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Monticello, NY - At Monticello Raceway on Monday afternoon October 29, an anomaly of sorts took place, two (P) Provisional Drivers both notched their maiden driving wins in back to back races. In race 3, 22-year-old Christopher Doherty got his first win in only his 3rd P drive, aboard Sheer Action who won by 4 lengths in 2:00.4 and paid $6.20 to win for trainer Jim Doherty Jr. In the next race, 25-year-old Philip Lacorte III driving for just the 9th time in his young career, scored his maiden win with a 5 length, wire to wire score with J Danae in 2:02.1 and paid $4.90, the 7-year-old Nuclear Legacy mare is also trained by Lacorte III. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

On Thursday November 1, Monticello Raceway will alter its post time to 12:25 and will continue to maintain its 4-day race schedule of Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

The final leg of the 2018 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) took place on a rainy, cold afternoon at Monticello Raceway on Monday September 10. Only 7 freshman fillies were entered in the New York Sire Stakes event, the short but talented harness racing field raced for a purse of $108,300. In the middle of the first turn St Somewhere (Matt Kakaley) made a break, with Zero Tolerance inheriting the pocket. Ladybeluckytonite (James Devaux) peeled off fractions of 29.1, 58.4, 1:28.1, at the head of the lane Zero Tolerance bypassed the passing lane and went to the outside to clear pacesetter Ladybeluckytonite to win in 1:58.1, So Awesome (Jim Morrill Jr.) was second and Ladybeluckytonite garnered the show spot after cutting the mile. Zero Tolerance is a bay filly by Heston Blue Chip, she is trained by recent Hall of Fame Inductee Joe Hollaway and is owned by Val D'Or Farm and another 2019 Hall of Fame Class inductee, all around good guy Ted Gewertz. Zero Tolerance picked up her 2nd Sire Stakes event of the year, she has also won a heat of the Reynolds Stake and a division of the Geers Stakes at Tioga Downs. With the victory her earnings are now $144,000, her next stop will be the Night of Champions at Yonkers Raceway on September 22. In the first Excelsior A dash ($15,000) James Devaux was first away from the gate and cut the fractions with Major Frost, the 1-5 favorite Boogie Roll (Tyler Buter) pulled first over at the ¾ marker but could not pass the stubborn Major Frost in the stretch. Major Force scored a wire to wire win in 2:00.2. The homebred son of Art Major is co-owned by co-breeder Jeffery Runch and is trained by Mark Harder. Heavens Challenge was second, followed by Chase You. In the second division of the A's saw Sun Visor work hard to get lead after being parked 3 wide down the backstretch going to the ¼, once on top the 20-1 longshot coasted home for David Miller, giving him a driving double in Sire Stakes Action. The Heston Blue Chip filly is trained by Scott Didomenico for owners Triple D Stables of Jamesburg NY, she picked up her 3rd Excelsior A win of the season. Time for the mile was 2:00.4. The lone Excelsior B ($6,800) saw Jason Bartlett lead from start to finish with Justabitofcharm to score a tight win over Irish Art (Kyle Dibeneddo) in 2:02.1, Chase You was 3rd. Kelly Hasting's did everything but drive her filly this afternoon as she is the Breeder - Owner and Trainer of Justabitofcharm, the Heston Blue Chip filly picked up her 6th Excelsior B event of the season and upped her seasonal tally to over $20,000 in purses. On the card James Devaux won 3 races, Bruce Aldrich Jr. along with David Miller each scored a driving double, Sire Heston Blue Chip had a banner day, as 3 of his offspring where winners on the card. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

On Thursday afternoon at Monticello Raceway in conjunction with the New York County Fair Finals, the final of RUS Series was conducted. This marks the 5th year that the RUS has held their unique events, over the course of the summer 8 RUS events were held through the state. The RUS fair series is sponsored by the NYSS and Agricultural and New York Breeding Development Fund via a $5,000 grant, Monticello Raceway & The Monticello Harness Horseman's Association donated $2,500 towards the $3,500 purse. A field of 7 trotters went behind the gate monte style, Funny Photo and Sophie Engerran lead from start to finish and establish a new track record 2:02.4 in the process to win by 18 lengths, trotting home in 30:3. Funny Photo is owned, trained and ridden by Sophie Engerran. Flowing James (Vanessa Karlewicz) finished 2nd followed by Armbro Hall (Cathy Gearwar) Event organizer Michelle Miller could not have been happier after the race, "I am so proud of the girls today, it has been challenging the last few years to organize the event, but on days like today, it is all worth it! The quality of the riders continues to improve" said Miller. "We have been very fortunate to have partnered with Monticello Raceway who have been extremely gracious to our event since its inception. We would also like to thank all the many sponsors that have been so generous to us, "The Meadowlands, Vernon Down Tioga Downs, Batavia Downs, The Mark Ford Stable, Advantage Edge Equine, Morrisville State College, Triple Crown, Pure Country Campgrounds in New Berlin NY, T&K Harrington LLC, The Equine Tax Group, Preserving Gods Creation Taxidermy and Early Owego Antique Center." The High Point Rider Award was presented to Vanessa Karlewicz for earning the most points throughout the series. This year's prize was donated by Carharts Harness Shop and the Feed and Pet Supply in Vernon NY. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

