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MONTICELLO, NY --- A short 5-horse field gathered at Monticello Raceway on Thursday,(March 12) for a $5000 trot and when the judges reviewed the harness racing finish-line photo they declared Ladys Big Stormont the winner over a hard-charging Multitaskr Hanover (Dave Yarock) in the second leg of the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) 2020 spring trotting series. Accomplished amateur Alan Schwartz was at the controls and he guided the veteran 9-year-old Earl Of Stormont gelding to a wire to wire 2:02.2 neck victory, the horses first of the season and 44th of his career. Starting from the pole position after two late scratches, Schwartz sent his charge to the lead and when no one challenged he got his veteran trotter to the first stanza in :31.3 and left alone on the front-end Ladys Big Stormont had a length and a half lead over Multitaskr Hanover when the half mile timer lashed 1:02.2. "He hadn't been racing well this year but today he felt strong and he went on to prove it," Schwartz said of is trotter. When the field headed up the backside the second time around Bob Davis moved Making Sparks from third position and charged at the leader but Ladys Big Stormont rebuffed that challenge. At the top of the lane Yarock tipped Multitaskr Hanover off the pylons and they took dead aim at Ladys Big Stormont but for them the finish line came up too soon and they had to settle for second money, a head behind the winner. "I was pleasantly surprised that my horse was strong all the way to the wire," Schwartz added. "This is the best race he's gone thus far this year." Schwartz, a longtime owner of harness horses, began his amateur driving career in 1988 and today he scored his 621st driving victory which is tops in the amateur driving community. He owns and trains the winner who paid $9.40 for win. by John Manzi, for NAADA  

Monticello, NY--The North America Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA), one of harness racing's oldest and longest running amateur driving organization, will kick off its 37th season with two trotting events at Yonkers Raceway on Thurs March 5th Two 6-horse trots will be presented before the first race on the betting card and they will be the first of three 10-race series to be presented by the organization for its members during the 2020 racing season. Current events will be contested on consecutive Thursdays at both Yonkers and Monticello Raceways with the $15,000 series final slated at Yonkers on Thursday. May 14. "We're scheduled to have multiple international contests throughout the season with the first slated for early May against a visiting Italian team from Turino," noted NAADA vice president, Alan Schwartz. "But finalized dates will not be solidified until there is clearance from the current Coronavirus circulating throughout a good portion of the globe." The series is open to all amateur drivers who be come members of the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA). Last years December finale was won by Glenferry Dreamer reined to victory by Paul Minore. by John Manzi, for NAADA        

MONTICELLO, NY - The seventh leg of the North American Amateur Drivers Association's Fall harness racing trotting series is now in the books after Alan Schwartz sat back off quick early fractions and then came on to pick up all the marbles and scored a 1-1/2 length triumph with his Ladys Big Stormont on a drizzly Thursday afternoon at Monticello Raceway. With only five horses lined-up behind the starting gate Tony Ciuffetelli probably figured he could bottom-out the field when he put the pedal to the metal and sent Someway Same Hall immediately to the lead and cut speedy fractions of :28.1 and :57.2, open-lengths ahead of runner-up Ladys Big Stormont. "Actually Tony's decision to go for the lead worked out perfect for me," Schwartz said after the race. "Usually I have trouble keeping my horse in a hole but today I didn't have any, and when we closed the gap his horse was getting leg weary and mine was still strong" Trailing by nearly three lengths from the get-go when Ciuffetelli's trotter passed the three quarters in 1:27.3 Schwartz said felt he had a good shot of reeling him in. Ladys Big Stormont began closing the gap and when they turned for home only a length separated the two. "After we straightened for home I felt very confident that we'd end-up being the winner, " Schwartz admitted. "I could see at that point Tony's horse was beginning to labor and mine was still fresh." In mid-stretch Ladys Big Stormont began to ease to the front and then went on to a relatively easy victory over the rain-dampened racetrack. Someway Same Hall held second while Bobby Krivelin rallied Permanent Joy from far back to finish third. It was the eighth seasonal victory and the 44th career triumph for the altered son of Earl Of Stormont who paid $4.40 for win. He's owned and trained by his driver. And for Schwartz, it was his 12th driving victory of the year and the 620th of his illustrious amateur career. by John Manzi, for NAADA Series    

