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Goshen, NY - The Cradle of the Trotter had some "Rolling Thunder" of its own this Memorial Day weekend as 120 motorcycle enthusiasts helped raise over $2,000 to benefit Goshen Historic Track and the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame. The inaugural Iron Horse Poker Run, presented by the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), enjoyed a capacity crowd of Harley-Davidson owners and riders, who participated in a 70-mile loop around Orange, Sullivan and Ulster counties. Chapter Vice President/Secretary Janet Terhune noted, "The attendance was even better than we anticipated, and the riders really enjoyed touring the museum and learning more about Harness Racing and its considerable influence on American history." Attendees were treated to a delicious buffet before and after the ride in beautiful Haughton Hall at the Harness Racing Museum, the hosting venue. Clubs such as the Blue Knights of New York XIV and Harley Owners Groups from Wurtsboro and Orange County also participated. Several contingents came from as far away as Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New Jersey to "ride through the Gunks." The route also happened to pass by Standardbred nursery Blue Chip Farms, which is nestled in the shadows of the Shawangunk Mountain ridgeline. Shawn Wiles, the Chapter's Vice President/Treasurer, as well as the National USHWA President, was equally pleased with the outcome. "Anytime you can raise money for the Track and Hall of Fame, and introduce new people to Harness Racing...it's a 'win-win'" Door prizes from O'Tooles Harley-Davidson in Wurtsboro and the new Resorts World Casino in Monticello added significantly to the grand prize of $500 cash for the best poker hand. Having enjoyed a great turnout, along with such overwhelmingly positive feedback from the participants, the prospects of turning the Iron Horse Poker Run into an annual event are stronger than ever. The primary beneficiaries of the funds raised by the Chapter through this new affair, in addition to their annual Awards Banquet, have always been the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame and Goshen Historic Track...two distinct entities that share the same hallowed ground and a mutual purpose of preserving and promoting harness racing. Matinee harness racing at Goshen Historic Track begins this weekend on Sunday, June 3rd and continues for the following two Sundays (June 10 & 17). The Harness Racing Museum is open with free admission, Tuesday through Sunday. Four days of Grand Circuit racing begins Friday, June 29, with Hall of Fame Day slated for Sunday, July 1, concurrent with Goshen's Great American Weekend. by Chris Tully for the Iron Horse Poker Run           

William Henry MacMullin, a retired resident farrier and horseman at Blue Chip Farms in Wallkill, NY and a longtime resident of Ulster County passed away on March 24, 2018 at Orange Regional Medical Center in Middletown at the age of 87. "Henry" was a longtime resident farrier and horseman at Blue Chip Farms during the late 1970's, 80's and 90's and was responsible for the care of Hall of Fame stallions Most Happy Fella and On The Road Again during their stud careers. Over those decades MacMullin was responsible for the hoof care of thousands of horses, including top broodmares Albaquel, Adore, Peaches N Cream and Treasure Blue Chip and the entire herd of mares, foals and yearlings at the farm. Son of the late Daniel and Margaret Campbell MacMullin, he was born in Cape Briton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada on November 25, 1930. He also worked many years on the race track and was associated with such notable horsemen as Clint Hodgins and Howard Okusko. He was a longtime member of the United States Trotting Association (USTA), as well as the NYS Trotting Assn. and was named 1977 Horseman of the Year. Survivors include his wife Connie and his children Norman Eaton (Barbara) of Michigan, Gregory MacMullin of NY, Michael MacMullin (Melisa) of Fla., Teresa Geisler (John) of Tenn., Christopher MacMullin (Irene) of Va., Henry MacMullin (Kelly) of NJ and Mary MacVean (Jamie) of NY. He was also survived by brothers and sisters Angus, John, Barbara and Douglas along with 17 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren and nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sisters Martha and Chris and brothers Charlie and Roddy. Memorial contributions may be made to the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame in Goshen, NY (harnessmuseum.com) and the Alzheimer's Association (alz.org).                

Goshen, NY - The Monticello-Goshen Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association, an organization that has been raising money for local harness horse racing venues for the past six decades, will sponsor the inaugural Iron Horse Motorcycle Poker Run to benefit Goshen Historic Track and the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame on Saturday, May 26, 2018. Chapter Vice President/Secretary Janet Terhune noted, "We are thrilled to host this exciting inaugural event, the Iron Horse Poker Run, which will bring well over 100 new visitors to the Museum and introduce them to Harness Racing." The Harness Racing Museum in Goshen has been selected as the home base for the ride, a 70-mile loop with three additional checkpoints located throughout Orange, Sullivan and Ulster counties; O'Toole's Harley-Davidson in Wurtsboro, the Mountain Brauhaus in Gardiner, and the Angry Orchard in Walden. Terhune, the Museum's Director, continued, "We will serve the participants brunch in our beautiful Haughton Hall during the event registration, and welcome them back for prizes, raffles and additional refreshments following the run. This is a great opportunity for harness racing to reach out to a relatively untapped demographic that enjoy taking part in benefit activities." Shawn Wiles, the Chapter's Vice President/Treasurer agreed. "Once this event becomes popular, it will grow into a great kick-off for the Goshen Historic Track season, with matinee racing beginning the following weekend in the 'Cradle of the Trotter.' A donation of $20 for all partakers includes food and refreshments before and after ride, as well as door prizes, raffles, 50/50's, and a grand prize of $500 for the best poker hand. Although motorcycles are preferred, cars, trucks and vans are also welcome. Registration and brunch starts at 10:30 am at the Harness Racing Museum, 240 Main St., Goshen. Kickstands up at 12 noon. The primary beneficiaries of the funds raised by the Chapter are the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame and Goshen Historic Track...two distinct entities that share the same hallowed ground and a mutual purpose of preserving and promoting harness racing. Lifetime donations by the Chapter to these iconic organizations are approaching $100,000. For more information about the Iron Horse Poker Run go to ironhorsepokerrun.com or contact Chris Tully attullytrot@yahoo.com or call 845-807-7538. by Chris Tully for the Iron Horse Poker Run  

Goshen, NY - When the Monticello-Goshen chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association held their annual meeting on Sunday, April 22, it was confirmed by the officers that the Chapter would host a Motorcycle Poker Run to benefit Goshen Historic Track and the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame on Saturday, May 26. Newly elected chapter Vice President/Secretary, Janet Terhune noted, "We are thrilled to host this exciting inaugural event, the Iron Horse Poker Run, which will bring well over 100 new visitors to the Museum and introduce them to Harness Racing." The Harness Racing Museum has agreed to be the start and finish venue for the ride, a 70-mile loop with three additional checkpoints located throughout Orange, Sullivan and Ulster counties. Terhune, the Museum's Director, continued, "We will serve the participants lunch in beautiful Haughton Hall during the event registration, and welcome them back for prizes, raffles and additional refreshments following the run. This is a great opportunity to reach out to a relatively untapped demographic that enjoy taking part in benefit activities." Shawn Wiles, the chapter's Vice President/Treasurer agreed. "Once this event becomes popular, it will grow into a great kick-off for the Goshen Historic Track season, with matinee racing beginning the following weekend." In other business, long-time Chapter leader John Manzi was elevated to the office of Chairman of the Board, stating, "We work hard to raise money for the Hall of Fame and the (Historic) Track. This year certainly illustrates our commitment ...it's our 60th annual awards banquet. The Chapter has been giving local horsemen and women awards since 1959!" The popular event will be held at the usual location, The Fountains at Wallkill Golf Club, on Sunday, December 2, 2018. This year, the Chapter's lifetime achievement award honoree will be Frank "The Elder" Antonacci of Lindy Farms fame. Of course, the primary beneficiaries of the funds raised by the Chapter are the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame and Goshen Historic Track...two distinct entities that share the same hallowed ground and a mutual purpose of preserving and promoting harness racing. Lifetime donations by the chapter to these iconic organizations are approaching $100,000. For more information about the Iron Horse Poker Run go to ironhorsepokerrun.com or for opportunities to sponsor our Annual Awards Banquet please contact Chris Tully at tullytrot@yahoo.com or call 845-807-7538. by Chris Tully, President, Monticello-Goshen USHWA  

Deerfield Beach, FL - The Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) held its 27th annual Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame banquet Friday evening, March 2 with three new members inducted into the Hall of Fame at the Royal Fiesta Ballroom. There were 14 awards given out with the three Hall of Fame inductees the highlight of the evening. Induction recognizes special individuals who have been outstanding leaders within the industry for more than ten years who have contributed to the betterment of the Standardbred Industry. The inductees were owner, trainer and driver, Dan Daley of Vero Beach, long time trainer/driver Warren Harp of Bell, and renowned second trainer, Odell Thompson, of Lauderdale Lakes. "What a special honor this is tonight for all my years working in harness racing," Said Warren Harp. "I could not be prouder with this award and am especially thankful to the Florida USHWA Chapter." "It is so great to get this special honor," said Dan Daley, "And to have my family with me tonight made it all the better." "I was just about speechless when I went to the podium to get my trophy," said Odell Thompson. "I could not thank enough people to have helped me throughout my career and who have been my friends for so many years. It's a blessing I will never forget." Elected to the Communicators Corner of the Florida Harness Racing Hall of Fame was renowned author, owner and publicist Victoria Howard, of Boca Raton. "This is one of the biggest thrills of my lifetime," Howard said. "I could not be happier. I love writing about racing, owning and breeding race horses, everything about harness racing. It has been in my blood for most of my life and I could not think of doing anything else but being in this great sport." The William Popfinger Award for developing outstanding juvenile pacers went for the second time to trainer Kim Sears of Osteen. Kim could not make the dinner but her trophy was accepted by horsewoman Donna Richardson and former USHWA national Chairman of the Board, Chris Tully. The current president of the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of USHWA, Tully was also the events special auctioneer for the evening. Florida Chapter treasurer, Thomas H. Hicks, was the Emcee for the evening presentations. All money raised from the silent auction, live auction and program journal go to support the Allen J Finkelson Scholarship Fund and the Aime Choquette Sunshine Fund. The Stanley Dancer Award, which recognizes achievements of a trainer who has been continuously outstanding in the development of young trotters, was presented for the first time to trainer-driver Jason MacDougall of Astor. Winner of the Delvin G. Miller Award, which recognizes someone or an organization whose life in harness racing reflects dedication and integrity furthering the growth of the sport went to Elizabeth Hennessey Schaut of Pompano Beach. The Frances Dodge Van Lennep Award, which recognizes an outstanding female who has made great contributions to the sport was presented to Kathy Breedlove of Pompano Beach. The Peter Haughton Award, which goes to an upcoming young driver at the Pompano Park meet went to 23-year-old James "JD" Yoder of Bell. The winner of the Dana Irving Award for breeding excellent juvenile performers in 2017 was presented for the first time to Marianne and Maggie Audley of Gold Star Farm in Bell. The Florida USHWA Chapter's Lifetime Achievement Award goes to longtime trainer/driver Tom Merriman of Delray Beach and caretaker, racetrack maintenance man, Emmitt Davis of Pompano Beach. The annual Caretaker of the Year Award is presented to an outstanding individual who, over his or her career, has dedicated untiring time and efforts caring for the horses in the stable(s) they worked for. This year's winner was Joanie Uszak from the Mike Murphy Stable, who has been grooming horses for nearly 60 years. "It was a superb event tonight," said Florida USHWA Chapter president, Steve Wolf. "Everyone had such a great time with family and friends and those who won awards I know were well earned and will cherish them always. We even had a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday for Ann-Mari Daley's mom, Cookie Fedun, the long-time horsemen's valet at Pompano Park, who was celebrating her 89th birthday. It's all made for a fun-filled evening." From the Florida Chapter USHWA

Middletown, NY - When the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of the United States Harness Writers (USHWA) held their 59th annual awards banquet on Dec. 3rd, in the midst of the prominent slate of harness racing honorees and award winners, the chapter also presented Goshen Historic Track with an annual donation of three thousand dollars ($3,000). Accepting on behalf of the non-profit organization was Tim Masters, this year's recipient of the Amy Bull Crist Distinguished Service Award, and the catalyst behind many of the ongoing renovations and improvements at the "Cradle of the Trotter." Masters' vision is simple, but nonetheless a challenge: "To restore the track to its previous glory while improving its reputation and status as a training facility." While performing his duties as the facilities manager and general manager, Masters brings a practical "can-do" attitude to track operations. The iconic site has undergone progressive renovation to the one hundred year old grandstand with Masters directing the replacement of all the seats and the floors. But all of that costs money, so, in just the last ten years the Monticello-Goshen chapter has donated nearly $40,000 to the 'World's Oldest Harness Track.' USHWA National Vice President Shawn Wiles was quick to point out the chapter's continued dedication to Goshen: "As long as the local harness racing community continues to support the Monticello-Goshen USHWA banquets and souvenir journal, we will continue to support both Goshen Historic Track and the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame. For all the good that both these institutions do for our sport, it is our honor to continue to raise money on their behalf." GHT President Steve Jones stated, "The board of directors at Goshen Historic Track is grateful to the Monticello-Goshen chapter for their continued financial support. The track's needs are greater now than ever, and this truly helps us to carry on with rebuilding and improvements to our National Historic Landmark." Matinee racing for the 2018 season begins on June 3, and again on subsequent Sundays 10 & 17. Grand Circuit racing starts at Goshen Historic Track on Friday, June 29. Hall of Fame day is Sunday, July 1, with two more race dates slated for Saturday (June 30) and Monday (July 2). Established in 1838, Goshen Historic Track encourages membership in their iconic facility. For more information check out their website: GoshenHistoricTrack.com Chris Tully

Middletown, NY - Harness racing Lifetime Achievement Award honoree Ray Schnittker said, "If I had ten dollars for every person in this room that I had a drink with...I would be a billionaire!" Over 200 horse people enjoyed the Monticello-Goshen USHWA chapter's 59th annual awards banquet at the Fountains at Wallkill Golf Club on Sunday, Dec. 3. Those in attendance listened carefully as the Goshen Historic Track-based trainer/driver was thankful for all the friends and memories he has made throughout his many decades of success in the Harness Racing industry. Having been a fixture around Goshen Historic Track and wherever top Harness Horses are raced, "Rockin' Ray" and his Grand Circuit stable have amassed over $37 million in purse earnings since calling the Cradle of the Trotter home. Of course Schnittker may be best known for his work with Deweycheatumnhowe, the $3 million dollar-winning Hambletonian champion, but this year his star 3-year-old pacer Huntsville earned over a million dollars and won both the Meadowlands Pace and the Cane Pace at the Meadowlands while battling with some of the best colts in the country. Dave Hanson, the driving force behind the development of the Morrisville State College's Equine Program and Standardbred yearling auction received the chapter's Excelsior Award for his dedication and selfless contributions of time, talent and energy to the improvement and integrity of Harness Racing in the State of New York. Now as the general manager of Leatherstocking Veterinary Services, he noted that he "missed managing a farm while at Morrisville." In retrospect, however, Hanson said that teaching students at the equine institute was one of the highlights of his career as a breeding specialist and stallion manager. Herbie Burns, the affable vet that everyone calls their buddy, made the crown roar with tales of his trials and tribulations and stories from yesteryear. It was easy to see why he was this year's John Gilmour Good Guy Award honoree. Starting out as a trainer/driver at Pocono Downs, Burns graduated from U. Penn and then learned the ropes from local icon "Doc" Gill. Over time Dr. Herbert Burns continued to develop Pine Bush Equine into a state-of-the-art Vet clinic, while simultaneously serving as the staff veterinarian for Blue Chip Farms. For decades, Stephen Crevani recipient of the Cradle of the Trotter Breeders Award balanced a demanding career as a high-rise builder with his interest in breeding and racing harness horses. Now that he is retired, the 75-year-old has been able to focus all of his attention on the horse business and is reaping greater rewards as a result. Crevani always has a small but sincere group of horses in training and handful of broodmares at the family farm in Bullville, New York. All of his horses bear the "Bullville" moniker, and many compete at Goshen Historic Track with Steve in the sulky. Tim Masters was this year's recipient of the Amy Bull Crist Distinguished Service Award, presented for his hard work and dedication to improvements at Goshen Historic Track. The facility has undergone sequential renovation to the 100+ year old grandstand. Masters oversaw the replacement of all the seats and the floors and will address the steel beams and the girders next. This year amateur driver "Yankee" Joe Lee has garnered 15 wins in 87 starts and over $87,000 in purse earnings. His current UDRS of .281 is bolstered by an additional 11 seconds and 10 thirds, including copping the Billings Gold Final at Yonkers. In fact, in the last two years he has tripled the amount of wins had the previous two years, earning him the Amateur Driver of the Year Award honors. Brandon Parker, son of Monticello Raceway's all-time leading driver, Billy "Zeke" Parker, Jr. enthusiastically received the Rising Star Award. "Lil Zeke" has had logged an unparalleled 448 starts in his first year of driving. Capturing 42 wins, 56 seconds and 57 thirds, a UDRS of .206 and earnings of $218,881, his rocket-launch debut is probably a starts record for a rookie reinsman! Even more remarkable is the fact that Parker just got his "P" license in May, and therefore accomplished this feat in just over six months of active driving. Knowledgeable about simulcasting from the bottom up, Carole Macedonio has been a lead cashier, evening simulcast manager and been responsible for converting the handle figures into revenue for as long as anyone can remember. Long considered a "lifer" at the Mighty M, she also administers and moderates the Monticello Raceway Memorabilia facebook page, a popular destination for cyber-space nostaglia. A long tenured, devoted employee, there is no part of the wagering product that she in unfamiliar with or has not had some experience in helping manage. A backbone of the simulcasting department, Carole Macedonio received Award of Appreciation for her over three decades of service to Monticello Raceway. The event marked another huge success for the Monticello-Goshen chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association that donates over $8,000 to industry causes annually, most notably the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame, as well as Goshen Historic Track. by Chris Tully for Monticello-Goshen USHWA  

Goshen, NY -- Brandon Parker and Stephen & Carole Crevani of Crevani Farms will be honored by Monticello-Goshen USHWA when the chapter hosts its 59th annual harness racing awards banquet this Sunday, Dec. 3 at the Fountains at Wallkill Golf Club. Brandon Parker, son of Monticello Raceway's all-time leading driver, Billy "Zeke" Parker, Jr. will receive the Rising Star Award and Crevani Farms will receive the inaugural Cradle of the Trotter Breeders Award. Brandon Parker, has been around horses his entire life. Soon to turn 19, he was born and raised in Monticello. In this, his first year of driving, the soft spoken young man has done all his talking out on the race track. As of Dec. 2, "Lil Zeke" has had an unparalleled 448 starts in his first year of driving, posting 42 wins, 56 seconds and 57 thirds and a UDRS of .206. That may be a record for a rookie! In fact, he ripped through his "Q" drives in a few weeks and just got his "P" license in May. Basically, amassing all those starts in just over half a year! But for a kid who was hanging around the barn at age 6, with a world-class driver for a father, harness racing came relatively naturally. He watches race tapes of all his favorite drivers and tried to learn their style. With an attention to detail he pours over replays like Mike Tyson reviews fight footage. Parker likes to study the film and pick out their nuances. He is also admired by his peers for his poise at such a young age. Of course the Monticello Raceway drivers colony has always been known to produce more than its share of successful reinsmen. *** For decades, Stephen Crevani balanced a demanding career as a high-rise builder with his interest in breeding and racing harness horses. Now that he is retired, the 75-year-old has been able to focus all of his attention on the horse business and is reaping greater rewards as a result. He bred, owned and trained Bullville Powerful p,3,1:49 ($870,812), a son of Bettor's Delight who won the Empire Breeders Classic and the NYSS final at 3. He was the sparkle of Crevani's eye, despite having the misfortune of being born the same year as Somebeachsomewhere and Art Official. "I'm retired and spending more time with the horses, and I'm having more success," said Crevani, whose business holdings also included a bank. "This is my life blood now. I was a workaholic when I was a builder. Now my wife says I'll never get ulcers, I'll just give them." Crevani always has a small but sincere group of horses in training and handful of broodmares at the family farm in Bullville, New York. All of his horses bear the "Bullville" moniker. Crevani began breeding and racing horses in 1975 and his name has been a consistent presence in the Meadowlands program since the track opened the following year. He purchased the original Excelsior Farm in Bullville and at one time had well over 150 horses on the ground. Over the years, well over 400 horses have been bred by Crevani. Crevani's wife, Carole, and many of their five children and 15 grandchildren think he may be somewhat eccentric the way he drives all his own babies at Goshen each summer. But that is what he lives for...the excitement and the passion for the sport. This year, in addition to the year-end awards for horses and horse people from the local tracks, the Monticello-Goshen chapter will also honor Ray Schnittker (Lifetime Achievement Award); Herbie Burns (John Gilmour Good Guy Award); Dave Hanson (Excelsior Award); Tim Masters (Amy Bull Crist Distinguished Service Award); Joseph Lee (Amateur Driver); and Carole Macedonio (Award of Appreciation). Tickets for the gala event are still available and can be reserved by contacting Shawn Wiles at (845) 794-4100 extension 458 or Email: swiles@empireresorts.com, or contact Chris Tully at (845) 807-7538 or Email: tullytrot@yahoo.com. by Chris Tully for Monticello-Goshen USHWA  

Goshen, NY -- You can't help but like a guy like Herbie Burns. He is just fun to be around. Whether you are standing on the outside rail cheering for your horse, or stuck out in a field chasing a mare, Herbie will always make you laugh. He just has that way about him. Don't get it wrong...he is a serious veterinarian. But one that is more likely than not to crack a joke when things seem to get too serious. It is that affable charm and devil may care attitude that puts him on the top of many successful people's list of people they call friends.   That is why Burns will be honored with the 2017 Monticello-Goshen USHWA's John Gilmour Good Guy Award when the chapter hosts its 59th annual awards banquet this Sunday, Dec. 3 at the Fountains at Wallkill Golf Club. His success at business, and in life, could perhaps be attributed to his working philosophy: "I only do business with people I like!" It sounds simple enough, but in the Standardbred industry, not everyone is of the same mindset. Herbie's however, comes from his humble beginnings, and prospered out of his keen sense of horsemanship and his pleasant bed-side manner. Although born in Chicago, Illinois, Dr. Herbert J. Burns III was raised in Tamaqua, a sleepy town in Eastern Pennsylvania, and got his start in the horse business as a caretaker for his father at Pocono Downs. Burns started working with his Dad in late 1970s, training horses around the likes of Billy and Frank Popfinger and Larry Dumont. By 1980, he had worked his way up the harness ladder and was driving horses at Pocono and eventually earned a full "A" USTA driver's license. In fact, Herbie the driver had reached the winners circle 32 times in his relatively brief career. When asked why he stepped away from driving, Burns was quick to say that "a more secure income stream became very attractive." While training and driving, he also honed his horsemanship skills as a farrier, which led to his interest being piqued by veterinary medicine. Burns decided to take the plunge and enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. While there, and still very much in love with the harness game, he met Dr. Michael Ross, a renowned surgical vet at New Bolton Center...and also an owner of Standardbreds. Those two struck up an instant friendship and professional relationship that revolved around their mutual fondness of Harness Horses and how to treat them. Herbie recalls, "Dr. Ross kind of took me under his wing and introduced me to a lot of great people in the industry during the early 90s." At the time, Dr. Ross was providing a lot of services to trotting guru Ron Gurfein and was himself immersed in the happenings on the Grand Circuit and the Meadowlands. Upon graduation Ross introduced Burns to Orange County icon Doctor Howard "Doc" Gill in 1992. From there on out, Herbie was on call 24/7 for Doc Gill, performing rounds at all the farms and training centers in the area. Some could say it was baptism by fire, but for Herbie it was just the beginning of great things to come. Five years later, Herbie bought Doc Gill's practice and then proceeded to build a brand new equine clinic, on land he also bought from Doc Gill. Pine Bush Equine Clinic was re-born and has now grown to 5 associate Vets, 1 intern and 13 employees. Eventually, as the business developed and grew, a 13-stall barn and a full surgical suite were constructed to accommodate the demand. Herbie's specialties include reproduction, surgery and lameness and he is also the staff veterinarian at Blue Chip Farms. "My relationship with the Brown family has been strong since the 1990s, but I developed more of a permanent place with Blue Chip in 2003. That is when I started going to the farm on a daily basis. I absolutely love it." From mare booking meetings with Tom Grossman, to evaluating stock from birth to sale, Herbie is involved with every aspect of a Blue Chip horse's life. In his not-so-spare time, Herb enjoys spending time with his daughters, playing golf and watching his Standardbred horses race. An avid Steelers fan, Burns takes his two daughters to NFL games at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. With Ashley (20) and Amanda (18), it is an annual ritual that they keep private. "No boyfriends," he exclaims. "That is my time with my girls." Quite fond of Bass fishing, Burns has now added Striper fishing on the Hudson to his repertoire of weekend warrior activities. 'Work hard and play hard,' may be another one of his mantras. And although he hung up his colors long ago, he did come out of retirement to drive one race at Goshen Historic Track in 2006. With a young pupil trained by Paul Doherty, he drove his own horse, Chippewa Street that he co-owned with Ray Schnittker. A 2-year-old daughter of Credit Winner, Herbie left among breakers from post five in a NY Fair Stake and never looked back. Tripping the timer in a pedestrian 2:101h, the mare went on to become a multiple stakes winning earner of $232,000, that is after Herbie bravened her up. But his success with horse ownership certainly didn't start or end there. He was "brought in" on a Credit Winner colt originally named Dag Hanover. Ray purchased the horse at Harrisburg in 2003 for $47,000. Turns out he was the first foal from D Train, whose second foal was an Andover Hall colt named Donato Hanover As the story goes, Deb and Ray were waiting for their friend Dr. Burns to arrive, and upon his grand entrance, a phrase was coined. And it stuck...'Here Comes Herbie.' Here Comes Herbie (1:52, $365,541) went on to win an elimination heat of the Hambletonian and was World Champion. Now standing in Indiana, his foals have earned nearly $10 million. Herbie, however, is outstanding in his field and has earned the admiration of all those that make his acquaintance. Always larger than life, that's why the Monticello-Goshen Chapter has honored Herbie Burns with the 2017 John Gilmour Good Guy Award! This year, in addition to the year-end awards for horses and horse people from the local tracks, the Monticello-Goshen chapter will also honor Ray Schnittker (Lifetime Achievement Award); Dave Hanson (Excelsior Award); Crevani Farms (Cradle of the Trotter Breeders Award); Tim Masters (Amy Bull Crist Distinguished Service Award); Joseph Lee (Amateur Driver); Brandon Parker (Rising Star); and Carole Macedonio (Award of Appreciation). Tickets for the gala event are still available and can be reserved by contacting Shawn Wiles at (845) 794-4100 extension 458 or Email: swiles@empireresorts.com, or contact Chris Tully at (845) 807-7538 or Email: tullytrot@yahoo.com. by Chris Tully for Monticello-Goshen USHWA  

Middletown, NY - An exceptional crowd of enthusiastic harness racing buyers flocked to the spacious Mark Ford Training Center on Sunday, September 10 to purchase the next crop of Standardbred champions. Sunny skies and a cheerful outlook prevailed as 110 colts and fillies passed through the auction ring for a gross of $1.57 million, averaging $14,300 per offering, which was an increase of 18% over the 2016 sale.   The first major yearling sale of 2017 attracted owners and trainers from all points across the Eastern United States and Canada. They arrived seeking future stars of the lucrative New York and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes programs, and quickly demonstrated the powerful demand with vibrant and determined bidding.   The sales topper was Zekefromcabincreek (Hip# 18), a handsome So Surreal colt from Love The Game. Consigned and owned by Steve Jones' Cameo Hills Farm, the NY-bred pacer was purchased by Ken Jacobs of Baldwinsville, NY for $50,000. A total of eight yearlings by So Surreal were sold for an average of $25,500.   Sale president, Bob Boni noted that, "We had a great turnout and an early indication was the significant number of people that came out Saturday to look at yearlings. I think we gave both the buyers and sellers a great opportunity and we look forward to making things that much better in the future."   Trying to keep up with the Jonses was elusive as the six Cameo Hills farm-owned yearlings averaged $33,500, followed by Blue Chip Farms, Agent, who averaged $21,100 for ten horses offered.   The highest priced trotter was an Explosive Matter (PA) colt named L Dees Trump who commanded $47,000 from Tracy Brainard of Pine Bush, NY. Cameo Hills consigned him as agent for Larry Dumain.   The sale's two largest consignors, Hanover Shoe Farms and Winbak Farms each shipped over thirty yearlings to the sale, and were rewarded with over third of their offerings fetching $15,000 or more.   Hanover Shoe Farms had several NY-bred trotters bring over $30,000.   An entire set of sales results sheets, including sire averages and other statistics, can be accessed online here.   For full sale results click on this link.   by Chris Tully for Goshen Yearling Sale            

Middletown, NY - The third annual harness racing Goshen Yearling Sale, slated for September 10, 2017 at the Mark Ford Training Center, has been added to the popular Equineline Sales Catalog iPad App. Goshen Yearling Sale president Bob Boni noted, "More and more technology has become part of the sales tools and our catalog is now available at Equineline to be downloaded to the iPad. This has clearly become increasingly popular with yearling buyers and it is yet another way we are hoping to accommodate our customers." "We are very proud of the accomplishment of many of the graduates from our first two sales, and just last night the $12,000 yearling purchase from last year's Hanover Shoe Farm Consignment SCUOLA HANOVER was the very impressive winner of a $52,618 PaSS at Pocono Downs in a new record 1:53.4f with a 26.3 last quarter for trainer Andrew Stafford and driver David Miller and owners Art and Andrew Stafford and Thomas Ireland." The powerful tool is free and available for any potential buyer at subscribed Standardbred auctions. The app loads sales catalogs to a user's iPad and enables tech-savvy prospective purchasers to write on and highlight catalog pages, assign ratings, make conformations notes, create lists and most importantly search and sort the catalog by sire, dam's sire, state of eligibility and much more. The download is free and the app is free from the iTunes App Store. In addition, a downloadable PDF version of the complete catalog is also available on the sales website: GoshenYearlingSale.com and of course, printed and bound catalogs can also be requested and mailed and are currently available at many of the tri-state racetracks and training centers. The sale features 115 yearlings, with 72 eligible in New York and 42 in Pennsylvania and will also offer the first yearlings to be sold by the brilliant World Champions Captaintreacherous and Sweet Lou. Links to videos of many of the yearlings have been added to the sale roster on the website, and more are being added on a daily basis. The Goshen Yearling Sale is centrally located in Middletown, NY, at the Mark Ford Training Center, which is within a 90-minute drive from all the major harness racing hot-spots in NY, NJ and PA.   Chris Tully          

Washington, PA – Sherie L. Hankins, 62, of Canonsburg (PA), passed away on Tuesday, July 25, 2017, following a long illness.   She is survived by her husband Kim Hankins, Executive Director of the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association. Sherie Hankins is also survived by her son, Staff Sergeant Joshua (Melonie) Hankins and daughter Neva Hankins.  She was the grandmother of Jackson Hankins and Rebekah Murray; sister of Michael (Eva) Cotton.  Sherie was a member of the Christian Harness Horseman’s Association.  Arrangements were made by Beinhauer Family Funeral Homes, 724-941-3211, however, there will be no visitation.  A Memorial Service will be held on Monday (July 31) at the Track Chapel at the Meadows at 1 pm.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Christian Harness Horseman’s Association, 157 North Main St., Salem, NH 03079, or www.chha.net. Please add or view tributes at www.beinhauer.com   by Chris Tully on behalf of the Hankins family

Goshen, NY - When the directors of Goshen Historic Track met for their monthly business meeting, the Monticello-Goshen chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) presented the non-profit harness racing organization with a donation of three thousand dollars ($3,000).   John Manzi, the driving force behind the chapter's benevolent activities for the past four decades was on hand to make the presentation of funds.   "This is our Cooperstown!" the affable publicist proclaimed in his signature style. "The track and the [Harness Racing] Museum are to Harness Racing what Cooperstown is to Baseball. And we are darn proud to continue to donate to both of these important institutions." In just the last ten years the Monticello-Goshen chapter has donated well over $30,000 to the "World's Oldest Harness Track." President Steve Jones stated, "The board of directors at Goshen Historic Track is grateful to the Monticello-Goshen chapter for their continued financial support. These sizable contributions allow us to carry on with improvements to this National Historic Landmark...which due to its advanced age constantly requires renovation and updating." In preparations for the track's 107th racing season, as well as to accommodate a few training stables arriving from down South, several ongoing projects were in mid-stream or nearing completion. The largest undertaking is the painting of the century-old grandstand. In addition, the BOCES barn has been completely re-sided and the floors of the stalls replaced. Repairs to the Arden Clubhouse, the track's operating office, are also in the works. Matinee racing begins in just seven short weeks on June 4, and again on subsequent Sundays 11 & 18. Grand Circuit racing starts at the 'Cradle of the Trotter' on Saturday, July 1. Hall of Fame day is Sunday, July 2, with two more race dates slated for Monday (July 3) and Tuesday (July 4). Established in 1838, Goshen Historic Track encourages membership in their iconic facility. For more information check out their website: GoshenHistoricTrack.com By Chris Tully for Monticello-Goshen USHWA

Monticello, NY - "The response has been overwhelming," noted banquet chair and National Vice President Shawn Wiles.   It promises to be a packed house when the Monticello - Goshen Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association holds its 58th annual awards banquet at the Fountains at Wallkill Golf Club, 40 Sands Rd, Middletown, NY on Sunday, December 4, 2016.   Chapter secretary Janet Terhune agreed. "Tickets have been selling extremely well, due in large part to the exemplary slate of honorees...headed by lifetime achievement award winner Bob Boni."   In addition to Boni, the Monticello-Goshen chapter will also honor Keith Hamilton (Excelsior Award); Kenneth Jacobs (John Gilmour Good Guy Award); Dave Little (Phil Pines Award); Roger Dowd (Amy Bull Crist Distinguished Service Award); Robert Krivelin (Amateur Driver); Justin Huckabone (Rising Star); and Denise DeSimone (Award of Appreciation).   Local horsemen and women are also feted as twenty equine athletes from Monticello Raceway are being recognized for divisional honors, which has also helped "put fannies in seats" as our mentor John Manzi has been known to exclaim.   The Monticello Raceway 2016 Horse of the Year is Scott Woogen's Warrawee Preferred 1:55, 1:56.4h--'16 ($122,033). Trained by Gary Messenger, the 5-year-old trotter has 13 wins in 40 starts and nearly $50,000 on the season.   In addition to the horse awards, Adam Friedland has been named Owner of the Year and Jessie Ray is being honored for Caretaker of the Year.   A few tickets are still available for the fun-filled event which begins at 5:30 pm with a full-hour open bar. At 6:45 pm seating begins for a full course dinner and awards presentations.   The chapter always has several tables piled high with door prizes, with the intent that "no one leaves empty handed." This year is no exception.   Tickets for the gala event are just $65 each can be reserved by contacting Shawn Wiles at (845) 794-4100 extension 458 or Email: swiles@empireresorts.com or Chris Tully at (845) 807-7538 or Email: tullytrot@yahoo.com.   Chris Tully

Goshen, N.Y. - Newly inducted member of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame, Bruce Nickells, drew the random letter "W" from a lottery-style basket for hip number allocation at the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on Sunday (July 3) evening. Yearlings whose dam's names begin with the letter "W" will start the Goshen Yearling Sale, and continue through the alphabet for the 160 colts and fillies being offered on Sunday, September 18, 2016 at the Mark Ford Training Center, Middletown, NY. Consignors and principles of the sales company were on hand to witness the ceremonial draw, which took place on the patio of Haughton Hall during the cocktail hour of the annual Hall of Fame event. Representing Winbak Farm was Hall of Famer Joe Thomson, who is also a director of the sale company. Russell Williams and Dale Welk observed the proceedings on behalf of Hanover Shoe Farms. The son and daughter of Immortal Hall of Famers represented their respective farms; Steve Jones from Cameo Hills Farm and Jean Brown of Blue Chip Farm witnessed the draw. David Meirs from Concord Stud completed the group of consignors, with Mark Ford and Bob Boni also on hand to represent the sales company. With hip numbers now drawn, pedigrees receive a final update next week with a digital version of the catalog being available on the sales company website on Thursday, July 21. Printed catalogs will be mailed Aug. 4th and will also be available during the Hambletonian festival at the Meadowlands. For more information, or to request a catalog, visit the sales company website at: GoshenYearlingSale.com by Chris Tully, for the Goshen Yearling Sale

Ft. Lauderdale, FL - The dinner committee of the United States Harness Writers' Association (USHWA) is pleased to announce that the upcoming Dan Patch Awards Dinner, set for Sunday, March 6, 2016 is SOLD OUT! All 350 seats have been purchased for the event that honors the leading horses, horsemen and women from the 2015 harness racing season. The dinner is being held at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66. "It is great news that our Dan Patch Awards dinner is sold out," said Chris Tully, president of USHWA. "This dinner is the highlight of the 2015 race season and everyone wants to be here. It is going to be a grand affair!" From the United States Harness Writers' Association  

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