A new "kid" on the block at Monticello

06:31 AM 14 Mar 2014 NZDT
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Austin Siegelman, harness racing Samsawinner, Harness Racing
Austin Siegelman
Geri Schwarz Photo
Samsawinner was the first of three winners on the card for Siegelman
Geri Schwarz Photo

It was just a few years ago when a youngster by the name of Jordan Stratton displayed an innate talent for driving harness racing horses at a very tender age and Monticello Raceway fans watched the emergence of "the Kid", who became the youngest driver to win a Mighty M driving title. He has moved on and now competes, and very successfully, against the best drivers at Yonkers Raceway.

Shades of Stratton have again come to mind here as fans watch another developing young talent in Austin Siegelman who just turned 22 years of age late last month. Although he has yet to reach the heights that Stratton did during his tenure here still Siegelman appears to have the talent to do so. And that he has great aspirations he may not stay here long enough to produce similar numbers.

On the Wednesday afternoon (March 12) card the youngster again won three races but this time it was on an eight-race card. It also happened to be his second hat trick in the past two weeks. Now with 27 wins at the current meet, Siegelman is in sixth place on the local leaderboard.

His initial triumph yesterday (Wednesday) came behind Woody Hoblitzell's trotter Samawinner ($17.60) in 2:01.3 in the first race and he followed that with a 1:59 victory with PB Racing Stables, Wheelchair Wendy ($8.70) in race four. Win number three came when he guided Julie Working's Wild Request ($4.20 ) to a come-from-behind victory in a 2:01.2 clocking.

"I had seven drives yesterday and long for the days when I have a drive on every race on the card," Siegelman said.

A quiet kid who does his talking on the racetrack previously stated that he wants to compete regularly on his hometown track, Pocono Downs. And that's a great possibility even though he has recently had success competing at Yonkers Raceway, the Meadowlands and even at Saratoga Raceway.

Last fall the Monticello Goshen Chapter USHWA presented Siegelman with their Rising Star Award and honor also won recently by Jordan Stratton and Joe Bongiorno. And Jimmy Marohn, Jr. was also cited with a Rising Star Award a few years ago.

"I'm in good company and I look forward to bigger and better things," Siegelman said. "I love driving horses and I plan on being in this business for a long time. Hopefully this is just the beginning of some great things to come."

By John Manzi

 

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