By john manzi for NAADA
After the first leg of the North American Amateur Drivers Association’s (NAADA) Trotting Series was snowed out at Monticello Raceway on March 16 the series got underway at the Catskills mountain oval on March 30 and when the two divisions were completed each leg was won by a former National Amateur Driver of the Year. Alan Schwartz copped his leg with Ladys Big Stormont while Robert Krivelin won his division with Current Crisis.
In his split, Schwartz went down the proverbial road and made every pole a winning won en route to a 2:00 triumph.
“I hadn’t planned to be on the front-end from the five-hole but when the gate sprung my horse left like a runner and we were on top before the turn,” Schwartz related after his driving victory. “Although he (Ladys Big Stormont) had been racing well this was the first time I had him on the lead. And he really seemed comfortable there, so much so, that I might have to send him to the front again.”
After Ladys Big Stormont gained command Schwartz and his trotter coasted through fractions of :30.1; 1:00.2 and 1:30.2 before kicking in a :29.3 final panel to score an easy one length victory over Sim Brown and driver John Kokinos. Joe Lee took home the show dough with Woody.
Sent off at odds of over 2-1 Ladys Big Stormont returned a $6.30 win mutuel. It was the second seasonal triumph for the 6-year-old Earl of Stormont gelding who’s also owned by Schwartz and trained by Raheim Strong.
For Schwartz, the National Amateur Driver of the Year in 2000, his driving victory was the 579th of his amateur career.
In the other division Krivelin also sent his trotter to the lead but they didn’t gain command until the first stanza which was trotted in 29.1. From there Current Crisis showed the way past the half in .59.4 and by the three quarters in 1:30.1. At that point Tony Ciuffetelli mounted a charge with Tropical Storm Bi and although they were charging in the deep stretch they fell a nose short in the 2:00.1 clocked mile. Third place went to The Fighter, driven by Alan Schwartz.
“He’s been a good horse for me ever since I bought him from Donnie Richards at the end of his 3 year old season where he was the Maine Sires Stakes champion,” Krivelin said of the 8-year old Current Crisis. “Over the years I won two Billings Finals with him and he’s earned me well over $200,000.”
It was the third seasonal triumph for Current Crisis who’s owned by Krivelin’s Hero Stables and also trained by Krivelin. Sent off at odds of over 6-1, Current Crisis paid $14.20 for win.
For Krivelin, who was National Amateur Driver of the Year in 2001, 2012, and 2014, the victory was the 205th of his career.