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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

On Tuesday September 19, Monticello Raceway hosted it's 8th and final leg of the 2017 New York Sire Stakes Season featuring harness racing 2 year old pacing fillies. The first Sire Stakes event of the afternoon was a six horse field that competed for a purse of $53,500. Betting favorite KJ's Bekah (Jason Bartlett) made a nasty break in the middle of the first turn and went to his knees. Jim Morrill Jr. took advantage of the miscue with the improving Wisdom Tree (PP2) and reeled off fractions of 28.2, 58.2, 1:27.4 tripping the beam in 1:55.2 to score a no nonsense win by 2 lengths, over longshot Sand Artist (Jim Marohn Jr.) and Mink Pink (Matt Kakaley). Wisdom Tree (Betterthancheddar - Wisdom) filly is trained by Ed Hart, and is owned by Thomas Pollack and Jeff Cullipher, in the process she scored her first pari mutual win and returned $6.50 to the faithful. In typical Jim Morrill Jr. fashion, he sent the 4/5 favorite Alexis Faith from the rail, down the road and played catch me if you can in the final Sire Stakes ($54,500) of the afternoon and led the field to the first stanza in a brisk 27 and continued to show the way to the half in 56.1, down the backside former regular top Monticello driver Jim Marohn Jr. had Azreal As It Gets in perfect striking position and came first over. Alexis Faith was still on top as the field sped to the ¾ in 1:25.2, at this point it looked like the track record of 1:55 was in serious jeopardy as Marohn Jr and Azreal As It Gets continued to grind down pace setter Alexis Faith who tired late in the lane to prevail in 1:55.2 by a slim margin, the win was 2/5's off the track record of 1:55 set by Planet Rock last year. Hurrikane Shorty (Jason Bartlett) redeemed herself after being off her grain in a dull performace last week, finished a game 2nd, pacesetter Alexis Faith was third. The win was Azreal As It Gets second consecutive win after her win last week at Batavia Downs for trainer Jake Huff. The So Surreal - Vanite Semalu filly is owned by Our Horse Cents Stable and Stable 45. Jim Morrill had 3 wins on the afternoon, Bruce Aldrich Jr. took both divisions of Excelsior B's, leaving him just 5 wins shy of career win 7,000. Leading Monticello Raceway driver Jim DeVaux had 1 win on the card, he needs 27 more wins to become a member of the 5,000 club. Breeding shed banter saw both Rock N Roll Heaven and Art Major each has a pair of winners. Excelsior A - $15,000 Majorette Angie - 1:57.2 - $8.60 - Jim Morrill Jr./ Checkered Past - 1:58 - $6.60 - Jim Morrill Jr. Jericho Diva - 1:57.3 - Jim DeVaux - $9.30 Excelsior B - $6,500 Heavens Diva -2:00.4 - $2.10 - Bruce Aldrich / With Wings - 1:59.1 - $3.50 - Bruce Aldrich By: Shawn Wiles

