United States Harness Writers Association

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Make your plans and reservations to attend the annual Dan Patch Awards banquet at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando now! The banquet that honors the best equines and humans in the sport will take place on Sunday night, Feb. 23, 2020.

Rosen Shingle Creek played host to the Dan Patch Awards weekend (which includes the annual meetings of the Harness Writers) for the first time in 2018 and proved such a popular venue the past two years that it was unanimously voted to return again to the stunning 230-acre property. After four-star reviews of the last two dinners, including a surprise appearance by Stan Bergstein-Proximity Award winner Foiled Again this year that many proclaimed one of the most memorable moments ever in racing, it's never too early to consider sponsorship opportunities that are available.

To inquire about sponsorship opportunities for the weekend, including Dan Patch Presenting Sponsor, live video streaming sponsor, Red Carpet reception sponsor, and live feed sponsor hosted by Heather Vitale and Heather Wilder, please contact USHWA President Shawn Wiles at: swiles@empireresorts.com.

Rosen Shingle Creek, the site is located just off Universal Boulevard, within 10 minutes of the Orlando International Airport and minutes from all area attractions. Rosen Shingle Creek is a five-star property that is ranked a top-20 U.S. meeting hotel by Cvent. The property includes an 18-hole, Arnold Palmer-redesigned golf course, four swimming pools, a spa that includes nine treatment rooms, two lighted tennis courts, sand volleyball, basketball and a state-of-the-art fitness center.

There are 15 restaurant/lounges located on the property, including the upscale steakhouse A Land Remembered, the fine-dining bistro Cala Bella, Banrai Sushi, Mi Casa Tequila Taqueria, and a 24-hour deli.

As noted, as part of the weekend, USHWA's board of directors meeting will take place on Saturday, Feb. 22, and its annual general membership meeting will take place on Sunday morning,

More details will be made available as they become available throughout the year.

Hall of Famer Nicholas Saponara dies

 

Nicholas J. Saponara, a member of the Harness Racing Communicators Hall of Fame, and a past president of the U.S. Harness Writers Association, an organization to which he belonged for 57 years, passed away on Saturday after health issues.

A graduate of Northeast Catholic High School in Philadelphia in 1957, that same year Saponara joined the sports department of the Philadelphia Bulletin, at that time the major evening newspaper of the Greater Philadelphia metro area. He worked for the Bulletin for 25 years, and he served as the handicapper and morning line oddsmaker for the tracks covered by the Bulletin, also making the official track morning line at Brandywine, Liberty Bell, Atlantic City Harness, and the Keystone thoroughbred track.

Mr. Saponara was a co-founder of the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Harness Writers in 1962, and served many years as the chapter’s secretary. He served as national President of USHWA for three years, 1980-1983, and sat on the association Board of Directors for 29 years. Nick was also the driving force in spreading the annual national awards dinner beyond its traditional New York City home, and was the organizer behind many successful events, notably having the famed Philadelphia Mummers perform at an Atlantic City gathering.

Mr. Saponara was also a harness horse owner, along with longtime friend Marv Bachrad. They entrusted their horses to an up-and-coming French-Canadian horsemen named Herve Filion, and they enjoyed the success rate that Herve enjoyed as a rising comet in the sport. Saponara, Bachrad, and Albert Cooper were the founders of the popular Mr. Class tip sheet sold at area tracks.

Mr. Saponara also owned thoroughbred horses, and was a member of the Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association board of directors. In September of 2019, Parx thoroughbred track honored Saponara with inclusion into its Hall of Fame.

Mr. Saponara's funeral is scheduled for Wednesday (Dec. 11). A viewing will be held at St. Ephrem Church, 5340 Hulmeville Rd., Bensalem, PA from 9:30 am to 11:15am. A Funeral Mass will follow at 11:30 am. Burial at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.

Nominations open for Caretaker of the Year

 

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2019 Caretaker of the Year. The award, sponsored by Art Zubrod and Leah Cheverie’s Fair Island Farm in conjunction with the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), recognizes the unsung heroes of the sport — the caretakers who maintain the health and welfare of the horses on a daily basis.

