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To say that Monday (April 13) was a horrible day for harness racing at Monticello Raceway would be a gross understatement. With the falling rain, the near freezing temperatures, and the muddy race track, it was a tough day for all the participants. And it just so happened that was the first day of the Hungary vs. USA international driving competition with contests to follow at Yonkers Raceway on Tuesday and at Saratoga Raceway on Thursday. But despite the adverse conditions all went well with both Hungary and the USA each winning a race. With the USA team being complimented with members of the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) the first event saw NAADA's Paul Minore set sail from post three with 16-1 shot, Lightning Madison, and not only easily grab the front-end but in the process go wire to wire making every pole a winning one en route to a four length triumph over Sureimalynn, handled by Hungary's, Kriztian Fazekas. And the final time of 2:08.2 was indicative of the track condition.The USA's Monica Banca took home the show dough with Jaybeebullville. "I got to the lead real easily so I just kept going on and not looking for cover," Minore related in the paddock after the race was completed. "In spite of the inclement weather it was fun. Of course, winning is always fun." Sent off at odds of 16-1 Lightning Madison paid $34.00; $7.20; and $8.30 across the board. The 11-year-old Pro Bono Best mare is owned by Ruth Ingham and trained by Vernon James. In conversation after the race Minore told how he has been fortunate when racing against European amateurs abroad. " I have been lucky to win three times in Europe on different occasions," he said. "I won last September against the Hungarians in Budapeste and in previous years I won a race at Vienna, Austria and at Solvalla in Stockholm, Sweden." Minore, a retired physical education teacher and high school coach, is proud of having world champion and Olympic multi-Gold Medal winner, Carl Lewis, begin his fabulous career under his tutelage. The second USA v Hungary contest was won by Andrea Fazekas who showed real talent in keeping her pacer,Rosie Rozzo, alive in the final quarter after being collared by Diamondsforember ( Alan Schwartz-USA) on the final turn and then go on to a length triumph in 2:04 over her challenger. Monica Banca, also representing the home team, finished third again, this time with Check My Pulse. In the post race interview Ms Fazekas was assisted by her hubby and professional driver Tamas Keleman who is fluent in English. Through Tamas, Andrea related that she listened to instructions given to her prior to the race where she was told to go to the lead. Then in her broken English she said she felt the nose of a horse that was breathing on her back on the final turn but concentrated on Alan Schwartz who was challenging with Diamondsforember. However in the deep stretch Ms Fazekas and Rosie Rozzo went on to a one length triumph. Sent off as the favorite in the race the winner paid $3.90; $3.00 and $2.30. The Yankee Cruise 5-year-old mare is owned and trained by Jody Weidman. Two things of note in the final USA-Hungary competition today are that Ms Fazekas was challenged, but to avail, by her mother, Andrea Nagyvary, who finished sixth in the race with Fly To The Angels. And after the last race in the competition at Saratoga on Thursday Andrea Fazekas and her hubby will celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary with a trip to the Dominican Republic. The USA-Hungary competition moves to Yonkers Raceway tomorrow night with two races on the betting card. The Hungarian team will remain the same but driving there for the NAADA team will be Joe Faraldo, Jennifer Lappe, Alan Schwartz and Joe Lee. by John Manzi for NAADA

