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Freehold Pays Tribute to Harold "Sonny" Dancer

Freehold Raceway paid tribute to legendary horseman Harold “Sonny” Dancer on Thursday (March 10) with one last lap around the racetrack and family and friends gathering in the winner’s circle.

Mr. Dancer, a trainer/driver since 1954, died March 6, 2016.

Mr. Dancer was born Oct. 10, 1935. He was the son of Harold R. and Marion E. Dancer. He graduated from Red Bank High School in 1954. He won his first race that same year at Freehold Raceway and later that year won his first race at Yonkers behind Toodles Hanover.

Over the years, he trained and drove many top level horses. He broke and trained the 2-year-old world champion pacing colt of 1972, Ricci Reenie Time, 1:56.1. He went on to capture many stakes races with that colt, including the 1973 Adios. He also conditioned and drove world champion trotting filly Ginger Belle.

Some other notable horses he conditioned and drove were Golden Money Maker, Gee Lee Hanover, Tarport Joe, Worthy Jimmy, Swaps, Texan Hanover, Panther Hanover, Chin Whiskers and Rays Roughneck, just to name a few.