Monticello Raceway will present its 14th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Pace on Tuesday, January 21 in spite of the fact that the nation will celebrate Dr. King’s birthday on Monday, January 20.
“Since we don’t race on Sundays and there’s no live racing on Monday, January 20th it was decided that we will honor Dr. King’s memory on Tuesday, January 21,” said Eric Warner the tracks director of racing.
It’s not like it was totally unexpected but Monticello Raceway’s Au Revoir, the race exclusively for 14 year olds who will be forced into retirement on January 1, 2014, failed to attract enough entries.
“When we opened the (entry) box this morning we only had three entries,” noted Eric Warner, the tracks Director of Racing.” Actually I was somewhat surprised because we worked hard on filling the race and there seemed to be quite a lot of interest.”
Monticello Raceway top trainers Danny Gill and Bob Lounsbury have light heartedly taunted one another for months as to who’ll be the leading trainer and for most of the time Gill, with more horses in his stable than Lounsbury, was the on top.
Although he constantly trailed, Lounsbury would tease Gill with “I’m gonna catch you” to which Gill would reply with; “if I can’t out-train you I’ll out- start you” referring that had more horses racing than his friendly adversary.
Monticello Raceway has cancelled its Monday, December 23rd race card.
“Due to an unsafe racetrack caused by the unusually warm winter temperatures in our area so for the safety of everyone concerned, we cancelled our live race card today,” noted Eric Warner, senior director of racing.
No racing is scheduled on Tuesday December 24th, and with no racing on Christmas, the next card at the Mighty M will be on Thursday, December 26.
In what turned out to be a bit of a shocker, Aaron Byron and Secluded Island stalked the pace-setter and 1-5 favorite, Hickory Louie, until the final turn and then they battled all the way to the wire with Byron’s pacer prevailing by a head in a 2:01.3 clocking over a muddy racetrack in the Heritage Drivers Series Final at Monticello Raceway on Thursday (December 19).
There is no denying that Bruce Aldrich Jr. has arrived. He’s had a great season and is third in races won in North America with 632, and on Friday afternoon over a muddy racetrack at Monticello Raceway, Aldrich put the icing on the cake when he reined eight winners on the card. His output left him one short of Billy “Zeke” Parker’s nine wins which the bearded wonder had on October 22, 1996.
“I had a shot at the record, I really did,” Aldrich confided. “I thought I’d win with Pena’s trotter (Michael’s Wild Boy) in the fourth but he jumped it off.”
Amy Stackhouse, of White Lake, NY, has been named the 2013 Employee of the Year at Monticello Casino & Raceway. She has been an E.M.T. with the casino since 2008 and also works as a security guard .
“Amy has been a reliable, professional employee who voluntarily obtained her security license so she could assist with all aspects of the security department,” noted Eileen Cavanaugh, the director of human resources. “Her actions of professionalism when taking the lead as an E.M.T. are highly commendable.
Bruce Aldrich, Jr. has always been a good driver even when he had a big stable, but since he has given up training to concentrate on driving, he’s moving up and fast.
At Monticello Raceway on the snowy afternoon of Tuesday, December 17, Aldrich reined six more winners and has moved to within seven wins of Dave Palone’s 626 driving victories. Palone is currently second in races won in North America some 48 behind leader Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. and Aldrich a close third.