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Monticello, NY--Each year amateur harness racing becomes a bigger part in the Standardbred sport with many talented drivers displaying impressive abilities guiding spirited steeds to victory. And this season has been no exception especially with the expansive opportunities available with the ever-growing number of amateur organizations dotting the landscape. In spite of the talents of a multitude of amateur drivers the USHWA National Committee unanimously voted Joe Pennacchio this years recipient of National Amateur Driver of the Year. Although having prominent stats, which "Joltin' Joe " has, it takes more than that for consideration. Besides being a member of many amateur organizations Pennacchio is the president of the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association and sits on the Board of the USTA. Since he purchased his first horse in 1987, over the years Joe has owned more than a hundred standardbreds and in 2004 his 3-year-old trotter, Yankee Slide, won the prestigious Breeders Crown at Woodbine in Canada with Brian Sears in the sulky. " Yankee Slide was trained by Steve Elliot and was sent off at odds of 40-1 and man we were pleasantly surprised with his victory," Pennacchio recalled. But Pennacchio still can remember the first horse he ever purchased. "In 1987 I bought a pacer by the name of Skipper Marlow and raced him at Monticello under the care of Craig Mosher. In 1995 I drove for the first time and had two wins in three starts. That year both wins were with a trotter by the name of Fox Valley Trump. I won at Delaware ,Ohio and then at the Red Mile. After that I was hooked," Pennacchio said. The next year Pennacchio and Fox Valley Trump won the $30,000 Billings Series Final at Freehold Raceway covering thr 1-1/4 mile distance in a time of 2:31.3 Since then "Joltin' Joe (his Billings nickname) has won 176 races. This past season he had 65 starts with 14 wins, 11 seconds and four thirds for a .330 UDR. He currently owns 14 race horses. Pennacchio's Florida contingent is handled by Jim McDonald while Allen Sisco trains his stock in New York. Over the years Joe has won races on all size racetracks and has enjoyed some nice horses along the way. He has even won races in Europe and thoroughly enjoys the sport and the horses he's owned. But arguably his favorite is Super Manning, who is still racing today. The veteran trotter has won $650,000 thus far in his career and earned a record of 1:54.1 taken at Yonkers Raceway. Pennacchio is a retired CEO who spent most of his career in department store retailing. His last assignment was as the president of Jordan Marsh department stores in Boston. He has had significant experience in running companies with both United States and foreign facilities and has served on several boards for both private and public companies. He will receive his National Amateur Driver of the Year Award when the US Harness Writers Association holds its annual Dan Patch Awards Banquet in Orlando, Florida on February 24, 2019. For room and ticket information, visit www.ushwa.org. by John Manzi, chairman of USHWA's Amateur Driver Committee

Yonkers, NY- Joe Faraldo is a happy man. And why shouldn't he be? After all, the veteran amateur driver just won the $15,000 Final of the North American Amateur Drivers Association's fourth and final trotting series with Tough Get Going at Yonkers Raceway on Friday night (Dec. 7). They toured the Hilltop oval in a time of 2:00 to score a one-length victory over Monica Banca and Master of Excuses. When the wings of the mobile gate sprung Banca sent Master of Excuses to the lead from the two hole with Faraldo's charge on the limb pushing the pace after starting from post five. “I wanted to take the lead but Monica wouldn't have it and she said 'get behind me', which I did and it worked out to be the winning move,” Faraldo related by phone after the race. Banca and Master of Excuses passed the first stanza in :28.4 and they were comfortable by the half in :59.4. The leaders then raced one-two past the three quarters in 1:29.1 and on the final turn Faraldo moved Tough Get Going off the pylons. “My horse felt strong at that point and when we straightened for home I knew we'd be the winner,” he said.  Master of Excuses was second best a head in front of third place finisher Multitaskr Hanover in rein to Jennifer Lappe. Tough Get Going has won his last two starts and recently has been at the top of his game. Asked how come the he's currently racing better Faraldo was quick to respond. “He likes the cold weather and he can breath better when the temperature dips,” All things considered ,the veteran 5-year Kadabra gelding has amassed almost $47,000 this season. He's owned by Faraldo and Richie Banca and trained by Banca. Sent off as second choice Tough Get Going paid $6.00 for win. This has been a very prolific season for NAADA. Besides four 10-race series during the year the longtime amateur organization has hosted European amateur clubs from Hungary, Spain, Italy and France. And in September NAADA members traveled to Mallorca to race against the Spanish amateurs on their turf. “We plan to do much of the same next year, too,” Faraldo added. John Manzi        

