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MONTICELLO, NY- When the gate sprung in the North American Amateur Drivers Association's (NAADA) trot at Monticello Raceway on the pleasant afternoon of July 19, little was left for the imagination after "Yankee Joe" Lee gunned Soul Train to the lead and played catch me if you can, and nobody could, as Lee's trotter circled the Mighty M double-oval in a time of 1:58.2 to finish five lengths in front of six others in the sixth leg of the 10-race harness racing trotting series. "I had been racing him (Soul Train) from behind but he didn't seem to like passing horses when moved him so I figured I'd try to race him in front and it seems that's just what the old guy likes," Lee said while hanging up the line in the race paddock after the contest. "This is the third time we won on the engine." When the starter said "go" Lee hustled Soul Train to the lead and opened daylight on the field as a few got tangled on the first turn. But once in front it seemed like the farther the veteran trotter went the more his lead seemed impossible to overcome. Soul Train, sent off as the odds-on favorite in the race, trotted by the first quarter in :28.1 and Lee kept the pedal to the metal as they passed the halfway point in :57.4 with Paul Minore and Wygant Prince tight on his back. But that didn't last long when they headed up the backside as Soul Train widened to a three-length lead by the third stanza and then increased to five lengths as the field headed for home. With Lee swinging on him, Soul Train cruised home an easy winner. Keenan rallied to be second for John Calabrese as Wygant Prince faded and finished third. For Lee, who was last season's National Amateur Driver of the Year, it marked his sixth driving victory this year and his win today places him atop the NAADA Summer Series leaderboard With his triumph Soul Train, a 7-year-old Trainforthefuture gelding, raised his career earnings to over $383,000. He is co-owned by Lee , the Blindwitch Stable, Good Friends Racing, and Santo Farina, and trained by Jose Godinez. He paid $3.30. NAADA members are getting ready to entertain their counterparts from Italy in early August for another Friendship competition, the third time this season that the longstanding international amateur organization will be hosting amateur drivers from Europe. by John Manzi, for NAADA

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- If the industry doesn't consider amateur racing an integral part of the current scene they just need to check the number of races being programmed at many racetracks, especially on the East Coast. On a pleasant Thursday afternoon (July 12) at Monticello Raceway amateur racing was front-and-center on the 10-race betting card with members of three different amateur racing organizations taking a seat behind a spirited steed. And when the judges declared the races official, "Joltin Joe" Pennacchio won the Billings trot with Connie Keeper in 2:01.1 and then came back two races later to score a 2:01 trotting triumph in the North American Amateur Drivers Association's trot behind Cheeky Little Minx. A final amateur contest saw Bob Krivelin use the front-end route for a 1:59.2 victory in the Catskill Amateur Club's pace. Even though the program marked the return of two-time National Amateur Driver of the Year "Hurricane Hannah" Miller, the day really belonged to Joe Pennacchio. And although its still early in the season talented driver and multiple horse owner is leading his competitors for seasons-end awards. Currently, his 12 victories are tops among the amateur driving colony. In his first contest of the day "Joltin' Joe" started from the from pole position with Connie Keeper and was content to hug the pylons in the early going. After the half he moved his charge to the outside and rallied alongside the leader and old warhorse, Wygant Prince, only to ware him down in the deep stretch. Wygant Prince and driver "Coach Paul" Minore held on for second while Better To Be Lucky finished third for "Tough Tony" Ciuffetelli. "I followed the leaders and when I moved my mare she hung as we rounded the (final) turn but when we headed for home she began to pull away and we went on the a two-length triumph," Pennacchio said. Connie Keeper is owned by Dr Scott Woogen and