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In the harness racing winner’s circle after the 7th race on Tuesday, December 5 at Monticello Raceway, longtime Monticello Raceway horseman Norman Bradbury was honored for his extensive and prominent career and was honored in a retirement ceremony. The native of Bay Roberts, Newfoundland, Norman Bradbury has been a fixture at Monticello Raceway for over 4 decades since his first start in 1979.  Prior to arriving to the backstretch of Monticello, Norman served as trainer for the Grey Brothers of Providence, Rhode Island for many years and trained several winters in Pinehurst NC. Norman and his wife Donna, a longtime Monticello Raceway employee where married in Pinehurst in 1976.   During his rich career, he has enjoyed many highlights, Normans career pinnacle moment came aboard Kittiwake, ($554,206 – 1:54.3) when he drove her to victory in the Lady Catskill at his home track Monticello Raceway. Other of Bradbury’s top performers include Pride N Price, Tiffany Collins, Good Night Action and the recently retired Red Eye Bluechip. Norman’s final career stats display 403 driving wins, $1,390,362 in amassed purse earnings, he trained winners of over $1,797,797. The 7th race of the program was carded as the Norman Bradbury Retirement Race, it contained a field of gritty campaigners, much like Norman. After an early slugfest between Fools Gold (PP3) and (Kyle Dibenedetto) who set a 28 second opening quarter, Can’t Knock M finally got the lead at the half in 58.2 B Seventeen, who was driven by Justin Huckabone started the outer flow at this point. The stealthy Vaganova (Jim Devaux) followed B Seventeen with live cover right behind B Seventeen, B Seventeen got the lead down backstretch as they hit the ¾ in 1:28, as they turned for home, both were poised for victory, the duo raced in tandem down the lane and split the teletimer at the exact same time, resulting in a semi rare Dead Heat of 1:58. B Seventeen is a 5 YO Art Major gelding, out of Jugette and multiple stakes winner Armbro Bombay, the former $125,000 yearling is trained by Jon Berube of Circleville, NY, his DH win ticket returned $4.90. Vaganova is trained by Jim Doherty Jr. the 4-year-old son Rock N Roll Heaven who notched his 6th win for the waning 2017, pushing his seasonal earning over $30,000 and paid $22.20. Following the race, Norman was accompanied in the winner’s circle by his wife Donna and son Grant, as well as numerous friends, and many of the horsemen that he has come to know Norman well during his many years in the backstretch of Monticello Raceway. By Shawn Wiles

MONTICELLO, NY - The last two amateur races of the season at Monticello Raceway were contested on Wednesday, November 29 and when the harness racing judges hung the official signs Tony Ciuffetelli emerged victorious in the $6000 NAADA Consolation while Jennifer Lappe copped the $6500 Catskill Club Final. Ciuffetelli reined trotter Better To Be Lucky home first in a 2:01.2 clocking whereas Lapped scored a 1:59.2 triumph with pacer Lightning Strike. There was only a five horse field for the NAADA consolation and taking advantage of the short field Tony Ciuffetelli sent his charge to the lead. Once there they made every pole a winning one en route to a head victory over Connie Keeper and driver Bob Krivelin . "Since my horse is good on the lead, and with the pole position and the short field, I thought the front end was the place to be," Ciuffetelli said after the race. They charged to the front and Better To Be Lucky trotted off to an early lead. But they couldn't shake Connie Keeper who followed along doggedly in the two hole as the others faded lengths behind. When the leaders headed for home Krivelin moved Connie Keeper out to challenge and they raced neck and neck to the finish and at the wire Better To Be Lucky prevailed by a head. Third place went to Grand Vision in rein to Bob Ciavardini. "He had breaking issues earlier this year but he's OK now.", Ciuffetteli said referring to Better To Be Lucky. "I was getting after him pretty good as we neared the wire but he stayed at his work and hung tough today" Ciuffetlli also owns and trains the winner who returned an $8.20 mutuel. The Catskill Amateur Club's finale was a tribute to the ladies as three were finalists and the gals finished one -three an action packed driving finish. When the wings of the mobile starting gate folded Monica Banca sent Fox Valley Leo to the lead followed on the outside by Lightning Strike and driver Jennifer Lappe. But as they approached the first stanza in a swift :27.2 Lappe found room on the inside and tucked in nicely behind the leader. Before the field passed the halfway point in .57.2 Gerry Fielding was out and going with Troon, the betting favorite. They rallied alongside Fox Valley Leo as the three quarter timer flashed 1:27.4. When they straightened for paydirt Fox Valley Leo and Troon battled side by side and then in mid-stretch they were joined in the passing lane by Lucky Strike and the three raced to the finish. At the wire Lappe's pacer, Lucky Strike, prevailed by a length. Troon was second and Fox Valley Leo third. "We got lucky finding room along the pylons or we'd have been hung out," a joyous Lappe related in the paddock as she hung up the lines. "Lightning Strike is a pleasure to drive and I guess we just clicked." It marked Lucky Strike's fourth victory in his last five starts for Lappe. Owned and trained by Bill Mintz he paid $4.00 for win. On Friday the $15,000 NAADA Final will be contested at Yonkers Raceway as a non-wagering affair prior to the first race on the betting card. by John Manzi for NAADA and the CADC

