Pennacchio Upsets In NAADA

When Joe Pennacchio's drew post eight for Thursday's (April 8) North American Amateur Drivers Association Trot at Monticello Raceway with Keystone Blade, he wasn't discouraged. Despite being sent off at 50-1 from his outside draw, the eight-year-old son of Yankee Glide delivered a decisive 1:59.2 victory.

Keystone Blade won wire-to-wire in 1:58 against similar company two weeks ago at Yonkers Raceway. Pennacchio used similar tactics in this contest, sending his veteran trotter toward the front to engage pacesetter Pound Sterling (Bob Hechkoff) through a swift :28.4 first quarter.

“When I ranged alongside Hechkoff, I could see he wasn't going to let me go, so I grabbed leather and backed my horse into the two-hole,” Pennacchio said. ”And once settled in, I just followed the leader for a ways.”

Hechkoff and Pound Sterling showed the way by the half in :59, with Keystone Blade tight on their back.

“When we headed up the backside for the second time, I moved off the pylons as the trailing horses were beginning to rally — and I didn't want to get locked in,” Pennacchio explained.

Keystone Blade moved forward heading to three-quarters, but Pound Sterling still had command when they trotted into the final turn. And when they straightened for home, Keystone Blade began to draw off for a 2-1/2-length triumph. Alan Schwartz, who followed the leaders throughout with Ladys Big Stormont, got his trotter up in the final strides to collar Pound Sterling for second.

Keystone Blade, whom Cory Stratton trains for Joe P Racing LLC, returned mutuels of $102.00, $47.00 and $18.00.