In what could have been billed as the ‘Battle of the Local Claiming Stalwarts’  three successful local  standouts  were to lock horns in the Wednesday, September 4th  pacing feature at Monticello  Raceway.


Those that were slated to go to the gate in the event included Haroun Hanover, Stoman and Tom Riddle, who collectively have won 38 races this year; 19 for Haroun; 10 for  Stoman and nine for Tom Riddle.


Haroun Hanover, with  a $51,000 seasonal bankroll to go along with his 19 wins ,was deemed the early favorite from the pole position. Second  choice, Stoman, now back in the Ned Urbanski barn where he started the year prior to six recent claims, had the five hole, and the  thrice claimed, Tom Riddle, had post position four. All three pacers have 1:54 records this year here at the Mighty M. However, Haroun Hanover was a late scratch to which will be addressed later.


After the late scratch, Sfumato , driven by Austin Siegelman, off a 1:54.2 win here last week, took all the money and was sent off at odds of 4-5. But unfortunately for his connections  he only got  eight percent of the $7300  purse when, after leading to the three quarters, he faded and finished fourth.


Tom Riddle circled the favorite at the third stanza  and went on to win the event in 1:54.3 for the meet’s leading driver, Bruce Aldrich,. Jr. Stoman, who coasted along in the two hole, came up empty in the lane and finished fifth for Jimmy Taggart, Jr.


Tom Riddle paid $5.70 for win.  The 6 year old Cammibest stallion is currently owned by Anthony Crescio and trained by Ron Ingrassia..


Now back to Haroun Hanover. The judges scratched him as unmanageable.


Haroun Hanover was a complete runaway in the post parade circling the track clockwise five times at near full speed  before help came for driver Jimmy Marohn, Jr. and being  the 1-5 favorite the judges couldn’t let him race after his ‘circus’  on the track.


Those who follow  Monticello Raceway  know  the pacer has always been portrayed  as the  horse that doesn’t pull-up after a race, that is, without  the help of the starting gate.


And it finally happened that Haroun couldn’t be stopped again but under different circumstances.


Contacted in the paddock after the race Marohn, Jr. was asked what exactly happened that made Haroun Hanover so ‘wild’.


“No sooner than we got on the racetrack for the post parade Haroun slipped on the track surface and hit the bike. Then took off  like a mad man,” Marohn related. “He was going wide-open and occasionally his hind foot hit the sulky and I couldn’t do a thing with him.


“Usually I know what to expect but this (scenario) was new. It’s good thing the judges scratched him because his craziness probably took the race out of him and the  betting public wouldn’t have had a fair shot.


“Oh, he’ll be alright and Danny (Gill, the horses trainer) will start him again. Haroun is a fast horse………..  but he is always a handful.”