The University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program (RTIP) has been named winner of the 2012 Stanley F. Bergstein Messenger Award, the highest honor bestowed by Harness Tracks of America (HTA), the association of North American harness racetracks.
The annual award is named for the English thoroughbred imported to America in 1788 and founder of the harness breed, and for the late industry titan Stan Bergstein, who spent 50 years as executive vice president of HTA. The award recognizes exceptionally meritorious contributions to the sport of harness racing. The RTIP is the 32nd recipient, and is being recognized for the many contributions it has made to the racing industry by educating young people interested in working in the pari-mutual racing industry and educating racing's executive and management employees at its annual Symposium on Racing and Gaming, racing's largest and most prestigious ecumenical forum.
Paul Fontaine, President of Plainridge Racecourse in Massachusetts and President of HTA, in presenting this year's award, said, "This year's Stanley F. Bergstein Messenger Award, presented a little more than a month after Stan's death on November 2nd, goes to the organization about which he felt so strongly that he moved HTA's headquarters to Tucson. Stan felt that the contributions the RTIP made to the racing industry were important, and that having HTA in Tucson would allow him to build a partnership between the two organizations, giving students the opportunity to do research they could be proud of for an industry organization that would distribute those studies to a wide audience. And that's just what happened."
Among the last decisions Stan made in his role with HTA was to choose the RTIP as the recipient of the 2012 Stanley F. Bergstein Messenger Award.
Doug Reed, director of the RTIP, accepted the Stanley F. Bergstein Messenger Award on December 6th, during a luncheon at the Symposium on Racing and Gaming. Reed paid tribute to Bergstein's involvement with the RTIP, which dates to 1974, when the RTIP was founded.
For more information on the Race Track Industry Program, see the link below. For a related article on Stan Bergstein and the RTIP, see the November 2 issue of Daily Racing Form at http://www.drf.com/news/stan-bergstein-harness-racing-giant-dies-87