Janesville, MN --- On yet another cold and blustery day in Minnesota, the hearty horsemen from Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota and Iowa met on Feb. 22 for the annual winter meeting of Minnesota Harness Racing, Inc.
The group was a little smaller than usual because of a snowstorm that delivered a large amount of snow and ice the day before the meeting. The roads were daunting but those that braved them were rewarded with a great time.
The afternoon started with the annual business of MHRI and discussions were held on a variety of topics including purse distribution at Running Aces for 2014, the fair conditions and the new Breeders Fund Advisory Committee. Four spots were up for election for the MHRI board of directors and incumbent Greg Budach was elected along with new board members Justin Anfinson, Michael Banitt and Bob Lems.
After a great dinner from the staff at Running Aces Harness Park, Dean Hoffman addressed the group and spoke about his new position at the Race Track Industry Program in Tucson. Dean spoke on international racing and what he has observed in his years of traveling the world. He also mentioned the (in)sanity of flying from sunny warm Arizona to Minnesota in February.
Divisional honors from the 2013 Running Aces season were awarded to the following horses and their owners.
2-year-old pacing filly: Delco Voracious, owned by Jay DeLong
2-year-old pacing colt: Wounded Warrior, owned by Mark Mintun
3-year-old pacing filly: Razzle Be Dazzled, owned by the Van Otterloo Stable
3-year-old pacing colt: Reds Place, owned by Ronald Emerson and Mark Holtan
older pacing mare:– Country Jewel, owned by Nick Roland
older pacing horse: Headsup Yankee, owned by Wolfswinkel Racing, Inc.
2-year-old trotting filly: She’s A Foxie Lady, owned by Jay DeLong
2-year-old trotting colt: Al Mar Passion, owned by Rick Magee
3-year-old trotting filly: Rails Of Victory, owned by Nick Roland
3-year-old trotting colt: Skeet Thunder, owned by Jeff Ryan
older trotting mare: RAS Shakinthtbacon, owned by Rockaway Racing Stable
older trotting horse: Rich Dessert, owned by Denise Maier
2013 Pacer of the Year at the MN fairs: Finn Jet, owned by Mikaela Del Giudice
2013 Trotter of the Year at the MN fairs: Chewy Dunkerton, owned by Ben DeLong
2013 Driver of the Year at the MN fairs: Nick Roland
MN Horse of the Year (voted on by the membership): Delco Voracious, owned by Jay DeLong
After the awards a raffle was held with items including a TV, a Roku streaming player, Zinger harness, Zilco hopples, local restaurant gift cards and many other items.
Thanks to a lot of hard work by Jessica Johnson, Mikaela Del Giudice and Nicole Tate, MHRI was able to hold a live auction for the first time in many years. The auction was headlined by four Minnesota stallions, Up Front Brad, Abra, Money Talks and Braggart. A signed baseball by Minnesota Twins celebrity Bert Blyleven, a JH Xtreme Advantage harness and a Yonnies harness were also among the items auctioned off.