Day At The Track

Monticello Raceway returns to racing

08:48 AM 22 Sep 2020 NZST
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Charlene Cushing, harness racing
Charlene Cushing up on Leo Shady Jack

Monticello, NY - On Monday September 21, Monticello Raceway hosted its first live racing card since March 12, due to a 6-month hiatus from COVID-19,

Race Secretary Eric Warner was able to card 7 races for the first harness racing program.

Greg Merton sat the pocket in the first race with Love Trumps Hate following Pine Tab the entire mile, Pine Tab made a miscue in the stretch, giving Merton the lead and the win in 2:02 for trainer Wesley Miller. Merton would also go on to win with Sea's Ideal in race 5. Mcgwire Sower also had a driving double on the afternoon and trainer Steve Ray had a training double win with the hardy campaigner Racingtowardsadream and With Our Luck.

On hand for the opening was Charlene Cushing, Cushing was the former longtime Marshall at Monticello Raceway, often referred to as the "best outriderin the industry" Cushing made the 8 hour trek from Farmington Maine to be on hand for the first race at Monticello.

Cushing has made the transition from harness racing to nursing after moving to Maine, Charlene graduated Nursing school a year ago and now works as a nurse in Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington Maine. Charlene is married to Mike Cushing of Farmington Maine, Mike is the President of the Maine Harness Horseman's Association.

Ironically today marks her 30th anniversary of when she first started as Marshall at Monticello Raceway, Charlene brought her favorite steed to Monticello Raceway for the occasion, Leo Shady Jack a registered quarter horse.

by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

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