MONTICELLO, NY---Although it appeared that the six-horse NAADA Trot today (Thursday) at Monticello Raceway had an even- matched field, in reality when the harness racing event was contested the winner, Ladys Big Stormont, trotted off and hid from his competition and won the race by some 6-1/2 lengths in a time of 2:02 on the wet and windy afternoon over a track rated good. When the starter said go driver Alan Schwartz hustled his charge for the lead and they showed by the first quarter in a soft :29.4. "When we left out of there I really wanted to follow Faraldo (with Tough Get Going) and settle in behind him but when his horse made a break before the start I decided to go to the front and was pleased that we got a soft (first) quarter" Schwartz said. Once comfortably on top Schwartz was able to control the fractions and he and his trotter cruised by the half in 1:01.2 as Joe Pennacchio had Cheeky Little Minx tight on his back. But as they headed for the three quarters Ladys Big Stormont began to draw off by some 3-1/2 lengths and from there the only thing in doubt would be the margin of victory. In mid-stretch Paul Minore and Six Bax rallied for second money while Cheeky Little Miss faded and finished third. It was the sixth seasonal triumph and the 42nd career victory for the 8-year old altered so of Earl Of Stormont which raised his lifetime earnings to over $334,000. Lady Big Stormont is owned and trained by his driver. Sent off as the favorite in the race he paid $3.80 for win. by John Manzi, for the NAADA Series

Monticello, NY--It was a tough day for racing at Monticello Raceway with the pouring rain and the muddy track, still business went on as usual. Six members of the North American Amateur Drivers Association battled for supremacy and when the judges posted the official order of finish Alan Schwartz and his old warhorse Ladys Big Stormont emerged victorious by a head in 2:02.1 over Five Towns and driver Bob Hechkoff. After starting from post five Schwartz angled his charge to the pylons and settled in fourth position as Bob Hechkoff gunned Five Towns to the lead and they had three lengths on their competition as they passed the first stanza. "Ladys Big Stormont isn't really comfortable in a hole so I moved him first-up as we headed to the half but we were still some five lengths off Hechkoff's,lead," Schwartz related. "But my horse kept grinding and we finally got alongside Five Towns as we rounded the final turn. From there we were head-to-head all the way to the finish line but my horse got up in the final strides to win it by a head." Although they had a two-hole trip from the get-go, Chapter And Ruth, and driver Tony Ciuffetell Jr.had to settle for third money. Send off at odds of nearly 4-1, Ladys Big Stormont paid $9.80. And for Schwartz, a former Amateur Driver of the Year, it was his 10th seasonal triumph and the 618th of his amateur career. By John Manzi, for the NAADA Series

MONTICELLO, NY-For the second consecutive week, and for the fourth time in his last six starts, Ladys Big Stormont emerged victorious over his harness racing rivals in the NAADA Trotting Series event at Monticello Raceway on Thursday (April 25). But unlike his other triumphs the big strapping altered son of Earl Of Stormont came charging with a furious rally in the lane to score a 2:00.2 victory for his owner and and driver, Alan Schwartz. “I was thinking about leaving and challenging for the lead but when three others had the same idea I grabbed leather and looked for room along the pylons,” Schwartz explained. And Schwartz's move proved beneficial despite being 10-lengths in the rears as Joe Lee, with Soul Train, and Joe Faraldo, with Tough Get Going led the field by the first quarter in a swift 28 seconds. Soul Train showed the way to the half as the timer there flashed :58. “I was caught near the back of the pack and was looking for somewhere to go but there was no room other than to follow the leaders.” Schwartz related. However he wiggled his way out off the pylons but at the three quarters Schwartz saw the leaders getting away from him so he moved to the far outside and although his trotter was seventh at the top of the lane once they straightened for paydirt Ladys Big Stormont hit another gear and began gobbling up his rivals and trotted clear for a 1-1/2 length triumph. “I raced him many times over the past four seasons but he was never as strong at the end of a mile as he was today,” Schwartz said smiling.. “He even amazed me.” But the victory also amazed Ladys Big Stormont's backers as the gelding paid $14.20; $6.70 and $8.90 (no typo here) across the board. It was the 40th lifetime victory for veteran trotter who raised his career bankroll to over $319,000. In the NAADA contest, where the top three in points at series end, will vie for a chance to be determine the candidate who'll represent NAADA against their Italian counterparts later this year. With three series legs remaining Schwartz leads the way 39 points. Joe Lee (35) and Joe Faraldo (34) follow but also in the hunt are Bob Krivelin (28) and Paul Minore (27) and Monica Banca (24). The next leg will be on Thursday, May 2nd at Yonkers Raceway   by John Manzi for NAADA