Monticello Raceway featured its normal Thursday mainstay, the harness racing 'Catskill Amateur Driving Event'. Changing her tactics and deviating from the norm this week rather than cut the mile, Jennifer Lappe was content to sit the pocket journey while Monica Banca aboard Fox Valley Leo cut the fractions. Monica Banca and Fox Valley Leo left the gate first from post 5 and had the lead in the first turn, Lightning Strike the 1-5 favorite and Jennifer Lappe protected their position from the 2 hole and settled in the garden spot while Fox Valley Leo left splits of 28.2, 58.4. 1:29.2 on the teletimer. Bob Davis and Sand Benelli tried to get the outer flow going at the half in the small 6 horse field but found no takers, but continued to grind it out on the backside. At this point the heavy track took its toll on Fox Valley Leo as Banca popped the ear plugs at the ¾, but to no avail as the early pacesetter faded in the lane. Sand Benelli ranged into contention of the top of the stretch, but the real estate saving Lightning Strike was able to clear and go on to win by a length over Sand Benelli in 2:00:2. It was the third win in a row for Lappe and Lightning Strike, the 9 YO gelding by Cam Terrific is trained and owned by William Mintz, and in the process picked up his 7th seasonal win. Paul Walker and Doc's Zippy were 3rd. All 3 of Lightning Strikes string of wins have come in the Catskill Amateur events and has 4 wins in 6 starts in the event. Live racing resumes on Monday November 20 with a 12:25 post time. By: Shawn Wiles

As is the norm, Monticello Raceway Thursday's harness racing card features amateur racing. On November 2, the Catskill Amateurs were featured in an 8-horse field that went to post for a purse $3,900. As the gate left, Jennifer Lappe and Lightning Strike spurted away from post position 6, she was followed by Monica Banca and Fox Valley Leo, (PP3) Banca was the recent winner of the Catskill Amateur final held earlier in the year, Lightning Strike and Lappe cut fractions of 28.2, 58.0, 1:27 and tripped the beam in 1:56.2 on her way to a 2-length victory over the pocket sitting Fox Valley Leo, Sand Benelli (Bob Davis) finished 3rd. It was the 5th win of the year for Lighting Strike a 9-year-old gelding by Cam Terrific, he is owned trained and by William Mintz of Harris, New York. By: Shawn Wiles

Efforts by the North American Amateur Drivers Association and the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club are under way to organize a race for military veterans who are also amateur harness drivers are coming to fruition according to NAADA vice president, Alan Schwartz. The event will be held on Thursday November 9, noted Alan Schwartz a former U.S Marine who besides being the vice president of NAADA is also the president of the Monticello Raceway's Harness Horsemen's Association. At the end of the November 9th racing card at the Mighty M both NAADA and CADC will each donate $1000 to the Veteran's Food Pantry of Sullivan County, NY. Both amateur organizations are urging those who plan on attending the afternoon's race card to please bring along a non-perishable food item which will then be delivered to the veteran's food pantry. Beginning Wednesday November 1, Monticello Raceway will revert to its winter post time of 12:25pm. By Shawn Wiles

