There is little doubt that the Sears Family is proud of their accomplishments. No, not the catalogue people…. the harness racing Sears. And they should be, from Grandpa Gene, to father Jay to son Brian, all exceptional horsemen and talented drivers.
At Monticello Raceway on the rainy afternoon of August 28 local railbirds found that the name Jay Sears was listed to drive in the eighth race.
“I’m not sure who he is but maybe he’s related to Brian Sears,” one fan answered where queried about Jay Sears.
Records are made to be broken; it’s just that some are harder to break than others. Take for instance Cincinnati Red’s pitcher Johnny Vandermeer’s back- to- back no hitters in the late 1930’s. Or even Joe Di Maggio’s 56 game hitting streak in 1941. They’re still standing and probably will for many years to come.
But horse racing is different. Records are equaled and occasionally surpassed especially in this day and age of finer breeding and better racing equipment.
The Mayflower Mile will be the fifth leg of Monticello Raceway’s year-long Heritage Drivers Series and will go to post on Thursday afternoon, August 29th. The event will feature the driving talents of drivers of English extraction, which includes any country part of the United Kingdom.
The annual series, which showcases drivers of eight different ethnicities, will culminate with the winning drivers of each preliminary leg competing in a finale—the All America Cup-- later this fall.
Bruce Aldrich Jr. has found out that winning a lot of races is harder than he realized. The 42 year old tail-setter has been doing double duty this year and scoring plenty of driving victories. But it comes with a price.
“I started the winter season at Monticello Raceway and when Saratoga Raceway opened in the spring I thought I’d give it a try to drive at both tracks even though many of the race cards are on similar days and the tracks are over 175 miles apart,” Aldrich said.
Due to an early Labor Day holiday this year Monticello Raceway’s live racing schedule will change slightly in September.
Since Labor Day falls on Monday, September 2 the raceway will be dark that afternoon and to keep continuity with the four-day a week schedule a race card has been added on Friday September 6. After that date racing will be back to the usual Monday through Thursday format throughout the remainder of the month.
The weatherman cooperated wonderfully on Thursday afternoon, August 15 with the sun shining brightly and the temperatures hovering around 75-degrees.
On the racetrack sophomore trotting fillies were featured in three divisions of the $155,000 NY Sires Stakes and five splits of Excelsior Series trots each racing for a $12,700 purse. And to go along with the NYSS filly trots there were two overnight trots, and despite 10 trotting races on the half-mile track still fans wagered $746,943 on the racing card.
There’s an old adage that states ‘if at first you don’t succeed try, try again’. That’s what owner Dominick Rafanelli of Hazlet, NJ did yesterday (August 13 )at Monticello Raceway when he again claimed Stoman, the veteran pacer who has won seven of his last eight races. Although there are caveats to be considered in the aforementioned maxim perhaps it may be more of a case of what goes around comes around since this is the third time in the past six weeks at Rafanelli is Stoman’s the owner of record
After a few months hiatus Monticello Raceway’s Heritage Drivers Series is set to resume on Thursday afternoon, August 29 with a race for drivers of British Heritage, dubbed the Mayflower Mile.
The event, will be the seventh leg of the Raceway’s year-long Heritage Drivers Series and the winning driver in the Mayflower Mile will represent the “Brits” in the series finale slated later this fall.
Just a few weeks ago when Billy “Zeke” Parker, Jr. notched his 11,000th career victory there was nearly as much to-do about the blanket he was presented in the winner’s circle that stated his milestone as there was for his accomplishment.
On Friday, September 6 Monticello Raceway will present its third annual All Amateur Day. Although, not an uncommon event in other countries, each of the pari-mutuel races on that afternoon card will feature some of the best and most experienced amateur drivers in North America.
But this year the All Amateur Day has added meanings.