Thus far Monticello Raceway’s Name Your Price Claiming Series hasn’t lived up to its unique possibility, that being the initially entered $4000 claimers all raced for that same claiming tag in round two. All had the option of adding another $1000 to the horses claiming price, permitted in the second round by the series rules, but no one took advantage of that possibility in the three preliminary series legs contested on the foggy afternoon of February 11 at the Mighty M.
The vocal group the Eagles enjoyed a big hit with their “ New Kid in Town” and racing fans at Monticello raceway are enjoying a ‘new kid in town’ this winter in the presence of Anthony Napolitano. But unfortunately the pleasure will be short-lived because the Nescopeck, Pa. resident is just spending the winter season at the Mighty M and regrettably for the locals here he’ll be heading back to his home track of Pocono Downs when they get their season underway in March.
It was bound to happen and it did today (February 11) when director of racing, Eric Warner, opened the entry box for Thursday, Valentine’s Day at Monticello Raceway and found he didn’t have enough drivers to make a full field for the track’s 11th annual Lady Godiva, the race strictly for lady drivers which was to be the second leg of the Mighty M’s Heritage Drivers Series-2013.
Due to the impending Winter Storm Nemo, Monticello Raceway has cancelled live racing and Simulcasting for Friday February 8. Live racing will resume on Monday February 11, with the live card beginning at 12:25.
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.