Hall of Famer Dave Palone, the winningest driver in the storied history of North American harness racing and the reigning Harness Tracks of America ‘Driver of the Year', has accepted an invitation to compete on the inaugural three racing programs at the brand new Miami Valley Raceway in southeast Ohio. He will join Ronnie Wrenn Jr. and Dan Noble, also recent national dash champions, and a host of other talented reinsmen during the gala Grand Opening Weekend Feb. 7-9.
Palone has won over 16,000 races and horses he has driven have earned over $116,000,000 in purses in his illustrious career. The 51-year-old driver has won over 500 races every year since 1992 and has won the driving title at The Meadows racetrack in Pennsylvania an astounding 24 consecutive years. He has won the national annual dash championship four times, including 2012 with 674 victories. Among his most notable accomplishments are winning The Little Brown Jug, The Adios, a Breeders Crown, The Jugette and the Kentucky Filly Futurity. He was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y. in 2010.
Wrenn, who has only been driving for six years, burst onto the national scene in 2013 by winning the national dash crown with 714 triumphs. The talented 27 year old didn't start taking the sport seriously until 2011 when he won 150 races, followed by a 437-win season in 2012. A nephew of Peter Wrenn, who ranks 13th on the all-time wins list with over 9,000 trips to the winner's circle, Ronnie was Northfield Park's leading driver in 2013 and raced at over a dozen other venues on his way to the national laurels. He is currently recuperating from wrist surgery he had Jan. 6 to fix an old football injury, but reports the cast has been removed and he will return to the racing wars before the calendar turns to February.
Noble, the son of Ohio Harness Hall of Famer Sam "Chip” Noble III—who recently passed away after a battle with esophageal cancer--won the national dash championship in 2011 when he recorded 773 wins. He has followed that record-setting performance with 537 tallies in 2012 and 421 more in 2013. At age 30, Dan has already amassed better than 3,500 victories and has averaged over 300 annually over the last 11 years. Raised in nearby Xenia, Noble has fashioned a Universal Driver Rating System (UDRS) average over .320 in each of the last five years. Owners of the horses he has driven have been rewarded with over $14 million in purse money to date.
The three most recent national dash champions will sign autographs for patrons at the new Miami Valley Raceway from 5-6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday nights, Feb. 8-9. Beginning Feb. 7, racing will be conducted every Wednesday through Sunday night until May 4. The first race each night is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. (Miami Valley)