Chicago, IL --- Dave Palone, Mike McLaughlin and Mike Paradise are being honored by Harness Horsemen International with a trio of prestigious awards for 2012.
Palone has been named the recipient of the Dominic Frinzi Person of the Year Award, while McLaughlin is being honored with the HHI Appreciation Award and Paradise with the Clyde Hirt Media Award.
Palone, 50, became the leading dash-winning driver in North American harness racing history when he notched career victory 15,181 on July 5 at his home track of The Meadows in Pennsylvania, steering the first-time, freshman filly starter Herculotte Hanover. A native of Waynesburg, Pa., Palone has won at least 532 races every year since 1992 -- more than any other harness driver in North America during the past two decades.
Since 1983, Palone has maintained a UDR of .399. He’s a six-time winner of the Harness Tracks of America “Driver of the Year” award, and was inducted into the national Harness Racing Hall of Fame on July 4, 2010, at Goshen, N.Y.
Attorney Mike McLaughlin is known to the Western New England Harness Horsemen’s Association as “the guy that can get things done in New Hampshire,” according to nominator Bill Ellis. McLaughlin successfully lobbied alongside the WNEHHA to persuade New Hampshire’s governor to sign a bill allowing for a simulcast facility to open in Cheshire County, N.H., in spring 2013, and that bill also includes a provision that enables racing to return to that area in three years. McLaughlin has been with Shaheen & Gordon since 2006 and is the manager of Capitol Insights Group, a government relations practice.
“WNEHHA had worked with other lobbyists in the past with no success,” said Ellis. “Mike is well liked and well received by all those who met with us in our venture to bring racing back to the Granite State. I truly believe without the hard work provided by Mike we would not have been successful in New Hampshire.”
Mike Paradise, 71, is now in his fifth decade of publicizing harness racing. A former Chicago Tribune, Chicago Today and Chicago American handicapper, Paradise also served as the publicity director for Sportsman’s Park for both the harness and Thoroughbred race meetings from 1974 to 1996. In 1987 he created, co-hosted and co-produced Chicago Harness Racing, a nightly cable-TV program that remained on air through April 1995. He was also Maywood Park’s publicity guru from 1997 through 2008.
Paradise was honored by the Illinois Harness Horsemen’s Association in January 2009 with a Lifetime Dedication Award upon his induction into the Illinois Harness Racing Hall of Fame.
All three men will be feted at the 2013 Harness Racing Congress, Dan Patch Awards banquet on March 3 at the Westin Beach Resort in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.