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Manaor, Majorca--The Spain v NAADA Competition ended on September 9 on the 3/8ths mile track in Manacor with the Spanish team racing one-two with Faraldo in the pocket all the way until the wire. The Spanish prevailed finishing first and second with the visitors' Alan Schwartz, third, Joe Lee, fourth, Joe Faraldo, fifth and Paul Minore trailed the field The distance was 2,350 meters or 3 1/2 times around the well banked oval which sports a iron pipe crafted running horse rail. ("There is no way you wanna touch that thing", Faraldo remarked). The sand based track provided a really good surface for the all-French trotting horse field. Once again NAADA ended-up on the short end. The final points: Spain 86, USA 67. During the afternoon the Americans had a tour of the largest Cathedral in Europe and a special delightful lunch of Majorcan cuisine at Celler Sa Premsa in Palma. The evening highlight was the performance of the 6-8 year old children in their colors driving a variety of ponies without a starting gate, with the best ponies handicapped by meters. Afterwards there was festive dinner in a setting of about 400 in attendance, mostly to support the children, "and not the American amateur drivers", Faraldo added. by Joe Faraldo with John Manzi, for NAADA

Four members of the North American Amateur Drivers Association have traveled to Palma de Majorca as guests of the Spanish Amateur Organization and will compete in a Friendship Competition this week. The following is an account of the first days events on September 5 by NAADA president and participant, Joe Faraldo. "The warmest day of the year with races at the unusual distance ( for us) of 2150 meters at the beautiful facility called, San Pardo, began the first installment of NAADA v Spain Friendship Competition. "Despite the beauty of this 1,000 meter oval, the day was about to get even hotter for the Americans. "The first of the two events saw the Americans outnumbered in the heavily weighted 12 horse field, eight Spanish amateurs vs four Americans and the points there killed us ( perhaps we should have applied a curve). The Spanish finished 1-3 with (NAADA's) Alan Schwartz, Paul Minore and Joe Lee following them, 4-6. I (Faraldo) finished last but not disqualified as were two Spaniards. "Event #2, a seven horse race at the same distance, saw me cut the fractions with Schwartz parked for his life and Minore enjoying the two hole trip. As the field turned for home Paul Minore tipped his French horse Cocktail Broniais out and "jiggy jogged" home. Following dutifully were two Spaniards, then Schwartz, Faraldo and Lee. With their being only seven in that second heat the points shook out as follows:Spain 67,USA 48, which precipitated a question; where is that curve when you really need it. "After the races 24 people were hosted to a fabulous lunch at a great restaurant called Nimos in the heart of the thriving Palma de Majorca. The Spanish Federation's head honcho, the affable Juan, had a feast set out for us with Majorcan bread, Spanish burrata, pulpo, chorizo and then the grand dame of all Paella. Juan then provided diet killing deserts and we were carried away. off to the FINCA. A Finca is like an Italian Agro Turismo, basically a farmhouse with horses , other livestock and fresh vegetables that somehow get to our table. "A host of other goodies show up at the Finca via Juan Bassa, the owner and sire of the great Spanish amateur Jaume Bassa. Minore is serving as our champion as of today and he bought the champagne and ten bottles of wine. Everyone is poolside right now pushing a few back. "There will be one race left in Monacor on the 3/8s mile oval on Saturday night. Because of Paul's generosity we are kinda rooting for him but with us leaving early the next morning with no time for him to shop, we just figure we will." by Joe Faraldo & John Manzi, for NAADA

Who said that amateur racing isn't fun? Certainly not members of the North American Amateur Drivers Association. After hosting three different European amateur organizations on American soil already this year four NAADA members; Joe Faraldo, Alan Schwartz,Paul Minore and Joe Lee, and their guests; will soon be winging their way to Palma De Mallorca for an international Friendship Competition with the Spanish amateurs. "Though some may be going earlier than others we are all meeting in Palma on the 4th September and racing will be on September 5th, in the morning, and on the 8th in the evening," noted NAADA Event Coordinator, Alicia (Mrs Alan) Schwartz. According the NAADA president Joe Faraldo,"We have had competitions, almost yearly, with the Spanish amateurs. We hosted them last year in the States and we came out on the short end in the competition. But winning or losing is incidental, what is important is the friendship and comraderie shared during the competitions." Tentative itinerary: Arrive in Mallorca on September 4th. Drive to the Finca for accommodations.-Relax and dinner at Italian Restaurant September 5th; -Races in the morning,-Lunch at the racetrack then back to Finca for a barbeque. September 6th ; Visit the Rafa Nadal Museum-Paella by Xisco and after party with Gin tonics--then back to Finca. September 7th; -Visit Ca'n Axartell Vineyards with wine tastings and tapas. Then visit the Pearls in Porto Cristo followed by dinner in Restaurant Sa Fonda September 8th-- Boat Trip with tapas and cocktails during the day and at night races in Manacor followed by dinner with the horse owners September 9th - NAADA members leave Mallorca; except for Joe Lee who will be staying on a bit longer to enjoy the scenery.. by John Manzi, for NAADA    

