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Trotter favored in Au Revoir Pace/Trot

December 26, 2012
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To say that Monticello Raceway's $5,000 Au Revoir on Thursday afternoon is a unique race would be a gross understatement. Not only is it a tremendous undertaking to get a field of 14 year olds together in the waning moments of a year for a final race of their careers, but add to that the fact that the competing seven horses are of both Standardbred gaits.
 
"Oh, and don't forget that to fill this race we need to get horses from all over the country," interjected Eric Warner the track's director of racing, who has the responsibility of getting enough of the oldtimers together for a final event..
 
"With only 54 fourteen year olds that have started at least once this year there's no way that seven or eight would be racing at one track near the end of the season. We had to make many phone calls to get enough for a race and the (NYS) Racing Board has been very helpful by allowing us to race both trotters and pacers together in their final time call to post.”
 
Oddly, this season a trotter, Speedy Big Ras, has received the oddsmaker's nod as morning line favorite rated at 5-2.
 
Perhaps its Speedy Big Ras's recent form he at the Mighty M – a win and a second in last three outs--that attracted program director John Flynn's watchful eye or that the gelding will start from the coveted pylon position. Either way, Kyle Di Benedetto will handle the driving for owners Anne Wheeler and Dr. Bob Keller.
 
But the pre-race hype has belonged to the grand ole campaigner Tattler's Jet, and rightly so. His 120 career victories –nine this season--ranks him fifth best in wins over the past 60 years. Although the $324,000 career winner will have the services of the meet's leading driver, Jimmy Marohn Jr., still Dave Carter's pacer is rated as third choice(7-2) and will start on the far outside from post position seven.
 
Coming in from Michigan trainer Gene Miller will have Tattler's Jet on the Mighty M grounds before this day is through.
 
However, when all the wagering is over the post time favorite could easily be Ken Sumner's Whitlock N who'll be traveling in from Scarborough Downs in Maine where he won his last start in 2:00.1 for Kevin Switzer Jr. Switzer will be again in the bike when the $258,000 career earner leaves from the four hole.
 
Second choice (3-1) on the early line is local campaigner Hero' Cavalcade. With a victory in 2:01.1 this year the Lisa Pratt-owned Keystone Raider gelding has been knocking on the door in his recent starts finishing second in 1:59.3 on Dec. 4 and third in 2:00.4 last time out on Dec. 18. Rick Harp will do the driving when they leave from post six.
 
Alba Gold, owned by Kathy Merola, will be In from Western New York and has the unique distinction of being the last racing offspring of the two-time Harness Horse of the Year (1971-72) and outstanding stallion, Albatross. With five wins this year and career earnings in excess of $372,000 Zeke Parker has the task of finding the winners circle at the end of the Au Revoir.
 
There is also a second trotter in the contest who'll be coming in from central New York, that being Gene and Lynne Denney's, Crowbar Hotel, rated 8-1 on the morning line. The Westgate Crown gelding, a $107,000 career earner with a 2:00 victory to his credit this season, will start from post two with hot-handed Bruce Aldrich Jr. at the controls.
 
And Adam's Rocket A, in from the Freehold, N.J. area, will carry the longshot's role in the Au Revoir this year. Rated at 10-1 on the early line, the Armbro Operative gelding brings with him a lifetime record of 1:53.3 and earnings of over $230,000 in purse earnings.
 
The Au Revoir field, two trotters--who drew for the inside post positions-- and five pacers, will do battle in the fourth race. The seven starters collectively have 360 wins and combined earnings in excess of $1.66 million .The Au Revoir will be the fourth race on the13-race card. First post is slated for 12:25 p.m. (Monticello)
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