For photos from the Meadowlands contact

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Is the Awards Show Season Finally Finished Already? ...

by Peter Lawrence, VFTRG Contributor

(This will wind up being about harness racing. Take my word for it. LOL)

Golden Globes, People's Choices, Academy Awards, et cetera. I've lost track of what's what and when's when, but I don't generally watch any of them - nor the Super Bowl, but that's another subject - anyway.

Seems like the audience is about the same (the current A-listers) at every one, the stages are about the same, the podiums are about the same, the speeches are about the same. Blah, blah, blah.

Even the Beatles 50th anniversary of their coming to America televised tribute seemed like just another awards show, except without awards. The few minutes I saw of it did, anyway. The audience was full of flavor-of-the-week A-listers, many too young to have even seen the Beatles.

But that's another subject, too.

No, the only awards event that's interested me this season occurred two Sundays ago (Feb. 23) at Dover Downs in Delaware ... the Dan Patch Awards, presented by the U.S. Harness Writers Association, an outfit I've been a member of for some 30-odd years.

The ceremonies were televised live - in a sense - on the Internet. But I didn't watch them that way, since I was there at Dover Downs in person. It was the first time I'd been to Dover since 1986, I believe. That was to see Forrest Skipper's last race, if I recall correctly.

(Forrest Skipper went to be voted Horse of the Year '86.)

There was no casino, no hotel, no Matron Stakes or Progress Pace at Dover back then. It was a whole different place.

Anyway, Dover Downs was the setting for the harness writers' annual national meeting, then the banquet, two Sundays ago.

Big crowd, very nice, well-run affair, delicious dinner.

Saw lots of old friends, made a few new friends. Had my picture taken several times. Just got my hands on those photos, courtesy of our new USHWA president, Chris Tully, son of harness Hall of Fame immortal Phil Tully.

The photos are what prompted this long "introduction." On the odd chance that anyone actually wants to see them, here they are, hopefully attached adjacent to this wordy text.
Photo Credit: Fotowon
Photo Credit: Mark Hall (USTA)

One is a "Red Carpet" shot taken before the banquet, with yours truly and harness racing's version of "Oscar." The other is the presentation of the Dan Patch to the Market Share team, that fine horse having been voted 2013's (older) Trotting Horse of the Year. (I'm on the far right in that shot, and I may even have been cut out of the picture altogether.)

I guess most of the evening's revelers stayed the night in or around Dover, but I had to be home after the event. I got home, and climbed into my own bed, at 3:00 or 3:30 a.m.

I don't know about the Hollywood A-list "beautiful people" that show up, over and over, for the better-known awards ceremonies, but the big group at Dover Downs was MY kind of crowd.

Congratulations to all the winners!


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