Editor’s Note: To view a video of the Hall of Fame ceremonies, click here.
Goshen, NY — On Sunday (July 7) 12 individuals and six equines were inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame. Six new members — Blair Burgess, Ted Gewertz, Joe Holloway, Jerry Silverman, Linda Toscano and Ted Wing — entered the Living Hall of Fame, while Mark Hall and Dave Little were enshrined in the Communicators Hall of Fame. Dr. Leroy Coggins, Charles Hinkle, and Allen and Connie Skolnick also entered the Hall of Fame as Immortal honorees.
Burgess now resides in the Hall of Fame in both Canada and the U.S. He has captured many of the sport’s most prestigious contests including the Hambletonian (Amigo Hall and Triple Crown winner Glidemaster), Breeders Crown (Real Desire), Meadowlands Pace (Frugal Gourmet and Real Desire) and Little Brown Jug (Tell All). Real Desire and Glidemaster were both voted Horse of the Year.
Gewertz was first exposed to harness racing in the 1960s and has participated in nearly every facet of the industry. He has co-owned three Hambletonian winners — Giant Victory, Windsong’s Legacy (Triple Crown winner and Trotter of the Year), and Deweycheatumnhowe — in addition to such horses as Huntsville and Housethatruthbuilt. He was owner of the year in 2004 and is a director of the Hambletonian Society and a trustee of the Harness Racing Museum.
Holloway commenced his love affair with the sport as a child. He was responsible for developing Jenna’s Beach Boy, three-time Breeders Crown winner, twice Pacer of the Year, and a horse whose record for a race mile of 1:47.3 stood for a decade. Harness racing’s top trainer in 1995, Holloway has since guided the careers of standouts She’s A Great Lady, Shebestingin, and Somwherovrarainbow, in addition to world champion and Horse of the Year Always B Miki at age two and three.
Silverman was one of the top Grand Circuit trainers for more than five decades. He instituted himself as a force to be reckoned with in 1966 with Triple Crown winner Romeo Hanover and followed up that success with a number of champions including Fame, Hit Parade, Masquerade, Saccharum, Die Laughing, and Glowing Report.
Toscano, the first female trainer to enter the Hall of Fame, is the first woman to capture a Hambletonian trophy. She was named Trainer of the Year in 2012, a season which saw her oversee the careers of Horse of the Year Chapter Seven and Hambletonian victor Market Share. She has also conditioned champions Walner and Heston Blue Chip, with half-mile track world champion Jet Laag being another one of her pupils.
Wing was an Olympic-caliber skier before sustaining an injury and shortly after setting his sights on a career in harness racing, established himself as one of the best in the sport. He served notice of his abilities in the early years of The Meadowlands and was also a leading reinsman at Roosevelt and Yonkers Raceways. Wing entered the New England Harness Racing Hall of Fame the same year as Bill O’Donnell and Jim Doherty, who are also in the national Hall of Fame. He was involved with such renowned horses as Skip By Night, Gallo Blue Chip, Butler BG, and Calvert.
Hall, who has been employed by the U.S. Trotting Association for more than 35 years, joins his prior colleagues George Smallsreed and Ed Keys in the Communicators Hall of Fame. He has collected six Smallsreed awards for his work, which is more than any other photographer in the history of the sport.
Little was employed for more than two decades as the racing editor of the New York Daily News. He is now an integral component of the team in publicity and TV operations at The Meadowlands. Not only does Little announce at several racetracks, including Historic Track in Goshen, N.Y., he is a director of the U.S. Harness Writers Association and helps conduct the Clyde Hirt workshop for aspiring journalists.
Dr. Leroy Coggins is not only a legend in harness racing, but throughout the entire equine industry for the revolutionary test which bears his name and remains an essential veterinary requirement more than four decades after its introduction. Today, the Coggins diagnostic test remains the crucial element in reducing the occurrence of equine infectious anemia (EIA) and is a vital component to the health of the entire horse industry.
Charlie Hinkle was best known as the radio voice of the Little Brown Jug, the Hambletonian and the Kentucky Futurity in the 1950s and early 1960s on ABC and CBS radio. He also announced at many tracks in the United States including Los Alamitos, Cal Expo, Maywood, The Meadows, Grandview, Seminole and Hazel Park.
Founders of New Jersey’s Southwind Farm, one of the most successful Standardbred breeding facilities in the world, Allen and Connie Skolnick were active supporters of the harness racing industry for more than 30 years. Buyers and sellers at all the prestigious Standardbred sales, they owned many superb racehorses over the years. Southwind was home to stallions Valley Victory, Artsplace and Hambletonian winner Muscle Hill.
The trio of horses selected to the Living Horse Hall of Fame — Art Major, Captaintreacheous and Foiled Again — are a diverse and worthy group. Art Major was nominated as a stallion and racehorse, while the gelding Foiled Again did his best work as an older horse. Captaintreacherous was a two-time Pacer of the Year as a freshman and sophomore.
In 2002, 3-year-old Art Major finished on the board in 25 of 31 starts with 20 wins. Victories included the Breeders Crown, Hoosier Cup, Cane Pace, Progress Pace, Confederation Cup, James Dancer Memorial, Tattersalls Pace and Bluegrass. His earnings of $1,562,779 were the most of any Standardbred in 2002 and he was voted Dan Patch and O’Brien 3-year-old Pacing Colt of the Year.
