Hechkoff, Sheridan Win Amateur Trots At Philly

Horses behind the starting gate at Harrah's Philadelphia

Bob Hechkoff brushed to the lead and rushed clear while Yogi Sheridan powered off a pocket trip with their respective trotters to take a pair of $9,900 American Harness Drivers Club (AHDC) divisions at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Sunday, Dec. 17.

Southwind Frost, driven by Hechkoff, stormed uncovered to an open-length romp in the first AHDC division, trotting the mile in 1:56.3.

Getting away fourth with Southwind Frost, Hehckoff stayed steady off a battle on the lead between Brownie (John Calabrese) and even-money favourite Lionhead (Yogi Sheridan) parked on the rim. The pair battled through a :27.4 first quarter and :57.2 half before Lionhead started to falter in the backstretch.

Southwind Frost caught brief cover but promptly vaulted by the tiring Lionhead to three-quarters in 1:26.4 and scurried from the competition through the turn. Widening through the lane, Southwind Frost crossed the beam 7-1/2 lengths better than Train (Anthony Verruso) closing for second. Puddin N Pie (Frank Tsipouras) kicked from last for third and Brownie held fourth.

Michael Fiumenero conditions Southwind Frost, a seven-year-old gelding by E L Titan, for owner R B H Ventures Inc. He paid $5.20 to win.

Sheridan converted a two-hole trip to a winner’s circle visit with Drazzmatazz in a 1:59.1 mile in the second AHDC division.

With LA Magic (Tony Beltrami) bolting for the lead to a :28.2 first quarter, Sheridan perched Drazzmatazz from post six and into the pocket. LA Magic plodded through a :59.4 half and bore a barrage first from Warrior Way (Wyatt Long), who faltered up the backstretch, and then from Keystone Apache as he blitzed from three-wide to cross over and challenge for the lead.

Keystone Apache broke stride by three-quarters in 1:30, leaving LA Magic to fend off Drazzmatazz, as he pulled pocket, and Shoemaker Hanover (John Calabrese), as he charged three-wide. Drazzmatazz grabbed the lead in the stretch and pushed to a 1-1/2-length win over LA Magic while Shoemaker Hanover levelled off in third. Dingle (Frank Tsipouras) gave chase in fourth.

Dawn Anderson trains Drazzmatazz, a 10-year-old gelding by RC Royalty, for owner Danbry Racing Inc. He paid $16.80 to win.

Just one more leg remains for the AHDC Fall Trotting Series with the 16th preliminary on Saturday, Dec. 23 at Freehold Raceway. The Fall Trotting Series final will take place at Harrah’s Philadelphia on New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31).

(With files from AHDC)

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