Hot Pistol guns to 5th straight at Monticello
March 07, 2012
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Hot Pistol had a new driver Tuesday at Monticello Raceway but it didn't matter. The pacer won for the fifth consecutive time this season in a seasonal best of 1:58.1.
Mike Merton handled the driving chores for owners Antonio and Maria Grillo and like Jimmy Marohn Jr. had done in the pacer's four previous trips to post, Merton got the Incredible Finale gelding home first.
In a season where local horses Sand E Fiftyfive and Imposter A have strung together an inordinate amount of victories Hot Pistol now joins the duo with his fifth win in six seasonal starts.
After staring slowly Merton moved his charge to the outside as the field headed for the halfway point and they were relegated to stay on the limb from there to the wire. In third position at the top of the lane Hot Pistol rallied in the final strides to score yet another victory.
"They were going pretty good up the backstretch so I just let my horse cruise along and when we rounded the final turn I shook the whip at him and he dug in and a paced by the leaders, " Merton said after his driving victory. Mr. Grillo made a good claim here.” (Grillo claimed him for $5,000 on Feb. 9).
Up in class and dismissed at odds of 3-1, Hot Pistol paid $8 for win.
In an earlier race the bargain basement pacer Doug's Boy got up in the final strides for owner-driver Alan Schwartz to score a head triumph in 1:58. Now in seven starts this season the 11-year-old Cambest gelding has four wins and three seconds.
Last year Doug's Boy, a mere $1,000 purchase for Schwartz in the late fall of 2010, amassed 13 victories, four seconds and 11 thirds in 39 starts and earned over $27,000. However, in his younger days Doug's Boy was a winner of over $150,000 with a personal best of 1:54.1.
"In 2010 most thought the old guy was washed up since he only had two starts and was not the soundest individual," said Schwartz. "He was offered for sale and nobody seemed to want him but I took a chance and bought him since he had some class when he was a young horse. And it's unbelievable what has transpired since then. He's not the easiest horse to get along with but once you get him to the gate he‘s all business. I'd love to buy 10 more just like him.”
Doug's Boy continued with his patented come-from-behind charge and zoomed by the field to score a head victory over Smarty Merit and Mike Forte. Sent off the 9-10 favorite Doug's Boy paid $3.80 for win. (Monticello)