News » Aces Mark Runs Saturday at Belmont to Honor September 11 Victims
September 10, 2010
Aces Mark will be running for more than purse money when he steps into the starting gate for Belmont Park’s eighth race on Saturday, September 11.
The 6-year-old gelding will be running to honor the memory of his namesakes, Garnet “Ace” Bailey and Mark Bavis, two National Hockey League (NHL) representatives who were aboard United Airlines flight 175 when it crashed into the World Trade Center in 2001.
Lew Mongelluzzo, an Ottawa Senators scout, owns and operates Team Power Play Racing, an operation he created to combine his two favorite interests and keep the spirits of both Bailey and Bavis alive.
“Aces Mark was named to honor the memory of two extraordinary men who tragically died on 9/11,” Mongelluzzo said. “Ace Bailey and Mark Bavis left an indelible mark on the lives of everyone they touch. It’s all come full circle; everything we did for all the reasons we did it. This will be a bittersweet day for everyone involved as well as friends and colleagues. I know Ace and Mark will be with us as Aces Mark crosses the finish line on Saturday. We will all be smiling through our tears.”
Bailey, who was 53 at the time of his death, was set to begin his 33rd season in the NHL as a player or scout. An 11-year NHL veteran, he won Stanley Cup Championships as a player in 1969-70 and 1971-72 with the Boston Bruins. During the 1978-79 season, he was a line-mate of NHL all-time leading scorer Wayne Gretzky on the Edmonton Oilers. When his playing days concluded, Bailey went on to become a successful scout, helping the Oilers win five Stanley Cups in the 1980s. He later became the director of pro scouting for the Los Angeles Kings.
Bavis, who was 31 on September 11, 2001, was entering his second season as an amateur scout for the Kings. A native of the Boston-area, he played his college hockey at BostonUniversity, where his brother, Michael, is currently an assistant coach.
Aces Mark is 6-1 on the morning-line for the eighth race at Belmont on Saturday, a New York State-bred allowance race going six furlongs on the turf. It will be the 21st start of his career, with a record of 4-3-3 and earnings of $81,687. In his only previous turf start, he ran second in a claiming race at PhiladelphiaPark on July 27, 2010.
Team Power Play Racing’s ownership group includes Joel Quenneville, head coach of the current Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. On Saturday, Team Power Play’s green and gold silks will be worn by John Velazquez, leading rider at the recently concluded Saratoga Race Course meet. Aces Mark is trained by Gary Gullo.