Harness Race Horses 4 Sale
Since this is my opening entry on my blog please bear with me as I learn the ins and outs of the internet blogosphere. I have been involved in Harness Racing for 52 years in some fashion. My father bought his first horse in 1959 and I was right there with him. We drove from Riverdale, NY to Goshen where he and Joe Potash, who owned Grand R Volo, watched a five year old gelded son of Darnley romp through the fields. They bought him for $500, originally named Speedy Pegasus, and then sent him to Alan Myer to train. To add insult to injury they renamed the horse Harry M. after my brother who could have cared less about the horse. He went on to win several races before breaking down in the mud at Yonkers. There were other horses in our future but they were never much stock.
I always studied the Sires and Dams books. i pored through the pages committing to memory the production records of mares and trying to find out the nicks. In 1961 my Dad and I produced a tip sheet named The Beacon and he would have me do the math, last quarters of each horse, and then he would make his picks. My Mother would type the sheet using carbon paper and we would mail them out to the customers. Dad's win percentage was astounding but the work was too much for Mom and alas the Beacon was no more. back in those days children were not allowed into the tracks so dad would drive to Monticello on a spring night and Phil Tully, then racing secretary, would hide me in the program department while Dad went to the grandstands. From that vantage point I watched the likes of Adios Butler, Tar Boy, Su Mac Lad and so many others.
As a junior at LIU I sent letters to several racing secretary's professing my love of the game and my fervent desire to participate in some fashion. To my surprise Ralph Swalsky answered my letter and hired me as Assistant Racing Secretary at Monticello Raceway in the early seventies. I graduated college the following year and went at it full time at The Mighty M. I would report to work at 7 AM and leave after the draw was posted at 12-12:30 and then return at 6 and leave after I posted the changes in classification back in the race office after each night's races, around midnight. Seven days a week and double headers on Saturday and I loved the job and the $95 bucks a week I was making. My second year at MR the announcer, Max Brewer, asked me to give subbing for him a try and a career was born. I announced over 35,000 races during my career, at Monticello, Pompano Park and the last three years at Roosevelt Raceway. I was The Time Trial Director at The Red Mile in 1975-6 and even rubbed one for a season at MR. It was Ralph who was the first to introduce to the players in the sport at the time. He introduced me to Murray Brown of Hanover fame, Shelly Reich, a major owner from Montreal, Mel Astroff, also a major owner at the time, Nelson Stoll, who at the time was breeding many horses and got into syndication. Ralph also put me in position to meet the trainers and drivers that I had been admiring for years. It was the most exciting time of my life.
In 1975 i moved to Pompano Park courtesy of my great friend and surrogate father Allen Jerome Finkelson. It was Allen who took me to the next level. He introduced to the stars of the sport, Billy Haughton, Del Miller, Stanley Dancer, George Sholty and so many others, not to mention celebrities like George Steinbrenner and half of the Miami Dolphins. I became fast friends with Jim and Robbie Rankin and valued Jim's friendship very much and was devastated by his death. Jim and I had begun to sell horses out of his barn and we trusted each other and were very lucky together. I sold Bo Scot's Blue Chip for him to Arthur Klein and he went on to win the Monticello OTB Classic over Cam Fella, his only loss on the half mile track. Sam Fava trained the colt and Jimmie Allen drove the horse until the very young Cat Manzi took over the lines at Syracuse. Kawartha Robust was my second major sale to Arthur Klein the next year for $350,000 from Bill Popfinger. He made his money back before a tendon ended his career. Both of these horse stood in Stud Down Under. My real love has always been the yearling sales. To pick out a baby from the catalog and follow their growth is exciting .
I don't want to use up all of stories in my first entry so I'll let it end here by saying that I love the sport of Harness Racing and give thanks that I have been able to work at something I dearly love all of my life.
Talk to ya soon,