Tuesday, October 03, 2006

From Portland to Saratoga...

As reported in today's Daily Racing Form and Thoroughbred Times, former Portland Meadows GM Chris Dragone was just named as Executive Director of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc.

It's great when a "local boy" moves up the ladder in the industry. I had some interaction with Chris a while back when trying to organize a birthday party at Portland Meadows earlier this year. I was not aware that earlier this year Dragone had left the Pacific NW to take over as Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Maryland Jockey Club.

This story is full of interesting tidbits and information:

-The Dragones are (of course) not originally from Portland (it feels like barely anybody is these days). They are east coasters tried and true. The NYRA Owners Guide has the late Allan Dragone listed as being born in Massachusetts in 1926, but maintaining official residences in Darien, Conn., Vero Beach, Fla., and Falmouth, Mass.

-The Dragones have a pretty deep connection to the racing industry as Chris's father was once the New York Racing Association Chairman

-The Dragones own and operate December Hills Farm in Central NJ (no, don't ask me what exit that is) I was also unable to find any website for December Hills Farm

-Chris's wife, Shawna is a jockey and from what I could find out, she uses the name "Whiteside". At this point in the day, that fact is unsubstantiated. (Hopefully Jolene or Patrick can give some more insight on this). Either way, Shawna Whiteside finished up last year's PM meet in the middle of the pack of the jockey standings going 6-3-1 from 52 mounts.

-According to our friends over at Oregon Racing News, Shawna Whiteside won her first career race this past February 25th

Here's the story in Thoroughbred Times
Here's the story in the Daily Racing Form (free login needed)
New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc. release

1 comment:

Saratoga 2006 said...

Dave, fun reading! Chris Dragone is, without question, one of my racing heroes. A stand up guy right to the bone who is nothing short of spectacular with respect to his contributions in racing. We often joke his legacy is that of the scale awning over the jock's scale outside where they weigh in after the race.

Regarding his bride, Shawna. her last name is Barber, not Whiteside. The latter is now training here. The former, Mrs. Barber-Dragone (not sure if she actually hyophenates her name or not to be truthful) is no longer riding competitively...but I'll tell you this if she ever comes back to the saddle, bet her on every fast closing horse she rides...she finishes hard down the lane.