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East Rutherford, N.J. (Jan. 13, 2020) – Peter Grandich and Company (PGC) is pleased to announce that it will sponsor an Irish Heritage Driver Race on Saturday, March 14, which will be hosted at the Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Additionally, two PGC team members in New York Giants Super Bowl champion Jeff Feagles and former New York Jets quarterback Ray Lucas will be appearing for a meet and greet that night as well. “My wife and I have been sponsors of Irish Heritage Driver Races at Monticello and Freehold, and we are honored to now do so at the mecca of harness racing, the Meadowlands,” said Peter Grandich, Managing Member of Peter Grandich and Company. “Having two of our Irish heritage sports celebrities appearing as well will surely make it a great night.” Some of the leading contender to be in the race George Brennan, Irish Joe Hanney and Dublin's Jack Killeen.  This event marks the third by PGC at the Meadowlands Racetrack in recent months. The firm hosted a Hockey Night with Nick Fotiu, Bruce Driver and Brian Propp in November before holding a Football Night with Joe Klecko and Dan Klecko in December. “We are grateful to Peter Grandich and Company for sponsoring our 2020 Irish Heritage Driver Race,” said Jason Settlemoir, COO & GM of Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment. “We are also excited to host Super Bowl Champ Jeff Feagles and New York Jets fan favorite Ray Lucas. This event showcases how intertwined racing & sports really are!” Punter Jeff Feagles played 22 seasons in the NFL, appearing in 352 games overall. He holds the NFL record for most consecutive games played in a career and ranks third in the NFL for most games played overall. The two-time Pro Bowler spent the final seven years of his career with the New York Giants, where he was a member of the 2007 Super Bowl champions who defeated the previously unbeaten New England Patriots. Feagles retired from the NFL after the 2009 season and now works as a successful real estate professional. Quarterback Ray Lucas played in the NFL from 1996 to 2002, spending time with the New England Patriots, New York Jets, Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens. Since retiring from the NFL, the New Jersey native now works as a studio analyst on a variety of Jets shows for SNY, and he also works as a radio broadcaster for his alma mater, Rutgers University. To learn more about Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment, and to view their upcoming schedule, make sure to visit their official website: PlayMeadowlands.com From Peter Grandich and Company

Freehold, NJ --- Freehold Raceway hosted the "Turkey Trot" on Friday afternoon, sponsored by Peter Grandich & Co. It turned out to be a thriller, as Data won the race in a harness racing photo finish over Lionhead.   Sent off as the 4/1 third choice in the field of eight, Data left well from post position three, and pocketed up behind Lionhead. Driver "Irish Joe" Hanney stayed patient with his mount, keeping him on the pylons almost the whole way.   Turning for home, Hanney angled Data out for a clear shot, but Lionhead remained clear until the last few strides. Data kept on coming, and got up in the last stride to win by a nose. He trotted the mile in 2:02.3 for owner Domenico Costagliola and trainer Anouk Busch.   Following the race, Grandich, along with Freehold general manager Howard Bruno, racing secretary Karen Fagliarone, and former New York Jet Fred Baxter, made the trophy and blanket presentation in the winner's circle. Earlier in the day, Baxter signed autographs and took photos with Freehold racing fans.   Live racing continues at Freehold on Saturday, with a 12-race card beginning at 12:30 PM EST. From Freehold Raceway      

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - With most of the front-line Meadowlands harness racing drivers competing on the North America Cup card, Saturday night provided an opportunity for others to shine at the Big M, and none shone brighter than Freehold regular 'Irish' Joe Hanney, who guided a pair of longshots to victory lane. Hanney's first score came in the fifth race, as he guided Village Jackson to a lifetime-best 1:51.1 score in a claiming handicap pace. In his last five starts with claimers, Village Jackson had been no worse than fourth, and this time around, the 11-year-old gelding prevailed at odds of 55-1, topping an Exacta that paid $694.40, a Trifecta that came back $5,275.00 and the 50-Cent Pick-5, which returned a whopping $15,266.00. But he had more damage to do. In the very next race, Hanney was at it again, this time in a pace for horses who had a TrackMaster rating of 80 or less, scoring with In Rock We Trust in a lifetime-best 1:51.1 at odds of 30-1. The Exacta returned $899.40 and Trifecta $3,603.40. Hanney also trains both horses. For Hanney fans who played a $2 win parlay, their return was a handsome $3,636. Delaware-circuit regular Mike Cole also had a driving double on the program, as did Big M regular Andy Miller. Corey Callahan had a second straight superb Saturday by winning four times. Last week, Callahan visited the winner's circle on six occasions. A LITTLE MORE: 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five players have much to look forward to Friday night. The fifth race JSH5 failed to result in a single-ticket winner, upping the carryover to $113,204.60. ... All-source handle on the 13-race card totaled $2,614,953. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m.   By Dave Little

