Day At The Track
Search Results
1 to 16 of 137
1 2 3 4 5 Next »

If anyone chooses to buy into The Jockey Club mandates imposed upon harness racing; that seek to shove this Federal bill down our throats based upon what they think is good for us because it's good for them, then I guess we could be satisfied with whatever The Jockey Club comes up with. Further, if one so believes, then one should be counted with those who believe that the USTA has not been negotiating, or not expending a great deal of effort for the best interest of its membership and our industry. You can believe that the hundreds of hours expended by USTA officers, directors, staff, lobbyists and counsel over the last three years has been nonexistent from the debate to negotiation stages on this Federal Bill. Blindly believe as anyone chooses but the reality is that simply is not true. Besides working to achieve recognition for the differences in our breed, bet you didn’t know that the USTA has been actively negotiating with thoroughbred interests even on a state level for recognition in regulations suited to our industry. The USTA has been pro active negotiating for our breed on state and federal levels, which work it has put front and center as its priority to protect the harness racing industry.   Just to give you an idea of what has also been taking place on the state level while we worked for similar goals on the National level. The concept of a National Racing Compact was advanced in a number of states that would have put us under thoroughbred umbrella similar to what the  Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Act will also do as a practical matter. That effort was initially and forcefully opposed by harness horsemen’s associations. Then with the aid of the USTA, a compromise was not only suggested, but crafted for the good of the harness industry. The USTA worked and actually drafted a state bill that would have put harness into the National Compact on the same footing as the thoroughbred industry. That would be with the statutory recognition that harness would have a separate state commission-appointed delegate to the Compact. That each breed would have separate delegates and each breed would be recognized for its differences and its unique performance model. The delegates would not be bound by, but would take input on medication rules regulations  from the separate breed representatives and enact regulations suited to each breed as those delegates saw fit. Under the National Racing Compact compromise offered by the USTA, the harness delegation could not force any regulations on the thoroughbreds, or vice versa, unless the other breed’s delegates consented. For example, if a regulation’s withdrawal time and threshold level was scientifically shown to have applicability to each breed, the other breed’s delegates could adopt it. Regulations would not be forced upon a breed that did not fit its own performance model. Unfortunately, while the Compact was deemed to work well for the thoroughbreds, when an offer was made for the same formula for harness separately, negotiations broke off despite all our work. What  the USTA sought in those negotiations was a simple equal and fair agreement on National Racing Compact legislation that would be as fair and acceptable to the harness industry as it was for the thoroughbred industry. Simply, everything was the same in the statute that was applicable to them would be applicable to our industry, but on a parallel line. Naively we thought that this should get a done deal. It seemed fair, after all we race more than they do and our vets treat our horses quite differently often doing multiple joints bilaterally. The USTA’s work was rejected by the thoroughbreds. No reason given. Over many months and before the new version of the “Integrity” Act of 2020 popped up, harness offered that deal on the National Compact in our negotiations. The same kind of effort was put into the Federal Bill but with even greater intensity and work. The thoroughbred representatives refused any negotiation and the USTA received the very same response it was getting to the Compact offer it made. This despite the harness industry’s efforts spearheaded by the USTA over the last three years and 300 hours of meetings to factor fairness for our breed into the Federal bill. The result, the same, No deal. The thoroughbreds, one has to think, will benefit from our payments under the new Federal bill based upon our number of starts as compared to theirs and at a cost to our horsemen of initially $50 per start. Much of our money will be for studying how to prevent thoroughbred breakdowns by improving racing surfaces. Additionally, the cause for removing Lasix is based upon the fiction that the therapeutic medication is the cause of those breakdowns and the further fiction that it masks other medications, when today we can find medications down to the picogram in most horses on Lasix.  Safety and Integrity are nice buzz words… but don’t be fooled, because all the 2020 Act will provide the harness industry is a massive fee assessment towards the cure of someone else’s problems, and a brand new set of regulations that will provide solace for the pet peeves of someone else’s industry, and the potential destruction of ours. The USTA is not so naive to think that once this law is passed, if indeed it might be, that somehow our negotiations will continue and the USTA will succeed in achieving fairness for our members. Make no mistake, once enacted we will pay under this law in many ways. With 1 seat at a table of 27 and you can see the degree of input we will have in effectuating necessary reforms in either the law or its application. For those who think differently, one can only wish you are correct. Our experience teaches us differently. From Joe Faraldo, chairman of USTA District 8A  

