At a recent meeting of the Historic Track Board of Directors Steve Jones was elected president of the Board. "I have been on the Board since 1983 and it's a honor to be associated with the oldest harness track in the United States" he said. "And with the help of the Board we'll try to keep Goshen's tradition going for decades to come." "Of course everyone knows Goshen is called the 'Cradle of the Trotter' because that's where harness racing began back in the mid-19th Century. And besides, for nearly a century there were two racetracks in Goshen and for over 25 years, from 1930 through 1956, the sports greatest event, the Hambletonian, was raced over the mile track which was known as Good Time Park." Jones notes that for decades Historic Track has been an excellent training facility and he vows to maintain it. "Bernie White worked tirelessly as President of Historic Track for many years and I will continue to seek his guidance on decisions regarding GHT in the future." In the summer of 2013 Jones was elected to the Board of Trustees at Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame, and on Hambletonian Day 2013, Steve was elected to the Hambletonian Society. Jones is also the proprietor of Cameo Hills Farm a boarding and breeding facility in Montgomery N Y. Over the years Cameo Hills Farm has bred and raised champions ,including the 2008 Hambletonian winner Deweycheatumnhowe. "This year, for the first time ever, we'll have a stallion, So Surreal, the first son of Somebeachsomewhere to stand stud. And with a freshman mark of 1:49.4 he's the fastest 2 year old to ever stand in New York," Jones added. Also at that directors meeting all Board positions were determined with George Casale, elected vice president; Frank "the Hands" Baldassare, treasurer; Judy Green secretary; and Kerry English, Chairman of the Board. "And as always, we all look forward to our matinee races in the spring as well as our annual Grand Circuit meeting in July," Jones added. by John Manzi for Goshen Historic Track
Monticello, NY --- For decades the track office at Goshen Historic Track has been underneath the longstanding grandstand and recently work has been completed to move the main office to the Arden Clubhouse which has been totally restored. “The new move has been absolutely wonderful and greatly appreciated,” noted Linda Myers, the longtime secretary to the Board. “It’s such an improvement and so nice to have this building restored and utilized after all these years.” The new track office, which is located near the facility’s front gate, still has the same phone number (845.294.5333) and the same fax number (845.294.3998). According to members of the Board it has been a costly move for the not-for-profit corporation but extremely necessary since the area beneath the grandstand, which previously housed the offices, has seen its best days. Since the needed move at the National Historic Landmark was expensive, donations will be graciously accepted to help defray costs. Should anyone want to make a donation please address all correspondence to: Goshen Historic Track, 44 Park Place, Goshen, NY 10924. Memberships to Historic Track for family ($35), patrons ($100) and corporations ($200) are also encouraged and would be greatly appreciated. Membership forms can be found on the facility’s website (www.goshenhistorictrack.com) and can be mailed to the track’s address above. by John Manzi for Goshen Historic Track
On Wednesday evening, October 21 at their Annual Dinner Meeting the Auxiliary of Goshen Historic Track made a $7,000 donation to the members of the Historic Track’s Board of Directors.. Accepting the check from co-president Judy Green and Auxiliary member Geri Rosina were Board members, Bernie White, president; Steve Jones, VP; and Frank Baldasarre, treasurer. “The ladies do an outstanding job and work tirelessly to raise money for Historic Track,” White told the assembled group upon the receipt of the check. “We are always so very appreciative of the Auxiliary’s dedicated efforts and we can’t thank them enough.” The money is raised annually through the efforts of members of the Track ‘s Auxiliary with an array of fundraisers, dinners and raffles. In years past their efforts raised as much as $10,000 and over the past few decades the amount of the Auxiliary’s donations is well into six figures . “We apologize that our donation is less than previous years but these are tough times. Still we are always very pleased to be able to provide a $7000 donation to the track from the efforts of our very dedicated volunteers,” co-president Eveline White added. by John Manzi for Goshen Historic Track
