Day At The Track

Spaniards continue dominance of Amateurs

06:28 AM 28 Sep 2015 NZDT
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Hipodromo Son Pardo
Hipodromo Son Pardo

Although the American harness racing amateurs hoped for different results when they traveled to Mallorca for the second edition of the Spain vs. NAADA Friendship Competition their hopes vanished when reality set-in.

Led by Joe Faraldo, president of NAADA and joined by Hannah Miller, Alan Schwartz and Joe Pennacchio the American team is doing little more than enjoying the food, wine and camaraderie with their hosts.

Faraldo shared the following sentiments after the first day of the competition.

"Midst a rich brownish earth, calm breeze, winery tours and into the depths of the their most famous caves, surrounding us with kindness and hospitality, the Spanish then proceeded to clobber our NAADA amateurs once again. This time the races were on a track no greater than 650 meters long on a track that is only wide enough for six across with a running horse (Thoroughbred) rail. And then add a field of ten horses and set the distance at 1750 meters, about three times around with a bell-lap for the benefit of Spanish and Americans alike.

"Compare that to our half-milers, which are a large 800 meters by comparison, and it was easy to see the slaughter that began.

"In the first event four brave souls, led by the hot handed Hannah Miller, waged battle with the six Spanish drivers who clearly had the home track advantage and perhaps the better horses which gave them an all round edge. Going for a purse of 700 Euros the American team bested only a third place gained by Alan Schwartz. The second event found no American in the top five.

"However after the race we were treated to an elaborate cocktail party where the main talk, fortunately for us, centered around the upcoming International Trot to be held at Yonkers on October10th after a twenty year hiatus."

According to Faraldo, on Sunday the competition moves on to Son Pardo racetrack in Palma, the bustling town and capital of Mallorca with the Americans hoping for better results.That will be followed by a farewell dinner of Paella and roast suckling pig.

"At Son Pardo racetrack a group from the French PMU subsidized a race of 50,000 euros with a plane load of French horses shipped in." Faraldo added. "The PMU has made great strides in Spain and it continues,along with Le Trot, to propagate the continent with their breed and betting distribution system to the advantage of all, now sending about 100 French trotting horses to Ireland long a stronghold of American pacing blood."

John Manzi

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