06/20/2012 10:21AM

Harness: 12-year-old boy drives a winner at Goshen Historic Track

Geri Schwarz
Joey Chindano made his first career drive a winning one.

There may not be anything special about driving a winner in a matinee race. But when the driver is just 12-years-old, that’s  special.

On Sunday, June 10th at Goshen Historic Track, Joey Chindano of Bullville, NY made his first drive a winning one when the youngster guided veteran pacer Kevin’s Apples to a 2:05 2/5 victory at the World's oldest harness track.

The driving victory even brought announcer Howard Oil out of the Judges Stand- where he calls the races— to say a few words on the 12-year-old’s victory.

“Oh my God, did you see that. A 12-year-old just drove the winner here at Historic Track. This may be a harness racing first,” an excited Oil shouted over the PA system as the crowd cheered and gave a standing ovation for young Joe Chindano. “He drove a great race and look, he can hardly reach the foot-rests on the sulky.”

Joe was joined in the winner’s circle by his proud father, Joe, Sr. When the elder Chindano was asked if he was nervous with his son out there against drivers three and four times his age he quickly replied, “Not at all. I wasn’t a bit nervous. We have been training our three colts together and Joey handles the colts very well. I know he’s young but he’s been around horses his entire life. He loves them. He thinks he’s George Brennan, for gosh sakes!”

When the younger Joe was asked who his favorite trainer is, he blurted out in the blink of the eye,” My dad of course.”

His favorite driver was hardly a tougher question to answer. “That’s easy too,” said the pre-teen, before continuing, "It’s the Bomber (Larry  Stalbaum). He drives my dad’s stock and he wins a lot of races, too."

Young Joey Chindano is a seventh grade student at Harmony Christian in Montgomery. One day after his thrilling driving victory on Sunday afternoon, he was back in school.

“He’s cramming for his finals now,” papa Joe said. “But I know his mind is wandering from time to time thinking about his driving victory.”

“He’s a good kid and a good student,”  family friend and fellow horse trainer, Brian Yusko added. “He loves working with the horses and he’s good at it too.”