Yonkers, NY — Yonkers Raceway at Empire City Casino, an MGM Resorts property, announced today the retirement of Race Secretary Bob Miecuna after a legendary 35-year career at the historic raceway.
Miecuna began his racing career as a starting gate driver. He then served as Assistant Race Secretary for 21 years before being promoted to Race Secretary in 2019 where he oversaw nearly 250 nights of racing annually and prepared each night’s draw at the world-famed historic racetrack.
Born in Bayside Queens and a current resident of Mohegan Lake, N.Y., Miecuna is unique in that he did not grow up among a racing family. It was not until after he graduated from Boston College with a degree in Mathematics and Secondary Education and began teaching in the 1970s that a colleague introduced him to harness racing.
Miecuna quickly purchased Watson’s Frost, the first of what would be several horses that he would race throughout the Northeast. He has also been associated with notable horses including Land Grant, Maxamilion Hanover and Run The Table. Miecuna would eventually trade in his ownership hooves to begin working at Yonkers Raceway in 1986. Miecuna has been involved in the sport for more than 45 years.
The 122-year-old track, which hosted the legendary Seabiscuit several times when it was a Thoroughbred track, holds many memories for Miecuna. Top of the list was the Messenger Stakes in 2008 where, despite a torrential downpour, the horse Somebeachsomewhere paced the most impressive mile he had ever seen.
“Yonkers Raceway is like a second home for me where I’ve had the pleasure of both working the races and watching them as a harness fan,” said Miecuna. “I’m grateful to all the racing officials, drivers and trainers who make this track tick every day, and to MGM Resorts for its recent investments to create an even better racing experience for our drivers and fans. I can’t wait to come back simply as a spectator.”
Prior to coming to Yonkers Raceway, Miecuna made the harness rounds throughout the Northeast, including racing horses at Green Mountain Park (Vermont), Pocono (PA) and Rockingham Park (New Hampshire) before stops at Freehold Raceway (NJ), Monticello Raceway (NY), Meadowlands Racetrack (NJ) and Roosevelt Raceway (NY).
“We could not be more grateful to Bob for his dedicated service over the last 35 years, including his time as Race Secretary,” said MGM Resorts Northeast Group SVP and Chief Financial Officer Ed Domingo. “Since acquiring Empire City, MGM Resorts has continued to make significant investments in the sport of harness racing and the historic track that we have taken stewardship for. Bob has played an enormous role in all of those efforts and was key in maintaining the tradition of racing in Yonkers during the transition. He will be greatly missed.”
Miecuna, who is a member of several industry groups including the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame and the American Harness Racing Secretaries Inc., plans to spend more time with his wife of 37 years, along with his two daughters and two grandchildren.
Miecuna’s retirement comes on the heels of a recent significant investment of over $500,000 by MGM Resorts to renovate the track, raising the turns by a foot and resurfacing the track, the first such investment the track has seen in more than 15 years. An additional investment was made by MGM Resorts for an installation project of upgraded LED track lighting.
Live harness racing takes place at the historic Yonkers Raceway Monday through Friday with a nightly post time of 7:15 p.m. Onsite wagering and simulcasting have returned trackside and inside on the fourth floor. The track apron is open seven days a week with nighttime simulcasting Monday through Wednesday 6-11 p.m., along with day and evening simulcasting Thursday through Saturday 12-11 p.m. and daytime-only simulcasting Sundays 12-6 p.m. Race viewing and wagering are also available online at EmpireCityBets.com where race fans can create a free account and view live racing from Yonkers Raceway and tracks across the country.