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Clear Vision As Classy As They Get

Published: May 26, 2017 12:01 am ET

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John Kokinos is the first to admit that coming up with that ‘special’ horse isn’t easy and that’s why he feels blessed to have a horse like Molson Pace starter Clear Vision in his stable.

The son of Western Hanover has banked more than $2.7 million and at age 11 shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, he’s earned more than $130,000 this season with a 4-3-3 record from 13 starts.

“He’s a horse that I would have never imagined ending up in our barn,” said Kokinos, who trains the veteran pacer with wife, Jennifer Lappe. “He’s a horse that will have a home for a lifetime. He’s easily the best horse I’ve ever been around.”

Clear Vision spent the majority of his career in the Ron Burke barn, before ending up with Kokinos and Lappe.

“We put a deal together to purchase Bettors Edge through agent Marc Reynolds and I kept asking him if Clear Vision was for sale. To be honest, I thought it would never happen, but I got a call a month later from Marc starting that Clear Vision was available. We quickly jumped at the chance and were overwhelmed to get a horse of his calibre.”

The speedy pacer made 201 starts prior to moving into the Kokinos barn with the majority of those races at the highest level.

“There have been times that I have gone back and watched some of his replays and I still have a hard time believing he’s in our barn,” he said with a chuckle. “When you see the big trips he’s gone and the horses he’s raced against - it’s unbelievable. He’s raced in pretty much every stake race that has been offered in North America.”

Kokinos and Lappe own the 37-time winner with first-time owner Bob Santagata.

“I’m a large animal veterinarian by trade and Bob and his wife own and operate a horse ranch and are a client of mine,” the 53-year-old said. “Bob has always sounded interested in standardbred racing and decided to come on board with Bettors Edge and Clear Vision.”

It didn’t take long for Santagata to enjoy the thrill of winning.

“It was their first trip to The Meadowlands and they were in the dining room and Bettors Edge won in 1:49.4. They were hooked after that. It’s great to see new owners enjoying our sport.” said Kokinos.

As for Clear Vision, Kokinos says the 11-year-old couldn’t be coming into the Molson Pace much better.

“He had a really good week, but he doesn’t do much in between starts,” he said. “He’s pretty easy on himself and we’re easy on him. He won’t impress you when he’s jogging, but when you put the hopples on him he shows you a completely different side of him. He’s all business.”

Kokinos has also studied the program for Friday night and likes what he sees on paper.

“It’s hard to say how the race is going to unfold because the eight horse trails and that could change the complexion a little,” he said. “I like that we drew inside (post three) and we’ll likely race from off-the-pace. Brett Miller has told me that he’s the type of horse that likes to be first-over and that doesn’t bother me. I wouldn’t be surprised if that happened. I do feel Bit Of A Legend is the horse to beat.”

The field for the Molson Pace will line up as follows:

1. Bit Of A Legend ($1,525,011) – Jordan Stratton
2. Rockin In Heaven ($548,971) – Trevor Henry
3. Clear Vision ($2,703,859) – Brett Miller
4. Fool Me Once ($963,778) – Doug McNair
5. Evenin Of Pleasure ($773,857) – Sylvain Filion
6. Sunfire Blue Chip ($1,181,939) – Mark MacDonald
7. Rockin Ron ($665,988) – Matt Kakaley
8. Night Pro ($738,432) – Bob McClure

First race post is 7:05 p.m. For more information, visit www.molsonpace.com.

(The Raceway at Western Fair District)


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