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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 cccsos.org. $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. (http://www.goshenyearlingsale.com/assets/goshen_text.pdf ). 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. (https://apps.apple.com/us/app/equineline-sales-catalog/id440355734?ls=1) 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 www.ustrotting.com

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 www.ustrotting.com

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

Goshen, NY - Proving that it takes a village to raise a barn, nearly 200 local dignitaries, business people, politicians and horsemen stood on the hallowed ground of Goshen Historic Track to witness the groundbreaking of the new building project on Tuesday. Known throughout the land as the World's Oldest Harness Racing Track, the National Historic Landmark survived a devastating fire in August 2017 to emerge with plans to overcome adversity and erect a new structure in conjunction with the neighboring Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame. "We are excited to enter into this joint venture with the Hall of Fame," noted track president Steve Jones, "and collaborate on a building project that bonds the future of both of our entities, while preserving our treasured past." Museum president Larry DeVan agreed. "We are thrilled to continue to support Harness Racing's legacy in the Cradle of the Trotter, and strive to build upon it's celebrated origins in Goshen that began in 1838." The idea of pooling resources was recognized as a solution one of the Hall of Fame's biggest challenges: Where to store the enormous quantity of items and artifacts that continues to be donated to the Museum. The intention is to utilize the soon-to-be-constructed historic replica "barn" that occupies land on the grounds of Goshen Historic Track. Also on hand to speak to the importance of the project were Harry Porr, Deputy Orange County Executive; Doug Bloomfield, Town of Goshen Supervisor; Mike Nuzzolese and Kyle Roddy, current and former Mayors of the Village of Goshen; Ted Lewis, Goshen Building Inspector; and Barbara Martinez, Executive Director of the Goshen Chamber of Commerce. Although each speaker brought their own unique perspective to the project, one consistent theme was prevalent: the significance of harness racing to Goshen and the assistance needed to realize this vital rebuilding endeavor. Museum director Janet Terhune, who has helped spearhead the project noted, "The track is in the home stretch of its second century of operation. We owe it to the sport of harness racing to ensure that this grand history is promoted and preserved, and in this case, revitalized." For more information about the building project, including sponsorship and donation information, please Email: rebuild@goshenhistorictrack.com or go to: http://goshenhistorictrack.com/restoration/   Chris Tully

Goshen, NY - The great trotting mare Check Me Out only has two foals of racing age, and both are track record holders at the track that their mom called home. Check Me Out raced to fame and fortune in 2011 and 2012 for Ray Schnittker and her first two foals - Mooska Stride - 3,1:56h at Goshen Historic Track (GHT) on Sunday, July 1 and Check Out Trixie - 2,1:58.4h at Goshen on Friday, June 29 were both Track Record performances. Through three days of racing at Goshen Historic Track, Cameo Hills Farm in Montgomery, which produced all three of these fillies, has bred the winners of six races at GHT - Check Out Trixie, Major Sugar Rush, Hickfromfrenchlick, Damion Diesel Hahn, Mooska Stride and Youcouldbethatgirl. The first four are trained by Ray Schnittker while Mark Harder trains Mooska Stride and Dan Daley conditions Youcouldbethatgirl. by John Manzi, for Goshen Historic Track

Goshen, NY - Continuing a tradition that has endured for decades, but updating the presentation to a Grand Circuit Race Day, the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association made their annual $4,000 donation Saturday (June 30) to Goshen Historic Track. Track president Steve Jones was on hand to accept the donation from chapter president Chris Tully. Jones stated, "We truly appreciate the consistent and generous support of our local chapter of harness racing scribes. They help us to continue to shine during our important Grand Circuit race meet. And they throw a pretty good banquet too!" Jones and Tully were flanked by USHWA National president Shawn Wiles and Museum director Janet Terhune as well as officers and directors from Historic Track in the winner's circle following the second race Saturday at the Cradle of the Trotter. The amount of the donation has increased to $4,000 from past years, thanks in part to new fundraising venture, the Iron Horse Poker Run, a recent motorcycle event that brought over 120 Harley-Davidson enthusiasts to Goshen's Hall of Fame. In addition, a successful banquet and souvenir journal are the primary fundraising mechanisms which allows the benevolent organization to make annual donations to both Historic Track and the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame, which will receive their $4,000 donation at tonight's Hall of Fame induction ceremony. This year's banquet will be the chapter's 60th annual event and is being held at the Fountains at Wallkill Golf Club on Sunday, December 2, 2018, with the main honoree being Frank "the elder" Antonacci of Lindy Farms. by Chris Tully, for the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of USHWA

