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

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

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

The Monticello Harness Horseman's Association (MHHA) and the North American Amateurs Drivers Association (NAADA) continued their longstanding annual harness racing tradition by making a donation to the Sullivan County Federation of the Homeless on Veterans Day at Monticello Raceway on Monday November 11. In the winner's Circle after the 3rd race, Kathy Kreiter, director and program administrator of the Sullivan County Federation of the Homeless was presented with 2 checks, each worth $1,000 on behalf of the MHHA and NAADA. Alan Schwartz, President of the MHHA, and his wife Alicia were on hand to make the presentation to Kreiter. Alan Schwartz himself a former Veteran said "We are happy to help support those citizens of the community that need assistance at this time of year" Jim Taggart Jr. scored with N Make it Snappy in the Food Bank Presentation Race, the Steve Moore trained mare by Dream Away tripped the timer in 2:00.3 and notched her 6 win of the season. Taggart would wind up winning 3 races on the Veterans Day Card increasing his lead over Michael Merton. Taggart is in first place with 220 wins over Merton's 211. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

Monticello, NY - Over the years the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) has donated to worthy charities and this year will be no exception. On Veterans Day Monday November 11, the Monticello Raceway Harness Horseman's Association (MHHA) and the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) will make a donation to the Sullivan County Veterans Food Pantry in the amount of $1,000 in the winner's circle. Each year NAADA makes its own substantial donations to charities like Juvenile Diabetes and the Susan B Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, just to mention a few. Monies raised for the donations come from membership and starting fees paid by the clubs participating drivers. MHHA President Alan Schwartz, a former US Marine are urging those who plan on attending the afternoon's race card to please bring along a non-perishable food item which will then be delivered to the veteran's food pantry. "We have planned our own special tribute for those who served our country with honor by staging this Amateur Driving Challenge for veterans of our armed forces who are currently amateur drivers," said Schwartz Post Time is 12:25. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

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

MONTICELLO, NY - The seventh leg of the North American Amateur Drivers Association's Fall harness racing trotting series is now in the books after Alan Schwartz sat back off quick early fractions and then came on to pick up all the marbles and scored a 1-1/2 length triumph with his Ladys Big Stormont on a drizzly Thursday afternoon at Monticello Raceway. With only five horses lined-up behind the starting gate Tony Ciuffetelli probably figured he could bottom-out the field when he put the pedal to the metal and sent Someway Same Hall immediately to the lead and cut speedy fractions of :28.1 and :57.2, open-lengths ahead of runner-up Ladys Big Stormont. "Actually Tony's decision to go for the lead worked out perfect for me," Schwartz said after the race. "Usually I have trouble keeping my horse in a hole but today I didn't have any, and when we closed the gap his horse was getting leg weary and mine was still strong" Trailing by nearly three lengths from the get-go when Ciuffetelli's trotter passed the three quarters in 1:27.3 Schwartz said felt he had a good shot of reeling him in. Ladys Big Stormont began closing the gap and when they turned for home only a length separated the two. "After we straightened for home I felt very confident that we'd end-up being the winner, " Schwartz admitted. "I could see at that point Tony's horse was beginning to labor and mine was still fresh." In mid-stretch Ladys Big Stormont began to ease to the front and then went on to a relatively easy victory over the rain-dampened racetrack. Someway Same Hall held second while Bobby Krivelin rallied Permanent Joy from far back to finish third. It was the eighth seasonal victory and the 44th career triumph for the altered son of Earl Of Stormont who paid $4.40 for win. He's owned and trained by his driver. And for Schwartz, it was his 12th driving victory of the year and the 620th of his illustrious amateur career. by John Manzi, for NAADA Series    

