Verruso, Drazzmatazz Win At Freehold

It was a beautiful day for racing on Saturday (Nov. 7) in Freehold, N.J. but nobody enjoyed it more than Tony Verruso, especially after he reined Drazzmatazz to a come-from-behind 1:59.1 victory over seven others in the $9,000 American Harness Drivers Club trot at Freehold Raceway.

Bob Hechkoff had the even-money favourite, Proud Sterling and he drove him as such gunning to the lead from the rail position and then cutting the fractions until the very end.

Verruso and Drazzmatazz started from the three-hole but Tony looped the loose pocket-sitting Take A Wish (Dawn Anderson) and fell in behind Proud Sterling who was clear on the lead.

“My horse has gate speed so I looked to clear Take A Wish, which I did and then we settled down along the pylons and enjoyed a great two-hole journey,” Verruso explained.

Hechkoff's trotter showed the way by the first quarter in :28.4 and they had command by the halfway point in :59.3. Still comfortably in front as the field passed the third stanza in 1:29.4, Verruso thought his best shot for victory was to angle his trotter down the passing lane. He did, and when Drazzmatazz saw daylight in front of him he put it into another gear and in the final strides wore down Pound Sterling to notch a head triumph. Take A Wish was a close third.

A seven-year-old RC Royalty gelding, Drazzmatazz is owned by Danbry Racing and trained by Tom Angerame. He paid $16.20 to win.