The North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) will host a contingent of their harness racing counterparts from Hungary in an international Friendship Competition beginning in mid-April. It will be the first of four European amateur organizations that NAADA will host this season. Others who will be hosted by the Americans include include amateur drivers from Spain, Italy and France...... "We (NAADA) raced against our Hungarian friends last year and in 2004 we hosted them in America. However, two years ago when Hungary was the site of the World Cup of Amateur Racing the USA made its best showing in the prestigious competition when Hannah Miller, after leading all the way, was out-pointed in the final race and was relegated to second place finish in the 13-country competition of world class amateurs," noted NAADA president, Joe Faraldo. The visiting Hungarians are slated to arrive in the States on Sunday, April 15 with competitions set at three different US racetracks during the upcoming week. On Monday, April 16 two races are slated at Monticello Raceway and the following day one, maybe two contests, at Yonkers Raceway. The final events of the Friendship Competition will be at Saratoga Raceway on Thursday, April 19. The Hungarians set to compete at the Mighty M this coming Monday (April 16), and throughout the entire competition, include: Andrea Fazekas, Viktoria Kelemen, Ferenc Leanyfalvi, Krisztian Takacs, Andrea Nagyvary, and Tamas Tanczer. However, the hometown Americans will have a different team at each of the three venues. Driving for the USA at Monticello will be Alan Schwartz,Tony Cuiffetelli, Paul Minore and Monica Banca. At Yonkers Raceway the US team will consist of Joe Faraldo, Alan Schwartz, Jennifer Lappe and Joe Lee. The NAADA team at Saratoga Raceway is yet to be finalized On Tuesday(April 17) the visitors will be treated to a tour of the Intrepid Aircraft Museum and a walk through Times Square along with a luncheon sponsored by NAADA member Peter Kleinhans. In the evening the Hungarian and American drivers will battle in a race, or two, at Yonkers Raceway Then on Wednesday (April 18) it'll be off to Trot-Town USA with a visit to the Mark Ford Training Center in the morning and after a fine luncheon the visitors will be afforded a tour of Goshen Historic Track and the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame. On Thursday (April 19) the international rivals will be vanned to Saratoga for a visit of the Historic City of Saratoga Springs before a competition at Saratoga Raceway. On Friday the visitors will return home. by John Manzi for NAADA  

Doctor John the Medicine Man strikes again.... And as in his first driving victory in the NAADA Trotting Series two weeks ago the veterinarian - harness racing horseman and his trusty charge, Here Comes Numbers, were back in the winners circle at Yonkers Raceway after copping the fourth leg of the series for amateur drivers. Two weeks ago Kokinos set sails with his veteran trotter at the Hilltop oval and made every pole a winning one en route to a 1:59.3 triumph. Using similar tactics again tonight the good doctor sent Here Comes Numbers again to the lead and allowed the veteran trotter to do his thing and the 10 year old altered son of Here Comes Herbie proved once again too much for his competition winning by a solid length in a time of 1:59.1 over Traverse Seelster, driven by Tony Ciuffetelli. The victory tonight was two-fifths of a second faster than the horse's triumph on March 22nd ,also at Yonkers Raceway. Last weeks winner in this NAADA Series, Wygant Prince, was driven to a third place finish by Paul Minore, a retired high school track coach whose most prominent student was the Olympic champion, Carl Lewis. But once again tonight belonged to Doctor John who notched his 28th career driving victory. "It's not that hard when you have the best horse in the field," Kokinos said. "You just go down the road, which I did for the second consecutive time with 'Numbers'". The winning horse is co-owned by Patrick Laiso and Jennifer Lappe and trained by Ms Lappe. The non-wagering event went for a purse of $6000 and was presented prior to the betting card getting underway. Next Thursday the NAADA Series returns for another leg at Monticello Raceway. by John Manzi for NAADA    

Over the years the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) has donated to worthy charities and this year will be no exception. "NAADA members have had the pleasure of being able to donate in excess of $100,000 to worthy charities over the many years of our existence and even as the amateur racing season gets underway this season we've already made donations of $500 to both the Make A Wish Foundation and to New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program," noted NAADA president Joe Faraldo who additionally donated to each charity. Those donations were made in late March during participation in the amateur driving series sponsored by the Florida Amateur Club at Pompano Park. According to Faraldo over $13,500 was raised during the Florida Amateur Club's racing series. "Hats off to Dein Spriggs, President of the Florida Amateur Club and its membership for organizing such a worthwhile event. An event that saw David MIller and Tim Tetrick donate their time and talent as leaders of the teams for their respective charities to wow the crowd with their unquestionable talents. The long time efforts by the Florida Club have become the benchmark for other parts of the industry to emulate, both amateur and pro.," Faraldo added. 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. Those monies also continue to be used to foster international competitions including organizing World Cup competitions on US soil. Over the seasons NAADA hosts, and is hosted by, various European amateur organizations. Already this year NAADA is preparing to host their counterparts from Hungary in mid-April, Spain in early May, Italy in mid-August and France in mid- October. "It's a ton of work", said Faraldo, "but worth all the effort benefitting the charities , while also supplying a predicate for nurturing good will amongst nations involved in harness racing worldwide".   John Manzi

