Press Room

Shwan Wiles Mike Merton

On the warm and balmy fall afternoon of October 2 Monticello Raceway presented its ninth edition  of the Munich Mile, the sixth leg of the tracks year long Heritage Drivers Series. The race was for drivers of German descent and was enhanced  this year by the presence of  four native German drivers.


On Tuesday afternoon (Oct. 1)  Ed and James Hall’s veteran pacer, Haroun Hanover, won for the 20th time this season when Jimmy Marohn, Jr. guided him to a 1:57.3 victory in a $5000 claiming pace and much to trainer Danny Gill’s surprise the horse was claimed by Jason Ryan.


“You always know when you put a horse in a claiming race someone could claim him but it really caught me by surprise when they claimed Haroun (Hanover) from us today,” Gill said.”


Wednesday, October 2nd will certainly be an action packed day at Monticello Raceway. Besides two Billings Series trots and two divisions of the German American Friendship Races, the Munich Mile, the sixth leg of the Heritage Drivers Series featuring drivers of German descent, will make for a very interesting afternoon.
We knew that a contingent of German drivers would be visiting here on October 2nd so we rescheduled our Munich Mile for that date and now we have four native Germans in the event,” noted Eric Warner the tracks director of racing.

On Monday afternoon (Sept.30) Monticello Raceway hosted four $45,000 finals of the Excelsior Series for 2-year-old pacers and trotters and arguably the most impressive was the victory turned in by Spreester when she easily defeated seven other New York bred pacing fillies by four lengths in 1:57.4.


Jimmy Morrill, Jr. was in the sulky when Spreester started from the seven hole but that position was quickly compromised when they left strong and made the front before the quarter mile timer flashed :29.1.


Four $45,000 finals in the Excelsior Series will be featured on the 14-race card at Monticello Raceway on Monday afternoon, September 30.Those races are for the top point earners in the 2 year-old divisions that were contested at various raceways throughout the state during the summertime.

They will go as races one, four , eight and 11 on the Monday program.
Strangely, lawyer Ted Gewertz, alone or with partners , will start six youngsters in the Excelsior Series finals and will have at least one in each division.

Mymomsablizzard trotted to a track record equaling 1:57 mile winning Monticello Raceway’s Open Trot on Wednesday, (Sept. 25) for young Austin Siegelman. The 7-year-old mare tied the aged trotting mare’s standard  which was set earlier this year on August 21 by Aren’t I Hanover and driver Billy ”Zeke” Parker, Jr.


Mike Forte hadn’t won a race at Monticello Raceway, or anywhere for that matter, since May 30th. But yesterday(Sept. 24)  he not only won one, he  had two driving victories.


One might think that he had lengthy dry spell or he had been in a very long slump. However, neither is correct.


Back on June 3 Mike Forte was in a horrific accident in a trotting race so bad that no horses finished the race. Although no horses were badly hurt  Forte was.


Laurette Pitts

Last week members of Monticello Casino and Raceway staff joined Thunder- 102FM in their annual County Cares fundraising radio thon if an effort to raise money for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital to help end childhood cancer.

Not only did management personnel help raise funds on air but at day’s end Monticello Casino and Raceway COO/CFO, Laurette Pitts, was on hand to make a $1000 donation from the casino and raceway to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Originally slated to be raced in late September Monticello Raceway has rescheduled its annual Munich Mile for Wednesday, October 2.

That race, for drivers of German descent, will be the sixth event in the tracks year long Heritage Driver Series

Winning races is nothing new to Billy “Zeke” Parker, Jr. He’s won plenty—11044 at last count—and what helped him add to his totals was the five winners  he drove yesterday (Sept 19) at Monticello Raceway.


Parker didn’t start his assault  until the third race when he scored with Danby Racing Stables, Charismatic ($7.70) in 1:58.2. He came right back in the next race and won with Tom Stamper’s 3 year year old trotter,  R J’s Striker ($12.20) in 2:01.1.