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Efforts by the North American Amateur Drivers Association and the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club to present a race(s) for veterans who are also amateur harness racing drivers are coming to fruition according to NAADA vice president, Alan Schwartz. "We have received confirmation from quite a few vets who are looking forward to competing in the event(s) here at Monticello Raceway which will help us raise money for the local veteran's food bank," Schwartz said. "Just recently (CADC president) Gerry Fielding and I have heard from Peter Gerry, George Bonomo, Joe Pennacchio, Bernie Boland and Jimmy Marshall 3rd, as well as local horsemen, Allen Sisco, Pete Siebert and Paul Moore so we're well on our way of getting a field together. And should we get enough vets we'll have two races." The event was planned for national Veterans Day, November 11th but since the Mighty M is dark on Fridays the race(s) will be slated for Thursday, Nov. 10. "But that's OK since November 10th will be the 241st Anniversary of the United States Marine Corps," noted 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. "It's true we have a good start at filling at least one division but with a few more entries we could possibly have two races," Schwartz added. At the end of the November 10th 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. The Veterans Amateur Driving Challenge is only open to former servicemen who are amateur harness drivers licensed by the U.S. and/or the Canadian Trotting Associations. To enter the event, or for further information, please contact Monticello Raceway's director of racing, Eric Warner by calling 845-794-4100 ext. 557; or contact Alan Schwartz in the Horsemen's organization's office at 845-791-7747. John Manzi

Alan Schwartz has more driving victories than any other amateur driver competing today and at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday evening he added another win to his harness racing career total when he guided Lady's Big Stormont to a 1:59 triumph in the $6000 NAADA Trot. In that contest when the field approached the starting point Hannah Miller's horse, Father Amiga, went off stride and after seeing that mishap Schwartz gunned his charge to the lead from the pole position in the non-wagering trot which was presented prior to the first race on the betting card. Lady's Big Stormont led the field by the first quarter in :28.3 and after a 1:00 half the 5-year-old altered son of Earl of Stormont put two 29 and change quarters together to score two length victory over Bob Hechkoff's, Justtherighttouch. Joe Faraldo and Signal Hill OK finished third some three lengths behind the winner. "I guess everything went my way tonight. I had a good horse; I had the pole; and I got to the front easily," Schwartz said. "Then they lined up behind me and my trotter was never really challenged as we coasted along on the engine. In the stretch he (Lady's Big Stormont) was strong and we won it quite handily." The win was the seventh of the season for Lady's Big Stormont, whom Schwartz claimed earlier this year. He is trained by Raheim Strong. And for Schwartz, it was his the ninth win of the season and his 573rd of his amateur career. By John Manzi for NAADA

'It's a pleasure when you have something between the shafts", were the first words out of harness racing driver Alan Schwartz's mouth upon his return to the paddock after driving Linda Marie to a new lifetime record winning the first leg of the North American Amateur Drivers Association's (NAADA) three track Fall Trotting Series in 1:58.1 at Monticello Raceway on Thursday afternoon, September 22. After starting from the three-hole Schwartz hustled the 5-year-old Crazed mare to the lead when the starting judge said "go" and while still on the first turn allowed Bob Hechkoff to take command with Trotalot. Both drivers were aided in their quest for victory when the betting favorite, Here Comes Numbers (John Kokinos), went off stride at the start. After Schwartz grabbed leather and allowed Hechkoff to show the way they then raced one-two by the first stanza in :28.4. The order remained the same past the half in :59.2 and at the third stanza Schwartz had Linda Marie tight on Hechkoff's back. "I had a handful of horse as we shadowed Hechkoff and on the final turn she wanted to go so I moved her off the pylons," Schwartz related. "Once she saw daylight I just let her ramble and she ranged alongside Trotalot as we headed for home. "Then in the lane, when I tried to pull the ear plugs, they got stuck but it didn't matter. She (Linda Marie) was in high gear and she trotted on to an easy victory. Schwartz wasn't lying. Linda Marie trotted the last quarter in :28.3 en route to her third seasonal victory. Trotalot was second with Imacrazynewyorker getting up for the show dough, albeit 11 lengths behind the winner. Linda Marie is owned and trained by Jimmy Doherty Jr. She paid $7.20 for win. For Schwartz, it was his 572nd driving victory, the most of any active amateur driver. The international amateur driving club kicked off its three-track fall series here at the Mighty M with races to follow at Yonkers Raceway and Freehold Raceway. The NAADA Trot Series will culminate with a $15,000 final at Yonkers on November 3rd. by John Manzi for NAADA

