Vernon horsemen dominate Sire Stakes at Monticello Raceway
Friday, July 03, 2015 – by Shawn F. Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

Monticello, NY — 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 on Friday (July 3) featured five New York Sire Stake events for 2-year-old trotting fillies, each split raced for $21,800; two Division A Excelsior races ($15,000); and one Excelsior B ($6,800).

The heavy holiday traffic pushed back the original post time of 5:30 to 6 p.m. Also on hand for the evening was the Monticello Raceway Memorabilia Face Book group who were present for a winner’s circle presentation in the sixth race, and 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 minded their manners fared very well during the card.

The first race of the evening an Excelsior B event, which saw Dan Daley 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 three, first heat of the Excelsior A, trainer George Ducharme, picked up his first of two 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 (last quarter :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 quarter pole. After benefitting from the perfect trip, she won by a neck.

Race four showcased the impressive Pink Power, owned by Albert and Michelle Crawford. Unfortunately the fractious filly made a break 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 Power’s miscue and grabbed the lead and stayed there until the top of the lane, until Charlie Norris’s filly, Posterity, who was on her best behavior and minded her manners scooted home a winner in 2:01.

Race six almost saw a track record as Winning Princess crushed her foes. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. made a big move with the filly past the quarter-mile marker and didn’t look back. She had 12 lengths on the field as she passed the three-quarter maker in a swift 1:29.1 and she tripped the timer in a national season’s record of 2:00.3.

The George Ducharme and Chris Lems combo teamed up again in race nine with Swinging Royalty. The confident RC Royalty filly scored in 2:02.

Vernon horseman were on their game this evening. Dan Daley won the first race and he would have had a double on the card, but was set down due to a Eurorail violation in the seventh race with Mai Tai Monkey. Gates Brunet won the fifth race, a non-winners event with Panamanian Hanover, and then capped off the evening’s last event with Love Crazy Love. The Crazed filly is owned by Crawford Farms and Ted Gewertz. George Ducharme had the best night of all. So far this season he has been very successful at the Mighty M and tonight was not any different as he won two events and got checks for four out of his six starters.

After the conclusion of the evening card, race goers were treated to Monticello Raceway’s annual fireworks; fans both young and old enjoyed the 25 minute show.

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