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The New York Sire Stakes calendar was kind to the freshman trotting colts, as their first NYSS competition was at Tioga Downs. For today's harness racing contest at Monticello Raceway (July 31) it was many of the young trotters first start on a twice around oval. 72 colts comprised 11 of the cards 13 races. The aptly named, The Veteran minded his manners in the 1st NYSS $27,250 contest on the card, Brian Sears carefully floated the son of Muscle Mass - Tequila Summer off the gait and let the field settle into the first turn, down the backside, Sear's tipped his mount to the outside and was parked at the quarter in an even 30 panel, once on the lead, The Veteran carved out fractions of 1:00.4, 1:32 and coasted home an easy 2 length winner in 2:02.1 for his 2nd consecutive win. The $32,000 Lexington purchase is trained by part owner George Ducharme along with W. Donavan, Michaels's and Winske. Seven Knights was 2nd and Chasin Dreams finished 3rd The 2nd heat saw Andy Miller leave the gate hard from post position 7 and take the garden spot while Cruising In Style showed the way to the ¼, Miller was on the move with Don and had the lead passed the quarter pole in a brisk 29.2, from this point he controlled the tempo to score in 1:58.3, an easy 3 length victory. The son of Credit Winner-Angosture trotted his last quarter in 29.3, he is owned by Andy Miller Stable and Little E LLC and paid $14.20, the time of 1:58.3 was just a tick off from the track record. On the program, it looked like the 7 hole would thwart Purpose Blue Chips effort to get away unscathed and look for a good trip, but the outside post did not deter the son of Chapter Seven, as the now healed and almost healthy Dan Daley charged off the gate and went for the lead and showed the field through fractions of 28.4, 59.3, 1:29.0. In the paddock turn, Purpose Blue Chip looked to be any easy winner, Rich Uncle who was third the entire mile, uncorked a 29.1 last stanza to put away Purpose Blue Chip by a length. The Credit Winner - Royal Assets colt is owned by William Donavan, it was his second winner of the day. Purpose Blue Chip was 2nd, followed by Ronnie Goldstein. Clive Bigsy came into the race looking to keep his 3-race win skein intact, the betting public was betting that he would fail, and was sent off at odd of 6-1, Ake Svanstedt send Six Pack to the lead and controlled the tempo with splits of 29.2, 59.2 and 1:29.2. Fourth Dimension was lurking in the 3 hole for the duration, made his move at the 5/8 marker, at the top of the lane it was a cavalry charge with 3 horses across the track between him, Tito and Six Pack. But Fourth Dimension (Chapter Seven) was not to be denied, tripping the timer in track record of 1:58, eclipsing the former record held by Fashion Blizzard. The $200,000 yearling purchase is owned by Courant Stable of Delray Beach, Florida, he is trained by Marcus Melander and was driven to victory by Brian Sears. Clive Bigsby finished 2nd and trotted home the fastest LQ of the day in 28.0. The most unusual race of the day came in the first heat of the Excelsior A, Crackback Jack made a nasty break going into the first turn and lost a ton of ground for Andy Miller, while he was regaining his composure after the miscue, On The Ropes showed the field to the ¼ in 30.3, while approaching the half, On The Ropes made a break and Babylons Bridge inherited the lead. Going down the backstretch for the final time, Crackback Jack was still hustling to make up ground and was 3rd at the half. Chapter Ruth showed the freshman field to the ¾ mile maker in 1:32, Crackback Jack was now 2nd first over and On The Ropes (Chapter Seven), was back in the hunt going 3 wide in the last turn and trotted away from the rest of them to win in in 2:01.1 by 3 lengths, trotting her last quarter in 28.4. Muscle Mass lead the sire brigade with 4 winners on the card. The next Sire Stakes action comes on August 21, when 3 Year Old Trotting Fillies come to town. By Shawn Wiles

