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Yonkers, NY- Back at Yonkers Raceway tonight the NAADA Trotting Series was the second race on the betting card and Dave Offenberg was not deterred by the sloppy racetrack. The longtime owner of prominent racing stock certainly took care of business when he fired Fiji to the front when the starter said go and then raced away and hid from his competition. After starting from the pole position by the time Fiji passed the first stanza he had a six-length lead on the Joe Faraldo-guided Tough Get Going making it the third consecutive season that Offenberg and his trusty steed were victorious over the famed New York double-oval. "He was exceptionally good tonight," Offenberg related via telephone after the race."I tapped him a couple of times and he really took off. After Fiji trotted by the quarter in :27.4 I was just a passenger, " Offenberg said. When they passed the half mile marker in :56.4 they were nine- lengths to the good and sill eight on top when they headed for home. "I tried to slow him down but it wasn't gonna happen," Offenbeg admitted. "So I finally relaxed on the lines and enjoyed the ride. We won the race by 7-1/2 lengths over Faraldo's trotter in 1:58.2." It marked the third consecutive season that Offenberg and Fiji were victorious at Yonkers Raceway. Owned by Offenberg's Allister Stables and trained by Eric Abbatiello Fiji paid $6.70 for win. by John Manzi, for the NAADA Series

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Saturday was closing night for the 2018 harness racing season at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with ceremonies honoring some of the top horses and horsemen of the meet sharing the spotlight with the C.K.G. Billings Amateur Driving Series Eastern Regional Final #2. The Billings purse was $12,000, but you'd have thought they were going for a hundred times that as they were three-deep to a 27.4 quarter. Past that station, Winwood Scout, the favorite, kept On The Podium out in the 38-degree air, and the middle fractions of 57.2 and 1:27.2 were very demanding. With the best seat in the house behind the battle up front was driver David Offenberg and the Cantab Hall gelding Fiji, and when the outside horse melted back on the far turn, Fiji was ready to spring. Offenberg moved his horse outside at headstretch, but Winwood Scout was favored for good reason, and it took until the very last steps before "Dave The Rave" could nudge Fiji past the gallant Winwood Scout and driver Bob Davis, winning by the smallest possible margin in 1:57.1. For being named after a tropical island (which was the homeland of the famous Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka), Fiji is certainly a good cold weather performer - he also accounted for a Billings event in November of last year. The winner of $164,637 is trained by Eric Abbatiello for the Allister Stables LLC of Offenberg, and he may add to that total this year, as by virtue of winning this Billings Regional Final Championship, Offenberg has qualified for the $25,000 Billings Gold Cup at Yonkers on Sunday the 25th - and he may well take along the sharp and proven "winter warrior" Fiji. (Offenberg also looks like a "winter warrior" - he won the NAADA Final in December 2015 and the Silver Cup in November of that year, and he was second in the GSY Fall Final on Friday.) The equine honoree of the evening was Pocono Trotter of the Year Homicide Hunter, who locally won the Breeders Crown and set a world record for 1¼ miles in a year where he also became The World's Fastest Trotter with his 1:48.4 mile at Lexington. Chris Oakes, the horse's trainer and himself the winningest trainer of the year here three times, was on hand, and also took part in the ceremony honoring his 20YO son Hunter Oakes, who took the award for top UTR with a sparkling rating of .556. Rene Allard won his second straight training victory title and fifth in the last six years, finishing with 133 visits to Victory Lane, including on closing night. Allard's "handful" of training title ties him for the all-time lead at Pocono with a horseman whom some may have forgotten once had an active stable - George Napolitano Jr. (2001 and 2003-2006). "George Nap" of course also had his turn in the spotlight, winning the crowns for driving victories (366) and UDR (.374). George has now been the top driving dashwinner at Pocono twelve times, including the last seven consecutive seasons, and he won the last race of the year with Feeling Cam Lucky to finish with the second-most victories at Pocono in a year, behind only his own record of 407 in 2015. George's tenth UDR title at the mountain oval was his fifth in a row. One trophy not given was "Most Driving Wins with $50+ Longshots" - if they did, Jim Taggart Jr. solidified his hold on this honor, guiding home Roll Away Joe to a $51.20 victory for his seventh of the meet, two ahead of Tom Jackson and Anthony Napolitano. FINISHING LINES - It may have been Closing Night, but it appears that not too many stables will be shutting down for the year - there was $163,750 in claiming action on the last card of the meet, with nine horses changing hands. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

