By John Manzi
SULLIVAN COUNTY July 19, 2002 Sometimes when a claiming pacer does well others look to cash in on a good thing. And thats just what happened to Josephine Minieris and Herb Weiss Vans Cam, who is this years Peoples Pacer, back on June 27.
Last Sunday, Vans Cam won for the second time since being named the Peoples Pacer back on June 27 and in the process notched his 11th victory of the year. His record this season is so attractive that on Sunday he changed barns after being claimed by Larry Roman.
His victory last Sunday was a gutsy one having been parked past the quarter pole and then out again heading to the half, racing the rest of the way on the outside. In the final turn, Vans Cam drew up alongside the leaders and finally wore them down in the final strides for a 2:00:3 triumph.
Though Minieri and Weiss were dismayed on losing the gallant old gelding, the mythical owners couldnt have been more pleased.
Now, in just three starts in the summer-long promotion Vans Cam has already earned $2922.
Claimed by businessman and horse owner Larry Roman, Vans Cam will remain the Peoples Pacer but now is racing from the Andre Brisson barn.
Roman, a summertime area resident, is the sponsor again of this years $15,000 Monticello Raceway Beauty Pageant which will have its preliminaries this coming Sunday. He will serve as emcee for the beauty pageant but will also have an eye on Vans Cam who will now race for him as well as for his mythical owners that day.
In the Mighty Ms Own A Horse promotion, Vans Cam was chosen to race for a group of 100 mythical owners who, if they follow the rules of the game, will share in the total purse money that the pacer wins from June 27 through Sept. 1.
That money wont come from the horses real owners. An equal amount will be matched by Monticello Raceway, and that will be distributed to the mythical owners who attend the races every time the horse races during the summertime.
Chumung Blue Chips 2:03:2 Fastest of NYSS Sophomore Filly Trots
The newest Hall of Famer, Catello Manzi, returned home July 14 to Monticello Raceway and reined two winners in New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) trots while Wally Hennessey, the perennial leading driver on the Empire State circuit, added three Sire Stakes victories to his credit when Monticello Raceway presented eight events for New York-bred trotters racing for purses in excess of $250,000.
In all there were three divisions for sophomore trotting fillies and five events for freshmen trotting colts, most making their first lifetime starts.
Manzi, who began his illustrious career here more than 33 years ago, drove A & G Stables Ego, a 2-year-old son of Sir Taurus, to his maiden victory in 2:11 over Iroquoindiangiver (Wally Hennessey) in their $25,130 division. He then came back and guided Tom Garcia and Debbie Frantz 3-year-old filly, Just Go, to a wire-to-wire triumph in 2:03:4 turning back Lilly (Jeff Gregory) in that $49,362 sophomore division.
Hennessy began the afternoon with three consecutive New York Sire Stake victories. Before the betting card got underway, he reined Kennedy, Johnston, Van Drean and Barnellos Xtreme Kash, a 2-year-old son of El Paso Kash, to a 2:08 victory in a $24,603 leg for the freshmen trotting colts and scored in another freshmen leg with Kirkland Standardbreds Top Bid, in 2:08:3 over Levitys Pride and driver Bill Blake, Jr.
Hennessey also copped a $48,462 division for sophomore fillies with Ival Cianchettes Peachy Sue, beating Princess Peri by three lengths in 2:03:2.
However, the most impressive mile of the afternoon was turned in by Chemung Blue Chip, a 3-year-old daughter of Sir Taurus. With driver Berndt Linstedt aboard, Chumung Blue Chip cruised to an easy four length triumph in her $48,462 division over Dark Lady (Bill Bailey) in 2:03:2 trotting the final two furlongs in 30:1.
Shes a real nice filly and very good on a half-mile track, Lindstedt said of Chumung Blue Chip after her victory. She is one of the best [3-year-old trotting fillies] in the New York Sire Stakes.
Now undefeated in three seasonal starts, Chemung Blue Chip is a winner of seven of nine lifetime starts for owner Bob Waxman of Ancaster, Ontario.
John Stark, Jr won a $25,130 freshman colt division with Pat Sergis In Franks Pocket, a son of Eighteen Karat, in 2:09:4 holding off a fast-closing Unserveable (Lance Hudson) in 2:09:4, and Scott Mongeon won a final freshman leg with Hargett and Gunnarsens Seaway Shane, another son of Eighteen Karat.
After going off-stride in the first turn, Seaway Shane caught the field and trotted by the leaders in the final turn, scoring in 2:09:1 over Cross Creek Whiz and driver Dan Daley.