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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--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

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

Monticello, NY - At Monticello Raceway on Monday afternoon October 29, an anomaly of sorts took place, two (P) Provisional Drivers both notched their maiden driving wins in back to back races. In race 3, 22-year-old Christopher Doherty got his first win in only his 3rd P drive, aboard Sheer Action who won by 4 lengths in 2:00.4 and paid $6.20 to win for trainer Jim Doherty Jr. In the next race, 25-year-old Philip Lacorte III driving for just the 9th time in his young career, scored his maiden win with a 5 length, wire to wire score with J Danae in 2:02.1 and paid $4.90, the 7-year-old Nuclear Legacy mare is also trained by Lacorte III. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

On Thursday November 1, Monticello Raceway will alter its post time to 12:25 and will continue to maintain its 4-day race schedule of Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

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    

Monticello, NY-- To say that amateur driver "Yankee Joe" Lee is on a roll would be gross understatement. After winning the Billings Trot with Soul Train in 2:01.2 today (Thurs. Oct 25) at Monticello Raceway, Lee, the assistant locker room manager for the New York Yankees, now has three consecutive driving victories and has won four of his last five starts. Sent off as the even-money favorite in the six-horse field uncharacteristically Lee took his trotter of the gate and settled in fifth along the pylons as Brandos Muscle Man and Monica "the Norwegian Flash " Banca led the field by the first stanza in :29.4. "I took a chance taking Soul Train back at the start because in the past he never wanted to pass horses when we trailed but today he was definitely different," Lee explained. "He really surprised me when I pulled him going to the half and he easily trotted around Brandos Muscle Man and took command as we headed into the clubhouse turn." By the time Lee reached the three quarters Soul Train had five lengths on the field and at that point the only thing in doubt was the margin of victory. The lead over Brandos Muscle Man was opened to eight lengths as Lee and Soul Train headed for paydirt. Down the stretch Lee was looking for challengers but none came and they coasted home an easy 8-1/2 length winner in 2:01.2. However, in the deep stretch "Lady Jennifer" Lappe rallied Celebrity Blue Chip from fifth at the top of the lane to finish second, a length in front of Brandos Muscle Man. Soul Train is co-owned by Lee, Blindswitch Racing and the Good Friends Stable and trained by Jose Godinez. The 7-year-old altered son of Trainforthefuture scored scored his sixth seasonal victory and returned a $4.00 win mutuel.. For Lee, who was last years National Amateur Driver of the Year, it was his 11th driving victory this season and 48th of his career. 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

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          

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."  

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- The North American Amateur Drivers Association kicked off its Fall Trotting Series on Thursday (Sept. 20) at Monticello Raceway and when the judges hung the official sign Joe Pennacchio reined his Cheeky Little Miss to a gate-to-wire triumph over six others in a time of 1:59.2. "I'm having fun this year with this mare I purchased for $18,000 at the beginning of the amateur racing season and she has proven to be just a joy for me," the retired business executive said in the paddock while handing the lines to the horses' caretaker. "She's such pleasure to drive and this her ninth win this year." Starting from post three Pennacchio had envisioned falling in the two-hole behind Master Of Excuses (Monica Banca) who had the pole position but since Monica's horse was slow starting he decided to go for the lead which probably was the best place to be," "It worked out perfect since we gained command and got away with a relatively soft first quarter and once on the lead we controlled the race," Pennacchio explained. Master of Excuses followed Cheeky Little Miss through fractions of :29.2; 1:00.3 and 1:30.2 before Banca moved him to the passing lane in the stretch. But Cheeky Little Miss was up to the challenge and kept Master Of Excuses at bay with a :29.1 final panel and went on to a solid one length triumph. The first two finishers were well in front of the field the entire mile with third place going to Moolah Moolah (Alan Schwartz) who was six lengths behind at the wire. Sent off the prohibitive 2-5 favorite Cheeky Little Miss paid $2.80. The 6 year old Lucky Chucky mare raised her seasonal earnings to over $44,000. She's owned by Pennacchio's Joe P Racing LLC and trained by Allen Sisco. Meanwhile in Delaware, Ohio in the Hall Of Fame and Museum Amateur Racing Series the one-mile trot was dominated by the ladies when Alesha Binkley and Hititoutofthepark led runner-up He's On A Mission and last year's amateur driver of the year, "Hurricane Hannah" Miller to the wire in a very creditable 1:56.4. R.J. Schaut and saved for the boys when he finished third with Stemilt Touch. by John Manzi, for NAADA  