MONTICELLO, NY- After again running another successful awards banquet in late November the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of U.S. Harness Writers donated $3000 to Historic Track at their monthly Board Meeting on November 19. The presentation of the check was made to Bernie White, President of Historic Track's Board of Directors by John Manzi, the chapter's banquet chairman and longtime Historic Track Board member. Moreover, Historic Track gained another $600 as a result of the Monticello-Goshen USHWA Chapter Banquet. At the chapter's awards banquet on November 17, Wanda Polisseni, one of the main honorees, gave Manzi a $500 donation for Historic Track and in lieu of a trophy Gerry Fielding, the Amy Bull Crist Award winner, donated the trophy cost ($100) to Historic Track, also. That donation will be matched and the National Historic Landmark will actually end-up with $7,200. For the 30th consecutive year the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association has donated to Historic Track the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame. Last summer the organization presented a $3000 check to Museum President Ebby Gerry, Jr. prior to the ceremonies at the Hall of Fame Banquet in Goshen, NY on July 7. Since the early 1980's the Monticello-Goshen Chapter USHWA has donated money to Goshen Historic Track and the Harness Racing Museum. Money raised for the donations is made possible from successful chapter banquets and the continued support of the chapter's charity journals. "We thank all who participate in our annual awards banquets and charity journals and we are very fortunate to be able to raise the money..... and when we do.... it is our pleasure to donate the profits back to the industry; especially to Historic Track and to the Harness Racing Museum, which are not only in our own back yard but very dear to us and to the hearts of everyone in harness racing," noted Chris Tully, president of the Monticello-Goshen Chapter USHWA and first VP National. "In addition, we will also be making our annual $3000 donation to the Harness Racing Museum next July. A special thanks goes to John Manzi whose dedicated efforts make the banquets successful." In the early 1980's annual donations by the Monticello-Goshen Chapter USHWA were used to support a college scholarship but the members decided back then that when the chapter donates it should be to Historic Track and the Harness Racing Museum--both separate not-for profit entities-although over the years the chapter has also donated to many other harness racing industry causes. by John Manzi for Monticello-Goshen Chapter USHWA
The Monticello-Goshen Chapter USHWA held their 55th Annual Awards Banquet for the second consecutive year in Middletown, NY at The Fountains on Sands Road on Sunday, November 17. The night got underway with a cocktail hour at 5:30pm followed by dinner at 7pm. During the evening awards were presented to the deserving recipients. The Harness Writers presented its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award to Tom Charters. He is the longtime President & CEO of the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown, a Director of the Hambletonian Society, a Trustee of the Harness Racing Museum, ate ward of the Grand Circuit and former president of the American Harness Racing Secretaries among his many other industry accolades. For all that he has done for the Standardbred sport, especially in the breeding business in New York State, the Chapter was proud to present its Excelsior Award to Mike Kimelman. Besides being president of Blue Chip Farms Mike is a member of the Goshen Historic Track Board of Directors as well as a member of the SOA of NY and a U.S.T.A. District Director since 2002. He has also trained and has driven harness horses and occasionally still does. Also honored was Derick Giwner, who became the fifth recipient of the Phil Pines Award. He was a writer and editor for the periodical Sports Eye and over the years, despite takeovers and name changes at the company, Derick managed to work his way up the ladder to his current position as the Editor of DRF Harness for the Daily Racing Form. Derick also an amateur driver and he's always looking to promote harness racing. Eric Warner, the popular and well liked director of racing at Monticello Raceway was the recipient of the chapter's Good Guy Award. Over the years Warner's efforts went hand and hand with the tracks promotion department and together they presented many aces that drew national attention. Jerry Fielding was the unanimous choice for the 30th annual Amy Bull Krist Award for his dedicated service at Historic Track. As a member of the tracks race committee, Jerry almost singled-handedly produces the matinee races in June. He secures the