Day At The Track

USA-Italy Dead-Heat in Round of Challenge

02:46 AM 09 Aug 2018 NZST
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Steve Oldford, harness racing
Steve Oldford led the way for Team USA in Italy Amateur Challenge

Follonica, Italy...August 8, 2018...Attempting to protect their precarious lead in the Amateur Friendship Challenge between the USA and Italy, Team USA was able to do just that as driver Steve Oldford led the American contingent with a win and a second in his two drives, leaving Team USA with a 12 point lead entering the grand finale to be held at the famed Monticatini oval on Thursday.

Round two did end in a dead-heat as both teams hit the wire in points together, but it was Oldford who enabled the USA visitors to retain their overall lead with a perfectly timed drive with Really DL, a gelded son on Equinox Bi.

Really DL followed live cover in the extended distance event of 2200 meters (1.367 miles) to score in 2:50.2, a mile rate of 2:04 over the Ippodromo dei Pini track.

Tuscany Club President Danele Orsini also had a win and a second in his two drives, helping Team Italy to that dead-heat finish.

USA team member Joe Pennacchio lauded Oldford's drive lamenting, "This was a classic stretch battle as Steve (Oldford) and Danele (Orsini) went toe-to-toe right to the wire."

The winning margin was a nose.

The Thursday Monticatini finale will determine the champion of this year's Tuscany Friendship Amateur Challenge between the USA and Italy.

Reported by John Berry


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