On an extremely foggy afternoon with intermittent rain falling in New York's southern Catskill Mountains harness racing driver Paul Minore sat a two-hole trip then rallied his old warhorse, Wygant Prince, to a neck victory in the third leg of the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) trot at Monticello Raceway on Thursday March 29. After starting from the pole position Minore parked Jennifer Lappe's Here Come Numbers around the first turn then allowed the 10-year-old gelding to take command as the field trotted by the first panel in :29. "I didn't want Here Comes Numbers to take command with ease so I parked him a ways and then let Jennifer have the lead," Minore related in the paddock after the race was over. "I figured I'd get a good two-hole trip behind her because her trotter was the betting favorite and had raced well in his recent starts." Once on top Lappe showed the way by the half in :59.2 with Wygant Prince tucked in tightly behind her trotter. As the seven-horse passed the third stanza in 1:30.1 Here Comes Numbers opened up daylight and he was 2-1/2 lengths in front as they headed for paydirt. "She (Ms Lappe) got away a bit on the final turn but once we straightened for home my horse began to grind away at the leader and in the final strides we got up for a neck victory in 2:00.3. Third place went to Connie Keeper , driven by Tony Verruso. The race winner, an 11 year-old altered son of SJ's Photo, notched his third seasonal victory and the 34th of his illustrious career and leaves him just $93 short of $400,000 in lifetime earnings. He is owned by Minore and trained by Taylor Gower. As for Minore it was his 94th career driving victory in the USA and when one counts Minore's three triumphs in races contested in Europe he now needs just three more for 100 lifetime victories. The NAADA trotting series continues next Thursday at Yonkers Raceway. by John Manzi, for NAADA

The Doctor in... at least he was on Thursday at Yonkers Raceway. On that cool crisp March 22nd evening Dr Kokinos took no prisoners when he sent Here Comes Numbers down the road and made every pole a winning one en route to a solid three- length harness racing victory in the second leg of the NAADA Trotting Series at Yonkers Raceway which was presented before the betting card got underway. Second place went to Tough Get Going driven by Joe Faraldo. Dave Yarock took home the show dough with Hidden Identity who finished some 10 lengths off the winner.. Kokinos and Here Come Numbers took charge when the gate sprung and they had command as they passed by the first stanza in a swift :28.4. Once on top Kokinos kept the pedal to the metal as Here Comes Numbers proved to be too much for his competition and they cruised to an easy 1:59.3 victory. According to Faraldo, who is the president of the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA), he asked Kokinos why he went such a stiff first quarter to which Faraldo said Kokino replied "once I got him in high gear there was no way I'd be able to take him back. And besides, he was comfortable and full of trot". In the NAADA series last week at Monticello Raceway Tony Ciuffetelli's Better To Be Lucky was victorious and Monica Banca's Master Of Excuses was close second but tonight at the Hilltop oval both trotters made breaks during the mile and finished fifth and sixth respectively. Here Comes Numbers, a 10-year-old altered son of Here Comes Herbie, notched his second seasonal triumph and his 30th of his racing career where he massed purses in excess of $352,000. He is currently owned by Patrick Laiso and Jennifer Lappe nd trained by Lappe. The 10-race NAADA series continues next Thursday at Monticello Raceway. by John Manzi for NAADA

Sporting brand new driving colors harness racing driver Tony Ciuffetelli bidded his time and then rallied Better To Be Lucky to a come-from-behind victory in the NAADA Trotting Series season's opener at Monticello Raceway on the ides of March. They traveled along in third position until the three quarters as Monica Banca and Master of Excuses cut all the fractions before yielding in the deep stretch. Third place in the 2:00 trotting mile went to Ladys Big Stormont, driven by Alan Schwartz. "He raced good today," Ciuffetelli said as he hung up the lines after his driving victory. "It (the race) didn't go as I had planned. I had visions of taking the lead but when I saw that Monica (Banca) wanted the front-end I eased my trotter down along the pylons into third position. "I ended-up having a good trip and waited as long as I could to make a move for the lead which I did as we neared the three quarters. After ranging alongside Monica's horse (Master of Excuses) we raced head to head around the final turn and by mid-stretch I knew we'd be the winner." Better To be Lucky pulled away in the final strides for the trotter's second consecutive victory, having won a claiming trot at Saratoga Raceway on March 4th with Phil Fluet at the reins. Sent off as second choice, at odds of better than 2-1, the winner paid $6.60. Ciuffettelli owns and trains the 6-year-old Lucky Chucky gelding who notched his second seasonal triumph. For Ciuffetelli, a retired corrections officer, it marked his third seasonal driving victory in just seven trips to post and his 53rd career triumph. Today's NAADA Trot was the first in a two-track trotting series--with Yonkers Raceway--which will end in a $15,000 Final at the Hilltop oval on Friday, May 17. Next up will be a leg at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday March 22. by John Manzi, for NAADA

