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Schwartz Strikes At Monticello

Published: September 22, 2016 8:14 pm ET

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‘It’s a pleasure when you have something between the shafts”, were the first words out of Alan Schwartz’s mouth upon his return to the paddock after driving Linda Marie to a new lifetime record winning the first leg of the North American Amateur Drivers Association’s (NAADA) three track Fall Trotting Series in 1:58.1 at Monticello Raceway on Thursday afternoon.

After starting from the three-hole Schwartz hustled the five-year-old Crazed mare to the lead when the starting judge said “go” and while still on the first turn allowed Bob Hechkoff to take command with Trotalot. Both drivers were aided in their quest for victory when the betting favourite, Here Comes Numbers (John Kokinos), went off stride at the start.

After Schwartz grabbed leather and allowed Hechkoff to show the way they then raced one-two by the first stanza in :28.4. The order remained the same past the half in :59.2 and at the third stanza Schwartz had Linda Marie tight on Hechkoff’s back.

“I had a handful of horse as we shadowed Hechkoff and on the final turn she wanted to go so I moved her off the pylons,” Schwartz related. “Once she saw daylight I just let her ramble and she ranged alongside Trotalot as we headed for home.

“Then in the lane, when I tried to pull the ear plugs, they got stuck but it didn’t matter. She (Linda Marie) was in high gear and she trotted on to an easy victory.

Schwartz wasn’t lying. Linda Marie trotted the last quarter in :28.3 en route to her third seasonal victory. Trotalot was second with Imacrazynewyorker getting up for the show dough, albeit 11 lengths behind the winner.

Linda Marie is owned and trained by Jimmy Doherty Jr. She paid $7.20 for win. For Schwartz, it was his 572nd driving victory, the most of any active amateur driver.

The international amateur driving club kicked off its three-track fall series here at the Mighty M with races to follow at Yonkers Raceway and Freehold Raceway.

The NAADA Trot Series will culminate with a $15,000 final at Yonkers on November 3.

(NAADA)


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