|Geri Schwarz photo|
|Tremendous Hit carried Bob Hechkoff to victory on Thursday|
“He’s a classy old horse and a pleasure to drive,” Hechkoff said from the paddock after his driving victory. “When he’s in top form he’s tough to beat whether we are on the front end or we come from behind.
“He was just peaking in his last start at Yonkers which I thought we should have won (he finished second) but today he warmed up real good and raced even better.”
Tremendous Hit left from the five hole and made it to the front fairly easily when the betting favorite, Mandinga, driven by Bobby Krivelin, made a break at the start. Mandigna’s misstep caused the second choice, Iroquoindianmagic, driven by Alan Schwartz, to also get a late start.
“When Bobby’s (Krivelin) horse made a break it cost me the race,” Schwartz said. “I lost five lengths and had to use my horse hard just to catch up.”
With Tremendous Hit cruising along on the front end Schwartz got Iroquouindianmagic up to fourth by the halfway point. Then up the backside they made a run at Hechkoff’s trotter, and as the two approached the third stanza Iroquouindianmagic could get no closer than one length behind the leader.
On the final turn Tremendous Hit trotted away by open lengths and rambled to an easy, three-length triumph over Iroquouindianmagic. Third place went to Oliver Kiss and driver Tony Verruso .
Tremendous hit is owned by Hechkoff’s R.B.H Ventures Inc. and trained by Brandon Simpson. He paid $11.20 to win.
The next leg in the series is slated for Saturday, May 4 at Freehold Raceway. Actually, the ninth and final leg, on Saturday, May 11, will also be raced at Freehold Raceway. Then, on Thursday, May 23 the $14,000 final will be contested at Yonkers Raceway, among the drivers who earned the most points in the series.