John Manzi, the guy who carried the torch for decades, reveled in the moment when 175 well-wishers packed The Fountains at Wallkill Golf Club to honor his lifelong passion and lifetime achievement in harness racing on Sunday evening, Dec. 2. The banquet was the chapter's 60th annual event, but after 40 years of running the show, Manzi said he wanted to step aside and let his successors run with the ball. Retired after famously re-inventing harness racing promotions while managing the publicity department at Monticello Raceway for 40 years, Manzi has always said, "I had a great run. It's better to be a 'has been' than a never was!" "I didn't make a lot of money, but I sure made a lot of great friends and great memories! And we pulled off some crazy promotions too!" he said with a laugh. Manzi was the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association's Lifetime Achievement Award winner...and has been the fuel that propelled the chapter to become one of the strongest in the association. "We have had many National USHWA presidents come from our chapter, and we have given tens of thousands of dollars to both the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame, as well as Goshen Historic Track," Manzi noted. "We are very proud of that." A souvenir journal with 16 color pages of iconic photos from Manzi's famed office walls were like a walk down memory lane. Hall of Famer, and cousin, Cat Manzi, along with his other cousin Eddie Lohmeyer also made the trip to surprise the guest of honor. Manzi's brothers Gary and Gerard were also on hand. On a Manzi-filled night, the inaugural recipient of the John Manzi Leadership Award was the Hambletonian Society's COO Moira Fanning. Always an eloquent speaker, and self-appointed Manzi-instigator, Fanning outlined how men like Manzi, Marv Bachrad, Tom Charters and Bill Fidati all gave a former-caretaker many of the opportunities the sport had to offer. "For me, it was more like a 'She Too' movement...illustrating what her mentors thought, 'If I could do it, she could too!" And do it she has, rising to the top echelon of a male-dominated sport, earning a seat on every executive board in the industry. Other prominent honorees included, Chuck Connor (John Gilmour Good Guy), Peter Gerry (Amy Bull Crist Distinguished Service Award), Salt Hill Farm/Jim & Anne Feeley (Cradle of the Trotter Breeders Award), Jennifer Lappe (Amateur Driver), Debbie Little (Phil Pines), Shane Darish (Rising Star), and Arthur Robinson (Award of Appreciation). Of course the local equine practitioners from the Monticello Harness Horsemen's Association where also honored. Driver of the Year, Mike Merton was on hand to accept his award for most wins, as was Kearstin DeGraw, the Caretaker of the Year from the Gary Messenger Stable. Monticello Raceway's horse of the Year was Johnnie DeSimone's Sentimental Lady. Proceeds from the generosity of advertisers in the souvenir journal and banquet ticket sales go toward making sizeable donations to both the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame and Goshen Historic Track, two distinct and separate entities that each received $4,000 from the chapter coffers in 2018. by Chris Tully for Monticello-Goshen USHWA        

Yonkers, NY--Harness racing's granddaddy of all amateur events, the CKG Billings Harness Driving Series, presented its 37th annual Gold and Silver Cup Finals at Yonkers Raceway on Sunday, November 25th and they resulted in near storybook fashion when coincidentally the $25,000 Gold Cup was won by the series vice president,Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford, and the $15,000 Silver Cup Final went to the series president, Tony "the Capo" Verruso, making it the first time that the event's top officers were victorious in the races' finales. The long-running program is, and has always been, sponsored by the Delvin Miller Memorial Harness Driving Series, better known as the Billings, Raced this season at a distance of 1-1/4 miles over the double-oval at Yonkers Raceway the two 10-horse fields were very competitive with Oldford and Starsaboveallerage, despite being sent off at odds of over 22-1,winning the Gold Cup in a tight photo over On The Podium ("Tough Tony" Ciuffetelli) in a time of 2:32. The Silver Cup Final went to Landonfitz, driven by the series president, Tony "the Capo" Verruso over Winwood Scout and driver "Dave "Modern Legend" Drew in a time of 2:31.4. Both drivers had to negotiate ten-horse fields en route to victory. Oldford is enjoying one of his best seasons in the sulky and has already topped the leaderboards in the midwest division and the Billings Travel Series and he has copped the Billings overall points championship. "I had a pretty good journey when you consider the Gold Cup was a the 10-horse field,"Oldford said after he won the Gold Cup. "I got lucky to find a hole early and although I had to go three-deep around Dave (Offernberg with Fiji) my horse cleared them quickly before the half and we raced toward Joe (Faraldo with Tough Get Going) who was on the lead and we finally caught them and put them away in the stretch. "Then we had to contend with the late challenge from Tony (Ciuffitelli and On The Podium) but my old guy hung tough and we won the race by just a head, which in reality was as good as winning by a mile". Faraldo's charge held on for the show dough." Starsaboveallerage, a 7-year-old altered son of Angus Hall is owned by Oldford Racing and trained by Allen Sisco. He paid $47.20; $16.40 and $11.20 across the board. In the Silver Cup Verruso's ride behind Landonfitz was a lot less complicated. "I got lucky to find a hole early and then had a perfect trip," Verruso explained. "Despite losing my whip at the half I didn't have to move until I came first-up when we headed to the three quarters and Landonfitz easily circled Dave Drew;s horse (Winwood Scout) and we didn't have any serious challenges after that. We cruised home an easy winner." Super Manning, driven by "Joltin' Joe" Pennacchio, finished third just a head behind Winwood Scout. Landonfitz, an 8-year-old Jailhouse Jesse gelding is owned by the Allister Stables and trained by Eric Abbatiello. He paid $11.40 for win. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series

