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Amateur harness racing is certainly escalating. On Friday, July 14, the amateurs emulated the pros when a group raced during the afternoon at Monticello Raceway and then traveled to Saratoga Raceway for two Eastern Region Billings trots in the evening. One of the trekkers ,Tony "the Capo" Verruso, the president of the Billings Series , won his contest at Saratoga when he guided Gaelic And Garlic to a 1:58.1 triumph after he finished third in a NAADA Trot at Monticello earlier in the day. The other split went to "Bay State Bob" Kenney when he rallied Rev Up The Spice to a 1:59.2 triumph. In his division Verruso was sent off at odds of 9-2 and found the two-hole with Gaelic And Garlic as he neared the first quarter which was stepped in :28.3. Following the cover provided by Winwood Stout and James "Jimmy Boy" Marshall IV, Verruso sat chilly when "Tough Tony" Ciuffetelli pulled Aventure first-up as the field headed to the halfway point. Verruso bided his time and in the lane he rallied his trotter to a one length victory over Marshall's charge. Aventure hung on for the show dough. "After I fell in behind Marshall I had a picture perfect trip from there," Verruso related. "He (Gaelic And Garlic) responded well in the stretch when he saw daylight. He's is a real nice horse and a pleasure to drive." Owned by Bernie White and the Kristie Leigh Farm and trained by Melissa Beckwith, Gaelic and Garlic, a career winner of more than $373,000, paid $11.20 for win. It was the Capo's fourth seasonal driving victory and 64th since he began amateur racing in 1999. In the other split Kenney gave his trotter a similar journey falling into the two- hole and then stalking the leader, Trotalot and Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff, until the deep stretch and then rallying to victory. Lisa Jane finished third for Simeon "Hot Rod" Hunsdon. It was Kenney's second consecutive victory with Rev Up The Spice having won a Billings trot at the Afton,(NY) Fair last Friday. The winner is owned by Di Stefano & Son Stable and trained by John Di Stefano. Sent off at odds of over 14-1 Rev it Up Spice returned a $30.40 win mutuel. For Kenney it was his fifth driving victory in just 12 seasonal starts this year. by John Manzi for the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series

MONTICELLO, NY - For the past five weeks at Monticello Raceway Thursdays have featured races driven by amateur drivers. And July 14th was no exception. Two trots in the NAADA Series were carded as well as a pace in the Catskill Club's Amateur Series. When it was all over Alan Schwartz and Peter Kleinhans were each victorious in their respective NAADA splits while "Hurricane Hannah" Miller copped the Catskill Club's pace. Schwartz led the NAADA brigade winning his division with Lady's Big Stormont in an eye-opening 1:57.2 over Bob Hechkoff's The Franchise. When the wings of the mobile gate folded Schwartz gunned his recent purchase to the lead and took no prisoners. Lady's Big Stormont, whom Schwartz claimed last week for $12,500, zipped by the first stanza in a stiff :28. Still comfortably in hand they were two lengths in front as they trotted by the half in :57.3. Although Bob Hechkoff and The Franchise enjoyed a two-hole journey they were outclassed when the field turned for home as Schwartz's charge drew off to a two length victory. Third place went to Woody, driven by Joe Lee. "I just claimed him here last week and he sure has a lot of trot, but he's a handful. He grabs on when jogging and is tough behind the gate and when scoring down he's on the muscle but he's got a big engine," Schwartz said referring to Lady's Big Stormont. "So I'll have to put up with his ways." Trained by Raheim Strong, Lady's Big Stormont scored his sixth seasonal triumph and paid $4.30 for win. The next NAADA trot on the Thursday card saw Peter Kleinhans send Toss Cartwright to the lead in after the half and then jog away to 9-length triumph over Typical New Yorker and driver Alan Schwartz. Kleinhans and Toss Cartwright didn't see the pylons until they wrested the lead from Tony Verruso and Up Front N Crazy as the two trotters passed the halfway point. Then surprisingly, even to Kleinhans, his trotter began to open daylight on the field and they cruised home an oh-so-easy winner over Typical Newyorker. Up Front N Crazy took home the show dough for Tony Verruso. "When we passed the half in :57.4 I thought he'd (Toss Cartwright) be tired but I was I pleasantly surprised to see us run away with the race," Kleinhans said. "This is my girlfriend's horse and I wish she could have been here today to see him win today." Owned by Collene Cash and trained by John McDermott, Toss Cartwright paid $4.80 for win. Amateur racing's current leading driver, "Hurricane Hannah" Miller, scored her 18th seasonal victory when she guided Stoman to a wire to wire triumph in a 1:56.1 clocked mile in the Catskill Club's pace. But victory didn't come easy. When the starter said go Miller sent Stoman to the front from the pole position but she had pressing company from Late Night Flight and driver Monica Banca. Their horses raced head to head past the quarter pole in a swift :27.2, that was until Miller opened a hole behind her for Banca's pacer to fall into, which Monica did. But by then Ms. Miller had little hope of giving Stoman a breather and they traveled by the half in :56.2. "I was quite concerned with the fast early fractions but I didn't want to get in behind Monica's horse," Miller said after the race. " The :56-half had me concerned even though I had a snug hold on him (Stoman) right from the start. Still they were fast fractions." As the field headed for the third stanza Stoman had opened up a three-length lead on the field. Barry Addison and KB's Bad Boy--last week's winner in this event--began a charge at the leader but it was too little, too late and they had to settle for second money. Shark Treasure rallied from far back to finish third for Gerry Fielding. Stoman, a 10-year-old Market Report gelding is owned by Jason MacDougall and trained by John Hallett, He paid $4.20 for win. After the amateur races at the Mighty M were contested, Miller and a contingent of others hit the road to Saratoga Raceway--2-1/2 hour ride-- for two Billings trots carded late on the Saratoga Harness race card. by John Manzi for the NAADA and Catskill Amateur Club  

