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A racing oddity will occur on Friday night, July 25 at Yonkers Raceway when three full brothers race there that evening. In the first $6,700 Excelsior Stakes, going as race number one prior to the betting card getting underway, BJ Anthony will be making his first start for a purse. Then, in the $44,000 Open Trot, race eight on the betting card, the $146,000 seasonal winner Tober will again take on the best trotters on the grounds and will likely be the favorite off a 1:54.2 victory against similar company last week. In race nine, a $20,000 conditioned trot, Gaelic And Garlic, a lifetime winner of almos$270,000 with a 1:55.2 victory this year, will start from post one. All three horses are by Credit Winner and out of La Tapitia by Cumin. All were bred by Bernie White of Pine Bush, NY and raised on his Tamarack Manor Farm in the hamlet. White, a longtime owner of Standardbreds was also the president of the Board of Directors of Historic track for over 12 years. "It's not often that anyone sees two full brothers racing on one program but three, that's nearly unheard of," White said. White and Kristie Leigh Farm own BJ Anthony and Gaelic And Garlic while Tober, a career winner thus far of $514,000, is owned by Kristie Leigh Farm and Joe Betro. All three horses are trained by Eddie Hart on Tony Statuto's Kristie Leigh Training Farm in Goshen NY and all will be driven by Jason Bartlett. by John Manzi, for Historic Track

It'll be business as usual on Monday, July 21 when Monticello Raceway's simulcast signals will again be available to all outlets. The Monday race card will feature the outstanding 2 year old pacing colts and geldings in the New York Sire Stakes who'll compete in five divisions for over $110,000 in purse money. The strong undercard will offer over $50,000 in purses in the five Excelsior Stakes, also for freshmen pacing colts and geldings. In all, the Monday, July 21 program will offer 13 races with first post slated at 12:50pm. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway  

It'll be a great afternoon of action on Monday, July 21 when Monticello Raceway features New York-bred 2 year old pacing colts and geldings. There will be five divisions of the $110,000 New York Sire Stakes which will be joined by five splits of freshmen colt pacers in the Excelsior Series who'll compete for total purses in excess of $50,000. The day will commence with arguably the best $21,800 NYSS division on the 13 race program when two speedy freshmen, Freedomformysoul and Rockntouch, clash in the first race on the card. Both were NYSS winners at Saratoga Raceway on July 12, and both with eye-opening performances. Freedomformysoul, a son of If I Can Dream-Hello Grin, in only his second lifetime start made a quarter pole move to the front and then bristled to a stunning 1:53.3 victory for driver Jimmy Morrill, Jr. He'll start from the pole position again with Morrill in the bike. In his first lifetime start Rockntouch, sailed wire to wire for a splendid 1:55 triumph also with Morrill at the controls. However, on Monday Yannick Gingras will be in the pilot's seat when this son of Rock N Roll Heaven-Touch Of Bogart leaves from the two-hole Freedomformysoul is trained by Nancy Johansson for the Freedomformysoul Stable while Monte Gelrod conditions Rockntouch for Freddy Monteleone. In another NYSS division, race four on the card, the undefeated Oneisalonelynumber and Aimo Hanover will lock horns. Both pacers won their respective NYSS divisions at Saratoga in identical times of 1:57.3 Oneisaloneynumber, an altered son of Bettor's Delight-No One Is Alone is trained by Casie Coleman for the West Wins Stable and Adriano Sorella while Aimo Hanover, an Artiscape colt out of Allamerican Celeb, is owned by the Doug Ackerman Stable and trained by D.R. Ackerman. Jimmy Morrill, Jr. will drive the former while Jeff Gregory will handle the latter. In a third split, race eight, K Ryan Bluechip gets the nod as the early line favorite. He was a close second to Freedomformysoul at Saratoga officially timed in 1:54.1. The son of Art Major-Fool That I Am won a baby race at Pocono Downs in 1:54.2 on June 20. Joe Pavia, Jr. trains and drives K Ryan Bluechip for Steve Held, Joe Barbera, the AGC Stable, and Harbor Point Hospitality. They will leave from post four on Monday afternoon. Then fourth split, race 10, will feature K-Rock, a Rock N Roll Heaven-Sunduel A colt who was 1:55.1 NYSS winner at Saratoga for Bruce Aldrich, Jr. From the powerful Ron Burke Stable K-rock will be driven by Yannick Gingras when they start from post three. JD He's Da Bomb, who earlier this season won two baby races at Tioga Downs- the fastest in 1:57.1- will be the one to beat in the final NYSS division which will go as race 12. Blocked and beaten just a length in his NYSS split at Saratoga and individually timed in 1:55.4 the Art Major-Cherry Bomb colt will leave from the pole position with Corey Braden at the lines. Paul Bernardo trains JD He's Da Bomb for Joe Martinelli. "These sire stakes races appear to have some of the best pacing colts we've ever seen, especially at this time of the year," noted Eric Warner the track's Sr. Director of Racing. "Fans will be in for a pleasurable afternoon." The undercard also features some nice colts in three Excelsior "A" divisions and two Excelsior "B" divisions. They'll be joined by three overnight events. The 13-race card will get underway at 12:50pm. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

Quietly, and without much fanfare, Rose Run Nash keeps winning. Yesterday (July 16) at Monticello Raceway the harness racing 5 year old Trainforthefuture gelding notched his 13th seasonal triumph and continues to lead all trotters in races won in North America. Driven, once again, by Jimmy Marohn, Jr. and carrying a $10,000 claiming tag, Rose Run Nash scored a neck victory in 2:00.1 when he came from sixth at the three quarters to collar both Famous Dude (Bruce Aldrich, Jr.) and Larissa (Mike Merton) who finished in a dead-heat for second. "This is the best race he (Rose Run Sam) went all season. He trotted his last quarter in :28.4 and had to come a long way to win it," trainer Danny Gill said after the mile. He then added "Now we're up two," meaning that Rose Run Nash has a two-win lead over four others each with 11 wins. When queried about the gelding's sire, Trainforthefuture, Gill replied quickly. "Oh, he's Ohio- bred and I've had him just about a year now. He's a sweetheart, just a pleasure to be around and Jimmy (Marohn, Jr.) says he's always on the trot (doesn't break stride) and real handy in a race," Gill was leading trainer here two years ago and was second to Lounsbury last season, This year, again, his pupils are winning plenty of races. Currently Gill is in a fight-not literally- with Bob Lounsbury and Gary Messenger for leading trainer honors. At days end, Messenger is in command with 79 winners, four more than Gill's 75, while Lounsbury is close with 73. John Manzi

Gural Hanover's victory in his $59,100 division of the New York Sires Stakes for sophomore colts and geldings on Tuesday afternoon (July 15) was an eye-opening one when Jimmy Morrill, Jr. guided the big altered son of Crazed-Givemearing to a new all age trotting track record of 1:55.2. It was the fastest trotting mile in the 58-year history of the Mighty M and it erased the former standard of 1:55.4 set by Man About Town in 2007. In doing so Gural Hanover set a new standard for 3 year-old trotters expunging the 1:57.1 mark co-held by Green Day (2007) ,Gaelic And Garlic (2012) and Ex King (2013). Morrill also won the second $59,100 NYSS split with Zoey De Vie in 1:57.3 and he was victorious in three Excelsior Stakes which gave him five winners on the card. But Gural Hanover was the overwhelming star of the day. In against his arch rival Expressive Action (Mike Simon) Morrill chose to send Gural Hanover to the lead from the four-hole on the hot and humid afternoon. They gained command on the first turn and cruised by the first quarter in :28.2. From there Morrill let the big fellow ramble past the half in :57.2 two full lengths ahead of Expressive Action and that was as close as Mike Simon's trotter could get to Morrill's. At the third stanza Gural Hanover had a three- length lead which was opened to four at the wire. Expressive Action finished second with Hallanet and Trond Smedshammer another length back in third position. "He's push button," Morrill said of Gural Hanover in the winner's circle after the race. "You can leave with him, put him in a hole or do whatever you want and you can drive him with two fingers. He's a monster and a real pleasure to sit behind real pleasure to sit behind." Lightly raced Gural Hanover only had one start as a freshman and was victorious in 2:00 at Balmoral Park in late September. This far this season the big bold-going gelding now has four wins; one second and one third in six seasonal starts and his bankroll has swelled to over $104,000. Owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Little E and Panhellenic Stables and trained by Ron Burke the winner returned a $2.30 win mutuel. Morrill, unquestionably the dominant force on the NYSS circuit, also copped the second $59,100 NYSS split with Zoey De Vie, a Conway Hall-Pauls Wink gelding trained by Heidi Rohr. In that contest Flyhawk El Dorado and driver Mark MacDonald seemed to have everything under control as they led Zoey De Vie and odds-on favorite Cash Me Out (Mickey McGivern) through fractions of :28.3; :59; and 1:28.4. However, as Flyhawk El Dorado rounded the final turn the trotter went off stride which opened an easy path to the finish for Zoey De Vie who rallied and kept Cash Me Out at bay to score a one length victory in a new lifetime mark of 1:57.3. "He's a good colt who has had some bad luck but we got good luck today." Morrill said referring to Flyhawk El Dorado making a break as the field turned for home. "We were in the right place at the right time but we still trotted a :28.3 last quarter to win it." Owned by Jesse and John De Long, Zoey De Vie paid $8.10 for win. All the 3 year olds in Excelsior Series performed also admirably. Winners -with drivers--were: JL Cruze (1:59.4-Jimmy Marohn, Jr.); Crazzy Crazzy (1:58- Jimmy Morrill, Jr.); Winbak Glory (1:59.2-Jimmy Morrill, Jr.); General Bill Brown (1:57.3-Mark MacDonald); Flyhawk Thriller (1:58.1-Jimmy Morrill, Jr.) and Consumer Rate (2:01.1-Mark MacDonald) by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

Over the weekend both Dave "Linemaster" Ehrenberg II and Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff added points to their seasonal totals each winning their respective C.K.G. Billings trotting events; Ehrenberg with TK's Karma at Scioto Downs in the midwest region and Hechkoff with Get Packin at Tioga Downs in the east. In his Midwest region event at Scioto Downs on Friday (July 11) Ehrenberg took advantage of starting from post five with TK's Karma inside of the betting favorite Catching Kate, driven by "Marvelous Marv" Raber, had to leave from post eight. In doing so Ehrenberg hustled his trotter to the lead in a :27.4 first quarter while Raber settled Catching Kate down along the pylons but in eighth position. Ehrenberg kept TK's Karma moving right along on the front end while Raber had to begin to grind toward the leader as the field headed for the half. Catching Kate finally drew even with TK's Karma as the field approached the final turn but in the lane it was all TK's Karma as the 8 year old daughter of Victory Sam trotted away to a two length victory in a time of 1:57.2. Catching Kate held on for second while What Do You Want finished third for Larry "Overhand Serve" Steenbergen. TK's Karma, owned and trained by Terry Millhoan, paid $12.20 for win. And for Ehrenberg it was his 43rd amateur driving victory. Meanwhile the following day (July 12) at Tioga Downs in non-wagering eastern region action Bob Hechkoff and Get Packin made it two in a row in Billings competition when they survived a tight three-horse photo and garnered first money in a time of 1:59.4. Hechkoff had Get Packin on the lead and they rebuffed all challenges and especially the one rallied by Mr. Jim Dandy and Dave "Yes It's True" Offenberg who came from sixth at the top of the lane and passed everyone but the winner who was a head better at the wire. Just another nose farther back in third place was Dreamnwillie driven by "Mighty Matt" Zuccarello. Get Packin is trained by Brandon Simpson and owned by Hechkoff, who drove his fourth winner this season and his 48th of his amateur driving career. by John Manzi, for the CKG Bilings Amateur Drivers Series

MONTICELLO, NY- For the 31st consecutive year the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association has again made a donation to the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame. Organization representatives presented a $3000 check to both Museum President Larry Devan and Museum Director Janet Terhune prior to the ceremonies at the Hall of Fame Banquet on the lawn of the Museum in Goshen, NY on July 6. Last November at a Historic Track Board of Directors Meeting the Monticello-Goshen Chapter also donated $3000 to that National Historic Landmark. And earlier this year the chapter made a $500 donation to the Saratoga Harness Hall of Fame. Since the1980's the Monticello-Goshen Chapter USHWA has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Goshen Historic Track and the Harness Racing Museum. Money for the donations was made possible from successful chapter banquets and the continued support of the chapter's charity journals. "We thank all those who participate in our annual awards banquet and charity journal and we are very fortunate to be able to raise the money..... and when we do.... it is our pleasure to donate the profits back to the industry; especially to Historic Track and to the Harness Racing Museum Track, which are not only in our own back yard but very dear to the hearts of everyone in harness racing," noted Chris Tully, USHWA National President as well as the president of the Monticello-Goshen Chapter. Monticello-Goshen USHWA vice president and USHWA National Second VP, Shawn Wiles, added: "Goshen is to harness racing what Cooperstown is to baseball." Prior to annual donations to the Hall and Historic Track the Monticello-Goshen Chapter USHWA used to support a college scholarship but it was decided long ago that when the organization donates money it would be in everyone's best interest to support the harness racing industry. On Sunday evening, November 16th the chapter will hold its 56th Annual Awards Banquet at The Fountains on Sands Road in Middletown, NY. by John Manzi, for the Monticello-Goshen USHWA Chapter

On Tuesday afternoon (July 15 ) Monticello Raceway will host 3 year old trotting colts and geldings in both the New York Sire Stakes and the Excelsior Series. Two NYSS events, along with five Excelsior's, will offer over $163,000 in purse money. The NYSS events mark the third of eight legs for the sophomore trotters at various New York racetracks en route to the $225,000 Final at Yonkers Raceway on September 13. Along the way the competing colts and geldings will earn points in each leg, depending on the placements, with the top eight point recipients earning a berth in the rich finale. Although the Excelsior's outnumber the NYSS, five to two, those competing in the sire stakes events, at least at this time, are the cream of the crop and each division will go for a purse of $59,100. Two of the Division A Excelsior's go for $12,600 purses while the three Division B trotters each race for $6600. The NYSS trots will go as races eight and 12 on Tuesday's 13-race card and both fields contain quality trotters. The first $59,100 split pits Gural Hanover, an altered son of Crazed-Givemearing, against Expressive Action, a Conway Hall-Yetta's Angel colt. Both young trotters have similar credentials with each having three wins, one second and one third in five starts. And both have won on big tracks in 1:54 and a piece although Expressive Action has already earned over $167,000 while Gural Hanover's current bankroll tops $75,000. However the latter has defeated the former in the two previous NYSS events at Saratoga Raceway and at Buffalo Raceway. The odds-maker sets a 4-5 morning line odds on Gural Hanover while Expressive Action has been rated at 2-1. Gural Hanover is owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Little E Stable and Panhellenic Stable and will start from the four- hole with Jimmy Morrill, Jr. at the controls. Meanwhile, Expressive Action, trained by John Grasso for the John Grasso Stable, Inc. will have his regular driver, Mike Simons, in the sulky when they start from post position two. Cash Me Out, with three consecutive victories-two in NYSS action-has been rated the 2-1 early line favorite in the second $59,100 division. His last, a 1:56.4 come-from-behind triumph over Expressive Action at Buffalo Raceway was a beaut. The Cash Hall-China Victory colt has four wins and three seconds in eight starts and over $88,000 in earnings. Owned by Traylor Racing, trained by Cheryl Mc Givern, Cash Me Out will start on the far outside from post six with Mickey McGivern at the lines. Flyhawk El Durado, the winner of last year's $225,000 2 year old colt and gelding final, will be the main competition in the six horse field. Trained by Mark Ford for Martin Scharf the Conway Hall-El Paso Gal colt has purses of over $77,000 and a best win time of 1:54.1 taken at Mohawk Racetrack in Canada. Mark MacDonald will be in the pilot's seat when the colt leaves from post four. The five Excelsior Stakes trots make a solid undercard on the Tuesday program. First post will be at 12:50pm. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

Newcomer and talented horse woman, Vanessa" Tall In The Saddle" Karlewicz an expert equestrian, traded her saddle for a ride behind a spirited trotter and won her maiden voyage as driver in the harness racing game when she guided Conway Cruiser to a 2:07.4 victory in a leg of the C.K.G. Billings Harness Driving Series at the Afton (NY) Fair. In that race Vanessa went to the lead from the three-hole and never yielded command in spite of a fierce challenge by Drill Sergeant Sam and driver Peter "Sycamore Ventures" Gerry. After shadowing Ms. Karlewicz until the top of the lane Gerry had his sights on victory when he moved his trotter out to challenge. But victory was not to come, at least for Gerry, becaus Ms. Karlewicz was ready for the challenge and hand-drove Conway Cruiser to the wire to score a neck victory over Drill Sergeant Sam. "I got away third and moved up to second behind Vanessa near the half and at the top of the stretch I thought I'd be able to beat her to the wire but she downright out-drove me. I got to her horse's neck but I couldn't get by her," Gerry related. According to Gerry, Ms. Karlewicz is and equestrian of high caliber. "She's an equestrian trainer and her specialty is Grand Prix events. She also hunts and jumps and has competed in our aces under saddle (RUS) "I think now she's been bitten by the harness racing bug and we will all benefit with her being involved in our sport," he added. The next Billings event will be on Friday (July 11) at Scioto Downs followed by another trot at Tioga Downs on Saturday (July 12) by John Manzi, for the Billings Series

John Gilmour, a nine- time Monticello Raceway driving champion, passed away on July 5th in Monticello, NY and on July 9 the raceway and many of his fellow horsemen eulogized him and is many accomplishments of his six-decade career here at the Mighty M. At that service, Gilmour's all-time favorite horse My Buddy Chimo, was walked from the paddock to middle of the racetrack in front of the grandstand by fellow horsemen and family members. Once there they were joined by a horde of fellow drivers, more family members, and longtime friends and they gathered around My Buddy Chimo as Zeke Parker placed a blanket on the horse and the emcee spoke of Gilmour's prowess in the sulky. The blanket had copy on both sides; one side included his race wins and congratulated him on a great career and the other had a tongue -in-cheek comment of Gilmour's fierce competiveness when he competed in a horse race. It was well known by his fellow drivers to never try to wrestle the lead from him once he was in command and the statement on the blanket extolled that sentiment. Known around the backstretch as "Sep", Gilmour had accumulated 4492 driving victories in his six- decade career. He was one of the four famous Gilmour brothers which included Buddy, George and Lloyd. Collectively they drove over 14,250 winners, mostly during the heyday of harness racing where two-track driving daily was never an option. Among the members of his family who were on hand for the ceremony included; his daughters, Janet and Heather, his son Michael and granddaughter Megan, his ex-wife April Karkos and his longtime girlfriend Vita Yakin. Cousins Dean Gilmour and Mark Gilmour also attended as did several nieces nephews and grandchildren. Zeke Parker took the microphone and told the assembled crowd of some of his experiences while racing with Gilmour. "I'd park him and he'd park me but after the races we'd go across the street and have a beer together," he said. "John was a tough competitor on the race track but off the track he was just the opposite, a real mellow easy going guy." by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

It seems like 1:54.3 is a final race time that 4-year-old stallion pacers like to adhere to at Monticello Raceway. On Tuesday (July 8) Only The Lonely joined two others in the Mighty M record books when the son of Western Ideal-Lonesome Day reeled-off a wire to wire triumph in 1:54.3 in his first pari-mutuel start this season. That mile equaled the record held by both All My Life (2005) and Lover Boy (2012). Marcus Miller was in the sulky for trainer Nick Surick and sent Only The Lonely to the lead from the seven-hole and they were in command before the quarter mile was paced in :28.2. From there Miller was just buggy ridding as they passed the half-way point in :57.3 and then they came a final half in :57.0 to win by a one and -a- quarter lengths over Memory Game and by JohnMike Merton. Only The Lonely came into the race off a 1:52.1 qualifier at Gaitway Farm with his trainer at the lines on June 23. Surick watched today and was pleased with his horse's mile. "He won in 1:50 and a piece last year and earned over $96,000 and he went a real good mile here in his first start this year. He We didn't want to face the 'bearcats' in his first start back so I called Eric (Warner Monticello Raceway's director of racing) and he told me he had a race for non-winner of seven races lifetime so we decided to bring him here for his first pari-mutuel start, Surick said and then added,"He (Only The Lonely) went a good mile today on the half-mile track here and he looked like himself. He's a nice horse and we're looking for a year from him." Co-owned by Surick, KDM Stable and the J.L. Benson Stable Only The Lonely paid $3.50 for win. Marcus Miller and Nick Surick teamed- up again in a later race and were victorious with Yanoyanomenow in a time of 1:55.0 However Only The Lonely's 1:54.3 wasn't the fastest mile on the hot and humid afternoon. Trainer Bob Lounsbury's CC Stormy was victorious for Bruce Aldrich, Jr. in 1:54.1. The same combination scored again with Dreamluck in 1:54.4. Also on the card the winningest horse in North America, Diamond Tiara now in a new barn, faced the boys for the first time this year after winning 17 times against her own gender, and she didn't fare well. She finished off the board for the first time in 23 seasonal starts. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

Like thousands of others rock n roll singer Larry Chance stopped by to enjoy a night at the races followed by a great fireworks display at Monticello Raceway on July 4th . He lives in nearby Hurleyville, NY. On that evening Larry made a presentation to winning driver Mark MacDonald after MacDonald won a Excelsior Stakes race with American Filly. Chance, and his vocal group the Earls, are still entertaining after 50 years in the business. Some of their hits include; Life Is But A Dream; Looking For My Baby, Remember Then, Never, Eyes, and I Believe, to name a few. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway    

The competing amateurs in the C.K.G. Billings Trotting Series stepped back in time this weekend when they traveled to the Cradle of the Trotter in the Land O' Goshen and compete over Historic Track, the National Historic Landmark and the world's oldest harness track. It was back to the way racing used to be over the track that has been in existence since the late 1830's and the place where the sports great progenitor, Hambletonian was shown to the attending crowds. Three Billings trots were contested on July 5 and the winning drivers included, "Joltin' Joe" Pennacchio, Dave "Steady As" Yarock, and Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff. In his contest, which was the first of the three, Pennacchio got to drive Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford's old warrior, Celtic Merchant, since Oldford is in Finland representing the U.S. in the World Cup of Amateur Racing. And Pennacchio did him proud. When the gate sprung he sent Celtic Merchant to the lead and they were never in trouble as the old warrior trotted through fractions of :30.0; 1:01:1 and 1:31.2 before finishing in 2:01.3 some four lengths ahead of Drill Sergeant Sam and driver Tony "the Capo" Verruso. Two lengths farther back in third place was Some Kinda Spunky, driven by "Johnny On The Spot" Kolkowski. The second Billings trot was inundated with breaking horses with four of the seven trotters going off-stride in the race which made it Quite Easy for Rompaway Alvin (Dave Yarock), the eventual winner. Rodeo Red and "Smokin' Joe" Faraldo took command after they left from the four hole and they were comfortable on the lead especially when Keystone Sadie driven by Peter "Sycamore Ventures" Gerry made a break at the half and caused problems for two others. Although Yarock pulled the two hole going to the half with his trotter Rompaway Alan proved to be stronger than Faraldo's Rodeo Red when the two trotters raced eyeball to eyeball up the backside and when Rodeo Red went off-stride on the final turn Rompaway Alvin romped away to a 19-length triumph in a time of 2:01:1. Rodeo Red got back on stride and took home second money while Martz Creek Rex finished third for Scott "the Money Man" Price A final Billings trot saw Bob Hechkoff leave swiftly with Get Packin from the pole and go wire to wire for a 2:02.4 triumph. But victory came hard at the end of the mile as Scott "the Driving Doctor" Woogen and Armstead Kyra charged at the leader at the top of the stretch and they slowly erased the two-length lead that Get Packin had. However, Hechkoff's trotter hung gamely and rebuffed Armstead Kyra to score a neck victory over the good doctor's mare. Third place went to Nearly Uncle driven by "Bullet Bob" Davis. By John Manzi

John Guy Gilmour, a Monticello Raceway treasure for over 47 years, passed away on July 4th. He was 76 years old. Known to his family as Guy, Gilmour always spewed a "Howdy Sep" when greeting others. Gilmour was a consummate horsemen and an excellent race driver. His record speaks for itself. In his illustrious career which spanned six decades he finished with 4492 winners; in years when the racing seasons were short and two-tracks in one day driving wasn't an option. Ask Gilmour how many races he has won and you're apt to get an answer like "I don't know", or "I'm not sure", or maybe even "I don't keep track of those things". Statistics were really not important to him. Not one for pomp and fanfare, Gilmour just went about his work with a smile and a ragged cowboy hat taking care of his business. And he did it so long that it became second nature. Up every morning at the crack of dawn he headed to the raceway to jog, train and care for his stock. Then it was off to the paddock to don his driving colors and become one of the fiercest competitors anyone would ever have to race against. Over the years many a horsemen learned that you never try to wrest the lead from Gilmour when he's on the front-end. As a fellow driver once stated facetiously, "He'll let you go when his whip wears out!" Affectionately known as "Sep", John is one of the famous Gilmour Brothers, William (Buddy), George, and Lloyd who together accounted for more than 14,250 driving victories. For "Sep", Monticello Raceway had been home since the early 1960's although he began his career at Buffalo Raceway and Batavia Downs, two tracks near his hometown of Lucan, Ontario. In the mid 1960's, his brother Buddy, sent a contingent horses to race at Monticello Raceway with brother George in charge. John was second in command. Although John started slowly, once the local trainers got a glimpse of his abilities he became one of the most sought after catch-drivers. However, it wasn't until 1973 that John copped his first driving title. But from then on through the 1970's and into the early 1980's Gilmour's name was on or near the top of the driver's standings every season. During that period Gilmour won nine driving titles-during a few seasons there were both summer and winter meets-- and three times he established new track records for most driving victories in a single season. Although his reign ended when Zeke Parker called Monticello Raceway home in 1984 Gilmour still was among the leaders in races won every season right into the mid-1990's. As time went by Gilmour became more like a Damon Runyon character. Oh yes, his competitive spirit was still there but he mellowed with age. So much so, that there's hardly a sole on the backstretch-save a few guys he's "hung out to dry" recently-that has a bad word about him. Never one to complain, or even one to celebrate, John Gilmour's easy going ways and congeniality have endeared him to all who have the pleasure of knowing him. But in recent years Gilmour has been plagued with serious health problems, though if you ask him about them he'll shrug off his problems (prostate cancer and colon cancer) like a wet dog shrugs off water. He retired from driving in the fall of 2012. After his victory on November 28 with his beloved trotter My Buddy Chimo, Gilmour announced in the winner's circle that he was retiring from driving. Unbeknownst to nearly everyone, Gilmour sprung that on the world although he admitted he'll continue training his current five- horse stable. "Now I'll leave the driving to them young fellers." Asked why all of a sudden did he decided to retire the way he did, he simply said "I wanted to go out a winner." "It wasn't all of a sudden but I didn't want to say anything about it because I didn't know when it would happen. I don't drive that much anymore so it was hard for me to know exactly when I'd win my last race." Longtime friend, Betsy Phillips, for whom Gilmour drove her good trotting mare, Gettheflakout, sums up the feelings of all around the backstretch here when she said; "Everybody loves Sep". Make no mistake about it, John Gilmour was a treasure. He was a talented, hard-working, excellent horseman with a devil- may-care attitude. And he was an outstanding race driver." Details of his funeral services will be forth coming. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

Goshen, NY --- Owner-breeder William Weaver and driver David Miller, along with communicators John Pawlak and Carol Cramer, were the human guests of honor as 2014 inductees into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame at ceremonies on the Museum lawn in Goshen, N.Y., on Sunday (July 6). The annual induction dinner followed a full day of activities that included racing at the neighboring Historic Track, including the annual Hall of Fame race, the grand opening of the Roosevelt Raceway exhibit and a cocktail reception in the William R. Haughton Memorial Hall. he Meadows and Little Brown Jug track announcer Roger Huston, who served as emcee, called fellow Hall of Famer Bill O’Donnell to introduce the night’s first inductee. The former driver thanked Weaver for allowing him to drive Valley Victory and applauded him for his dedication to his horses. “Some of the old horses he raced, he still boards those horses and lets them live out their lives,” said O’Donnell. “He should be commended for that.” Weaver, who has enjoyed success with his Valley High Stable, said he didn’t expect this honor. “I’m humbled, happy and surprised to be here today,” said Weaver. “The last two years of my life, there have been some setbacks. I figured this was just someone throwing the screws in.” He thanked the Dancer and Duer families for training his horses over the years and acknowledged the big horse who got him to the Hall of Fame. “One of the main reasons that I’m here tonight is because I was the breeder of Valley Victory,” added Weaver. Huston’s superlative introduction of the next inductee highlighted a couple of his nicknames. “At the Meadowlands they call him Buckeye, but in Ohio he’s known as Purple Jesus,” said Huston before cueing the crowd to a resounding response of “Miller time” when he asked, “What time is it?” Miller can be a man of few words, but he was emotional as he talked about how important this honor is to him and the people who supported him along the way. “I think Roger said everything that I was going to say,” said Miller to open his acceptance speech. “I love horses and I love what I do. It’s more than I ever dreamed of.” He thanked his family for their support. “I definitely didn’t get here by myself,” added Miller. “I have the best family. I have to thank my wife Misty who does everything but drive the races.” The first communicator to be recognized spurred even greater emotion from everyone in attendance. John Pawlak, the USTA’s director of marketing known for his writing, broadcasting, announcing and editing of theTrotting and Pacing Guide, made his first industry, public appearance in a wheelchair since undergoing four surgeries for a brain tumor discovered last October. Well known for his humor, Pawlak used that talent to help his industry colleagues feel more at ease about his tribulations. “It was about the size of John Manzi’s head,” said Pawlak, referring to Monticello’s public relations man in describing his tumor. “The doctors told me it also had a moustache and toupee.” To conclude, Pawlak thanked many of the colleagues that he has assisted in his various roles at the USTA. “It is humbling and I have to thank all of the writers from USHWA for this honor,” said Pawlak. Former USTA employee Carol Cramer, known for her work as a long-time Grand Circuit steward and secretary as well as her involvement in the publishing of integral industry publications, especially the annual stakes guide, joined Pawlak in the Communicators Hall of Fame. “I love this industry with a passion,” said Cramer. “It was the joy of my life when I got to go work for the USTA and when I met Jim Harrison. We did the first Care and Training book.” She thanked the numerous race secretaries who attended to be a part of her induction. Also inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame on Sunday were broodmare Hattie, 2007 Horse of the Year Donato Hanover and 1991 Horse of the Year Precious Bunny. The horses Green Speed and Windsong's Legacy were inducted as Immortals of the Hall of Fame. by Dan Leary, for the USTA

Even though the overwhelming majority of the 2 year-old pacing fillies in the $110,000 New York Sires Stakes at Monticello Raceway Friday were making their first pari-mutuel starts they raced like veterans. Sassa Hanover, a daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven turned in the fastest mile of the evening when Jimmy Morrill, Jr. guided her to a gate to wire two- length triumph in a time of 1:56.3. It turned out to be the Jimmy Morrill, Jr. show as the talented reinsman also scored victories with Bettor N Better in 1:58 and Band of Angels in1:58.3. Mike Lachance won the other NYSS division with She's Heavenly in 1:57.3. But the star of the show was undoubtedly Sassa Hanover who's trained by Ron Burke. Undefeated in her two previous baby races over the mile oval at Gaitway Farm Morrill sent the filly to the lead from the seven hole as the gate sprung and they took command as they rounded the first turn and sped by the first stanza in :29. They were two lengths in front as they passed the halfway point in :59.1 and up the backside Morrill let out a notch and Sassa Hanover zoomed by the three quarters in 1:28.2. As they rounded the final turn Zeke Parker rallied Mosquito Blue Chip from far back and challenged the leader but Sassa Hanover kicked in a :28.1 final quarter and was a solid two length winner over Parker's filly in 1:56.3. "I've been waiting for her all night," Morrill said of Sassa Hanover who was in the 10th and final race on the card. "I love this filly. She's big and strong and surprisingly well-mannered (for a youngster). Believe me, she's the real deal." Owned by Burke Racing Panhellenic Stable and Weaver-Buscemi Sassa Hanover paid $6.30 for win. Morrill's first victory came with another Ron Burke- trainee when he sat the pocket and rallied to victory down the passing lane to score with Band Of Angels, another daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven. But a :28.2 last quarter was needed for the neck triumph over Zip Code Envy, driven by Mark MacDonald. Band Of Angels is owned by W J Donovan who returned a$5.80 win mutuel. Morrill also scored with the good looking Bettor Delight filly, Bettor N Better. After gaining command at the quarter in :29.1 Morrill yielded the lead and waited patiently in fourth position as he searched for daylight. When the field headed for home Morrill found room on the inside and rallied the filly to a one length victory over Heaven's Legacy and driver Brent Holland. The victory gave trainer Ron Burke hi third win on the card. Bettor N Better is owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock and Our Horse Cents Stable. She paid $4.70 for win. Mike Lachance and She's Heavenly made a laugher out of their division as they romped to an easy wire to wire five- length triumph over Fan Mail and Jimmy Morrill, Jr. She's Heavenly is owned and trained by Bob Horowitz. She paid $3.10 for win. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

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