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Joined by Local Officials, Senator Bonacic Announces $250,000 Grant for Goshen Historic Track

Posted by John J. Bonacic on Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

Bonacic and Track Board membersSenator Bonacic stood alongside local elected officials, as well as Steve Jones, President of the Goshen Historic Track at a press conference today to announce that he has secured a $250,000 capital grant for the track to make capital improvements on the facility. Senator Bonacic was also joined by Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus and Village of Goshen Mayor Kyle Roddey. Senator Bonacic secured the funds through the New York State Economic Development Assistance Program (EDAP). “The Goshen Historic Track is one of the premier historic harness-racing tracks in North America, and these funds will go a long way towards making the necessary improvements at the facility to help ensure it remains that way,” said Senator Bonacic.

“We would like to thank Senator Bonacic and his staff for securing this much needed Capital Grant for Goshen Historic Track. We consider this track the centerpiece of Goshen and Orange County, and this grant will go a long way towards shining up this jewel,” said Steve Jones, President of Goshen Historic Track. “The Goshen Historic Track is a part of the culture and fabric that makes up, not only Goshen, but Orange County,” said County Executive Neuhaus. “These funds will go to making much needed improvements to the facilities that the public will get to enjoy. I applaud Senator Bonacic for leading this initiative and I believe the community will greatly benefit from this grant.” Village of Goshen Mayor Kyle Roddey said: “The Historic Track is a centerpiece in Goshen, and represents the rich history of the local community. Its preservation is critical, and I thank Senator Bonacic for all his work on its behalf.”


Ladies Win Two of Three Billings Trots at Goshen

by john manzi for the Billings Series

BillingsThere were three CKG Billings amateur trots on the 13-race card at Goshen Historic Track last Saturday (July 4) and of the 17 drivers who competed five were women. The gals may have been out numbered but when the dust had settled they were not out-driven. Two divisions were won by the ladies while “Pacin’ Peter” Gerry’s victory saved face for the men.

In no surprise to anyone the first division saw “Hurricane Hannah” Miller, the hottest driver in amateur racing today, guide Casanova Lindy to a seven-length triumph over Bobby “Rapid Rail” Krivelin and Gimme The Loot in a time of 2:00.4.. And after making a break at the start, Starsaboveallerage finished third for Steve “You’re Never Too” Oldford.

For Hannah it was her 20th winning drive in amateur competition this year, and with 11 seconds and 10 thirds to go along with her victories she is now coasting along with a lofty .491 UDR. And as an added bonus,for the first time Hannah was joined in the winners circle by her proud parents.

A second Billings division was also on by a lady when “California Karen” Isbell got her own Truth in Action up in the final strides to collar Nautilus De Vie and driver Dave”Steady As” Yarock in a 2:05.4 clocking. Linda B and “Mighty Matt” Zuccarello finished third.

In from the west coast where she was competing at Cal Expo it was “California Karen’s” third driving victory this season. Currently with three wins, one second and three thirds in 14 starts she is carrying a very respectable .325 UDR.

But it took “Pacin’ Peter” Gerry’s victory with Candid Man in a third Billings split to keep the boys off the schneid.

However, Gerry’s victory wasn’t an easy one as he had to continually urge the altered son of Malabar Man down the homestretch. And his urging wasn’t in vain when he rallied Candid Man to overtake Tony “the Capo” Verruso and pace-setting Drill Sergeant Sam in the deep stretch in a time of 2:07.2 . Up from Florida where she used to race regularly at Pompano Park, “Sunshine Miriam” Toland took home the show dough with Jim’s Little Red.

For Peter Gerry his victory was his first of the season and the first three years. Still the venture capitalist was as happy as a kid with candy. “It sure feels great to win even though it took a while to do it,” he said.

In his long and storied career “Pacin Peter”, the former longtime president of the Billings Series, notched his 81st amateur driving victory.


Billy Parker's 16 –Year old son, Brandon,
Makes Hids First Drive a Winning One!

By john manzi for Historic Track

Billy ParkerThe third on final Sunday matinee card at Goshen Historic Track on June 21 was well attended and offered seven races; six for pacers and trotters hooked to sulkies and a trotting race under saddle.

Arguably, the most interesting one was the sixth race when 16 year old Brandon Parker made his first drive a winning one. The son of Billy “Zeke” Parker Jr, drove his dad’s Wizard of Art to an easy two length victory over Pine Bush Princess and driver by Jordan Stratton.

The race time was 2:10 but a short four-horse field and early fractions of :33.3 and 1:07.2 dictated the relatively slow final time.

