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Yonkers, NY-- "Now that the baseball season is over I can concentrate a little more on my love of amateur racing," "Yankee Joe" Lee, the locker room manager for the New York Yankees said after he won a NAADA Trot this afternoon at Monticello Raceway. Well maybe it was that concentration Lee was referring to that enabled him to earn another driving victory when he won the Billings trot tonight (Thursday, Oct. 10) with On The Podium in 2:00.3 at Yonkers Raceway. After a wire-to-wire victory in the daylight at The Mighty M Lee found the winners circle under the lights with a covered trip after he gunned his trotter to the front and then sat comfortably in the two hole and followed Wygant Prince and "Coach Paul" Minore's lead. Although the 29 second first quarter took some sting out of Wygant Prince there was more stress for the old veteran when he didn't get a breather because he had to contend with a parked-out Gianni and driver "Mighty Matt Zuccarello. So while the aforementioned duo slugged it out on the engine Lee sat calmly in the pocket and was carried all the way to the top of the lane. Along the way Bobby "Rapid Rail" Krivelin with Permanent Joy, and Bob "the Brewster Flash" Ciavardini with Baltimor AS, worked their way into contention by the top of the stretch but not before Joe Lee scooted around Gianni and everyone was chasing On the Podium to the wire.. However, nobody caught him as Lee had a driving double, albeit at two different racetracks. Baltimor AS was second best while Permanent Joy had to settle for the show dough. Unlike the Monticello trots earlier in the day this was a non-wagering affair. Jose Godinez trains the winner for Lee, Tony Nicometo and the Blindswitch Racing Stable. For Joe Lee, who drove initially in 2010 and for the next five years only when he got time off from his obligations to the Bronx Bombers was he able to enjoy the competition of driving a spirited steed. During those years he notched five victories in 88 starts but since then he's had 41 driving victories and a National Amateur Driver of the Year Award bestowed on him last season. And his 10 wins thus far this year puts him in contention for another award. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series    

Monticello, NY-- The front-end was the place to be in the amateur races today(Thus. Oct 18) at Monticello Raceway as Joe Lee and Alan Schwartz hustled their trotters to wire-to-wire victories in the fifth leg of the NAADA Trotting Series over the Sullivan County double oval. Lee won his betting division with Makin Trouble K in 2:02.3 while Schwartz and Ladys Big Stormont connected for a 2:01.3 triumph in the other on the sunshiny, but unusually blustery, afternoon in the southern Catskill Mountains of New York State. Lee, driving for trainer Bruce Aldrich, Sr., sent Makin Trouble K toward the lead which they gained before the first quarter timer flashed :29. But once on the lead they had to rebuff multiple challenges before they passed the halfway point. "My horse was a handful in the post parade and before the race but once the gate let us go he was fine," Lee said in the paddock after his driving victory. "Once he settled down he was gritty and raced good." At the three quarters they had put away most of the early competition, all but Sheer Action, who was driven by Chistopher Doherty, the grandson of Hall of Famer, Jimmy Doherty, who was making his first lifetime pari-mutuel start. Down the lane Makin Trouble K and Sheer Action were side by side and were joined late on the far outside by Tough Get Going (Joe Faraldo). But as the field neared the wire Faraldo's charge hung and Jennifer Lappe ducked to the passing lane and rallied for second money with Celebrity Blue Chip as Tough Get Going had to settled for the show dough. And although Sheer Action was just a length behind he winner at the wire he finished fourth. Makin Trouble K, who won for the seventh time this season, is owned by Woody Hoblitzell. He paid $18.40. And for Joe Lee, last years National Amateur Driver of the Year, it marked his ninth winning drive thus far this season. The second split went similarly to the first when Schwartz sent Ladys Big Stormont toward the lead and when Bob Krivelin and Current Crisis closed the two-hole Schwartz had little choice but to try to get the lead from Monica Banca and Master of Excuses, who had command. "I really waned to race my horse from a pocket but when there was no room long the pylons I went to the front and I was a little concerned about the 28 and 4 first quarter.," Schwartz explained. Once on top Schwartz and Banca were open lengths in front of their competition and they raced one-two by the half in :59.3 with the order remaining the same as they passed the third stanza in 1:30 flat. Third at that point was Current Crisis (Bob Krivelin) but he began to fade as the leaders rounded the final turn. Despite a two-hole trip the entire way Master Of Excuses couldn't get by Ladys Big Stormont in the lane and they finished 1-1/4-lengths behind Schwartz's trotter who won for the 10th time this season. Jennifer Lappe rallied Multitaskr Hanover to finish third after he went off-stride at the start. Schwartz owns and trains Ladys Big Stormont who paid $3.70. It was Schwartz's 11th seasonal driving victory and the 606th of his amateur career. by John Manzi, for the NAADA Series

