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On Wednesday September 2, Monticello Raceway will be hosting a 13 race harness racing card featuring the, New York County Fair Finals for all 8 divisions, and the Racing Under Saddle (RUS) New York Fair Series Championship. Each class of age, sex and gait of the County Fair Finals will race for a purse of $10,000. The RUS event will be a Non Wagering event between the 6th & 7th race. The race is sponsored by RUS NY, its charter is to promote the sport and versatility of Standardbreds. The series began this summer in Sandy Creek at the Oswego County Fair on July 1. The season consisted of 9 legs and the final. In order to participate in any RUS NY event, riders will need to participate in a minimum of 2 qualifying miles under saddle behind the starting gate, with at least 1 other horse behind the gate. The field of 5 starters will be riding for a purse of $2,500. Monticello warrior Strongbow, will start from the rail for rider Codie Smith. Winners Star K sports a 3 race win streak in RUS events for regular rider Michelle Miller. The 14 year old American Winner gelding is owned by Lewis Miller of New Berlin NY. Event organizer Michelle Miller commented "We are extremely pleased to see the growth that we have achieved in the last 2 years, we are hopeful to see continued growth and exposure next year as well. Post Time for the days card is 12:50. By Shawn Wiles  

This year's Racing Under Saddle New York Fair Series championship will be held on September 2 at Monticello Raceway along with the New York Sire Stake's County Fair Finals. This marks the second year of the series, which included nine races at seven fairs across the state. Horses and riders have been competing the last two months with the hopes of making it into the final race and capturing the championship title. Horses earned points during the series to determine final entries. Soon, the anticipation of what horses and riders will be competing in the final will be over. The draw will take place this Friday. All participants will earn $650 for earning their way into the championship race. Monticello Raceway is contributing $2,500 toward the final and the rest of the funds is coming from the series' flagship sponsor the New York Sire Stakes. The NYSS generously donated $5,000 as initial purse money. The winner will also receive a championship cooler donated by Peterson's Harness Shop in Vernon, N.Y. and a lead line donated by Divine Equine Custom Equipment. A High Point Rider Award will once again be presented at the final to the rider who has earned the most points, regardless of horse(s) ridden throughout the series. To be eligible for the award riders must participate in at least three races. Horses are required to compete and finish in at least two races throughout the series to be allowed entry into the championship race. Nine horses participated in the series with seven qualifying for the final. Points earned are accrued by horse, regardless of rider in each race. Up to five qualifiers will be eligible for the final race. In the event of a scratch, the horse with the next highest points will be entered into the final. In the event of a tie, charted race lines will be reviewed and the RUS NY Management Committee will select the horse to be entered based on past performance history. Michelle Miller, RUS NY President  

