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Kj Erich won the Monticello Raceway harness racing Open Pace for the first time since January as he finished strongly in the Apr. 13 contest.   Driver Jim Taggart Jr. utilized the horse's best post draw in weeks to drop him into the four-hole early, but he pulled the gelding back out before the quarter in :28. Kj Erich marched to the front and cleared easily. He then took the field to the half in :57 and three-quarters in 1:26.2.   First-over challenger Blacktree (Michael Merton) and pocket horse Weekend Atnannies (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) took their shots down the stretch, but Kj Erich repelled both to win by three quarters of a length in 1:55.4. Blacktree got second, and Epaulette A circled up for show.   KJ ERICH REPLAY     Kj Erich is now 33-for-171 lifetime with more than $205,000 earned for owners and breeders Scott Woogen of North Chesterfield, Brenda Messenger of Monticello, and Philip Shapiro of Haworth. Gary Messenger trains the eight-year-old son of Roll With Joe.   Taggart completed a "Kj" triple on the day as he also won the second with Kj Michael Gary (1:59) and third with Kj Chico (1:59.1).   Monticello Raceway is back on Wednesday, Apr. 14 with seven races beginning at 12:10 p.m. EDT.   For full race results, click here.   by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink

Special Graduate was in command in the first of three conditioned harness racing co-features at a muddy Monticello Raceway on Apr. 12.   Driver Bruce Aldrich Jr. pushed the Art Major mare to the top through the quarter in :29.2. He sliced out middle fractions of :59.4 and 1:29.4 while maintaining a length-and-a-quarter gap to first-over Delilah De Vie (Jim Taggart Jr.).   Special Graduate pulled away with ease and was wrapped up crossing the finish line in 2:00.2. Rella Tivity's (Drew Chellis) pocket trip landed her the place spot, and Delilah De Vie stayed on for third. The winner paid $3.20.   SPECIAL GRADUATE REPLAY     Special Graduate's win was her 10th on 35 lifetime attempts, and it increased her bankroll to more than $45,000. David Dziengiel trains and co-owns with Robert Sholes and Edward Davis, all of whom are residents of Bloomingburg.   Quick Summer took the second co-feature in similar fashion, though she was under duress for the entire back half and won a close photo.   Quick Summer sprinted out to the lead and enjoyed opening splits of :30.4 and 1:02.1 under the guidance of Michael Merton. Er Betty (Taggart) went first up going past the half and attacked the leader, drawing level at one point but backing off as they approached three-quarters in 1:32.1.   Er Betty persisted through, and Mayfair Well (Cory Stratton) slid up the inside as they straightened for home, setting the stage for a three-across finish. Mayfair Well went strongly on the inside, but Quick Summer was too determined and edged the victory by a neck in 2:02.4. The former was a game second, and Er Betty fought on for third.   QUICK SUMMER REPLAY     Quick Summer is now 12-for-87 lifetime with just shy of $85,000 in earnings. Barbara Schlosser of The Bronx owns the seven-year-old Prayer I Am mare and employs Dennis Laterza as the trainer. The horse paid $5.60 to win.   Best Choice captured the final co-feature, going first-up in a double move effort.   She pressed on from post six, vying for early position and settling for the third spot on the rail just past the quarter in :29.3. Merton kept her on the inside going by the half in 1:00.3 as the outer flow got moving. That choice paid off as the first-over contender backed up on the final backside trip, allowing Best Choice to make a first-up move of her own to go after leader The New Americana (Justin Huckabone).   Best Choice was at the leader's bridle at three-quarters in 1:30.3 and went by, but she was unable to clear turning for home, allowing The New Americana to re-rally up the pylons. They dueled down the lane, but Best Choice earned the victory and won by a half length in 2:00.1 The New Americana settled for place, and Realistic (John De Simone Jr.) followed the winner's cover for show.   BEST CHOICE REPLAY     Best choice won first off the claim for Mo Coo Inc of Merrick and Andew Adamcyzk of Middletown. Adamcyzk also trains the five-year-old Ponder mare that has won 13 of her 58 starts and earned more than $55,000 lifetime.   Monticello Raceway will return on Tuesday, Apr. 13 with nine races kicking off at 12:10 EDT.   For full race results, click here.   by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink

Harness racing driver Greg Merton won four of Monticello Raceway's 13 on Thursday, Apr. 8, including the two conditioned co-features.   Merton began his day on the right foot, capitalizing on a leader's break with Junior's Dew in the opener. He placed the seven-year-old into the pocket spot through the quarter in :28.1 and followed leader No Stone Unturned (Jim Devaux) to the half in :58.1.   No Stone Unturned promptly went off stride at that point, gifting the lead to Juniors Dew who led to three-quarters in 1:27.2 and opened up a three-and-a-quarter-length gap in the lane for a 1:56.1 win. Stop Action (Brandon Parker) came from last to take the place spot, and Our Regal Ideal N (Cory Stratton) was third.   JUNIOR'S DEW REPLAY     Juniors Dew is now 14-for-105 with more than $95,000 in earnings. Ashley Eldred trains the Western Ideal gelding for Marianna Monaco of Poughquag. The horse paid $4 to win.   After winning two more in between, Merton took the other co-feature in a wire-to-wire romp with Sb Mikes Hot Beach.   He sent the journeyman stallion to the lead immediately, taking the front end unopposed. Sb Mikes Hot Beach settled in, guiding the field through splits of :28.3, :58.1, and 1:27.3 before leaving the pack behind in the final quarter in a 1:56.1 win by five and a half lengths.   Runhappy Ten (Jim Devaux) was best of the remainder in second, and Cee Pee Panic (Michael Merton) took show money.   SB MIKES HOT BEACH REPLAY     Candace Brandsetter trains Sb Mikes Hot Beach for Nicole Mason of Freedom. The 13-year-old horse by Magical Mike has won 45 races in a 276-race career and earned more than $355,000.   Merton and his brother, Michael, combined for six victories on the day. Greg also won aboard Rise Up Now (1:58.2) in the second and Ok Galahad (1:56.4) in the 10th. Michael visited the winner's circle after the sixth and ninth with Mikey Boy (1:58.1) and Donau (1:57.3), respectively. Another Merton sibling, Thomas, trained Donau.   Also on the card, Joseph Pennacchio won the North American Driving Association 4th Leg trot with 50-1 longshot Keystone Blade. Pennacchio contested the early lead with his charge before settling for the pocket spot, then came back around at three-quarters and out-kicked the rest of the field to win by two and three quarter lengths in 1:59.2.   KEYSTONE BLADE REPLAY     Keystone Blade and Pennacchio won their first NAADA appearance of the season on Mar. 25. Keystone Blade, an eight-year-old Yankee Glide gelding, is trained by Cory Stratton for Joe P Racing LLC of Delray Beach. The horse is 23-for-161 lifetime with just shy of $175,000 earned. He paid $102 to win.   For full race results, click here.   by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink  

Monticello, NY---When Joe Pennacchio's trotter, Keystone Blade, drew the eight-hole in the NAADA trot today (April 8) at Monticello Raceway he wasn't discouraged. After all, Keystone Blade had gone wire to wire in 1:58 against similar company two weeks ago at Yonkers Raceway. So, in the amateur trot this afternoon Pennacchio sent his veteran trotter toward the front when the wings of the mobile gate folded at odds of 50-1 and they ranged alongside the pace-setter Pound Sterling (Bob Hechkoff) as they trotted to the first quarter in a swift :28.4.. "When I ranged alongside Hechkoff I could see he wasn't going to let me go so I grabbed leather and backed my horse into the two-hole," Pennacchio said."And once settled in I just followed the leader for a ways." Hechkoff kept the pedal to the metal and showed the way by the half in :59 with Pennacchio's trotter tight on his back. "When we headed up the backside for the second time I moved off the pylons as the trailing horses were beginning to rally and I didn't want to get locked-in,"Pennacchio explained. Keystone Blade was moving forward but Pound Sterling still had command when they trotted into the final turn. And when they straightened for home it was all Keystone Blade as the veteran 8-year-old Yankee Glide gelding began to draw off and went on to a 2-1/2 length triumph in 1:59.2. KEYSTONE BLADE REPLAY   Alan Schwartz, who was following the leaders throughout with Ladys Big Stormont, got up in the final strides to collar Pound Sterling for te place money. Maybe it was the eight-hole or perhaps Pennachio's first Mighty M start this season, but for whatever reason the betting public sent Keystone Blade away at odds of 50-1. Those who believed were rewarded with across the board mutuels of $102.00 to win, $47.00 to place and $18.00 show. For full race results, click here. by John Manzi, for NAADA