On Tuesday September 19, Monticello Raceway will host the final leg of New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for harness racing 2-year-old pacing fillies. The next stop for the upper echelon fillies will be the NYSS Night of Champions at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday October 14. As luck, would have it, or not, the top 4 point leaders are competing in the same heat of Sire Stakes in race 10. Ubettergo Go is the point leader by with 207 points, followed closely by Hurricane Shorty with 205, Alexis Faith with 200 & Betterthangraduate with 195. The first heat of Sire Stakes is race 8, the 6-horse field will race for $53,500, Surreal Feeling has reeled off 6 consecutive wins in the Excelsior B class, the $6,000 Goshen Yearling graduate was impressive last week at Batavia, where he made a break at the start and gathered himself to still win in 1:57.2, taking a new lifetime record in the process. The connections of Surreal Feeling have opted to jump over the Excelsior A's and tackle the elite group, she will start from post 5 for trainer Dale Lawton and will be driven by leading Monticello Raceway dash leader Jim DeVaux. KJ's Bekah (PP4) has traveled a similar path, already a 3-time winner in the Excelsior A class, the $140,000 Lexington Select yearling purchase is owned by Kenneth Jacobs. The daughter of American Ideal - Upfrontandpersonal is trained by Linda Toscano, and will be driven by Jason Bartlett. The 2nd dash for the cash ($54,500) has a trio of evenly matched freshman fillies, all with similar paths, as they have individually have won 3 Sire Stakes each, thus far this season. The top point leader of the category Ubettergo Go, drew post position 4, the daughter of Art Major- Ubetterthink is trained by Blake Macintosh, Mark MacDonald will drive. Her credentials are impressive with over $87,000 in earnings, she scored a NYSS win in her last start at Batavia Downs in 1:55.3 and sports a speed badge of 1:53 taken at Vernon Downs. Right next to her behind the starting gate is another Goshen Yearling Sale alumni Hurrikane Shorty ($8,000) from post 5, her black type includes 2 NYSS wins at Yonkers, and 1 at Saratoga. The Art Major - Speed Date offspring is owned by Little E, Jason Settlemoir & A. Geiger, she is trained by Kevin McDermott, Jason Bartlett is in the bike, she is the fastest filly of the bunch with a mark of 1:52, taken at the Meadowlands. The morning line favorite, by virtue of drawing the rail is Alexis Faith, she also has 3 win blankets in her tack trunk this year, she is 3rd in points in the division with 200. Cassie Coleman trains the American Ideal - Cannae Cammie bay filly for owners West Wins Stable, Jim Fielding, J Robert Darrow and Kevin McKinlay. The 2 time NYSS winner Betterthangraduate, will start from PP6 and will be driven by Matt Kakaley. Post Time is 12:50 By Shawn Wiles

Once again three races for amateur drivers dotted the harness racing card at Monticello Raceway on Thursday (Sept). 14) with two events contested in the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) Fall Trotting Series and one in the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club (CADC) Pacing Series. Bob Krivelin, Alan Schwartz and Monica Banca were victorious in their respective splits. Krivelin and Schwartz each won a NAADA trot while Banca's victory came in a CADC pacing even. With rain threatening throughout the afternoon Krivelin was the first to reach the winners circle when he guided Permanent Joy to a come-from-behind victory over Tony Verruso's Flirting Duezy in a 1:59.3 clocking over a racetrack rated fast. When the field rounded the second turn in that contest Krivelin moved Permanent Joy to the outside and flushed out Verruso's trotter for cover as Dave Yarock showed the way with Mr Ridgetaker. At the head of the lane Yarock's charge still had command but yielded as Permanent Joy finished strong and rallied to a 1-1/2 length victory over Flirting Duezy. Jennifer Lappe took home the show dough with Fox Valley Steffen. "I moved (Permanent Joy) early and we had cover until I wheeled him three deep on the final turn and when I did he trotted by the leaders and was home free," Krivelin said of his 9-year-old Trot For Joy gelding. Dismissed by the bettors and sent off at odds of over 7-1 Permanent Joy, owned and trained by Krivelin, paid $16.80. For Krivelin it marked his 210th career driving victory. Schwartz's triumph with The Fighter came as a result of patience, both before and during the race. Hard to control prior to going behind the starting gate but once there The Fighter acts almost normal. When the gate sprung Schwartz settled in the two hole behind Hannah Miller's Hidden Identity and sat patiently behind her as she led him all the way to the top of the stretch where he found room in the passing lane and rallied to a nose victory over a hard charging Brandos Muscle Man ,driven by Monica Banca. Hidden Identity held on for third. "I got lucky in that Hannah (Miller) was strong on the lead all the way to the stretch. And at that point I sent The Fighter down the passing lane and we won by the slimmest of margins. But a win is a win ," Schwartz said smiling. Owned by Ed and James Hall and trained by Danny Gill The Fighter returned a $10.20 win mutuel. For Schwartz it marked his 12th seasonal driving victory and the 587th of his amateur driving career. Although denied victory in the NAADA trot Monica Banca wouldn't be rebuffed in the CADC pace when she gunned Fox Valley Leo to the lead and made every pole a winning one en route to a 1:57.2 triumph Second place went to Artistic Cruiser driven by Hannah Miller which made 'all-lady' exacta. Third place went to Bob Hechkoff's Italian Rebel. "Once the gate closed he really wanted to go and I had a firm hold on him all the way to the half," Banca said of Fox Valley Leo.. "After that I eased up on the lines and he paced on to an easy three length victory " Owned and trained by Rick Dane, Fox Valley Leo scored his 7th seasonal triumph. For the Norwegian native it marked her sixth driving victory in just 12 seasonal starts and 20th since she began driving here in 2013. Amateur Day at the races began last Thursday at Monticello Raceway and is slated to continue weekly through November. by John Manzi for NAADA and CADC