trained by Gary Messenger, She paid $5.10 for win. Pennacchio's second win was a laugher when his Cheeky Little Minx notched her fourth victory since her purchase in early May. The 6-year-old Lucky Chucky mare ran away and hid on her competition and cruised to an oh-so-easy 5-1/4 length triumph over Gianni (John Campagnuolo). Woody and Bob Krivelin garnered the show dough. "I have 11 horses currently racing with three in the amateur ranks," said Pennacchio, a retired CEO. "We bought "Cheeky" at an Ohio sale in early May and she's been stellar for us. This was her fourth victory since we purchased her." Cheeky Little Miss is owned by Pennacchio's, Joe P Racing, and trained by Allen Sisco. Sent off as the odds-on favorite she returned a $3.20 mutuel. The final amateur contest was in the Catskill Amateur Drivers Pacing Series and when the dust settled Bob Krivelin had guided TKR's Metro Spec to a gutsy gate to wire victory in a 1:59.2 clocking. When the gate sprung in that contest Krivelin sent his pacer to the lead from the pole position and they had three lengths on the field when they passed by the first stanza. From there Krivelin had to contend with a parked-out Idontthankyoucan (Bob Davis) who kept unrelinquished pressure on TKO's Metro Spec. They then raced one-two past the half and three quarters and were still heads apart when they headed for paydirt. At the wire Krivelin's horse scooted away for one length victory over Davis' charge. Hannah Miller finished third with Eagle Artesian. The winner is trained by Bruce Aldrich, Sr. " I really like driving Aldrich's horses because Bruce always has them ready when they hit the racetrack," Krivelin said after garnering his 217th career victory. Owned by Woody Hoblitzell TKO's Metro Spec paid $11.40 by John Manzi, for Amateur Racing

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

MONTICELLO, NY -The results of the NAADA Trot at Monticello Raceway on the steamy afternoon of July 5th was a case of good things come to those who wait. And Bob Krivelin bided his time shadowing the leader and then rallied his veteran trotter, Permanent Joy, to a one and one-half length victory over seven others in a 2:00 clocking. Overlooked and sent off at odds of over 14-1, Krivelin's charge notched his first seasonal triumph and paid $31.40; $11.40 and $6.10 across the board. When the starter said "go" Joe Lee gunned the second choice in the wagering, On The Podium, to the lead from the three-hole and they easily had command as the rest of the field all looked for a position along the pylons. Because of that Lee got his trotter by the frst stanza in a soft :29.3 as Krivelin and Permanent Joy were comfortable in the two-hole. On The Podium then trotted another :29.3 quarter with the trailing horses content to sit still. As they headed for the third stanza Lee's charge looked comfortable as no one in the rears could make up any ground. When the field rounded the final turn On The Podium looked like a winner. But wait...in mid-stretch he began to falter and Krivelin and Permanent Joy rallied along the pylons and went on to a triumph, the horses first victory in five seasonal starts. On The Podium held on for second place while Gianni finished third for Matt Zuccarello. "He's a grand old veteran whose won more than a quarter of a millions dollars in his career,"Krivelin said in the paddock after the race as he hung-up the lines. "But really, he (Permanent Joy) was down in class after having raced in the weekly winners-over here for the past four weeks." Permanent Joy, a 10-year old altered son of Trot For Joy, is owned by the Hero Stable and trained by his driver. Krivelin, a longtime accomplished amateur driver, scored his fifth seasonal triumph and the 217th of his illustrious career. by John Manzi, for NAADA

