Goshen, NY - The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame is inviting Immortal nominations for the Class of 2015. All Museum members, in good standing, have the privilege of nominating persons and horses who they feel have made a significant contribution to the sport of harness racing. The nominees must be deceased THREE years or more to be eligible for consideration. Nominations must include a complete biography of the subject and detailed harness racing career statistics, when applicable. Nominations must be postmarked no later than March 1, 2015. They may be emailed on or before that date to email@example.com or mailed to the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame, 240 Main Street, Goshen, NY 10924. Last year in July, the Immortals Nominating Committee announced that the trustees of the Museum had endorsed the election of stallion Garland Lobell and driver Jimmy Jordan. On Sunday, July 5, 2015, "Hall of Fame Day," these significant contributors to the sport of harness racing will be inducted into the Hall of Immortals during ceremonies held under the tent on the Museum lawn. - Born and raised in Illinois, driver Jimmy Jordan (1905-1977) made the state of Maine his home until being recruited by newly-established Roosevelt Raceway. Jordan was one of the first drivers to relocate and stable at Roosevelt at the beginning of nightly harness racing in New York. In the late 1940s and 1950s, Jordan was one of the sport's most popular drivers and enjoyed national ranking in just about every driving category at one time or another during his career. In 1965 he became only the 14th driver in history to win over $3 million in purses. - Garland Lobell (1981-2011) currently ranks as the twelfth-leading moneywinning trotting sire of all time, with total foal earnings of nearly $51 million. Three of his offspring rank in the top eleven all-time moneywinning trotting sires, with total foal earnings among them of more than $206 million. As a broodmare sire, Garland Lobell has 214 $100,000 winners, and earnings of over $76 million. He was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2005. If you would like further information on the 2014 inductees or the induction ceremony and the events leading up to it, please contact the Museum at 845-294-6330 or visit our website, www.harnessmuseum.com. The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame is located at 240 Main Street in Goshen, NY and is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm (last tour 4:00 pm). Thanks to U.S. Trotting Association support the Museum is currently offering free admission for walk-in visitors and group docent-guided tours at a minimal charge per person. For additional information about the Museum, its membership program, special events and educational programs, please call 845-294-6330 or visit www.harnessmuseum.com.
The Harness Racing Museum is pleased to announce an exceptional roster of stallions for the 2015 breeding auction. By state and gait Ohio's trotting sires are Cash Hall, Jurgen Hanover, Stormin Normand, Triumphant Caviar and Valley Victor. The pacing gait is represented by Big Bad John, Charlie Barley, Cheyenne Rei, Dragon Again, McArdle, Mister Big, Panspacificflight, Running Book, Shark Gesture, Western Vintage, We Will See, Woodstock and Yankee Cruiser. New York trotters available for service are Conway Court, Lucky Chucky and Manningly with pacers Heston Blue Chip and Lislea. Pennsylvania provides trotter Winning Mister and pacer Tuffofthetoughest. Ontario is represented by trotting sires Angus Hall, Glidemaster and Holiday Road and pacing stallions Betterthancheddar and Big Jim. Maryland trotters available are Charlie De Vie, Four Starz Robro, Groton Hall and Holy Guacamolie, while The Fraternity Pan, Totally Western and Up Front Charlie are pacing stallions offered. Indiana offers trotters Encore Encore and Guccio and pacers Always A Virgin and Proper Respect. Delaware provides trotter Cr Commando and pacing sire Dream Away. New Jersey offers pacing sire If I Can Dream. Michigan is represented by trotter Colie's and pacing sire Manhardt. Illinois provides pacing sire Yankee Skyscaper. Income raised by the auction, about $607,000 over the past 16 years, supports the Museum's General Operating Fund and helps to ensure quality services, special exhibitions, traveling exhibits, promotional support and educational programming for children and adults. Our efforts also help to encourage new owners and fans! For additional information on the auction, to donate breedings, or to receive a complete list of stallions and conditions for bidding, please contact Joanne Young at 845.294.6330, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.harnessmuseum.com, where updates will also be posted. Bids must be postmarked by February 14, 2015. The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame is located at 240 Main Street in Goshen, N.Y. and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last tour 4 p.m.). Thanks to USTA support, the Museum is currently offering free admission for walk-in visitors and group docent-guided tours at a minimal charge per person. For additional information about the Museum, its membership program, special events and educational programs please call (845) 294-6330 or visit www.harnessmuseum.com.
Mark your calendar to attend the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame's annual Holiday Concert on Thursday, December 4th. This member benefit event will be held in the Museum's William R. Haughton Memorial Hall. We are delighted to again welcome the Yuletide Carolers, sponsored by Robert Boni of Northwood Bloodstock in memory of John A. Cashman, Jr. Wearing authentic Victorian attire, the carolers will greet concert goers at the Museum entrance from 6:30 - 6:50 p.m. singing a number of the best-loved carols. Goshen High School's Varsity Choir and Jazz Voices Ensemble will also return for this special occasion. The Yuletide Carolers will join the Varsity Choir and the Jazz Voices in Haughton Hall at 7:00 p.m. The evening will end with lively audience participation in the concert's annual version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas." Arrive early to enjoy our holiday tree trimmed with horsey ornaments, tour the Museum with its festive halls and stalls, and check out the new exhibits that have been installed since last year's concert. After the concert Edie Haughney, of Amerprise Financial Services in Montebello, will be providing a holiday dessert table for the enjoyment of all. A visit to the Museum is never complete without a stop at the Winner's Circle Gift Shop for the perfect holiday gift. Concert goers and shoppers will enjoy a 10% discount prior to the show. Concert admission is $3.00 per person, and is waived for Museum members. Non-members who bring a new unwrapped toy for the Marines' "Toys for Tots" program receive a $1.00 admission discount. As seating is limited we recommend making reservations as soon as possible. The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program distributes toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community. If you are unable to attend the concert, we invite you to drop off a new unwrapped toy in the Museum's main lobby from now until Friday, December 19 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily. Help make a child happy this holiday season! If you have not booked your holiday party, there are a few dates still available. Call Gigi Ryan for details about this unique setting for all your special occasions. The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame, located at 240 Main Street in Goshen,NY, is open daily from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. There is no charge for regular admission, thanks to the members of the U.S. Trotting Association. For further information on the holiday festivities and the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame, its services to the sport and the local community, please call (845) 294-6330 or visit www.harnessmuseum. The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame, located at 240 Main Street in Goshen,NY, is open daily from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. There is no charge for regular admission, thanks to the members of the U.S. Trotting Association. For further information on the holiday festivities and the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame, its services to the sport and the local community, please call (845) 294-6330 or visit www.harnessmuseum. From the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame
The Harness Racing Museum's Winner's Circle Gift Shop will be at the Standardbred Horse Sale in Harrisburg, PA, Monday, November 3 through Saturday, November 8, 2014. Our shop will be located in the "Tan Hallway" behind the Sales Arena again this year. Start your holiday shopping when taking a break during the horse sales. We are eager to show off many new items that will make shopping for the horse lovers on your list an easy task. A new selection of books, clothing items, house wares and toys will be in stock and ready to head home with you! We will hold your purchases until you are ready to leave the sales, giving you complete freedom to raise you hand and bid on the hip numbers of your choice. Purchase a brick or paver in memory of someone special; forms will be available for you to personalize your selection. If you have specific requests for merchandise, please let us know as soon as possible and we will gladly bring it to the sale. Also, we are always in need of clean packing materials for shipping catalog orders. Empty that closet full of bubble wrap and bring to the sale and drop it off with us. Your donation of packing materials is a large savings for the Museum. The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame is located at 240 Main Street in Goshen, NY and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thanks to USTA support the Museum is currently offering free admission for walk-in visitors and $4 per person for group docent-guided tours. For information on the Museum, membership, special events, gift shop services and educational programs the Museum offers, please call (845) 294-6330 or visit www.harnessmuseum.com. by Janet Terhune, for the Harness Racing Museum
The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame's popular traveling exhibit, "The Story of Harness Racing by Currier & Ives," will be on display at Historic Walnford Park in Upper Freehold, New Jersey, from Oct. 1 through Nov. 30. Sponsored by the CTW Foundation, the exhibit's 33 lithographs illustrate, in an artful way, the birth of the sport of harness racing and its early accomplishments. Prints depicting great trotting horses, bucolic mid-19th century scenes, and comedic adventures convey a picturesque view of Americana prior to the advent and development of photography. Visit the Waln family's large, elegant home built in 1774, the 19th century gristmill and the farm buildings, all set in a beautiful landscape. Learn about the Waln family and the evolution of Walnford over two centuries - from an 18th century industrial village and family farm to an elegant country estate. The site showcases over 200 years of social, technological and environmental history, and includes 36 acres of field, woodland and wetlands. Part of the Monmouth County Park System, the site is open 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily. Pets are not allowed. The nearby historic village of Allentown, NJ is an ideal destination for an autumn foliage excursion. For more information, visit Historic Walnford's website at: http://www.monmouthcountyparks.com/page.aspx?Id=2541. Don't miss this wonderful opportunity for a glimpse at our sport's past in these colorful lithographs displayed in an ideal historical setting. The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame is located at 240 Main Street in Goshen, NY and is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm (last tour 4:00 pm). Thanks to U.S. Trotting Association support, the Museum is currently offering free admission for walk-in visitors and group docent-guided tours at a minimal charge per person. For additional information about the Museum, its membership program, special events and educational programs, please call 845-294-6330 or visit www.harnessmuseum.com. by Janet Terhune, for the Harness Racing Museum
Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff has been a force to be reckoned with over the past few years in the Billings Harness Driving Series. With his victory at Freehold Raceway on Saturday afternoon(Sept. 20) the Executive Recruiter by trade, notched his eighth seasonal victory when he guided his own Tagmaster to gate to wire triumph in a 2:01.1 clocking. Alaric and "Johnny on The Spot" Kolkowski finished second some four lengths behind the winner while third place went to Sam's Honeybee, driven by the Billings Series president, Tony "the Capo" Verruso. Besides his eight wins Hechkoff's seasonal stats also include 12 seconds and four thirds in 38 trips to post for a whopping .421UDR. Last year he was the winner of the Harness Racing Museum's Amateur Driver of the Year Award and again this year , "the Headhunter" has a good chance of repeating especially if he can hold off Steve' You're Never Too" Oldford. Although Hechkoff currently leads Oldford in total points 125 -115, to become the Museum's Amateur of the Year it all comes down to the total amount of money donated to the Museum from the percentage earned by the horses they drive in the Billings Series. Still, there are plenty of chances for all Billings participants to add to their seasonal earnings with 10 series events remaining before the regional finales in November. And when the series preliminary legs are concluded the $25,000 Gold and $15,000 Silver Cup Finals will be contested at Harrah's Philadelphia on November 23. The Gold and Silver Cup finales are for the Billings drivers who earned the most points during the seven month series. Besides Hechkoff (135) and Oldford (115) the current leaders in points include Tony Verruso (81), "Marvelous Marvin" Raber (80),"Mighty Matt" Zuccarello (73), Dave" Yes it's True" Offenberg, (73), David "Steady As" Yarock (66), "Tough Tony" Ciuffetelli (61), Peter "Sycamore Ventures" Gerry (61) and Dave "Linemaster" Ehrenberg (54). by John Manzi, for the Billings Amateur Driving Series
Joe Thomson, owner of Maryland-based Standardbred breeding operation Winbak Farm, has been elected to the Harness Racing Hall of Fame, the U.S. Harness Writers Association (USHWA) announced Tuesday. Thomson and his wife JoAnn started Winbak Farm in 1991. The operation has ranked No. 2 among all breeders in purses earned each of the last 12 years, totaling more than $205 million since the start of 2002, and produced three Horse of the Year Award winners. In addition, Bob Marks, the longtime marketing guru of Perretti Farms and a noted writer and handicapper, and Kathy Parker, the editor and general manager of the Horseman and Fair World publishing company, were elected to the Communicators Hall of Fame. The three honorees will be inducted during ceremonies at the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y., on July 5. Winbak Farm - which stands stallions in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York and Ontario - bred consecutive Horse of the Year Award winners in pacing colt No Pan Intended, in 2003, and pacing filly Rainbow Blue, in 2004, and later saw trotting colt Muscle Hill claim the honor in 2009. No Pan Intended is the last pacer to win the Triple Crown. Rainbow Blue is one of only three filly pacers to be named Horse of the Year. Muscle Hill is one of two Hambletonian winning trotters bred by Winbak, joining 2005 winner Vivid Photo. Thomson, who lives in Phoenixville, Pa., is the president of the Pennsylvania Harness Breeders Association. He also is co-owner of The Red Mile, the historic harness racing track in Lexington, Ky., and serves as a director of the Hambletonian Society. In 2013, Thomson received the Stanley F. Bergstein-Proximity Achievement Award from USHWA, an honor bestowed by the organization that is second only to election to the Hall of Fame. Other honors for Thomson include being named to the Little Brown Jug Wall of Fame in 2009. Marks' work in harness racing spans 50 years, starting as a contributor to Trotter Magazine and later as a writer and editor for Trotter Weekly. He handicapped for Top Trotter's daily letter from 1966 to 1978 and was among the original chart commentators for Sports Eye, starting in 1968. Over the years, Marks was a contributor to Hub Rail, Times Standard, Hoof Beats, and Sports Eye. He also was host of "Accent on Racing," on Meadowlands Cablevision, from 1980 to 1985, and host and analyst for "Racing from Roosevelt" in 1982. In 1988, he began working as pedigree analyst and marketing director at Perretti Farms. He wrote more than 500 "Trotlines" for the farm's website and 1,000 advertisements, in addition to naming more than 2,000 horses. Parker started her employment at Horseman and Fair World, a Lexington, Ky.