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The Monticello Drive-Off Is A ‘Go’

Published: November 27, 2013 4:39 pm ET

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It’ll be Number One against Number Three when North America’s leading dash winner, Ronnie Wrenn Jr., locks horns with Bruce Aldrich Jr., third in wins on the continent, on Thursday, December 12 at Monticello Raceway.

The 26-year-old Wrenn – who is from a top racing family in Michigan and has blossomed into a world-class driver – currently leads all North American reinsmen with 631 driving victories so far this year. And Aldrich, 43 – who is in the midst of the first year that he is only driving – has already recorded 566 wins and is enjoying the best season of his career. Career-wise, Aldrich has recorded 4,671 wins, while the youthful Wrenn has already passed the 1,000-win plateau (he has 1,242 wins in just four seasons in the sulky).

Aldrich will have the hometown advantage, as Wrenn will be coming in from Northfield in Ohio. Both are leading drivers at their respective tracks, Aldrich at Monticello Raceway and Wrenn at Northfield Park.

“This has the makings of an interesting competition, not only for the drivers, but for the betting public,” Aldrich said. “There’s no doubt that good drivers will be in competition, but there are factors that may be beyond our control, especially in the eight-horse fields. And I can tell you Monticello has a good driving colony and we will not only be challenged by them, but we’ll have to keep an eye on one another.”

Last week, when Wrenn was asked if he’d drive the card against Aldrich, he said, “Yes, but I’d like to know how the drives are selected.”

“We have a tentative plan on how to make the competition as fair as possible,” offered Eric Warner, the ‘Mighty M’s director of Racing. “In an effort to keep the scales from tipping one way or the other, we intend to have the drivers make alternate picks on the 13-race card.

“After the December 12 program is drawn, we’ll flip a coin and the one who calls it correctly will have first choice of the horse he wants to drive in Race 1, while the other (will) get his selection after that. Then, Aldrich picks first in the next race and Wrenn second and we’ll alternate throughout the entire card.

“Someone said to me that they’ll pick the favourites, to which I replied that here at Monticello just over 35 per cent of favourites win. That leaves room for everybody.”

The December 12 race card will be drawn on Monday, December 9.


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