SHHA Communication Sept 23, 2021

September 25th, 2021

Significant Items:

  • The Promotions Committee (Michelle Crawford, Jessica and Olivia Derue, Joe Battaglia, and John Hoagland, Jr.), led by John Hoagland, Jr., is working on a Racing Under Saddle (RUS) event and a local media event day during October.  Please watch for details.
  • Due to several requests from our members, we are currently looking into the potential to have an outrider/marshal.  The position requirements will be posted on the SHHA website soon.  John Hoagland, Jr., Joe Battaglia, and Scott Mongeon are working on this item.
  • Due to some recent issues for some members not being able to renew their NYSGC racing license, we are having our lawyer research the relevant requirements.  We will issue more information once we know it.  John Hoagland, Jr. has the lead for this item.
  • We are currently working with SCH to develop a detailed emergency plan for off hours.  Jake Zakrzewski and Butch Devaux have the lead for this item.
  • We have initiated discussions with SCH management regarding the 2022 racing schedule. We understand this is a very important item and as soon as information is available, we will share it. 
  • As a reminder, one owner (Jeff Cantine) and two trainer/driver (George Merton and Scott Mongeon) Board members’ three (3) year terms expire this year.  
  • A representative from our health insurance company administrator will be in the SHHA office in the paddock on Monday, October 25th from Noon – 2:00 to answer any questions and to help any member interested in enrolling in the plan during the open enrollment period.  Please contact Karen Kamal if you have additional questions call 518-775-0975.  
  • The premium rates have increased on the Blue Shield of NE NY under age 65 policies for 2022.  The increase is as follows: Single person increased by $42.73, two person increased $88.48 and a family increased by $121.17.  Please be advised 50% of the increase ($21.37/$44.24/60.59) will be included in your monthly premium, beginning December 2021.

    Due to the minimal increase to the Humana 65 and over policies, the SHHA will absorb the increase.

  

General Items:

  • If maintenance/weather necessitates a change to the current schedule for the Main Track trainers will be notified by Club Text message from SCH.  Please call Amy Gentile (518-581-5747) if you need access to Club Text.
  • The Board currently has several committees which review and address relevant items with the rest of the Board and recommend actions to address these items.  You do not need to be a Board member to be on a committee, so if you would like to help out your fellow horse people please feel free to join a committee.  We would greatly appreciate your involvement and support!   Thank you to Melissa Beckwith and Amanda Benson for volunteering to join the Promotion Committee.
  • Backstretch maintenance and improvement items are continuing.  Tom McTygue has the lead for this initiative.
  • Dorm 40 is closed to residents, however access to the restrooms in the dorm will be available from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily.
  • SCH has upgraded the Main Track emergency lights to make them more visible during daytime racing.
  • We held a Legislator’s Appreciation Day on August 31st to recognize and thank those personnel and their staffs who helped us resolve our issue with Rivers.  Activities included paddock tours, jog cart and starting car rides, a luncheon, and a winner’s circle presentation after the seventh race.  THANK YOU to all the SHHA members who helped make this day a success.  Feedback received from the attendees has been very positive.

If you have any questions for the Board, please do not hesitate to contact one of the twelve (12) current Board members or the Horsemen’s Representative.  We would like to work together with you to support you in any way we reasonably can.  Thank you, in advance, for your support!

Our next meeting is currently scheduled for October 21, 2021 at 12:30 in the Recreation Room adjacent to the Track Kitchen.

The SHHA Board of Directors

Assembly Bill A4154

September 7th, 2021

A NYS law passed both houses of the Legislature. It is referred to as the NY Horse Slaughter Law. Its  proponents seek to make responsible those connected with a horse who  knowingly are involved in sending horses to slaughter and/or are transporting them for that purpose. Since all breed registry records will be used to locate the last owner and presumptively hold him/her responsible. It is recommended that everyone selling, transferring, bartering or gifting away a horse, notify the breed registry, since sometimes horses are sold to someone who does not re-register the horse with the breed registry and that horse may end up in a slaughterhouse somewhere.

NY’s Slaughter Law provides as follows:

No horse, mare, gelding, colt or filly shall be  eligible to  compete  in any race, unless it is first microchipped and registered with the   jockey club, United  States  trotting  association,  American quarter  horse  association,  the national steeplechase and hunt association or such other entity, as applicable  and  as  the  commission  may designate.  The commission may request that all microchip information be provided  and  available to the commission as necessary pursuant to this chapter.

This law would take effect  01/01/2022 and is consistent with the current USTA rule requiring all horses to be microchipped ($35). Some states and tracks are reportedly refusing entries now, even in advance of the USTA deadline for micro chipping effective on 01/01/2022. The state law will be effective when signed into law and horsemen could be denied entry if they are not in compliance with state law or track regulations.

