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Friday, June 9, 2017


           by john manzi

On the pleasant and sunshiny afternoon of June 8th amateur racing took center stage at Monticello Raceway with two amateur club events dotting the 12 race card. The first, a NAADA trot ,saw Bob Krivelin bide his time and rally Permanent Joy to a 1;59.2 victory while in the second, a Catskill Amateur Club pace , went to Monica Banca and Jay Bees Grin N and in a 1:58.3 clocking. Many of the participating drivers are members of both amateur clubs.

Krivelin, a three-time National Amateur Driver of the Year, worked out a good journey with his 9-year-old Trot For Joy gelding and was the strong horse in the lane.

When the wings of the mobile gate folded Paul Minore sent Wygant Prince to the lead and they cut the early fractions trotting by the first stanza in :28.3 with Permanent Joy comfortable in third position.

Wygant Prince was on the front end as the field trotted by the half in :59.1 with  none of the trailers taking a shot at the leader. As they trotted by the three quarters in 1:29.2, Krivelin and Permanent Joy took aim at Wygant Prince but they didn’t clear until they came off the final turn but when they did Krivelin’s charge took command and trotted on to a one length triumph over Fox Valley Steffen (John Kokinos), who was later disqualified for a racing infraction. Third place finisher Flirting Duesy, driven by Tony Verruso, was moved up the second and fourth place finisher Wygant Prince was granted the show dough.

Krivelin, no stranger to the winners circle, was quick to comment that Permanent Joy didn’t have a harness on him since he last raced on May 18.

“I keep him at my farm in Goshen and tow him because he’s not easy to handle when he’s harnessed-up,” Krivelin said.” But in a race he’s a sweetheart and you can drive him with two fingers.”

Sent off at odds of over 5-1 Permanent Joy notched his third seasonal triumph and his 33rd of his racing career.  And for Krivelin it was his 208th winning drive.

The Catskill Amateur Club pace went Monica Banca after she gave Jay Bees Grin N a covered journey until the top of the stretch and then rallied her pacer down the passing lane to score a 1-1/2 length triumph over Joe Lee and TKR’s Metro Specs in a 1:58.3 clocking. Lightning Strike finished third for John Kokinos.

After the race Banca said that she felt fine but prior to the event she admitted that she was nervous. But if she was a bit tense she didn’t show it as she gave her pacer a picture-perfect trip and rallied the New Zealand-bred gelding to his fifth seasonal triumph.

 It was the first time that she sat behind Jay Bees Grin N and for the talented horse-woman , originally from Norway, it marked her second win in just three seasonal starts and her 16th  driving victory in her career which began in 2013.

The winning horse is owned and trained by Rick Dane. Sent off the odds-on favorite from the two hole Jay Bees Grin N paid $3.60 for win.