The three-track, eight-leg trotting series sponsored by the North America Amateur Drivers Association kicked off at Monticello Raceway on Thursday afternoon, October 17. Relative newcomer to the amateur driving ranks, Dr. John Kokinos, scored his first pari-mutuel victory when he guided Impressive Earl to a 2:01 three length victory over Hardrockinjessica and driver Monica Banca.
In a race marred by a driving infraction, Kokinos sent his trotter to the lead and remained on top the entire mile. On the clubhouse turn the second time around the racing was tight and there was interference which caused the trailing horses to scatter, but all remained unscathed .
Banca and her trotter skirted the confusion as did Alan Schwartz, who worked his way between breaking horses to finish third with Two Shot Lead.
It was the fourth victory of the year for the veteran Valley Victory gelding who is owned by his trainer, Jennifer Lappe. Impressive Earl was impressive to his backers when he returned a $13.20 win payoff.
The NAADA series continues at the Mighty M on Thursday, Oct. 31 before moving on to Yonkers Raceway on Thursday, November 7, and then to Freehold Raceway on Friday, November 15.
A$14,000 Final at Yonkers Raceway on December 19 awaits the eight drivers who earn the most points in the eight preliminary legs.
At the end of the series NAADA will make its annual donation to a worthy charity.