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The home grown 60-year-old John Desimone Jr. has been a fixture at Monticello Raceway for over 4 decades. On Wednesday afternoon - June 5, Johnny D, made the most of the absence of 3 of the top harness racing drivers at Monticello Raceway as he won 4 races on the day and drove the winner of the fastest mile of the year at Monticello Raceway. The fastest mile of the year came by virtue of Kenrick N, the classy out of town invader started from the 2 hole and ripped off fractions of 27.3, 56.3, 1:25.1 and opened 10 lengths on the pack to trip the timer in 1:53.3. The 7-year-old son of Bettors Delight is trained by Austin Gilbert and earned his second win of the season in soft company. Desimone's other winners on the afternoon were aboard Adorable Ben 1:59.4 - $19.80, Superiorcourt 1:58.2 - $13.20, and Elias Joy 2:01 - $4.20.   Shawn Wiles

On Monday afternoon June 3, the entire 9 race card was dominated by Sire Stakes for 3 Year Old Trotting Colts, 3 heats of Sire Stakes, 3 Excelsior A and 3 Excelsior B contest's The first harness racing heat of Sire Stakes action came in race 1, the 5 - horse field raced for a purse of $37,500. There were 3 different leaders on the front end until the field hit the ¼ marker, with Livingonthedash the first one there in 29.2, Horns for Three got the lead at the half in 59.4, down the backside Winnerup who was fifth and last was the first to move. At the ¾ move Winnerup was sitting on the outside of Horns For Three until the duo came out of the turn and then it was all Winnerup from there as he scored in 1:57.4. It was the third win of the season for the son of Credit Winner who is owned by Purple Haze Stable, he also picked up his second Sire Stake win of the young year. In the winner's circle after the race trainer Trainer Trond Smedshammer exclaimed "He was well in hand today, I never even pulled the ear plugs today " Mr. Victor's (Tyler Buter) race was the most impressive performance of the afternoon, the recently sold son of RC Royalty easily dispatched a field of 6 as he scored in a wire to wire win in 1:57.1, for the fastest mile of the day. Mr. Victor                                        --Geri Schwarz photo Mr. Victor notched his second Sire Stake win of the season and picked up his fourth win of the season. A large contingent of well-wishers converged on the winner's circle following the race, among them owners R. Santagata and Joe Lee. In the final heat Lights Come On cut the mile every step of the way (29.0, 59.4, 129.0) pocket sitter Travel Winner (Tyler Buter) out finished to pace setter to score in 1:58.2. Travel Winner is by Credit Winner and trained by Nifty Norman for owner James W. Fleming of Bayfiled, ON, CA, Travel Winner                             --Geri Schwarz photo The winners in the Excelsior A contests were, Kolin 2:01.2 - Phil Fluet, Jason's Camden 1:59.4 - Jim Morrill Jr. And Another Newyorker 2:01. Jason Barlett. Tyler Buter and Jason Bartlett each scored a driving double for the afternoon.   By: Shawn Wiles

On Monday afternoon June 3, Mr. Victor and Cavill Hanover highlight the New York Sire Stakes for 3 Year Old Trotting Colts. The entire nine race card is dedicated to Sire Stakes, three divisions of Sire Stakes will each race for a purse of $38,200, three heats of Excelsior A's vying for a purse of $15,000 and three heats of Excelsior B, racing for $6,600. The first race is the first heat of the regular Sire Stakes with 5 horse's going to post, the fastest of the lot is Winnerup, the son of Credit Winner is trained and driven by Trond Smedshammer for patron Purple Haze Stable. He earned his lifetime mark of 1:53.1 at Vernon in overnight company. Horns For Three will start from the rail, a winner his last start in 1:55.4, Jason Bartlett will drive the son of Credit Winner for trainer Jeff Cullipher. Mr Vicktor (Tyler Buter) has drawn the rail in his dash (Race 6) and has been installed the morning line favorite, Mr Vicktor, has a new trainer this start as Jennifer Lappe has assumed training the RC Royalty colt for new owners R. Santagata, J. Lappe, Diamond Pride and Joe Lee. A model of consistency, in 6 lifetime starts he has a tally of 4 wins, 1 second and 1 third place finish. His last start in Vernon Downs he finished second to last year's 2 Year Old Trotting Colt of the year Gimpanzee in the Empire Breeders Classic Final. In his prior start he won a NYSS event at Vernon Downs in 1:55.1, as a 2 year old he won an Excelsior stakes at Monticello Raceway. Local favorite Chip Chip Conway (PP4), the son of Conway Hall is trained by Gary Messenger with regular driver Jim Taggart Jr. In the sulky. Travel Winner (PP4) the son of Credit Winner has 3 wins in 9 starts this season for trainer R. Nifty Norman, last start out he finished 3rd in the Empire Breeders Classic, Tyler Buter will drive. Cavill Hanover is the handicappers 2nd choice drive, the son of Muscle Mass is trained by Ake Svanstedt, in 3 starts this season he was second in the Dexter Cup Elims and finished 4th in the final, and 4th in the Empire Breeders Classic. Post time for the 9 race Sire Stakes laden card is 12:50pm. By: Shawn Wiles

