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Cory Stratton Records First Win

Published: May 10, 2010 2:09 pm ET

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Harness racing’s greatest travelling sideshow, the C.K.G. Billings Harness Driving Championship, moved on to the Meadowlands on Sunday, May 9 with two 10-horse trots in Eastern Region competition; one on the betting card and the other as non-wagering affair prior to first-race post time. Winners included Rob 'Rapid Rail' Krivelin and Cory 'The Teenager' Stratton.

Stratton’s 1:59:2 triumph on the betting card with Invocation was not only his first pari-mutuel win but it placed him among a scant few who have scored their maiden victory at the 'Big M.' The younger brother of Jordon Stratton and all of 17 years old, Cory is following in his brothers footsteps, beginning his career in the amateur ranks.

In his split, which was the first race on the betting card, Cory sent his trotter for the lead and once in command they sailed to a wire-to-wire, one and a half-length victory over Whispur, who was driven by Simeon 'Hot Rod' Hunsdon. Tony 'The Capo' Verruso finished third with favoured Yankee Frenzi after making a break on the first turn.

Asked how he felt about breaking his maiden at the Meadowlands, the youngster replied, “It was a great feeling, but I really wanted to win my first (pari-mutuel) race at my home track (Monticello Raceway).”

He then continued to speak about his driving victory. “My horse is good on a big track and I felt fairly confident going into the race (starting) from the two-hole. But when three horse (Yankee Frenzy) made a break in the turn I felt even better. And when we were headed for home I knew it was all mine.”

For Krivelin, who scored his sixth seasonal victory and 114th of his career, winning races at the Meadowlands is nothing new. In 2003 he won a preliminary leg of the Hambletonian Oaks with his good trotting filly Rapid Rail and the following week they came back to finish second in the $500,000 Hambo Oaks final.

On Sunday Krivelin bided his time with Heros Delilah before moving three-deep off the final turn. The duo rallied to a one-length victory in 2:00:2 over Lively Man and Robert 'Blue N' Gray. 'Coach Paul' Minore took home the show dough with Mymomsablizzard.

Billings action will continue on Sunday May 16 at Hoosier Park strictly for members of the Midwestern Region.


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