The fastest mile for 2 year old trotting fillies at Monticello Raceway on Tuesday afternoon belonged to Mamora Bay, it was also Matt Kakaleys second win on the afternoon card. The betting favorite Mamora Bay (PP2) sat 3rd for most of the mile as she followed Hotel Royale and Shes Smoke, the filly was gaining maturity and momentum with every step, nearing the 5/8 mile marker she was out and it was a 2 horse race between Mamora Bay and Hotel Royale as the 2 opened up on the rest and trotted in tandem down the lane, Mamora Bay scored in 2:00.1, the fastest mile of the day for 2 year old filly trotters In the winners circle, Matt Kakaley told trainer Sam Schillaci "I really like her, she can move!" Schillaci responded with "I liked the filly all winter" She trotted her last quarter in 29.1 The Chapter Seven filly is owned by Peter Barbato of Demarest NJ., and earned her first Sire Stake Blanket of her juvenile career. In race 2, first heat of the $21,800 Sire Stakes, Sunshine Delight and John Campbell cut the entire mile, at the 5/8 marker Matt Kakaley was sitting 3rd tipped his mount Heels on Wheels to the outside, the filly was in cruise control and she eventually wore down Sunshine Delight to prevail in a neck victory. The Conway Hall - Go Go Dancer filly stopped the timer in 2:01, for trainer Ron Burke. She is now 2 for 2 in NYSS Company, the betting public favorite returned $3.20 Monticello Raceways leading driver Bruce Aldrich teamed up with Mighty Surf from the rail in the 4th, as the gate left Dazzlash took the lead and remained on the front for the first ¾, Mighty Surf was tracking in the 2 hole, Aldrich tipped his filly to the outside and she had the lead and 6 lengths in the blink of an eye. The Prayer I Am filly tripped the teletimer in 2:01, she is owned by Roy Dobbins and is trained by Dennis Larterza. In race 5 Dan Daley and Cherry Royal Ruby left hardest from the gate followed by Maewgonow, Cherry Royal Ruby took them past the ¼ in 29.3, as soon as they hit that marker Maewgonow and Marcus Miller took the lead, they passed the half in 1:01.1. Past the half Scarey Karie (Conway Hall - Alabama Hotel) was flushed out without cover and was forced to take the overland route down the backstretch, still first over at the ¾ she trotted in tandem with Maewegonow down the stretch to prevail in a gritty m win in 2:01 for Trainer Driver Phil Fluet and owner Michael Woodward of Oakfield NY. The last Sire Stake event came in the afternoons last race, by the time the 7 horse field came out of the first turn, all made breaks except Flyhawk Charm, and the daughter of Deweucheatumnhowe used this to her advantage and kept as much distance between her and the rest of the bunch to win in 2:03. Chris Lems drove the filly for owner - trainer Joseph Flynn In one of the Excelsior A division's Teasin N Pleasin and Larry "The Bomber" Stalbaum almost blew up the tote board, the longest shot in the field returned $79.00 to her backers. Former 1970's leading Monticello driver Thomas Corelli trains the daughter of CR Excalibur. In other Excelsior action, the winners were Eternal Flame AS (Archangel) 2:05 - $18.40, Mighty Surf (Prayer I Am) 2:01 - $5.80, Sevally (Conway Hall) 2:03.4 - $14.40 and Seven Diamonds (Chapter Seven) 2:05.1 - $9.50 by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway  

