Freehold, NJ – History was made on re-opening day at Freehold Raceway on Friday (Aug.28), as Stormy Kromer smashed the track record for aged trotting geldings at Freehold, while missing the all-time trotting mark by almost a fifth of a second.
The complexion of the Preferred Handicap trot changed dramatically with the scratches of Swansea and Melady’s Monet. That left Stormy Kromer, who had won four in a row between Yonkers Raceway and Harrah’s Philadelphia earlier in the year, as the 1/20 favorite. Daniel Dube sent him to the lead while heading up the backstretch for the first time, then cleared just after the quarter. From there, he opened up a large margin.
As they went past the three-quarters point, he was five lengths in front, and the only question was if he’d break the all-time trotting record at Freehold, held by Mystical Sunshine in 1:54 3/5. He just missed that mark, but still won by six lengths in 1:54 4/5. That broke the track record for aged trotting geldings by a full second, previously held by Mighty Moses.
This was Stormy Kromer’s fifth win of the year, in his tenth start. He’s now earned more than $50,000 on the year, for owner Thomas Ceraso and trainer Paul Stafford.
One race before, Ab’sattitudeexpress impressively won the first leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes- Standardbred Development Fund for 3-year-old filly trotters. She retook the front just after the quarter, then held off a challenge from Tricky Sister at the three-quarter point and drew off. The Meadowlands New Jersey Sire Stakes champion crossed the wire in 1:56 2/5, for owner/breeder Stop the Jade Farm, trainer Lucas Wallin, and driver George Brennan.
Live racing continues at Freehold on Saturday (Aug. 29), with a scheduled first post time of 12:30 p.m.