Wilkes-Barre, Pa---In a thrilling stretch duel Dave "the Rave" Offenberg got his venerable trotter, Fiji, up in the final strides to collar Winwood Scout and driver "Buffalo Bob" Davis to reel in the lions share of the $12,000 purse offered in the Billings East Regional Final on Saturday night (Nov. 17) at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. In a field reduced to six starters, Offenberg and Fiji departed from the pole position and watched as "Buffalo Bob" Davis and Winwood Scout get in a speed duel with On The Podium ("Yankee Joe" Lee) as the two leaders trotted by the first panel in :27.4. They were still side-by-side as they headed for the halfway point with Lee looking for room along the pylons but with Uriel and "Annie Get Your Gun" Stoebe tight on his back second over, no room was to be had as the trotters along the pylons kept all the holes closed. When the field went by the half mile pole Winwood Scout was on the lead with Fiji tucked in nicely in the two hole and On The Podium and Uriel parked on the limb. Winwood Scout was in command as he passed the third stanza in 1:27.2 with On The Podium still second on the outside. But when the field headed for home, Offenberg,,who was in the catbird seat, rallied Fiji as On The Podium began to fade. In the deep stretch it was Winwood Scout and Fiji... and Fiji and Winwood Scout.., as the two trotters battled all the way to the wire and after the judges posted the tight win-photo the victory went to Fiji and Offeberg in a time of 1:57.1. Tony "the Capo" Verruso, up behind Peoplesayimnogood, trailed the leaders throughout and rambled home for the show dough. Fiji is owned by Offenberg's Allister Stables LLC and trained by Eric Abbatiello. It was the sixth victory for Fiji this year which raised his seasonal bankroll to nearly $50,000. For Offenberg he notched his fourth seasonal triumph and 55th of his amateur career. Offenberg now joins "Marvelous Marvin" Raber who won the Midwest Region Final last week with Mikey Hanover at Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway and both drivers have earned the privilege to draw inside post positions in the $25,000 Delvin Miller Memorial Gold Cup Final at Yonkers Raceway on November 25. by John Manzi for the Billings Series    

Monticello, NY--The final leg of the North American Amateur Drivers Association's fourth trotting series of the season went to post at Monticello Raceway on Thursday (Nov. 15) and to the pleasant surprise of those who purchased win tickets on Tough Get Going were rewarded when Joe Faraldo sent the veteran trotter to the lead when the wings of the mobile gate folded and then made every pole a winning one en route to a 2:01.1 victory. And each lucky ticket holder received $47.00 for each two-dollar wager. "The crowd didn't have much faith in my horse's ability in here today but I felt fairly confident that he had good chance to win if things broke our way in the race," Faraldo said as he handed the reins to the caretaker upon returning to the paddock. Tough Get Going has had some trouble behind the starting gate on occasions but today wasn't one of those days. When the starter said "go" Faraldo sent his trotter to the lead and was challenged on the outside by Makin Trouble K and driver Joe Lee, Faraldo played hardball and wanted the front-end so he opened up a hole behind him and Lee took back and found room along the pylons as they passed the first stanza in a soft :29.2. With the field lined-up behind Tough Get Going the venerable trotter led them by the halfway point in 1:01.2 where Jennifer Lappe decided to move the 2 to 5 betting favorite, Winning Princess, out to challenge and they ranged up alongside the leader. "When we passed the half my horse was strong and I felt pretty confident that we had a good chance to win it,"Faraldo related. "And when Jennifer couldn't clear I felt even better." Although Tough Get Going and Winning Princess raced side-by-side as they passed the three quarters in 1:31:1 the former got first call. On the final turn Faraldo's charge had opened a length lead and despite a strong drive by Lappe her trotter hung and Tough Get Going emerged a one-length winner in a 2:01.1 clocking. Four lengths in the rears, in third place went to Makin Trouble K. Tough Get Going is owned by Joe Faraldo and Richie Banca and trained by Banca. The 5-yr-old altered son of Kadabra won for the fourth time this year and raised his seasonal bankroll to nearly $39,000. For Faraldo, a former Amateur Driver of the Year(2000), it was his 145th career win in the USA. by John Manzi, for NAADA