Based on the sheer number of two-year-old trotting colts that dropped in the box, the health of the New York Sire Stakes program appears to be excellent condition. 72 colts were entered for Mondays July 31st New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) event at Monticello Raceway. 11 of the 13 races on the Monday harness racing program are NYSS events. The 4 heats of Sire Stakes will race for a purse of $23,750, there is also 3 Excelsior A's (15,000) events and 4 Excelsior B's ($6,600). For many of the young pupils, this will be their first start on a half mile oval. The Hambletonian winning combination of Brain Sears and George Ducharme will sent forth The Veteran, in race 1. The Muscle Mass colt was handy in his last start at Saratoga, where he scored in 1:59.4 in his pari mutual debt, he will score from post position 5. The 5th race looks to be the dash of the day, the field is comprised of Cruising In Style (Muscle Mass - SOS Respect) who will look to keep his 4-race win streak intact from post 4 for trainer Andrew Harris. Funknpancakes earned his first lifetime win last week at the Big M in 1:56.3 in a 2 YO overnight event, the RC Royalty colt trotted home in 27.2, prior to that he finished 2nd in a NYSS for owner Crawford Farms. Ray Schnittker brings Coach Cummings to the fray from the rail, the Goshen based trainee son of Deweycheatumnhowe colt has 2 Goshen wins under his belt and has proven himself on the half mile. Troller will look to shed his role as bridesmaid from PP 2 for the always dangerous Phil Fluet. The 3rd split of NYSS comes in race 8, the lone trotter with any ½ track experience is Ronnie Goldstein, who will start from the rail for and trainer - driver Kim Crawford. The Muscle Mass - Barbara Goldstein colt will look to improve his lifetime mark of 2:00.1 taken at Saratoga. From post position 4 Lunar Credit, who finished 2nd 2 starts ago in Sire Stakes action at Tioga Downs will be driven by Jason Bartlett, who won 4 races on a NYSS card last week at Monti. The son of Credit Winner- Lunar Dream is owned by Little E, Geiger, Stolz and Settlemoir. Purpose Blue Chip with the now healthy Dan Daley will start from the outside 7 hole, the Chapter Seven colt was 2nd in last start at Tioga Downs. The final NYSS race features the unbeaten Clive Bigsby, a winner of 3 in a row for trainer George Ducharme, he has 1 Sire Stake win to his credit by his win at Tioga Downs. The Muscle Mass - Northern Flare colt is owned by George Ducharme Stable LLC and Winters Racing Stable. Fourth Dimension, a $200,00 yearling is looking to extend his win streak after an impressive win at Tioga Down in 1:55.2. The Chapter Seven offspring is trained by Marcus Melander and will be driven by recent hall of Fame Inductee Brian Sears and will start form post position 3. The 4 splits of the Excelsior A's will race for a purse of $15,000, the recently red hot Ake Svanstedt, who had a clean sweep recently at Batavia Downs will showcase On The Ropes (PP5) in race 2, he jogged in his last start by 7 lengths to win in 1:56.2 at the Meadowlands. Helpisontheway will find post 2 more to his liking, last week from the 9 hole at the Meadowlands he was never a factor for trainer Linda Toscano in the 3rd race. A winner in this company Credicone will look for back to back victory's in the last division of the Excelsior A's, the Credit Winner colt is owned by Purple Haze Stables LLC. Post time is 12:50, the weatherman is calling for sunny skies with temperatures in the highs 70's, the track record for 2 YOTC is 1:58.2, held by Fashion Blizzard, the record for 2 YOTG is 1:58.1 set by Allerage Echo in 2015. By Shawn Wiles

Guess what? Hannah Miller won again today. This time she copped the final leg of the harness racing NAADA summer trotting series which was presented at Monticello Raceway on a muggy Thursday afternoon (July 27). She guided the veteran Pine Tab to a gate to wire victory in a 1:58.4 clocking and with that triumph she finished with the highest points total in the eight race event where races were presented at both Monticello and Yonkers Raceways. And she'll undoubtedly be the one to beat in the upcoming $15,000 series finale which is slated to go to post at the Westchester(NY) oval on August 4. In today's $5000 contest Hannah made easy work of it after sending Pine Tab to the lead from the six-hole and taking command on the first turn. From there the talented miss and her trusty steed cruised past the first stanza in:29.3 and they were three lengths to the good as they journeyed by the halfway point in 1:00 flat. However, as Pine Tab approached the three quarters he had company. As Hannah explained: "When the gate sprung my horse (Pine Tab) left strong and we crossed over on the first turn. From there we were on cruise control until the three quarters when Paul Minore's trotter (Wygant Prince) joined us but my guy dug in and he held tough all the way through the lane." At the wire Pine Tab was a 1-1/2 length victor over Wygant Prince. Eight lengths in the rears in third place was Zorgwijk Impact in rein to Joe Pennacchio. Trained by Nick Surick, Pine Tab paid just $3.00 for win. It was the trotter's fourth seasonal triumph and for Ms Miller her 16th driving victory of the season to go along with 11 seconds and five thirds for a whopping .466 UDR. Meanwhile in Italy, a four-man NAADA team, led by president Joe Faraldo and joined by Alan Schwartz, Tony Verruso and Tony Ciuffettelli were competing in the USA-Italy Friendship Competition and as of this writing the American team is on the short end of the points totals. By John Manzi for NAADA

