Trot Monte - Racing under Saddle "RUS"


Events & News Archive

Modest Prince sets RUS track and North American record
Sunday, November 06, 2016 - from RUS America

East Rutherford, NJ --- On Saturday (Nov. 5) evening, Modest Prince, a 6-year-old altered son of RC Royalty, set a new track and North American record for racing under saddle with a 1:56.3 victory in the $6,500 RUS America Trot at Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment.

In setting the new North America record, Modest Prince shaved three-fifths of a second off the old 1:57.1 mark which was set by Master Prince on Hambletonian Day in 2012.

On paper, the race looked to be a two-horse affair with Hyway Marcus (Maria Buchanan) being the main threat, but that matchup was eliminated when Hyway Marcus went off-stride at the start.

Modest Prince took the lead quickly and reached the first station in a brisk :27.2. From that point on, it was a race for second as rider Helene Gregory sought to reign in the eventual winner, slowing the second quarter down to reach the half in :56.4. Modest Prince then completed the mile with a three-quarter time of 1:26.3, before stopping the timer in 1:56.3.

Hyway Marcus recovered from his early miscue to go from last, making up sufficient ground to be in a photo for the place spot with Funny Photo (Sophie Engerran) besting him by a half-length. The judges disqualified Hyway Marcus from third to last for violation of the breaking rule. Bosak (Vanessa Karlewicz) was in a tight photo of his own for fourth with My Friend Charlie (Andrea Pratt) before being elevated to third.

The RUS America season concludes on Tuesday (Nov. 15) when racing under saddle will be contested at Rosecroft Raceway.

Modest Prince Modest Prince
Modest Prince Modest Prince

Overview Of 2016 RUS Ontario Season - Published: October 27, 2016 1:57 pm ET

Stephanie Werder

The 2016 season marked the third consecutive year of racing under saddle in Ontario, and the second successful season as a wagering event in Canada. Growing on past seasons, 2016 did not disappoint for RUS Ontario.

This year saw the return of dedicated owners, trainers and riders to the sport, and welcomed many new horses and their connections to the races. While the horse shortage across North America posed a challenge in both harness and under saddle racing, RUS Ontario continued to put exciting fields on the track, and for the first time in North America, two cards of under saddle races were contested at Clinton Raceway, which started the process of classifying RUS fields amongst qualified horses.

Despite some races posting standout horses in the field, several exciting upsets occurred for the bettors’ and spectators’ benefit, most notably the 50-1 victory during the Battle of Waterloo Day $11,000 event, sponsored by MAD Barn Equine Nutrition, which saw rider Marielle Enberg atop Gracies Harmony for trainer Jim Tropea.

RUS Ontario has been very fortunate each season to attract the attention of international stars. It featured the Norway vs. Canada Challenge in 2014; in 2015, top French rider Phillipe Masschaele set a new seven-eighths-mile record for North America in 1:56.4. Most recently, Swedish rider Stephanie Werder returned and posted a victory in the 2016 $15,000 RUS Finale at The Raceway at Western Fair District, sponsored by CEG Engineering Group of London, Ont.

Stephanie Werder

The ultimate success of Racing Under Saddle can be best noted off of the racetrack by witnessing the new fans and participants Standardbred racing is welcoming at our Ontario tracks. In a short discussion with sponsor CEG Engineering Group, it was the first time for many of their employees to come to a racetrack. Many expressed plans to return to the races with family members, and the experience of going to the winner's circle and returning to the office with the race day banner highlighted the night.

Stephanie Werder returned to Canada after a third-place finish in the 2015 season at Mohawk Racetrack. A huge fan and supporter of North American Monte racing, Werder also had a win in 2014 during the Meadowlands’ Hambletonian Day eliminations atop Ontario horse O U Gus. Thanks to her sponsor, Trot Tracker GPS watches, Werder was able to return to North American racing for the third consecutive year, all of which have been very rewarding. On Thursday, October 27, Werder will race in Axevalla from Post 9 (Race 2) aboard Golden Gambler" for her first start since returning home.

Each season RUS Ontario has recognized a top horse, trainer, and rider of the season; but, most importantly, extends utmost gratitude to each and every participant, in the form of owners, trainers, riders, sponsors and the fans who make racing under saddle a possibility.

Without dedicated owners and trainers providing racing under saddle with their horses, the sport would not be possible. For your support, RUS Ontario thanks you for making its dream a reality and for helping to grow Standardbred racing in Ontario. This year RUS Ontario welcomed trainers Dave Dowling, Ben Baillargeon, Shane Arsenault, Dave Boughton, Bernie Bahr, Brianne Sloan, Greg Campbell, and Tiffany Stein. RUS Ontario thanks qualifier entries and efforts from Ken Middleton, Craig Yates, Herb Holland, Nate Harding, Rhonda Markle, Michelle Olson, Maggie Jones, Nadine Habke, Korina McLean and Natalie Elliott. A very special thank-you to longtime committed RUS supporters John Braid, Jim Tropea, Britt Kennedy, Paul, Brenda and Julie Walker, John Patterson, and RUS sponsor Scott Cieslar of MAD Barn Equine Nutrition, as well as CEG Engineering Group for sponsoring the RUS final. Your efforts do not go unnoticed.

(Determined by starts, win-place-show)

Southwind Alice
• Trained by Dave Dowling, ridden by Evelyn Harms.
• In seven starts posted a record of 3-1-2.

Shane Arsenault
• Trained Racing Lexis DJ, Demand An Answer, and Osprey Vision.
• Posted a 4-1-2 record from seven starts.

A tie between Sarah Town and Evelyn Harms.
• Both completed the season with a 3-1-2 record.

Thank-you again to each and every participant! If you have any questions, comments or constructive suggestions to making 2017 an even better season of racing, please email RUS Ontario at (RUS Ontario)

RUS Ontario

Lexis DJ and The Franchise Wins Monte Contests

October 25, 2016

Western Fair Raceway hosted the Ontario Monte Finale October 21 with the C$10,000 purse pari-mutuel event victory earned by Lexis DJ (9g Amigo Hall-Lexus Lulu-Angus Hall) with Stephanie Werder in the irons. Werder flew in from SWE to pilot the winner that is trained and owned by Shane Arsenault. Lexis DJ rallied past the three-quarter mile mark to explode to an eight length score timed in 2:04.4h. Massive Muscles was second and Southwind Alice ended third, this pair season long positive competitors in the Ontario under saddle trots. Wagering on this race was an impressive C$19,654.

Lexis DJLexis DJ

In the USA the RUS NY organization put forth a $2800 purse contest on October 16 at Saratoga as a non-wagering event. The four-length 2:04.4h winner was The Franchise (6g Muscles Yankee-Creamy Mimi-Conway Hall) for Michelle Crawford, trainer Kyle Spagnola and the owners RBH Ventures and Stagnola Racing. Funny Photo and Admirable Hanover were next to the line.

Monte performers were also in qualifying action at Meadowlands on October 21 with a 1:58.2 victory recorded by Modest Prince (6g RC Royalty-In To Me-Self Possessed) with Helene Gregory up for trainer Linda Toscano.
Thomas H. Hicks

Funny Photo Wins Vernon Monte

July 24, 2016

Funny Photo (7m Classic Photo-American Jean-American Winner) took tonight’s Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial Night monte non-wagering exhibition, scoring easily (by 15 lengths) gate to wire in 1:59.1s (:29.1-:59.1-1:28.4-1:59.1s) for owner/jockey Sophie Engerran and trainer Kimberly Gilman-Daios. Funny Photo recorded his second straight monte victory in this mile event for a purse of $2,502. My Friend Charlie (5g RC Royalty) was second for Andrea Pratt, also trainer, and Iron Will (10g Credit Winner) overcame an early miscue to capture third for Heather Reese and trainer Jennifer Sansone. Maple Grove Emily, Sing Out and PL Incoming completed the field. RUS NY offered two golf raffle opportunities to participating fans to be awarded after the ninth race.

