After the best year of his career where his 645 driving victories were tied for second best in North America, Bruce Aldrich Jr. continues to be a force in the sulky.
At Monticello Raceway on Wednesday, Feb. 26, he reined four winners on the 10- race card to bring his track leading amount to 55 during the winter season here which has seen many race dates cancelled due to inclement weather.
In spite of the fact that he has been consistently hot-handed, one of Aldrich's victories, Real Motivation (2:00.4) in the ninth race, paid $77, $84.20 and $15.20 across the board.
He also won the fourth race with Thunder Seelster ($2.90) in 1:59.2 and the sixth with Sir Dutch ($7.20) in 1:59.4. Aldrich's other victory came behind Working Stiffs where he did a masterful job after spotting the field some 12 lengths at the quarter then usung an overland route from the half to get in contention. But when he wheeled her three deep on the final turn, the mare bobbled but Aldrich got her back on stride and she zoomed by the leaders in the deep stretch to score a 2:00.4 triumph.
"The weather has been real tough this winter and we lost a lot of days but still my 55 wins puts me in the top 15 this year (in races won). But now that Saratoga is getting ready to open I believe my win totals will increase since I will again be driving there and at Monticello,” Aldrich said.
On Tuesday he was in Saratoga to drive qualifying races there and afterward he planned to head to Monticello to drive several horses on the afternoon betting card but he got buttonholed when he had to be scratched off many of his mounts due to unusual traffic on the highways to the Mighty M.
"Qualifiers finished late at Saratoga that day and besides getting a late start, traffic was terrible. Sometimes best made plans go awry,” he reasoned.
Also on the Mighty M Wednesday card the veteran trotter V I P won his fifth race of the fledling season when Jason Ryan guided him to a 2:01.3 victory which ties the trotter with five others for most trotting victories thus far this year.
And V I P surely knows how to rack up wins. Last year the 8-year-old altered son of Muscles Yankee won 17 races. (Monticello)