Monticello, NY --- Bobby Krivelin took advantage of racing luck and a slow first half to win the second leg of the North American Amateur Drivers Trotting Series with Mandinga in a time of 2:04.3 at Monticello Raceway on Thursday afternoon (March 14).
When the starting judge released the fifth race field for the NAADA Trot a collective groan was heard on the track's apron when the 1-2 betting favorite, Sensational Prayer, went off stride before the start. But driver Alan Schwartz did a masterful job getting his trotter back on gait but the stalled start cost the horse the race.
|Geri Schwarz photo|
|Bobby Krivelin was a 2:04.3 winner with Mandinga in the NAADA Trot.|
Meanwhile, Krivelin, whose trotter started alongside the breaking horse, took advantage of his luck and gunned Mandinga to the lead. Once on top Krivelin and his trotter coasted by the quarter in a soft :31.1. As that was happening Schwartz got Sensational Prayer settled in at the back of the pack.
With only six starters -- and one that broke stride early -- Krivelin was able to control the race which he did with professional deftness.
Taking advantage of a parked horse, Krivelin got Mandinga by the half in 1:03 unchallenged and those with mutual tickets on his horse were exhilarated, and rightly so.
“Everything was going my way,” Krivelin said of the race at that point. “And when the timer read 1:03.1, I knew we were home free.”
From there Mandinga rebuffed all challenges and broke clear to a three length lead as the field headed for home. At the wire Mandinga was a length winner over Nowerland Nathan and driver Dave Yarock.
Unfortunately for Schwartz, not only did his trotter go off-stride early, but once he was back in the race road trouble prevailed at almost every stanza.
Blocked after the half and then forced three-deep on the final turn, Sensational Prayer charged home but couldn’t overtake the leaders and had to settle for third money, two lengths behind the winner.
“I was still worried about Schwartz even though he was a long way back early,” Krivelin said after the race. “He had the best horse but no luck. They even claimed his horse today.”
Jubilant as he headed back to the paddock, Krivelin shouted, “We stole one. We weren’t the best but we got it all.”
Mandinga is owned by Ken Weckstein and Gary Messenger and trained by Messenger. The horse paid $7.90 for win.
The race was to be the third in the NAADA Trotting Series but when Yonkers Raceway canceled their card last Thursday due to inclement weather the Mighty M’s race became the second in the 10-leg series.
The next preliminary division is slated for March 23 at Freehold Raceway. The drivers with the most points at the end of the series will get a chance to race in the $14,000 series finale at Yonkers on May 30.