Monticello, NY - Ever since the resurgence of amateur harness racing in the early 1980's Monticello Raceway has been in the forefront of that movement. On the Thursday afternoon card of October 26th three events--two NAADA trots and one trot for Billings drivers were carded and when the races were declared official , Alan Schwartz, Jennifer Lappe and Bobby Krivelin each were victorious in their respective splits. Schwartz won the first NAADA Trot with Linda Marie in 2:00 while Lappe copped the second division with Fox Valley Steffen in a 2:00.3 clocking. Krivelin's triumph came in a Billings Trot when he guided Permanent Joy home first in 1.59. In his NAADA split Schwartz, driving Linda Marie for the first time, sent the 6-year-old Crazed mare to the lead when the wings of the mobile gate folded although it wasn't his pre-race plan. "I thought I'd follow Peter's (Kleinhans) horse (Toss Cartwright-the betting favorite from the rail) and sit in behind him but my mare got away quickly so I sent her to the lead and it was a good thing I did because Toss Cartwright made a break on the first turn," Schwartz related. Schwartz and his trotting mare stepped by the first quarter in a swift :28.4 and with the next stanzas well rated no others took a shot at the leader and she cruised though fractions of :31.1 and :30.3 before kicking in a :29.3 final quarter en route to a 1-1/2-length triumph over Tony Verruso's Flirting Duesy and Bobby Krivelin's Connie Keeper. Owned and trained by Jim Doherty, Jr Linda Marie paid $6.50 for win. The second NAADA split was a six-horse field with two women among the drivers-, and one, Jennifer Lappe, showed she knows her way around the racetrack when she kept her charge, Fox Valley Steffen close to the pace and then maneuvered him on the final turn so she had a clear passage to the wire. "I was content to follow the leaders as Paul (Minore) set steady fractions with Wygant Prince and on the final turn I looked for the short path to the wire and used the passing lane to my advantage. In the deep stretch we trotted by Ladys Big Stormont (Alan Schwartz ) and Wygant Prince (Paul Minore) and we were home free." Ms Lappe owns and trains Fox Valley Steffen who as the longest shot on the board paid $23.20. The final amateur race was leg of America's premier traveling roadshow, the CKG Billings Series. In that contest seven trotters lined-up behind the starting gate and when the wings folded Bobby "Rapid Rail" Krivelin and Permanent Joy took charge. After starting from the five hole Krivelin sent his veteran 9-year-old trotter to the front and literally toyed with the opposition and played catch me if you can. But no one could as he and his Trot For Joy gelding cruised through fractions of :29;:58.3 and 1:28.3 before finishing a solid two lengths in front of Tim Lizzie and driver "Yankee Joe" Lee for a two-length victory in 1:59 "He's super on the lead," Krivelin said upon his return to the paddock as he handed the lines to the horse's groom. "He's (Permanent Joy) is a nice old horse and a real pleasure to drive." Owned by the Hero Stables and trained by Krivelin, Permanent Joy won for the fifth time this season and 35th time in his career. He returned a $7.00 mutuel. by John Manzi for NAADA & The Billings Series  

MONTICELLO, NY - In a week inundated with races for harness racing amateur drivers, Monticello Raceway, for the second consecutive day, programmed two amateur events on the afternoon card of October 18 after showcasing two on the previous days program. Today (Thursday),one was for members of North American Amateur Drivers Association and another for those who are members of the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club with many drivers belonging to both organizations. In the NAADA contest Alan Schwartz and Ladys Big Stormont made a laugher out of it when they used the front end route to score an easy 3-1/4 length trotting triumph over Jennifer Lappe's Fox Valley Steffen in a 2:00:1 cocking. Not to be outdone, Joe Lee used a similar route to notch an oh-so-easy 1:56 victory with Artistic Cruiser in the Catskill Club's pacing event later on the card. In a week which featured 12 contests through Thursday afternoon with two more to follow tonight at Yonkers Raceway. With the continuing shortage of available racing stock the amateur movement is welcomed, not only by sportsmen and women who partake of the opportunities to drive just for the fun of it, but also by the racetracks which need competitive races for their wagering clientele. When the gate sprung in the NAADA trot Schwartz sent Ladys Big Stormont towards the front but after encountering Fox Valley Steffen and driver Jennifer Lappe Schwartz contemplated taking a hole or going for the lead, with the latter winning out. Ladys Big Stormont got parked in a rather soft 29 first quarter before taking command. Then once on top Schwartz's charge was comfortable by the half in 1:00. First to move was Joe Lee when he took Tim Lizzie off the pylons and moved toward the front but three lengths behind the leader was all Tim Lizzie could muster. Ladys Big Stormont drew away from his competition on the final turn and coasted home comfortably tripping the mile timer in 2:00.1 The veteran trotter had been good earlier in the season and after a stagnant period he vaulted back to score his second consecutive triumph today. "He had been sluggish for a handful of starts so I turned him out for 10 days on my nearby farm and he returned to his earlier season form," Schwartz said referring to Ladys Big Stormont's recent improvement. Schwartz owns the winner who is trained by Rick Harp. He paid $4.20. In the Catskill amateurs pacing event Joe Lee looked for a spot along the pylons with Artistic Cruiser after the start but couldn't find any room. "So, I made up my mind to go for the lead which I did," the New York Yankee's assistant locker room manager related. "Actually I didn't have any other choice. But it certainly turned out to be the right move." After a :28.1 first quarter Lee and Artistic Cruiser gained command on the second turn and they led the field by the half in:57.4. Still strong as they passed the third stanza in 1:26.4 Artistic Cruise began to open daylight on the field and they had four lengths as they turned for home which was opened to five at the wire. Second place went to KJ Brent, driven by Billings president, Tony Verruso. Visiting Kiwi, Gavin Cook, who competed in the NAADA v New Zealand competition on Wednesday was offered chance to be a guest participant and he finished third here with Crown Isle. Artistic Cruiser, a 5-year-old Artistic Fella gelding, is owned and trained by Tom Milici. Sent off as the odds-on favorite he returned a $3.60 mutuel.   by John Manzi for NAADA and the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club

