Laura Aldrich and James Taggart Jr. Take Top Honors at Monticello Raceway

January 8, 2024

Awards 2

Laura Aldrich made history this week at Monticello Raceway by becoming the second female to garner the title of Leading Trainer at the Mighty M in a tight battle with Gary Messenger that went to wire in a photo finish that was decided in second to last race card of the season. Jim Taggart Jr. won the Tile of Leading Dash winning driver for the third time in his career.

Award 7

In the end, only 3 wins separated her and multiple time Leading Dash winner Trainer Gary Messenger, Laura finished the year with 91 wins and Gary Messenger was second with 88 wins, They both took different paths to the crown, Messenger races in predominantly in overnight conditioned races while Laura concentrates in the claimer ranks. The consistent Danny Gill finished third with 57 wins, this year’s top five list includes newcomers Andrew Adamczyk and Richard Campolong.  Andrew Adamczyk was fourth with 54 and Richard Campolong took the fifth spot with 51 winners.

On the other side of the ledger and no stranger to the title, Jim Taggart Jr. once again took top honors for Leading Dash Winning Driver, far outdistancing himself from his closest rival by 49 wins. Taggart,  has won the title numerous times, Taggart was the leader with 232 wins over the famed Catskill Mountain oval with earned purses of $1,033,330, Taggart far outdistance himself from his closest rival. Greg Merton was second with 183 wins, last year’s winner and former multiple time leading driver Bruce Aldrich Jr, finished in third position with 174 trips to the winner’s circle. Michael Merton was fourth with 170 wins, rounding out the top five was McGwire Sowers with 99 wins.

After the third race Aldrich and Taggart were presented with their Top Honors in the winner circle, the normally reserved and low key Laura Aldrich was beaming during the presentation, on hand where her proud parents.