by john manzi for NAADA
On Thursday evening (May 4) two $6000 divisions of the North American Amateur Drivers Association Spring Trotting Series were contested over the double oval at Yonkers Raceway with both events raced as non-wagering affairs prior to the betting card getting underway. Peter Kleinhans won the first split with Toss Cartwright in 1:59.4 while the second division went to John Kokinos when he reined Sim Brown home first in a 1:59.2 clocking.
Although Kokinos breezed to an easy five- length triumph Kleinhans had to work hard to keep Hannah Miller and Rev It Now at bay to score short nose victory. In fact the finish was so close that Rev It Now got the last call but the judge’s review of the photo finish showed a different result.
Kleinhans and Toss Cartwright took command as the gate folded and they led through fractions of :29; :58.2 and 1:29 with Rev It Now and Hannah Miller shadowing the pacesetter’s every move. When they rounded the final turn the top two trotters were open lengths ahead of the trailing horses and as they straightened for home “Hurricane Hannah” moved Rev It Now out to challenge and a battle then ensued as the two trotters raced head-to-head down the long stretch and all the way to the wire and despite Rev It Now getting the last call it was Toss Cartwright who walked away with the lion’s share of the purse. Third place, some three lengths in the rears, was Windsun Fireball, driven by John Nicholson.
The race winner is owned by Coleen Cash and trained by John McDermott. For Kleinhans it was his first winning drive in four seasonal starts this year and 52of his amateur career.
In late May Kleinhans will be among the six NAADA members who will travel to France for a Friendship Competition against members of UNAT (Union Nationale des Amateurs du Trot) -the French amateur organization.
In the other division Dr. John Kokinos made a laugher out of the race when he sent Sim Brown to the lead from the two-hole and then made every pole a winning one en route to a five-length triumph over Kerfuffle Cookie and driver Peter Gerry. Third place went to Jelectric who was handled by Bob Davis.
Sim Brown coasted through early fractions of :30.1; 1:00.3 before Kokinos put the pedal to the metal and his trotter began to draw clear of the competition and the farther they went to bigger to lead became until they coasted to an oh-so-easy victory.
Sim Brown is owned by Robert Santagata and Jennifer Lappe and Kokinos also doubles as the horse’s trainer. It was the second seasonal victory for the 9-year old Angus Hall gelding who now has purse earnings in excess of $605,000.