Monticello Raceway’s Au Revoir, for 14-year-olds only, has always been is the last race of their careers.
This year the Au Revoir, scheduled for Thursday afternoon, December 27th , has a decent chance of filling which has not always been the case over the past few decades..
According to Eric Warner, the tracks director of racing, he has heard from four owners of the old-timers who would like their pacers to race in the career- ending event.
“I’ve received correspondence from Gene Miller, Kathy Merola, Francis Witkowski and Lisa Pratt, all extremely interested in racing in our Au Revoir which brings us closer to having a race again year,” Warner said. “Of course we’d like a full field but if we get six 14 year old pacers we’ll go with it (on the betting card).”
The inaugural Au Revoir went to post in 1991 and each year since the Mighty M has tried to fill the 14 year old race but was not always successful. The hard part is, and always has been, being able to find enough old-timers who are still racing this late in season.
Over the years only five Au Revoir’s were contested and one year (2004) a special 14 year old match race—with pari-mutuel wagering -- was presented instead, which was an extremely exciting race .
“If we went with this race earlier in the year the chances of filling would be much greater but it would probably not be the last race for all the entrants,” Warner added. After all, Au Revoir, for all intents and purposes, means goodbye (in French), and after our event is completed sadly all the competing horses will have to say goodbye to racing.”
Anyone with a 14 year old standardbred who’d like to have their horse race one final time before it becomes ineligible can contact Warner in the racing office by calling 845-794-4100ext.557; or they can contact the track’s publicity office at ext. 455.