Monticello, NY --- Since its inception in 1991 Monticello Raceway’s Au Revoir has been a very interesting event and last year it took on greater proportions when the race was featured on the front page of the New York Times sports section in late December. And the newspaper even ran a follow-up story of the result.
The Au Revoir is limited to 14-year-olds on the last, or next to last, day of the year and it’s the final call to post for the entrants because when they turn 15 on Jan. 1 -- and all horses get one year older each Jan. 1 -- they are no longer eligible to compete in purse races.
Because there are just a very limited number of 14-year-olds still racing late in their final year of competition the race doesn’t always attract enough horses to be presented.
“We are asked from time to time why don’t you include 12 and 13-year-olds but it wouldn’t be the same race. And that it doesn’t always fill (get enough entries) makes it that much more special,” noted Eric Warner, Monticello’s director of racing.
In the 22 years since its inaugural, only six Au Revoirs have been presented although the race has filled three times in the last four years.
This year’s Au Revoir is slated for Monday (Dec. 30) even though the Mighty M will present its final program of the year on the afternoon of Dec. 31.
“For the race to fill, available horses must travel quite a distance just to participate and how could we ask anyone to come to the race and then travel home on New Year’s Eve?” Warner said.
Initially he had considerable interest from owners of four pacers but just last week one called and said his oldtimer sored-up and they were going to retire him.
Without the one who dropped out Warner’s positive responses are from the owners of Run Tim Run, How Forever Feels and Copper Canyon.
However, he says there are possibilities of getting a few more who might want to race. Among them are Anvil Raider N who has been competing in the midwest and is the winner of 21 races this year and the incredible Forest Vic A who is racing at Yonkers Raceway and has a seasonal mark of 1:52.3 and has won nearly $80,000 this year.
“Since he’s racing so successfully at Yonkers Forest Vic (A) will probably keep racing there but I’m sure there are others of lesser caliber who may want to race in our Au Revoir and if we can get six entries we’ll go with it,” Warner added.
Anyone wanting more information about the Au Revoir, or perhaps to make an entry, can do so by calling Warner in the racing office at 845.794.4100, ext. 557; or they can call the track's publicity office at ext. 455.