It is, as Yogi Berra once said, ‘de je vu all over again’ especially at Monticello Raceway where the quest for top training honors continues.
Last year’s stalwarts, Bob Lounsbury and Danny Gill, are again on top of the leaderboard in a continuation of the friendly battle that ensued during the 2013 campaign. The modern-era trainers, who leave the driving to the professionals, are back at it again and currently Lounsbury’s 18 winners are showing the way with Gill’s 14 in hot pursuit.
In early January Monticello Raceway lost a few race cards due to inclement weather and non-racing dates were added to the winter schedule.
One non-race date that was added is Monday, February 17 and as usual it will be an afternoon card with a 12:25pm post time. The featured race on that Presidents Day afternoon program will be the “Not-Quite” Presidential Pace, a race for drivers whose names are the same as any of the former United States Presidents.
If all who say they are coming do so, Monticello Raceway is currently just one driver short of having an eight horse field for its “Not-So Presidential” Pace on Presidents Day, February 17.
“To recap…eligible drivers are those whose surnames are the same as former U.S. Presidents,” noted Eric Warner, Monticello Raceways director of racing. “With a possible, or maybe probable, seven saying that they want to drive in our race we’ll have a contest although I’d really like to have eight in the race.”
There’s a saying that the decision of the judges is final and it took the judges to determine the winner of Monticello Raceway’s 14th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Pace on Tuesday, February 21.
A racing infraction was the subject of the study and the judges used the powers vested in them to determine that the driver (Dennis Watson) of first horse under the wire, Lakers Vett, had gone inside a few pylons on the final turn which caused the disqualification.
Quietly and without much fanfare Jimmy Devaux continues to be a force to be reckoned with. Last year the former Mighty M driving champ, competing both here and at Saratoga Raceway, reined 413 winners which ranked him 19th in races won in North America.
The actual birthday of great civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is January 15 although America will celebrate his accomplishments on Monday, January 20 in order to have a three day weekend. And even though Monticello Raceway recently added January 20 to its racing schedule the track will still go with its tribute to the great civil rights leader on Tuesday January 21 as had been previously advertised.
During the month of February four American presidents were born and their memories will be honored -- along with the 40 others-- on the National Holiday of Presidents Day, Monday, February 17. Those born on the second month of the year include: Ronald Reagan (Feb. 6), William Henry Harrison (Feb.9) Abraham Lincoln (Feb. 12) and George Washington (Feb. 22).
On President’s Day Monticello Raceway will have its own tribute to our U.S. presidents with the ‘Not-Quite Presidential’ Pace, a special race to be driven by drivers whose surnames are the same as any of our presidents.
Recently, Monticello Raceway GM, Shawn Wiles, (left) presented the 2013 leading trainer award to Bob Lounsbury and Eric Warner, director of racing,(right) gave the leading driver award to Bruce Aldrich, Jr. Aldrich’s 450 wins here was tops among drivers and Lounsbury’s 202 training victories led all other local conditioners.