Freehold, NJ — Two divisions of the American Harness Club series went to post at Freehold Raceway on Saturday (May 1) and when the dust had settled Tony Verruso and Joe Faraldo each emerged victorious in their respective $9,000 splits.
Verruso scored a 1:57.1 triumph with Drazzmatazz in his division while Faraldo was placed first in his split with President Zette in 2:00.4.
In his event, Verruso floated away from the gate and landed his trotter third along the pylons as Dave Offenberg and Fiji showed the way to the :28 first quarter. And they were still in command when they passed the half in :56.4.
“After the steppy half I moved Drazzmatazz off the pylons as we headed to the three-quarters and we charged up alongside the leader and when we headed for home my horse was strong and we rallied to a solid 1:57.1 victory,” Verruso said.
Although Fiji was second under the wire he was disqualified and placed last. That placing allowed for Ooh Rah (Todd Whitney) to be moved up to second and Always A Good Time (Faraldo) up for third money.
Drazzmatazz, an 8-year-old RC Royalty gelding, is owned by Danbry Racing and trained by Vincent Stallworth. Sent off the favorite in the six-horse field, he paid $3.00 for win.
Faraldo emerged victorious with 17-1 shot Presidente Zette in the eight-horse second division, but only after the first horse under the wire, Keystone Orion (Tony Beltrami), was disqualified for a racing infraction.
With Keystone Orion on the engine Beltrami kept the pedal to the metal and zoomed to an apparent open-lengths victory. But after the start it was determined that Keystone Orion left the course and the judges disqualified him.
When the gate folded Faraldo ducked Presidente Zette in sixth along the pylons and then found cover later in the mile. In the lane Presidente Zette was the strong horse and rallied to victory over Masster Blue (Verruso) and Inukchuk Chuck (Mark Schullstrum).
Presidente Zette, a 7-year-old Muscle Hill stallion, is owned by Cozette McAvoy and trained by Scott DiDomenico. He paid $36.60 for win.