If you think amateur harness racing isn't an integral part of the sport don't tell Monticello Raceway's director of racing Eric Warner because he just won't believe you. On Friday afternoon, July 6 Warner carded six betting races for amateur drivers; two in the CKG Billings Series, two in the NAADA Trotting Series; and two in the Catskill Amateur Club's Series. Many of the participants are members of all three organizations. "The amateur races truly help us fill our betting cards and the fans wager on them with confidence," Warner said. "More than half our Friday card was for amateur drivers" In what started out as a pleasant afternoon weather-wise Mother Nature turned the tables when half-way through the racing program the skies opened up and rain made the enjoyment of driving more than a bit unbearable. But the amateurs persevered through the extreme weather conditions and responded as professional drivers would have. Not surprisingly, "Hurricane Hannah" Miller was the star of the day. The talented miss drove two winners and had three seconds in five drives. Other winners included "Smokin' Joe Faraldo, Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff; "Tough Tony" Ciuffetelli and "Boppin' Barry" Addison won his first pari-mutuel race. Bob Hechoff won the first Billings contest when he guided The Franchise to a wire to wire 1:58.2 victory over Hannah Miller and Jacks To Open. "The inside post (pylon position) helped but once I got him through the first turn I knew he'd be good from there," Hechkoff said after his victory. "He's a real horse." Owned by RBH Ventures and Spagnola Racing The Franchise paid $7.20 for win The second Billings trot went to For You Almostfree and driver by Joe Faraldo in a 2:00 clocking despite being parked out for the entire mile. They collared pacesetter Shanghai Jack and Hannah Miller in the final strides to score a head triumph. "When I saw Hannah go to the whip in the stretch I knew her horse was in trouble," Faraldo said. "I urged "Almostfree" a bit and he just kept grinding and we collared her at the wire. He's a classy old-timer." The veteran Glidemaster 8-year-old stallion, a lifetime winner of almost $480,000, is owned by Faraldo, Wittstruck and Tietel and trained by Richard Banca. He paid $8.30 for win. Hannah Miller's first triumph was with pacer Tijuana Party in a 1:58.2 clocking in a Catskill Amateur Series event. In that one Hannah left softly from the four-hole as Late Nite Flight (Monica Banca) and Shark Treasure (Alan Schwartz) locked horns in a :27.2 first quarter. After Schwartz settled in along the pylons Ms Miller sent her charge to the front as the field passed the halfway point. From there it was all Hannah and Tijuana Party as they rambled to a three-length victory over Late Nite Flight. "He (Tijuana Taxi) is a real pleasure to sit behind. He's got quick speed and can leave like a rabbit.And you can drive him with two fingers", Miller said. It was the third consecutive victory for Miller and Tijuana Party who paid $2.90 for win. Hannah co-owns with trainer Nick Surick. Hannah's other victory was in a NAADA Trot behind Scottish Cross in a pounding rainstorm. Starting from the far outside they went wire to wire in a 2:01.2 clocking holding off a late charge by Tony Ciuffetelli and Mack's Gold Band. Owned by Allard racing and trained by Rene Allard, Scottish Cross paid $3.70 for win. However, the veteran 11 year old Angus Hall mare was claimed for $18,000 by Howard Taylor. Tony Cuiffetelli won a NAADA trot with the veteran 12-year-old Tagmaster in 2:02.4 as the rain continued fall relentlessly. They got to the front easily and were chased the entire mile by Hannah Miller and Lou Lous Princess. But Tagmaster was up to the challenge and finished a one length winner over Lou Lous Princess. Ciuffetelli owns and trains the winner who paid $11.20 for win. The last amateur race on the card will always be a memorable one for Barry Addison who drove KB's Bad Boy to a 1:58.4 triumph over McCabe Hall and Tony Ciuffetelli. It was Addison's first lifetime victory. "I had the pole and I let Monica (Banca with Allamerican Dice) go and then retook," Addison said. "Once on top again "KB's" was comfortable and pretty much cruised to victory. It's always special when do something for the first time and I don't think I'll ever forget this, my first win." Sent off at odds of 5-2 the KB's Bad Boy returned a $7.20 mutuel. by John Manzi for the Billings, NAADA and Catskill Amateur Series

On Tuesday afternoon July 12 at Monticello Raceway, 2 year old filly trotters will showcase their talent. Race Secretary Eric Warner drew 5 divisions of Sire Stakes, each with a purse of $21,800, 3 dashes of the Excelsior A events racing for $15,000 and 1 Excelsior B class going for $6,800. This is the second stop of the New York Sire Stake circuit for many of these fillies, the opening leg was held at Buffalo Raceway last week. John Campbell is behind Sunshine Delight (Credit Winner) for Trainer Staffan Lind in race 2. The $125,000 Credit Winner yearling is coming off a win at the Meadowlands in 1:59.2, trotting her last quarter in 28.4, this will be her first start on the twice around oval. The powerful George Ducharme stable has the unbeaten Galloway, the Credit Winner lass is owned by WJ Donavan, and Chris Lems will drive. Also garnering attention is Barn Bella (PP2) the successful combination of Purple Haze Stables LLC and Steven Pratt own the daughter of Conway Hall. In race 4, 2 of the fillies were winners at Buffalo. Mighty Surf will start from the rail with Monticello Raceway leading driver Bruce Aldrich Jr. Run for Royalty was a dead heat winner in in almost an identical mile of 2:04. Bankette has drawn post 5 for trainer driver Jan Johnson for owner Caroline Gerry of Locust Valley NY. Race 5, Cherry Royal Ruby is the morning line favorite, by virtue of her back to back wins, last week she romped at Buffalo by 6 1/2 lengths in 2:02, coming home in a brisk 28:2. The RC Royalty - Nowerland Kristen filly is trained by Dan Daley for owners Cherry Hill Farm and Todd Van Alstyne. Race 11, is a who's who of prominent New York owners and breeders, KJ Stables, Hotel Royale (RC Royalty) will start from the rail, Purple Haze's Creditover (Credit Winner) will start from post 5 and Crawford Farms Racing has John Campbell aboard their Beautiful Bacardi, the RC Royalty filly will start on the outside drawing post 7. The final Sire Stakes of the day comes in race 14, Nightflix Hanover (Credit Winner) will look to shed her role as bridesmaid thus far this year for trainer Ray Schnittker. Deli-Delight is rounding into form for owner and longtime USTA Director Lon Frocione of Syracuse NY, his RC Royalty filly will be driven by Mike Simons for trainer Anthony Mondi. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway  

