Longshots Prevail In AHDC Trots

Published: April 30, 2022 04:17 pm EDT

It was a great day for longshot players in the $9,000 American Harness Drivers Club series trots at Freehold Raceway on Saturday (April 30) when 18-1 shot Inukchuk Chuck and driver Mark Schullstrom won the first division and John Calabrese copped the second with 13-1 shot Watkins.

In the first split driver Mark Schullstrom sent the much-traveled Inukchuk Chuck to the pylons after starting from the five hole and they didn't gain command until the 1:00.4 half. Once on top pressure came from favoured Drazzmatazz (Tony Verruso) but that challenge failed as Matt Zuccarello and Ironhead took up the chase when they passed the three-quarters in 1:30. Turning for home Inukchuk Chuck was strong and rebuffed any and all challenges and was the first home in the 2:00 mile. A late rush by Worldsstonecold As (Tony Beltrami) helped him finish second while Lionhead took home the show dough.

Schullstrom owns and trains the winner, a nine-year-old Muscles Yankee gelding.

In the second split John Calabrese left softly from the four-hole with Watkins and they settled in fourth as Trump This and Tony Verruso showed the way to the quarter in :29. But after a :58.3 first half an early move by Calabrese had Watkins showing the way past the three-quarters in 1:29.1. At that point Trump This faded and Latoka (Tony Beltrami) took up the chase but no one was going to catch the leader as Watkins put it in another gear and zipped home an oh-so-easy 11-length winner in 1:59. Latoka held second while Warrior Way garnered the show dough for Bob Hechkoff.

Michael Annunziata owns and trains Ontario Sires Stakes graduate Watkins, a 15-year-old son of Striking Sahbra who sports two wins in 11 starts this year.


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