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

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

Nichols,NY--The beauty of the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series is that its a traveling harness racing program where the competitors get a chance to exhibit their abilities on different size racetracks throughout the nine month season. Today ( July 7) the race was over Tioga Downs' 5/8ths mile oval in New York's southern tier and after a hard fought battle "Coach Paul" Minore and his veteran trotter, Wygant Prince, withheld a late charge by Aventure and driver "Tough Tony" Ciuffetelli and to score a 1:57.3 victory. Overlooked by the attending public Wygant Prince paid $25.40 for win. When the six-horse field was approaching the starting line the rail horse and even-money favorite, Fleet Honeybee ("Yankee Joe" Lee), went off-stride and was never in contention thereafter. When the mobile gate sprung Wygant Prince, racing from the two-hole, allowed (#6) Uriel and "Annie Get Your Gun" Stoebe, to gain command in the 28-second first quarter. When all the trotters lined up in single file Wygant Prince got to enjoy a two hole journey until the field headed to the third stanza. As the leaders rounded the final turn Minore kept his charge along the pylons and rallied past Uriel and braced for the hard charging Aventure. In the deep stretch Wygant Prince and Aventure matched stride for stride but at the finish Minore's trotter got the last call for a head victory. Uriel finished two lengths behind the top two for third money. The winner, an 11-year-old altered son of SJ's Photo, notched his sixth seasonal triumph and 37th of his illustrious career while raising his career earnings to over $411,000. Wygant Price is owned by his driver and trained by Taylor Gower. by John Manzi for the Billings Series  

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

YONKERS, NY --The final preliminary contests prior to the series finale in the NAADA Fall Trotting Series were staged before the harness racing betting card at Yonkers Raceway on Friday night(Nov. 17) and when the judges hung the official signs Paul Minore and Joe Faraldo emerge victorious in their respective divisions. Minore won with his old warhorse Wygant Prince in 2:01 while Faraldo scored behind Tough Get Going in 2:00.1. In his contest Minore worked out a perfect two-hole journey behind Bobby Krivelin's Connie Keeper. "Krivelin had to pole position and he raced to the lead and since I had the two hole I fell in behind him on the first turn," Minore explained. Once the field settled Minore just played follow the leader which he did until the homestretch. "When we rounded the final turn I eyed the passing lane and then angled Wygant there and he trotted on to one length victory over Krivelin's horse.," Minore added. Peter Kleinhans and Toss Cartwright finished second with the pacesetter Connie Keeper third. Minore owns the 10-year-old altered son of SJ's Photo who's trained by Taylor Gower. It was Wygant Prince's second consecutive victory and fifth this season." It was also the 93rd lifetime driving victory for Minore, a retired New Jersey high school track and field coach whose most famous pupil was world champion Carl Lewis. In the other split NAADA president Joe Faraldo smoked 'em with a solid 2:00.1 wire to wire triumph with Tough Get Going, a 4-year-old Kadabra gelding he co-owns with trainer Richie Banca. The hardworking barrister sent his charge to the lead from the three-hole and despite the short field they were constantly challenged. But Tough Get Going lived up to his name and turned back all challengers despite being looked in the eye from the half to the finish. "We made some equipment changes", Faraldo said referring to his trotter. "He was breathing funny, making noises like he was gasping for air at the end of the mile the last few times I drove him so we put on a throat plate and tied his tongue and it seemed to do the job " At the wire Tough Get Going was a neck better than runner-up Mr. Ridgetaker ,d driven by Dave Yarock. Tim Lizzie and driver Joe Lee were three lengths back in third. by John Manzi for NAADA

Monticello, NY -- It was bombs away in the NAADA trots at Monticello Raceway on Thursday afternoon (Sept. 28) when both harness racing winners, each starting from the seven-hole, sparked exorbitant payoffs. In the first division Tony Verruso scored a 2:02.3 triumph with Sam's Honeybee and returned a $76.50 mutuel while in the second split Paul Minore guided his old warhorse Wygant Prince to a 1:59.3 victory which really lite up the toteboard when the veteran trotter paid $130.50-$27.40 and $14.20 across the board. When the gate sprung in their split, which was arguably the better field of the two, Minore sent Wygant Prince away swiftly and they gained command midway around the first turn and then led the field by the first quarter in :28.3. Once on top Wygant Prince marched steadily forward unchallenged by the half in :59. and past the third stanza in 1:29 before any realistic challenge developed. And when did it came from Tony Ciuffetelli with favored Tropical Storm BI. But it was too late as Minore's trotter crossed the finish line like an even money favorite. Third place went to Brandos Music Man, driven by Monica Banca. "I don't always get a chance to ask him to leave because of various circumstances but today I took a shot and it proved to be fruitful,"Minore, a retired high school track coach, said referring to Wygant Prince. "He's been racing real good lately so I thought I'd take a chance and seek the front. It turned out to be a winning move." Minore owns the winner, a 10-.year old SJ's Photo gelding, who with this victory raised his lifetime earnings to over $365,000. He's trained by Taylor Gower. The other split was a 'dogfight' all the way to the wire as Tony Verruso's Sam's Honeybee showed tremendous grit in the deep stretch. After getting away sixth some nine lengths off the leader Verruso erased three of those lengths as Sam's Honeybee passed the halfway point, but still in sixth place. With a big a sweeping move up the backside Sam's Honeybee had on her trotting shoes and when they came off the final turn they were second on the far outside and then took command and braced for the challenge which came from Cassa's Image (Jennifer Lappe) With both drivers all-out urging their horses in the deep stretch Sam's Honeybee prevailed by a head. Joe Lee and Woody were right there but had to settle for the show dough. "My mare was really game in the stretch and we battled all comers right to the wire," Verruso said of Sam's Honeybee. "She's always tough in the lane and she showed it today." Sam's Honeybee, dismissed by the wagering public paid, $76.50-$18.80 and $6.10 across the board. She's owned by Verruso and trained by Carl Gillespie. By John Manzi for NAADA

It's not that Wygant Prince hasn't been a valuable commodity but in recent seasons the harness racing 10 year old has had only one win in 57 previous starts ,but the altered son of SJ's Photo put on his trotting shoes Friday night (June 30) in the NAADA Trot at Yonkers Raceway and turned the tables on those who have previously kept him out of the winners circle With owner, and longtime amateur driver Paul Minore at the controls the former high school coach took advantage of the two hole and sent his charge to the lead when the wings of the mobile gate folded and Wygant Prince led the field by the first stanza in :29.1. Perhaps by keeping a steady pace no one took a shot at the leader as the field approached the halfway point where the timer flashed 1:00.2. First to move was Hannah Miller with Rev It Now but they never ranged alongside to leader as Wygant Prince kept at his work and he was still in command as the field passed the third quarter in 1:29.3. However,in the lane Alan Schwartz, who was cruising along in the catbirds seat moved Ladys Big Stormont off the pylons to challenge for the lead but Wygant Prince was not to be denied and trotted on to a one length triumph in a 1:59.2 clocking over Schwartz's charge. Rev It now faded but hung on for third money. Despite having been lean in the win column over the past two seasons still Wygant Prince scored his 27th career victory and raised his lifetime earnings to over $350,000. And for Minore, who began his amateur driving career in 1994, he scored his 89th driving victory by John Manzi for NAADA