Once again Monticello Raceway afforded three races today--Thursday, June 30 -- for the burgeoning amateur movement which has been helpful to the race secretaries in their quest to present full race cards. Two amateur contests were in the North American Amateur Drivers Association's spring trotting series; the first won by Tony Ciuffetelli with Aventure in a swift 1:57.3 while the other went to Typical Newyorker and driver Alan Schwartz in a 2:00.2 clocking. The third, a pace in the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club series, saw Hannah Miller guide Tijuana Party to a gutsy 1:57.1 clocking. In his NAADA series contest Ciuffetelli left hard from the two hole with Aventure and when he saw Hannah Miller charging to the lead from the seven-hole with the odds-on favorite Scottish Cross, he allowed her to take command in a :28.2 first quarter. From there he was content to let the lady and her trotter cut he fractions. "I knew if I let Hannah go I'd get a good two-hole trip,"Ciuffetteli said after the race. "I followed her all the way until the stretch and then I moved my horse out and he trotted right by her and won going away." At the wire Aventure was a two-length winner. Scottish Cross easily held on for second money while Toss Cartwright rallied to be third for Peter Kleinhans. Ciuffettelli, a retired corrections officer, also owns and trains Aventure. The 5-year-old Muscle Mass gelding paid $6.90 for win. In the other NAADA trot Alan Schwartz sent Typical Newyorker to the lead from the pole position and they remained unchallenged until Hannah Miller moved Lou Lous Princess first -up as the field approached the halfway point. "I knew Hannah was coming but her horse was hanging (on the limb) as we raced past the three quarters and I could see she wasn't going to even get alongside me," Schwartz said. "When we straightened for home my horse opened up a couple of lengths and he was strong all the way to the wire." Typical Newyorker was a solid one length winner over Paul Minore's Wygant Prince. Third place went to Blazin Delores, driven by Dein Spriggs. Lou Lous Princess faded and finished fourth. With his victory Typical Newyorker raised his lifetime earnings to nearly $252,000. The veteran Conway Hall gelding is owned by Michelle Hallet, Michelle Oglesby and Roger Doire and trained by John Hallett. He paid $13.00 for win. Alan Schwartz, a former National Amateur Driver of the Year, notched his 569th career driving victory and he continues to be the winningest amateur driver competing today. Sandwiched between the NAADA trots on the 14-race card the Catskill Club pace was won for the second consecutive week by Tijuana Party. Hannah Miller was again in the sulky and although she struggled to take command in a :27.2 first quarter, once Tijuana Party was on the lead he never relinquished it. Hannah and her charge stepped by the halfway point in :56.2 and at that point Ms Miller had second thoughts. "When I saw the timer flash :56.2 I figured I was in trouble, "Hannah said. "But my horse was gritty and to my pleasure he just kept going forward. He was even strong in the stretch and held off Dein Spriggs' pacer (Stoman) who had a two-trip." Tijuana Party was a two-length winner over Stoman. J Wanda took home the show dough for Bob Davis. Sent off the odds-on favorite Tijuana Party lived up to his billing and returned a $3.80 win mutuel. The pacer is co-owned by her driver and her trainer, Nick Surick. For "Hurricane Hannah" it was her 14th winning drive thus far this season. Last year she won 32 races and was named National Amateur Driver of the Year. Her exploits last season also earned her the Harness Racing Museum's Amateur Driver of the Year and with that honor she will drive against six Hall of Famers in the Hall of Fame Trot at Goshen Historic Track on Sunday afternoon, July 3. ""It's a real big honor and I'm so excited to be able to drive against the Hall of Famers," Miller said. by John Manzi, for NAADA

