Its official, Monticello Raceway is back!

Monticello, NY – On Monday (Sept. 21), Monticello Raceway hosted its first live racing card since March 12, due to a 6-month hiatus due to COVID-19, Race Secretary Eric Warner was able to card seven races for the first program.

Greg Merton sat the pocket in the first race with Love Trumps Hate following Pine Tab the entire mile, Pine Tab made a miscue in the stretch, giving Merton the lead and the win in 2:02 for trainer Wesley Miller. Merton would also go on to win with Sea’s Ideal in race 5.

Mcgwire Sower also have a driving double on the afternoon and Trainer Steve Ray had a training double win with the hardy campaigner Racingtowardsadream and With Our Luck.

Charlene Cushing and Leo Shady Jack. Geri Schwarz photo.

On hand for the opening was Charlene Cushing. Ms. Cushing was the former longtime Marshall at Monticello Raceway, often referred to as the “best outrider in the industry,” and made the eight-hour trek from Farmington, Maine to be on hand for the first race.

Ms. Cushing has made the transition from harness racing to nursing after moving to Maine. She graduated from nursing school a year ago and now works as a nurse in Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington. She is married to Mike Cushing, the President of the Maine Harness Horseman’s Association.

Ironically today marks her 30th anniversary of when she first started as marshall at Monticello Raceway. Ms. Cushing brought her favorite steed to Monticello Raceway for the occasion, Leo Shady Jack a registered quarter horse.

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