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Yonkers, NY--After 10 grueling legs of the North American Amateur Drivers Association's Spring Trotting Series the $15,0000 final was presented on the betting card at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday, May 23 and when the judges hung the official sign, series founder and its president Joe Faraldo was victorious after guiding Tough Get Going to a 1:59. 4 triumph in wire to wire fashion. "When the gate sprung I kept my eyes on the rail horse (Figi-Dave Offenberg) but he got away slowly so I hustled my horse to the front and we had command on the first turn," Faraldo said via telephone after the race. "But as soon as I had the lead Joe Lee, with the odds-on favorite, Soul Train, came calling on the outside and we passed the first quarter in :28.3. I knew at that point I couldn't let him go so we locked horns by the half in :57.4." After the swift early fractions Joe Lee found room behind Faraldo as they headed for the three quarters and they were one-two past that stanza in 1:27.4. Not being able to gain any ground on Tough Get Going Lee had little choice but to follow the leader and on the final turn they were joined by Bob Krivelin with Permanent Joy. But there was no catching Faraldo as his trotter cruised home a 2-1/2 length winner. Soul Train finished second and Permanent Joy was a half length farther back in third place. Tough Get Going is co-owned by Faraldo and trainer, Richie Banca. He paid $15.00. It was Faraldo's 148th driving victory in the States to go along with a handful in Europe. Currently Faraldo, Alan Schwartz and a NAADA member to be named, will be winging their way to Italy in July for an international driving competition.   by John Manzi for NAADA

Freehold, NJ--"Joltin' Joe" Pennacchio, last years Amateur Driver of the Year" fortified his 2019 harness racing credentials with a driving victory in the CK Billings Series Eastern Region at Freehold Raceway on Saturday, May 18. Up behind his classy old veteran, Super Manning, Pennacchio made a first -over move going to the half hold up for a 2:01.3 triumph. After starting from the four-hole "Joltin' Joe" angled his trotter to the pylons as Caravelle ("Buffalo Bob" Davis) and Uriel and Annie "Get Your Gun" Stoebe , battled for command past the quarter in :29.2. But as soon as Uriel was clear on the front-end Pennacchio moved Super Manning first-up and they had the lead at the halfway point with Landonfitz (Dave "the Rave" Offenberg) and Noble Warrawee (Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff) in hot pursuit. At the third stanza Super Manning had a length and a half lead which was opened to 2-1/4 lengths as the field headed for paydirt. However, in mid-stretch Offenberg, with Landonfitz and Hechkoff with Noble Warrawee ,came with a rush and the leaders were side-by-side as they approached the finish. But Super Manning would not be denied and held-on for a neck triumph over Landonfitz. Right there in the photo, just a head behind the top two, was Noble Warrawee. For defending amateur champion, Joe Pennacchio, it marked his 5th win this season and which increased his UDR to.314. Since first sitting behind a spirited steed in 1995 Pennacchio now has driven 182 winners in the USA, along with a few in Europe. Owned by Joe P Racing and trained by Allen Sisco, Super Manning paid $5.00 for win. Next Billings action will be on Friday May 24th at Scioto Downs in the series mid-west division.   by John Manzi for the Billings Series  

Yonkers, NY- The youngsters showed the way in the $8000 NAADA Trots on Thursday at Yonkers Raceway when 16-year old Brett Beckwith and 21 year old Tyler Miller were each victorious in their respective harness racing divisions. For Brett, son of Mark Beckwith, it was his maiden victory while Tyler, whose dad is Andy Miller, notched his second career triumph. And with their pedigrees one can only assume that winning will become commonplace for them in years to come. Beckwith handled Dark Pool for trainer Paul Fusco and acted like a veteran when he settled in the three hole on the first turn and was third at the quarter as the timer flashed :28.1. Then Beckwith moved first-up and had command at the halfway point in :58.2. "I swooped to the lead and then my horse just kept going," Beckwith said after the race. "Once we were in command I just let him ramble and we began to open daylight on the field." At the three quarters Dark Pool had three lengths on Tough Get Going, who was driven by Joe Faraldo. And in the lane Beckwith's trotter kept the pedal to the metal and cruised home an easy eight-length winner in an incredible 1:56 flat. "He(Dark Pool) was so wound- up that I had a hard time stopping him after the race,"Beckwith admitted. Tough Get Going held on for second money and Wygant Prince trotted home third best for Pearly Allen. The winner is owned by Vinnie Ginsberg. In his contest ,Tyler Miller started from the four-hole with Next Woman Up and angled his trotting mare directly to the pylons and was content to follow Cheeky Little Minx (Joe Pennacchio) past the quarter in :28 and the half in :57.2 , fractions forced by a parked-out Ladys Big Stormont, driven by Alan Schwartz. Pennacchio's charge had a length on her competition at the top of the lane and although the veteran mare was dead-game she couldn't rebuff Miller's Next Woman Up who came charging in the final strides to win in a photo in a time of 1:58.4. Third place went to Master Of Excuses driven by Monica Banca. Next Woman Up is owned by the Second Chance Stable and trained by Nick Surick. Next Thursday the top point-earners in the series will race in a $15,000 Final again at Yonkers Raceway.   by John Manzi for NAADA  

Northfield, Ohio--After a successful winter season participating in amateur harness racing events at Pompano Park in Florida Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford made his seasonal Billings debut in late April at Miami Valley Raceway where his charge was an also-ran but tonight, May 13, at Northfield Park, the talented tail-setter scored his seventh seasonal triumph when he guided Mego Moss to a gate to wire 1:59.3 triumph turning back eight others to score 1:59.3 triumph over a track rated good. After starting from the pole position Oldford and Mega Moss were challenged Super Rock, driven by Brian "BJ" Miller, and they were one-two past the first stanza in a swift :28. But Miller found a spot behind Mega Moss which took the pressure off Oldford as he led the was by the halfway point in 1:00.1/ At that point Emanuel "Manny" Miller and Dd's Comet were in hot pursuit. However, Oldford's veteran trotter was up to the task and kept Dd's Comet at bay. When the field rounded the final turn and headed for home Mega Moss put away his challengers and began to open daylight on the field. In mid-stretch , 65-1 shot, Song In My Heart, driven by "Tiny Tim" Miller, took aim at Oldford but ole Mega Moss was up to that challenge and cruised home 3-1/4 length winner. Song In My Heart headed-out Moon Tan and driver "Lightweight Larry" Ferrari for second money. Meanwhile, the 3-10 betting favorite, Annie's Rocketman, with Gregg :Fast Greggy" Keidel aboard, lumbered home in fourth place. "My horse is a grand ole campaigner and loves to race and he's a real pleasure to drive,"said Oldford, who was recently named the Harness Racing Museum's Amateur Driver of the Year. Mega Moss, a 10 year old altered son of Amigo Hall, owned by Oldford Racing, returned $11.60 for win.   by John Manzi for the Billings Series

Freehold, NJ--It didn't take long for "Hurricane Hannah" Miller to get back in the winners circle. Today (May 11) the former two-time National Amateur Driver of the Year scored her first seasonal harness racing triumph when she guided Jacks to Open to a four-length victory in an Eastern Region leg of the CKG Billings Harness Driving Series at Freehold Raceway. Now a sales rep for an equine pharmaceutical company it was only her third time in the sulky this year. "It felt good to be back in the winners circle again. I miss driving and as time allows I hope to do more of it again this season," she said. Sent off as the favorite from the six-hole in the eight horse contest Ms Miller settled in the two-hole when the field rounded the first turn as Annie "Get Your Gun" Stoebe showed the way with Uriel to the first stanza in :29.1. The ladies were one-two past the half in :59.3 but when they straightened up the backside the second time around "Hurricane Hannah" decided it was time to move. "My horse felt strong but I waited to move and when I did "ole Jack" put it in another gear and we had command as we passed the three quarters," Ms Miller said. "He was really super today." "Yankee Joe" Lee was aping Hannah's moves after the half and followed her up the backside with Talkaholic but after they both cleared Uriel it was apparent that Jacks To Open was the stronger horse. The veteran 9-year-old Conway Hall gelding opened daylight in the lane and cruised home an easy winner. Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff got up for the show dough on the $9000 contest. " I've been pursuing a professional career and it felt good to be back driving," the talented miss said after her victory which was her 98th from only 341 trips behind the starting gate. Co-owned by her driver and Nick Surick, Jacks To Open notched his 42nd career victory and returned a $3.00 win payoff, On Monday, May 13, a Billings trot in the Midwest region will contested at Northfield Park.   by John Manzi for the Billings Series