Yonkers, NY--When harness racing amatuer Alan Schwartz claimed Ladys Big Stormont for $12,500 in early July of last season he knew he was purchasing a quality trotter and after owning the Earl of Stormont gelding for over a year and a half the trotter has returned his purchase price 'four fold'. Tonight (December 1) at Yonkers Raceway, in the $15,000 NAADA Trotting Series Final, Schwartz and his trusty steed kept all comers at bay and went on to score a neck triumph over Wygant Prince and driver Paul Minore in 2:00. Another neck behind the leaders in third place was Peter Kleinhans and Toss Cartwright After starting from the five-hole Schwartz sent Ladys Big Stormont toward the front as the wings of the mobile gate folded but Dave Yarock had the same idea with Mr Ridgetaker and they gained command midway around the first turn. Schwartz and Ladys Big Stormont then settled in along the pylons in third position directly behind Pail Minore's Wygant Prince and the three trotters raced in file order past the first stanza in :28.4 Yarock then led the field by the halfway point in :59.4 and although Schwartz was anxious he waited until they straightened up the backside to move Ladys Big Stormont. "When I pulled him he shot up alongside Yarock's trotter and we raced head to head to the three quarters and around the final turn and we finally cleared to the lead as we headed down the homestretch," Schwartz related. But trouble was coming when Minore moved Wygant Prince to the passing lane and Peter Kleinhans rallied Toss Cartwright on the outside and the three trotters charged side by side for paydirt "My horse was real gritty and he turned back the challengers and we held on for a neck victory over Paul's trotter. Peter's horse finished third ," Schwartz said. To say that Ladys Big Stormont is currently at the top of his game would be an understatement. In his last eight races the venerable trotter has five wins and three seconds and for the season Ladys Big Stormont reached the winners circle 11 times. Add that to 10 seconds and four thirds and the 6-year-old Earl of Stormont gelding raised his seasonal earnings to over $55,000. by John Manzi for NAADA

MONTICELLO, NY - The last two amateur races of the season at Monticello Raceway were contested on Wednesday, November 29 and when the harness racing judges hung the official signs Tony Ciuffetelli emerged victorious in the $6000 NAADA Consolation while Jennifer Lappe copped the $6500 Catskill Club Final. Ciuffetelli reined trotter Better To Be Lucky home first in a 2:01.2 clocking whereas Lapped scored a 1:59.2 triumph with pacer Lightning Strike. There was only a five horse field for the NAADA consolation and taking advantage of the short field Tony Ciuffetelli sent his charge to the lead. Once there they made every pole a winning one en route to a head victory over Connie Keeper and driver Bob Krivelin . "Since my horse is good on the lead, and with the pole position and the short field, I thought the front end was the place to be," Ciuffetelli said after the race. They charged to the front and Better To Be Lucky trotted off to an early lead. But they couldn't shake Connie Keeper who followed along doggedly in the two hole as the others faded lengths behind. When the leaders headed for home Krivelin moved Connie Keeper out to challenge and they raced neck and neck to the finish and at the wire Better To Be Lucky prevailed by a head. Third place went to Grand Vision in rein to Bob Ciavardini. "He had breaking issues earlier this year but he's OK now.", Ciuffetteli said referring to Better To Be Lucky. "I was getting after him pretty good as we neared the wire but he stayed at his work and hung tough today" Ciuffetlli also owns and trains the winner who returned an $8.20 mutuel. The Catskill Amateur Club's finale was a tribute to the ladies as three were finalists and the gals finished one -three an action packed driving finish. When the wings of the mobile starting gate folded Monica Banca sent Fox Valley Leo to the lead followed on the outside by Lightning Strike and driver Jennifer Lappe. But as they approached the first stanza in a swift :27.2 Lappe found room on the inside and tucked in nicely behind the leader. Before the field passed the halfway point in .57.2 Gerry Fielding was out and going with Troon, the betting favorite. They rallied alongside Fox Valley Leo as the three quarter timer flashed 1:27.4. When they straightened for paydirt Fox Valley Leo and Troon battled side by side and then in mid-stretch they were joined in the passing lane by Lucky Strike and the three raced to the finish. At the wire Lappe's pacer, Lucky Strike, prevailed by a length. Troon was second and Fox Valley Leo third. "We got lucky finding room along the pylons or we'd have been hung out," a joyous Lappe related in the paddock as she hung up the lines. "Lightning Strike is a pleasure to drive and I guess we just clicked." It marked Lucky Strike's fourth victory in his last five starts for Lappe. Owned and trained by Bill Mintz he paid $4.00 for win. On Friday the $15,000 NAADA Final will be contested at Yonkers Raceway as a non-wagering affair prior to the first race on the betting card. by John Manzi for NAADA and the CADC