On Monday May 13, the New York Sire Stakes made their first stop of the year at Monticello Raceway for 3 Year Old Pacing Colts, the conditions were less than ideal as it was a cold, rainy raw day that was reminiscent of a fall day and certainly not the middle of May. Hickfromfrenchlick, the Ray Schnittker trained harness racing son of So Surreal started from post position 4 and went off the 1/5 odds on favorite in the 6 - horse field. Hickfromfrenchlick (Mark Macdonald) lead the pack every step of the way, reeling off even rated fractions of 28.2, 58.1 1:28.1, American Mercury (Tim Tetrick) were the first to move down the backside as the outer flow developed with Stone Hanover right behind him. It looked like Hickfromfrenchlick was going in for an easy layup but American Mecury was not done yet as the duo paced home strong, but Hickfromfrenchlick rebuffed American Mercury by a scant neck to score in 1:55, pacing his last ¼ in 27 in the fastest mile of the afternoon. Stone Hanover finished 3rd, coming home in 26.4. Hickfromfrenchlick is owned by Ray Schnittker, Nolamaura Racing LLC and TC Spatorico. In the second heat of Sire Stakes, it was a race of the Major's, Major Blake left fast from post 4 from the gate but decided to take the 2- hole tuck as Major March from the rail cut the steady fractions of 28.2,58.1 1:26.4, Respect The Flag and Astarie angled out past the ¾ maker in an effort to start tracking down Major Blake, but their efforts were thwarted as he coasted to a 2 length victory in 1:55. Major March is trained by soon to be Hall of Famer Linda Toscano, the Art Major - Mach You And Me colt is owned by Bay Pond Racing Stable of Malvern, PA. Major Blake was 2nd and Astaire finished 3rd Major March                    --Geri  Schwarz photo The highly touted Reigning Deo highlighted the last heat of Sire Stakes in the 6th race, the Rock N Roll Heaven colt started from the rail and was the 3/5 favorite going to post. Dealer's Table (PP4) and Jason Bartlett cut the soft fractions to the ¾ pole 29.3, 59.3 1:28.1. Rollwithpapajoe (T. Buter) was the first to come off the rail approaching the half, he continued the overland route with no cover. Heading for home he rolled to an easy 3 length win over Reigning Deo held on for 2nd place followed by Covered Bridge. Rollwithpapajoe is trained Jenn Bongiorno, The Roll With Joe colt is owned by Barbara Bongiorno, BK Lambos and D. Libertos. The Excelsior A contest's saw Shim (American ideal - Feel Life) leave the gate unhurried to rally over Caviart Cale in 1:58.3 for Trainer - Driver and part owner Pat Lachance, in the second A class Surreal Art (So Surreal - Artcotic) was content to sit the pocket while Shanghai Bobby cut the mile. It was a good battle down the lane between the two but Surreal Art hung on for a neck victory over Shanhai Phil in 1:55.1 Sire Stats for the afternoon showed American Ideal and So Surreal both had 2 winners, Jason Bartlett and Patrick LaChance each had a driving double on the chilly afternoon. $461,000 was wagered on the 8- race card for a per race average of $57,625.   By: Shawn Wiles

