Oaks Starter Raising Cancer Awareness

Published: August 5, 2016 12:17 pm EDT

The colour of the day at the Meadowlands Racetrack on Saturday will be silver, for the glistening Hambletonian and Oaks trophies that are the object of dreams for many. But the complementary colour of the day will be teal, for ovarian cancer awareness.

The longtime girlfriend of Hambletonian trophy presenter, NASCAR driver Martin Truex, is Sherry Pollex, who is an ovarian cancer survivor and advocate for others fighting the disease. Pollex is the owner of a women’s clothing and accessories store, and she has a website (sherrystrong.org) that provides information and news for those dealing with ovarian cancer.

To honour her commitment, trainer Jonas Czernyson and his wife, Christine, will ask Pollex to sign a teal ribbon to be braided into the mane of Hambletonian Oaks contender Side Bet Hanover shortly before she races.

This is not the first time the Czernysons have been involved in building awareness and raising funds to fight the disease.

“It started last year with Aldebaran Eagle,” said Christine Czernyson of the now four-year-old trotter who has a mark of 1:52.1 and earnings of $209,243 and is trained by Jonas. “The owner of Aldebaran Eagle is Duncan McPherson from Australia and his wife, Lyn, passed away from ovarian cancer. Jonas and I wanted to do something for Duncan, who’s very involved in ovarian cancer awareness in Australia. We had the horse racing for ovarian cancer awareness and we gave a percentage of his earnings last year to the cause, it was almost $2,000.

“We put out an initiative and said we’d love for ‘Eagle’ to be racing not only for Lyn McPherson but for all of the angels that have passed from ovarian cancer, and also the survivors. We wrote the names of all the people who wrote to us on teal ribbons, and Eagle will actually be racing tonight (Friday, Aug. 5, Race 5) at the Meadowlands with all of those survivors and angels’ names on ribbons in his mane. We have almost 50 – it involves three ribbons.”

The Czernysons are extending the ribbon project to Side Bet Hanover for the rest of 2016 and will donate a percentage of her earnings for all of 2016. The filly, who won her elimination of the Hambletonian Oaks at odds of 38-1, is rated at 8-1 on the morning line for the final from Post 4.

“My aunt, Kathy Terrazas, passed away from ovarian cancer, so it is a cause close to my heart,” said Christine Czernyson. “We do this in honour of her and Sherry Pollex. She will be racing with the ribbons of all of Eagle’s angels and survivors.”

$500,000 Hambletonian Oaks
(Race 12 – Post time 4:41 p.m.)
PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line Odds
1 – Caprice Hill – Tim Tetrick – Tony Alagna – 5-2
2 – Celebrity Eventsy – John Campbell – Staffan Lind – 6-1
3 – Dream Child – Scott Zeron – Linda Toscano – 30-1
4 – Side Bet Hanover – Corey Callahan – Jonas Czernyson – 8-1
5 – Windowshopper – Brian Sears – Ake Svanstedt – 40-1
6 – All The Time – Yannick Gingras – Jimmy Takter – 9-5
7 – Broadway Donna – David Miller – Jim Campbell – 7-2
8 – Wildflower – Ake Svanstedt – Ake Svanstedt – 30-1
9 – Black Broadway – Eric Goodell – Michael Eaton – 50-1
10 – Double Exposure – Brett Miller – Tony Alagna – 15-1

This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit www.ustrotting.com.