Schenectady, NY — The United States Trotting Association District 8 award winners of 2021 were announced Sunday (Nov. 14). George Ducharme has been named Trainer of the Year; Pari-Mutuel Driver of the Year goes to Jason Bartlett; County Fair Driver of the Year is Kyle Cummings; and Horse of the Year goes to Ahundreddollarbill.
Ducharme had 22 starters and 90 starts this season with NYSS and Excelsior Series earnings of $364,914. The leading money-winning trainer at Vernon Downs this year, overall he has posted the third highest earnings of his career this season — $1.5 million.
A resident of Goshen, N.Y., Bartlett earned more than a million dollars traveling the Sire Stakes circuit this summer, while also posting more than $5.5 million at his home track of Yonkers. Bartlett is on pace to post his largest number of starts in a decade in 2021.
With 50 starts on the circuit, Cummings brought 26 home for the win. On his home circuit in Western New York, Cummings has already doubled his seasonal earnings from last year and is directing horses to more than $600,000 in purses so far this season.
Ahundreddollarbill, owned by District 8’s Crawford Farms Racing and James Crawford IV, earned the top honor of the evening. The son of Chapter Seven won four NYSS legs, the Empire Breeders Classic and the Canadian Trotting Classic on his way to $633,853 in seasonal earnings with eight wins in 13 starts.
The awardees were recognized during the joint NYSS and USTA District 8 virtual banquet held Sunday (Nov. 14) on Facebook Live. The evening honored champion horses, trainers, drivers, owners and breeders of the NYSS, the Excelsior Series, the New York County Fair Series and the USTA divisional champions.
New York Sire Stakes Winners:
Leading Driver, Jason Bartlett
Leading Trainer, Ake Svanstedt
Leading Breeder, Winbak Farm
New York Sire Stakes County Fair Winners:
Leading Driver, Kyle Cummings
Leading Trainer, Claude Huckabone III
USTA District 8 Winners:
Valentina Blu – 2-Year-Old Trotting Filly
Owner: Crawford Farms Racing
Quincy Market – 2-Year-Old Trotting Colt
Owners: Harmony Oaks Racing Stable, James Crawford IV, Berg Bros. Stable, Yorwollahan Racing Team
Hamptons Babe – 2-Year-Old Pacing Filly
Owner: Crawford Farms Racing
JD – 2-Year-Old Pacing Colt
Owners: Ray Schnittker, George Zitone and Melissa Beckwith
Cindy Michelle – 3-Year-Old Trotting Filly
Owners: Peter Barbato and Sam Bova Racing
Ahundreddollarbill – 3-Year-Old Trotting Colt
Owners: Crawford Farms Racing and James Crawford IV
Therewasthisgirl – 3-Year-Old Pacing Filly
Owners: George Ducharme Stable and Heather Marshall
Natameri – 3-Year-Old Pacing Colt
Owner: Purple Haze Stables
“On behalf of our board of directors, I’d like to congratulate this year’s winners,” said USTA District 8 Chairman Todd Haight. “Every year, New York State delivers some of the best horses and horsemen our sport produces and continues to represent this district greatly.”
Awards plaques will be mailed directly to the 2021 winners. To watch the NYSS and USTA District 8 awards banquet, click here.