Freehold, NJ — Anthony Verruso perched Landia on a helmet and vaulted powerfully for home to take the $9,000 American Harness Drivers Club (AHDC) Trot going away on Saturday (Feb. 10) at Freehold Raceway.
Starting from post five, Verruso floated Landia to race sixth while Hammer Creek (driven by John Calabrese) coasted to the top in a :29.2 first quarter. Hammer Creek strolled to the half as Inukchuk Chuck (Tony Beltrami) lost ground from the pocket and left the leader to a four-length advantage crossing a :59.4 half.
Hammer Creek continued his dawdle up the backstretch with company oncoming. Drazzmatazz (Yogi Sheridan) plied a first-over push with Landia in tow coming to three-quarters in 1:30.2. Drazzmatazz failed to down Hammer Creek coming to the final turn, but Landia darted for the front when unleashed by Verruso. Landia collared Hammer Creek spinning for home and slipped away to a widening win in a 2:01 mile.
Hammer Creek settled for second, beaten two lengths, with Drazzmatazz third and 6-5 favorite Empereurthebest FR (James Slendorn) fourth.
Donald Maiorano owns and trains Landia, a 5-year-old mare by Yankee Glide. Off the third choice, she paid $10.80 to win.
AHDC action resumes next Saturday (Feb. 17) at Freehold Raceway. First-race post time is 12:30 p.m. (EST).