On Thursday June 30, Monticello Raceway showcased a hefty card of 14 races, featuring New York Sire Stake action for 2 Year Old Trotting Colts. On tap are 5 splits of Sire Stakes, ($22,000) 4 heats of the Divisions A's ($15,000) and 2 races for the Division B ($6,600) and 2 dashes of the NAADA event and 1 Catskill Amateurs event, Practice is over, now it's for real, that's what over 80 freshman trotting colts discovered when they made their Pari mutuel and half mile oval debut. John Campbell had 3 winner's races on the afternoon's card. Owners Ted Gewertz and Wanda Polisseni both enjoyed an owners double on the afternoon. In the first $22,200 dash, Such An Angel, took advantage and protected the rail, as he led wire to wire to win in 2:01:1, sprinting home in 29.1. The Credit Winner colt is owned in partnership of Samuel Caruso and Wanda Polisseni, trained by Paul Kelly and driven by Sam Caruso. The $110,000 yearling purchase has 3 wins in as many starts. Race 4, the undefeated Barn Winner scored in impressive fashion for driver Jeff Gregory, as Lindy The Second showed the field thru even fractions of 30 seconds for each quarter, Gregory was patiently bidding his time, down the backstretch Gregory carefully tipped the Credit Winner colt to the outside at the 3/4, at top of the lane the Credit Winner colt angled into contention, he responded well when asked for trot, coming home in a brisk 28:3 over Devious Man and fraction setting Lindy the Second. Steven Pratt is trainer and co-owner along with Out in the Country Stable, scoring in 2:00. The 3rd heat was in race 6, Odeon Bluechip (PP3) left fastest from the gate and showed the way out of the first turn Zack's Zoomer (Deweycheatumnhowe), pulled the 2 hole and quickly took the lead from Odeon Bluechip (Credit Winner) before the quarter, reaching that marker in 30:0, they reached an even rated half in 1:00:2, at the 5/8 marker John Campbell, driving Volare made a bold move and challenged Zacks Zoomer but had to settled for 2nd money as Zacks Zoomer withstood the challenged The Erv Miller trainee scored by 1¼ length over Volare in 1:59:3 for owners Miller & Eisman, and was driven by Andy Miller, it was the fastest mile of the day for the 2 year olds. Aces and Eights was content to sit the pocket behind fraction setting Neon Lights the entire mile, Daley tipped the son of RC Royalty to the outside as they fanned for home. Neon Lights started to labor for driver Chris Lems and made an ill-timed break in deep stretch, Ace and Eights inherited the lead and won over Shaq To The Rack and Ray Schnittker in 2:00:3 for winning connections of Daley, Crawford, Lombardo and Brooks. The last of 5 Sire Stakes came in race 12, Money Macintosh won by 2 lengths for Andy - Julie Miller team. The son of Credit Winner eased from the 8 hole and found himself parked 3 deep going into the first turn and down the backstrecth, after dodging a few breakers he eventually made his way to the lead past the ¼ in 30:3, he showed the field through fractions of 1:01:2, 1:31:3 and was never heeded to prevail in 2:00:3. Money Macintosh is owned by Story Inc. of Millstone Township. The John Campbell classes started in an Excelsior A event as he scored with diminutive and uniquely colored New York Chrome for jubilant owner Philip Hale of New Hartford NY in 2:01.3. Campbell would go on to win the final 2 races of the afternoon, in the 13, Sheldon (Chapter 7) minded his manners and won in 2:04.4. Winter Mint (Credit Winner) who was a handful scoring down but was on his best behavior once behind the gate, he floated out from post 2 and was sitting 3rd when the horses in front of him made breaks, once given the lead he was never headed to win in 2:02.2 The Sire stats for the day were Credit Winner had 5 winners, Deweychetumnhowe 3, RC Royalty, Chapter Seven & Mutineer all had 1 each. By Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

The second legs of the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) and the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club (CADC) 10-week series were contested on Thursday, June 23 at Monticello Raceway and upon the completion of the afternoon card NAADA winners included Alan Schwartz and Dein Spriggs while Hannah Miller copped the CADC pace. Schwartz won with Armstead Kyra in 2:00.3 while Spriggs was victorious with Saint Patty's Doll in 2:00.2. "Hurricane Hannah" romped by over three lengths with Tijuana Party in 1:58.4. In their contest Schwartz and Armstead Kyra's biggest challenge was how to handle Bob Hechkoff's recent purchase Photosavvy whose prowess in his previous races impressed the bettors enough to send them away at odds of even money. However, on the first turn Photosavvy made a break which allowed Schwartz's charge to cruise along unchallenged on the front end. They traveled through fractions of :30; 1:00.2 and 1:30.2 and then held off a late charge from Hannah Miller and Lou Lous Princess to hold on for a head victory in 2:00.2. Joe Lee took home the show dough with Woody. "This was the first time I drove her (Armstead Kyra) and I was real careful with her leaving out of there. The last time she had the pole she made a break at the start so I didn't want that to happen with me today," Schwartz said after his driving victory. As the field rounded the final turn and headed for paydirt in that event Lou Lous Princess, who had a two-hole trip, mounted a late rally. "In the lane I knew Hannah's horse was gaining on mine and I was certainly glad when the wire came up," Schwartz added. Armbro Kyra, owned by Brenda Messenger and Dr. Scott Woogen and trained by Gary Messenger, paid $10.40 for win. A second NAADA split went to Dein Spriggs, former two-time National Amateur Driver of the Year. Up from Florida to drive Saint Patty's Doll, Spriggs made the trip worthwhile when he reined the 7-year old daughter of Conway Hall to a 2:00.2 victory over Aventure and driver Tony Ciuffetelli. A stalwart in the Florida Amateur Drivers Association, this was the fourth time Spriggs sat behind Saint Patty's Doll and the second time he was victorious. He also has had two seconds among those four outings. In the NAADA trot today Spriggs gunned Saint Patty's Doll to the lead from the four-hole and took command at the quarter in :29.3. Once on top he made every pole a winning one en route to a 2:00.2 clocking while he kept a hard charging Aventure and driver Tony Ciuffetelli at bay. Blazin Delores finished third for Hannah Miller. "Besides having a drive with Saint Patty's Doll today I'll stay tomorrow (Friday) to drive in the GSY Amateur Series at the Meadowlands," Spriggs related. Owned by Karma Racing and trained by Patti Harmon, Saint Patty's Doll returned a $3.80 win mutuel. The last of the three amateur races saw Hannah Miller continue her prowess when she guided Tijuana Party to an oh-so-easy 1:58. 4 victory In the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club Series. Sent off as the 8-5 favorite from post two Miller quickly gained command and led the field by the first stanza in a swift :28.4. From there she toyed with her competition and was never in any trouble. And when Tijuana Party rounded the final turn he began to draw off and coasted home an easy three-length winner over McCabe Hall and driver Tony Ciuffetelli. Third place went to Shark Treasure driven by Gerry Fielding. "He's a pleasure to drive and he was real good today," Miller said referring to Tijuana Party. "He's got quick speed away from the (starting) gate and he's was strong at the end of the mile, too." Hannah co-owns the winner with Nick Surick who doubles as the horse's trainer. Tijuana Party paid $5.50 for win. For "Hurricane Hannah" it was her 13th driving victory already this year. John Manzi for NAADA and CADC