It's all over except for the shouting and it was the Kiwis who were the loudest after trouncing the home team in the recently completed USA vs. New Zealand Amateur driving harness racing friendship competition. In the third and final leg of the international rivalry which was held at Monticello Raceway on Wednesday, Oct. 18 ,the New Zealanders not only won both races but in the second contest event they finished 1-2-3. Going into the last day of the competition the Americans had a short point lead which quickly evaporated when, in the first contest, New Zealand's Mike Maynard romped home an easy winner in 1:59.2 with Sheer Desire, a pacer winless in 11 previous seasonal starts. "I had the fifth position behind the mobile and the owner (Rory Coolbaugh) told me to send him (Sheer Desire) to the top which I did," Maynard said. "When Sheer Desire got in front he was brave and the farther he went the stronger he was and at the finish we were some five lengths ahead of the second place finisher (King Otra with NAADA's Gerry Fielding aboard)" Third place went to the Kiwi's Gavin Cook who was guiding Silver Chief. As he was hanging up the reins when he returned to the paddock after the race one could easily see the joy that Maynard exuded. "This is my very first visit to America and to have won a race on US soil makes me feel great," said Maynard, a software engineer (his words) back home. Sheer Desire , an 11-year old Real Desire gelding owned by Rory Coolbaugh and trained by Frank Kamine, paid $11.00 for win. In the second NAADA v New Zealand event Maynard came close to a driving double but it was not to be when his pacer Shamderock, rallied in the lane but feel a neck short at the wire. The victory went to his teammate Cheree Wigg who finished first with Bangbangkisskiss. The talented diminutive lady driver finished as the overall point champion in the competition. The previous night at Yonkers Raceway Ms Wigg, who claims to be an office executive and a "hobby trainer" back home, was victorious with Big Turn On in the one event contested there and her two wins in five contest races topped all others. In her Monticello event she sent 36-1 shot Bangbangkisskiss to the lead from post position three and they paced through fractions of .29.2, 1:00.2; 1:30.2 before tripping the timer in 2:00.2 while keeping Shamderock and teammate Mike Maynard at bay. New Zealand's Colleen Negus finished third with Lady's Bag Man two lengths behind the winner. "It was getting close at the finish but my horse had enough to turn away Mike's pacer,"Ms Wigg said but couldn't restrain from smiling when she pointed out the names of the two horses she drove to victory in the competition - (Big Turn On & Bangbangkisskiss) Her smile was even bigger when she glanced at the tote board and saw Bangbangkisskiss paid $75.50; $22.80 and $17.20 across the board. The pacer is owned by Gina Frazzitta and trained by David Wiskow. "We had an enjoyable time hosting our New Zealand friends but the way they beat us up they probably had a better time," noted NAADA president Joe Faraldo. "We look forward to next year when we'll travel Down Under for yet another Friendship Competition with the Kiwis.", by John Manzi for NAADA