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--Amateur driver, Joe Lee, proved that when a horse is the best in a race send him to the lead and if he gets beat on the front-end then he wasn't the best when he started. But fear not Joe, your calculations were precise in the sixth race at Monticello Raceway on Thursday afternoon, June 28. When he drove Soul Train in the third leg of the NAADA trotting series he sent his charge to the front and not only did Soul Train win, but he made a laugh-er out of the contest scoring an 11-length triumph over seven others in a race timed in 1:59.1. "When I drove him here (at Monticello) two weeks ago we were comfortable on the lead and had three lengths on the field as we headed for home but in mid-stretch it felt like someone cut the lines and Soul Train 'caved-in'. But after the race we found out the reason he stopped (and finished a well-beaten fourth) was because he bled," Lee said. "We treated him and he raced like a champ this week. In today's contest Lee gunned Soul Train to the lead from the five-hole and the veteran pacer had command in a :28.2 first quarter. The lead then opened to two lengths as they passed the halfway point and when Soul Train headed up the backside he began to put distance between himself and the remainder of the field. The farther he went the bigger the lead became. It was eight lengths at the three quarters; nine lengths at the top of the stretch and 11-lengths at the finish. " I knew we were going to win it but I was surprised to find that there were no horses even close as we headed for home," Lee added. "It felt kinda strange to win by so many(11) lengths and a margin of victory of that magnitude doesn't happen often." The race turned out to be for second place when Woody and driver Bob Krivelin came from the back of the pack to finish second at odds of 33-1. Third place went to Keenan (John Calabrese) who was just a neck off Woody at the wire. Soul Train, a 7-year-old Trainforthefuture gelding, is owned by Blindswitch Racing, Good Friends Stable, Santo Farina and Joe Lee. Sent off as the slight favorite in the race he returned a $4.70 win payoff. For Lee, who was the Amateur Driver of the Year last season, it marked his 5th victory thus far in 2018. by John Manzi, for NAADA                  

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  

Monticello, NY - For the majority of 56 2-year-old trotting fillies that dropped in the box for Monday June 25 at Monticello Raceway, they will be making their first harness racing pari mutual debut, and for many, the first time on a half mile track. The entire card is comprised of Sire Stakes competition, the green group were split into 4 regular Sire Stakes - $26,750, 3 heats of the Excelsior A's - $15,000 and 2 dashes of the Excelsior B's $6,500. The opening Sire Stakes has a trio of nice fillies, starting from the rail is Hot Chapter, a bay filly by Chapter 7, in her first baby race at Gaitway Farms she was second, trotting her mile in 1:57.2, she is trained and driven by Team Miller. Just Priceless (PP2) is also looking to extend her winning streak to 3 wins for trainer Homer Hochstetler after back to back baby race wins at Vernon Downs, Charles Norris will sit behind the Muscle Yankee filly for the first time. Monticello Raceway's 2nd leading trainer, Gary Messenger will send forth Summertime Fever (PP3) for owner Scott Woogen of Mechanicsville, PA, she took a mark of 2:01.3 at Pocono Downs. Liquorstoreblues (PP4) knows her way around the half mile oval quite well, the Conway Hall filly is undefeated in her 2 starts at Saratoga Raceway, trotting home in a blistering 28.4 in her first LT start, leading Yonkers Raceway driver Jason Bartlett will be in the bike. In the second division, Sensibility (PP1) has been a 2 time Q winner at Vernon Downs, she won her last start in 2:00.1 by 6 ½ lengths, Scot Zeron will drive the Muscle Mass filly for owners W.Donavan, J. Sbrocco, J. Winske and George Ducharme. Amal Hall will look to shed her role as bridesmaid as she has finished 2nd in both of her qualifiers for trainer Andy Miller. The fleet Credit Winner- Arabella Hall lass shows trotting both of her last quarters in 28.2 and 28 in her qualifiers at Gaitway Farms. Third heat of Sire Stakes Somermusic'chapter (PP1) With Out A Doubt (PP2) and Helen Goldstein(PP4) were all winners in their last start. Exotic Diamond toured the Monticello oval last week in her qualifier where she finished 3rd for Buzzy Sholty, Scott Zeron will drive the RC Royalty offspring. EV'S Girl has been installed the 5-2 favorite in the last division, she will start from post position 4 in the 6-horse field. The Crazed - Lindys Lullaby offspring was ultra-impressive in both of her baby races, winning both in identical times of 1:58.4 for trainer Julie Miller, Andy Miller will drive. Winndevie (Credit Winner - Vida De Vie) will start from the rail for Trond Smedshammer for longtime stable patron Purple Haze Stable LLC, she showed high speed in her only baby race, trotting her last quarter in a brisk 27.4. Successful NYSS driver Jeff Gregory, brings Safe Word (PP2) Credit - Winner - Fifty Shades to the contest, she finished second to EV's Girl in her first lifetime start. Post time is 12:50 by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello

MONTICELLO,NY- There's an old adage that states "good things come to those who wait" and that expression fits John Calabrese's trotting victory today (Thursday, June 21) at Monticello Raceway to a tee. "I got away fourth along the pylons and just bided my time," Calabrese said after he reined Keenan to a come-from-behind 2:00.2 triumph in the second leg of the NAADA Trotting Series at the Sullivan County oval."As the race progressed I kept moving up after the horses in front of me kept pulling (moving to the outside) and in the stretch my horse was full of trot." When the gate sprung Alan Schwartz hustled Tim Lizzi to the lead from the two-hole as Joe Faraldo found room behind the leader with Tough Get Going after a quick start from post position six. They were one-two as the field passed the first stanza in a soft :29.4 and remained that way past the half in 1:01.2 and by the three quarters in 1:30.4. Meanwhile, Calabrese and Keenan were viewing the front-end action while still some four lengths of the leader. Then midway around the final turn Faraldo moved Tough Get Going to the outside and they raced head-to-head with Tim Lizzi. However, unbeknownst to the leaders Calabrese's trotter kept moving up and was just lengths off Tim Lizzi as the field rounded the final turn. In the lane Tough Get Going was stronger than Tim Lizzi but Keenan was the strongest of all and rallied in the passing lane to a solid one-length triumph in a time of 2:00.3. "When I reached the passing lane I felt confident that Keenan could pass the leaders because he was still strong, even with his left knee-boot down around his hoof ," Calabrese said."But the classy old veteran trotter didn't flinch a bit and just kept to his work." Later Calabrese explained that Keenan's knee boot slipped down the horse's left front leg as they sometimes do. However, when something like that happens a trotter usually goes off-stride but the 10 year old Credit Winner gelding and lifetime winner of over $564,000, shrugged it off and didn't miss a beat and kept going forward as Tough Get Going headed Tim Lizzi for second money. Calabrese owns and trains the winner who paid $47.00 for win. And the trifecta of 6-7-2 returned a whopping $2221.00. by John Manzi, for NAADA

Monticello, NY - It was the hottest day of the year thus far at Monticello Raceway on Monday afternoon as temperatures broached 90 degrees as 3 Year Old Pacing Colts and Geldings came to town. The first heat of the New York Sire Stakes ($39,200) went to post with 6 starters in the first race, post time favorite Real Surreal put in a few extra step's as the gate left and made a break leaving. Topville Olympian starting from the rail, protected his turf and was first away from the gate and took the field thru fractions of 28.3 - 58, at the half Twin B Tuffenuff (Mark Macdonald) were the first to move and mounted a challenge. At the three-quarters stanza in 1:26.4 the pair were side by side, Jason Bartlett and Mr Profeta made a mild bid in the lane but to no avail and finished second as Topville Olympian held him off to win by a length in 1:55, Twin B Tuffenuff finished 3rd. The son of American Ideal took his lifetime mark last year at Monticello Raceway in Sire Stakes competition also picked up his first win of the season. Topville Olympian is owned by Crawford Farms and Billy, Joe and Anthony Timmins. Race 7 was the 2nd heat of Sire Stakes, the post time favorite Trump Nation started from the outside post 7, as the gate left the son of Betterthancheddar was extremely wide in the 1st turn and had to be wrangled in by Jason Bartlett. Rockapelo (PP5) cut the mile for Marcus Miller and trainer Linda Toscano to the head of the stretch, covered up the entire mile and saving ground was Ghost Dance (American Ideal) won by 1 length for Scott Zeron in 