-based trade magazine, in 1980 while still attending the University of Kentucky, and rose through the ranks until arriving at the top by being named editor and general manager in 1995. During Parker's tenure, Horseman and Fair World has expanded its efforts to provide news and information, starting with the launch of a website in 1998, and then the introduction of an e-newsletter, "Harness Racing Weekend Preview," in 2009. As a writer, Parker has traveled the world to report on the sport's top events, including all major stakes races in North America, plus the Elitlopp in Sweden, Prix d'Amerique in Paris, and Inter-Dominion in Sydney. Among Parker's honors are a Hervey Award for excellence in writing, the Harness Horsemen's International Media Award, and the Kentucky Harness Horsemen's Media Award. In 2010, Parker's Horseman and Fair World received the Proximity Award from USHWA. From the United States Harness Writers Association
The Harness Racing Museum, in Goshen, NY, is packing up its gift shop and moving 550 miles west to the home of the Little Brown Jug, Delaware, Ohio. From Sunday, September 14 through Thursday, September 18, the Museum's gift shop will be in residence in the tent across from the second turn, and will again have tack supplies from Big Dee's, from 9 am until the last race each day. Items in every price range, all with a harness racing motif, will be offered, including $10 T shirts, hoodies for adults and children in a new range of colors, as well as sleepwear and toys for little harness racing fans. A limited selection of gift shop items including previous years Little Brown Jug shirts, hats and housewares will be available at the Ohio Selected Jug Yearling Sale on Monday, September 15 at the Eden Park Equestrian Complex in Sunbury, Ohio. On Wednesday and Thursday, Ellen Harvey will be signing her book, Standardbred Old Friends, featuring profiles, with the photos of renowned equine photographer, Barbara Livingston, of 43 Standardbreds of distinction, now in the twilight of their lives. 1997 Little Brown Jug winner Western Dreamer is among those profiled. Harvey will be at the Museum tent from 9 am to noon on both days, as well as after the races and periodically throughout the card. 100% of profits benefit the Museum's mission. The newly released Remember Roosevelt! book will be available as well as Halters For Hope. Halters available include American Ideal, Chocolatier, Continentalvictory, Malabar Man, Peaceful Way, Presidential Ball, See You At Peelers, and Somebeachsomewhere. The sale of these halters benefits horse rescue organizations that cater to helping Standardbreds. The popular clearance rack, with many one of a kind items, will be back for bargain hunters and $2 can koozies (3 for $5) will be offered for fans looking to keep their beverages cold. Historians of the sport will want to check out the selection of used harness racing books, the sale of which benefits the Peter D. Haughton Memorial Library at the museum. Shoppers who would like to purchase items in the morning can leave them at the gift shop for pick up after the racing card. The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame is located at 240 Main Street in Goshen, NY and is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm (last tour 4:00 pm). Thanks to U.S. Trotting Association support, the Museum is currently offering free admission for walk-in visitors and group docent-guided tours at a minimal charge per person. For additional information about the Museum, its membership program, special events and educational programs, please call 845-294-6330 or visit www.harnessmuseum.com. From the Harness Racing Museum
Veteran amateur drivers, Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford, and Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff along with newcomer Robert "Big Bob" Kenney, each won their respective divisions in the Billings Harness Driving Series this past weekend. Oldford scored a 1:57 triumph with Bold Strike in Midwest Region action at Scioto Downs on August 29 while Hechkoff and Kenney were victorious in the east at Plainridge Racecourse on September 1; Hechkoff with Tagmaster in 1:56.1 and Kenney with Rev Up The Spice in 1:59.3. No stranger to the winners circle, Steve Oldford visited that revered ground again when he scored his seventh seasonal triumph with his newly purchased Bold Strike. "I bought him from June Du Russel, who over the years has generously supplied horses for the Billings Series. "This was the first time I sat behind him and I like him a lot," Oldford explained. "He's a pleasure to drive and (he) did everything I asked of him. " Oldford and Bold strike left from the four hole as "Lawbook Larry" Farley hustled Margarita Man to the lead and they had two lengths on the field as the timer flashed :27.4. At that point Oldford had allowed Dave "Linemaster" Ehrenberg II to fall in second position in front of him with TK's Karma. When the leaders passed the halfway point in :57.3 Oldford was out and going with Bold Strike and they were nose to nose with Margarita Man at the three quarters in 1:26.4. Even though Farley's mount regained command on the final turn it was short lived as Bold Strike rallied back to score a two-length triumph over Margarita man. TK's Karma took home the show dough. "Now we're ready for the