Schwartz wins NAADA leg at Monticello
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The third leg of the North American Amateur Drivers’ Association spring trotting series was contested at Monticello Raceway on a pleasant Thursday afternoon. When the judges declared the race official, Alan Schwartz and his sturdy charge Ladys Big Stormont ($6.10), emerged victorious.
Sent off as the second choice in the seven-horse field, the 8-year-old Earl Of Stormont gelding turned back six rivals for an easy triumph in 2:01:2.
Claimed by Schwartz for $12,500 four years ago, the victory was the 38th for the trotter, who has amassed over $310,000 in purse money through his illustrious career.
Schwartz sent Ladys Big Stormont to the lead after they started from post four. They had command midway around the first turn, but they were challenged by Joe Faraldo and Tough Get Going who ranged up on the outside. It was at this point that Schwartz had to make a decision.
“My horse races best when he’s on the front end but I didn’t want to get in a speed duel with Faraldo, so I let him go and then retook,” Schwartz said.
The quarter time was a relatively soft :29.3, but once on the lead, both horse and driver seemed comfortable.
They trotted by the half in 1:00.3, and Ladys Big Stormont was easily in command as they passed the third stanza in 1:31.2.
“On the (final) turn I glanced back and saw the betting favorite Permanent Joy (Bob Krivelin) in third place, but when he rounded the final turn, my horse was still strong and we coasted to an easy 2 1/2-length victory,” Schwartz explained.
Permanent Joy finished second while Tough Get Going held on for the show dough.
It was the 610th driving victory for Schwartz, who owns and trains the winner as well.
Now with three legs of the 10-leg series contested, there has been a different winning driver in each event. At the series end, the top three point-earning reinsmen in the preliminaries will vie for a chance to represent NAADA in an international amateur driving competition in Italy later this year. (John Manzi/NAADA)