Efforts by the North American Amateur Drivers Association and the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club are under way to organize a race for military veterans who are also amateur harness drivers are coming to fruition according to NAADA vice president, Alan Schwartz. The event will be held on Thursday November 9, noted Alan Schwartz a former U.S Marine who besides being the vice president of NAADA is also the president of the Monticello Raceway's Harness Horsemen's Association. At the end of the November 9th racing card at the Mighty M both NAADA and CADC will each donate $1000 to the Veteran's Food Pantry of Sullivan County, NY. Both amateur organizations 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. Beginning Wednesday November 1, Monticello Raceway will revert to its winter post time of 12:25pm. By Shawn Wiles

Monticello, NY - Ever since the resurgence of amateur harness racing in the early 1980's Monticello Raceway has been in the forefront of that movement. On the Thursday afternoon card of October 26th three events--two NAADA trots and one trot for Billings drivers were carded and when the races were declared official , Alan Schwartz, Jennifer Lappe and Bobby Krivelin each were victorious in their respective splits. Schwartz won the first NAADA Trot with Linda Marie in 2:00 while Lappe copped the second division with Fox Valley Steffen in a 2:00.3 clocking. Krivelin's triumph came in a Billings Trot when he guided Permanent Joy home first in 1.59. In his NAADA split Schwartz, driving Linda Marie for the first time, sent the 6-year-old Crazed mare to the lead when the wings of the mobile gate folded although it wasn't his pre-race plan. "I thought I'd follow Peter's (Kleinhans) horse (Toss Cartwright-the betting favorite from the rail) and sit in behind him but my mare got away quickly so I sent her to the lead and it was a good thing I did because Toss Cartwright made a break on the first turn," Schwartz related. Schwartz and his trotting mare stepped by the first quarter in a swift :28.4 and with the next stanzas well rated no others took a shot at the leader and she cruised though fractions of :31.1 and :30.3 before kicking in a :29.3 final quarter en route to a 1-1/2-length triumph over Tony Verruso's Flirting Duesy and Bobby Krivelin's Connie Keeper. Owned and trained by Jim Doherty, Jr Linda Marie paid $6.50 for win. The second NAADA split was a six-horse field with two women among the drivers-, and one, Jennifer Lappe, showed she knows her way around the racetrack when she kept her charge, Fox Valley Steffen close to the pace and then maneuvered him on the final turn so she had a clear passage to the wire. "I was content to follow the leaders as Paul (Minore) set steady fractions with Wygant Prince and on the final turn I looked for the short path to the wire and used the passing lane to my advantage. In the deep stretch we trotted by Ladys Big Stormont (Alan Schwartz ) and Wygant Prince (Paul Minore) and we were home free." Ms Lappe owns and trains Fox Valley Steffen who as the longest shot on the board paid $23.20. The final amateur race was leg of America's premier traveling roadshow, the CKG Billings Series. In that contest seven trotters lined-up behind the starting gate and when the wings folded Bobby "Rapid Rail" Krivelin and Permanent Joy took charge. After starting from the five hole Krivelin sent his veteran 9-year-old trotter to the front and literally toyed with the opposition and played catch me if you can. But no one could as he and his Trot For Joy gelding cruised through fractions of :29;:58.3 and 1:28.3 before finishing a solid two lengths in front of Tim Lizzie and driver "Yankee Joe" Lee for a two-length victory in 1:59 "He's super on the lead," Krivelin said upon his return to the paddock as he handed the lines to the horse's groom. "He's (Permanent Joy) is a nice old horse and a real pleasure to drive." Owned by the Hero Stables and trained by Krivelin, Permanent Joy won for the fifth time this season and 35th time in his career. He returned a $7.00 mutuel. by John Manzi for NAADA & The Billings Series  