Four-year-old Art Major won eight of 11 starts with three seconds in 2003. Major victories included the Breeders Crown, Canadian Pacing Derby and U.S. Pacing Championship. Ranked fourth in earnings for all Standardbreds in 2003 with $1,082,930, Art Major was voted Dan Patch and O’Brien Older Pacing Horse of the Year.
As a stallion, Art Major is the sire of 22 in 1:49, and has sired winners of more than $127 million with nine millionaires, including world champion Art Official p,3,1:47 ($2,082,885), winner of the 2008 Meadowlands Pace, Hoosier Cup and Cane Pace; 2014 North America Cup winner JK Endofanera p,3,1:48.2 ($2,049,580); world champion Hypnotic Blue Chip p,4,1:47.2 ($1,787,311), winner of the 2010 U.S. Pacing Championship; and 2007 Breeders Crown and Governor’s Cup winner Santanna Blue Chip p,1:51s ($1,666,701).
In 2012, 2-year-old Captaintreacherous finished on the board in all of his 10 starts, winning eight and earning $918,253. Victories included the Metro Pace, Woodrow Wilson and Nassagaweya. The leading money-winning 2-year-old Standardbred of 2012, he was voted Dan Patch Pacer of the Year and Dan Patch and O’Brien 2-year-old Pacing Colt of the Year.
Three-year-old Captaintreacherous earned $2,055,033 while winning 13 of 16 starts including the Breeders Crown, North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace, Hempt Memorial, Cane Pace, American-National, Tattersalls Pace and the Bluegrass. He was voted 2013 Dan Patch Pacer of the Year and 3-year-old Pacing Colt of the Year. Captaintreacherous was the leading money-winning Standardbred of 2013.
World champion pacing gelding Foiled Again is the leading money-winning Standardbred of all time. In addition to his 109 lifetime victories, he is the only Standardbred to have earned more than $1 million in three consecutive seasons, with average annual earnings of more than $585,000 over 13 years. He finished on the board in 225 of his 331 starts.
In 2011, 7-year-old Foiled Again recorded victories in his second consecutive Quillen Memorial, the Molson Pace, Graduate final, Indiana Pacing Derby and American-National. The second-leading money-winning Standardbred of 2011, his earnings of $1,405,747 also made him the top single-season money-winning pacing gelding ever. He was voted Dan Patch Pacer of the Year as well as the Dan Patch and O’Brien Older Pacing Horse of the Year.
Eight-year-old Foiled Again’s major victories included the Canadian Pacing Derby, his second consecutive Molson Pace and second consecutive Indiana Pacing Derby. The third-leading money-winning pacer in 2012 with $1,207,429 in earnings, Foiled Again became the oldest pacer on record to have a $1 million year. He was voted Dan Patch Older Pacing Horse of the Year.
In 2013, 9-year-old Foiled Again became the oldest horse to ever win a Breeders Crown. Other major victories included the Ben Franklin and TVG final. In the Franklin elimination, Foiled Again set a world record 1:48 for all-age pacing geldings on a five-eighths-mile track. With $1,404,984 in earnings, he was the third-leading money-winning Standardbred in 2013, recording his third consecutive $1 million season. He was voted Dan Patch and O’Brien Older Pacing Horse of the Year.
Three broodmares — Graceful Touch, Southwind Serena and Delinquent Account — joined their male counterparts. Graceful Touch and Southwind Serena entered the Living Horse Hall of Fame while Delinquent Account entered the Immortal Hall of Fame.
Bred by Peter Eriksson of Soraker, Sweden, broodmare Graceful Touch was owned by Perretti Farms during her racing career. She is currently owned by Steve Stewart, Black Creek Farm and Maumee River Stables.
Graceful Touch has 11 registered foals with six starters and $1,9 million in total earnings. Her most successful offspring are 2010 Hambletonian winner Muscle Massive 3,1:51 ($1,239,138) and 2010 Merrie Annabelle winner Thatsnotmyname 2,1:55 ($340,730). Son Muscle Mass 2,1:53.4 ($229,000) is the sire of the sub-1:50 2018 3-year-old world champions Six Pack 3,1:49.1 ($1,461,165) and Plunge Blue Chip 3,1:49.4 ($1,031,284).
Bred by Southwind Farm in Pennington, N.J., 2007 Breeders Crown winner Southwind Serena was owned during her racing career by Andrea Lea Racing Stables. She is currently owned by Steve Stewart, Black Creek Farm and Andrea Lea Racing Stables. Southwind Serena has six registered foals with four starters and more than $3 million in total earnings. Her most successful offspring are the 2014 2-year-old Trotting Filly of the Year, 2015 3-year-old Trotting Filly of the Year, and world champion Mission Brief 3,1:50.2f ($1,599,587) and 2018 Breeders Crown winner Tactical Landing 3,1:50.2 ($812,300).
Broodmare Delinquent Account produced 13 foals, including two-time Breeders Crown winner Artiscape, sire of eight millionaires including 2004 Horse of the Year and Hall of Famer Rainbow Blue. Delinquent Account also produced Hall of Fame broodmare Arterra, dam of Breeders Crown and Messenger Stakes winner, world champion If I Can Dream.