For Opinion, click here for View from the Racetrack Grandstand

Thursday, July 13, 2017


Joe Lee, the New York Yankees assistant locker room manager and avid amateur driver, shocked the bettors at Monticello Raceway on Thursday July3) when he guided TKRs Metro Specs  to a 1:58 victory in a Catskill Amateur Club Pace which in turn and sparked a $82.50 payoff.

In all, three amateur contests dotted the 13-race Mighty M afternoon card; others were trots in the North American Amateur Drivers Association’s Sumer Series. Alan Schwartz won his NAADA division with Ladys Big Storm in 1:59.4 while Dave Yarock reined Czech It Out to a 2:01.4 triumph in their split.

Besides the  foreboding rain the biggest topic of conversation among the railbirds was Joe Lee’s shocker behind Woody Hoblitzell’s TKR’s Metro Specs.

In this contest a sidebar could have been that three women were driving in the race but Lee’s payoff stole the show.

After  starting  from the  eight- hole Lee  send his pacer toward the front but they didn’t gain command until they got around Bob Hechkoff’s Italian Rebel as the quarter mile timer flashed :28.2. After passing the half in :58.2 Lee kept the pedal to the medal and turned back all comers to score a 1-1/4 length victory over Bob Davis and World Peace. One of the aforementioned ladies, Hannah Miller, finished third with Touchdown Mindale.

“I’ve driven him (TKR’s Metro Specs)  a few times before and even won with him here at Monticello in late June,” Lee offerred after the race "We were on the front-end in that one and I learned that he needs to be yelled at to keep him busy.So when we made the front today and headed to the half I screamed at him all the way home."

In the first NAADA trot Schwartz also used the front-end with Ladys Big Stormont en route to victory over a fast-closing Landonfitz and Dave Yarock.

Like TKRs Metro Specs , Schwartz’ trotter didn’t make the lead until the first stanza and even with  early fractions of :27.3 and :58.3 Ladys Big Stormont held  tough through the lane. Despite his shortening strides in the deep stretch Ladys Big Stormont  held on for a head victory over Landonfitz. Permanent Joy took home the show dough for Bobby Krivelin.

“My horse is best on the front-end but I can’t always get him there,” Schwartz offered. “When I race him from a hole he just doesn’t like to pass horses. If we’re third at the top of the stretch we’ll probably finish third.

“He was real good today probably because I had him turned out at my farm for three days and the green grass and the change of scenery seem to do something positive.”

Sent off as the betting favorite from the five-hole Ladys Big Stormont paid $5.80 for win.

Dave Yarock  got Czech It Out home first  in the other NAADA Trot.After floating away from the four hole Yarock moved second-up behind Alan Schwartz with Keep It Sweet as the field headed to the halfway point. But when Schwartz’s trotter began to fade nearing the three quarters Yarock wheeled Chech It Out  three wide  and in the deep stretch they wore down the pace-setter Highest Hill (Rich Gayten)  for a length victory over Shez All Muscles and driver Bob Davis. Highest Hill held on for third.

“The last time he (Czech It Out) raced he made a break behind the (starting) gate so I just wanted to keep him trotting. When I pulled him three wide up the backstretch he just kept rolling and we won it fairly easily,” a happy Dave Yarock said

Chezh It Out returned an $8.30 win mutuel.