On Monday afternoon May 13, the New York Sire Stakes Circuit will make its 2019 debut as the glamour harness racing division of 3-year-old pacing colts come to town. Going to post will be 3 divisions of Sire Stakes ($38,000) 2 splits of the Excelsior A class ($15,000) and 1 Excelsior B ($6,700) The first division of Sire Stakes ($38,200) will go to post in race 1 with 7 entries, Hickfromfrenchlick (PP4) has been pegged the morning line favorite. The So Surreal colt had a very productive year as a 2-year-old where he earned $138,541 and earned a speed badge of 1:51.3. Last week he had an easy tightener at Pocono Down where he romped in 1:53.3 to win by 8 ½ lengths for trainer Ray Schnittker. Local favorite KJ Leo will start from post 6, last year the Gary Messenger trained colt won the NYSS Consolation at Yonkers and finished the year with $68,292 in earnings. This year the Art Major colt won a conditioned race last week at Monticello Raceway in 1:57.1, regular driver Jim Taggart Jr. will drive. The 2nd division of Sire Stakes features Respect Our Flag was sharp in his performance 2 weeks ago where he scored in 1:49.2 at the Meadowlands for trainer Jenn Bongiorno, Joe Bongiorno will drive the son of Roll With Joe. Sam Schillaci brings Major Blake to fray, the son of Art Major has had 3 winning qualifiers under his belt at his home track Northfield Park, Major March will start from the rail for trainer Linda Toscano, the Art Major colt is owned by Bay Pond Racing, Jason Bartlett will drive. The final heat of Sire Stakes action is in race 7 and highlights Reigning Deo, the winner of last year's NYSS final at Yonkers Raceway in 1:54.4, the son of Rock N Roll Heaven will start from the rail with Jim Morrill Jr at the helm for trainer Brett Pelling. After winning the NYSS final last fall, Reigning Deo dabbled in Grand Circuit competition and finished the year with $243,163. The Excelsior A, class first split highlights Jack Nation, the son of American ideal took his Lifetime mark as a 2 YO at Monticello Raceway in 1:57 for Blake Macintosh, Mark Macdonald will handle the driving assignment. Post time for the 8-race card is 12:50   by Shawn Wiles

Harness racing is cashing a winning trifecta as the United States Harness Writers Association's (USHWA) annual Dan Patch Awards banquet will return to Rosen Shingle Creek resort in Orlando, Fla., for the third year in a row in 2020. The banquet, which honors the best equines and humans in the sport, will take place on Sunday night, Feb. 23. Rosen Shingle Creek played host to the Dan Patch Award weekend for the first time in 2018 and proved such a popular venue the past two years that it was unanimously voted to again return to the stunning 230-acre property. After four-star reviews of the last two dinners, including a surprise appearance by Stan Bergstein-Proximity Award winner Foiled Again this year that many proclaimed one of the most memorable moments ever in racing, it's never too early for sponsorship opportunities that are available. To inquire about sponsorship opportunities for the weekend, including Dan Patch Presenting Sponsor, live video streaming sponsor, Red Carpet reception and live feed sponsor hosted by Heather Vitale and Heather Wilder, please contact USHWA President Shawn Wiles at: swiles@empireresorts.com. "USHWA is ecstatic to return to Rosen Shingle Creek for the third consecutive year," said Wiles. "This is a first-class venue that our dinner quests and attendees thoroughly enjoy coming to." USHWA would again like to thank this year's sponsors, which included: McWicked; Crazy Wow & Crawford Farms; Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association; Southwind Frank Partners; Shartin N connections; AM Bloodstock; Six Pack connections; Harrah's Hoosier Park; Delaware Valley USHWA; Bow River Jewelry; Fennell's Tack Shop; Embroidery Unlimited; Nick Surick, the Hambletonian Society; George Brennan; Hanover Shoe Farms; and the United States Trotting Association. All the award winners will be announced in advance of the dinner except for Pacer of the Year, Trotter of the Year, and Horse of the Year. The names of those three prestigious award winners will remain sealed in envelopes and revealed at the conclusion of the dinner. As for Rosen Shingle Creek, the site is located just off Universal Boulevard, within 10 minutes of the Orlando International Airport and minutes from all area attractions. Rosen Shingle Creek is a five-star property that is ranked a top-20 U.S. meeting hotel by Cvent. The property includes an 18-hole, Arnold Palmer-redesigned golf course, four swimming pools, a spa that includes nine treatment rooms, two lighted tennis courts, sand volleyball, basketball and a state-of-the-art fitness center. There are 15 restaurant/lounges located on the property, including the upscale steakhouse A Land Remembered, the fine-dining bistro Cala Bella, Banrai Sushi, Mi Casa Tequila Taqueria, and a 24-hour deli. As part of the weekend, USHWA's annual general membership meeting will take place earlier on Sunday morning, with its board of directors meeting the previous afternoon on Saturday, Feb. 22. More details will be made available at the USHWA website and through trade media as they become available throughout the year. From the United States Harness Writers Association  

