Monticello Raceway will pay tribute and honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Tuesday, Jan. 22, with its 13th annual race named for the great civil rights leader.
The Dr. King Pace features the talents of drivers of African-American heritage and it will be the first leg of the Mighty M's Heritage Drivers Series-2013.
"Once again it is our pleasure to honor the memory of the great Dr. Martin Luther King (Jr.),” said Eric Warner, the raceway's director of racing. "Again we seem to have plenty of interest in the race and we expect that our 13th edition (of this event) will be just as good, or even better, than the ones we have previously presented.”
Slated as the first race on the 13-race card, the event will feature four previous Dr. King Pace winners; Cedric Washington, Bobby Williams Jr., Dennis Watson, and George Polk Jr.
Williams, known to his friends as "Boonie," is the defending champion having won last year's Dr. King Pace with Mt. Vernon Hanover. In Tuesday's race he drew Bullville Monarch (9-2) , a 1:58.3 winner last season, and they'll start from the two hole.
Washington, who won this race in 2001, 2003 and again in 2011, will handle 4-1 rated Majesty Hanover and leave from post position three. Second in her first start this year Majesty Hanover's best win time in 2012 was 1:59.3.
Watson, coming in from Freehold N.J., won the Dr. King Pace in 2008 and has participated in nearly all the races which pay tribute to the outstanding civil rights leader. In the 13th edition he'll be up behind Ally's Delight (7-2) who's dropping down in class, and will start from post position four. And Polk, in from Dover, Del., won this event in 2010 and will drive outsider Fly Italia (10-1) and leave from post six.
But it's George Newell Jr., up from Yonkers Raceway, who has drawn the morning line favorite in JK Diamondnpearls. Moving into the five hole after three consecutive starts from post seven the Bettor's Delight mare was victorious in her last start in a time of 2:01.3
Second choice on the early line is Hannah's Creek. A 1:56.3 winner last year, the No Pan Intended mare is dropping down in class and will start from the coveted pole position with James O'Farrow aboard.
Rounding out the field of drivers are Paul Moore and Dennis Washington. The former has drawn Mary Lou (6-1 on the morning line) and will leave from post seven while the latter will handle 12-1 rated B Major from the eight hole.
Post time for Tuesday's 13- race card is 12:25 p.m. (Monticello)