New York Sire Stakes Annual Awards Banquet
The New York Sire Stakes was established in the year 1965 and was the first program in North America to promote and support quality standardbred horse breeding. Many other programs followed their example and the New York Sire Stakes does not only encourage superior breeding programs, but it also rewards breeders and owners and provides purses for a vast number of harness racing events. Through their dedication to the harness racing industry and standardbred horses, breeding excellence has improved, resulting in ongoing improvement in racing itself. To thank the horsemen for their efforts, the New York Sire Stakes started hosting this prestigious Annual Awards Banquet.
On Sunday, 19 October 2008, the New York Sire Stakes Annual Awards Banquet was held at the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame, which is located in Goshen. It was the moment all in the harness racing industry had been waiting for, to find out who would be rewarded for their outstanding performances during the 2008 horse racing season. The awards do not only go to breeders, but trainers, horse owners and harness racing drivers are also given the recognition they deserve.
This year, the awards went to the following recipients: Winbak Farm (2008 NYSS Breeder of the Year), Jessica Okusko and Lonny Hale (2008 NYSS Trainer of the Year) and to James Morrill, Brian Allen and Harold Smith (2008 NYSS Driver of the Year). Artimittateslife (3Year Old Pacing Filly), Bullville Powerful (3 Year Old Pacing Colt), Credit Victory (3 Year Old Trotting Filly), Four Starz Speed (3 Year Old Trotting Colt), Eagle Way (2 Year Old Pacing Filly), Hay Goodlooking (2 Year Old Pacing Colt), She’s So Savvy (2 Year Old Trotting Filly) and Donttellmywife (2 Year Old Trotting Colt). In the Country Fair Series Awards, JB’ Hit (Country Fair 3 Year Old Trot), Wild Side (Country Fair 3 Year Old Pace), Rosie Mogul (County Fair 2 Year Old Trot) and Silent Hill (County Fair 2 Year Old Pace) took top honors. Another eight horses received awards in the New York Sire Stakes Late Closers Series, namely Sealed In My Heart (2 Year Old Pacing Filly), Where’s Waldo (2 Year Old Pacing Colt), On With The Show (2 Year Old Trotting Filly), Never Missed (2 Year Old Trotting Colt), Lesley’s JLO Belle (3 Year Old Pacing Filly), Twin B Lonestar (3 Year Old Pacing Colt), Princess Hall (3 Year Old Trotting Filly) and John Paul’s Legacy (3 Year Old Trotting Colt).
Peter Goold, Executive Director of the Agriculture & New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund, was quoted as saying: "We are very pleased to have such an outstanding state-bred racing program. Our program would not be possible without the many distinguished men and women in the harness racing and standardbred breeding industries who take part in the New York Sire Stake program each year. On behalf of the Fund Trustees, congratulations to all of the award winners for their exceptional performances during the 2008 New York Sire Stakes racing season."