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"It certainly was a surprise, and a really nice one,"Linda Myers said after being honored a few days ago at Goshen Historic Track for 25 years of dedicated service to the Board of Directors. "In retrospect it all went so fast..too fast, but I loved every minute of it" she added. Myers began her tenure at the harness racing National Historic Landmark in 1995 when Dick Wallace was the Chairman of the Board of Directors. "Dick was a wonderful man and a pleasure to work for. And so was Vince Brescia another longtime chairman of the Board. Actually, all the Board presidents and Board members were, and are, dedicated and work tirelessly for the preservation of Historic Track," Myers added. Since her tenure at GHT there have been four chairmen and three presidents of the Board and Mrs Myers has also worked with five track managers. "And since I've been here I've seen four Presidents of the US in office," Myers said with a smile. Over the years she has had six different office assistants--"and I loved them all," she added. A longtime devoted employee at the National Historic Landmark and Cradle of the Trotter her dedication was honored in 2012 when the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of U.S. Harness Writers Association honored her as the recipient of their prestigious Amy Bull Crist Award. "Thank you so much for helping to make my 25th anniversary here at the track so memorable. The floral arrangement is beautiful and the cake was delicious. I appreciate your thoughtfulness," Mrs Myers said the afternoon of the presentation to her by attending Board members. Linda and her hubby, Gene, live in nearby Circleville, NY. by John Manzi, for Goshen Historic Track  

GOSHEN, NY - History was made Sunday (Sept. 6) in Orange County, New York, as Goshen Historic Track hosted the New York County Fair Finals (NYCFF). For the first - and probably only - time ever, the eight races, which each sported a purse of $10,000, for 2- and 3-year-olds of both gaits and sex divisions ended their seasons at "The Cradle of the Trotter." Normally, the county fair races kick off July 4th weekend in Goshen, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the competitors had to labor into the September holiday. To qualify for the finals, the competitors needed at least five starts from the 14 County Fair tracks. Due to state guidelines, the competitors didn't have the fans to cheer them on, but that didn't stop the races from being ultracompetitive. In fact, it came down to the final race to determine the NY County Fair's top driver. Leon Bailey, 33, by virtue of his win in the NYCFF for 3-year-old colt & gelding pacers with Mr Dunnigans (American Ideal-Legacy), moved to the top of the driver standings over Claude Huckabone III. There was some confusion when Mr Dunnigans crossed the wire, however, because the colors worn by the driver were not Bailey's. "What better way to pay tribute to him than to wear his colors?" said Bailey, who sported horseman Ed Dunnigan's colors in the victory. The horse is named after Dunnigan - a family friend of Bailey, trainer Jessica Okusko and the ownership team - who passed away in February of 2019. Mr Dunnigans, who is owned by David B. Smith, James S. De Armond, David Earl Towne and James J. Giannuzzi, remained perfect in six seasonal county fair starts. Bailey also made a trip to the winner's circle with his own trainee, Miley Rose (So Surreal-Bellas Bliss), in the 2-year-old NYCFF for filly pacers. After a hard-fought stretch duel, Bailey and Miley Rose, who is owned by Donn L. Lewandrowski and Gail M. Farrell, scored by three-quarters-of-a-length over Jason Bartlett and Elegant Blue. "Any time that I get to drive with the big guys like Jason Bartlett, I always look at it as a pretty good opportunity to test my skills," Bailey said. "Anytime you can race the best and beat them, it's something that I definitely enjoy doing." Bartlett ended up as the big winner of the day, taking five of the eight County Fair Finals. Bartlett won the 2-year-old pace for colts and geldings with Brave Element (Bolt The Duer-Necessary Element) for trainer Claude Huckabone III and owner Go Where The Money Is Stable in a track record for juvenile pacing geldings of 1:57 3/5, breaking the mark set by Gallo Blue Chip in 1999. Bartlett also won on Sunday with: Flexible Credit (Credit Winner-Back On Track) in the 2-year-old filly trot, who is trained by David Dewhurst and owned by Dewhurst and Philip K. Hale. Ready For Workout (Whataworkout-Oven Ready) for owner/trainer Earl J. Sauve in the 2-year-old trot for colts and geldings. Xenia's Chip (Heston Blue Chip-Xenia Hanover) in the 3-year-old filly pace for trainer Jim Graham and owner Keith R. Pinkowski. Crazy For CJ (Crazed-Godiva Lindy) for trainer Huckabone III, who was the top trainer on the NY County Fair circuit for 2020, and owner Chasing Dreams Stable. The win in the 3-year-old trot for colts and geldings was the seventh straight for Crazy For CJ. "To see [the connections of the county fair horses] after the races, they are so happy to win," Bartlett said. "I've been in some big races with bigger purses, but I don't know if you see the smiles and how authentically happy they are with these horses. They work hard all year and to have some success like they did today it's good to see." Driver Mark Whitcroft won the 3-year-old filly trot with Notoutofthewoods (Prayer I Am-Edge Of The Woods), who is owned and trained by his wife Cheryl Davis Whitcroft. In compliance with state protocols, attendance was restricted to owners with advanced reservations who had to remain in designated areas. Due to the generosity of the Agriculture & New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund, The Hambletonian Society, the Grand Circuit,, Big Dee's Vet & Pet Supply and Purple Haze Standardbred Adoption Program, the races were livestreamed and can be viewed for a year at From the New York Sire Stakes

There is no question Goshen Historic Track is special to Harry Landy. He first visited the upstate New York oval at the age of 9 as a participant in the Harness Racing Youth League. Five years later, Landy won his driving debut in a matinee race at Historic Track and over the next two years he collected 10 more matinee triumphs there. In 2013, Landy enjoyed an unforgettable day at Historic Track, driving Useful Hanover to victory in a Landmark Stakes for his first Grand Circuit triumph. Useful Hanover, making his career debut, overcame a 15-length deficit to beat Stevensville, who in his previous start won a division of the Pennsylvania All-Stars. On Sunday, the 28-year-old Landy will return to Historic Track for another Landmark Stakes, this time with 3-year-old filly pacer Chuppah On. "I always support Goshen; I love it," Landy said. "Every year I look forward to hopefully having a horse to go there and try to win a race. There is a lot of history there and it's really cool to win a race there. It's a special place." Sunday's Landmark Stakes were originally scheduled in July as part of harness racing's Hall of Fame weekend in Goshen. Racing at Historic Track and the Hall of Fame inductions at the adjacent Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame were postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Hall of Fame inductions for the class of 2020 will take place in July 2021. Five Landmark Stakes and eight New York Sire Stakes County Fair finals will be contested Sunday. No spectators other than owners with reservations will be allowed at Historic Track, but the races will be live streamed beginning with the pre-show at 11 a.m. (EDT). First-race post time is Noon, with the Landmark Stakes topping the card. The link to the live stream can be found Sunday morning at and Landy has cut down on driving over the past several years to focus on training, but he will drive Chuppah On and always looks forward to driving at Historic Track. His win with Useful Hanover, a horse he co-owned with trainer Blake MacIntosh, seven years ago ranks as a top moment in his career. "At no point going to Goshen did I think I was going to win," Landy said. "Stevensville was much the best. If it were a betting race, he would have been like 1-9 and I would have been 300-1 or some crazy number. "Down the lane, I was like, I'm going to catch him. It was cool. If I had to think of one of the coolest races I've won, it's that one." Chuppah On is a homebred daughter of Art Major out of Bell On Wheels. She is trained by Landy, who also trained and drove Bell On Wheels during her final three seasons on the racetrack. She was Saratoga's Pacing Mare of the Year in 2013. "Bell On Wheels was the first good mare that I had," Landy said. "She was an unbelievable horse. I'm really excited about all of her babies." Chuppah On has won five of 15 career races, with four of her victories coming on half-mile ovals. Last year she was fourth-placed-third in the Landmark Stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers at half-mile Historic Track. "She's coming into it real strong, she's feeling good, and she's the right kind of horse to win at Goshen," Landy said. "She loves to pass horses. If I could work out a good trip, that would be pretty cool. I think she's got a good chance. I'm really looking forward to it." For Sunday's complete entries at Historic Track, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA 

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - The New York Sire Stakes County Fair Finals and Grand Circuit Landmark Stakes at Goshen Historic Track will be livestreamed on Sunday, September 6. The program will begin at 11 a.m. with post time at noon and will feature five Landmark events followed by the eight $10,000 fair finals. The livestream can be accessed through this link. The link and program are also available on the New York Sire Stakes website. The livestream will be available for playback for one year. Social media users will also be able to access the livestream link through the NYSS Facebook and Twitter accounts. Spectators are not allowed at the races, but owners may attend and should call the Goshen race office at 845-294-5333 to reserve in advance by 5pm on Friday, Sept. 4. No same day entry will be permitted. The livestream is brought to you by the Agriculture & New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund, The Hambletonian Society, the Grand Circuit,, Big Dee's Vet & Pet Supply, and Purple Haze Standardbred Adoption Program. The NYSS worked closely with participating fairs to ensure racing was able to happen this year, especially in light of county fairs being cancelled. We thank each of our partnering fairs for their cooperation and thank our participants for their flexibility and patience. From the New York Sire Stakes

