Two of the biggest stars of racing at Tioga Downs will be honoured this coming weekend and neither has ever won a race at the Nichols, New York oval.
Parade marshal Wendy Ross and her longtime sidekick, Floyd, will be commemorated with their own bobblehead doll. Fans will receive a bobblehead free while supplies last on a special Sunday night of racing that will begin at 6:15 p.m. Ross and Floyd will also meet their legions of fans during a meet-and-greet and autograph session during the races.
The idea to make Ross the first parade marshal with her own bobblehead was first conceived by Guy Howard, president of the Southern Tier Harness Horsemen’s Association and a tireless promoter of racing in partnership with Tioga Downs management.
“Wendy and Floyd are two of the most recognizable people at Tioga Downs and we wanted to honour them,” said Guy Howard. “We think our fans, especially the younger ones, will love this.”
Ross, who has worked as the Tioga Downs marshal and outrider since the track opened in 2006, is humbled by the recognition.
“I'm very honoured and appreciative of the gesture from my fellow horsemen and Jeff Gural,” Ross said. “I'm very blessed to have a horse like Floyd and to call Tioga Downs and the Meadowlands my home.
“Outriders are very underrated and it is one of the toughest jobs at the track and in harness racing. I’m so proud to represent my fellow marshals and to have the job acknowledged.”