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.
After winning the Monticello Raceway training title by one win on the final day of racing last year Danny Gill has emerged as a force to be reckoned with. This year the 57 year old trainer is on a tear and has already harnessed 125 winners, six more than it took to win the title last season.
“I’ve got 27 horses on the grounds, most of them owned by the Hall brothers, Ed and Jake. With a huge stable I’m able start a lot of horses and have been lucky enough to rack-up a lot of wins,” Gill said.
When the judges drew the Thursday, August 1st card which featured nine divisions of 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers in the New York Sires Stakes and the Excelsior Series it was anticipated to be the best racing program thus far this season at Monticello Raceway.
Unfortunately the steady falling rains that afternoon damped the highly anticipated expectations and the racetrack too, still with the races were exciting and well contested and racing fans, both on and off track, poured over $878,000 through the betting machines.
Bruce Aldrich Jr. the beat goes on. Monticello Raceway’s driving leader reined four more winners on the Wednesday (July 31) program and now has 229 for the current meet. When that total is added to his seasonal resume Aldrich now has 340 wins thus far this season which ranks him tied for sixth in wins on the North American leaderboard.
“I’m having the best season of my career,” Aldrich said.” Now that I’ve given-up training I can concentrate more on my driving.”
Recently at Monticello Raceway there has been a rash claiming being done with horses that have had long winning streak each finding new homes. Some even changing barns weekly.
Two horses, Tom Riddle, with four wins in a row in $5,000 and $7,5000 claimers before winning again yesterday( July 30) in$12,500 company and Stoman, whose five race win skein in $12,500 claimers was stopped on Tuesday when he was beaten in the final strides in $20,000 claiming event.
Who says racing fans won’t bet on 2 year old trotters, certainly no one from Monticello Raceway.
Yesterday (July 25) racing fans, both on and off track, wagered over $785,000 on the card which featured eight races of freshmen trotting fillies in the $130,000 NY Sires Stakes and the $50,000 Excelsior Series. And two weeks earlier, with a betting card which featured 2-year-old trotting colts in Sire Stakes and Excelsior Series action, fans poured over $995,000 through the betting machines.
After a day where Jimmy Taggart, Jr. was a bridesmaid three times and also had a trio of third place finishes at Monticello Raceway, he wasted no time today (July 24) to score his 3000th win.
It came in the very first race on the Wednesday card when he ground-out a first-up trip after the half with Always Right to finally wear down the pace-setter Jazz Band and driver Bruce Aldrich, Jr. to notch a 1:57.4 triumph by the shortest of noses.
On Thursday (July25) afternoon New York-bred 2 –year- old trotting fillies will be in action in the $130,000 New York Sires Stakes and the $50,000 Excelsior Series.
The NYSS races will mark the second stop for the fillies en route to the $225,000 Final which will be contested at Yonkers Raceway in late September for those who earn the most points at the New York racetracks events during the summer season.
They came; they saw; they conquered. Well at least Vic Harrison did. Of the four participating harness industry executives it was Vic Harrison, director of sales for United Tote in Louisville, KY, who prevailed in the third edition of Battle of the Brain Trust
On Monday afternoon, July 22 Monticello Raceway presented the non-wagering race with the horses driven by executives in the racing industry.