On Monday October 16, Monticello Raceway hosted the $400,000 New York Sire Stakes Consolations, with eight harness racing divisions each racing for a purse of $50,000 each. When one thinks of Sire Stake events, one thinks of hot balmy days of July and August. Today the conditions were far from the Sire Stake norm, with temps in the mid 50's, with intermittent sun and a persistent raw wind. 2-Year-Old Filly Pace The short 5 horse field only offered win and place wagering, Dan Dube and Python Blue Chip (Roll With Joe - Michell's Dream) eased their way to the front past the ¼ in 27.4 and stayed there every step of the mile. Michelle's Jazz (Andrew McCarthy) popped out from the garden spot to take a shot at Python Blue Chip at the top of the lane, but Dube hit the wheel disc for extra measure and the filly responded to win by 4 lengths in 1:55.3 for her 2nd win of the year for trainer Ake Svanstedt. Michelle's Jazz was second, followed by Sand Artist (T. Tetrick) 2-Year-Old Colt Pace Aces in Heaven (PP1) protected his position from the rail and left briskly, the post time favorite Courtly Choice (Mark MacDonald) patiently took the lead past the ¼ pole in 27.2 and tripped the following beams in 56.4 1:25.4. and played catch me if you can. Cheese Melt (Dan Dube) didn't see the wood often during his mile, he made a hugh 3 wide move to pass Aces In Heaven in the lane. Courtly Choice scored in 1:56.1, Cheese Melt was 2nd followed by Aces In Heaven 3rd. The son Art Major - Lady Ashlee is trained by Blake Macintosh did not disappoint his faithful, returning $4.40. 3-Year-Old Trotting Colts Zack's Zoomer took the overland route to score in the most impressive effort of the day, as Cresurrey was cutting the fractions (28.4, 58.4 1:27.4) followed by Aces and Eights. Zack's Zoomer was doing his Avis impression and was trying harder. Marcus Miller unleased Zack's Zoomer down the backside in an impressive 3 wide move a the 5/8's pole. The son of Deweycheatumnhowe continued to grind it out to prevail in 1:57.1, LQ 28.3, Cresurrey was 2nd and Aces and Eights (Dan Daley) sat the pocket the entire mile and finished 3rd. 2-Year-Old Trotting Colt The barefooted Cruising In Style (Jason Bartlett), scored a win, but not without some anxious moments. The son of Muscle Mass carved out splits of 30.2, 1:01.4 1:31.4, past the ¾ marker Cruising In Style got rough gaited and was 1 bad step away from jumping off stride, but kept his composure to record the win in 2:01.1 over a hard closing Seven Irons (Tim Tetrick) with Seven Knights (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) Cruising In Style is trained by Andrew Harris for Thestable Cruising Group. 2-Year-Old Filly Pace The eight-horse field was reduced to 7 with the scratch of Oooteeny, Eunice (Eric Goodell) from the rail showed the way barely to the ¼ before Sevenbuyeleven took the lead and reeled off fractions of 29, 59.3, 1:30 to scamper away to an easy 4 length victory in 1:59.3 over the pocket sitter Eunice, finishing 3rd was Perfect Summer K (J. Stratton) Sevenbuyeleven by Chapter Seven is trained by Linda Toscano and is owned by Ken Jacobs and paid a paltry $2.70. 3-Year-Old Pacing Colts Following the successful trend of the day, Octane Bluechip (Dan Dube) from the rail, went down the road for as far and fast as he could go. Dan Dube put the Art Major sleeper hold on the field with a 30 second 2nd quarter and had just enough in the tank to hold off Outrajus Blue Chip (Andy McCarthy) in the fastest mile of the cold afternoon in 1:54.4 and Twin B Cowboy ranged up for 3rd. The 3/5 fav Talent Soup was never a threat and finished last. 3-Year-Old Filly Trot Ostrich Blue Chip made short work of the 7-horse filed and was never headed in an easy 6 length win over Busy Doing Nothin (Ray Fisher Jr.) and Flyhawk Charm (J. Bartlett) in 1:58.1. The Chapter Seven lass is owned by the estate of the great patron of the sport Fred Monteleone, who recently passed away. In the winner's circle was his daughter and other family and friends and shared a special moment. 3-Year-Old Filly Pace The lass with the class was World Apart (Art Major), her wins this year include the Simpson Stake and the The Lady Maud. Candlelight Dinner and Jim Morrill cut the mile to the half, 27.2 - 56.0, she was trailed by World Apart to the 5/8 pole. World Apart pulled the pocket to challenge the now tiring Candlelight Dinner and came first over on the outside at the ¾ marker in 1:25.2, once on the lead World Apart hug on in a tight photo. Touchamatic (George Brennan) was bobbing and weaving thru traffic the entire mile was able to get up and finish 2nd, Magic Forces was 3rd for Marcus Miller. Drivers Jason Bartlett and Dan Dube each had a driving double, Art Major and Chapter Seven each recorded two sire wins each. By Shawn Wiles

Monticello Raceway hosted the Catskill harness racing amateurs on Thursday afternoon October 12th, the 7-horse field went to post for a purse of $3,900. Ken Heins aboard Crown Isle left hard from the rail as did Fox Valley Leo and Monica Banca, going into the first turn Strong Signal and the heavy favorite KJ Brent (Robert Krivelin) got tangled up in close quarters forcing KJ Brent off stride. Heins played hard ball and gave Banca a taste of the chilly Catskill Mountain air as the pair raced side by side past the ¼ in 27.3, they continued in tandem to the half in 57. The eventual race winner Sand Benelli, at this point was last and gapped 15 lengths from the leader. Down the backside Crown Isle and Fox Valley Leo continued to slug it out, at this point the outer flow devolved. Crown Isle still firmly held his ground as he took the field to the ¾ marker on 1:27, Fox Valley was getting leg weary on the outside caused congestion forcing Lighting Strike and Sand Benelli 3 deep at the paddock gate, as the early pace setters began to tire. The pair skipped away by 2 lengths at the top the stretch, Bob Davis and Sand Benelli were able to get up in time to win over Lighting Strike by ¾ lengths in 1:56, Blue Fin was 3rd. Sand Benelli paid $33.80. Strong Signal was placed third but due to the interference in the first turn was DQ'd and was set back to last. Bob Davis owns and trains the well-traveled Sand Benelli, an 11-year-old gelding by The Panderosa who garnered his 3rd win of the year. By: Shawn Wiles             -30-       All emails from Empire Resorts, Inc. and its subsidiaries, and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to which they are addressed. If you are not the intended recipient you are hereby notified that disclosing, copying, distributing or taking any action in reliance on the contents of this information is strictly prohibited. This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are considered privileged and confidential and may not be used by either party in any pending or future legal proceedings. Empire Resorts, Inc., 204 State Route 17B, Monticello, NY 12701 845-807-0001  