Billings at Delaware, Ohio, "Oldford added delightedly. Bold Strike paid $7.40 for win which was Oldford's seventh of the season and 90th of his amateur driving career. Meanwhile on Labor Day afternoon at the five-eighths mile oval in southern Massachusetts "Big Bob" Kenney scored his first lifetime pari-mutuel victory when he sat the pocket with Rev Up The Spice and then they trotted by 1-2 favorite CSI What's My Name and driver Dave "Steady As" Yarock in mid-stretch for a solid one length triumph to win the first of two Billings trots that day. Third place went to Catalyst driven by Mark "Wafefern" Schullstrom. Needless to say Kenney, who has driven just 27 times since he joined the amateur ranks in 2000, was a happy man and his fellow competitors were among the first to congratulate him. Bob and Linda Kenny co-own Rev Up The Spice who's trained by John Di Stefano. Sent off at odds of over 6-1 the 6 year old Revenue S gelding paid $14.40 for win. A second Billings division at Plainridge Racecourse was a laugher for driver Bob Hechkoff when his Tagmaster romped to a 1:56.1 wire to wire five-length triumph over Permanent Joy, driven by Bob "Rapid Rail" Krivelin. Third place went to Coin Collector and driver Jimmy "It's all In The Family" Marshall IV. Tagmaster, owned by Hechkoff's T.B.H Ventures Inc. and trained by James Hardy paid $9.60 for win. It was Hechkoff's sixth seasonal triumph and 50 driving victory of his career. A two-time winner of the Harness Racing Museum's Amateur Driver of the Year Award his competitors will have to hurry to derail him from that honor again this season. This coming weekend the Battling Billings Boys will head to the Canadian Maritimes for races at Charlottetown on Saturday, (Sept. 6) and at Summerside Raceway on Sunday. by John Manzi, for the Billings Amateur Driver Series
East Rutherford, NJ - The draw for the last weekend of racing for the 2014 Championship Meet at The Meadowlands meet will be the standard procedure of entering by 9:00am on Monday for the Friday card and by 9:00am on Tuesday for Saturday's Hambletonian card. In the interest of having the strongest possible line-up of races for Saturday, a few of the races may be used on either day. These races are designated by an asterisk on the condition sheet. For this reason the Friday draw won't be finalized and made public until Tuesday. The scratches and driver changes for both days will be due and final by 10:00am on Wednesday, July 30. The actual post position draw for the Hambletonian, Hambletonian Oaks and John Cashman, Jr Memorial trot will be conducted on Tuesday afternoon at the Hambletonian draw press conference in Victory Sports Bar in The Meadowlands grandstand. That will be followed by the 3rd annual Charity Casino Night to benefit the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame and the Standardbred Retirement Foundation. Tables are still available for Casino night and information is available by following this link. From the From The Meadowlands Media Department
Goshen, NY --- Roosevelt Raceway, the most important harness racetrack and entertainment venue in New York between 1940 and 1988, is the subject of a new photographic essay and exhibit by the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame. The exhibit “Remember Roosevelt!” is now open in the Museum’s main gallery and the book, Roosevelt Raceway, the Legacy & the Dream, Where it All Began, is available through the Museum’s gift shop. Visit the Museum’s Goshen, N.Y., store or shop online at www.harnessmuseum.com. Despite its proximity to the urban populace of New York City, Roosevelt Raceway, in Westbury, Long Island, struggled during its early years dominated by World War II with fuel rationing, blackout rules and small crowds. But late in the decade the track, which was established on the site of the defunct Vanderbilt Cup auto racing track, began to turn a profit. At war's end Roosevelt Raceway was positioned to reap the benefits of a large population ready to celebrate. Soon capacity crowds were taxing the limits of the old wooden grandstand, prompting the $20 million trotting palace created by the track’s founder, George Morton Levy, in 1957. Considered harness racing’s lost jewel, night racing, the mobile starting gate, air conditioning and closed-circuit television were all innovations showcased by the “Dream Track.” Nightly crowds of 20,000 and more were standard fare for Roosevelt through the 1960s but in the 1970s with the introduction of Off-Track Betting and competition from other entertainment sites, attendance began to dwindle. By 1980 attendance averaged only 9,000 fans a night. The final race over the iconic oval took place on June 15, 1988, won by Majestic Andrew, driven by Rejean Daigneault. Although some among the Westbury and harness racing communities foresaw the end of the Roosevelt era, with the value of the property the track occupied outstripping racing revenue, the closing of the track so many fans and horsemen called home came as a great shock and a source of disappointment that continues to be felt by those who were lucky enough to have been a part of the “Dream.” The hum that once emanated from Roosevelt’s enormous crowds, however, has not been lost. Thousands of photographs created by the raceway’s press office document the great racing, celebrity sightings, and excitement that drew so many to the track. Twenty-six filing drawers of these priceless images were rescued from the raceway prior to its final demolition in 2000 by the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame. With the aid of grant funding from the New York State Council on the Arts, supported by Governor Andrew Cuomo, and the generosity of individual donors to the