As Labor Day represents the end of summer, so do the Finals of The NYSS County Fair's that were held at Monticello Raceway on Thursday afternoon September 6. The New York County Fair circuit kicked off on a brutally hot Sunday in Goshen on July 2, the program raced 21 legs at various fair tracks throughout the state. The 12-race card had 8 County Fair Finals, 1 RUS (Racing Under Saddle) and 3 overnight events. 2-year-old pacing colts were first out of the box, TOK, (PP2 - $19.20) scored a wire to wire win in 1:59.1, earning a new lifetime mark. The son of Roll With Joe - Crystal De Vie is trained by Judith Blaun for owner John O Sixt. For driver Kevin Cummings it was his first of 3 winning drives on the afternoon. Good Luck Ginny (Lucky Chucky - Classical Ginny) cut an even rated mile from post position 2 to score in 2:00.1 for driver Jim Devaux in the 3-year-old trotting filly dash, the 1/9 favorite earned her 8 win of the season. She is trained by co-owner David Dewhurst and longtime owner and patron of the New York Sire Stakes program, Philip Hale. Jim Devaux scored his 2nd County Fair Final win with Royal Bahama in the 3-year Colt Trot, Devaux made his move at the ¾ pole and opened daylight on the rest of the field to draw off and win by 12 lengths in 2:01.1, for her 5th win of the year. The daughter of RC Royalty - Becca J is owned and trained by winning connection David Dewhurst and Philip Hale. The Sixth race featured 2-year-old trotting fillies, Behati left strong from the 2 hole and was on top of the field by 8 lengths at the ¼ in 29.4, her lead diminished slightly as she reached the half in 1:01.2 and had 5 on the field, down the backstretch Behati began to tire badly and Golden Gypsy became the new leader. As the field reached the paddock turn a tired Behati caused a traffic jam and pileup, 6 horses were affected, 3 horses were DNF and Behati fell on the track unseating driver Kyle Dibenedetto, who walked away unscathed. Golden Gypsy walked home to win by 18 lengths in the marred race in 2:07.2 for owner - trainer driver Gary Clark. The daughter of Ulay Boko - Uffra Girl earned her 7th win of the season. The 9/5 favorite Lily Hammer (Kevin Cummings) used the front end to her advantage as she coasted to an easy 9 length win in 1:59.2 in the 2 YOPF Final. The daughter of So Surreal - Jens Underdog picked up a new lifetime record for her 5th win of the season for owners North Creek Racing LLC, of East Amherst NY, Gerry Sarama was the trainer. In the 3 YOTF division, Precious Blue Chip was on top of the filed at every stanza, meanwhile Super Roll (PP6) took the overland route, at the ¾ pole he was 3 wide, he continued to grind it out to overtake pacesetter Precious Blue Chip in 1:59.1. The good-looking son of Roll with Joe - Calista is owned by Jerry Hoffman and trainer driver David Byer. The 3-year-old pacing filly class was won by Heavens Diva (PP4) her win gave Kevin Cummings a driving triple on the afternoon, a training double for Judith Blaun, and for owner John O Sixt it was his second winner of the day as their Rock N Roll Heaven lass scored in 1:58 - $2.80. The last event of the card was in the 10th race for 2-Year-Old Trotting Colts and Gelding saw Hereyago lead from start to finish for Owner - Trainer - Driver Robert Wittcop to score in 2:03.2. The impressive looking son of Muscle Mass - End of Innocence earned a new lifetime record in the process. The final leg of New York Sire Stakes will be held on Monday September 10 when 2-year-old pacing fillies close out the season. Going to post will be 1 division of Sire Stakes, racing for a purse of $108,300 and 2 divisions of the Excelsior A's $15,000 and a lone Excelsior B $6,800, post time is 12:50. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway  

