Monticello, NY --- In the words of chef Emeril Lagasse, Monticello Raceway's Battle of the New York Legends has been "kicked-up a notch" with the addition Carmine Abbatiello
to the already stellar field of former driving stars who will be appearing at the Catskill Mountain oval on Sunday afternoon, June 22.Abbatiello
, who needs no introduction to harness racing fans, was elected to Harness Racing's Living Hall f Fame in 1985.In his
illustrious career "the Redman," as he
came to be known, has reined 7,170 winners and has earned purses in excess of $50.3 million -- the majority of which was earned when he
was the scourge of the metropolitan New York circuit at Roosevelt and Yonkers Raceways, mainly during the 1960s and 1970s.
And those numbers are impressive today -- considering that racing seasons back then were short and purses were nowhere near the level of those paid today.But few remember that Abbatiello began his Hall of Fame career at Monticello Raceway.
In 1959 a youthful "Redman" won the driving percentage title at the Mighty M
with a .378 Universal Driver Rating, and the next season Abbatiello won 39 races and took home the trophy as the track's leading dashwinning driver.
Again in 1962 Abbatiello's
57 victories were tops at Monticello
, and during the 1963 campaign his 44 winners was third best behind Billy Popfinger's 54 and Lucien Fontaine's 52.
"Now with ‘the Redman' aboard we have three Hall of Famers who'll be part of our driving championship that day," noted sportsman Larry Roman, who is sponsoring the event at the Mighty M.
"We are really excited that Carmine
will be with us."
will join fellow Hall of Famers Buddy Gilmour and Del Insko for the Battle of the New York Legends Driving Championship.