MONTICELLO, NY - For the past five weeks at Monticello Raceway Thursdays have featured races driven by amateur drivers. And July 14th was no exception. Two trots in the NAADA Series were carded as well as a pace in the Catskill Club's Amateur Series. When it was all over Alan Schwartz and Peter Kleinhans were each victorious in their respective NAADA splits while "Hurricane Hannah" Miller copped the Catskill Club's pace. Schwartz led the NAADA brigade winning his division with Lady's Big Stormont in an eye-opening 1:57.2 over Bob Hechkoff's The Franchise. When the wings of the mobile gate folded Schwartz gunned his recent purchase to the lead and took no prisoners. Lady's Big Stormont, whom Schwartz claimed last week for $12,500, zipped by the first stanza in a stiff :28. Still comfortably in hand they were two lengths in front as they trotted by the half in :57.3. Although Bob Hechkoff and The Franchise enjoyed a two-hole journey they were outclassed when the field turned for home as Schwartz's charge drew off to a two length victory. Third place went to Woody, driven by Joe Lee. "I just claimed him here last week and he sure has a lot of trot, but he's a handful. He grabs on when jogging and is tough behind the gate and when scoring down he's on the muscle but he's got a big engine," Schwartz said referring to Lady's Big Stormont. "So I'll have to put up with his ways." Trained by Raheim Strong, Lady's Big Stormont scored his sixth seasonal triumph and paid $4.30 for win. The next NAADA trot on the Thursday card saw Peter Kleinhans send Toss Cartwright to the lead in after the half and then jog away to 9-length triumph over Typical New Yorker and driver Alan Schwartz. Kleinhans and Toss Cartwright didn't see the pylons until they wrested the lead from Tony Verruso and Up Front N Crazy as the two trotters passed the halfway point. Then surprisingly, even to Kleinhans, his trotter began to open daylight on the field and they cruised home an oh-so-easy winner over Typical Newyorker. Up Front N Crazy took home the show dough for Tony Verruso. "When we passed the half in :57.4 I thought he'd (Toss Cartwright) be tired but I was I pleasantly surprised to see us run away with the race," Kleinhans said. "This is my girlfriend's horse and I wish she could have been here today to see him win today." Owned by Collene Cash and trained by John McDermott, Toss Cartwright paid $4.80 for win. Amateur racing's current leading driver, "Hurricane Hannah" Miller, scored her 18th seasonal victory when she guided Stoman to a wire to wire triumph in a 1:56.1 clocked mile in the Catskill Club's pace. But victory didn't come easy. When the starter said go Miller sent Stoman to the front from the pole position but she had pressing company from Late Night Flight and driver Monica Banca. Their horses raced head to head past the quarter pole in a swift :27.2, that was until Miller opened a hole behind her for Banca's pacer to fall into, which Monica did. But by then Ms. Miller had little hope of giving Stoman a breather and they traveled by the half in :56.2. "I was quite concerned with the fast early fractions but I didn't want to get in behind Monica's horse," Miller said after the race. " The :56-half had me concerned even though I had a snug hold on him (Stoman) right from the start. Still they were fast fractions." As the field headed for the third stanza Stoman had opened up a three-length lead on the field. Barry Addison and KB's Bad Boy--last week's winner in this event--began a charge at the leader but it was too little, too late and they had to settle for second money. Shark Treasure rallied from far back to finish third for Gerry Fielding. Stoman, a 10-year-old Market Report gelding is owned by Jason MacDougall and trained by John Hallett, He paid $4.20 for win. After the amateur races at the Mighty M were contested, Miller and a contingent of others hit the road to Saratoga Raceway--2-1/2 hour ride-- for two Billings trots carded late on the Saratoga Harness race card. by John Manzi for the NAADA and Catskill Amateur Club  