Funny Photo scored just a few days ago (July 19) at Hemlock NY in a RUS NY test for a $750 purse. He recorded this 2:10h victory for Sophie Engerran, defeating Maple Grove Emily (8f Vaporize) with Hillary Hartnett aboard and Canbec Kangourou (6f Amigo Hall) handled by trainer Ashley Eldred in a five horse field.
Thomas H. Hicks

Mr. Protab Wins Ocean Downs Monte

July 17, 2016

Mr. Protab (4g Mr. Proytab-Delphini-Armbro Bullet) with Stephanie Jacobs aboard for trainer Francisco Del Cid took tonight's $5,000 Back On Track monte contest at Ocean Downs. Ocean Downs, Back On Track, Maryland Standardbreds and RUS America sponsored the event that was off mid-card on the popular Sunday evening racing program. Eight horses were at the start, with experienced riders, and three emerged to continue their battle to the line, less than a length apart, with the winner clocked in 2:02.1h with a final panel in :29.3, No Recess was second for Michelle Crawford and trainer Kyle Spagnola, with third to Hyway Marcus and the Maria Buchanan/Ron Burke team.

Qualifying action continued on the weekend at Vernon Downs, as more horses and riders seek to be ready for future monte races. She’s So Into Me (4m Conway Hall-In To Me-Self Possessed) won the Vernon qualifier for trainer/rider Jocelyn Gale timed in 2:10.2s.

Watch for new monte news in North America and Europe and get on board with an exciting trotting format.

Thomas H. Hicks

Muscle Matters Monte Winner at Georgian

July 16, 2016

Saturday nights’ pari-mutuel monte handicap contest at Georgian Downs carried a C$5,000 purse and went to the Sarah Town ridden Muscle Matters (5g Muscle Mass-Sister Mary Lindy-Conway Hall), trained by Benoit Baillargeon and co-owned by the trainer with Nunzio Vena, Santo Vena and Richard Thompson. The winner prevailed in a solid 2:01.1f with a final half mile in 1:00,1 in a gate to wire score. Southwind Alice (5f Muscle Hill-Accountability-Pine Chip) closed well with a final :29.3 panel to be second for Evelyn Harms and Marit Valstad teamed Massive Muscles home third. C$8,435 was wagered on the monte event, off as race three on a ten race program on which C$78,391 was handled.

Muscle Matters

RUS Ontario and Standardbred Canada files/photo

Thomas H. Hicks

Monte Summer Action Heats Up

July 14, 2016

Monte action is on the march this summer with additional qualifying events, New York fair races and pari-mutuel racetrack races at Ocean Downs (non-wagering on July 17 for $5,000 purse) and Georgian Downs (July 16 wagering, C$5,000 purse). Subsequent Ontario wagering races have been set for August 1 at Grand River, August 20 at Hanover, September 10 at Hiawatha, October 2 at Leamington and a Final contest October 24 at Western Fair.

Lady Deda D qualified under saddle today, scoring easily for Michelle Crawford clocked in 2:09.1h. Normand Dessureault trains this one that defeated Canibec Kangourou handled by Ashley Eldred.

The weekend lineups at Georgian and Ocean Downs follow:

Georgian Downs, C$5,000 purse, six starters

Tough Call, M. Jones

Precious Phoebe, K. Nielsen

Callie Magoo, T. Enberg

Muscle Matters, S. Town

Massive Muscles, M. Valstad

Southwind Alice, E. Harms


Ocean Downs, US$5,000 purse, non-wagering, eight starters

Shanghai Jack, H. Gregory

Jeanie Marie, E. Wahlberg

My Friend Charlie, A. Pratt

Iron Will, H. Reese

Mr. Protab, S. Jacobs

No Recess, M. Crawford

Hyway Marcus, M. Buchanan

PL Incoming, S. Moczulski

Be there to support monte trotting in North America.

Thomas H. Hicks

RUS trotters to Ocean Downs

Thursday, July 14, 2016 - from RUS America

Berlin, MD --- Fans attending the races Sunday evening (July 17) at Ocean Downs will be witnesses to a Racing Under Saddle event featuring a competitive field of eight trotters going for a purse of $5,000 in a race sponsored by Back On Track, Friends of Maryland Standardbreds, RUS America, and Ocean Downs. The non-wagering event will take place after the evening’s sixth race.

Leading the field is Hyway Marcus, who won this event last year at Ocean Downs in a crisp 2:02 mile. Being ridden by Maria Buchanan, the 5-year-old trainee of Ron Burke prepped for this race with a qualifying victory at Gaitway Farms in 2:01.3 and will start Sunday night from post seven.

Hyway Marcus will be challenged by Iron Will starting from post position four who is victorious in three of four lifetime RUS contests. The 10-year-old gelded son of Credit Winner won July 8 at the Afton Fair in 2:11 after qualifying at Vernon Downs a week earlier in 2:02.1. Iron Will starts from post four.

Another one to watch is Jeanie Marie, being ridden by Emma Wahlberg, who won her RUS debut at the Oswego Fair in 2:07 over a good track on July 5. Prior to her victory at Oswego, she won her qualifier at Vernon Downs in 2:02. Jeanie Marie starts from post position two.

Making their debuts on the RUS circuit Sunday are Shanghai Jack, Mr Protab and No Recess. While Shanghai Jack finished second to Hyway Marcus in a Gaitway qualifier, Mr Protab and No Recess come into the race off of qualifying race victories.

The complete field for the Ocean Downs RUS event is listed below.

1. Shanghai Jack - Nick Surick - Helene Gregory
2. Jeanie Marie - Jennifer Sansone – Emma Wahlberg
3. My Friend Charliie – Andrea Pratt - Andrea Pratt
4. Iron Will – Jennifer Sansone – Heather Reese
5. Mr Protab – Francisco Del Cio – Stephanie Jacobs
6. No Recess – Kyle Spagnola – Michelle Crawford
7. Hyway Marcus – Ron Burke – Maria Buchanan
8. P L Incoming – Josh Green – Sasha Moczulski

After the race, there will be a meet and greet for fans with the race riders. The estimated post time is 9:15 p.m.

RUS America announces its formation and website

Monday, July 11, 2016 - from RUS America

RUS America is pleased to announce its establishment as an organization to assist the promotion of Racing Under Saddle in the United States. In coordination with the organization's establishment, RUS America has established its website:

RUS America is an advocacy group whose mission is to promote racing under saddle for trotters, and aims to strengthen harness racing by increasing the fan and ownership base of the Standardbred sport. RUS America’s vision is for RUS to complement traditional harness racing, not supplant it. 

RUS is a great opportunity to show off the versatility of the Standardbred, in particular their trotting under saddle. Through exhibition and non-wagering events and working with local organizations, RUS America continues to entertain new and current harness racing fans and generate interest in ownership, helping to ensure the future of the sport. Our longer term goal of seeking wagering on RUS races wherever harness racing is conducted will generate interest in fans from all breeds of racing, thus strengthening the Standardbred industry.

Other than possibly suggesting rule changes to the USTA on behalf of state RUS organizations and their riders, RUS America will not be involved in licensing, record keeping, or regulation; its purpose being primarily for promotion and advocacy.

The RUS America website reflects the mission statement of the organization by providing information regarding under saddle racing which would be of interest to fans and industry participants. A frequently asked questions section is being developed as is a photo and video gallery. Along with a news section and blog, the RUS America website is one you want to bookmark.

Industry participants who are interested in being part of racing under saddle or want more information about RUS may contact RUS America by going to the website and visiting the Contact Us Page.


North American Monte Action Heats Up

June 20, 2016

Monte activity is heating up for the summer season in Ontario and the US. Yesterday at Clinton Raceway there were two monte pari-mutuel contests on the ten race card. The first, for a purse of C$3,000, went to Celebrity Legacy (10g Windsong’s Legacy-B Cor Tamara-Dream Of Glory) for Alex Marion. This one scored in 2:04h after being placed first through a disqualification. The second event, for C$4,000, went to Southwind Alice (5f Muscle Hill-Accountability-Pine Chip) with Evelyn Harms aboard, timed in 2:03.4h. This winner took a similar monte event on June 4 at Kawartha for a purse of C$4,000. Replay video from June 4 follows:

 Matinee and qualifying action is underway in the US. On June 19, at Goshen Historic Track, a matinee test went to Admirable Hanover (9g Cantab Hall-Almost An Angel-Crowning Point) for trainer/jockey Vanessa Karlewicz clocked in 2:15k. The prior Sunday at Goshen, Sing Out (8g Malabar Man-Some Where My Love-Lindy Lane) recorded a 2:05.1h victory with Michelle Crawford in the irons for trainer Kyle Spagnola.

