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Georgia BakerFarewell to Georgia Baker

Georgia Baker was associated with Goshen Historic Track for more than 25 years. Following her long involvement in Track meets year after year, Georgia started working steadily, part time, at the Track Office in the summer of 2012. Besides dealing with daily demands Track business, she volunteered a lot of her time fundraising and doing whatever was needed to keep the Track trotting and pacing into the next season. Last week, Georgia moved on to Alton, New York to be reconnect with her friends and work in a pharmacy. We will miss her very much and send her our heartfelt thanks and best wishes.



“Hurrincane Hannah” Wins Billings Trot at Historic Track;
Dein Spriggs Also Victorious

By John Manzi for Goshen Historic Track

CGK BillingsThe sport’s greatest traveling roadshow, the CKG Billings Amateur Trotting Series, moved on to Goshen’s Historic Track for two events on Saturday afternoon, July 2, and to no one’s surprise “Hurricane Hannah” Miller and Dein “the Dream” Spriggs were each victorious in their respective divisions. Miller won with Jacks To Open in 2:00 while Spriggs was victorious behind Shanghai Jack in 2:01.3. Both trotters are trained by Nick Surick.

Coming off her National Amateur Driver of the Year award last season where Ms. Miller won 32 races,she seems to be aiming for another national title and with her victory today she already has 15 winners..

Hannah did a masterful job with Jacks To Open who was a bit rank in the early going. She left the gate with a rush but Scott “the Driving Doctor” Woogen and Warrawee Preferred had inside position on Jacks To Open and as the headed for the first quarter “Hurricane Hannah” had to wrestle with her trotter to get him in behind Doc Woogen which she did before they passed the first quarter.

Still with a snug hold on her charge once Miller settled him in behind Warrawee Preferred Jacks To Open relaxed a bit and was content to follow the leader. When John “Turk” Turok moved Buck ID out to challenge as the field passed the halfway point Miller angled 'Jack' off the pylons and they rushed up alongside Warrawee Preferred and the two trotters raced head to head past the three quarters and into the final turn.

“My horse still had a lot left and we began to pass Doc Woogen,” Miller related. “And in the lane “Jack” trotted to the front and we were easy winners.”

The margin of victory over Warrawee Preferred was three lengths. Bluebird Kidsqueen with Dave “The Rave” Offenberg aboard, some nine lengths behind the winner, was third best.

As the Harness Horse Museum’s Amateur Driver of the Year in 2015, Hannah Miller earned a berth in the Hall of Fame Trot slated tomorrow(July 3) at Historic Track.

“I’m extremely proud to be able to race with, and against, the Hall of Fame drivers,” Miller said. “I’m a bit nervous but really looking forward to it.”

In the other division Dein “the Dream” Spriggs displayed the talent that helped him win his 417th races thus far in his career. Up behind Shanghai Jack from the pole position Spriggs sent his horse to the lead and they were comfortably in front as they passed the first stanza in :29.

As they headed to the halfway point Steve “You’re Never Too” Oldford came with a rush from far back with Starsavoveallerage and they actually were a head in front the outside as the trotted by the half.

As a veteran of many campaigns and two time National Amateur Driver of the Year Spriggs used Oldford’s trotter to help keep Tagmaster and driver “Tough Tony” Ciuffetelli locked in behind Shanghai Jack.

When Starsaboveallerage faded in the stretch Ciuffetelli moved off the pylons and made a strong rally which, unfortunately for him, fell short by a head as Spriggs’ trotter was the first under wire.Third place went to Zorgwijk Impact who was driven by “Joltin’ Joe” Pennacchio.

“I knew for me to win it I had to keep Ciuffetelli’s trotter locked in as long as possible,” Spriggs said. “But when he got out he came on strong but my horse hung tough and we won it be a head.”

Spriggs was a happy man after his driving victory in the Cradle of the Trotter.

“This was my first trip here and the first time I ever drove at Goshen”, Spriggs added. “It's a wonderful place with a lot of harness racing history”.


Winning “Student” Hopes to Become a “Teacher”

By Ken Weingartner

Freehold, NJ — After winning a race several years ago at Goshen Historic Track as a “student,” Kimberly Gilman-Daios hopes to notch a victory at the upstate New York oval as a “teacher.”

