For Opinion, click here for View from the Racetrack Grandstand

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


 What’s going on here? Another new track record at Monticello Raceway?

“That’s correct,” said the raceway’s announcer Howard Oil. “This one is the 10th new track record this season and that’s the most we ever had in a single year.”

On Tuesday afternoon, September 30, with the leaves turning shades of red and yellow and beginning to fall to the ground, O’Sundland paced to a new track record for 4 year old stallions when Larry Stalbaum  guided him to a romping six-length victory in a time of  1:53 which established a  new standard for horses of his age and gait.

O’Sundland’s victory was one and one-fifth seconds faster than the old mark of 1:54.1 set just two weeks ago on September 16 by Twin B Famous and driver Mike Merton.

It was the first start here for the son of Ponder after coming in from the Midwest where he was racing at the Red Mile and Balmoral Park.

“My buddy, Bobby Williams, Jr., just sent him to me,” Larry Stalbaum said of O’Sundland via telephone from the paddock.  Williams has had a lot of bad luck recently, lost his son and his good friend, Ken Sundland, for who(m) the horse was named for.

“He told me he thinks O’Sundland is a good horse and after the way he  raced today, ya’ know, I believe he’s right.”

After starting from the six- hole Stalbaum gunned O’ Sundland toward the front but they didn’t gain command until just before the quarter which was timed in :27.4. From there Stalbaum let his pacer breeze and they passed the halfway point in :57, two lengths in front of the field.

Up the backside O’Sundland kicked in a 28-second quarter and they were three in front at that panel.  O’Sundland kept pouring it on and paced a 28-second final quarter en route to an eased-up six-length 1:53 victory.

“We went down the road and he was well in-hand at the finish,” Stalbaum said using racetrack vernacular in conveying his thoughts.

Odds-on favorite Mixed Media was second for Bruce Aldrich, Jr. Kennanskingwilliam and Jimmy Taggart, Jr. finished third.

“Since I got him he’s been at the farm running in the paddocks and I didn’t even train him. But he’s a speed horse and he doesn’t need much training, anyway. Still I was really surprised how easily he did it today,” Stallbaum added. “I was swinging on him in the lane and I know he’ll go a lot more before it’s all over.”

Owned by Bobby Williams, Jr. and trained by  Kimberly Asher, O’Sundland had four previous victories in 10 starts. He paid $5.30 for win in his Mighty M debut.

In a year with multiple track records, O’Sundland’s 1:53 victory was one of the fastest miles at the Mighty M thus far this year.