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Amateurs Battle At Mighty M

Published: July 14, 2016 9:01 pm ET

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For the past five weeks at Monticello Raceway Thursdays have featured races driven by amateur drivers. And July 14th was no exception.

Two trots in the NAADA Series were carded as well as a pace in the Catskill Club’s Amateur Series. When it was all over Alan Schwartz and Peter Kleinhans were each victorious in their respective NAADA splits while “Hurricane Hannah” Miller copped the Catskill Club’s pace.

Schwartz led the NAADA brigade winning his division with Ladys Big Stormont in an eye-opening 1:57.2 over Bob Hechkoff’s The Franchise.

When the wings of the mobile gate folded Schwartz gunned his recent purchase to the lead and took no prisoners. Ladys Big Stormont, whom Schwartz claimed last week for $12,500, zipped by the first stanza in a stiff :28. Still comfortably in hand they were two lengths in front as they trotted by the half in :57.3. Although Bob Hechkoff and The Franchise enjoyed a two-hole journey they were outclassed when the field turned for home as Schwartz’s charge drew off to a two-length victory. Third place went to Woody, driven by Joe Lee.

“I just claimed him here last week and he sure has a lot of trot, but he’s a handful. He grabs on when jogging and is tough behind the gate and when scoring down he’s on the muscle but he’s got a big engine,” Schwartz said referring to Ladys Big Stormont. “So I'll have to put up with his ways.”

Trained by Raheim Strong, Ladys Big Stormont scored his sixth seasonal triumph and paid $4.30 for win.

The next NAADA trot on the Thursday card saw Peter Kleinhans send Toss Cartwright to the lead in after the half and then jog away to nine-length triumph over Typical New Yorker and driver Alan Schwartz.

Kleinhans and Toss Cartwright didn’t see the pylons until they wrested the lead from Tony Verruso and Up Front N Crazy as the two trotters passed the halfway point. Then surprisingly, even to Kleinhans, his trotter began to open daylight on the field and they cruised home an oh-so-easy winner over Typical Newyorker. Up Front N Crazy took home the show dough for Tony Verruso.

“When we passed the half in :57.4 I thought he’d (Toss Cartwright) be tired but I was I pleasantly surprised to see us run away with the race,” Kleinhans said. “This is my girlfriend’s horse and I wish she could have been here today to see him win today.”

Owned by Collene Cash and trained by John McDermott, Toss Cartwright paid $4.80 for win.

Amateur racing’s current leading driver, “Hurricane Hannah” Miller, scored her 18th seasonal victory when she guided Stoman to a wire to wire triumph in a 1:56.1 clocked mile in the Catskill Club’s pace. But victory didn’t come easy.

When the starter said go Miller sent Stoman to the front from the pole position but she had pressing company from Late Night Flight and driver Monica Banca. Their horses raced head to head past the quarter pole in a swift :27.2, that was until Miller opened a hole behind her for Banca’s pacer to fall into, which Monica did. But by then Ms. Miller had little hope of giving Stoman a breather and they traveled by the half in :56.2.

“I was quite concerned with the fast early fractions but I didn’t want to get in behind Monica’s horse,” Miller said after the race. “ The :56-half had me concerned even though I had a snug hold on him (Stoman) right from the start. Still they were fast fractions.”

As the field headed for the third stanza Stoman had opened up a three-length lead on the field. Barry Addison and KBs Bad Boy—last week’s winner in this event—began a charge at the leader but it was too little, too late and they had to settle for second money. Shark Treasure rallied from far back to finish third for Gerry Fielding.

Stoman, a 10-year-old Market Report gelding is owned by Jason MacDougall and trained by John Hallett, He paid $4.20 for win.

After the amateur races at the Mighty M were contested, Miller and a contingent of others hit the road to Saratoga Raceway - 2-1/2 hour ride - for two Billings trots carded late on the Saratoga Harness race card.

(NAADA)


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