All horsemen should consider arranging for the insertion of the microchips ASAP. This is just a heads up as state law will govern participation in races in NYS and perhaps in other venues around the country.

Get your horses microchipped.

Upcoming Election December 2021

September 7th, 2021

The following individuals will be on the ballot this year:

Jeffrey Cantine

Jordan Derue

Gary Levine

George Merton Jr

Scott Mongeon

Kyle Spagnola

Legislator Day August 31,2021

August 30th, 2021

The SHHA will host the event, scheduled to run from 11:30 a.m. through the end of races. This is an opportunity to thank the legislators for their diligent work to protect the track and the many jobs created by harness racing industry. The event will also provide legislators to see the activity in the paddock before and after races. Some will get to ride in double-seat jog carts, and some will get to ride in the starting car. It should be a great experience.

SHHA Communication for August 26, 2021

August 27th, 2021
  • We are pleased that we were able to increase purses by approximately 10% effective August 21, 2021.
  • We are finalizing the pension plan for our local horsemen.  The lawyers have completed the program documents which will be posted on the SHHA website.  All personnel who submitted an application have been notified by letter as to their status regarding acceptance into the plan.  Applications will be allowed until August 31, 2021, so if you missed the original deadline and you are still interested in applying please do so no later than 8/31/2021.  John Hoagland, Jr. has the lead for this item.
  • The Promotions Committee (Michelle Crawford, Jessica and Olivia Derue, Joe Battaglia, and John Hoagland, Jr.), led by John Hoagland, Jr., met with SCH management to discuss future events to encourage on track attendance.  They gave a presentation to the Board at our August meeting.  Please look for upcoming notifications regarding future planned events.
  • The Disaster Fund has been transitioned to the Charitable Contribution and Hardship Fund.  The process to request funds has been posted on the SHHA website.  Please use the process/protocol for any requests.  John Hoagland, Jr., Jake Zakrewski, and Joe Battaglia have responsibility for this activity.  Please feel free to discuss any questions on this item with them.
  • Due to several requests from our members we are currently looking into the potential to have an outrider/marshal.  We have issued a letter to the NYSGC regarding requirements for this and we are currently awaiting their response.  John Hoagland, Jr. has the lead for this item.
  • Due to some recent issues for some members not being able to renew their NYSGC racing license we are having our lawyer look into the relevant requirements.  We will issue more information once we know it.  John Hoagland, Jr. has the lead for this item.
  • We are currently working with SCH to develop a detailed emergency plan for off hours.  Jake Zakrzewski and Butch Devaux have the lead for this item.
  • We are holding a Legislator’s Appreciation Day on August 31st to recognize and thank those personnel and their staffs who helped us resolve our issue with Rivers.  Planned activities include paddock tours, jog cart and starting car rides, a luncheon, and a winner’s circle presentation after the seventh race.
  • Information on the fall series should be forthcoming shortly.
  • We have initiated discussions with SCH management regarding the 2022 racing schedule.  As soon as information is available we will share it.  We understand this is a very important item.
  • As a reminder, one owner (Jeff Cantine) and two trainer/drive (George Merton and Scott Mongeon) Board members’ three (3) year terms are up this year.  September 1st is the due date for submitting a petition to run for an open position.

General Items:

  • The Main Track will be open Monday through Wednesday from 6 am until 9:30 am and Thursday through Saturday from 6 am until 1 pm.  The Jog Track will be open Sunday through Saturday from 6 am until 1 pm.  If maintenance/weather necessitates a change to the current schedule trainers will be notified by Club Text message from SCH.  Please call Amy Gentile (518-581-5747) if you need access to Club Text.
  • The Board currently has several committees which review and address relevant items with the rest of the Board and recommend actions to address these items.  You do not need to be a Board member to be on a committee, so if you would like to help out your fellow horse people please feel free to join a committee.  We would greatly appreciate your involvement and support!
  • Backstretch maintenance and improvement items are continuing.  Tom McTygue has the lead for this initiative.
  • Dorm 40 is closed to residents, however access to the restrooms in the dorm will be available from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily, and until 11:00 p.m. on Saturdays during the Saratoga Thoroughbred Meet.
  • We have requested SCH to upgrade the air conditioning in the Paddock Kitchen.
  • SCH is in the process of upgrading the Main Track emergency lights to make them more visible during daytime racing.
  • Due to several concerns, the Board voted not to conduct a holiday party this year.

If you have any questions for the Board, please do not hesitate to contact one of the twelve (12) current Board members or the Horsemen’s Representative.  We would like to work together with you to support you in any way we reasonably can.  Thank you, in advance, for your support!

