Cranbury, NJ — At the annual Winter meeting of the directors of the Hambletonian Society, David H. Anderson, Ernest M. Gaskin and David H. McDuffee were appointed to fill vacancies on the Society board.
The new appointments, created by the retirement and subsequent election to director emeriti status of long-time Society directors Dr. J. Glen Brown, E.T. Gerry Jr. and Charles Keller III, were approved on March 28 at the Society virtual Winter board meeting.
David Anderson is a breeder and owner from Aurora, Ontario, whose most recent ownership interests include 2020 Little Brown Jug winner Captain Barbossa. He and his father, Bob Anderson, a former Hambletonian Society director, started the filly Pampered Princess, a winner of $1,648,362, in the 2007 Hambletonian against the colts, winning an elimination of the classic trotting race. They also owned 2003 Hambletonian Oaks winner Southwind Allaire. Anderson owns Phoenix Performance Products, an equine safety equipment company and was recently named to the Ontario Racing board of directors.
Ernie Gaskin, of Anderson, Ind., rose to prominence as an assistant trainer for the dynastic W.R. Haughton Stable, whose dominant presence in the early years of the Breeders Crown helped make the series an instant classic with champions like Nihilator, Caressable, Naughty But Nice and Peace Corps. That priceless foundation took Gaskin to Indiana, where he owns, trains, breeds and races Standardbreds, as well as stands stallions at his Crimson Lane Farm. He was appointed by the Governor in 1994 to the Standardbred Breed Development Advisory Commission as one of the early advocates for the future of harness racing in the Hoosier State. The work of that commission shaped the legislation that brought pari-mutuel racing to the state. Some 25 years later Indiana-breds compete on the national stage, and have won multiple divisional honors, including Dan Patch Horse of the Year. Additionally Hoosier Park has hosted the Breeders Crown to record-breaking events on two occasions.
Longtime insurance man Dave McDuffee of Delray Beach, Fla., has his father to thank for his 50-year involvement in harness racing. His friendship with partner Tom Walsh and their success with 1994 Little Brown Jug and Breeders Crown champion Magical Mike sealed the deal for McDuffee. More recently, McDuffee was co-owner of Hambletonian Oaks champion filly trotter Bee A Magician, who won $4 million and authored an undefeated 2013 Horse of the Year season, as well as the star-crossed pacing colt Papi Rob Hanover.
“Charlie Keller, Glen Brown and Ebby Gerry have contributed so much, both to the sport and to the Society, that they are truly irreplaceable,” said John Campbell, president and CEO of the Hambletonian Society. “All have left a lasting legacy with the Society. We welcome the new directors to the board and we feel their commitment and knowledge of our sport will have significant impact with the Society as we move forward.”
In other business, the racing conditions of Breeders Crown No. 36 and Hambletonian No. 98 were approved with additional integrity language to accept yearling payments of May 15.
The Hambletonian Society is a non-profit organization formed in 1924 to sponsor the race for which it was named, the Hambletonian Stake. The Society’s mission is to encourage and support the breeding of Standardbred horses through the development, administration and promotion of harness racing stakes, early-closing races and other special events. The Hambletonian Society services 147 of harness racing’s richest and most prestigious events at 13 different tracks, including harness racing’s most prominent race, the Hambletonian for 3-year-old trotters, its filly division, the Hambletonian Oaks and the sport’s championship series, the Breeders Crown. The organization was responsible for the disbursement of more than $18 million in purses last year.