photo finish patrol, the timers, the recording judge, the associate judges, and he dons his presiding judge cap and oversees the races. An Award of Appreciation was given to Wanda Polliseni for her tremendous support of New York State harness racing and breeding with her Purple Haze Stable and for her unconditional love for the animals. During the evening program Wanda made a substantial donation to Historic Track. This year's Amateur Driver of the Year Award went to Monica Banca, the fiery, competitive Scandinavian who has shown the ability to beat the boys with regularity. In 21 starts she has seven victories, six seconds and two thirds and a .534 UDR thus far this year. The Rising Star Award went to 22-year-old Austin Siegelman who has blossomed into a sought after catch driver now with over 53 winners at the current meet. Ruth Ingham, from the Vernon James Stable, received the Caretaker of the Year Award. Horse of the Year honors went to the Nancy Fugere-owned, Bob Lounsbury-trained, Tracys Song. Her 21 seasonal victories still ranks her tops in races won in North America this year and her 18 consecutive triumphs this past summer established a new Mighty M track record.. Trades In Motion was named the 3 year old colt trotter of the year while Dough Dough garnered the 3 year old trotting filly of the year award. Civil Cause garnered the older trotter of the year award while Distinct Victory was the older trotting mare of the year. The older pacing horse award went to 20-time winner Haroun Hanover while Tracys Song also took home the older pacing mare award Since the majority of the races at the Mighty M are claiming races, pacing awards went to DVC Gifted Indeed, Fuguzzi, Real Motivation, NF Beach Candy, Red Eye Blue Chip, Edie's Desire Prince of Pleasure, Rusty's Flying, Thunder Seelster, and Another Mike. Claiming trotter awards were garnered by Strongbow, Famous Dude, JN Sydney, Majestic Man, Valcyon Days, Miley Jo and B Twenty Nine.. More than 200 guests attended the banquet and track publicist John Manzi again served as the master of ceremonies. by John Manzi for Monticell-Goshen Chapter USHWA
Harnesslink announced today that Chris Tully, a well-known harness racing insider, has added the role of Social Media Director for Harnesslink.com to his growing list of duties. Tully, a recent MBA graduate and marketing manager, is well-versed in all aspects of Standardbred harness racing, including sales, breeding, racing and industry promotion. Over the course of his 40 years of involvement in the sport, Tully has been an auction company executive, racetrack manager, amateur driving champion, trainer, owner, pedigree reader, yearling sales ring handler and sales agent. Harnesslink.com’s founder and CEO, John Curtin noted, “We are very excited to have someone as energetic and knowledgeable as Chris Tully to head-up our social media department. Social Media is one of the fastest growing components of our digital platform. His diverse skill set and vast experience will give Harnesslink a trustworthy content source for our expanding Twitter, Facebook , YouTube and Instagram presence.” Tully began working with horses at his father, Hall of Famer Phil Tully’s breeding farm, Woodstock Stud in Bethel, NY, when he was just eight years old. He started out painting fences, mowing and weed trimming, during his youth and over time worked his way into the barn, cleaning stalls, feeding broodmares, and ultimately grooming yearlings for the sales. Over his formative years, Chris rubbed horses for George Gilmour at Monticello Raceway and Hall of Famer Jim Doherty at the Meadowlands. After attending Morrisville College, Tully then worked for his father’s successful auction sales company, Garden State Standardbred performing data entry. Eventually, his pre-internet-era innovations with pedigree production helped elevate him to the position of Sales Manager. He then tried his hand at amateur driving, and soon found himself in the winner’s circle for five legs and the final of the popular CKG Billings Harness Drivers Series that helped him earn the United States Harness Writers Association Amateur Driver of the Year honors in 1993. Currently, Tully is handling the marketing efforts for Winners Circle Blueberries, ensuring that the five million packages sold annually worldwide have a prominent picture of a champion racehorse and a QR code linking back to the firm’s webpage and harness racing industry sites. In addition, he coordinates the various harness racing promotions that the Bill Augustine supports, such as race sponsorship, HHYF philanthropy, amateur driving, and race program advertising. Tully served for nine years as a director for District 8 (Upstate NY) for the United States Trotting Association, and was also the General Manager of Goshen Historic Track. Tully is currently the national first vice president of the United States Harness Writers Association, and has been the Monticello-Goshen Chapter’s president for the last decade. In addition, Tully is a popular graphic artist and is responsible for the design and production of the Dan Patch Awards journal, as well as the Hall of Fame Souvenir journal and the Harness Racing Museum gift catalog. By Steve Wolf for Harnesslink.com
