David Miller, who has won more than 10,800 races and ranks fourth in lifetime earnings among all drivers in harness racing history, will be inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame next summer, the U.S. Harness Writers Association announced Monday.
William Weaver, who bred influential trotting sire Valley Victory as well as several division champions, also will be inducted during the ceremonies on July 6 at the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y.
In addition, longtime U.S. Trotting Association Publicity Director John Pawlak and retired USTA stakes director Carol Cramer will be enshrined in the Communicators Hall of Fame.
Miller, a 48-year-old native of Ohio, was voted Driver of the Year in 2003, when he led North America in purses and guided No Pan Intended to the Pacing Triple Crown. He has won a total of 11 Triple Crown races (combined pacing and trotting) and 12 Breeders Crown trophies. He ranks No. 5 in career Breeders Crown purses with $8.5 million.
He is a three-time winner of the Little Brown Jug and one of only two drivers to capture the Little Brown Jug and its filly companion race, the Jugette, in the same year. Victories in other top stakes include the Adios, Canadian Pacing Derby, Canadian Trotting Classic, Cane Pace, Hambletonian Oaks, Kentucky Futurity, Maple Leaf Trot, Nat Ray and Yonkers Trot.
In 2011, Miller became the 10th driver in North American history to reach 10,000 wins. He has won at least $10 million in purses 11 times, the most of any driver in history, and trails only Hall of Famers John Campbell, Ron Pierce and Mike Lachance in career earnings.
Weaver, 77, from New Jersey, has enjoyed success as a breeder despite breeding a small number of horses each year.
Valley Victory was the sport's top 2-year-old colt trotter in 1988 and won 11 of 14 lifetime races before being retired at age 3 because of illness. His offspring include Hambletonian winning colts Victory Dream and Muscles Yankee as well as filly Continentalvictory. Victory Dream and Muscles Yankee also produced Hambletonian winners, with Muscles Yankee sons Deweycheatumnhowe, Muscle Hill and Muscle Massive winning the sport's top trotting race in consecutive years (2008-10).
Other notable horses bred by Weaver include U.S. and/or Canadian division champions Chocolatier, Laddie, To Dream On, Was It A Dream and Wheeling N Dealin plus millionaire trotting mare Elusive Desire.
The multiple award-winning Pawlak joined the USTA in 1985 after serving as an announcer and marketing executive at Raceway Park in Ohio. His work with the USTA has ranged from writing to broadcasting, in addition to compiling and editing the annually harness racing fact book "The Trotting & Pacing Guide.” He also is known for his work coordinating the biennial World Driving Championship and the World Trotting Conference. When time permits, he continues to announce races on the Ohio fair circuit.
Cramer retired as a fulltime employee of the USTA in 2007, but remains active as editor of the annual "Stakes Guide,” a job she has handled for 45 years. She joined the organization in 1965 as project assistant to James Harrison in the publication of the first "Care & Training of the Trotter and Pacer.” In addition, she was advertising manager for "Hoof Beats” magazine and a longtime Grand Circuit steward and secretary.
Veteran writers on a screening committee, after discussion with an advisory committee of Hall of Famers, take nominations sent in by USHWA chapters and select nominees to go before the voters. Nominees must receive 75 percent approval from the voters, which are qualified members of USHWA and Living Hall of Fame members, to be elected to the Hall of Fame.
The inductees will be honored twice; first at the annual USHWA Dan Patch Awards banquet, Feb. 23 at Dover Downs, and for enshrinement July 6 at the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame. (HRC)