MONTICELLO’S AU REVOIR APPEARS TO BE A GO ON DEC. 27
Since Monticello Raceway instituted its Au Revoir back in 1991 only five times has the race been presented. Although the raceway had tried to fill it every year since the inaugural the fact remains that there is usually is a shortage of 14 year olds still racing in December of the final year of eligibility. And although the amount varies slightly from year to year during this season there were only 54 14 year olds that made at least one start. That,along with the late date of the race are the main reasons why the Au Revoir doesn’t get enough horses for an annual event.
But this season director of racing, Eric Warner, says the race will be a go on Thursday afternoon, December 27.
“Although we are still searching for a few more 14 year olds for this year’s Au Revoir we currently have commitments from the connections of four pacers with a possibility of one or two more,” Warner said. “And even if we go with a short field there’ll be interest in the horses that will be in the race.”
Warner is referring to veterans Tattler’s Jet , Alba Gold, Captain Killean, and Hero’s Cavalcade, all career winners of hundreds of thousands of dollars and who, barring any unforeseen circumstances will be in the entry box .
Take Dave Carter’s, Tattler’s Jet, for instance. A winner of 120 races places him among the elite in races won by a pacer during his career. And according to the Harness Racing Communications’ Ken Weingarten, Tattler’s Jet’s 120 victories rank him No. 5 among all North American pacers born in the last 40 years and his career-best win time of 1:49.2, set in 2010 at Colonial Downs at the age of 12, made him the fastest horse ever to hail from Wisconsin.
The altered son of Tattler’s Torpedo will be coming in all the way from the Badger State with his trainer, Gene Miller , who incidentally won the National Amateur Driver of the Year Award in 2002.
And Alba Gold, reputed to be the last horse still racing by the great stallion and race horse, Albatross, will be winding his way here from western New York. Owned by Kathy Merola, Alba Gold has a seasonal record of 1:58 taken at Batavia Downs and a career mark of 1:54.1 when the pacer was six years of age. From 45 lifetime victories Alba Gold has and career earnings of over $372,000.
Another probable entrant is Francis Witkowski’s, Captain Killean. A winner of 58 races with a lifetime record of 1:55.4 and almost $140,000 in purse money will be coming in from Plainridge Racecourse in Massachusetts.
Although owned in Massachusetts, Hero’s Cavalcade, is currently racing here at the Mighty M and will be a definite starter in the Au Revoir. Second in his last start in 1:59.2 the altered son of Keystone Raider has won 48 races and over $327,000 in his career. His lifetime record in 1:51.2 was taken when the pacer was 11 years old.
In the first Au Revoir the NY S Racing and Wagering Board allowed the Mighty M to have a trotter in this specialty race and more recently, in 2009, a trotter was one of the entrants, although he was a late scratch.
“Since there are a few 14 year old trotters still racing well at this time we’ll check if the Board will allow us to once again have a trotter or two included in the Au Revoir field,” Warner added. “After all, this is a unique race and real hard to fill, especially at the end of a horses career.”
“Those interested in starting in the Au Revoir must make or call in (845-794-4100x557) their entries to the racing office by 9am on Friday, December 21 for the race on Thursday, December 27,” Warner explained. “The early draw (for post positions) is necessitated by this year’s Christmas Holiday falling on a Tuesday.”