The Saratoga Harness Hall of Fame & Museum Announces it's Annual Harness Racing Induction Ceremony/Open House, Tuesday June 14, 2016 at the Museum- 352 Jefferson St, Saratoga Springs, NY. The museum is located off the Jefferson St. Entrance to Saratoga Casino Hotel. This year's inductees are Dave Spagnola, trainer & Ackbro Ms Perfect, horse. Spagnola, a longtime local trainer is the leader in all time training wins at the Spa Oval . Dave Spagnola Dave Spagnola grew up on the family farm in Ft Johnson, NY. Along with their riding horses, the family had harness horses trained by Bert and Yves Breton at Saratoga, developing his interest in racing at an early age. During his high school years he worked for Yves Breton, and after graduating he started working for Earl Bean. He spent a few years working for the Simser’s in Florida and even more with Jimmy Richards, working his way up from groom to assistant trainer before striking out on his own in 1986. He had a one horse stable with claiming pacer ID Guy, who he improved to 8-8-0 in 20 starts. Dave’s philosophy has always been that you put the time into the horse first to get results; you’re not rewarded with good performance up front. More owners and the 1987 Peerless McGrath award for up and coming trainer followed. Dave trained 1988 3YO Pacer of the year Vic’s Fortune, and was voted USWHA’s trainer of the year for 3 consecutive years 1989-1991. He would repeat that honor another 4 times in 1993, 1998, 2000 and 2001. 2002 marked the fourteenth year in a row his UTRS training percentage was over 300. Dave credits his longevity to having great owners over the years, and also his collaboration with Saratoga Hall of Fame driver Frank Coppola. The two were roommates early in their careers, and both had the same viewpoint that you had to help your horses last throughout the yearly meet. Frank always gave a lot of solid facts about a horses condition, owners used Dave to train because Frank was a steady driver for him. Other notable Spagnola trainees include Amazing Grace who was 3YO Trotter of the Year in 2007 and $7500-10,000 claiming pacer of the year Artiology, with owner Michael Polansky. Dave’s stats to date are 7,385 LT starts for a record of 1,225-1,153-1,086 and $5,121,203 in purses (approx. since 1992) His stable today stands at about 30 horses, he likes training young trotters, and along with longtime owner Michael Polansky has several broodmares. Ackbro Ms Perfect, owned by Dan & Steve Ackerknecht, and trained by Scott Mongeon was the 2007 Trotter of the Year. Ackbro Ms Perfect Ackbro Ms Perfect was foaled in 2003, a bay trotting mare by Credit Winner out of Lady Lindy. She was the third foal of Lady Lindy, a mare whose promising career had been cut short by injury at a young age. Dan Ackerknecht, convinced that she would make a good broodmare prospect, approached his brother Steve to get into the breeding business and chose upcoming NY sire Credit Winner to cover her in 2002. The pair approached longtime Saratoga trainer Scott Mongeon to break and train the filly, he would also become her regular driver for her stellar career. He remarked that she was built long and lean with great conformation, never made breaks and never wore trotting hopples. Ackbro Ms Perfect broke her maiden at Saratoga in a NYSS 2YO Filly Trot in July of 2005. She ended her 2 YO campaign with 8 starts 3-1-1 and $57,508 in purse money. The 3 wins were in the NYSS, finishing fourth in the late closer (now excelsior) final at Monticello. The 2006 campaign was a year of solid performances for the always well-mannered filly. She was undefeated in 5 NYSS starts, setting a track record of 1:56.3 at Saratoga. She finished the year 8-1-2 for 15 starts with $137,531 in purses and a third place finish in the NYSS Night of Champions Final at Saratoga. 2007 turned out to be the breakout year for Ackbro Ms Perfect. She continued her winning ways now competing in the Open Trot classes at Saratoga, she turned in solid efforts week after week finishing the season with 36 starts for a record of 8-6-4 and $86,000 in earnings. She was awarded both Aged Trotter of the year and Trotter of the Year by USHWA at year’s end. Ackbro Ms Perfect finished her career with stats of 38-26-17 for 157 starts and earnings of $389,165. Her 3YO mark of 1:56.3H was her fastest. Both Steve and Dan are grateful to Scott Mongeon and the Mongeon family for doing such a wonderful job with her over the years. In addition we will be presenting the sixth annual Virginia O'Brien Memorial 110% Award. This award honors individuals who devote their life to the pursuit of the sport of harness racing, such as a groom or backstretch worker, who might not otherwise be in the limelight. The nominees are chosen by their peers from the Saratoga Harness Horseperson's Association. The gates will open for the event at 5:30 pm, with the ceremony starting at 6:30 pm. Refreshments and light food will be served. For more information contact Director, Dave Oxford at 518-526-3138 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
With at least five months in between starts, local Columbus harness racing trainees Quick N' Slick & Southwind Pepino might not be ready to dominate the open ranks at Scioto Downs Racino today (Friday, May 10) but their trainers believe in their horses' abilities.
A couple of super talented three year old harness racing fillies squared off on Thursday night at Saratoga as Curtsy Hanover (Cantab Hall) and Crazy About NY (Crazed) competed in a $5,000 non-winners of two race lifetime trot.
Ballston Spa (New York) harness racing trainer Margaret Spagnola had a monster night on Wednesday (September 5) at Saratoga as she added four wins to her season's total.
Vernon Downs celebrated its second harness racing track record performance of the weekend after the undefeated For A Dancer delivered a 1:56 victory in a division of Saturday's $121,591 New York Sires Stake that trimmed one-fifth of a second off the previous local standard for 2-year-old trotting fillies.
The open trot, the regular Friday night harness racing feature, took a back seat this week at Saratoga Casino and Raceway as the Battle of Saratoga #8 trotting series final was on center stage on a scorching night at the Spa.