Hall Of Fame Day 2021
On Tuesday, October 12th, Parx Racing and the PTHA inducted nine outstanding individuals into the Parx Racing Hall of Fame. In this year of inductions, three horses, one jockey, three trainers, and two special achievement awards were presented to some of Parx Racing’s most accomplished individuals.
Cathryn Sophia – Multiple Graded Stakes Winner Cathryn Sophia, was crowned 2018 Champion Two-Year-Old Filly, for trainer John Servis and owner Cash Is King LLC. Cathryn Sophia came onto the track with a bang, winning her first four races with triple-digit speed figures. On October 30, 2015, in a 6 furlong Maiden Special Weight she won by 12 and ¾ lengths. Then, it was off to Laurel Park in the Gin Talking Stakes and Gulfstream to win both the Grade 2 Forward Gal Stakes, and the Grade 2 Davona Dale Stakes. A few months later, the filly traveled to the bluegrass state of Kentucky and came in third in the Grade 1 Central Bank Ashland Stakes. Making history for her connections, she ran her competition off their feet to win the 142nd running of the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks while guided by jockey Javier Castellano. She battled Carina Mia to finish 3rd in the Grade 1 Acorn Stakes at Belmont Park. She then went on to win the Princess of Sylmar Stakes in September at Parx Racing as a prep for the Grade I Cotillion, where she placed third behind strong fillies Songbird and Carina Mia.
Pure Sensation – Pure Sensation, a stunning gray gelding proudly bred by the Generazio family, has been a turf superstar all over the country, but Parx Racing was the course he dominated. He notched his 1st Graded Stakes win at Parx Racing in the Grade 3 Turf Monster, winning this race a record four times in 2015, 2017, 2018, & 2019. He won the Grade 3 Parx Dash 3 times: 2016, 2017, & 2019.
His other stakes wins include the 2014 Quick Call Stakes, the 2016 Grade 3 Jaipur Invitational Stakes, Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational Stakes, and the 2019 Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup Stakes.
Second place Stakes finishes include the 2013 James F. Lewis III Stakes and the 2014 Gold Fever Stakes. Third place Stakes finishes include in 2013 Don Rickles Stakes, in 2014 Better Talk Now Stakes, 3rd in the 2016 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita, 2018 Grade 2 Jaipur Invitational Stakes, 2018 Grade 3 Parx Dash Stakes, 2018 Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational Stakes, 2019 Grade 3 Troy Stakes.
Spun to Run – The striking dark bay colt was a $64,000 purchase at the Fasig Tipton Mid-Atlantic 2018 Two-year-olds in training sale. During his sophomore campaign, he demonstrated class and remarkable speed, breaking his maiden in style in a January 2019 Maiden Special Weight at Parx Racing and winning his next start in March in an Allowance Optional Claiming race. In July 2019, Spun to Run was 3rd in the Grade 1 TVG.com Haskell Invitational Stakes. He then won the Grade 3 Smarty Jones Stakes at Parx Racing which was a prep for the Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby in which he got a 5th place finish. He came back victorious in the inaugural running of the M.P. Ballezzi Appreciation Mile with an impressive 123 Equibase Speed figure. He took Parx out west with him to win the Grade 1 Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita. His final start of 2019 was a valiant 2nd place finish in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap at Aqueduct. Spun To Run was named 2020 Parx 3-year-old Male and Horse of the Year for his outstanding accomplishments.
Josiah “Joe” Hampshire – Joe Hampshire, a native of South Philadelphia, jockeyed horses for thirty-three years. He was only 18 when he rode his first horse in a race on April 25, 1982, at Beulah Park Racetrack. His horse, Mighty Darling, finished third. In his fifth race, on June 12, 1982, Hampshire entered the winners circle for the first time, riding a horse named Sir Pip. Things kicked into high gear, and before no time, he was winning consistently. In 2000-2002 he was top ten in wins nationally.
The New England Hall of Fame inducted him in 2012 in honor of his decorated local career, which included 18 meet titles at Boston, Suffolk Downs, and Rockingham Park with 67 stakes victories. His 300 wins in 2002 were third-best in the United States. During the 33 years, he won the Grade 3 New Hampshire Sweepstakes Handicap in 1999 aboard Adcat and rode nice horses, including Whistle Pig, Fire Plug, Coco’s Sweetie, and Lucky Lewis. Joe continues to shape young jockeys as an agent at Parx.