Goshen, NY--On the sweltering Saturday afternoon of June 30th in Trot-Town USA with the temperature hovering in the mid-90's two Billings divisions went to post over Goshen's Historic Track and when they were declared official Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford and "Smokin' Joe" Faraldo each emerged victorious in their respective divisions. Oldford winning with Starsaboveallerage in 1:58 while Faraldo scored behind Tough Get Going in 2:00 flat. And although each contest had short fields action was intensified when each winner scored a tight nose decision. In Oldford's contest he sent his trotter to the lead from the two-hole and they carved out fractions of :29.2; :59 and 1:28.2 with "Joltin' Joe" Pennacchio and Cheeky Little Minx shadowing the leader's every move. However, when Starsaboveallerage rounded the final turn and headed for home he was quickly joined by Cheeky Little Minx and the two trotters raced for the wire head-to-head and nose to nose and when the photo was deciphered Oldford's trotter was a nose better that Pennacchio's. "My horse went a game race and he hung tough when we were challenged by Joe's horse( Cheeky Little Miss) in the deep stretch. And we were so close at the wire I wasn't sure who won it,"Oldford said and the added "I was happy to hear the announcer call my horse the winner." Third place some 4-1/2 lengths behind the top two was Connie Keeper, driven by Scott "the driving doctor" Woogen. Oldford Racing owns the winner who is trained by Allen Sisco. In his division, Faraldo gunned Tough Get Going to the lead when the wings of the mobile gate folded but yielded command to Winwood Scout and driver David "Poppa" Glasser before the quarter which was clocked in :28.2. "I really had no other choice but to grab leather and let Glasser take command or else he would have run me down," Faraldo said. "We got over to the half in :59 seconds and I was still comfortable when we passed we three quarters and I sat in until we rounded the final turn at which point I moved to challenge and we cleared Glasser and braced for a challenge from (Matt) Zuccarello (with Gianni) Like the previous Billings event it was a two-horse charge to the wire and so close a photo was needed to declare a winner. Gianni was a nose back at the wire and Winwood Scout faded and finished third. Faraldo co-owns the winner with trainer Richie Banca. And for "Joltin' Joe" it was his first winner on American soil this year after having had two victories in France earlier this season. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series

