USTA District 8 announces 2020 award winners
« Return to News
United States Trotting Association District 8 has announced the winners of its 2020 year-end awards. For the second year in a row, George Ducharme has been named Trainer of the Year; Pari-Mutuel Driver of the Year goes to Jason Bartlett; and Leon Bailey is the County Fair Driver of the Year.
Ducharme earned a combined $382,482 in the New York Sire Stakes and Excelsior Series this year with 77 starts. His stable was led by 3-year-old trotting filly Without A Warning, who took home $231,162, and 3-year-old trotting colt Berkery J, who earned $90,530. Ducharme was also the leading money earner at his home track, Vernon Downs, with $132,121 in purses and a 36.2 winning percentage. Overall, Ducharme’s horses have banked $1,298,188 this season and he sports a .403 UTR average.
Bartlett has $1.44 million in combined New York Sire Stakes and Excelsior earnings this season and 53 victories on the circuit. He drove the winners of no less than 40% of the NYSS program finals—five County Fair Champions, three Excelsior Series Champions and two Sire Stakes Champions, including Hobbs (3-year-old trotting colt) and King James Express (2-year-old colt pacer). For the year, Bartlett has guided almost 300 winners to nearly $4.7 million in earnings.
Bailey finished atop the New York County Fair earnings chart with $66,456 in 91 starts. He drove 33 winners, including New York County Fair Champions Mr. Dunnigans (3-year-old pacing colt) and Miley Rose (2-year-old pacing filly), whom he also trained. In addition, Bailey also earned his first driving championship at his home track of Vernon Downs. This is his first USTA award.
Awards will be recognized during the joint NYSS and USTA District 8 virtual banquet taking place this Sunday (Nov. 8) on Facebook Live. The evening will honor champion horses, trainers, drivers, owners and breeders of the NYSS, the Excelsior Series and the New York County Fair Series. USTA District 8 Awards for Horse of the Year will be announced live as part of the broadcast. Also honored that evening will be these USTA divisional champions:
Aela Jamieson – 2-Year-Old Trotting Filly
Owner: Andy Miller Stable Inc, Dumain Haven Farm, Little E LLC
Trainer: Julie Miller
Steel – 2-Year-Old Trotting Colt
Owner: Pinske Stables, Crawford Farms Racing
Trainer: Julie Miller
Albergita Hanover – 2-Year-Old Pacing Filly
Owner: Seth E Coen, George Derocker, Camelot Stable In, Decker's Corner Stable
Trainer: Linda Toscano
Sauvignon Bluechip – 2-Year-Old Pacing Colt
Owner: Robert Sholes, Edward Davis, David Dziengiel
Trainer: David Dziengiel
C And T’s Credit – 3-Year-Old Trotting Filly
Owner: Peter Barbato, Samuel Bova
Trainer: John Stark Jr.
Chaptiama – 3-Year-Old Trotting Colt
Owner: Purple Haze Stables LLC
Trainer: Trond Smedshammer
Hen Party - 3-Year-Old Pacing Filly
Owner: Crawford Farms Racing
Trainer: Tony Alagna
Splash Brother – 3-Year-Old Pacing Colt
Owner: Ray Schnittker, Nolamaura Racing LLC, Steven Arnold, Tammy Ann Flannery
Trainer: Ray Schnittker
“On behalf of our board of directors, I’d like to congratulate this year’s winners,” said USTA District 8 Chairman Todd Haight. “These horses and horsemen are shining examples of the level of quality coming out of this area and each has represented this district well. We are proud to have this opportunity each year to honor their contributions to our sport, especially this year with all the challenges our sport has faced.”
Giveaways will also be presented to two lucky winners throughout the night during the NY Sire Stakes Facebook live event. Tune in during the program to see how you can win. Awards will be mailed to all 2020 winners following the program. Questions about the banquet can be directed to Kelly Young at Kelly.Young@gaming.ny.gov. (NYSS)