Newcomers Cannizzarro and Irizarry Win Sportscaster Charity Derbies

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Eight NY sportscasters competed in two non-wagering harness races to benefit their selected charitable organization on Friday, May 12 at the Meadowlands Racetrack


The first charity derby was won by New York Post writer Mark Cannizzaro and his driving partner Andy McCarthy. He held off fellow competitor Rebecca Haarlow to win the photo finish.  Cannizzaro’s win gave his charity Memorial Sloan Kettering a $5,000 donation.

“This was my maiden voyage, I loved it. This was an absolute blast,” said Cannizzaro in his post race interview. “Uncle Fester (his horse) did all the work, not me. But this is what it is all about, raising money.  These guys (Memorial Sloan Kettering saved my life.”


Keith Irizarry, MLB analysist, took the win in the second charity derby race of the night. Irizarry and driving partner David Miller held off a hard charging Marc Malusis on the inside rail to take home the win. Irizarry’s first place finish gave his charity Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center another $5,000 for a $10,000 total donation on the night.


“This was so exciting,” said Irizarry upon his return to the winner’s circle. “I’m definitely in for next year. This was a great experience. The track is beautiful and the fans were great, it was a fun night.” The second sportscaster derby can be viewed here.


Fellow competitors NY Jets Game Analyst Quincy Enunwa (SBH Health System), Marc Malusis of PIX11 (Make-A-Wish Foundation), Don La Greca of ESPN-NY “The Michael Kay Show” (Ronald McDonald House Charities), Maria Marino of the Action Network (American Cancer Society), and Rebecca Haarlow of MSG (Rescue Dogs Rock) each earned $1,000 for their charities.


Wally Szcerbiak of MSG was scratched for Saturday’s derby due to the New York Knicks game but his charity, Croatian American Charitable Foundation, will also receive a $1,000 donation.


In addition to the participating sportscasters, Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment would like to thank Ron Burke, Tony Alagna and Tioga Downs for assisting with the horses and sulkies for the event.