Initially titled Groom of the Year Award when first presented in 1982, the honor was instituted as a result of a suggestion made by Delvin Miller at the annual Harness Tracks of America meeting when he received HTA's Stanley F. Bergstein Messenger Award. Previously sponsored annually by HTA and Hanover Shoe Farms, the tradition lapsed in 2014 but was re-established in 2015 by Hard Rock Northfield Park and USHWA, with Fair Island Farm coming on this year.

“We have been presenting trophies to the winning caretakers during the Grand Circuit meet at The Red Mile for a couple of years now, so we are very honored and happy to be able to now recognize the national Caretaker of the Year,” said Zubrod.

The Fair Island Farm Caretaker of the Year will receive a cash prize of $500, a trophy, and transportation costs to the USHWA Dan Patch Awards banquet in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday evening, Feb. 23, 2020, where he or she will be recognized. The winner will also enjoy a two-night stay at Rosen Shingle Creek, host hotel for the USHWA activities, as well as two complimentary dinner tickets.

“Caretakers are the day-to-day unsung heroes of the industry, long before and after the spotlight of the grandstand lights,” said USHWA President Shawn Wiles. “This cadre toils in anonymity, not looking for a pat on the back, but always looking out for the best interests of their charges health and welfare. We are fortunate to have many outstanding caretakers in our industry to look after our equine athletes.”

Any caretaker working for any stable or farm in North America is eligible to be the Fair Island Farm Caretaker of the Year. All that is needed to nominate is a letter or email, 200 words minimum, from an individual or group detailing the skills and special qualities of the caretaker.

The winner will be chosen by a seven-person selection committee comprised of USHWA members, all of whom are former caretakers: Tim Bojarski (chair), Tom Charters, Moira Fanning, Dean Hoffman, Rob Pennington, Kim Rinker and Shawn Wiles.

All nomination letters and emails must be received and/or postmarked by Friday, Dec. 20, 2019, and sent to chairman Bojarski at a159star@gmail.com or mailed to Tim Bojarski, 7523 Maple Road, Akron, N.Y. 14001. (USHWA)

Hervey/Smallsreed/McKee awards deadline is Dec. 9

 

The best of harness racing journalism in 2019 will be honored by the U.S. Harness Writers Association with the John Hervey Awards for writing, Sam McKee Award for broadcasting, and George Smallsreed Awards for photography. The deadline for entries is 5 p.m. Dec. 9.

Entries will be accepted for news/commentary writing, feature writing, broadcasting, race photography and feature photography. Entries published or broadcast between Dec. 1, 2018 and Nov. 30, 2019, are eligible. All entries must be in English.

Judges in each category will select a winner and, where appropriate, up to two honorable mentions. There are no entry fees or cash prizes. Winners will be announced in January and will be recognized at the U.S. Harness Writers Association’s annual Dan Patch Awards festivities Feb. 23 in Orlando. Winners will receive a plaque/trophy as well as two tickets to the Dan Patch Awards dinner.

Photo and written submissions must have appeared in a paid-circulation publication or on the website that is the same-name affiliate of a paid-circulation publication, recognized broadcast news organization, or established industry/news website. Content that appeared on personal websites, message boards or lists, and similar entities is not valid for inclusion in the competition. The final decision on eligibility is in the hands of the Hervey Committee.

Broadcast entries will be an accepted feature or live racing segment no longer than 10 minutes. The entry must have aired on a network television or cable station, recognized news and/or industry website, or have been included in a racetrack’s simulcasting presentation. Documentaries or other long-form productions are not eligible although one segment of that documentary, edited only to fit the length limitations of no more than 10 minutes, may be submitted for consideration.

The awards are not open to entries that are fiction, in the form of Q&As, or were prepared for commercial purposes (for advertisements/promo/publicity purposes).

There is a limit of one submission per person per category. A person may enter more than one category, but not with the same submission. An entry may only be submitted in one category and the category must be indicated clearly. The Hervey Committee, at its discretion, may disqualify an entry at any time in the process, and reserves the right not to bestow an award in a particular category based on the quality and quantity of entries.

