June 2013

In an outstanding career that began in the late 1960’s Billy “Zeke” Parker, Jr. is approaching a milestone that only six others in the history of the sport have met …and passed.

After two more driving victories at Monticello Raceway on Thursday June 27th Parker now has 10,987 career wins—seventh best all time-- and he needs just 13 more to reach an incredible milestone.

Shawn Wiles

It’s official. On Monday afternoon, July 22 Monticello Raceway will host the third edition of the Battle of the Brain Trust, a race is for harness racing executives from various aspects of the Standardbred business.

As of this writing five people who make the decisions for their respective organizations will don racing silks and be in the unfamiliar position of driving a harness horse competitively over a one mile distance.

Just four weeks ago Monica Banca received her provisional license and the Norwegian native  has shown she has a talent in the sulky.  Not only did she win the final of the Catskill Amateur Driver’s Club’s Pacing Series yesterday (June 26)at Monticello Raceway but in  five trips to post in betting races  Monica has won four times. And her  last three drives here were all winning ones.


In Wednesday’s fourth race here  Banca had the favorite ,Indescribable from the pole position, and she drove the veteran gelding like he was the best.

When Haroun Hanover won for the 16th time this year at Monticello Raceway one just had to check the finish line photo where the tote board odds are displayed-- as can be seen in the accompanying picture --to put  Haroun Hanover  race, and season for that matter,  in perspective.


Tracys Song was back home again at Monticello Raceway on Monday, June 24th and the venerable pacing mare won for the 19th time this year to continue leading all other standardbreds in races won this season in North America.


Although it was drizzling at the start of the race when the field passed by the first quarter the rains began to fall more earnestly and the attending fans ducked for cover although the falling rain  seemed oblivious to the competing horses and drivers.


For the past 44 years Monticello Raceway has offered local fans the best Fireworks Show in Sullivan County (NY) and this year will be no exception.

On Thursday, July 4th the Raceway will stage its 45th Annual Fireworks Extravaganza after the races.  But that night the first post will be at 5:30p.m.

Bruce Aldrich, Jr. is having the best season of his career. And he’s had some good ones in the past and currently he’s the proud owner of 4373 lifetime driving victories.

But 2013 is the year that Aldrich broke out. He is now among the leaders in races won this year and his  258 wins is seventh best on  the North American leaderboard.

Aldrich added to his totals yesterday ( June 20)when he reined four winners on the afternoon card at Monticello Raceway where he leads all reinsmen with 182 driving victories.

In C.K.G. Billings Series action on Wednesday, June 19th  two  amateur trots went to post at Monticello Raceway and when the results were official Howie “the Horse” Gelfand and  Harvey “Doc” Stein each reined a winner in driving finishes.


Gelfand , a sales agent by trade from Mississauga, ON , won with Four Starz F in 2:02.3 while Stein, a veterinarian from Moreau, NY,  got Make it Hot home first in a 2:04.1 clocking. Both races needed the photo finish camera to determine the winners.


After driving along at a pedestrian pace-- at least for him --- Billy “Zeke” Parker, Jr. broke out and reined five winners on the Tuesday, June 18th card at Monticello Raceway, where, over the years, the bearded wonder has copped 18 driving titles.


Now  Parker has 102 wins at the current meet which is good for third place on the local leaderboard, but more importantly Zeke  is moving ever closer to the 11,000 career win plateau and now needs just 20 more winning drives to reach that incredible milestone.


KZ Bezz won Monticello Raceway’s second annual Junior Free For All on Monday afternoon June 17th when driver Jimmy Taggart, Jr. hustled her to the front and defeated seven rivals in a 1:58.3 clocking.


In what was almost an exact replica of last year’s race, Taggart, who drew the mount behind KZ Bezz this season, raced her the same way that she was raced in the contest last year when Greg Decker, Jr. won the event with her in the nearly identical time of 1:57.4.