The conditions were perfect for harness racing on a beautiful summer afternoon, the temperature was 85, the infield flag limp, the track fast, all perfect conditions for a track record at Monticello Raceway. The action started right away in the first race, going for a purse of $53,500. Allerage Echo put his name in the record books by virtue of his 1:58:1 mark. It was his 4th win in a row, for the Conway Hall - Echonomical colt, who was bred by Little E LLC. The easy going son of Conway Hall upping his careers earnings to $121,000, for winning driver Chris Lems. Credevie showed the way as the gate left for Trond Smedshammer. He was followed in hot pursuit by Smalltownthrowdown, Dan Daley tucked Smalltownthrowdown into the 2 hole after briefly being parked down the backside before the ¼ marker. The 2/5 favorite Allerage Echo made his move once Daley settled in and had the lead in a blink of an eye, parked at the ¼ in 29, he then cleared and was never heeded the rest of the mile, taking the field through fractions of 59:1, 1:29:3, Credevie made a break in the paddock turn and the contest turned into a 2 horse race. Smalltownthrowdown came first over but was not able to close the gap. Allerage Echo prevailed to win in 1:58:1 by 4 lengths, for trainer George Ducharme, who has enjoyed much success at Monticello Raceway this season in NY Sire Stake events. Owner Ken Jacobs was ecstatic in the winners circle. "We purchased the colt off a qualifier at Vernon Downs and put him the George Ducharme barn and have had great success," exclaimed Ken Jacobs "He's a beast" said winning driver Chris Lems following the win the in the winners circle, with an ear to ear smile." Race 8, 2nd heat of Sire Stake action had 6 starters. Cupid, driven by Trond Smedshammer for the Purple Haze Stable, tripped the timers in 28:3, 58:3 and 1:28:4, at this point the recent new track record that was barely dry on paper was in jeopardy of being broken. At the top of the lane Cupid was getting leg weary, Dan Daley and Crown Point who had been stalking the leader the entire mile, over took Cupid in a stirring stretch drive. The son of Crazed - Tierra broke his maiden, scoring in 1:59.0, for trainer driver Dan Daley and owners Daley, Crawford and Lombardo. Cupid hung on for second and Dog Gone Lucky was 3rd for trainer Chuck Sylvester and driver John Campbell. Excelsior A - $15,000 Race 4, first division of the A's went for a purse of $15,000. Gremlin Wilson sat the garden spot the entire mile behind pace setter HZ Royalty and driver Jeff Gregory. As the pair turned for home Gremlin Wilson, was not to be denied, using the passing lane to edge HZ Royalty in 2:00:3 for winnings owner and driver John Cummings Jr. The son of Sand Vic is trained by Megan Wilson. The last heat of the A class saw Omaha Set Up (PP4), make a bold first over move at the 5/8 marker to score a measured win over Radical Way in 2:00:4 for the Gideon Stables. The Credit Winner colt is trained by Tyler Freese and driven by Corey Braden. The 1/5 favorite Sweet Royalty made a break before the ¼ and was never a factor. Excelsior B - $6,700 Reasonforpleasin scored his 2nd win in this company for former Monticello Raceway driver Jay Randall and owners Michael Polansky in 2:01:4. The Conway Hall colt now has 2 wins in the Excelsior series under his belt. In Race 3, John Campbell was aboard Dollar Billiards. He left the gate to take the lead but in the middle of the first turn his steed made a break. Ray Schnittker aboard One Chief inherited the lead. The Lucky Chucky - Chippewa Street colt extended his lead at every stanza to win by 7 lengths in 2:02:2 for owners Schnittker, Demeter and H. Burns. Shawn Wiles

The final leg of the 8 New York Sire Stake divisions will make it farewell stop at Monticello Raceway Tuesday August 25, 2015. Once the entry box was opened, it was determined that there would be 2 divisions of NYSS, each split going for $53,500, the recent kingpin of the division, Dayson was not entered, which didn't the break the hearts of the connections of the 13 that entered that group. There will also be 2 - Divisions of Excelsior "A" $15,000, and 2 Divisions of Excelsior "B" series going for a purse of $6,600. Race 1, 1st leg of NYSS action highlights Allerage Echo (Conway Hall - Echonomical) The Ken Jacobs owned 2 year has a 3 race win streak in this company, Chris Lems will be in the bike for trainer George Ducharme and will start from PP 2. Ray Schnittker brings his ever improving Chargin Cadet (PP3) to the contest. He has twice been a bridesmaid to Allerage Echo, Ray co owns the son of Conway Hall with Ted Gewertz and Joe Faraldo. In the 5th race, Reve Royale, has been the model of consistency lately with a tally of 3 - 1 - 1 in 5 starts, he is the fastest and richest colt of the day, with earnings of $65,444 and a lifetime mark of 1:56:3 taken at the Meadowlands. The RC Royalty - Dream Street colt is trained by George Ducharme for owners, Campbell, Fontaine & Ross. Reve Royale will be driven by regular driver Chris Lems. Trainer George Ducharme who has enjoyed a successful Sire Stakes season at Monticello Raceway having been in the winners circle numerous times. Dan Daley brings his daily double of Crown Point (PP2) Royal Bachelor (PP6) to the fray. Daley with drive Crown Point, Jason Bartlett will steer Royal Bachelor. The Excelsior A's are carded as races 4 & 10. In the first division Uncle Dan and Gremlin Wilson has both shown that they can trot the half mile oval. Each have been previously victorious in this class. On paper Race 10, looks like a good one, with plenty of talent Races 2 & 3 are the Excelsior B series, 13 colts entered this class, racing for a purse of $6,000. Nohealthnowealth starts from the rail with Jim Marohn Jr. for trainer Rob Harmon in the 3rd race. On September 2, Monticello Raceway will be hosting the NY County Fair Finals and the final RUS (Racing Under Saddle) Series. During the card, a BBQ will be held in the paddock, hosted by Monticello Raceway, NY State Harness Breeders and the Monticello Harness Horseman Association. By Shawn F. Wiles

