According to the rules and regulations set forth by the United States Trotting Association, the governing body of the Standardbred sport, less than two percent of all horses racing are 14 year olds and when they become 15 years of age on New Year’s Day they can no longer compete regularly in pari-mutuel races.


In what was believed to have been an industry first--a race for 14 year olds on the last day of the year-- back on December 31, 1991, the final chance the senior citizens would have had to compete that year, Monticello Raceway presented a race called the “Au Revior” strictly for 14 year olds which turned out to be a great attraction. That contest was won by a pacer named Searights who was driven to a 2:04 victory by Kyle DiBenedetto.


“Each year since 1991 we have tried to fill the 14 year old race but not always were we successful.  The hard part is, and always has been, being able to find enough of those old-timers who are still racing this late in season,.” said Eric Warner, Monticello Raceway’s Director of Racing.


“Although the Mighty M didn’t get a field of 14 years olds together  for a race  in 2004, they did, however, have a match race between two outstanding 14-year-olds; $412,000 career winner, The Suleiman N;  and Troy D, a  winner of over $372,000.


The two classy old veterans, who had to hang up their racing shoes the following day, produced a very enjoyable pari-mutuel match trace which nearly ended in a dead-heat. In that betting event, The Sulieman, driven by Zeke Parke, turned back Troy D, handled by Todd Frocione, by just a head in an exciting stretch duel  in a mile that was  timed in 2:02:4.


On December 29, 2005 Monticello Raceway hosted another race strictly for 14 year old pacers in which the New Zealand- bred Try Kacy N emerged victorious for driver  Jimmy Taggart, Jr. in a 2:03:4 clocked mile.


The next Au Revoir was in 2009 when Satin Time N went out a winner in a 1:59.3 clocking. And on December 30, 2010 14 year old  Sinbad and Jimmy Marohn, Jr. smoked to an easy 1:58.4 victory,  which is the race’s standard.


Again this season Monticello Raceway will try to present  another race strictly for  14 years olds, which, if it fills, will be raced on  Thursday afternoon,  December 27th .


“Actually our last race card during 2012 is on December 31 but we’ll pass on that date since very few participants would appreciate traveling any distances on New Year’s Eve,” Warner added.


“The race may be open to both trotters and pacers” he continued.. “In fact in the first AuRevoir Pace  the New York State Racing and Wagering Board  allowed that race to go with  six pacers and one trotter and I assume if it comes down to not getting enough pacers again this year that the Racing Board will let us go with  a mixed field again.”