MONTICELLO, NY - In a week inundated with races for harness racing amateur drivers, Monticello Raceway, for the second consecutive day, programmed two amateur events on the afternoon card of October 18 after showcasing two on the previous days program. Today (Thursday),one was for members of North American Amateur Drivers Association and another for those who are members of the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club with many drivers belonging to both organizations. In the NAADA contest Alan Schwartz and Ladys Big Stormont made a laugher out of it when they used the front end route to score an easy 3-1/4 length trotting triumph over Jennifer Lappe's Fox Valley Steffen in a 2:00:1 cocking. Not to be outdone, Joe Lee used a similar route to notch an oh-so-easy 1:56 victory with Artistic Cruiser in the Catskill Club's pacing event later on the card. In a week which featured 12 contests through Thursday afternoon with two more to follow tonight at Yonkers Raceway. With the continuing shortage of available racing stock the amateur movement is welcomed, not only by sportsmen and women who partake of the opportunities to drive just for the fun of it, but also by the racetracks which need competitive races for their wagering clientele. When the gate sprung in the NAADA trot Schwartz sent Ladys Big Stormont towards the front but after encountering Fox Valley Steffen and driver Jennifer Lappe Schwartz contemplated taking a hole or going for the lead, with the latter winning out. Ladys Big Stormont got parked in a rather soft 29 first quarter before taking command. Then once on top Schwartz's charge was comfortable by the half in 1:00. First to move was Joe Lee when he took Tim Lizzie off the pylons and moved toward the front but three lengths behind the leader was all Tim Lizzie could muster. Ladys Big Stormont drew away from his competition on the final turn and coasted home comfortably tripping the mile timer in 2:00.1 The veteran trotter had been good earlier in the season and after a stagnant period he vaulted back to score his second consecutive triumph today. "He had been sluggish for a handful of starts so I turned him out for 10 days on my nearby farm and he returned to his earlier season form," Schwartz said referring to Ladys Big Stormont's recent improvement. Schwartz owns the winner who is trained by Rick Harp. He paid $4.20. In the Catskill amateurs pacing event Joe Lee looked for a spot along the pylons with Artistic Cruiser after the start but couldn't find any room. "So, I made up my mind to go for the lead which I did," the New York Yankee's assistant locker room manager related. "Actually I didn't have any other choice. But it certainly turned out to be the right move." After a :28.1 first quarter Lee and Artistic Cruiser gained command on the second turn and they led the field by the half in:57.4. Still strong as they passed the third stanza in 1:26.4 Artistic Cruise began to open daylight on the field and they had four lengths as they turned for home which was opened to five at the wire. Second place went to KJ Brent, driven by Billings president, Tony Verruso. Visiting Kiwi, Gavin Cook, who competed in the NAADA v New Zealand competition on Wednesday was offered chance to be a guest participant and he finished third here with Crown Isle. Artistic Cruiser, a 5-year-old Artistic Fella gelding, is owned and trained by Tom Milici. Sent off as the odds-on favorite he returned a $3.60 mutuel.   by John Manzi for NAADA and the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club

The second leg of the three-track international Friendship competition between the visiting New Zealanders and the hometown NAADA team was contested Tuesday night (Oct. 17) on the betting card at Yonkers Raceway and when the judges hung the official sign the Kiwi’s Cheree Wigg emerged victorious with Big Turn On in a 1:57.1 clocking. Second place went the New Zealand’s Gavin Cook while the USA’s Jennifer Lappe saved face for the NAADA team by finishing third. But the race was dominated by the talented ladies with the Kiwi’s Colleen Nequs finishing fourth giving the visitors three of the first four placings. When the starting judge said “Go” New Zealand’s Mike Maynard charged to lead from the six-hole with 62-1 shot Every Intention and they had command at the first stanza as the timer flashed :28.1. Still in command as they passed the halfway point in :57.2 the early fractions soon began to take toll on the leader. Still second but tiring as they paced by the three quarters in 1:27.1 Maynard and Every Intention watched as Ms Wigg and Big Turn On zoomed by to take command. In the lane Big Turn On was the strong horse and rebuffed a late charges from both Dirty Devil (Gavin Cook) and Lucky Man (Jennifer Lappe) to score a solid one length triumph .“It was great,” Cheree Wigg said via telephone about her driving victory tonight at Yonkers. “I got away OK from the mobile in third place, followed the leaders and then popped out at the three quarters and skipped away on the turn. My horse was strong and held off the others to win it.” The winner, a six year-old altered son of Mr. Big, is owned by Joseph Di Francesco and trained by Bruno Nicolo. He paid $12.20 for win and set up a $75.50 all-Kiwi exacta. The final leg of the USA-New Zealand Friendship Competition will be contested tomorrow (Wednesday) at Monticello Raceway where two events are slated as races three and six on the 10-card. by John Manzi for NAADA