 At Gaitway on June 13 Hiway Marcus (5g Gut Instinct-Highway Angel-Prince Pine) scored in 2:01.3 for Maria Buchanan and trainer Ron Burke. Buchanan came back on June 20 for another victory, this time aboard Mr. Protab (4g Mr. Cantab-Delphini-Armbroi Bullet) for a qualifying 2:02.3 score for trainer Francisco Del Cid. At Vernon on June 10 Funny Photo (7m Classic Photo-American Jean-American Winner) return to his RUS specialty with a 2:02.3s win. Sophie Engerran was the pilot for trainer Kimberly Gilmar-Daios. On June 17 at Vernon Jeanie Marie (9f Famously-Vite Vite Kosmos-Lindy Lane) won a RUS qua spin in 2:02s with a swift :29.3 final panel with Heather Reese aboard for trainer Jennifer Sansone.

USTA and Standardbred Canada files

Thomas H. Hicks

Clinton Hosts Racing Under Saddle

June 19, 2016

Monte racing in Ontario returned to the site where the first North American under saddle wagering race took place, as Clinton Raceway hosted two events for the monte trotters on Sunday afternoon (June 19).

Alex Marion, who is RUS Ontario's sole licensed male rider, earned his first victory as 10-year-old Celebrity Legacy inherited the 2:04 score in the first C$3,000 event. Precious Phoebe reset after an early miscue and trotted to a six-length lead while Celebrity Legacy swept from last to second. Precious Phoebe and Evelyn Harms crossed the wire first with Celebrity Legacy chasing three-quarters of a length behind, however, judges ruled Precious Phoebe failed to lose ground while on a break and she was placed sixth. Celebrity Legacy, a son of Windsong’s Legacy, is owned by trainer Felix Marion and Krystel Simard. The victory was his first under saddle, after 22 wins to sulky.

Harms won later aboard trotting mare Southwind Alice in the other C$4,000 monte race. Southwind Alice overtook Massive Muscles and Marit Valstad to win by a length in 2:03.4. The five-year-old Muscle Hill mare, an 11-time career winner, has now won successive RUS events for trainer David Dowling and owner Allan Neal.

Handle on the two RUS events totaled C$3,267, compared to the total program handle of C$18,294, or an average/race of C$1,829 on the ten race card/

Files – Standardbred Canada

Thomas H. Hicks

Gr.III Monte Prix Jean Paul Fairand to Safari Dream

June 14, 2016

The day’s featured event was the Gr. III Prix Jean Paul Fairand, a monte contest over 2175 meters for a €90,000 purse. Nine were at the start (along with their apprentice jockeys) with 25.3/1 Safari Dream (10g Gai Brillant-La Nemoria) recording the quick 1.11.1kr victory for Mlle. Lolita Balayn, trainer Lois Peschet and Ecurie de Rougemont. The mile rate for the winner was 1:54.40 over 1.35 miles distance, a monte record for the distance at Paris-Vincennes. 9/10 favorite Ugo On Wood (8g Nuage Nois-Madone On Wood) was second for Leo Abrivard and trainer Benjamin Goetz, with third to 15/1 Tonnerre de Retz (9g First de Retz-Kaline du Solnan) third for Antoine Dabouis and trainer J-F Senet.

Gr.III Monte Prix Jean Paul Fairand to Safari Dream Image

Safari Dream

Gr.III Monte Prix Jean Paul Fairand to Safari Dream Image

The race pace was fast (1.05.8kr at1500 meters to go, 1.07.2kr at 1000 meters remaining). The pupil of Loïc Peschet surpassed the 2010 record of Picsou de Villabon (1.11.3kr).

PMU and LeTrot files/photos

Thomas H. Hicks

Southwind Alice Starts Monte 2016 with Victory

June 5, 2016

Evelyn Harms teamed Southwind Alice (5f Muscle Hill-Accountability-Pine Chip) to victory Saturday evening at Kawartha Downs to kick off the 2016 monte season in North America. The winning pair were clocked in 2:01f in the C$4,000 purse pari-mutuel contest and the trainer is Dave Dowling for owner Allan Neal. Off at 3.25/1 odds they defeated last years’ top performing Santo Domingo (9g Amigo Hall-Victory Lady-Garland Lobell) with Marit Valstad up for trainer Mike Guitard as 1.55/1 favorite and third finishing Massive Muscles (5g Muscle Mass-Flirting Lavec-Mr. Lavec) ridden by Karoline Nielsen for trainer Julie Walker.

Scheduled Ontario events next up include June 19 at Clinton, July 1 at Dresden and July 16 at Georgian Downs.

The 2015 season wrapped up on October 31 with a C$10,000 final at Flamboro. Santo Domingo scored in that one timed in 1:59.3h for Marit Valstad. Earlier on September 26, a C$10,000 event at Mohawk went to Santo Domingo timed in a seven-eighths mile track North American record 1:56.4s with Philippe Masschaele aboard. Tragically Shipp (9g by Shipps Speed) posted back to back wins for Nathalie Elliott on September 12 at Hiawatha timed in 2:02f in a C$3,000 test and August 29 at Georgian Downs in a C$5,000 event timed in 1:59.4f.

Watch for monte action throughout North America in 2016

Thomas H. Hicks

Be Mine de Houelle Wins Monte Elite at Solvalla

June 1, 2016

Marie Bacsich teamed the Franck Leblanc trainee Be Mine de Houelle to victory in the Monte Elite at Solvalla (May 29) for 150,000SEK first money. The veteran FR monte campaigner was timed in 1.10.2kr (mile rate 1:52.95f) over the mile (1609 meters autostart) distance, the second fastest timed victory over that course. The mile race record was set a year ago in the same event on Elitloppet Day by Torre Crepin, timed in 1.10kr (1:52.63), handled by Adrian Lamy. Be Mine de Houelle is co-owned by Pauline Corty and trainer Leblanc. The five year-old daughter of Scipion du Goutier-Olita de Kettauso-Full Account posted her sixth career victory in 37 starts, now for 2,812,120SEK earned (US$341,138). Nantucket was second for Sofia Adolfsson with another Leblanc trainee Tsar de Houelle home third with Sofia Aronsson aboard.

Be Mine de Houelle

ATG files/photo

Thomas H. Hicks

Race dates set for RUS NY 2016 Fair Series

March 21, 2016 - from RUS NY

The excitement of racing under saddle at New York State county fairs will continue this summer.

RUS New York, an organization that helps promote the sport and the versatility of Standardbreds, is excited to announce its third fair series. Races will begin on July 5 with the H.S. Mead Memorial at Tioga County Fair in Owego and conclude with the final to be held at Batavia Downs on Sept. 7.

The series will include nine race legs and a championship final race, with points earned along the way to determine final entries. Horses need at least two starts to be eligible for the final. A High Point Rider Award will once again be presented at the final to the rider who has earned the most points, regardless of horse(s) ridden throughout the series. Complete rules and regulations will be posted on the RUS NY webpage,

Official dates and locations for the series are as follows:

• Tuesday, July 5 - Tioga County in Owego
• Friday, July 8 - Afton Fair
• Tuesday, July 19 - “Little World’s Fair” in Hemlock
• Tuesday, July 26 - Oneida County in Boonville
• Tuesday, Aug. 2 - Otsego County in Morris
• Tuesday, Aug. 9 - Oswego County in Sandy Creek
• Monday, Aug. 15 - Wayne County in Palmyra
• Tuesday, Aug. 16 - Steuben County in Bath
• Tuesday, Aug. 23 - Tompkins County in Trumansburg

RUS is yet to be self sufficient in the United States particularly because of legislation that prohibits wagering. Hopefully one day that will change. But until then, finding sponsors and ways to fundraise has been the biggest challenge going forward.

The series’ flagship sponsor, The New York Sire Stakes, has generously donated $5,000 as initial purse money. This year, the goal is to have a purse of $750 or more per fair. Members of RUS New York are working hard and have held several fundraisers with more planned for the future. RUS New York is currently looking for sponsors and donations such as tickets to places and events, gift certificates, gift baskets and other items that can be used to raise money at various fundraising events. A PayPal account has also been set up where people can make secure donations.

