AUSTIN SIEGELMAN HANDLES THE FAVORITE IN THE PASSOVER PACE
Last fall when Austin Siegelman was presented with the Rising Star Award by the Monticello-Goshen Chapter USHWA at their annual banquet he told the attending crowd that among the things he was looking to accomplish during 2014 was to win Monticello Raceway’s Passover Pace. Now on Tuesday, April 22 he will get that chance, and a good one at that, when he jumps up behind the 5-2 favorite Christoffer Bliss.
“That’s correct, I said one of my goals (in 2014) was to win the Race for the Matzohs,” said the 22 year old Siegleman in all seriousness. “I know it has been a fun event and I read about it every season for as long as I can remember. Now not only do I have a chance to win it but I’ll be driving the favorite in the race.”
Last year in his first full season of driving Siegelman reined 90 winners and currently with 47 already he’s more than halfway home in equaling last year’s numbers. However, since he’s now getting calls to catch drive here, and at Saratoga Raceway, look for Siegelman’s numbers to vastly increase.
However, Siegelman will be going against some veteran Passover Pace drivers in Alan Schwartz, Bobby Krivelin and Alan Charles. Schwartz has been a three-time winner and Charles and Krivelin each have won the Race for the Matzohs twice. Krivelin is the defending champion having won the event last year with Isn’t She Lovely.
In this year’s Passover Pace on Tuesday afternoon, Charles may have the best chance at upsetting Siegelman when he handles Sam’s Fortune-- rated 3-1 on the early line-- from the pole position.
“I’ve won this race with outsiders before and being able to start along the pylons is always a positive,” said Charles who has won two of the last four Passover Paces.
And speaking of outsiders, both Schwartz and Krivelin have them. Neither driver’s pacers have won a race yet this year; Schwartz’s Tidewater Moses (post five) is 0-for 12 and Krivelin’s, Road Work Ahead (post seven) is 0-for 13.
“It’s all the luck of the draw; both with the horses we’ll drive and the post positions we get,’” Schwartz said philosophically. “You never know what will happen in a horse race and it’s never official until the judges declare it so.”
The sleeper in the race is Winsmith Molly, from the hot Gary Messenger barn. Matt Zuccarello –his mother is Jewish—drew the mount behind the 7 year old mare who won six times last year (the fastest in 1:57.3) although she has yet to find her stride this season. They’ll start from the six hole.
Others who drew mounts in the 16th Annual “Race for the Matzohs” include: Peter Kleinhans(Five Star Stud -- post two), Murray Bassin (Welcome Lover –post 4) and Dave Yarock (Pascal’s Wager –post eight).
The Passover Pace is slated as race number six on the Mighty M’s Tuesday afternoon card of April 22.