In what turned out to be a bit of a shocker, Aaron Byron and Secluded Island stalked the pace-setter and 1-5 favorite, Hickory Louie, until the final turn and then they battled all the way to the wire with Byron’s pacer prevailing by a head in a 2:01.3 clocking over a muddy racetrack in the Heritage Drivers Series Final at Monticello Raceway on Thursday (December 19).
There is no denying that Bruce Aldrich Jr. has arrived. He’s had a great season and is third in races won in North America with 632, and on Friday afternoon over a muddy racetrack at Monticello Raceway, Aldrich put the icing on the cake when he reined eight winners on the card. His output left him one short of Billy “Zeke” Parker’s nine wins which the bearded wonder had on October 22, 1996.
“I had a shot at the record, I really did,” Aldrich confided. “I thought I’d win with Pena’s trotter (Michael’s Wild Boy) in the fourth but he jumped it off.”
Amy Stackhouse, of White Lake, NY, has been named the 2013 Employee of the Year at Monticello Casino & Raceway. She has been an E.M.T. with the casino since 2008 and also works as a security guard .
“Amy has been a reliable, professional employee who voluntarily obtained her security license so she could assist with all aspects of the security department,” noted Eileen Cavanaugh, the director of human resources. “Her actions of professionalism when taking the lead as an E.M.T. are highly commendable.
Bruce Aldrich, Jr. has always been a good driver even when he had a big stable, but since he has given up training to concentrate on driving, he’s moving up and fast.
At Monticello Raceway on the snowy afternoon of Tuesday, December 17, Aldrich reined six more winners and has moved to within seven wins of Dave Palone’s 626 driving victories. Palone is currently second in races won in North America some 48 behind leader Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. and Aldrich a close third.
When it comes to half-mile track racing the luck of the draw sometimes is a determining factor. Although that phrase is usually used in conjunction with the post position draw, in Monticello Raceway’s All -America Cup, the Final of the Heritage Drivers Series, it takes on a greater meaning and one that Jimmy Marohn, Jr. benefits from.
Marohn, the winner of the St. Paddy Pace for drivers of Irish heritage, drew post position six but he also drew Hickory Louie, the hot favorite in the event which will be the sixth race on the Thursday (Dec.19) program .
Since its inception in 1991 Monticello Raceway’s Au Revoir has been a very interesting event and last year it took on greater proportions when the race was featured on the front page of the New York Times sports section in late December. And the newspaper even ran all follow-up story of the results.
When Bruce Aldrich, Jr. and Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. clashed in their12-race ‘Drive-Off’ at Monticello Raceway on Thursday (Dec. 12) there were no losers even though Aldrich drove six winners and Wrenn drove four. However, Aldrich out-pointed Wrenn by a score of 114-96 by the European Point System.
Bring on Ronnie Wrenn ,Jr. Those words weren’t actually spoken but it’s a good bet that Bruce Aldrich, Jr feel that especially after winning five races on Tuesday, December, 10 at Monticello Raceway with his showdown with Wrenn looming Thursday (Dec.12). And it’s probably somewhat comforting for Bruce that their upcoming Drive-Off will be on his home turf.
Harness racing fans know that Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. and Bruce Aldrich, Jr. are top drivers; after all, their records speak for them. Wrenn’s 658 driving victories is tops in North America while Aldrich’s 588 winners ranks him third in races won on the continent. But are they good handicappers?