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Veteran Yonkers paddock employee retires

December 08, 2014

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At any harness oval, the integrity of the paddock is critical to the maintenance of the overall integrity of the racing product. While the judges possess authority over the paddock, the hands-on responsibility for control of human and equine access to, and activities within the facility, is vested in the track's security force.

On Sunday, Dec. 7, the Standardbred Owners Association of New York (SOA) recognized the diligent service to our industry of Lieutenant James Pace of the Yonkers Raceway Police Force on the eve of his retirement.

Pace, a native of Eckman, WVa, made New York his home decades ago. After a stint working in the transportation department for a major Manhattan retailer, he joined the Yonkers Raceway team. For the last 15 of his 18-year tenure at Yonkers, Pace was the horsemen's most visible Raceway employee. He was responsible for all ingress to the paddock, manning the security booth positioned at its entrance, as well as for the supervision of all paddock security officers. The task required more than simply the skills of a conscientious gatekeeper. Lieutenant Pace was always diligent in ensuring the safety of all horsemen in the paddock, as well as the security of their horses, on a nightly basis.

While bearing the name Pace made James a natural for his position, it was his friendly and professional demeanor towards everyone he encountered that endeared him to the harness community. The members of the SOA were lucky to have benefited from his friendship for so long, and wish him all the best in retirement. (Standardbred Owners Association of NY)

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