Monticello, NY --- After Bruce Aldrich, Jr. notched his sixth win in the 10th race on the Monticello Raceway card of Tuesday (Oct. 22), he was contacted in the paddock and asked if he ever won six races before to which he replied, “I won six a couple of times here at Monticello over the past few years. I still have two more drives and if I get lucky enough to win again it’ll be the best day I ever had.”
|Geri Schwarz photo|
|Machin Music was the seventh winner of the day for Bruce Aldrich, Jr.|
And lo and behold Aldrich won the 13th and last race on the afternoon program with Machin Music, which was one of four winners sent out by trainer Bob Lounsbury.
Aldrich and Lounsbury have been a lethal combination here this year. Aldrich is Lounsbury’s driver of choice and he has driven nearly all of Lounsbury’s 146 winners. Aldrich, on the other hand, is the meet’s leading driver, currently with 327 winners. He also has been driving at Saratoga Raceway this season and has recorded 144 wins there which ranks him third on that track's leaderboard.
Aldrich began the Monticello Tuesday afternoon with a 1:56.2 victory in the first race with Tony Mazzeo’s Reflection Of Blue ($3.90), a 5-year-old altered son out of the great racemare Rainbow Blue. His next triumph was in the fourth when he guided Christina Klein’s Monster Dragon ($12.80) to a 1:59.1 victory.
Aldrich’s next three winners were with Lounsbury horses. They combined in the fifth with Irwin Kaplan’s Fuguzzy ($6.10) in 1:56.4 and then again in the seventh with Bill Damberg’s Mixed Media ($3.90). Then the eight race was also theirs when Aldrich guided Mo Coo, Inc. and Jonathan Klee Racing’s Thunder Seelster ($6.50) in 1:56.4.
Win number six for Aldrich came with the Mike Watson-trained, Phil Schultz-owned Hedges Lane ($5.90) in 1:55.4 and as stated above, he capped the day with the Lounsbury-trained, Phil Schultz-owned Machin Music ($2.50) in 1:55.4.
After passing the 4,000-win plateau last season, Aldrich decided to give up his public stable and concentrate on just driving. And it seems to have been a very fruitful move. He’s enjoying his finest season and his current total of 478 wins ranks him fifth in races won in North America. His seasonal total is 27 better than his previous high of 451 in 2010.
“I certainly enjoy driving and love winning races but it’s been a task this year. You know, driving at both isn’t easy when they race on the same day,” he said. “I couldn’t do it if Monticello didn’t race in the afternoon and Saratoga at night.
“There are days when both tracks are racing and after I finish at Monticello I hop in my card and have a 2-1/2 hour ride to Saratoga for the night races there. Let me tell you, it wears you out after a while, but don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I can do it.”