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Hamilton honored on retirement from racing

October 25, 2017
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Veteran horseman Doug Hamilton was honored by Pocono and by the local horseman's colony as he retired from training, with management and a huge portion of Pocono backstretch's community gathering in the winner's circle after the third race for the ceremony.

The 70-year-old Hamilton, a native of Ontario, drove 3,675 winners during his career, and had trained 515 winners since the USTA started keeping records in 1992. The popular Hamilton was carrying on strongly right until his retirement, having won with three of the last eight starters he sent out in his career.

Phil Langley, former president of the USTA who had used Hamilton as the trainer-driver for horses he owned, sent a congratulatory note. Langley, who had given the speech when Hamilton was inducted into the Illinois Harness Racing Hall of Fame, said, "It was an honor to work with such a great trainer and gentleman for several years, and I wish him the best in his retirement. He will be missed by everyone in harness racing."

Ron Hamstra, who with his father Sam in their Sandbur Farms had horses with Hamilton for over 35 years, drove all the way over from Indiana earlier in the day just to be part of the special occasion. He said after the ceremony, "As a trainer and a gentleman, you couldn't ask for anyone better. As a friend, nothing was too much for him to do in friendship."

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Trainer Jimmy Takter, who is hoping for success in three days' time at Hoosier Park with a couple of fillies named Ariana G and Manchego in the Breeders Crown , had a distaff from his barn take the $14,000 top-level conditioned pace at Pocono, as the Jennas Beach Boy filly Best Of Jenna reduced her mark to 1:51.2.

Driver Andrew McCarthy, who has a favored filly in Friday's Breeders Crown races as well with Caviart Ally, moved the Pocono newcomer to the lead after the quarter and guided her home clear by 1½ lengths over Albany Girl, who in turn had a neck on Amateur Hour for second. Owner Mark Graber is an Indianan, and not the Ohioan who had the well-remembered trotter Overcomer some 30 years ago. (Pocono/PHHA)

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