When Monticello Raceway presents its 13th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Pace, a race which features the talents of African-American drivers on Tuesday afternoon, January 22, last year’s champ, Bobby Williams, Jr. will be back to defend his title.
The Dr. King Pace is not only Monticello Raceway’s annual tribute to the great civil rights leader but the race will be the first leg of the tracks 2013 Heritage Drivers Series.
Five years ago Jimmy Marohn, Jr. was the recipient of the Monticello- Goshen Chapter USHWA’s Rising Star Award. And to say that he’s living up to that accolade would be an understatement.
This past season young Jimmy not only won his first driving title at Monticello Raceway but the 29 year reinsman was, for the second consecutive season, the driving leader at Tioga Downs.
Looks are deceiving. Case in point: the dead-heat victory in the 12th race yesterday (Jan.8) at Monticello Raceway.
At a glance it appears that the number 2 horse Hi Sir and driver Stephane Bouchard to be at least a ½ -length winner. But in reality the horse on the far outside Distinct Color (4), with Rick Dane aboard, got up in the final strides to dead-heat Hi Sir in a time of 1:58.
Two new names, Jimmy Marohn, Jr. and Danny Gill, adorned the leading driver and trainers categories at Monticello Raceway during the 2012 season.
Marohn finished with 271 wins for his first title here at the Mighty M. During the 2012 racing season young Jimmy drove 345 winners which was his best year to date. Of that total 68 wins were at Tioga Downs where he drove mostly on the days when Monticello was dark. Still, his 68 winners earned him the driving title at Tioga and it marked the second consecutive year that the diminutive reinsman won the most races there.
Jimmy Marohn, Jr. had a big year in the sulky in 2012. The diminutive reinsman scored his first ever driving title at Monticello Raceway when he finished the season with 271 wins, some 15 better than runner-up Billy “Zeke” Parker’s 256.
Earlier this year, during the summer meet at Tioga Downs, Marohn raked -in his second consecutive dash-win title there and now after garnering the Mighty M crown one wonders how long it’ll be before he moves on to the bigger offerings at the racetracks in metropolitan New York.
After racing in the afternoon of Monday, December 31 Monticello Raceway will commence its 56th season of live harness racing on New Year’s Day, Tuesday, January 1, 2013 and programs will follow on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday that week.
After the Friday card of January 4 it will be back to the normal four- day-a-week schedule of Mondays through Thursdays, with one exception; the raceway will be dark on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday, January 21.
All post times during the month of January will be at 12:25pm.