Monticello, NY - In 2013 harness racing driver Austin Siegelman was awarded the Monticello - Goshen USHWA Rising Star Award, since then the young 26-year-old Siegelman notched his 1000 win at Monticello Raceway on Wednesday afternoon September 5. He started the day 998 wins, he won the 4th race with NY Whitesox, (1:56.1 - $6.90) and then came right back in the 5th to earn his first of many career milestones with KJ Brent, a 6 YO gelding by Art Major, who is trained by Bruce Aldrich (1:54.3 - $12.80) The usually reserved and stoic Siegelman man was all smiles in the winner's circle, surrounded by his fellow horseman and other well-wishers after the milestone. Siegelman currently is in 3rd place with for leading dash winning drives at Monticello Raceway with 141 wins. Austin was on his way to a banner year this year until a race track mishap put him out of action for a few weeks, costing his valuable mounts and wins. Thus far at Monticello Raceway his mounts have earned purses of $540,672 - UDRS .332, his total career earnings are $6,377,355. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway  

Monticello, NY - On Tuesday afternoon August 21, Jim DeVaux could do no wrong, winning 6 of the harness racing cards 10 races at Monticello Raceway. Devaux wasted no time in the first race as he steered Thergoesmyvacation for the first win of the day (2:00.2 - $3.20) for co-owner and trainer Robert Petitto. He was off the board in the second race but came right back in the next race and won the next 3 races in succession, starting off with Panedictine (1:54.4 - $16.40) followed by Fly To The Angels (1:58.2 - $20.20) and then Sammy B Happy (1:56.1 - $4.30), the 4-year-old gelding is owned by David Yarock and is trained by Dawn Devaux. Devaux's fifth win came aboard Rude Boy who paced his mile in 1:55.2 and returned $6.80 to win. The 6 pack was secured with O Jonnie in race 9, the 3-year-old Muscle Yankee colt started from the rail to win in (2:00.3 -$16.40) for his 2nd win of the season for trainer Joe Moeykens. The Dolores Basilone - Jim DeVaux combo accounted for 3 wins. An interesting breeding anomaly took place on the day, as the prolific mare HF's Gal (Cumin) had 2 of her offspring race on the card and both were winners. Her 11-year-old daughter Thergoesmyvacation and her 3-year-old son O Jonnie were both driven by DeVaux. HF'S Gal has been very good to owner/breeders Robert Petitto and Sharon Stanton over the years, the Cumin mare continues to throw productive, hard hitting consistent trotters. After picking up the half a dozen wins for the day, DeVaux overtook Austin Siegelman for 3rd place for leading dash wins. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway  

Monticello, NY - The last leg of the 2018 Sire Stakes took place at Monticello Raceway on Monday afternoon August 6 as 3 Year Old Pacing Fillies closed out the season with a bang. The first heat of Sire Stakes was worth $61,300, Apothic and Mark Macdonald started from post 3 and took the field to the fastest opening ¼ of the year, hitting that station in 26.2. The duo still set the pace to the ½ in 55.2, as the outer follow developed with 4 in and 4 out. Apothic started to tire down the back side as Solitary was the new leader as the field past the ¾ in 1:24.1. As they turned for home Newsday ranged into contention after enduring a brutal trip on the outside, Better Than Happy who benefitted from a perfect 2 hole trip the entire mile took advantage of the passing lane. The pair paced stride for stride down the lane and hit the wire in a dead heat in 1:53.3. Better Than Happy is owned by Joe P Racing LLC of Delray Beach Florida and is trained by Jennifer Bongiorno and was driven by Joe Bongiorno. Newsday a bay filly by Art Major is trained by co-owner Richard Silverman, Scot Zeron was the driver. In the second division of Sire Stakes, also racing for a purse of $61,300, divisional point leader Wisdom Tree started from post position 8, Scott Zeron rushed the Betterthancheddar filly away from the gate, she made the front just past the ¼ in 27.4. Once on the front end, she controlled the fractions 56.1, 1:24.4 to win in 1:52.4 by 2 lengths, just a tick off the track record of 1:52.3. Wisdom Tree is owned by Thomas Pollack and Jeffrey Cullipher, she picked up her 9 win of the year for trainer Ed Hart. Bullvillekarla (Jim Marohn Jr.) scored a wire to wire win in her Excelsior A heat in in 1:55.3 -$7.20, the Bullville Powerful filly is owned and trained by Steve Crevani. Mink Pink was second followed by So Long Darling. Psychic Bluechip (Scott Zeron) overtook the early pace setters to win her division in 1:55.1, over the heavy favorite KJ's Justine. The Art Major filly is trained by Joseph Skowyra and earned her 5 win of the year. Escape Again went wire to wire in her race to win by a length in 1:54.3 for owner - trainer Troyce Thomas, the daughter of Artiscape was driven by Jim Marohn Jr. The first heat of the Excelsior B class in race 1 was a 4 horse field, Lady Orb extended her win streak to 3 and picked up her 4th seasonal win for trainer Erv Miller, the daughter of Art Major scored in 1:57.3 and returned $3.10 to win for driver Marcus Miller. Reflexionofroyalty notched her first win of the season in 157.3. the American Ideal lass is trained by Allen Sisco and was driven by Kyle Dibenedetto. On the afternoon Scott Zeron drove 3 winners and Jim Marohn Jr had 2, Art Major led all sires with 3 winning daughters on the afternoon. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

