KJ Leo Wins Monticello Open
October 6, 2021
Photo Credit: Geri Schwarz
Monticello, N.Y. – KJ Leo benefited from a pocket trip to overcome Camwood in the $7,700 Open Pace at Monticello Raceway on Tuesday, October 5. Post time was 2:37 p.m.
The seven-horse field had two lead changes before the quarter mile stanza and another one after that. Camwood, driven by Mike Merton, finally cleared past the quarter in 27.3 and continued to set the pace of 56.3, 1:26.1. Jim Taggart Jr. was in perfect position at the head of the stretch with KJ Leo, who was behind pacesetter Camwood. Taggart chose to go to the outside rather than using the passing lane to hold off a gritty Camwood in 1:54.3 and returning a $12.80 win mutual. Finishing third was Barnabas (Brandon Parker).
It was the sixth win of the year for KJ Leo, the five-year-old son of Art Major, who is trained by co-owner Gary Messenger along with PW Shapiro and longtime stable patron Scott Woogen. Gary Messenger is the second leading trainer in the ranks with 69 wins, trailing leading trainer Bo Sower, who is atop the leaderboard with 82 winners hailing from his stable. Also on the card, Cory Stratton drove two winners. ###