Our next meeting is currently scheduled for September 23, 2021 at 12:30 in the Recreation Room adjacent to the Track Kitchen. If you would like to present an issue, please contact Karen Kamal 518-775-0975, [email protected]

The SHHA Board of Directors

NYS Legislator’s Day at Saratoga Casino Hotel

August 5th, 2021

Yesterday, the Saratoga Casino Hotel held a tour and reception for NYS Legislators. The guests toured the Casino and the backstretch and visited the John Mongeon racing stable.

Senators and Assembly members sharing time with Oh Mara Ahs Bella at John Mongeon Stable

Members of the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee were in attendance. Senators on the committee include Joseph Addabbo Jr, Brian Benjamin, James Gaughran, Pamela Helming, Daphne Jordan, Shelly Mayer and Toby Ann Stavisky. Members of the Assembly Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee include J Gary Pretlow, Aileen Gunther, Carrie Woerner, Angelo Santabarbara, Nader Syegh, Jeff Gallahan, Jake Ashby, Giovanni Warren and Sarah Klein.

The SHHA thanks the Senators and Assembly members for their support during the pandemic and the legislated funding for the horsemen at Saratoga Casino and Hotel.

Condolences to the Family of Warren DeSantis

July 31st, 2021

Our condolences to the DeSantis family in the sudden passing of Warren P. DeSantis, 75, of Wellington, Fla., during the early morning hours of July 23, 2021. Warren was born on Christmas eve in 1945 in Schenectady, N.Y., to Albert and Gloria DeSantis  

He had many incredible careers and business ventures, including a New York City bar owner and concert promoter.  He worked at multiple harness racing tracks, including the Meadowlands (worked in the race office under Joe DeFrank), Red Mile and Pompano (as race secretary), and Saratoga Raceway (worked as race secretary and served as general manager). His passions included telling his infamous stories, collecting wrist watches, being a clothes horse, watching basketball games as a diehard Miami Heat fan, and, most of all, his children, Darren and Kristen. He was known for his sharp memory, allowing him to recall events, team rosters, style choices, game scores and winning horses.     His personality was infectious from the moment you met him.

He is survived by Karen, his loving wife of 37 years, and children, Darren, 32, and Kristen, 28.

The Florida funeral service was held Friday (July 30) at Palms West Funeral Home. A Schenectady service will be held at Daly Funeral Home, date and time TBA.

In lieu of flowers, the family would like to share charities important to Warren for contributions to be made in his memory: Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady, P.O. Box 466, Schenectady, NY 12301; Wellington Community Foundation, Inc., 12794 Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 19F, Wellington, FL 33414

Retirement Savings Program

July 29th, 2021

If you missed the sign up period for the Retirement Savings plan, you will now have the chance to sign up. The SHHA Pension Committee has re-opened enrollment for the plan until August 31st, 2021. In order to be eligible, the guidelines must be met. To enroll, please complete fully, the application which must include all beneficiary information on the application. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. Once complete, please return the forms to John Hoagland, Joe Battaglia or mail to the SHHA, at

PO Box 171 Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. These forms need to be returned to us.

 NOT MAILED TO THE ADDRESS ON THE FORM.

In order to be eligible for the plan, you must be a dues paying member of the SHHA and be paid by January 31st of each year (for this year, 2021, you need to paid by April 30th) and a driver or trainer racing primarily at Saratoga Casino Hotel and Raceway. In order to gain eligibility, you must reside in and your horses stabled in Saratoga county or one of the counties that surround and border Saratoga County: Albany, Fulton, Hamilton, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Schenectady, Warren and Washington counties.

SHHA Communication for July 22, 2021

July 29th, 2021

Significant Items:

  • We are continuing to work on establishing a pension plan for our local horsemen.  The lawyers have finalized the program documents which will be posted on the SHHA website.  All personnel who submitted an application have been notified by letter as to their status regarding acceptance into the plan.  Applications will be allowed until August 31, 2021, so if you missed the original deadline and you are still interested in applying please do so no later than 8/31/2021.  John Hoagland, Jr. has the lead for this item.
  • Beginning July 17th and for the duration of the Saratoga Thoroughbred Meet, we will be racing Monday and Tuesday afternoons at 12:00 and Saturday evenings at 6:45.  Following Labor Day, we will race on September 7th (Tuesday) and September 8th (Wednesday) at 12:00 for that week.  Starting on September 12th (Sunday) through December 14th (Tuesday) we will be racing Sunday through Tuesday weekly at 12:00.
  • The Disaster Fund has been transitioned to the Charitable Contribution and Hardship Fund.  The process to request funds has been posted on the SHHA website.  Please use the process/protocol for any requests.  John Hoagland, Jr., Jake Zakrewski, and Joe Battaglia have responsibility for this activity.  Please feel free to discuss any questions on this item with them.