Roosevelt Raceway Legacy Project, the meticulous work of preserving and documenting this photographic treasure trove is complete and the Museum has readied a beautiful exhibit and publication for everyone to enjoy. The closing of Roosevelt Raceway was a tremendous loss to the sport of harness racing; the loss of its history would have been devastating. The images published within this volume are just a small example of those preserved by the project. They bring to life the exuberant fans, elegant social events, superb racing and dynamic sporting drama that were the hallmarks of the track. Now, thanks to the dedicated support of the projects donors, Roosevelt Raceway will be remembered for generations to come at the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame. Visit the museum, just 60 miles north of New York City, at 240 Main Street in Goshen, N.Y. Open daily 10 a.m.-- 5 p.m., admission, thanks to the USTA, is without charge. Please call 845.294.6330 for more information or visitwww.harnessmuseum.com. From the Harness Racing Museum
East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands has been a proud host to The Hambletonian for the past 34 years as America's Trotting Classic has been calling East Rutherford, New Jersey home since 1981. This year delivers a new and exciting aspect to The Hambletonian as it will be the first to be raced out of the brand new $100 Million facility which opened November, 2013. Hambletonian week begins on Saturday July 26th with the eliminations for The Hambletonian Oaks, John Cashman Memorial, U.S. Pacing Championship and Lady Liberty. The evening will be centered around the theme of "Ladies Night," including a concert in the Backyard by Lisa Matassa, Macy's Gift Card and Ladies Handbag drawings as well as a special Ladies' Night cocktail. Reserved seats and packages for Hambletonian Day, Saturday August 2nd will be on sale all week at a price of $10.00 for an outdoor seat. Indoor grandstand seating is already sold out. Please call (201) 460-4079 for tickets. Tuesday, July 29th will feature the post position draw for the 89th Hambletonian. Once again, the draw will be raced in "heat format", with same day eliminations. If 13 horses or less enter The Hambletonian, it will be contested as one dash for $1.2 Million. The post position draw will take place at Victory Sports Bar at 4:00 P.M. After the post position draw, Casino Night will follow in The Lounge and The Gallery, beginning at 5:30 P.M. Casino night will benefit The Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame as well as the Standardbred Retirement Foundation. Racing begins on Friday August 1st at 7:15 P.M. The racing program will feature the Townsend Ackerman, Duenna Invitational, Hambletonian Amateur Drivers, Kindergarten Classic and Hambletonian Racing Under Saddle event. Advance wagering on the entire Hambletonian Day program will begin at 12:00 P.M., Friday. Hambletonian Day begins with doors opening at 10:00 A.M, with admission of $5. All paid adult guests will receive a Hambletonian baseball cap, while paid children will receive a Hambletonian lunch bag. WFAN will be broadcasting in The Backyard from 10:00 through 12:30 P.M. For our younger guests, there will be Kiddie Rides, Face Painters and Pony Rides from 11:00 A.M. through 4:00 P.M. First race post time is scheduled for 12:00 P.M. Live music will begin at 12:00 P.M. as well. The Hambletonian national broadcast will be aired on CBS Sports Network from 4:00 - 5:30 P.M. TVG will be on-site and broadcasting live the entire afternoon. The Hambletonian Final is scheduled for race 13, with post time at 5:11 P.M. Following the 14th race will be the Horseplay Car Giveaway where someone will drive out of The Meadowlands in a brand new car. Guests have many options when it comes to dining. Victory Sports Bar will be open at 10:00 A.M. featuring a buffet at a price of $44.95 per person. The East Apron tent also features a buffet, with a carving station at a price of $44.95 per person. Trotters is members-only for Hambletonian Day and a reservation is required. Lastly, Pink will feature a prix-fixe menu at a price of $49.95 per person. For all things Hambletonian, visit playmeadowlands.com and hambletonian.org. From the Meadowlands Media Relations
MONTICELLO, NY- For the 31st consecutive year the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association has again made a donation to the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame. Organization representatives presented a $3000 check to both Museum President Larry Devan and Museum Director Janet Terhune prior to the ceremonies at the Hall of Fame Banquet on the lawn of the Museum in Goshen, NY on July 6. Last November at a Historic Track Board of Directors Meeting the Monticello-Goshen Chapter also donated $3000 to that National Historic Landmark. And earlier this year the chapter made a $500 donation to the Saratoga Harness Hall of Fame. Since the1980's the Monticello-Goshen Chapter USHWA has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Goshen Historic Track and the Harness Racing Museum. Money for the donations was made possible from successful chapter banquets and the continued support of the chapter's charity journals. "We thank all those who participate in our annual awards banquet and charity journal 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 Track, which are not only in our own back yard but very dear to the hearts of everyone in harness racing," noted Chris Tully, USHWA National President as well as the president of the Monticello-Goshen Chapter. Monticello-Goshen USHWA vice president and USHWA National Second VP, Shawn Wiles, added: "Goshen is to harness racing what Cooperstown is to baseball." Prior to annual donations to the Hall and Historic Track the Monticello-Goshen Chapter USHWA used to support a college scholarship but it was decided long ago that when the organization donates money it would be in everyone's best interest to support the harness racing industry. On Sunday evening, November 16th the chapter will hold its 56th Annual Awards Banquet at The Fountains on Sands Road in Middletown, NY. by John Manzi, for the Monticello-Goshen USHWA Chapter
