Four $45,000 finals in the Excelsior Series will be featured on the 14-race card at Monticello Raceway on Monday afternoon, September 30.
These races are for the top point earners in the 2 year-old divisions that were contested at various raceways throughout the state during the summertime. They will go as races one, four , eight and 11 on the Monday program.
Strangely, lawyer Ted Gewertz, alone or with partners , will start six youngsters in the Excelsior Series finals and will have at least one in each division.
Gewertz is no stranger to racing top quality horses. He has owned, either wholly or partly, some of the greatest champions over the past few decades. Among them ; Deweycheatumnhowe, Windsong’s Legacy, Custard The Dragon, Thehousethatruthbuilt, Giant Hit, and Neighsay Hanover, to mention a few.
And Gewertz is no stranger to the Catskills either, having spent his youth waiting tables at a multitude of hotels in the famous and now gone, “Borscht Belt”.
In the first $45,000 Excelsior division for 2 year old filly trotters Ted’s name adorns the ownership of both Ski To The Max and Sweet Jesse T who’ll race coupled as the favorites in their split. Gates Brunet trains both fillies and will drive the former from the four hole while Jimmy Marohn, Jr. got the assignment behind the latter and will leave from post five.
In the Second $45,000 Excelsior final for 2 year old colt and gelding pacers, Gewertz is sole owner of High Q, a co-favorite who’ll race coupled with Bosak. Both colts are trained by Ray Schnittker, hence the coupling. Gates Brunet will drive the former from the eight hole while Jordan Stratton will handle the lines behind the latter from the pole position.
Gewertz again is part- owner of two colts who’ll start in the $45,000 Excelsior Final for freshman trotting colts and geldings. Both are in the Ray Schnittker barn. Hands Off Frank has the pole position and will enjoy the services of Jordan Stratton while One Last Roadie will leave from the four hole with the meet’s leading driver Bruce Aldrich Jr. at the controls.
And in the last $45,000 Excelsior Series Final, for freshmen pacing fillies, Gewertz in partnership with Ray Schnittker, will send out Hay Stacked who’ll start from the five-hole with Jordan Stratton in the sulky.
But according to John Flynn, the track’s odds- maker, in that contest they’ll all be hard pressed to beat Spreester who has a four race win streak and has won seven of nine lifetime starts and owns a 1:52.3 record taken on September 6 at Vernon Downs.
Betty Holt, the executive director of the Harness Horse Breeders of NYS, was asked if an owner ever had six horses in the previous finals?
“No, “ she said unequivocally, and when quizzed who the owner might be she guessed correctly when she answered, Ted Gewertz. “He’s a wonderful man who loves harness racing and Ted is a tremendous supporter of New York State racing.”
First post for the Monday card will be at 12:50pm.
by John Manzi for Monticello Raceway