The Harness Horse Breeders of NYS would like to remind horse owners and harness racing trainers about updates and other information. The date at Monticello for all Two Year Old Colt Trot NYSS events has been changed to June 30th (draw date of June 27th by 9am) Please make sure you have USTA eligibility paperwork done and your USTA license to race at County Fairs. The 2015 proposed USTA rule to stop 2-Year-Olds from racing on consecutive days did NOT PASS. You may enter and race two days in a row if you wish. You must have a W-9 on file in the NYSS office to receive County Fair(only) purse checks. The Monticello race program for Monday June 27th, 2016 (Draw date Wed. June 22, 2016 by 9am) will have a class for NY-Bred 3-Year-Old Trotting Fillies with a purse of $5,000. Residency Form B is due after your resident mare has been in New York for a total of 180 days. These forms must be done every year you bred to a NY eligible stallion and are in the state for at least 180 days. If you have any questions please call 518-785-5858 Harness Horse Breeders of New York State  

Monticello Raceway was honored to be the site of harness racing driver Chris Lems 1000th career win, ironically Monticello was the site of Chris's his first stake win. Chris drove Manny to victory in the 3rd division of NYSS in 1:54:2. Manny (American Ideal - Foolish Kiss) is trained by Jessica Okusko, for owners M and L of Delaware & Victoria Dickson. Chris also drives for powerful stables of Jessica Okusko and George Ducharme. Monticello Raceway Pick 5 Carry over at $4,532.00 Monticello Raceway’s Pick 5 carry over is now $4,532.00. The first leg of the Pick 5 begins in Race 3.  Director of Simulcasting, Maureen Flynn said “this is the biggest carry over that we have had, we are glad to offer our patrons this opportunity” By Shawn Wiles    

A new track record for harness racing aged geldings of 1:51.4 was today set at Monticello Raceway by Royal Heart driven by Bruce Aldrich.   Royal Heart is owned by Blindswitch Racing Stable and Dolne Farm Services LLC and trained by Jose Godinez.   Geri Schwarz  

The Grand Circuit of amateur harness racing, also known as the CKG Billings Series, moved on to Monticello Raceway on Thursday, June 2 and when the director of racing secretary, Eric Warner, opened the entry box for that day he was pleasantly surprised to find 20 entries in the Billings Trot which would allow him to be able to card three good trotting events in eastern region action for Thursday and with them Monticello Raceway was able to offer 11 betting contests on the card that day. "Hurricane Hannah" Miller won the first Billings trot with Blazin Delores in 2:00 while "Yankee Joe" Lee was triumphant with Woody in 2:01.3 in another. James Jimmy Boy" Marshall IV scored in 1:58.4 with KLM Express in yet another. In her event Ms. Miller scored her 11th driving victory thus far this season and explained her victorious journey via email. " Blazin Delores raced great," the talented miss said at days end. "She was able to leave and get a trip while Dein Spriggs (with St Patty's Doll) and Bob Davis (with Swift Blizzard) battled it out for the front. I waited for the passing lane and got up in time." St. Patty's Doll was second, beaten by just a head in a tight photo. Swift Blizzard photoed-out "Smokin' Joe" Faraldo's, For You Almostfree for third money. Owned and trained by Laurie Molnar Blazin Delores paid $14.80 for win. In the third Billings event "Hurricane Hannah: was up behind the favorite, Jacks To Open but racing luck was not in her favor. "Jack had a tougher trip in the last Billings race but I was able to work my way into the two hole before the half," she explained. "He still raced good and held on for second." The victory in that contest went to "Jimmy Boy" Marshall (IV) when he guided his uncle's KLM Express to a gate to wire triumph in a solid 1:58.4 over the Mighty M's double oval. Miller's, Jacks To Open, was second just 1-1/4 lengths behind the winner despite being parked to the half. .Dave "the Rave" Offenberg took home the show dough with Bluebird Kidsqueen. The race winner, KLM Express, is owned by "Jimmy Boy's" uncle Richard Aiken and trained by his grandfather Bill Aiken. The trotter returned a $7.60 win mutuel. In the other Billings event Joe Lee, the New York Yankee's locker room manager, returned to the winners circle again when he reined Woody to a come-from-behind one length victory over Ladys Big Stormont and driver Dein "the Dream" Spriggs in a 2:01.3 clocking. Third in that mile was Magglio, driven by Allen "Bo Bo" Sisco. After the races were completed Lee expressed pleasure from his driving victory. "In today's fifth race there were a bunch of breaking horses so I decided to leave with Woody, which doesn't happen often, and we ended-up in the two hole as Dein Spriggs took command with Ladys Big Stormont. "At the half Allen Sisco came out from third with Magglio and pressed Spriggs' trotter the rest of the way. I waited until the passing lane and slid up the rail (plyons) to win by half a length and paid $44.00 as the longest shot on the board. Woody was great today in the turns and had plenty of trot in the lane. Woody, a 6-year old altered son of Glidemaster, is owned by Woody Hoblitzell and trained by Bruce Aldrich, Sr. Billings action continues Friday night (June 3) with a Midwest region trot at Scioto Downs. by John Manzi for the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series  

