Over the years, Monticello Raceway has produced a number of harness driving superstars.

Over the years, Monticello Raceway has produced a number of harness driving superstars.

Hall of Famers Cat Manzi, who is second in North America for driving wins, and Carmine Abbodiello both broke in their reins there.

Monticello native George Brennan, a leading driver at the nation's richest track, the Meadowlands, also started in the Catskills.

But a young hotshot is the talk of the paddock these days, and he hopes to one day be remembered among the best.

Jordan Stratton, 19, is in just his first year driving professionally, but he already ranks seventh at Monticello Raceway.

He drives all his dad's horses at Yonkers Raceway as well as the horses of Bob Beauregard, a family friend and a top trainer at Monticello.

Beauregard, who has been training for 30 years, gives Stratton high marks, and said it's uncommon to see a driver have so much success at such a young age.

"He is a very good driver. He is very mature for his age. Not too much shakes him. He is driving against some very good drivers here. He is patient. He lets the horse tell him what to do. He doesn't come with a set plan. A set plan doesn't work in racing ... He is getting better and better. He has the right disposition for it. He has come leaps and bounds."

Stratton sat down recently to share his thoughts on his success at a young age.

How did you get involved in racing?

Racing is in the family. Both my father David and Uncle Peter train. I have been helping my dad around the farm ever since I can remember. I started regularly jogging horses myself at age 11 and grooming them at age 14.

When did you know this is what you wanted to do?

When I was 11.

Where are you from?

I was born in Michigan and raised in Ohio.

When did you move to Monticello and why?

My dad moved his training outfit from the northwest Ohio circuit of Northfield and Scioto Downs in 2005 to Otisville. He races at Monticello and Yonkers.

What does your normal day consist of?

I wake up at 7 a.m. to help my dad train his horses at Mount Hope Training Center near Otisville. I race horses during the day at Monticello and then drive my dad's horses at night in Yonkers.

Greatest accomplishment?

I helped train Noble Cam, my dad's Ohio Stakes sire winner at age 2 and 3.

Which drivers have helped you the most?

Claude Huckabone and Stephane Bouchard.

What are some skills a good driver needs?

Position. You have to keep your horse in good position while keeping an eye out for the other horses and keeping yours going. It takes a lot of muscle to hold back your horse while it tugs on you. You need to keep a level head.

What are some of the best horses you are driving?

King Cat Avril N, Noble Cam and Handsome Jate. I own Handsome Jate. My dad bought the horse at a 2-year-old sale for $10,000 and gave it to me for working for him one summer. (Handsome Jate has won more than $126,000 as of last Sunday.)

If you weren't driving horses, what would you be doing?

Something in computers.

What other sports do you like?

None. Just harness racing.

Who do you look up to the most?

My dad and probably Brian Sears (one of the best drivers in the country).

What is your main goal?

To eventually be a top driver at Monticello, Yonkers and the Meadowlands.