Two short fields went to post in the NAADA Trots at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday, Oct. 12 before the betting car got underway and when the dust settled "Hurricane Hannah" Miller and "Smokin' Joe" Faraldo each emerged victorious in their respective harness racing splits. Miller won her division with Pine Tab in 2:03.2 while Faraldo scored with Tough Get Going in 2:01.2. Despite his outstanding and time-consuming efforts in producing all aspects of the International Trot slated for Saturday (Oct. 14) Faraldo found time to sit behind a spirted steed in his own NAADA Trotting Series. "Actually this race was scheduled for Wednesday but it was held over until tonight (Thursday) which was the night of the boat ride for our International Trot guests which caused a minor dilemma for me," Faraldo said after his victory. "I really wanted to go on the boat ride but I knew I had a good shot to win the NAADA race tonight." According to Faraldo he drove Tough Get Going at Monticello Raceway last week and a mishap behind the starting gate caused him to finish back. "I knew he (Tough Get Going) had a great chance to win tonight and I wanted to be in the driver's seat even though I had to pass on the International Trot boat ride around Manhattan Isle with all my friends," Faraldo said. "You know, I don't have that many live mounts when I drive and I didn't want to pass up this one." And Faraldo ,the president of NAADA, assumption was correct and he gunned his charge to the front and took no prisoners while making every pole a winning one. Second place went to Fox Valley Steffen driven by Jennifer Lappe. Billings president Tony Verruso finished third with Sam's Honeybee. Tough Get Going is a 4 year old Kadabra gelding owned by D'Elegance Stable, Richard Banca and Carmine Iannacone and trained by Banca. The other division saw Hannah Miller send Pine Tab to the lead and with the short field they didn't encounter any challenges as the two time National Amateur Driver of the Year got her trotter to the halfway point in a soft 1:03.2 Still Pine Tab needed a :59.4 second half to hold off Bobby Krivelin's Permanent Joy for ahead victory. Third place went to SJ Better Days in rein to Bob Hechkoff. It was Ms Miller's 22nd winning drive thus far this year and her 95th in just 322 career trips to post. Pine Tab is an 8-year-old Cantab Hall gelding owed by the JL Benson Stable and trained by Nick Surick Both NAADA races were non-wagering events. by John Manzi for NAADA

Kew Gardens, NY -A rematch with the invading New Zealanders is set to begin on Friday Oct. 13th when a contingent of Kiwi's arrive on American soil Friday, Oct. 13th to begin an amateur harness racing driving competition at three different race tracks in New York State. Races are slated at Yonkers Raceway, Saratoga Raceway and Monticello Raceway. "Late last fall a contingent of NAADA members traveled to New Zealand for an international amateur driving contest there and now we have the pleasure of reciprocating," noted Joe Faraldo president of NAADA. "We didn't fare very well Down Under but it didn't really matter What did was sharing the comradery and friendships fostered by amateur racing." The Kiwi's are coming with a powerful foursome consisting of Gavin Cook, Mike Maynard, Cheree Wigg and Coleen Negus and they will drive at all three venues. However, the NAADA Team members will change at each participating race track. Scheduled to drive at Saratoga on Monday, Oct. 16 are Tony Cuiffetelli, Bob Davis, Alan Schwartz and Gerry Fielding. At Yonkers on Tues. (Oct 17) Joe Lee, Joe Faraldo, Jennifer Lappe and Peter Kleinhans will represent NAADA. And at the final leg at Monticello on Wednesday (Oct 18), Alan Schwartz, Gerry Fielding, Monica Banca and Joe Faraldo will represent the Americans. Nightly dinners at outstanding restaurants along the journey will be supplied by the hosting North American Amateur Drivers Association(NAADA). Also on Saturday Oct 14th the visiting Kiwi's will dine at Yonkers Raceway while they enjoy the $1,000,000 International Trot and the rich finals of the New York Sire Stakes program. Enclosed below is the competition itinerary. New Zealand/USA Friendship Competition October 13th - 19th 2017 Friday Oct 13th...... Day of Rest at the Bentley Hotel - 62nd Street,, NYC Meet at 7:00 PM for dinner at Zero Otto Nove West 21st Street, NYC Saturday Oct 14th pick-up from Hotel at 10:30 AM to arrive at Yonkers Raceway to enjoy The International Trot and finals of the NY Sire Stakes... Dine at the track...Back to hotel.. Sunday Oct 15th. Pick up -8:30 AM to compete at Saratoga Raceway.. Enjoy the town of Saratoga. Dinner at Lonfellows Union Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY Monday Oct 16th - FREE DAY to explore New York City... Meet our host Peter Kleinhans for dinner at 7 PM at The Redeye Grill 7th Ave, New York, NY Tuesday Oct 17th - Pick up at 10 AM.. to visit and have a guided tour of the 9/11 Memorial Museum in Manhattan. Transport to Yonkers Raceway for 2nd leg of competition. Dinner at Tra Di Noi and back to Hotel. Wednesday Oct 18th. Pick up at 10 AM for transport to Monticello Raceway for final leg of competition. Farewell dinner at the River Palm, Mahwah NJ in the evening. Thursday, Oct 19--Kiwis return home by John Manzi for NAADA  

