The three-track, eight-leg trotting series sponsored by the North America Amateur Drivers Association kicked off at Monticello Raceway on Thursday afternoon, October 17. Relative newcomer to the amateur driving ranks, Dr. John Kokinos, scored his first pari-mutuel victory when he guided Impressive Earl to a 2:01 three length victory over Hardrockinjessica and driver Monica Banca.
There’s something eerie concerning a final winning time of 1:57.1 here at Monticello Raceway especially when it comes to 3 year old trotting geldings.
Three 3-year old geldings co-hold that track record standard and one, Ex King, again equaled that time yesterday (Oct. 16) when Dan Daley hustled him to his second Mighty M victory in the exact time of 1:57.1.
Over the decades the Monticello-Goshen Chapter USHWA has held annual awards banquets to celebrate the accomplishments, both human and equine, at Monticello Raceway and Historic Track. Along with those accolades the scribes have also honored special individuals whose contributions to the sport have been exceptional.
Tom Charters, president and chief executive officer of the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown, will be the recipient of this year’s Monticello-Goshen Chapter USHWA’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the chapter’s upcoming banquet in mid-November.
Beginning on Thursday, October 17 the North American Amateur Drivers Association’s Three-Track Fall Trotting Series will kick off with a $4000 event at Monticello Raceway on Thursday, October 17 followed by contests at both Yonkers and Freehold Raceways. The series will culminate with a $14,000 Final at Yonkers Raceway on December 19.
Besides the Oct. 17th date at Monticello there will also be two other $4000 preliminary legs--October 31, and December 6- while the Yonkers prelims
The Irish, the Jewish, the African-Americans, the Germans, the Brits, and even the ladies, now have a representative in Monticello Raceway’s final of the Heritage Drivers Series as a result of winning their ethnic preliminary legs earlier this year. And after a winner is declared in the track’s Godfather Pace slated for Wednesday, October 23 so will the Italians.
Mike Forte won last year’s Godfather Pace with Velvety Smooth over True Gritty and driver Rock Vinci in a series fastest 1:58.2.
It seems that nearly every year young talent passes through Monticello Raceway. Of course many racetracks can make that claim but since its inception the Mighty M has been a stepping stone into the metropolitan New York-area racetracks.
When it comes to harness racing Mike Kimelman is a man for all seasons. He’s the president of Blue Chip Farms, a member of the Goshen Historic Track Board of Directors as well as a member of the Standardbred Owners Association of NY and a U.S.T.A. District Director since 2002. He has also trained and driven harness horses and occasionally still does.
The first leg of the international German-American Friendship competition took place at Monticello Raceway on Wednesday (Oct. 2) with two races carded on the 13 race card and after they were completed Alan Schwartz took home the trophies in each contest.
The visiting Germans are guests of the North American Amateur Drivers Association will also drive against a different NAADA line-up at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday night.
However, the Americans weren’t too hospitable to their visiting friends at Monticello, especially Schwartz.
On the warm and balmy fall afternoon of October 2 Monticello Raceway presented its ninth edition of the Munich Mile, the sixth leg of the tracks year long Heritage Drivers Series. The race was for drivers of German descent and was enhanced this year by the presence of four native German drivers.