Goshen, NY --- Check Out Trixie attracted plenty of attention Friday (June 29) at Historic Track, winning the $8,475 Landmark Stakes for 2-year-old female trotters in a track-record 1:58.4 on the opening afternoon of the half-mile oval's four-day Grand Circuit meet. The clocking shattered the previous mark of 2:01.3 for a 2-year-old female trotter, which was set by Daytona Blue Chip in 2012. Check Out Trixie, trained and driven by Historic Track-based Ray Schnittker, is a daughter of 2014 Hambletonian winner Trixton out of Schnittker's two-time Dan Patch Award winner Check Me Out. She prepped for her career debut at Historic Track with a 1:57.4 win in a qualifier June 20 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Her Pocono win time is the fastest of the season so far for a 2-year-old filly trotter on a five-eighths-mile track and her Historic Track clocking is the fastest for a 2-year-old trotter on a half-mile track. Check Me Out is owned by Schnittker and Steve Jones, who also are the breeders of the filly. She is part of Trixton's first crop as a sire and the second foal out of Check Me Out, who won 25 of 31 races at ages 2 and 3 and set multiple world records. "The mother, in my mind, is one of the greatest trotting fillies of all time," Jones said. "Trixton looks like he's got horses that have speed. I guess in time we'll find out if they have quality. I saw a couple at the Meadowlands that looked like they could fly. So I think he's off to a good start. This looks like probably his best filly, but you never know. Time will tell. But it looks like she's off on the right foot." Jones said Schnittker liked Check Out Trixie from the beginning and the filly is staked heavily. "Who's to say whether she's good enough to be the top dog, but she's off to a good start," Jones said. "I think trotting in (1):58.4 over this racetrack is a pretty good accomplishment. "I'm hoping that she shines when the lights get bright later in the summer." Jones also was the breeder of two other Landmark Stakes winners, with Major Sugar Rush (Art Major-Sugarcoated) taking the $12,100 event for 3-year-old male pacers in 1:54.2 and Hickfromfrenchlick (So Surreal-My Girl's A Star) winning the $11,000 event for 2-year-old male pacers in 1:57.3. Major Sugar Rush was driven to victory by Jordan Stratton for trainer/owner Schnittker. It the gelding's first win in eight starts this season. Hickfromfrenchlick, a reference to the nickname of basketball legend Larry Bird, was driven to his career-debut win by trainer Schnittker, who owns the colt with Nolamaura Racing and Thomas Spatorico. The Nolamaura Racing group is based in Goshen and led by Patrick English and also includes his father, Kerry. The family owns a beer distributorship. "This is our third year of racing," Patrick said. "The stable name is Nolamaura Racing; it's my two daughters' names. This is just a group of guys that like to have beer and have fun and we're just lucky to be with Ray and have a good horse. "I'm the third generation on the board of directors here at the track. My dad is on the board and my grandmother was here. It's fun to be involved and give back and now actually have a horse that looks really good and is winning." Other winners on the card Friday were Grammy Winner in the $6,125 Landmark for 3-year-old female trotters, Solitary in the $6,125 Landmark for 3-year-old female pacers, Midnight Express S in the $13,600 Landmark for 3-year-old male trotters, Ladybeluckytonite in the $9,125 Landmark for 2-year-old female pacers, and Amico Mio Bi in the $14,350 Landmark for 2-year-old male trotters. Grammy Winner (Credit Winner-Grammy Hall) won in 1:58.3 for driver Tyler Buter and trainer Todd Buter. The filly is owned by Gene Oldford Farms, Lynette Buter, William Fuhs, and Carol Fuhs. She has won three of 13 lifetime races and earned $24,733. Solitary (American Ideal-Lonesome Day) won in 1:55 for driver Marcus Miller and trainer Nick Surick. The filly is owned by William Daggett Jr., Lawrence Vukovic, and J L Benson Stables. She has won three of 22 career starts and earned $71,555. Midnight Express S (Maharajah-Truly Devoted) won in 1:58 with Oskar Florhed driving for trainer Ake Svanstedt. The colt is owned by Olle Leven and has won four of 14 career races (and three of his last five) and earned $32,881. Ladybeluckytonite (Art Major-Run On Luck) won in 1:57.3 for driver Jordan Stratton and trainer Rick Dane Jr., who owns the filly with the Rock And Roll Stable. Ladybeluckytonite has a win and a second in two races, with $17,687 in purses. Amico Mio Bi (Donato Hanover-Lapponia) won in 1:59.1 in his career debut for local owners Janice Connor, who also trains the colt with her husband Chuck, Brian Connor and Ebby and Peter Gerry's Arden Homestead Stable. Stratton piloted Amico Mio Bi to the victory. "He's a nice colt, so hopefully he'll keep going like he is," Chuck Connor said. "We made some changes on him that helped him. We put the trotting hobbles on him for the half-mile track. When we trained him last week he was a little shaky in the turns, but not bad. We wanted to steady him a bit with the hobbles and it worked. We'll keep (the hobbles) on now and just let them out for the bigger tracks. "He seems like he's improving, so that's a good thing." by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA 

Ron Waples always enjoys returning to Historic Track in Goshen, N.Y., but this year's visit will combine business with pleasure. The business comes in the form of competing in Sunday's $10,000 Mr. and Mrs. Elbridge Gerry Memorial Trot, an invitational race for Hall of Fame drivers. The pleasure will be seeing renowned writer Dave Briggs inducted into the Communicators Hall of Fame during festivities later that evening. "I always liked Goshen," said Waples, a Toronto native who was inducted into the U.S. Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 1986. "Even back when I was racing New York-sired horses, it amazed me that there is no betting there but you've got all the fans. That just takes you back to your roots. "When you look up there in the grandstand and it's full and everybody is hooting and hollering and cheering, it just gives you a very good feeling." The Gerry Memorial Trot is the highlight of the third of the four-day Grand Circuit meet at Historic Track. The meet coincides with the sport's Hall of Fame inductions, which will be held Sunday evening at the adjacent Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame. Also participating in the Gerry Memorial Trot are Wally Hennessey, David Miller, Dave Palone, Brian Sears, Richard "Dick" Stillings, and Jimmy Takter. Commemorative cards will be distributed to the first 500 fans on Sunday and the Hall of Famers will be available for photos and autographs following the race. Waples won the Gerry Memorial Trot in 2015. When asked if he was looking forward to this year's event, he responded with a laugh, "How did I draw?" When informed he drew post six, he laughed again and asked, "Did I get any power?" He then said, "It's a pretty big honor to be in there. The Gerry family, they support (harness racing and the museum) so much, it's unbelievable really. I think everybody kind of feels the same way; you don't want to let them down and you want to help out a little bit. If this helps out a little bit, then so be it." Among this year's Hall of Fame inductees are breeders Jules Siegel and Margareta Wallenius-Kleberg, and the late horseman Hakan Wallner. Briggs will join announcer Carl Becker as inductees into the Communicators Hall of Fame. Briggs, who like Waples resides in Ontario, has received a record 11 John Hervey Awards for excellence in harness racing feature writing and reporting. He also is a three-time winner of the Standardbred Canada Media Excellence Award for Outstanding Written Work as well as the recipient of multiple International Harness Racing Media Awards and American Horse Publication Awards, and the Ontario Equestrian Federation Media of the Year Award. "I have a special feeling this year because Dave Briggs is getting inducted there," Waples said. "He's just one of a few. He's a great writer and a great guy and just all for the sport. It will be worth the trip just for that." Racing begins at 1 p.m. each day at Historic Track. For Sunday's complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA   