YONKERS, NY ---Two divisions of the sixth leg of the NAADA Fall Trotting Series is now in the books sfter the judges declared each official, Joe Faraldo and Melissa Arbia walked away with the lions share of their respective $8000 harness racing divisions. Faraldo won his heat with Tough Get Going in 2:02.1 by the shortest of noses while Arbia copped her split after rallying Finich Odair a head triumph in a 1:58.3 clocking. After starting from the three hole Faraldo ducked to the pylons and was content to allow Joe Pennacchio and Cheeky Little Miss to cut the fractions. Once on top Pennacchio was unhurried and got his trotter by the quarter in soft :30.2 and the half in 1:02.1 despite keeping Glenferrie Dreamer (Paul Minore) on the limb. Meanwhile Faraldo sat chilly with Tough Get Going until the top of the lane where he rallied his trotter and both he and Pennacchio's Cheeky Little Miss charged to the wire. "We won it but it was by the shortest of noses. In fact it was so close that I wasn't sure my horse won until they posted the order of finish on the infield tote board "I'm telling you it (the victory) couldn't have been by more than an inch," Faraldo explained. Even with his overland trip Glenferrie Dreamer took home the show dough. Tough Get Going is owned by Faraldo and Richie Banca and trained by Banca. For Faraldo who was National Amateur Driver of the Year in 2000 it marked his sixth victory this season. The first event was nearly a carbon copy of Faraldo's victory. In that one Arbia and Finnick Odair benefited by a two-hole trip as Paul Minore and Wygant Prince kept Bob Hechkoff and Five Towns parked from the three-eighths as they raced one-two until the three quarters when Five Towns began to tire. After traveling along in the two-hole while using the leaders for cover, when Arbia asked Finnick Odair for more the veteran trotter responded and got-up in the final strides for a head triumph over Wygant Prince. Five Towns hung on for third money. The winner, a 4-year-old altered son of Cantab Hall, is co- owned by his driver along wuth Joe Bongiorno and Jennifer Bongiorno. The latter is the horse's trainer. by John Manzi, for NAADA  

MONTICELLO, NY---Although it appeared that the six-horse NAADA Trot today (Thursday) at Monticello Raceway had an even- matched field, in reality when the harness racing event was contested the winner, Ladys Big Stormont, trotted off and hid from his competition and won the race by some 6-1/2 lengths in a time of 2:02 on the wet and windy afternoon over a track rated good. When the starter said go driver Alan Schwartz hustled his charge for the lead and they showed by the first quarter in a soft :29.4. "When we left out of there I really wanted to follow Faraldo (with Tough Get Going) and settle in behind him but when his horse made a break before the start I decided to go to the front and was pleased that we got a soft (first) quarter" Schwartz said. Once comfortably on top Schwartz was able to control the fractions and he and his trotter cruised by the half in 1:01.2 as Joe Pennacchio had Cheeky Little Minx tight on his back. But as they headed for the three quarters Ladys Big Stormont began to draw off by some 3-1/2 lengths and from there the only thing in doubt would be the margin of victory. In mid-stretch Paul Minore and Six Bax rallied for second money while Cheeky Little Miss faded and finished third. It was the sixth seasonal triumph and the 42nd career victory for the 8-year old altered so of Earl Of Stormont which raised his lifetime earnings to over $334,000. Lady Big Stormont is owned and trained by his driver. Sent off as the favorite in the race he paid $3.80 for win. by John Manzi, for the NAADA Series

