Lord Cromwell and driver Jason Bartlett left no doubt as to the best horse in the $17,747 Landmark Series for 3-year-old trotting colts on Monday afternoon (July 3) at Goshen Historic Track. They led the field at every fraction (:30.3, 1:01.1, 1:30) to win by 10-3/4 lengths in 1:59.1. The winners of the other seven divisions were Keystone Phoenix, Coach Cummings, Make Music K, Real Rayenbow, Reverend Nanny, Give Up The Ghost and Outtatheballpark.
"He’s got to go to Buffalo (for New York Sire Stakes) on Sunday so it was kind of a nice mile for him," said trainer Ed Hart. "He’s very good on a half, he showed that at Freehold (winning the Dexter Cup on May 6). He’s quick, he gets around the turns super. He’s not eligible to the Hambletonian (Aug. 5 at The Meadowlands). We didn’t keep him eligible to a whole lot this year. He had problems last year, started off slow; he got sick, we gelded him and we had a real problem. He almost died, but he’s come around."
Lord Cromwell was bred and is owned by Carolyn Atherton. Cash N Chrome (Brian Connor) was second and Icanflylikeanangel (Jordan Stratton) was third.
In the first division of the Billings Series for amateur drivers, Robert Ciavardini returned to his original profession after several decades working in the construction business, winning one of the $5,000 trots with his own Baltimore As.
Ciavardini got Baltimore As, an 8-year-old son of Credit Winner, off the gate to the lead at the :30 first quarter and was overtaken by the half by Pocket Passer and Anthony Verruso who held the lead at the 1:00.3 half and the 1:31.4 three-quarters. Ciavardini overtook the leaders in the stretch for the win by 3-1/4 lengths in 2:02.3.
Pocket Passer was second and Zorgwijk Impact (Joe Pennacchio) was third.
"I was in this business in 1968 as a groom at Roosevelt and went on to do it full time, got my trainer’s license, driver’s license for about 20 years," Ciavardini said. "Then in about 1988, I was offered a real job, working construction. I worked for one company in New York City, retired in Aug. of 2016, decided to have some fun.
"I joined the amateurs, bought a couple trotters, me, my brother and my wife. I have a couple trotters with (trainer) Tommy Merton. I decided maybe I’ll try it again. I wasn’t even thinking of driving, I was just thinking of having a horse to fool around with. But little by little, I saw these amateurs, which we didn’t have when I was in it; I thought I’d try it. My wife thought I was crazy, my kids thinks I’m nuts. But it’s fun, I didn’t drive for 27 years, but about a month ago I got my first drive. I think this my fifth. Right now, I’m having a ball."
Coach Cummings and trainer/driver/owner Ray Schnittker won the $11,150 Landmark Stake for 2-year-old trotting colts wire-to-wire in 2:04.2, but the connections of second place finisher Two Six (Jason Bartlett) were delighted with his runner-up spot, back 4-1/4 lengths from the winner and more than 16 lengths ahead of third place finisher Mass Confession (Marcus Miller).
Unlike many of his fellow juvenile trotters, there was no particular science behind Two Six’s bloodlines, says owner Ann Mari Daley, who was trackside at Goshen while her husband, trainer Dan Daley, is recovering at home from injuries in a racing accident two weeks ago.
"His mommy was my 2-year-old, Royal Moxie, and his father (Thanks For Playin) was a 2-year-old out in the field with yearlings when she was a yearling," said Daley. "They met and fell in love and had a baby. This happened before I bought her. We were training her down in Florida (as a 2-year-old) and she kept coming up flat at the end of the mile and Dan wondered what this is.
"Dr. Caputo checked her over and first we thought it was cancer because there was a mass. Then he came back to ultrasound her and he saw the mass move. She was getting ready to foal. We foaled out a cute little colt and here he is. He’s not staked to anything, but we paid him into the Landmark and the Reynolds and a few others. He is a good-looking colt and all he wants to do is trot, knock wood."
The Landmark Stakes were highlighted by three wins on the program for Schnittker and an impressive showing by the first crop of pacing stallion So Surreal.
The Landmark Stakes for 2-year-old pacing colts went to Real Ravenbow, wire-to-wire in 1:57.4. He is a So Surreal colt trained and owned by Janice Connor, along with Arden Homestead Stable and Crawford Farms Racing.
Damion Diesel Hahn, another colt by So Surreal, was second in the Landmark and Thrill Of Thechase, yet another So Surreal, was fourth.
The final day of racing resumes at Goshen on July 4 at 1 p.m. for New York county fair racing.--By Ellen Harvey/Harness Racing Communications