All entries must originate with the author/photographer/producer and must include a signed cover letter expressing the wish to enter materials in the contest and granting permission for the materials to be used for promoting the awards in press releases. The letter must also include the following contact information for the writer/producer/photographer: name, full address, telephone numbers (home, office, cell) and email address. The letter must also include the date that the media organization published/aired the submission and specify the category for which the entry is being submitted.

Editors may submit entries provided the cover letter includes contact information for the writer/producer/photographer as well as for the person submitting the entry. All other third-party entries will be rejected.

Written entries must specify the category — news or feature — for consideration. All print entries must include a tear sheet of the entry (a PDF is acceptable) as it appeared in print and a plain text version with no identifying information (bylines, publication name, graphs, photos or other graphic elements).

Broadcast entries must not exceed 10 minutes and must not contain commercials. Each submission (one per person or organization) should have a cover letter. Submissions can be in the form of a mailed DVD or provided via a file-sharing service.

Photography entries must include a cover letter designating the category for the photo — race or feature — and a tear sheet of the published photo, showing the date, name of publication and photographer’s name. Tear sheets for Internet-based submissions will consist of a screen shot. Photographs should not be digitally enhanced beyond the basics needed to achieve realistic color balance and sharpness. Failure to follow these rules will result in disqualification. Photographs may be sent via email. If mailed, three prints of the entry must be provided.

The decisions of the Hervey Committee and the judges are final.

Email entries, or file shared for broadcast, are encouraged. Email entries should be sent to ken.weingartner@ustrotting.com. Mailed entries should be sent to Ken Weingartner, 425 S. Main St., Hightstown, NJ 08520.

Questions can be directed to Ken Weingartner, chairman of the Hervey Committee, at the above email address.

ALERT: CALENDAR FOR USHWA AWARDS DEADLINES

 

In years past Divisional Honors usually were sewn up in the Breeders Crown. That is not the case this year, as it did not come down to the Breeders Crown this time. There are a handful of categories that are still open -- pay special attention to the upcoming races that could have Honors on the line, especially the big card at The Meadowlands on Saturday, November 23!

This year the timeline and consolidation of materials and the whittling of nominees is not as compressed over the Thanksgiving Holidays as is has been in the past, because of the challenges of dealing with media releases with Christmas falling on a Wednesday.

The dates listed below in chronological order are important and must be adhered to:

People Award Nominations/Biographies Deadline

Chapters must have selected their Florida Director and have their nominees and biographies (Proximity bios 250-500 words; other bios 100-300 words) turned into the secretary by Wednesday, November 27. All categories should have only one Chapter nominee except Rising Star, with the R&Rs allowing for two. (You can read the bylaws and R&Rs, newly-refreshed, at our website www.ushwa.org).

The Integrity Committee convened and ruled that Dexter Dunn is not eligible to the Rising Star Award due to his long career, as he notched his first driving win in 2006. Andrew McCarthy is not eligible for this award either, due to him being 33 years old; the cutoff is 30 or younger per the bylaw.

People Award Whittling process

This quick process to reduce the chapter nominees to three ballot candidates per category, done by the Active Past Presidents and current officers (R&Rs, Awards, 5, a), will begin on Monday December 2 when the information is distributed, and these votes must be returned by Wednesday December 4.

People and Horse Award Voting

Information and ballots will be sent to the membership on December 5 or 6 and must be returned by Friday, December 20 (NO exceptions). This time span will give voters ample time to make their selection. Information on PATHWAY availability to further research credentials will be distributed when it has been finalized.

As mentioned in a prior newsletter the information that we receive to use to select the equine honors will be in a slightly different format.

This year the information and ballots for the People and Horse Awards will be sent via TWO different e-mails, from two different e-addresses, and your votes must be returned to the PROPER e-mail for the category (these new e-mails will be decided shortly, and the return e-mail for each is the one from which you receive your information and ballots in the given category).

All USHWAns are eligible to vote for the Human Awards; all USHWAns who do not have a lapse in their Horse voting records are allowed to vote in that category, along with eligible members of the American Harness Racing Secretaries (R&R, Awards, 6, a).

Announcement of Awardwinners

This is where Christmas’s occurrence on Wednesday made things tricky.

Announcement of the Human (and Broodmare) awards will be done by releases sent out on Monday, December 30 and Tuesday, December 31.

This year the Meadowlands will be hosting the announcement of Divisional Honors on Friday January 3 via the Meadowlands Simulcasting signal and the USHWA Facebook page. We will be altering the format this year and we will be doing both Trotters and Pacers at the same time. The press releases will be sent out to all media and all USHWAns immediately after the conclusion of the announcements on the Meadowlands feed.

Of course, Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year, and Harness Horse of the Year will be reserved for live announcement at the annual Dan Patch Awards Banquet, to be held on Sunday evening, February 23, 2020, at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando FL.

Nominations open for Caretaker of the Year

 

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2019 Caretaker of the Year. The award, sponsored by Art Zubrod and Leah Cheverie’s Fair Island Farm in conjunction with the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), recognizes the unsung heroes of the sport — the caretakers who maintain the health and welfare of the horses on a daily basis.

Initially titled Groom of the Year Award when first presented in 1982, the honor was instituted as a result of a suggestion made by Delvin Miller at the annual Harness Tracks of America meeting when he received HTA's Stanley F. Bergstein Messenger Award. Previously sponsored annually by HTA and Hanover Shoe Farms, the tradition lapsed in 2014 but was re-established in 2015 by Hard Rock Northfield Park and USHWA, with Fair Island Farm coming on this year.

“We have been presenting trophies to the winning caretakers during the Grand Circuit meet at The Red Mile for a couple of years now, so we are very honored and happy to be able to now recognize the national Caretaker of the Year,” said Zubrod.

The Fair Island Farm Caretaker of the Year will receive a cash prize of $500, a trophy, and transportation costs to the USHWA Dan Patch Awards banquet in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday evening, Feb. 23, 2020, where he or she will be recognized. The winner will also enjoy a two-night stay at Rosen Shingle Creek, host hotel for the USHWA activities, as well as two complimentary dinner tickets.

“Caretakers are the day-to-day unsung heroes of the industry, long before and after the spotlight of the grandstand lights,” said USHWA President Shawn Wiles. “This cadre toils in anonymity, not looking for a pat on the back, but always looking out for the best interests of their charges health and welfare. We are fortunate to have many outstanding caretakers in our industry to look after our equine athletes.”

Any caretaker working for any stable or farm in North America is eligible to be the Fair Island Farm Caretaker of the Year. All that is needed to nominate is a letter or email, 200 words minimum, from an individual or group detailing the skills and special qualities of the caretaker.

The winner will be chosen by a seven-person selection committee comprised of USHWA members, all of whom are former caretakers: Tim Bojarski (chair), Tom Charters, Moira Fanning, Dean Hoffman, Rob Pennington, Kim Rinker and Shawn Wiles.

All nomination letters and emails must be received and/or postmarked by Friday, Dec. 20, 2019, and sent to chairman Bojarski at a159star@gmail.com or mailed to Tim Bojarski, 7523 Maple Road, Akron, N.Y. 14001. (USHWA)

"The Voice" Roger Huston to leave the meadows

Communications Hall of Famer and Bergstein Proximity Award winner Roger Huston, generally known as “The Voice of Harness Racing,” will be leaving his present position of announcer and host of The Meadows Racing Network on Saturday, November 2 – one day after the 36th anniversary of the first MRN broadcast – and soon will be taking the post of Brand Ambassador for the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association in his native state. “This is not a retirement – I’m just cutting back a bit,” Huston notes.

The other accolades which have gone Huston’s way over his distinguished career, now in its 60th year, are more numerous than the number of rings on his fingers. He has been a member of USHWA for 52 years, more than any other current Director of the Association; Roger represents the Keystone Chapter of USHWA.

Charters, Gural, Popfinger, Tetrick elected to HOF 

Results from the balloting for harness racing’s highest honor, membership in the Harness Racing Hall of Fame, and from the balloting for the Communicators Hall of Fame, have been tabulated and certified.