Yonkers, NY-- On Thursday evening, Oct. 3 two harness racing divisions of trotters in North American Amateur Drivers Series (NAADA) went to post at Yonkers Raceway and when they were declared official Bob Hechkoff and Tony Ciuffetelli, Jr each emerged victorious in their respective non-wagering divisions. Hechkoff guided Five Towns to a 2:01.3 triumph while Ciuffetelli scored with Someway Same Hall in 1:59.3; both races contested before the wagering card got underway over a rain slicked oval. In his division Hechkoff sent Five Towns to the front and due to the short five-horse field they got away with :30.1 first quarter with no challenges. But when they headed for the halfway point Miguel Alejo Hernandez was out and moving with Tropical Trice. The two raced side by side until the three quarters when Hechkoff's trotter rebuffed the challenge and then braced for Paul Minore and his veteran Wygant Prince. But Five Towns held strong and rambled to a 1-1/4 length triumph over Minore's trotter. Tropical Trice faded and finished third. Five Towns is owned by RBH Ventures and Spagnola Racing and trained by Kyle Spagnola. The second NAADA split saw Tony Ciuffetelli, Jr. sit a pocket until the head of the stretch and then hustle his trotter to a length triumph in the 1:59.3 clocked mile. After Joe Lee zipped Soul Train to the lead when the gate sprung Ciuffetelli was content to sit in the two-hole and follow the leader. Fast early fractions over the rain-soaked race course took a toll on the leader and when Ciuffetelli decided to challenge late in the mile Someway Same Hall didn't have any trouble circling Soul Train and rallying to victory. Meanwhile in the deep stretch Dave Offenberg hustled Fiji up for second money while Soul Train faded and finished third. Someway Same Hall is owned by his driver and trained by Joe Ciuffetelli. The NAADA Trotting Series continues next Thursday at Monticello Raceway For full results and entries click here. by John Manz, for NAADA

Monticello, NY--It was a tough day for racing at Monticello Raceway with the pouring rain and the muddy track, still business went on as usual. Six members of the North American Amateur Drivers Association battled for supremacy and when the judges posted the official order of finish Alan Schwartz and his old warhorse Ladys Big Stormont emerged victorious by a head in 2:02.1 over Five Towns and driver Bob Hechkoff. After starting from post five Schwartz angled his charge to the pylons and settled in fourth position as Bob Hechkoff gunned Five Towns to the lead and they had three lengths on their competition as they passed the first stanza. "Ladys Big Stormont isn't really comfortable in a hole so I moved him first-up as we headed to the half but we were still some five lengths off Hechkoff's,lead," Schwartz related. "But my horse kept grinding and we finally got alongside Five Towns as we rounded the final turn. From there we were head-to-head all the way to the finish line but my horse got up in the final strides to win it by a head." Although they had a two-hole trip from the get-go, Chapter And Ruth, and driver Tony Ciuffetell Jr.had to settle for third money. Send off at odds of nearly 4-1, Ladys Big Stormont paid $9.80. And for Schwartz, a former Amateur Driver of the Year, it was his 10th seasonal triumph and the 618th of his amateur career. By John Manzi, for the NAADA Series

Yonkers, NY-- In what turned out to be an adjustment in the first leg of the third NAADA Trotting Series at Yonkers Raceway tonight, the first harness racing horse under the wire, Ladys Big Stormont driven by Alan Schwartz, was disqualified and placed second which opened the door for Soul Train and driver Joe Lee to walked away with the lions share of the $8000 purse. "Because of tight racing on the final turn I was forced by Soul Train to go over the pylons on the final turn and when I did the judges deemed it was a Euro-rail violation and my horse should not have gotten any advantage, " Schwartz related after the race. " And I didn't, because the judges disqualified my horse and placed Joe's ( Soul Train) first, even though I beat him by a head at the wire." When the wings of the mobile starting gate folded Schwartz gunned his veteran trotter to the lead and they had command in a :28.4 first quarter with Uriel and Tony Ciuffetelli, Jr. pressing hard on the outside. But after the .59.3 half Uriel began to fade and when he did Joe Lee moved Soul Train off the pylons and rallied up alongside Ladys Big Stomont. However, around the final turn with the leaders tightly side by side the infraction occurred which caused Schwartz's trotter to receive a disqualification which allowed Lee's horse to be placed first. Wygant Prince and driver Paul Minore finished third, just one length behind the top two. Next Thursday the NAADA Trotting Series moves on to Monticello Raceway. by John Manzi, for NAADA  

