The industry was saddened to hear of the passing of Dubbo harness racing horseman John 'Macca' McKinnon. John passed away last Thursday after a lengthy battle with leukaemia, aged 69. With a family involvement in harness racing, John dabbled with pacers over the years and trained a handful of winners. A roof tiler by trade, John also trained thoroughbreds and in recent times had a lot of success with a galloper called Something Borrowed. A funeral service will be held at the Dubbo City Crematorium for John this afternoon (Wednesday August 17) at 2:30pm. Harness Racing NSW extends its deepest sympathies to John's family and friends. Amanda Rando
Ronald Ingrassia, a loving husband, father, grandfather, and harness racing trainer/driver at the Monticello Raceway, passed away on Thursday, August 4th, 2016 at his home in Hurleyville surrounded by his family. He was 75. The son of the late Charles Ingrassia and Elizabeth Cerullo Ingrassia, he was born November 7, 1940 in Corona, NY. Ronnie was first a family man - he loved being with his children and grandchildren. He was also a lifelong horseman. Harness racing was in his blood from an early age. He raced professionally as driver for 30 years from 1962 until 1992, and continued on as a trainer until his death. With over 900 wins as a driver, his best year was 1982 where he had 862 starts and 160 wins. Ronnie leaves behind his wife Carol, his daughter Barbie, his sons Ricky & Randy, 8 grandchildren - Hailey (14), Richie (14), Hannah (13), Kaytlyn (10), Lilly (9), Ashley (9), Anthony (7) and Joey (2), his son/daughters in law Jake, Jennifer, and Kathleen, his brother Frank & Jacquie Ingrassia, his brother Robert & Carol Ingrassia, his sister Lenora & Jay Sperling, and his sister Betty Lou Ingrassia Carroll & Danny, and his many nieces and nephews to numerous to mention. A graveside service was held Sunday August 7, 2016 at the Hurleyville Cemetery. Obituary of Ronald Ingrassia Fred Hudson
FREEHOLD, NJ - August 5, 2016 - George Luchento, brother of horseman Tom Luchento, passed away today [Friday, August 5, 2016]. Tom Luchento is the former president of the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey and former owner-operator of the restaurant, Luchento's. George, 67, was from Easton, PA and was the retired Vice President/ Global IT Vendor Management and Procurement for National Starch & Chemical. He earned his bachelors in industrial management at Seton Hall University and his MS in computer science from Pratt Institute. George Luchento leaves his wife, Alice Danow Luchento; his daughter, Janet Luchento-De Nise; granddaughter, Allison; two brothers, Tom and Michael, and father, Nat.
Batavia, NY --- Long time Western New York harness racing trainer / driver / horseman, David A. Spaziano of Rochester, New York, died on July 25, 2016 at age 76. According to his family, "If we had to sum up David's life in one picture, this one says it all. Horses and horse racing were his heart and soul." Mr. Spaziano drove home 152 winners during his harness racing career. His trainees won over 70 races. Some of his most popular horses include Scorpion Prince and Passion Time. His last driving win came at Buffalo Raceway on November 12, 1997 behind Handsome Boy. David is predeceased by Ida & Anthony Spaziano. David is survived by daughters Laurie, Layna and Michelle (former spouse Ann Marie Spaziano), son David (companion Gloria Jean Ricci), grandchildren Frankie, Michael, Shane and Kendra, sister Dolores (Lee) Capomaccio and brother Al (Elaine) Spaziano . Celebrate David's life with a night at Batavia Downs. No calling hours. Tim Bojarski
Nathan Price, 36, of Wickhaven, Pennsylvania passed away suddenly on Tuesday, July 19. Nate was a member of the USTA and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association, and had been involved in harness racing throughout his entire life, through his father, Gary, an owner/trainer at The Meadows. Born in Elyria, Ohio, Nate graduated from West Allegheny School District in Pennsylvania and was self employed as an electrician. He also worked daily with his pacing filly, Elegantly Vicious. He is survived by his wife, Jonelle Zeiler Price, his parents Gary and Betty Jo, three brothers and one sister-in-law Doug and Renee Price, Jeffery Price and Shawn Price, his mother-in-law and father-in-law, Debbie A. and John Zeiler, grandfather-in-law, Elmer J. Zeiler, one brother-in-law and two sisters-in-law, John A. and Leah Zeiler and Rachelle Zeiler, one nephew, Gavin Price and one niece, Coralynn Price. Services were held in private.
