Columbus, MN --- The members of Minnesota Harness Racing Inc. held their annual meeting and awards banquet on Saturday (Feb. 23) at Running Aces Harness Park in Columbus, Minn.
MHRI secretary/treasurer Greg Budach went over the financial report of the organization and meeting minutes from the 2011 annual meeting; Budach and president Ron Banks took nominations for the board of directors and the following four people were elected: Mark Corless, Vern Devine, Kyle Van Otterloo and Cindy Ivey.
|Minnesota Harness Racing photo|
|The connections of Restless Yankee celebrate his selection as Minnesota Harness Horse of the Year.|
USTA director Gabe Wand addressed the group and went over the proposed rule changes that will be up for discussion at the Harness Racing Congress this upcoming week in Ft Lauderdale, Fla. Duane Roland gave an update of the Iowa Racing Program, which consists solely of fair racing.
Chairman Jesse Overton from the Minnesota Racing Commission spoke to the group about the need to grow the Minnesota bred program and compared the current program to those across the country.
Gregg Keidel, race secretary at Running Aces, also spoke to the group about the upcoming race meet and Bob Farinella, general manager of Running Aces, talked about the simulcast dispute between the track and Canterbury Park.
There was then an open forum discussion about the future of the Minnesota bred program, how to grow it, and what can be done for racing in 2013.
The banquet and awards program commenced with a buffet dinner and the presentation of:
2-year-old filly trotter-Al-Mar Foxy Lunar
2-year-old colt trotter-Shy Lunar Wins
3-year-old filly trotter-Al-Mar Peggy Sue
3-year-old colt trotter-No Recess
older male trotter-Nearly Rich
older mare trotter-One Bad Cookie
2-year-old filly pacer-Hotalulu
2-year-old colt pacer-Itchy Brother
3-year-old filly pacer-Fiftyonefifty
3-year-old colt pacer-Chewy Baca
older male pacer-Restless Yankee
older mare pacer-Blazing Fury
Fair trotter of the year-R As Shakenbake
Fair pacer of the year-Genuine Honor
Fair driver of the year-Nick Roland
Horse of the Year was voted on during the annual meeting and announced at the dinner as Restless Yankee. Restless Yankee had another outstanding year in 2012, which included a track record at Running Aces of 1:51.2 and winning his third “Super Night” championship. The Bob Lems trainee is owned by Mark Holtan and Ronald Emerson.
Tony Alagna was the keynote speaker and talked about the move from training horses in the Midwest to the East Coast, his phenomenal 2012 racing season and gave an update on Captaintreacherous and the promotion to award a share of the colt to a Meadowlands patron.