Monticello, NY --- Two years ago Monticello Raceway pioneered a day where all races were driven by amateur drivers. Dubbed All-Amateur Day, the afternoon race card was well received.
This year the third All-Amateur Day will be presented on the added Friday program of Sept. 6. However, this year’s event will take on a special meaning.
“We’re renaming the program 'Veteran’s Day at the Races' and it’ll be used as a fundraiser for the Sullivan County Veterans Food Pantry,” noted Alan Schwartz, the president of the Monticello Harness Horsemen’s Association. “Monetary donations are urged and will be certainly appreciated by the unfortunate veterans.”
Not only are the 20 participating amateur drivers paying $500 just to be able to compete that day, but the raceway is soliciting good clothing and non-perishable food items from attending fans.
The Rolling Thunder Chapter 4 has joined in the spirit of helping their fellow veterans by donating $1,000 to the Veterans Food Pantry, and $500 each to the Sullivan County Veterans Coalition and to the Honor Flights for Veterans.
“We are hoping that many veterans of the armed services will join us that afternoon and if they do they will receive 50 percent off the casino’s buffet by showing their Military ID,” added Schwartz, himself a former Marine corporal and a Vietnam veteran.
The first 200 fans attending the races that afternoon will receive an American flag on a two foot wooden pole and a veteran of any branch of our armed services will make a winner’s circle presentation in each of the ten races carded that afternoon.
Also slated is a non-wagering trotting race under saddle race which will be presented after the sixth race on the betting card.
And as an added special attraction, sportswriters Dave Little of the New York Daily News and Debbie Little of the New York Post, will be on hand and can be met up-close and personal. They will interview drivers, both amateur and professional, in the winner’s circle between races and they may even offer some handicapping skills, as both are premier handicappers for their newspapers.