Day At The Track

Messenger top trainer - Lounsbury's % .491

07:37 PM 30 Dec 2011 NZDT
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Bob Lounsbury Gary Messenger
Bob Lounsbury - A universal training average of .491
Geri Schwarz’s photo
Gary Messenger - Sent out 104 winners from his barn
Geri Schwarz’s photo

The 2011 harness racing season at Monticello Raceway ended on December 29 with Bruce Aldrich, Jr.'s 410 winners tops among drivers. Aldrich, who now has won back to back driving titles here, finished with 22 more wins than runner-up Billy 'Zeke' Parker, Jr.'s whose total was 388.

Trailing Aldrich and Parker in driving victories last season was Jimmy Taggart, Jr. with 285 followed by Jimmy Marohn, Jr. ( 184) and Mike Forte-( 155).

Moreover, two horses regularly driven by Aldrich-Edie's Desire and Blue Creek Angie-each finished with 19 seasonal triumphs which tied them for top honors -with two others- in races won by a horse in North America this year.

On the training side Gary Messenger sent out 104 winners from his barn to garner top honors having harnessed 10 more winners than runner-up Elisha Lafreniere who had 94. Quietly Bill Kapinos' 90 wins was third best in training leaderboard, followed by Brian Horlacher (80) and Art Green (68).

Zeke Parker's universal driving percentage of .341 was tops in that category some seven points higher than Bruce Aldrich, Jr's .334. Greg Merton's .329 was third best followed by Jordan Stratton's .326 and Billy Dobson's .318, for drivers with 125 starts or more.

Bob Lounsbury's universal training average of .491 out-distanced runner up Eisha Lafreniere's .427 to take top honors in that department. Bruce Aldrich, Jr's .374 was third on the list followed by Joe Carruiba's .365 and Brian Horlacher's .352.

The season was highlighted by the duel for leading driver honors between Aldrich and Parker where the lead went back and forth for months until early December when Aldrich pulled away for good.

Bruce Aldrich's purse earnings of 1,213,948 was tops while Zeke Parker's $1,151,635 was second best. They were the only two drivers to reach the $1 million plateau. Among the trainers Gary Messenger's purse earnings of $372,155 was over $125,000 more than runner-up, Elisha Lafreniere's $247,081.


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