Delaware Award Winners Honoured

Published: January 15, 2016 11:18 pm EST

A festive group of around 300 -- horsemen, legislators and friends of harness racing -- turned out on Friday, Jan. 15 for the 19th annual Delaware Standardbred Owners Association (DSOA) Awards Dinner at Modern Maturity in Dover, Delaware.

The annual DSOA meeting at mid-day preceded the awards dinner. Its well-attended, early evening cocktail hour was held under the auspices of DSOA Executive Director Sal DiMario and his staff of Denise Rothermel and Lisa Pearson.

Again, this year, popular TV hostess Heather Vitale and annual visitor Bill Ellis served as co-emcees presenting videos of award-winning horses plus colourful, fun-filled high spots of Ms. Vitale’s weekly “Post Time” programs on WBOC TV.

Video highlights of the 2015 racing season featured top horses of the Dover Downs and the Harrington Raceway meets. A silent auction to benefit Horse Lovers United Inc., a Not-for-Profit organization which provides a residence and care for retired horses, was held in conjunction with the banquet.

In addition to leading horsemen and friends, in attendance at the banquet were, as usual, many of Delaware’s top legislative executives. The list included Congressman John Carney; State Senators Patti Blevins, Bethany Hall-Lon, Brian Pettyjohn, Colin Bonini, and Gary Simpson; along with State Legislative Representatives Earl Jacques, Gerald Brady, Kevin Hensley, Harvey Kenton (who presented the pre-meal blessing), John Kowalko, Bobby Outten, Trey Paradee, Steve Smyk, Dave Wilson and Lyndon Yearick.

In attendance were Delaware Harness Racing Commissioner Patricia Wagner, Executive Director Mark Davis and DSBF Administrator Judy Davis-Wilson. Also present were USTA District Directors, Chainman Dr. William Moffett, and director Russell MacKinnon.

Introduced were the DSOA board of directors – President Andy Markano, Brenda Bramble, 1st vice president, Barbara Bramble, 2nd vice president, George Dennis, treasurer, Frank Diliberti, secretary, Frannie West. Other directors include Vic Kirby, Russ McKinnon, Charles Marsh, George Teague, Max Walton, Valerie Warnick, and directors’ emeritus, Dan Camac, Ralph Holloway and Presley Moore and Sal DeMario, DSOA Executive Director.

Also among the dignitaries were members of the media and three candidates for Governor of Delaware.

2015 DSOA Award Winners

The sixth annual James T. Case Jr. DSOA Horizon Award (to a horseman making outstanding progress during year) was presented to harness driver Jason (The Jet) Thompson, whose star is on the rise.

The 2015 DSOA Special Appreciation Award was presented to Patricia Blevins, President Pro Tempore of the Delaware Senate, for her continued support for the Delaware harness racing industry.

The 2015 DSOA Special Appreciation Award was presented to David L. Wilson, Delaware House of Representatives, for his continued support for Delaware’s harness racing industry.

The 2015 DSOA Special Recognition Award was presented to Team Teague and Wiggle It Jiggleit, a three-year-old multi-stakes winner of the Meadowlands Pace, Max Hempt Memorial, Carl Milstein Memorial, Battle of the Brandywine, Little Brown Jug, Matron Stakes and the Hap Hansen Progress Pace, who is a winner of nearly $2.2 million.

The 2015 DSOA Special Recognition Award was presented to JoAnn and Jim King, a training duo whose horses earned more than $2 million while winning major stakes races: the $1 million North America Cup, Jennas Beach Boy, Lismore and the Lady Maud.

The DSOA 2015 Special Recognition Award was presented to Dudes The Man, winner of the Adios Stakes, owned by M & L of Delaware (Ralph, Roz, Doug Paul) and Victoria Dickinson.

The James T. Case Jr. $1,000 Scholarship, in memory of the longtime DSOA President, was presented and, again this year, the DSOA gave out a total of $6,000 in Scholarship awards.

Each awards dinner attendee received a multi-coloured program featuring 2015 DSOA honoured horses.

Horse Honourees

Trotters – Chipoffthewall (colt), Epic Smash (filly)
Pacers – Rusty Carter (colt), Apple Blossom Jeans (filly)

Trotters – Political Foe (colt), Callmemza (filly)
Pacers – Sonofa Sizzle (colt), Totally Rusty (filly)

Horses of the Meet

Dover Downs
Horse of the Meet – Spin Vision, bred, owned, trained by Virginia Louthan
Trotter of the Meet – Can Do, owned by Chris Giaccio, trained and driven by Vic Kirby
Claimer of the Meet – Berry Berry Fast, owned by trainer Lorie and Paul Davis

Harrington Raceway
Horse of the Year – Playncardswitroddy, owned by trainer George and Tina Dennis, Inc. and Ask W Stables Inc.
Trotter of the Year- Powerful Charger, owned by Tim Tetrick and trainer Jim King
Claimer of the Year – San Antony O, owned and trained by Arty Foster Jr.

Following awards presentation, an assortment of many door prizes were handed out. Music and dancing completed the evening.

(With files from DSOA)