On the heels of the harness racing Night of Champions, Monticello Raceway will host the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) consolations on Monday October 16, post time for the 12 race card is 12:50 . There will be 8 races, for each division of age, sex and gait, each division will race for a purse of $50,000. Owners that plan on being attendance for the afternoon will be given a free food voucher for the new state of the art Sports Bar, a free program, along with a special gift. Any owner that plans on being in attendance should contact the Race Office at (845) 794 - 4100 ext. 557 or 555 to make accommodations. The Monticello Harness Horseman's Association in conjunction with Monticello Raceway and the Harness Breeders of New York State will have a BBQ in the paddock for participating horseman and grooms throughout the card. 2 Year Old Filly Trotters Sevenbuyeleven (Tim Tetrick) earned her speed badge of 1:55.1 last week at the Red Mile winning a heat of the International Stallions Stakes, she is the richest and fastest filly in the race, she scores from post position 4. Setntheworldonfire (PP6) has only been off the board once this year for trainer Noel Daley, Andrew McCarthy will drive the Muscle Yankee lass. 2 Year Old Colt/Geldings Trotters Seven Iron (PP4 - Tim Tetrick) was impressive at the Red Mile in the Bluegrass stake, taking a LTM of 1:55.3, equally as impressive is his tally for the year 10 2-2-4, with freshman earning of $91,893. Cruising in Style (Jason Bartlett) has been in the thick of things all year on the NYSS circuit, he will start from the rail in the 5-horse contest. My Lindy Winner (Jim Morrill Jr.) looks to regain her early season form (PP2) that saw her win at Saratoga Raceway in a brisk 1:56.4. 2 Year Old Filly Pacers Michelle's Jazz is the 5-2 favorite from the rail with Andrew McCarthy at the helm. American Myth (Jason Bartlett) brings her 2-race win streak in overnight company at the Meadows, she will score from post 2 for trainer Ed Hart. Mink Pink (Eric Goodell) has been model of consistency with 3 seconds and 2 thirds in her last 5 starts, but she has yet to enter the winners circle this year. She will start from (PP4) 2 Year Old Colts/Geldings Pacers Persist Blue Chip (George Brennan) was a winner earlier in the year at Monticello Raceway in 1:58.1, in this company he will start from the 6 hole. Trump Nation has been very sharp lately, he has 2 Excelsior A wins and a place finish to his credit for trainer Andrew Harris. Aces In Heaven will score from the rail with John MacDonald in the bike and is the morning line favorite. 3 Year Old Filly Trotters Twice the bridesmaid in NYSS competition and heat winner of the Zweig, Ostrich Blue Chip (PP3) in her last 7 starts she has 5 wins and 2 place finishes, Scott Zeron will drive the favorite. Busy Doing Nothing knows her way around a ½ mile oval will benefit from the rail, Ray Fisher will drive. 3 Year Old Colts/Geldings Trotters The Trond Smedshammer stable brings an entry with Cresurrey (PP6 - Jason Bartlett)) and Texican (PP7) for owner Purple Haze Stable LLC. Arch Credit is the morning line second favorite at 3-1, the son of Credit Winner has recently rounded into consistent form. The often-erratic Optimist Blue Chip will start from the rail with Tim Tetrick in the bike. Aces And Eights was impressive in his Vernon Q 1:55.4 last week for Dan Daley. 3 Year Old Filly Pacers World Apart (PP4 - Jason Bartlett) has been a model of consistency, her potent resume includes 3 wins and earnings over $140,000, along the way she earned wins in the Simpson Stake and the Lady Maud, she was 2nd in her NYSS division at Monticello in September. Artrageous (Mark Macdonald) is looking to extend her win streak to 3. 3 Year Old Colts/Geldings Pacers Outrajus Blue Chip looks to be in top form from post 3 and has been installed the morning line fav at 5-2. Octane Blue Chip (Dan Dube - PP1) will also be in the hunt. Benji 's Best was a NYSS winner at Monti this summer in 1:53.4, he was a winner of the EBC consolation in 1:50 at Tioga Downs, post position 8 will hampers his efforts today. By: Shawn Wiles

