The Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association has announced that Clint Galbraith, Jeff Gregory and John Schroeder will be inducted into its Hall of Fame as representatives of Batavia Downs.
The crystal keepsakes will be presented to these inductees at Batavia Downs on Saturday, Sept. 4, in the winner's circle between races during “Hall of Fame Night.”
This select group of honorees will join Buddy Gilmour, Gerry Sarama and Dave Vance who were already honored at Buffalo Raceway.
There will be many activities held in association with this presentation at Batavia Downs that night, including the celebration of the 30th anniversary of Clint Galbraith’s Niatross setting the 1:55 world record for a half-mile track at Batavia in 1980.
There will be a random drawing to giveaway of a set of Clint Galbraith’s racing colors (all who are in attendance will be eligible), and the $200,000 NYSS 3-year-old pacing colts will be in town.
“We are happy to be involved with the induction of these three outstanding horsemen who have meant so much to the racing scene here over the years, said Todd Haight, the Downs' public relations and promotional marketing specialist. "We will do everything possible to make this a memorable evening for all who attend.”
Clint Galbraith <http://fanguide.ustrotting.com/dt_stars_profiles.cfm?id=76186>
Clint Galbraith left his home in Ontario in the late 1950s and set up shop on the Buffalo/Batavia circuit. After a few years of getting established, he scored his first dash title at Batavia Downs in 1963.
Galbraith was a force on the New York Sires Stakes circuit and campaigned a long string of “Kash” horses that were bred and raised at Rodney Farms that was then, and is now, run by Clint and his wife, Barbara.
Galbraith will forever be synonymous with the legendary Niatross. Niatross won 37 of 39 starts as a 2- and 3-year-old and was named the Horse of the Year in 1979 and 1980.
He was also harness racing's first $2 million pacer and at the time, the fastest horse in the sport after posting a 1:49.1 time trial at Lexington in 1980. He won the Cane Pace, the Meadowlands Pace, Woodrow Wilson and the Little Brown Jug. But Niatross was only a part of his story.
The year 1988 saw another Galbraith student, Call For Rain, set a new world record for pacers over a mile track when he went 1:49.3 at Lexington. Call For Rain won the Breeders Crown twice along with a list of other major stakes during his career.
In recent years, Clint has been enjoying considerable success training and driving the Galbraith stable horses, but a barn accident in early May sidelined him from action. He is currently recuperating and has been visiting the barn to oversee the operation's activities.
Although successful at every level, and racing throughout North America, Clint has always called Western New York home since he first made the move here some 50-plus years ago.
Jeff Gregory <http://fanguide.ustrotting.com/dt_stars_profiles.cfm?id=76186>
Jeff Gregory grew up in a racing family as his dad, Gary, operated a public stable since his birth. The family lived in Churchville, not far from Batavia Downs. Jeff started driving there in the early 1980s before splitting his time seasonally between Vernon Downs and Pompano.
His breakthrough to the big stage came in 2000 when he scored 317 wins, competing primarily at Yonkers Raceway. He received the USHWA Rising Star Award in 2002 and proceeded to prove the honor was well earned.
Today, Jeff is a top driver whose talents are sought on both the Grand Circuit and the New York Sire Stake circuit. These engagements keep him traveling across the state and racing at every major racetrack in North America.
His two biggest victories came with Jalopy in the $750,000 Hambletonian Oaks in 2005 and Bubba Dunn in the $338,000 Yonkers Trot in 2002.
To date, Jeff has won more than 6,200 races and $55 million in purses lifetime.
John Schroeder <www.upstatenyushwa.com>
John Schroeder was a Western New York native who hit the racing scene in the early 1960s. He was considered one of the best “trotting men” of his era and plied his trade most notably from the mid-1960s through the late 1970s.
Although the list of horses who found success under the care of Schroeder is extensive, there are five that stand out: trotters Kash Minbar (1:56.1, $651,000) Cathy Lee (2:02, $195,000) and Top Trotter (1:58.4, $112,000) and pacers Worthy Coin (2:01.1, $182,000) and Sir Aladoh (2:00.3, $150,000).
Schroeder handled the bulk of the work until his son, Brian, got his license and picked up many of the drives. Brian went on to race Collier St. Joey in the 1993 Hambletonian.
John drove full time until 1981 when he scaled back his starts in the bike but continued to train. During his career John Schroeder found the winners circle 1,445 times and bankrolled $3.5 million in purses.