Gilman-Daios won the U.S. Trotting Association Driving School exhibition race at Historic Track in 2012, with assistance from professional driver Gareth Dowse. Gilman-Daios attended the USTA Driving School because she wanted to get licensed as a trainer and driver, which she did soon after completing the program.

On Friday, Gilman-Daios returns to Historic Track with Steuben Magic Ride, who competes in the first of two divisions of the New York Excelsior Series B for 3-year-old male pacers. Gilman-Daios owns and trains the gelding.

USTA/Mark Hall photo
Kimberly Gilman-Daios accepted the trophy from Driving School Director Chip Hastings after she won the 2012 exhibition race.

“I’m looking forward to getting back there,” Gilman-Daios said. “I love Goshen. That was like the best time of my life. It was a learning experience, definitely. I was in Ray Schnittker’s barn and he does a really good job with his horses. Some of the things that he does I was able to take back with me and use on my own.”

Friday’s eight-race card, which begins at 1 p.m., kicks off the Grand Circuit meet at Historic Track. There will be four days of racing at the track and Sunday’s festivities include Hall of Fame inductions at the adjacent Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame.

Steuben Magic Ride heads to his race Friday looking for his first win, but the pacer has posted two second-place finishes and two thirds in five career races. Four of his starts came last year, when Gilman-Daios drove the horse herself on the New York fair circuit.

“He’s still learning to race this year,” Gilman-Daios said. “I wanted to win with him last year in the worst way, but he wasn’t ready yet. He wasn’t a fighter. But this year he’s a tiger.”

Gilman-Daios got married last fall and gets help from husband Greg when he has time.

“He wasn’t into the horses before, but he married into it so he has no choice,” Gilman-Daios said, laughing. “He works full time for a company, but he’s been giving me a hand at the barn when he can.”

Gilman-Daios’ family has been involved in harness racing for generations. She lived in New Hampshire when she attended the Driving School, but has moved to Vernon, N.Y., where she has a four-horse stable. She owns three of the horses and also trains a horse for another 2012 Driving School graduate, Sophie Engerran.

“So far so good,” said Gilman-Daios, who worked for a utilities company prior to deciding to focus on training horses.

“Before I was at a retirement stage I wanted to have a stable and do this as a job. At the time (of the Driving School) it wasn’t the right time because I had a career. Now I’ve made the time to do it. I enjoy it, I really do.”


15-year-old Irvine Puts Exclamation Point
0n Youth Foundation celebrations

Justin IrvineGoshen, NY. 06.05.16 - Fifteen-year-old alumnus Justin Irvine put an exclamation point on the Harness Horse Youth Foundation’s (HHYF) 40th Anniversary celebration Sunday, winning the Open Pace Matinee at Goshen Historic Track with Cruzing Hill by 25 lengths over a sloppy track in 2:01.2. In Irvine’s first charted drive, he pulled fromsecond with the Mark Ford-trainee as the horses headed to the three-quarter pole and drew off to easily defeat the opposition with a 30.3 final quarter. Cruzing Hill is owned by George and Rose Bonomo of Illinois.

Earlier, over 100 attendees celebrated HHYF with brunch at the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame. They witnessed a program that featured a cavalcade of guests, with Bob “Hollywood” Heyden serving as M.C. Chris Wittstruck received his Service to Youth Award from HHYF and he made a passionate plea for the industry to support HHYF’s efforts. The assembled also heard from Service to Youth winner and former HHYF President Callie Davies-Gooch, former scholarship recipient and equine vet Dr. Patty Hogan, alum and Little Brown Jug winning driver Montrell Teague, current President Marlys Pinske, and future camper Wyatt Beaver, who will be attending camp at Gaitway Farms this summer. The group then had time to tour the museum prior to the start of the matinee card at the Historic Track.

Celebrating 40 years of youth education and service to harness racing, the Harness Horse Youth Foundation is a charitable 501(c)3 organization dedicated to providing young people and their families educational opportunities with harness horses, in order to foster the next generation of participants and fans. The Foundation makes a difference in young people’s lives through interactive learning experiences with these versatile animals, scholarship programs, and creation and distribution of educational materials. For more information on opportunities through HHYF, or to support its mission, go to www.hhyf.org.