Congratulations to Brian Sears for being nominated for induction into the Harness Racing Living Hall of Fame.
Of course, it is a little lonely this year on the ballot as he is the sole nominee. No, you are not going to hear my 'Zeke Parker should be in the Hall of Fame Speech', but why weren't any trainers on the ballot this year such as one person suggested, Jerry Silverman or Steve Elliot?
I don't suggest there should be a slew of candidates each year, after all the Hall of Fame is supposed to be something special. But to see these trainers on the outside looking in seems to be a mistake. Hopefully, it will be corrected while these trainers are around to accept the acknowledgement from the industry.
On the sad side, word has reached us that Ben Stafford Jr. has passed away at the age of 45. I remember seeing him race at Garden State Park and on the NJSS Fair Circuit when it existed. Then he moved on the the Delaware Circuit with excursions to the Maryland and Pennsylvania tracks. Our sympathy to his family on his passing. He will be missed by those who knew him.
In other news, it is Amateurs on Display Day at Monticello on a rare Friday afternoon card as three Amateur clubs are hosting races at the Catskill Mountain oval on the eleven race card. The Catskill Driving, and North American Amateur Driving Association, and CKG Billings group each have two races carded,
Speaking of Amateurs, am I the only one who would love to see Hannah Miller compete against the 'pros'? The talented driver has a UDR in the 300's and it seems most press releases regarding amateur competition mentions another victory for her. I'm not suggesting she goes pro, but it would be interesting to see her race against a driving colony at a given racetrack.
Saratoga Casino Hotel issued a press release regarding the opening of their hotel. I can't help to notice they mention Saratoga Race Course before they mentioned their own harness track in paragraph nine. When they finally get around to mentioning the harness track, they did dedicate a good amount of space about it. I just wish they would have promoted their own racetrack before mentioning the thoroughbred track.