To use a phrase from the great race caller Carl Becker "They are coming from everywhere", that was the case for the draw when a total of 61 harness racing colts were entered for the glamour division of the New York Sire Stakes, 3 Year Old Pacing Colts, to be raced on Monday at Monticello Raceway, June 6. The 13 race cards show cases 9 races of NY Bred sophomores. The afternoon's card has 3 division of Sire Stakes, each split racing for $39,900, 4 divisions of the Excelsior A class ($15,000) and 2 races of the Excelsior B class ($6,600) The first division of Sire Stakes colts is race 2, Missile J, hot off his win in the Rooney Final in 1:53, will start from post 7 for trainer Linda Toscano. The American Ideal- Cantors' Delight colt who was a $100,000 yearling purchase for owners KJ Stable LLC and Purple Haze Stable LLC. Unraced at 2, the late bloomer has won 3 in row, he will look to extend the streak with Tim Tetrick driving. Also looking to extend his win streak is Talk Show (PP1), the son of Art Major - Lush Limbaugh is trained by Steve Elliott. 2 starts prior he won in 1:51:1, pacing his last quarter in 25.4 at the Meadowlands. In race 8, Autotune Hanover (Art Major - Anderosa Hanover) who has yet to return to his 2 year old form, will start from the post 2 for driver Jason Barlett. A winner of in excess of $200,000, he finished 3rd last year in the NYSS Finals at Yonkers. Craftship continues to show improvement with each start, finishing 2nd in his last start at YR (LQ 26:4) Carlos Danger is looking to shed his role a bridesmaids as he is winless in 12 lifetime starts. The final NYSS event of the card comes in the 10th race, racing for a purse of $39,900. The 7 horse field features, Fine Diamond, the son of Rock N Roll Heaven, out of the Breeders Crown winner Yellow Diamond has drawn post 3, for trainer Ron Burke, Matt Kakaley will drive. He recently has his 4 race win streaked snapped last week. JK Heaven Sent (PP4) who last start finished second at Pocono Downs, pacing his mile in 1:50:4. The son of Rock N Roll Heaven-JK's Owhatanite has Jim Morrill Jr in the bike for the first time. The 4 heats of the Excelsior A class are programmed as races 5, 6, 7 and 9, the Excelsior B class are slated as races 1 & 4, New York Sire Stake actions returns on Monday June 30, as 2 Year Old Trotting Colts come to town. By Shawn Wiles

It is only fitting that on a weekend when we pause and honor those that have served and perished in our country's Military, that the aptly named Omaha Survivor would prevail against all odds. He gallantly battled back from a break behind the gate and spotted the field 15 lengths at the start, at the ¼ pole the charter had him 11 lengths behind the leader. Now in full charge he was parked 4th on the outside at the 1/2, still taking the overland route on the outside, at the ¾ mile marker he ranging into contention, parked first over from the fraction setting Shark Treasure. Omaha Survivor briefly save some real estate and dove in the 2 hole ever so briefly, at the top of the lane Mike Merton pulled the right line and the veteran 11 year old harness racing gelding gallantly charged thru the lane in spirited stretch drive in the middle of the track to be victorious in 1:58 giving Mike his 4th win of the afternoon. Omaha Survivor is trained by Dolores Basilone for owner Greg Gardner of Sheridan MI. Mike Merton took advantage of the absence of Monticello Raceway's top leading drivers Bruce Aldrich and Jimmy Taggart Jr. and drove 5 winners on the afternoons 9 race card. The UDRS stat building day started in the second half of the early double, scoring with Last Chance T, he came right back in the 3rd to win with Brooklyn Benny in 1:56.3. He finished 2nd in the 4th race. In Race 5 he scored with Omaha Survivor. He also won with Conrad Hanover in race 7 ($3.30) and Mungo in the 8th race ($19.20) D.R. Ackerman also had a training driving double on the card, reigning Magic Tail, a 3 year old daughter of Muscle Massive to a 2:03 win and Uncle Hanover (Muscle Hill) in 1:59.1. On Monday May 30, Monticello Raceway will be dark Monday for Memorial Day, live racing resumes Tuesday thru Friday with a 12:50 post. By Shawn Wiles

The inaugural event for 2016 New York Sire Stakes took place at Monticello Raceway on Monday May 23. 6 NYSS events were contested, two races for each category, the Excelsior A's, and Excelsior B's and the upper echelon Sire Stake fields. The front end ruled, as eight of the harness racing cards eleven races where won wire to wire. Starting off the action in the second race was the first heat of the B division, it was almost too much action, as Sultry Susan made a nasty break in the first turn and went to her knees, scattering the entire field behind her. Dw'sblissfulthinn capitalized on the miscue and made the most of it, scoring a wire to wire win for trainer Debra Miller, and driver Jim Marohn Jr. in 2:00:1 for owner Donald La Page, The 2nd heat of the B class was the following race, I Got The Life, (Roll With Joe) benefited from a conservative drive by Mark Macdonald. She settled in 5th, and used the passing lane to score in a photo for a lifetime best 1:59:1. Jim Graham co owns the filly with Ronald Viola. Race 4, was the first division of the open class of fillies, Jim Morrill Jr. aboard Soft Ideal showed the field through fractions of 28:0, 56:4, 1:26:0 was stalked the entire mile by the Burke entry of Mother of Art and Art Critic, the filly labored in deep stretch but hung on for the win 1:55:2. She returned a $3.60 Already with 11 starts under his belt and tight, he seasoned Erv Miller trainee Rolling Going Gone (Roll With Joe) won on the front end in 1:57:2 for driver Marcus Miller and owner Ross Bonafield. Milky Way Rae (American Ideal) was under wraps and raging with pace for driver Jim Morrill Jr, scoring well in hand in 1:55:2, pacing the fastest LQ of the day of 28:2 in the afternoons final Excelsior event, the win gave Morrill a driving double on the card. The final NY Bred race of the came in race 8, Andy Miller brought his American Ideal filly, American Ivy to the fray, the tender footed filly started from Post 5, took the lead before the ¼ from Vino and Formaggio and showed the way, ranging into contention at the ¾ came Time on My Hand, but American Ivy rebuffed the challenge, prevailing in the afternoons fastest race 1:54:3, for owner Joe P Racing LLC of Delray Beach, Fl. American Ideal had three daughters enter the winners circle, followed closely by his Blue Chip Farm stable mate, Roll with Joe who had two winners on the afternoon. By Shawn Wiles

The New York Sire Stakes seasons gets underway at Monticello Raceway on Monday May 23, as harness racing 3 Year Old Pacing Fillies take center stage. When Race Sectary Eric Warner opened the box there were a total of 44 fillies, this was broken down to 2 divisions of each the Excelsior A & Excelsior B series and 2 Sire Stake events. The A class's vie for a purse of $15,000 the B class's, races for $6,700, the Sire Stakes go for a purse $61,300 on the afternoons 11 race card. The action gets underway in Race 2, the 1st split of the Excelsior B Series. Monticello horseman Gary Messenger (Sultry Susan) PP1 and Frank Yanoti Were Gonna Rock (PP3) each have 1 entered. Race 3, is the first heat of Sire Stakes competition, 7 fillies will go behind the gate. Soft Idea looks to be tight after 3 Q's under her belt, the last one a wining effort in 1:54:4 for trainer Linda Toscano, the daughter of American Ideal won over $200,000 in her freshman season. Ron Burke will also bring his entry of Mother of Art (PP4) and Art Critic (PP6) to the fray. The final split of the Excelsior B class is race 3, Bullvillefirerworks will look to light up the sky from the rail. The Bullville Powerful filly who calls Monticello Raceway home, is looking for her second consecutive win, she won last week at her home track in 2:00:4, LQ of 29:1. Pop Art Delight, another Monticello Raceway juvenile with start from post 4, with Jim Taggart Jr aboard. The Excelsior A class starts in Race 5, Erv Millers, Rolling Going Gone starts from the rail for driver Marcus Miller, The Roll With Joe lass has been busy this year. Already with 11 starts under her belt this year and a mark of 1:55:4, taken at Yonkers. Race 7 denotes the final Excelsior A event on the card, this competitive legs will features LYRA (PP1) Milky Way Rae (PP6) Queen of Darkness will be dangerous with driver Jim Morrill Jr behind her for the first time. On paper, Race 8 appears to be the race of the day, the final division of the Sire Stakes eligible's, Vino and Formaggio, who was an impressive winner at Monticello Raceway in Sire Stakes action last year, in this same company, will start from the rail for trainer Ron Burke who also with sent entry mate Encore Deo (PP 6) with Matt Kakaley driving to post. Crawford Farms LLC, of Syracuse NY, sends forth, Angels Rockn Pink, the brown daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven will start from post 4, for master filly trainer Chris Oaks. Purchased as a yearling for $35,000, Angels Rockn Pink, hailed from the Diamond Creek consignment for her new owners Crawford Farms LLC. American Curves threw in an unexpected bad performance last start at Mohawk, prior to that, she was razor sharp grabbing an early season life mark of 1:56:3. By Shawn Wiles

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