Mark Twain once espoused that the difference from success and failure in life is 40 miles. Of course in his day 40 miles was a long way from home. Maybe that applies and maybe it’s more hyperbole than truth but in deference to Mr. Twain it seems one has a greater chance of success in a town other than his native one.
But one can take Twain’s words with a grain of salt in the case of Monticello-native Jimmy Taggart, Jr.
There’s an old adage that says, “save the best for last” and that’s exactly what Billy “Zeke” Parker Jr. did today (July 16) when he reined Topgun Raider to victory for his 11,000th career win in the 13th and final race at Monticello Raceway on July 16.
Of all of Tracys Song’s 21 victories this year at Monticello Raceway the one she scored on Monday, July 15 was the toughest and most impressive thus far.
After Jimmy Taggart, Jr. and KJ Anita parked Tracys Song past the quarter in a stifling :27 seconds Tracy’s driver Bruce Aldrich, Jr. then got away with a 1:00.1 middle half even though Taggart had KJ Anita extremely tight on his back throughout.
Monticello Raceway became Trot-Town USA, at least for a day on Thursday afternoon, July 11, with 11 of the 14 races on the card for trotters and eight of them for 2-year-olds. Three of the freshmen trots were in the $132,000 NYSS events and the other five went for a total of $63,500 in the Excelsior Series.
Harvey “Doc” Stein made it two in a row in Billings trots at Monticello Raceway when he guided his veteran stallion Make It Hot to a 2:02.4 victory over seven others on Wednesday afternoon, July 10.
The last time Make It Hot was on the racetrack was on June 19 also at the Mighty M and he was victorious in Billings competition that afternoon. That mile was trotted in 2:04.1and it was the last race for the old campaigner before he was taken to “Doc” Stein’s farm in Moreau, NY to breed one of the veterinarian’s mares.
Eight divisions of 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings will be on display in the $132,000 New York Sires Stakes and in the $63,500 Excelsior Series at Monticello Raceway on Thursday afternoon, July 11.
Of the eight events for the New York-breds there will be three divisions of NY Sires Stakes each racing for a purse of $44,000 and five $12,700 splits of Excelsior Series trots. In all, 14 races are on tap that day.
To say that Haroun Hanover has been hot this season would be a gross understatement. The Monticello- based pacer not only ran his string of consecutive victories to six when he won the first race in a swift 1:54 on Tuesday, July 9 but that triumph was the 18th of the season for the altered son of Bettor’s Delight.
On the warm and muggy evening of July 4th 2-year- old filly pacers strutted their stuff in four divisions of the $130,000 New York Sire Stakes and were accompanied by four $12,700 splits in the Excelsior Series. All four NYSS events were paced in 1:58 or better and in the fourth NYSS division the track record for their age, gender and gait fell when Yannick Gingras guided Ali Blue to a 1:56.1 triumph which erased the former mark of 1:56.3 set by Double Major and Jason Bartlett in 2011.
Whoa, big ‘fella’ seems to be what driver Jimmy Marohn, Jr. is saying as he and Haroun Hanover cross the Monticello Raceway finish line first for the 17th time on Tuesday afternoon, July 2.
Understandably sent off the odds-on favorite after four previous consecutive victories the 7 year old Bettor’s Delight gelding practically made a laugher out of the contest whebn he tourned the double oval in a time of 1:54.4, his best winning time in over three years.