Fresh off a season where her driving talents earned her 2015 National Amateur Driver of the Year honors Hannah Miller is back in the winner's circle after she copped a division of the North American Amateur Drivers Association trots at Monticello Raceway on Thursday afternoon, January 28. She shared the limelight that afternoon with harness racing driver Paul Minore who reined the winner in the other split. But it seems that "Hurricane Hannah" has picked up where she left off last year when she scored a front- end triumph with Jacks To Open in a time of 2:01.2. And for Minore, his 2:03 victory came behind his own trotter, Wygant Prince. In her division Miller sent the veteran trotter to the lead and was pressured by AJ Destiny and driver Bob Hechkoff. With the two leaders racing side by side toward the quarter pole Miller refused to grab into Jacks To Open so Hechkoff backed off and fell into the two-hole behind her. "He (Hechkoff) kept yelling to me to take a hold and let him go but I refused to grab into my horse because the last time I did that it cost me the race," she said referring to the $25,000 Billings Series Final when she got jammed and Jacks To Open jumped it off." And besides," she added, "he was real 'steppy' today anyway. After AJ Destiny settled in behind Jacks To Open Miller led the field by the halfway point and she was able to give her trotter a breather up the backside. As the field raced by the third stanza Woody and Joe Lee charged from behind to get along side Jacks To Open and the two races nearly side by side around the final turn. Although Woody was a threatening presence in the lane Jacks to Open had enough in the tank to rebuff the challenge and go on to a one length triumph. AJ Destiny held on for third money. Owned by Nick Surick and Hannah Miller Jacks To Open paid $4.00 for win. Paul Minore, a former high school coach who's most famous pupil was the great Olympic gold medalist, Carl Lewis, had no trouble in his contest with Wygant Prince. After starting from the four-hole Minore was content to be on the outside until everyone settled in along the pylons, and when they did he hustled Wygant Prince to the lead and they cruised on to an easy 2-1/2 length triumph. "I was waiting to get everyone settled before I sent my horse to the lead because he's especially good on the front-end," Minore said after the race. "He has been resting and out for a while and he came back real strong." Finishing second, some 2-1/2 lengths behind the winner, was Nautilus De Vie driven by Dave Yarock. Cassa's Image took home the show dough for owner -driver Bobby Krivelin. Sent off as the odds-on favorite Wygant Prince paid $3.80 for win. The next leg will be contested at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday, Feb. 24. With the event scheduled last Saturday at Freehold Raceway snowed-out today's race became the second event in the 12-leg series which is slated to culminate in a $15,000 Final on April 7 at Yonkers Raceway. John Manzi

Paul "the Coach" Minore is hot. He now has won three of his last four starts in amateur competition with his latest victory coming in the prestigious CKG Billings East Region Mid-Season Final at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday evening, July 23 when he guided his own Wygant Prince to a 2:00.2 victory, a triumph made even more impressive since it came after starting from the eight-hole. It was their second consecutive triumph together after having been victorious in a time of 1:58.3 in a Billings leg at Saratoga Raceway on July 12. The $12,000 Mid-Season Final at Yonkers was for drivers who were the top point earners thus far in the year-long amateur driver's series. The contest went to post as a non-wagering affair prior to the first race on the betting card. If Minore was somewhat dejected after having drawn post position eight no one could tell when he gunned his trotter for the lead as the wings of the mobile gate folded and they showed the way by the first stanza in a swift :28.4. After a :31.1 breather Wygant Prince passed the halfway point relatively unchallenged. However, competition came as they headed up the backside but Minore and his charge continued unfazed and they passed the three quarters alone on the lead as the timer flashed 1:30.2. As Wygant Prince headed for home he had opened up another length on his competition and cruised to a two-length triumph over Gimme The Loot and driver Bobby "Rapid Rail" Krivelin. Third place went to Pembroke Snapshot, driven by the series top point-earner, "Hurricane Hannah" Miller. It was the fourth seasonal triumph for the winner, an 8-year-old altered son of S J's Photo owned by his driver, and trained by Taylor Gower. For Minore, it marked his fifth seasonal driving victory and 84th of his amateur career. On Friday (July 24) the Mid-west Region Mid-Season Final for the top point earners in that division, will be contested over the five-eighths mile oval at The Meadows. by John Manzi for the Billings Series

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