Beltrami Voted U.S. Amateur Driver Of The Year

Tony Beltrami
Published: December 7, 2022 03:20 pm EST

Anthony S. “Tony” Beltrami has been voted United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) Amateur Driver of the Year for 2022 in a vote conducted by USHWA with the amateur driving clubs. Beltrami, 60, edged out Edward Miller for the top honour.

“I want to thank all of the clubs who voted for me,” Beltrami said when finding out the news. “This is an extremely high honour and I am exceptionally grateful. This is an award I have always wanted to win.”

Beltrami had his best year as a driver in 2022, visiting the winner’s circle 34 times in amateur competition, racing with the top clubs in the Northeast such as AHDC, GSY, Billings, and NAADA at The Meadowlands, Yonkers, Freehold, Pocono and Harrah’s Philadelphia.

“I had a great group of trainers for whom I raced and terrific horses to race this year, and that, along with competing in more events this year than ever before, enabled me to have the success I did,” said Beltrami. “One horse, Dream Out Loud N, was a particular dream to drive.”

If the name Beltrami sounds familiar, it should be. His father Louis owned a powerful stable of horses from the late 1970s through the 1980s. Growing up in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, it was following his father’s horses at nearby Pocono Downs that Beltrami caught the harness racing bug. Wanting to pursue a full-time career in harness racing did not sit well with the elder Beltrami. So Beltrami went to law school and then became a practicing attorney for 15 years before being elected as a state trial court judge in Northampton (PA) County in 2005. He is currently serving his second 10-year term.

Beltrami, nicknamed “The Judge” by the late Dave Brower, will receive his award at the Dan Patch Awards Banquet, presented by Caesars Entertainment, on Sunday, Feb. 19 at Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Florida. The banquet will honour the best of the best of harness racing, both human and equine, culminating with the announcement of the E. Roland Harriman Harness Horse of the Year. The 2023 banquet celebrates USHWA’s 75th anniversary.

USHWA is the leading group of communicators about the Standardbred horse, with member chapters wherever there is harness racing in addition to having an At-Large section. USHWA conducts the official annual balloting for the sport's most prestigious honours, including induction to the Living Hall of Fame and the Communicators Hall Of Fame, and selection of the leading divisional horses of the year, Trotter and Pacer of the Year, and Horse of the Year. Each year USHWA presents the Dan Patch Awards Banquet, honouring the best and brightest performers in harness racing. This banquet is the Association’s principal source of funding, and with generous financial support from the harness racing and breeding industry USHWA is able to host the banquet at a world-class facility in a world-class manner.


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