Richard Rastetter, a longtime harness racing member of the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association and United States Trotting Association, passed away on June 11, 2016. He was 74. Rastetter, of West Alexander, Pennsylvania, was a Standardbred horse breeder, owner and trainer for several decades. His survived by his wife of 56 years, Mary Ann, and his daughters Jean and Amy. The Rastetters owned their horses together as a family, with Jean handling the training in recent years. Some of his top horses were Idadazzle, County Treasure and Zorgwijk Kingpin. Memorial contributions can be made to the Christian Harness Horsemen's Association, c/o The Meadows, 210 Racetrack Road, Washington, PA 15301. from the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association
Arthur George Shaw, 77, of Jensen Beach, Fla., died June 5, 2016, in Stuart, Fla. He was born June 16, 1938, in Milwaukee, Wis., to the late Arthur (a harness racing driver) and Letty Shaw of Elkhorn Wis. Mr. Shaw graduated from Elkhorn High School then went on to Bradley University and was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity, where he graduated, and then on to Northern Illinois University with a law degree. He followed in his dad's footsteps and became a leading Standardbred driver, driving horses from New York to California. He was one of the top driver/trainers in the country. He was also one of the first single importers to import Standardbreds from New Zealand to the United States. Mr. Shaw met his wife DeDe and they were married February 21, 1971. In a few short years they brought a baby into the world their son, A.G. In 1980 Mr. Shaw was introduced to a company called Shaklee. He started building a Shaklee business with DeDe and together they exploded the business into the largest Shaklee business in the world. Later on in life he missed the racehorse environment so he ventured into Standardbred stallions. This is where he pioneered the dual hemisphere Standardbred stud service in the U.S. where in the off season he would fly the horses to New Zealand to stand for stud. This has now become common practice. He own and shuttled the great stallion In The Pocket to New Zealand and this stallion has changed the breed Down Under producing outstanding sires and racehorses and now broodmares. In The Pocket has produced the great stallions Christian Cullen and Courage Under Fire. In The Pocket and his son Christian Cullen have dominated the broodmare sires list in New Zealand over the last three years. In The Pocket is the current leading Broodmare sire in Australia. He and DeDe got into quarter horses and traveled the country together showing their horses, winning the top shows in the country including the NSBA World and Congress Championship. He was on the Board of Directors for the Florida Quarter Horse Association. He served on many boards over the years, including the Shaklee Masters Executive Committee as chairman multiple times. He was on the Nation Snaffle Bit Association. He was also on The Small Businessman board where he worked with Senator McCain. He was on the Illinois Harness Driver Association and he co-chaired the Heart Association for Martin County, Fla. His life was full of experience and he lived life. He also lived to make life better for others. He is survived by his wife, DeDe; son, A.G. (Maureen); and grandchildren, Tyler and Ella. USTA Communications Department
MANALAPAN, NJ -- June 13, 2016 -- Leo C. McNamara III, a third generation harness racing horseman and executive administrator of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey (SBOANJ) for the past 15 years, died early Sunday morning, June 12. Mr. McNamara died of complications following a hard fought battle with cancer, just two weeks short of his 61st birthday. Born June 30, 1955, in Carmel, Ind., Mr. McNamara was the son of Leo McNamara Jr., whose father, Leo, founded Two Gaits Farm in Indiana, where Adios was foaled and the pacing stallion Hal Dale stood at stud. Leo C. McNamara was also a founder of the U.S. Trotting Association, the Hall of Fame of the Trotter in Goshen, N.Y., and at one time an owner of The Red Mile. The McNamara family moved east in the late 1950s and Mr. McNamara III spent some time as a youngster at Hanover Shoe Farms, where his father served as farm superintendent. The McNamara