Monticello, NY--The third leg of the NAADA spring trotting series was contested at Monticello Raceway on the pleasant Thursday afternoon of March 28 and when the judges declared the race official Alan Schwartz and his sturdy charge, Ladys Big Stormont, emerged victorious. Sent of as second choice in the seven-horse harness racing field the 8-year old Earl Of Stormont gelding turned back six rivals for an easy triumph in 2:01:2. Claimed by Schwartz for $12,500 four years ago, the victory was the 38th of the trotters illustrious career who has massed over $310,000 in purse money. In today's contest Schwartz sent emerged victorious to the lead after they started from the four-hole and they had command midway around the first turn but they were challenged by Joe Faraldo and Tough Get Going who ranged -up on the outside. It was at this point that Schwartz had to make a decision."My horse races best when he's on the front-end but I didn't want to get in a speed duel with Faraldo so I let him go (take command) and then retook (the lead)." The quarter time was a relatively soft :29.3 and once on the lead but both horse and driver seemed comfortable. They trotted by the half in 1:00.3 and Ladys Big Stormont was easily in command as they passed the third stanza in 1:31.2. "On the (final) turn I glanced back as saw the betting favorite, Permanent Joy (Bob Krivelin), in third place but when he rounded the final turn my horse was still strong and we coasted to an easy 2-1/2-lenght victory," Schwartz explained. Permanent Joy finished second while Tough Grt Going held on for the show dough. It was the 610th driving victory for Schwartz owns and trains the winner who paid $6.10 while notching his second seasonal triumph. Now with three legs of the 10-leg series contested there has been a different winning driver in each event. At series end the top three point earning reinsmen in the preliminaries will vie for a chance to represent NAADA in an international amateur driving competition in Italy later this year. The series fourth leg will be presented at Yonkers Raceway next Thursday.   by John Manzi for NAADA  

Yonkers, NY---As the fourth and final series of the North American Amateur Drivers Association nears completion the eighth leg of the 10-race Fall competition was contested at Yonkers Raceway with two short fields going to post prior to the harness racing betting card getting underway and when both events were completed Alan Schwartz and Bobby Ciavardini each emerged victorious in their respective splits. Schwartz won with his old warhorse Ladys Big Stormont in 2:01.1 while Ciavardini copped his division with Baltimor AS in 2:01.4. Both races were contested over a sloppy racetrack. Schwartz and his veteran trotter started from the pole position and they sped to the front and had two lengths on their competition at the quarter in :28.2. After tapping the brakes Ladys Big Stormont got by the half in :59.3 Up the backside Schwartz was comfortable and braced for challenges from the ladies, Jennifer Lappe with Celebrity Blue Chip and Monica Banca with Master Of Excuses. Once Ladys Big Stormont rounded the final turn he put it in another gear and rambled off to a solid three-length triumph. Celebrity Blue Chip photoed-out Master Of Excuses for second money. Schwartz owns and trains the winner who notched his 11th seasonal triumph and raised his 2018 bankroll to over $53,000. In his split Ciavardini was content sit in the three- hole as Annie Stoebe took command with Uriel on the first turn and they showed the way past the quarter in :30.0. They were still without any challenges as they trotted by the half in 1:01.2. When the field headed for the three quarters Ciavardini moved Baltimor AS off the pylons to challenge and the two raced side by side into the turn and when they headed for home Baltimor AS had gained command and went on to a length victory over Uriel. Third place went to Here Comes Numbers driven by Dr John Kokinos. Ciavardini put racing on the back-burner in the mid-1980's and after completing his professional working career he rejoined the amateur ranks two years ago. From a limited. amount of starts this was his first seasonal driving victory.. Tom Milici owns the trotter who's trained by Austin Gilbert. by John Manzi, for NAADA

Monticello, NY--Two solid divisions for members of the North American Amateur Drivers Association were presented on the pleasant fall afternoon of November 1 at Monticello Raceway and when the judges hung the official signs Jennifer Lappe and Alan Schwartz won their respective splits; Lappe with Multitaskr Hanover in 2:00.4 and Schwartz up behind Peoplesayimnogood in 1:59.1. In the first division Lappe hustled her trotter to the lead as the wings of the mobile gate folded and they had command with Ladys Big Stormont out on the limb when the field headed for the quarter pole. As they approached the first marker Lappe grabbed leather and allowed Schwartz's charge to take command as the timer flashed :28.4. Content to enjoy a covered trip Lappe followed Schwartz's lead and Ladys Big Stormont trotted by the halfway point in :59.3. Still being stalked as the field passed the three quarters Ladys Big Stoemon seemed comfortable, but when the two rounded the final turn Lappe slide out from behind her cover and Multitaskr Hanover trotted to the lead and finished one length better than Ladys Big Stormont. Third place went to Gianni and driver, Bob Davis in the 2:00.2 trotted mile. Asked why she chose to move to the outside when the field rounded the final turn instead of taking advantage of the passing lane, Lappe responded ; "my horse drifted out coming off the turn so instead of trying to angle him back toward the passing lane I gave him his head and he responded wonderfully by trotting around Alan's horse and on to an easy victory." It was the 30th driving victory this year for Ms Lappe who not only competes in amateur races but also drives against the professionals. Currently, to go along with her 30 wins, are 43 seconds and 53 thirds and a respectful ,256 UDR from 280 starts thus far this year. It was also her 87th training victory for the accomplished horsewoman. Ms Lappe owns and trains the winner who paid $8.80. Although he finished second in the first NAADA trot Alan Schwartz made amends when he rallied Peoplesayimnogood to a three-length triumph in the second division. After starting from the three-hole Schwartz eased his trotter to the pylons when the gate sprung and Joe Faraldo sent Tough Get Going toward the front but Joe Lee, with Tim Lizzie, parked him by the first quarter in :28.2. Once in command Faraldo kept the pedal to the metal and Tough Get Going opened a five-length lead as they trotted by the half in :57.2. At that point Schwartz's trotter was third, some seven lengths off the lead, but as Tough Get Going passed the three quarters he only had two lengths on the field and Schwartz rallied Peoplesayimnogood to third position. When he rounded the final turn Schwartz took aim at a leg-weary Tough Get Going and by mid-stretch Peoplesayimnogood had command and were pulling away and went on to a three-length triumph in a 1:59.1 clocking. Third place went to Celebrity Blue Chip, driven by Jennifer Lappe. "This was the first time I drove Peoplesayimnogood and I didn't know much him since he did most of his racing out of town. But he was a perfect horse to drive," Schwartz said after the race." We had a covered trip and when I pulled him it was 'ballgame'." The winner, who notched his 7th seasonal triumph, is owned by Dr. Scott Woogen and trained by Gary Messenger. He paid $15.20 for win. And for Schwartz it was his 11th seasonal triumph and 607th of his brilliant amateur career. by John Manzi, for NAADA

Monticello, NY-- The front-end was the place to be in the amateur races today(Thus. Oct 18) at Monticello Raceway as Joe Lee and Alan Schwartz hustled their trotters to wire-to-wire victories in the fifth leg of the NAADA Trotting Series over the Sullivan County double oval. Lee won his betting division with Makin Trouble K in 2:02.3 while Schwartz and Ladys Big Stormont connected for a 2:01.3 triumph in the other on the sunshiny, but unusually blustery, afternoon in the southern Catskill Mountains of New York State. Lee, driving for trainer Bruce Aldrich, Sr., sent Makin Trouble K toward the lead which they gained before the first quarter timer flashed :29. But once on the lead they had to rebuff multiple challenges before they passed the halfway point. "My horse was a handful in the post parade and before the race but once the gate let us go he was fine," Lee said in the paddock after his driving victory. "Once he settled down he was gritty and raced good." At the three quarters they had put away most of the early competition, all but Sheer Action, who was driven by Chistopher Doherty, the grandson of Hall of Famer, Jimmy Doherty, who was making his first lifetime pari-mutuel start. Down the lane Makin Trouble K and Sheer Action were side by side and were joined late on the far outside by Tough Get Going (Joe Faraldo). But as the field neared the wire Faraldo's charge hung and Jennifer Lappe ducked to the passing lane and rallied for second money with Celebrity Blue Chip as Tough Get Going had to settled for the show dough. And although Sheer Action was just a length behind he winner at the wire he finished fourth. Makin Trouble K, who won for the seventh time this season, is owned by Woody Hoblitzell. He paid $18.40. And for Joe Lee, last years National Amateur Driver of the Year, it marked his ninth winning drive thus far this season. The second split went similarly to the first when Schwartz sent Ladys Big Stormont toward the lead and when Bob Krivelin and Current Crisis closed the two-hole Schwartz had little choice but to try to get the lead from Monica Banca and Master of Excuses, who had command. "I really waned to race my horse from a pocket but when there was no room long the pylons I went to the front and I was a little concerned about the 28 and 4 first quarter.," Schwartz explained. Once on top Schwartz and Banca were open lengths in front of their competition and they raced one-two by the half in :59.3 with the order remaining the same as they passed the third stanza in 1:30 flat. Third at that point was Current Crisis (Bob Krivelin) but he began to fade as the leaders rounded the final turn. Despite a two-hole trip the entire way Master Of Excuses couldn't get by Ladys Big Stormont in the lane and they finished 1-1/4-lengths behind Schwartz's trotter who won for the 10th time this season. Jennifer Lappe rallied Multitaskr Hanover to finish third after he went off-stride at the start. Schwartz owns and trains Ladys Big Stormont who paid $3.70. It was Schwartz's 11th seasonal driving victory and the 606th of his amateur career. by John Manzi, for the NAADA Series

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

Who said that amateur racing isn't fun? Certainly not members of the North American Amateur Drivers Association. After hosting three different European amateur organizations on American soil already this year four NAADA members; Joe Faraldo, Alan Schwartz,Paul Minore and Joe Lee, and their guests; will soon be winging their way to Palma De Mallorca for an international Friendship Competition with the Spanish amateurs. "Though some may be going earlier than others we are all meeting in Palma on the 4th September and racing will be on September 5th, in the morning, and on the 8th in the evening," noted NAADA Event Coordinator, Alicia (Mrs Alan) Schwartz. According the NAADA president Joe Faraldo,"We have had competitions, almost yearly, with the Spanish amateurs. We hosted them last year in the States and we came out on the short end in the competition. But winning or losing is incidental, what is important is the friendship and comraderie shared during the competitions." Tentative itinerary: Arrive in Mallorca on September 4th. Drive to the Finca for accommodations.-Relax and dinner at Italian Restaurant September 5th; -Races in the morning,-Lunch at the racetrack then back to Finca for a barbeque. September 6th ; Visit the Rafa Nadal Museum-Paella by Xisco and after party with Gin tonics--then back to Finca. September 7th; -Visit Ca'n Axartell Vineyards with wine tastings and tapas. Then visit the Pearls in Porto Cristo followed by dinner in Restaurant Sa Fonda September 8th-- Boat Trip with tapas and cocktails during the day and at night races in Manacor followed by dinner with the horse owners September 9th - NAADA members leave Mallorca; except for Joe Lee who will be staying on a bit longer to enjoy the scenery.. by John Manzi, for NAADA    

Despite the fact that NAADA is preparing to host a contingent of their counterparts from Spain next week the beat goes on for the harness racing members of the North American Amateur Drivers Association. Tonight at Yonkers Raceway, two short divisions in the eighth leg of the current NAADA trotting series went to post and when the judges declared them official both Alan Schwartz and Dr. John Kokinos each emerged victorious in their respective splits which went postward prior to the betting card getting underway. Schwartz had an eyeopening triumph with his own Ladys Big Stornont in a 1:57.3 clocking while Doctor John scored comfortably in 1:59.2 with Here Comes Numbers. Both were convincing winners. Schwartz started from the four-hole and settled in fourth position and was there until the field headed to the halfway point where he moved first-up. They trotted around Wygant Prince (Paul Minore) and when Ladys Big Stormont passed the three quarter pole they had a length lead which was opened to two lengths at the wire. Soul Train in rein to Joe Lee, rallied to be second with Fox Valley Steffen and Jennifer Lappe captured the show dough. "He went a monster trip tonight," a jubulent Schwartz said after the race. "He's a nice horse with a big motor and tonight's race was his best thus far this year." Doctor John is enjoying one of his best seasons in the sulky notching his third win in the current trotting series and his 5th in just nine seasonal starts. In his split Kokinos sent Here Comes Numbers to the lead from the three hole and it was catch me if you can and nobody could as Here Comes Numbers trotted home a two length winner over Tough Get Going, driven by NAADA president, Joe Faraldo. Far back in third was Bob Davis with The Royal Harry. "Again, I had a good horse and was merely little more than a passenger," said Kokinos. "I'm learning good lessons driving these classy old veterans. by John Manzi, for NAADA

In his last start Ladys Big Stormont raced with a blown tire and finished back but today (April 12) at Monticello Raceway the 7-year-old Earl Of Stormont gelding went an overland route after the half and rallied to a 1-1/4 length triumph in the fifth leg of the harness racing NAADA Trotting Series for owner, trainer, driver Alan Schwartz. The veteran trotter covered the mile course in a swift 1:58.3 to notch his second seasonal triumph and 27th of his career. Soul Train finished second for Joe Lee while Bob Hechkoff garnered the show dough with Steal N Gas. "He was giant today," was how Schwartz described the race that Ladys Big Stormont turned in this afternoon. "He's been good before but today his race was his best in quite a while." When the gate sprung Hechkoff charged to the lead from post four with Steal N Gas and they lead the field by the first stanza in :29.1. Meanwhile Schwartz angled his trotter to the pylons on the first turn and was in fifth position when they passed the quarter pole in :29.1, some six lengths behind Steal N Go's lead. Schwartz was content to follow the leaders around the paddock turn and once into the stretch he moved Ladys Big Stormont to the outside and they began to move up in the:59.3 trotted first half. As the field passed the third stanza in 1:29 the leaders were heads apart with Joe Lee, boxed in third position along the pylons, desperately looking for daylight with Soul Train. In the lane Ladys Big Stormont trotted to the lead and then held off a rallying Soul Train for a seasonal's best 1:58.3 clocking. "I was really surprised that he still was full of trot as we approached the finish line, "Schwartz said referring to Ladys Big Stormont's victory. "We were out(side) a long way and he usually doesn't make up ground at the end of a mile. But as I said earlier 'he was giant today!'" Sent off at odds of over 5-1 the winner paid $12.40. The NAADA Trotting Series will return to Yonkers Raceway for its sixth leg next Thursday, April 19. 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

On Thursday June 23, with the sun bright in the blue summer sky and the temperature hovering around 80-degrees, two amateur races dotted the 11-race harness racing card at Monticello Raceway and when the judges hung the official signs, Alan Schwartz emerged victorious in the NAADA trot with Ladys Big Stormont in a 1:58.4 clocking while Joe Lee was the first home in the Catskill Club pace with TKR's Metro Specs in 1:59.1 In his contest Schwartz hustled his trotter for the lead but they had to go a steppy :27.4 in order to rest command from Highest Hill and driver Rich Gayton. But once Ladys Big Stormont cleared and settled down along the pylons Schwartz tried to give his charge a breather but as they trotted to the halfway point Bob Hechkoff was out and moving with The Franchise and they ranged alongside the leader as the timer flashed :58.1. The two leaders raced head-to-head up the backside but Ladys Big Stormont was strong enough to rebuff his challenger. When the field headed for home Ladys Big Stormont opened up two lengths and he needed every bit of that to turn back a late charge by Hannah Miller with Rev It Now. "My horse went a tough mile especially being parked to the(first) quarter in 27:4 and then having to fight head to head with Hechkoff's horse," Schwartz said after the race. "We did draw clear as we headed for home but my guy was understandably tiring and all I could think of in the deep stretch was 'where the heck is the wire'" When the photo-finish camera snapped Ladys Big Stormont was a head better than Rev It Now . A short length farther back in third place was The Franchise. Schwartz owns the winner whose trained by Raheim Strong. Sent off as the even-money favorite Ladys Big Stormont paid $4.00 for win. Schwartz has been participating in amateur races since the 1980's and now has 585 driving victories to his credit. A long time participant at Monticello Raceway against professionals he also serves as president of the local horseman's organization. In the other amateur driving contest New York Yankees assistant locker room manager, Joe Lee once again proved he knows his was around the racetrack after scoring is eighth seasonal driving victory this time with the Woody Hoblitzell-owned TKRs Metro Specs. Sent off as the hot favorite from the pole position Lee naturally sent his pacer to the lead and once on top they commanded the race and kept Monica Banca's Fox Valley Leo, who won this event last week, on the limb. After a :28.3 first quarter Lee slowed the pace and his horse was steadfastly in charge as they led the field by the half in:59.2 and the three quarters in 1:29.2 As they rounded the final turn TKRs Metro Specs had a two length lead which was slowly diminishing as they headed for paydirt. Kennanskingwilliam was enjoying a two-hole trip and driver Gerry Fielding used the passing lane to put serious pressure on the leader. However, at the wire TKR Metro Specs held tough for a head triumph in the 1:59.1 mile. Third place went to Murphy's Ideal, driven by Dr. Jennifer Lowrey. "We had clear sailing all the way until the final strides when my pacer began to get a little leg-weary," driver Joe Lee noted "Although Fielding's horse was coming at us my horse was strong enough to get home with the victory. Trained by Bruce Aldrich, Sr., TKR's Metro Specs won for the third time this season and returned a $4.20 win mutuel. By John Manzi for both NAADA and the Catskill Club  

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