Four years ago the Monticello-Goshen Chapter USHWA named an award in honor of the late Hall of Famer and former chapter president, Phil Pines. Since then there have been some worthy recipients and this year's beneficiary, Derick Giwner, is no exception. Giwner is a man for all seasons as far as harness racing is concerned. He was a writer and editor of Sports Eye and over the years, despite takeovers and name changes at the company, Derick managed to work his way up the ladder to his current position as the Editor of DRF Harness for the Daily Racing Form. Giwner began his love affair with harness racing in the early 1990's while taking trips to Yonkers Raceway to see the great trotters of the era like Scenic Regal and Dr Trotta. He continued on to earn his BBA in Marketing before getting his feet wet in the harness racing industry as an editor at Sports Eye, a daily harness news publication and printing company, in 1996. Initially starting as a chart caller, program editor and handicapper, Derick used his free time to explore other facets of the sport. In 1998, Giwner competed in the first ever Sports Eye Battle of Monticello, a harness race in jog carts amongst employees. After winning the race with Rasta Hanover with a four wide move on the final turn, he was hooked and immediately started pursuing a license to driver in "real" races. Since getting his Provisional license in 1999 Derick has driven in over 80 races as an Amateur Driver. During that time he has also been involved as an owner with horses such as Call Me Cam, Kentucky Flyer, Christy Rae and Twin B Sassy, among some of his favorites. On the other side of the fence and high above the action, Derick spent time in the announcers booth calling the action. After learning the ropes at Yonkers Raceway from veterans Bob Meyer and John Hernan, Derick went on to call races at Goshen Historic Track, Monticello Raceway, Bangor Raceway, and even made a guest appearance calling a race at the Meadowlands in 2012. As the head of harness content for the DRF, Derick writes a weekly blog and daily features. He is also the lead handicapper for the Meadowlands and manages all social media (Twitter/Facebook) for the DRF Harness brand. He can often be found covering big events, from the Little Brown Jug to the Hambletonian, or simply watching live qualifying action. As his sometimes neglected wife Stephanie, and kids Jenna and Emily will attest, harness racing consumes his life. Derick also wrote a chapter covering half-mile track racing (specifically Yonkers Raceway) in Dave Brower's book, Harnessing Winners: The Complete Guide to Handicapping Harness Races and he's always looking to promote harness racing. Writing and handicapping aside, Derick also dabbles in photography and can often be seen shooting pictures at racetracks across the country. On Sunday evening, November 17 Giwner will receive his award when the scribes hold their 55th Annual Awards Banquet at The Fountains on Sands Road in Middletown, NY. For reservations, congratulatory ads, or for further information, please contact chapter president, Chris Tully at Tullytrot@yahoo.com by John Manzi for Monticell0-Goshen Chapter USHWA
When it comes to harness racing Mike Kimelman is a man for all seasons. He's the president of Blue Chip Farms, a member of the Goshen Historic Track Board of Directors as well as a member of the Standardbred Owners Association of NY and a U.S.T.A. District Director since 2002. He has also trained and driven harness horses and occasionally still does. Recently Kimelman has been appointed to the Board of the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding and Development Fund, also referred to as the Sires Stakes Fund. He was appointed to that position by the New York State Senator, John Bonacic. For all that he does and has done for the Standardbred sport, especially in the breeding business in New York State, Mike is this year's recipient of the Monticello-Goshen Chapter USHWA's prestigious Excelsior Award. He will receive that honor on Sunday night, November 17 when the scribes hold their 55th Annual Awards Banquet at the Fountains in Middletown, NY. For Mike Kimelman, a profession in anything