Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Jeff Gural is 2012 Little Brown Jug Wall of Fame honoree
Courtesy of Tom White, publicity director for the Little Brown Jug:
Delaware, OH - Jeff Gural, chairman of Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs and the managing member of the LLC which has leased the Meadowlands, has been elected the 28th Little Brown Jug Wall of Fame honoree.
"This is a big honor for me," said Gural. "To be honest, my favorite two days of the year are when I come to Delaware for the Jugette and Little Brown Jug. Honestly, it is very depressing when the Jug is over because I will have to live another 363 days before the next one. I always say to myself, I hope I make it another year. I look forward to a lot of fun - and I like the junk food, too."
Gural grew up on Long Island near Roosevelt Raceway.
"In those days harness racing was very popular and when I was in high school, I started going to Roosevelt and Yonkers with my friends."
Gural also owns and manages two Standardbred farms, one in Stanfordville, N.Y., and the other in Litchfield, Pa.
Mr. Gural has been an owner and breeder of horses for more than 35 years.
In 2011, he had 35 mares and 25 yearlings.
In 1990, Gural co-owned Jugette champion Lady Genius along with Robert Bencal, Douglas Cass and David Stolz.
"David and I grew up together and after he moved to Columbus, Ohio, we get together for the Jug. We have a great time."
Stolz' company designs and prints the cover of the Dalaware race programs.
Gural has also raced horses in the Old Oaken Bucket and the Buckette, the 3-year-old stakes for trotting colts and fillies.
"I haven't raced in the Jug because most of my horses are trotters."
The 2012 Wall of Fame honoree also sponsors the Miss Versatility mare trot final each year during the Delaware Grand Circuit.
Gural was elected to the Little Brown Jug Society board of directors in 2010.
Gural has also received the 2006 Proximity Award from the U.S. Trotting Association, the 2004 Lee Anne Pooler Unsung Hero Award from the U.S. Harness Writers Association, the 2006 Stanley Bergstein Messenger Award from Harness Tracks of America, and the 2006 Frederick L. Van Lennep Award from the Hambletonian Society.
Gural is also the chairman of Newmark Knight Frank, a full service commercial and industrial real estate management firm.
Gural and his wife Paula, who live in Manhattan, have three children and six grandchildren.
"You know what makes Delaware and the Little Brown Jug so great is the large crowd, the county fair atmosphere which is a throw back to the old days, and heat racing. Heat racing is the most exciting racing there is."