Freehold, NJ -- It was bombs away in the American Harness Drivers Club trot at Freehold Raceway ‚Äčon Saturday afternoon (Oct 17) when "Mighty Matt" Zuccarello hustled 47-1 Latoka up the inside to collar "Smokin' Joe" Faraldo and 30-1 Tough Get Going and together the trotters produced a whopping $1,017.40 exacta, one of the biggest in recent memories in amateur racing. And the third place finish by Wygant Prince ,with "Coach Paul" Minore at the controls, produced a near record $3,813.80 trifecta. When the gate sprung Minore sent his veteran trotter to the lead as Faraldo ducked in the two-hole, a place where he stayed until the stretch drive. In the meantime Minore played hardball with Marianna Monaco who had her Awol Hanover challenging for the lead from the six-hole in the :29.2 first quarter. But with Minore's insistence Awol Hanover never was able to drop down along the pylons as the trotters race one-two all the way to the final turn. With Wygant Prince showing the way and Tough Get Going following Faraldo was content with the way the race was breaking for him. "I moved Tough Get Going to the outside and when we rounded the final we had the lead and I thought we were going to win it," Faraldo said."I was eyeing Wygant Prince and I knew we had him beat. " Faraldo was right but his trotter drifted in the deep stretch which permitted Zuccarello and Latoka, who was fifth at the head of the lane, with a clear path to the finish line now that they were down along the pylons. With daylight the veteran 9-year-old Groton Hall gelding kicked it in another gear and collared the leader and went on to a head victory over Tough Get Going in 2:01.1.   For Zuccarello, who doubles as the publicist for the GSY Amateur Series, it was his first seasonal driving victory and the 17th of his career. The winner is owned and trained by Donald Maiorano by John Manzi, for the American Harness Drivers Club    

The Standardbred Owners Association of New York (SOA of NY) has made every effort to insure a continuity of personal aid and racing from the time of the shutdown of racing at Yonkers Raceway, through the resumption of racing in June and after the recent grant of authority to open the Racino. The cost to the SOA of NY to for aid and for supplementation of the purses account to keep racing going while the Racino was closed was in the neighborhood of $1.4 million dollars. With the advent of the reopening of the Racino at Yonkers, on site play on the VLT machines has resumed. That raises the question as to why, if the Casino can operate at 25% capacity, with attendees, does not the onsite simulcasting and on track wagering by fans get the same consideration? The SOA of NY is petitioning for such approval of simulcasting and on track wagering from leading racing Legislators and from the Executive Branch of State Government. We are hereby requesting that MGM Resorts-Yonkers join in that request and that it bring back many of the key personnel necessary to secure the return of onsite wagering. Of course, much of the wagering is on self-serve betting machines, not very dissimilar from the VLTs. MGM Resorts does an admirable job with its Racino protocols, and there seems to be no reason why those efforts cannot be duplicated consistent with MGM's responsibilities as a NYS licensee, holding a racing and simulcasting license along with its Racino license. The additional revenue from on-track wagering certainly would not hurt the purse account or the NYS Agriculture and Horse Breeding Development Fund (NYSS) which has been negatively impacted by the pandemic as has all of racing and agriculture in NYS. We have endured quite a hit that can negatively impact our industry and its economic multiplier effect to NYS. Racing, as you know, has struggled with no racing, lower revenues that fuel the Agricultural industry in NYS, less racing opportunities and no finally fans on site. The SOA Board of Directors continues to strive towards a return to normalcy. Our cooperative efforts with MGM Resorts has now seen the return of live racing next week on a five day per week schedule with still reduced purses and 9 races per card. It is anticipated that we will see that number of races per day slowly increase and the purses themselves begin to slowly crawl their way higher in the near future. Those achievements will only be possible through a careful analysis of the economic trends that we hope -- and are optimistic -- will continue on the rise The SOA of NY Board of Directors' wish to thank our member for the confidence shown in our judgments so far, as well as your support and cooperation in those efforts. From Joe Faraldo fro the SOA of NY

