As the New York Sire Stakes draw closer to the eight $225,000 finales, presented on September 13 at Yonkers Raceway, the fields in each preliminary division leading to those rich finals understandably gets smaller as only the most competitive move on. However as the fields get smaller the purses in the supporting divisions get larger.
~~In what was supposed to be the confrontation between two pacers with the most victories in North America this season unfortunately didn’t materialize. The often claimed duo of Diamond Tiara and Shortest Distance were in to go against one another in the fifth race on the Monticello Raceway card of Monday, August 18 and that confrontation was looked forward to by the local rail birds.
Due to potential inclement weather forecasted for Wednesday in New York State’s southern Catskill Mountain region, Monticello Raceway has rescheduled its qualifying races for Thursday, August 14. First post will be at 10a.m.
“We will draw the qualifying races tomorrow,” said Eric Warner, the track’s senior director of racing. “The (entry) box will close at 11:15am.”
Although Crazshana’s 2:00 victory was topped by two others on the afternoon card, still that clocking established a new Monticello Raceway track record for freshmen trotting geldings at Monticello Raceway when Trond Smedshammer drove him to a 2:00 victory in a division of the Excelsior “B” Series of the New York Sire Stakes on Monday, August 11.
The altered son of Crazed-Keystone Shana, owned by the Purple Haze Stable, finished three lengths ahead of Mythology Blue Chip (Mark MacDonald) and was one tick faster than the former standard of 2:00.1 set by Donttellmywife in 2006.
Monticello Raceway will offer over $165,000 to 2 year old trotting colts and geldings in the New York Sire Stakes and Excelsior Series on Monday afternoon, August 11. There will be three splits each in the NYSS and the Excelsior A and B Series.
In years past there was hardly a 2-year old trotter who could even approach 2:00 on a double-oval much less win in that time or faster. But those days are long gone.
~~Last week in his first start here, Johnny Grippa won in 1:53.4 which was the fastest race mile on the Monticello Raceway double-oval this season. However, that mark didn’t last long because yesterday (Tuesday, August 5th )Johnny Grippa won again this time in a season’s best 1:53.1.
The 6 year old altered son of Cams Card Shark and Sky Yankee is owned and trained by Jack Sheehan and was driven to victory both times by Jimmy Devaux.
~~When young Austin Siegelman hustled Able Yankee to a come- from- behind 1:57.3 victory at Monticello Raceway on Monday afternoon, August 4 he lit up the tote board after the 9 year old McArdle mare paid a whopping $221.00 for win.
However, as huge as the payoff was, and it’s big for an eight-horse field, it still was dwarfed by the Mighty M’s all-time biggest return of $377.00 on a two dollar win ticket produced by Cam Dan Kadandy and driver Greg Annoloro on September 26, 2012.
~~When Diamond Tiara scored her 17th victory at Monticello Raceway on Tuesday afternoon, July 22nd that total continues to lead all others in races won this year in North America. And quietly, without much fanfare, Shortest Distance’s 15th seasonal victory,,also on the Tuesday card, positions her a clear second on the North America leaderboard in races won in 2014.
Freedomformysoul established a new Monticello Raceway track record for freshmen pacing colts when Jimmy Morrill, Jr. drove the son of If I Can Dream to a 1:55.2 triumph in their division of the $110,000 NY Sire Stakes. The victory erased the former standard of 1:55.3 set by Share The Delight during 2007.
Coming into the race off a stunning 1:53.3 track record last week at Saratoga Raceway Freedomformysoul was understandably the overwhelming betting favorite and Morrill used the front-end route for an easy victory over Rockntouch and driver Yannick Gingras.
It’ll be business as usual on Monday, July 21 when Monticello Raceway’s simulcast signals will again be available to all outlets.
The Monday race card will feature the outstanding 2 year old pacing colts and geldings in the New York Sire Stakes who’ll compete in five divisions for over $110,000 in purser money.
The strong undercard will offer over $50,000 in purses in the five Excelsior Stakes, also for freshmen pacing colts and geldings.
In all, the Monday, July 21 program will offer 13 races with first post slated at 12:50pm.