2014 Buddy Raines Award to Trainer Chuck Spina

Saturday, August 16, 2014

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Chuck Spina, a trainer for over 40 years, was the 2014 recipient of the Virgil “Buddy” Raines Distinguished Achievement Award.

            The Raines 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.

            “It’s a 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.”

            Mr. Spina 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.

            The award 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.

            Each 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 Clubhouse.