It was a good night for The Meadowlands at the 2022 Dan Patch Awards Banquet at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Florida this past Sunday (Feb. 19) as Edison Hatter walked away with the Lew Barasch Breakthrough Award while longtime track announcer Ken Warkentin was honoured with his election to the Communicators Hall of Fame at the Harness Racing Museum.
Warkentin will be formally inducted in July in ceremonies that will take place in Goshen, New York.
“All of us at The Meadowlands are so proud of Edison and Ken,” said Jason Settlemoir, Meadowlands Chief Operating Officer and General Manager. “And, of course, we are pleased that the United States Harness Writers saw fit to put our dear friend, the late Dave Brower, on the ballot for the Communicators Hall of Fame. Were he to get the needed support – and it’s hard to imagine he won’t – he’ll be inducted in the summer of 2024.”
The evening ended with the coronation of Bulldog Hanover as U.S. Pacer of the Year and U.S. Horse of the Year. Was 'Bulldog' special? You make the call. In the history of the U.S. Horse of the Year balloting, which began in 1947, he is the only horse ever to win in a unanimous vote. There were 136 ballots cast and Bulldog was named on every one.
Among his many accomplishments, for many, the one that stands out for the 'Bulldog' is his 1:45.4 mile at The Meadowlands in July, the fastest mile in the history of the sport.
“On behalf of The Meadowlands, we want to send a resounding thank you to Bulldog Hanover,” said Settlemoir. “We watched him make history all summer long at The Big M, setting the world record for the fastest mile ever in front of a national television audience. The spine-tingling moment the unprecedented 1:45.4 flashed on The Meadowlands timer will never be forgotten.”
Live racing at The Meadowlands will take place every Friday and Saturday for the next 24 consecutive weeks. Post time is 6:20 p.m., except for the last day of the meeting, Hambletonian Day, Saturday, Aug. 5, when the first race heads to the gate at noon.
On this Saturday's (Feb. 25) pregame show, Dave Little’s “In the Sulky” guest will be U.S. Driver of the Year Dexter Dunn. They’ll talk Bulldog Hanover and U.S. Trotter of the Year Bella Bellini immediately after track announcer Ken Warkentin gives the program changes. The pregame show kicks off at 5:45 p.m.
The winter edition of one of the more popular promotions at The Meadowlands takes place on Saturday, when cooks – and tasters – can take part in the Chili and Salsa Cook-Off. More than $3,000 in prizes will be up for grabs, and for those who want to enter, or just sample a bunch of delicious chili and salsa, go to playmeadowlands.com.
(With files from Meadowlands)