Monticello, NY - The publicity stunts that John Manzi has pulled off are the stuff that legends are made of. So much so that when Harness Racing writers and promoters consider ways to get people to come to the track, chances are that John Manzi has been there, done that! When the Monticello - Goshen Chapter of the United States Harness Writers hold their 60th annual awards banquet on Sunday, December 2, 2018, John Manzi will receive the organization's highest honor: The Lifetime Achievement Award. Already a member of the Communicators Hall of Fame, Manzi retired a few years ago, but without a doubt, when harness aficionados think of the hardest working, most dedicated and creative publicity hound in the business, without a doubt they think of John Manzi. Known for his affable demeanor, wacky promotions, and as Master of Ceremonies of some of the Catskill region's most memorable awards banquets, JM in the PM has never disappointed. This list of individuals that Manzi and his Monticello-Goshen Chapter of USHWA have honored over the last several decades reads like a "who's who" of harness racing. Whether he was racing camels versus elephants, or crowning the King of the Matzos, Monticello Raceway's man of the hour has always been John Manzi. Although retired after 40 years of bright lights and big laughs, Hall of Famer Manzi still covers the Amateur Driving races and continues to host his Sunday night Doo Wop radio show, in its fifth decade. This year, in addition to the year-end awards for horses and horse people from the local tracks, the Monticello-Goshen chapter will also honor Moira Fanning (John Manzi Leadership Award); Chuck Connor (John Gilmour Good Guy Award); Salt Hill Farm (Cradle of the Trotter Breeders Award); Peter Gerry (Amy Bull Crist Distinguished Service Award); Jennifer Lappe (Amateur Driver); Debbie Little (Phil Pines Award); Shane Darish (Rising Star); and Arthur Robinson (Award of Appreciation). Tickets for the gala event can be reserved by contacting Shawn Wiles at (845) 794-4100 extension 458 or Email: swiles@empireresorts.com. To place a congratulatory ad in the souvenir journal, please contact Chris Tully at (845) 807-7538 or Email: tullytrot@yahoo.com.   by Chris Tully for the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of USHWA      

Monticello, NY-- For the 10th consecutive year the North American Amateur Drivers Association,along with the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club ,donated to the local Federation for the Homeless. This season a $1000 check was presented to Federation's Kathy Kreiter from the aforementioned amateur driving organizations after Brandon Parker reined Gold Star Dynasty to a 1:59.3 triumph at Monticello Raceway in a race named in their honor. by John Manz,i for the local amateur driving clubs

Dayton, Ohio-- Although the seven-month CKG Billings Harness Driving Series is winding down this season the finals in both the Midwest and Eastern Regions, as well as the Gold and Silver Cup Finals, will be forthcoming. Tonight at Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway in Ohio the top point earners in the Midwest Region battled for a $10,000 purse but it was "Marvelous Marvin" Raber and Mikey Hanover who made a laugher out of the contest when they sailed to the lead and played catch me if you can, and nobody could as they trotted of to a four length triumph in a 1:56.3 clocking. But at the top of the stretch in that race Mikey Hanover had eight open lengths on his competition and he just coasted home an easy winner for "Marvelous Marv" With the starting gate in high gear when the field of trotters was turned loose Gregg "Fast Greggy" Kiedel sent the eight-horse, Nashville Holiday, to the front and they had command in a :27.2 first quarter with Mikey Hanover comfortable in the two-hole. Not content to follow, Raber moved Mikey Hanover to the lead before the halfway point and Mikey was full of trot and stepped a :28.4 third split to open a three-length lead over Kiedel's charge as he whizzed by the three quarters in 1:25.2. From there the only thing that was in doubt was how many lengths would Raber's trotter win by? When he headed down the lengthy home stretch Mikey Hanover had upped his lead to eight lengths and Raber sat cool looking around for challenges which never came as they crossed the wire an easy four-length winner. Fairground Drama and Richard "the Wolverine" Roach, who were traveling along in fourth position, rallied and finished second. Nashville Holiday, had broken equipment and faded to third. The winner, a 9-year-old altered son of Majestic Son , is owned by Leroy Keim and trained by Robert Coblentz. He returned a $14.00 win mutuel. The Billings, known as the granddaddy of all amateur organizations, will present the East Region Final at Pocono Downs next Saturday with the series Gold & Silver Cup Finals set for November 25 at Yonkers Raceway. by John Manzi, for the Billing Series