On Monday afternoon at Monticello Raceway, harness racing driver Larry Stalbaum entered the winners circle for the 5000th time. He guided a horse that he owns Multiple Choice, a 12 year old Keystone Raider gelding to 3 length win in the first race. Larry was surrounded a throng of family, well-wishers and horseman in the winners circle after the race. Larry has been a long time regular at Monticello Raceway, over the last few years he has also branched out to Pocono Downs and Yonkers Raceway. An excited Stalbaum said in the winners circle "I am very glad that this win came at Monticello, I have a lot of fond memories here." Larry added to his tally by also winning the 5th race with Givemybest Hanover, for owner Woody Hoblitzell of Destin,FL. By Shawn Wiles

A total of 52 pacing Fillies entered the box for Tuesday August 10, at Monticello Raceway for the New York Sire Stakes for harness racing  2 Year Pacing Fillies. The days card features 3 heats of Sire Stakes racing for a purse of $35,866, 3 Excelsior Division A's ($15,000) and 2 Excelsior B classes going for $6,800. The actions kicks off in Race 1, No Clouds Blue Chip (PP5) with Brian Sears aboard is looking for her 3rd consecutive win in NYSS Company, the daughter of Roll with Joe is owned by Richard and Farrell Carny and Barbara Berger and is trained by John Berger. America Ivy (PP3) has been a model of consistency with 1 win and 2 show performances in this company for her connections. The 2nd heat of Sire Stakes is in race 5, the American Ideal filly Soft Idea (PP6), trained by Linda Toscano, sports an impressive resume, in 4 starts this year, she has 3 wins and a second with earnings of $77,000 and a mark of 1:54.2. Time On My Hands, starts from the rail for driver Jim Morrill Jr, and trainer Chris Ryder. She comes into the race with a qualifier under her belt after being scratched sick. Prior to that she won at Saratoga in 1:54:2, last quarter in 28 seconds. The final heat for this class come in race 8 , Ron Burke has a 2 horse entry, Rockin Dare Matt Kakaley (PP2) and Art Critic, Bruce Aldrich Jr. (PP 5) Killing Them Softly has recently shown her prowess on a half mile oval with wins at Saratoga and Yonkers. In the Excelsior A class, are carded as race 2, 6 and 12. In race 2 Wine Snob and Rolling Going Gone are the morning line favorites. . On paper Nevada Blue Chip (PP3) with Jason Bartlett at the helm, seem like the best in race 6. The Excelsior B division go to post in races 4 & 7. Jim Morrill Jr. drives Rocknroll Shamayim in the first race of this class. The Rock N Roll Heaven lass sports a 3 race win streak for trainer Erv Miller and owners Tanah Merah Farms LLC, she will start from post position 3. Local Trainer Ed Hart brings Seafood Linda to do battle. 2 starts ago at Yonkers the daughter Rock N Roll Heaven was ultra-impressive. After making a miscue at the start, she came back, took the overland route and prevailed with a win. By Shawn Wiles