Eugene Euster – Eugene Euster first stepped onto the track when he was just six years old, when his parents, who were big fans, took him to the Havre De Grace racetrack in Harford County, MD. His family moved to Atlantic City when he was still in high school, playing violin and vaulting. He got a racetrack job with trainer Irish Jimmy Stewart, and was with him for six years, becoming an assistant trainer. In 1953, Mrs. Mamie Paul gave Eugene four horses to train he did well, with 20% winners, which seemed to be an average he consistently held until 1963 when My Juliet came around. Sprinter star My Juliet gained Eugene coast-to-coast fame, traveling to beat even the boys regularly. My Juliet won 17 stakes races, six of them graded. In August of 1975, My Juliet won the Grade 2 Cotillion Stakes at Keystone Race Track. His top two horses were Grade 2 winner My Juliet, who had earnings of $294,382, and Girl’s Castle, a stakes winner of over $179,707.
Patricia Farro – Patricia Farro’s brother was a jockey, and both her father and brother were involved in the breeding business so naturally, working with racehorses was in her blood. In 2004, Farro became the first female trainer in track history to win the trainer’s title at the Meadowlands. Competitive on the Mid-Atlantic circuits, she earned the Leading Trainer Title in 2013, 2016, and 2017 at Parx Racing and has been in the top rankings for the last decade.
Patricia is a multiple-graded-stakes winning trainer whose hard work and effort consistently brings horses to hit the board. Royal Currier set a track record while winning the $250,000 Gallant Bob in 2011 under her care and landed impressive earnings of $665,800. Bold Thunder, Shaunna Alexandra, and Red Razzo all passed the $400,000 mark in earnings.
Robert “Butch” Reid – Butch Reid graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in Business Administration. Subsequently, he worked for a few years at the casinos in Atlantic City, trying many different jobs before realizing he wanted to go back to the racetrack, where his brother Mark was a trainer. Reid returned to the racetrack and earned his trainer’s license in 1983, when he saddled his first starter and winner, Slady’s Slug. In 2011, Reid was rewarded at the top of the game, saddling Afleet Again to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Marathon at Churchill Downs with a 41-1 upset. In 2012, he won his first Grade 1 with Poseidon’s Warrior in the Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga. In 2018, Maximus Mischief won the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct.
He struck lightning twice with superstar filly Vequist in 2020 to win the Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes and win his 2nd Breeders’ Cup victory in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. Vequist was named Eclipse Champion 2-year-old Filly. His record comprises a total of fifty-two stakes wins, and twelve graded stakes wins, thanks in no small part to his wife and assistant trainer, Virginia Reid.
Robert “Butch” Reid, Jr. is currently serving his 4th term as a Trainer/Director on the PTHA Board of Directors and has been an advocate of advancing the quality of racing here at Parx Racing.
Vince Reed – Anthony J. Lacovelli, also known as “Vince Reed” in the Levittown area and Lower Bucks County sports community, was a Racing Analyst at Parx Casino Racetrack for many years. He was known as the host and handicapper for Parx, “Live” for over twenty years.
“Vince” died on Saturday, December 30, 2017
Born in Norristown, son of the late Angeline (Carbo) and Michael Iacovelli, he was raised in Bridgeport, PA, where he graduated from Bridgeport High School, Class of 1959. He was formerly of Hagerstown, MD, before moving to Levittown in 1966, when he began working at WBCB of Levittown as a News and Sports Director and was a Current Sports Broadcaster where he worked for more than five decades. He was also a longtime racing analyst at Parx Racing. Vince was elected to the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 2010. In addition, he was a member of Saint Michael the Archangel Parish in Levittown and Saint Joseph the Worker Knights of Columbus, Council 4215, Saint John Neumann 4th Degree Assembly. He was honored as an inductee into The Chapel of the Four Chaplains.
Roberto “Bobby” Velez – A San Juan Puerto Rico native, Roberto “Bobby” Velez was a longtime horseman training on his own from 1982 – 2009. He also worked as an assistant trainer working closely with some of the top trainers in thoroughbred racing. Bobby was an integral part of developing several top racehorses. His first time in the spotlight was working as an assistant trainer for Budd Lepman. In 1984, they won the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Sprint with Eillo, who won an outstanding 12 out of 17-lifetime starts. But it was a colt named Spend A Buck who would take him on the ride of his life. He became the regular exercise rider for trainer Cam Gambolati and the champion colt, who went on to win the 1985 Grade 1 Kentucky Derby, the Grade 1 Monmouth Handicap, and the Grade 3 Jersey Derby.
Destiny put him together with yet another champion. With trainer John Servis, Smarty Jones would win a fantastic eight races, including the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby and the Grade 1 Preakness Stakes, just missing a Triple Crown.
In later years Bobby would join trainer Tyler Servis to help guide him working as his assistant. His many years of experience and knowledge were valued and appreciated.
Bobby passed away on August 26, 2021, leaving behind his two loving sons & family.