family returned to Carmel before selling the family farm and moving east again when Leo McNamara Jr. joined Pine Hollow Stud Farm in New York. While living in Pine Bush, N.Y., Mr. McNamara III began working on the Pine Hollow Stud Farm. After graduating from high school in 1973, he continued on at Pine Hollow Stud Farm, becoming an assistant manager. Mr. McNamara III moved to Kentucky's Bluegrass horse country and worked at Dan Hollibaugh's Holly Lane Stud in Lexington, serving as manager there from 1981-1985. Mr. McNamara's next stop was Almahurst, where he served as farm superintendent of the breeding nursery's flagship farm outside of Lexington during the era when it was one of the sport's showcase operations. Mr. McNamara III left Almahurst in 1988 to run the new Dreamaire Farm nursery in New Jersey founded by Bob Boni and partners. Boni knew Mr. McNamara III from their days together at Pine Hollow Farm. Leo's family moved to New York in 1973 when I was the yearling manager at Pine Hollow Stud Farm and as a high school senior he became my weekend and then summer help, said Boni. We forged a great friendship over the next 40-something years, regardless of where our travels took us, and he will forever be one of the most special people I have ever known. Leo was a great advocate for the horsemen and horsewomen of New Jersey in so many ways and always with the fairness and decency that characterized his personality. He loved and adored his wife Cathy and his daughter Celeste and he will be missed by anyone fortunate to have known him. After Dreamaire closed its operations, Mr. McNamara III re-established Two Gaits Farm in New Jersey and bred and boarded horses. In 2001 Mr. McNamara III began working for the SBOANJ, becoming executive administrator in 2006. During his years with the SBOANJ, Mr. McNamara III worked with racetracks in the Garden State to keep tabs on the purse accounts, becoming an astute expert of analyzing handle from various sources with various percentages going to purses. I've been a director of the SBOA for 10 years, and Leo was invaluable, said Mark Ford, president of the SBOANJ. I don't think the horsepeople in New Jersey can realize how invaluable he was advocating for horsemen and horsewomen and protecting our interests. He always brought knowledge and commonsense to the table and could always come up with a commonsense approach or solution. Because of Mr. McNamara's knowledge of the purse account and percentages of handle earned, he played a significant role in Jeff Gural's acquisition of the Meadowlands from the state of New Jersey. Leo was a straight shooter and a great guy to work with, said Jason Settlemoir, CEO and general manager of the Meadowlands Racetrack. He's going to be missed from both an industry standpoint and as a friend. Mr. McNamara III is survived by his wife, Cathy; a daughter, Celeste, assistant professor of history at University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom; two stepchildren, Dr. Daniel J. Dooley and Katie Pidge Decker; his mother, Irene; one brother, Joe (Meg Booth); eight sisters, Anne Slosky, Coleen (Frank) Benedett, Bridget (Jeffrey) Fenessy, Kate (David) Smith, Mary Coleman, Kelly (Patrick) Kennedy, Celeste (Brian) O'Neill and Jane (Glenn) Taylor; 14 nieces and nephews; and more than 100 cousins. Visitation will be held Thursday, June 16, from 2-4 and 6-9 p.m. at Peppler Funeral Home, 122 Crosswicks St, Bordentown, N.J., 08505. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Friday at St. Mary's Church, 45 Crosswicks St., in Bordentown. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Harness Horse Youth Foundation, 16575 Carey Rd., Westfield, IN 46074. By Kathy Parker, The Horsemen and Fair World
It is with our deepest sorrow that we inform you of the death of Leo McNamara this morning Sunday June 12, 2016. Leo died of complications following a hard fought battle with cancer, just two weeks short of his 61st birthday. Leo was the SBOANJ's Executive Administrator for 15 years, this is a tragic blow to the racing industry as a whole. We not only grieve at the passing of a tremendous individual but also for the loss his family suffers. Service announcements will be posted when available. Courtney Stafford
MANALAPAN, NJ – June 7, 2016 – New Jersey Racing Commissioner Anthony “Tony” DePaloa passed away Saturday June 4, 2016 of complications from surgery. Born in Newark, NJ on November 1, 1935, his family moved to East Orange, NJ where he graduated from High School in 1955. Upon graduating, he proudly served in the US Army. After receiving an honorable discharge from the Army, Anthony went on to work for the United States Post Office for 38 years before retiring. Throughout his life, he served as Athletic Director at St. Mary's High School, Perth Amboy Oratory Prep in Summit, NJ and St. Pius in Piscataway, NJ. He also coached Soccer, Baseball, and Pop Warner Football. He was a football referee, a baseball umpire and basketball official for many years as well as being involved in many local organizations. In 2014, Governor Chris Christie appointed Tony to the New Jersey Racing Commission. Tony was predeceased by his brother, Dr. Alphonse DePaola and his sister, Marie Giannone. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Dolores; his son, Dr. Anthony DePaola and his wife, Carla of NJ, his daughters; Antoinette DePaola of NJ and Gina and her husband, Joel Russo of NJ. Anthony is also survived by his grandchildren; Aria, Cristina, Anthony, Lauren, Alyse, Joseph, Alena, Gianna and Maria. He will be missed by all who knew him. In lieu of flowers, the family request donations to the charity of your choice be made in Tony's memory. Visitation will be held at the Quinn-Hopping Funeral Home, 26 Mule Rd., Toms River, NJ on Wednesday, June 8, 2016 from 4:00-8:00pm. A Funeral Mass will be 10:30am on Thursday, June 9, 2016 at St. Maximilian Church, Toms River, NJ. Interment will follow at Brig. General William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Wrightstown, NJ. Courtney Stafford
New York, June 1- Morton Finder, 82, a prominent Standardbred horse owner and harness racing breeder, passed away in his sleep earlier today in the VA Hospital in New York City. He was a native of Brooklyn and a former Coast Guard officer during World War II. A legendary owner and breeder, Mr. Finder raced horses on the New York circuit at Yonkers Raceway, the now-defunct Roosevelt Raceway, The Meadowlands and other leading harness racetracks throughout the country dating back to the 1950's, and was part of the ownership group of 1966 Triple Crown champion Romeo Hanover. Mr. Finder was an astute and successful handicapper during harness racing's heyday. He also co-owned leading Standardbred breeding farm, Pine Hollow Stud Farm, with Monticello Raceway founder Charles Slutsky, and syndicated world renowned harness racehorses including Triple Crown champion Niatross. In later years, Mr. Finder owned and bred many stakes horses as a partner with the late Lou Guida, racing under the Finder-Guida Enterprises banner. Mr. Finder was known for his philanthropy, supporting such charities as Henry Street Settlement. He is survived by three adult children, Robin Arnold, David Finder, and Jeffrey Finder, and four grandchildren. by Michael Weitz, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Raceway at Western Fair District was saddened to learn of the passing of Wall of Fame member Norm Hardy of Lucan this past Monday, May 16 - just three weeks short of his 90th birthday. The Hardy name has been synonymous with harness racing in the London area and the legendary John Campbell, who grew up next to the Hardy clan, called Norm one of the pioneers of Ontario racing. Son Ken and grandson Glen both remain active in Ontario racing. Norm, along with his brother Jack, was inducted to The Raceway's prestigious Wall of Fame in 2000. More details will be posted when available. Please join The Raceway in offering sincere condolences to the Hardy family. Greg Blanchard Raceway Manager Tel: 519-438-7203,239Toll Free: 1-800-619-4629Fax: 519-438-2388Email: email@example.com 900 King Street London ON N5W 2X6 Please consider the environment before printing this email message. Disclaimer: This message contains confidential information. If you are not the recipient, you should not disseminate, distribute or copy this e-mail. Please notify firstname.lastname@example.org immediately by e-mail if you have received this e-mail by mistake and delete this e-mail from your system. E-mail transmission cannot be guaranteed to be secure or error-free as information could be intercepted, corrupted, lost, destroyed, arrive late or incomplete, or contain viruses.
Harness Racing New South Wales was saddened to learn of the passing of horseman Lyle Jones over the weekend, aged 80. Born in Queensland, Lyle grew up in shearing sheds watching his father and quickly earned himself a reputation as a top shearer before moving to Sydney. While in Sydney he didn't have a lot to do with harness racing, but always enjoyed a trip to the trots. Lyle and his wife Janet moved to Young and bought a property adjoining the showgrounds and it was during this time he became interested in becoming involved in the sport as a trainer. Lyle was a very good horse breaker and "Mr Inter Dominion" trainer Brian Hancock sent him a number of yearlings over the years during his golden run. Lyle trained Four Penny Dark in her two and three year old seasons and won races like the Bathurst Gold Tiara, the NSW Sires Stakes and the Raith Memorial. The mare was subsequently sent to Hancock and retired with earnings of more than $300,000. Lyle is survived by his wife Janet and will be sadly missed by his children and grandchildren. Greg Hayes
Richard D. Taylor, 88, of Westfield, Indiana, died on Friday, March 25, 2016 at his home. (Richard is the father of our Executive Director,Ellen Taylor) Richard served his country as a member of the United States Army with the Occupation Forces in Japan where he chauffeured for the staff of General Douglas MacArthur. He earned his Bachelor's degree from Purdue University in 1952. Dick began his training and driving career with his father at their training headquarters at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. He traveled county fair circuits throughout the Midwest and shipped to pari-mutuel racetracks on both coasts. Dick's gift came in the form of developing young horses, particularly 2-year-old trotters. His undeniable patience resulted in considerable success as he developed champions including Dauntless Ann, Matann, Majestic Cliff, Allot, Will Sikes, Gold, Isaac C, Home Court, and Spinning Ranger. His summed up his nine decades of experience by saying: "I want to know more about a horse tomorrow than I do today." Dick served as president and director of the Indiana Trotting & Pacing Horse Association, member of the Indiana Standardbred Board of Regulations, and assistant to the director of Harness Racing at the Indiana State Fair in the early 1970s, as well as working tirelessly in the fight to legalize pari-mutuel wagering in Indiana. He also received the Sagamore of the Wabash from former Governor Robert Orr. In 2014, he was inducted into the Indiana Standardbred Hall of Fame. He is survived by three children: Jo Barbara Taylor (George Greason), Robert Taylor (Tammera), and Tara Ellen Taylor; sister Sue Ann Smith; four grandchildren and three great grandchildren. In addition to his parents Donald and Mabel Taylor and brother James, he was preceded in death by his wife Margot Marlatt Taylor. His life will be celebrated on April 10, 2016, at Parlay Farm, 16565 Carey Road, Westfield, Indiana, from 4 to 7pm. Memorial contributions may be made to the Harness Horse Youth Foundation, 16575 Carey Road, Westfield, Indiana 46074 or through the website www.hhyf.org. Keith Gisser
A 'Celebration Of Life' for Gary Maciejewski, who died suddenly last Friday at the age of 67, will be held this Thursday, March 24, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the race office building on the Warren County Fairgrounds, home of old Lebanon Raceway. A longtime harness horseman, as well as a paddock security guard at nearby Miami Valley Raceway, Mr. Maciejewski was born in Toledo but migrated to Lebanon after receiving his driver-trainer license from the USTA in 1985. From just 15 sporadic county fair sulky starts, Gary guided one winner in 1998. As a trainer, he enjoyed considerable success harnessing 89 winners in 871 starts for total earnings of $281,366. His lone horse at the time of his passing was Atoka Millionaire, who has been trained and driven to 11 victories over the past two years by close friend Roy Wilson. Mr. Maciejewski was liked by all who came in contact with him over the years. His friendly demeanor and constant smile were perfect for his role as 'greeter', checking horses in and out of the Miami Valley Raceway paddock every day since the track opened in January of 2014. Previously, he was the gate guard at Lebanon Raceway congenially greeting owners, trainers, drivers and caretakers as they entered the backstretch area. The family invites all of Gary's friends to gather Thursday and bring a favorite Gary Maciejewski story to share prior to a short memorial service. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to the Wounded Warrior Fund, a favorite cause of Mr. Maciejewski. Gregg Keidel
The Southwest Ohio harness racing community is saddened today (March 18) to learn of the sudden death this morning of Gary Maciejewski, a longtime horseman who was currently employed as a paddock security guard at Miami Valley Raceway. Maciejewski, age 67, was born in Toledo, but migrated to Lebanon before securing his driver-trainer license in 1985. Gary only used his driver's license on 15 occasions at Ohio county fairs over the years, with his lone win coming in 1998. As a trainer, he enjoyed considerable success with 89 registered wins from 871 lifetime starts. He currently owns one horse, Atoka Millionaire, who has been entrusted to his longtime friend Roy Wilson since the beginning of the year. A security guard at Lebanon Raceway prior to the opening of Miami Valley, Maciejewski has checked horses in at the MVG paddock entrance since the track's inception in 2014. Gary was his jovial self, busy checking in horse's at Miami Valley's qualifying races on Wednesday afternoon, and was reportedly readying for work at MVG today when he collapsed. Funeral details will be posted as soon as they become available. Gregg Keidel