~~John Guy Gilmour, a Monticello Raceway treasure for over 47 years, passed away on July 4th. He was 76 years old.
Known to his family as Guy, Gilmour always spewed a “Howdy Sep” when greeting others.
Gilmour was a consummate horsemen and an excellent race driver. His record speaks for itself. In his illustrious career which spanned six decades he finished with 4492 winners; in years when the racing seasons were short and two-tracks in one day driving wasn’t an option.
~~On Friday evening, July 4th, Monticello Raceway will host 2 year old pacing fillies in both the New York Sire Stakes and the Excelsior Series. Four NYSS events, along with six Excelsior’s, will offer over $174,000 to the owners of the fillies most of whom will be making their first pari-mutuel starts.
~~The beat goes on for Diamond Tiara. Not only did the 7 year old daughter of McArdle win for the 16th time this year at Monticello Raceway on June 30 but for the second straight week she was claimed.
Last Monday (June 27) Diamond Tiara was taken from Mike Watson’s barn via a $9000 claim by trainer Al Annunziata after the pacing mare won in 1:55.3 which was her 15th seasonal triumph. This Monday (June 30) Annunziata reclaimed her for the same price from Philip Schultz after Diamond Tiara won again and she continues to lead all harness horses in races won in North America.
~~During the month of July Monticello Raceway will add a special racing program on Friday, July 4th which will be the only change in the usual four-day-a-week racing schedule.
“Added to our usual Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday format will be a Friday July 4th race card,” noted raceway GM Shawn Wiles. “Our July 4th program will begin at 5:30pm and about 15 minutes after the completion of the racing program we’ll have our 45th annual fireworks display. All the other racing post times during July will be at 12:50pm in the afternoon.”
~~It was the Bruce Aldrich, Jr. show at Monticello Raceway on Monday afternoon. But then again it could have been a Bruce Aldrich Jr. show here many times over the past four years since the talented reinsman has copped the driving tittle at The Mighty M during that period.
~~Jimmy Taggart, Jr. drove five more winners on Thursday (June 18) at Monticello Raceway after reining four here yesterday. On Wednesday four of Taggart’s wins came from the Gary Messenger barn and today (Thursday) three more were harnessed by Messenger.
Now with 94 driving victories Taggart is fourth in races won on the local leaderboard but no one is currently as hot as he is.
Trainer Gary Messenger is again having a good year at Monticello Raceway. Yesterday alone, he harnessed four winners and he is keeping the pressure on Danny Gill and Bob Lounsbury. Now with 66 winners Messenger vaulted ahead of Lounsbury’s 63 and now trails Gill be just two victories.
It didn’t seem to matter if it was Jimmy Taggart, Jr. or Zeke Parker who drove for Messenger, both gentlemen won for him; Taggart drove three winners and Parker drove one.
It was bound to happen, especially when a horse a reigns supreme in a claiming class. But yesterday (June 16) at Monticello Raceway it was sort of a double whammy for Diamond Tiara, the harness horse currently with the most wins in North America. Not only did she taste defeat after nine consecutive victories but she went home to a new barn after being claimed for $9,000 from Philip Schultz by local trainer, Al Annunziata.
It took a tough trip to defeat the 7-year-old McArdle pacing mare whose 14 seasonal wins are tops this year.
Quietly, and without much fanfare, Rose Run Nash keeps winning. At Monticello Raceway on Wednesday afternoon (June 11) the 9-year-old altered son of Trainforthefuture Was victorious in 2:01 which was his 11th seasonal victory and it ties him for the lead in races won by a trotter this year in North America.
With Jimmy Marohn, Jr. at the controls, he sent the big-gaited gelding to the lead from the four-hole but they didn’t take command until they neared the quarter which was trotted in 30 seconds.
New York-bred filly pacers were on display on Friday afternoon, June 6 at Monticello Raceway with four New York Stakes and four Excelsior Series events all for sophomore pacing fillies. The queen of the card turned out to be Spreester when the daughter of American Ideal toured the double oval in a half-mile lifetime best of 1:54.1 to win her $29,850 split.