It doesn’t happen often but last night at Yonkers Raceway “Smokin’ Joe” Faraldo won a race- and a Billings trot at that- when he scored a come-from-behind victory with Dreamsteeler in a time of 2:01 in his division. The other split went to James “Jimmy Boy” Marshall, IV when his trotter, Flex The Muscle stopped the timer at 2:00.2.
In his non-betting event, Faraldo settled his trotter in along the pylons in the early going and was fourth as the field passed the first panel. Nearing the half, Bob "the Headhunter” Hechkoff was first to move with Alternat Thursdays followed by Dave “Yes Its true” Offenberg with Whatnblazes. But smartly Faraldo sat still until the field approached the third stanza and at that point Dreamsteeler was full of trot so Faraldo just fed her racetrack. They went three-deep and were head to head with the Alternat Thursdays as they straightened for home.
“It's been a long time since I sat behind one that didn't wear a lip cord,” Faraldo said jokingly. “As (John) “Sep” Gilmour used to say whenever I got lucky enough to win one at Monticello, ‘even a blind squirrel sometimes gets an acorn.’”
Deamsteeler, a 4 year old daughter of Cash Hall is owned by the PT Stable and trained by Richard Banca. Although Faraldo, a prominent attorney, is quick to joke about his driving abilities he was named USHWA’s Amateur Driver of the Year in 2000 and tonight’s victory was the 139th of his racing career.
Jimmy Boy” Marshall had a similar trip with Flex The Muscles and they were in fourth position at the quarter after leaving from the three- hole.
Heading to the half he moved out behind Starsaboveallerage (Allen Cisco) who was hung out by the ABC Banker, who was driven by “Bullet Bob” Davis.
Up the backside Marshall hustled his trotter alongside Davis’ charge and they were one-two heading into the final turn. Down the stretch both ABC Banker and Flex The Muscle raced eye to eye to the finish with the latter prevailing by a nose in a 2:00.2 clocking. Third place, a length behind the top two finishers, was Admirable Hanover handled by Vanessa “the Contessa’ Karlewicz.
The winner, an 8-year-old Muscles Yankee stallion, is owned by the Arden Homestead Stable and trained by Chuck Connor, Jr. It was the trotter’s third seasonal win pulling a sulky. (Flex The Muscle is equally adept racing under saddle).
For Jimmy Boy Marshall it was his third seasonal driving victory.