Monticello, NY --- Mike Forte will handle the favorite in Monticello Raceway’s Godfather Pace on Tuesday afternoon (Oct. 29), but in order to have a repeat victory in the event he’ll have to win with Kevin’s Apple from the eight hole.
The Godfather Pace, for drivers of Italian ancestry, will be the seventh leg of the Mighty M’s Heritage Drivers Series.
Last year Forte guided Velvety Smooth to an event record time of 1:58.2. This year he pins his hopes on the Dave Barrett-trained pacer Kevin's Apple, who owns a seasonal mark of 1:58.2.
Besides having to start on the far outside, Forte and Kevin’s Apple can expect trouble from Southwind Maize and driver Rock Vinci from the pole position. A three-time winner this year with a seasonal mark of 1:56.1, Southwind Maize rallied from seventh to be second in his previous start. Last year Vinci finished second to Forte in the Godfather Pace and will be looking for payback.
Also expected to not go quietly is Johnny Desimone, Jr. with Tidewater Moses. A consistent sort, Tidewater Moses has a win and a second in his last three outings.
"It looks like a very competitive race with driving strategy and racing luck determining the winner," noted Eric Warner, the track’s director of racing.
Other drivers in this year’s Godfather Pace include Sam Sbarra, John Plutino, Matt Zuccarello, Bob Pettito and Dave Russo.
The winning driver of this event will join the winners of the other preliminary legs in the ethnic series finale. Those who have already earned a berth in the All America Cup include Dennis Watson (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Pace), Jimmy Marohn, Jr. (St. Paddy Pace); Bobby Krivelin (Passover Pace), Veronica Merton (The Lady Godiva) and Kyle -- his mother was English -- DiBenedetto (Mayflower Mile).
The Godfather Pace will be the fifth race on the Tuesday (Oct. 29) card. A final ethnic driver series contest, the Maple Leaf Mile for drivers of Canadian heritage, is slated for mid-November.