Four years ago the Monticello-Goshen Chapter USHWA named an award in honor of the late Hall of Famer and former chapter president, Phil Pines. Since then there have been some worthy recipients and this year’s beneficiary, Derick Giwner, is no exception.
Giwner is a man for all seasons as far as harness racing is concerned. He was a writer and editor of Sports Eye and over the years, despite takeovers and name changes at the company, Derick managed to work his way up the ladder to his current position as the Editor of DRF Harness for the Daily Racing Form.
Giwner began his love affair with harness racing in the early 1990’s while taking trips to Yonkers Raceway to see the great trotters of the era like Scenic Regal and Dr Trotta.
He continued on to earn his BBA in Marketing before getting his feet wet in the harness racing industry as an editor at Sports Eye, a daily harness news publication and printing company, in 1996.
Initially starting as a chart caller, program editor and handicapper, Derick used his free time to explore other facets of the sport. In 1998, Giwner competed in the first ever Sports Eye Battle of Monticello, a harness race in jog carts amongst employees. After winning the race with Rasta Hanover with a four wide move on the final turn, he was hooked and immediately started pursuing a license to driver in “real” races.
Since getting his Provisional license in 1999 Derick has driven in over 80 races as an Amateur Driver. During that time he has also been involved as an owner with horses such as Call Me Cam, Kentucky Flyer, Christy Rae and Twin B Sassy, among some of his favorites.
On the other side of the fence and high above the action, Derick spent time in the announcers booth calling the action. After learning the ropes at Yonkers Raceway from veterans Bob Meyer and John Hernan, Derick went on to call races at Goshen Historic Track, Monticello Raceway, Bangor Raceway, and even made a guest appearance calling a race at the Meadowlands in 2012.
As the head of harness content for the DRF, Derick writes a weekly blog and daily features. He is also the lead handicapper for the Meadowlands and manages all social media (Twitter/Facebook) for the DRF Harness brand. He can often be found covering big events, from the Little Brown Jug to the Hambletonian, or simply watching live qualifying action. As his sometimes neglected wife Stephanie, and kids Jenna and Emily will attest, harness racing consumes his life.
Derick also wrote a chapter covering half-mile track racing (specifically Yonkers Raceway) in Dave Brower’s book, Harnessing Winners: The Complete Guide to Handicapping Harness Races and he’s always looking to promote harness racing.
Writing and handicapping aside, Derick also dabbles in photography and can often be seen shooting pictures at racetracks across the country.
On Sunday evening, November 17 Giwner will receive his award when the scribes hold their 55th Annual Awards Banquet at The Fountains on Sands Road in Middletown, NY.
For reservations, congratulatory ads, or for further information, please contact chapter president, Chris Tully at Tullytrot@yahoo.com