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BOSTON, MA - John "Jack" Ginnetti, Jr., a longtime newspaper writer from Marlborough, Mass. and a Communicator Hall of Fame inductee, passed away Monday, October 31, 2016. He was 80.    Ginetti covered harness racing at tracks throughout New England for more than four decades. After an early career at his hometown newspaper, the Enterprise-Sun, he later worked for the Worcester (Mass.) Telegram and Evening Gazette, with his "Along Route 495" being one of the paper's most popular weekly columns. Ginnetti has been president of the New England Chapter of United States Harness Writers Association for more than 20 years. He was named national USHWAn Member of the year in 1997, inducted in the USHWA New England Chapter Hall of Fame in 2001 and was inducted into the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame as a Communicator in 2006.    He is survived by his brother Richard Ginnetti (Janet) of Marlborough.          The John P. Rowe Funeral Home Inc. 57 Main Street Marlborough, MA 01752 is in charge of the services, with visiting hours on Thursday, November 3, 2016 from 5 – 8 P.M. Mass will be held at 10:00 A.M. in St. Mathias Church 409 Hemenway Street Marlborough, MA. Burial will follow at Evergreen Cemetery, Marlborough, MA. Donations may be made to a charity of one`s choice.   by Robert Lieberman, freelance writer  

John Ginnetti Jr., a long time past President of the New England Chapter of USHWA, has been transferred from the Marlborough Hospital to the Reservoir Rehab Center.   He helped keep the New England Chapter together during some difficult times and is now trying to help keep himself together in life.   Last Monday, he took a spill in his home and was finally taken to the hospital, where he has made enough of an improvement to his condition that permitted his transfer to the Reservoir RehabCenter.   It would be appreciated if the organization and it`s members might send him a get well card.   The address is as follows:   Reservoir Rehab Center   400 Bolton Street    Marlborough, MA 01752. Attention Patient: John Ginnetti Jr,   Your cards or short notes would make a big difference for this gentleman who has devoted his whole life to this organization.   Bob Lieberman

Plainville, MA --- Even two tornado warnings and torrential rainfall in the middle of Tuesday’s (June 23) card could not dampen the harness racing horsemen’s spirits on the eve of Wednesday’s (June 24) grand opening ceremonies at the new $250 million Plainridge Park Casino. “It is tremendously exciting,” said track identifier Bob Lieberman, who has been involved in New England harness racing for 30 years. “We have been reborn, and that is the word for it.” Only two years ago, the prognosis for Massachusetts’ Standardbred breeding and racing industry was indeed terminal. After discovering serious improprieties in the way money was handled by a former track executive at what was then Plainridge Racecourse, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission ruled in August 2013 that then-owners were unsuitable to hold a gaming license. The ruling knocked the state’s only harness racing track out of competition for the lucrative license to own and operate Massachusetts’ future sole single slots machine facility. In the ensuing months Penn National Gaming Inc., the North American casino and racetrack magnate with now more than 20 properties, was also running into dead ends in Massachusetts. PNGI’s attempt to win the full destination resort casino license designated for the state’s western region was outbid by MGM, and then voters in the Town of Tewksbury rejected the corporation’s try to locate a slots parlor there. In what started as a relationship of convenience but has since blossomed into the perfect marriage, the former owners of Plainridge and executives of PNGI arranged that PNGI would pursue the slots license for the property and then buy the track if successful. When the MGC selected PNGI over two competitors in February 2014, the deal was sealed. Shovels went into the ground shortly thereafter, and although the state’s gambling legislation mandated a minimum investment of $125 million, PNGI has already put twice that into the project. On Wednesday (June 24), the glamorous and state-of-the-art Plainridge Park Casino opened its doors at 1 p.m. to an enthusiastic and large crowd. “The horsemen have been very cooperative since the outset,” said Chris McErlean, PNGI’s vice president of racing, who was on hand for the grand opening. “It’s been rough for them during the construction as they’ve had to endure a lot of inconveniences. The facility and the site came out well, but we have some clean-up projects on the front side and the backside that we’re going to be doing for the rest of this year and going into next year, so it’s a work in progress. Obviously, the horsemen knew this was do-or-die for them. They have been great about everything that has been asked of them and that bodes well for the relationship going forward.” The same 2011 expanded gambling law that authorized the state’s three resort casinos and one slots machine facility also established the Race Horse Development Fund, which will be fueled by a combined five percent of the four licensing fees totaling $175 million plus nine percent of the slots parlor revenue and .625 percent of the gross gaming revenue from the three future casinos. The RHDF designates 80 percent to purses, 16 percent to breeders and four percent to backstretch welfare and the total allotment will be split 75-25 percent between the state’s Thoroughbred industry and Standardbred industry. Harness horsemen are already seeing the benefits. Plainridge offered $38,300 in purses on Tuesday’s 10-race card. As recently as 2013, the average purse was $2,700 and last year they averaged $30,000 but were overpaid by $900,000. McErlean said that plans to upgrade the racing quality call for the eventual creation of a signature event and the restoration of the Bert Beckwith and Stan Bergstein series. “It’s been a bumpy, hilly road with a lot of downs but we finally got here,” said trainer/driver Jim Hardy, who has topped the Plainridge standings nine straight years. “People were losing their homes and farms and getting out of the business. There is light at the end of the tunnel.” That light is shining brightly. “We can already see the benefits of the new casino, absolutely. I’ve already picked up two new owners coming into the business and have new horses coming into the barn,” Hardy said. “I last bred a filly two years ago but now I have the incentive to breed more. We’ve already turned $3,000 claimers into $4,000 claimers and purses can only go up. It’s all positive.” Lisa Watson, the wife of driver Wallace Watson, is an owner, trainer and breeder who has been racing at Plainridge since it opened in 1999. Although the Watsons are based in Maine, where PNGI owns and operates Hollywood Casino and Raceway Bangor, many of their horses prefer the bigger five-eighths-mile track here. “Without this new casino a lot of people would have been forced out of the business. This is a blessing for us all,” she said. by Lynne Snierson, for