Brandon drove a good race, fell into the 2 hole on the first turn and after anticipating the slow early pace set by the leader Peter Lutman III with MBC Alison he moved Wizard of Art to the front even before the first quarter was reached. From there Wizard of Art raced unchallenged and won easily by two lengths.

There was large group of family and friends along to watch young Brandon drive his first race and he didn’t disappoint.

He was calm and collective when he and his pacer entered the winners circle but the same couldn’t be said for his dad. And like his dad who was always short on words and let his driving do his talking, young Brandon simply said: “I’m happy and I feel real good.”

Although Brandon was raised around harness horses and worked with them every chance he got it still was understandable that Zeke was nervous before the race.

“I don’t think I was ever this nervous before I drove in a race but to see your son out there for the first time it’s different and would make any dad a bit uneasy,” Parker acknowledged.

But all that dissipated as Parker walked across the track for the winners circle presentation.

However, his nervousness was replaced by teary eyes which he wiped consistently as he walked along with younger son, Brodie, to take a photo with Brandon and Wizard of Art.

On that jaunt, fighting back the tears, the elder Parker murmured half choked up: “I wish TJ ( his deceased wife and Brandon's mother) was here to see it.

He then added:“This was such a great Father's Day present.”


Rev It Now Wins Trotting Race Under Saddle;
No Shame Blue Chip Wins Again

By john manzi for Goshen Historic Track

Rev-It-NowThe second matinee race program at Goshen’s Historic Track was well attended and those who stayed until the final race on the eight- race card saw the veteran trotter Rev It Now win the race under saddle. On that card there were four races for 2 year-olds, a race for three year olds, two open events-one for trotters and one for pacers- and the trotting race under saddle which saw the veteran trotter Rev It Now win easily in a time of 2:07.4.

Rev It Now, a 9-year-old altered son of Revenue S, who has won six races this year hooked to a sulky, was ridden to an 18- length triumph by Helene Gregory. A week prior (June 8) at the Gaitway Farms matinee program, in his initial attempt at under saddle racing, Rev It Now was a 4-1/2 length winner in a time of 2:00.4 over that mile oval again with and Helene Gregory up.

“I have always thought that “Rev" would be good under saddle ever since we have had him and I put a saddle on him and rode him myself a few times just going slow,” said Hannah Miller, co-owner and the trotter’s regular harness driver. “He was super so we decided to give it a shot and qualify him. He qualified excellent at Gaitway under saddle. I think he enjoys this new job and it's a way to mix up his routine and keep him fresh.”

This year Rev It Now, a career winner of over $258,000 has been a scourge in the Billings and NAADA amateur trots with Miller at the controls. Besides his six victories Rev It Now also has two seconds and three thirds in his 19 seasonal starts and has earned over $26,000 pulling a sulky.

Since she gets along so well with the veteran trotter Hannah Miller was asked why she didn’t ride him in his two races under saddle.

“I haven't had enough practice yet to ride him in a race. I'm working on that but it is difficult and Helene is an excellent rider and has had plenty of experience in these types of races,” Miller explained “ plan on continuing to learn and practice and hopefully I will be able to ride him myself in a race one day.”

“We will be bringing him back to Goshen on July 5th and plan on racing him under saddle at other NY fairs, Vernon, The Red Mile, and hopefully they will have a race at the Meadowlands.”

Miller shares ownership of Rev It Now with the Nick Surick and the Erv Miller stables. Nick Surick is also the horse's trainer.

Also of note on Goshen’s Sunday matinee card was the second consecutive victory by No Shame Blue Chip. Fresh off his 2:01.1 seasonal mark ( for a freshman pacing gelding on a half mile track) here last week the altered son of American Ideal was driven to a 2:02: 2 victory by Brian Connor.

Peter Gerry recently purchased No Shame Blue Chip. He's trained by Janice Connor.

The last of three seasonal matinee programs at the world’s oldest harness track will be presented next Sunday, June 21. Then on Thursday, July 2 Historic Track’s 107th Grand Circuit meeting will get underway.


Track Record Established at Historic Track Matinees

by john manzi for Historic Track

Hot List and Goshen Historic Track kicked off its 53rd season of matinee racing on Sunday afternoon, June 7. On tap were 11 short- field races, many filled with 2 year olds making their first lifetime starts behind a mobile starting gate, and even a few events for older horses.

Yonkers Raceway’s leading driver Jason Bartlett, who lives in Goshen, was on hand to drive in six races eventually winning five, including a track record performance by Hot List who scorched the double-oval in a time of 1:54.4.