Monticello, NY--It was Ladies Day in the harness racing Amateur contests at Monticello Raceway on Thursday (Oct. 5) when two of three races were won by members of the gentle sex. Jennifer Lappe won the Catskill Club's Pace and Monica Banca copped the second leg of the NAADA trots. Only a victory by Dave Yarock in the first NAADA Trot saved face for the boys. Lappe, who had harnessed 63 winners as a trainer thus far this season enjoyed her third driving victory of the year when she guided Lightning Strike to a 1:57.2 triumph finishing a head better than Fox Valley Leo, driven by Monica Banca Lappe and her pacer started from the pole position and enjoyed two hole journey behind Fox Valley Leo until overtaking him in the deep stretch. "It always helps when you have the rail because you have lots of options,"Lappe said after her victory."I sat patiently and it all worked out." Bob Davis took home the show dough in that contest with Sand Benelli. Lightning Strike is owned and trained by Bill Mintz. The veteran 9-year-old Cam Terrific gelding paid $12.20. Sent off as the odds-on favorite in their NAADA Trot Banca once again used the front-end route with Brandos Muscle Man but this time Banca's charge didn't falter in the lane and went on to a solid one length triumph in 2:00 over Tim Lizzi. Although driver Joe Lee and Tim Lizzi stalked the leader throughout the mile they didn't have enough in the tank to overtake the leader. "He's a tough old horse ",Banca said with a smile in the paddock after the race was completed."He just wants to go and I just kept feeding him his head and when he was challenged in the stretch he dug in and would let Tim Lizzi pass him." Peter Kleinhans finished third with Toss Cartwright. Banca co-owns the winner with the Rock & Roll Stable. With his victory the 9-year-old Muscles Yankee gelding raised his career earnings to over $480,000. He's trained by Rick Dane, Jr. It was Banca's eighth driving victory this year. Although both Lappe and Banca had a mount in the first NAADA Trot the girls couldn't deny Dave Yarock his day in the sun as both finished out of the money in that event. When the gate sprung Yarock set sails with Mr Ridgetaker and they made every pole a winning one en route to a 1:59.2 victory. Despite being stalked by Ladys Big Stormont and driver Alan Schwartz ,Yarock wasn't going to be denied. "He's really a handful and he's not the best gaited trotter around, either. I had to hold him together right from the start and keep from fighting him so he wouldn't make a break,"Yarock explained. "He's a fast horse but not an easy one to manage." Schwartz's trotter finished a length behind the winner in second place while Sam's Honeybee rallied from far back to garner the show dough. Yarock owns Mr Ridgetaker who's trained by Dawn Devaux. He returned a $13.20 mutuel. by John Manzi for NAADA & CADC

It was only fitting that after winning this first pari mutel drive at Monticello Raceway, that harness racing driver James "Jimmy" DeVaux would win his 5000th race also at his home track. The always humble DeVaux scored a wire to wire win with Sandy Hook Hanover in the last race of the afternoon. DeVaux also won 2 races prior in the card. The 50-year-old DeVaux is atop the leader board at Monticello Raceway with 249 wins, he is also ranked 6th in the nation for leading dash winning drivers with 410 wins. His mounts have earned over $2,000,000 in purses thus far this year, he is also the 3rd leading driver at Saratoga Raceway with 161 wins. By: Shawn Wiles

