Michigan Colt Stakes a success

Gemini Eddie and driver Wally McIlmurray Jr. race towards a first place finish on Monday. (Pioneer photo/Maxwell Harden)

BIG RAPIDS — Horse racing at the Mecosta County Agricultural Free Fair has long been a local pastime.

This year’s Michigan Colt Stakes event at the Mecosta County Fairgrounds was no exception.

Fans from across West Michigan gathered to watch the 13-race harness racing event, which was made possible by several event workers. The event workers are all volunteers, with the revenue generated used to fund the following year’s fair.

“I’ve been involved with the races for almost 20 years,” event coordinator Matt Currie said. “I started out kind of interning as a teenager and have slowly have taken over. It’s a lot of work but I have a lot of help too.

“One person can’t do this.”

For Currie — a veteran harness racer, himself — The size of the track and the age of the horses are part of what makes this harness racing event unique.

“It’s different than the big track because a lot of the horses are babies. The best horse doesn’t always win, which makes things unpredictable.”

The harness racing fun continues tomorrow with the 20th-annual Celebrity Harness Race.

“It only comes to town once a year,” Currie said. “It’s not something available every week. It’s neat that they can come down to the fairgrounds and watch it.”

Monday’s winner’s results by race-horse-driver-purse: Two-Year-Old Filly Trot, Rompaway Liberty, Brad Kramer ($3,137); Two-Year-Old Filly Trot Second Division, Miss Mini Missions, Tim Roach, ($3,137); Two-Year-Old Colt Trot, Trouble For All, Larry Smith ($3,137); Two-Year-Old Colt Trot Second Division,Gemini Eddie, Wally, McIllmurray Jr. ($3,137),  Two-Year-Old Filly Pace,  Play For Keeps, Darrell Wright ($3,137); Two-Year-Old Filly Pace Second Division, Kwantum Key, Brad Kramer ($3,137);Two-Year-Old Colt Pace, Matty’s Legacy, Rick Dobson ($3,137); Two-Year-Old Colt Pace Second Division, Catch Me Conrad, Kim Pluta ($3,137); Three-Year-Old Filly Trot, Slap Shot Begonia, Wally McIlmurray Jr. ($3,013); Three-Year-Old Filly Trot Second Division, Sunset Acres Jamie, Carl Putnam Jr. ($3,013); Three-Year-Old Colt Trot, Henry D, Jerry Seekman, ($3,262); Three-Year-Old Colt Trot Second Division, Monster Toy, Jerry Seekman, ($3,262); Three-Year-Old Filly Pace, Thornapple, Brad Kramer ($6,025); Three-Year-Old Colt Pace, Madisons Max, David Lake ($5,525)

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