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – The New York Sire Stakes and The Hambletonian Society, in conjunction with Goshen Historic Track, have released the Racing Protocols for the New York County Fair Finals and Landmark Stakes set for Sunday, Sept. 6. Rules for owners and other documents have also been released. Post time will be at noon. Protocols and important documents can be found at, or at the links below. County Fair Finals & Landmark Protocols County Fair Finals & Landmark Screening Questionnaire Goshen Historic Track Condition Sheet All participants are required to adhere to the Protocols for NYS County Fair Finals & Landmark Stakes Racing 2020.  Horsemen and owners should review protocols in advance and be prepared to adhere to these on race day. Social distancing guidelines will be mandated and face masks are required. Be sure to read the information about protocols for Coggins and Rabies for all horses and Health Certificates for out-of-state horses.  Participants are encouraged not to arrive before 9:00 a.m. and may not enter the grounds until properly screened. All entry onto the grounds will be through the back-paddock gate on Parkway for COVID-19 screening and identification. Everyone will receive a wrist band to wear for the day once screened. Entry for horsemen will be limited to two people per horse and you are asked to limit attendance to just those people necessary to race. Drivers must be listed on the program to drive.  Owners may attend the races but must be listed as a current owner of the horse with the U.S. Trotting Association and reservations must be made in advance, no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 4. Owners of horses entered may call the Historic Track Race Office at 845-294-5333 to be placed on the admissions list. No same-day owner admissions will be accepted, and no other spectators will be permitted. Owners will undergo the same screening as horsemen through the back-paddock gate and will have to show identification.         As for the Screening Questionnaire, all individuals attending the races, both horsemen and owners, are encouraged to print and complete this in advance to expedite entry to the grounds. Due to New York State regulations, no viewing will be allowed from the grandstand. All viewing will be conducted from the backstretch. Owners and horsemen are invited to bring lawn chairs and coolers to enjoy the day. Water will be available near the paddock judge. Alcohol is restricted. Owners of the winning horse will be allowed in the Winner’s Circle, following social distancing guidelines and wearing a face mask. Races will be also livestreamed, starting with an 11 a.m. pre-show before the noon post. The link and program will be available on the New York Sire Stakes website the morning of September 6. The livestream will be available for playback for one year. As for horse entries, the entry box closes at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 2. Participants can enter online through the U.S. Trotting Association for all events. If you would like to enter for the County Fair Finals by phone, call the Fair Entry Hotline at 518-388-0964. If you would like to enter for the Landmark Stakes by phone, call the Goshen Race Office at 845-294-5333. We ask that you do not enter by phone more than 48 hours in advance. Jason Politi | Baker Public Relations

Cranbury, NJ. - The eight Landmark Stakes events for two and three-year-old harness racing trotters and pacers that comprise the Grand Circuit stop at Goshen Historic Track in Goshen, New York, have moved from Monday Sept. 7 to Sunday, Sept. 6, joining the NYSS County Fair Finals on that date. The management of world's oldest harness racing track has worked hard to preserve their early-closing events, traditionally raced on the July 4 Great American Weekend race meeting and then rescheduled for Labor Day weekend. Goshen Historic Track will now host one day of racing on Sunday, Sept. 6. Post time is 12:00 p.m. and entries are due 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 2, by calling the County Fair Entry Hotline at 518-388-0964 or online via the USTA online entry system. For Landmark eligibles, starting fees and conditions, visit and for information on Goshen Historic Track rules and Covid-19 protocols go to Sunday, September 6, 2020** Landmark Stakes #37 (3-year-old Open Trot) $12,000 EST. Landmark Stakes #37 (3-year-old Filly Trot) $6,000 EST. Landmark Stakes #37 (3-year-old Open Pace) $12,000 EST. Landmark Stakes #37 (3-year-old Filly Pace) $6,000 EST. Landmark Stakes #38 (2-year-old Open Trot) $8,000 EST. Landmark Stakes #38 (2-year-old Filly Trot) $4,000 EST. Landmark Stakes #38 (2-year-old Open Pace) $6,000 EST. Landmark Stakes #38 (2-year-old Filly Pace) $3,000 EST. ** Landmark Events with less than four (4) entries will NOT be raced From the Hambletonian Society

With the vast open paddock space at harness racing's Goshen Historic Track, I reiterate that it would be doable to have qualifiers there and insure that all social distancing mandates, wisely put in place, are observed.   Goshen will not permit spectators, only one groom, perhaps a limited number of trainers will be present and certainly a very limited number of drivers will be on hand.   Goshen being a betting free Fair Track, any racing activity there is under the jurisdiction of the USTA.   In the past whatever charted lines were prepared were incorporated into the USTA data base and then used as part of the official breed registry records.   Records which are  relied upon for years as both accurate and reliable when inserted into official racing programs at pari-mutuel track in all of North America.   Even  assuming  there may be a waiver of the existing 30 day qualifying rule, some horsemen still want and need to tighten up their horses and further educate their babies. We understand that the coronavirus has changed everyone’s mindset as to what is or is not doable but we are confident that we can achieve and insure a safe environment and serve the future needs of racing. I hope we can get some further guidance and your approval to go forward.   I have spoken with the Goshen Historic Track and they will do anything to help harness racing and I know the Gaming Commission feels the same way. Joe Faraldo, President SOA of NY

Meet and treat horses in their stalls and have your child's photo taken with Santa, courtesy of Goshen Historic Track! There will also be hay rides around the harness racing track, vendors, crafts for kids and a story time with Mrs. Claus and the Elves. The Boy Scouts will be selling wreaths.   And, there will be plenty of hot cider and hot chocolate will be on hand to keep you in good holiday spirits!   And, that's not all as Goshen Historic Track has teamed up with the Goshen Champber of Commerce in providing even more special events as part of the Goshen Holiday Experience.   The Goshen Holiday Experience will also feature these fun-filled activities!   Burke Catholic High School will host its 7th Annual Christmas Boutique & 4th Annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Jingle Jog and Santa Stroll. Enjoy food trucks, Christmas tree sales and over 40 vendors! Register with Catholic Charities to be a part of its 5th Annual Goshen Christmas House Tour. Don't miss the self-guided, inside tours of beautifully decorated homes in the village and surrounding area! For more information and ticket registration online go to $40 for pre-registration (credit card option available online). $45 on the day of. Tickets can be purchased day of at the Harness Racing Museum at 12:00pm. 1:00 to 4:00pm. Goshen Historic Track and the Goshen Chamber of Commerce will feature photos with Santa, hay rides, story time with Mrs. Claus and so much more! See above. Visit the Goshen Music Hall to view Goshen Art League's Toy Land exhibit and Christmas Tree. At 4:30pm everyone will gather in the Village Square for the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony, courtesy of Illuminate Goshen. Download Flyer For Details   For more information call: (845) 294-7741   From the Goshen Holiday Experience

After more than two years Goshen Historic Track (GHT) and the Harness Racing Museum (HRM) plan a ribbon cutting ceremony and reception to celebrate the completion of the renovation of the Historic BOCES BARN ( now Fleming Barn) and to thank all of those who generously contributed to the undertaking. On August 24th 2016 at approximately 6pm a horrific fire brokeout devastating much of the Historic structures and completely destroying its quaint Blacksmith shop. Rather than tear down the structure that once played host to President Ulysses S. Grant, the Board of GHT decided to rebuild that portion of the Barn for the benefit of the HRM  so that the Museum will now have a place to receive, store, and restore artifacts and exhibits. Both the GHT and  HRM, along with a handful of volunteers, have been working tirelessly over the last two years to raise the necessary funds to complete the project and are now certain they have the the cash to pay the final bill.  Accordingly, a ribbon cutting ceremony with a reception to follow in the new facility, will be held on September 29th beginning at 2pm to thank all of those who have donated to the project. However, Goshen Historic Track is still accepting donations for the relocation and the rebuild of its Blacksmith shop. All donors will cordially be invited to the September 29th festivities. Donations can be sent to Goshen Historic Track, 44 Park Place, Goshen, NY 10924. From Goshen Historic Track

Middletown, NY --- The 2019 Goshen Yearling Sale will be held at the Mark Ford Training Center on Sunday (Sept. 8) at 12 noon and to say there is a bit of a buzz around the harness racing sale this year, might be an understatement. As prospective buyers peruse the 109 consignments in this year's catalog, the success stories that have emerged from this sale over the past two years can only make one think who the next star purchased in Middletown might be. The 2017 sale produced Hickfromfrenchlick (So Surreal-My Girl's A Star 1:48.4, $414,427) who went through the sale as hip #25 and sold for $47,000. He was an outstanding colt at two that turned into a real monster at three. After winning four times and earning $138,541 during his freshman campaign, Hickfromfrenchlick came back this year and just turned up the heat. He has seven wins in 10 starts and has not missed the board one time in 2019. He is currently on a four-race win streak including a victory in the $238,200 Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga Downs where he took a lifetime mark of 1:48.4, which is the sixth fastest win time among all 3-year-olds in North America this year. And as he approaches the half-million dollar mark it's interesting to note that Hickfromfrenchlick made all of his money in the State of New York. Hickfromfrenchlick was bred by Steve Jones' Cameo Hills Farm. The star of the 2018 sale to date is Groovy Joe (Roll With Joe-Chotat Milk 1:52, $174,595) who was purchased for $17,000 as hip #54. Groovy Joe is having a stellar 2-year-old campaign and currently sits atop the New York Sire Stakes standings for points (287) and earnings ($129,270) for his age, gender and gait. He has seven wins in nine starts with two seconds and rode a five-race win streak earlier in the year. Plus he currently sits fourth in earnings among all pacing male 2-year-olds in North America ($174,595) and seventh overall. His best race was his last outing at Tioga where he took his mark of 1:52. Groovy Joe was bred by Winbak Farm. Other notable 2018 Goshen Yearling Sale purchases that have excelled at two this year include the undefeated New Jersey Sire Stake champion Play Trix On Me (Trixton-Lima Playmate 1:54.3, $111,500), Cigars And Port (So Surreal-Sweet On Art 1:55.3, $79,851), So Rude (So Surreal-I Am A Snob 1:53.3, $75,371), The Fun Marshall (So Surreal-Hallmark Hanover 1:55.3, $66,996), Splash Brother (So Surreal-Sugarcoated 1:54.2, $48,961), Paulie Walnuts (Andover Hall-D Liteful Hanover 1:56.2, $32,781) and The Party's Rockin (Captaintreacherous-Rocknroll Cameo 1:52.4, $26,600). All the aforementioned horses were part of an 11-horse Cameo Hills consignment that to date has collectively earned $460,935 this year. Catalogs for the Goshen Yearling Sale are still available for online viewing by clicking here. ( ). Consignments from Blue Chip Farm, Cameo Hills Farm, Hanover Shoe Farms and Winbak Farm make up the 109 available yearlings. A total of 52 colts and 57 fillies comprise the 32 trotters and 77 pacers available in this sale that are eligible to the lucrative sire stake programs in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ontario. The catalog is also available on the popular Equineline Sales App for iPad which is available at the iTunes App Store. The Equineline Sales Catalog is a powerful tool that any potential auction buyer will find extremely useful either at home or at the sale. This unique app loads the sales catalogs to your iPad, then allows you to write on the catalog pages, assign ratings, make conformation notes, record veterinary information, highlight catalog pages with your color selections, add your own moveable sticky notes and create your "short lists". It's a free download and available here. ( The sales facility is located at 90 Slaughter Road, Middletown, NY. But if you are unable to attend in person you can still get your bids in by phone by calling Mark Ford direct on Sunday at 973-568-3253. He will be able to place your bid for you, help make overnight arrangements for your purchases as well as assist with shipping arrangements to get them home. By Tim Bojarski, for the Goshen Yearling Sale  

Goshen, NY --- Getting to compete in the annual Mr. & Mrs. Elbridge T. Gerry Sr. Memorial Hall of Fame Trot is an honor. Winning the race makes it even better. "Even better? That makes it the best," said grinning driver David Miller, who won Sunday's $10,000 harness racing event, which pitted five Hall of Famers against three of the evening's inductees at Historic Track. "I think I was second in it one time, and I finally got to win it. Put that in my column too. "I won the Legends (Day Trot at Canada's Clinton Raceway) earlier and now I've won the Hall of Fame race," he continued, adding with a laugh, "Hopefully that's not telling me something." Miller won the Hall of Fame Trot with Zagster, a 6-year-old gelding trained by Nick Surick. Zagster was second at the quarter, but soon took a lead he never relinquished on his way to a half-length victory over CR Blazin Beauty, driven by Jimmy Takter, in 1:56.4. The time was the fastest ever at Historic Track by a trotter older than the age of 3. Joining Miller and Takter in the race were Hall of Famers Brian Sears, Dick Stillings, and Wally Hennessey as well as Linda Toscano, Joe Holloway, and Blair Burgess, who were being inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday night at the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame, located adjacent to Historic Track. Sears finished third with Marley's Guy followed by Toscano with Osprey Vision, Stillings with Well Connected Kid, Holloway with Lucius Vorenus, Burgess with Gwally, and Hennessey with Campbellini. "It's a lot of fun," Miller said. "It's an honor. There is a lot of tradition here and these guys have all put in a lot of time and had a lot of success. It's just fun to come back, meet up, and get to race." Trainers Toscano and Holloway were making their first purse starts as drivers in a number of years. Toscano's most recent was in 2008, Holloway's in 2003. Burgess had made six starts this year and 21 in 2018. "I had a good time," Toscano said. "I was nervous about it going in, but (trainer) Dave Russo is awesome. He found a horse for me when my horse couldn't make it and the horse was as safe as a church mouse, he did everything I asked him to do, and I had a really good time. "I drove in a qualifier on Tuesday because of this (race) but before that it was a while. Everyone talked me into doing this and I really had a good time. It was fun." Toscano, Holloway and Burgess were not the only Hall of Fame inductees to get in on the action Sunday at Historic Track. Renowned owner Ted Gewertz, also a member of the 2019 HOF class, was co-owner of the winner of the day's first race, Lights Come On, in a division of a New York Excelsior Series A race for 3-year-old male trotters. Lights Come On won in 1:57 with Jason Bartlett driving for trainer Anette Lorentzon. Bartlett won three of the nine races on the card. He also won with Lucky June Bug in 1:59 in a division of the Excelsior Series B for 3-year-old male trotters and with Liquorstoreblues in 1:59.1 in a division of the Excelsior Series A for 3-year-old female trotters. Andy Miller, though, was the day's big winner among drivers, capture four events. He won with Ev's Girl in 1:58.4 in a division of the Excelsior Series A for 3-year-old female trotters, Reckless Image in 2:01.2 in a division of the Excelsior B for 3-year-old female trotters, Amal Hall in 1:58.4 in a division of the Excelsior Series A for 3-year-old female trotters, and Jason's Camden in 1:57.1 in a division of the Excelsior A for 3-year-old male trotters. The day's remaining race was won by driver Scott Zeron with Boo Thang in 1:58.1 in a division of the Excelsior Series B for 3-year-old male trotters. For Sunday's complete charts, click here.   Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association

Goshen, NY-- Harness racing's greatest traveling roadshow, the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series, moved to the Cradle of the Trotter on Saturday afternoon, July 6, for trotting contest and despite the pouring rain the series vice president, Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford, took advantage of a two-hole trip and rallied Santini to a head victory while holding off a hard-charging Tropical Trice ("Mighty Matt" Zuccarello) in a time of 2:00.2. Third place went to Osprey Vision, driven by Billings newcomer and talented trainer, " King David" Russo. "It was an exciting race and three of us battled all the way to the wire,"Oldford said as he wiped the mud from his face."My my horse hung tough and we eked-out a victory. But it was close." "A funny thing about this race is that last year I drove a winner for Dave (Russo) ," Oldford added A longtime proponent of amateur racing Oldford notched his 154th driving victory but perhaps more impressive is that Steve will receive the Hall of Fame Amateur Driver of the Year Award tomorrow night, which will be the sixth time he has received that honor. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series

