Cory Stratton Wins Four at Monticello
October 20, 2021
Nui Ba Den N Wins Open
Photo Credit: Geri Schwarz
Monticello, N.Y. – While the weather in the Catskill Mountains has gotten cooler recently, Cory Stratton is red hot. He conducted a driving clinic on Tuesday, October 19 by winning half of the afternoon’s eight-race card for a driving Grand Slam. The afternoon started aboard Ideal Olympic Ace, who scored a wire-to-wire win in 2:01.1 – $6.70 for trainer Bob Davis. Next up was Brookdale Jessie, where Stratton used the same strategy as in a prior race and won in a start-to-finish fashion on the front end in 1:58.2 – $17.60 for the James Siegelman trainee. The triple was with Bass Player. The seven-year-old Sportsmaster gelding scored in 1:56:3 – $20.60 and is trained by Ashley Eldred.
The highlight of the day came in the $7,700 Open Pace with Nui Ba Den N. The son of Gotta Go has been quietly working his way up the ranks. Last week was his first start in the Open and he won in 1:54.3- $4.70 for trainer Chris Petrelli. This week, saddled with Post 8, Stratton blasted him away from the gate to settle in third. Going to the ¼ mile marker, Stratton pulled past the quarter and took the overland route to a ½ length victory over pacesetter Sammy B Happy (Renaldo Morales III) and Barnabas (Brandon Parker). The win gave Stratton the Grand Slam for the afternoon.
The 29-year-old Stratton, who hails from a family rich in harness racing history, ranks in fourth place for leading dash winning drivers with 156 wins. The top three are Michael Merton with 203, Bruce Aldrich Jr. with 166 and Jim Taggart Jr. is third with 160.
Trainer Chris Petrelli is closing the gap to break into the top three leading trainers, trailing present third place trainer Laura Perino by just one win.
Also on the card, Renaldo Morales III drove a pair of winners.