While the featured race at the Meadowlands Saturday, Aug. 2, was the Hambletonian, the first race of day was one of the best, resulting in a photo finish. That race, the Harness Horse Youth Foundation final, saw three teens driving Trottingbreds at their standard half-mile distance. Sophie Norton, 13, driving Royal Attire and assisted by Ron Pierce, got up at the wire to collar pacesetter Little Hicktown, who was driven by 14-year-old Lauren Permenter, assisted by HHYF Trustee Corey Callahan.
Norton, of New Hartford, NY, represented the HHYF Vernon Downs camp. Permenter, of Chesapeake City, MD, represented the Harrington Raceway camp. Third-place finisher Jennifer Mehlig, 14, represented the camp at Pocono Downs. She was assisted on the lines of LR Trixie by Tim Tetrick. Time for the half mile dash was 1:19.1 after an opening 38.1 first quarter. The race was the culmination of HHYF's summer camp season, which covered eight states. A video of the HHYF race is posted on the HHYF website at www.hhyf.org/News.aspx.
The Harness Horse Youth Foundation is a charitable 501©3 organization dedicated to providing young people and their families educational opportunities with harness horses, in order to foster the next generation of participants and fans. The Foundation has been making a difference in young people's lives since 1976, and its programs include interactive learning experiences with these versatile animals, scholarship programs, and creation and distribution of educational materials. For more information on opportunities through HHYF, or to support its mission, go to http://www.hhyf.org/. (Harness Horse Youth Foundation)