Day At The Track

Monti explodes for seven wins in finale

03:21 PM 16 Dec 2018 NZDT
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Drew Monti, harness racing Cheyenne Louie, harness racing JD Perrin
This is the second driving title for Drew Monti at Batavia Downs and third overall of his career
Paul White Photo
Cheyenne Louie cruises to the easiest of victories
Paul White Photo
JD Perrin won the training title at the Downs three straight years from 2014-2016 making this his fourth title at the track
Paul White Photo

Batavia, NY --- On a night when Drew Monti was to be honored as the top driver of the 2018 Batavia Downs harness racing meet, he put on a clinic and showed why he toted home the hardware again as he won seven races on Saturday night (Dec. 15).

Also it was no surprise that trainer JD Perrin, who Monti regularly drives for and was also honored as the top conditioner of the session, sent out six winners of his own.

Those winning connections put the exclamation point on their stellar season as they watched Cheyenne Louie cruise to the easiest of victories in the $20,000 Dash for the Holiday Cash late closer final, which was the feature race of the night.

Cheyenne Louie (Drew Monti) left strong and grabbed the lead past the eighth pole and from there the race was history. Cruising along in level fractions of :28.2, :58.2 and 1:27.4, Monti had the field stacked up behind as he sat chilly in the bike. At the top of the stretch several horses fanned wide to try and close the gap but Cheyenne Louie was four-lengths gone and under wraps when he hit the wire first in 1:57.

It was the seventh win of the year for Cheyenne Louie ($3.20) whose share of the purse pushed him to $26,983 for 2018. Cheryle Perrin owns the winner that is trained by JD Perrin.

Then the same driver/trainer pair hooked up to win the $11,000 overnight featured Open Handicap pace with Lucky McTrucky.

Getting away fifth in the short field of five, Lucky McTrucky tracked the early pace before pulling past the half, tipping three deep at three-quarters and clearing the front at the top of the lane to win by three in 1:55.2.

It was the 56th career win and 14th tally of the year for Lucky McTrucky ($5.70) who is now only $1,095 shy of $100,000 in earnings for 2018. Tessa Roland owns the 9-year-old Mcardle gelding.

Other winners Monti steered besides the aforementioned Cheyenne Louie and Lucky McTrucky were with Cobble Beach (1:57.2, $4.70), Rock To Glory (1:56.4, $3.10), RM Hawk (1:55.3, $4.10), Heaven Rocks (1:56.3, $3.70) and OK Galahad (1:57, $4.10).

Perrin's training double Hat Trick consisted of five that Monti drove (Cheyenne Louie, Lucky McTrucky, Rock To Glory, RM Hawk and Heaven Rocks) along with Foreign Officer (1:56.4, $7.70) who was driven by Ray Fisher Jr.

After the 11th race this dynamic duo was named top driver and trainer of the Batavia Downs meet by the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA).

This is the second driving title for Drew Monti at Batavia Downs and third overall of his career. The 24-year-old Monti put together another stellar year in the bike; to date starting 572 times, winning 122 races, finishing second 90 times and third 72 times. Those starts earned his connections $724,805 in purses and earned himself a Universal Driver Rating (UDR) of .337.

JD Perrin won the training title at the Downs three straight years from 2014-2016 making this his fourth title at the track. With 208 starts, Perrin trainees have won 61 times with 31 seconds and 19 thirds giving him a Universal Trainer Rating (UTR) of .409. His stable banked $333,648 for the session.

Batavia Downs will resume live racing in 2019 on Wednesday (July 24) and is the host track of the New York SIre Stakes (NYSS) Night Of Champions which will be held on Saturday (Sept. 14).

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

 

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