Overlooked and sent away at odds of over 6-1, Bob Hechkoff took no prisoners and went down the road with Pound Sterling to win the $9,000 American Harness Drivers Club Trot on Saturday (May 22) at Freehold Raceway.
When the wings of the mobile gate folded Hechkoff sent his trotter for the lead and they had command before the quarter in :29. In doing so, they kept Matt Zuccarello and Red Hot Herbie out in the fresh air. After Zuccarello found a hole along the pylons Pound Sterling was all alone on the lead and took the field by the halfway point in :59.1.
With no one challenging Hechkoff, Pound Sterling breezed by the third stanza in 1:29.2 and then the duo braced for trouble when they rounded the final turn. The challenge came from Paul Minore with the race favourite French Moni, with both trotters heads apart as they headed for paydirt with Pound Sterling not yielding and hanging on to the short lead. The front pair were quickly joined by 16-1 shot Fashion Possessed and driver Jake Stillwell, and it became a desperate three-horse battle to the wire. Pound Sterling hung on for the victory and although Fashion Possessed was second under the wire he was placed third and original third-place finisher French Moni was elevated to second.
Pound Sterling, an eight-year-old Muscle Hill gelding, is owned by Hechkoff's RBH Ventures. He paid $15.60 for win.
Siegelman Clinches Driving Title
Austin Siegelman continued a fantastic season at Freehold Raceway on Saturday (May 22), taking three races on the 13-race program to clinch the track's driving title.
He swept the early daily double, winning the first race in a gate-to-wire performance on Jerrytone, for owner/trainer Jim Petruccelli. In Race 2, Siegelman saved ground and got up in the last strides to win with R M Blackhawk, for owner/trainer Brandon Mongiello.
Siegelman polished off the hat trick in Race 10, winning on 14-year-old veteran Statesman N. Statesman N has now won 60 races lifetime, with earnings of more than $962,000. Yogi Sheridan is the winning owner and trainer.
With two days left before Freehold's summer break, Siegelman has wrapped up the winter/spring driving title, with 99 wins. That's 37 more than runner-up Jim Marohn Jr, who has won 63 races.
Live harness racing continues at Freehold Raceway on Friday (May 28), the final Friday of the winter/spring meet. The first race is at approximately 12:30 p.m., and there will be an early pick 4 carryover worth $1,752.
(AHDC / Freehold)