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Monticello, NY - As the heavy harness racing favorites Foo Fighter (Greg Merton) and KJ Erich (James Taggart) wrestled each other for the lead before the quarter mile marker in 29.1, James Devaux was content to sit sixth along the rail aboard CAL. At the half in 58.0. Devaux started to follow the developing outer flow, down the backside CAL was underway and three deep with a full head of steam and barely held off KJ Erich in a very tight photo in 1:56.4. Monticello Raceway had its second dead heat in two days, Hans Solo made it three in a row for trainer Sheena Mcelhiney. Also on the card James Devaux and Michael Merton each had driving triples and Bruce Aldrich Jr. had a driving double, Aldrich is now only four wins from win 8,000. CAL Shawn Wiles

On any given day the driver's colony at Monticello Raceway has the depth, talent and ability for a handful of harness racing drivers to win a multitude of races in one day, on Monday January 18, it was Bruce Aldrich's turn as he drove 4 winners on the card. Bruce is now just 6 wins away from a career milestone of 8,000 wins. The banner day started with a dead heat in race 2 aboard Demand An Answer (PP2), who tripped the teletimer with Swancredit (Cory Stratton) next up was Lacarmeliliana 2:00 - $2.50, Spilling The Beans 1:58.4 - $4.00 earned his second consecutive win of the year. Aldrich rounded out the afternoon with After The Lovin 1:59.2-$3.10. Also on the card James Devaux and Cory Stratton each drove home 2 winners, P driver James Scarpias won with Brendas Got It, trainer Chris Petrelli had 2 winners from his stable.   Shawn Wiles Director of Racing & Facilities Monticello Raceway

As harness racing driver Jimmy Devuax was entering the winners circle after his fifth win on the 10 race card at Monticello Raceway on Thursday January 14, track announcer Howard Oil said "When you're hot, your hot" James Devuax has been on fire as of late, the 53-year-old reinsman won four races the prior day. The last time Devuax won five races at Monticello Raceway was almost exactly a year ago, on January 10, 2020. With nine wins in two days, Devaux has a slim lead over Mike Merton atop the leading dash winner leader board of the young 2021 season. The banner day started in race two with Road Untraveled (PP3) 2:00.3 - $6.00, the 13 year old gelding earned his first win of the season for trainer Dave Dziengiel. Thisishowwedoit (PP4) 1:57.4 - $2.60, Giddyallyougot (PP3) 2:00.2 - $14.00, Preacher Ollie (PP4) 1:57.3 - $3.50, who won his third race in four starts. Devaux concluded the afternoon with His Excellence (PP6) 1:57 - $12.20 in race nine for trainer Art Green. Also on the card, Cory Stratton drove two winners and former Monticello Raceway Rising Star, Shane Darish won with Precious Blue Chip, over $656,000 was wagered on the afternoon, live racing continues tomorrow afternoon with a 12:25 Post. Shawn Wiles

Monticello, NY – On Wednesday afternoon January 13, former 3 time Monticello Raceway Leading dash winning harness racing driver James Devaux scored a Grand Slam on the 10 race card.  Devaux scored in the first race with Six Bax (1:59.2 - $5.70) the son of Kadabra has now won 2 in a row.  Luigi Bizacko (1:59.4 - $7.40) earned a new lifetime mark in the effort for trainer Joe Skowyra for Devaux’s second win.  In the $8,900 Open Trot, James scored with Sweet Royalty (2:01 - $11.80) Sweet Royalty is trained and owned by Steven Ray of New Berlin, NY.  The final win of the afternoon was aboard Elite Five (PP8) 1:59.4 - $5.00, the 4-year-old mare by Always a Virgin is trained by Chris McCracken. Also on the card, Bruce Aldrich Jr. and Mike Merton each drove home 2 winners and trainer Robert Lounsbury had 2 winners hail from his stable.   By: Shawn Wiles

Monticello, NY - Mike Merton finished the 2020 season on a high note and he has picked up where he left off starting the 2021 season leading all drivers with four winners on the harness racing card Thursday January 7 at Monticello Raceway. Merton scored with CC Big Boy Sam (1:59.1 - $10.00) for his Golden Gesture (1:59.4 - $3.30) Beach Blast (2:01.3 - $12.00) and finished off with OK Icon (2:00.3 - $3.00) Kyle Dibenedetto also drove two winners on the afternoon. Shawn Wiles  

Bruce Aldrich Jr. and Bo Sowers have copped the titles of Leading harness racing dash winning Driver and Trainer at Monticello Raceway for 2020. For Bruce Aldrich Jr. being the leading dash winning driver is not new to him, this year's title marks the seventh time that Bruce has won the title at Monticello Raceway. Aldrich led all drivers with 136 trips to the winner's circle in 2020 with a UDRS of .305 and earned purses of $587,807 the 52-year-old Aldrich is approaching a monumental personal milestone of 8,000 career wins, almost 50% - 3,979 of those wins came at Monticello Raceway. Last year's dash winner Jim Taggart Jr. finished second this year with 117 wins, narrowly edging Michael Merton with 116 wins. Greg Merton was 4th with 104 wins and McGwire Sowers had 80 winners. New comer Bo Sowers garnered the title of leading trainers with a slate of 80 wins, 82 place and 87 show finishes and a UDRS of .273 with total purses earned of 365,140. Gary Messenger last year's leading trainer finished 2nd this year with 65 wins and Dan Gill was 3rd with 35 wins followed by Jim Doherty Jr. 32 and Thomas Milici with 30. Due to thawing track conditions and safety concerns for all concerned, Monticello Raceway has cancelled live on Tuesday January 5, 2021. Shawn Wiles

Monticello, NY - If the harness racing driver's colony at Monticello Raceway were a baseball team, they would be 20 games ahead of their nearest rival, on Thursday December 31, Mike Merton had his second Grand Slam in two days, and for the 3rd time this season. Merton's batting average (UDRS) is .389. Other drivers that had a Grand Slam this year at the Mighty M are Bruce Aldrich, Jim Taggart Jr, James Devaux and Cory Stratton. Merton started off in the fourth inning, race four with a win aboard Dotted Line (2:00.3 - $7.00) next up was Baywood Shadow (2:00.2 - $6.30) who earned his seventh win of the COVID shortened season. After a short hiatus he came back in the 8th race to score with Blacktree (1:59.3- $7.30) for trainer Andrew Adamczyk, and finished the afternoon going for the cycle with Wrangler Rockstar (2:02.4 - $4.80) Merton had a strong shot to win five, but the heavy favorite Tinos Pulse made a break in the paddock turn in race 10. Blacktree Greg Merton had three winners and Bruce Aldrich had two winning drives, Art Green enjoyed two training victories on the afternoon The 12 race card produced a season high handle of $850,256, a race average of $71,000, live racing will resume on Monday January 4 with 12:25 with racing Monday through Friday. Shawn Wiles

Mike Merton led all harness racing drivers on the 12 race Monticello card on Tuesday December 29 with four winners, former leading dash winner Jim Devaux won three races and Greg Merton also had three trips to the winner's circle. Ricky Be Sharp earned his 4th consecutive win for the combination of Rob Harmon and Michael Merton. The classy aged campaigner Mariner Seelster won the Open Pace in 1:57.2, Bo Sowers steered the son of Camluck for trainer Mark Ford, the aged gelding is owned by Kelly Ford. It was his third win in four starts. The warhorse has life time earnings of over $600,000 in his career and a lifetime mark of 1:50.4 taken as a nine year old. Mariner Seelster  Shawn Wiles

The Great State of Maine has produced many top trainers and drivers over the decades, McGwire's harness racing lineage and talent may propel him to be the next great driver that hails from the state of Maine. Sowers, a native of Woodstock, New Brunswick, who currently calls Monticello, New York, home is an up-and-coming driver in the sport of harness racing. Sowers drove his first race when he was only twelve years of age and It was a non-pari-mutuel race at the Cornish Trotting Park in Maine. He finished fifth place in that race which is understandable considering his age. Just think, some people fear horses, but can you imagine sitting behind a 1,000lb animal going at speeds between 30 to 40 miles per-hour. That would be a lot for anybody let alone a pre-teen; but that's what started his journey of driving horses in harness races. That journey led to driving at the fairs in Maine as a teenager. He gained a great deal of experience racing at those fairs, such as, Windsor, Fryeburg (which is the largest fair in New England) and the closest Maine fair to the Canadian border, the Northern Maine Fair in Presque Isle. When he was not driving at the fairs during his teenage years, he was back home in Woodstock attending High School, as well as playing the great Canadian sport of hockey in the local Woodstock Minor Hockey Association. When Sowers turned 18 years old on February 25th, 2018, he got his high school diploma early and joined his father Bo, who is a great trainer in Maryland to begin his driving career at Rosecroft Raceway. The reason they were at Rosecroft Raceway at the time, was because it was the off-season for Maine harness racing, and they needed a place to race during the winter. Rosecroft is where Sowers scored his first career pari-mutuel driving victory. He got it with a longtime team Sowers owned and trained horse by the name of Terem Up Louie. The day was March 11th, 2018 when the duo teamed up for Sowers' first win. They were at 12:1 odds when the starter said go on that day in Rosecroft. It was a deep stretch battle and a crowded finish, but as we know Sowers came out on top with a 1:54.4 victory. Terem Up Louie is still a member of the Sowers team. The duo teamed up for a victory just last week on December 3rd with a 1:59.4 score at Monticello Raceway in which they blew up the tote board- Paying $87 to win! Terem Up Louie winning on December 3rd After that first win, the Sowers team relocated back to Maine, where they had raced for many years for the spring, summer, and autumn racing season. On March 31st, 2018, which was the first day back at the now closed for good Scarborough Downs that year, Sowers scored five winners. But overall it was an absolute eye-opening day for all harness racing fans and a very memorable day for the then 18-year-old Sowers. So far in 2020 Sowers has had a successful year driving at Monticello Raceway as well as other tracks such as, The Downs Mohegan Sun Pocono, Vernon Downs and he even has driven some at The Meadowlands, but Monticello is the track he has had the most success at in 2020. He currently sits in fifth in the drivers' standings at Monticello Raceway with 76 wins, 78 seconds, 76 thirds. While his father Bo is the leading trainer at Monticello Raceway, with 78 wins, 81 seconds, 84 show finishes. By: Grady Hachey

On Wednesday afternoon at Monticello Raceway Jim Taggart Jr. had a driving Grand Slam on the 12 race harness racing card. Taggart wasted no time, winning the first race with Cerisier (2:00-$10.20) after a short hiatus until race 6 he visited the winners circle with Askmelater Hanover (1:58.4- $6.90). And then with Smart Talker (1:58.4-$16.00) who earned his first win of the year, the 4-year-old Well Said gelding is trained by Danny Gill. The Grand Slam occurred in the last race of the day aboard Man He Can Skoot (1:58.1-$3.30) for trainer Francis McCahey. Taggart is the second leading dash winning driver with 112 wins behind the leader Bruce Aldrich Jr. with 129. Trainers Raheim Strong and Greg Decker each enjoyed a training double on the afternoon, Jim Devaux, Greg Merton and Kyle Dibenedetto all scored a driving double on the card. Live Racing resumes Monday December 28 with a 12:25 Post. Shawn Wiles

Something that you don't see very often is two dead-heats on the same day, this unique harness racing oddity occurred Tuesday afternoon at Monticello Raceway. The first dead heat was in race 6, Blue Line (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) and Rockin In The Hills (Greg Merton) tripped the time in tandem in 1:58.3, Chip For Real (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) and See You Friday duplicated the feat five races later as they crossed the wire in unison in 1:58.4. Also on the card James Taggart Jr. drove four winners, Greg Merton had three winners, James Devaux Michael Merton and Bruce Aldrich Jr each had two winners on the afternoon, both of Aldrich's win came in each dead heat race. Trainer Dan Gill had two winners from his barn, Gill is currently in 4th place for leading trainers with 34 seasonal wins. Blue Line and Rockin In The Hills (Geri Schwarz Photo)  Chip For Real and See You Friday (Geri Schwarz Photo)    Shawn Wiles  

Monticello, NY - Bliss And Luck notched her 6th consecutive harness racing victory at Monticello Raceway on Monday December 21. Her first start at the Mighty M was November 16, at the time the 7 year old Rockin Image mare was trained by Andrew Adamczyk, while under Andrews care the aged mare won 4 races before being claimed by Jim Doherty Jr. on December 7th. While in the barn of Jim Doherty Jr. Bliss And Luck has won back to back races. True to her past performances the mare went wire to wire from the rail to score in 2:00.1. Bliss And Luck Drivers Bruce Aldrich Jr and Greg Merton each scored a driving triple and Cory Stratton had a double. Trainer Candance Brandstatter enjoyed a banner day with 3 winners from her barn. Shawn Wiles

Monticello, NY, - Monticello Raceway has canceled live harness racing on Thursday December 17 due to Winter Storm Gail. Live racing will return on Monday December 21 with 12:20 post time Shawn Wiles  

Monticello, NY- She was the only woman in the race but that was of no concern to Marianna Monaco because she had no trouble defeating her seven male harness racing rivals in the $5000 NAADA Trot at Monticello Raceway on the cold and dreary afternoon of Thursday, December 10. . In an unusual beginning the front-end speed-ball Ladys Big Stormont came up empty and was third at the quarter in "29.1 as Tony Verruso gunned Exarch to the lead with Someway Same Hall and Tony Ciuffetelli following closely. Verruso kept the pedal to the metal and Exarch led by the half in 1:00 flat. Bob Davis was the first to move with Lucky June Bug and Monaco let him pass on the outside and then moved Stealing out to follow, second over. "I think that was the winning move for me by allowing Bob (Davis) to move first and then following him,'Monaco said. "And his horse (Lucky June Bug) was strong to the final turn." With Exarch still cutting the fractions he had command as the field headed for home. "I thought I was gonna be the winner but Marianna had her trotter in high gear on the far outside and he overtook us in the deep stretch," Verruso said. At the wire Stealing was a solid length winner over Exarch who was a nose better than Someday Some Hall in the 2:01.1 clocked mile. For Monaco it was her seventh winner this season Stealing is owned and trained by Darren Rybka, Jr Sent off at odds of over12-1 her charge, Stealing, paid $24.40; $14.00 and $5.00 across the board.   John Manzi

Monticello, NY – On Thursday afternoon at Monticello Raceway McGwire Sowers enjoyed a driving triple, it is the second time in a month that Sowers drove 3 harness racing winners on the afternoon. Sowers literally lit up the tote board with his first winner Terem Up Louie (PP4) , the 45-1 longshot scored in 1:59.4 and returned a healthy $87.00-win ticket for owner Tammy Sowers.  Sowers next trip to the winner’s circle was aboard the 3-year-old Hypnoticdream, the son of Hynotic Blue Chip scored a 4 length wire to wire win in 1:56.4 - $3.50. For Hypnoticdream is was his 3rd win of the season, he is owned by Mo Coo Inc of Merrick, NY. The driving triple came in race 6 with Our Regal Ideal N, the classy 9-year-old gelding romped in a 12 length victory for owner Clifford Grundy, time for the mile was 1:56.1 - $2.70. The 20-year-old McGwire Sowers seasonal driving win total is 70, ranking him in sixth place, right behind fellow Mainer Brandon Parker Jr. Bruce Aldrich Jr. leads the pack with 110 wins. While only 20 years old the reserved McGwire shows a great amount of poise and patience in the sulky, no doubt benefitting from the advice of his sage and father Bo Sowers. Bo Sowers also enjoyed a training triple on the card, the 3 wins upped his tall to 76 wins thus far for the season at the Mighty M, giving him a strangle hold on leading dash winning trainers. Gary Messenger is in second place with 55 winners. Michael Merton had a driving double on the afternoon.   By Shawn Wiles

Monticello NY- Harness racing drivers Jim Taggart Jr. and Greg Merton both will be enjoying a festive Thanksgiving as Taggart won 4 races and Greg Merton won 3 on Wednesday November 25 at Monticello Raceway. For Taggart the last time that he recorded this feat was just a month ago on October 26. The day started off on the right foot as Taggart won race 1 aboard Grave Dancer who scored a 3 length victory in 1:58 for trainer Dan Gill. 2 races later Taggart was back in the winner circle with the Gary Messenger trained KJ Owen who earned his 2nd win of the year after pacing the mile in 1:55.4 in a 7 length romp. His 3rd win came virtue of a Dead Heat in race 8 with Chip Chip Conway and Hot Summer Knight (Cory Stratton) the pair trotted the mile in 1:58.4. Superiorcourt was win #4, the Rick Harp trained son of Conway Court went wire to wire from post position 7 to win in 1:59.1 to notch his 3 win of the year. Greg Merton won with Threehundred Wirth 1:57.2 - $4.40, Rise Up Now 1:57.1 - $4.70 and Tinos Pulse 1:58.3- $16.40. Also of note on the card Cory Stratton drove 2 winners, Trainer Gay Messenger and Dan Gill each trained 2 winners on the 13 race program. Jim Taggart Jr. trails Bruce Aldrich for leading dash winning driver at the Mighty M by 20 wins. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway  

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