On a track that was listed as good, from a morning deluge and unseasonably cold temperatures, the adverse conditions did not deter the newest member of the 7000 club Jason Bartlett, as he won four New York Sire Stakes races on the 13 race harness racing program. By virtue of his Sheppard Elimination win, the public betting made Persist Blue Chip (PP2) the favorite. After a brisk 28.4 opening stanza, Matt Kakely slowed the pace to a 59.1 half, the tempo at the ¾ was a leisurely 1:28.3 from then on it was all cruise control. He went on to score a wire to wire win in a lifetime best of 1:58.1 over Carolina Magic by a scant nose. The son of Roll With Joe - Real Reflection is owned by Burke, Martin, Switala and Weaver Bruscemi. In the second $27,750 contest Delightful Joe left first and fast from the gate, once the field settled in down the back side Matt Kakaley used the same tactic as in his first win and went down the road to play catch me if you can with Topville Olympian and had the lead first over at the ¼ in 29.0. The bay son of American Ideal - Our Sophia was at the half in 59 and had 2 lengths on the field, the margin was cut to 1 length at the ¾ pole in 1:28.0 Delightful Joe was in perfect position throughout but to no avail as Topville Olympian threw down a LQ of 28 to take a new lifetime mark of in 1:56. He is owned by Menary and Billy & Anthony Timmins of Great Britain. Jason Bartlett notched his second win on the card with Casual Cool, a winner in Sire Stakes company last start at Buffalo, he was content to let the dust settle on the front end while Rock Lights showed the field through fractions of 28.3, 58:1, 1:27.3, at this point Casual Cool was in the outer flow and gaining ground on the outside to win by 2 lengths in 1:56, tying his lifetime best. The $165,000 son of American Ideal - Sight To See, is owned by Ken Jacobs and trained by Linda Toscano. In one of the afternoons more impressive performances, Jimtastic, was making his pari-mutuel debt from the rail for trainer Andrew Harris. The son of Art Major - Jimmy The Terror was dominant in his qualifier at Mohawk, winning by 8 in 1:57.3, he was equally impressive today, scoring in 1:57.1 for Jason Bartlett over Real Rayenbow. Aces In Heaven, ($4.40) took no prisoners as he soundly defeated his Excelsior A rivals in 1:57.1, the son of Rock N Roll Heaven was trained and driven to victory by John MacDonald, he was bred by Crawford Farms LLC. It was an afternoon of doubles, trainers Linda Toscano, Ron Burke and Andrew Harris each had a pair of winners, Matt Kakaley also had a driving double and Winbak Farms has 2 winners on the breeding side. In the breeding shed Sires, American Ideal, Roll With Joe, Rock N Roll Heaven and Betterthancheddar each has two sons visit the winners circle. Shawn Wiles

The third stop of the New York Sire Stakes Circuit will visit Monticello Raceway on Monday July 24, on hand will be the cream of the crop for New York Bred two Year Old Pacing Colts and Geldings. The Monday afternoon harness racing card of 13 races, features 4 divisions of regular NYSS - $27,750, 4 Excelsior A's - $15,000 and 1 split of the Excelsior B class. Sheppard Elimination winner Persist Blue Chip will start from the two hole for trainer Ron Burke, the Roll With Joe - Real Reflection colt will be driven by Matt Kakaley in the first heat of Sire Stakes in the 3rd race. The Monticello Raceway connection, Robert Lounsbury will send Rolling Sea into the fray, he comes into the race sporting a 2-race win streak. The Roll With Joe colt is owned by William Damberg and Margaret Olmstead. Asiago Romano (PP3) also figures to be a threat. Topville Olympian (PP2) will look to get on the winning trail in this company, The American Ideal - Our Sophia freshman cut the mile last week at Buffalo and was just nosed out in 1:56, Matt Kakaley will driving. Delightful Joe, is well versed on the half mile oval, and comes into the race in razor sharp form, he was 2nd in his first NYSS event last week, he is trained by Monica Krist, and will start from post 5 for driver Bill Dobson. Paprike Blue Chip will start from post position 3, for trainer John Butenschoen and owners Harmony Oaks Racing Stable - Crawford Farms and VIP Internet Stable. Rumble comes into the race undefeated in 2 starts, post position 8 may thwart his effort. Third division, race 6 showcases a field a speedy sidewinders, Casual Cool (PP3) was victorious last week at Buffalo in 1:56, the $165,000 American Ideal - Sight To See colt is owned by Ken Jacobs and is trained by Linda Toscano, Jason Bartlett will drive. Perry Simser is loaded for bear with Jersey Jim, he sports a speed badge of 1:56.3 taken in his prior start at Saratoga winner this year. The Artiscape - Jersey Pearl offspring will be driven by Monticello Raceway leading dash winner Jim DeVaux. Final heat of Sire Stakes, race 7 features Sammy's Lighting (PP8) the son of Roll With Joe earned his first Sire Stake blanket last week at Buffalo by his 1:58 win. Paul Jessop is the trainer and part owner along with Our Three Sons Stable LLC, Jim Morrill Jr. will be in the bike. Mr. Profeta and Real Rayenbow also figure strongly. The lone Excelsior B contest will go behind the gate with only 4 starters. Post time is 12:50. Shawn Wiles  

On Thursday afternoon July 20, young harness racing driver Austin Siegelman took advantage of the absence of two of the leading drivers at Monticello Raceway and scored five wins on the afternoons card. He struck in the first race of the day, scoring with Sturgeon Seelster in 1:58.4, the hot streak continued in the fourth race when he steered Literate Hanover to a wire to wire win for trainer William Mintz in 1:57.1. He got back on track in race ten and won the final three races of the day. Try's Little Prince scored a pocket sitting win in the 10th race, NY Whitesox won by three lengths in the fastest mile of the day 1:55.2 in the 11th and paid $3.50, the final win of the day came in the last race with the aptly named Winning, winning by 4 lengths in 1:56.3. The young Siegelman is currently in 7th place for leading dash winning drivers with 36 wins thus far this year at Monticello Raceway. By Shawn Wiles      

It was clear that the Monticello track record for harness racing three-year-old trotting colts and geldings was in jeopardy, on paper any three of the New York Sire Stakes heats had the power and ability of breaking the record. By the end of the day, all three divisions, either broke, tied or reset the record. The action got started right away in the first race, first division of the regular Sire Stakes, Money Macintosh left from the rail in the short field of five, and had the lead at the first stanza in 28.2, not content to sit the pocket Jordan Stratton pulled Lord Cromwell and re-took lead before the half ½ in 57.3. Going down the backside Money Macintosh and Texican were both first over and in high gear, breathing down the Lords back and tripping the timer at 1:27.3. Money Macintosh had two lengths on the field as they turned for home, and won by the same margin in a track record of 1:56.1. The mark of 1:56.1 erased the mark set by Habitat of 1:56.3. The Credit Winner - Apple Plush filly was trained and driven by team Miller for owners Story Inc. of Township NJ. It was the first win of the year for Money Macintosh, Dexter Cup winner Lord Cromwell tired in deep stretch and finished 3rd. The sharp looking son of Chapter Seven, Neon Lights and Brian Sears let Cresurrey show the way briefly, but by the ¼ mile pole Neon Lights was on the move first over and had the lead and showed the field thru panels of 28.2, 57.1 1:26.3 to win by two lengths over Arch Credit (Jordan Stratton) and Top Flight Angel (Andy Miller) in 1:56.1, tying the track record set six races prior for 3 YOTC's. The 1/5 betting favorite Guardian Angel AS made a break at the start and lost all chances, but rallied to make up a ton of ground and held on gamely to finish fourth. The win was Neon Lights first NYSS trip to the winner's circle in 2017, for trainer George Ducharme, and paid $26.40 to win. The race of the day came in race eight, final heat of the regular Sire Stakes, Eye OFA Tiger AS was seeking his fourth-straight win, the son of Chapter Seven, went down the road and lead at every station 28.1, 58.0, 1:27 and scored a scant neck wire to wire victory over a tough Stick With Kid to re-established a new track record of 1:56. Eye OFA Tiger AS is trained by Anette Lorentzon and was driven into the record books by Jason Bartlett and returned $3.20. The Walner looking clone has now earned over $90,000 for owners ACL Stuteri and Kjell Johansson Aces and Eights finished 3rd The Excelsior A series saw Zacks Zoomer win by a head in 1:57.3, narrowly defeating Winneress for the Marcus Miller - Erv Miller team. Big Man EV gave Andy Miller his second win of the afternoon in 1:57.2, besting Sweetchap by a scant head for his second win of 2017. Southwind Cruze (Chapter Seven) scored in 1:59.2 for Team Miller, giving them the hat trick. In Excelsior B competition Deepwell (Conway Hall) won by 2 lengths in 1:59.4 - $15.00, for trainer Ed Hart and driver Jordan Stratton and Too Much Man held off Barn Winner for driver Paul Long in 1:58.2, for his 4th win of the year. Chapter Seven had three sons entering the winners circle, total handle on the 13-race card was $520,133, Pick 5 carryover for tomorrows card is $1,520.00. The next Sire Stakes are 2-Year-Old Colt Pacers on July 24th. By Shawn Wiles  

As Monticello Raceway announcer Howard Oil would say "they're coming from everywhere" that's what race Secretary Eric Warner thought when he opened the box for the harness racing 3 Year old Trotting Colts for Monday July 17. He had 52 entries in the box, forming 3 regular division of Sire Stakes ($39,200) 3 heats of the Excelsior A class ($15,000) and 2 Excelsior B's ($6,000) in total racing for purses in excess of $175,000. Dexter Cup winner Lord Cromwell will get the action started in the first race on the card, he will start from post 3 in the 6 horse field. The Ed Hart trained son of Chapter Seven - Oh Oh Its Magical already has $110,000 on his card this year and a mark of 1:55 taken in his Dexter Cup victory. Dunbar Hill has the fastest lifetime mark of the group 1:54.1 taken at an overnight at Mohawk, this will be his test in Sire Stakes company. Texican and Royal Casanova are moving up from the Excelsior A class and trying their luck in the big league. The second division on paper looks to be the race of the day, with the track record jeopardy, the record is 1:56.3 set in 2015 by Habitat. Swedish trainer Anette Lorentzon brings the razor sharp Guardian Angel AS to the contest, an easy 8 length NYSS winner last week at Buffalo in 1:57.1 and a 12 length romp at Yonkers in 1:56.3, 2 starts prior. The Archangel - Provide As filly has 5 wins and a 2nd in 7 starts this year and $77,000 in earnings. Optimist Blue Chip has visited the winners circle 5 times already this year, his last win came at Saratoga in 1:55 2 weeks ago for trainer Buzzy Sholty. A winner earlier in the year in the Excelsior A's, this will be his first attempt at the regular Sire Stakes. Bruce Aldrich Jr. will be in the bike. Race 8 features Eye OFA Tiger AS, the interesting home bred son of Chapter Seven - Seven Cascade - Mack Lobell, is owned by ACL Stuteri AB and Kjell Johansson. She will be driven by Jason Bartlett and will start from post 2, she sports a 3 race win steak, and his start was a NYSS win at Buffalo in 1:57.2. The consistent Stick With Me Kid (PP4) with Brian Sears will also be in the fray for trainer George Ducharme. The first Excelsior A heat come in race 3, DW's Revenge (PP7) has 2 wins in this class thus far this year, a 5 time winner this year, recent Hall of Famer inductee Brian Sears will be in the bike. Race 7, pits 3 A class winners in the same dash, Sweetchap (PP3), Patton (PP6) and morning line favorite Big Man EV (PP4). The last spilt of the A class, comes in race 10, Southwind Cruze and Andy Miller from the rail are the 5/2 morning line favorite by virtue of his 2 consecutive 2nd place finishes in this class. In the 2nd race, the uniquely colored New York Chrome, will start from post position 4 in the 7 horse field, in the Excelsior B class. The son of Deweychetumnhowe was a winner last year at Monticello and took his 2 year old mark of 2:01.3. The chestnut gelding won in the same fraternity 2 starts ago at Buffalo. Post Time for the 13 race card is 12:50 By: Shawn Wiles

Joe Lee, the New York Yankees assistant locker room manager and avid amateur driver, shocked the bettors at Monticello Raceway on Thursday July3) when he guided TKRs Metro Specs to a 1:58 victory in a Catskill Amateur Club Pace which in turn and sparked a $82.50 payoff. In all, three amateur contests dotted the 13-race Mighty M afternoon card; others were trots in the North American Amateur Drivers Association's Sumer Series. Alan Schwartz won his NAADA division with Ladys Big Storm in 1:59.4 while Dave Yarock reined Czech It Out to a 2:01.4 triumph in their split. Besides the foreboding rain the biggest topic of conversation among the railbirds was Joe Lee's shocker behind Woody Hoblitzell's TKR's Metro Specs. In this contest a sidebar could have been that three women were driving in the race but Lee's payoff stole the show. After starting from the eight- hole Lee send his pacer toward the front but they didn't gain command until they got around Bob Hechkoff's Italian Rebel as the quarter mile timer flashed :28.2. After passing the half in :58.2 Lee kept the pedal to the medal and turned back all comers to score a 1-1/4 length victory over Bob Davis and World Peace. One of the aforementioned ladies, Hannah Miller, finished third with Touchdown Mindale. "I've driven him (TKR's Metro Specs) a few times before and even won with him here at Monticello in late June," Lee offerred after the race "We were on the front-end in that one and I learned that he needs to be yelled at to keep him busy.So when we made the front today and headed to the half I screamed at him all the way home." In the first NAADA trot Schwartz also used the front-end with Ladys Big Stormont en route to victory over a fast-closing Landonfitz and Dave Yarock. Like TKRs Metro Specs , Schwartz' trotter didn't make the lead until the first stanza and even with early fractions of :27.3 and :58.3 Ladys Big Stormont held tough through the lane. Despite his shortening strides in the deep stretch Ladys Big Stormont held on for a head victory over Landonfitz. Permanent Joy took home the show dough for Bobby Krivelin. "My horse is best on the front-end but I can't always get him there," Schwartz offered. "When I race him from a hole he just doesn't like to pass horses. If we're third at the top of the stretch we'll probably finish third. "He was real good today probably because I had him turned out at my farm for three days and the green grass and the change of scenery seem to do something positive." Sent off as the betting favorite from the five-hole Ladys Big Stormont paid $5.80 for win. Dave Yarock got Czech It Out home first in the other NAADA Trot.After floating away from the four hole Yarock moved second-up behind Alan Schwartz with Keep It Sweet as the field headed to the halfway point. But when Schwartz's trotter began to fade nearing the three quarters Yarock wheeled Chech It Out three wide and in the deep stretch they wore down the pace-setter Highest Hill (Rich Gayten) for a length victory over Shez All Muscles and driver Bob Davis. Highest Hill held on for third. "The last time he (Czech It Out) raced he made a break behind the (starting) gate so I just wanted to keep him trotting. When I pulled him three wide up the backstretch he just kept rolling and we won it fairly easily," a happy Dave Yarock said Chezh It Out returned an $8.30 win mutuel. John Manzi

The 2017 New York Sire Stakes seasons kicks off on Tuesday July 11 at Monticello Raceway when harness racing 3 year old trotting fillies take center stage. Going to the gate are 2 division of Sire Stakes, each split racing for $59,100, 3 heats of the Excelsior A class ($15,000) and 2 heats of the Excelsior B class, going for a purse of $6,800 each. The first heat of regular Sire Stakes is in race 1, pits the top 2 fillies of the state, Barn Bella and Mamora Bay. Barn Bella who won last year's NYSS Final will start from the rail, with regular diver Jeff Gregory. The Conway Hall - Bravissima is filly is owned by Steven & Nancy Pratt & Purple Haze Stable and sports a respectable tally of $354,645 in lifetime earnings and a lifetime mark of 1:51.3, taken in the Empire Breeders Classic last month at Tioga Downs. She come into the race with 6 wins in 7 starts this year, her only miscue came Buffalo Raceway when she made a break and opened the door for bridesmaid Mamora Bay. Mamora Bay (PP6) is very familiar with the Monticello oval as she won as a 2 year old in 2:00:1 at the Mighty M oval. The Chapter Seven - Giulie lass has a win and a 2nd in Sire Stakes competition thus far this year. She will be driven by trainer Sam Schillaci for owner Peter F. Barbato of Demarest, NJ. Thus far this year in Sire Stakes competition she had a win last week at Buffalo in 1:59.4 and a 2nd place finish Tioga Downs, with $41,433 earned in 2017 and a mark of 1:57.3. She comes into the race with a solid base under her with 4 qualifiers and 3 stakes events under her belt, she will need to be tight starting from the outside. Race 8, features the 2nd heat of Sire Stakes with 6 starters. Celebrity Ruth, 5-2 morning line, starting from PP2 looks to be the one to beat, fresh off her 2nd place finish in the Empire Breeders Classic. She has 1 NYSS win this year at Tioga, and finished 2nd in the Lady Suffolk. The Archangel - filly has earned $90,971 thus far this year with a record of 1:53.4 is trained and driven by Trond Smedshammer for owner White Birch Farm. Maewegonow (PP4) trained and driven by the capable Charlie Norris will also be in the hunt, she was 2nd last start at Buffalo behind Maewegonow, and visited the winners circle at Tioga Downs in the same company On paper Prairie Diamonds (Diamond Goal - Princess Cosette) looks the one the to beat in the first heat of the Excelsior A Class in race 2, fresh off her win at Tioga Downs in 1:56.4 in overnight company, she will start from PP 4 and is 3-1. Cinnamon Prayer (PP7) sports a 4 race win streak coming in to the 3rd race, the Prayer I Am - Cinnamon Caviar filly is trained by the Dennis Laterza, who is always a threat at Monticello and will be driven by Jim Morrill Jr and is owned by Roy Dobbins. The last division of the A class, race 6, features local talent Comfort To A Fool (Credit Winner-I Promisenottotell) she is trained longtime Monticello horseman Gary Messenger and co-owned by Messenger in conjunction with Scott Woogen. Post time for the afternoons Sire Stakes action is at 12:50 By Shawn Wiles

Monticello Raceway held its famous fireworks over the weekend, but harness racing driver Jimmy DeVaux put on his own fireworks show Wednesday afternoon at Monticello Raceway by winning 5 races. Leading trainer Dolores Basilone harnessed 4 of DeVaux's winners on the afternoon card. DeVaux is the leading dash driver this year at Monticello Raceway with 192 wins, followed by Jim Taggart Jr. (135) and Bruce Aldrich (122). DeVaux currently is in 5th place at Saratoga Raceway with 72 wins. His combined season tally is 264 wins, with earnings of $1,131,825 and a healthy UDRS of .333 Not wasting anytime DeVaux swept both ends of the early double with For Kevin's Sake ($2.70) and Flunky's Girl ($5.00) DeVaux and Basilone were successful in the 4th race with Mystical Con ($4.00) and the 5th race with JJ's Doughnut ($3.20) Win number 5 came in the 6th race with Majestic Jo ($2.80) for trainer Dawn DeVaux. Shawn Wiles

On Sunday evening,( July 2nd,) at the Hall of Fame Banquet on the lawn of the Harness Racing Museum "Hurricane Hannah" Miller was presented with the Hall of Fame Amateur Driver's Award for the second consecutive season. Then the next day, she went out and won two amateur driving contests over the famed double oval at Historic Track. "Both horses were very good today," Hannah said via email. "I didn't really get the trip I wanted with Pine Tab in race seven but it ended up working out. "When we rounded the first turn in that one I was able to get a hole (along the pylons) but I didn't want to get locked in so I chose to move him early. We didn't clear Joe Pennacchio and Current Crisis until midway up the backstretch but once Pine Tab made the front he felt strong and went on to a two-length victory." After finishing back in Hidden Identity's last two starts Hannah decided to change her strategy and send the veteran trotter to the lead where he seems to race his best. On June 1st ,in a Billings Trot at Monticello Raceway, she put the grand old campaigner on the front-end and he went wire to wire to and scored an easy victory. "In Hidden's race today I was able to get him out of the gate good and get him to the front where he does his best work. We had a late challenge around the final turn but when I pulled the (ear) plugs we trotted away from LandonFitz (Dave Yarock) and were an easy three-length winner," Miller said, and then added "It was a great day overall and I was lucky to have my family with me." In the first Billings Trotting division Bobby "Hot Rod Chevie" Ciavardini won his first race since 1990 when he guided Baltimor AS to a 2:02.1 victory over Pocket Passer and driver Tony "the Capo" Verruso. After starting from the pole position Ciavardini took early command and then yielded to Pocket Passer and allowed him to cut the fractions. After rebuffing challenges, Verruso and his charge led the way until the top of the stretch where Ciavardini, who traveled along in the catbirds seat moved Baltimor AS out for the stretch run and they trotted away to a three-length triumph over Pocket Passer. Ciavadini had been a racing participant back in the 1980's but switched careers and returned to the racing venues recently after retiring from the construction business. "I didn't drive for 27 years, but about a month ago I got my first drive. I think this my fifth. Right now, I'm having a ball even though my wife thinks I'm crazy,"Ciavardini said with a chuckle. by John Manzi

Monticello Raceway will have its annual Fireworks show on Sunday July 2nd at 10 pm. For decades the Monticello Raceway fireworks have been lighting up the sky and bringing smiles to many. Executive Director of Racing & Facilities Shawn Wiles, noted that there is a slight departure from the norm, and that there will be no live Harness Racing that evening. Admission is free for the fireworks display. Monticello Raceway will resume its normal live racing schedule of Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with a 12:50 pm post time, with and day and evening simulcasting also available in the comfort of its state of the art Simulcasting room. The season's first New York Sire Stakes event will be held on July 11, where 3 year old filly trotters will take the stage. Shawn Wiles

It was only one start but for Francesco Laosa a chance to drive a pacer proved fruitful when the Sicilian professional harness racing finished second in the one race that he drove at Monticello Raceway on Thursday, June 22. According to his friend Marco Barone who doubled as his interpreter, the Italian speaking professional driver and his wife Carola are celebrating their honeymoon with a two week holiday in North America. And through some help from friends LaRosa made a connection with Monticello trainer Dan Gill who offered him a drive behind one of his pupils, Park it Park It, a 4-year-old altered son of Big Bad John. Sent off at odds of 8-1 from the three hole in race five LaRosa allowed John DeSimone and Eye Candy to take the lead and then was comfortable with a two-hole trip all the way. However, in the lane Park It Park It flattened out and couldn't gain on the pace-setter and finished second a length behind Eye Candy in the 1:57paced mile. Asked how it felt to drive a pacer LaRosa replied through his translator, Barone:" It was smooth and steady," and then added "the pacer was easier to handle than a trotter." A winner of a few hundred races in his homeland the opportunity to drive a pacer was special to the 30 year LaRosa since only trotters are raced in Italy, and for that matter all though continental Europe. LaRosa and his dad handle a considerable stable based in Palermo, Sicily. Their horses compete at racetracks in Palermo, Siracusa, Garigliano and Naples as well as various racetracks in southern Italy. After the Monticello race Francesco and Carola, along with Mario Barone and his son Rylee, were headed to the Big Apple . After a short stay in New York City the LaRosa's will be on to California and then to Cancun, Mexico before returning home to Sicily The Barones will leave NYC and head back to their home in the upper peninsula of Michigan. By John Manzi

On Thursday June 23, with the sun bright in the blue summer sky and the temperature hovering around 80-degrees, two amateur races dotted the 11-race harness racing card at Monticello Raceway and when the judges hung the official signs, Alan Schwartz emerged victorious in the NAADA trot with Ladys Big Stormont in a 1:58.4 clocking while Joe Lee was the first home in the Catskill Club pace with TKR's Metro Specs in 1:59.1 In his contest Schwartz hustled his trotter for the lead but they had to go a steppy :27.4 in order to rest command from Highest Hill and driver Rich Gayton. But once Ladys Big Stormont cleared and settled down along the pylons Schwartz tried to give his charge a breather but as they trotted to the halfway point Bob Hechkoff was out and moving with The Franchise and they ranged alongside the leader as the timer flashed :58.1. The two leaders raced head-to-head up the backside but Ladys Big Stormont was strong enough to rebuff his challenger. When the field headed for home Ladys Big Stormont opened up two lengths and he needed every bit of that to turn back a late charge by Hannah Miller with Rev It Now. "My horse went a tough mile especially being parked to the(first) quarter in 27:4 and then having to fight head to head with Hechkoff's horse," Schwartz said after the race. "We did draw clear as we headed for home but my guy was understandably tiring and all I could think of in the deep stretch was 'where the heck is the wire'" When the photo-finish camera snapped Ladys Big Stormont was a head better than Rev It Now . A short length farther back in third place was The Franchise. Schwartz owns the winner whose trained by Raheim Strong. Sent off as the even-money favorite Ladys Big Stormont paid $4.00 for win. Schwartz has been participating in amateur races since the 1980's and now has 585 driving victories to his credit. A long time participant at Monticello Raceway against professionals he also serves as president of the local horseman's organization. In the other amateur driving contest New York Yankees assistant locker room manager, Joe Lee once again proved he knows his was around the racetrack after scoring is eighth seasonal driving victory this time with the Woody Hoblitzell-owned TKRs Metro Specs. Sent off as the hot favorite from the pole position Lee naturally sent his pacer to the lead and once on top they commanded the race and kept Monica Banca's Fox Valley Leo, who won this event last week, on the limb. After a :28.3 first quarter Lee slowed the pace and his horse was steadfastly in charge as they led the field by the half in:59.2 and the three quarters in 1:29.2 As they rounded the final turn TKRs Metro Specs had a two length lead which was slowly diminishing as they headed for paydirt. Kennanskingwilliam was enjoying a two-hole trip and driver Gerry Fielding used the passing lane to put serious pressure on the leader. However, at the wire TKR Metro Specs held tough for a head triumph in the 1:59.1 mile. Third place went to Murphy's Ideal, driven by Dr. Jennifer Lowrey. "We had clear sailing all the way until the final strides when my pacer began to get a little leg-weary," driver Joe Lee noted "Although Fielding's horse was coming at us my horse was strong enough to get home with the victory. Trained by Bruce Aldrich, Sr., TKR's Metro Specs won for the third time this season and returned a $4.20 win mutuel. By John Manzi for both NAADA and the Catskill Club  

Score one for the president... the Billings president, that is. At Monticello Raceway on the ides of June Billings Series president, Tony "the Capo" Verruso. took no prisoners en route to a gate to wire 2:00.2 victory with Flirting Duezy in an east region haarness racing Billings trot. When the starter said 'go' Verruso hustled the 8-year-old Victory Sam mare to the lead and kept moving to allow the trailing horses to find a spot along the pylons. After leading the field by the first quarter in:29:2 Verruso let his mare have her head and she trotted the next quarter in 31 seconds which kept anyone from moving out to challenge her lead. They had two lengths on the field as Flirting Duezy trotted by the third stanza in 1:30.2 and when the field headed for home she was still the strong horse and rebuffed a late charge by The Franchise and driver Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff. She's All Muscles finished third for "Buffalo Bob" Davis. "Knowing that my mare is quick off the gate I sent her to the front and tried to get the trailing horses in line behind us. And it worked out just like I planned. She's game on the lead. Back in mid-May, while on the engine, she won handily in 1:58.3", Verruso said after race. Owned by Betsy Phillips and Carl Gillespie and trained by Gillespie, Flirting Duezy was dismissed by the betting public and paid $22.60 for win. For the current Billings president it was his 67th career driving victory. Also on the June 15th card, another talented female driver, Monica Banca, bided her time and then rallied Fox Valley Leo to a 1:58.3 victory in the Catskill Amateur Club Pace. "I had a good trip," Banca said when she returned to the paddock after her victory. She gunned her pacer to the lead from the five-hole and then allowed Joe Lee and TKR'S Metro Specs to take command before the first quarter timer flashed :28.3. With Lee's pacer showing the way and Banca's pacer snug in the two hole ,they raced one-two until the final strides in the deep stretch when Fox Valley Leo rallied down the passing lane to a head triumph over TKR's Metro Specs. Kennanskingwilliam was third for Jerry Fielding. "I was glad to let Joe's horse take the lead and sit behind him," Banca added. "And I think because I had cover my horse was the strongest at the end of the mile." Fox Valley Leo is owned and trained by Rick Dane. The 7-year-old Yankee Skyscraper gelding paid $12.60 for win. And for the Norwegian-born Banca it was her third driving victory in just four seasonal starts by John Manzi for the Billings Series and the Catskill Amateur Club's race

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