Big M renames trots for Drazin, Zanzuccki
July 06, 2018
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The Meadowlands is pleased to announce that two of its historic Hambletonian Day stakes are being retitled to honor a pair of men who have contributed mightily to the health and well being of horse racing in New Jersey.
The race for Hambletonian eligible 3-year-old trotting colts previously called the "Townsend Ackerman" will now be known as the "Dennis Drazin." Drazin, an attorney by trade, is a longtime Thoroughbred owner and breeder who has served as president of the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and the chairman of the New Jersey Racing Commission. He resigned the Commission post to become chairman and CEO of Darby Development LLC, operators of Monmouth Park, a position he has held since 2012.
Drazin was the driving force behind Monmouth Park's decision to fight in court to bring sports betting to New Jersey and the resulting legislation. That dream was finally realized when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act and Governor Murphy signed it into law earlier this year.
Drazin graciously reflected on the tribute: "I am both humbled and honored to be acknowledged for my accomplishments by Jeff Gural and the Meadowlands team by naming their prestigious race the Dennis Drazin. Jeff always promised during six years of litigation that if we were successful in winning the sports betting litigation that he would name a Grade 1 Stake in my honor. I am proud to accept this wonderful distinction from a leader in the industry and my peers."
Zanzuccki has served horse racing in the state of New Jersey for 40 years, having joined the New Jersey Racing Commission in 1978 then ascending the ranks until being appointed executive director in 1992. He retired from that position on July 1, 2018. To recognize his considerable contributions over that period, the Meadowlands' race for Hambletonian-eligible 3-year-old trotting fillies previously titled the "Duenna" shall henceforth be titled the "Frank Zanzuccki."
"To be recognized by the harness racing industry in this fashion is a great honor and I am sincerely grateful to Jeff Gural and his staff at the New Meadowlands for this accolade," was Zanzuccki's response to the notice.
Both men will be present to award the stakes trophy to the winning connections on Hambletonian Day, Aug. 4. (Meadowlands)