Resorts World Catskills reopened 30 of its 150 table games on Wednesday evening, and it expects to resume regular poker in a few weeks. The harness racing horsemen at Monticello Raceway reached an agreement in principle on Wednesday to amend the contract, which will likely be signed by the end of next week. Tioga Downs Casino Resort reopened with 350 active slots machines. Affter reopening with a 25-percent capacity limit and other restrictions on Wednesday, Resorts World Catskills reopened 30 of its 150 table games, after initially being closed while the casino’s operators sought the New York Gaming Commission’s approval for a table games safety plan. A casino spokesman told Times Herald-Record that the state Gaming Commission has closed roulette and craps games, and there is not yet a reopening date. Regular poker also remains closed, though the spokesman said it will likely begin in a few weeks, and the casino will keep patrons updated so they know an exact date. Casino visitors can now play blackjack, baccarat, three-card poker, Let it Ride, Caribbean Stud, Ultimate Texas Hold ’em, Casino War, Pai Gow with tiles, Pai Gow poker, Crazy 4 poker and Mississippi Stud. To staff the table games and the 700 (of 1,600) slot machines now back online, the casino is bringing back 700 of its 1,400 employees. Workers who test positive for the coronavirus will be required to immediately notify state and local health departments, cooperate with contact tracing efforts, including notifying potential contacts. They'll also have to provide proof to the casino that they sought and received a quarantine order from their local health department. Moreover, the casino’s sister property Monticello Raceway will reopen for harness racing as soon as Monday, said Joe Faraldo, an attorney for the Monticello Harness Horsemen's Association, as reported by Times Herald-Record. He contends Empire Resorts, the casino’s parent, has kept Monticello’s track closed, despite all of New York’s other harness and horse racing tracks being allowed to open since June, as leverage while casino leaders tried to renegotiate the horsemen’s contract. The contract has four years left on it, Faraldo said. Plus, Resorts World Catskills agreed to fund the horse track, split earnings with the horsemen and preserve racing, as a major condition for receiving a state operating license before opening in 2018. But Faraldo said that the horsemen reached an agreement in principle on Wednesday to amend the contract because of how hard the casino has been hit by the pandemic. He said the contract will likely be signed by the end of next week, and then he can disclose its new terms. All of the lost racing days will be made up gradually in the coming years, he indicated. With files from the Times-Herald Record

Sandra Kaufman, Chairman of the SOA of New York John R. Brennan/MGM Yonkers Scholarship Committee, has announced that Jessica Hallett is the winner of the 2020-2021 Scholarship Award in the amount of $5,000. The second place award of $3,000 went to Ronald Huff and Dean Blumenfeld picked up the third place scholarship award of $2,000.   Joe Faraldo, President of the SOA of NY commented that this year’s award winners are the recipients of a scholarship named after a longtime good friend, horse trainer and SOA field rep John R Brennan. We lost John to the Covid-19 virus and our hearts.  Jessica Hallett is currently enrolled at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She is pursuing a double major in behavioral neuroscience and biology with a minor in forensic sciences. Jessica enjoys working in the barn with her parents’ horses and is a member of the NSU Equestrian Team. Jessica’s father John owns several horses racing in New York, Pennsylvania and Florida.    Ronald Huff is currently enrolled at Webber International University pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice Management.    Ronald’s father Jake trains horses in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida.      Dean Blumenfeld is currently enrolled at Arizona State University pursuing a PhD in Anthropology.  Dean’s father Paul trains horses in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.    The annual SOA/Yonkers Raceway scholarships are awarded to SOA members, or members of their immediate families, or to covered individuals (backstretch personnel) or a member of their immediate families, for study beyond the high school level.  The recipient is chosen on the basis of merit and financial need. The applicants were judged first by an independent third party to produce the top five candidates.  Then the Committee selected the top three winners from the five finalists.   Personal information from all the candidates was redacted when presented to the independent party and the Committee to assure a blind judging process. Joe Faraldo  