Northfield, Ohio---Patience is a virtue that usually pays dividends. Just ask Steve "You're Never Too Oldford, who won the mid-west region Billings trot with Kaffir Kemp Sunday evening (Oct. 14) at Northfield Park. "We left from the three-hole and settled down along the pylons and watched patiently as Gregg Keidel (with Nashville Holiday) got in an early speed duel with Tim Miller (Ona Dream) and after they slugged it out we came late and picked up all the pieces and went on to an easy victory." In that contest "Tiny Tim"Miller and Ona Dream scooted to the lead from post position two and then they had company in the presence of Nashville Holiday and Gregg "Fast Greggy" Keidel for the rest of the mile. The two raced side-by-side past the first stanza in :28 and were still like a team as they trotted by the halfway point in :57.1. Oldford said there was a lot of talk between the drivers of the two leaders but he couldn't make it out and just was happy that they kept a fast pace while he enjoyed cover all the way. Ona Dream, on the inside, and Nashville Holiday ,stalking him on the outside, were still one-two as they trotted by the three quarters in 1:28 . But Oldford was getting anxious to move. And that happened on the final turn when Steve pulled to go around the leaders and Kaffir Kemp scooted immediately the front. At the top of the lane Oldford had four lengths on his competition as Kaffir Kemp headed for paydirt. At the wire the extent of victory was six lengths as time flashed 1:58.1. While Ona Dream faded on the final turn amazingly Nashville Holiday hung tough despite an overland trip and finished second. Third place went to Buckeye Patty, driven by "Marvelous Marvin" Raber. "The Billings will be back here at Northfield Park on the next two Sundays, and we have to thank director of racing, Dave Bianconi for that ," Oldford said, and then added, "Dave is a great proponent of amateur racing." Kaffir Kemp, a veteran 9-year-old Angus Hall gelding, is owned by Oldford Racing and trained by Terry Deters. For Oldford, the vice president of the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series, it was his 141st lifetime victory. Currently with three consecutive driving victories Oldford is among the leaders for Amateur Driver of the Year honors. He sports a .314 UDRS on the strength of 11 wins, eight seconds and 12 third place finishes in 62 trips to post. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series  

Yonkers, NY--The proliferation of amateur driving organizations has been a boon to harness racing with active clubs in New York, New England, New Jersey, Ohio and Florida, And that's not counting the granddaddy of them all, the CKG Billings Harness Driving Series as well as the Hall of Fame Amateurs. Horses in races in the aforementioned not only abet the local racetracks betting cards but give true sportsmen(and women) an opportunity to enjoy the sport of driving a spirited steed. Arguably the busiest of all the driving organizations currently is the North American Amateur Drivers Association. They have hosted three European clubs and are currently in the process of hosting a fourth, the French. Add to that three local NAADA 10-race series--a fourth currently in the works-- and hardly a week goes by without races for theirr membership. Yesterday NAADA had two races against the French in a Friendship Competition at Monticello Raceway after an event at Yonkers on Tuesday. And perhaps all the action available is a reason why the NAADA Trot tonight (Thursday) at Yonkers only had five declared entrants and when the gate for their race sprung only three competed. In that contest Paul Minore sent his old veteran Wygant Prince to the lead from the three-hole and played catch me if you can, and nobody could. Minore and his charge got by the first stanza in :29.3 and the half in 1:01. Marching along in second place was Keenan and driver John Calabrese and third at that point was Gianni and Matt Zuccarello. Up the backside Wygant Prince seemed to put the pedal to the metal and he opened up a three-length lead as he passed the three quarters in 1:30.2 and the margin was opened to six at the wire as the timer flashed 2:00.1. Gianni trotted by Keenan in the stretch for second money. Minore owns the winner and has owned him since he began racing. The 11-year-old altered son of S Js Photo has amassed almost $430,000 in his illustrious career and earned a lifetime mark of 1:56.3 Minore, a former high school track coach entrusts the training duties to Taylor Gower. It was the 38th career victory for Wygant Prince. And for Minore it was his 100th win in the USA to go along with four wins against his counterparts in Europe. by John Manzi, for NAADA  

Monticello, NY-- He has been competing with amateur status since he began driving but today (Wed. Oct. 10) at Monticello Raceway Tony Ciuffetelli drove like a professional when he won both divisions of the French v America Friendship competition. The former corrections officer won one race from behind and the other on the front-end. In the third race Ciuffetelli avoided the congestion in front of him and rallied Sams Fortune to a come-from-behind triumph in 2:03.4 over seven rivals and three races later he sent Brandos Music Man to the front and made every pole a winning one en route to a 2:00.4 victory. "This is my first driving double and I'm certainly thrilled" a smiling Ciuffetelli said in the paddock as he handed the reins to the horse's caretaker. Starting from the two-hole with Sams Fortune Ciuffetelli got away slowly as four others sped for the lead. They were in fifth place when the field passed the first quarter as France's Ms Sandrine Oyer was stuck on the limb with Five Star Stud. A the race progressed French driver Jerome Maillard had Tattle Tell Teen on the lead as Frenchman Jean Marc Freyssence and Four Star Lefty were second -over behind Ms Oyer's pacer which sort of made a block for anyone trying to get around. Sensing a problem the USA's Alan Schwartz wheeled Lightning Madison three-deep and they paced by the leaders and opened daylight and were followed by Ciuffetelli and Sams Fortune. At the top of the lane Lightning Madison they had a three -length lead and despite being hung-out the entire way Five Star Stud was still in contention. At that point Sams Fortune was fifth on the far outside still five lengths off the leader. But as the field progressed in the lane Lightning Madison faded to finish third and Sams Fortune rallied to a length victory over Five Star Stud. "I made it through the traffic and when we finally cleared and headed for home my horse was the strong horse and we went on to win it," Ciuffetelli explained. The winner is owned by Pete and Donna Siebert and trained by Siebert, He paid $7.80. After all the road trouble Ciuffetelli had in the first event he hustled the betting favorite Brandos Muscle Man to the lead from the six-hole and played catch me if you can,-.. and nobody could. They chugged along unchallenged for a one-length victory in a time of 2:00.4 as his French rivals finished second and third. With a two-hole trip France's Jerome Malliard was second best with Ralph R and his countryman, Jean Marc Freyssence, third with Bootswiththefur, albeit in a dead-heat with Linda Marie, driven by the USA's Jerry Fielding. "He's a classy old horse," Ciuffetelli said referring to Brandos Muscle Man, "And even though the old veteran knew just what to do I still had to keep after him in the stretch." The winner is owned by Rick Dane and Monica Banca and trained by Dane. He paid $4.80. For Ciuffetelli, who has sights on possibly being the amateur driver of the year, his seasons stats after today's races are: 10-7-6 in 50 starts with a UDR of .318. On Friday, the final race in the America v France Friendship Competition will be at the Meadowlands. by John Manzi, for NAADA          

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, October 9, 2018- Draw the $1 million Yonkers International Trot by day, offer up the season-high exacta by night. When a third-over, 31-1 Prejudice (Jim Marohn Jr., $65) rolled past a first-up, 49-1 Big Turn On (Troy Beyer) in Tuesday's (Oct. 9th) $14,750, sixth-race pace, it blew up the tote board (note...no tote boards were actually harmed at the conclusion of this race). The result was a $2,143 exacta, Yonkers Raceway's highest of the season. Throw in 38-1 Mach On (Joe Bongiorno) and the triple returned $4,695, a neck separating the first three finishers. Prejudice, who entered all of 1-for-24 this season, turned in a season's-best 1:55 effort. The 5-year-old Western Terror gelding is Delaware co-owned by William Sartin & Mark Salerno and trained by Joe DeCarlo. Tonight at Yonkers Raceway the French-American Friendship Races began and will be followed by events at Monticello Raceway tomorrow (Wednesday) and at the Meadowlands on Friday. At the Hilltop oval it was Ladies Night in the first America v France Friendship Race when the USA's Monica Banca scored a one-length triumph with Life Well Lived in 1:58.3 while second place went to Delcrest Massey ,driven by France's Sandrine Oyer, and the ladies had bragging rights after they finished one-two. When the starter said go France's Jerome Malliard sent Ladys Big Stormont to the lead and they were quickly joined by the USA's Joe Faraldo with Tough Get Going and the two trotters raced side by side past the quarter in :28.3 and by the half in :57.4. But when they headed up the backside both horses showed the fatigue of the swift early fractions. It was there that Monica Banca moved Life Well Lived off the pylons and they trotted around Tough Get Going and up alongside Ladys Big Stormont and the two raced head to head past the third stanza in 1:28.1 and around the final turn before Life Well Lived cleared. Then as the leader headed for paydirt France's Sandrine Oyer had Delcrest Massey on Banca's back but that was as far as fthey could go and they had to settle for second money of the $17,500 purse. Third place went to Drazzmatazz, driven by France's Jean Marc Freyssenge. The race tonight certainly showed off the talents of the two ladies who were among the eight drivers who participated in the first Friendship event on American soil. Life Well Lived is owned by Bob Burgess and trained by Carmine Auciello. The 4-year-old Muscle Mass gelding paid $16.40. With four races still to go France leads the USA 22-20 by Frank Drucker and John Manzi, for Yonkers Raceway

MONTICELLO, NY- On Sunday, October 7, the longest running radio show in the Catskills, "The Bop Shop" hosted by John Manzi, will celebrate its 35th anniversary. The four- hour doo wop program spins 45RPM records every Sunday night from 8pm until mid-night on WVOS-95.9FM A unique offering, which features mostly vocal group harmony records from the late 40's, 50's and early 60's, the program is also available world-wide on the internet at wvosfm.com.  Host John Manzi is also an inductee of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame as a Communicator. Manzi's full time career was that of being a harness racing track publicist, who spent most of his career at Monticello Raceway. "We have a fun show which many of the listeners say that the four hours goes too quickly," Manzi says. "We play enjoyable songs from small labels that never really go much airplay and since we've been on the internet we've been getting calls from listeners in Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Long Island and all over the East Coast; even from Alaska!" "We go back to the roots of rock n roll and rhythm n blues playing great songs from what is now known as the 'doo wop era'. Sure we play chart records but mostly we feature vocal group harmony records although we sometimes spin rock-a-billy and blues records." Manzi tries to keep his audience involved in the show with features like "the name game", "name that tune", "same thing only different", battle of the (record's) b-sides", "rate a record" and "common denominator. Over the years Manzi has had live in-studio a cappella from vocal ensembles like Larry Chance and the Earls, Guy Villari & the Regents; The Shallows; the Cliftonaires; Mystique; the Creations, the Arrogants, the Excellents; Sentimental Journey, BQE, and recently, Little Isadore and the Inquisitors, to mention a few. Every Sunday Manzi is joined by his sidekicks, Cindy "G" and Steve "the Eggman" Ristano. Besides playing the music, they inform the listeners of the background of the songs; talk about the personnel and where they originated from, and if the songs placed on the Billboard charts. Manzi has always been a fancier of old rock n roll and rhythm and blues music. His collection of 45RPM records exceeds 50,000 and his albums number more than 3000 and on Sundays he plays records from his collection over the airwaves. For the first 25 years the Bop Shop was heard on WSUL-98.3FM but 10 years ago his program was switched to 95.9WVOS-FM when that station began an "oldies" format. When Manzi took over the Sunday night oldies show at WSUL radio in October 1983 little did he fathom that 35 years later he'd still be at it. "And the beautiful part of this music is that even though the records are 50 or 60 years old, and some even older, I'm always coming across vocal group harmony songs that I never heard before," Manzi said. "It's like listening to new music." "I really look forward to Sunday nights. I love the music and I love our audience."  

Lexington, Ky--- Two trots in the Hall Of Fame Amateur Series went to post on Thursday, October 4th at The Red Mile and when they declared official Rodney Debeck and Steve Oldford each reined a winner in their respective splits. Debeck won his event behind Dynamic Man in 1:56.1 while Oldford scored with Keegan Ho in 1:55.3. Although they weren't Billings events many of the participants are also longtime members of the CKG Billings Harness Driving Series, the granddaddy of all amateur events. Debeck,sent off as second choice in his division,,worked out good journey with Dynamic Man when he settled in behind Santini and driver Steve Oldford and then enjoyed a cover trip until the top of the stretch where he angled his trotter off the pylons and rallied him past Oldford's in the deep stretch to gain a head victory. Super Manning and driver Joe Pennaccho finished third, some five lengths behind the winner. Dynamic Man, a 3 year old altered son of Manofmanymissions,is trained and co-owned by Debeck and J & M Sullinger. He paid $5.60. In his division, Oldford and Keegan Ho started slowly from the seven-hole and then moved to the outside to get cover behind Sum It Up (Joey Putnam) who was parked by Cheeky Little Miss (Joe Pennacchio) to a :56 half. When Sum It Up began to fade Oldford and Keegan Ho moved around him and alongside Cheeky Little Miss and the two leaders raced head-to-head around the final turn but in the lane Keegan Ho was the strong horse and went on to a length and a half victory. Fairground Drama garnered the show dough for Richard Roach. Owned by the Oldford Stable ,the winner , a 5-yr-old Mr. Cantab gelding, is trained by Terry Deters. Sent off as the odds-on favorite Keegan Ho paid $3.40 for win. by John Manzi, for Amateur Harness Racing

Monticello, NY--- The third leg of the North American Amateur Drivers Association's (NAADA) current harness racing trotting series on Thursday afternoon at Monticello Raceway went to Dave Yarock and Kickinitwithkohler when they rallied for a stunning come-from-behind victory in 2:01.3 over a rain-soaked course. But victory didn't come easy. The race began with four horses going for the lead but it was Cinderellas Dress and driver Alan Schwartz who had command on the first turn and led the field by the first quarter in :28.4 with the eventual winner some nine lengths in the rears in sixth position. The field was in Indian file as they trotted past the quarter pole, around the clubhouse turn and toward the halfway point. As the y headed down the homestretch the first time around Paul Minore moved the favorite, The Fighter, off the pylons from fourth position and charged up to challenge the leader. However, on the clubhouse turn the pace-setter, Cinderellas Dress, went off-stride and the drivers of the trailing horses searched quickly for the best route to get by the breaking horse which certainly changed the complexion of the race. Uriel and driver Annie Stoebe, who were in the two hole, cleared with no trouble but for others the route was not as easy as many of the trailers had various degrees of interference caused by the breaking horse. At that point Yarock did a masterful job with Kickinitwithkohler weaving her in and out of the horses in front of them and by the time the leaders passed the three quarters they were a three-deep as they headed around the final turn. "I was just happy to get through and around the horses in front of me but when I finally saw daylight on the far outside I must have been six or seven lengths behind Annie (Stoebe and Uriel) and I thought that second was the best I could be," Yaroch said. Actually Kickinitwithkohler trailed Uriel by six lengths and they were in fourth position when they straightened for home. "My horse just put it in another gear when he headed down the homestretch and and we passed everyone, Annie's horse must have tired a bit because we trotted right by him in the deep stretch and we were easy winners," Yarock added with a smile on his mud-filled face. Kickinitwithkohler finished a one length winner over Uriel in 2:01:3, a time slowed somewhat with all the confusion after The Fighter went off-stride on the third turn. Third place went to Stitch In Time, driven by Bob Davis. The winner, a 6-year-old Southwind Breeze mare, is owned and trained by George Anthrop. She paid $25.40, $12.40 and $9.20 across the board. by John Manzi, for NAADA

Monticello, NY--To say that the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) is having a busy year would be a gross understatement. Besides three local 10-race series--the third underway now- the members have hosted three European organizations; one from Spain, another from Hungary and a third from Italy; and now beginning October 8 and continuing thru October 14 they will host their counterparts from France. And just a month ago NAADA members traveled to Palma de Mallorca to compete against the Spainards on their home turf. According to NAADA president Joe Faraldo, one of two Americans who has won a race in France, his members will have to be at the top of their game when the French come to town. "We raced against them here four years ago and we came out on the short end. They're confident in their driving ability and they drive like professionals so we can probably expect another beating." There will be a Competition at Yonkers Raceway on Tuesday, October 9 followed by one at Monticello Raceway on Wednesday, Oct. 10. On Friday, Oct 12th there will be a race--maybe two--at the Meadowlands Drivers for the French team include Jerome Maillard, Ms Sandrine Oyer, Sebastien Campain and Jean Marc Freyssenge. NAADA will field different members at all three venues. "We may win or we may lose but the results are not that important. The camaraderie shared is what is," Faraldo added. "However, either way, everyone will enjoy good food, good wine and a good time." The following is the tentative itinerary: USA/FRANCE Friendship Competition October 8th - October 14th Monday - October 8th 2018... Pick up at JFK airport. Transport to The Bentley Hotel 500 E 62nd St, New York, NY 10065 Dinner at Sel et Poivre 853 Lexington Ave 10065 Tuesday - October 9th. Free in the Morning. Pick up at 2:30 PM to get licensed Race at Yonkers Raceway. Dinner in Little Italy of the Bronx Ristorante Zero Otto Nove . Transport back to hotel. Wednesday - October 10th - Pick up at 10:30 AM.. Drive to Monticello Raceway Race at Monticello. Visit Hall of Fame in Goshen, NY en route to Dinner at the River Palm Steakhouse , Mahwah NJ. Transport to Hotel. Thursday - October 11th Pick up at 10 AM.. Professional New York City tour. Tour guide will drop off at Pepolinos about 6:30 PM for dinner 281 W Broadway, New York City Friday - October 12th Morning free. Pick up at 2:00 PM. Drive to Meadowlands for a race or two. Dinner at Il Villagio Saturday--October 13th International Trot and dinner at Yonkers Raceway Sunday - October 14th Don Peppes for dinner then drive to the airport by John Manzi, for NAADA

Rexdale, Ont--Over the last two days it didn't matter whether "Dynamite Dave" Drew was driving on a 7/8ths or half mile track or whether he was handling a pacer or a trotter, the owner of a consulting company and sparkling amateur driver won a Billings race on both size racetracks and scored a victory with both a pacer and a trotter. On Sunday(Sept 30) he won a Billings pace at Flamboro Downs and tonight (Monday, Oct 1) he copped a Billings trot at Woodbine Mohawk Park with the veteran Deweycheatemnhowe gelding, A Rod Hall, in a time of 1:58.3 over a muddy race course. "He figured to be a factor in the race as long as he stayed trotting," Drew said about A Rod Hall. " He has the speed, I just had to keep him trotting." And that's precisely what Drew did. "We had the pole (position) and I steadied him when we left the gate and once he was settled down the old guy knew just what to do," Drew explained. They were two lengths to the good as they passed by the quarter pole in :28.2 and at the half in :58.1 they were comfortable. When the field headed for the third stanza A Rod Hall opened the lead to four lengths as the timer flashed 1:28.3. From there only the margin of victory was in doubt. At the wire they had five lengths on runner-up Cloud Nine Hanover who was driven by "Mighty Matt" Zuccarello. Third place went to Lets Leavem in rein to Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford. Sent off as the favorite in the race A Rod Hall paid $4.70 for win. He is owned by Fitzgerald, Lattimer, McFadden and Roberts and trained by Roger Moreau. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series

Hamilton, ON---The CKG Billings Harness Driving Series, the amateur driving organization that blazed the way for the many that followed, moved north of the border to Canada for a pacing event at Flamboro Downs on Sunday evening Sept 30. In the event which included four Canadians and five Americans the former came out o top when "Dynamite Dave" Drew made every pole a winning one en route to a solid 4-1/2-length triumph with Simon Said in 1:57. Sent off as the 2-1 favorite from the two-hole Drew sent the son of American Ideal to the lead when the wings of the mobile gate folded but they were confronted by a determine Sly Baron and driver "Buffalo Bob" Davis. That challenge led to a speed duel on the front-end as the two passed the first stanza in :28.2 and the order remained the same as they passed the half in :57.3. But after that Sly Baron was nowhere in sight and he faded considerably. As Simon Said showed the way to the three quarters a new challenge came from Curious Phoenix (Fierce Freddy" Bourgault) but that didn't last long as he, like Sly Baron, faded. That allowed 35-1 shot Tyrelius Deo and driver Marielle "M T" Enberg to rally to second place, still four lengths behind Simon Said, but strong enough to gain second money when it was all over. Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford garnered the show dough with Terror Suspect who went off at odds of 20-1, The winner, Simon Said, paid $6,20. He is owned by Michael Arnold and Michael Dowling and trained by Dowling. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series

Batavia, NY -The ever-traveling CKG Billings Harness Driving Series moved on to Batavia Downs on Saturday(Sept. 29) for a eight-horse pace and just before it was all over Billings president, Tony "The Capo" Verruso, rallied Fridaynightflight to a come-from-behind 1:57.3 head victory over the pacesetter, Regal Mac driven "Buffalo Bob" Davis. This event is the first of three Billings races that will be presented on this tour. On Sunday the Billings moves some 50 miles north to Canada for a contest at Flamboro Downs. in Hamilton, Ontario. Then, on Monday it'll be on to Woodbine Mohawk for another trot in the eight-month amateur series. In tonight's contest Verruso fell into the two- hole as the rail horse, Regal Mac got into a speed duel with Story Book, after "Don Juan" Hoover gunned him out quickly but Davis wouldn't allow 37-1 shot to take command and opted to leave Hoover out in the fresh air. They raced side-by-side past the half in :58.2 and after that they had to send out the bloodhounds out to find Hoover's pacer who ended up distanced at the finish. Meanwhile after the speed duel with Story Book, Regal Mac then had to brace for Fridaynightflight who contentedly followed the action from the catbirds seat, as Regal Mac straightened up the backside Verruso moved his pacer off the pylons and the two leaders raced head-to-head past the three quarters, around the final turn, and all through the homestretch before Fridaynightflight got his head in front just before the wire to claim victory over a 'dead -game' Regal Mac in 1:57.3. David "Poppa" Glasser, who had a covered journey with Little Man Cam, finished third just a length and quarter behind the race winner. John Hallett trains the winner, a Panspacificflight 9-year-old whose owned by Lee Clark. Sent off as the favorite ,Fridaynightflight paid $4.20. For Verruso it was his second winning drive of the season and 70th of his amateur career. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series

Lexington, Ky--There's an old adage in harness racing which states "if you have the best horse in the race send him to the lead and if he gets beat on the front-end he wasn't the best". At The Red Mile early this Thursday evening, Richard "The Wolverine" Roach, tested that theory in a Billings trot and although that concept isn't foolproof in worked tonight. Sent off as the even-money favorite Roach sent Fairground Drama to the lead from the two-hole and then made every pole a winning one en route to a 1-1/2 triumph in 1:58.2 clocking. When the starter said go Fairground Drama got first call at the quarter pole as the timer flashed :29.2 with the race's second choice, Kaffir Kemp, and driver Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford, tight on Roach's back. From there they raced one-two past the halfway point in :58.1 and by the three quarters in 1:28 over a track rated 'good' from previous rain. At the wire Fairground Drama a length-and-a-half better than Kiffir Kemp as Rose Run Princess, and R "Cubbie" Van Wagoner,took home the show dough. Fairground Drama, a 7-year-old Groton Hall mare is owned nd trained by Peggy Grant. She paid $4.00 It was Roach's 138th driving victory and third this season. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series

Yonkers, NY--Two short fields in the second leg of the North American Amateur Drivers Fall Trotting Series went postward at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday evening, Sept. 27 and when the judges hung the official signs, Dave Offenberg and Joe Lee each reined winners in their respective $6000 divisions. Offenberg copped his split with Fiji in 1:59.4 while Lee and Soul Train were first under the wire in their 1:59.2 clocked mile. With only four horses in the first division Offenberg was content to allow Paul Minore and his old War Horse ,Wygant Prince , zip the the lead and cut the early fractions in the non-betting affair. Not content to follow the leader Offenberg moved to the outside and the two raced side-by-side past the half and by the third stanza and it wasn't until mid-stretch that Fiji gained command but it was still a battle to the wire and at the finish Fiji was a neck winner over Wygant Prince. Third place went to Tough Get Going in rein to Joe Faraldo. Fiji is owned by the Allister Stable and trained by Eric Abbatiello, For Offenberg, it was his third seasonal driving victory and 54th of his amateur career. In the other split,also a non-wagering affair, Lee had a similar journey with Soul Train when he got away second behind Monica Banca and Master of Excuses and stalked her the entire mile. On the final turn Lee moved off the pylons and he rallied the veteran gelding to a 2-1/2 length triumph over Banca's charge. Traverse Seelster garned the show dough for Tony Ciuffetelli. Soul Train, a 7-year old gelding by Trainforthefuture, won for the fifth time this year. He is trained by Jose Godinez. For Joe Lee, last year's Amateur Driver of the Year, it was his eighth winning drive this season. by John Manz,i for NAADA    

Saratoga Springs, NY-The granddaddy of all amateur driving organizations, the CKG Billings Series,moved on to Saratoga Harness on Friday night (Sept. 21) for a trotting event and for the second consecutive week "Tough Tony" Ciuffetelli and his vastly improved Someway Same Hall romped over a six others when they scored an oh-so-easy 15-length victory winning in 1:56.4 by an amazing 15 lengths. It was the second consecutive triumph and seventh victory of the season for Ciuffetelli and the 7 year old altered son of Cash Hall. Last week at Freehold Raceway they won by eight lengths in 1:58.1. "Once I learned that he doesn't like me to grab him I've been letting him have his way and its really paying dividends," Ciuffetelli said about Someway Same Hall. "He loves the front-end and that's where he's happy so that's where I've been putting him lately." After starting from the four-hole Ciuffetelli was little more than a passenger as his veteran trotter zipped to the lead as the wings of the gate folded and they had four lengths on he field when they passed the first stanza in :28.1. The lead was opened to five lengths at the half as the timer flashed :56.3. When they headed for the three quarters they were eight in front and from there only the margin of victory was to be determined. They crossed the finish line 15 lengths ahead of Wygant Prince and driver "Coach Paul" Minore. Darron Hall and "Buffalo Bob" Davis chugged home third some 17 lengths behind the winner. Recently Ciuffetelli has battled back from a serious dose of Lyme disease and his health seems to be improving daily. He takes his well-being philosophically, so much so, that he calls his racing outfit, "The Tic Racing Stable". Sent off as the prohibitive betting favorite in the race Someway Same Hall paid just $2.80 for win. He's trained by Ciuffetelli, a retired prison guard, and owned by his Tic Racing Stable. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series

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