Four candidates have received the sport’s highest honor, election into the Harness Racing Hall Of Fame: Tom Charters, of the Hambletonian Society and Breeders Crown; Jeff Gural, racetrack executive and owner/breeder; Bill Popfinger, a respected horseman for over half a century; and Tim Tetrick, who has set new standards for harness racing sulky success before reaching the age of 40.

In addition, Phil Pikelny, noted primarily as an author and a publicist for the U.S. Trotting Association and Columbus (OH)’s Scioto Downs, and Ken Weingartner, the USTA’s Media Relations Manager, have been elected into the Harness Racing Communicators Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Famers achieved their distinction by getting 75%+ of the “yes-no” ballots distributed in mid-summer; eligible for voting for the Hall of Famers were qualified members of USHWA and the existing Hall of Fame members. Those on the ballot were decided by the USHWA Screening Committee from the nominations of the Writers’ chapters.

Tom Charters worked his way through the ranks in harness racing, starting out as a caretaker (among his charges was Horse of the Year Delmonica Hanover) before becoming a racing secretary. In 1984 the Hambletonian Society hired Charters as executive director of the Breeders Crown, a newly-created series of season-end championship races, and his work in establishing the Crowns as signature events led to his being named executive director of the Society in 1994, then being promoted in 1998 to president and chief executive officer. Charters’ tireless work in such diverse fields as increasing racing handle, simulcasting and television production, international racing, and brand name establishment, plus the temperament to juggle all of these jobs along with dealing the wide range of personalities at the highest levels of the sport, firmly established him as one of the captains of the industry.

Jeff Gural was a longtime racing fan, owner, and breeder, associated with Allerage Farms, Little E LLC, and other equine partnerships, along with proprietorship of New York’s Vernon Downs and Tioga Downs racetracks, when he undertook the monumental task of leading the privatization of the sport’s flagship track in North America, The Meadowlands, away from a state-run operation of New Jersey. Enlisting the aid of many of the sport’s top figures in addition to large investments of his own money, time, and expertise, Gural has been the directing force of the revitalization of the mile oval, with a new grandstand built on the old backstretch side of the track, a facility and the parallel racing program aimed squarely at maximizing revenue for all of racing’s interlinked parties in today’s changing, challenging gaming environment.

Bill Popfinger has been a horseman for over 50 years, going from success at smaller tracks to operating a powerful Grand Circuit stable, and he continues his winning tradition today – a trainee of his won at Pocono on Monday. Popfinger first hit the harness limelight 50 years when he guided Lady B Fast to an upset win over the great trotters Fresh Yankee and Nevele Pride at Yonkers, and he cemented his stardom with his famous daring early move to the lead with Happy Escort, “the lights on, the horn honking, and the pedal to the metal,” to defeat heavy favorites Falcon Almahurst and Flight Director in the 1978 Little Brown Jug raceoff. That quote also cemented Popfinger’s nickname of “Showbiz,” and over the years he campaigned such marquee horses as Happy Motoring, Praised Dignity, Spellbound Hanover, Say Hello, and Spicy Charlie.

Tim Tetrick, at age 37, has already become one of only four drivers to have driven the winners of over $200 million in his career, and few doubt he will contend for the top spot, John Campbell’s $299M+ career total, before all is done – after all, any possible mishaps may not slow a man who already has two “bionic hips” after replacement surgery. Also the single-season money record holder for a driver with $19.7M in 2008, Tetrick also produces quantity with quality, driving his 11,000th winner earlier this year, putting him ninth all-time, fifth among active drivers, and second in the 2019 dash winning standings. The list of top horses associated with Tetrick is too long to mention here, but it is fairly safe to say that when it comes to Breeders Crown time and the selection of year-end award winners, the name “Tetrick” will be associated with several of the champions.