Freehold Raceway in New Jersey held their annual St Paddys Day harness race last weekend and fittingly two Irish born drivers finished first and second in the ever popular event. Jack Killeen from the suburb of Tallaght just outside Dublin, driving 3/1 chance Major Humor outgunned Joe Hanney from Blanchardstown aboard Black Hammer, a 10/1 shot, to claim victory in a mile time of 1:59.1 Driver of the winner, Jack Killeen, has recently taken up a five year visa to forge a career in harness racing and cited Mike and Heather Wilder as a source of inspiration and the primary catalyst for the helping to make things happen for the eighteen year old who has a handful of winners already racked up at the Meadows. Being so young he still doesn’t have his American driving licence and such was his sheer determination to participate that Jack Killeen embarked on an eight hour round trip by bus from Pittsburgh, PA, to take his place in the line-up. This trek was duly rewarded however and the victory will live long in the memory of the Dubliner. Hanney, the luckless runner up, and a previous winner of this event was ever gracious in defeat, shaking hands with the winner before posing for some pics which are almost certain to be framed and up on the walls of their family homes back in the emerald isle. Hanney undoubtedly must have felt some affinity to Killeen as he himself left Ireland as a raw teenager with an unquenchable spirit and a dream to make it stateside as a trainer and driver in harness racing. The race itself lived up to its billing and from the outset as Hanney and great rival George Brennan took each other on in a no-holds-barred early speed duel. Just as Hanneys Black Hammer started to get the better of Brennan's mount Dalton Did It and was starting to draw away from the field when along came Jack Killeen with Major Humour with a bold three-wide move at the three-quarter mile marker and despite Hanneys all-out stretch drive the fresh impetus of Killeens charge carried him past a battle-weary Black Hammer in the shadows of the post to win by three-quarters of a length. The race was well supported on the day by other drivers of Irish descent including Ron Burke and Bob Bresnahan and it’s a fantastic tribute to their Irish ancestry that these big names make the effort year after year to celebrate St Patricks Day at Freehold Raceway by taking part in the race. The Irish have earned a reputation for working hard and are recognised as accomplished harnessmen in the US and Canada amongst their peers with Stephen Loughran, Anthony Haughan, Ciaran Morrison and Robert Cleary amongst those who have successfully carved careers in the sport across the atlantic in recent years alongside Joe Hanney and yesterdays winning driver Jack Killeen. To view the St Patrick's Day race at Freehold Raceway click here. by Thomas Bennett, for Harnesslink

MANALAPAN, NJ - September 7, 2015 - You can call Don'tcallmefrancis a winner now. The two-year-old pacing gelding posted his first career victory in his third start, the $7,000 opening leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes - Green Acres - on Monday, September 7, 2015 in the third race at Freehold Raceway. Don'tcallmefrancis, a son of Rocknroll Hanover-Nanny WIthafanny, got up in the final sixteenth of a mile for a three-quarter of the length victory over Perchance To Dream [If I Can Dream] with Nullity [If I Can Dream] in third by four and a quarter lengths. Irish Joe Hanney guided the Nifty Norman trainee who races for Norman's Enzed Racing Stable Inc. of Allentown, NJ. Bred by Stephen P. Dey III of Allentown, NJ, Don'tcallmefrancis was a $25,000 Harrisburg Sale purchase. He now has earnings of $7,460 with a win and a second in three starts. By Carol Hodes for the SBOANJ

