuesday's card were the Great Midwest Trot and Great Midwest Pace. They were run for the 68th time. Started in Chicago at Aurora Downs, the races have been run in Martinsville since the 1950s.

Ann and Barney Calvert have been involved with racing for 31 years. Ann and Wilson Racing Stables now are listed as owners and run in events at Hawthorne Park in Chicago and Hoosier Park in Anderson.

The newest member of the "family" is 2-year-old filly Olivia D Havawin. She won a "schooler" against three other horses after the regular program was done with Wilson in the bike.

And so it went on a warm evening in Illinois.

By Tom Reck

Reprinted with permission of The Tribune Star

Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

Read More News About...

Stallion Name

Next article in USA: