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Duane and Connie Roland hope to rock the Meadowlands Pace later this month, but first they will prep their 3-year-old pacer for the big harness racing event by competing in one of the 10 Landmark Stakes on Saturday at Historic Track in Goshen. The Rolands' horse, Roland N Rock, is undefeated in 17 career races, with most of his victories coming on the Iowa fair circuit. It is an unlikely starting point for a Meadowlands Pace hopeful, but one the Rolands decided was worth following after watching the gelding dominate his competition to date. "It's very exciting," said Duane Roland, a corn and soybean farmer from Grinnell, Iowa, who trains and usually drives Roland N Rock. "Whatever happens, this is like an experience no one that I know ever gets to do. Who gets to train their own horse and go to New Jersey and race in the Meadowlands Pace? "Back home almost everybody sells their horse when it gets good. Most of the horses that are really good get sold between $50,000 and $75,000. My wife Connie and I are in the position that we don't have to sell him. We figured, let's just keep him and go have fun." Roland N Rock will face four rivals in Saturday's $17,470 Landmark Stakes at Historic Track, which also is an unlikely place to find a Meadowlands Pace hopeful. The only other horse since 1992 to prep for the Meadowlands Pace eliminations by racing at Historic Track was Exporter, who in 2001 won a New York Sire Stakes division in Goshen six days prior to finishing ninth in his Pace elim. Since 1992, four Meadowlands Pace finalists competed at Historic Track the year prior to racing in the Pace, most notably 2000 Pace winner and Horse of the Year Gallo Blue Chip. John Campbell is listed to drive Roland N Rock on Saturday at Historic Track. Post time is 1 p.m. for the first race on the card, which also includes three divisions of the Billings amateur drivers' series. The Grand Circuit weekend at Historic Track concludes Sunday with Hall of Fame Day. The Rolands decided to stake Roland N Rock to several of this year's top races after the horse won the $86,000 American-National Stakes by 2-1/4 lengths in 1:52.2 at Balmoral Park in October. The American-National was one of only two stakes engagements for Roland N Rock last year; the other was the $21,450 Review Stakes at Springfield, Ill., where the gelding romped by 13-1/4 lengths in 1:51.2. "He's never been tested in any of his races," Roland said. "We thought we would test him last year when we went to Springfield and he just took off and won in (1):51.2. Then at Balmoral he was an easy winner too. We decided this was our opportunity, so we took all the money from the American-National and staked him to a bunch of races. We figured we'd just go for it." This year, Roland N Rock is 3-for-3, with his most recent victory coming in 1:55.4 at Wapello County Regional Fair in Eldon, Iowa on June 18. The time shattered the previous track record by 2-2/5 seconds. "It's a car racing track, so the turns are banked pretty good," Roland said. "We talked about it and thought he needed to go in 1:56 there for us to make the decision to come out here. And he did that. He still had more left, so that was good. "I'm still trying to get him to peak. He just needs one more good workout and he should be ready to go. Almost everybody else was ready to race in May and was prepping for the North America Cup (in June). They're going to have raced four to six weeks as hard as they can go leading up to this, so I'm thinking I have a fresh horse, at least that's in my favor." Roland N Rock is a son of the mare Hank's Chip, who the Rolands purchased in foal to stallion Rocknroll Hanover for $6,000 at the 2011 Standardbred Horse Sale's Mixed Sale, when Perretti Farms dispersed its broodmare band. The resulting foal was Roland N Rock. And what did Duane Roland like about Hank's Chip? "The price," he said with a laugh. "We'd gotten about $15,000 in breeders awards and I said let's go spend that and try to buy two mares in foal to Rocknroll Hanover. We had $15,000 to spend. We bought two. This happened to be the good one." The Rolands soon will find out how good. In addition to the Meadowlands Pace, Roland N Rock's stake schedule includes the Carl Milstein Memorial, Battle of the Brandywine, Circle City, Jenna's Beach Boy, Messenger, Matron, and Progress Pace. "We've got to give it a shot," said Roland, who has never raced a horse at the Meadowlands. "We paid him in to all these races, so we're just like let's go do it. If we're eliminated (in the Meadowlands Pace eliminations) and we're in the consolation, we're still happy because we got to go." Roland said the emergence of his horse continues the feel-good storylines surrounding the top 3-year-old pacers so far this season: Wakizashi Hanover ($23,000 yearling with three newcomers in ownership group), In The Arsenal ($7,500 buy back) and Wiggle It Jiggleit (privately purchased as a weanling). "Now you've got this farmer from Iowa bringing this Rocknroll Hanover to the Meadowlands," Roland said. "It's all good for harness racing just to say that anybody can get the good horse. You've got four different stories there all going against the great horse Artspeak. So you never know how it's going to turn out. "We just hope that (Roland N Rock) does well, makes some money, and we have some fun." by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

Freehold, NJ --- Ed Hart grew up near Goshen, N.Y., and as a teenager got his start in harness racing at the town’s racetracks, so it is no surprise he looks forward to returning with horses to Historic Track during the annual Grand Circuit meet. “I always enjoy racing at Goshen,” said Hart, who was born in Warwick, N.Y., and now lives in Middletown. “I usually race at least one horse there every year. It’s a lot of fun. A lot of people show up there and there’s a lot of excitement.” On Friday (July 3), Hart will send out Brickman in the first of two $15,000 New York Excelsior Series “A” divisions for 3-year-old male pacers at Historic Track. There are seven Excelsior events on the day’s card, with post time at 1 p.m. for the first race. The Grand Circuit weekend at Historic Track begins Thursday with New York Fair Stakes. There will be Landmark Stakes on Saturday followed by Hall of Fame Day on Sunday. Brickman was bred locally by Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc., Herbert Burns III and Stephen Demeter. That group along with Scott Lipps continues to own the gelding. Brickman is a son of Art Major out of the mare Regal Wish, and is a full brother to Just Add Vodka, a winner on the New York Sire Stakes circuit. The family also includes Dan Patch Award winners Bettor’s Delight, No Pan Intended, and Roll With Joe. “He’s a nice horse,” Hart said about Brickman, who has one win in 10 career races and a mark of 1:51.3. “He’s just had a few issues, mostly breathing, allergy issues. I think he’ll turn into a real nice race horse. He’s been a little slow in coming, but he seems to be getting better now.” Of course, an appreciation for Goshen and Historic Track is not limited to those who grew up in the area. Joann Perry -- who about seven years ago began splitting her year between her home in Hawkinsville, Ga., (winter) and upstate New York (summer) -- enjoys the atmosphere there as much as anyone. “I love it,” said Perry, who will send out Haydens Little Man in the same Excelsior division as Brickman. “We always enjoy ourselves. It’s a beautiful place and I love the town. It’s gorgeous.” The homebred Haydens Little Man, named after one of Perry’s grandsons, has won two of 19 career races. His father is American Ideal and his mother, Shady Matilda, was a world champion mare who in 2005 finished second in a Landmark Stakes at Historic Track for the Perry family. Haydens Little Man has two second-place finishes and one third in his four most recent starts. “I love the horses,” Perry said. “They end up being more family than they are an animal. We always name horses we’ve bred after family members. Hayden is 9 now, but he was the newest member of our family at the time.” She added about Haydens Little Man, “He’s done well usually on the half-mile tracks around New York, so I hope he’s his normal self.” For more about Historic Track, visit its website here. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

Ron Waples will join the field for the Hall of Fame harness racing drivers race at Goshen Historic Track, the annual $10,000 Mr. and Mrs. Elbridge Gerry Memorial Trot, to be held Sunday (July 5). Post time is 1 p.m. Waples drove Park Avenue Joe in the 1989 Hambletonian dead heat race-off with Probe and driver Bill Fahy. He's also won nearly 7,000 races, including two Little Brown Jugs (Ralph Hanover-1983 and Fake Left-1992) along with $74.2 million in purse earnings. The slate for that race brings together a "Who's Who" of harness racing talent. John Campbell, David Miller, Bill O'Donnell, Dick Stillings, Jimmy Takter and Wally Hennessey will all compete that day. Ron Pierce, recovering from neck and back surgery this spring, is a possibility as he is nearing the end of his rehabilitation. His participation will be confirmed as the date draws closer. Collectively, the confirmed participants have won 13 Little Brown Jugs and 11 Hambletonians as trainers or drivers, along with nearly 52,000 races and $875 million in purse earnings. The race honors the memory of Mr. and Mrs. Elbridge Gerry; their sons Elbridge and Peter will be on hand to present the trophy. After the race, the drivers will meet fans and autograph photos. Goshen Historic Track is located at 44 Park Place in Goshen; admission is $5 for adults (includes program) and children are free. For more information, go to or call 845.294.5333. The hashtag for this year's events is #harnessgoshen. By Ellen Harvey Harness Racing Communications USTA  

The third on the final Sunday matinee harness racing card at Goshen Historic Track on June 21 was well attended and offered seven races; six for pacers and trotters hooked to sulkies and a trotting race under saddle. Arguably, the most interesting one was the sixth race when 16 year old Brandon Parker made his first drive a winning one. The son of Billy "Zeke" Parker Jr, drove his dad's Wizard of Art to an easy two length victory over Pine Bush Princess and driver by Jordan Stratton. The race time was 2:10 but a short four-horse field and early fractions of :33.3 and 1:07.2 dictated the relatively slow final time. Brandon drove a good race, fell into the 2 hole on the first turn and after anticipating the slow early pace set by the leader Peter Lutman III with MBC Alison he moved Wizard of Art to the front even before the first quarter was reached. From there Wizard of Art raced unchallenged and won easily by two lengths. There was large group of family and friends along to watch young Brandon drive his first race and he didn't disappoint. He was calm and collective when he and his pacer entered the winners circle but the same couldn't be said for his dad. And like his dad who was always short on words and let his driving do his talking, young Brandon simply said: "I'm happy and I feel real good," . Although Brandon was raised around harness horses and worked with them every chance he got it still was understandable that Zeke was nervous before the race. "I don't think I was ever this nervous before I drove in a race but to see your son out there for the first time it's different and would make any dad a bit uneasy," Parker acknowledged. But all that dissipated as Parker walked across the track for the winners circle presentation. However, his nervousness was replaced by teary eyes which he wiped consistently as he walked along with younger son, Brodie, to take a photo with Brandon and Wizard of Art. On that jaunt, fighting back the tears, the elder Parker murmured half choked up: "I wish TJ ( his deceased wife and Brandon's mother) was here to see it. He then added:"This was such a great Father's Day present." The next action at Historic Track will be on July 2 when Grand Circuit meet gets underway By John Manzi for Historic Track  

Harness racing tote bags will be given out to the first 250 paid fans at Goshen Historic Track on Thursday, July 2, to celebrate county fair racing day for New York-bred horse, with 10 of the bags containing gift cards for area businesses. The tote bags, produced by the United States Trotting Association (USTA), will be given out at fairs hosting harness racing across the country. Ten of the bags at Historic Track will contain gift cards ranging from $25 to $75 and good at Goshen businesses, Steve's Deli, Delancey's Restaurant, Harness Racing Museum Gift Shop and Kelley Jean's restaurant. The tote bags will be given to the first 250 box seat holders and paid admissions at the track on July 2. Children 12 and younger, who are admitted free, will also be given a tote bag. Admission is $5 and includes a program. The gift cards were purchased with a marketing grant from the USTA. Grand Circuit racing will be held at Historic Track on July 2, 3, 4 and 5 at 1 p.m. each day. For more information, call 845-294-5333 or go to Ken Weingartner

Goshen is home to Historic Track, a harness racing facility that opened in 1838 and is the country's oldest active horse racing track. There's been trotting horse racing on the streets of Goshen since the Revolutionary War era. True to history, there is no betting and stables are open to the public. The track, at 44 Park Place, is on the National Park Service's registry of historic landmarks. The Fourth of July celebration in Goshen, New York might be just 90 minutes from New York City, but it's 150 years back in time. The county seat of Orange County, Goshen is home to the 34th annual Great American Weekend celebration - two days of activities that celebrate the nation's independence on July 4 and 5, 2015. Activities for the whole family are centered in and around the town's tree-ringed nine acre green, surrounded by stone office buildings, churches, and Queen Anne-style homes dating to the late 1700s. There will be harness racing for prizes as large as $20,000 and the four day meet starts on July 2 at 1 p.m. as part of Goshen's Fourth of July celebration. Admission is free for children 12 and younger, adults are $5 and admission price includes a racing program. The stable area is open for visitors to see the racehorses up close as they prepare for competition. Great American Weekend events are either on or a short walk from the town green, running from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 4 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 5. Events include continuous musical entertainment, a 150 vendor craft show, book sale at the library, walking tour and food tent with festive fare. Adjacent to the racetrack is the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame, at 240 Main Street. Housed in a 1913 Tudor carriage house, the museum interprets the history of harness racing and is home art priceless collections and interactive exhibits. The museum has is what is believed to be the largest single collection of Currier & Ives equine prints. The museum's most popular exhibit is the racing simulator theater, where guests get a 3-D presentation of racing as if they're driving in a race, feeling the wind in their hair and jiggling along with every step of the speeding horse. Here's a day by day list of what's going on in Goshen this year: Great American Weekend events are either on or a short walk from the town green, running from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 4 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 5. Events include continuous musical entertainment, a 150 vendor craft show, book sale at the library, walking tour and food tent with festive fare. Goshen Harness Racing Schedule - Museum and Historic Track - 2015 Thursday, July 2: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Harness Racing Museum at 240 Main Street, Goshen, open and free to all visitors. 1 p.m. Grand Circuit racing at Goshen Historic Track, 44 Park Place, New York-sired fair races. Free harness racing tote bag giveaway to the first 250 paid fans, plus 10 of the bags will contain $25, $50 and $75 gift cards for area businesses. General admission is $5 for adults, includes a program. Children 12 and under are free. Friday, July 3: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Museum open and free to all visitors. 1 p.m. Grand Circuit racing at Historic Track. Excelsior Series for New York-bred pacers. Saturday, July 4: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Museum open and free to all visitors. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Great American Weekend festivities, First Presbyterian Church Park in Goshen. 150 craft booths, antique show, entertainment, children's rides, road races. 1 p.m. Grand Circuit racing at Goshen Historic Track. Landmark Stakes and amateur driving races. Retired pacer Whiskey Pete will be on hand to stand politely for petting and selfies. Sunday, July 5: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Museum is open. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Great American Weekend festivities continue. 1 p.m. Grand Circuit racing at Goshen Historic Track. New York State Excelsior series, under saddle races for ridden Standardbreds, Hall of Fame drivers race. Drivers sign autographs and greet the public after their race. 5:30 p.m. Hall of Fame induction festivities begin with the cocktail hour in Haughton Hall at the Harness Racing Museum, for tickets call 845-294-6330. Hashtag for all Goshen harness racing events is #harnessgoshen. Goshen Historic Track - 845-294-5333 Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame -, 845-294-6330 Great American Weekend -, 845-294-7741 By Ellen Harvey Harness Racing Communications USTA  

The second matinee harness racing program at Goshen's Historic Track was well attended and those who stayed until the final race on the eight- race card saw the veteran trotter Rev It Now win the race under saddle.On that card there were four races for 2 year-olds, a race for three year olds, two open events-one for trotters and one for pacers- and the trotting race under saddle which saw the veteran trotter Rev It Now win easily in a time of 2:07.4. Rev It Now, a 9-year-old altered son of Revenue S, who has won six races this year hooked to a sulky, was ridden to an 18- length triumph by Helene Gregory. A week prior (June 8) at the Gaitway Farms matinee program, in his initial attempt at under saddle racing, Rev It Now was a 4-1/2 length winner in a time of 2:00.4 over that mile oval again with and Helene Gregory up. "I have always thought that "Rev" would be good under saddle ever since we have had him and I put a saddle on him and rode him myself a few times just going slow," said Hannah Miller, co-owner and the trotter's regular harness driver. "He was super so we decided to give it a shot and qualify him. He qualified excellent at Gaitway under saddle. I think he enjoys this new job and it's a way to mix up his routine and keep him fresh." This year Rev It Now, a career winner of over $258,000 has been a scourge in the Billings and NAADA amateur trots with Miller at the controls. Besides his six victories Rev It Now also has two seconds and three thirds in his 19 seasonal starts and has earned over $26,000 pulling a sulky. Since she gets along so well with the veteran trotter Hannah Miller was asked why she didn't ride him in his two races under saddle. "I haven't had enough practice yet to ride him in a race. I'm working on that but it is difficult and Helene is an excellent rider and has had plenty of experience in these types of races," Miller explained "I plan on continuing to learn and practice and hopefully I will be able to ride him myself in a race one day. "We will be bringing him back to Goshen on July 5th and plan on racing him under saddle at other NY fairs, Vernon, The Red Mile, and hopefully they will have a race at the Meadowlands." Miller shares ownership of Rev It Now with the Nick Surick and the Erv Miller stables. Nick Surick is also the horse's trainer. Also of note on Goshen's Sunday matinee card was the second consecutive victory by No Shame Blue Chip. Fresh off his 2:01.1 seasonal mark ( for a freshman pacing gelding on a half mile track) here last week the altered son of American Ideal was driven to a 2:02: 2 victory by Brian Connor. Peter Gerry recently purchased No Shame Blue Chip. He's trained by Janice Connor. The last of three seasonal matinee programs at the world's oldest harness track will be presented next Sunday, June 21. Then on Thursday, July 2 Historic Track's 107th Grand Circuit meeting will get underway. By John Manzi for Goshen Historic Track

Goshen, NY --- Nearly two dozen fans of Standardbred, Thoroughbred and Steeplechase racing checked off an item on their bucket lists Sunday (June 7) as they completed a class on race announcing taught by Tom Durkin, in a cooperative venture between the USTA, Harness Racing Museum and Goshen Historic Track. Durkin, who has called races for more than 40 years, including the Hambletonian, all the Thoroughbred Triple Crown races and the Breeders' Cup, taught the morning class before students called the 11 matinee races held at adjacent Historic Track in the afternoon. Durkin kept the class engaged with the story of his self-education in race announcing, incorporating his background performing in 17 plays, study of Latin and literature, as well as reading in how the brain works to help quickly memorize a large amount of information, forget it and then reload for another race. He showed the class his 30 page booklets prepared for the major classics he’s called, complete with an analysis of the expected pace, phrases to use in the event of wins by horses in fields that could be as large as 20, color coding the program and the mechanics of how you can watch a race, hold binoculars and keep a program within eyesight. “I designed this device (to which he clips his program) for myself using the three most common construction elements -- a coat hanger, the cardboard that comes with your shirts in the laundry and duct or masking tape,” he said to laughs from the class. “It works great.” Durkin emphasized the need to memorize and use repetition to ensure that the names of horses, drivers and trainers come easily and accurately. He also gave tips to avoid making mistakes, such as using the name of a horse in a race call first and then the position, a strategy that avoids the possibility of stating the position of a horse and then not being able to identify it (“In third place, it’s…uhhhhh.”) Durkin detailed his preparation for races large and small and the necessity of approaching each with the scrutiny of a handicapper. “It’s like Fred Astaire said when he was asked why his rehearsals were so hard,” Durkin said. “Because it makes the performance so much easier.” After a short lunch break, the class moved to adjacent Historic Track, for 11 non betting, non-purse races. Announcer Howard Oil, the voice of Monticello Raceway, was on hand to introduce the students and help them through each call. Only three of the 11 races had fields larger than three, but a regular parade of 2-year-olds making their sometimes unsteady first starts kept the students busy. Every one of them made it from beginning to end with an occasional delayed horse or driver misidentification quickly corrected. “The winning driver was Jason Bartlett, who bears a surprising resemblance to Jordan Stratton,” was the lighthearted correction from one student who called Bartlett by the name throughout the race. For some, it was not their first race call, but their first time seeing a harness race. Dr. Dean Springer, who came from Barbados for the class and has called several hundred races there, noted the slower pace and need to adjust the thought process accordingly, as the crowd adjusted to his British-inflected Caribbean accent. “It was different than what I’m used to, riders on their back, not drivers,” he said. “Getting used to the speed, a little slower, takes some getting used to.” For a New Jersey guy, it was perhaps a stepping stone to a career in harness racing. “It was fun and it will get more people out to the track if you give more opportunities like this to the fans,” said Richard Mattei, a regular Meadowlands racing fan, and a college student looking to transfer to Kentucky. “I did (call a race) at the Meadowlands once. I hit a contest and it got the attention of Darin Zoccali and I got to call a race. I would do anything (to call a race) because this is what I want to do with my life, call horse races.” Paul Kirnos, whose Thoroughbred handicapping skills have landed him spots in national championships several times, left the announcers booth with a wide smile. “I thought it was fantastic. It was a great experience, a lot more difficult than I thought it would be,” said Kirnos, who’s also a former hot walker and now a statistician. “It’s a beautiful track and Tom Durkin did an outstanding job. I’d definitely like to do it again; I think you can only improve as you do more.” Tuition from the class was designated by Tom Durkin for the Saratoga Harness Museum and Hall of Fame, in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., where he is now a resident. by Ellen Harvey, Harness Racing Communications 

Goshen Historic Track, where it all started and where it still is today, is gearing up for it 178th season of exciting harness racing and 2015 will mark the 105th year of Grand Circuit Racing at “the Cradle of the Trotter”. This year will also be the 54th consecutive season of matinee racing over the famed double oval at Historic Track. Matinee racing commences Sunday, June 7th with the first of three matinee programs and matinee racing will continue on the consecutive Sundays of June 14 and June 21.. Post times for all three matinee race cards will be at 1p.m.. Grand Circuit Racing begins on Thursday, July 2nd and will feature New York Sire Stakes County Fair Races followed on Friday, July 3rd with the New York State Excelsior Series for pacers.  Then on Saturday, July 4th the Landmark Stakes for 2 and 3 year olds along with the C.K.G. Billings Amateur Trots and the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club Paces will be presented. Featured  Sunday, July 5th are sophomore trotters in the New York State Excelsior Series along with a race under saddle for horses and riders that have qualified during any one of the three June matinee programs. Also slated on the card that afternoon is the annual Hall Of Fame Trot with various members of Harness Racing’s Hall of Fame at the controls which has always been a fan favorite.  And after the race the Hall of Famer's will be available for photos and autographs.  Post times for Grand Circuit action will also be at 1pm. Then that evening the annual Hall of Fame Banquet will again be held under the tent on the lawn of the Harness Racing Museum. Once again, Historic Track will sponsor a golf outing, this year on Monday, June 29, at the Golf Club at Mansion Ridge on 1292 Orange Turnpike in nearby Monroe, NY. For further information on the golf outing or to sign-up please call the Historic Track office at 845-294-5333. John Manzi

Like all other not-for-profit organizations, Goshen's Historic Track is in need of funds and the venue's annual golf outing is a fun way to raise money to help perpetuate the harness racing National Historic Landmark. Spearheaded by GHT Board Members, Frank "the Hands" Baldassare and Patrick English, the outing will take place at the Golf Club at Mansion Ridge, 1292 Orange Turnpike, Monroe, NY on Monday, June 29, 2015. A tax deductible donation of $175.00 will include: 18 holes of golf with a cart; lunch from 11:30 -12:30pm followed by a shot-gun start (-4-man teams; best ball format) with a shot-gun start at 12:45pm. Also included are on- course beverages all afternoon followed by a sit down dinner at Miguel's Tavern at Mansion Ridge Golf Course.And during dinner there will be are door prizes and raffles including a raffle for a 50-inch flat screen TV, and all participants will receive appreciation gifts valued at approximately $100. Registration is between 10:30-11:30am on June 29.Tee Sponsorships are available at $100. "We believe this is about as good a golf package as is offered anywhere and the golfers will certainly enjoy the magnificent course," said Baldassare, the treasurer of the Historic Track Board of Directors. "Besides great value for your money and a guaranteed fun day, your donations will help to maintain Historic Track, the oldest active trotting harness track in the world." For further information or to sign-up for the outing please call Baldassare at 201-803-1390 or English at 845-551-8713. Further information is available from Linda Myers at Historic Track by calling 845-294-5333; or email her at John Manzi  

While American Pharoah was rallying for a Kentucky Derby win, party goers at Goshen Historic Track's First Annual Derby Day celebrated the two historic tracks. Over 100 people from all walks of life watched the Kentucky Derby on big-screen TVs that were set-up trackside while enjoying great food and beautiful weather. There was also a live band, a chance to wager at the OTB facility which is adjacent to Historic Track and lots of ladies' hats! One of the worst winters in recent memory put a lot of stress on the Track's facilities. General Manager, Tim Masters, came up with the idea of the fundraiser in order to ready the Track for the upcoming racing season and to draw attention to the Historic Landmark's not-for-profit status. Realizing the Track's fullest potential is an objective he shares with all of the Board members and staffers at Goshen Historic Track. Together, and with local businesses and organizations, they pulled together a truly memorable event that will probably become an annual tradition at the Track. And they raised needed funds for the track's coffers. John Manzi    

Plans are in the works for a gala affair to be celebrated at Goshen Historic Track around the running of this years Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 2. To be used as a fundraiser for the world's oldest harness race track and National Historic Landmark, a Kentucky Derby-style party will be offered from 3pm-8pm on that first Saturday in May "This is a fundraising project of Goshen Historic Track in its continuing efforts to carry on the heritage of Goshen Historic Track and its contributions to the harness racing industry," says Historic Track Board member, John Manzi Plenty of entertainment, good food, music, dancing and even a Ladies Hat Contest will be in the offering, as well as the ability to wager on the Kentucky Derby and other races presented on that number one race card in North America. Waging will be available at Delanceys Restaurant, which is adjacent to Historic Track and is an outlet of the Catskill Regions' Off-track betting network. Party-goers will be able to wager on their choices and view the races from Louisville, KY that afternoon and watch the action on two monstrous television screens which will be set-up for the attending crowd. "The entire afternoon will center around the running of the Kentucky Derby and fun for all that attend. However, along with the Derby attendees will be able to enjoy live music and be able to dance on a floor set-up on the racetrack under a tent. There will be door prizes, raffles and great food, which is a specialty of Delancey's. And Mint Julep cocktails which are synonymous with the running of the Kentucky Derby will also be available. Tickets are $70 per person. For further information please contact Historic Track office at 845.294.5333.  

Plans are in the works for a gala affair to be celebrated at harness racing's Goshen Historic Track around the running of this years Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 2. To be used as a fundraiser for the world's oldest harness race track and National Historic Landmark, a Kentucky Derby-style party will be offered from 3pm-8pm on that first Saturday in May This is a fundraising project of Goshen Historic Track in its continuing efforts to carry on the heritage of Goshen and contributions to the harness racing industry. Plenty of entertainment, good food, music, dancing and even a Ladies Hat Contest will be in the offering, as well as the ability to wager on the Kentucky Derby and other races presented on that number one race card in North America. Waging will be available at Delanceys Restaurant, which is adjacent to Historic Track and is an outlet of the Catskill Regions' Off-track betting network. Party-goers will be able to wager on their choices and view the races from Louisville, KY that afternoon and watch the action on two monstrous television screens which will be set-up for the attending crowd. "The entire afternoon will center around the running of the Kentucky Derby and fun for all that attend. For further information please contact Historic Track office at 845.294.5333. by John Manzi for Historic Track

