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New Jersey owner Joe Chnapko Sr., 95, dies

March 09, 2017

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Joseph Paul Chnapko Sr., 95, of Livingston, NJ., died March 6. He owned many Standardbreds over the years, among them Hellava Hush, Escortention and Cherry Hills.

Born in Newark, N.J., he lived in Essex Fells prior to moving to Livingston. Mr. Chnapko was an Army veteran of World War II serving in the 101st Airborne Division during the invasion of Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge. He was the founder and owner of Globe Motor Car Company in Fairfield, N.J., for 50 years.

Mr. Chnapko loved the track. He owned many trotters and pacers over the years and his horses were mainly trained by Ray Flis, Herb Holland and Bill Gallagher. He raced mainly at the Meadowlands in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.

He owned Escortention, who at the time had the most lifetime wins of any horse; Cherry Hills, who raced in the 1999 Hambletonian against Self Possessed; and Sweet Michelle, whom he bred and at one time was the fastest older mare trotter on a half-mile track in the world. But his best was Hellava Hush, trained by Gallagher, who retired a millionaire and raced against Mr Muscleman.

The son of Joseph and Katherine Chnapko, he was preceded in death by his wife, Yaffa. Surviving are his children, Linda (Matt) Cummings, Kathleen (Arnold) Gentile, Michelle (Adam) Cox, Joseph Paul Jr. (Melissa) and David (Harley) Goodfriend; and grandchildren, Matthew, Cody, Connor, Michael, Nicole, Joe, Joey, Yaffa, Sarah, Jacob, Asher and Declan.

A funeral service will be held Thursday (March 9) at 12 p.m. at the Bernheim Apter Kreitzman Suburban Funeral Chapel, 68 Old Short Hills Road, Livingston, NJ. Entombment will be in Cedar Park Cemetery in the Sanctuary of Abraham and Sarah, Paramus, N.J.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association at www.alz.org.

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