Day At The Track

Tony Verruso and Masster Blue score

03:06 PM 24 Jan 2021 NZDT
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Tony Verruso, harness racing
Tony Verruso

Freehold NJ -- The cold wind was howling and the temperature was in the low 30's but the harness racing action in the American Harness Drivers Club trot at Freehold Raceway was hot and heavy and a photo was needed to determine that Tony Verruso and Masster Blue got up in the final strides to score a neck triumph over Wygant Prince and Paul Minore in 2:03.2.

When the gate sprung Todd Whitney sent Caulfield to the lead and they had command over Wygant Prince at the quarter in 30.2. The leaders remained the same by the half in 1:01.4 but up the backside the field tightened with the trailers looking to move up.

"I was third as we headed up the backside and I tried to move off the pylons but that didn't happen," Verruso said. "So I was relegated to follow Joe Lee (with Karets) and when he went three deep I followed him and we got a lucky break when his horse went off-stride as we rounded the final turn," Verruso said. "

At that point Masster Blue was fifth and with a short route to the wire he had plenty of ground to make up. But when Verruso gave him his head the trotter rallied and closed with a rush to overtake Wygant Prince (Paul Minore) in a three-horse photo. A neck farther back in third place was Caulfield.

Tony Verruso and Masster Blue

For Verruso, who doubles as the president of the Billings Series, it was his 84th winning drive and he now has 2 wins in 4 starts this season.

Masster Blue is a 7 year old Muscle Mass gelding who is owned and trained by John Novello. He paid $10.00 for win.


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