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Hambletonian Maturity Named For Gerry

Published: July 15, 2021 11:42 am ET

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The Gerry family name extends so deeply into harness racing history that the generational pedigrees could easily fill their own sales catalogue. This year, the Hambletonian Society and Meadowlands Racetrack will honour E.T. Gerry Jr., one of the most respected individuals in racing, by renaming the $400,000 Hambletonian Maturity for four-year-old trotters in his honour.

E.T. "Ebby" Gerry Jr.’s first Hambletonian memory was as a young boy, watching Titan Hanover win in straight heats in 1945 for the family’s Arden Homestead Stable. The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 caused many long-time Hambletonian attendees to miss the classic event, but few had an attendance record like Gerry, who had not missed a Hambletonian in 50 years.

The list of Arden Homestead-bred and owned champions is long, and includes horses like 1973 Hambletonian winner Flirth, Geranium, Florican and Stars Pride, two-time Breeders Crown winner Me Maggie, Hambletonian Heat winner Torway, World Trotting Derby winner Kick Tail and his dam, Victorious Tail, and many others. Arden Homestead was voted Stable of the Century in 2001 by Hoof Beats magazine as a result of four generations and their achievement in the sport.

Ebby began an amateur driving career in 1951 when, as an individual, he owned horses, then in partnership with his brother Peter and sister Marjorie in the Lake Delaware Stable. Gerry has participated in the Billings Amateur Driving Series since it was established in 1981 up until his last drive in 2005, and is a director of the Delvin Miller Amateur Driving Association, which operates the Billings competition. Amateur racing clubs thrive today in part due to the origin of those clubs.

Eclipsing the Arden Homestead legacy on the racetrack is the service to the industry by Gerry. He was recently elected a director emeritus of the Hambletonian Society after actively serving on the board as treasurer and an officer for more than 50 years.

Gerry was also president of the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame from 1993 to 2014 and continues to serve as a trustee. He was voted a member of the Living Hall of Fame in 1994. He earned the 2007 Proximity Award for outstanding lifetime contributions to harness racing.

Gerry's love of trotters and the traditions of the sport have been of tremendous benefit to racing, and it is fitting that the Hambletonian Society has added his imprint to the richest race for four-year-old trotters. Gerry was instrumental in the revival of the Hambletonian Maturity event, which is raced at a mile and an eighth, allows for up to 16 starters and, like the Hambletonian and Oaks, does not permit the use of the race-day medication Lasix.

The $400,000 E.T. Gerry Jr. Hambletonian Maturity will be raced Saturday (July 17). It is the eighth race on a stakes-laden, star-filled Meadowlands Pace Night card at The Meadowlands. The E.T. Gerry Jr. Hambletonian Maturity will also be shown as part of a special broadcast on Fox Sports 2, from 8-10 p.m. [EDT], showcasing what is being billed as The Greatest Night in Harness Racing.”

For more info on the night, click here.

(Hambletonian Society)

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