By John Manzi
MONTICELLO April 25, 2006 He may be an amateur driver, but Alan Schwartz of Hurleyville is definitely not a novice.
The outstanding amateur reinsman added another victory to his career total on April 17 when he guided Old Town Bobiesox to a three-length victory in a time of 2 minutes, 3.4 seconds in The Race for the Matzohs, an event which was also known as Monticello Raceways eighth annual Passover Pace.
The win in the Mighty Ms second leg of its 2006 Heritage Drivers Series was the 271st of Schwartzs career. It was also his third in the event, which is relegated to drivers of Jewish heritage.
With the late scratches of Gennessee Blue Chip, who was to have been driven by Mike Kimelman, and Hawaiian Perfect, who was to have been guided by Dr. Doug King, the field was reduced to six starters. Mark Liebowitz, who drove Debs On Art from post position eight, took advantage of his two-place move-in and sent his mare to the front and gained command in the first turn.
Schwartz also hustled his mare away from the mobile starting gate and fell in behind Leibowitzs pacer. They raced one-two around the track until Schwartz pulled the two-hole in the final turn and rallied to an easy victory in the aforementioned time of 2:03.4
Debs On Art held on for second place and Dakujeme finished third for Bob Heckhoff, another amateur reinsman.
Actually, I had a picture perfect trip and felt right from the time I settled in behind Mark [Liebowitz] that Id be able to beat him in the stretch if nobody challenged early, Schwartz said as he posed for a photo while holding a box of matzohs.
And as if Schwartz willed it, nobody challenged until the backstretch. As a result, Old Town Bobiesox coasted to an easy victory for owner/trainer Jack Sheehan of Oakpark, Illinois.
Sent off as the prohibitive favorite, Old Town Bobiesox paid a paltry $2.80 for the win.