The Meadowlands family takes stock of their Thanksgiving blessings.
from Debbie Little
Most people have holiday traditions and my family is no different. On Thanksgiving, we sat around the table and said what we were most grateful for.
Sometimes it was so easy to be thankful it wasn’t snowing so that nobody would end up in the ditch. Yes it happened. (Hearing my husband complain when the weather forecast predicts snow is no vacation fun).
We’d also be grateful to my sisters Linda and Patti for taking the time to prepare such a great meal, or the joy on my mother’s face when she plopped the cranberry sauce out of the can without it off the plate rolled.
If the pandemic taught us anything, it was to value health and family and to appreciate what we have because nothing is promised.
What are the members of The Meadowlands’ harness racing family most grateful for this year?
Stu Berman, director of Mutuels – “Good health for me and my family. With COVID all around us, stay safe and be very careful. “
George Brennan, driver – “Simple: My good health.”
Dave Brower, Meadowlands TV talent / track quota maker – “To have a good job in a booming industry in New Jersey.”
Shelly Grieco, caretaker – “This year and every year I am very grateful to my family. Knowing in no uncertain terms that I have a handful of people I can rely on to celebrate my highest highs and carry me through my deepest lows definitely makes life easier to work with. I couldn’t imagine getting through the peaks and valleys – especially in our business – without your support. “
Mike Gulotta, owner / breeder – “I owe a lot to: 1. For my family and their health; 2. To my phenomenal employees at Deo Volente Farms for their tireless dedication and dedication to the success of our company; and 3. I thank Marty Granoff and George Segal for standing Perfect Sting on Deo Volente Farms and, quite frankly – I don’t think he’s getting enough thanks – Jeff Gural for not just stepping in to save the industry 10 or 11 years ago, but also to keep trying to improve the industry and help his fellow riders. “
Edison Hatter, Freehold Raceway Announcer / Meadowlands TV Talent – “I am very grateful for all the wonderful opportunities in racing that have been offered to me this year, as well as for the wonderful colleagues in New Jersey that I have known and worked with last year.”
Joe Holloway, trainer – “For me, winning the Breeders Crown with Perfect Sting. It was a lot of fun this year, but also a lot of stress. It didn’t always work out the way I wanted it to, and at least it worked out in the end. “
Diane Lewis, caretaker – “I am grateful for the people and opportunities that are offered in my life. Perfect sting is of course a matter of course. He’s my one-of-a-million horse. “
Jim Lisa, route photographer – “I think I am grateful for my health and my dog Darby and all the adventures that we have had and still have to experience.”
Mark MacDonald, driver – “I am grateful to have the opportunities that I have been given throughout the year. Grateful for Ray [Schnittker] to give me the chance to have a Peter Haughton winner, Wellwood winner, and New Jersey Sires Stakes winner like King Of The North. I’m grateful that Ian Moore calls me and gives me the great opportunity to race a Meadowlands Pace winner and a Hempt winner like Lawless Shadow. And very grateful to be able to show people that I could and can always do the work on the biggest stage. It’s been a great year for the family, everyone is healthy, and I have a lot to thank for horse racing in 2021. “
Todd McCarthy, driver – “Grateful for the opportunities offered by coaches and owners in this great year.”
Kim McCusker, Meadowlands TV – “I am grateful to all of my family and friends that they have put up with me.”
Dave Miller, driver – “My family and friends, the people who want to hang out with you.”
Julie Miller, trainer – “Of course, family, friends and my faith. I can do what I love every day. Horses! “
George Napolitano Jr., driver – “So thankful that Jesus watches over me and my family and that he has great coaches who support me on my way.”
Nifty Norman, trainer – “Definitely my family’s health. The good horses that I was lucky enough to train. The well-being of all my riding colleagues. “
Brett Pelling, trainer – “1. My family for understanding our crazy schedule; 2. The wonderful horses that performed for us all year round; and 3. Not getting one of the false positives that this industry allows. “
Katie Remmerswaal, caretaker – “My friends, family and health, who enable me to do what I love every day. And of course the horses. I am grateful to the owner of Manchego, who let us ride her for another season – although it was shortened – there were memories for a whole life. “
Shades, Meadowlands TV – “I am grateful that my family stayed healthy and had a wonderful year. From marrying a cousin, another with their first child, and my brother who is on his way to getting a job as a Special Ed teacher, my family is fine. Since moving back to the east coast, I’ve known the importance of having a family, and I’m lucky enough to have a great one. “
Tim Tetrick, driver – “Family and Health. And the horses for giving me a great life. “
Mark Weaver, owner – “My family. That people start to live their lives again after the last year and a half, Sweet Lou and harness racing.”
Matt Zuccarello, amateur driver – “I am grateful to my family, my wife, who endured my expensive hobby and the time away from home, and all the owners and coaches who gave me the chance to win this year and make it my best year of all Times to make (16 victories so.) Far!) “
Scott Zeron, driver – “I am grateful to have everyone in my circle of friends and family in good health for another year.”
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Personally, I am very grateful that my mother-in-law is well enough to leave the intensive care unit, for the healthy arrival of my great-nephew Scotty, and for everyone who works or races in The Meadowlands, for giving me something to write about while this column is celebrating its one year anniversary.
Hope everyone had a nice holiday.