Credit List's late swoop in the Apr. 7 feature at Monticello Raceway earned him a third Open Trot win in four weeks.   With Justin Huckabone at the controls, the six-year-old gelding settled into the four-hole going through the first turn and continued in that spot through the :29.3 opening quarter. He went to the outside approaching the half in :58.1 and caught the cover of Cinnamon Stick (Bruce Aldrich Jr.) as they pursued longshot leader American JJ (Michael Miller).   Credit List forged to the three-path going by three-quarters in 1:27.3 as Cinnamon Stick began to stall and accelerated coming off the turn. Kabang (Michael Merton), who saved ground and went up the rail, briefly gained a stretch advantage. Credit List was brimming with late pace, though, and outkicked Kabang to win by half a length in 1:57.3.   Kabang was second, and Cinnamon Stick stayed on for show. The winner paid $3.   CREDIT LIST REPLAY     Credit List breaks the $150,000 earnings mark with the victory and improve his lifetime record to 15-for-103. Justin Huckabone also trains the son of Credit Winner for Jonathan Appelbaum of Yorktown Heights.   Monticello will be back with an extended 13-race card on Thursday, Apr. 8.   For full race results, click here.   by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink

Australian-born harness racing gelding Epaulette A drew away following a confident steer from Bruce Aldrich Jr. in the Open Pace at Monticello Raceway on Tuesday, Apr. 6.   Aldrich slotted him into second before the first turn as Weekend Atnannies (Cory Stratton) went forward to take the lead. Epaulette A then went back around and took command in a :28 first panel. He led through splits of :58 and 1:27 before repelling all prospective challengers in the final quarter to win by two and three quarter lengths in 1:56.3.   Weekend Atnannies took second, and first-over challenger KJ Erich (Jim Taggart Jr.) fought on for show. The winner was a well-backed favourite, paying $2.70.   EPAULETTE A REPLAY     Epaulette A is now 37-for-153 lifetime and has earned more than $360,000. Laura Perino trains and co-owns the son of Four Starzzz Shark with Aldrich.   Monticello Raceway will return on Wednesday, Mar. 7 with an eight-race card beginning at 12:10 p.m. EDT.   For full race results, click here.   by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink

Lacarmeliliana was in command throughout the Monticello Raceway conditioned harness racing feature pace on Monday, Apr. 5.   Bruce Aldrich Jr. authoritatively drove on to the front with the eight-year-old, reaching the lead with little difficulty in a :28 first split. Aldrich managed fractions of :58.4 to the half and 1:28.3 to three-quarters.   Jericho Diva (Shane Taggart) made a first-over push turning for home, but Lacarmeliliana turned her away with no encouragement needed from Aldrich. Lacarmeliliana sprinted home under wraps to win by four lengths in 1:58. Jericho Diva's efforts resulted in the place spot, and Tyronbettorsella N (Cory Stratton) was third.   LACARMELILIANA REPLAY     Lacarmeliliana is an Ashlee's Big Guy mare trained by Christopher Petrelli for George Dremonas of Oak Lawn. The horse is now 22-for-174 lifetime with more than $125,000 in earnings. She paid $3.60.   Aldrich had two more winners on the afternoon: Metro Glide (1:58) in the second and Sweet Ginger (1:59.2) in the eighth.   Monticello Raceway will return on Tuesday, Apr. 6 with an eight-race program starting at 12:10 p.m. EDT.   For full race results, click here.   by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink

Behind Billy "Zeke" Parker, no driver has won more races at Monticello Raceway, but on Tuesday afternoon (Mar. 16) at Monticello Raceway, the driver with the second most wins at the track, Bruce Aldrich Jr. won 4 races on the afternoon. Aldrich scored with Pine Tab (2:03.2- $13.00) as the 12-year-old gelded son of Cantab Hall notched his 3 win of the year. Cee Pee Panic scored on the front end and uncorked a final ¼ of 28.4 to win in 1:58 - $3.80 for trainer Chris Petrelli. Epaulette A scored in a tight photo over Im A Director N in 1:57.3. To round out the program, Bruce enjoyed a garden trip aboard Special Graduate to overtake pace setter Better Up by a nose in 1:58.2 for trainer Dave Dziengiel. Also on the card, the combination of Bruce Aldrich and trainer Laura Perino accounted for 2 winners on the afternoon and Cory Stratton enjoyed a driving double. For full race results, click here. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

Monticello, NY - On Wednesday, March 10 at Monticello Raceway, Jim Taggart Jr. won 4 races on the 8 race harness racing card. The banner day started in the second race aboard Quik Pulse Mindale gelding Heart Throb Kid (2:01.4 - $26.60); it was the first seasonal win for the Francis McCahey trainee. Chance To See (1:58.4-$5.50) by We Will See notched his 3rd win of the season over SB Mikes Hot Beach. Next up was aptly timed Western Ideal gelding Stimulus Plan (2:00.1 - $3.00) trained by Dan Gill. Taggart's last win of the day was with Spider Dragon who scored a wire to wire win over Vel Miss Fire in 2:00.1, the gelded son of Dragon Again is trained by Gary Messenger for owner CL Huckabone of Utica NY. With the 4 wins on the card, Taggart is in 5th place for leading Dash drivers with 27 trips to the winners circle. For full race results, click here. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

Monticello, NY - Due to the effects of an extremely harsh winter, Monticello Raceway has cancelled harness racing for Wednesday March 3. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway  

Monticello, NY - Due to poor track conditions, Monticello Raceway has canceled harness racing for Tuesday March 2, a decision on Wednesday's card will be made Tuesday afternoon. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway  

Monticello, NY - Due to the continuing thawing and its effect on track condition, Monticello Raceway has cancelled live harness racing for Monday. The track will be accessed Monday afternoon for viability of racing for Tuesday's card. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway  

Monticello, NY - Monticello Raceway has revised its post time for March through October to a 12:10 PM Post Time on all live race days. Longtime Monticello Raceway Simulcast Director, Maureen Flynn noted that "Normally our Spring - Summer Schedule post time was 12:50, we have made adjustments to our post time to better situate ourselves during the afternoon where it is laden with racing product once all the tracks come on line in the near future" by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

Monticello, NY - Due to continued thawing Monticello Racing has cancelled live harness racing for Thursday, February 25 and Friday, February 26.   by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway          

Monticello, NY - Due to warming temperatures, thawing track conditions and safety concerns for all racing participants, Monticello Raceway was forced to cancel racing for Wednesday February 24. HAMBURG, N.Y. --- After discussions with the horsemen's representatives, racing at Buffalo Raceway for Wednesday (Feb. 24) has been cancelled due to thawing track conditions.   Buffalo Raceway's Chief Operations Officer Jim Mango said of the cancellation, "Who would have thought we'd have 55 degrees and sunshine after the past two weeks of weather we've had?"    Racing is scheduled to return on Saturday at 6 p.m. with an 11-race program set.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and entries, go to        

Monticello, NY - Due to thawing track conditions, an impending snow storm and the effects on the overall condition of the harness racing surface, Monticello Raceway has cancelled live racing on Wednesday February 17 and Thursday, February 18. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

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