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Freehold, NJ---The old adage 'when you're hot you're hot' could easily apply to driver John Calabrese after he scored his second consecutive driving victory in the $9000 American Harness Drivers Club series trot at Freehold Raceway on the sunny afternoon of November 21. Unlike last week when Calabrese used a pocket trip to score a 1:59.3 victory with Shoemaker Hanover today he put Ooh Rah on the engine and used the front-end route for a solid 1:58.1 triumph Having great credentials and starting from the three-hole, Ooh Rah took "all the money" when the attending crowd sent the trotter away at odds-of 1-5 ...and none of his backers was disappointed. When the starter released the field Calabrese sent Ooh Rah immediately to the lead from the three-hole and they had command when the quarter mile timer flashed :28.4. From there it was little more than a buggy ride for Calabrese as Ooh Rah passed the half-way point in :58.2 and they had no challenges up the backside and past the three quarters in 1:28.1. In the lane Ooh Rah was on cruise control all the way to the wire and scored an easy 1-1/2 length triumph over 53-1 shot Can Do, who was driven by Joe Lee. Third place went to 13-year-old Wygant Prince, driven by Paul Minore.   Ooh Rah is owned by Kathleen La Montagne and Donald La Montagne and trained by Kathleen La Montagne. He returned a paltry $2.40 for win. by John Manzi, for the American Harness Drivers Club

Freehold, NJ-- Last week in the American Harness Drivers Club trot at Freehold Raceway harness racing driver John Calabrese and Shoemaker Hanover had road trouble and finished off the board. However today, in this week's edition, Calabrese benefited from a perfect covered journey to rally to a 1:59.3 triumph over Drazzmatazz, the trotter that won this event last Saturday. A late scratch and only six horses behind the starting gate proved beneficial for Drazzmatazz after Tony Verruso hustled the veteran to the lead from post six. The :28.4 first panel forced the rest of the field to settle in behind the leader. Heading to the halfway point Dave Offenberg moved the betting favorite, Broadway Bruiser, off the pylons and charged alongside Drazzmatazz and they raced as a team by the half in :59.4 and they were still heads apart as they passed the third stanza in 1:30 before Broadway Bruiser began to tire.   That allowed Shoemaker Hanover who was traveling second along the pylons to have a clear shot at the leader and when they rumbled for home Calabrese's trotter was the strong horse and rallied to a solid one-length victory over Verruso's charge. Third money went to Exuberance who was driven by Paul Minore. Shoemaker Hanover, a 7 year old son of Cantab Hall is owned and trained by Tracy Tarantino. Sent off as second choice in the field he returned a $6.40 win mutuel. by John Manzi, for the AHDC  

Yonkers, NY -- After watching the visiting Italian amateur drivers make a good showing in the Hambletonian Amateur Trots at the Meadowlands on Friday (Aug. 2), the NAADA v. Italian Amateur Friendship Competition got underway at Yonkers Raceway on Monday night (Aug. 5) with two races on the betting card. And when the judges hung the official sign after each contest was completed NAADA's John Calabrese had won both events. Calabrese scored an eye-opening 1:53.2 victory with the Erv Miller-trained Normandy Beach in the pacing contest and Calabrese came right back to score a 2:00.1 triumph in the trot behind the Bill Adamczyk pupil, Blue Swan. Both races comprised the daily double on the Yonkers Raceway betting card. In the trotting contest Calabrese started from the four-hole and coasted along the pylons in fifth position as NAADA's Tony Verruso cut swift fractions of :26.2; :56.3 and 1:25 with Our Regal Ideal N. But when the field headed for paydirt Calabrese angled to the outside and Normandy Beach zipped the lead and coasted home an easy 1-1/2 length winner over Our Regal Ideal N. Italy's Michele Bechis finished third with Hudsonandbernard. The winner, a 5-year old altered son of Somebeachsomewhere, is owned by the Rock and Roll Stable. He paid $13.00. In the trotting event Calabrese had the odds-on favorite Blue Swan from the four-hole and trailed in fourth position until he moved first-up at the half to challenge the pacesetter Muzzy's Muscles , driven by Joe Faraldo. With Muzzy 's Muscles on the inside and Blue Swan on his chin-strap on the outside the two trotters were one-two by the third stanza. Although Muzzy's Muscle got first call at the top of the lane he faded as Blue Swan trotted clear and gamely held-off Merry Hanover (Jacopo Brischetto ) and Tech Titan, with Enrico "Vino" Colombino at the controls. Blue Swan, owned by William Chin, paid $3.90 for win. NAADA has been hosting Italian amateurs from the Venice area with the final two contests tomorrow at Monticello Raceway. by John Manzi, for NAADA    

