Day At The Track

The Italians sprint to big lead

02:40 PM 27 Jul 2017 NZST
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Tony Ciuffetelli
Tony Ciuffetelli

Pasta with tears. Never heard of it? Well just ask the four Americans who were led to slaughter in Treviso, Italy in the first of three legs of the Italian American harness racing challenge rematch. In the two contest races today the Italians decimated the Americans. The best the visiting Americans could muster was a fourth place finish by Tony Ciuffetelli.

Treviso is a 1,000 meter, or 5/8ths mile racetrack, and each race was predictably won by the Italians; Maurizio Scala won the first followed in the winners circle by the affable Giancarlo Moretti , whose famed Morano glass factory is world renowned.

The unfamiliarity with the horses and surroundings didn't help the Americans but excuses aside, the Italians once again out-drove the Americans. ."We can't blame the horses, we can only blame ourselves", Faraldo reasoned. "But as it always seems when you don't do well there is always something or someone else to blame and the truth is when you don't drive well it is your own fault".

However, both Tony's , Ciuffetelli and Verruso, drove well but the horses they drove could have been more competitive with those our Italian friends had. However, our hosts have been treating us as well as could be expected, especially with good food and great wine preparing us for what might well be out fate.

As Mike La Chance once said after losing a race in Delaware, Ohio," I just turn the page and get ready for the next one."

Tomorrow's races are at Padova and for us a fresh start. It has to get better, otherwise we Americans will have nothing to hope for but a good meal and more outstanding wine.

If team USA fails to catch up to the seemingly insurmountable Italian lead by the final leg at Cesena on Friday, the former Italian amateur champion, Michele Canale and friends will be waiting to carve up the remainder of what may be left of our American team.

While it is true that amateur racing is all about human relationships it is sad not to bring home the bacon while enjoying the tremendous hospitality of our Italian hosts. The American team will heed the advice of Mike La Chance and trek on behind the starting gate tomorrow.

by Joe Faraldo, leader of the visiting American team, with help from John Manzi

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