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In Competition

Democrat Photo by Rob Potter

IS THAT YOUR FINAL ANSWER?: Lyndsey Chester of Monticello answers a question posed to her by emcee/sponsor Larry Roman at Sunday’s Ms. Monticello Raceway Beauty Pageant.

Miss Monticello Contest a Big Draw

By Rob Potter
MONTICELLO — July 18, 2000 – With more contestants and more money up for grabs, the Ms. Monticello Raceway Beauty Pageant returned Sunday afternoon to the track nicknamed “The Mighty M.”
A total of 42 lovely ladies participated in the preliminary round of the pageant, which is sponsored by Larry Roman and offers over $25,000 in prize money. Last year’s event featured 16 contestants and just over $1000 in cash and prizes.
“Last year, we had a number of beautiful ladies competing,” Roman said. “But I thought let’s do it bigger and better this year. And let’s keep making the pageant bigger and better every year so we can encourage more and more people to come out to Monticello Raceway.”
Under the watchful eyes of the four judges – horse racing handicapper Barry Didinsky, Sullivan County Democrat reporter John Emerson, City of Newburgh Housing Commissioner John Giudice and 1999 Ms. Monticello Raceway Martina Jacova — and scores of family members, friends and race fans, the 42 contestants competed first in swimsuits and then evening gowns.
Roman, who in addition to sponsoring the pageant also served as the afternoon’s emcee, asked several of the contestants if they thought having a great deal of money or possessing good looks was the more important quality in a man. The majority chose money, noting that a wealthy man could pay for plastic surgery to give him good looks.
At the end of the afternoon, the number of ladies still eligible for the top prize was reduced as the finalists were chosen. Originally, only 10 finalists were supposed to be selected, but a three-way tie for tenth place meant that 12 ladies will move on to next week’s finals.
The finalists will return to Monticello Raceway on Sunday, July 23. That day’s activities will also include the Little Miss Monticello Raceway pageant and the Ugly Driver contest.
The winners of the Ugly Driver contest and Little Miss contest each will receive $1,000. The woman chosen as the 2000 Ms. Monticello Raceway will walk away with $25,000 cash. The runner-up will receive $2,500 and the lady who captures third place will earn $1,000.
Although 13 Sullivan County women entered the competition, none of them were among the 12 finalists chosen. The finalists, listed in alphabetical order are: Danene Bazon, Kassandra DeMondo, Deborah Fenker, Taemee Feuer, Maria Golodner, Andrea Grastataro, Marianna Kramamkova, Jessica Kronenberg, Jodi Pruttis, Ariella Riposta, Natalie Romachova and Erin Walsh.
While the finalists, and many of the other contestants, had their own vociferous group of fans, Roman encouraged those same vocal supporters to return this Sunday. He noted that the finals, which will feature a fifth judge — Ken Walters, an assistant editor of the racing forum Sportseye — will include audience participation. Once the five judges have narrowed the dozen finalists to only two ladies, they will not vote for the winner. Instead, the 2000 Ms. Monticello Raceway crown will be presented to the woman who garners more applause and reaction from the audience.
The finals will begin at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, with the first race set for 1 p.m.

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