Day At The Track

Hall of Fame drivers set to compete at Goshen

04:38 PM 27 Jun 2012 NZST
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Courtesy Of Goshen Historic Track - Preserve The Tradition

The track will be filled with talent when the annual Mr. and Mrs. Elbridge Gerry Memorial Trot, featuring all harness racing drivers who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, is contested at Goshen Historic Track in upstate New York on Sunday, July 1.

Post time is 1 p.m. and drivers will meet fans and sign photos at the south end of the grandstand after the race.

Dave Palone, who had been scheduled to drive, has opted to stay at his home track, The Meadows, for the day, as he is, at this writing, 13 wins away from breaking the alltime race winning record of 15,180. In his place, Wally Hennessey, best known for driving 1998 and 1999 Horse of the Year Moni Maker, will compete.

The rookie of the bunch is 51-year-old Jimmy Takter, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame that evening. Takter is a three-time Trainer of the Year, trained two-time Horse of the Year Moni Maker, won the Hambletonian twice (with Malabar Man in 1997 in another Horse of the Year season and Muscle Massive in 2010) and is campaigning a stable of dozens of stakes horses.

John Campbell, the sport’s all-time leading money-winning driver and a six-time winner of the Hambletonian, will also take the reins at Goshen, looking to add to his lifetime bankroll of $278 million. Next on the lifetime money list is Ron Pierce, with $186 million. Pierce, a three-time Hambletonian winner, also is expected to compete in the Hall of Fame race.

Mike Lachance, who is third in career purses and a five-time winner of the Little Brown Jug, is expected to be in the race along with Jim Doherty, who drove and trained $3 million winner Fool’s Goal and Breeders Crown winner No Nonsense Woman.

Cat Manzi, with 14,460 wins, will also compete. He is third in lifetime victories, behind only leader Herve Filion, who will also drive and try to add to his 15,180 career victories. A win by Filion would edge the record Palone is chasing just a bit higher.

Here is the field for the July 1 Hall of Fame drivers race in alphabetical order: John Campbell, Jim Doherty, Herve Filion, Wally Hennessey, Mike Lachance, Cat Manzi, Ron Pierce and Jimmy Takter.

by Ellen HARVEY

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