XENIA — Local harness racing driver Dan Noble has won more than 4,600 races in his career on race tracks all over the United States.
Now he’ll be racing in Europe.
Noble, 34 of Xenia, and the son of the late legendary harness racer Chip Noble, has been invited to compete in the 2017 Vincent Delaney Memorial harness race Aug. 12-13 in Dublin, Ireland.
Noble said he was recommended for the race by co-race founder Derek Delaney who contacted veteran race announcer Roger Huston about getting Noble in the race.
“(Delaney) owns a sire by the name of Foreclosure N, and the horse stood in Ohio for one year. I’ll actually be driving one of the top 3-year-old colts by Foreclosure N (a horse named Drunk On Your Love) in the race. … (Derek Delaney) asked Roger to put me in the race, because he said he liked my driving style.”
Incidentally, Huston is scheduled to be the track announcer on Aug. 2-3 for the harness racing action at this year’s Greene County Fair.
“Dan is a world-class driver. And we are sure to show him a great time here both on and off the track,” said Derek Delaney on the Delaney Memorial web page. “He will be sure to have some good drives at Portmarnock Raceway on Saturday and Sunday.”
The trip over to Ireland will be Noble’s first.
“I’m excited to be a part of this,” Noble said. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, if you’re able to go.”
From what he’s learned so far, the race will be the same 1-mile length as is held in the United States, but Noble said the track may be a bit narrower than Scioto Downs or Northfield Park, where Noble usually races.
“It’s like being in a county fair, and we score five wide, and we could have two or three tiers of horses,” Noble said. “So it’s a smaller race track and it will have more horses than what I would be used to on a smaller race track.”
In an effort to prepare for the Delaney Memorial, the veteran Xenia racer said he’s been racing more events on the smaller county fair tracks in hopes of re-familiarizing himself to the dimensions and feel of racing on a smaller oval. Noble said that he will race in the Greene County Fair, as long as there is no conflict with his Ohio Sires Stakes races at Scioto Downs.
Noble first began racing in 1999 and has nearly 4,700 victories to his credit. According to the Delaney Memorial, Noble-driven harness racing horses have earned close to $25 million. A frequent competitor at Columbus’s Scioto Downs and Cleveland’s Northfield Park, Noble received the Dan Patch Rising Star Award from the U.S. Harness Writers Association in 2011.
Harness racing drivers from Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Belgium and Sweden are also expected to be in the Delaney Memorial racing field.
“It’s going to be quite an experience. I’m really looking forward to it,” Noble said.
The Delaney Memorial race is held each year by brothers Derek and James Delaney in honor of their brother Vincent who passed away in 2011. The Memorial will have elimination races on Saturday, Aug. 12, with the finals to be held held on Sunday, Aug. 13.
You can reach John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.
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