Amateur racing produces strange bedfellows. Take Steve Oldford for instance. The manufacturer’s rep from Crosswell, Michigan had one of his trotters entered in the first leg of the North American Amateur Drivers Association’s Charity Trotting Series at Monticello Raceway on Thursday afternoon, February 21.
Nothing odd there you say? Well take this into account: Oldford left his home in Michigan at 4a.m to make 6am flight directly to Newburgh, NY where his trainer Alan Sisco picked him up and shuttled him to Monticello Raceway, some 40 minutes away.
On a very cold and blustery January 22 Dennis Watson won the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Pace, featuring the talents of African-American which kicked-off Monticello Raceways Heritage Drivers Series -2013. And although the 11th edition of the Lady Godiva on Valentine’s Day didn’t attract enough lady drivers for the Valentine’s Day contest the event was postponed and now the ladies will get a chance to battle in the warmer weather in mid-May around the Mother’s Day Holiday.
The third and final preliminary legs of Monticello Raceways Name Your Price Claiming Series for mares on Tuesday, February 19 saw last weeks winners Tracy’s Song and Winsmith Mollie each emerge victorious again in their respective divisions. Although all participants in the $4000 claiming series could have entered any where from $4000-$6000 only one took advantage; that being Tracy’s Song.
Besides the Name Your Price Claiming Series Monticello Raceway’s director of racing Eric Warner also penned a late closing series for trotters during the month of February. Called the B’s Startrek Trotting Series and raced on Thursday afternoons, on February 14 the second of three preliminary legs went to post and when they were completed Bruce Aldrich , Jr won two splits to go along with the three other races that he won on the card.
After two days of foggy weather in New York’s southern Catskills, three divisions of the second preliminary leg of Monticello Raceway’s Name Your Price Claiming Series for horses and geldings went to post on Wednesday afternoon , February 13 and when the judges posted the official signs Haroun Hanover’s 1:56.3 effort was the fastest of the three splits. Also victorious were Nutmegs Taxi in 1:59.2 and Four Starzz Lefty in 1:58.4, both pacers from the Billy Devine stable and both driven by Patrick Beeler.
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.