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MONTICELLO, NY --- A short 5-horse field gathered at Monticello Raceway on Thursday,(March 12) for a $5000 trot and when the judges reviewed the harness racing finish-line photo they declared Ladys Big Stormont the winner over a hard-charging Multitaskr Hanover (Dave Yarock) in the second leg of the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) 2020 spring trotting series. Accomplished amateur Alan Schwartz was at the controls and he guided the veteran 9-year-old Earl Of Stormont gelding to a wire to wire 2:02.2 neck victory, the horses first of the season and 44th of his career. Starting from the pole position after two late scratches, Schwartz sent his charge to the lead and when no one challenged he got his veteran trotter to the first stanza in :31.3 and left alone on the front-end Ladys Big Stormont had a length and a half lead over Multitaskr Hanover when the half mile timer lashed 1:02.2. "He hadn't been racing well this year but today he felt strong and he went on to prove it," Schwartz said of is trotter. When the field headed up the backside the second time around Bob Davis moved Making Sparks from third position and charged at the leader but Ladys Big Stormont rebuffed that challenge. At the top of the lane Yarock tipped Multitaskr Hanover off the pylons and they took dead aim at Ladys Big Stormont but for them the finish line came up too soon and they had to settle for second money, a head behind the winner. "I was pleasantly surprised that my horse was strong all the way to the wire," Schwartz added. "This is the best race he's gone thus far this year." Schwartz, a longtime owner of harness horses, began his amateur driving career in 1988 and today he scored his 621st driving victory which is tops in the amateur driving community. He owns and trains the winner who paid $9.40 for win. by John Manzi, for NAADA  

YONKERS, NY-- The 2020 North American Amateur Driver Association (NAADA) harness racing season commenced tonight at Yonkers Raceway with two non-wagering divisions presented prior to the betting card getting underway and when the judges hung the official signs, Tony Verruso and Pearly Allen each emerged victorious in their respective $8000 splits. Verruso won with The Cuse Is Loose in 1:59.2 while Allen scored behind veteran Wygant Prince in 2:00.1. Both trotters scored from off the early pace and rallied late for decisive victories. Verruso and The Cuse Is Loose started slowly while Joe Faraldo and Muzzy's Muscles cut the early fractions and led the 6-horse field by the first stanza in :29.1 and by the halfway point in 1:00. Trailing in fourth place Veruso moved his charge off the pylons and was out and challenging as the field headed to the half. Third at that point Verruso then hustled The Cuse Is Lose and they took command as the field rounded the final turn and headed for paydirt. Aping Verruso's moves, John Calabrese kept Wild Smile on the leader's back but The Cuse Is Loose proved to much for his challenger and the 6-year-old Deweycheatumnhowe gelding went on to a solid one-length victory. Wild Smile held on for second money while Pop I garnered the show dough for Brett Beckwith. The winner is owned by his driver and trained by Ethan Sisco. In the other division Wygant Prince started from post four and after the start Pearly Allen settled him in second along the pylons and was content to sit still while Melissa Arbia showed the way with Finnick Odair. But when the field rounded the final turn Allen moved the veteran trotter out to challenge and Wygant Prince rallied to a 2-1/4 length triumph in 2:00.1. Finnick Odair was second best while Southwind Dorian chugged home in third place. Paul Minore owns Wygant Prince while Taylor Gower does the training. Next Thursday the NAADA 10-race series moves on to Monticello Raceway. by John Manzi, for NAADA .

Monticello, NY--The North America Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA), one of harness racing's oldest and longest running amateur driving organization, will kick off its 37th season with two trotting events at Yonkers Raceway on Thurs March 5th Two 6-horse trots will be presented before the first race on the betting card and they will be the first of three 10-race series to be presented by the organization for its members during the 2020 racing season. Current events will be contested on consecutive Thursdays at both Yonkers and Monticello Raceways with the $15,000 series final slated at Yonkers on Thursday. May 14. "We're scheduled to have multiple international contests throughout the season with the first slated for early May against a visiting Italian team from Turino," noted NAADA vice president, Alan Schwartz. "But finalized dates will not be solidified until there is clearance from the current Coronavirus circulating throughout a good portion of the globe." The series is open to all amateur drivers who be come members of the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA). Last years December finale was won by Glenferry Dreamer reined to victory by Paul Minore. by John Manzi, for NAADA        

John Manzi, superstar PR man, Hall of Famer, former trainer-driver and Radio Legend joins Freddie, Bob & Trade on their Harness Racing Alumni Show. Manzi's exuberant personality shines through while we're all discussing the exciting times at Monticello Raceway years ago along with many of John's innovative promotional concepts, challenges and his winning ways...!!!   Don't miss this fantastic Alumni broadcast.....!!! Harness Racing Alumni Show John Manzi 1 22 20     Fred Hudson  

MONTICELLO, NY--After a spectacular season in the sulky Jazmin "the Little Flower" Arnold was unanimously named the USHWA Dan Patch Amateur Driver of the Year. She now joins "Hurricane Hannah" Miller as only the second woman to earn this prestigious harness racing honor. In her first full season driving harness horses, to say that the diminutive miss posted excellent numbers would be a gross understatement. Currently with 59 trips to post Jazmin has 23 wins, 10 seconds and five thirds for a spectacular .512 UDR. "I'm tremendously honored with award but it wasn't anything that I seeking when the season started," Jazmin related. "But after success at the Ohio Fairs I was approached by Steve Oldford who was seeking members for the Billings Series and I was quick to jump aboard. And it turned out to be absolutely fabulous for me." A member of a harness racing family and a veteran of the Woodland Run Equine Veterinarian Clinic in Columbus, Ohio as well as an accomplished barrel-racer, she was urged by her boyfriend, Adam Short, to try her hand at driving. And after a few victories she was hooked. After mainly driving around the Ohio county fairs for her dad, Larry Finn, and Adam Short she then met veteran trainer Herman Hagerman whom she admits was instrumental in helping her along in her burgeoning career by offering her a chance to drive some good raceway stock. "He was the easiest man in the world to drive for," she said. "He is low keyed and easy going and he taught me a lot about handling and driving a harness horse." Once she joined the Billings Series she was a terror on the racetrack. She recently has won 12 races against accomplished Billings drivers at Delaware Ohio and at pari-mutuel racetracks in the Midwest. And on November 3rd she had a driving-double winning both Billings trots at Northfield Park. With her talent and dedication she has gained respect from all in the industry and the sky's the limit for Jazmin Arnold. When the members of the United States Harness Writers Association host their annual Convention and Awards Banquet in Orlando in late February "the Little Flower" will be in full bloom when she accepts the 2019 Dan Patch Amateur Driver of the Year Award. by John Manzi, chairman of USTA's National Amateur Driver of the Year Committee    

Monticello, NY - The odds are long these days that Standardbred's are still harness racing at the age of 14, this trait is a credit and testament to the durability and hardiness of the Standardbred. On January 1, 14 year olds will be forced into mandatory retirement, as Standardbreds cannot race in pari mutual events over the age of 14. Former Monticello Raceway Publicity guru John Manzi started this event in 1991, originally called the "Clash of the Senior Titans" its most famous dash of the seniors was in 2004 when The Suleiman nosed out Troy D in 2:02.4. Monticello Raceway is seeking additional entries and will try and fill both the Au Revoir Trot & Pace on December 27, the purse for each race will be $5,000, this is an invitational event. This year Monticello Raceway has a handful of aged trotting campaigners that have been competing at a high level throughout their last year of eligibility, Elias Joy, My Cool Breeze and Crypto Man. Between the trio they have combined lifetime starts of over 1010, 125 wins and over $850,000 in lifetime earnings. "After a long hiatus of this event due to the lack of entries, I think we will be able to conduct the race this year, I have been receiving calls from numerous horsemen inquiring about the event," said Eric Warner, longtime Monticello Raceway Race Secretary. Horsemen interesting in participating in these event should contact Eric Warner at (845) 794 4100 X 557 or ewarner@empireresorts.com for details. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

YONKERS, NY-- The coach showed-em how to do it. Paul Minore, a retired high school athletic coach and outstanding amateur driver, saved the best for last when he rallied his Glenferrie Dreamer in the final strides to win the $15000 final of the NAADA harness racing trotting series in 2:00.1 tonight (Dec. 5) at Yonkers Raceway. It was the third and final trotting 10-race series offered this year by NAADA. On a cold and windy evening Bob Hechkoff sent Five Towns to the lead from the six-hole when the wings of the mobile gate folded but found he had company in the presence of Dave Offenberg and Fiji who were making a bid for the lead but Hechkoff refused to yield. Meanwhile Minore was content to be in the two-hole as the leaders trotted by the first stanza in:29.1. But as they trotted by halfway point Fiji and Five Towns were heads apart as they raced one-two past the half in :59.3 while Minore sat chilly covered along the pylons. As the field passed the three quarters Fiji was beginning to show the perils of being parked out and began to fade. As he did Minore hustled Glenferrie Dreamer up to challenge Five Towns and they duked it out all the way down the lane. But as they approached the wire Minore's trotter was the stronger horse and eeked-out a head victory over Hechkoff's charge. Fiji was third, three lengths off the winner. It was the third victory of the season for Minore's 10 year old Dream Vacation gelding. Raced on the betting card Glenferrie Dreamer paid $5.60 to win. by John Manzi, for NAADA    

YONKERS, NY--The 2019 CKG Billings Amateur Driving Harness Racing Series is now in the books after $25,000 Gold Cup Championship Finals in the series Midwest and Eastern regions. Last night at The Meadows Kelly "Sky" Walker emerged victorious with Keystone Blade in the Midwest final and tonight at Yonkers Raceway Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford scored with Blasco in the East Regional finale. Both Billings Gold Cup finals were contested at a distance of 1-1/4 mile. Keystone Blade was victorious in 2:30 while Blasco scored in 2:29.1. Unlike last night's Gold Cup Final where the winner returned a $38.60 mutuel Oldford's trotter was second choice in the wagering and paid $6.10. In tonight's contest Oldford hustled Blasco to the lead from the two-hole and was in front when he passed the first quarter in :28.2. But as they trotted beyond the quarter pole Oldford, still on the pylons, opened up some daylight which allowed Minore to settle a parked Wygant Prince in behind him. As Blasco showed the way by the half mile pole "Yankee Joe" Lee moved the favorite, Inukchuk Chuck to the outside from far back and began moving up but he had to go three- deep as they neared the three quarter pole to get around Wygant Prince. Still in charge Blasco was a length to the good when he passed the one- mile marker in 1:59:3. And through the lane despite constant urging by Joe Lee, Inukchuk Chuck couldn't make up any ground on the leader and finished second , 1-1/2 lengths behind Blasco. Wygant Prince held on for the show dough. Oldford had qualified his trotter Utopia for the Midwest Gold Cup Final but they finished off the board. However, they more than made up for that with a gutsy win by Blasco in tonight's East Region Gold Cup Final. Blasco is owned by Oldford Racing and trained by Ethan Cisco. Although there is no award for best trotter in the BIllings Series one could easily nominate the Nick Surick-trained, Inukchuk Chuk. The veteran trotter won five Billings trots this year with four different drivers: Sofia Zingale, Tyler Miller, Kiara Morgan and two wins by Hannah Miller.   by John Manzi for the Billings Series

Yonkers, NY--As the NAADA Trotting Series third seasonal program nears its finale a short field went to post on Thursday night (Nov. 21) at Yonkers Raceway and a jubilant Miguel Alejo-Hernandez emerged victorious with Tropical Trice in a time of 2:01.1 defeating four others--due to late scratches- in the $8000 event which went to post prior to the first race on the betting card. And to say that Alejo-Hernandez was happy would be a gross understatement since it was his first-ever driving victory. And he was overwhelmed by a great congratulatory reception his competitors gave him in the paddock after the race. A member of the Rob Harmon stable operation Alejo-Hernandez eased his pacer away from the starting gate and settled in the four-hole as Joe Faraldo and Muzzys Muscles showed the way by the firstquarter in a soft :29.2. Comfortable on the lead Faraldo was in charge until late in the mile when Blazin Delores (Brett Beckwith) and Tony Verruso with Starsaboveallerage came calling. But Faraldo's charge rebuffed their challenges and he felt he was home free. But, by his own admission, he never saw the late rally on the far outside as Alejo-Hernandez had Tropical Trice in high gear and when the finish-line photo snapped Tropical Trice was a head winner over Muzzys Muscles. Starsaboveallerage was third, a length and a half farther back. On Wednesday, Dec.4 the series consolation will be contested at Monticello Raceway and the $15,000 NAADA Series Three Final will be raced at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday, Dec. 5 by John Manzi, for NAADA    

DAYTON, OH. - 2019 hasn't been a year to brag about for the classy veteran pacer Missile J, but on Saturday (Nov. 16) his harness racing back class prevailed in Hollywood Dayton Raceway's $16,500 Open Pace. The six-year-old son of American Ideal won for just the third time in 18 seasonal starts--earning $48,955--but the 1:51.2 score was his 26th in his career and boosted his lifetime bounty to $831,902. Dispatched at 10-1 odds, Missile J (Jeremy Smith) was content to get away fourth from the rail until launching a first-over attack just after the halfway juncture. After lapping in on the odds-on favorite, Tookadiveoffdipper (Brett Miller), at the three-quarter mile marker, the winner tacked on a :27.1 final panel to sail to victory by a length and a half. Tookadiveoffdipper did hang in for the place finish while Fools Desire (Kayne Kauffman) took advantage of a pocket ride to garner the show dough. Walter Haynes Jr. trains Missile J for the Indiana partnership of Jeff Fought, Brian Carsey, Dave Fought and Chris Myers. "Missile J is a funny horse," explained Haynes following the race. "You have to keep his attention or he'll take off galloping, but when you keep his mind on business he is wicked fast!" Jazmin Arnold wins again There's an old adage which states “when you're hot, you're hot” and that could easily be applied to Jazmin “the Little Flower” Arnold, the current hottest driver in the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series. Tonight the talented miss guided Celebrity Pegasus to a 1:59.1 victory in a Billings trot at Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway not only scoring her fifth victory in her last six starts but making a good case for consideration as the National Amateur Driver of the Year. Despite starting from the seven-hole Ms Arnold fired her trotter to the lead when the wings of the mobile gate folded and they led seven others past the quarter in a soft :29.4. And with no real challenges she got the veteran Andover Hall gelding by the halfway point in a very soft 1:02.  From there it was catch me if you can as she gave her horse his head and he trotted the last half in :57.1 en route to an oh-so-easy three -length triumph. Even with a two-hole journey Utopia and Steve “You're Never Too” Oldford could not gain on the leader and finished second. Song In My Hear and Tiny Tim” Miller took home the show dough. Celebrity Pegasus is owned by Morgan Hagerman and trained by Herman Hagerman. Sent off as the even money favorite he paid $4.00 for win. But perhaps the bigger story is the emergence of Jazmin Arnold as a top notch harness driver. After starting the year competing on the Ohio Fair circuit she has now graduated to being a stalwart at the big Midwest raceways. Her incredible seasonal stats include 23 wins, eight seconds and three thirds in 56 starts for an astounding .520 UDR. From Dayton Raceway and John Manzi

MONTICELLO, NY-- A short five-horse field assembled behind the harness racing mobile gate for the first race, a division of the North American Amateur Drivers Series, at Monticello Raceway on Thursday afternoon (Nov 14) and when the starter said "go" Bob Hechkoff immediately sent Five Towns to the lead and they led Lady's Big Stormont and driver Alan Schwartz by the first quarter in a soft :29.4. In hot pursuit of the leaders were Muzzy's Muscles (Joe Faraldo); Cheeky Little Miss (Tony Verruso) and ER Shane ( Joe Lee) and once the horses passed the by the first quarter, strangely the order never changed as Five Towns showed the way to the finish line to score a 2:00.3 triumph. Schwartz's trotter was second and Muzzys Muscles took home the show dough.Cheeky Little Miss finished fourth and earned fifth money "It's certainly an oddity when the horses finish in the exact order that they lined-up after the start," acknowledged NAADA president Joe Faraldo. "Obviously the short field played a part." Sent off as the favorite in the race, Five Towns, a 10-year-old Andover Hall gelding, notched his eighth seasonal victory and paid a paltry $3.50 for win. He's owned by RBH Ventures and Spagnola Racing LLC and trained by Kyle Spagnola. by John Manzi, for the NAADA Series

Northfield, OH-- Jazmin "the Little Flower" Arnold is really beginning to make a name for herself. The diminutive lady from Xenia, Ohio, just keeps doing what she knows best and that is driving harness racing winners and recently in the midwest region of the Billing Trotting Series On Sunday evening (Nov. 10) Arnold scored again when she reined Celebrity Pegasus to a romping six-length 1:55 triumph over Kelly "Sky" Walker's, Keystone Blade, in the $6000 Billings Trot. For the rising star it was her 22nd driving victory this season. True, more that half were on the Ohio County Fair circuit, but since gaining her full license she has been dominating her veteran Billings competitors at many pari-mutuel venues. Her victory on Sunday was her third consecutive - all with different Herman Hagerman-trained horses- at Nothfield Park. Her journey to victory on Sunday took an overland route from when she hustled Celebrity Pegasus to the lead from the five-hole and after wicked early half-mile fractions of :27.3 and 55.3, her trotter finally made the front. And once on top Arnold kept the pedal to the metal and the 7-year-old son of Andover Hall led the competition by the third stanza in 1:24.4, and through the stretch Celebrity Pegasus cruised to an easy victory. After parking the winner in the early going "Sky" Walker's Keystone Blade hung on for second money while Lavern "Michigan" Miller took home the show dough with Sea Fearher. The winner, owned by Morgan Hagerman, returned a $4.80 mutuel. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series  

Yonkers, NY- Back at Yonkers Raceway tonight the NAADA Trotting Series was the second race on the betting card and Dave Offenberg was not deterred by the sloppy racetrack. The longtime owner of prominent racing stock certainly took care of business when he fired Fiji to the front when the starter said go and then raced away and hid from his competition. After starting from the pole position by the time Fiji passed the first stanza he had a six-length lead on the Joe Faraldo-guided Tough Get Going making it the third consecutive season that Offenberg and his trusty steed were victorious over the famed New York double-oval. "He was exceptionally good tonight," Offenberg related via telephone after the race."I tapped him a couple of times and he really took off. After Fiji trotted by the quarter in :27.4 I was just a passenger, " Offenberg said. When they passed the half mile marker in :56.4 they were nine- lengths to the good and sill eight on top when they headed for home. "I tried to slow him down but it wasn't gonna happen," Offenbeg admitted. "So I finally relaxed on the lines and enjoyed the ride. We won the race by 7-1/2 lengths over Faraldo's trotter in 1:58.2." It marked the third consecutive season that Offenberg and Fiji were victorious at Yonkers Raceway. Owned by Offenberg's Allister Stables and trained by Eric Abbatiello Fiji paid $6.70 for win. by John Manzi, for the NAADA Series

MONTICELLO, NY--The chilly weather, with intermittent rain drizzling down , didn't deter Bob "Rapid Rail" Krivelin from his mission today. The three-time National Amateur Driver of the Year sent his trusty harness racing steed, Permanent Joy, to the lead when the wings of the mobile gate folded and then made every pole a winning one en route to a 1-1/2 length victory in the CKG Billings trot at Monticello Raceway.on a gloomy Thursday afternoon. Starting from the pole position Krivelin sent his charge to the front and they had command on the first turn. "My horse doesn't like dirt in his face so I wanted the front end, " Krivelin explained. "And all through his long career once Permanent Joy gets in front he doesn't like t give up the lead. And thankfully, today, I guess was no exception" With a six-horse field and two trotters breaking after the start, Krivelin got away with a soft 30 second first quarter even as Annie "Get You're Gun" Stoebe hustled Pembroke Bada Bing in behind Permanent Joy. They then raced one-two by the half in 1:01 and the order remained the same as they trotted by the third stanza in 1:31.1. When the field headed for home Permanent Joy opened a two length lead and then rebuffed any and all challenges to score his fifth seasonal triumph. Pembroke Bada Bing finished second and The Cuse is Loose garnered the show dough for Billings president, Tony "the Capo" Verruso. Sent off at odds of 4-1 Permanent Joy, a $258,000 career winner, notched his 43rd lifetime victory and repaid his backers with a $10.00.mutuel. And for Krivelin, it was his 222nd winning drive by John Manzi, for the CKG Billings Series

NORTHFIELD, OH--Those who watched the CKG Billings races at Northfield Park on Sunday night got to see an industry rising star guide, not one, but two trotters to the winners circle that evening. Fittingly nicknamed "the Lethal Lady", Jazmin Arnold certainly lived up to that moniker. Up behind favored Buddy Hally from the four hole in the first contest, Ms Arnold gunned her charge for the lead and had to trot a :27.4 first quarter before Kelly "Sky" Walker and Jurgen Hanover yielded command. Once on top Arnold kept the pedal to the metal and Buddy Hally completely annihilated his competition. Comfortable on the lead Arnold guided her charge to a seven-length triumph in a very creditable 1:56 clocking. Utopia and driver Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford, trotted through traffic to gain the place money while Michelle "the Belle" Ruvola took home the show dough with Better Call Saul. Owned by Joseph Varga and trained by Herman Hagerman, Buddy Hally paid $4.60 for win. In the othe Billings event Ms Arnold used different tactics after starting from the pole position with Nono Lindy. When the starter said "go" she allowed Alesha "the Hoosier Hotshot" Binkley, with United Bi, and Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford with Smart Flight, to find room along the pylons in front of her. United Bi led Smart Flight all the way to the three quarters at which point Ms Arnold rallied favored Nono Lindy and the altered son of Crazed trotted to the lead when the field turned for home and at the wire they were a length to the good over United Bi. Smart Flight finished third. Owned by Terrence Smith and trained by Herman Hagerman, Nono Lindy, returned a $4.60 mutuel. But perhaps the bigger story is the emergence of Jazmin Arnold as a top flight tail-setter. For the 24 year old miss who began the season mainly on the county fair circuits, she now has 21 wins, eight seconds and five thirds in 54 starts for a phenomenal .502 UDR. by John Manzi, for the CKG Billings Series

YONKERS, NY--After a NAADA amateur event at Monticello this afternoon members of the CKG Billings Series gathered gathered at Yonkers Raceway tonight to compete in two harness racing trotting events before the first race on the betting card and oddly each contest was won in wire-to-wire fashion. In the first $6000 split "Mighty Matt" Zuccarello took advantage of the rail position and sent Broadway Bruiser to the front when the wings of the mobile gate folded and the veteran trotter made every pole a winning on en route to a 2:02.1 victory over the wet racetrack. "Coach Paul" Minore used the same tactics in his $6000 event when he sent his veteran trotter, Wygant Prince, to the lead from the two-hole and cruised to an easy two-length triumph in a 2:00 clocking. Zuccarello, who doubles as the publicist for the GSY Amateur Drivers Series, enjoys every chance he gets to sit behind a spirited steed under battle conditions, something he's been doing since 2011. Tonight he took no prisoners and rebuffed any and all challengers to score a two-length triumph over Noble Warrawee, and driver,"Iron Mike" Polansky finished second and last year's National Amateur Driver of the Year, "Joltin' Joe" Pennacchio, garnered the show dough with Cheeky Little Miss. Broadway Bruiser, 4-year old Muscle Mass gelding, is owned by Harmon Racing, Winners Circle Racing and John Campagnuolo and trained by Rob Harmon. In his split, Minore sent Wygant Prince to the front and once there it was 'Katey-bar-the-door' as the veteran trotter cruised virtually unchallenged to notch his 41st career victory and raise his career earnings to over $466,000. Tough Get Going, in rein to "Smokin' Joe" Faraldo stalked the leader throughout but couldn't overtake him and went home with the place money. And although Finnick Odair rallied strongly at the three quarters he then flattened out and finished third for Melissa "the Contessa" Arbia.. Wygant Prince is also owned by Minore and trained by Taylor Gower. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series  

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