Friday, February 12, 2010

Harness Racing Hall of Fame Communicators' Corner 2010 Inductee - Jim Moran

Jim Moran began his harness racing career as clerk of the course at Vernon Downs in May of 1962, and by 1965 he was the track’s sole announcer, a position he still holds today. He became the track’s publicity director in 1975 and was elected to the Board of Directors of Vernon Downs’ parent company, Mid-State Raceway, Inc., in 1986, serving in that capacity through March of 2002. Along the way, he was also the corporation’s vice-president, assistant secretary and secretary. Moran is a past president and Chairman of the Board of the North American Harness Publicists Association and was the group’s Golden Pen Award recipient in 1990. Moran has been a member of the Vernon Chapter-USHWA (now the Upstate New York Chapter) since the mid-1970s and has been the group’s secretary/treasurer since 1978. Moran was inducted into the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame in 2003. The following year he retired as Vernon ’s Media/Marketing Coordinator. Moran still performs publicity duties for the Downs and recently finished his 45th season as the track’s announcer.

For information on The Harness Racing Museum's Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies, including ticketing and hotel information, click here or call the museum at 845.294.6330. Attendance at the event is open to the public and encouraged.

Zweig format to change for 2012

Friday, February 12, 2010 - by Jason Bluhm, Director of Racing, Tioga Downs

Nichols, NY --- The Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial for 3-year-old trotters (an open and filly division) will have a new format and a new purse when the rich and historic race goes postward in 2012.

Starting with the yearlings being nominated in 2010 to race as 3-year-olds in 2012, the single final and consolation format that is taking the harness racing world by storm will replace the current practice of racing divisions.

The newer system would take the top nine money earners from 2012 that declare and place them in an estimated $400,000 Open final ($170,000 estimated Filly final). The next nine highest money earners that declare for the Open would race in a consolation for an estimated $80,000 (Filly consolation $40,000). Any horse that declares for the race and does not draw in will receive a refund of their 3-year-old payments. The added money for the two events will also increase from $75,000 to a minimum of $125,000.

"We're looking forward to