Monticello, NY — When the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association holds their 62nd annual awards banquet on Sunday (Dec. 12), Joe Faraldo will receive the John Manzi Leadership Award.
It is in his role as head of the Standardbred Owners Association of New York that Faraldo has contributed to horse racing, fighting vigorously for horsemen’s rights. He was one of the driving forces behind the passage of slots legislation in New York, bringing a renaissance to the state’s racing.
“This award means a lot to me,” noted the native New Yorker. “I am very grateful that the work I have done, or at least attempted to do, is recognized and acknowledged.”
Yonkers Raceway now boasts the highest purse structure in harness racing. It was his foresight to secure, among other important items, defined percentages in the law for horsemen and breeders as well as minimum race date legislation.
A graduate of St. John’s School of Law and a practicing attorney, he has spent decades championing and defending horsemen in court, many times pro bono. He successfully argued the only case involving harness racing before the U.S. Supreme Court, which has become the benchmark and legal precedent regarding the 14th amendment due process rights in some 700 state and federal court decisions.
Faraldo also was a force behind the rebirth of amateur driving in the United States. He founded the North American Amateur Drivers Association in 1980 and is still active, leading the organization’s efforts to host the World Cup of Amateur Driving twice (in 1988 and 2008).
A participant as well, Faraldo represented the United States in the competition in 1998. He also won the Billings Amateur Driving Series championship twice and has competed in hundreds of amateur races at home and abroad.
Currently, Faraldo is serving his second stint as chairperson of the United States Trotting Association. He has been a USTA director for more than 20 years and served the organization as chairperson previously from 2004-2006.
When the $1 million Yonkers International Trot was contested on Oct. 10, 2015, it marked the culmination of a personal quest by Faraldo to bring the world famous race back to the racing calendar after a two-decade absence.
The venture to re-establish the International Trot included trips abroad, slicing through the red tape and details.
The journey of bringing the International back included the “International Trot Preview” in 2014 and continued with weekly simulcasts of Yonkers races to France and other European countries, forging a strong bond of international good will, much needed expansion of revenue and a natural buildup for the race.
Faraldo entered harness racing as an owner in 1966. No stranger to being honored, in 1994 he was selected as Harness Horsemen International’s “Man of the Year,” and in 2001 received that organization’s Appreciation Award. He received the 2003 Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2011 Excelsior Award, presented by the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association. Faraldo received USHWA’s 2007 President’s Award and was also the recipient of a 2015 USTA President’s Award. In 2019, Faraldo was awarded one of the sport’s highest honors when he received the Stan Bergstein Proximity Award from USHWA.
Outside of harness racing, Faraldo has served on the Board of Governors for the substance abuse organization, Daytop Village. He has been a significant contributor to the Child Fund, the New York City Rescue Mission and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, where he is a benefactor.
This year, in addition to the year-end awards for horses and horse people from the local tracks, the Monticello-Goshen chapter will also honor Russell Williams (Lifetime Achievement Award); Bob Miecuna (Excelsior Award); John McDermott (John Gilmour Good Guy Award); Eric Taddeo (Cradle of the Trotter Breeders Award); Eddie Glick (Amy Bull Crist Distinguished Service Award); John Hernan (Phil Pines Award); Marianna Monaco (Amateur Driver); McGwire Sowers (Rising Star); and Susanne McManus & Mike Rivera (Mighty M Awards of Appreciation).
Tickets for the gala event at the Wallkill Golf Club, Middletown, N.Y., can be reserved by contacting Shawn Wiles at 845.794.4100, ext. 458 or email email@example.com.