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Brennan Will Not Be At Hambletonian Day

Published: June 17, 2015 10:52 am ET

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It has been announced that driver George Brennan will not be at the Meadowlands Racetrack for Hambletonian Day this year.

Brennan has announced that he will be heading to Ireland in the first week of August to compete in the Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial weekend at Portmarnock Raceway.

The 48-year-old reinsman will be missing Hambletonian Day, but that is OK with him.

“I really did not have a top three-year-old that I was committed to for the Hambo this year,” Brennan said. “And I have heard so many great things about this weekend of racing in Ireland and met with the organizer, Derek Delaney, and I want to experience this.”

Brothers Derek and James Delaney, after the tragic passing of their younger brother Vincent in 2011, developed the race weekend series in their brother’s memory.

The race has grown to be the richest series in all of Ireland and the United Kingdom. It’s for two-year-old pacers and features elimination races Saturday, August 8 and the final on Sunday, August 9. There are also additional stakes races on both days.

“What a thrill this is to have someone of George’s prominence coming over for our race weekend,” Said Derek Delaney. “We now have two Americans, George Brennan and trainer John McDermott coming over along with Hall of Famer, announcer Roger Huston. We also have Dexter Dunn, the 2015 World Driving Champion from New Zealand and the country’s leading trainer, Cran Dalgety, coming over too. This is all too good to be true!”

Brennan is nearing his 9,000th career victory in harness racing. He has captured nearly every major stakes race in the sport’s history. In 2011 he won both the Hambletonian and the Hambletonian Oaks, only the second driver ever to win both on the same day.

And, most befitting, Brennan won this year’s St. Patrick’s Day race at Freehold Raceway, which was sponsored by Derek Delaney and the Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial weekend.

“It was Irish Joe Haney,” explained Brennan, “who got the ball rolling about me coming over to Ireland. Joe asked me to go last year but I could not make it. Then this year I meet with Derek Delaney, I win the St. Patrick’s Day race and after spending some time talking with Irish Joe and Derek, now I am going to Ireland.

“I do not know much about my Irish heritage,” Brennan admits, “except that I was always told that we are from County Kilkenny in the south east region of Ireland. Who knows, I might even meet a distant relative. It will also be cool to drive horses in Ireland. I am told it will be an experience to remember and that the people in Ireland have great passion for harness racing.”

Brennan, McDermott, Huston, Dunn, Dalgety, along with USA harness racing journalists Steve Wolf and Heather Vitale, will have a busy schedule that weekend according to Derek Delaney.

“We’ve scheduled them pretty tight,” Delaney said. “Friday is a trip to Oakwood Stud to see our top training and breeding facility. Then Friday night a sold-out gala dinner to kick off the weekend and so everyone can meet our special guests.

“On Saturday it’s race day with the eliminations for the Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial,” said Derek Delaney, “Then a big party in the track bar/restaurant that night followed Sunday by the race finals and another big bash afterwards. Then if they survive it all we will let them go on their own to tour the city of Dublin come Monday.

“We want to invite everyone to come to the Vincent Delaney Weekend,” Derek Delaney said. “We will have great racing, Irish music and dancing, good food and drink, activities for the children, betting with the bookies, a real Irish festival and top racing. It is a wonderful experience in the best of Irish tradition.”

For more information about the Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Weekend visit vincentdelaneymemorial.com.

(Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend)


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