Gural To Speak At SBOA Banquet

Published: October 27, 2011 10:39 am EDT

Standardbred Breeders of Ontario has two important news flashes concerning its traditional January banquet


First, Jeff Gural has confirmed as guest speaker for the event, which is to be held January 21, 2012. Secondly, after a long history of being located in the Cambridge/Guelph area, the Breeders Banquet & Awards night will be hosted at the Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel and Conference Centre, 801 Dixon Rd.

Gural’s unflinching efforts to rescue and revitalize harness racing at the Meadowlands Racetrack have made him one of the sport’s highest profile personalities over the past year. Gural heads a group that is leasing the East Rutherford, New Jersey premises from the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. Central to re-modelling plans there is the construction of a brand new, but smaller grandstand, which will be in operation in 2013.

A New York native, Gural fell in love with harness racing during its halcyon days at Roosevelt and Yonkers and has now been an owner and breeder for over 35 years.

That passion for racing currently sees him as the chair of two New York State tracks --- Vernon Downs and Tioga Downs. Both operations have adopted the signature style of an upbeat on-track atmosphere bent on making a night of racing, a night of entertainment.

Gural also heads a real estate management firm in New York City, and finds time as well to manage his own two breeding farms.

As for the change of venue for the SBOA Banquet, association president Anna Meyers says a sub-committee investigated several options in the Mississauga area and unanimously selected the Sheraton.

“We were impressed, not only by the surroundings and layout,” she said, “but particularly, the culinary experience presented to the group by executive chef Michael Jenson. Every morsel, from appetizer to dessert, was absolutely exquisite.

“Combine the culinary experience that awaits us at the Sheraton and our good fortune in having Jeff Gural on hand to share his vision for the New Meadowlands, and I think we’re in for a very special evening.”

Tickets for what is always the main social gathering of the year for Ontario breeders and their friends remain at $60 each. More information on the Sheraton Hotel is available here. Ask for the special SBOA room rate.

It’s a good idea to reserve your tickets for January 21 now. Please contact Aimee Adams at [email protected].


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