The reigning prom Queen, Clear Idea was looking to regain her recent form, at one point this harness racing season she had reeled off seven wins in a row. In her last two starts she was not her old self and today not even the rail would help her. Planet Rock (PP3) and Jason Bartlett charged hard off the gate and showed the field thru fractions of 27.4, 57.1, at the 5/8 's pole Brett Miller and Tequila Monday (PP6) pulled from the 3 hole and was first over at the ¾ in 1:25.2. At the top of the lane is was a two horse race as Tequila Monday and Planet Rock both dug in deep, but Tequila Monday dug deeper and went on to win by a head, to score in 1:53.2 for the fastest mile of the day, pacing her last quarter in 27.4 for her 7th win of the season, upping her earning to over $270,000. The daughter of American Ideal - Margarita Monday is trained by Chris Oaks for owners Northfork Racing and Chuck Pompey, it was the first of 2 driving wins on the card for Brett Miller. In the second division of the $59,100 New York Sire Stakes, Jason Bartlett once again left the gate strong from post 6 with the betting favorite World Apart for trainer Linda Toscano, she was followed throughout the mile by Queen Josephine as the tandem lead the way through splits of 28.1, 57.3, Ann Hill who was sitting 4th until the half was in the outer flow at the 5/8 pole, at the field past the 3/4 marker in 1:26.1 she was 3rd on the outside. World Apart still had 1 length on the short field of 6 at the head of the lane, Austin Siegelman who won 5 races on one card at Monticello Raceway last week was not to be denied and rallied Ann Hill, opting to go the outside instead of the passing lane in a spirited stretch drive to score in 1:54.2, LQ 28.1 for a new lifetime mark by a scant head over World Apart, finishing 3rd was Touchamatic. The Rock N Roll Heaven - Taxi Fare Hanover lass is trained by 2nd generation Richard Silverman, the victory was the biggest win of his career for the 25-year-old Siegelman. Marcus Miller scored with Magic Forces, the sharp looking daughter of Art Major - Magic of Michelle took a new lifetime mark of 1:54.1 in the first heat of the $15,000 Excelsior A class. Trainer Jim Graham saw his filly Roll With Sparky (Brett Miller) content to sit the garden spot behind pace setter Robin J, to wrestle a win by a scant head in 1:54.0. In the last race on the afternoon, Bullvillstephanie (Roll With Joe - Bullville Ana) won for owner Crevani Farms with Mike Merton in the bike in 1:55.3 for her 4th win of the season. The local connection of Gary Messenger and Jim Taggart took the first leg of the Excelsior B class ($6,600) with Delilah De Vie in 1:57.3, the son of Art Major - Beach Girl De Vie, sat a pocket trip to overtake pacesetter Rollingndiamonds for her 2nd consecutive victory. Kristie Leigh Farms saw their home bred daughter Roll With Ann (Roll With Joe - Lisjune Ann) win in 1:57.1, for trainer by Eddie Hart. Local reinsman enjoyed a good afternoon as Jim Taggart Jr, Austin Siegelman and Michael Merton each enjoyed a visit to the winner circle. New York Sire Stake Action resumes on September 19 with 2 YOPF. Shawn Wiles