Joe Thomson, owner of the successful Standardbred breeding operation Winbak Farm, based in Maryland, but whose impact is felt in every racing state and province, has been selected by the screening committee of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) for inclusion on the ballot for election to the sport's Hall of Fame, to be decided later this summer. Thomson's Winbak Farm operation is located in Maryland, while Thomson himself lives in Paoli, PA, not far from the state line. A portion of his harness operation is centered in Pennsylvania and he is the current President of the Pennsylvania Harness Breeders Association. Thomson/Winbak stands the leading trotting and pacing sire in another bordering state, Delaware. In all, Winbak has six horse breeding operations throughout North America. Winbak has produced three Standardbred horses of the year in the last dozen years: No Pan Intended (2003), Rainbow Blue (2004), and Muscle Hill (2009). Muscle Hill joins Vivid Photo (2005) as Winbak graduates who have won the sport's most prestigious race, the Hambletonian. This "mating" of quality and quantity has elevated Winbak to second place among producers of money winning harness horses, behind only Hanover Shoe Farms. In 2013, Winbak horses won over 2,000 races and in excess of $18.2 million, with $7.8M of the latter figure contributed by two- and three-year-olds. Thomson is a co-owner of The Red Mile, the historic track in Lexington KY. Among other important positions he holds in the sport, Thomson serves as a trustee and director of the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame and a director of the Hambletonian Society. In addition, Thomson was recognized with the Stan Bergstein Proximity Award at the recent Dan Patch Banquet in Dover, Delaware, considered the second highest honor in the sport. Chapters of USHWA nominate Hall of Fame candidates; these candidates are then discussed by the Hall of Fame Screening Committee of USHWA, separately and in conjunction with an advisory committee consisting of Hall of Famers. Thomson emerged through this process, and his name will appear on the summer ballot along with those of Bob Marks and Kathy Parker, who were nominated by USHWA directors as ballot candidates for the Communicators Hall of Fame. From the United States Harness Writers Association
This Fourth of July holiday weekend will be one that a very special young lady will never forget, thanks to the generosity of the staff and management at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Sydney Weaver, the “little darling” of North American harness racing, and her parents, Lisa and Don Weaver, are driving down from their home in Ontario to the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The racetrack making this holiday weekend an unofficial “Sydney Weaver Guest of Honor” at the Meadowlands. "Over the winter, Darin (Zoccali) approached me about bringing Sydney Weaver and her family down for their first visit to the Meadowlands,” said M’lands GM Jason Settlemoir. “After everything that happened with Sydney's horse, I thought it was a great idea. Sydney is very popular within our sport and it seems there is a lot of buzz about her trip here.” Sydney Weaver is a phenomenal 14-year-old young woman, who just graduated eighth grade. She got her groom’s license at age 10, has won major youth writing awards and her stories are always about harness racing. She was given half of a racehorse, who coincidentally is named Sydney Seelster and the two have lived through the trials and tribulations of having the horse she loves claimed from her and then get her back. Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall, Sydney is always at the races, watching from the rail no matter what the weather conditions are. She roots for the horses, cheers and congratulates the drivers and trainers and has become a household name in harness racing because of her honest enthusiasm for the sport. Her true passion for harness racing is why some call her the “Shirley Temple” of the Standardbred industry. She is now a monthly columnist for the international harness racing website Harnesslink.com and is the youngest member ever of the United States Harness Writers Association. And throughout this all, Sydney battles daily with Cerebral Palsy and is usually confined to her wheelchair, but that has never stopped her from achieving whatever goals she has set before her. This includes jogging horses on the racetrack as she is working hard to try and get her trainers license. The Meadowlands is rolling out the red carpet in honor of Sydney’s visit. The family is driving down on Thursday. Then Friday morning they will head out to visit trainer Tony Alagna and Julie Miller to see their stables and great horses and tour the training farms in the Freehold area. Then back to the Meadowlands for dinner at Trotters, visiting the race paddock and a night of racing. There will even be a race named in honor of Sydney’s visit Friday night. Then Saturday morning it’s Breakfast with the Babies and at night dinner at the track at, of course, “Pink” which is Sydney’s racing colors. Sydney will be honored by being one of the co-presenters of the trophy to the winner of the $484,000 Hambletonian Matturity Trot for