The Ladbroke’s Vincent Delaney Memorial Series for two-year-old pacers has truly become an international affair as Australasia’s leading harness racing driver, Anthony Butt, has announced he is heading to Dublin, Ireland’s Portmarnock Trotting Track to compete in the series. “I had read the stories on Harnesslink about Derek and James Delaney developing the series to honor their lost brother,” Anthony Butt said, “and then Irish Joe Hanney, who is a friend of mine in the USA, got in contact with me asking if I was interested in going up for the race weekend. When I looked at the dates and it fitted in well with my schedule, I jumped at the opportunity.” “How great is it that one of the leading drivers from Australasia, Anthony Butt, is coming here to Ireland to drive,” said Derek Delaney. “Now we have two world class drivers from the other sides of the globe, Wally Hennessey and Anthony, coming to Portmarnock for my brother’s memorial series. This is going to be one super weekend of racing. Plus we also have the world renowned announcer, Roger Huston coming over from the USA to call the races both days.” Anthony Butt hails from three full generations of harness racing in his family. His grandfathers, Wes Butt and Derek Jones, belong to the short-list of New Zealand’s outstanding trainer/drivers. Little Anthony began working in the stables at age 9. Starting out as a driver and entering the sport as a 17-year-old in 1983, Anthony began carving out a distinguished career with a victory in just his third start in a race. His first season saw him win the New Zealand Junior Title. From there it has been a career dreams are made from by his Inter Dominion Trotting Grand Final victory with the great Lyell Creek (2000) and Take A Moment (2001 and 2003). He also scored a Pacing Grand Final victory in 2009 (Mr. Feelgood USA). His success in the industry has also been a family affair as his brother Tim does the training for the stable and has been instrumental in Anthony’s and the stables success. Anthony has consistently been in the top 10 of New Zealand reinsmen since the 1990’s and his career was recognized by his peers and fans as he was inducted into the New Zealand Trotting Hall of Fame. Between driving in New Zealand, Australia and the United States, Anthony has more than 2,176 career wins and $19.8 million in purses won with the horses he has driven. Has Anthony ever been Ireland or the United Kingdom? “I have only been to England on holiday, Anthony said. “I have visited Newmarket/Ascot a couple of times to have a look at the Thoroughbreds. A great friend of our family is Sam Ballentyne, who was a leading trainer/driver in Scotland before he emigrated to NZ in the 1970's. I have driven many winners for Sam over the years and always enjoyed his stories of trotting in the UK back then. Also quite a few New Zealanders were involved with harness racing in Wales back in the 1960/70's. “We have had several people work for us over the years from the UK,” Anthony added, “including Richard Haythornthwaite, who is from a famous harness racing family in the UK. Anthony talked about how great a trip this will be. “This is a great opportunity to visit and drive in a new country,” Anthony explained, “As well as to help Derek and his family promote the race meeting worldwide. It’s fantastic to see harness racing taking off in a country like Ireland and any chance we get we should do whatever we can to support occasions like this. “I can’t wait to experience harness racing in Ireland and meeting the people involved. They appear to have a real passion for the sport and hopefully a meeting like this can really give the sport a boast there. It looks to be a unique kind of meeting.” Anthony said. The Ladbroke’s Vincent Delaney Memorial Series has 54 two-year-old colt and filly pacers nominated. The series has $2,000 elimination heats Saturday, August 9 and the $35,000 final will be raced Sunday, August 10. Fillies in the final will draw for the inside posts on Portmarnock’s half mile oval. There is already a reported golf match schedule Monday morning after the race meet between Derek Delaney, Wally Hennessey and Anthony Butt. “I have no idea how good Derek is so by the sounds of it definitely Wally, I am only a hacker and I might be better driving the cart with the drinks in it,” laughed Anthony. 'There is also a reporter for a Dublin newspaper and the Standardbred Ireland Facebook page, Eric Haughan, who will be playing with us so I am sure everyone will be able to read about the golfing went." The Ladbroke’s Vincent Delaney Memorial Series has developed into an exciting weekend of racing in Ireland and promises to have plenty of action and drama for those who are fortunate enough to attend the meet live. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

