This week has been a great one for the fans of the live harness industry in New York State, as spectators were finally allowed to make their return to the tracks. But most importantly, Monday saw the start of the annual John Mongeon Sr. Memorial Trotting Series at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The tournament which was cut short last year is back and it’s start offered three US$10,000 divisions.
The horse racing industry in New York as almost any other from around the world has been heavily hit by the unprecedented situation, which suspended live race last year. After the last restart of the industry, the live harness sport seems to be on track of returning back to normal. Races were renewed not long ago and fans are finally back at the venues.
On Monday the John Mongeon Sr. Memorial Trotting Series officially started and the winner of the first day was Dewey Arnold. The three-year-old horse trained by Dave Dewhurst returned after its recent success at Pocono where he recorded three successive victories. One thing that can stop the lightning-quick trotter is the fact that the horse had to take breaks in its first two starts at the Spa this spring.
With the help of jockey Jimmy Devaux, the trotter was able to win the first division in the series this Monday. Dewey Arnold recorded the fastest time of 1:57.2 time and was significantly faster than all other leg one winners. Thus, already making claims for being the big winner of this year’s John Mongeon Sr. Memorial Trotting Series
Trained by Cheryl Whitcroft, Notoutofthewoods was able to record her so far biggest victory as this Monday the trotter recorded a 2:00.2 time in the first leg of the series. The final leg of the first division was won by another bookmaker’s favorite – Cindy Michelle. Trained by John Stark Jr. the three-year-old took first place in her fourth consecutive race despite getting a first-over journey.
According to the schedule, there will be one more division of the annually organized series. The division will be held next Monday, May 17, 2021. This will be the last one, as next on the calendar is the series US$30,000+ final. The track informed that live harness racing at the venue will continue on Tuesday with a 12:00 p.m. first post.
Return of Live Audiences
New York State has finally allowed fans to return to the live harness tracks this month. Spectators were unable to attend live horse racing events ever since the occurrence of the unprecedented situation in March 2020. There is no vaccination proof requirement for the fans, but they still have to abide by the health and safety protocols such as wearing protective masks, undergoing temperature screening, and maintaining social distance.
Turf Tiara Series
The horse racing track usually is the home of many and exciting live harness competitions through its annual schedule. Such an example is the 2019 edition of the Turf Tiara Series, the competition had a US$1,000,000 prize for its grand winner. The highly-anticipated event was one by the A Thread of Blue sire with jockey Luis Saez and thus claiming the grand prize.
Source: “Mongeon Series Kicks Off At Saratoga” Standardbred Canada, May 11, 2021