Big day at Monticello for Mike "Fourte"
March 22, 2013
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In December of 2011, less than 15 months ago, Mike Forte reined his 3,000th career winner and finished that season with 155 driving victories. Last year his output was even greater when he won another 216 times.
Off to an unusually soft start this year, Forte may now have snapped out of his doldrums after reining four winners on Thursday at Monticello Raceway.
"You know how it is,” he says,” sometimes you get the bear and sometimes the bear gets you. True, I'm off to a slower start than usual but things will change. They always do. Winning four races sure is good for my moral. Now maybe things will now continue to get better?”
Although Forte's 31 seasonal wins ranks him eighth on the local leaderboard, his current UDR of .175 is far below his norm.
"I think things will pick up now that other tracks are opening and some of the guys who have been getting the live mounts move on,” he added.
On Thursday, Forte had his best day thus far this season. He won four races, had one second and one third-place finish in seven starts.
Forte made his first drive of the day a winning one when he guided Joe Omboni Jr.'s Shando Hanover ($3.60) to a 2:01.4 score in the third race. Starting in race nine Forte strung together three consecutive victories. He scored with Ruth Ingram's Syncro's Z Tam ($21.40) in 2:02.1 in the ninth and then copped the 10th with Brett Smith's trotter Contract Hit in 2:02.2. That victory put a smile on the longshot players faces—and maybe their pocketbooks-- when Contract Hit returned across the board mutuel payoffs of $91, $35.20, and $12.60.
Forte's fourth and final winner of the afternoon was behind Dennis Lacey's pacer, Totally Perfect ($6.40) when Forte found racing room along the pylons in the deep stretch for a 2:01.3 victory.
With his four winners on Thursday, Forte now has 3,241 career driving victories. (Monticello)