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Keller On Hall Of Fame Ballot

Published: July 7, 2015 2:00 pm ET

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Charles Keller III, who took over the spirit and desire for excellence at Maryland’s Yankeeland Farm, started by his father/New York Yankees star Charles ‘King Kong’ Keller, and built into one of harness racing’s premier nurseries, has been selected to appear on the ballot for the Harness Racing Hall of Fame.

Chapters of the U.S. Harness Writers Association (USHWA), harness racing’s leading media organization, annually nominate outstanding individuals for ballot consideration. The Screening Committee of USHWA meets over Fourth of July weekend with an Advisory Board of Hall of Famers and selects the nominee or nominees for the Hall of Fame ballot.

The ballot will be sent to eligible USHWA and Hall of Fame members in late summer. Also on the ballot as candidates for the Communicators Hall of Fame are the USTA’s Director of Information David Carr and longtime writer/publicist Jerry Connors.

An additional Hall of Fame selection in the Veterans Category will be announced Thursday.

In 1955 King Kong Keller bought the property in Frederick, Md., to found Yankeeland Farms, with such notable early successes as Fresh Yankee, 1970 Harness Horse of the Year and a winner of more than $1 million. Charles Keller III, already an integral part of the farm’s managerial team, took over the operation of the farm following the death of his father in 1990.

Under the younger Keller the farm’s reputation grew and produced two Hambletonian winners in Muscles Yankee (1998) and Yankee Paco (2000). Muscles Yankee went on to sire three consecutive Hambletonian winners from 2008-10, Deweycheatumnhowe, Muscle Hill and Muscle Massive.

Muscles Yankee also appears among the list of four Breeders Crown winners bred by Yankeeland, the others being Strong Yankee, Yankee Slide, and Yankee Cashmere.

Yankeeland owned 2003 Dan Patch Award-winning trotting mare Windylane Hanover and Yankeeland-product Yankee Glide has been a longtime leading trotting stallion. Another Yankeeland-bred star is the 2003 North America Cup winner Yankee Cruiser, who has gone on to become a successful pacing sire.

In addition to having enriched the sport with his Yankeeland horses, Keller also contributes at the highest levels of the sport’s major organizations. He has been on the board of directors of the Hambletonian Society since 2000, and took the position of executive chairman last year. A longtime trustee of the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame, Keller was also a longtime director of the U.S. Trotting Association and active member of its important Financial Committee.


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