Who can win Monticello Raceway's "Not-Quite Presidential" Pace on Presidents Day, Feb. 17?
The race appears to be so wide open that even John Flynn, the tracks longtime morning line odds-maker, pondered over the decision as to who he should make the favorite.
"It may be a field of lesser caliber pacers but wow, I had a hard time deciding who should be the early line favorite," Flynn said. "The more I looked over the field (of horses) the more I thought it could be anyone's race (to win)."
After constantly reviewing the eight -horse field Flynn's eyes finally centered on Red Carpet Tonight and Space Chalet, and when he made his final decision the former got posted as the favorite at odds of 5-2 while the latter was second choice at 3-1.
Top Philadelphia lawyer and prominent horse owner, Howard "Zachary" Taylor, will make the trek up from the city of Brotherly Love to drive the favorite while Saratoga Raceway's racing secretary, Don "Herbert" Hoover will handle the driving chores behind Space Chalet.
Although the aforementioned are considered the favorites in the race anyone of the other six other pacers have an equally good chance at visiting the winners circle according to Flynn.
Even the number eight horse, Act of Heaven, driven by Dennis "George" Washington, was rated 7-2 on the morning line by Flynn.
"This should be a great betting race because there are no clear-cut favorites," Flynn added.
Even the Mighty M's director of racing Eric Warner concurs with Flynn, who is also the tracks program director.
"This is one of the most evenly-matched field of horses we've had in quite some time," Warner said. "It should be a good battle and with no standouts in the race the horse that gets the best trip will probably be the winner."
Other drivers in the event include: "Harry", J. Scott "Zachary" Taylor, George "James K." Polk, Jr., Cedric "George" Washington and .
For the record, the drivers competing in the "Not-Quite Presidential" Pace have the same names as U.S. Presidents, save one,. Nevertheless his family line fits the race conditions since his grandfather-four or five generations removed-Elbridge Thomas Gerry, not only was a signer of the Declaration of Independence but he was also the fifth vice president of the United States serving in the second term of President James Madison.
The Not Quite Presidential" Pace is slated as race number nine on the Presidents Day,(Feb. 17) 10-race program. First post will be at 12:25PM with 3:45PM the approximate post time for the featured event.
by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway