Waldron off to a flyer
Teenaged harness driver Kiwon Waldron demonstrated why he was last season's top rookie during the opening round of the 2013-14 Cablevision Series.
Waldron, 13, laid down a marker after sweeping both heats he entered in the 1:05-1:06 time bar to get the new season off to a flyer at Vesey Street on Friday night.
Waldron, who attends TN Tatem Middle School, ran a 1:08 in the first heat and a 1:09 in the second in the sulky of David Greenslade's gelding, Down Home Punch.
He managed back-to-back wins in ideal racing conditions after starting from the two hole.
Asked what was the key to his success, Waldron simply replied: “I was just watching, holding and waiting.
“I was in the second hole both heats and came around and won it. It was nice and I had a lot of horse coming home.”
Though tiny in stature, the young driver has huge ambitions for the season.
“I want to try and get into the aged stakes races and hopefully win it,” he boldly declared.
Also chalking up back-to-back wins from the second hole prior to the intermission was Dylan DeSilva who raced with Leo Simmons' mare, Ribbons & Pearls, for the first time.
“She was really good,” he said, with a huge grin. “She felt very good tonight and I'm looking forward to a long season with her.”
DeSilva was cautiously optimistic of success heading into the night's racing.
“I felt very good but you never assume anything,” he added.
DeSilva has replaced the retired Johnny Paytner who managed more than 20 wins with Simmons' mare last season.
“I have some big shoes to fill,” DeSilva smiled.
Rookie driver Casey Truan and veteran John Flood rounded off the night's double heat winners.
Truan captured back-to back wins in the 1:13 & slower time bar with two year old, Inwood's Generation, while Flood managed two wins in the 1:08/3-1:10/3 time bar with Brenda Cardoza's gelding, Just Like That.
Phillip Correia's Cherokee's Superman lived up to its name after posting the night's fastest time (1:05) en route to winning the second heat of the Free for All. Correia's stallion is the half brother of track record holder Big Red Machine (1:01.04) which was retired from racing at the end of last season.
Thomas Whited won the remaining Free for All heat with Michael DeCosta's mare, Abbey's Dream.