Monticello, NY--In what started out as a furious contest for position ended in a romp for Soul Train and driver Joe Lee as the harness racing duo scored their second consecutive triumph in the NAADA Trotting Series this week at Monticello Raceway on Thursday afternoon, May 9. Lee, the New York Yankee's assistant locker room manager, bided his time and watched the early speed duel between Joe Faraldo, with Tough Get Going, and Alan Schwartz, up behind Ladys Big Stormont, and then rallied and picked up all the pieces to turn the contest into a laugher, winning by eight lengths in a time of 1:59.2. After Schwartz had gained command when the starter said go, Faraldo came alongside with a rush and Schwartz grabbed leather and let him go. But as they approached the first stanza Schwartz wanted to retake which he did but not after he was forced to trot at :29.3 second quarter before he had command. Meanwhile, Lee had settled along the pylons in the early going and after the battle on the front-end he moved his trotter to the outside as the field neared the halfway point. "I floated out of there and watched the leaders battle royally and when the dust settled I sent my trotter toward the front-end and "ole Soul" knew just what to do as he trotted to the lead and opened up daylight up the backside," Lee said. At that point Soul Train had three lengths on his competition at the three quarters and from there only the margin of victory was in doubt as Soul Train coasted home an easy winner. Connie Keeper (Tony Verruso) nosed-out Ladys Big Stormont for second money. The 8-year-old Trainforthefuture gelding is co-owned by Lee and Blindswitch Racing, Good Friends Stable and Santo Farino. He paid $3.20 for win.   by John Manzi for NAADA

Freehold, NJ -- Tony "the Capo" Verruso bided his time in fifth position in the early going then when he approached the three quarters he rallied longshot PL Layla to the lead and coasted home an easy 2:01 winner in the Billings Trot at Freehold Raceway on Saturday, afternoon, May 4 and rewarded his faithful with a $62.80 win mutuel. Uriel and Annie "Get Your Gun" Stoebe cut the early fractions but yielded to Boss Du Fosse and driver "Smokin'Joe" Faraldo as the field approached the third stanza. However, Faraldo's charge tired in the lane and finished out of the money. Meanwhile, PL Layla and Verruso, third at the three quarters, took command as the field rounded the final turn and then held off hard -charging Landonfitz and driver Dave "the Rave" Offenberg to score the daughter of Glidemaster's second seasonal triumph. Third place went to Cheeky Little Minx in rein to "Joltin' Joe" Pennacchio. After five starts on bigger racetracks with limited success perhaps the return to the half-mile oval was to PL Layla's liking for in early March she was victorious at Freehold in 1:59.4. The race marked the return of two-time "Amateur Driver of the Year , "Hurricane Hannah" Miller, but her Jacks To Open started from post seven, had major road trouble, and finally finished fifth. The Glidemaster 4-year-old mare, trained by Danielle Dailey, is owned by Joe Scanio and Bart Fooden. The Billings Series returns to Freehold Raceway on May 11. by John Manzi for the Billings Series

Yonkers, NY--The eighth leg of the NAADA Spring Trotting Series was contested over the half-mile oval at Yonkers Raceway and when the results were finalized last years Amateur Driver of the Year, Joe Lee, emerged victorious over six others when he guided Soul Train to a wire to wire victory in a time of 1:58.2. In that non-betting affair Lee sent his charge to the lead and took command after Paul Minore grabbed leather on Wygant Prince as the first stanza timer flashed :28.4. Once on the lead Lee, who is the clubhouse manager for the New York Yankees, kept the pedal to the metal and led his competition by the half in :59.3 with Wygant Prince in hot pursuit. As the field headed up the backside Joe Faraldo moved Tough Get Going off the pylons and challenged Soul Train for the lead. But Lee's trotter was up the the challenge and kept Soul Train at bay as he passed the three quarters in 1:28.3. At that point young Brett Beckwith, who was sixth along the pylons, came calling with Dark Pool and although they were charging in the lane they ran out of race track and had to settle for second money. Tough Get Going hung on for third. Soul Train won for the third time this season and raised his seasonal bankroll to over $20,000 and upped his career earnings to $418,000. The 8-yer old Trainforthefuture gelding is co-owned by Lee along with Blindswitch Racing, Good Friends Stable and Santo Farina. With his triumph, Lee vaulted to the lead in series points and with just two legs remaining he has locked up a chance to draw for an all-expense paid trip to Italy to race against his Italian counterparts in northern Italy later this year. The series ninth leg will be contested at Monticello Raceway on Thursday, May 9.   by John Manzi for NAADA

Dayton, Ohio---After a leg of the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series in the Eastern region yesterday at Freehold Raceway the first this season in the midwest region was presented today (April 28) over the big track at Miami Valley Raceway in Ohio and when the judges hung the official sign Gregg “Fast Greggy” Keidel emerged victorious with Undercover Strike in a 1:57.1 clocking. Keidel, a veteran over many positions in the sport over the years, added anther victory to his harness racing driving resume when he scored his 106th triumph today. And by all inferences his triumph this afternoon was rather easy. Sent off as the 1-2 favorite in the nine -horse field from the two-hole Keidel eased his trotter away softly and was fifth in the :28.2 first quarter as Brian “BJ” Miller showed the way with 75-1 shot, Super Rock. But when Miller tapped the breaks heading to the halfway point Keidel moved Undercover Strike off the pylons and they charged up to leader as the timer flashed :57.2. From there Undercover Strike and Super Rock raced side by side to the three quarters in 1:27.2 where Keidel's charge got first call. However, at the top or the lane Undercover Strike trotted away to a length lead which was opened to 2-1/2 lengths at the wire. Song In My Heart and driver “Tiny Tim” Miller took home the show dough. The race winner is owned by Joe Cirasuola and trained by Chris Allen. He paid $3.00 for win but teamed with the longshot Super Rock, the exacta was worth $150.80. Next up in Billings action will be at Freehold Raceway on Saturday, May 4th,   John Manzi for the Billings Series

Freehold, NJ -- Starting from the six hole, lightly regarded Osprey Vision got a hustling drive from harness racing "Yankee Joe" Lee and overcame traffic to get in contention and then challenge the betting favorite Wygant Prince (Coach Paul" Minore) in the lane and rally for a length and a half victory in 2:02 in the $9000 Billings Trot at Freehold Raceway on Saturday afternoon, April 27. When the wings of the mobile gate folded Minore and Wygant Prince challenged "Annie Get Your Gun" Stoebe's, Uriel, for the lead which they obtained just after the first stanza timer flashed :29 seconds. Once on top Minore's charge stepped by the halfway point in :59 at which point Lee was out and going with Osprey Vision who was still in fifth place but looking to move up. "Once I got him rolling we quickly ranged up behind Doc Woogen (with Peoplesayimnoood who was first-up) and since my horse was full of trot I angled him three-deep and had my sights on Wygant Prince who was still strong on the lead," Lee said. Osprey Vision collared Minore's trotter at he top of the lane and then slowly began to pull away and went on to victory, the second of the season for the veteran trotter. Wygant Prince held second and Doc Woogen's charge finished third, some six lengths behind the top two. Osprey Vision, a 10-year-old altered son of Ken Warkentin, is in from his home base in western New York and had raced successfully in a couple of NAADA trots before striking gold in the Billings today. Tommy Merton trains for owner, Melissa Russo. Osprey Vision paid $18.20 for win and marked the gelding's 50th career victory which raised his lifetime bankroll to over $302,000. For "Yankee Joe" last season's Amateur Driver of the Year, it was his 50th career triumph. The Billings Series will continue tomorrow (Sunday) with a nine-horse field at Miami Valley Raceway. by John Manzi for the Billings 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--Although there were events for Billings members in early April at Pompano Park the granddaddy of all amateur driving programs, the CKG Billings Harness Driving Series, will get underway in earnest on Saturday, April 27 at Freehold Raceway and then move to Miami Valley Raceway the following afternoon. Both programs have been drawn and most notable is the purse increase at both venues. At Freehold the lady and gentlemen drivers will compete for a $9000 purse while at Miami Valley they'll go for $8,000. But competitors will find that they'll be racing for more money than in the past at many venues. At Scioto Downs the purse will be $10,000; at the Meadowlands, $11,000; at the Meadows-$12,000; and at Woodbine Mohawk; $12,000. Both Tony "the Capo" Verruso, Billings Series president, and Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford, the series vice president, worked diligently in an effort to formulate an admirable program. "Tony and I adjusted the schedule a bit concentrating on the tracks that get the most participation, "Oldford noted. "The big add in the West this year is The Meadows where we have five legs and the West Gold Cup. Northfield Park has eight legs total. Purses are up at all tracks which we hope will bring out more participation. "We will again have our youth program which allows those under 25 years old, with under 50 pro wins, to race for free. It worked well last year. Two up and coming amateur drivers to watch are Mariah Wright and Alysha Binkley, both very good and should be at our West opener at Miami Valley next Sunday." "We have also added some condition allowances for amateur horses to help benefit those who race mostly in amateur races," Verruso added. Once again the Billings Series -now in its 38th season--will offer opportunities for competitions nearly weekly until late November. According to Billings Series president Tony Verruso, one big difference this season will be the elimination of the Silver Cup Final in in lieu of an East and West $25,000 Gold Cup Championships.   by John Manzi for the Billings Harness Driving Series,

