By Patricia P Miller for GLADA
Dark drizzly rain fell on Hazel Park as the GLADA amateurs paraded to the gate, but nothing like a little bit wet and a little bit hard to see dampened the efforts of Kelly Walker and his own Jedrik Hanover on their way to a second season win. The seven year old son of Andover Hall, trained by Terry Tomlin, rolled out of the six hole, led at the half, and was never seriously challenged on his way to victory. That speedster magician Merlincrest and Michael Caston came out of nowhere for second, and previous winner Score Card, in rein to Junior Cole, signed in for the show money.
Yet another close exciting finish with five horses battling down the stretch in fractions of a second time behind the leader brought a roar of approval from the enthusiastic crowd. Anticipation of the GLADA race has grown all summer as the fans know surprises and upsets will be the order of the evening.
The gate folded and the usual mad rush for position found Score Card, a big leaver, in first at the quarter in 29.1, with Steve Oldford driving Ace Hanover in second, April Moonlight in rein to Maurice Goldschmidt Jr. in third, eventual winner Jedrik Hanover in fourth, and Hay Look Out with Patricia Miller in the bike in fifth.
A half way mark of 59.2 found Jedrik Hanover in first place trailed closely by Score Card in second and Ace Hanover in third. As the trotters wheeled around the final turn and fanned out for the stretch drive, Merlincrest, under strong urging from Caston, ripped down the track two wide in sixth place and was still 6th in deep stretch, then neck and neck to Score Card and Cole, fighting for second place.
The camera flash saw Jedrik Hanover with Walker smiling in first in 1.59.2 and Caston claiming the second spot at the last second. Four other finishers were within split second times for third in a fast and furious climax to the GLADA race.
Oh what a night. What rain, the smiling drivers asked. Was it raining out there? Mud caked trotters walked back to the barn and the chatter began about next week’s race and who would claim the victory and season points. GLADA’s host track, Hazel Park, witnessed another high action race from the Michigan amateur club.
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