Phil Pikelny was first noticed by harness executive Stan Bergstein while still at Northwestern University. He worked for the Horseman and Fair World, then at age 23 he became the youngest national publicity director in any sport when joining the U.S. Trotting Association. During that period he authored, with Don Evans, the book od about the sport’s first double millionaire, who had his earnings tithed to an Ohio church. He then was publicity director at Scioto Downs for a number of years. He was the president of the Harness Publicists Association, and the president of the Ohio Chapter of USHWA.

Ken Weingartner first went to the harness races with his father “before I could walk,” and upon returning to his native New Jersey after college and early newspaper work, his harness racing stories attracted the notice of the U.S. Trotting Association, for whom he now works as Media Relations Manager, writing stories about the leading horses and humans in the sport and conducting the national Top 10 weekly balloting. He received the Allen Finkelson Golden Pen Award for excellence in harness racing publicity, and also has been honored by Harness Horsemen International.

The honorees will first be publicly honored at the USHWA Dan Patch Banquet, to be held on Sunday, February 23, 2020 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando FL, where the Halls of Famers will take their first ensemble bow during the banquet honoring the top humans and equines of the previous year’s racing. Then comes next July 5’s formal induction to the Halls of Fame, at a dinner set just outside the building in which their likeness will be placed to immortalize their selection as harness racing’s best of the best.

USHWA sponsors race at Goshen Historic

Members of USHWA were on hand on Sunday (July 7) to sponsor a race at Goshen Historic Track and made the presentation in the winner's circle. (Photo courtesy of Geri Schwarz)

Foiled Again’s Dan Patch awards surprise party was a big hit

Moments into his speech to accept the Stan Bergstein-Proximity Award on behalf of legendary pacer Foiled Again during Sunday’s U.S. Harness Writers Association’s Dan Patch Awards banquet, co-owner Joe Koury Jr. was halted by USHWA member Gordon Waterstone. Koury knew he had not exceeded his time limit because he was just getting started, so he was surprised.

Surprise was about to turn to shock.

“Don’t you think we ought to have the award-winner here?” Waterstone soon said to Koury.

Enter Foiled Again.

Foiled Again turned the idea of a surprise party upside down when he emerged from behind the curtained stage area to the delight of the 320 banquet attendees at Rosen Shingle Creek resort. Only a handful of people knew in advance of Foiled Again’s appearance, which was conceived by Waterstone with Foiled Again’s co-owners Ron Burke and Mark Weaver.

“I was wondering what was going on,” said Koury, who like the entire Burke Brigade other than Burke, Weaver and Foiled Again’s caretaker for the night, Devan Miller, had no idea of the plan. “Next thing you know, Foiled was coming out. I was absolutely shocked. It was a great experience. It was exciting.”

Said Joe Koury Sr., “When Foiled showed up, it was unbelievable. I was shocked. Tears were rolling down my cheeks, it was just amazing.”

“I didn’t expect it; that’s the last thing that would have crossed my mind,” said Yannick Gingras, who drove Foiled Again for the majority of the gelding’s career and won numerous major stakes together. “I thought it was really cool, something different.”

Many others had the same reaction, which was what Burke and his co-planners had hoped.

“It was unbelievable,” Burke said. “I knew it would be a hit, especially with my father (Mickey), but it was a hit with everybody. It was one of the coolest moments ever. We thought it would be something nobody would be expecting and would add a little bit of fun, and it did.”

Waterstone, who in addition to being a member of USHWA is associate editor of The Horseman And Fair World magazine, worked with the resort’s staff to set up Foiled Again’s appearance. It required an extra bit of insurance and a protective covering for the banquet room carpet, which was new.

“I called Mark about bringing Foiled Again to the banquet and he said to talk to Ronnie,” Waterstone said. “I called Ronnie and he said absolutely, but he wanted to do it as a secret.

“It came off better than I thought it would. You keep your fingers crossed. The reaction was unbelievable. To be involved in this was really cool.”

Foiled Again was already staying near Orlando, at the Burke’s winter stable in Astor.

“Devan did a great job,” Burke said. “She had to prep him for it and people were wondering why she was prepping him when he was just there hanging out. He looked incredible. I was thrilled.”