Yonkers, NY--The NAADA $15,000 Summer Series Final was a harness racing barn-burner when only three lengths separated the winner from the last place finisher. And Joe Pennacchio's 1:59.3 triumph in the event didn't come easy. Up behind his own Cheeky Little Minx in the seven-horse contest which was presented before the first race on the betting card, Pennacchio left the gate from the five-hole and his veteran trotting mare never saw the pylons the entire mile and by all standards she went a very gutsy trip. When the gate sprung Joe Faraldo and Tough Get Going darted to the front and were challenged by Paul Minore and Wygant Prince. Faraldo yielded command to Wygant Prince as Pennacchio and Cheeky Little Minx wanted a part of the action and challenged on the outside as the leaders trotted by the first stanza in :28.2. As they headed for the halfway point Pennacchio and Minore were going at it and the two raced side by side to the half in :58.2 while being stalked on the outside by Cheeky Little Miss. Wygant Prince showed the way to the three quarters and put away Tough Get Going but the veteran trotter couldn't shake the plucky little mare. As they rounded the final turn Cheeky Little Minx and Wygant Prince were noses apart before the latter began to fade. At that point Hannah Miller hustled Jacks To Open up alongside Cheeky Little Miss and the two raced as a team all the way to the wire. It took a photo to determine that Pennacchio's mare was a head better than Hannah's veteran trotter. Broadway Bruiser took home the show dough for Matt Zuccarello. Cheeky Little Minx is a seven-year-old mare by Lucky Chucky, trained by Corey Stratton for Joe P Racing, LLC/ by John Manzi, for NAADA      

Monticello, NY--Two different events for amateur drivers were featured on the eight-race card at Monticello Raceway on Thursday afternoon, Aug 8 and when the judges declared each official, Tony "the Capo" Verruso was victorious with Six Bax in a 1:58.4 mile in the Billings trot while Paul Minore copped the NAADA Trot with Warrawee Preferred in 1:59.4 The local driving colony at the Mighty M is always very cooperative in helping to fill these amateur races and today was no exception. And strangely, local horseman, Gary Messenger trained both winners and both happened to be owned by Dr Scott Woogen, an owner of many standardbreds as well as being an accomplished amateur driver. In the Billings trot Verruso sent Six Bax immediately to the lead from post two and they led their competitors by the first stanza in a swift :28.3 while parking out the favorite Someway Same Hall (Tony "Shifty" Ciuffetelli, Jr.). With Six Bax along the pylons and Someway Same Hall on the limb they trotted by the half in :57.4. Up the backside Someway Same Hall tired and "Joltin' Joe" Pennacchio hustled Super Manning up alongside Six Bax and they raced as a team around the final turn. "My horse was rough in the turns and Pennacchio kept the pressure us but once we straightened for home Six Bax flattened out and we opened a short lead which held all the way to the wire,"Verruso explained. At the wire Six Bax was length winner over Pennacchio's trotter. Tough Get Goings garnered the show dough for Smokin' Joe" Faraldo Six Bax paid $5.80 for win. In the NAADA Trot Minore started from post two and Warrawee Preffered had an exceptionally easy two-hole journey while following Joe Pennacchio with Cheeky Little Miss. They raced one-two all the way to the top of the stretch where Minore angled his trotterout to challenge the leader and in the deep stretch Warrawee Preferrede went on to an easy one length victory. "I was little more than as passenger as my horse, an 8-year old, knew just what to do when we followed the leader to the top of the lane" Minore said. "And when I moved him out to challenge he trotted around the leader and away to an easy victory," Minore said.. Monica Banca finished third with Master of Excuses Sent off as the odds-on favorite Warrawee Preferred paid $3.80. by John Manzi, for both the Billings and NAADA

