JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 772

Thursday, 18 June 2015 13:42

Iovino Content at Raceway

By | Sports

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Have you ever wondered how horses are selected for harness races at the Saratoga Casino and Raceway?

Raceway Racing Secretary Peter Iovino has had that responsibility for 10 years now, sifting through lists of horses, past performances and a multitude of other information as background before assembling a day’s racing card. It’s time consuming, but it affords Iovino the opportunity to keep his hand in the ground floor activities at the track.

“I really try to write races in the best way possible,” Iovino, a Brooklyn native, said. “I love it. It’s challenging, I can tell you that. My job is to put the best product out there, but I also need to keep owners, drivers and everyone happy.”

Iovino, who held the same position at Freehold Raceway in Freehold, N.J. prior to landing the gig up here, said he loves his job, as well as the Saratoga Springs area. He currently lives in Greenfield.

There are certainly big differences between New York City and Saratoga.

“I really like the pace of life up here,” he said. “It’s laid back and the traffic isn’t nearly as bad as Brooklyn, although I do hear that people aren’t big on the traffic during track season. The nightlife is great here and the people are friendlier. It’s the simple things.”

Iovino said that even though the track isn’t open from mid-December through mid-February, his job is year round. He said he’s constantly reading text messages and emails from people, whom he said it’s his job to keep happy.

“It takes a lot of patience to do this job, and that’s a good thing,” he said. “I try to put myself in other people’s situations and make sure I do and try my best. In this job, you have to always be learning.”

He added that he doesn’t currently have any desire to move up into management at the track, stating he “likes being in the tranches. I like to know what’s going on and being directly involved.”

As for the future of harness racing, Iovino said, like many others close to the sport, it needs to find the younger audience to get it back to its heyday.

One suggestion he offered was to “pick up the pace” and add more races to each card, allowing for more action.

“The game isn’t really marketable right now,” he said. “It’s not fast enough and we’re not the only game in town. The number of people interested in the sport has been declining steadily for 25 years.”

He likened it to bowling and pool’s popularity in the 1940s, but said that if the right people take on the challenge, the sport absolutely can have a positive outlook moving forward. The sport is far from dead, as evidenced by the $1.6 billion wagered in 2013, but people are just not showing up to the tracks.

Iovino pointed toward the 1 1/16-mile Joe Garrity Memorial on July 25 as the day to circle on your calendar. He said he added 1/16 of a mile to make the race more competitive, as drawing an outside position makes it much tougher for pacers to win.

0 0 1 445 2541 Saratoga Publishing 21 5 2981 14.0 Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE

“It’s going to be a competitive and balanced race,” he said.

Read 3822 times


  • Saratoga County Court  Justin P.  Rodriguez was sentenced Sept. 14 in Saratoga County Court to an aggregate maximum term of 22-1/2 years in state prison in connection with actions that caused the death of Alex Bleickhardt, Saratoga County District Attorney Karen Heggen said in a statement. The incident involved a fatal crash along I-87 (the Northway) in Wilton on Sept. 15, 2022 when the 42-year-old Rodriguez approached a disabled box truck and a heavy-duty tow truck on the shoulder of the road, and making no effort to move over, slow down, or avoid a collision, rear-ended the box truck at 76…

Property Transactions

  • BALLSTON Brookview Court Inc sold property at 38 Arcadia Court to Mary Dimitri for $354,472 Brookview Court Inc sold property at 39 Arcadia Court to Sean Linnane for $351,977 Richard Fonda sold property at 879 Saratoga Rd to Jon Andersen for $450,000 Meghan Fiene sold property at 2 Palmer Ave to Dana Kuster for $399,146 Ariana Quattrocchi sold property at 6 Morningdale Ct to Roman DiPasquale for $465,000 GALWAY Bruce Boghosian sold property at 6019 Jockey St to David Miller for $1,079,000 Taylor Young sold property at 5642 Lake Rd to Bryan Ozak for $310,000 Jeffrey Gordon sold property at…