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Amateur Scores For Schwartz, Lee

Published: October 19, 2017 8:09 pm ET

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In a week inundated with races for amateur drivers, Monticello Raceway, for the second consecutive day, programmed two amateur events on the afternoon card of October 18 after showcasing two on the previous days program.

In the NAADA contest Alan Schwartz and Ladys Big Stormont made a laugher out of it when they used the front end route to score an easy 3-1/4 length trotting triumph over Jennifer Lappe’s Fox Valley Steffen in a 2:00:1 cocking. Not to be outdone, Joe Lee used a similar route to notch an oh-so-easy 1:56 victory with Artistic Cruiser in the Catskill Club’s pacing event later on the card.

In a week which featured 12 contests through Thursday afternoon with two more to follow tonight at Yonkers Raceway. With the continuing shortage of available racing stock the amateur movement is welcomed, not only by sportsmen and women who partake of the opportunities to drive just for the fun of it, but also by the racetracks which need competitive races for their wagering clientele.

When the gate sprung in the NAADA trot Schwartz sent Ladys Big Stormont towards the front but after encountering Fox Valley Steffen and driver Jennifer Lappe Schwartz contemplated taking a hole or going for the lead, with the latter winning out.

Ladys Big Stormont got parked in a rather soft :29 first quarter before taking command. Then once on top Schwartz’s charge was comfortable by the half in 1:00. First to move was Joe Lee when he took Tim Lizzie off the pylons and moved toward the front but three lengths behind the leader was all Tim Lizzie could muster. Ladys Big Stormont drew away from his competition on the final turn and coasted home comfortably tripping the mile timer in 2:00.1.

The veteran trotter had been good earlier in the season and after a stagnant period he vaulted back to score his second consecutive triumph today.

“He had been sluggish for a handful of starts so I turned him out for 10 days on my nearby farm and he returned to his earlier season form,” Schwartz said referring to Ladys Big Stormont’s recent improvement.

Schwartz owns the winner who is trained by Rick Harp. He paid $4.20.

In the Catskill amateurs pacing event Joe Lee looked for a spot along the pylons with Artistic Cruiser after the start but couldn’t find any room.

“So, I made up my mind to go for the lead which I did,” the New York Yankee’s assistant locker room manager related. “Actually I didn’t have any other choice. But it certainly turned out to be the right move.”

After a :28.1 first quarter Lee and Artistic Cruiser gained command on the second turn and they led the field by the half in:57.4. Still strong as they passed the third stanza in 1:26.4 Artistic Cruise began to open daylight on the field and they had four lengths as they turned for home which was opened to five at the wire.

Second place went to KJ Brent, driven by Billings president, Tony Verruso. Visiting Kiwi, Gavin Cook, who competed in the NAADA vs New Zealand competition on Wednesday was offered chance to be a guest participant and he finished third here with Crown Isle.

Artistic Cruiser, a five-year-old Artistic Fella gelding, is owned and trained by Tom Milici. Sent off as the odds-on favourite, he returned a $3.60 mutuel.

(NAADA and the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club)


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