Monticello, NY -- It was bombs away in the NAADA trots at Monticello Raceway on Thursday afternoon (Sept. 28) when both harness racing winners, each starting from the seven-hole, sparked exorbitant payoffs. In the first division Tony Verruso scored a 2:02.3 triumph with Sam's Honeybee and returned a $76.50 mutuel while in the second split Paul Minore guided his old warhorse Wygant Prince to a 1:59.3 victory which really lite up the toteboard when the veteran trotter paid $130.50-$27.40 and $14.20 across the board. When the gate sprung in their split, which was arguably the better field of the two, Minore sent Wygant Prince away swiftly and they gained command midway around the first turn and then led the field by the first quarter in :28.3. Once on top Wygant Prince marched steadily forward unchallenged by the half in :59. and past the third stanza in 1:29 before any realistic challenge developed. And when did it came from Tony Ciuffetelli with favored Tropical Storm BI. But it was too late as Minore's trotter crossed the finish line like an even money favorite. Third place went to Brandos Music Man, driven by Monica Banca. "I don't always get a chance to ask him to leave because of various circumstances but today I took a shot and it proved to be fruitful,"Minore, a retired high school track coach, said referring to Wygant Prince. "He's been racing real good lately so I thought I'd take a chance and seek the front. It turned out to be a winning move." Minore owns the winner, a 10-.year old SJ's Photo gelding, who with this victory raised his lifetime earnings to over $365,000. He's trained by Taylor Gower. The other split was a 'dogfight' all the way to the wire as Tony Verruso's Sam's Honeybee showed tremendous grit in the deep stretch. After getting away sixth some nine lengths off the leader Verruso erased three of those lengths as Sam's Honeybee passed the halfway point, but still in sixth place. With a big a sweeping move up the backside Sam's Honeybee had on her trotting shoes and when they came off the final turn they were second on the far outside and then took command and braced for the challenge which came from Cassa's Image (Jennifer Lappe) With both drivers all-out urging their horses in the deep stretch Sam's Honeybee prevailed by a head. Joe Lee and Woody were right there but had to settle for the show dough. "My mare was really game in the stretch and we battled all comers right to the wire," Verruso said of Sam's Honeybee. "She's always tough in the lane and she showed it today." Sam's Honeybee, dismissed by the wagering public paid, $76.50-$18.80 and $6.10 across the board. She's owned by Verruso and trained by Carl Gillespie. By John Manzi for NAADA

Monticello, NY -- On Friday, November 10 America will commemorate the valiant services of members of our armed forces with pageantry, speeches, parades and other various celebrations. But on the previous day, November 9th, two local amateur clubs are planning an amateur harness racing driving challenge at Monticello Raceway as an impetus to raise money for the local veteran's food banks.However, since the Mighty M is dark on Fridays this year's Veterans Driving Challenge is slated for Thursday, November 9. This project is the brainchild of Alan Schwartz , the president of the Monticello Harness Horsemen's Association who is also the vice president of the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA). "We have planned our own special tribute for those who served our country with honor by staging this Amateur Driving Challenge for veterans of our armed forces who are currently amateur drivers," said Schwartz, a former US Marine. "NAADA is being joined in this worthwhile endeavor by the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club (CADC) and its president Gerry Fielding who was a longtime Army reservist. And at the end of the November 9th racing program each amateur club will make a sizable donation to the Veterans Food Pantry of Sullivan County. Although the amateur clubs have great ambitions this project couldn't come to fruition without the help of Eric Warner, Monticello Raceway's longtime director of racing. The Veterans Amateur Driving Challenge is only open to former servicemen who are amateur drivers licensed by the U.S Trotting Association and/or the Canadian Trotting Association. "This may not be an easy race to fill but once the word is out we're hopeful of getting a good response from proud veterans who helped preserve the American way of life," Schwartz added. Last year there was enough response from veterans that two races were staged. Schwartz won one division while Irving Bluestein, who traveled all the way from the greater Boston Mass- area, to compete, won the other. Anyone wanting more information, or to enter the event, must contact Warner at Monticello Raceway by calling 845-794-4100 ext 557. Or contact Schwartz in the Monticello Horsemen's organization office at 845-791-7747. John Manzi

Often when harness racing drivers are on the brink of a dash milestone, they experience a drought. This was the case with Bruce Aldrich Jr, after going nearly a week without a win at Monticello Raceway. The drought was extinguished on Tuesday as Bruce caught fire early on the card and won two New York Sire Stake Excelsior B events at Monticello. The wildfire continued Wednesday September 20 at Monticello as he won five races on the card with Hay There Harrison $2.60, Song of The Valley $3.90, Heza Swan $18.60 and Roundtown Rocker 1:57.4 $7.70. The best win of the day came with ULSHOOTUREYEOUTKID, the win elevated Bruce Aldrich Jr. as the newest member of the elite 7,000-win club. Bruce wasted no time in notching his next milestone and came right back to win the following race with Roundtown Rocker for his 5th win of the day. After dismounting the bike and was approaching the winners circle, a moved Aldrich said "I'm so happy, I'm so happy" Aldrich was greeted in the winner's circle by a large crowd of fellow drivers, trainers and well-wishers. Aldrich, a long time main stay at Monticello Raceway where he has enjoyed much success over the years as he cut his teeth and honed his skills, he is a former multiple leading dash winner. Ulshootureyeoutkid is trained by Anthony Regina and is owned by James Cosenza. The bay gelding by Allamerican Native toured the mile in 1:56.4 and paid $14.00 for win for his 2nd win of the year. Aldrich is having a career best year, he is ranked 8th nationally for leading dash wins with 376 and career earnings of $26,565,279, Bruce is the third leading driver at Monticello Raceway with 178 wins. By Shawn Wiles

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