Monticello, NY-- The final two races in the Italy vs NAADA Friendship Competition were contested at Monticello Raceway on Tuesday afternoon (Aug. 6) and when the shouting was over NAADA's Alan Schwartz and Chris Doherty each emerged victorious in their respective splits; Schwartz won his with We're Gonna Rock in 2:01.2 while Doherty copped his division with Machmemackie in 2:00.1. It was the first time that NAADA has swept all four races in an international competition on American soil. Perhaps that both races were for pacers gave NAADA an advantage since only trotting events are contested in Italy. Sent off as the 3-5 betting favorite Schwartz decided to find a hole when the gate sprung and he did in fifth position along the pylons, a position he held until he moved first up at the half as Monica Banca showed the way with Ryan's Mistress. It wasn't until they reached the three quarters that We're Gonna Rock had the leader in sight. When they headed for home Schwartz only tapped the wheel discs and shouted at his steed and little-by-little We're Gonna Rock began gaining ground on Ryan's Mistress. And at the wire it took a photo to determine that Schwartz's charge was victorious by a head as Italy's Enrico Colombino garnered the show dough with Local Art. The winner, a 6-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven mare is owned by Twin Bridge Racing and trained by Frank Yanoti. She paid $3.30 for win. Young Christopher Doherty was joyous after his victory with Machmemacki. And he should have been, after all, it was is first driving victory this year and only the third of his fledgling career. "We got off to a good start, and with some confusion behind, me we had a four-length lead at the quarter," Doherty related. "But we were never in any trouble through out the entire mile." Even when Relentless Dreamer, driven by Italy's Michele Bechis, looked Machmemackie in the eye at the three quarters Doherty said he still had plenty of horse which proved correct when, on the final turn Doherty's charge began to draw away from his challengers and went on to a 2-1/2 length victory over Relentless Dreamer. Despite a covered two-hole trip the entire way in the deep stretch Yankee Devil in rein to Enrico Colombino, could do no better than a third place finish. A recent purchase by Jim Doherty Jr and John Santini and trained by Doherty, Machmemacki paid $8.10 to win. by John Manzi, for NAADA

Yonkers, NY -- After watching the visiting Italian amateur drivers make a good showing in the Hambletonian Amateur Trots at the Meadowlands on Friday (Aug. 2), the NAADA v. Italian Amateur Friendship Competition got underway at Yonkers Raceway on Monday night (Aug. 5) with two races on the betting card. And when the judges hung the official sign after each contest was completed NAADA's John Calabrese had won both events. Calabrese scored an eye-opening 1:53.2 victory with the Erv Miller-trained Normandy Beach in the pacing contest and Calabrese came right back to score a 2:00.1 triumph in the trot behind the Bill Adamczyk pupil, Blue Swan. Both races comprised the daily double on the Yonkers Raceway betting card. In the trotting contest Calabrese started from the four-hole and coasted along the pylons in fifth position as NAADA's Tony Verruso cut swift fractions of :26.2; :56.3 and 1:25 with Our Regal Ideal N. But when the field headed for paydirt Calabrese angled to the outside and Normandy Beach zipped the lead and coasted home an easy 1-1/2 length winner over Our Regal Ideal N. Italy's Michele Bechis finished third with Hudsonandbernard. The winner, a 5-year old altered son of Somebeachsomewhere, is owned by the Rock and Roll Stable. He paid $13.00. In the trotting event Calabrese had the odds-on favorite Blue Swan from the four-hole and trailed in fourth position until he moved first-up at the half to challenge the pacesetter Muzzy's Muscles , driven by Joe Faraldo. With Muzzy 's Muscles on the inside and Blue Swan on his chin-strap on the outside the two trotters were one-two by the third stanza. Although Muzzy's Muscle got first call at the top of the lane he faded as Blue Swan trotted clear and gamely held-off Merry Hanover (Jacopo Brischetto ) and Tech Titan, with Enrico "Vino" Colombino at the controls. Blue Swan, owned by William Chin, paid $3.90 for win. NAADA has been hosting Italian amateurs from the Venice area with the final two contests tomorrow at Monticello Raceway. by John Manzi, for NAADA    

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