Completed forms may be mailed to the SHHA, PO Box 171, Saratoga Springs NY 12866.

  • Due to several requests from our members we are currently looking into the potential to have an outrider/marshall.  We have issued a letter to the NYSGC regarding requirements for this and we are currently awaiting their response.  John Hoagland, Jr. has the lead for this item.
  • Due to some recent issues for some members not being able to renew their NYSGC racing license we are having our lawyer look into the relevant requirements.  We will issue more information once we know it.  John Hoagland, Jr. has the lead for this item.
  • We are currently working with SCRI to develop a detailed emergency plan for off hours.  Jake Zakrzewski and Butch Devaux have the lead for this item.

General Items:

  • The Main Track will be open Monday through Wednesday from 6 am until 9:30 am and Thursday through Saturday from 6 am until 1 pm.  The Jog Track will be open Sunday through Saturday from 6 am until 1 pm.  If maintenance/weather necessitates a change to the current schedule trainers will be notified by Club Text message from SCRI.  Please call Amy Gentile (518-581-5747) if you need access to Club Text.
  • The Board currently has several committees which review and address relevant items with the rest of the Board and recommend actions to address these items.  You do not need to be a Board member to be on a committee, so if you would like to help out your fellow horse people please feel free to join a committee.  We would greatly appreciate your involvement and support!
  • Backstretch maintenance and improvement items are continuing.  Tom McTygue has the lead for this initiative.
  • The main track fence has been replaced.  This item is complete.
  • We are currently working on getting two additional televisions installed in the paddock.  Jake Zakrzewski has the lead for this item.
  • For those SHHA members who are currently on the Health Insurance Plan you should have received a notification from BCBSNENY regarding a class action lawsuit.  If you have any questions please contact our Administrative Assistant, Karen Kamal.
  • Dorm 40 is closed to residents, however access to the restrooms in the dorm will be available from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily, and until 11:00 p.m. on Saturdays during the Saratoga Thoroughbred Meet.
  • SCRI has requested that all trainers who have a horse win ensure that a groom or other individual travel to the Winner’s Circle to be with the horse while the photograph is taken.  Your cooperation in this matter is appreciated.
  • SCRI advised Wash and Test stalls in the paddock are to be used for intended purposes only. Do not leave horses in stalls prior to or after racing.  Violators will be fined or suspended.

If you have any questions for the Board, please do not hesitate to contact one of the twelve (12) current Board members or the Horsemen’s Representative.  We would like to work together with you to support you in any way we reasonably can.  Thank you, in advance, for your support!

Our next meeting is currently scheduled for August 26, 2021 at 12:30 in the Recreation Room adjacent to the Track Kitchen.

The SHHA Board of Directors

Condolences to the Family of John Hogan

July 7th, 2021

John James Hogan, 78, died July 2, 2021, at Glens Falls Hospital.

Born on June 25, 1943, in Marlborough, Mass., he was the son of the late James and Margaret (Czulak) Hogan. He graduated from Marlborough High School and with his degree in teaching from Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire.

On May 22, 1965, he married Marilyn Nicodemo in Marlborough.

He had a rewarding career as a Standardbred owner and driver in Foxborough and Plainridge, Mass., Pompano Beach, Fla., and Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Mr. Hogan was a devoted father and grandfather who went above and beyond for their happiness. In his spare time, he loved his Do-Wop and 50’s music; being with his good friend, Mike Newell, and visiting with his neighbor, John McWhorter; being at the beach with his granddaughters and family; and attending Argyle basketball games with his granddaughter, Jackilyn.

He is survived by his wife, Marilyn; children, Christopher, Jamie, and Stacey; grandchildren, Sheridan, Justin, Ashley Cordell, Kelsey and Jackilyn Harris; brother, James; sisters, Mary Lou Quealy, Kathie (Archie) McNeil, and Carol (Richard) Lafleur; a nephew; and several nieces and cousins.

At his request there will be no calling hours. Burial and services will be private and at the convenience of the family.

The family wishes to extend a special thank you to all the nurses at Glens Falls Hospital on Tower 6, nurses Rodney and Jennifer on Tower 2, and nurse Jennifer on Tower 5.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, 719 Dolan Lane, Lexington, KY 40511.

Arrangement are in the care of M.B. Kilmer Funeral Home, 123 Main St., Argyle, NY 12809.

To view John’s Book of Memories and post online condolences please visit kilmerfuneralhome.com.