Monticello, NY-- John Calabrese, and his veteran trotter,Keenan, had no trouble turning back six others on July 26 in the eighth leg of the current North American Amateur Drivers Association trotting series at Monticello Raceway when they cruised to an easy 2-1/2-length triumph over Connie Keeper and driver Joe Faraldo in a 1:58.1 clocking. It marked their second victory in the event, after having been victorious in 2:00.3 back on June 21. Third place went to On The Podium, in rein to Joe Lee. "He was real good today and a pleasure to drive, that is, once he got behind the (starting) gate," Calabrese related while hanging up the lines upon their return to the paddock. "But during the post parade and scoring down he's a handful." When the wings of the mobile gate folded Keenan, from the pole position, shot right to the lead with On The Podium stalking him as the quarter mile timer flashed :28.3. They then raced one-two by the half in :58.0 but once they straightened up the backside Keenan began to pull away. "I just clucked to him and he dug in and opened up some daylight and at that point I knew we'd be the winner," Calabrese said. They had two lengths on On The Podium at the third stanza in 1:27.3 which was opened to three at the top of the lane. From there Calabrese never took the whip off his shoulder as the $570,000 career-winner just jogged home unchallenged. Connie Keeper rallied to overtake On the Podium and garner the place money. Calabrese then added that the only time his trotter wears a harness is when he goes to the races. "I vanned him here (to Monticello)from my farm in Chesterfield NJ--a three-hour trip, one way--so a victory is well appreciated," Calabrese explained. "At home all we do is tow him for exercise and he's a lot more manageable that way. Otherwise he's out in a paddock all day and sometimes overnight. But once he gets behind the gate he's all business and a pleasure to drive." The 10-year-old altered son of Credit Winner is owned by Calabrese Farms, LLC and trained by Calabrese. Keenan scored his third seasonal triumph and 40th of his illustrious career. Sent off as second choice in the seven horse field he paid $6.90 for win. by John Manzi, for NAADA

MONTICELLO,NY- There's an old adage that states "good things come to those who wait" and that expression fits John Calabrese's trotting victory today (Thursday, June 21) at Monticello Raceway to a tee. "I got away fourth along the pylons and just bided my time," Calabrese said after he reined Keenan to a come-from-behind 2:00.2 triumph in the second leg of the NAADA Trotting Series at the Sullivan County oval."As the race progressed I kept moving up after the horses in front of me kept pulling (moving to the outside) and in the stretch my horse was full of trot." When the gate sprung Alan Schwartz hustled Tim Lizzi to the lead from the two-hole as Joe Faraldo found room behind the leader with Tough Get Going after a quick start from post position six. They were one-two as the field passed the first stanza in a soft :29.4 and remained that way past the half in 1:01.2 and by the three quarters in 1:30.4. Meanwhile, Calabrese and Keenan were viewing the front-end action while still some four lengths of the leader. Then midway around the final turn Faraldo moved Tough Get Going to the outside and they raced head-to-head with Tim Lizzi. However, unbeknownst to the leaders Calabrese's trotter kept moving up and was just lengths off Tim Lizzi as the field rounded the final turn. In the lane Tough Get Going was stronger than Tim Lizzi but Keenan was the strongest of all and rallied in the passing lane to a solid one-length triumph in a time of 2:00.3. "When I reached the passing lane I felt confident that Keenan could pass the leaders because he was still strong, even with his left knee-boot down around his hoof ," Calabrese said."But the classy old veteran trotter didn't flinch a bit and just kept to his work." Later Calabrese explained that Keenan's knee boot slipped down the horse's left front leg as they sometimes do. However, when something like that happens a trotter usually goes off-stride but the 10 year old Credit Winner gelding and lifetime winner of over $564,000, shrugged it off and didn't miss a beat and kept going forward as Tough Get Going headed Tim Lizzi for second money. Calabrese owns and trains the winner who paid $47.00 for win. And the trifecta of 6-7-2 returned a whopping $2221.00. by John Manzi, for NAADA

East Rutherford, NJ - On Thursday night at The Meadowlands an even 100 horses will populate the 10 contests offered on the live harness racing card.   Seven various classes of pacers combined with three trotting races, two of which represent this week's GSY Driving Club events, will present a full slate of pari-mutuel puzzles to the Meadowlands faithful.   New Jersey horseman John Calabrese has enjoyed success in the GSY series with Keenan and Wild Smile from his own barn and he picks up a live catch drive on Thursday in Sweet Justice for trainer Bruce Saunders. Sweet Justice has been a good horse for a long time for Saunders and owner SBK Stable with nearly a half million dollars earned over his career. He's been facing solid fields at Harrah's Philly lately and although the "A" competition is fierce, the old boy should match up pretty well against them with Calabrese calling the shots from post 8 in the third race.   The big wagering attraction on Thursday will be the last race Jackpot Super Hi-5 carry over pool which is now in excess of $53,000.   Check it all out on the web and remember post time is 6:35 p.m.   Nick Salvi

When Monticello Raceway's director of harness racing, Eric Warner, found that the track lost a driver in the North American Amateur Drivers Association's $5000 seven- horse consolation he went to work immediately to secure another driver to keep the race with decent betting interests. With only a few possible drivers who were eligible to compete (this race was for the NAADA participants who didn't earn enough points for the series finale) Warner called down to Freehold Raceway and asked John Calabrese if he's be able to come and drive in the race slated on Wednesday November 2nd at The Mighty M. And when Calabrese said he'd come it turned out to be a win-win situation for both him and the Sullivan County oval. The 7-horse field went to post in the second race and when it was declared official Calabrese won the event with Woody in a 2:00.1 clocking. Perhaps the fact that Woody had the pole position made it easier for Calabrese confirm that he'd take the trip to Monticello, still it was a gracious gesture on his part knowing that amateur drivers receive no remuneration for their efforts. Also benefiting from Calabrese's trip to drive Woody was the horse's owner, Woody Hoblitzell, who got for him one of the more talented amateur drivers competing today. As aforementioned, Woody and Calabrese started from the pole position and they got away fourth position four lengths behind Come And Tell Pap (Bob Davis) who got first call in the :29.2 first panel. With Davis' charge on the lead Calabrese followed Paul Minore who moved Wygant Prince off the pylons and they were one-two on the limb as the field headed to the halfway point. As the field trotted to the three quarters Wygant Prince gained command with Woody and Calabrese in hot pursuit. When they straightened for home Woody was the strong horse and the Glidemaster 6-year-old gelding rallied to a 1-1/4-length victory over Minore's trotter to score his third victory of the season. Come And Tell Pap hung on for the show dough. Trained by Bruce Aldrich, Sr., Woody paid $7.80 for win. And for Calabrese, he is having his best year since he began competing in amateur racing in 1991. His victory was the 12th this year in 39 starts and considering his five seconds and three third place finishes Calabrese owns a .405 UDR.this season. On Saturday night, November 5 the top eight point earners in the recently completed NAADA Series will battle in the $15,000 Final on the betting card at Yonkers Raceway. John Manzi

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