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Author Topic: Yonkers To Bid on Hambo  (Read 756 times)
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« on: September 17, 2010, 09:04:07 PM »

SORRY! I couldn't resist Wink

 This from the Aug 22, 1962 Harness Horse magazine:

Yonkers To Bid Again On Hambletonian

Seeking a return of the Hambletonian to New York State, Yonkers Raceway has submitted a bid to the Hambletonian Society, governing body of the three‑year‑old trotting classic, that would permit Yonkers to stage the Hambletonian in Goshen, N.Y., for five years starting in 1964, raceway president Martin Tananbaum recently announced.
Under the proposed plan, the Hambletonian, harness racing's counterpart to the Kentucky Derby, would be held at the Yonkers‑operated Good Time Park mile track in Goshen, through 1968, during a five‑day Grant Circuit meeting the first week in August. The bid also provides for the spending by Yonkers Raceway of more than $150,000 for repairs and improvements at Good Time Park.

Good Time Park was "the home" of the Hambletonian for 25 years, from 1930 through 1956, prior to its being shifted to the Du Quoin State Fair in Illinois. Next year's Hambletonian will also be held in Du Quoin.
The 1964 Hambletonian, if Yonkers' bid is accepted, will carry $50,000 in added monies, and it is expected to gross $150,000. The last Hambletonian in Goshen in 1956, which was won by Allwood Stable's The Intruder, was worth $100,603.

In its bid, Yonkers is also adding $10,000 to the Hambletonian Maturity, an event solely for four‑year‑old trotters which were eligible to the Hambletonian at three. Overall, the five‑day meeting each season will see a disbursement of not less than $195,500 in added monies and a total disbursement of about $428,000.

In its proposal to spend in excess of $150,000 for repairs and improvements at Good Time Park, Yonkers would increase the present seating capacity of 4,000 to 10,000.

The proposal also calls for the transforming of the Good Time Park racing strip into an "all‑weather" track, similar to those created in recent years at leading night raceways. In such a way, each day's racing program could be held in spite of rain, which formerly had necessitated a postponement of the racing.

With the all‑weather track's completion and its consequent elimination of program cancellations, the proposal calls for the Hambletonian to be raced on a Saturday afternoon, thereby affording many more persons a chance to attend the harness racing classic. Traditionally, the Hambletonian is scheduled in mid‑week, making it possible, in the event of rain, to carry over the classic to following days of that Grand Circuit week.

The supporting program during the five‑day meeting provides for a quartet of Breeders' Filly Stakes for two‑ and three-year‑old trotters and pacers for an estimated $40,000; a $25,000 (est.) Two‑Year‑Old Trot; a $25,000 (est.) TwoYear‑Old Pace, and a $15,000 added Free‑For‑All Pace. Additionally, there will be an afternoon's racing highlighting the New York Sire Stakes, carrying added monies of a least $28,000.
The Hambletonian Society, whose membership is comprised of 21 of the most important owners and breeders in harness racing, is the governing body of the Hambletonian Stake. As such, the Society has sole authority to award the contract to stage the Hambletonian.
The Hambletonian Stake was inaugurated in 1926 in Syracuse, N.Y., where it was won by Guy McKinney. It shifted between Lexington, Ky., and Syracuse until 1930 when the rich stakes was contested at Goshen for the first time. That year Hanover's Bertha, driven by the late Tom Berry, was the winner over Larkspur for the lion's share of a $56,859 prize.

From then on, through 1956, save for 1943 when wartime gasoline restrictions necessitated its being shifted to the old Empire City race track in Yonkers, the Hambletonian was contested in Goshen. Its past winners at Good Time Park include such trotting immortals as the incomparable Greyhound, Rosalind, McLin Hanover, Titan Hanover, Hoot Mon, Demon Hanover, Bill Gallon, Peter Astra, Chestertown, Spencer Scott, Sharp Note, Scott Frost, and The Intruder, its last victor in 1956.
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Regards Don
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