Olle Leven is no stranger to harness racing success in the U.S. and the Monaco resident hopes to add to his accomplishments with his Swedish-born homebred trotter Midnight Express. Midnight Express, a son of 2014 Prix d'Amerique winner Maharajah out of Leven's mare Truly Devoted, is among the horses competing Friday at Historic Track in Goshen, N.Y., on Landmark Stakes Day, which kicks off the four-day Grand Circuit meet at the half-mile oval. Midnight Express is only the second Maharajah-sired horse to race in the U.S., following Swedish-born filly Unau in 2015. Leven's previous triumphs in North America include winning the 1995 Hambletonian Oaks with Lookout Victory and capturing three Breeders Crown trophies, with Lookout Victory in 1994 and 1995 and with Dream Of Joy in 1999. Dream Of Joy received the 1999 Dan Patch Award for best 2-year-old female trotter. "That was many years ago," Leven said with a laugh about those successes. "But never mind that. I have had it." Leven also raced Credit Winner, who was the runner-up in the 2000 Hambletonian and is one of the sport's top trotting sires, producing the earners of more than $87 million. He remains a member of the Credit Winner Syndicate. Midnight Express was foaled in Sweden, but raised at New York's Blue Chip Farm, where Credit Winner stands, before being sent to trainer Ake Svanstedt. Leven had purchased Midnight Express' dam, Brittany Farms-bred Truly Devoted, for $100,000 at the 2008 Lexington Selected Sale and, after two starts in the U.S., brought her to Sweden where she earned the equivalent of approximately $200,000 on the racetrack. Truly Devoted's family includes stakes-winning females Cherished Victory, Keystone Profile and Act Of Grace, who is the grandam of 2010 Hambletonian winner Muscle Massive. Miss Marita, the dam of Dan Patch Award-winner Passionate Glide, also is a member of the family. "I looked at Truly Devoted, I liked Truly Devoted, and we bought her," Leven said. "She was a good mare for me." Midnight Express has won three of 13 career races and earned $26,081. He heads to the $13,600 Landmark Stakes for 3-year-old trotters with two wins and two second-place finishes in his past four starts, all at Yonkers Raceway. The colt is staked to the Yonkers Trot, Matron Stakes, Carl Erskine Trot, Bluegrass Stakes, and Reynolds Memorial. "When Ake moved to the U.S., I said to myself, give my Swedish horse a chance," Leven said. "I like Midnight Express and I like to race in the United States and I wanted to use Ake because he was the absolutely best trainer in Sweden when he decided to move to the U.S., no doubt about that. "I'm pleased so far. We have raced at Yonkers this year four times; two wins, two seconds. I'm pleased. More than that, I'm very pleased." Leven, who owns two racehorses at the moment, watches Midnight Express' races on the Internet. "I can't say exactly what I like most about him," Leven said. "He's not a horse with quick speed, but he is very, very strong." It seems fitting that a son of Maharajah is racing at Historic Track during the Grand Circuit meet, which coincides with Sunday's Hall of Fame inductions at the adjacent Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame. Among the inductees is Margareta Wallenius-Kleberg, the owner of Menhammar Stuteri, which bred, raced and stands Maharajah. In addition to the Landmark Stakes for 3-year-old trotters, Historic Track hosts seven more Landmark Stakes on Friday, with events for 2- and 3-year-old male and female pacers and trotters. Dawn Anderson's New Jersey Sire Stakes champion Take A Wish is competing in the Landmark for 3-year-old female trotters. Ray Schnittker's filly trotter Check Out Trixie, a daughter of 2014 Hambletonian winner Trixton out of Schnittker's two-time Dan Patch Award winner Check Me Out, is among the 2-year-olds making career debuts. Racing begins at 1 p.m. at Historic Track. For Friday's complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

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