other than harness racing was out of the question. After all, his grandfather Oscar Kimelman had established the world renowned Blue Chip Farms in Wallkill NY in 1969 when young Michael was in the fifth grade. His family moved there and harness horses became a way of life for him. So much so that he opted not to go to college to pursue his career with Standardbreds. As a youngster Mike worked on the farm and learned a great deal about the horse breeding industry from Hall of Famer, Bill Brown who was the Farm Manager. "I was only a kid and at first I did menial jobs like stapling arrows all over to direct people to the Farm, but as I grew older and spent more time with Mr. Brown I began to realize what it took to run such a magnificent establishment, " Kimelman said. In the 1970's Kimelman spent a lot of time around the training farms, too, and at Goshen Historic Track learning the ropes of training and driving harness horses from some exceptional horsemen. "Del Cameron used to train our (Blue Chip Farms) horses and I was often with him in Pinehurst (Training Center) and at many racetracks in the northeast," Kimelman noted. "And I always loved going to Goshen Historic Track to spend time with Harry Pownall, Sr. I was always trying to learn from the great ones." Out of school Kimelman worked for top horsemen like Billy Popfinger, Steve Demas and Billy Herman and in 1984 he opened a public stable which was a realization of a lifelong dream of becoming a professional trainer/driver. And Michael was good at his chosen profession, too. Over the years, with a small stable and a limited amount of starts he won over 500 races and handled some very nice horses. But it was a connection with a childhood friend and schoolmate that redirected Kimelman's life. I went to the 11th grade at Wallkill (NY) High School and then my brother Scott and I went to Hackley Prep School in Tarrytown, NY where we both graduated," Kimelman explained. "It was there that my brother and I met and befriended Tom Grossman who, as fate would have it, purchased Blue Chip Farms a few years ago." According to Kimelman restructuring was taking place at Blue Chip Farms and Grossman not only bought the establishment but offered Mike a job. The offer from Grossman was not only a chance for an outstanding career move but it also gave Kimelman an opportunity to raise his family in a spectacular rural setting where he now lives with wife Sally and children, Oscar and Olivia. "I am so appreciative that Tom gave me such a tremendous opportunity and I have been president of Blue Chip Farms since 2001," Kimelman added by John Manzi for Monticello-Goshen Chapter USHWA
The Harness Horse Youth Foundation will wrap up its two youth harness racing horsemanship camps Saturday with a driving exhibition Saturday, July 13 at noon, which is open to the public.
Today's harness racing program features tradition as the first race is part of five divisions of the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series. Drivers from across the nation compete and accept no purse money for their driving. It's all donated to charity. They are racing as they did nearly 150 years ago, for the fun of it. To see who's the best driver and who has the best horses.
It is pure American 'grass roots' for harness racing. We're talking Goshen Historic Track, Goshen, NY, home of the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame and its Grand Circuit racing at the world's oldest active harness track, dating back to 1838.
A splendid time was had by all at the 2013 Hall of Fame Dinner at the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame in Goshen, NY on Sunday evening, July 7.
Offenberg, Schwartz and Yarock sounds like it could be a law firm but in fact they are the names of the harness racing winning drivers in the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series held at the Historic Track in Goshen NY on Saturday, July 6.
'You still got it, kid,' said John Campbell to Bill O'Donnell as the latter walked in to the winners circle after taking top spot (2:00.3) in the $10,000 Mr. and Mrs. Elbridge Gerry Memorial Trot for Hall of Fame harness racing drivers on Sunday at Goshen Historic Track.
Harry Landy is no stranger to Historic Track, having started racing there at the age of 12 with trottingbred ponies and continuing onto the harness racing amateur ranks several years later. And although he has posted double digits in wins at the upstate New York oval, none were bigger than his victory Friday with Useful Hanover.
Connor will be riding Admirable Hanover in the $5,000 under saddle race number seven at Goshen Historic Track this Sunday, July 7, but a few months ago that prospect looked doubtful.