Big Mighty M day for Marohn/Gill combo
June 14, 2013
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When driver Jimmy Marohn Jr. met trainer Danny Gill last year the sparks began to fly. Marohn was a proven talent in the sulky, and Gill, a newcomer at the Mighty M, was an unknown entity. But when driver and trainer hooked up the two proved to be dynamite together. Marohn won the driving title while Gill prevailed in the training ranks.
In his first season at Monticello Raceway last year, one of Gill's pupils scored a victory on the final program of the season, which helped him eke out a training title over Pete Pellegrino, 118-117.And who drove that winner for Gill, none other than Marohn, whose 271 winners were 15 better than Zeke Parker's 256 during the 2012 season.
The Marohn-Gill combination continues to be a force to be reckoned with. On Thursday, in the pouring rain over a muddy racetrack, Marohn reined five winners on the card, three of them trained by Gill.
The three Gill horses that Marohn guided to victory were Talldarknhandsome (1:59.3) in the first race; Tom Riddle (1:59.4) in the seventh; and trotter Bell Kat Kabob (2:05.2) in the eighth. All are owned by Ed Hall and James Hall of Connecticut.
The other winners driven by Marohn included trotter Big Z Fortune (2:05.2) for trainer Keith Haase and Hardrock Kid, (2:04.2) a trotter trained by Carl Gillespie.
"I'm lucky to be Danny's driver of choice because when he sends out a horse to race you can bet that horse is in top form,” Marohn said. "He came here last year a relative unknown and then let his actions speak for him.”
"I appreciate what Jimmy just said but maybe it's me who is the lucky one,” Gill countered upon hearing Marohn's words. "Jimmy is a great driver and he's always available to drive my stock. We've been pretty good together, don't you think?”
This past four-day week has been a good one for both Marohn and Gill, although they've had some good weeks before. Young Jimmy reined 12 winners, of which nine were trained by Gill.
Currently Gill is atop the local training leaderboard with 89 winners, 11 more than runner-up Bob Lounsbury's 78. And Marohn's five winners keep him a solid second behind Bruce Aldrich Jr. in the driving ranks. He trails Aldrich, 172-140.
Asked to describe his five winners Thursday Marohn didn't hesitate a moment and said laughingly, "I was just tuning up for the Junior Free For All on Monday (June 17)." (Monticello)