This year, RUS NY sponsors will get more recognition than ever before. Instead of separating sponsors by each race or series, maximum exposure will be provided by including all sponsors in all forms of promotion that the group does throughout the season. To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, visit

Last season the fair series also featured nine legs and a championship final race held at Monticello Raceway. Eleven horses participated in the series with seven qualifying to race in the final. The final included a field of six horses.

The RUS NY Committee would like to get more trainers, owners and riders involved this year. Now is the time to get involved if interested. It is recommended to become a member of the RUS NY group to participate. There is no fee to be a member. For more information, contact RUS NY President Michelle Miller at

RUS NY is also in the process of working with some pari-mutuel tracks on hosting races/series. Dates will be announced as they are available.

To keep up on RUS NY happenings follow the group on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

Monte North America 2015 Leaders  – Congratulations!

December 31, 2015

Monte (RUS) action has been completed in Canada and the US with several pari-mutuel events held at the Ontario raceways and an active monte schedule of programs especially in New York State. The leading 2015 money winners (horses, riders, trainers) are shown below along with the fastest monte race record earned by the winners. Santo Domingo (8g Amigo Hall-Victory Lady-Garland Lobell), with Europe’s Philippe Masschaele aboard, set a new North American record of 1:56.4s on Mohawk’s seven-eighths mile oval in a pari-mutuel event, one of many in Ontario on which a full slate of wagering options produced comparable all-pools handle with sulky (attele) contests on the same cards. Santo Domingo produced a 3-1-0 slate in five starts for trainer Mike Guitard and owners Jalade Investments, Deanman Sons Stable and Peter Misculazi, and he earned US$10,647.Santo Domingo w/ Philippe Masschaele

Monte North America 2015 Leaders Image


Winner’s Star K posted three US victories. Natalie Elliott led all North American riders with four wins good for earnings of US$8,760. Michelle Miller earned four wins in the US. Winner’s Star K w/ Michelle Miller (Ann-Marie Daley photo)

 Renaissance Partners, LLC Image

Trainers leading the 2015 stats included Michael Miller with four US wins and Mike Guitard and Pam Forgie posted three each in Ontario.


Horses (Country, Name, Starts, Win, Place, Show, US$ Earnings, Win Record):


Santo Domingo 5 3-1-0 US$10,647 record 1:56.4s

Massive Muscles 3 2-1-0 US$5,142 record 2:00,3h

Thor Seelster 6 2-1-1 US$4,802 record 2:02.2h

Lexus Hawkeye 4 1-1-2 US$3,183 record 2:05h

Twin B Excalibur 4 0-1-1 US$2,275



Hyway Marcus 2 1-1-0 US$2,500, record 2:02h

Winner’s Star K 7 3-1-0 US$1,305 record 2:13.4h

Flowing James 2 0-2-0 US$1,250

Strongbow 6 1-2-3 US$1,080, record 2:25h

Bosak 2 1-0-0 US$1,025 record 2:02.3h


Riders (UDRS):


Natalie Elliott 9 4-1-2 US$8,760, .580

Sarah Town 7 1-3-1 US$5,622, .429

Marit Valstad 7 1-2-0 US$5,513, .302

T Marielle Enberg 4 0-2-0 US$3,775, .278

Philippe Masschaele 1 1-0-0 US$3,750, 1.000



Maria Andersson 2 1-1-0 US$2,500, .778

Michelle Miller 11 4-1-3 US$1,960, .505

Stephanie Jacobs 1 0-1-0 US$1,250, .556

Heather Reese 5 3-0-1 US$1,050, .667

Helene Gregory 2 2-0-0 US$1,025, 1.000


Trainers (UTRS):


Michael Guitard 5 3-1-0 US$10,647, .711

Pam Forgie 10 3-2-3 US$7,985, .511

Julie Walker 3 2-1-0 US$5,142, .852

Randall Fulmer 4 0-1-1 US$2,275, .222

Patrick Hudon 1 0-1-0 US$1,875, .556

Lee Watson 1 1-0-0 US$1,875, 1.000



Francisco Del Cid 2 1-1-0 US$2,500, .778

Michael Miller 13 4-3-3 US$2,385, .513

Tara Hynes 3 0-2-1 US$1,562, .481

James De Lucia 2 1-0-0 US$1,025, .500

Joseph Sansone 3 2-0-1 US$800, .778


Thanks to all participants for their support of the 2015 monte programs and to RUS Ontario and RUS New York for their excellent promotion of monte racing throughout the year. Also thanks to sponsors of monte racing and to tracks hosting the competitive events in Canada and the US. Ontario tracks hosted 11 pari-mutuel monte races (Flamboro and Georgian two each) and winners were clocked in better than 2:01 on five occasions (Santo Domingo in 1:56.4s at Mohawk for Philippe Masschaele, a North American record, in 1:59.3h at Flamboro with Marit Valstad aboard, and 2:00.2f at Georgian Downs for Sarah Town; Tragically Shipp 1:59.4f at Georgian for Natalie Elliott; and Massive Muscles 2:00.3h at Flamboro for Riina Rekila). In the US Funny Photo scored at Vernon in 2:02.2s for Sophie Engerran, Hyway Marcus at Ocean Downs 2:02h for Maria Andersson and Bozak 2:02.3h for Helene Gregory.


Sources: USTA’s David Carr, RUS Ontario, RUS New York

Thomas H. Hicks
Monte America

RUS NY seeks Sponsors and Fundraising help

April 15, 2015 - from RUS NY

RUS NY was formed in early 2014 in response to the growing interest in racing under saddle. While the sport, known as Monté racing internationally, is very prosperous in other countries it is yet to be self-sufficient in the United States particularly because of legislation that prohibits wagering.

Hopefully one day that will change! But until then, finding sponsors and ways to fundraise has been the biggest challenge moving forward.

RUS New York is currently looking for sponsors and donations such as tickets to places and events, gift certificates, gift baskets and other items that can be used to raise money at various fundraising events.

Why support us?

Our main goal is not only to promote this unique sport, but to also educate people about the versatility of the Standardbred breed and help the horses find great homes after they finish their days on the track.

Benefits of RUS:

•Women and men from all different equestrian disciplines have the opportunity to participate

•It helps attract some fresh fans to the sport of Harness Racing

•It helps broaden awareness of the Standardbred across other disciplines. It gives them a step in the right direction towards a second career. By being broke to saddle, it may be easier to place them in pleasure horse homes when they are finished with their careers

•It provides horses that may not make enough money or fit harness classes at the tracks anymore with another use for owners – they are more apt to keep a horse that has a job or use.

Sponsorship Information:

We are providing the opportunity to sponsor our fair series, a particular track race or series and/or our group as a whole. If it is decided to donate to the group as a whole our committee will determine where the funds are most needed and provide the utmost exposure through our website, social media sites and press releases.

We realize that it is not always feasible to donate money and welcome product donations that can be used for prizes or for fundraising purposes.

Fair Series and track sponsorship will be done on a tier basis as follows:

Premier Platinum Sponsorship

$2,000 plus

Platinum Sponsorship

$1,000 plus

Gold Sponsorship

$ 550 plus


$250 plus

Bronze Sponsorship

$100 plus


anything under $100

Sponsors who donate product for prizes:

All Fair Series sponsors will be included in every race program to provide maximum exposure. The series will include nine race legs and a championship final race.

Contact members of RUS NY for race and series sponsorship opportunities.

Those interested in becoming a sponsor should contact a member of our group to fill out an information form (for website and promotional purposes) and discuss what we can do for you. We are willing to promote events, sales and other happenings and news for our sponsors. The goal is to reach as many people as we can.

For more information about sponsorship, please contact Jocelyn Gale at 315.250.7402 or at


July Monte Action Heats Up

July 27, 2015

As July winds down monte action in North America has heated up with fast, competitive racing in the US and Ontario. Additional participants have qualified making for larger future fields. Below summarizes racing and qualifying events during July to-date (date, track, winner, rider, winning time, purse).

Racing and Exhibitions:

July 26 – Vernon Downs, Funny Photo, Sophie Engerran, 1:59s, $0

July 24 – Grand River Raceway, Thor Seelster, Natalie Elliott, 2:04.3h, C$3,800

July 21 – Hemlock NY, Glorious Winner, Jocelyn Gale, 2:16h, $550

July 18 – Georgian Downs, Santo Domingo, Sarah Town, 2:00.2f, C$5,000

July 10 – Ocean Downs, Hyway Marcus, Maria Andersson, 2:02h, $5,000

July 9 – Afton NY, Iron Will, Heather Reese, 2:11h, $1,000

July 7 – Owego NY, Iron Will, Heather Reese, 2:12.3h, $600

July 5 – Goshen NY, Bosak, Helene Gregory, 2:02.3h, $2,000

July 4 – Hanover Ont., Thor Seelster, Natalie Elliott, 2:02.3h, C$3,000


July 24 – Vernon Downs, My Friend Charlie, Andrea Pratt, 2:09.4s

July 24 – Grand River Raceway, Wine Photo, Karoline Nielson, 2:05h

July 17 – Vernon Downs, Funny Photo, Sophie Engerran, 2:03.4s


Funny Photo Sets North American Monte/RUS Record

July 27, 2015

Sunday, on the July 26 Zweig Memorial card at Vernon Downs, a solid field of eight monte/RUS trotters faced the mobile barrier in an exhibition contest. They engineered a North American seven-eighths mile track standard of 1:59s by the winner Funny Photo (6h Classic Photo-American Jean-American Winner). Sophie Engerran piloted Funny Photo for trainer Andy Gardner and co-owners Mo Coo Inc. and Jonathan Klee Racing. The Patty Jones bred campaigner closed the record mile with a :29.4 final panel and has earned $89.061 with 11 wins in 92 sulky-starts. Glorious Winner (7g Credit Winner-Fox Valley Flan-Vaporize), a career winner of over $108,000, was nine lengths in arrears second for Ashley Eldred with Iron Will (9g Credit Winner-Armbro Archer-SJ’s Photo) home third for Heather Reese. Iron Will, with career earnings of over $276,000, held the previous seven-eighths time badge of q, 2:02s at Vernon this summer. Sweetie’s Secret was fourth for Emma Wahlberg and the top four to the line were clocked in 2:01s or better. Fractions were :29.1-1:00.1-1:29.1-1:59s.

Funny Photo led throughout, from post two, with De Nada (Jocelyn Gale aboard) second to the half-mile station. Iron Will surged to second by the three-quarters after which Glorious Winner closed stoutly to finish second, after being sixth at the half. 

Winning rider Sophie Engerran, with monte experience in France, explained in post-race interview the fan popularity of monte racing in France and throughout Europe, and the ability of standardbreds to adapt to combined monte and sulkyracing activity due to training and exercise under saddle.

Be on the lookout for monte racing near you and experience the unique thrill of trotters under saddle.

Mad Barn sponsored RUS Ontario race in the books.
Monday, July 27, 2015 - from RUS Ontario

Elora, ON --- On Friday (July 24), racing under saddle made the first of two stops scheduled for Grand River Raceway.

The night was made especially exciting by the addition of race sponsor Mad Barn – Crazy good nutrition for equines. Mad Barn handed out more than 100 specially designed t-shirts and sponsored, with Grand River Raceway, a dinner giveaway and a ride in the starting gate.

The race on the track matched the excitement in the grandstand, with three riders and horses stepping alertly away from the mobile starting gate, but it was 2014 high percentage rider Marit Valstad and Cool Creek Valley wrestling the lead and dictating the fractions. Current high percentage rider Natalie Elliott and RUS equine star Thor Seelster stalked in the loose pocket position. Danish rider Karoline Nielsen aboard Lexus Hawkeye darted up the rail to secure the third spot, leaving Callie Magoo and Sharleen Macdonald cruising alone in fourth.

The race blew through solid splits and remained largely unchanged until two strides before the wire, when Marit Valstad’s charge made a late break. Through a judges placing Natalie Elliott and Thor Seelster landed in the Mad Barn sponsored winner's circle. The win was Elliott’s third win of 2015 and Thor Seelster's second. Valstad and Cool Creek Valley, trained by Nate Harding for owner Pat Harding, was placed second and Lexus Hawkeye, trained by Pam Forgie, who also conditions the race winner, was a game third. Lexus Hawk is owned by RUS enthusiast John Patterson.

RUS Ontario is pleased to have partnered up with Mad Barn for an exciting night at the races and will partner together for other equine related events in the future.

Looking forward Grand River Raceway will be celebrating their 25th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo on Aug. 3 and another RUS Ontario race under saddle will be featured on the undercard.


Greenspan Wins Germany’s Monte Derby


July 25, 2015

This day of the eliminations for the German Derby – Fillies also included the Monte Derby over a distance of 1900 meters autostart for a purse of €20,000. Greenspan (5g Oscar Schindler SL-Gravitat-Speedy Soma) took the victory for Lea Ahokas and owner/trainer Kirsten A. Kleinbrahm timed in 1.13.16kr, just off the 1.13kr record of Prince de Montfort. Valdenburg (6m Jeanbat du Vivier-Niella Clairchamp-Tarass Boulba) was second timed in 1.13.21kr for Jonathan Carre and trainer Nicolas Raimbeaux, ahead of Armando Kievitshof (8gm Ganymede-Continental Lobell-Spotlite Lobell) for Philippe Masschaele up for owner/trainer Henk A.J. Grift clocked in 1.13.26kr. Hannieball (10g Santana Boko-Kathleen Dragon-Super Way) was a distant fourth for Silvia Raspe and trainer Johannes C. Bot.

Next weekend promises to be a special one at Berlin-Mariendorf  with the Derby and Filly Division plus the annual yearling sale. files


'Thor' Inherits Under Saddle Victory

Published: July 24, 2015 7:57 pm ET

Cool Creek Valley was strong on the lead until the wire, when he broke stride and handed the victory to his closest competitor, Thor Seelster, in Friday's $3,800 Racing Under Saddle (RUS) leg at Grand River Raceway.

Thor Seelster crossed the wire just a quarter-length behind the off-stride Cool Creek Valley, who was placed second by the racing judges for his lapped on break. Winning rider Natalie Elliott earned her third RUS victory of the season.

Cool Creek Valley and Marit Valstad took the lead off the gate over insider Thor Seelster and rebuffed a front-side challenge from that rival before opening up on the backstretch. Thor Seelster took another shot at Cool Creek Valley down the homestretch in a two-horse breakaway and ultimately benefited from the leader's late misstep. Hammered down to odds of 1-2, Thor Seelster paid $3.00 to win. The six-year-old Pegasus Spur gelding has made three consecutive starts under saddle this month, winning on July 4 at Hanover Raceway and finishing second on July 18 at Georgian Downs prior to his latest triumph.

Thor Seelster's stablemate Lexus Hawkeye and rider Karoline Nielsen were third. Both trotters are trained by Pam Forgie.

The fractions of the race were :30.2, 1:02.4 and 1:33.2, with the winning mile clocked in 2:04.3.

Grand River Raceway is scheduled to host another RUS event on August 3, the 25th anniversary of Industry Day.


Rising Danish Star To Ontario

Published: July 16, 2015 9:26 am ET

Karoline Østergaard Nielsen, a rising star in Denmark, will be coming to Ontario for two upcoming Racing Under Saddle events. She will make her debut on July 18, 2015 in the RUS Ontario Mid-Season race being held in conjunction with the Georgian Downs Horse Festival.

Karoline is from Herfølge, Denmark and has been riding Monte since 2012. She has traveled to Sweden to ride and will now add Canada to her accomplishments. Riding Monte has been a lifelong dream for Østergaard Nielsen, who began working in the Standardbred industry as a young girl, next earning her Monte license in 2011. It was not until 2012 that she rode her first Monte race and since that time she has looked nowhere but forward earning 3 wins including a win racing for 15,000 SEK.

Karoline is only 23 years old but has big dreams. While she doesn’t currently train or own any horses herself, she hopes one day to own her own Monte horse and compete in the biggest races. The Monte scene in Europe and the Scandinavian countries offers as much prestige and reward as harness racing. With that in mind she has set her sights on gaining as much experience as possible, and maybe one day passing her knowledge on to other youngsters.

Fans can catch Karoline Østergaard Nielsen at the next two RUS Ontario races, July 18 at Georgian Downs in Barrie and July 24 at Grand River Raceway in Elora.


Racing Under Saddle Trot Friday night at Ocean Downs
Tuesday, July 07, 2015 - by Freddie Hudson

Ocean City, MD --- This Friday night (July 10) Ocean Downs will host its first Racing Under Saddle Trot with a purse of $5,000. The exhibition race is sponsored by Miller Lite and The Friends of Maryland Standardbreds.

It promises to be an exciting race as track management has put together a very competitive field of six horses and talented riders. Set to compete are 1. Blue Boy Yankee (Kristine Smith), 2. CJ's Crown (Melinda Giroso), 3. Hyway Marcus (Maria Andersson), 4. Catalyst (Tara Hynes), 5. Flowing James (Stephanie Jacobs) and 6. Truth In Action (Karen Isbell).

Join the action and be there Friday night. The RUS exhibition race will take place after the sixth race with an estimated post time of 9 p.m.


Ontario Commission Rules On Monte Purses

Published: July 6, 2015 4:43 pm ET

On Monday, July 6, the Ontario Racing Commission released its Notice of Decision in regard to an application for purse monies for three upcoming Racing Under Saddle races.

The races in question are upcoming dashes scheduled for Georgian Downs (on July 18), Mohawk Racetrack (September 26) and Flamboro Downs (October 31).

On May 20, 2015 an application for financial support – specifically purse support for three select races – was submitted by Racing Under Saddle (RUS). Letters in support of RUS’ application were sent by COSA and OHHA on April 29, 2015 and May 7, 2015, respectively.

Following consideration of the application, the director of the Ontario Racing Commission approved the following: A purse allocation of $24,100 in total is approved for the increasing of purses on three select races: $1,800 for July 18, 2015 at Georgian Downs for the Mid-Summer RUS Race, $15,000 for September 26, 2015 for the Mohawk International RUS Race, and $7,300 for October 31, 2015 at Flamboro Downs for the Year-End Finale RUS Race.

The approval is conditional upon the following:

  1. The funds can only be used to pay purses on races where pari-mutuel wagering is taking place;
  2. The races being offered cannot include claiming races;
  3. RUS must report to the ORC on the final races and purses provided within 30 days of the approved race date;

As a condition of receiving the purse money, RUS is required to demonstrate how they promoted their races in a report describing its efforts and outcomes. The report should be provided to the ORC within 60 days of their final race. Such report will form a consideration by the director, in considering purse monies for future years.

In accordance with the Rule 7.16.05(d) of the Rules of Standardbred Racing, the ORC Administration is instructed under an Order from the Director to release purse funds held In Trust for the Standardbred Horse People.

Be advised that this decision applies only to 2015 and, if necessary, an application for purse funds will require a similar submission for any future year.

Please be advised that any aggrieved party has the right to appeal the Director’s decision to the Commission.


Rev It Now wins trotting race under saddle at Goshen
Monday, June 15, 2015 - by John Manzi, for Goshen Historic Track

Goshen, NY --- The second matinee race program at Goshen’s Historic Track on Sunday (June 14) was well attended and those who stayed until the final race on the eight-race card saw the veteran trotter Rev It Now win the race under saddle.

On that card there were four races for 2-year-olds, a race for 3-year-olds, two open events (one for trotters and one for pacers) and the trotting race under saddle which saw the veteran trotter Rev It Now win easily in a time of 2:07.4.Rev It Now, a 9-year-old altered son of Revenue S who has won six races this year hooked to a sulky, was ridden to an 18 length triumph by Helene Gregory. A week prior (June 8) at the Gaitway Farms matinee program, in his initial attempt at under saddle racing, Rev It Now was a 4-1/2 length winner in a time of 2:00.4 over that mile oval, again with Helene Gregory up.

“I have always thought that "Rev" would be good under saddle ever since we have had him and I put a saddle on him and rode him myself a few times just going slow,” said Hannah Miller, co-owner and the trotter’s regular harness driver. “He was super so we decided to give it a shot and qualify him. He qualified excellent at Gaitway under saddle. I think he enjoys this new job and it's a way to mix up his routine and keep him fresh.”

This year Rev It Now, a career winner of more than $258,000, has been a scourge in the Billings and NAADA amateur trots with Miller at the controls. Besides his six victories Rev It Now also has two seconds and three thirds in his 19 seasonal starts and has earned more than $26,000 pulling a sulky.

Since she gets along so well with the veteran trotter, Miller was asked why she didn’t ride him in his two races under saddle.

“I haven't had enough practice yet to ride him in a race. I'm working on that but it is difficult and Helene is an excellent rider and has had plenty of experience in these types of races,” Miller explained. “I plan on continuing to learn and practice and hopefully I will be able to ride him myself in a race one day.

“We will be bringing him back to Goshen on July 5 and plan on racing him under saddle at other New York fairs, Vernon, The Red Mile, and hopefully they will have a race at the Meadowlands.”

Miller shares ownership of Rev It Now with the Nick Surick and Erv Miller stables. Surick is also the horse's trainer.


Torre Crepin Wins Kingsrod Trading Monte at Bjerke

June 14, 2015

Torre Crepin won the OGP day monte featured Kingsrod Tradiing (75,000Nokr to winner, 1809 meters autostart) at Bjerke, repeating his winning performance at Solvalla two weeks ago on Elitloppet day. The FR-bred eight year-old gelded son of Capriccio-Lanarka-Cezio Josselyn scored start to finish clocked in 1.11.5kr for jockey Adrien Lamy, trainer Bruno Marie and owner Leonardo Torregrossa using blazing early speed to weaken the competitors. The veteran now has a slate of 10-8-12-13 in 90 starts for earnings of 5,514,967Nokr. Valdenberg (Jeanbat du Vivier) with Eric Raffin up and Rocky P.H. (Earthquake) with Michelle Monster aboard were next in that order both timed in 1.12kr. Before the Solvalla victory, in world record monte time of 1.10kr, Torre Crepin had not won since 2013.


Solvalla Elitloppet 2015 Undercard Action; Torre Crepin Lowers

Monte Mile World Record to 1:52.63

May 31, 2015

Excellent complementary racing action took place this Elitloppet 2015 day at Solvalla. The Monte Elite (1609 meters autostart, 150,000SEK to the winner) went to Torre Crepin (8g Capriccio-Lanaka-Cezio Josselyn) for Adrien Lamy in the fastest monte clocking (world record) ever, 1.10kr (1:52.63 mile rate), eclipsing Prince de Montfort’s 1:53.2 mile rate on the 2010 Elitloppet day. Another FR performer was second, matching the winners time, that being Valdenburg (6g Jeanbat du Vivier-Niella Clairchamp-Tarass Boulba) for Mathieu Abrivard. Denmark’s Armando Kievitshof (8g Ganymede-Continental Lobell-Spotlite Lobell) was third for Philippe Masschaele. Torre Crepin, a noted speedster for short distances, had not won since 2013, also at Solvalla. The mile course suits this talented trotter that has trouble competing over longer 2200 meter distances and up in home country France. That said this veteran campaigner has earned over five million Swedish krona.


Congrats to 2014 Monte/RUS North America Leaders

June 20, 2015 (updated)

USTA data (thanks to David Carr) has provided the 2014 monte leaders in North American action. 2015 monte racing acing begun in Canada with RUS pari-mutuel events held at Western Fair and Flamboro last weekend. The 2014 leaders based on earnings follow (also starts, win, place, show listed) and deserve congratulations on work well done.