Yonkers, NY - Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts (“Empire City”) and the Standardbred Owners Association of New York (“SOA”), the organization representing horsemen at Yonkers Raceway, announced an agreement to extend racing at the historic harness track through Saturday, September 12th. This will allow for the New York Night of Champions to proceed as scheduled on September 12th, which will showcase the best trotters and pacers bred in New York State “In partnership with the SOA, we are excited to be able to continue harness racing operations despite the continued closure and loss of revenue from our casino operation,” said Ed Domingo, senior vice president of Empire City. “This agreement further demonstrates our commitment to the sport and to the men and women employed by the horse racing industry.” Racing prize purses are funded primarily through gross gaming revenue generated by Empire City Casino and casino operations remain suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With limited funds available in the prize pool and no continued funding stream due to the casino closure, racing operations were expected to cease in August. However, MGM Resorts has agreed to continue racing operations and the SOA will contribute $1.2 million to purses from their reserve fund to allow the sport to continue operating through September 12th. “We recognize the hardships our horsemen have suffered during the pandemic,” said Joe Faraldo, president of the SOA. “We have chosen to take $1.2 million from our treasury in order to supplement the purse account and allow us to continue racing until the NYSS Night of Champions September 12th.” While the agreement allows for the preservation of the New York Sire Stakes races, several other stakes races scheduled for later in the year will be eliminated because of the limited purse funds. Those cancellations include the Yonkers Trot and Messenger Stakes. The racing schedule at Yonkers Raceway was interrupted earlier in the season with a temporary closure of the track due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Live racing operations resumed June 22nd with extensive health and safety protocols in place. Pursuant to state and health guidelines, spectators are not permitted at Yonkers Raceway but races are simulcast and available for viewing and wagering online at www.EmpireCityBets.com. As always, the health and safety of our customers and employees remains our top priority. For more information on the race schedule, please visit www.EmpireCityCasino.com. From Yonkers Raceway

The following letter was received at Harnesslink from Joseph Faraldo and it pertains to a letter in Harness Racing Update over the weekend from Danielle Henri, the mother of Rene and Simon Allard. If Rene Allard’s mom owned her own  horses for years she should be allowed to race her horses if her only involvement in any of the allegations against Rene, is her being Rene’s mom. A  similar argument could be made for Simon Allard ie., that guilt, by association is similarly wrong. As far as the new trainers they are free to choose who they train for and guilt by association should not be the standard by which the industry further tarnishes otherwise  innocent trainers who are not acting as beards.  The presumption that relatives are as  guilty as those charged, whose guilt is not yet proven,   is a favorite pastime of our industry and is why the industry suffers in the eyes of the outside world , because it comes from inside.  The justice system is competent in ferreting out the guilty from the innocent and those who are guilty should and must be penalized. Those who are complicit with anyone directly involved in breaking regulations whether they rise to the level of crimes or not,  including other trainers, beards, grooms and even owners, should  be punished. Penalizing any of the owners, trainers or a myriad of others who would aid criminal activity should have some modicum of proof, not be applied by mere association. As far as Yonkers, the HRU headline was disgraceful in and of itself but endemic of the mob mentality that is prevalent in this business. Yonkers rightfully accepted her  entry and that was appropriate until the firestorm created by Harness Racing Update article. At that point  Yonkers then succumbed to the mob mentality giving the impression that  the entry was accepted incorrectly and then decided to follow up by sacrificing up this owner to satiate the presumably false narrative that was promulgated by HRU.  It was interesting to hear a  new version  for the Yonkers action and that  was that Rene’s mom made a lot of money  from the prior relationship with her son . One has to wonder if all the owners, some of the biggest to the smallest in the game, should be barred by some or all the tracks in the country or at their own tracks who used any specific  trainer or driver who subsequently violates any rule. The question is which trainer with a valid license may be the next to get get accused of some wrongdoing or trouble. Some very good owners have quit the business because some tracks have taken this just a bit too far, Yonkers included. You can’t make this up.  Think of the hypocrisy inherent in this mob mentality. So many others who have  horses with those indicted or  those charged in an information, are allowed to still race their  horses even though they may have indirectly profited from trainer activities which are alleged to be criminal in nature  but whose activities were  unknown to them. Where is the outcry for similar punishment  to that meted out to  this one owner and driver or is that too  logical for the industry to ask? Or is it simply that the industry does not wish to apply the same rationale to others it gives a pass too.? It is because  all of this, that this current industry sanctioned  approach is wrong and hypocritical for so many reasons. Many presumed guilty  owners have sold their horses because they are now wearing their “scarlet letter” and have quit the game altogether.  Every, let it be repeated that every  successful trainer starting in my memory with George “Buddy” Regan, is suspect of wrongdoing by this wrongheaded mentality. George  was so disheartened he basically quit the game. Lets  acknowledge then that every successful trainer and all their owners in our game are  guilty regardless of the necessity of proof. We all know better than to need proof and we can all just keep demeaning the game instead of better policing it. When speculation becomes the substitute for proof and rumor mongering and innuendo become the basis for action, driven manly from within the game, the game is shooting itself in the foot. The failure to make more serious efforts to regulate the sport by those vested with such responsibility has in part led us to this precipice.   Hopefully, an independent, repeat independent  and hard working organization like Dr Jablonsky has  recommended and USTA president Russell Williams and the Executive Committee has embraced will do its work successfully and the industry will enjoy a reawakening. From Joseph Faraldo

It is estimated that after a conference call at noon today with the NYS Gaming Commission officials , reps of Yonkers MGM and the SOA of NY, a new plan of operation will be presented to the NYSGC  by Yonkers MGM  and agreed to by the SOA of NY. That new plan will omit the previous mandatory sole requirement for a positive antibody  test as a requirement to participation at Yonkers. The new plan is being submitted today to the NYS Gaming Commission. Much work on this revison has been  done by the SOA of NY and many of its directors, our legal counsel and many of our members. The SOA first VP Peter Venaglia, director Chris wittstruck, Ray Schnittker and Jordan Stratton devoted much time and attention to restoring, as close to near normalcy, our road back, in lock step with the other operating tracks. Additional recognition must be given to Mark Ford, Mark Krouse, Linda Toscano and Cory Stratton for thier aid  and willingness to lend  unselfish support to the SOA’s efforts on your behalf. Lastly the concerns of Assembly Racing Committee Chair Gray Pretlow and his Senate counterpart Joseph Addabbo, aided our efforts on behalf of all horsemen. It is deeply appreciated. Specific recognition must be given to the NYSGC for its leadership in solving this problem. The first two weeks of rcaing shall see 3 days of racing with 4 days for the next  two weeks folowed by a 5 day a week schedule from then on depending on the sustainability of the underpaid purse account. Horesemen will be required to present fever free, respond to a questionnaire re corona virus and observe social  distancing,scrutinized by the track and under increased monitoring by  the SOA of NY. Please cooperate and don’t let the progress made by all those noted above be wasted because you think the social distancing is not  important.  It must be observed so we don’t slip back into more restrictive requirements. Thank you for your patience in this struggle and please cooperate with all requirements. Joe Faraldo

The SOA of NY is working very hard to get resolved  the “positive antibody “ requirement which is not imposed on other NYS harness racing tracks. We have done much research on the CDC guidelines that state that a positive antibody test, itself of questionable validity, is not to be used to prevent a person from returning to the workplace. With the Governor’s allowance of racing to continue on June 1, NYS licensees are being denied thier right to work. We have engaged many many friends, as well as professionals, for some time to help us effectuate a sensible change like that okayed , at all other NYS tracks. Finally, I attended the qualifiers and my observation from the post draw sheets indicated that only 49 % of those intending to qualify at Yonkers were able to use the rights inherent in their licenses and qualify either because the trainers or their employees did not have the necessary positive antibodies to gain access to the paddock. This shows the devastating effect this positive antibody requirement is currently having on Yonkers’ ability to conduct racing  and that will be more and more evident as the PA. tracks open soon. Our work continues to gain concensus as soon a possible with Yonkers MGM Inc and the NYS Gaming  Commission. We will keep you posted. from Joe Faraldo, SOA President

The SOA of NY has learned that Yonkers intends to hold qualifiers on Monday June 15th and Tuesday 16th with live harness racing tentatively set for the following Monday, 22nd, Tuesday 23rd and Thursday 25th as we take small steps back to normalcy. At the moment racing will be conducted 3 days per week and at reduced purses those days of the week are currently set for Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.. We hope that as alternative Gaming gets back in operation asap so decisions can be made to expand race days down the road and we can gradually return to business as we once knew it. Lastly, we are endeavoring to find out how best to comply with the Gaming Commission and other state agency protocols. Joe Faraldo

With the vast open paddock space at harness racing's Goshen Historic Track, I reiterate that it would be doable to have qualifiers there and insure that all social distancing mandates, wisely put in place, are observed.   Goshen will not permit spectators, only one groom, perhaps a limited number of trainers will be present and certainly a very limited number of drivers will be on hand.   Goshen being a betting free Fair Track, any racing activity there is under the jurisdiction of the USTA.   In the past whatever charted lines were prepared were incorporated into the USTA data base and then used as part of the official breed registry records.   Records which are  relied upon for years as both accurate and reliable when inserted into official racing programs at pari-mutuel track in all of North America.   Even  assuming  there may be a waiver of the existing 30 day qualifying rule, some horsemen still want and need to tighten up their horses and further educate their babies. We understand that the coronavirus has changed everyone’s mindset as to what is or is not doable but we are confident that we can achieve and insure a safe environment and serve the future needs of racing. I hope we can get some further guidance and your approval to go forward.   I have spoken with the Goshen Historic Track and they will do anything to help harness racing and I know the Gaming Commission feels the same way. Joe Faraldo, President SOA of NY

In an effort to aid those whose invaluable service is given to this country, Paul Martinez and the Robbie Siegelman Stable are piloting a transition program for active and recently retired veterans that centers around driving and other equine opportunities in harness racing.  SSG(ret) Paul Martinez is a former Army Ranger Sniper who  advocates for veteran’s in transition through various organizations such as Mentors For Military Podcast and Equine ImmersionProgram (EquineImmersionProgram.com). Paul, accompanied by Jordan  Puccio, US Army, and Elizabeth Quinones, US Marines,  toured the Yonkers Raceway oval thanks to the efforts kindness of trainers Robbie  Siegelman and Dennis Laterza, aided by SOA director Peter Younger. Robbie, whose  efforts on behalf of our military personnel has not waned one bit, continues the work in helping our dedicated service men, aided by Yonkers Raceway.  “There are many benefits in equine programs such as this” said Siegelman, “and we can all do a part to help.” One  big benefit  as Winston Churchill once said, “ because there is something about the outside of a horse,  that is good for the inside of a man”.  Hats off to all who helped and hopefully more can be done in the future. by Joseph Faraldo, for the SOA of NY

HARRISBURG PA – There was a “dead heat for win” in the voting for the most prestigious harness racing award for which the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) are the sole arbiters – the Stan Bergstein/Proximity Award. The joint winners are New York horseman Joe Faraldo and the Ontario owning/breeding partnership of Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz – the first time there has been a tie in the top of the voting in the 68-year history of the award, which is voted on by the sport’s leading media organization. Joe Faraldo, an attorney by trade and an owner/amateur driver, is heading into his 40th year as President and CEO of the Standardbred Owners Association of New York, the horsemen’s group that serves Yonkers Raceway, the track which pays the highest purses in the North American sport. He has been a staunch advocate of horsemen’s rights, and is the only attorney who has argued a harness racing-related case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Faraldo has been a director of the U.S. Trotting Association for over 20 years, and currently serves as Chair of the USTA’s District 8-A (lower New York). He is the chair of the important Harness Racing Medication Collaborative, which not only keeps up to date with substances and testing procedure in the sport, but also seeks to find common ground among the pari-mutuel sports’ breeds and jurisdictions. Faraldo is also an amateur driver of some note, and has driven in several countries during competitions. His international presence helped Yonkers re-establish the International Trot after a two-decade absence. He has been honored by Harness Horsemen’s International, the USTA, and USHWA. Joe Faraldo The partnership of Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld, both of whom are in the southern Ontario real estate field, was not an instantaneous success by their own admission; the horse which started a turnaround for them was 1997 Meadowlands Pace winner Dream Away. But it is hard to miss the impression they have made on the owning and breeding of quality horses, especially in the last decade. The racehorse list includes millionaires Ariana G and Dream Away; the most recent of their breeding accomplishments was the selling of the sport’s first million-dollar yearling, Maverick, a Father Patrick full brother to this year’s spectacular three-year-old Greenshoe, who sold for $1,100,000 at Lexington this past fall. Horses they have owned and/or bred have accounted for the Hambletonian, Kentucky Futurity, Canadian Trotting Classic and other world-class events. The pair have been honored on both sides of the North American racing border previously. Libfeld/Katz were also the Presenting Sponsors of the 2019 Breeders Crown championships when they came to their nearby Woodbine at Mohawk Raceway, and the associated Breeders Crown Charity Challenge raised over $200,000 for area charities. The Bergstein / Proximity Award honors the great trotting mare Proximity, who was Harness Horse of the Year in 1950, and Stan Bergstein, the sport’s only “double Hall of Famer” and an industry visionary and leader for going on half a century until his passing in 2011. The remainder of the human and broodmare Dan Patch awardwinners are being announced today and tomorrow; the twelve racehorse divisional champions will be announced this Friday, January 3, at 6:30 p.m. on The Meadowlands’ “pre-races” show, with media releases following (availability to view that announcement will be released shortly). Joe Faraldo, Marvin Katz, and Al Libfeld will be honored at USHWA’s annual Dan Patch Awards Banquet, celebrating the best and brightest of harness racing in the past year. The banquet honoring the champions of 2019 will be held on Sunday, February 23, 2020 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando FL, the climax of a weekend that also finds USHWA holding its annual national meetings. The Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year, and Horse of the Year will be revealed for the first time at the Banquet. Tickets for the Dan Patch Awards Banquet are $180, with a filet mignon dinner featured; “post times” on February 23 are cocktails at 5:30 p.m., with dinner to follow. Tickets, and other Banquet-related information, can be obtained through Dinner Planning Committee Chair Judy Davis-Wilson, at zoe8874@aol.com or 302 359 3630.   Hotel reservations for those attending can be made through USHWA’s website, www.ushwa.net; a link to the hotel’s computer is on the front page of the website. Those who would like to take out congratulatory ads for awardwinners in the always-popular Dan Patch Awards Journal can do so by contacting Kim Rinker at trotrink@aol.com (the 2019 journal is online at the writers’ website). From the United States Harness Writers Association

On Saturday, December 7, The Standardbred Owners Association of New York (SOANY), the horsemen's association representing the over 1,000 owners, trainers and drivers regularly competing at Yonkers Raceway, certified the results of its 2019 Board of Directors election. In the driver/trainer category, Ray Schnittker, Peter Younger and Andrew Harris were unopposed in their election to three year terms. In the owner category, SOA President Joseph Faraldo and Chris Wittstruck were also unopposed in their election to three year terms. At the SOA's annual meeting the present officers, as well as trustees of the Welfare and Retirement Funds, were continued for year 2020. They are: Officers: President: Joseph Faraldo 1st Vice President: Peter Venaglia 2nd Vice President Irv Atherton 3rd Vice President: John Brennan Treasurer: Irv Atherton Secretary: John Brennan Trustees: Peter Venaglia - Chairman Irv Atherton John Brennan Joseph Faraldo Chris Wittstruck Jordan Stratton (1st Alternate) Ray Schnittker (2nd Alternate) Peter Younger (3rd Alternate) Also at the meeting, the Board discussed its intent to continue its diligence in monitoring prospective legislation as it addresses casino gaming and sports betting, so as to prevent further cannibalization of our industry. It was also reported that the 2020 International Trot will be held on a date in mid-September. by Chris Wittstruck, for SOA of NY

Columbus, OH -- In an announcement from the Racing Medication & Testing Consortium on Wednesday (Nov. 21) regarding NSAID administration time and intra-articular injections, that organization inaccurately portrayed their relationship with the U.S. Trotting Association when they stated that, "The RMTC consists of 23 racing industry stakeholders and organizations that represent Thoroughbred, Standardbred, American Quarter Horse and Arabian racing." "A review of the RMTC release reveals an unjustified and regrettable misrepresentation," said USTA President Russell Williams. "The RMTC does not represent the Standardbred breed in any way. Only the United States Trotting Association and the Harness Racing Medication Collaborative can speak for the Standardbred breed regarding medication issues." HRMC Chairman Joe Faraldo echoed Williams' declaration. "As chairman of the USTA's Harness Racing Medication Collaborative let me be quite clear that RMTC does NOT represent the Standardbred industry," said Faraldo. "The harness industry operates under an altogether different training regimen and is a more durable breed than our Thoroughbred counterparts," explained Faraldo. "The genesis for such a proposed rule is founded on the unfortunate reaction to the Santa Anita catastrophe, which has gathered significant negative public attention but has no relationship to any Standardbred experience. Our incidence of catastrophic breakdowns is a statistical anomaly as compared to other breeds and hence such rules such as these, should under no circumstances be made applicable to the Standardbred industry. "Rules such as these, referred to any state commission through RMTC or even RCI (Association of Racing Commissioners International), as its conduit, is not representative of rules more appropriately applicable to the harness racing industry and should therefore not be applied to it," added Faraldo. "The HRMC shall provide the state racing commissions and others with appropriate regulations that are consistent with any and all integrity concerns related to permitted, therapeutic medications whether directly or through RCI." On Sept. 25, 2013, the Executive Committee of the USTA unanimously voted to reject RCI proposed model medication rules and in a separate unanimous vote, agreed that the USTA would immediately withdraw its membership from the RMTC. "We have carefully considered the RCI proposals and have come to the conclusion that the physical characteristics of the breeds are significantly different. Trying to fit them together makes little sense," said then USTA President Phil Langley. "We believe both breeds, Standardbreds and Thoroughbreds, will benefit from having rules concentrated solely on their needs." On May 8, 2018, the USTA, through the Medication Subcommittee of the USTA Board of Directors, established the HRMC, a group that includes both academic and practicing veterinarians. The HRMC's purpose is to assist in identifying and developing the scientific background for medication regulation in Standardbred racing. The USTA utilizes HRMC's reports and supporting data to present to the RCI for dissemination to regulators in the various racing commissions. From the USTA Communications Department

YONKERS, NY ---Two divisions of the sixth leg of the NAADA Fall Trotting Series is now in the books sfter the judges declared each official, Joe Faraldo and Melissa Arbia walked away with the lions share of their respective $8000 harness racing divisions. Faraldo won his heat with Tough Get Going in 2:02.1 by the shortest of noses while Arbia copped her split after rallying Finich Odair a head triumph in a 1:58.3 clocking. After starting from the three hole Faraldo ducked to the pylons and was content to allow Joe Pennacchio and Cheeky Little Miss to cut the fractions. Once on top Pennacchio was unhurried and got his trotter by the quarter in soft :30.2 and the half in 1:02.1 despite keeping Glenferrie Dreamer (Paul Minore) on the limb. Meanwhile Faraldo sat chilly with Tough Get Going until the top of the lane where he rallied his trotter and both he and Pennacchio's Cheeky Little Miss charged to the wire. "We won it but it was by the shortest of noses. In fact it was so close that I wasn't sure my horse won until they posted the order of finish on the infield tote board "I'm telling you it (the victory) couldn't have been by more than an inch," Faraldo explained. Even with his overland trip Glenferrie Dreamer took home the show dough. Tough Get Going is owned by Faraldo and Richie Banca and trained by Banca. For Faraldo who was National Amateur Driver of the Year in 2000 it marked his sixth victory this season. The first event was nearly a carbon copy of Faraldo's victory. In that one Arbia and Finnick Odair benefited by a two-hole trip as Paul Minore and Wygant Prince kept Bob Hechkoff and Five Towns parked from the three-eighths as they raced one-two until the three quarters when Five Towns began to tire. After traveling along in the two-hole while using the leaders for cover, when Arbia asked Finnick Odair for more the veteran trotter responded and got-up in the final strides for a head triumph over Wygant Prince. Five Towns hung on for third money. The winner, a 4-year-old altered son of Cantab Hall, is co- owned by his driver along wuth Joe Bongiorno and Jennifer Bongiorno. The latter is the horse's trainer. by John Manzi, for NAADA  

1 to 16 of 137
1 2 3 4 5 Next »