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Tuesday, October 20, 2015


by Carole Hodes for the SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ – October 20, 2015 – Tom Luchento and Chris Ryder were elected to the Board of Directors of the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey.

Ballots were returned by 438 of the 789 members and counted on Monday, October 19, 2015 by the accounting firm of Drucker, Math & Whitman, certified public accountants in North Brunswick, NJ. 

In the only contested category – driver/trainer – Luchento was re-elected and Ryder was a winning challenger.  Incumbent Kelvin Harrison and challenger Nancy Johansson were the others on the ballot.

In uncontested categories, Thomas Pontone [owner], Michael Gulotta [breeder] and Dr. Richard Meirs [breeder] were re-elected.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to continue on the Board of Directors,” said Luchento, who has a dozen years of experience and is the incumbent president and chief executive officer of the SBOANJ.  “Both 2015 and 2016 are pivotal years in our efforts to revitalize harness racing in New Jersey.  This Board has a full agenda of challenges. 

“This is no slam dunk, but we are hopeful to get expanded gaming – casinos - at our racetracks to make our purses on par with any in the country,” Luchento added.  “We continue to work for sports wagering, historic racing and other alternate gaming options just as long as our purses are the beneficiaries.”

This was Chris Ryder’s first bid for a seat on the SBOANJ Board of Directors. 

“I had been thinking about [running for the Board] for 10 or 12 years, but with my two boys off to college now, I had more time available,” said Ryder, 60, who maintains a stable of 25 at Winners in Chesterfield, NJ. 

“My main concerns are insurance [for horsemen] and the New Jersey-owned and bred races,” noted Ryder, a New Jersey resident and horseman since 1989. 

“I want to listen and be independent, and make the best decisions I can” Ryder added.  “I intend to represent the grassroots.  I’ve been there; I’m still there.  I want to represent all horsemen.  I thank everyone for their support.”

The Board will hold its re-organization meeting on November 9, 2015.