Another Sponsor For Dan Patch Awards

Published: December 23, 2016 07:24 pm EST

The United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), harness racing's largest and leading membership organization for industry communicators, has announced that Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway and the Standardbred Owners Association of New York (SOA/NY) are partnering with USHWA in sponsoring the Cocktail Party and Open Bar at its annual Dan Patch Awards Banquet Presented by Hoosier Park, which will be held on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017 at the Planet Hollywood casino in Las Vegas.

The sponsorship features a lavish cocktail party from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., and then an open bar during the Dan Patch awards dinner until 10 p.m. In addition, every guest attending the dinner will receive a special edition Yonkers-SOA/NY-USHWA commemorative wine glass.

Yonkers Raceway “dates back” as a host of harness racing to 1899 and its origins as the Empire City Trotting Club; in 1950, William Cane recast the facility as a pari-mutuel harness racing track, and the Rooney family has operated the oval since 1972. For over three decades, Yonkers combined with Roosevelt as the undisputed “power center” of quality harness racing performance, uniquely hosting a leg of the Triple Crown at both gaits -- the Cane Pace and the Yonkers Trot. Today, the quality of racing at Yonkers is evidenced by the fact that they feature, by some margin, the most lucrative purse schedule in North American harness racing.

The Standardbred Owners Association of New York, founded in 1954, tirelessly works for the horsemen racing at the New York City oval: meeting with management on purse negotiations, marketing, and backstretch and other matters (including the recent successful addition of simulcasting into the lucrative French market); providing insurance, health benefits, and scholarships to its members; and liaising with local and state politicians to ensure that the scope of harness racing’s contribution to its community, in economic and other terms, is understood and appreciated.

Tim Bojarski, president of the Harness Writers Association, noted that "USHWA is honoured to have both Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway and the Standardbred Owners Association of New York partner with us for the 2017 Dan Patch banquet presentation. They are institutions in our industry, one of harness racing’s leading tracks through the pari-mutuel era and a horsemen’s group tireless in their advocacy for the best of their membership. The fact that the two groups can combine in this sponsorship shows the ‘win-win’ attitude of both groups, so necessary in this competitive entertainment market, and we of USHWA are proud they have chosen to support us as we honor the best in our sport early next year."

The Dan Patch Awards Banquet Presented by Hoosier Park will be held during the same weekend when USHWA holds its annual business meetings. Further information about the banquet and the weekend, including links for dinner tickets, Souvenir Journal advertising, and room reservations at special USHWA rates for Planet Hollywood, is available on the group's website at

(With files from USHWA)