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Driver’s First Win After Bad Accident

Published: September 25, 2013 10:59 am ET

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Mike Forte hadn’t won a race at Monticello Raceway – or anywhere for that matter – since May 30. But on Tuesday, September 24 at Monticello Raceway he not only won one race, but he recorded two driving victories.

One might think that Forte had lengthy dry spell or he had been in a very long slump. However, neither is correct.

Back on June 3 Mike Forte was in a horrific accident in a trotting race that was so bad that no horses finished the race. Although no horses were badly hurt, Forte was.

The veteran driver sustained a broken left wrist and four painfully broken ribs.

“They (the broken ribs) are so painful that it takes the wind right out of you. It’s hard to breathe,” Forte related. “And the broken wrist was no picnic, either.”

However, after a long recuperation, Forte returned to the ‘Mighty M’ driving colony where he has been among the track’s leading reinsmen over the past decade.

“When I got back I started out slow and I was trying to get comfortable in the sulky again,” he said. “It took a little time, but now I’m back and feeling good and the two winners I drove today helped my spirits a lot.”

On Tuesday at Monticello, Forte won the second race with 14-1 longshot Rozewood ($30.50) in 1:56.2 and captured the fourth race with Broule Hanover ($6.50) in 2:00.

“I can’t tell you what those wins meant to me. Somehow winning sure helps me forget how hard the racetrack was,” Forte added with a chuckle. “I’m beginning to feel like myself again.”

When Forte was sidelined he had been sitting fourth on the track’s driving leaderboard with 53 wins.

“I don’t have a big stable and I do a lot of catch driving, and just in the past two weeks I’ve been getting those assignments again. And winning surely helps.”

(With files from Monticello)

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