YONKERS, NY-- Could it be that Joe Pennacchio's victory tonight (Sat. Aug 17) in the $15,000 NAADA Mid-Season Final at Yonkers Raceway not only fortified his stalwart seasonal resume but his 1:57.3 triumph with Cheeky Little Minx elevates him yet closer to a possible National Amateur Driver Award. Enjoying his best season in the sulky the talented amateur driver notched his 13th driving victory this year and that, along with nine seconds and two thirds in 51 starts, elevates his current UDR to a healthy .371. Fresh off a trip to Italy where he was among a foursome that represented the USA against their Italian counterparts, the retired businessman drove his mare like a pro. After starting from the two-hole Pennacchio settled Cheeky Little Minx down along the pylons in the early going and was third when the field passed the first stanza in :28.3 as John Calabrese showed the way with Keenan. Pennacchio then moved his mare first-up approaching the half and by the time they passed the three quarters Cheeky Little Minx had two lengths on her competition and from there she coasted home an easy 3-1/4 length winner over the veteran Wygant Prince and driver Paul Minore. Soul Train and Joe Lee took home the show dough. Keenan faded and finished fifth. It was the eighth seasonal triumph for Cheeky Little Minx, a 6 year-old daughter of Lucky Chucky who raised her seasonal bankroll to over $40,000. She is owned by Joe P Racing LLC and trained by Allen Sisco. For Pennacchio, a retired business executive, it was his 175th driving victory since he joined the amateur movement back in 1995. by John Manzi, for NAADA

MONTICELLO, NY--The final leg of the North American Amateur Drivers Association's Summer Trotting Series was contested at Monticello Raceway on Thursday afternoon, August 9th and when the judges declared the event official, Jennifer Lappe walked away with all the marbles when she guided Multitaskr Hanover home first over Crystal Sphere and driver Alan Schwartz in a 2:00 clocking. Woody finished third for Tony Ciuffetelli, For the talented lady tail-setter who has had 170 previous starts this year against her counterparts as well as against professional drivers, it marked her 16th seasonal driving victory to go along with her 26 seconds and 33 third place finishes. However, Lappe won another race later on the Monticello Raceway card, also. When the wings of the mobile gate sprung Lappe grabbed the racetrack from the 3-hole and then allowed Keenan and driver John Calabrese to take command. Once Keenan settled on the lead Lappe then moved Multitaskr Hanover back to the front as the quarter mile timer flashed :28.1. Comfortable on the front-end Lappe got her charge by the halfway point in :58.2 but when they straightened up the backside Crystal Sphere and Alan Schwartz rallied alongside the leader and even gained command for a short way but Ms Lappe urged her trotter and they rebuffed the challenge and went on to a 2-1/4 length triumph. "It was an aggressive race and I gave my horse an aggressive drive," Lappe said with a smile . "I had instructions before the race but I nixed them at the gate and decided to go for the lead ...and it all worked out well." The winner, a 5-year-old Explosive Matter gelding, owned and trained by Ms Lappe, notched his seventh seasonal victory. He returned a $5.40 win payoff. For Lappe, it was her 40th driving victory and her 58th training win thus far this year. The NAADA Series $6000 consolation-- if it fills-- will be contested on Wed, August 15. The $15,000 Final--expected to fill-- will be raced at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday, August 16. by John Manzi, for NAADA

MONTICELLO, NY-- The final two events in the Italy v NAADA Friendship Competition went to post today (Tues. Aug. 7) at Monticello Raceway and when the results were finalized both competitors each walked away with a victory; Alan Schwartz won the first leg for the hometown North American Amateur Driver Association foursome after he reined Starstruck Lola home first in a time of 2:03.2 while team Italy came back in the second split when Roberto Michelotto scored a 2:00 triumph with Mrs Krabappel. The temperature was in the lower 90's and the humidity in the upper 70's but it didn't seem to hinder North America's premier amateur driver, Alan Schwartz, from 'delivering the mail' and scoring to his 604th career driving victory. Sent off as second choice from the pole position in the 8-horse field Schwartz gunned his pacer to the lead and was safely in front in a soft 30-second first quarter. With no challengers Schwartz got his charge by the halfway point in 1:02.1 and still with no one coming at him Schwartz and his pacer, Startruck Lola, got by the third stanza in 1:33.2 before unleashing a final 30-second final panel to score to an easy three-length victory. "I couldn't believe that I was all alone in the 30 second first quarter," Schwartz said after the race was completed. "When no one challenged I had complete control (of the race) and after the soft early fractions my mare was strong all the way to the finish". Second place went to Whata Hustler driven by Italy's Raffaello Ruffato and Italy's Roberto Michelotto garnered the show dough. The winner, owned by William Mc Cracken and trained by Chris Mc Cracken, paid $7.00 for win. The second division had the visiting Italians jockeying for positions to make it tough for the odds-on favorite Argyle Aleberwhosur and driver Matt Zuccarello to see any daylight until way late in the mile. Bestwind Heather and Italy's Piergiovanni Michelloto gained early command and led the competitors until the three quarters at which point Mrs Krabappel and Roberto Michelotto squirted through along the inside to gain command and hold the lead all the way to the wire while Matt Zuccarello and the favored Argyle Alberwhosur had to go four-deep going into the final turn to get a shot at the leaders. Needless to say, although Zuccarello's pacer rallied, she came up short and had to settle for second place. NAADA's Gerry Fielding finished third with Check My Pulse. The winner, Mrs Krabappel, is owned by William Mc Cracken and trained by Chris Mc Craken which gave the owner-trainer duo both victories in the NAADA v Italy Friendship Competition. by John Manzi, for NAADA      

The first leg of the Friendship Competition between members of the North American Amateur Drivers Association and the visiting Italians is now in the books and the Americans drew first blood when Joe Lee piloted On The Podium to a gate to wire victory at Yonkers Raceway on Sunday afternoon, August 5. "He (On The Podium) was real good today," Lee said by phone after his driving victory. " The last time I drove him he was locked on one line but today he was nearly perfect." After leaving from the five-hole Lee hustled his trotter away from the gate as three others went off-stride before the first turn which left On The Podium six lengths and all alone when he passed by the first stanza in :28.4. Once clearly on top Lee began to tap the brakes and they passed the halfway point in :59.2 amazingly some eight lengths ahead of Masster Blue, driven by Italy's Roberto Michelotto. And when the two leaders headed up the backside Michelotto closed the gap but Masster Blue still trailed On The Podium by three lengths. At the top of the lane the lead was shortened to two lengths and Lee went to urging On The Podium. When they straightened for home a battle ensued but Lee's charge dug in and kept Masster Blue at bay and held on for a head victory in a time of 1:59.2. "I was glad to have an open-lengths lead when we headed for paydirt because I knew my trotter would fade in the deep stretch and that's exactly what happened. He barely had enough in the tank to hold off Michelotto's horse," Lee added. Third place went to the Americans when Jennifer Lappe and Mighty Surf finished two lengths behind the leaders. And the NAADA team gained valuablemore points when Global Revolution, driven by NAADA's Peter Kleinhans, finished fourth. Sent off as third choice in the 8-horse field On The Podium paid $8.60; $4.80 and $5.10 across the board. Lee co-owns the winner with Blindswitch Racing and Anthony Nicometo. Prior to the contest today at Yonkers some of the visiting Italians raced in the Hambletonian Amateur Series on Friday at the Meadowlands and Italy's Roberto Michelotto won his division with Cheeky Little Minx in 1:55.1 The final two races in the Italy v NAADA Friendship Competition will take place on Tuesday (Aug. 7) at Monticello Raceway. by John Manzi, for NAADA

MONTICELLO, NY- For the third time this year the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) will be looking forward to hosting a contingent of European amateurs drivers. After competitions earlier this season against the Spaniards and the Hungarians the Americans are preparing to host amateur drivers from Italy in early August with competitions set for Yonkers Raceway on Sunday, August 4th followed by a rivalry at Monticello Raceway on Tuesday, August 7th. NAADA will field a different team at each venue but the visiting Italians will drive at both tracks. And the Americans will have to be at the top of their game to compete with the veteran Italian drivers. Heading the visitors team is Zorzetto Otello who has 495 career wins. He'll be joined by Michelotto Piergiovanni (125 wins), Michelotto Roberto (81 wins) and Ruffato Raffaello (118 wins). "We hosted them (the Italians) two years ago and they drove circles around us here in the States. But we got revenge when we out-drove them in Italy last season. And this year they might have to bring St Anthony of Padua with them if the want help in finding the winners circles here," joked Joe Faraldo, the president of NAADA. The Italians will be arriving in the States on Thursday, August 2nd and in the evening treated to dinner at Bruno's Ristorante in Howard Beach, NY. However, prior to the upcoming International Challenge all local amateur clubs are assisting in securing drives for the four visiting Italians in the Hambletonian Amateur Races at the Meadowlands on Friday, August 3nd. After the races there NAADA will entertain the visiting Italians with dinner at Guantanamera, a Cuban restaurant in New York City. The following day (August 4) the visiting Italian contingent will watch the Hambletonian and then be NAADA's guests for dinner at the famous BBQ emporium, The Dinosaur BBQ in Harlem. On Sunday, August 5th the competitors will don their battle gear for a pair of races over the Hilltop oval and afterwards head to the Bronx for dinner at Zero Otto Nove. Monday, August 6th is reserved for shopping in the Big Apple and in the evening NAADA will take their counterparts to dinner at the River Palm Terrace Restaurant in nearby Mahwah, NJ. The final races in the Italy v USA Challenge will be at Monticello Raceway on Tuesday, August 7th. After the competitions there dinner will be at Yiasou Cafe in Liberty, NY. Wednesday August 8th is reserved a tour of Historic Track and the Harness Racing Museum in Goshen,NY and then for a shopping spree at Woodbury Common in nearby Central Valley. Thursday the Italian contingent will return home. by John Manzi, for NAADA  

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

MONTICELLO, NY- When the gate sprung in the North American Amateur Drivers Association's (NAADA) trot at Monticello Raceway on the pleasant afternoon of July 19, little was left for the imagination after "Yankee Joe" Lee gunned Soul Train to the lead and played catch me if you can, and nobody could, as Lee's trotter circled the Mighty M double-oval in a time of 1:58.2 to finish five lengths in front of six others in the sixth leg of the 10-race harness racing trotting series. "I had been racing him (Soul Train) from behind but he didn't seem to like passing horses when moved him so I figured I'd try to race him in front and it seems that's just what the old guy likes," Lee said while hanging up the line in the race paddock after the contest. "This is the third time we won on the engine." When the starter said "go" Lee hustled Soul Train to the lead and opened daylight on the field as a few got tangled on the first turn. But once in front it seemed like the farther the veteran trotter went the more his lead seemed impossible to overcome. Soul Train, sent off as the odds-on favorite in the race, trotted by the first quarter in :28.1 and Lee kept the pedal to the metal as they passed the halfway point in :57.4 with Paul Minore and Wygant Prince tight on his back. But that didn't last long when they headed up the backside as Soul Train widened to a three-length lead by the third stanza and then increased to five lengths as the field headed for home. With Lee swinging on him, Soul Train cruised home an easy winner. Keenan rallied to be second for John Calabrese as Wygant Prince faded and finished third. For Lee, who was last season's National Amateur Driver of the Year, it marked his sixth driving victory this year and his win today places him atop the NAADA Summer Series leaderboard With his triumph Soul Train, a 7-year-old Trainforthefuture gelding, raised his career earnings to over $383,000. He is co-owned by Lee , the Blindwitch Stable, Good Friends Racing, and Santo Farina, and trained by Jose Godinez. He paid $3.30. NAADA members are getting ready to entertain their counterparts from Italy in early August for another Friendship competition, the third time this season that the longstanding international amateur organization will be hosting amateur drivers from Europe. by John Manzi, for NAADA

MONTICELLO, NY--Amateur driver, Joe Lee, proved that when a horse is the best in a race send him to the lead and if he gets beat on the front-end then he wasn't the best when he started. But fear not Joe, your calculations were precise in the sixth race at Monticello Raceway on Thursday afternoon, June 28. When he drove Soul Train in the third leg of the NAADA trotting series he sent his charge to the front and not only did Soul Train win, but he made a laugh-er out of the contest scoring an 11-length triumph over seven others in a race timed in 1:59.1. "When I drove him here (at Monticello) two weeks ago we were comfortable on the lead and had three lengths on the field as we headed for home but in mid-stretch it felt like someone cut the lines and Soul Train 'caved-in'. But after the race we found out the reason he stopped (and finished a well-beaten fourth) was because he bled," Lee said. "We treated him and he raced like a champ this week. In today's contest Lee gunned Soul Train to the lead from the five-hole and the veteran pacer had command in a :28.2 first quarter. The lead then opened to two lengths as they passed the halfway point and when Soul Train headed up the backside he began to put distance between himself and the remainder of the field. The farther he went the bigger the lead became. It was eight lengths at the three quarters; nine lengths at the top of the stretch and 11-lengths at the finish. " I knew we were going to win it but I was surprised to find that there were no horses even close as we headed for home," Lee added. "It felt kinda strange to win by so many(11) lengths and a margin of victory of that magnitude doesn't happen often." The race turned out to be for second place when Woody and driver Bob Krivelin came from the back of the pack to finish second at odds of 33-1. Third place went to Keenan (John Calabrese) who was just a neck off Woody at the wire. Soul Train, a 7-year-old Trainforthefuture gelding, is owned by Blindswitch Racing, Good Friends Stable, Santo Farina and Joe Lee. Sent off as the slight favorite in the race he returned a $4.70 win payoff. For Lee, who was the Amateur Driver of the Year last season, it marked his 5th victory thus far in 2018. by John Manzi, for NAADA                  

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

MONTICELLO, NY - Over the lengthy existence of the North American Amateur Drivers Association the organization has donated tens of thousands of dollars to worthwhile industry causes and worthwhile charities. Recently NAADA has donated $500 to both the Harness Horse Youth Foundation and to New Vocations. "These are two very worthwhile charities doing very great work in our industry and for the Pro-Am event coming at Scioto Downs on Tuesday(June 19), noted NAADA president, Joe Faraldo. "The special race card that day provides a great opportunity for our amateur drivers to drive some of the industry's greatest drivers , Aaron Merriman, Dan Noble and Tim and Trace Tetrick." This racing card will feature various amateurs racing alongside the aforementioned professionals with monies raised to be donated to deserving charities. The Pro-Am events will be showcased in races two, four, five and seven with race 10 strictly for members of the CKG Billings Harness Driving Series. by John Manzi, for NAADA

YONKERS, NY- The $15,000 final event of the 10-leg North American Amateur Drivers Association Trotting Series (NAADA) was raced at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday evening, May 24, and when the well-contested race was over Monica Banca walked away with all the marbles. The talented lady reined Master of Excuses to a 1-1/2 length triumph in a time of 1:58.1. It was the Scandinavian-native's first win in the series although her total of 36 points in the preliminaries was fourth best. In a race that was dominated by quick early speed the eventual winner picked up cover after the half and the kept moving forward. After the race began Wygant Prince (Paul Minore) was locked in an early sped duel with Soul Train (Joe Lee) and they were head-to-head when they passed the first stanza in a swift :27.3. No sooner had Wygant Prince cleared to the lead Dr John Kokinos moved Here Comes Numbers out to challenge and they were one-two as the timer flashed :58. After the half a host of trotters were on the move including Master of Excuses who got first call at the three quarters despite being three-deep. He was closely followed by Ladys Big Stormont with Alan Schwartz at the controls while Tomy Ciuffelli was looking for daylight with Someway Same Hall. But when the field came off the final turn Monica Banca and Master of Excuses had opened up a three length lead l and as they raced for the finish Ms Banca's charge hung tough and went on to victory. Ciuffetelli's trotter rallied to be second while Schwartz and the series point winner, Ladys Big Stormont, held on for the show dough. "This was a heck of a series" stated NAADA President Joe Faraldo. "We had 10 very competitive legs at both Yonkers and Monticello and the series was great for the amateur movement." On June 7th NAADA will sponsor summer trotting series with races at both Yonkers and Monticello Raceway weekly culminating in a $15,000 finale on August 16. by John Manzi for NAADA