Once again Monticello Raceway afforded three races today--Thursday, June 30 -- for the burgeoning amateur movement which has been helpful to the race secretaries in their quest to present full race cards. Two amateur contests were in the North American Amateur Drivers Association's spring trotting series; the first won by Tony Ciuffetelli with Aventure in a swift 1:57.3 while the other went to Typical Newyorker and driver Alan Schwartz in a 2:00.2 clocking. The third, a pace in the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club series, saw Hannah Miller guide Tijuana Party to a gutsy 1:57.1 clocking. In his NAADA series contest Ciuffetelli left hard from the two hole with Aventure and when he saw Hannah Miller charging to the lead from the seven-hole with the odds-on favorite Scottish Cross, he allowed her to take command in a :28.2 first quarter. From there he was content to let the lady and her trotter cut he fractions. "I knew if I let Hannah go I'd get a good two-hole trip,"Ciuffetteli said after the race. "I followed her all the way until the stretch and then I moved my horse out and he trotted right by her and won going away." At the wire Aventure was a two-length winner. Scottish Cross easily held on for second money while Toss Cartwright rallied to be third for Peter Kleinhans. Ciuffettelli, a retired corrections officer, also owns and trains Aventure. The 5-year-old Muscle Mass gelding paid $6.90 for win. In the other NAADA trot Alan Schwartz sent Typical Newyorker to the lead from the pole position and they remained unchallenged until Hannah Miller moved Lou Lous Princess first -up as the field approached the halfway point. "I knew Hannah was coming but her horse was hanging (on the limb) as we raced past the three quarters and I could see she wasn't going to even get alongside me," Schwartz said. "When we straightened for home my horse opened up a couple of lengths and he was strong all the way to the wire." Typical Newyorker was a solid one length winner over Paul Minore's Wygant Prince. Third place went to Blazin Delores, driven by Dein Spriggs. Lou Lous Princess faded and finished fourth. With his victory Typical Newyorker raised his lifetime earnings to nearly $252,000. The veteran Conway Hall gelding is owned by Michelle Hallet, Michelle Oglesby and Roger Doire and trained by John Hallett. He paid $13.00 for win. Alan Schwartz, a former National Amateur Driver of the Year, notched his 569th career driving victory and he continues to be the winningest amateur driver competing today. Sandwiched between the NAADA trots on the 14-race card the Catskill Club pace was won for the second consecutive week by Tijuana Party. Hannah Miller was again in the sulky and although she struggled to take command in a :27.2 first quarter, once Tijuana Party was on the lead he never relinquished it. Hannah and her charge stepped by the halfway point in :56.2 and at that point Ms Miller had second thoughts. "When I saw the timer flash :56.2 I figured I was in trouble, "Hannah said. "But my horse was gritty and to my pleasure he just kept going forward. He was even strong in the stretch and held off Dein Spriggs' pacer (Stoman) who had a two-trip." Tijuana Party was a two-length winner over Stoman. J Wanda took home the show dough for Bob Davis. Sent off the odds-on favorite Tijuana Party lived up to his billing and returned a $3.80 win mutuel. The pacer is co-owned by her driver and her trainer, Nick Surick. For "Hurricane Hannah" it was her 14th winning drive thus far this season. Last year she won 32 races and was named National Amateur Driver of the Year. Her exploits last season also earned her the Harness Racing Museum's Amateur Driver of the Year and with that honor she will drive against six Hall of Famers in the Hall of Fame Trot at Goshen Historic Track on Sunday afternoon, July 3. ""It's a real big honor and I'm so excited to be able to drive against the Hall of Famers," Miller said. by John Manzi, for NAADA

The seventh leg of the NAADA trotting series at Yonkers Raceway saw two former Passover Pace harness racing champions each drive a winner in their respective splits. Bobby Krivelin (2011 & 2013) won the first $6000 split with Permanent Joy while Alan Schwartz (2002, 2004 &2006) copped the other $6000 trot with Current Crisis. But since the competitors in amateur racing don't receive any remuneration Krivelin emerged as the big winner since his Hero Stables own both trotters. After starting from the pole position in his non-wagering trot, Krivelin allowed Mr. Invincible (Matt Zuccarello) to take command on the first turn but once the field straightened on the backstretch Krivelin then quickly retook the lead before the quarter mile timer flashed :29.4. From there Permanent Joy was on cruise control as the 8-year-old Trot For Joy gelding went on to an oh-so-easy five-length triumph over Warrawee Preferred, driven by Dr. Scott Woogen. Although Mr. Invincible shadowed the winner throughout, he ended up third some seven lengths behind Permanent Joy. "Permanent Joy loves to be on top and he just straightens out and seems to get stronger and stronger," Krivelin related after his triumph, and then added, "He never sees a harness until he goes to the races because he lives outside 24-7. Oh, occasionally I'll tow him behind a golf cart so he moves along a good clip but he loves the outdoors and I have lots of big beautiful paddocks on my farm in Goshen (NY)." Krivelin, a food purveyor by trade, has been a three- time recipient of the National Amateur Driver of the Year Award and with his victory on Saturday he now has driven 187 winners in a career which began in 1996. It was his third victory in the current NAADA Trotting series and his 48 points are 15 better than runner-up Dave Yarock's 33. Hannah Miller is third with 31 points. A second split saw another former National Amateur Driver of the Year, Alan Schwartz guide Current Crisis to a 1:59.1 victory. In their split, Schwartz's trotter started from the pylon position but he allowed Dave Yarock and Nautilus De Vie, to take command after the start. Biding his time in the two hole Schwartz stalked the leader until the field rounded the final turn at which point he eased Current Crisis to the outside and the 7-year old Current Cast gelding trotted by Nautilus De Vie and went on to a three length triumph. Peter Kleinhans rallied Windsun Galliano from far back to finish second just a neck ahead of Nautilus De Vie. "It's been a long time between pots but I finally had some power," Schwartz said referring to Current Crisis's abilities. "Still, I had a perfect trip and didn't have to move until the stretch and it's a nice feeling when you pull on the leader and your horse goes by him and wins the race." But Schwartz has had that feeling more times than any current amateur driver competing today. It was his 565th driving victory and with the passing of "Boots" Dunn, Schwartz is now the winningest amateur driver racing today. by John Manzi, for NAADA

On Veteran's Day , Nov. 11,at Monticello Raceway two local amateur driving clubs made donations to the local veterans food bank in Monticello. Both the North American Amateur Drivers Association and the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club each donated $1000 to help feed their less fortunate veteran brothers. Accepting the checks was Kathy Kreiter, the program administrator of the Sullivan County Veterans Food Bank of Monticello which is combined with the Sullivan County Federation for the Homeless. "We appreciate the donations which will be an incredible help to our organization for the less fortunate veterans," Kreiter said upon receiving the money. Alan Schwartz is the vice president of NAADA while Gerry Fielding is the president of CADC. Both are amateur drivers and veterans of the Armed Forces and Schwartz is also the president of the Monticello Harness Horsemen's Association and he served in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam Conflict. "As the Vice President of NAADA and a veteran myself, I'm extremely happy to be able to help my fellow veterans , "said Schwartz after he presented the huge check replica in the winner's circle at Monticello Raceway. His comments were echoed by Fielding in his presentation. But earlier this season, in late October at Yonkers Raceway, at the conclusion of the North American Amateur Drivers Association's annual fall trotting series the organizations president Joe Faraldo presented to the Breast Cancer Foundation a check for $3000. "We (NAADA) have been donating to worthwhile charities for many years now and it is our pleasure to be able to do so," Faraldo said. "The revenues are mainly comprised of amateur driver's nominating, starting and entry fees, along with additional funds from the NAADA treasury. Additional money came from the greater revenues collected this year when NAADA hosted international amateur driving competitions this season. "NAADA and its membership are grateful to the participating race tracks for permitting our members to race for these most worthwhile causes," by John Manzi, for North American & Catskill Amateur Clubs

Harness racing drivers Alan Schwartz and Hannah Miller emerged victorious in their respective divisions in the next to the last leg of the trotting series sponsored by the North American Amateur drivers Association held at Monticello Raceway on Thursday afternoon, May 30. For Miller it was her fifth driving victory in the series and Schwartz's fourth. Schwartz, a Mighty M regular and a former USHWA National Amateur Driver of the Year, won the first division with his own Bad I Am in a time of 2:02.1 while Miller, the scourge of the amateur ranks this year, scored behind Casanova Lindy in a 2:01 clocking. In his split Schwartz was forced to make and early move when the field jammed-up heading to the quarter pole. Bad I Am was just that as far as the race leader Bob Hechoff was concerned. Hechkoff's charge, Tagmaster had grabbed a quick early lead when the gate sprung but a :30.2 first stanza tightened the field as they trotted toward the quarter pole. "I was getting run over from behind so I had to move way before I wanted to," Schwartz said after he moved his trotter first-up as the field headed for the second turn. "I knew it was real early but if I didn't move I might have pulled him off his feet." Tagmaster and Bad I Am then raced side by side toward the halfway point and were still heads apart as they trotted by the third stanza. Tagmaster was still in command as the field headed for home but he began to tire as a quartet of trotters from the rears began serious challenges as the field headed for paydirt. Surprisingly, even to Schwartz, after being on the limb for nearly three quarters of a mile Bad I Am refused to give it up and refused to lose as the 4-year old altered son of Prayer I Am staved off all comers to win by a head over Starsaboveallerage, driven by Steve Oldford. Third place went to Samsawinner and driver Joe Lee. The winner, owned by Schwartz and trained Raheem Strong, paid $5.60 for win. After having road trouble with Rev It Now in that race--he finished sixth-- Hannah Miller made amends in the second split winning decisively from the eight-hole with Casanova Lindy in a time of 2:01. "Before we claimed him (Casanova Lindy) I saw him cut a mile at Freehold and win easily, so I decided I'd send him to the front and avoid any traffic like I had in the last race with Rev It Now," she explained. "He left (the mobile gate) so fast that we were on top before the (first) turn and I just let him cruise I was surprised when we passed the quarter in :28.3 because he was trotting so easily. So I just took a steady hold on him and he just did the rest." Dave Yarock kept Rompaway Alan on Miller's back as the two raced lengths in front of the field as they passed the halfway point. They were still one-two by the three quarters but at that point Casanova Lindy began to open daylight and the farther he trotted the move he opened daylight between him and Rompaway Alan. As Miller's charge headed for home he had three lengths on his competition and at the wire it was opened to six lengths. But in the deep stretch driver Tony Verusso rallied Pocket Passer by a tiring Rompaway Alvin to finish second as Yarock's trotter faded and finished third. Casanova Lindy, co-owned by his driver, her boyfriend Nick Surick, and her dad Erv Miller, returned a $5.30 win mutuel. The final leg of the NAADA Trotting Series will be contested at Yonkers Raceway on May 7th. John Manzi  

The undisputed King of the Passover Pace is harness racing driver Alan Schwartz, yesterday Schwartz picked up his 4th win in the covenanted race for the matzos at Monticello Raceway. After a recall, the race started off with both Terrys Girl Pearl and May Night both making breaks before the gate left, leaving them both out of contention. As the gate left, Peter Kleinhans went right to the lead went aboard All Perfect, he took the field past the ¼ in a brisk 28:2. Past the paddock turn Austin Siegelman pulled the favorite Pen Drop to the outside, following him with live cover was Schwartz. Pen Drop was parked at the half in 58:1, down the backside Pen Drop's challenge was fading. Alan Schwartz was still trailing him, he put Rattle N Shake into motion as All Perfect took the filed past the ¾ maker in 1:28:4. At the top of the stretch Rattle N Shake overtook All Perfect. Alan Schwartz and Rattle N Shake prevailed by 2 lengths over Dave Yarock and Sittinginthemorninsun. A jubilant Schwartz in the winners said 'I was hoping that I could hold off Dave Yarock" when told that he is the undisputed king of wins in the Passover Pace, Alan replied "Mazel Tov". Rattle N Shake, the 4 year old mare by Dream Away is owned and trained by Ruth Calcagni. Prior to Post Time Aruba Sunset was scratched, denying Derick Giwner his opportunity to win the race. Shawn Wiles  

Of course it's early but it appears that harness racing drivers Alan Schwartz and Bob Hechkoff have the top two horses in the eight-leg trotting series sponsored by the North American Amateur Drivers Association. In the third NAADA leg at Yonkers Raceway last night (March 26) which Schwartz won with Bad I Am in a 2:00.4 clocking while Hechkoff followed suite winning with Tagmaster in 2:01.2. And it marked the second victory for both trotters in the series. It was the second consecutive triumph for Bad I Am after having copped the NAADA- leg at Monticello Raceway a week earlier. Schwartz, who says if he takes his horse back as the gate springs, Bad I Am loses interest. "So after starting from the six-hole I let ramble with hopes of finding a hole but we made the front-end in a relatively soft :29.4, which was a bargain," Schwartz explained. "Once we had the lead I just let him (Bad I Am) cruise and we never had a serious challenge the rest of mile and at the wire we were an easy two- length winner." Former New York Yankee batboy and avid amateur driver, Joe Lee, had a good two-hole journey with Miss Directed but they couldn't make up any ground in the lane and had to settle for second place. In the $6000 contest. Tony Verruso took home the show dough with Flirting Duezy. Bad I Am, purchased last fall by Schwartz, is trained by Raheim Strong. In the other non-wagering division Hechkoff gunned his veteran trotter, Tagmaster, to the lead and once on top they commanded respect and they made every pole a winning one en route to their second victory in the series. Because of interference in the homestretch second place finisher, Grecale AS, was placed fifth which allowed Paul Minore's Swift Blizzard to take home second money. Third place went to Candid Man, driven by Tony Verruso. Tagmaster is owned by Hechkoff's R.B.H Ventures Inc. and trained by Kyle Spagnola. The next leg in the NAADA series is slated for Saturday afternoon, April 4th at Freehold Raceway. John Manzi

Maybe it was home court advantage but regardless of any outside factors, when the second leg of the North American Amateur Drivers Trotting Series was declared official, Monticello Raceway- regular Alan Schwartz scored a decisive five-length harness racing victory with his own Bad I Am in a time of 2:03. Taking advantage of the early breakers in the mile Schwartz fired his trotter toward the lead and finally gained command after the first stanza was trotted in :29.4. Once on top Bad I Am was never in trouble and the farther he went the more daylight he opened between himself and the rest of the field and at the wire Schwartz's trotter was an easy five-length winner over Flirting Deuzy, driven by Tony Verruso. Perter Gerry finished third with 41-1 shot Candid Man. "We got away with an easy one after Tagmaster (Bob Hechkoff) and a few others went off-stride at the start of the race," Schwartz said. "Although we had to work hard to get the lead but when we cleared Tony (Verruso driving Flirting Deuzy) we never had a serious challenge to rest of the mile." Now with a win and a second place finish in the first two legs, Schwartz is the current point leader in the three track series which will continue at Yonkers Raceway on March 26. John Manzi

Monticello, N.Y.: After an impasse of over one year, the Monticello Harness Horsemen's Association is pleased to announce that it has secured a long term horsemen's agreement with the management at Monticello Raceway. Assuming that Monticello or any subsidiary of its parent company, Empire Resorts, is granted one of the potentially two casino licenses soon to be awarded in the Catskill's region, the contract ensures nine full years of harness racing at the 56 year old oval, which offers a barn area and training track at the current site. Just as important, the contract provides for monetary payments which are millions of dollars in excess of that which the horsemen will receive via the hastily drafted statutory formula. When the casino enabling bill was debated, it was hoped that the legislature would continue the renaissance its carefully crafted VLT program brought to the harness industry. Rather than allow the horsemen a share of the huge profits anticipated to be generated by the new slot machines and table games, however, the law excluded the horsemen from receiving any casino revenue, even if the casino facility was operated by its management. Worse, the legislation left all horsemen throughout the state in stagnation by capping VLT revenues at 2013 levels. The future harm wrecked upon New York's racing and breeding industries is apparent, as the casinos will surely draw revenue from the dollars wagered on racing without allowing the racing and breeding industries to participate in the casino's growth. The racing and breeding industries in this state are a 4.4 billion dollar economic engine, and are responsible for the employment of 32,000 individuals in the largely overlooked agricultural aspect of our state. The horsemen at Monticello refused to accept the fate state government handed them, and fought hard to obtain the type of relief that would not simply ensure racing, but also purses sufficient to sustain racing. In addition to live racing, simulcasting and the forced cap amount grounded on 2013 VLT revenue, the horsemen were able to secure stock in Monticello's publicly traded parent company, along with a type of stock derivative called warrants. These investment vehicles, and the Association's right to sell stock as well as exercise warrants during the term of the horsemen's agreement, ensure millions of more dollars to the purse account. Moreover, the horsemen are guaranteed a certain floor amount from stock sales, thus ensuring several millions of dollars more in purse money than current law provides. Association President Alan Schwartz, who lead his Board during every stage of the arduous negotiations, declared the new agreement a victory for Monticello horsemen, "I want to thank each and every member of the Association for the sacrifices they made during the several long months of pain, when it wasn't clear if we would live to see another day of racing." Schwartz said. " Because of the courage the Monticello horsemen displayed in overwhelmingly supporting the Board, we have achieved a much better future than Albany provided us. In addition to our legal and accounting team, special thanks go out to Peter Gerry, who volunteered his time, effort and expertise during the delicate and extremely complex negotiations involving the acquisition of the stock and warrants, so as to ensure that a genuine economic benefit was actually realized. "While we were sometimes criticized for the stances we took," Schwartz added, "the financial reward now finally achieved for our horsemen was our only goal. It would not have been necessary if legislation was more thoughtfully considered in the first instance. "Now, however, Schwartz explained, "we are optimistic that Monticello Management and its horsemen will move forward and enjoy economic growth as partners, and that racing will continue to thrive here. As president of the Monticello Harness Horsemen's Association, I am extremely proud of the role our resilient group of horsemen took to ensure the continuation of harness racing as an integral part of New York State's agriculture industry." From the Monticello Harness Horsemen's Association

