Monticello, NY — The field may have been small, but still there was plenty of action when Matt Zuccarello moved Broadway Bruiser at the half en route to a 1:59.4 victory in the North American Amateur Drivers’ Association Trot at Monticello Raceway on Thursday afternoon (June 20).
It was a bittersweet victory for Zuccarello, since his triumph came on the birthday of his father-in-law who passed away last year.
“It’s always gratifying to win a race, but when it happens on a memorable day its doubly rewarding,” Zuccarello said in the winner’s circle after his victory.
Zuccarello, an avid amateur driver who doubles as the publicist for the GSY Amateur Series, looked like a veteran reinsman and made all the right moves en route to his triumph.
When the gate sprung, Joe Faraldo sent Tough Get Going in search of the lead from post five, but Alan Schwartz — behind Ladys Big Stormont from the pole position — had other plans. He forced Faraldo to take a seat behind him through the first stanza in :29.2.
Schwartz kept the pedal to the metal and was in complete control as Ladys Big Stormont tripped the halfway timer in :59.3 while Zuccarello and his trotter were sitting third. When they headed up the backside, Zuccarello moved Broadway Bruiser out to challenge.
“I got away slowly and stayed close to the leaders, and then ranged alongside Ladys Big Stormont as we raced head-to-head past three quarters and around the final turn. But once we straightened for home, my horse began to slowly pull away, and we went on to win it by a length and a half,” Zuccarello explained.
Schwartz’s trotter held on for second money, while Faraldo’s Tough Get Going flattened out in the lane and had to settle for the show dough.
The winner, a 4-year-old Muscle Mass gelding, is owned by Harmon Racing Stable and trained by Patti Harmon. He paid $9.90 to win.
For Zuccarello, a mobile salesman by trade, it was his first win this season from a limited amount of starts.