Unfazed by the cheers that filled the banquet room and the joyful commotion that soon engulfed him, Foiled Again stood perfectly for his admirers.

“He was like a little showman,” Joe Koury Sr. said. “He’s like a celebrity, a celebrity of the humblest measure. It was just unbelievable. He’s amazing. I love him to death.”

Foiled Again reached harness racing’s mandatory retirement age of 15 when the calendar turned to 2019. He is the sport’s all-time richest horse, with $7.63 million in purses, and ranks ninth with 109 lifetime wins. He received Dan Patch Awards for best older male pacer in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and was Pacer of the Year in 2011.

Last year, he embarked on a Farewell Tour that attracted numerous fans to racetracks across North America, as well as garnering mainstream media attention. He will be inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in July.

Foiled Again is owned by Burke Racing, the partnership of Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, and the Koury family’s JJK Stables. The group bought the horse in 2008 when he was 4. He was trained by Mickey Burke briefly before Mickey retired and handed the lines to his son Ron.

“He’s a dream come true,” Joe Koury Jr. said. “To be a part of this with such great friends and partners is amazing. We were all young guys who, for the most part, were just getting started. He brought us up all together and put us on a different level. It’s just been a phenomenal ride.”

And now that the ride is completed, Foiled Again will enjoy a life of leisure.

“He’s basically going to live my dad’s life,” Ron Burke said with a laugh. “They’ll be hanging out together forever.”

Dan Patch Awards Banquet Video available here

Whether you attended it in person and would like to relive the event or if you were unable to be there and want to see what everyone is talking about, you can now watch the entire 2019 Dan Patch Awards Banquet from the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Florida.

The video is broken into two halves and follow the original order of the night's program. The videos are provided courtesy of the United States Trotting Association.

 

2019 Dan Patch Awards Pt1 from USTA on Vimeo.

2019 Dan Patch pt2 from USTA on Vimeo.

Dan Patch Awards Banquet Red Carpet Photos available here

All the Red Carpet photos taken as guests entered in are available by clicking here.

An album of photos taken throughout the course of the night can be viewed by clicking here.

All photos were provided by the award winning photo journalist Chris Gooden.

USHWA thanks all our 2019 DPA Banquet sponsors

McWicked

Crazy Wow and Crawford Farms

Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association

Southwind Frank Partners

United States Trotting Association

Hanover Shoe Farms

Shartin N Connections

AM Bloodstock

Six Pack Connections

Harrah's Hoosier Park

Delaware Valley USHWA

George Brennan

Bow River Jewelry

Embroidery Unlimited

Fennel's Tack Shop

United States Harness Writers Association

The United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), the world's largest organization for industry communicators.

The United States Harness Writers Association is a group of more than 220 members committed to the chronicling of harness racing through the print and electronic media. It was founded in 1947 by New York City area sportswriters who were covering harness racing at Roosevelt Raceway. It remains the only media organization in harness racing with a membership of newspaper, magazine, radio and TV, ad agency, publicists and others involved in racing communications. With most of USHWA's members allied to one of 12 regional chapters, the association strives to bring about a closer relationship among the media, racetracks and horsemen to promote a centuries-old American-bred sport.

USHWA members, in annual voting, choose harness racing's most prestigious awards, such as the Living Hall of Fame and the Horse of the Year. Its Stanley F. Bergstein-Proximity Achievement Award is one of the sport's most cherished honors. It also recognizes top divisional winners and leading drivers and trainers at its annual awards dinner, which began in 1948.

The association is governed by a member board of directors, which represents the chapters and at-large members (those living or working in regions where there is no chapter). Also serving are seven national officers and past presidents.

USHWA, with input from the American Harness Racing Secretaries and logistic expertise provided by the United States Trotting Association, determines the Horse of the Year and other equine and human awards. USHWA also presents the John Hervey Awards for excellence in writing and broadcasting. Its members choose Hall of Famers, so the association also works closely with the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame at Goshen, New York. A number of chapters hold annual awards or recognition dinners to salute the leading horses and drivers in their areas. Some chapters also raise money for local charities.

Contact USHWA at ushwainfo@gmail.com

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