HONESDALE PA - The second half of the dual-phase harness racing meet at the Wayne County Fairgrounds in this northeast PA town, the "PA Fair Sire Stakes" portion after the "county fair" portion, ended yesterday, with many familiar storylines in place at the wire: Roger Hammer, who set the Honesdale track records on both the pace (Alastor Hanover, 1:56.2) and trot (Vivid Photo, 2:02) in 2010, again in 2014 had the fastest mile, a 2:00.4 outing by the Rocknroll Hanover gelding Rockabella, for whom Hammer is owner/trainer/driver, in a division of the FFA pace Wednesday. Like most of the week's miles at Honesdale, the early pace was conservative, but the final quarter was impressive (28); The most interesting fair division so far, the two-year-old filly pace, had seen Keystone I Wish stop Tropical Terror's win streak at eight earlier in the week; on Thursday the fillies, who had deadheated at Bedford, drew in separate divisions: and both won: first the Art Official filly Keystone I Wish for trainer / driver Todd Schadel, co-owner with his wife Christine; and then the Western Terror filly Tropical Terror for driver Chris Shaw, trainer Jason Shaw, and owner Mason Shaw; The 2PFs went in races 3 and 4; races 1 and 2 were for the 2TFs, and both Schadel and Shaw won one each of these two as well - both catchdriving for owner/trainer Boots Dunn: the Glidemaster filly Shewontkissandtell and the Tom Ridge filly Isabella Carina. Driving doubles seemed to be the order of the day in the Thursday Fair Sire Stakes for babies: on the colt side, Marc Mosher guided both trot winners, while on the pace Chris Shaw paraded back twice; Well-known amateur horseman Alan Schwartz made a rare venture over the New York state line profitable as he won with R'lene Jetta, a Lear Jetta sophomore filly he owns, trains, and drove; And of course the ongoing success of Hurricane Shaw, the trio mentioned above. After Chris drove seven winners during the first session and Jason trained five, all for his two-year-old son Mason the owner, Team Shaw went 6-5-5 during the second two-day section. FINISHING LINES - Roger Hammer also trained the fastest winner of the opening day of the two-day meet in Waynesburg PA (358 miles southwest of Honesdale) yesterday, with the Rustler Hanover baby gelding Rustlercafe distancing a Quaker State field in 2:02 for driver Steve Schoeffel, who won three times on that card. There will be a full summary on the Waynesburg meet appearing after today's racing for three-year-olds. Publicity Office of PA Fair Harness Horsemen's Association    

(Albany, NY) - The horsemen at Monticello Raceway this morning issued a last-minute plea to the New York State Senate to pass legislation to protect their families. Legislation that passed the New York State Assembly last night (A10004B - with the support and leadership of Monticello Assembly Member Aileen Gunther and Racing Chair Gary Pretlow) is being tied up in the New York State Senate. If the legislation is not approved, the horsemen, their families and their children will lose their coverage on July 1st and future racing at the legendary harness track will be jeopardized. "Today is absolutely the last chance we have for these families and for continued racing at Monticello, and so our future is quite literally in the Senate's hands this morning," said Alan Schwartz, President of the Monticello Harness Horsemen's Association. The Monticello horsemen are engaged in a lengthy contract dispute with the track's owners and due to an antiquated state law - and since they are racing without a contract - they are only able to access 1% of their own purse funds to pay for health insurance, which is far too little to cover the policy cost. The proposed Albany legislation would simply update this outdated 1% mandate (which was enacted in 1992 when insurance costs were far less) to whatever amount was contained in the recently expired contract. This would provide enough additional funds (again, from the horsemen's own purse money) to pay for continued insurance and avoid default on July 1st. "We have dozens of members with spouses and children whose only health insurance is through the horsemen's association, and so this policy is the only way they can pay for them to go to a doctor or a hospital. This legislation does nothing more than allow us to use our own purse money to pay for our medical coverage, and it's just not right for the tracks to hold this over us. I'm just praying that none of these kids get sick if we lose this insurance," said Mr. Schwartz. He concluded, "To think that our livelihoods and our health insurance could fall through the cracks because of Senate inaction is unconscionable." From the Monticello Harness Horsemen's Association