1:54.4, Rockapelo would hold on for 3rd. The local connection, Ostro Hanover (Jim Taggart Jr.) finished a game 3rd for trainer by Frank Yanoti for owner Twin Bridge Racing of Monticello NY, the hard to manage Trump nation finished a disappointing 4th. The fastest race of the day came in the last race of the day, last division of NYSS, the favorite My Delight did not leave, and was content to let Rock Light and Scott Zeron show the way and try to steal a wire to wire win thru fractions of 28,56:2, and 1:25, Rootin Tootin sat the garden seat the entire mile and charged through the middle of the pack in deep stretch to overtake Handsoffmychips by a head in 1:53.4. Rootin Tootin is a son of Roll With Joe and picked up his 2nd win of the year for trainer Blake Macintosh. Excelsior A Rumble (Rock N Roll Heaven) benefited from a pocket trip following pace setter Major Offense and swooped the field of 7 past the ¾ pole to ramble to a 1 length win in 1:57.2 for Jason Bartlett. Causal Cool who made a break leaving the gate was 7th and was last by 14 lengths at the ¼ pole, regained his composure and slowly snaked his way back into contention and found room at the passing lane to close like a banshee to finish 2nd, LQ 28.1. Let's Roll did just that and won handily by 6 lengths in 1:54.1 in his dash, the Roll With Joe colt made a big move down the backside for Jim Marohn Jr. and trainer Jake Huff for his 3rd win of the year in the second heat of the A class, Imstaynalive (Pat Lachance) finished 2nd. Excelsior B The lone division of the Excelsior B saw heavy favorite Striking Reality (Jason Bartlett) cut the mile, the eventual winner Asiago Reality was poised in perfect striking position and was the first to pull down the backside at the 5/8 pole, they passed the ¾ in 1:27, the duo paced in tandem down the lane and skipped away from the field by 2 lengths. Asiago Reality then prevailed by a neck in 1:57 and paid $22.20 for driver Jim Marohn Jr. Asiago Reality picked up his maiden win for trainer Jessica Okusko, the son of Betterthancheddar is owned by Amante Standardbreds of Delray Beach, Florida. The Dan Daley trained Striking Reality finished 2nd Former Monticello Raceway regular James Marohn Jr. had 2 wins for the afternoon. Roll With Joe and American Ideal both sired a pair of winners on the card. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

Monticello, NY - The marque division of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) featuring 3-year-old pacing colts will be showcased on Monday June 18 at Monticello Raceway. 3 divisions of Sire Stakes will race for $140,00, spilt into 3 heats of $39,200, 2 heats of the Excelsior A class - $15,000 and 1 division of the Excelsior B -$6,800. In the first division Real Surreal (PP4) has been installed the 5-2 favorite with Scott Zeron in the bike, the game son of So Surreal has been knocking on the door to the winner's circle for trainer Mark Steacy. Real Surreal finish second at Tioga Downs last start and a 3rd place third place at Vernon Down the prior week. Topville Olympian, who took his lifetime mark of 1:56 at Monticello as a 2-year-old has drawn the rail for trainer David Menary, the son of American Ideal is making his first seasonal start in Sire Stakes company and is seeking his first win of the year. Jordan Stratton. will handle the driving chores. Jersey Jim, the winner of the NYSS Final at Yonkers last fall drew PP 6 in the 1st division, racing for a purse of $39,200. The son of Artiscape has yet to regain his 2-year-old form, Jim Devaux will drive. The 2nd heat is a 7-horse field, the morning line favorite Trump Nation will start from the far outside from post position 7. The son of Betterthancheddar was the winner of $300,000 Rooney Final winner at Yonkers in 1:51.3 and was 2nd in his division of the Reynold Stake also at Yonkers. The Chris Oak trainee is owned by Crawford Farms and Evan Katz of Seaford NY. Ostro Hanover is a Monticello Raceway pupil for trainer Frank Yanoti. The son of Betterthancheddar will be driven by Jim Taggart Jr. Already a 6-time winner this year, he has picked up checks in his last 2 Sire Stake starts, looking impressive in his 3rd place finish at Vernon Downs in a blanket finish, pacing his mile in 1:50. Rockapelo (PP5) is moving up in class from the Excelsior