LEBANON, OH. – Miami Valley Raceway is deeply saddened to report the passing of Pacey “The Wizard” Mindlin on Tuesday, March 7 following a short illness. Introduced nightly by sidekick Barry Vicroy as “the world’s greatest handicapper”, Mindlin offered listeners insight, humor and selections in his own inimitable style.
“He was the face of racing at Miami Valley,” said Director of Racing Ken Rambo. “He had a legion of fans throughout the harness racing world…and even those that thought his antics were a bit too unconventional tuned in to watch him! He will be missed.”
Mindlin, 81, was a lifelong resident of southwest Ohio who began going to the races with his father Sandee at age 8 or 9. He bought his first horse and joined the USTA in 1966. Over the years he has owned 142 horses, often in partnership with friend Kenneth Cohen. While he was a fixture at the Lexington and Harrisburg yearling sales, many of those he raced were homebreds as he was responsible for bringing 79 foals into the world over the years. Horsemen recognized Pacey as a bloodlines expert.
Among his best horses were Lightning Wave, who won a heat of the Little Brown Jug, Norma Ruth Hanover, Goodbye Columbus, Pointer Hanover and Joyful Crown. “The one that got away,” Pacey joked through the years, “was Fan Hanover. I was the under bidder on that great mare.”
He hired many top national trainers through the years, and at least a half dozen Hall Of Fame drivers sat behind his horses, but he believed his local trainers Herb Coven Jr. and Jim Dailey “could have competed with anyone, anywhere.”
Horses he owned won three Ohio Sires Stakes championships and a pair in Indiana.
He ran a successful scrap yard in Franklin, which he inherited from his father, for 55 years before selling it several years ago.
In addition to his handicapping host duties at Miami Valley and many Ohio county fairs, Mindlin was an associate judge for parts of 20 years, working at Lebanon and Latonia Raceways and several county fairs.
He was a close friend of Corwin Nixon, Lou Carlo and Mel Hagemeyer, general managers at the two meets.
Mindlin is survived by his wife of 33 years, Debbie.
Miami Valley will honor “The Wizard” with a feature race before the end of the 2023 meet.
“We’ve heard Pacey sign off with ‘Pace Baby Pace’ for the last time,” said Race Secretary Gregg Keidel. “But I hope to come up with an annual event which honors his legacy.”

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