By John Manzi
MONTICELLO Attesting to the fact that theres greater interest this year than in the past, Monticello Raceways 5th Annual Battle of the Hunting Clubs set for this Sunday, November 24 will need three divisions to accommodate all of the entrants.
The races, which will go as non-betting events at one mile distances, will be driven by licensed big game hunters from various hunting clubs and only those who have practiced with local trainers and received a thumbs-up report from their teachers will be competing.
The first battle will go to post before the first race on the betting card. The second battle goes after the second betting race and the third battle after the fourth betting race.
Last years winning clubs, Shady Acres in Roscoe and Mollys Club in Monticello, will be among the 17 hunting clubs represented this season.
Back to defend his crown is John Corke of Shady Acres who won his division last year with The McWiz Kid. This year hell handle the driving chores behind a pacer nicknamed Antlers wholl start from post two in the third battle.
Mollys Club, whose representative last year, Bob Titus, won his division with Meadow Foxy, will have a new rep this season in the person of Jim Price. Price will guide the fortunes of Doe Boy from post five in the first race.
In the first battle the entries, from the rail out, include: 1-Gary McGee from the Cliff Lodge in Monticello; 2-Mark Chimura from Mahogany Ridge in Monticello; 3- Bill Shumanski from the Tyler Ridge Club in Tyler Hill, Pa.; 4-John Feore from the Last Chance Gun Club in Monticello; 5-Jim Price of Mollys Club in Monticello; and 6-John Aliperti of the Aliperti Bros. Club in Greenfield Park.
The second battle lines up as follows; 1-Brian Fraser from Hemlock Hollow in Sackett Lake; 2-Neil Price from the Jackson Club in Monticello; 3- Billy Fursch from the Hiram Jones Club in Monticello; 4-Mary Acton representing the Shamrock Club in Shandelee; 5- Larry Katz from the Bear Paw Club in Monticello; and 6- Frank Rodden from the Finbar Club in Swan Lake.
Entries for the final battle include: 1-Jim Carnell from the Squirrels Den in Monticello; 2-John Corke from Shady Acres in Roscoe; 3-Jeff Feinman from the King Bartlett Fish & Game Club of Eustus, Me. and 5- Sean Cox representing the Big Buck Hunting Club in Forestburgh.
For safetys sake the hunters will compete in jog carts without the use of whips.
As an added attraction on Sunday, every attending fan can take advantage of 2-for-1 drinks at the concession stands.
Post time for the first betting race on Sunday is 1:05 p.m., with the first Battle of the Hunting Clubs going to post at 12:45 p.m.
USHWA Chapter Donates
To Industry Causes
Ive been an officer of the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association for over 20 years and annually weve been donating monies to Goshen Historic Track and to the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame. And this year will be no exception.
After once again running a successful awards banquet on October 27 at the beautiful Raleigh Hotel in South Fallsburg, the chapter donated $1,500 to the Historic Track at its monthly board meeting in November. And on July 6, 2003 the Chapter will donate $1,500 to the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame when they present their annual Hall of Fame banquet at the Museum.
For the second consecutive season, Monticello-Goshen Chapter USHWA is also donating $200 toward the wonderful endeavors of the Saratoga Harness Hall of Fame.
The donations are made possible from continued support of industry people and other organizations who are kind enough to place ads in the chapters charity journal.
We are fortunate to raise money and when we do we like to give it away to the industry, especially to the Hall of Fame and Historic Track, which are in our own backyard. Prior to annual donations to the Hall and Historic Track we used to support a college scholarship, but it was decided long ago that if we donate money it would be in the best interest to support our own harness racing industry.