A group, he scored an impressive win last start out at Tioga Downs were he jogged in 1:51.4 to win by 5½ lengths, the son of Rock N Roll Heaven is trained by Linda Toscano for owner. Enviro Stables. My Delight (PP4 - Marcus Miller) highlights the final heat, the bay son of Betterthancheddar has won a Sire Stakes event this year at Vernon Down in 1:49.4, he is coming off a second-place finish in the same company at Tioga Downs. My Delight sports impressive tally this year with 2 wins and 3 thirds in 5 starts and $44,895 in 2018 earnings. Rock Lights (Rock N Roll Heaven) will benefit from the 2-post position, Scott Zeron at the helm. In the Excelsior A class, first division race 2, Casual Cool is being brought along very slowly this year by trainer Linda Toscano, the America Ideal filly has 4 qualifiers under her belt. A 5-time winner at 2, she will start from post 7, with owner Ken Jacobs favorite driver, Tim Tetrick. 2 local connections in this group, Rocknroll Delight (Gary Messenger - PP5) and Prophet Blue Chip (David Dziengiel PP6) Trainer George Ducharmes Rocksapatriot is the favorite in the other Excelsior A dash. The son of Rockincam will start from the rail, he has been first or second in his 4 seasonal starts, with Scott Zeron in the bike. The track record for 3 YOPC is 1:52.1 set by Kenneth J in 2007. by:Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway               All emails from Empire Resorts, Inc. and its subsidiaries, and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to which they are addressed. If you are not the intended recipient you are hereby notified that disclosing, copying, distributing or taking any action in reliance on the contents of this information is strictly prohibited. This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are considered privileged and confidential and may not be used by either party in any pending or future legal proceedings. Empire Resorts, Inc., 204 State Route 17B, Monticello, NY 12701 845-807-0001  

Monticello, NY - Joe Pennacchio is a happy man. And why shouldn't he be? After all the talented amateur notched a driving double on the betting card at Monticello Raceway on Thursday (6/14) afternoon. He won the North American Amateur Drivers Association Trot with Cheeky Little Minx immediately after winning the previous race with Super Manning. Both trotters are owned by Pennacchio's JP Racing LLC and trained by Allen Sisco. It's a rarity for an amateur driver to win two races on the same card so that precipitated a question to Joe; is this this first time you won a pair on a betting card? He thought for a moment and said "no", and then continued: "At Pompano (Park) a few seasons ago I won twice on the wagering program." The retired executive from Delray Beach, Fla. looked like a professional in executing both victories. His victory with recently purchased Cheeky Little Minx was never in doubt after he sent the 6-year-old daughter of Lucky Chucky to the lead from the two- hole. They had two lengths on the field as the timer flashed :30.1 and from there Cheekly Little Minx trotted nearly even fractions of :30.1, :30 and :30.1 en route to 5-1/4 length triumph in 2:00.3 over Winwood Scout (David Glasser), with Pixel Queen and driver Joe Lee another length back in third place. "I was just a passenger" a modest Pennacchio said after his victory. He then added " we bought her at the Ohio sale in early May and now she has three wins in three starts for us since we purchased her. And if I might add, she's a pleasure to drive." Sent off the prohibitive favorite Cheeky Little Minx paid $2.70 for win. That romping victory came after Pennacchio's triumph in the previous race with Super Manning. Again sent off as the betting favorite, racing luck played a big part in their victory in this contest. Crystal Sphere, with Mike Merton driving, cut all the fractions and they had a four-length lead when they turned for home but in mid-stretch the trotter went off stride which opened the door for Pennacchio and Super Manning whose best results appeared to be a second place finish. "As Yogi Berra prolifically said "it ain't over til it's over" and when the judge posted the official sign our number (5) was on top," Pennacchio said smiling. Super Manning, a 10-year-old Diamond Goal gelding, returned $2.80 for win. "Joltin' Joe" now has 9 seasonal driving victories and 171 thus far in his illustrious career. by John Manzi, for NAADA    

