To say that racing in the north during the winter time is unforgiving would be an understatement. Frigid weather, snow and ice, and mud and rain, easily portrays what horses and horsemen have to go through just to keep the show going. And often racing has to be cancelled due to the climate conditions.
Since the 2014 season began on New Years Day, Monticello Raceway has presented just two of its five scheduled programs having to cancel on Thursday (Jan. 2); Friday (Jan.3) and now because of temperature readings of -2 degrees (F) today the horses stayed in their barns.
However, the Monday card of January 6 was raced despite the falling rain which made conditions terrible, especially for the drivers. But like football players and mailmen, the reinsmen tightened- up and did their jobs and Mighty M driver Jimmy Devaux did his better than his competitors that afternoon.
Devaux won three races over the muddy track; one was with Norm Bradbury's Red Eye Blue Chip who notched her fifth consecutive victory extending back through last December. The gritty now 9-year-old mare won 16 races and had 10 seconds last year.
Sent off second choice behind the-trained , Brice Aldrich Jr. -driven, P H Dreamer, Devaux and Red Eye Blue Chip sped away from the gate, gained command on the first turn, and then let P H Dreamer take the lead and cut the fractions over the muddy race course.
Devaux followed Aldrich through fractions slowed by the racing surface until they reached the top of the lane where upon Devaux moved his pacing mare to the passing lane and she out-footed P H Dreamer to the wire for a length triumph in a 2:03.1 clocking.
When he reached the winners circle for a photograph Devaux had a face full of mud but still he uttered "she's game and she went another gutsy trip".
Owned and trained by Norm Bradbury, Red Eye Blue Chip paid $5.80 for win.
Devaux also hit paydirt Monday winning the first race on the card with George Lombardi's Aruba Sunset ($6.30) in 2:02.4 and he the copped the tenth with Marissa Russo's trotter VIP ($3.30), a 17-time winner last year, in a 2:04.3 clocking.
Besides his hat trick Devaux also had three seconds from the nine drives he had that afternoon.
By John Manzi for Monticello Raceway
All emails from Empire Resorts and Monticello Casino & Raceway and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to which they are addressed. If you are not the intended recipient you are hereby notified that disclosing, copying, distributing or taking any action in reliance on the contents of this information is strictly prohibited. This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are considered privileged and confidential and may not be used by either party in any pending or future legal proceedings.
Empire Resorts and Monticello Casino & Raceway, 204 State Route 17B, Monticello, NY 12701 845-794-4100