Just under 300 horsemen, legislators, including the governor of Delaware John Carney, and friends of harness racing in the First State turned out for the 21st annual Delaware Standardbred Owners Association (DSOA) Awards Dinner at the Modern Maturity Center, in Dover, on Friday, Jan. 12.
As usual, prior to the nighttime activity, the annual DSOA mid-day business meeting was held with evening festivities beginning with an early evening cocktail hour.
Again this year, Mistress of Ceremony Heather Moffett presented a colourful, fun-filled video potpourri of seasonal high spots from her weekly Post Parade programs seen during the year on Sundays and rebroadcast Mondays on WBOC TV. This year’s review of the highlights of the 2017 racing season featured top horses of the Dover Downs and the Harrington Raceway meets. The banquet also featured a silent auction to benefit Horse Lovers United Inc., a highly acknowledged Not-for-Profit organization, led by Lorraine Truitt, which provides a residence and care for retired horses.
In addition to leading horsemen and friends in attendance at the awards banquet were many of Delaware’s top legislative executives. The list headed Governor John Carney; a longtime support of Delaware racing, Lt. Governor Bethan Hall-Long; Delaware State Senator Gary Simpson; and Delaware Legislators, Rep. Gerald Brady; Rep. Richard Collins; Rep. Ronald Gray; Rep. Kevin Hensley; Rep. Harvey Kenton; Rep. John Kowalko; Rep. Bobby Outten; Rep. Trey Paradee; Rep. Mike Ramone; Rep. Lyndon Yearick; and Rep. Dave Wilson. Also in attendance were Delaware Cabinet members, Rick Geisenberger, Secretary of Finance; and Michael Scuse, Secretary of Agriculture.
Among the attendees were Delaware Harness Racing Commission Executive Director Mark Davis; Judy Davis-Wilson, Executive Director, Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund; Commission Chair Beth Steele; Commissioner Pat Wagner. Also present were USTA District 11 Directors, Dan Bittle; Chairman Russell MacKinnon; and John Hensley.
DSOA Board of Directors in attendance included President Andy Markano; 1st Vice President Brenda Bramble; 2nd Vice President George Dennis; Treasurer Frank Deliberti; Secretary Frances West; and Sal DiMario, Executive Director; and DSOA Directors Richard Ashley; Victor Kirby; Russell MacKinnon; Charles Marsh; George Teague Jr.; Valerie Warnick; and Ross Wolfenden. Also present were Directors of Emeritus Dan Camac; Ralph Holloway; Dr. William Moffett; and Presley Moore; plus the DSOA office staff Denise Rothermel and Lisa Pearson, hard-workers who put the event together each year.
DSOA and DSBF 2017 Award Winners
The sixth annual James T. Case Jr. DSOA Horizon Award (to a horseman making outstanding progress during year) was presented to trainer Jason Skinner, one of the sport’s rising stars.
The Inaugural DSOA President’s Award was presented to Delaware Governor John Carney for his continual support of harness racing.
A DSOA Special Appreciation Award went to Leon Carlisle, Harrington Raceway Trackman.
Again this year, there were six James T. Case Jr. $1,000 Scholarships awarded, in memory of the longtime DSOA President.
2017 DSOA Horses Honoured
Horse of the Meet - Owners Brian Hoffecker, Vic Kirby and trainer Leigh Raymer’s BARBARA’S SHADOW
Trotter of the Meet - Thomas Dillon’s HOLLYWOOD HIGHWAY, trained by Doug Lewis
Claimer of the Meet- GUILTYWITHANEXCUSE, owned by RBH Ventures and Spagnola Racing, and trained by Jim King Jr.
Horse of the Meet – Brian and Carrie Malone’s IDEAL ICE, trained by Brian Malone
Trotter of the Meet – WIND OF THE NORTH, owned by Daryl Bier and JoAnn Dombeck, and trained by Jenny Bier
Claimer of the Meet – Lorie and Paul Davis’ LADY BETH, trained by Paul Davis
Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund Awards
Two-Year-Old Trotters - STAR SAPPHIRE (filly), BOSTON CRUISER (colt)
Two-Year-Old Pacers - GRACEFULLYFORGIVEN (filly), SLICK TONY (colt)
Three-Year-Old Trotters - SPOONFULL (filly), MASTER CLAVE (colt)
Three-Year-Old Pacers - LOGAN’S GIRL (filly), BAGS TO RICHES (colt)
Broodmares of the Year - QUEEN KATHY (pacing mare), MOCHA (trotting mare)
Again this year, a handsome-coloured booklet containing all award-winning horses and owners was given to all attendees.
Following award presentations, Mike Hines and The Look provided musical entertainment.
(With files from Dover Downs)