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
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 Boston
University, 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 Philadelphia Park 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.