Yonkers, NY---As the fourth and final series of the North American Amateur Drivers Association nears completion the eighth leg of the 10-race Fall competition was contested at Yonkers Raceway with two short fields going to post prior to the harness racing betting card getting underway and when both events were completed Alan Schwartz and Bobby Ciavardini each emerged victorious in their respective splits. Schwartz won with his old warhorse Ladys Big Stormont in 2:01.1 while Ciavardini copped his division with Baltimor AS in 2:01.4. Both races were contested over a sloppy racetrack. Schwartz and his veteran trotter started from the pole position and they sped to the front and had two lengths on their competition at the quarter in :28.2. After tapping the brakes Ladys Big Stormont got by the half in :59.3 Up the backside Schwartz was comfortable and braced for challenges from the ladies, Jennifer Lappe with Celebrity Blue Chip and Monica Banca with Master Of Excuses. Once Ladys Big Stormont rounded the final turn he put it in another gear and rambled off to a solid three-length triumph. Celebrity Blue Chip photoed-out Master Of Excuses for second money. Schwartz owns and trains the winner who notched his 11th seasonal triumph and raised his 2018 bankroll to over $53,000. In his split Ciavardini was content sit in the three- hole as Annie Stoebe took command with Uriel on the first turn and they showed the way past the quarter in :30.0. They were still without any challenges as they trotted by the half in 1:01.2. When the field headed for the three quarters Ciavardini moved Baltimor AS off the pylons to challenge and the two raced side by side into the turn and when they headed for home Baltimor AS had gained command and went on to a length victory over Uriel. Third place went to Here Comes Numbers driven by Dr John Kokinos. Ciavardini put racing on the back-burner in the mid-1980's and after completing his professional working career he rejoined the amateur ranks two years ago. From a limited. amount of starts this was his first seasonal driving victory.. Tom Milici owns the trotter who's trained by Austin Gilbert. by John Manzi, for NAADA

Monticello, NY--It doesn't seem to matter who Jennifer "the Golden Girl" Lappe races against; amateurs or professionals. She does equally well against both. Today(Nov. 8) at Monticello Raceway she had a driving double on the betting card when she won an amateur contest in race two, and then came right back with a victory against professional drivers in race three. And currently "the Golden Girl" is ringing up stats that the professionals would be proud of. Her first victory was with Multitaskr Hanover ($4.60) in 2:00.1, which, by the way, was Lappe's second consecutive triumph with the Explosive Matter gelding. In today's contest"Coach Paul" Minore hustled Wygant Prince to the front but "Yankee Joe" Lee, with On The Podium, parked him to a :28.4 first quarter before he allowed Minore to take charge. At that point Lappe was in third position along the pylons after starting from the three-hole. When he field rounded the second turn and headed down the stretch On The Podium was still the race leader in a the :58.4 clocked half. As the field trotted to the third stanza Lappe moved Multitaskr Hanover off the pylons and made a serious challenge for the lead. As they trotted by the three quarters Lappe's horse tried to pull- up but expertly she allowed him to drift so as not to go off-stride and once she settled him they got back in the race. However, Ms Lappe displayed her displeasure with her trotter's drifting and she went to work on getting him back to strongly challenge On the Podium as they rounded the final turn. In the lane Multtaskr Hanover trotted to the lead and went on to a one-length triumph over On The Podium. Fiji, with Dave "the Rave" Offenberg at the controls, came from far back to finish third. Although she didn't have much time to hang up the lines after her victory and get Giddy Up Delight ready for the very next race, she did however, explain that Multitaskr Hanover lost his left front shoe in the post parade and they returned to the paddock to have it nailed on. "I was grateful that we found the shoe and that the paddock blacksmith nailed it in place; But it took quite a while," Lappe said of the ordeal that caused a big delay at the start of the race." When we did get back on the racetrack we had no time to score down and had to go directly behind the starting gate . And I think a cold start confused Multitaskr and in the race he tried to pull-up before the final turn. But what ever it was once I got him back heading in the right direction he was full of trot." After her three-length 1:57.4 pacing victory with Giddy Up Delight ($10.80)in the following race "the Golden Girl" currently has 35 wins, 43 seconds and 53 thirds in 288 seasonal starts, good for a .266UDR. Lappe has a big stable and as a trainer of record this season she has 92 wins in 557 starts good for a .298UDR. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series

