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Harness Highlights: One 'Hall' of a Class

by Frank Carulli

July 21, 2019

Harness racing’s 2019 Hall of Fame class will occupy plenty of space at the museum in Goshen, N.Y. 

Trainers Blair Burgess, Joe Holloway, Jerry Silverman and Linda Toscano, driver Ted Wing and iron horse Foiled Again were among 18 inductees at the ceremony earlier this month. 

Burgess campaigned Triple Crown winner Glidemaster, Hambletonian victor Amigo Hall, Horse of the Year Real Desire and Meadowlands Pace winner Frugal Gourmet, to name a few. 

Holloway handled three-time Breeders Crown champion Jenna’s Beach Boy, who won at ages 2, 3 and 4 in the mid-1990s. Always B Miki, a world-record holder and Horse of the Year, began his career in Holloway’s barn. 

For nearly five decades, Silverman was a force in the Grand Circuit stakes, his emergence highlighted by Romeo Hanover’s 1966 Triple Crown run. 

Toscano is the first female Hall of Fame trainer, the first to win the Hambletonian (Market Share 2012) and the first to win the Meadowlands Pace (Best In Show 2019). She also handled Horse of the Year Chapter Seven. 

Wing drove 5,139 winners in a career that spanned five decades. He won driving titles at Roosevelt, Yonkers, the Meadowlands, Rockingham Park and Foxboro. 

Foiled Again won 109 races from 331 starts and 21 six-figure stakes to earn a record $7.6 million over 12 racing seasons. He was named to the living horse Hall of Fame along with champion pacers Art Major and Captain Treacherous. Broodmares Graceful Touch, Southwind Serena and Delinquent Account were also inducted. 

Art Major won 20 races and eight stakes as a 3-year-old to earn both the Dan Patch and O’Brien awards as champion pacer. He is the sire of nine millionaires, as well. 

Captain Treacherous was a champion at ages 2 and 3. He was 8-for-10 with $918,253 in earnings as a freshman and upstaged it with a $2 million sophomore season that included stakes wins in the Breeders Crown, North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace, Cane Pace, American-Nationals, Hempt Memorial and Bluegrass. 

Did you ever dream of owning a Hambletonian winner? Ted Gewertz owned part of three – Giant Victory, Windsong’s Legacy and Deweycheatumnhowe – to earn his place in the Hall. Gewertz is a director at the Hambletonian Society, his latest role in a career that began in the 1960s. 

Journalist Dave Little and photographer Mark Hall were there to cover it all, earning their place in the Communications Hall of Fame. Little was the racing editor at the New York Daily News for more than two decades and is an expert, on-air analyst at the Meadowlands these days. Hall, a U.S. Trotting Association employee for more than 35 years, is a six-time winner of the George Smallsreed award as the sport’s top photographer. 

Immortal Hall of Fame honorees included Allen and Connie Skolnick, Dr. Leroy Coggins and Charles Hinkle. The Skolnicks owned Southwind Farm in New Jersey, where stallions Valley Victory, Artsplace and Hambletonian winner Muscle Hill stood. Coggins developed the diagnostic test that is an essential veterinary requirement at racetracks around the world. Hinkle was the radio voice of the Hambletonian and Little Brown Jug in the late 1950s and early 60s.