Goshen, NY - Trainer Ray Schnittker sent out three harness racing winners, including track-record-setting Captain Malicious, and Jan Johnson notched his first winning drive since 2016 as Historic Track hosted six Landmark Stakes on Friday afternoon (July 5) as part of its annual Hall of Fame weekend Grand Circuit meet. Captain Malicious and driver Mark MacDonald won the $15,700 Landmark Stakes for 3-year-old male pacers by three-quarters of a length over Branquinho in 1:54.1 to eclipse the previous track standard of 1:54.3 for a 3-year-old colt set by Soto in 2015. A son of Captaintreacherous-Silky, Captain Malicious has won two of 10 races this year and earned $32,360 for owners Schnittker, Dr. John Egloff, John Frisch, and Max Hempt. "That horse has had no luck," MacDonald said. "He paced (1):49.1 in his Hempt elimination and just missed making the final. In the (Hempt) consolation, I got stuck behind a bad one. He's been good, he's just not had a whole lot of racing luck. He's a really nice horse. It's early yet. He's so handy, he's so good gaited, I can't see him not being a real player later in the year." MacDonald also found the winner's circle with Schnittker-trained Rodeo Beach, who won the $9,500 Landmark for 2-year-old female pacers by three-quarters of a length over Finally Free in 2:00.2. Rodeo Beach, who was fourth at the half, moved to the front on the final turn before losing the lead to Finally Free in the stretch. But the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Wild West Show, a full sister to Dan Patch Award winner Huntsville, battled back for the victory in her career debut. "She was blowing right on by," MacDonald said. "We train here, and I don't know if she thought that was it (on the final turn) but she was calling it a day on me. Once I got around the turn, she took back off. She's just green. But she's a really nice filly." Rodeo Beach won the $9,500 Landmark for 2-year-old female pacers by three-quarters of a length over Finally Free in 2:00.2. --USTA/Ken Weingartner photo Rodeo Beach is owned by Schnittker, Mary Kinsey Arnold, and Paul Bordogna. Schnittker's remaining winner was Full Rights in the $14,800 Landmark for 3-year-old male trotters. Full Rights, a son of RC Royalty-Cruella De Ville, won by one length over Jnr Express in 1:57.4 with Schnittker in the sulky. Full Rights has won two of nine races this year and earned $19,824. The gelding is owned by Runthetable Stables. The 68-year-old Johnson was making his first driving start since October 2017 and won with Higher Call in the $13,550 Landmark for 2-year-old male trotters. Higher Call, who was making his career debut, was first at every call on his way to a 19-1/2 length triumph over Superior Athlete in 2:03.1. "It's been a while," Johnson said with a smile after picking up his first Grand Circuit victory since 2015. "(Higher Call) is getting better. He likes a small track. He's a grinder. He doesn't have that quick speed, he just keeps going. I had him in the winter in Florida. He's been sound and he wants to do it. He's a nice horse to be around." Higher Call, who is in the care of Johnson and trainer Marcus Melander, is owned by Caroline Gerry, who also bred the colt. He is a son of Explosive Matter-Bruschette. Gerry raced Bruschette, who was trained by Johnson, during her multiple-stakes-winning career. Driver Jan Johnson and owner/breeder Caroline Gerry with Higher Call. --USTA/Ken Weingartner photo "We didn't know if he had it in him or not, but he's growing," Gerry said about Higher Call. "We're just taking it easy with him, not pushing him. I love him. He's got such a nice manner. He's good looking. He's got to grow into himself. He was big from the beginning. He'll be good." Friday's remaining winners were Meadowbranch Vicki in the $7,100 Landmark for 3-year-old female trotters and Hurrikane Lori Ann in the $7,225 Landmark for 3-year-old female pacers. Meadowbranch Vicki won by a neck over Taja Mahala in 2:00.3. Meadowbranch Vicki, a daughter of Wishing Stone-Wen-mar's Memo, has won two of 10 races this year and earned $27,383 for owner Hans Enggren. The Jenny Melander-trained filly was driven by Jason Bartlett. Hurrikane Lori Ann won by 1-1/4 lengths over Adorabella in 1:55.4 for driver Carl Garofalo and trainer John McDermott. The filly, a daughter of Lis Mara-Luxury Goods, has won two of six races this year and earned $28,501 for owners Jonathan Klee Racing, Kuhen Racing, and Pegasis Investment Group. Friday's Landmark Stakes are part of the annual Grand Circuit meet at Historic Track. The meet coincides with the sport's Hall of Fame inductions, which will occur Sunday at the adjacent Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame. Post time is 1 p.m. daily. Admission is free for children (12 and under); adults are $5 and includes a racing program. The stable area is open to visitors, to see the racehorses up close as they prepare for competition. Sunday's races include the annual Mr. and Mrs. Elbridge T. Gerry Memorial Trot, featuring a field of Hall of Famers. This year's event will include inductees Blair Burgess, Joe Holloway, and Linda Toscano as well as Wally Hennessey, David Miller, Brian Sears, Dick Stillings, and Jimmy Takter. Following the race, the drivers will be available to meet fans and sign autographs at tables located adjacent to the grandstand. For Friday's complete charts, click here.   by Ken Weingartner USTA Media Relations Manager

GOSHEN — Brian Connor turns his chestnut mare around on the course, and suddenly she’s no longer trotting. She progresses into a gallop, building up to a speed of 26 miles per hour, shaking her driver’s seat and sending tiny gravel rocks flying towards his face. It’s just past 9 a.m. on July 4 and the grandstand is empty, but Connor, who has run this track so many times, is picturing it as if it’s full. As he makes the turn for what will be the final stretch once the races of Great American Weekend begin later in the afternoon, Connor remembers his first race at Goshen Historic Track. He was 18 years old, an amateur, when his horse broke stride at the very beginning and never had a chance. As he drew closer to the crowd, the young driver was showered with soaring applause. “They were cheering just as hard for me as they were for the winner,” Connor said. “That’s what kind of makes it special.” Since then, Connor, 37, has gotten older, and so too has his hometown racing barracks. But through efforts to revitalize the track and energize a new generation of equine enthusiasts, Connor can always have the anticipation and wide sunglass-shaded eyes that his teenage self once felt every time he competes at Goshen. Connor Stable, situated off the corner of the track, is a narrow corridor with 15 horses from black to dapple gray who stick their necks out over their gates to sniff their surroundings. A majority of the workers in this stable on Thursday morning hail from the same lineage. Each horse that trots out to train feels the love from more than one Connor before running. “We pull it together as a family with a little bit of help,” said Chuck Connor, Brian’s father. Chuck and wife Janice own the business. Brian and Chuck drive horses. Janice is the bookkeeper for the business and a caretaker of the horses. Brian’s sister, Jenn, has a full-time job but helps out when she can. To understand why Goshen can build an entire holiday weekend from horse racing and not include gambling to lure an audience, travel back nearly two years ago. Brian was on a golf course in Warwick when he received the call. He asked his cousin on the other end to repeat what he’d just been told. “There’s a fire at the barn.” Brian hopped in his Chevy 2500 extended cab and pointed it toward Goshen. Jenn had just pulled into her driveway when she answered the same phone call. From the turnpike, she saw the flames and smoke rising into the sky. She started hyperventilating. Brian took more backroads than he probably should have with such a large vehicle. “It was pretty sickening to stand on the other side and watch 100 years of history just go up in smoke,” Brian said. The horses were saved, in large part thanks to a community that rushed over from places like the nearby restaurant, Delancey’s, and football practice to keep the animals from burning down with the structure. The July 4 banners hung from the barn as it slowly fell apart. There are still signs of the trauma from that day in 2017. Construction is wrapping up around the race track to replace what was lost. Even today, Brian and Jenn speak with emotion from almost losing everything. A community filled with people who cared enough to help carried them through that day. Many of those same faces will dot the rows of supporters this weekend. Though the type of people who visit at Goshen Historic Track is not as uniform as the clientele of most other tracks around the state, Jenn is still intent on encouraging more youth to be involved. She hosts camps later this month that teach kids not only how to drive, but introduce them to every part of the equine business. Jenn said that part of the joy of watching harness racing, as opposed to the much more popularized thoroughbred racing, is in its inclusivity. “They can see that they can do it as an amateur. They can do it as a professional. There’s no weight limit,” Jenn said. That, of course, contrasts with becoming a jockey, a role that a swath of the U.S. population is excluded from simply by genetics. During Thursday’s County Fair Races, on an afternoon in which the Connors were far from the only family to enjoy a day at the track, children accompanied parents and grandparents at the 38th running of an event that produces equal parts excitement and nostalgia. Horse racing is a sport that turns kids into adults and adults into kids. Some children grow up around the majestic beasts while the older generation keeps driving around the oval to feel young again. The Connor family was asked which horse they’d prefer to take a picture with, and Janice with child-like exuberance, said, “Winston!” The alternate name for this horse is Fun Haver, a name Jenn settled on because her other brother, Chris, used to say that when he grew up, his dream occupation was “fun haver.” As Janice approached Winston, she rubbed his coat as if it was the first time she laid eyes on him. “He’s so big and impressive looking,” Janice said. “If only he had won races,” Brian quipped. Not every horse Brian drives can be a winner, but it doesn’t mean he won’t have fun doing it. By Justin Fedich Reprinted with permission of recordonline

When it comes to travel, Mark MacDonald is unlikely to get to stakes races any easier than his trip on Friday (July 5). MacDonald is listed to drive in two of the afternoon's six Landmark Stakes harness racing events at Historic Track in Goshen, N.Y.; the town the 40-year-old driver calls home. "I'm right around the corner," MacDonald said, laughing. "That won't be a tough commute. I wish they had all the races there. Life would be easy." MacDonald is scheduled to drive two horses for Historic Track-based trainer Ray Schnittker. One of his drives will come behind Rodeo Beach, a full sister to 2016 Dan Patch Award winner Huntsville, in the $9,500 Landmark Stakes for 2-year-old female pacers. Rodeo Beach, bred by Schnittker and Charlie Iannazzo, is making her career debut after two qualifier wins, both in 1:57.1. "You never know until they actually race, but when they train down good, and they qualify good, you've got to have some high hopes for them," MacDonald said. "I think she's pretty special, but we'll see. She's got real quick speed. I've really liked everything she's done so far." MacDonald's other drive is with Captain Malicious in the $15,700 Landmark for 3-year-old male pacers. Schnittker has three of the five horses in the race, including Branquinho, who is a full brother to Huntsville. Branquinho, with Tyler Buter listed to drive, has won four of six races this year and $116,700. His victories include a division of the Pennsylvania All-Stars and he finished second in the $300,000 Art Rooney Pace. Both Branquinho and Rodeo Beach are out of the mare Wild West Show. Her first six foals, all sired by Somebeachsomewhere, won at least one race and five have earned at least six figures to date (with three banking in excess of $525,000). Wild West Show and her offspring Cowboy Terrier, Stevensville, and Beachesofcheyenne all won Landmark Stakes at Historic Track. "That's a great family," MacDonald said. "They all seem to be great racehorses." Friday's Landmark Stakes are part of the annual Grand Circuit meet at Historic Track. The meet coincides with the sport's Hall of Fame inductions, which will occur Sunday at the adjacent Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame. This year's Hall of Fame class is led by trainers Blair Burgess, Joe Holloway, Jerry Silverman, and Linda Toscano; driver/trainer Ted Wing; owner Ted Gewertz; and communicators Mark Hall and Dave Little. Also being honored are horses Art Major, Captaintreacherous, Foiled Again, Graceful Touch and Southwind Serena. Dr. Leroy Coggins, Charley Hinkle, Allen and Connie Skolnick, and Delinquent Account will be inducted as Harness Racing Immortals and Steve Oldford, the 2019 Museum Amateur Driving Champion, will be recognized for a sixth time. Foiled Again will be in Goshen for the weekend, leading the post parade at Historic Track on Saturday and Sunday and welcoming guests to the HOF dinner Sunday night from 4-5 p.m. on the Walk of Fame. Racing at Historic Track begins Thursday and continues through Sunday. Post time is 1 p.m. daily. Admission is free for children (12 and under); adults are $5 and includes a racing program. The stable area is open to visitors, to see the racehorses up close as they prepare for competition. Sunday's races include the annual Mr. and Mrs. Elbridge T. Gerry Memorial Trot, featuring a field of Hall of Famers. This year's event will include inductees Burgess, Holloway, and Toscano as well as Wally Hennessey, David Miller, Brian Sears, Dick Stillings, and Jimmy Takter. Following the race, the drivers will be available to meet fans and sign autographs at tables located adjacent to the grandstand. "Hall of Fame weekend is great," MacDonald said. "They always have a great atmosphere there. It's cool. It's grassroots racing at its finest. What really makes it great is that the grandstand is packed. Everybody likes working in front of a packed house. It's just really enjoyable." Historic Track is located at 44 Park Place. For additional information about the track and this week's races, click here. The Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame is located at 240 Main Street. For additional information, click here.   Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association

Goshen, NY. The crowd grew to "standing room only" for Goshen Historic Track's annual Kentucky Derby Day fundraiser on Saturday. More than 200 people were drawn to the scene emulating Church Hill Downs, from the hat contest, to television sets tuned to the prerace reporting and the Derby, the betting booth.... and the mint juleps. Guests feasted on a buffet catered by Delancey's while listing to live music by Dave & Dusty's Band.. There were games for kids, as well as wagon rides around the track pulled by two outstanding draft mules, Romulus and Bev, owned and driven by Kay O'Hanlon and Ed Myruski. The wagon ride was overwhelmingly popular with adults and children alike. Topping 25 stunning hats and models, it was a daunting task for judges Crystal Tweed, Barbara Martinez and Amanda Dana to choose three finalists. Emcee Ken Tschan kept the crowd cheering while introducing each contestant as they strutted before the crowd. First place finish, Yvonne Eaton; 2nd place finish, Sindi Price; and third place finish Diane Eisgruber The event was organized by Linda Myer, Manager, heart, soul, and driving force, along with many talented employees, and a group of devoted volunteers and sponsors. Linda, thrilled with the crowd, said "every year builds on the previous year. The mule team was such a great success, and we look forward to seeing them again." Romulus and Bev, draft mules, driven by Kay O'Hanlon      Photo by Geri Schwarz Overhearing several guests question whether harness racing continues at Historic Track, since it had been decades since their attendance, the Goshen Historic Track team wishes to remind everyone that racing for the 2019 season begins with matinee racing on June 16 and June 23, and grand circuit competition on July 4, 5, 6, and 7. Post times 1:00 p.m. If you haven't been to Goshen for "decades" or have never experienced the excitement, see our sport played by the most talented trainers, drivers and equines in the industry. We've be at it since 1838. Oh, and the point of this article, the Kentucky Derby? Country House won, paid $132.40....and the preceding and ensuing mayhem is already history.   by Geri Schwarz and Amanda Tweed

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