Medway, MA --- The Harness Horsemen's Association of New England held their 2014 awards banquet at the V.F.W. Post in Medway, Mass., on Saturday (Dec. 20) in front of a huge crowd that looked forward to the affair and also to the excitement that Plainridge Racecourse will be up and running for the 2015 season. General Manager Stephen O'Toole was present to make a few announcements about the upcoming season. "Construction is proceeding right on schedule and racing is expected to begin on April 1, 2015 and the video slot parlor is scheduled to open on June 1, 2015 as planned." All the lucky recipients were in attendance to receive their awards. The winners are listed below: Pacer of the Year: Dontmesswiththebest--owner Richard Poilucci--trainer James Hardy Trotter of the Year: Coco Lindy--owners Lindy Farms and Robert Rudolph--trainer Frank Antonacci "Enlisted " Horse of the Year: Story Of My Life--owner Jeffrey Kaylor--trainer Joseph Therrien Lifetime Achievement: Hurricane Emily--owners James Hardy and Tia Bennett--trainer James Hardy Lifetime Achievement: Jopas Wish--owner Francis Witkowski--trainer Francis Witkowski Horse of the Year (female): Iheartquestionnmark--owner J & E Stable--trainer Steve Nason Horse of the Year (male): A Megabuck--owner Nancy Guidette--trainer Donald Guidette  Senior Citizen: Danger Sign--owner Brenda Provost--trainer Brenda Provost Senior Citizen: Ronnie Revrac--owner Shaun Scott--trainer Shaun Scott  Claimer of the Year: Happy Surprise--owner Mark Eaton--trainer Mark Eaton Appreciation Award: Peter Goldberg  Driver and Trainer of the Year: James Hardy by Robert Lieberman 

On Wednesday, April 9, the Plainridge Racecourse held their second round of qualifying races, and the six races went off without a hitch under partly cloudy skies as the temperature hovered around sixty. The results are as follows: Race one was won by owner, trainer, driver, Graham “ The Dragonman ” Lewis aboard Fantastic in 2:03.4. Dream On Darlin was the winner of the second race, owned by Jeff Kaylor and trained and driven by Joe Therrien, in a time of 2:04.3. Third race winner A J Sinister, is owned by Dean Malin with trainer, driver Steve Nason in the bike, in a time of 2:02.1, and Steve Nason came back again in race four with Yanother Round, for trainer, owner Irwin Rosenthal in a time of 2:01.3. Race five went to Manchine driven by the Plainridge Racecourse Jim Hardy , last years leading driver for owner Peter Goldberg and trainer, owner Brenda Provost in the quickest time of the qualifiers in 2:00.2 and repeated with another winner in the sixth race aboard Extreme Justice, for Bob Bogigian in a time of 2:01. Racing will start on Wednesday April 16, at 4 p.m., with Wednesday and Saturday post times at 4:00 p.m. and Sunday post time at 1:00 p.m., with the exception of April 20 ( Easter Sunday. ) There will be no racing that day. by Bob Lieberman, for Plainridge Raceway

