It was announced today by the United States Harness Writers Association that Charles Keller III, whose Yankeeland Farm produced Hambletonian winners Muscles Yankee (1998) and Yankee Paco (2000), has been voted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame.
In addition, two veteran publicists, David Carr and Jerry Connors, were also voted as inductees into the Communicators Hall of Fame.
Keller took over the helm of Yankeeland Farm after the 1990 death of his father, Charlie Keller Jr., of New York Yankees fame. Keller’s father purchased the farm in Frederick, Md., in 1955 and assembled the mares and bred the progeny that contributed to the farm’s success over several decades.
Keller has been a director of the Hambletonian Society since 2000 and is a member of the executive committee, for which he was chairman from 2013 through this spring, following the passing of John Cashman Jr. Keller was a director of the United States Trotting Association (USTA) for five terms and an active member of the Finance Committee. He is a current trustee of the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame.
David Carr joined the USTA as a publicist and staff writer for Hoof Beats magazine in 1982. Three years later, he proposed the creation of the information and research department, developed it into a superb resource for those writing about the sport of harness racing, and is now head of that department.
Jerry Connors has had a passion for harness racing since he was a child and few in the industry can duplicate his memory of racing and events in the sport.
A ‘jack of all trades,’ Connors has worked at numerous racetracks and industry organizations throughout his career as a publicist and administrator. He has been an USHWA director for 23 years, and is a licensed judge, track announcer and race charter.
Keller, along with horseman Bruce Nickells, who was previously announced as the senior-elect to the Hall of Fame, will join Carr and Connors at the USHWA Dan Patch Awards dinner on Sunday, March 6, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., as their first introduction as harness racing’s newest members of the Hall of Fame.
The actual induction ceremony will take place on Sunday, July 3, at the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y.