The final leg of the 2018 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) took place on a rainy, cold afternoon at Monticello Raceway on Monday September 10. Only 7 freshman fillies were entered in the New York Sire Stakes event, the short but talented harness racing field raced for a purse of $108,300. In the middle of the first turn St Somewhere (Matt Kakaley) made a break, with Zero Tolerance inheriting the pocket. Ladybeluckytonite (James Devaux) peeled off fractions of 29.1, 58.4, 1:28.1, at the head of the lane Zero Tolerance bypassed the passing lane and went to the outside to clear pacesetter Ladybeluckytonite to win in 1:58.1, So Awesome (Jim Morrill Jr.) was second and Ladybeluckytonite garnered the show spot after cutting the mile. Zero Tolerance is a bay filly by Heston Blue Chip, she is trained by recent Hall of Fame Inductee Joe Hollaway and is owned by Val D'Or Farm and another 2019 Hall of Fame Class inductee, all around good guy Ted Gewertz. Zero Tolerance picked up her 2nd Sire Stakes event of the year, she has also won a heat of the Reynolds Stake and a division of the Geers Stakes at Tioga Downs. With the victory her earnings are now $144,000, her next stop will be the Night of Champions at Yonkers Raceway on September 22. In the first Excelsior A dash ($15,000) James Devaux was first away from the gate and cut the fractions with Major Frost, the 1-5 favorite Boogie Roll (Tyler Buter) pulled first over at the ¾ marker but could not pass the stubborn Major Frost in the stretch. Major Force scored a wire to wire win in 2:00.2. The homebred son of Art Major is co-owned by co-breeder Jeffery Runch and is trained by Mark Harder. Heavens Challenge was second, followed by Chase You. In the second division of the A's saw Sun Visor work hard to get lead after being parked 3 wide down the backstretch going to the ¼, once on top the 20-1 longshot coasted home for David Miller, giving him a driving double in Sire Stakes Action. The Heston Blue Chip filly is trained by Scott Didomenico for owners Triple D Stables of Jamesburg NY, she picked up her 3rd Excelsior A win of the season. Time for the mile was 2:00.4. The lone Excelsior B ($6,800) saw Jason Bartlett lead from start to finish with Justabitofcharm to score a tight win over Irish Art (Kyle Dibeneddo) in 2:02.1, Chase You was 3rd. Kelly Hasting's did everything but drive her filly this afternoon as she is the Breeder - Owner and Trainer of Justabitofcharm, the Heston Blue Chip filly picked up her 6th Excelsior B event of the season and upped her seasonal tally to over $20,000 in purses. On the card James Devaux won 3 races, Bruce Aldrich Jr. along with David Miller each scored a driving double, Sire Heston Blue Chip had a banner day, as 3 of his offspring where winners on the card. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

Monticello, NY - With just seven two-year-old pacing fillies entered for the New York Sire Stakes at Monticello Raceway Monday, they will race for the entire pot with a purse of $108,300. It will be quite a battle in the seventh race feature between Zero Tolerance (PP2) and So Awesome (PP5). Zero Tolerance, a daughter of Heston Blue Chip, is on a four-race winning streak for trainer Joe Holloway. She has won five of her six starts this year and her lone loss was by a neck. She has a record this year of 1:51.3 taken at Vernon Downs. David Miller is again in the sulky with Zero Tolerance. She is owned by Val D'Or Farms of Freehold, NJ and Ted Gewertz of NY. So Awesome will have Jim Morrill, Jr. in the bike as she has won three of her last four starts. Her loss coming at the hands of Zero Tolerance. Trained by Scott Di Domenico for owner William Hart of Carmel, Maine, So Awesome has yet to lose when racing on the lead and the So Surreal filly has a record of 1:53.3 at Saratoga Raceway. Another major contender in the race is ST Somewhere, who starts from the rail for driver Yannick Gingras. This American Ideal daughter has won three of her last five starts for trainer Ron Burke with a record of 1:52.2 at Tioga Downs. Her last two losses have come from both Zero Tolerance and So Awesome. Completing the field are Hurrikane Norakane (post three), Ladybeluckytonite (post four), Topville Angelina (post six) and Brooklyn Lilacs (post seven). There are two $15,000 Excelsior Series A divisions for two-year-old pacing fillies in the second and ninth races. Boogie Roll (post three) is the morning line favorite for driver Tyler Buter in the second race and is on a two-race winning streak for trainer Buzzy Sholty. She takes on Major Frost (post one) and Joe's Girl (post two). In the ninth race, Siesta Beach (post two) is the favorite for driver Jim Morrill, Jr. and two starts back scored a lifetime mark of 1:55.1. The daughter of American Ideal goes against Under The Hood (post one) and return winner Dorothy's Legacy (post eight). The race card also features one Excelsior Series B division in the fifth race where Justabitofcharm looms over the field. The Heston Blue Chip filly has won five of her last six starts, the fastest in 1:54.4 at Vernon Downs. She will be driven by Jason Bartlett for owner, trainer and breeder, Kelly Hastings of Columbus, NJ. First race post time Monday is 12:50 pm. For more information, visit www.monticelloraceway.com. By Steve Wolf, for Monticello Raceway

On Thursday afternoon at Monticello Raceway in conjunction with the New York County Fair Finals, the final of RUS Series was conducted. This marks the 5th year that the RUS has held their unique events, over the course of the summer 8 RUS events were held through the state. The RUS fair series is sponsored by the NYSS and Agricultural and New York Breeding Development Fund via a $5,000 grant, Monticello Raceway & The Monticello Harness Horseman's Association donated $2,500 towards the $3,500 purse. A field of 7 trotters went behind the gate monte style, Funny Photo and Sophie Engerran lead from start to finish and establish a new track record 2:02.4 in the process to win by 18 lengths, trotting home in 30:3. Funny Photo is owned, trained and ridden by Sophie Engerran. Flowing James (Vanessa Karlewicz) finished 2nd followed by Armbro Hall (Cathy Gearwar) Event organizer Michelle Miller could not have been happier after the race, "I am so proud of the girls today, it has been challenging the last few years to organize the event, but on days like today, it is all worth it! The quality of the riders continues to improve" said Miller. "We have been very fortunate to have partnered with Monticello Raceway who have been extremely gracious to our event since its inception. We would also like to thank all the many sponsors that have been so generous to us, "The Meadowlands, Vernon Down Tioga Downs, Batavia Downs, The Mark Ford Stable, Advantage Edge Equine, Morrisville State College, Triple Crown, Pure Country Campgrounds in New Berlin NY, T&K Harrington LLC, The Equine Tax Group, Preserving Gods Creation Taxidermy and Early Owego Antique Center." The High Point Rider Award was presented to Vanessa Karlewicz for earning the most points throughout the series. This year's prize was donated by Carharts Harness Shop and the Feed and Pet Supply in Vernon NY. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

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