It might be April Fools' Day today, but on a beautiful near 50 degree day at the Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville, MA, the trotters and pacers in the five qualifying races were not fooling around, they meant business.   In the first race, the winner was All Natural, a 7 yr. old pacing mare owned, trained and driven by Frederick Ward Jr.,ME. who went wire to wire over a perfect racing surface in a quick 1:57.1.   The second race was won by Rhudaur Hanover, 4 yr. old bay pacing mare for owners Glenn Harris MA and Ralph Andersen MA driven by Ralph Andersen in 2:01.2.   The third race was won by Easy Sport, 7 yr. old bay pacing gelding, for owner & trainer Irwin Rosenthal, driven by Steve Nason in 2:01.2.   The fourth race was won by Minx, 7 yr. old bay pacing mare, owned by Graham Lewis, MA & Stacey Jacobs, MA, trained and driven by Graham Lewis in a time of 1:59.4   The fifth race was won by Pembroke Lil, a 9 yr. old pacing mare, owned by John Coffey, MA & William Lewis, RI, driven by Cornelius Bonetti in 1:59.3   Qualifying continues on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 1:00 p.m.   Racing will start on Wednesday April 16, 2014, at 4:00 p.m., with Wednesdays and Saturdays at 4:00 p.m. and Sundays at 1:00 p.m. with the exception of April 20, 2014. ( Easter Sunday ) There will be no racing that day.   by Bob Lieberman, for Plainridge Racecourse

Jay Ginnetti Jr. 52, husband of Traci Ginnetti, son of John ( Jack ) Ginnetti Jr. and the late Mary Anne Ginnetti passed away last Monday ( Nov. 18 ) in his home in Ventura, Calif. and formerly of Marlborough, Mass.. Jack Ginnetti, Jr. is a promient harness racing publicist in New England and an inductee of the Living Hall of Fame Communicators Corner. Funeral arrangements are presently incomplete, but will be handled by the John P. Rowe Funeral Home, 59 Main Street Marlborough, MA 01752 at a later date. Condolence cards can be sent to: John " Jack " Ginnetti Jr. 103 Naugler Ave. Marlborough, MA. 01752 by Bob Lieberman

When Royalty For Life, bred by Al Ross of South Dartmouth, Mass., goes behind the starting gate Saturday night in the $600,000 Breeders Crown for freshman trotting colts, the New England horse will be representing, in one sense, all of the six-state region. In a broader sense, he will be validating the vision of the Massachusetts legislature.

At 100 years and eight months, Janice Lieberman (whose son Bob is the president, Sec./Treas of the New England Harness Writers Association) passed away on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 at the Beth Israel/Deaconness Hospital in Milton, MA.

Harnesslink - the worldwide leader in harness racing news has been nominated by The New England Chapter of the USHWA and is included in its annual award winners list for the year 2012. The prize-giving ceremony will be held on Sunday, October 21, 2012 at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel in Marlborough, MA Exit 24B off of Rte. 495. 1-508-480 0015.

Mary Ann Ginnetti, the wife of New England Chapter`s past harness racing President John "Jack" Ginnetti Jr. passed away early Wednesday morning (July 11) at the age of 72 after a short illness.

The New England Harness Racing Horsemen held their 2011 Awards Banquet at the V.F.W. Post in Medway, MA Saturday night in front of a packed house, after the gathering enjoyed the celebration of the victors, they all enjoyed the dancing that took place after the festivities.

Memories to last a lifetime is what I took home with me on the October 23 anniversary awards program at the Courtyard Marriott honoring 56 contributors of harness racing from all parts of New England and beyond.

When the golden era award recipients gather at the October 23rd awards program of the New England Harness Racing Writers, they put forth a combined career total of more than 40,000 wins.

Councillor Donald R. Landers will join Don Marean as a guest speaker at the 50th anniversary awards-program of the New England Harness Writers Association. The Marlborough, Mass. resident will deliver the 'welcome to Marlborough' address at the October 23. 2011 harness racing awards-dinner of the USHWA chapter of New England scribes.

Today (Wednesday, May 4) was the twelfth consecutive year that the Kentucky Derby raffle drawing was held at the Plainridge Racecourse with a nice crowd on hand to wager their bets on today`s races and also hpoeing that one of their tickets might be one of the lucky numbers drawn.

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