DiBenedetto wins 5,000th career race at Mighty M
July 23, 2009
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Like many who near a milestone and then seem to slump prior to accomplishing it, after a fruitless Tuesday afternoon in the sulky, Kyle DiBenedetto scored his 5,000th career driving victory Wednesday when he guided Western Wild King to a 1:58.3 triumph in a $12,700 New York Sire Stakes late-closer pace for sophomore colts and geldings at Monticello Raceway.
DiBenedetto ended last week needing four more wins for 5,000 and was anxious to get it all over with. He won the 10th and final race on the Sunday, July 19, program and though he only needed three more wins he was concerned that it might take a long time before he would score number 5,000.
But two wins came his way on Monday, and the following day, just one win shy of 5,000 victories, DiBenedetto had 11 chances on the Mighty M card to drive a winner. But the milestone eluded him that afternoon.
However, DiBenedetto went into the annals of harness racing history on Wednesday as one of approximately 70 drivers with 5.000 career wins.
After he won number 5,000 with Western Wild King, DiBenedetto was presented with a blanket that spelled out "congratulations from Monticello Raceway" in a winner's circle ceremony.
Smiling from ear to ear and receiving congratulatory hugs from his wife Robin, DiBenedetto was asked how he felt upon reaching 5,000 career wins. “Wow, I’m glad it’s all over. I feel a lot better today than I did yesterday after getting blanked in 11 races,” he said.
Now en route to his next 5,000, DiBenedetto scored win number 5,001 when he guided Winbak Fox to a 1:58 victory in the 10th race on the Wednesday card. (Monticello)