Wilkes-Barre, Pa---In a thrilling stretch duel Dave "the Rave" Offenberg got his venerable trotter, Fiji, up in the final strides to collar Winwood Scout and driver "Buffalo Bob" Davis to reel in the lions share of the $12,000 purse offered in the Billings East Regional Final on Saturday night (Nov. 17) at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. In a field reduced to six starters, Offenberg and Fiji departed from the pole position and watched as "Buffalo Bob" Davis and Winwood Scout get in a speed duel with On The Podium ("Yankee Joe" Lee) as the two leaders trotted by the first panel in :27.4. They were still side-by-side as they headed for the halfway point with Lee looking for room along the pylons but with Uriel and "Annie Get Your Gun" Stoebe tight on his back second over, no room was to be had as the trotters along the pylons kept all the holes closed. When the field went by the half mile pole Winwood Scout was on the lead with Fiji tucked in nicely in the two hole and On The Podium and Uriel parked on the limb. Winwood Scout was in command as he passed the third stanza in 1:27.2 with On The Podium still second on the outside. But when the field headed for home, Offenberg,,who was in the catbird seat, rallied Fiji as On The Podium began to fade. In the deep stretch it was Winwood Scout and Fiji... and Fiji and Winwood Scout.., as the two trotters battled all the way to the wire and after the judges posted the tight win-photo the victory went to Fiji and Offeberg in a time of 1:57.1. Tony "the Capo" Verruso, up behind Peoplesayimnogood, trailed the leaders throughout and rambled home for the show dough. Fiji is owned by Offenberg's Allister Stables LLC and trained by Eric Abbatiello. It was the sixth victory for Fiji this year which raised his seasonal bankroll to nearly $50,000. For Offenberg he notched his fourth seasonal triumph and 55th of his amateur career. Offenberg now joins "Marvelous Marvin" Raber who won the Midwest Region Final last week with Mikey Hanover at Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway and both drivers have earned the privilege to draw inside post positions in the $25,000 Delvin Miller Memorial Gold Cup Final at Yonkers Raceway on November 25. by John Manzi for the Billings Series    

Yonkers, NY--Two short fields in the second leg of the North American Amateur Drivers Fall Trotting Series went postward at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday evening, Sept. 27 and when the judges hung the official signs, Dave Offenberg and Joe Lee each reined winners in their respective $6000 divisions. Offenberg copped his split with Fiji in 1:59.4 while Lee and Soul Train were first under the wire in their 1:59.2 clocked mile. With only four horses in the first division Offenberg was content to allow Paul Minore and his old War Horse ,Wygant Prince , zip the the lead and cut the early fractions in the non-betting affair. Not content to follow the leader Offenberg moved to the outside and the two raced side-by-side past the half and by the third stanza and it wasn't until mid-stretch that Fiji gained command but it was still a battle to the wire and at the finish Fiji was a neck winner over Wygant Prince. Third place went to Tough Get Going in rein to Joe Faraldo. Fiji is owned by the Allister Stable and trained by Eric Abbatiello, For Offenberg, it was his third seasonal driving victory and 54th of his amateur career. In the other split,also a non-wagering affair, Lee had a similar journey with Soul Train when he got away second behind Monica Banca and Master of Excuses and stalked her the entire mile. On the final turn Lee moved off the pylons and he rallied the veteran gelding to a 2-1/2 length triumph over Banca's charge. Traverse Seelster garned the show dough for Tony Ciuffetelli. Soul Train, a 7-year old gelding by Trainforthefuture, won for the fifth time this year. He is trained by Jose Godinez. For Joe Lee, last year's Amateur Driver of the Year, it was his eighth winning drive this season. by John Manz,i for NAADA    

YONKERS, NY - Longtime owner and very capable amateur driver, Dave "the Rave" Offenberg got a very pleasurable ride behind his own veteran trotter, Fiji, when together they out-footed seven others to win the Billings Trot Friday night (Sept. 7) at Yonkers Raceway. Together they toured the double oval in a time of 1:58.2. When the starter said "go" , Uriel and "Annie Get Your Gun" Stoebe darted to the lead from the two-hole and they trotted by the first stanza in a soft :29.3 despite Fiji and Offenberg challenging on the outside. The two continued to race noses apart by the halfway point but at that station Fiji had his head in front as the timer flashed :59.4. Despite being on the limb all the way when the leaders headed up the backside Fiji circled Uriel and was the first to pass the three quarters as the timer flashed 1:28.4. But as the field rounded the final turn Fiji began pouring it on and opened up daylight and cruised home an easy 4-1/4-length winner over Uriel. Billings president "Tony "the Capo" Verruso gained the show dough with Stitch In Time. Weeks ago Offenberg and Fiji won an amateur event at the Meadowlands in a very creditable time of 1:53.3. Fiji, a 5-year-old altered son of Cantab Hall, is trained by "The Little Red Man", Eric Abbatiello. It marked the fifth seasonal victory for Fiji which raised his yearly earnings to over $41,000. He is owned by Offenberg's Allister Stable. by John Manzi, for the CKG Billings  Series  

