Freehold, NJ – John Calabrese followed cover after the half and then rallied Shoemaker Hanover to a hard-fought head triumph over Gemini Eddie (Tony Verruso) to win the $9,000 American Harness Drivers Club Trot Saturday (Jan. 15) at Freehold Raceway.
When the starter said “go,” Tony Verruso sent Gemini Eddie to the lead and they showed the way by the quarter in :29.2 leaving Watkins (Nicole Dicostanzo) and If I Must (Pearly Allen) on the limb during this extremely cold afternoon.
With Gemini Eddie in full control, the veteran trotter zipped by the half in :59.4 as the trailers looked to move up. But Verruso’s trotter was still in command when he passed the third stanza in 1:30 and when he rounded the final turn and headed for pay dirt, Calabrese had Shoemaker Hanover in high gear. The two leaders were heads apart at the wire. But after careful scrutiny, the judges determined that Shoemaker Hanover was a head better than runner-up Gemini Eddie. Three lengths farther back in third place was Shared Interest A, driven by Matt Zuccarello.
The winner, a 9-year-old Cantab Hall stallion, is co-owned by Calabrese Farms LLC and Michelle Rickey and trained by Carol Dunbar.
Sent off as second choice in the eight-horse field, Shoemaker Hanover paid $4.60 for win.