(Monticello, NY). Having reached a 50 year milestone working in the harness racing industry (with 34 years serving as Monticello Raceway’s publicity director), today John Manzi announced his retirement effective December 19th, 2014. Commenting on his retirement, Manzi stated, “Every race has to come to an end. And after five decades of answering the call to the post, the time is right for me to relax a little and enjoy my golf clubs and my grandchildren. "After seeing so much being at the helm of the Monticello Raceway public relations office for many years," Manzi said, "one thing remains supremely important to me. It’s all of the good people I have met and the friends I have made.”  While he is officially retiring, Monticello Raceway management and John Manzi have agreed that he will continue to write articles for the track and from time-to-time he will offer assistance to racing operations office. Laurette Pitts, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for Empire Resorts, Inc., owner of Monticello Raceway, stated, “John Manzi is simply an industry legend. Through good times and bad, John played a pivotal role in promoting the harness racing sport. Utilizing his unique brand of creativity, he generated an incalculable amount of good will and positive exposure for Monticello Raceway.  While his booming laugh and friendly smile will be greatly missed, we understand his desire to enter this new phase of his life.” Manzi began his harness racing career in 1958, three years before he would graduate from Monticello High School, when he began working as a trainer at the stables his family owned locally. He consequently began his racing career where he won seven out of eight of his first races at local county fairs.  In 1974, after living and racing all over the East Coast, he got a chance to come back home when he became the assistant to Monticello Raceway Racing Secretary. Two years later, after a brief stint as Racing Secretary, Manzi was assigned to Monticello Raceway’s office of publicity and public relations. In 1980 he was promoted to the position of publicity director. From racing elephants, to camels, to elephants against camels, to having a former New York Giants football player race against a horse, Manzi built an impressive legacy of garnering attention for Monticello Raceway. Monticello Casino and Raceway Assistant General Manager Shawn Wiles commented, “Everyone in our industry knows about John’s uncanny ability to generate positive publicity. What few people know is that apart from managing the big publicity events for our track, John is a universal ambassador for the entire harness racing sport.” A tireless fundraiser, Manzi has helped numerous industry organizations offset day-to -day expenses through his benevolent efforts. He has been the impetus for money raised and donated to the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame, the Goshen Historic Track, the Saratoga Harness Hall of Fame, the Standardbred Retirement Fund and the Harness Horse Youth Foundation. As a driving force in the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (“USHWA”), he runs its annual banquet that honors their local horsemen and then uses the proceeds to fund numerous other worthwhile causes throughout the year. Besides his promotional work of the sport at Monticello Raceway, he has done publicity for the New York Sire Stakes and other New York State races and worked for Bruce Hamilton when he was the executive director of the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State. He is also the publicist for the Billings Amateur Driving Series and the North American Amateur Drivers Association. He is a former national president of both USHWA and the Harness Publicist Association.   Manzi's exceptional efforts have not gone unnoticed through the years. He is a member of the Communicator's Hall of Fame in Goshen and has received the Proximity Award from USHWA, the Pinnacle Award from the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame, the Appreciation Award from Harness Horsemen International, the Laurel Award from New York City USHWA and was named USHWA's Person of the Year in 1992. “I can’t thank Monticello Raceway management enough for all the wonderful years I’ve spent here.” Manzi added. “I grew-up in the area, graduated from Monticello High School in 1961, and always had a special feeling in my heart for Monticello Raceway; like ‘it was my own race track’. Some say I’ve been good for the raceway, but I say the raceway has been good for me. I couldn’t have been more dedicated if I had owned the raceway myself.” The entire Monticello Casino and Raceway management team and employees thank John for his years of dedicated service and wish John a long and healthy retirement.  by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

After again running another successful harness racing awards banquet in late November the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of U.S. Harness Writers again donated $3000 to Historic Track at their monthly Board Meeting on December 10. The presentation of the check was made to Steve Jones, President of Historic Track's Board of Directors by John Manzi, the chapter's banquet chairman who is also a longtime Historic Track Board member. "The check looks like is has seen better days," Jones said to which Manzi replied, "Still, it's worth $3000 and you can take that to the bank!" The donation will be matched and the National Historic Landmark will actually end-up with $6,000. For the 31st consecutive year the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association has donated to Historic Track the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame. Last summer the organization presented a $3000 check to Museum President Ebby Gerry, Jr. prior to the ceremonies at the Hall of Fame Banquet in Goshen, NY in early July. Since the mid 1980's the Monticello-Goshen Chapter USHWA has donated money to Goshen Historic Track and the Harness Racing Museum. Money raised for the donations is made possible from successful chapter banquets and the continued support of the chapter's charity journals. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

At a recent meeting of the Auxiliary of Goshen Historic Track at Delancey's Restaurant in the village, the Auxiliary made a $7,000 donation to the members of the Historic Track's Board of Directors who joined them for dinner that evening. Accepting the $7,000 check from co-president Judy Green was Steve Jones, President of the track's Board of Directors . "We are always so very appreciative of the Auxiliary's dedicated efforts and we can't thank them enough", Jones said." The ladies do an outstanding job and work tirelessly to raise money for Historic Track." Money is raised annually through the efforts of members of the Historic Track Auxiliary with an array of fundraisers. Last year $7,000 was donated and in previous years they donated more. And over the past few decades the amount of the Auxiliary's donations is well into six figures . "We apologize that our donation isn't what it usually has been but these are tough times. Still we are always very pleased to be able to provide a $7000 donation to the track from the efforts of our very dedicated volunteers," said Auxiliary co-president Eveline White. by John Manzi, for Goshen Historic Track

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