WHITLOCK N WINS THE AU REVOIR OVER TATTLER’S JET IN 2:01.4
After the calmest of early winter seasons in the southern Catskill Mountains a heavy snowstorm on Wednesday, December 26 ,which carried over to the following day, played havoc on the racing program at Monticello Raceway on Thursday.
Featured on the December 27th program was the Au Revoir, the race for 14 year olds only, which saw Whitlock N hold off a late charging Tattler’s Jet (Jimmy Marohn, Jr.) to go out a winner in the final race of his career. Actually, because of the rules and regulations of the United States Trotting Association, it was the final race for all the entrants.
The New Zealand- bred Whitlock N, driven by Kevin Switzer, Jr., scored a 1-1/4 length triumph over Tattler’s Jet (Jimmy Marohn, Jr.) in a time of 2:01.4 over the muddy racetrack which was cleared earlier of the 12-inches of wet snow that fell during the overnight period. Third place went to Alba Gold in rein to Zeke Parker.
Because of the inclement weather and the bad traveling conditions the seven horse field was reduced to four by post time because three others couldn’t make it to the raceway. Two of the three late scratches were trotters; Speedy Big Ras and Crowbar Hotel ,who had to come in from central New York where the snowfall was even greater. The third scratch due to inclement weather was pacer, Adams Rocket A.
When the Au Revoir began Switzer gunned Whitlock N to the lead and was challenged on the outside by Tattler’s Jet and Jimmy Marohn, Jr. They raced side by side toward the quarter pole until Marohn knew that Switzer wasn’t going to let him go so he backed Tattler’s Jet to the end of the four-horse field. Whitlock N then showed the way by the quarter in :28.2.
“I didn’t want to let Tattler’s Jet go. If he got to the front I couldn’t beat him so I wanted the lead so he had to beat me,” Switzer explained of his decision to park-out Tattler’s Jet. “When he (Whitlock N) gets the lead he knows what to do and he’s always been tough on the front- end.”
With Whitlock N in command and Alba Gold in the two-hole they passed the halfway point in :59.
Coming off the third turn Whitlock N seemed to slow down a bit and Parker moved Albagold out to challenge and the two raced head to head up the backside until Whitlock N pulled away.
“He (Whitlock N) didn’t slow down on the turn he drifted- in and my left wheel was caught in the heavy snow alongside the pylons. That’s what slowed us down,” Switzer said with a smile lighting up his face.. “When we came out of the snow he (Whitlock N) vaulted again to the lead.”
Whitlock N put away Alba Gold as they headed into the final turn. Switzer then braced for Tattler’s Jet who moved three –deep as the field straightened for home. And although Tattler’s Jet was in high gear on the far outside his rally fell short.
Prior to today’s race Switzer was confident in Whitlock N, after all he drove the veteran pacer to a 2:00.1 victory last Saturday (Dec. 22) at Scarborough Downs. Today win was 69th of Whitlock N’s career.
Owned by Ken Sumner of Mechanic Falls, Me and trained by Robert Marston, Whitlock N paid $5.70 for win.
Inaugurated in 1991 the Au Revoir has developed into a race for both pacers and trotters which, when presented, is the final race of each of the entrants’ careers.
“This was the only the sixth Au Revoir we’ve filled and one of them was a 14-year-old two- horse match race,” noted Eric Warner the tracks director of racing. “It’s very unique race and very hard to fill because there are so few (horses)still around at the end of the season of their 14th year.