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Goshen prepares for 'Great American Weekend'
Monday, June 28, 2010 - by Ellen Harvey, Harness Racing Communications

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Goshen, NY --- All eyes are on Goshen, New York this weekend with inductions for the Harness Racing Hall of Fame set for Sunday evening, July 4, and Grand Circuit racing at adjacent Historic Track. The festivities are part of the town’s “Great American Weekend” celebration, which offers a 150-vendor craft fair, book sale, hay rides, carnival food and road races. For more information, call 845-294-7741 or visit www.goshennychamber.com.

The Museum, which offers free admission at all times, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 240 Main Street in Goshen, in a restored Tudor carriage house. This year the Museum will unveil two new exhibits featuring the art of the late Allen Brewer, an owner of both Standardbreds and Thoroughbreds who worked as an artist in oil, fabric and jewelry. Sunday at 5 p.m. is the official opening of the interactive exhibit, “Buy A Champion,” which allows visitors to enter a bidding war with the goal of guessing the actual auction price of a top horse that sold at the Standardbred Horse Sales Company. The exhibit is sponsored by the sales company.

Hall of Fame inductions will be held Sunday evening, starting with a cocktail party at 5:30. Tickets, at $100 each, are still available and can be reserved by calling 845-294-6330. The Museum’s website is www.harnessmuseum.com.

This year’s inductees include six-time Harness Tracks of America Driver of the Year Dave Palone and Hal Jones, who pioneered the practice of artificial insemination at Standardbred farms, enabling enhanced proliferation of fast bloodlines and minimizing health concerns related to breeding farms.

The Communicators Corner of the Hall of Fame will welcome Murray Brown of Hanover Shoe Farm and Jim Moran, veteran publicist at Vernon Downs. The Immortals to be inducted are Alden Goldsmith, whose Volunteer was an important early sire; painter Richard Stone Reeves, whose work is currently on display at the Museum; and Harry Zweig, a major force in the development of the New York Sire Stakes, the first such program in the United States.

Sculptor Bev Lopez, who has constructed the Hall of Fame statuettes for 50 years, will receive the Museum’s Pinnacle Award for his contributions, and Todd Whitney will be honored for his contributions to the Museum through his amateur driving career.

The horses to be honored include Italian trotting champion Varenne and 2001 Horse of the Year Bunny Lake, as well as the late pacing mare Three Diamonds.

AT THE RACES: With 169 years of racing history already in the books, Goshen Historic Track will once again present a full slate of harness racing over the Fourth of July holiday. Historic Track was the first of only two racetracks (Churchill Downs is the other) listed on the National Historic Register. Children are admitted for free and adults pay $5, which includes a program.

On Friday, beginning at 1 p.m., the Landmark Stakes for 3-year-old trotters and pacers will be featured, along with multiple divisions of races for amateur drivers; men and woman who make their living off the track, but find their passion on it.

On Saturday, the public will get their look at the next class of champions as Landmark Stakes for 2-year-old trotters and pacers are held, along with New York-bred 3-year-old pacing fillies.

On Sunday, the top event is the Mr. and Mrs. Elbridge Gerry Sr. Memorial Trot, in which the entire field is comprised of drivers in the Hall of Fame. Drivers include Cat Manzi, Herve Filion, Jim Doherty, Mike Lachance, Wally Hennessey and the 2010 inductee, Dave Palone. Drivers will sign photos and greet fans after the race at the south end of the grandstand.

Racing concludes on Monday, July 5, with New York-bred trotters and pacers, both 2- and 3-year-olds.

For more information, call 845-294-5333 or visit www.goshenhistorictrack.com.


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