Still the granddaddy of all amateur racing organizations, the CKG Billings Series reached the halfway point in its 2016 Eastern Region season and on Thursday, July 21 the top eight series point-earners convened at Yonkers Raceway to compete in the $14,000 Eastern Region #1 Final. And fittingly, the top point earner in Billings action thus far this year, “Hurricane Hannah” Miller, added yet another driving victory to her outstanding resume when she guided Jacks To Open to a 1:58.4 victory.
~~SIX AMATEUR BETTING RACES ON FRIDAY AT MONTICELLO; HANNAH MILLER WINS A PAIR
by john manzi for the Billings, NAADA and Catskill Amateur series
If you think amateur racing isn’t an integral part of the sport don’t tell Monticello Raceway’s director of racing Eric Warner because he just won’t believe you.
On Friday afternoon, July 6 Warner carded six betting races for amateur drivers; two in the CKG Billings Series, two in the NAADA Trotting Series; and two in the Catskill Amateur Club’s Series. Many of the participants are members of all three organizations.
On Tuesday afternoon July 12 at Monticello Raceway, 2 year old filly trotters will showcase their talent. Race Secretary Eric Warner drew 5 divisions of Sire Stakes, each with a purse of $21,800, 3 dashes of the Excelsior A events racing for $15,000 and 1 Excelsior B class going for $6,800. This is the second stop of the New York Sire Stake circuit for many of these fillies, the opening leg was held at Buffalo Raceway last week.
Monticello Raceway is offering a race for New York Bred 3 Year Old Trotting Fillies. The Monday June 27 race will be drawn on Wednesday June 22, the purse for the event is $5,000 “This is a good opportunity for trainers to give their fillies a tour over the Monticello oval, in the event they have not raced here before in preparation for their September 6 stop for the last leg of the New York Sire Stakes to be held here on September 6” said Race Secretary Eric Warner.
The North American Amateur Drivers Association’s 10-week trotting series kicked-off Thursday (June18) at the Mighty M with two divisions on the 11 race card. Hannah Miller copped the first with Lou Lous Princess while Bob Hechkoff won the second with No Recess. Also on the program was a Catskill Amateur Club pace which went to Dirty Devil, driven by Steve Oldford.
Monticello Raceway was honored to be the site of driver Chris Lems 1000th career win, ironically Monticello was the site of Chris’s his first stake win.
Chris drove Manny to victory in the 3rd division of NYSS in 1:54:2. Manny (America Ideal – Foolish Kiss) is trained by Jessica Okusko, for owners M and L of Delaware & Victoria Dickson. Chris also drives for powerful stables of Jessica Okusko and George Ducharme.