Just under 300 horsemen, legislators, including the governor of Delaware, John Carney, and friends of harness racing in the First State turned out for the 21st annual Delaware Standardbred Owners Association (DSOA) Awards Dinner at the Modern Maturity Center in Dover Friday.
As usual, prior to the nighttime activity, the annual DSOA midday business meeting was held with evening festivities beginning with an early evening cocktail hour.
Again this year, Mistress of Ceremony Heather Vitale presented a colorful, fun-filled video potpourri of seasonal high spots from her weekly Post Parade programs seen during the year on Sundays and rebroadcast Mondays on WBOC TV. This year’s review of the highlights of the 2017 racing season featured top horses of the Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway meets.
The banquet also featured a silent auction to benefit Horse Lovers United, Inc., a highly acknowledged Not-for Profit organization led by Lorraine Truitt, which provides a residence and care for retired horses.
In addition to leading horsemen and friends in attendance at the awards banquet were many of Delaware’s top legislative executives, members of the Delaware Harness Racing Commission and the DSOA Board of Directors and its staff.
DSOA and DSBF 2017 award winners:
The sixth annual James T. Case Jr. DSOA Horizon Award (to a horseman making outstanding progress during year) was presented to trainer Jason Skinner, one of the sport’s rising stars.
The Inaugural DSOA President’s Award was presented to Delaware governor John Carney for his continual support of harness racing.
A DSOA Special Appreciation Award went to Leon Carlisle, Harrington Raceway trackman
Again this year, there were six James T. Case Jr. $1,000 scholarships awarded in memory of the longtime DSOA President.
2017 DSOA Horses Honored:
Horse of the Meet- Owners Brian Hoffecker, Vic Kirby and trainer Leigh Raymer’s Barbara's Shadow
Trotter of the Meet-Thomas Dillon’s Hollywood Highway, trained by Doug Lewis
Claimer of the Meet- Guiltywithanexcuse owned by RBH Ventures and Spagnola Racing, trained by Jim King Jr.
Horse of the Meet – Brian and Carrie Malone’s Ideal Ice, trained by Brian Malone
Trotter of the Meet – Wind of the North, owned by Daryl Bier and JoAnn Dombeck, trained by Jenny Bier .
Claimer of the Meet – Lorie & Paul Davis’ Lady Beth, trained by Paul Davis
Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund Awards:
2-Year-Olds: Trotters; (filly) Star Sapphire (colt) Boston Cruiser,
Pacers: (filly) Gracefully Forgiven (colt) Slick Tony
3-Year-Olds: Trotters, (filly) Spoonful (colt) Master Clave
Pacers: (filly) Logan's Girl (colt) Bags To Riches
Broodmares of the Year: Pacing Mare-Queen Kathy, Trotting Mare-Mocha