On any given day, there are a handful of drivers at Monticello Raceway that can win 5 races in a day, today was Jim Devaux's day. 4 of Devaux's win's came in the wire to wire fashion, he won the first race with Let Me Explain (2:00.1 - $9.40) The Murray Bassen trained Bestgirlfriendever took race 3 (2:00.4 - $2.70) for her second win of the season. Mylittlesurfergirl from the rail found the 2-hole journey to her liking and won the 5th (1:56.3 - $4.10) giving trainer Murray Bassen a training double. Meadowbranch Max accounted for the 4th win of the card (2:02.1 - $3.20) Kamwood Laughter N (1:58 - $2.80) rounded out the afternoon, the 12 year old Live or Die mare notched her 5 win of the season for trainer Joseph Skowyra. With the 5 wins on the card, Devaux is currently in 3rd place for leading Dash winning drivers with 61, Mike Merton is 2nd with 70 and Austin Siegelman is atop the leader board with 99 wins. Austin Siegelman has experienced the quintuple 4 times already this year. A total of $525,000 was wagered on the afternoon for a race average of $65,000.   By Shawn Wiles

Three year old harness racing pacing filly, Cheep Sunglasses, under the expert guidance of Austin Siegelman, reaches the wire in 2:02 at Monticello Raceway on Wednesday March 20. Austin Siegelman won 5 races on an 8 race card. No, its not groundhogs day but it is beginning to sound like a broken record, for the fourth time this season Austin Siegelman won five races in an afternoon at Monticello Raceway, he did it again on Wednesday March 20. He proceeded to win the first 3 races Boostwiththefur (1:59.1- $3.10), Cheep Sunglasses (2:02 - $6.30) Gonna Fly (1:58 - $10.80) he finished 3rd in the 4th race. Four Starzz Lefty (1:59.3 - $10.20) won the 5th race, Austin finished 2nd in the 7th race with Cerisier. It was Adorabella, a 3-year-old Pet Rock filly that earned Siegelman his 5th trip to the winners circle. Adorabella is trained by Jody Riedel, it was the fillys first pari mutual win. The five wins from today has vaulted Siegelman to the top of the leading dash winners at Monticello Raceway with 85 wins, Mike Merton is second with 64. James DeVaux 52 and Bruce Aldrich in 4th with 49 wins. Overall Siegelman has won 118 races thus far in 2019, which is good enough to earn him the 6th place nationally , his mounts have earned $676,073 at this point in the season.   By: Shawn Wiles

Harness racing driver Austin Siegelman's favorite number recently has been 5, on 2 occasions already in the young 2019 season, 27-year-old Austin Siegelman has won 5 races at Monticello Raceway, today he did it again for the third time. It didn’t matter if he was starting from the rail or the 8 hole, Siegelman found a way to find the winners circle. The winners started in the first race where he piloted River Run for Ryan to a 1:57.3 win for trainer Arthur Jones, the son of Western Terror notched his first win of the year.  Badlands Palace took the 3rd race from post position 2 for his first pari-mutuel win of the year in 1:59.3 for Trainer Robert Lounsbury and owner Margaret Olmstead, the daughter of Badlands Hanover returned $3.10 to win.  Siegelman scored from the 8 hole with Woodmere Rondevous in 1:59.4 by a scant neck and paid $12.60 to win.  Reflexionofroyalty would account for the 4th win of the afternoon, the 4-year-old mare by American Ideal is trained by Allen Sisco (2:01 - $3.70) The last winner of the day was Yankee Devil (PP2) who scored a wire to wire win in 1:59.2 ($5.70) for trainer E. Bucky Angle Jr.  Yankee Devil a 14-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser was winless in 2018 in 14 starts. With a bit more luck Siegelman could have won 7 races, he was just nailes at the wire in the 7th race with the 3/5 favorite Histoire Eternelle in a tight photo. In the 8th race, post time favorite Ironbarbassy was scratched lame in the post parade. In the paddock after the conclusion of racing when asked about his day, the reserved  Siegelman said “I have been getting live mounts and I have been putting them in good spots” Siegelman is atop the leader board for leading Dash Winners with 65 wins, followed by Michael Merton (61) James DeVaux (47) Bruce Aldrich (46) and Jim Taggart Jr rounding out the top five with 30 wins $599,529 was wagered on the 9-race card, an average of $66,000 per race, live racing resume Monday March 11 at 12:50. By:Shawn Wiles

Last week it was Austin Siegelman who put on a driving clinic at Monticello Raceway, this week its Mike Merton. On Wednesday February 20, Merton dominated the snowy afternoon and drove 7 winners on the 12-race card. He started off hot winning the first race with Mamie Marc in a wire to wire win for trainer Patti Harmon in 2:00.4. In the 3rd he scored with Permanent Joy in a 7-length romp in 1:59 and paid $3.80 to win. Drive em Cowboy accounted for his 3rd win of the day in 1:56.3. Merton then went on to win races 7 - 10 Hi Ho Steverino won race 7 in 1:57 - $3.40. Zach Lee won in 1:56.1, giving trainer Andrew Adamczyk a training triple for the afternoon. And Patronne Seelster, a 5-year-old daughter of Bettors Delight was another winner for Merton (2:00.3 - $9.70). Rounding out the afternoon in race 10 was Caviar Court, the Jim Doherty trainee scored in 2:03.2 by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

Monticello, NY - No, it's not a typo, yesterday at Monticello Raceway harness racing driver Austin Siegelman won 5 races and today he duplicated the exact same feat. Siegelman won the second race of the afternoon with Reflexionofroyalty from the rail in 2:00.1 and returned a $8.50 win pari-mutuel, it was the first win of the season for Reflexionofroylaty. Histoire Eternelle (PP4) gave Austin his second win of the day, as he scored a wire to wire win in 1:57 for trainer Chris Petrelli. He came right back in the following race to score with Victory Singer (1:59.4 - $2.60) it was the 3rd win a row for Victory Singer. In the 7th race it was Sky Guy from post position 8, to win by 3 lengths after cutting the entire mile in 1:57.1, the son of Sportswriter is trained by Thomas Merton. The last win of the afternoon came aboard Celtic Art, the Joe Moeykens trained son of Artiscape won in 1:59 and paid $10.40 to win. The top 4 drivers are in a bottleneck for leading dash winner with 3 drivers Bruce Aldrich Jr. Michael Merton, and James Devaux all tied with 34 wins, Austin is in close pursuit with 33 wins. Over $780,000 was wagered on the 10-race card. Live racing returns on Monday with a 12:25 post time. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway  

At Monticello Raceway on Wednesday February 13, Austin Siegelman won half of the 10-race card as he steered 5 winners to the harness racing winner's circle. The Rick Dane Jr. trained Brandos Muscle Man ($13.00 - 2:00.4) got things going for Siegelman in a wire to wire effort from the 7 hole. Virtuous Dragon PP2 won the 4th race ($15.40- 1:58.2) A and C Artist ($1:59.2 - $6.70) - Ironbarbassy ($3.80 - 1:59.2) -and Law of Attraction ($9.00 - 2:00.2) The 26-year-old Siegelman is in 4th place for leading dash winning drivers, and sports a respectable .298 UDRS by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway  

Due to Winter Storm Maya, Qualifiers will be held on Thursday February 14, the box closes at 11:45 on Wednesday. Please contact the Race Office at (845) 794 - 4100 EXT 557 by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

Due to the timing of the snow that is expected to canvass the areas tomorrow morning, which will make for hazardous conditions for horses located at nearby training centers and farms, live racing has been cancelled for Tuesday February 12. Live racing will resume on Wednesday February 13. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

In anticipation of the extreme cold that is expected for tomorrow, live harness racing is canceled for Thursday January 31 Live racing will resume Monday February 4th, post time is 12:20 by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway  

Monticello, NY - Due to deteriorating weather conditions and hazardous driving conditions, live racing has been cancelled for Tuesday at Monticello Raceway. Live racing will resume on Wednesday January 30 with a 12:20 Post time by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

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