In the early 1980's when the CKG Billing Harness Driving Series was instituted and abetted by the North American Amateur Drivers Association little did the founders of each realize that amateur racing would become such an integral part of the industry and spur on many amateur clubs in harness racing. And when the realization that amateur racing could be wagered on there is hardly a racetrack in the Northeast that doesn't rely on carding races for amateur drivers to supplement their wagering cards. However, with the proliferation of clubs and organizations that cater to amateur drivers so many local clubs have sprung up in recent years that the Billings Series, the granddaddy of all amateur organizations, has found that finding drivers to travel to various racetracks in the US and Canada has taken a hit since many participants opt to compete in local clubs and forsake the traveling. However, tonight (May 11), over the one-mile oval at the Meadowlands the first race on the betting card was relegated to the recreational participants in the eastern region of the CKG Billings Harness Driving Series. In that contest eight amateur drivers lined-up behind the starting gate for a wagering event and when the judges posted the official sign Jennifer "Lady J" Lappe emerged victorious with her veteran trotter, FoxValley Steffen in a very creditable time of 1:55.1. Overlooked and sent off at odds of over 6-1, "Lady J" angled her charge to the pylons as the wings of the mobile gate folded and was content to travel along in fifth position. When the field headed to the third stanza Ms Lappe rallied her trotter and by the time they rounded the final turn they were third on the outside behind pace-setter Danish Durango (Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff) and Shady McCoy in rein to Dave "the Rave" Offenberg. When the field headed down the long homestretch the three aforementioned were across the racetrack but as they approached the finish line Fox Valley Steffen proved too tough for the others and went on to a two length triumph. Shady Mccoy finished second a long neck in front of Danish Durango. Each of the drivers of the top three finishers are also members of other amateur clubs. In fact every driver in the race belongs to a multitude of amateur organizations. It was the second consecutive victory and 35th of his illustrious career for Fox Valley Steffen who with this riumph has raised his lifetime earnings to nearly $400,000. He paid $15.40; $8.00 and $4.00. Next up in Billings action will be a midwest region contest at Sciota Downs on May 18. by John Manzi for the CKG Billings Harness Drivers Series

Yonkers, NY ---The North American Amateur Drivers Association has been busy of late and it probably will be for the next four months or so, not only offering weekly driving contests at Yonkers Raceway and Monticello Raceway but also hosting their European counterparts in International harness racing driving competitions. With the current NAADA trotting Series continuing and with a recently completed international driving competition against the Hungarian amateurs, tonight at Yonkers Raceway began the first of a two-track international driving competition, this time with the Spaniards from Palma de Mallorca. And what now seems to be the norm, the visiting amateurs competed on the betting card against NAADA in two races at the Hilltop oval and when the dust had settled the Spaniards humbled the USA squad winning both events. The first was captured by Pau Moll with a 44-1 shot Swift As A Shadow in 1:56 and returned a whopping $90.50; $31,00 and $11.40. Not to be outdone fellow Spaniard, Jaime Riera, hustled Showmeyourguns ($4.10) home first in 1:57.3. Two things of note in the two race competition tonight was that Pau Moll drove a pacer for the first time since they only race trotters in Europe. And Jaime Riera gained the drive behind Showmeyourguns because the horse that he was scheduled to drive was scratched and NAADA's vp Alan Schwartz graciously gave his mount to visiting Riera. In his contest Pau Moll left cautiously from the six-hole and was content to trail the field to the half and then consistently moved forward and in the final strides his Swift As Shadow collared Sammy The Bull N, driven by fellow countryman Francisco Ramis. NAADA's Joe Lee was third with Golden Gesture. "They told me I had the worst horse in the race but he went good for me and I was surprised when my horse was stronger than Francisco's at the finish," Moll said, then hesitated for a moment and emphatically added," I like driving the pacer." Swift As A Shadow is owned by Christopher Temming and trained by Michael Temming. Up behind the betting favorite in the second contest event Jaime Riera started from the pole position with Showmeyourguns and was content to allow NAADA's Monica Banca to cut swift early fractions :27.4 and :56.3 with Cresurrey before steadily closing a 10-length gap. By the time the field passed the third stanza Cresurrey's lead was three lengths and closed to two at the top of the stretch. In the lane Banca's trotter's strides weakened and with mild urging Riera got his charge up in time for a neck triumph. Third place went to Winning Princess in to NAADA's Jennifer Lappe. "Alan (Schwartz) gave me a good horse and he went a strong race," Riera said. "But I wasn't sure that we won it and when the judges posted my horse's number as the winner I felt real good." Showmeyourguns is owned and trained by Tom Milici. On Thursday, May 10, the final two races in the Spain vs USA Friendship Competition will be contested at Monticello Raceway. They'll be joined on the nine-race card by the ninth leg of the current NAADA Trotting Series. by John Manzi, for NAADA  

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