Tony Beltrami took no prisoners in both $9,000 divisions of the American Harness Drivers Club (AHDC) Trot and visited the winner’s circle on both occasions on Saturday afternoon (March 25) at Freehold Raceway.
In the first division, Beltrami circled odds-on favourite Louis to the lead after a :29.3 first quarter with Midnight Cookie (driven by Joe Lee) settling for the pocket. My Big Kadillac (Mike Polansky) then mounted a first-over challenge into a 1:00.4 half and gained to within 1-1/2 lengths of the leader to three-quarters in 1:31.1. Though My Big Kadillac began a retreat off the corner, leaving Louis to separate by 2-3/4 lengths to the finish of a 2:01.2 mile. Vendor Bill (Maria De Bruijn) rallied from second over to take second with Midnight Cookie finishing third and Masster Blue (Antony Verruso) riding the pylons to take fourth.
Edwin Quevedo trains Louis, a five-year-old gelding by Muscle Mass, for owner Jaypaul Hoover. The gelding paid $3.80 to win.
A few races later, Beltrami again prevailed with a favourite – and again for trainer Edwin Quevedo – with 8-5 choice All Rise. Taking the lead through a :29.1 first quarter, All Rise pocketed Drazzmatazz (Yogi Sheridan) with Big Sky Ex (John Calabrese) sitting third. “The Judge” Beltrami received only respect on the point through a 1:00 half and 1:30.3 three-quarters. His main challenge came from a minor first-over push by Big Sky Ex to the final turn but All Rise nonetheless stayed strong and coasted to a one-length victory in 2:01.1 over Drazzmatazz. Big Sky Ex settled for third and Finnick Odair (Melissa Arbia) took fourth.
Tony Beltrami owns All Rise, a six-year-old gelding by Conway Hall. He paid $5.40 to win.
AHDC action returns to Freehold Raceway on Friday (April 1) with divisions on the pace. First-race post time at Freehold is 12:30 p.m. (EDT).