Even before the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club August Series got underway time was allotted for a presentation to harness racing driver Hannah Miller, the overall point winner in the CADC spring series which ended a few weeks ago. Miller proudly accepted the plaque from CADC president Gerry Fielding prior to the Thursday, August 7th race card getting underway at Monticello Raceway. In the spring series Miller displayed a driving prowess unequalled by any of her competitors en route to five victories in the organizations spring events. "This was unexpected," Miller said upon receiving her trophy. "I has no idea that they would make a presentation to me today and I was surprised when they did, pleasantly so, I might add. "I love driving in the amateur races and I really have no desire to become a professional. Racing in the amateurs is fun." "Amateur racing has become more visible since Hannah has been competing," Fielding noted. "She can handle horses well and is not intimidated by her competition, which for the most part' are men. She's a real good driver and a real asset to the amateur movement. We're glad she committed." Besides driving in the Catskill Amateur Series Hannah also competes in the Billings Series and the GSY Series. Thus far this year the talented miss is carrying a .457UDR on the strength of 21 wins, 14 seconds and 11 thirds in 71 starts and she has bankrolled nearly $100,000 in purse money. Although Hannah Miller is a good driver and gets the bettor's attention whenever she competes in a race, still she needs the power in front of her, something she didn't have on that August 7th afternoon. On Thursday in the inaugural of the four-race CADC August Series Miller drove the Dennis Watson-trained Classy Character from post five and the bettors sent her of at odds of 4-1. Nearly left at the gate her horse got away slowly and never fired in a race that had many gaps after speedy fractions were set by Ken Heins with Horseshoe Tavern. The race winner, CC's Lover N, was even money favorite from post four and driven to a 1:58.2 three length victory by Matt Zuccarello. Blow Out and Joe Lee finished second with Horseshoe Tavern third. The winner, an 11 year old New Zealand bred pacer, is owned by Miquel Alejo Hernandez. He paid $4.00 for win. Eric Warner, the track's senior director of racing is pleased with the amateur races that are carded at the Mighty M. "Fans love to wager on the amateurs," he says. "They bet over $82,000 on that race alone today and it was the best bet race on the card." By John Manzi for the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club

The die was cast early in the harness racing card at Monticello Raceway on Monday August 3, front end speed held up for 7 of the 8 Sire Stakes contested. In race four, first heat of the Sire Sires, going for a purse of $61,300, the Ken Jacobs filly, Jewels in Hock was no different as she went wire to wire to score in 1:56:3, two ticks off the track record held by Gerri Joys of 1:56:1. With regular driver John Campbell out due to a broken wrist, sustained last Friday baby racing at the Meadowlands, owner Ken Jacobs put Jim Morrill down to drove his beautiful Credit Winner filly for Trainer Linda Toscano. He was not disappointed. Summers Windsong left hard for Ray Schnittker to grab the lead, followed by Waiting Room, once the dust settled, Morrill who was sitting third tipped Jewels in Hock to the outside to take the lead and took the field through fractions of 28:4, 58:1 1:28:1 to win by 3 lengths, she never had an anxious moment, trotting her last ¼ in 28:2 The bridge jumpers delight, Barn Doll cruised to an easy win for regular driver Jeff Gregory as the Conway Hall filly won her 9th win in a row, her slate in 2015 reads 9 starts 8 - 1 - 0, 1:52:1 with career earnings of $260,000. At the gate left, so did the entire field, Summer Scent wrestled her way to the lead, taking the filed past the 1/4 in 29:1. Going into the paddock turn Gregory started to mount his challenge and had the lead past the half in 1:00. Going down the back side, Frou Frou and driver Mark Macdonald came first over as Barn Doll tripped the ¾ timer in an evenly rated 1:29:1. Dan Daley and Summer Scent was sitting the pocket, but as the field turned for home Gregory let her out a notch and the filly put an instant 5 lengths on the field, to score in 1:58:1 and returned a paltry $2.10, she was barred from show wagering "She's just amazing" remarked driver Jeff Gregory in the winners circle following the win. She is trained by co-owner Steven Pratt in conjunction with Purple Haze Stable LLC. Excelsior A's High Rise ($2.50) and Chris Lems scored in a wire to wire win in 2:00 for owner Raymond Campbell, and trainer George Ducharme. The second Division went to Miss Bville ($5.20) giving the winning team Owner Ken Jacobs, driver Jim Morrill Jr and trainer Linda Toscano a double for the afternoon. The daughter of RC Royalty took a lifetime mark of 1:58:1. The last race of the day went to Country Chic ($20.40) in 2:00:4, to give Jeff Gregory his second win on the card. Excelsior B's Kaliska cut the mile, only to be overtaken by Kinda Naughty (PP4) with local driver Bruce Aldrich Jr. who used the passing lane to get by Kalisk, to score in 2:01:4 Tootsie Bi (PP4) gave Jim Devaux his 2nd win of the card. The Conway Hall filly worked hard to get the lead, but once she did, she never looked back, as she won in 2:02:2 In race nine, final division of the Excelsior B's, trainer Dave Dewhurst got his second win of the afternoon. Untangled Cash ($6.80) made a bold move past the half to overtake Mo Titos Blue Chip and was on cruise control from there, coasting to a 2 length win in 2:01:2 By Shawn F. Wiles

On Monday August 3, NYSS 3 Year Old Filly Trotters take the stage at Monticello Raceway. A total of 8 Divisions, 2 NYSS - 3 Excelsior A's - 3 Excelsior B 's race for purses in excess of $185,000. Two divisions of NYSS will each be racing for a purse of $61,300, they are carded as races 4 & 6. In the 1st heat, Jewels In Hock (PP1), with Jim Morrill driving for the first time, figures to be a force to be reckoned with. The Credit Winner filly is trained by Linda Toscano for longtime New York racing patron Ken Jacobs of Baldwinsville NY. Barn Girl (PP7) is trained by Howard Okusko, and will be driven by Jeff Gregory. Race 6 feature the other "Barn" Barn Doll, the reigning Queen of the division. Her resume includes a 7 race win streak, with 2015 earnings of $229,000, with a lifetime mark of 1:52:1 taken earlier this year at Vernon Downs. Trainer Steven Pratt co owns the Conway Hall filly her with Purple Haze Stables LLC. Unless she makes a miscue, it appears that all others will be bridesmaids. The Excelsior A's area carded as races 1, 5 & 11, each division race for a purse of $15,000 In the first race, High Rise is the morning line favorite, will start from PP 5, the Conway Hall filly is trained by George Ducharme for owners Raymond Campbell, and regular driver Chris Lems. The filly has 6 wins in her last 11 starts. In the 2nd Division Cherry Crown Jewel and Miss Bville J will square off. The last race of the day, pits Wanna Get Lucky and Meshugana Miss. The Excelsior B's are carded as races 2, 8 and 9, each race for a purse of $6,600, a total of 19 horses are competing in the 3 heats. The divisions are highlighted by Kaliska, It's a Lucky Deal and Saint Misbehavin. By Shawn F. Wiles

There are few amateur harness racing drivers who log as many miles as Steve Oldford. The automotive manufacturers rep from Croswell, Michigan thinks nothing of hopping a plane to race in an amateur contest no matter where it is. On Thursday, July 23 Oldford winged his way to Monticello Raceway to drive in the final leg of the 10-race NAADA Spring Series and his efforts paid dividends when he guided the Dan Gill-trained Up Front N Crazy to a romping 14-length victory in a time of 2:01. Although Up Front N Crazy was sent off at odds of over 9-1 he won like a 1-5 shot. But there were extenuating circumstances. When Matt Zuccarello's trotter Gray N Cloudy-- 5-2 on the tote board--made a break on the first turn it scattered the field and allowed Oldford's charge to open up daylight on his competitors. However, Oldford's luck continued when Joe Pannacchio's Sir Winston, who was following just two length behind Upfront N Crazy as the two passed the half in 1:00.4 had nothing in the tank. "My horse was empty at that point," Pennacchio said of his veteran trotter who came into the race with two consecutive wins in the NAADA Series. "He must have bled?" Pennacchio assumption was correct because at the third stanza Oldford's trotter had a seven length lead which was opened to 14 lengths at the finish. "I skirted the trouble in the first turn and we trotted clear and when there was no one around me as we headed for home I actually thought there might have been more problems for those in the rears," Oldford said after the race. "But thankfully there were no more trouble." With Sir Winston fading as he headed to the three quarters it allowed the trotters in the back of the pack to gain ground quickly on him. Dave Yarock rallied the strongest with CSI What's My Name and they finished in second place while Nice Dream, driven by Gerry Fielding caught Sir Winston yards before the wire to take home the show dough. Sir Winston held on for fourth money. For the record, Picture Perfect, the betting favorite in the race driven by Hannah Miller, was interfered with by Zuccarello's breaking horse on the first turn and went off-stride vanquishing any hope of victory for Miller and those who wagered on him. Up Front N Crazy, owned by Edward Hall, paid $20.60 for win. A condition to the series stated that the drivers with the most points who participated in six of the 10 legs would be eligible to draw for an all expense trip to Mallorca and join NAADA team who will race against their Spanish counterparts in a Friendship Competition in mid-September. However, that drawing, which is forthcoming, will be announced at a later date by NAADA president, Joe Faraldo. As for Oldford, he's back on the road this time to drive in the CKG Billings Spring Final which will be contested over the five-eighths mile oval The Meadows tomorrow night. John Manzi  

On the beautiful summer afternoon of July 16, the ninth leg of the NAADA spring trotting series went to post at the harness racing meeting at Monticello Raceway and when the judges hung the official sign, Bob Hechkoff emerged victorious with Alternat Thursdays. They scored a two length triumph over Swift Blizzard and Paul Minore in a time of 2:00.3. Joe Lee finished third with Laser Lucy. When the wings of the mobile gate folded Minore hustled Swift Blizzard toward the lead from post five but they didn't gain command until Alan Schwartz, driving Typical Newyorker, grabbed leather and allowed Minore command just before the quarter mile timer flashed :29.3. At that point the eventual winner was third along the pylons some three lengths behind the leader. Once on top Minore kept his trotter moving forward but as the field headed to the half Hechkoff moved off the pylons to challenge as the field passed the halfway point in 1:00.3. However, Minore wasn't about to yield command and Swift Blizzard and Alternat Thursdays raced as a team by the three quarters in 1:30.1. The leaders were still side by side around the paddock turn and when they straightened for home Alternat Thursdays was the strong horse and refused to lose. Swift Blizzard faded but held second place and Laser Lucy was strong enough to rebuff Typical Newyork for the show dough. "He's a handful before the race and a handful after a race but once he's behind the gate you can drive him with two fingers", Hechkoff said of Alternat Thursdays as he was taking off his gloves in the paddock after the race." "But he's really not my kind of horse because he doesn't leave the gate quickly and I like a horse that can grab the racetrack. Still he's got class and is always on gait." Despite going into the race with no wins in 21 starts Alternat Thursdays had amassed almost $25,000 on the strength of six seconds and one third. In what turned out to be a wide open contest where six trotters went off at odds of 5-1 or less, Alternat Thursdays was the weak favorite at 1.95-1 and returned a $5.90 win mutuel. The winner is owned by Hechkoff's R.B.H Ventures and trained by Kyle Spagnola. It was the first seasonal win for Alternat Thursdays and the 10th this year for Hechkoff. John Manzi

Hunch players who wagered on Gimme The Loot capitalized when Bobby Krivelin drove the 10 year old Credit Winner gelding to 2:01 victory in the NAADA Trot at the harness racing meeting at Monticello Raceway on Thursday afternoon, July 9. And those with winning tickets on Gimme The Loot were saying just that when they went to the mutuel windows for the $35.60 payoff. Overlooked from post position six and sent off at odds of over 16-1, Krivelin drove Gimme The Loot like he was the odds-on favorite in the race when he sent the veteran trotter to the lead and parked all comers. Among those on the limb was the 3-5 favorite Bluebird Kidsqueen driven by Dave Offenberg. Also getting fresh air on the outside behind Offenberg was second choice, Casanova Lindy and driver Hannah Miller. It was clear that Krivelin wanted to be on the lead and his trotter responded well rebuffing all challenges. Casanova Lindy started from the seven-hole, never saw the pylons and although he had to go the long mile he still was strong enough to make up three lengths in the stretch to finish just one length behind the winner. Third place went to Typical Newyorker in rein to Alan Schwartz. "The public made Offenberg's horse the hot favorite but I knew the one to beat was Hannah Miller because I chased her and Casanova Lindy home and finished second to her last Sunday at Goshen," Krivelin said in the winners circle after his victory. "I was inside of her (Hannah) today and I wanted to be on the lead. As it worked out she had road trouble and couldn't get a clear shot at me early on." "But her horse went a big trip on the outside the entire mile." Owned by the Hero Stables of Goshen, NY and trained by Krivelin, Gimme The Loot notched his third seasonal triumph. For Krivelin who was USHWA's Amateur Driver of The Year last season, it was his seventh seasonal driving victory and 174th of his amateur career. Later that afternoon at the Afton (NY) Fair (some 75 miles from Monticello) there was a Billings Trot carded and immediately after her second place finish at Monticello Raceway in the NAADA Trot "Hurricane Hannah" drove for one and half hours to Afton, NY to participate in Billings contest there. In the short five- horse field at Afton Hannah had the four-hole with Pembroke Snapshot, a trotter with whom she won with at Monticello Raceway earlier this year. Over the Afton Agricultural Fair's double-oval Miller and Pembroke Snapshot defeated Drill Sergeant Sam and Tony "the Capo" Verruso in a time of 2:08. Third place went to Mighty Moe and driver "Bullet Bob" Davis. The winner is owned by the Nick Surick Stable and the JL Benson Stable and trained by Surick. It was the fourth seasonal triumph for Pembroke Snapshot and the 21st driving victory this season for Ms. Miller. And let it not be said that "Hurricane Hannah" doesn't dance every dance. Besides competing in the Billings Series she also participates in the NAADA Trotting Series, the Catskill Club's pacing events, and the GSY Series at the Meadowlands. After her second place finish at the Mighty M on Thursday and her victory at Afton later in the day, the 23 year old now has a phenomenal .500 UDR on the strength of 21 wins, 12 seconds and 10 thirds in 2015 John Manzi

Sometimes when harness racing drivers are marching towards driving milestones, they tend to stall out and languish.  Not in the case of James Devaux, if anything, as he was getting closer to the milestone, he got hotter. On Wednesday afternoon July 8, Jimmy won his 3999 in race 5 with Prince of Pleasure, for trainer Gary Decker.  In the 7th race, the answer to the future trivia question of who was Jimmy driving for his 4000th win was answered, is was Bangbangkisskiss, barely.  After cutting the entire mile, it looked like Jimmy and Bangbangkisskiss were home free, that was until the passing lane opened up and Kyle Dibenedetto shot through with the pocket sitting Sensationalist going stride for stride with Bangbangkisskiss, both of them tripping the timer in 1:58:1 for an epic dead heat for win. A jubilant Devaux said “At the top of the lane, I popped the ear plugs and I thought I was home free, but when I saw Kyle coming up the inside I really had to get after my horse, it’s pretty cool to have a dead heat for my 4000th win!”  Following the win, Jim was greeted in the winners circle by fellow horseman and well-wishers. Shawn Wiles

On Friday July 2, Monticello Raceway held its annual harness racing night of fireworks, in conjunction with the New York Sire Stakes for 2 Year old Trotting Fillies.  Leading the evenings post parades was Doug Gosney, with Dontdragmeshoppin, owned by Barbara Merton.   Also on hand in the winners circle was Richard Glisson, Director of Marketing at Monticello Casino and Raceway to make a winner circle presentation. Shawn Wiles

The mountains were alive this weekend, as Monticello Raceway held its annual Fireworks display, much to the delight of the large crowd.  The 10 race harness racing card featured 5 New York Sire Stake events for 2 Year Old Trotting Fillies, each split raced for $21,800, 2 - Division A Excelsior’s ($15,000) and 1 - Excelsior’s B ($6,800). The heavy holiday traffic pushed back the original post time of 5:30 to 6:00.  Also on hand for the evening was the Monticello Raceway Memorabilia Face Book group who were present for a winners circle presentation in the 6th race, brought out of storage for the event, was the original and grand NYC OTB Classic trophy. For the majority of the fillies this was their first Pari Mutuel start, and their first start under the lights.  The fillies that mind their manners fared very well during the card. The first race of the evening an Excelsior’s B event, saw Dan Daley guide the RC Royalty lass I’ve Got Spirit to a wire to wire win in 2:05:3 for owners Daley, Crawford and White. The heavy favorite, Stick of Butter made an early break and was out of contention.  In race 3, first heat of the Excelsior A, trainer George Ducharme, picked up his 1st of 2 wins on the card.  She was the best on paper and lived up to her form as driver Chris Lems steered Lindylicious to victory in 2:02:3 (LQ 29:2) The daughter of Credit Winner was content to sit the pocket after Barn Doll made a strong move to take the lead past the ¼ pole, after benefiting from the perfect trip, she won by a neck.  Race 4 showcased the impressive Pink Power, owned by Albert & Michelle Crawford, unfortunately the fractious filly made a start before the gate left and was never in contention.  The easy going, regal looking filly, Royal Encore and Trond Smedshammer made the best of Pink Powers miscue and grabbed the lead and stayed there until the top of the lane, until Charlie Norris’s filly, who was on her best behavior and minded her manners scooted home a winner in 2:01.  Race 6 almost saw a track record as Winning Princess crushed her foes.  Driver Jim Morrill made a big move with the filly past the quarter mile marker and didn’t look back, she has 12 lengths on the filed as she passed the ¾ maker in a swift 1:29:1, she tripped the tele timer in a National Season record of 2:00:3. The George Ducharme and Chris Lems combo teamed up again in race 9 with Swinging Royalty.  The confidant RC Royalty filly scored in 2:02. Vernon horseman were on their game this evening, Dan Daley won the 1st race, and he would have had a double on the card, but was set down due to a Eurorail violation in the 7th race with Mai Tai Monkey.  Gates Brunet won the 5th race, a non-winners event with Panamanian Hanover, and then capped off the evenings last event with Love Crazy Love, the Crazed filly is owned by Crawford Farms and Ted Gewertz. George Ducharme has the best night of all, so far this season he has been very successful at the Mighty M and tonight was not any different has we won 2 events and got checks for 4 out of his 6 starters. After the conclusion of the evening card, race goers were treated to Monticello Raceways annual Fireworks, fans both young and old enjoyed the 25 minute show. By Shawn Wiles

Hannah Miller has taken amateur harness racing by storm. The 24 year old miss scored her 19th victory in 58 seasonal starts when she guided Rise Above It to a 1:57.3 victory in their division of the Catskill Amateur Club's spring pacing series at Monticello Raceway on July 2. And that "Hurricane Hannah" is carrying a lofty .485 UDR one can easily understand the betting public's faith in her abilities. Sent off as odds-on favorite in her race Miller left softly with Rise Above It and when the field settled she moved first-up as the field headed to the half. "He's not a horse that can leave real hard and I knew Matt (Zuccerello with Minnesota Hanover) would be pushing off from the rail so I let everyone settle and then moved first over," Miller explained. Up the backside Rise Above it charged to the front and on the final turn he had five lengths on the field. From there he cruised home an easy winner over CC's Lover and Alan Schwartz. Third place went to Logan's Dragon driven by Dr. Jennifer Lowrey. "He raced real well and was looking for company at the wire," Miller added." Owned by Melvin Fink and Clifford Grundy Rise Above it paid $2.70 for win. He's trained by Nick Surick who had thanks for the owners when he said; "I just want to thank my owners Mel and Cliff for letting Hannah use their horse in series and supporting her and it paid off for them today with a win in the series finale." In the NAADA Series driver Joe Pennacchio made it two in- a -row in with Sir Winston when he guided the veteran gelding to a 2:01 victory over Superiorcourt and driver Bob Krivelin. Third place went to Alan Schwartz with Chuckie B. After a 2:00.1 victory last week while racing on the front end Pennacchio Sir Winston duplicated that effort and once again raced on the lead. "I said last week if he doesn't bleed he'd win and he didn't and we won," Pennacchio said. "He didn't bleed and this week either and he won again." When two horses broke at the start Pennacchio and Sir Winston raced unhurriedly on the lead and got away with easy fractions for the classy old veteran. After a soft half Pennacchio parked all comers and Sir Winston finished strong for a 1-1/2 length triumph. Despite a victory last week and starting from the pole position today the betting crowd didn't have much faith and sent Sir Winston off at odds of over 7-1. Owned by Joe P Racing and trained by Dan Altman he paid $16.40. By John Manzi for NAADA and the Catskill Club

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