The sun was shining brightly and the wind whispered softly on Thursday afternoon at Monticello Raceway when2-year-old pacing fillies raced for nearly $210,000 in New York-bred action and when the day was over the track record for the freshman fillies fell, not once, but twice. Actually the former mark of 1:56.4 set in 1995 by Chi Chi’s Girl and driver Matt Romano was bettered four times during the daytime racing program.
The cream of the crop of the New York Sire Stakes 2 year old pacing fillies will be looking to add precious points to seasonal resumes with hopes of having enough to be among the top eight who will automatically earn a berth in their $225,000 Final on the Night of Champions on September 22.
Though Monticello Raceway is yet to hear from Cat Manzi or Ed Lohmeyer about their possible participation in the tracks sixth Heritage Drivers Series preliminary leg, the Godfather Pace for drivers of Italian extraction which will be presented on Monday, August 27th , acceptance calls have recently come from Mike Forte, Kyle DiBenedetto and Jimmy Marohn.
Gaelic And Garlic equaled the Monticello Raceway track record for 3 year old trotting geldings with a 1:57.1 triumph for driver Jimmy Morrill, Jr. in the first $83,922 division of the New York Sire Stakes for sophomore trotting colts and geldings on Monday afternoon, August 6th.
The victory equaled the mark established by Green Day and Cat Manzi back on June 25, 2007.
A second $83,922 split saw longshot Mado Dream keep favored Coraggioso (Phil Fluet) at bay the entire mile and go on to a 1:57.2 triumph for driver Jeff Gregory.
He was a god 2-year-old but at age three Coraggioso is even better, and arguably the best of the 3-year-old colt trotters in the rich New York Sire Stakes .
On the Monday afternoon, August 6th program at Monticello Raceway, the son of Conway Hall- Electra Hanover has been installed as the 9-5 early line favorite in his $83,922 division—race 10-- of the 167,844 NYSS for sophomore trotting colts and geldings. In the other $83,922 split—race six—Gaelic and Garlic gets the odds-maker’s early nod.
When Mike Merton scored five consecutive driving victories in the first five races on the Monticello Raceway card of June 28 he claimed, with tongue in cheek, that when he got dumped out and fell on his head in an early morning qualifying race that it must have done something to him when he had his best day in years.
On Wednesday, August 1 Merton could claim no such prognostication this time after he again reined five winners on the card.
To look at Pete Pellegrino one would get an impression that he looks more like a pirate of olden days than a horse trainer with his head shaved bald and sporting two ear-rings. But make no mistake about it, Pellegrino is not only a horse trainer but an outstanding one at that.