By Shawn Wiles
The mountains were alive this weekend, as Monticello Raceway held its annual Fireworks display, much to the delight of the large crowd. The 10 race card featured 5 New York Sire Stake events for 2 Year Old Trotting Fillies, each split raced for $21,800, 2 - Division A Excelsior’s ($15,000) and 1 - Excelsior’s B ($6,800). The heavy holiday traffic pushed back the original post time of 5:30 to 6:00. Also on hand for the evening was the Monticello Raceway Memorabilia Face Book group who were present for a winners circle presentation in the 6th race, brought out of storage for the event, was the original and grand NYC OTB Classic trophy.
For the majority of the fillies this was their first Pari Mutuel start, and their first start under the lights. The fillies that mind their manners fared very well during the card.
The first race of the evening an Excelsior’s B event, saw Dan Dailey guide the RC Royalty lass I’ve Got Spirit to a wire to wire win in 2:05:3 for owners Daley, Crawford and White. The heavy favorite, Stick of Butter made an early break and was out of contention. In race 3, first heat of the Excelsior A, trainer George Ducharme, picked up his 1st of 2 wins on the card. She was the best on paper and lived up to her form as driver Chris Lems steered Lindylicious to victory in 2:02:3 (LQ 29:2) The daughter of Credit Winner was content to sit the pocket after Barn Doll made a strong move to take the lead past the ¼ pole, after benefiting from the perfect trip, she won by a neck.
Race 4 showcased the impressive Pink Power, owned by Albert & Michelle Crawford, unfortunately the fractious filly made a start before the gate left and was never in contention. The easy going, regal looking filly, Royal Encore and Trond Smedshammer made the best of Pink Powers miscue and grabbed the lead and stayed there until the top of the lane, until Charlie Norris’s filly, who was on her best behavior and minded her manners scooted home a winner in 2:01. Race 6 almost saw a track record as Winning Princess crushed her foes. Driver Jim Morrill made a big move with the filly past the quarter mile marker and didn’t look back, she has 12 lengths on the filed as she passed the ¾ maker in a swift 1:29:1, she tripped the tele timer in a National Season record of 2:00:3.
The George Ducharme and Chris Lems combo teamed up again in race 9 with Swinging Royalty. The confidant RC Royalty filly scored in 2:02.
Vernon horseman were on their game this evening, Dan Daley won the 1st race, and he would have had a double on the card, but was set down due to a Eurorail violation in the 7th race with Mai Tai Monkey. Gates Brunet won the 5th race, a non-winners event with Panamanian Hanover, and then capped off the evenings last event with Love Crazy Love, the Crazed filly is owned by Crawford Farms and Ted Gewertz. George Ducharme has the best night of all, so far this season he has been very successful at the Mighty M and tonight was not any different has we won 2 events and got checks for 4 out of his 6 starters.
After the conclusion of the evening card, race goers were treated to Monticello Raceways annual Fireworks, fans both young and old enjoyed the 25 minute show.