Driver Joe 'Slim Jim' Cirasuola tried the Amateur harness racing ranks on Monday night in week four action featuring members of the Great Lakes Amateur Drivers Association at Hazel Park.
When all was said and done, Joe and the steed Headed For Glory , owned by Heather Cundiff, showed why they deserved to be the odds on favorite.
As the Starter said 'go' horses and drivers from the rail through post 5 all set their sights on the lead as those in the outer starting spots lagged the gate.
Into the first turn, Kelly Walker, handling Nordic Gentleman for John and Mary Jo Stapleton was on the engine closely pursued by Steven Oldford at the lines of Hulk Logan. Cirasuola was quite content to sit in third as the field passed the half in a tick more than a minute.
Heading up the Hazel Park backstretch, a pull on the right line by Joe had the eventual winner in gear and on the lead just past the 3/4's. As early leader Nordic
Gentleman and Walker were tiring, Oldford and the Hulk were muscling into second and from out of the clouds for the fourth consecutive week in a row, Green Acres Jim Ingersoll was in overdrive with the hard charging Caballo Diablo and the team that has a definite case of thirditis ended up there once again - third.
The 'Gentleman' and Walker salvaged fourth place and James McIlmurray driving in his first GLADA race got the minor check in fifth behind One Tough Night. Richard Sockow (Winwood Sasha) ended up 6th, Windsor track announcer Marty Adler finished 7th but was placed ninth for a breaking violation (Playboy Prize), Ed 'The track photographer' Embach (YF Angel) finished 8th, placed seventh and Denny 'From the race office' Walton was the caboose placed 8th (Sunset Lady).
The winner crossed the finish line in a time of 2.01.2 and once in command they were not seriously challenged.
The GLADA series takes place each Monday night at the suburban Detroit 5/8 mile oval benefits charity.
Dale P. ZAHN