Once again three races for amateur drivers dotted the harness racing card at Monticello Raceway on Thursday (Sept). 14) with two events contested in the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) Fall Trotting Series and one in the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club (CADC) Pacing Series. Bob Krivelin, Alan Schwartz and Monica Banca were victorious in their respective splits. Krivelin and Schwartz each won a NAADA trot while Banca's victory came in a CADC pacing even. With rain threatening throughout the afternoon Krivelin was the first to reach the winners circle when he guided Permanent Joy to a come-from-behind victory over Tony Verruso's Flirting Duezy in a 1:59.3 clocking over a racetrack rated fast. When the field rounded the second turn in that contest Krivelin moved Permanent Joy to the outside and flushed out Verruso's trotter for cover as Dave Yarock showed the way with Mr Ridgetaker. At the head of the lane Yarock's charge still had command but yielded as Permanent Joy finished strong and rallied to a 1-1/2 length victory over Flirting Duezy. Jennifer Lappe took home the show dough with Fox Valley Steffen. "I moved (Permanent Joy) early and we had cover until I wheeled him three deep on the final turn and when I did he trotted by the leaders and was home free," Krivelin said of his 9-year-old Trot For Joy gelding. Dismissed by the bettors and sent off at odds of over 7-1 Permanent Joy, owned and trained by Krivelin, paid $16.80. For Krivelin it marked his 210th career driving victory. Schwartz's triumph with The Fighter came as a result of patience, both before and during the race. Hard to control prior to going behind the starting gate but once there The Fighter acts almost normal. When the gate sprung Schwartz settled in the two hole behind Hannah Miller's Hidden Identity and sat patiently behind her as she led him all the way to the top of the stretch where he found room in the passing lane and rallied to a nose victory over a hard charging Brandos Muscle Man ,driven by Monica Banca. Hidden Identity held on for third. "I got lucky in that Hannah (Miller) was strong on the lead all the way to the stretch. And at that point I sent The Fighter down the passing lane and we won by the slimmest of margins. But a win is a win ," Schwartz said smiling. Owned by Ed and James Hall and trained by Danny Gill The Fighter returned a $10.20 win mutuel. For Schwartz it marked his 12th seasonal driving victory and the 587th of his amateur driving career. Although denied victory in the NAADA trot Monica Banca wouldn't be rebuffed in the CADC pace when she gunned Fox Valley Leo to the lead and made every pole a winning one en route to a 1:57.2 triumph Second place went to Artistic Cruiser driven by Hannah Miller which made 'all-lady' exacta. Third place went to Bob Hechkoff's Italian Rebel. "Once the gate closed he really wanted to go and I had a firm hold on him all the way to the half," Banca said of Fox Valley Leo.. "After that I eased up on the lines and he paced on to an easy three length victory " Owned and trained by Rick Dane, Fox Valley Leo scored his 7th seasonal triumph. For the Norwegian native it marked her sixth driving victory in just 12 seasonal starts and 20th since she began driving here in 2013. Amateur Day at the races began last Thursday at Monticello Raceway and is slated to continue weekly through November. by John Manzi for NAADA and CADC

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