Monticello, NY - Trackman Anthony Desimone worked hard the prior week and over the weekend to put the best possible racing surface together for the New York Sire Stakes first visit at Monticello Raceway on Monday June 1, but it was not to be. An overnight rain made the track slick for the first 3 races. As the day went on the track got better. The afternoon saw as Scott Zeron drive 3 winners, Ake Svanstedt and Trond Smedshammer each has 2 wins, Linda Toscano had 2 training wins and Ken Jacobs had 2 owner wins. Post time favorite Fury Road made an uncharacteristic break leaving the gate, in the short field of 6 and 2 others made miscues down the back side. Red Reign and Jordan Stratton inherited the lead and took the field thru soft fraction of 31,1:04, all the while Tribute To Seven was lurking in the 2 hole, at the 5/8 marker Scott Zeron had Tribute to Seven in high gear and had the lead at the ¾ in 1:31.0. From that point the son of Chapter 7 continued to open daylight on the field to win by 6 lengths in a pedestrian like 2:01. Tribute To Seven is trained by Linda Toscano for owner Richard Gutnink. Red Reign held on for second. The 2nd division of NYSS saw Lucky Ava destroy a field of her contemporaries as she cruised to an easy 11 length victory in 1:58.4 (LQ28.3) the fastest mile of the afternoon. The daughter of Lucky Chucky picked up her 3rd win of the young season for Co-owner - trainer - driver Ake Svanstedt and owners Little E LLC and Van Camp Trotting Corp, Lucky Ava was bred by co - owner Little E LLC. The win vaulted Lucky Ava over $250,00 in lifetime earnings, Jackie Newlands was second followed by Firm To Stay in the show spot Both Supergirl Riley (PP7) and Natalie Hanover (PP5) left the gate hard in the 3rd division of Sire Stakes, racing for a purse of $30,450, but it was Supergirl Riley who got there first, the duo cut fractions of 29.1, 1:00.2 1:29.2 and still remained 1-2 at the top of the stretch. Trond Smedshammer had Dew To Win in perfect position and overtook the leaders to prevail in 1:59 and returned $15.20. Dew To Win is owned by Purple Haze Stables LLC and picked up her 2 win of the year and is by Dewycheatumnhowe. Natalie Hanover hung on for second and Perfect Summer K was third. As Somedew Somedont cut the fractions of 30.4, 1:01.2, 1:31.1 Ake Svanstedt was content to sit the pocket with $300,00 yearling Ciao Dolce. The daughter of Credit Winner - Pizza Dolce popped out of the 2 hole in mid-stretch to notch the victory in 1:59.4, to score her maiden win, giving Ake Svanstead a driving and training double. Somedew Somedont finished a game second. The Excelsior A Abbie Hall (Conway Hall - Armbro Archer) made a hugh brush down the backside and won by 5 in 1:59.4 - $2.40 Pittstop Emerald tried to wire the field, but Girl Crush (Conway Hall) had other plans and won by a neck in 2:00 for driver Scott Zeron. Girl Crush is trained by the young Swede Lucas Wallin. Sassy Massy and Mark Whitcroft dodged traffic to take their division in 2:02.2 and returned a healthy $35.40 win ticket. The daughter of Muscle mass earned her 3rd consecutive win. Seven Karats went wire to wire in this field of 7 for trainer Linda Toscano in 1:59.1. The daughter of Chapter Seven is owned by Kenneth Jacobs and picked up her first pari mutual win of the year. Seven Karats was bred by Diamond Creek Farms LLC. Jordan Stratton and A Gift For You (Credit Winner) visited the winners circle after holding off White Cheetah in1:59.4, to give owner Ken Jacobs his double for the day Excelsior B Local Reisman Bruce Aldrich wired the field and skipped away by 4 lengths with Executive Decision (Conway Hall) in 2:02.2 for trainer Homer Hochstetler, she was followed by Byway and Coastie in the place and show position. Chasing Stardom (Deweycheatumnhowe) picked up her first lifetime win in 2:03.3, she is trained by Howard Okusko and was driven by Mark MacDonald. The Sire tally was Chapter Seven and Conway Hall both had 3 winners each on the afternoon. The 11-race card was well received as $689,836 was wagered on the afternoon. By Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

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