Fans of the live harness industry in New York State have had a fantastic week, as spectators were finally able to return to the tracks. But, most notably, the annual John Mongeon Sr. 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, with three $10,000 divisions to begin with.
The horse racing industry in New York, like almost any other in the country, has been seriously impacted by the unprecedented situation that resulted in the suspension of live racing last year. Following the industry’s most recent restart, the live harness sport appears to be on its way back to normalcy. Races were renewed not long ago and fans are finally back at the venues.
The John Mongeon Sr. Memorial Trotting Series began on Monday, and Dewey Arnold was the first day’s winner. After his recent success at Pocono, where he won three races in a row, the three-year-old horse trained by Dave Dewhurst returned. The fact that the horse had to take breaks in its first two starts at the Spa this spring is one factor that might slow down the lightning-quick trotter.
The trotter won the first division of the series on Monday with the help of jockey Jimmy Devaux. Dewey Arnold recorded the fastest time of 1:57.2 seconds, and was significantly faster than all other leg one winners. As a result, he’s already claiming the title of big winner of this year’s John Mongeon Sr. Memorial Trotting Series.
Notoutofthewoods, trained by Cheryl Whitcroft, was able to record her biggest victory to so far as the trotter recorded a 2:00.2 time in the first leg of the series on Monday. Cindy Michelle, another bookmaker’s favorite, claimed the final leg of the first division.
Despite having a first-over journey, the three-year-old, trained by John Stark Jr., won her fourth consecutive race.
There will be one more division of the annually arranged series, according to the schedule. On Monday, May 17, 2021, the division will be held. This will be the last one, as the series’ US$30,000+ final is coming up next on the calendar. The track has announced that live harness racing will resume on Tuesday, with a first post time of 12:00 p.m.
Return of Live Audiences
This month, New York State has finally permitted fans to return to live harness tracks. Since the extraordinary situation in March 2020, spectators have been unable to attend live horse racing events. Fans are not required to provide evidence of vaccination, but they must follow health and safety precautions such as wearing protective masks, receiving temperature monitoring, and maintaining social distance.
Turf Tiara Series
During its annual calendar, the horse racing track normally hosts a number of exciting live harness competitions. The Turf Tiara Series’ 2019 edition, for example, featured a grand prize of $1,000,000 for the 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.