DAYTON, OH. - Account Rollover (Josh Sutton) tipped three-wide nearing the three quarter pole in what turned out to be the winning move in the Saturday (Nov. 3) night $17,500 Open Pace at Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway. Sutton chose to sit near the back of the field during the :26.1 opening split, then moved into second-over position by the :54.2 halfway point. Sensing the heated early fractions were beginning to take their toll, Account Rollover was moved to the third lane as the field passed the 1:23 third timing station. Once getting the lead at the head of the stretch and opening up a couple lengths, the winning 7-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding dug down deep to hold off late challenges by runnerup Holdingallthecards (Jeremy Smith) and show finisher My Buddy Ninkster (Shawn Barker II). The final time was 1:52.1. Jim Eaton trains Account Rollover, who was making his third local start following place and show finishes in his first two. Robert Silberberg owns the 29-time winner who is nearing $300,000 in earnings. Dispatched at 7-1 odds, Account Rollover returned a handsome $16.20 win mutual. Excitement is building at Hollywood Dayton anticipating the return of Foiled Again next Saturday night (Nov. 10) for his final race in the state of Ohio. Patrons in attendance will have an opportunity to win a large Breyer replica of Foiled Again, win a double-seater jog cart ride behind Foiled Again (accompanied by driver Chris Page), or win one of dozens of smaller Breyer replicas of Foiled Again that will be awarded as pop-up gifts to random users of self-service betting terminals on that evening. From Dayton Raceway Media Department Gregg Keidel wins Dayton Billings Trot leg He doesn't get a chance to drive many times during the season but recently Gregg "Fast Greggy" Keidel has been performing admirably, especially with Nashville Holiday, Keidel has won two consecutive Billings trots with the altered 6-year-old son of SJs Caviar; the first two weeks ago at Northfield Park and this evening at Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway. In many ways harness racing is no different from other competitive sports in that cliches are part of the game. In this industry,sometimes there is what's referred to as racing luck, which occurs often for many drivers of horses who happen to be the first under the wire. And tonight in the second race in Dayton, Ohio racing luck played big part in Nashville Holiday's victory when Keidel hustled his trotter to the lead and then parked Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford and the betting favorite, Stirling Boudica, to a :27.3 first quarter before smartly grabbing leather. But Keidel's luck tonight was a result of his own making. After letting Oldford's trotter gain commend Keidel sat patiently waiting for the quick first quarter to take a toll on the favorite. But fatigue from the pacesetter was a longtime coming as Oldford and Stirling Boudica got first call by the half in :57.3 and then again at the three quarters in 1:27.2. At that point Keidel again made a wise decision by not moving off the pylons when Fairground Drama and Richard "the Lion Hardhearted"Roach came calling. And when the leaders straightened for home Fairground Drama had his head in front of Stirling Boudica's with Keidel sitting chilling along the pylons waiting to make a challenge. That came when "Fast Greggy" and Nashville Holiday shot down the passing lane and rallied to a 1-1/4 length triumph as the final time flashed 1:57.2. Fairground Drama held second and a tiring Sterling Boudica faded badly but still earned the show dough. The winner is owned by Jeffrey and Toni Arvin and trained by Jeff Brewer. He paid $9.60. It was Keidel's second seasonal driving victory and the 105th of his amateur career. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series

Monticello, NY--Two solid divisions for members of the North American Amateur Drivers Association were presented on the pleasant fall afternoon of November 1 at Monticello Raceway and when the judges hung the official signs Jennifer Lappe and Alan Schwartz won their respective splits; Lappe with Multitaskr Hanover in 2:00.4 and Schwartz up behind Peoplesayimnogood in 1:59.1. In the first division Lappe hustled her trotter to the lead as the wings of the mobile gate folded and they had command with Ladys Big Stormont out on the limb when the field headed for the quarter pole. As they approached the first marker Lappe grabbed leather and allowed Schwartz's charge to take command as the timer flashed :28.4. Content to enjoy a covered trip Lappe followed Schwartz's lead and Ladys Big Stormont trotted by the halfway point in :59.3. Still being stalked as the field passed the three quarters Ladys Big Stoemon seemed comfortable, but when the two rounded the final turn Lappe slide out from behind her cover and Multitaskr Hanover trotted to the lead and finished one length better than Ladys Big Stormont. Third place went to Gianni and driver, Bob Davis in the 2:00.2 trotted mile. Asked why she chose to move to the outside when the field rounded the final turn instead of taking advantage of the passing lane, Lappe responded ; "my horse drifted out coming off the turn so instead of trying to angle him back toward the passing lane I gave him his head and he responded wonderfully by trotting around Alan's horse and on to an easy victory." It was the 30th driving victory this year for Ms Lappe who not only competes in amateur races but also drives against the professionals. Currently, to go along with her 30 wins, are 43 seconds and 53 thirds and a respectful ,256 UDR from 280 starts thus far this year. It was also her 87th training victory for the accomplished horsewoman. Ms Lappe owns and trains the winner who paid $8.80. Although he finished second in the first NAADA trot Alan Schwartz made amends when he rallied Peoplesayimnogood to a three-length triumph in the second division. After starting from the three-hole Schwartz eased his trotter to the pylons when the gate sprung and Joe Faraldo sent Tough Get Going toward the front but Joe Lee, with Tim Lizzie, parked him by the first quarter in :28.2. Once in command Faraldo kept the pedal to the metal and Tough Get Going opened a five-length lead as they trotted by the half in :57.2. At that point Schwartz's trotter was third, some seven lengths off the lead, but as Tough Get Going passed the three quarters he only had two lengths on the field and Schwartz rallied Peoplesayimnogood to third position. When he rounded the final turn Schwartz took aim at a leg-weary Tough Get Going and by mid-stretch Peoplesayimnogood had command and were pulling away and went on to a three-length triumph in a 1:59.1 clocking. Third place went to Celebrity Blue Chip, driven by Jennifer Lappe. "This was the first time I drove Peoplesayimnogood and I didn't know much him since he did most of his racing out of town. But he was a perfect horse to drive," Schwartz said after the race." We had a covered trip and when I pulled him it was 'ballgame'." The winner, who notched his 7th seasonal triumph, is owned by Dr. Scott Woogen and trained by Gary Messenger. He paid $15.20 for win. And for Schwartz it was his 11th seasonal triumph and 607th of his brilliant amateur career. by John Manzi, for NAADA

Northfield, Ohio--Winning Billings trots in the midwest region is getting to be a habit for Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford. The talented reinsman from Michigan, who is also the vice president of the CKG Billings Harness Driving Series, scored an easy wire-to-wire triumph with Stirling Boudica in 1:58.3 Sunday night at Northfield Park. It was Oldford's second consecutive victory there. Sent off as the 4-5 favorite from the five-hole Oldford did what should be done when one has the best horse in the race. He sent the 8-year-old daughter of Malabar Man immediately to the lead in a :28.1 first quarter and once in command, and with no challengers, Oldford was able to tap the brakes as his mare led Tipontab ,and driver Cubbie Van Wagoner, to the mid-way point in :58.1. First to move was "Marvelous Marvin" Raber when he took aim at the leader with Buckeye Patty when the field straightened up he backside. But they never did get alongside the leaders, Around the final turn Stirling Boudica was in front with Tipontab still following her and at this point Oldford's mare appeared strong-- and she was-- and rambled home a two-length winner with Tipontab second best. Meanwhile, Buckeye Patty stalled, which allowed Better Call Saul and "Michelle the Belle" Ruvola to rally and both horses were inseparable for the show dough when they reached the finish line. Racing his stock at Northfield Park has been fruitful for Oldford. He won a Billings trot for the third time is as many weeks and he has been victorious in five of his last six trips to post. Currently with 12 wins and a .328 UDR, it has vaulted him into the running for National Amateur Driver of the Year, an honor Oldford won a few years ago. The winner, Stirling Boudica, is owned by Oldford Racing and trained by Kody Massey. She paid $3.40. And for Oldford it marked his 142nd lifetime driving victory.. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series  

Edward A. Palladino, Jr., former local area sports writer, died Thursday, October 25, 2018 at Golden Hill Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Born November 19, 1933 in Poughkeepsie, he is the son of the late Edward A. and Nancy (Guido) Palladino, Sr. He was 85. A graduate of the Mt. Carmel Elementary School and Pougkeepsie High School Class of 1951, Ed played baseball and basketball and began his career as a sports writer for the Poughkeepsie Journal following graduation from Poughkeepsie High. His sports writing career was interrupted in 1952 when he served our country in the United States Marine Corps., attaining the rank of Sergeant during the Korean War; he was the recipient of the National Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, and the Republic of Korea Service Medal. After his service to our country; Ed returned to the Poughkeepsie Journal for two years until 1957 when he moved to Kingston. In 1957; he began working at the Daily Freeman as a sports writer. From 1957 to 1974; Ed held several different positions at the Freeman; such as the Assistant City Editor, City Editor and Managing Editor. For the following ten years; from 1975 to 1985, Ed took his sports writing talents to the Capital District to work for the Albany Times Union, where he was awarded "Outstanding Harness Writer in the Northeast", only to return to the Daily Freeman from 1985 through 1996. During this time he championed the renovation at Dietz Stadium to convert it to an all-purpose field and won "Most Popular Area Columnist". In 1997; Ed took the position as the first Press Box Manager for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays organization; retiring in 2000. Ed was the First Chairman of the Dietz Stadium Commission; a Charter Member, President & Vice President of the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of the United States Harness Writer's Association. He is a life member of both the Joyce Shirick VFW Post #1386 and the American Legion Post #150 in Kingston, a Commissioner of the Kingston Housing Authority, and Past President of Brigham Seniors. A former National Director, President, First & Second Vice President of the United States Harness Writer's Association, Commander of the Dutchess County Catholic War Veterans, Vice President of the Saratoga Chapter of the United States Harness Writer's Association, Vice Chair of the City of Kingston Democratic Committee. He is also a former member of the Democratic Committee and Italian Center in Poughkeepsie, Ulster County Office for the Aging Advisory Council, Hudson Valley Football, Baseball, Basketball Officials Organizations. Ed is an inductee to both the Dutchess County Softball and the Harness Racing Hall of Fames. Surviving are two daughters Tracie Short and her husband Wayne of Hurley and Nancy Griffin and her husband Mark of Poughkeepsie. Three grandsons Zachary, Avery and Brady Short. A nephew Scott Palladino of Saratoga, cousins; Frank Guido of Kingston, Carmen Guido of Fort Pierce, Florida and a brother in law Joe Rosso of Poughkeepsie. One sister Patricia Rosso died previously. Cremation and memorial arrangements are under the guidance of the Joseph V. Leahy Funeral Home, Inc. 27 Smith Avenue Kingston. www.jvleahyfh.com. Friends will be received at the funeral home on Sunday from 1 to 6 PM. The American Legion Post #150 will hold a ritual at 5:30 PM and prayers will be held at 6:00 PM. Expressions of sympathy in lieu of flowers may be made in the form of contributions to Ulster County Veterans Emergency Fund, 5 Development Court, Kingston, NY 12401. by John Manzi, for Nation    

Yonkers, NY---After finishing third in a Billings trot this afternoon at Monticello Raceway Monica Banca then traveled 90 miles to compete in a NAADA trot at Yonkers Raceway which proved fruitful for the talented trans- planted Norwegian when she guided Master of Excuses to a gate-to-wire 1:59.3 triumph over the Hilltop oval. In a field reduced to just five, Banca who started from the coveted pole position, sent her charge to the lead and had command in the :28.4 first quarter. Once clearly on top Banca tapped the brakes and eased her trotter past the halfway point in :59.3. Bob Davis, who also competed in the Billings at Monticello earlier in the day, was the first to challenge Banca and her charge when he moved Gianni off the pylons before the three quarters but Master Of Excuses wasn't having any part of it as the venerable trotter put together a :29.2 third quarter and opened up a three -length lead when the field rounded the final turn. As they headed for paydirt, Uriel and Annie Stoebe who were second with a covered trip, began to fade as the trailers moved forward. When the field straightened in the lane however, Master of Excuses was still three -lengths in front lead as Gianni and Davis were applying the pressure but they ran out of racetrack and had to settle for second money when Master Of Excuses tripped the final timer in 1:59.3 Third place went to Baltimor AS, driven by Bobby Ciavardini. Banca co-owns the winner with Rick Dane. Although it was only Banca's third winner this year, her eight seconds and four thirds in 23 starts boosted her seasonal UDR to .387. And it was the 25th winning drive for Ms Banca since she joined the amateur movement in 2013.. by John Manzi, for the NAADA Series

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