Harness Racing driver James DeVaux capped both halves of the early double with Sandy Hook Hanover (1:57 - $8.30) & Wiggler (1:56.2 $2.90) and then continued to march his way to the winner's circle with Muscle Defined (2:00 - $4.30) and then with Grecale AS (1:59.2 - $2.30). Grecale AS, the winningest trotter in North America earned his 15th victory of the year, the foreign bred son of Sugarcane Hanover is owned and trained by Don Hoover. Fly To The Angels (1:57.4 - $4.30) notched her 70th lifetime win for owner Gregory C Gardner of Sheridan MI. Gardner has owned the 13-year-old Sign of Success mare for her entire career of 347 starts. Jim DeVaux is the leading dash winning driver at the Mighty M, this year with 234 wins, he is ranked 6th in the nation with 365 wins with earning over $1,800,000 with a UDRS of .330. Leading Monticello trainer Dolores Basilone earned 4 wins on the card, Basilone is also ranked 6th in the nation with 168 wins with a UDRS of .363. By Shawn Wiles

New York's leading ladies will convene at Monticello Raceway on Tuesday September 12, when 3-year-old pacing fillies visit the Catskill Mountain harness racing oval. The overnight sheet shows 2 splits of New York Sire Stakes, racing for a purse of $59,100, 3 Excelsior's A's - $15,000 and 2 Excelsior B's - $6,600. Category point leader Clear Idea, is looking to regain her winning ways, as her 7-race win streak was recently broken. The American Ideal - Glass Maker filly has notched 5 NYSS wins thus far this year, she will start from the rail, with Mark McDonald in the sulky. Blake Macintosh co owns trains the impressive filly for fellow co-owner, Hutt Racing Stable. She sports impressive credentials with $257,373 in yearly earnings and a record of 1:50.4. Her bridesmaids, Planet Rock PP3 - Jason Bartlett and Tequila Monday PP6 - Brett Miller, will look to break the strangle hold Clear Idea has had over her fraternity. Race 8 is the second division of NYSS with 6 starters, World Apart, who is fresh off her win in the Lady Maud at Yonkers in 1:54, will start from post position 6, with Jason Bartlett at the helm for trainer Linda Toscano. Richard Silverman will end his long hiatus at Monticello Raceway when he brings Ann Hill to the fray with Austin Siegelman behind the hand holds. The daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven, a winner at Yonkers early in the season in Sire Stakes company in 1:55.4, will start from post 4. The consistent Queen Josephine, has been knocking on the door all year with 2 place finishes in this class will benefit from post 2, Greg Merton will drive. Under The Bus has been installed the 5-2 favorite in her Excelsior A class, in race two on the card. The daughter of Art Major is under the tutelage of Linda Toscano for her main owner Ken Jacobs and will start from post 2, with Jason Bartlett in the bike. Oceania, a winner at 2 at Monticello in 1:56, will start from post position 4, with top Monti driver Jim Taggart Jr. Pirinea's Princess (PP1) is looking to extend her win skein to 4 in a row in the 10th race, a winner last week in this class at Tioga in 1:53.2. The Roll With Joe lass is trained by Dennis Laterza for owners Latz A Luck Stable. Robin J, who has yet to regain her 2-year-old form will start at post position 5. In the 3rd heat of the Excelsior A's, Amber Buter's filly Shesarocker is the morning line favorite from post 4, Jim Morrill Jr. will drive the daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven. Oneida Blue Chip is trained and driven by former Billy Haughton groom Mike Simons, and will start from the 2 hole. Post time is 12:50 Shawn Wiles Empire Resorts, Inc., 204 State Route 17B, Monticello, NY 12701 845-807-0001  

Monticello, NY--Although it wasn't billed as such Thursday (Sept 7) at Monticello Raceway was 'amateur day at the races' with three different harness racing Amateur driving clubs presenting a race here. They included the CKG Billings Series, the NAADA trotting series, and a pacing event from the Catskill Amateur Drivers Association. And despite the fact that most of the drivers were eligible to all three series races each had with different winners. "Coach Paul" Minore won the Billings trot with Wygant Prince in 2:00 while Joe Lee was victorious in the NAADA trot with Tim Lizzie in a 2:02.4 clocking. And "Hurricane Hannah" Miller copped the CADA pacing event with Artistic Cruiser in 1:57 flat. In the Billings trot Minore took no prisoners when he gained command on the first turn and went down the road with Wygant Prince and they made every pole a winning one en route to a solid two length victory over Hannah Miller's Pine Tab. Finishing third, some four lengths behind the winner, was Permanent Joy with "Rapid Robert" Krivelin at the controls. "He was in over his head in his last two starts and I put him on the lead today because he likes the front end and he showed today why he does," Minore said referring to Wygant Prince. And for Minore it was some kind of milestone for him having won a race in America and one in Hungary this past week. (Minore won a leg of the USA v Hungary Friendship Competition last Saturday at Kincsem Park in Budapest). Dismissed by the bettors and sent off at odds of over 7-1 Wygant Prince paid $17.00 while winning for the fourth time this season. And it was Minore's third driving victory this year and 90th of his amateur driving career. The former high school track coach---- who's most famous student was the Olympic champion Carl Lewis--- owns the trotter who is trained by Taylor Gower. However, in the NAADA trot Joe Lee and Tim Lizzie had the railbirds smiling even more when those who held winning tickets were rewarded with a $61.00 payoff. After starting slowly Lee and Tim Lizzie were fifth at the first stanza but then went an overland trip and marched forward until they cleared the traffic and took command at the top of the lane. From there Tim Lizzie held off a charging Ladys Big Stormont (Alan Schwartz) to score a neck triumph. A length farther back in third was Perfect Road, in rein to Dein Spriggs. "I got cover behind Bob Davis (with The B Street Fan) and he carried me to the final turn where I moved Tim Lizzie three-deep and went to the lead and then held off Schwartz's trotter to win it," Lee explained. Tim Lizzie, a 7-year-old daughter of Tiny Tim, notched her fourth seasonal triumph for owner Woody Hoblitzell. She's trained by Bruce Aldrich, Sr. For Joe Lee, the New Yok Yankee's assistant locker room manager, it was his 29th winning drive. Not to be outdone, “Hurricane Hannah” Miller showed why she is the two-time defending National Amateur Driver of the Year when she sat back off speedy fractions and then rallied her pacer, Artistic Cruiser, to a  three-length victory over Jennifer Lappe’s  Fool’s Gold. Lappe had cut speedy early fractions of :27.2--:57 and 1:26.4 before Miller came to pick up l the pieces. In that contest four of the seven drivers were ladies. But Joe Lee spoiled an all-lady trifecta by getting TKR’s Metro Specs up for the show dough. “We were chasing Jennifer (Lappe with Fool’s Gold) from the start and we began gaining on her when we  approached the three quarters. But when we started to round the final turn I wasn’t sure if we could catch her. But happily we did”, Miller said after the race.  It was the first seasonal triumph for Artistic Cruiser who returned a $7.90 mutuel.For Miller it marked her 19th seasonal driving victory and 92nd  thus far in her short career. John Manzi

Monticello, NY --- On Thursday afternoon (Sept. 7) at Monticello Raceway Austin Siegelman owned the middle part of the harness racing card and won five consecutive races. The winning streak started in race seven and continued through race 11.  Winbak Prince ($6.10) got the party started for Siegelman, winning by seven lengths in 1:56. The aptly named Winning ($3.30) made it two-in-a-row, while Goodness Grace, the Mary Martin trained Conway Hall filly. was next in 2:04.1. In race 10, True Muscle scored for Siegelman and trainer Thomas Merton in 2:00, the quintuplet came with Sammy B Happy in 1:57.2 ($8.50). Siegelman, the former Rising Star award recipient from the Monticello – Goshen Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) is ranked sixth in the driver’s colony at Monticello for leading dash winners with 77.  The aggressive and mature Siegelman has recently found his niche at Monticello Raceway, his UDRS prior to today was a respectable .310.  Total handle on the live card was $547,000. Live racing action resumes Monday afternoon at 12:50 p.m. T he New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) return to Monticello Raceway on Tuesday (Sept. 12), when 3-year-old pacing fillies take center stage. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway 

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