four-year-olds. After the races, Sydney and family will drive to Goshen, NY and then Sunday morning head over to the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame, one of Sydney’s favorite places to visit. Then an afternoon at Goshen’s Historic Track for the Grand Circuit races followed by the Hall of Fame induction dinner under the tent at the museum. Monday is visiting Tioga Downs for some live racing, visiting the local breeding farms and then back home to Ontario. And it’s the Meadowlands who is making this all happen for the Weaver’s and it’s the Meadowlands who is paying for everything, from hotel’s to dinners, transportation and Hall of Fame dinner tickets. “Jeff Gural and I try to do things like this for people whenever we can and it usually doesn't attract this much media attention,” Said Jason Settlemoir, “We typically don't like to publicize it. But, I understand why so many people have taken an interest in this fabulous young woman. That said, this weekend is all about Sydney and her family and we are just lucky to have them here." And what does Sydney Weaver think about all of this? “Shortly after Pinky got claimed I heard from Darin Zoccali at the Meadowlands,” Sydney said. “It was a few days after she got claimed and I was still in shock over it and Mr. Zoccali said that they wanted to invite me to come and see the new Meadowlands. I’ve always wanted to come and see the new Meadowlands. It was such a great surprise. “This is going to be so fantastic,” Sydney gushed with excitement. “I have read all about the track and watched the races and seen pictures and now I am going to see it in real life. It’s just too cool. “So many of my friends on Facebook has told me they are coming either Friday or Saturday to the Meadowlands to meet me,” Sydney said. “They want to get my autograph so I now have to bring some Sharpie pens with me. I can’t believe people want my autograph. It’s amazing all the people I will get to meet. I’m just a small time Canadian girl and this is so overwhelming and exciting.” And what is the most exciting part of the trip for a 14-year-old harness racing lover? Well for Sydney Weaver its pink racing equipment. “I can’t wait to visit some of the tack shops,” Sydney said. “It’s hard up here to get equipment in pink but the tack shops around the Meadowlands area they have lot of pink tack and I plan on getting some cool stuff for Pinky to bring back.” What Darin Zoccali and the Meadowlands is doing for Sydney Weaver and her family is way over the top and their generosity is very touching, especially to a deserving young lady who has made such an impact on the Standardbred industry despite her claiming of only being a small time Canadian girl. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com
When harness racing driver David Miller headed from Ohio to the East Coast more than a decade ago, he thought it would be temporary. He was wrong. And it resulted in a permanent place among the sport's all-time greats. On Sunday, the 49-year-old Miller will be inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame during ceremonies at the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y. Miller has won more than 11,000 races in his ongoing career, ranking eighth among all North American drivers in history, and earned $180 million in purses, which is No. 4 all time. Also being inducted on Sunday is William Weaver, who bred influential trotting sire Valley Victory as well as several division champions. In addition, longtime U.S. Trotting Association Publicity Director John Pawlak and retired USTA Stakes Director Carol Cramer will be enshrined in the Communicators Hall of Fame. Horses being honored are Donato Hanover, Precious Bunny, Hattie, Green Speed, and Windsong's Legacy. "It means a lot to me," Miller said. "The biggest honor you can receive in your profession, I think, is for people to think of you that way. To be put in the Hall of Fame with people that I looked up to, it's very special. I feel privileged. I'm sure it will hit me more once I'm there. I haven't been too focused on it yet." Miller was voted Driver of the Year in 2003 when he led North America in purses and guided No Pan Intended to the Pacing Triple Crown. He has won a total of 11 Triple Crown races (combined pacing and trotting) and 14 Breeders Crown trophies. He is a three-time winner of the Little Brown Jug and one of only two drivers to capture the Little Brown Jug and its filly companion race, the Jugette, in the same year. He has won at least $10 million in purses 12 times, the most of any driver in history, and trails only Hall of Famers John Campbell, Ron Pierce and Mike Lachance in career earnings. Miller was already a star in his native Ohio when he headed to the East Coast in the late 1990s. He captured multiple driving titles at the Meadowlands Racetrack in the early 2000s and has been a force on the Grand Circuit ever since he made the move. "I came out at a time when things kind of clicked for me," Miller said. "I was driving a lot of good horses. I didn't plan on it. You can't. I was very fortunate to hook up with as many good trainers that I have over the years. "Hopefully it's not over yet." Miller, who was enshrined in the Ohio Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2010, shows no signs of slowing down. Last weekend, he won the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial with McWicked in a world-record performance and two weeks earlier captured the $420,900 Fan Hanover Stakes with Uffizi Hanover. "I've gotten to drive a lot of great horses," Miller said. "It's more than I thought I would do. The sport has been good to me, that's for sure." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications