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New racing under saddle series is announced
Friday, April 26, 2013 - by Moira Fanning, publicity director, the Hambletonian Society

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Cranbury, NJ --- A late-closing series for trotters racing under saddle will feature a $25,000 final that will be raced on Hambletonian Day, Saturday, Aug. 3, at the Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J.

Monte racing, a hybrid of harness and thoroughbred racing is a popular pari-mutuel sport in France, where many top trotters and drivers compete in both sulky and under-saddle races.

The fledgling organization Monte America has announced a series for trotters comprised of two legs worth $10,000 on July 19 and July 26, respectively, and a $25,000 final showcased on harness racing's richest and most prestigious day -- the 88th edition of the Hambletonian, traditionally the first Saturday in August.

Racing trotters under saddle enjoyed a resurgence last year in North America under the direction of monte rider Helene Gregory.

Lisa Photo
Helene Gregory celebrates a riding victory at the Meadowlands
“The response from last year’s under saddle racing was overwhelming, so I am delighted that Jeff Gural will host the series at the New Meadowlands and that the Hambletonian Society will handle payments and purses for this event,” Gregory said. “This will help us grow monte racing in the U.S.” Gregory received a President’s Award from the U.S. Harness Writers Association for her efforts in staging under saddle racing in 2012.

“Last year a total of 56 riders applied to the U.S. Trotting Association for a racing under saddle license, so there is great interest in this new sport. We started with one race on Hambo day, and by the end of the year we had 13 races in several different states and more than $80,000 in purses.”

“I hope the series we created this year will make for an exciting final with well-matched trotters and riders. Since there will be no betting on these races we are looking for sponsors to finance the series.”

A $200 nomination fee is due May 15 for those wishing to compete. Conditions, nomination blanks and more information can be found on the Monte America website at http://www.monteamerica.com/ or on the Hambletonian Society website at http://www.hambletonian.org.


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