Top Horses - US

A Penny Earned, 3 2-1-0, $15,000

Take My Picture, 3 2-1-0, $9,375

Flowing James, 6 1-2-2-, $8,649

OU Gus, 3 1-1-1, $8,550

Chinese Cuisine, 5 1-1-0, $6.929


Radical Dreamer, 8 3-2-0, $4,711

Twin B Excalibur, 8 2-2-2, $2,639

Lexus Hawkeye, 3 3-0-0, $2,564

Callie Magoo, 7 2-2-2, $2,041

Tragically Shipp, 5 2-2-0, $1,895


Top Riders - US

Michelle Crawford, 11 7-2-0, $17,949

Therese Lindgren, 4 3-1-0, $14,375

Tara Hynes, 13 2-5-4, $10,913

Stephanie Werder, 2 1-0-1, $8,300

Tina Duer, 5 1-1-0, $6,929


Marit Valstad, 12 2-4-2, $4,200

Natalie Elliott, 6 4-1-0, $2,711

Evelyn Harms, 9 2-2-2, $2,639

Sarah Town, 11 3-2-0, $2,069

Saara Jalasti, 3 1-0-2, $1,595


Top Monte Trainers - US

George Ducharme, 7 3-2-0, $16,239

Nikolas Drennan, 3 2-1-0, $9,375

Tara Hynes, 7 1-2-2, $8,649

Whitney Richards, 3 1-0-1, $8,550

Karen Isbell, 7 2-2-0, $5,854


Ronald O'Neil, 8 3-2-0, $4,711

Randall Fulmer, 8 2-2-2, $2,639

Pam Forgie, 3 3-0-0, $2,564

John Braid, 7 2-0-2, $2,041

Lee Watson, 5 2-2-0, $1,895


The top dash winners in 2014 by category follow:

Horse USA – Vassar Hall and Tymal Oh So Nice, 3 each

Horse Canada – Radical Dreamer and Lexus Hawkeye, 3 each

Rider USA – Michelle Crawford 7

Rider Canada – Natalie Elliott 4

Trainer USA – George Ducharme 3

Trainer Canada – Ron ONeil and Pam Forgie, 3 each


Recent Canadian action began May 15 at Western Fair with monte trotters competing for a purse of C$4,200. Lexus Hawkeye (chg 6 Amigo Hall-Lexus Lulu-Angus Hall) took that event in 2:05 for Natalie Elliott with a final panel in :31.3. Pam Forgie is the trainer. SAS Warkentin was second beaten by a head. Handle was C$7,658. At Flamboro May 17, on the Sunday Confederation Cup card, the monte trotters battled for a C$4,200 purse. Riina Rekila piloted Massive Muscles (bg4 Muscle Mass-Flirting Lavec-Mr. Lavec) to victory in 2:00.3h with a :31.4 final quarter. The winner scored narrowly over Santo Domingo. Handle was C$26,388.

On May 24. at Clinton, the monte action continued for a purse of C$3,500 and Truth In Action (9g Cantab Hall-Cressida Hanover-Mr. Lavec) scored in 2:04.3h for Karen Isbell. Handle was C$2,008. This winner is from the dam of Glidemaster and the 2015 three year-old speedster Canepa Hanover. On June 20. at Kawartha. Sophie M. Engerran rode Massive Muscles to another victory, this tine in 2:00.4f with a :30.3 final quarter. Julie Walker trains Massive Muscles that she co-owns with Jean Bernard Renaud. The purse was C$3,700 and handle of this sixth race on the card was C$3,875.

USTA, RUS Ontario, Standardbred Canada files


Radical Dreamer Takes Mohawk’s C$15,000 Monte

September 13, 2014

Radical Dreamer with Marit Valstad in the irons for trainer/co-owner Ron Oneill and co-owner Doug Millard took another Ontario monte test on Saturday evening on the Canadian Trotting Classic card. The five year-old mare by Majestic Son-Paidindreams-Royal Strength was victorious by ¾ length to record her fourth monte win this season. Smarty Pants rallied strongly around the last turn and battled to the line for Riina Rekila but could not get to the winner. Twin B Excalibur finished third for Evelyn Harms after racing forwardly placed throughout. The non-wagering event carried a purse of C$15,000.

Mohawk 9/13/14—Monte Trot, C$15,000 (after race 3)

Non-wagering, 9 starters after one scratch

Fractions: :30 – 1:01 – 1:31.3 – 2:02.2

Radical Dreamer (5f Majestic Son-Paidindreams-Royal Strength), Marit Valstad up for trainer/co-owner Ron Oneill and Doug Millard

Smarty Pants (5f Kadabra-Twitty-Conway Hall), Riina Rekila, trainer Richard Moreau for owners Stan Klemencic and ASA Farm

Twin B Excalibur (11g Earl-Senorita Sierra-Sierra Kosmos), Evelyn Harms for trainer/co-owner Randall Fulmer along with Phillip Katcher


Next up for the monte specialists in Ontario are September 20 at Flamboro and October 1 at Western Fair.



Gr. I Monte Prix de Normandy to Vittel de Brevol at Vincennes

September 13, 2014

The monte classic Gr. I Prix de Normandy today went to favorite Vittel de Brevol ridden by David Thomain for trainer Sebastian Ernault. The €240,000 purse event, over 3000 meters, was timed in 1.13.9kr with the winner recording his 13th victory in 19 starts now for career earnings over €323,000. The great monte mares Vision Intense (Nathalie Henry aboard) and Valse Castelets (JLC Dersoir) were next on the line. Vision Intense raced superbly and gained steadily after a slow start, finally staging an inside rally in late stretch.

Gr. I Prix de Normandie, €240,000 purse, 3000 meters monte, 14 starters

Fractions: 1.14.9kr at 1500; 1.14.1kr at 1000; 1.13.9kr at 500 and finish

Vittel de Brevol (5m Jag de Bellouet-Lady de Brevol), David Thomain, trainer Sebastian Ernault, 2/1 odds, 13th win in 19 starts for earnings €323,850

Vision Intense (5f Prodigious-Intense Action), Nathalie Henry up for Philippe Moulin and Ecurie Victoria Dreams, 2.2/1 odds

Valse Castelets (5f Memphis du Rib-Elide), JLC Dersoir, 7/1 odds

The secondary monte feature today was the €105,000 Gr. III Prix Georges Dreux over 2850 meters. Eight contestants were at the start and it ended in a dead-heat in 1.14kr with Uppercut de Manche and Sourire de Voutre inseparable. Uppercut de Manche with DamienBonne was off at 2/1 while Sourire de Voutre was the 7/10 favorite for jockey Franck Nivard and trainer Franck Leblanc.

Prix Georges Dreux, Gr. III purse €105,000, 2850 meters, 8 starters, monte

Fractions: 1.14.6kr at 1500; 1.14.9kr at 1000; 1.14.1kr at 500; 1.14kr finish

Uppercut de Manche (6g Neutron du Ceba-Nuit de Manche), Damien Bonne, 2/1 odds, 13th win in 59 starts for €364,500. Dead heat for win

Sourire de Voutre (8g Gazouillis-Guella), Franck Nivard for trainer/owner Franck Leblanc, 7/10 favorite in dead heat for win

Quarnac de L’iton (10g Ideal de L’iton-Classic Mesloise), Mathieu Mottier, 47.2/1

Quoumba de Guez (10f Urfist des Pres-Vanina de Mareuil), 8.1/1 odds


Monte North America Action

August 29, 2014

Monte performers were in action Friday evening with the Vernon Downs Monte Series Final contested by seven starters for a purse of $5,700. The race was non-wagering. Tymal Oh So Nice took the lead at the 5/8 mile post and drew off for an easy 13-length score in 2:04s for Heather Reese. The winner, a five year-old gelded son of Striking Sahbra-Tymal Abracadabra-Kadabra is trained by Ronald Macdonald who co-owns with Valeria Blackmore. The victory was his second in six 2014 starts under saddle. Tara Hynes teamed John-michael to be second ahead of My Irish Molly with Jocelyn Lavigne aboard

At Mohawk a $5,000 non-wagering monte event was held with eight contestants. Radical Dreamer with Marit Valstad up and Tragically Shipp with Natalie Elliot in the irons hit the wire together in a dead-heat for win. Radical Dreamer, a solid monte performer this season, is owned by Millard and trainer Ronald O'Neill of Cambridge, Ont. while Tragically Shipp is trained by Lee Watson and owned by Lynne and David Magee.

The next scheduled monte events in Ontario listed below.

9/13 Mohawk

9/20 Flamboro

10/1 Western Fair

Monte North America in NY and Ontario

August 19, 2014

John-michael (6g Dream Vacation-Imatagtoo-Tagliabue) won today’s $2,000 NY Monte Fair Final at Trumansburg. Reined by Tara Hynes for trainer Michael Miller and owner Terry Miller, John-michale scored in 2:09.1h over the Karen Isbell trained and ridden Truth In Action with My Irish Molly third for Jocelyn Lavigne in the field of six.

At Georgian Downs, their pari-mutuel monte contest for C$3,200 went to a previous monte winner Radical Dreamer (5f Majestic Son-Paidindreams-Royal Strength) with Marit Valstad aboard for trainer and co-owner Ron O’Neill of Cambridge. Well-known breeder/owner Doug Millard of Woodstock is the other co-owner. Radical Dreamer scored in 2:00.4f by a head over Hettie’s Honey with Tymal Oh So Nice home third in the nine horse field. C$9,540 was wagered on the monte contest including exactor, superfecta and triactor wagers.


Royalist Wins Vernon Monte Test

August 17, 2014

Royalist (3m RC Royalty-Cocolatto Chip-Pine Chip) took Saturday night’s $2,502 under saddle event at Vernon Downs in 2:04.3s. George Ducharme trains the winner that was ridden by Michelle Crawford for owner/breeder Raymond Campbell Jr. Royalist led gate to wire from post six to defeat Blue Boy Yankee and Kristina Smith by quarter-length, with John-michael third for Jenny Melander, in even rated fractions.

Three of the Vernon starters will be back in action August 19 at Trumansburg, NY in the NY Fair Monte Circuit Final for the $2,000 purse. The starters include four monte winners in 2014 with Vassar Hall a three time winner and Truth In Action a double victor heading to the Final. Entries follow:

Truth In Action, Karen Isbell up, also trainer

Kash Now, Michelle Miller for Michael Miller

My Irish Molly, Jocelyn Lavigne up for trainer Truman Gale

John-michael, Tara Hynes for Michael Miller trainer

Vassar Hall, Michelle Crawford for trainer Brett Crawford

Lemon Pepper, Jennifer Lowrey trainer/rider

That same evening, at Georgian Downs, the Ontario RUS pari-mutuel events continue with a nine-horse field contesting race three for $3,200 (and with a full suite of wagering options including EX, SF, TR). Previous pari-mutuel monte events have been positively received by the fans and the punters. Off-time is 7:59pm and the field is listed below in post order (horse, rider, trainer):
The Jolly Millar, tba,C Fuller, 15-1
Callie Magoo, S Macdonald, J Braid, 3-1
Southwind Vavoom, M Jones, R Mcclure, 5-1
Kashs Caviar, S Town, C Yates, 4-1
Hetties Honey, A Humphris, M Macri, 5-2
Tymal Oh So Nice(L), S Jalasti, R Macdonald, 9-5
Tragically Shipp, N Elliott, L Watson, 7-2
Charlie Tuna , B Kennedy, J Yake, 12-1
Oh Hannah=, M Enburg, T Stokes, 10-1
AE1 Radical Dreamer, M Valstad, R Oneill


My Irish Molly and Vassar Hall Win NY Monte at Norwich; Plans

Develop for October 18 at Rosecroft Raceway

August 5, 2014

Two divisions of the NY RUS Series took place this week at Norwich, NY with the first $500 division going to My Irish Molly with Jocelyn Lavigne in the irons. Trained by Truman Gale, the winner, a nine year-old mare by Psychic Spirit-Fox Valley Blondie-Armbro Charger, scored in 2:13.4h for owner Donn Lewandrowski over John-michael (Tara Hynes up) and Kash Now (Michelle Miller), both of these trained by Michael Miller.

The second division went to Vassar Hall in 2:07.4h for Michelle Crawford. This pair covered the last half in 1:02.4 for trainer Brett Crawford, co-owner with Len Wojdyla. The ten year-old mare by Striking Sahbra-Vera Hall-Conway Hall defeated Truth In Action (Karen Isbell) and Magic Cheque (Tara Hynes).

Separately, plans moved forward for a monte event at Rosecroft Raceway on October 18. A fund-raising effort is underway spearheaded by rider Tara Hynes. Supporter financial participation is welcome by going to All monies raised will go to the purse for the Rosecroft race.

Monte North American Weekend Highlights

August 4, 2014

The Hambletonian Monte Series Final at the new Meadowlands and two Ontario pari-mutuel races at Grand River showcased North American monte activities this weekend. On Friday evening the $27,500 Hambletonian Monte Final took place (non-wagering) at the new Meadowlands. Sponsors were Jeff Gural, Valley High Stable, Back On Track, Ron Burke Stable, Arden Homestead Stable, Crawford Farm, Aldrich Properties, George Ducharme and Winners Circle Blueberries. The final followed two $10,000 legs the previous two weekends.

This week A Penny Earned (5g Conway Hall-Penny Dream-Dream Vacation) scored for Michelle Crawford and trainer George Ducharme in 1:57.2 (last quarter :28.2), just short of the north American speed race record set by Master Pine two years ago in 1:57.1. The winner was second in a July 18 leg behind Take My Picture that was second in the final for Therese Lindgren and trainer Nikolas Drennan. O U Gus (the July 25 winner) ended third for Stephanie Werder and trainer Whitney Richards. Master Pine finished fourth for Helene Gregory and trainer Julie Miller in the competitive (seven starters timed in 2:00.1 or better) ten horse field.

In Ontario, Grand River Raceway hosted two pari-mutuel events on August 1st and 4th. The August 4th International Monte was part of the raceway’s Industry Day and attracted riders from Canada, Belgium and Finland. The US rider-entrant Jennifer Connor was a scratch due to travel problems. Previous monte winner Radical Dreamer (Marit Valstad) made the fast pace, tracked and battled by eventual winner Tragically Shipp (Saara Jalasti aboard), that pulled away late for an comfortable win over Angies Lucky Star (Philippe Massachaele) in 2:02.4h over a rain soaked surface. Tragically Shipp (8g Shipps Speed-CH On Tour-Armbro Laser) is trained by Lee Watson for owners Lynne and David Magee. Jalasti and Massachaele regularly ride in monte races in Europe, where monte is very popular and part of most pari-mutuel racing cards at French and Scandinavian tracks. Race replay follows:

The August 1 race at Grand River was billed as the Canada vs. Norway Challenge and it went to Callie Magoo (5g Magoo-Callie Alyssa-Wesgate Crown) with Norway’s G. Berg up for trainer John Braid. This pair scored in 2:04.3h over King Tut (Sarah Town up for Canada) and Charlie Tuna.

Both Grand River races were well received in the pari-mutuel wagering, as had been the case in previous Ontario pari-mutuel monte races. In separate news Georgian Downs announced that August 19th will be the date of its next monte pari-mutuel event.


Hambletonian Monte Final Field Set

July 30, 2014

The 2014 Hambletonian Monte lineup is set for the Friday evening Meadowlands finale Ten competitive trotters and riders will face the starter for $27,500 with 7:35 estimated off-time. Winners in 2014 under saddle include Truth In Action, Tymal Oh So Nice, O U Gus, Take My Picture and Flowing James. Be there for the monte action and to say thanks to the participants, sponsors, Meadowland Racetrack and the Hambletonian Society for their superb efforts. The field (horse, rider, trainer) follows in post-position order:

Chinese Cuisine, Tina Duer/Brett Biddle

Truth In Action, Karen Isbell/also trainer

Bambino Hall, Stephanie Jacobs/Julie Miller

Tymal Oh So Nice, Jenny Melander/Ronald Macdonald

A Penny Earned, Michelle Crawford/George Ducharme

O U Gus, Stephanie Werder/Whitney Richards

Take My Picture, Therese Lindgren/Nikolas Drennan

Flowing James, Tara Hynes/also trainer

Master Pine, Helene Gregory/Julie Miller

Blue Boy Yankee, Kristina Smith/Randal Smith

Earlier in the week the Morris NY fair hosted the fourth leg of the RUS NY Series. Vassar Hall (10m Striking Sahbra-Vera Hall-Conway Hall) took this test in 2:13.4h for Michelle Crawford, trainer and co-owner Brett Crawford along with Len Woydyla. Kash Now (Michelle Miller) and Striking Mystery (Jennifer Lowry) chased the winner home.