On Saturday July 12, at new Meadowlands, Orange Bigi (6f SJ's Caviar-Emerald City-Donerail) qualified in 2:01 for Sofia Fredlund and trainer Joe Hanney. The same day, at Saratoga Harness, a monte/RUS exhibition was staged that drew an eight horse field. The top two finishers were a nose apart in the 2:04.4h contest with Jessie Say More (4g Jailhouse Jessie-Need We Say More-Super Ben Joe) securing the victory for Michelle Crawford and trainer Frank Davis. Tymal Oh So Nice with Heather Reese aboard was second with Admirable Hanover and Jennifer Conner third, ten lengths back. Action continues Sunday July 13th at Ocean Downs with a three horse field battling for a $6,000 purse. The field consists of CJ's Crown (Caroline Green), Flowing James (Tara Hynes) and Truth In Action (Karen Isbell). In Ontario, at Clinton Raceway, their monte event is the first on the regular card with pari-mutuel wagering. Five trotters will contest this event for a purse of $2,200 and it's race #2 on the afternoon program. The field includes Charlie Tuna (B. Kennedy), Twin B Excalibur (E. Harms), Dayplanner (M. Valstad), Radical Dreamer (S. Town) and Shipps Xceptional (J. Fenwick). On Monday July 14 the NY RUS Series continues at Waterloo. Race #5 is a three-horse monte event for a purse of $530 with the field consisting of Kash Now (Michelle Miller), Striking Mystery (Jennifer Lowrey) and John-michael (tba). Rapid Strategy (9g King Conch-Rapid Sahbra-Master Willie) with owner/trainer Lindsey Blackler aboard in this 2:08k score July 5 at Goshen Historic Track on Hall of Fame day. Admirable Hanover and Jennifer Conner finished second. www.monteamerica.com by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com  

INTERVIEW WITH IRISH JOE HANNEY

Driver "Irish" Joe Hanney captured the St. Paddy's Day Pace today at Freehold Raceway with 60-1 long shot Real Mystical from post eight and paid $122.00 to win. The race featured eight drivers of Irish descent and was sponsored by Peter and Mary Grandich of Freehold, NJ. Real Mystical, owned and trained by John Urbanski, overcame a 12½ length deficit at the quarter mile mark to score a ½ length victory at the wire over Tulfra, driven by John Sheehan. "Irish Joe" was reunited with two of his former countrymen, Anthony Haughan and Jonathan Dunne, along with Corey Callahan, George Brennan, John McDermott, John Sheehan, and Jack Baggitt. Live racing resumes at Freehold on Thursday with first race post time at 12:30pm. Freehold Raceway is the nation's oldest and fastest daytime half mile harness racing track. Freehold Raceway Publicity office

FREEHOLD, NJ - - In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, Freehold Raceway will be the scene of a special race featuring drivers of Irish heritage on Saturday, March 15. The winner of the race, which will be sponsored by Mary and Peter Grandich, of Freehold New Jersey, will receive a blanket and a trophy. The presentation will be made by Irish-American boxing great, Gerry Cooney.   “As a harness owner and racing fan, I’m honored to be sponsoring the St. Paddy Pace,” said Grandich. “My wife, Mary, was born and raised in Ireland and we were married there, so I have a deep connection to the Irish people and culture. I’m looking forward to this 'green' day at the races.”   The drivers scheduled to participate in the race are Jack Baggitt, Jr., George Brennan, Corey Callahan, John Sheehan, John McDermott, plus a trio of native Irish drivers, “Irish” Joe Hanney, Anthony Haughan, and Jonathan Dunne.      Callahan, recipient of the 2014 Rising Star Award, currently leads all North American drivers in both wins and money earnings. George Brennan is a winner of more than 8,000 races lifetime and one of the sports leading drivers for many years. Baggitt, Sheehan and McDermott are all longtime Freehold mainstays. The trio of “Irish” Joe Hanney, Jonathan Dunne and Anthony Haughan is a reunion celebrating many years of driving and training together throughout Ireland, England, Canada, and the United States.    Dunne, who currently resides in Ireland, holds the driving title in his country as well as in the UK. Haughan is a top driver in Canada closing in on his 1000 wins.  This will be the first time for Haughan and Dunne participating over the Freehold oval.     Freehold Raceway is the nation's oldest and fastest daytime half mile harness racing track.   Submitted by Freehold Raceway Publicity Department  

First it was “Irish” Joe Hanney who consented to drive in Monticello Raceway’s 13th annual St. Paddy Pace. Now Anthony Haughan, another full-blooded native Irishman, will join his friend and fellow countryman on Wednesday (March 13) and participate in the race exclusively for drivers of Irish descent.

When Monticello Raceway presents its 13th annual St. Paddy Pace for drivers of Irish heritage, for the first time since the its inception, the race will have a sponsor.

Joe Hanney figures if he can make it here, he can make it anywhere. Hanney, a 30-year-old native of Dublin, Ireland, first came to North America in 2007 and after a year in Canada eventually settled in the U.S. to further his career in harness racing.

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