““We were just sitting in the grandstand enjoying the beautiful weather ,the races and the race calls by the pupils who attended the Tom Durkin announcer school earlier in the day,” noted track board of directors president, Steve Jones. “In one of the last races on the card, a three-horse race mind you, Jason Bartlett took the lead with Hot List and were easy winners and unexpectedly they set a new track record in the process. Go figure.”

Hot List, a 7-year-old Daughter of McArdle owned by Dominic Rosato and trained by Arnold Marks, had already made 14 starts this season winning three times, the fastest, in 1:52.1. Her 1:54.4 mile here today established a new Historic Track track record for older pacing mares erasing the former standard of 1:56.3 set in 2009 by QuicksilvercandyA and driver Larry Stalbaum.

The most impressive mile turned in by a freshman was a 2:01.1 clocking by No Shame Blue Chip which is believed to be a seasons record for a 2-year-old pacing gelding on a half mile track.

The altered son of American Ideal-Mariah Blue Chip driven by Jason Bartlett is owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock and trained by Janice Connor.

Matinee races will continue on the consecutive Sundays of June14 and June 21 at the world’s oldest harness track. Grand Circuit races.


Grand Circuit Racing begins on Thursday, July 2nd and will feature New York Sire Stakes County Fair Races followed on Friday, July 3rd with the New York State Excelsior Series for pacers.

Then on Saturday, July 4th the Landmark Stakes for 2 and 3 year olds along with the C.K.G. Billings Amateur Trots and the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club Paces will be presented.

Featured Sunday, July 5th are sophomore trotters in the New York State Excelsior Series along with a race under saddle for horses and riders that have qualified during any one of the three June matinee programs.

Also slated on the card that afternoon is the annual Hall Of Fame Trot with various members of Harness Racing’s Hall of Fame at the controls which has always been a fan favorite. And after the race the Hall of Famer's will be available for photos and autographs.

Post times for Grand Circuit action will also be at 1pm.

Then that evening the annual Hall of Fame Banquet will again be held under the tent on the lawn of the Harness Racing Museum.




Goshen Historic Track's First Derby Day Was a Winner!

Kentucky Derby Day winnersGoshen, NY. May 2nd.
While Pharoah was rallying for a Kentucky Derby win, party goers at Goshen Historic Track's First Annual Derby Day celebrated two historic tracks. Participants watched the Kentucky Derby on big-screen TVs trackside while enjoying great food and beautiful weather. There was also a live band, off-track wagering and lots of ladies' hats!

One of the worst winters in recent memory put a lot of stress on the Track's facilities. General Manager, Tim Masters, came up with the idea of the fundraiser in order to ready the Track for the upcoming racing season and to draw attention to the historic landmark's not-for-profit status. Realizing the Track's fullest potential is an objective he shares with all of the staffers at Goshen Historic Track. Together, and with local businesses and organizations, they pulled together a truly memorable event that will probably become an annual tradition at the Track.

To learn more about the hstoric, fun-filled event, check out the photo overage in the Times-Herald-Record.


Renowned Announcer To Teach His Craft At Goshen

Tom DurkinTom Durkin, whose race calls have thrilled fans all over the world, will conduct a one day workshop on how to call a horse race on Sunday, June 7 at The Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Goshen, NY.

Durkin, a native of Chicago, got his start at the Wisconsin county fairs and has called the most prestigious races of both Standardbred and Thoroughbred racing. He retired last August after a 43 year career calling some 80,000 races, including The Hambletonian, Breeders Cup and all the Triple Crown races. Durkin, whose professional routine involved meticulous research and preparation of thousands of phrases to describe various racing scenarios, delivered with what the New York Times called, “is mellifluous baritone voice and vivid imagination,” will conduct the workshop to benefit the Saratoga Harness Hall of Fame and Museum.

He is also a Standardbred owner and breeder, along with his partner Joe Spadaro. Their stable includes the homebred 2012 New York Sire Stakes champion trotter Coraggioso.

Classroom work will be conducted from 9 am to noon at The Harness Racing Museum, 240 Main Street, Goshen, NY. Tuition is $50, payable by a check to Saratoga Harness Hall of Fame and Museum. There are six premium spots available at $150 for those who would like to also call a race at adjacent Goshen Historic Track that afternoon at 1 pm. Those not opting to also call a race pay only $50.

The races at the harness track are non-betting events with no purse and are designed to provide experience to young horses. Durkin will stand by as back up while each race is called by a student. Admission to the races and a program are included in tuition. Lunch is available at the track concession stand.

The workshop is a cooperative venture between the USTA, Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame and Goshen Historic Track. For more information or to sign up for the workshop, email ellen.harvey@ustrotting.com or call 732-780-3700.