Matt Zuccarello--yes, Zuccarello-- reined the harness racing winner of Monticello Raceway's 16th annual Passover Pace on Tuesday afternoon, April 22. He hustled his charge Winsmith Molly up to collar the pacesetter-- Sam's Fortune and driver Alan Charles-- in the final strides and walked away with the box of matzohs. Zuccarello's mother, the former (Arlene Rosenberg) is Jewish, and because of that Matt was eligible to compete in the race for drivers of Jewish heritage. And for Zuccarello, who's refers to himself as "Pizza- Bagel", this was his first drive in the event and he made it memorable. An amateur driver with a provisional license, Zuccarella has recently been bitten by the harness driving bug. Now in his third year of competitive driving Zuccarello has been competing in the various amateur club races on the East coast as well as in the Billings Series. "I've won a couple of races before but winning the Passover Pace today was more than I could have asked for," said Zuccarello, who by trade is a salesman for heart rate monitoring equipment. "I thought there were a couple of horses in there (the race) that would be hard to beat but my mare raced her best race of the season thus far." Perhaps Zuccarello was referring to Sams Fortune and Christoffer Bliss who was driven by Austin Siegelman. Both were the 6-5 co-favorites in the race. When the man said go, Alan Charles sent Sams Fortune to the lead from the pylon position but he relinquished command to Pascal's Wager and Dave Yarock just before the quarter pole but he wasted no time and re-took the lead as the field headed into the turn. However, when Charles made his quarter pole move Murray Bassen, with Welcome Lover, and Bobby Krivelin with Road Work Ahead, followed suite. "I was seventh at the quarter and with all the action upfront I moved third- up and as the horses in front of me either cleared or found a spot (along the pylons) I just kept my mare going forward," Zuccarello related. Winsmith Molly passed everyone in front of her and then ranged up alongside Sams Fortune at the three quarters. Then, from there to paydirt, a blanket would have covered both pacers right to the finish line. At the wire Winsmith Molly was a head in front of Sams Fortune while Tidewater Moses and driver Alan Schwartz rallied from far back to finish third and pay $36.00 for show. Krivelin's Road Work Ahead finished fourth and fifth place went to 50-1 shot, Five Card Stud driven by Peter Kleinhans. Christoffer Bliss and Siegelman got locked- in from the quarter pole on and they were never a factor and finished sixth. Pascal's Wager was seventh and Welcome Lover brought up the rears. Winsmith Molly is trained by Gary Messenger for owners Brenda Messenger, Dr. Scott Woogen and Phil Shapiro. It was the mare's first win in nine seasonal outings and she returned $15.60, $3.30 and $3.00 across the board. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

Last fall when Austin Siegelman was presented with the Rising Star Award by the Monticello-Goshen Chapter USHWA at their annual banquet he told the attending crowd that among the things he was looking to accomplish during 2014 was to win Monticello Raceway's Passover Pace. Now on Tuesday, April 22 he will get that chance, and a good one at that, when he jumps up behind the 5-2 favorite Christoffer Bliss. "That's correct, I said one of my goals (in 2014) was to win the Race for the Matzohs," said the 22 year old Siegleman in all seriousness. "I know it has been a fun event and I read about it every season for as long as I can remember. Now not only do I have a chance to win it but I'll be driving the favorite in the race." Last year in his first full season of driving Siegelman reined 90 winners and currently with 47 already he's more than halfway home in equaling last year's numbers. However, since he's now getting calls to catch drive here, and at Saratoga Raceway, look for Siegelman's numbers to vastly increase. However, Siegelman will be going against some veteran Passover Pace drivers in Alan Schwartz, Bobby Krivelin and Alan Charles. Schwartz has been a three-time winner and Charles and Krivelin each have won the Race for the Matzohs twice. Krivelin is the defending champion having won the event last year with Isn't She Lovely. In this year's Passover Pace on Tuesday afternoon, Charles may have the best chance at upsetting Siegelman when he handles Sam's Fortune-- rated 3-1 on the early line-- from the pole position. "I've won this race with outsiders before and being able to start along the pylons is always a positive," said Charles who has won two of the last four Passover Paces. And speaking of outsiders, both Schwartz and Krivelin have them. Neither driver's pacers have won a race yet this year; Schwartz's Tidewater Moses (post five) is 0-for 12 and Krivelin's, Road Work Ahead (post seven) is 0-for 13. "It's all the luck of the draw; both with the horses we'll drive and the post positions we get,'" Schwartz said philosophically. "You never know what will happen in a horse race and it's never official until the judges declare it so." The sleeper in the race is Winsmith Molly, from the hot Gary Messenger barn. Matt Zuccarello -his mother is Jewish-drew the mount behind the 7 year old mare who won six times last year (the fastest in 1:57.3) although she has yet to find her stride this season. They'll start from the six hole. Others who drew mounts in the 16th Annual "Race for the Matzohs" include: Peter Kleinhans(Five Star Stud -- post two), Murray Bassin (Welcome Lover -post 4) and Dave Yarock (Pascal's Wager -post eight). The Passover Pace is slated as race number six on the Mighty M's Tuesday afternoon card of April 22. By John Manzi, for Harnesslink.com

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