Not to demean any and all accomplishments by harness drivers but it is usually—and maybe rightly so-that they get the headlines.
But ,what about the hard working trainers? They toil day-in and day-out readying their stock for the reinsmen, nowadays called catch-drivers although there must be a better moniker than that to describe those who only drive.
Monticello Raceway has added Friday, February 8th to its live racing schedule. That race card will join the tracks usual Monday through Thursday racing programs again this month.
All post time will be at 12:25pm.
“It will be the only Friday race card we’ll offer this month,” noted track general manager, Shawn Wiles. “The addition of Friday, February 8 will give us 17 racing programs during February.”
Monticello Raceway’s Name Your Price Claiming Series got underway o Monday afternoon with three divisions for fillies and mares and strangely the final times for all three winners, Pot Limit , Romi Mystic, and Tracey’s Song , was 2:00.3.
The event, which has three legs and a final allows in the second and third legs for owners to choose claiming prices from $4-$6000, obviously with the horse(s) with the higher price tags drawing for positions outside the lesser priced entrants.
Jimmy Devaux is no stranger to winning races, especially at Monticello where he won the driving title in 2002 and where he amassed the majority of his 3077 career wins over the Mighty M double oval since the turn of the 21st Century.
On Thursday, January 31 Devaux capped a very productive ( 4-day) week scoring five wins on the 13 race card. Those victories followed three on Wednesday and two on Tuesday and he is now positioned securely in second place behind Jimmy Marohn, Jr on the local leaderboard, trailing Marohn by only three wins( 29-26).
What’s the hardest call for a race announcer? Some might say calling races in the fog.
Howard Oil, Monticello Raceway’s longtime race caller confronted that situation yesterday (Jan. 30) when the Mighty M was shrouded in fog.
Still the veteran announce followed as best he could the moving horses up the backside which were not clearly visible and ‘jive-talked’ until the field rounded the paddock turn when he could actually see the action as they raced for pay-dirt.
Harness racing is a bit like professional football whereas inclement weather doesn’t stop the action. Case in point: Monticello Raceway on the wet and gloomy Tuesday afternoon of January 29.
Despite the race track having to be initially cleared of snow and mud and then cleared again to keep the piled snow and its melting waters from running out on various parts of the racing surface, the show, although interrupted, still went on.
Monticello Raceway’s racing office wants to remind horsemen that the $100 nomination fee for each of its three February late closing series must made by Wednesday , January 30. “
Two events are for claiming pacers; one for fillies and mares and one for horses and geldings; and the third is for trotters.
The claiming events—‘Name Your Price’-- for the pacers each start with the entrants eligible to be claimed for $4,000. Then on the following week eligible horses can enter for $5000 and on the final preliminary leg they can be entered for $6000 claiming tag.
Jimmy Marohn, Jr. is picking up where he left off last year; that being the driving leader at Monticello Raceway where his 271 winners were the best output by any Mighty M driver during the 2012 season.
On Thursday, January 24th card although Marohn only had five drives he made the most of them when he reined four more winners and now has 25 at the current meet, which once again places him atop the local leaderboard with some nine more than runner-up Greg Merton’s ,16.
Among the array of unusual races that Monticello Raceway has presented over the years includes events for bartenders, hunters, dude ranches, horse owners, and lately for different ethnic groups. Now continuing along those recent guidelines and fresh off the heels of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Pace, the Mighty M will present the 11th edition of the Lady Godiva, a race strictly for lady drivers.
DENNIS WATSON WINS THE DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. PACE
With the temperature hovering around 12-degrees (F) and the winds gusting up to 25 miles per hour Dennis Watson was undeterred by the weather conditions and confidently reined Ally’s Delight to a 2:04.2 victory in the 13th edition of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Pace at Monticello Raceway on Tuesday afternoon, January22.