PETER PELLEGRINO MAKES LIFE TOUGH FOR OTHER TRAINERS AT MONTICELLO RACEWAY
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.
Late last year Pellegrino sauntered into Monticello Raceway and made many trainers, owners , and bettors alike, open their eyes with the prowess of his powerful stable. In the short time he was here he gave visions of things to come. Although he only started 12 horses he won eight races in doing so.
“I just raced a few at Monticello last fall before I moved my stable to back Pompano Park for the winter racing season,” Pellegrino recalled. “I wanted to return to Pompano (Park) because my horses raced well there and I was the leading trainer. Before I came north this year I was again atop the training standings.
“After I left there (Pompano Park) in the early spring I moved my base of operation back north and settled in at Golden Horseshoe Training Center in Bullville(NY). I have about 40 horses ,many of different caliber so being there in Orange County gives me access to tracks like Yonkers, the Meadowlands, Monticello ,Pocono and Freehold where I could race all of my horses according to their abilities.
“I’ve been racing part of my stable at Monticello this year and have had tremendous success. I brought a lot of old veterans here and they fit certain classes and have raced extremely well. But Monticello can’t accommodate most of my better class horses so I race at them at the Meadowlands, Yonkers and sometimes Pocono.”
Perhaps Pellegrino’s assessment of his stock racing well at Monticello was an understatement.
On the Mighty M’s 13 race card of Tuesday, July 31 Pellegrino sent out four horses and came away with four victories. Greg Merton drove three and Mike Merton one.
Greg won for the fourth consecutive time with Court Jester in a $7500 claimer stopping the clock in an eye-opening 1:54.3. Greg also guided veteran pacer Art’s Day, with a $10,000 claiming tag, to his seventh consecutive victory in a seasonal best of 1:55 while Greg’s other triumph for Pellegrino came behind Art Glass, in a $12,500 claiming pace, also in a time of 1:55.. And Greg’s brother Mike made Pellegrino four- for- four when scored with Wilson Jay N in 1:57.3 in a $,4000 claimer.
At the current Mighty M meeting Pellegrino has won an unbelievable 70 races in 149 strips to post.
“I said earlier that my horses fit well at Monticello and they do,” Pellegrino reiterated. “The ones I race here are old class horses that I’m lucky enough to patch up and get some good mileage out of them while they are race-horse sound.”
And although Pellegrino has nearly half the amount of starts as leading trainer Gary Messenger still he’s challenging for top honors and trails Messenger by just a few victories.