Amidst all of the Hall of Fame induction speeches and industry honors, the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association made their annual donation Sunday (July 1) to the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame. Museum president Larry DeVan was on hand to accept the donation from long-time chapter trailblazer and current chairman of the board John Manzi. DeVan noted, "The Harness Racing Museum is fortunate to have such a dedicated group of writers that have consistently raised thousands of dollars annually on our behalf. We are truly grateful, and appreciate the 'raise' as well!" The amount of the donation has increased to $4,000 from past years, thanks in part to a new fundraising venture, the Iron Horse Poker Run, a recent motorcycle event that brought over 120 Harley-Davidson enthusiasts to Goshen's Hall of Fame. Manzi outlined the efforts of the chapter over the last several decades, and noted that, "This is our Cooperstown, and we are proud to continue to support our Hall of Fame." DeVan and Manzi were flanked by chapter secretary Janet Terhune, chapter treasurer and National president Shawn Wiles and chapter president Chris Tully. In addition to other efforts, a successful banquet and souvenir journal are the primary fundraising mechanisms which allows the benevolent organization to make annual donations to both Goshen Historic Track and the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame, two separate and distinct entities that share the same hallowed ground and a mutual purpose of preserving and promoting harness racing. This year's banquet will be the chapter's 60th annual event and is being held at the Fountains at Wallkill Golf Club on Sunday, December 2, 2018, with the main honoree being Frank "the elder" Antonacci of Lindy Farms. by Chris Tully for the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of USHWA          

Monticello, NY - Go down the road as fast and far as you can go seemed to be the tactic of the day as many of the afternoon participants of Monticello Raceway's Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotting colts tried to follow that pattern, some were successful, others not. The first division of NYSS raced for a purse of $38,500, the short 5 horse field saw Don (Andy Miller) first away from the gate from the rail, Dan Daley and Purpose Blue Chip also left hard but were content to let Don cut the fractions and tucked in the 3 hole. Don lead the pack thru every fraction of 28.4, 58.2. Purpose Blue Chip pulled at the half and never saw the rail after that and continued grinding his way towards the leaders on the outside. Don was still on top at the ¾ in 1:27.3, by now Purpose Blue Chip was at his throat latch. At the top of the lane, Don and Purpose Blue Chip were trotting in unison but Purpose Blue Chip held on over Don by a length, a fast closing On The Ropes (Svanstedt) finished 3rd. The son of Chapter Seven notched his 3rd win of the season for owners Daley, Crawford and Lombardo. A happy Dan Daley said in the winner's circle "I put the trotting hobbles on him a month ago to help steady him out and it really worked, he can really trot the turns fast now" Babylons Bridge (Credit Winner) completed the Dan Daley daily double, scoring in the second half of the early Daily Double in 2:01.3 in Excelsior B ranks. In the second division worth $39,200, 14-1 Lindsey's Pride and Marcus Miller cut the early fractions without any pressure in 29, 59.1, the 1-9 favorite The Veteran was the first to start the outer flow at the half followed by Winning Shadow. Lindsey's Pride still had the lead at the ¾ pole in 1:28.1 but The Veteran was gaining even but the effort soon stalled near the paddock turn., Winning Shadow who followed live cover fanned out in the lane and passed The Veteran to win in 1:57.4 by a diminishing length. Winning Shadow picked up his 3rd win of the year for owners Our Horse Cents and J&T Silva. The son of Credit Winner is trained by Jake Huff and was driven to victory by Mike Simons. Not respected by the betting public, Winning Shadow paid $27.80 to win, the 2-5 exacta was worth $58.50 The Veteran was second and Cruising In Style was third. The early trt setter Lindsey's Pride faded to 5th. In the 3rd and final division of Sire Stakes ($39,200) starting from post 5 Clive Bigsby and Scott Zeron lead at every stanza 28.3,58.0,1:27.2 with the heavy favorite Chasin Dreams sitting the pocket. Perlucky and Trond Smedshammer were content stalking the leaders in 4th. At the ¾ pole Perlucky was the first to move, the son of Lucky Chucky tried to pull up passing the paddock draw gate, Smedshammer barked at his mount to pay attention and he quickly responded and trotted home strong to win in a tight 3 horse photo in 1:57.2 over Clive Bigsby and Chasin Dreams. It was the first seasonal win for Perlucky and his owner Purple Haze Stable LLC of Fairport NY. Excelsior A The 2-5 favorite, Lunar Credit and Scott Zeron beat up the Excelsior A bunch again and picked up his 5th consecutive win for trainer George Ducharme in 1:59.1, the son of Credit Winner is owned by Little E, Geiger, Stolz and Living The Dream Racing. Im the Muscle was second, followed by Massamillion. Seven Iron ($8.50) lead from start to finish to win by 3 lengths in 1:57.4 for driver Jason Bartlett, recent Hall of Fame nominee Linda Toscano trains the son of Chapter Seven for owner Ken Jacobs. Troller (Marcus Miller) also scored a wire to wire win in 1:58, trotting the fastest last quarter of the afternoon in 28.3 for trainer Paul Kelly for his third win in a row. Excelsior B Pappagiorgio (Muscle Mass) and Dan Cappello scored a wire to wire win in 1:59.1 for his 4th seasonal win. Babylons Bridge (Credit Winner) completed the Dan Daley daily double, scoring in the second half of the early Daily Double in 2:01.3 Blue Chip Farms, Credit Winner led all Sires with 3 winning sons. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

Monticello, NY - The majority of the 72 2-year-old colts and geldings were on their best behavior Monday afternoon July 9 at Monticello Raceway, 4 divisions of Sire Stakes were contested, each offering a purse of $27,750. Also on tap were 4 Excelsior A's worth $15,000 per dash and 2 Heats of the Excelsior B, each worth $6,500. In the first division, Brian Sears aboard Gimpanzee took control of the fractions after taking the lead past the ¼ in 31.0 and continued to take the pack thru fraction of 1:02, 1:32.2 on his way to a 1 length victory in 2:02.4. Gimpanzee is trained by Marcus Melander for owner Courant Inc. and SRF Stable of Delray Beach. The $170,000 son of Chapter 7 notched his first lifetime win. Leap Year Lucky (Dan Daley) was second, followed by Light Come On (Scott Zeron) The second heat saw Pushthebuttonmax take the field of 8 to the ¼ in 30.2, and the half in 1:01.0, the eventually race winner Keystone Cash was the first to pull at the half first over. As the pack headed down the back side the second time, Takter aboard Keystone Cash were in control at the ¾ in 1:30 and put a quick 3 lengths on the rest of the field and held on for the win by 2 lengths in 1:59.3. The son of Chapter Seven is owned by Howard Taylor, Judith Taylor and Order By Stable. Race 6 was the 3rd heat of NYSS, Scott Zeron and Jake G's Champion looked to score a wire to wire win as he was the first to trip the first 2 beams in 30.2 and 1:01.4. Certify (Claude Hukabone Jr.) was the first to the ¾ in 1:32.1. Jimmy Marohn Jr. who had been wrangling with JNR Express (PP7) the entire mile, was full of trot in the paddock turn and continued his attack and overtook Certify by a slim head in 2:01.4. Getting no respect from the betting public JNR Express, returned $61.50. The son of Conway Hall is trained by Jessica Okusko. Certify held on for 2nd and the early pacesetter Jake G's Champion finished 3rd. Down the road was the rule of the day, and Ake Svanstedt did just that with his pupil Cavill Hanover, the son of Muscle Mass scored a well in hand win in 2:02.4 for owner's Little E LLC, Vanersol Inc and Wolfgang Stable. Our White Knight (Scott Zeron) was 2nd followed by Fashion For Credit from the 8 hole. In one of the afternoons more impressive races, Mr. Vicktor trotted his middle half in 58.2 for driver Jim Morrill Jr. and won by 15 lengths in his Excelsior A race in 2:00 for trainer and part owner Buzzy Sholty. The son of RC Royalty will be looking to shed his Excelsior company and take on all comers next start for owners Joe Lee and Diamond Pride Stable. Crazy Every Time lit up the tote in his Excelsior B heat, the son of Crazed scored from the 3 hole in 2:03 and paid $88.00 for win. Other winners on the card were Speeding Moose (Dan Daley) in 2:08.1, Praying Angel (Jim Morrill Jr.) in 2:02.4, Frank Hanover (Claude Hukabone Jr.) 2:07.4, Trond Smedshammer scored with 2 Purple Haze horses Bazillionare in 2:03.1 and Charismo in 2:07.1. Next up on the Sire Stakes calendar is 3 Year Old Trotting Colts on Monday July 16. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

Monticello, NY - On Monday July 9, at Monticello Raceway the entire program is comprised of New York Sire Stakes for 2 Year Old Trotting Filly's. The 11 race card features 4 divisions of Sire Stakes in races 4 - $27,750 - 5 - $27,750 6 - $27,250 and 7 - $27,750. The Excelsior Series are well represented with 4 Excelsior A's worth $15,000 per dash and 2 Heats of the Excelsior B, each worth $6,500. The Credit Winner Filly is trained by Ed Hart, Jason Bartlett is driving. The Marcus Melander trained Gimpanzee (Chapter Seven) a $170,000 yearling purchase is making her first pari mutual debut for the Courant Inc and SRF Stable of Delray Beach, Florida. Regular Melander driver Brian Sears will drive. The bay filly trotted her first lifetime start in 1:55 at a Meadowlands baby race. Winnerup, (PP4) trotted her last quarter in 27 in her lone 2 YO Baby race, owned by the Purple Haze Stable, Trond Smedshammer will drive. Chapter Fashion will be looking to make a statement in the 2nd dash, the Jim Campbell trained filly (Chapter 7) is owned by recent Hall of Fame Inductee Jules Siegal. The filly has back to back baby race wins under her belt, she romped last week by 6 to win in 1:59.2. Keystone Cash has been a pair of place showings and a 3rd, under her belt so far, this year. Jimmy Takter will drive the Chapter Seven lass for owners Howard Taylor, Judith Taylor and Order By Stable. The 3rd heat, has 2 winners from Buffalo Sire Stake action last week, Certify (PP4) won her division in 2:05.1, the Credit Winner filly will be driven by regular driver Claude Huckabone Jr for owner - trainer Earl Sauve. Right next to her behind the starting gate is Xcuseme, the other winner at Buffalo last time out in 2:06.3, John Stark will drive the RC Royalty offspring. Trainer George Ducharme has enjoyed much Sire Stake success at Monticello over the last few years, looks to extent his luck with Jakes G's Champion (RC Royalty) she finished second last week to Horns For Three, beaten ¾ of a length. Scott Zeron will drive for longtime Ducharme patron Raymond Campbell. The final heat of Sire Stakes, Chip Chip Conway has been installed the morning line favorite and will start from the rail with Jim Taggart Jr. in the bike. The Gary Messenger trained son of Conway Hall skipped it off last week in Buffalo in the 1st turn. He should find familiar territory on his home town track. Fashion For Credit (PP8) is the 3-1 co favorite, another potent Jim Campbell - Jules Siegal trainee. The $50,000 Credit Winner filly was second last start, just missing by neck in 1:58.3. Dan Daley is due for a visit the winners circle at Monticello Raceway, just missing on several occasions early this year in Sire Stakes competition. The dry spell could end with Whimzical Chapter (PP6). by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

GOSHEN NY - At its annual Hall of Fame Induction Dinner on Sunday, July 1, the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame was a recipient of a check for $5000 from the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), the sport's leading media organization. Two years ago, the Directors of USHWA made a change in the organization's rules and regulations of operation, mandating a $5000 contribution to the Hall and Museum. USHWA has been entrusted with conducting the annual elections for the sport's highest honor, acceptance into the Hall of Fame, with its membership joining with present Hall of Famers in voting to honor the best of the best. The organization is proud of the work of the Hall and the Museum, and is glad to contribute to ongoing operations. Shawn Wiles, president of USHWA, is also Manager of Racing Operations at nearby Monticello Raceway; in fact, his USHWA chapter is named the Monticello-Goshen Chapter, and he is very aware of the importance of and the ongoing good work done by his "backyard neighbor." Noted Wiles, "The preservation and promotion of the achievements of the sport's greatest participants who have been honored by election to the Hall would be enough for many organizations. But the Hall/Museum also serves as the sport's main repository of history for today's racing fans, and often is on the road with exhibits, furthering exposure for the sport; it also has a component that tries to encourage the fans of tomorrow, to introduce them to harness racing at a young age." The Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame is open 361 days a year in Goshen NY; their website's address is www.harnessmuseum.com. From the United States Harness Writers Association

On a hot, sticky afternoon, Monticello Raceway hosted a special July 4th Sire Stake card, although the famous Monticello Raceway fireworks are scheduled for Friday July 6th at 10pm, Melodies Major put on his own fireworks show in the last race of the day in the 2nd division of Sire Stakes worth $54,500. Major Blake (PP4) was the first away from the gate going into the first turn, Tyler Buter carefully floated the co-favorite Melodies Major, starting from post position 7, away from the gate and around the first turn. Major Blake had not choice to relinquish the lead as Melodies Major brushed past him and got the lead on the outside at the ¼ in 28.2. Melodies Major paced his second quarter in 29 and steamed his way to the half in 57.2. Major Blake was right on Tyler Buters helmet the entire mile, the positions remain unchanged as they hit the ¾ in 1:26.2. The robust son of Art Major - Hilarious, looked like a man amongst boys down the lane and unleashed a 28.1 final stanza for an easy win in 1:54.3, eclipsing the former track record for of 1:55:2, set by Freedomformysoul in 2014. The Mark Ford trained freshman is owned by Martin Scharf and now has 2 Sire Stakes blankets in his tack trunk in 2 starts and has earnings of $53,250. Major Blake held on for second, followed by JoJo's Place who garnered the show position. The afternoons second Sire Stake ($55,500) event came in race 4, Shanghai Bobby left hard from the 6 hole and powered his way to the front and got the lead just past the ¼. He was followed by Covered Bridge, the pair had lengths on the field as they toured past the half way mark in 58.3. Jack Nation followed live cover at the half, as Shanghai Bobby was getting leg weary at the ¾ marker. Jack Nation was now ranging into contention at the 5/8 pole and at the top of the lane had 3 on the field. Although tiring, Jack Nation, just held on for the photo over Covered Bridge (Jim Marohn Jr.) in 1:57. A bridesmaid, no more Jack Nation notched his first career win, the son of American Ideal is trained by Blake Macintosh and was driven for the win by Mark MacDonald. The card offered 3 - $15,000 Excelsior A's heats, Crawford Farms and Northfork Racing Stable saw their well-bred $150,000 yearling CAL (American Ideal - Hulas Z Tam) bull his way to a wire to wire win in 1:58.2, giving Jason Bartlett his second win early in the card. So It Goes (Mike Simons) was second. Light Wind, was extended to the ¼ but made the front and reeled off fractions of 30.2, 1:01, 1:30.4 to win by 2 in 2:00.1. giving Bartlett his 3rd win of the day. The son of Art Major is owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock and Howard Taylor and was trained by Gareth Dowse, Scott The Great (James Devaux) was second. The front-end speed held up for most of the day as Jordan Stratton followed the winning strategy and guided Queenace Blue Chip (Art Major - Blackjack Princess) to the winner's circle in 1:59.0 for his maiden win. Queenace Blue Chip is trained by Julie Miller. In Excelsior B action, Its Rigged (Jim Marohn Jr.) was content to sit the pocket while Cheyenne Ryan Lee cut the mile by open lengths. Its Rigged had enough in the tank to overtake the pacesetter and won his heat in 1:58.4 for trainer DR Ackerman, the son of Riggins is owned by the Last Hurrah Stable of Pine Bush NY. The trotting bred Baby Maker Hanover (Jason Bartlett) who is by Crazed, out of a Donato Hanover mare won his division in 1:59.3 for owners Blue Chip Bloodstock and Seth Rosenberg. Tom Grossman and Blue Chip Farms and enjoyed a banner July 4th, owner Tom Grossman had 3 winners on the Sire Stake laden card and his Stallions ruled the afternoon as Art Major had 4 winners and American Ideal had a pair. Next up on the sire Stakes Schedule is 2 Year Old Trotting Colt on July 9th, with post time at 12:50 by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

Monticello, NY - On Wednesday July 4th, Monticello Raceway will host 2-Year-Old Pacing Colts vying for purses in excess of $140,000. The current crop of New York Sired 2-Year-Old Pacing Colts caused quite a stir after their first Sire Stake start at Yonkers Raceway last week, pacing miles that would seem normal at the end of their 2-year-old campaign, but unheard for their 2 year old Sire Stake debut. Sire, Art Major enjoyed a stellar night as 2 of his sons, Melodies Major and Major Blake, both put in outstanding performances. As luck or un luck would have it, both colts drew in the same division. Art Major has 4 sons in the first division of Sire Stakes in race 4, racing for a purse of $55,500. Jack Nation (Mark Mac Donald) starting from post position 5 has been installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite. The son of Art Major was second behind Major Blake at Yonkers in his last start for trainer Blake Macintosh and is seeking his first lifetime win. Shanghai Bobby is the co-favorite and will score from post 6 with Jason Bartlett driving for trainer Gareth Dowse. The son of Art Major won his first baby race at Pocono Down ins 1:56.1 and finished 4th in his first Sire Stakes and was timed in 1:57. The home town horse in the field is KJ Leo (PP7), trained by longtime Monticello Raceway horseman Gary Messenger, he was a game second last week at Yonkers, Jim Taggart Jr. will drive the altered son of Art Major. If the erratic Bean(PP2) pays attention to business he should get a nice trip. The second heats of Sire Stakes will have gamblers scratching their head trying to separate this well this well-matched field of sidewinders. Major Blake's (PP4) charted lines show 1's across the page, a winner of his 2 baby races in Ohio, the son of Art Major turned a lot heads last week at Yonkers winning his division in 1:56.1, pacing his LQ in 28.1 for trainer Sam Schillaci, leading Yonkers driver Jason Bartlett gets the driving assignment. Mark Ford brings his favorite son of Art Major, Melodies Major (PP7) to the fray for longtime patron Martin Scharf of Gallo Blue Chip fame. It will be the first time of many, that Melodies Major and Major Blake will face off. Melodies Major won his heat of Sire Stakes by a city block last time out at Yonkers in 1:55.3, regular driver Tyler Buter will drive. As trainers continue to gauge their colts, the program also features 3 Excelsior A races (3,5 and 7) each division racing for $15,000 and 2 heats of the Excelsior B class offering a purse of $6,500, races 1 and 2. Excelsior winners from Yonkers in the prior week are also in to go (PP2) Linda Toscano - Scott Zeron, Light Wind (PP6) (Gareth Dowse - Jason Bartlett) and Alex Tye (Amber Buter - Tyler Buter)(PP8) are both up in class after a win in the B class last week. The track record for 2YOPC is 1:55:2, set by Freedomformysoul in 2014, the weather man is calling for threatening skies and temperatures in the mid 80's. Post time is 12:50 for the 8-race card. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

Monticello, NY - Practice is over and now it is for real for the trotting fillies making their first lifetime  half mile mile pari mutual start at Monticello Raceway on Monday June 25th. The large group of freshmen were on their best behavior for the most part on a beautiful afternoon. The 1-5 favorite Hot Chapter left the gate hard in the first $26,750 division and had 3 lengths on the pack at the ¼ in 31.2 and continued to stay on the front through fractions of 1:02,1:32.3 keeping the field at bay by at least 2 lengths. In the paddock turn Charlie Norris had Just Priceless in high gear and made a bold move, the daughter Muscles Yankee almost collared pace setter Hot Chapter at the top of the lane. Just Priceless threw down a 29.2 last quarter to win by 2 lengths in 2:02.4. Liquorstoreblues finished second, followed by Hot Chapter. Just Priceless is trained by Homer Hochstetler and is a daughter of Muscles Yankee, she garnered her maiden pari mutual win after winning her first 2 baby races at Vernon Downs. Scott Zeron and Sensibility tried to score a wire to wire win over the field of 6 in the second division as she trotted past the panels in 30.2, 1:01.1, 1:31.4, she had 3 lengths on the field as they trotted down the lane. Andy Miller had Amal Hall poised in perfect striking distance as she stalked the pack sitting 3rd most of the mile. Miller pulled her to the outside down the back side the second time around and she grinded out a win in 2:02.0, Sensibility finished 2nd, and Conway Kellyanne was 3rd. Amal Hall (Credit Winner) picked up her maiden win for trainer Julie Miller. The best race of the day came in the 3rd heat of NYSS racing for a purse of $27,250, Ake Svanstedt charged hard from the gate with the steady footed Water Lily Hanover as did With Out A Doubt (Marcus Miller) who beat Water Lily Hanover to the front end as the duo took the group thru fractions of 31.1, and 1:02.3. Dan Daley was the first to move with Somermusic'chapter before the half, the eventual race winner Exotic Diamond pulled at the half looking for cover. Daley tried for the lead against With Out A Doubt down the backside but the rally came up short and he tucked in the 2 hole before the ¾ in 1:33. Starting from PP5, Exotic Diamond took the road less travelled and took the overland route and was way out of contention but rallied for the win for driver Scott Zeron in a tight photo in 2:05.3, Somermusic'chapter finished a game second, followed by Water Lily Hanover. Buzzy Sholty was smart in giving his filly a qualifier start at over the Catskill Mountains half mile oval last week and it paid dividends this week. The RC Royalty filly is owned by Joe Lee, Diamond Pride LLC and Sholty Racing LLC. Early pacesetter With Out A Doubt faded and finished 5th. In the final Sire Stakes dash of the afternoon, Andy Miller floated away from the gate with heavy fav EV's Girl, only to make a miscue going to the ¼ pole, Blue Prayer and Dan Daley inherited the lead, taking the pack to the quarter in 31.3. Winndevie made her move past the ¼ pole, took the lead and was never headed as she trotted alone by open length's through fractions of 1:03.1, 1:33.4 to win by 2 in 2:02.3, trotting her last quarter in 28.3. Winndevie (Credit Winner) is owned by Purple Haze Stables LLC. Safe Word and Jeff Gregory finished 2nd with Hanna Dreamgirl 3rd. Blue Chip Farms Credit Winner lead all Sires with 3 winners on the card, 2 year old pacing colts are next on the Sire Stake agenda on July 4th. by:Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway  

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