Let the ‘Battle’ begin. And begin it will on Monday afternoon, July 22, when Monticello Raceway presents the third edition of the Battle of the Brain Trust, a non-wagering one mile race for executives whose decision makings help guide the fortunes of their racing oriented establishments.

The field and post positions have already been drawn and the ‘Battle’ will go to post after the fifth race on the betting card Monday with the participants in jog carts and without the use of whips.

Four gentlemen from various aspects of the racing game will take a seat behind a spirited steed and race the one mile distance for a trophy and a blanket.

The ‘would- be Dave Palone’s ‘  are: Shawn Wiles, Monticello Raceway’s  General Manager who is also a USTA District 8 Director; Jason Settlemoir, CEO and General Manager of The New  Meadowlands LLC , and VP of Racing at Tioga Downs  and Vernon Downs;  Vic  Harrison, Senior Director of Sales for United Tote; and Jerry Murkerson,  as City Manager  of Hawkinsville, GA (yes, Georgia) he runs the training center there.

Eric Warner, the Mighty M’s Director of Racing, has lined-up four $4000 claiming pacers for the ‘Battle, all, he says, equal in ability and the four participating gentlemen have varying experience driving harness horses in competition.

“I’m going to do my best to protect my home turf from any of the invaders,” Wiles said about the upcoming Battle. “And I can guarantee everyone that I’ll be tough to beat from the two-hole.”

Wiles drew Keystone Miss who was third in her last start here individually timed in 1:58.4. In the last ‘Battle” Wiles finished second, right there, beaten just a neck.

Murkerson is coming all the way up the eastern seaboard from Hawkinsville, GA. just for the race. He drew Pembroke Lil and will start from post three.  In her last race Pembroke Lil  was timed in 1:58.1 while finishing  third.

This will be Jerry’s first drive in the ‘Battle’ although over the years he has driven in exhibition races at the Hawkinsville Training center .

Settlemoir, the sports newest rising star, drew post four and JM Dancing Star who finished third  timed in 1:58.2 in her last outing.

Jason has driven in the previous two ‘Battles’ but is still looking for his first victory.

Vic Harrison rounds-out the drivers in the event and he’ll handle Bet On Lindy who was clocked in 1:57.4 in her last start when she finished second.

Harrison will also come a long distance to be part of the event when he travels in from Louisville, Ky. Over the years Vic has driven in specialty races here at the Mighty M and this will be  his second attempt in the ‘Battle’.

The initial ‘Battle’ was presented on July 3, 2008 and was won by then Monticello Casino & Raceway President and CEO, Dave Hanlon, when he guided a pacer named M I Nasty to a 2:07:1 victory. That afternoon Hanlon defeated Tom Charters, President and CEO of the Hambletonian Society, Jason Settlemoir, then the  Vice President of Racing at both Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs, and John Hensley, Vice President of Racing at Dover Downs.

A second “Battle’ was contested two years later and saw Larry Roman, CEO Of WDF Green and longtime horse owner and sponsor of many of the Mighty M’s promotions of past years. He won with Big John B in a time of 2:13 over Shawn Wiles, Jason Settlemoir, and Vic Harrison.

The field is set and the drivers are champing on the bit, but they’ll have to wait until approximately 2:05pm on Monday, July 22 when the third edition of the Battle of the Brain Trust is  scheduled to go to post.

In all there will be 12 races on the Monday card on July 22 with first post set for 12:50pm