Four members of the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) will wing their way to New Zealand to compete against their harness racing counterparts from Down Under in early December in a series of races in a Friendship Competition. Leading the USA team will be Peter Kleinhans who earned that honor after winning a lottery drawing upon the completion the NAADA Summer Trotting Series by being among the top three point earners in the series, and then winning a lottery drawing. Recently the international amateur drivers organization has released that Dave Offenberg will join Kleinhans on the overseas journey to represent the USA in the competition. Others, they say, will be named in the upcoming days. Offenberg, a true sportsman, an avid amateur driver, and a longtime prominent horse owner is excited to be representing America in the upcoming Friendship Competition. "I'm absolutely thrilled to be going to New Zealand to represent the U.S. in an amateur driving competition with three other drivers. I have never been there although I drove against the New Zealand amateurs last year at Yonkers," Offenberg said. "I have been overseas several times to drive in amateur races in Italy, Spain, Finland and Sweden, but this trip will probably top them all. I have as much fun driving in the amateurs as I have racing my own horses." According to Offenberg, he has been lucky to have had several good horses including Continental Victory (Hambo Winner), Mr Vic, Angus Hall, Yes Its True and many other hard-hitting raceway horses. "In what other sport can you be totally hands-on and get enjoyment doing it?" he asks. Queried about his biggest thrill as an amateur driver it didn't take Offenberg much time to respond. "Obviously the first win was a big kick and all amateur wins are special. One of my greatest thrills was driving and winning an overnight race at Freehold against the pros (including Hall of Famer Cat Manzi) with my own horse that paid almost $100 to win. I've won several NAADA regional finals but winning the Billings Silver Cup last year was special." However, when it comes to driving Standardbreds as an amateur reinsman realism sets in. "I do race against the pros on rare occasions and am quickly brought back to reality just watching the driving skills they exhibit during a race. I guess that's why they're the pros and we are the amateurs." Offenberg, by his own admission, has been one of the fortunate few being able to participate in the sport as an owner, breeder and driver and has been blessed to have met many special people at all levels in the sport. "It is my hope that I can continue in the sport for many years to come," he added. by John Manzi for NAADA

Although he finished sixth in total points earned over the North American Amateur Drivers Association's 12 race fall series harness racing driver Dave Offenberg won the $15,000 Final at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday night (Dec. 5) when he guided King's Cavalier to an easy five length triumph over Cassa's Image (Alan Schwartz) and No Recess (Bob Hechkoff) in a 1:59.1 clocking. It marked the second recent big amateur contest that Offenberg had won with the King's Cavalier. On November 22, at Harrah's Philadelphia, Offenberg and King's Cavalier teamed-up to win the 1-1/4 mile $15,000 Silver Cup Final in the C.K.G. Billings series. With two wins and a second in his last three starts there's no question that King's Cavalier has gotten a lot better recently. The 8 year old Yankee Glide gelding is owned by Offenberg's Allister Stables and trained by Eric Abbatiello and a thrilled Offenberg couldn't say enough good things about is trainer after the race. "Eric has him in top shape now," Offenberg said. "When we bought him earlier this year he was a bit quirky but lately Eric has figured him out and now he's such a pleasure to drive." In the NAADA Final King's Cavalier started from the five hole and when the gate sprung Offenberg left softly and fell in fourth along the pylons as Alan Schwartz and Bob Hechkoff got in a speed dual on the front end which saw their trotters pass the first stanza in a swift :28.1. With Schwarz on the lead with Cassa's Image and Hechkoff on the limb with No Recess the two trotters raced head to head to the half in :58.1. As the leaders approached the half-way point Offenberg moved King's Cavalier off the pylons and flushed out Permanent Joy (Bob Krivelin) but before they reached the half Permanent Joy made a break which left King's Cavalier on the limb without cover. At the three quarters Offenberg's trotter approached Schwartz's Cassa's Image who was alone on the lead. On the final turn King's Cavalier collared the leader and in the lane he began to ease away and then draw off to an easy victory. It marked the fifth seasonal triumph for King's Cavalier and it was also a seasonal mark for the veteran trotter. John Manzi

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