Chuck Spina, a trainer for over 40 years, was the 2014
recipient of the Virgil “Buddy” Raines Distinguished Achievement Award.
Award, instituted at Monmouth
Park in 1996, honors men
and women who have demonstrated a continuing commitment to the sport of
Thoroughbred racing as an owner or trainer, and whose conduct has been
exemplary for professionalism, integrity and service to the sport.
great honor,” said Spina. “I’m totally thrilled about it and humbled by it. A
lot of the guys that are up on that wall are my idols like Ben Perkins, Sr. and
Joe Pierce. I’ve been training for 44 years and this is one of the high points
of my career. I love this place. It’s my favorite sporting venue out there.”
was the 19th recipient of the Raines Award. He won his first race in
at Belmont in
1972, and has since won multiple stakes races including the Choice Dream
Handicap in 1987. He now works primarily with New Jersey bred horses.
is named for the late Virgil “Buddy” Raines, one of racing’s most venerable
figures, who was a regular at Monmouth
Park before his
retirement. Mr. Raines trained horses
for 65 years and won the Preakness Stakes in 1962 with Greek Money.
recipient of the Raines Award receives a special trophy emblematic of the
honor. All winners of the award have
their names placed on a special plaque that is displayed in the Monmouth Park