Last year when Monticello Raceway presented its inaugural Junior Free For All it was believed to have been a harness racing first.
“Never , at least, to my knowledge, did a racetrack ever card a race in which all the drivers carried a ‘Jr.’ after their names like our Junior Free For All did last year,” noted Eric Warner the tracks director of racing. “It was a fan favorite and we’re bringing it back again this season.”
On Monday (June 17) eight juniors will again line-up behind the mobile starting gate and compete in the second edition of the Mighty M’s Junior Free For which will be the sixth race on the card that afternoon.
“This race is meant as a tribute to all dads, but especially to the fathers of the competing drivers,” Warner added. “We don’t race on Sundays or we would have scheduled this race on Father’s Day (June 17).”
As luck would have it, the tracks leading driver, Bruce Aldrich Jr., has drawn the 5-2 favorite in the race in the presence of Lady Belle, and they’ll start from the two hole.
Billy “Zeke” Parker, Jr., the 18-time driving champ here at Monticello was off the board in the inaugural but arguably will fare better this time when he jumps up behind Reilette, the 3-1second choice on the morning line, and leave from post three.
Strangely, KZ Bezz, the pacing mare who won last year’s Junior Free For All in a 1:57.4 clocking will be looking to make it two for two this year. Driven last season by Greg Decker, Jr. , this time she’ll have a new driver in Jimmy Taggart, Jr. since he drew her in the lottery drawing for the horses.
Peter Lutman, Jr. may have be the sleeper in the contest with Hannah’s Creek and the pole position. Two starts back the 8 year old mare won here in 1:59 on the engine and a trip like that on Monday may put Lutman in the winner’s circle.
Other drivers featured in this contest include: Jimmy Marohn, Jr., Joe Ricco, Jr., Johnny De Simone, Jr and Jimmy Doherty, Jr.
It should be known that both driving assignments and post positions, were drawn by lot.