Yonkers, NY -- With the addition of three added driving entrants the sixth leg of the harness racing NAADA trotting series, this week presented at Yonkers Raceway, was split into two divisions, both six-horse fields going $8000 before the betting card got underway. And when the judges hung the official signs series regulars Alan Schwartz and Paul Minore each hustled their charges to victories in their respective splits. Schwartz went an overland trip with his Ladys Big Stormont to score a 2:00.2 triumph while Minore used the front-end route to 2:01.4 victory with his own Glenferrie Dreamer over his rivals. In Schwartz's contest; he left softly from the five-hole with Ladys Big Stormont , took a tuck and was third along the pylons. Pearly Allen showed the way with Wygant Prince with Joe Pennacchio and Santini caught on the limb in the :28.4 first stanza. Heading to the half Wygant Prince and Santini were head-to- head with the former getting first call as the timer flashed :59. But up the backside Schwartz and Ladys Big Stormont rallied but were forced three- deep into the final turn. Undaunted, Ladys Big Stormont battled valiantly down the lane and kept a hard closing Osprey Vision and driver Joe Lee at bay for a neck triumph. Wygant Prince held on for third money. "This was one of the better races that my trotter has gone this year," Schwartz acknowledged. "We got pushed three-deep in the final turn but Ladys Big Stomont dug in and hung tough in the lane to hold off a fast-closing Joe Lee (with Osprey Vision)." In the second division Paul Minore guided his own Glenferrie Dreamer--he also owns Wygant Prince- to a hard fought victory over what appeared to be the tougher of the two splits. Miniore took advantage of the pole position and coasted to the lead in a :29.3 first quarter and caught a real break when last weeks winner, Tough Get Going (Joe Faraldo), had a tough time getting going after making a break before the start rendering him virtually out of the race. Dave Offenberg and Fiji made a serious challenge before the half but Glenferrie Dreamer kept him at bay after a breaking Noble Warrawee (Bob Hechkoff) scattered the field. And although they rallied to be second under the wire Noble Warrawee was disqualified . Third place finisher, Permanent Joy (Bob Krivelin was awarded second money. Fiji took home the show dough. The NAADA series moves back to Monticello Raceway next Thursday. by John Manzi for NAADA    

Monticello, NY—After spending the winter competing in amateur harness races at Pompano Park, Joe Pennacchio, last years Amateur Driver of the Year, has moved north and made his first start in this season's NAADA trotting series a winning one when he guided his own Cash For Gold to an easy two length triumph in a 1:59.4 clocking and turned back seven others at Monticello Raceway on Thursday afternoon, April 11. “It wasn't easy because he's a high stung individual and he wears you arms out prior to the start,” Pennacchio offered after the race was completed. “He's a nervous sort who 'latches on' prior to the race so much so that I have to take him back to the paddock to rest my arms and then go behind the gate when we're called to do so.” After starting from the seven-hole as second choice in the betting, Pennacchio sent his trotter toward the front but smartly took a tuck before the first quarter was trotted in:29.3. However, he didn't stay there long and moved to the outside as the field, led by last week's winner, Tough Get Going and driver Joe Faraldo, approached the halfway point in :59.3 When the leaders straightened up the backside and headed for the three quarters, Cash For Gold was pressuring Tough Get Going but the latter rebuffed the former and Faraldo's charge still had command as the three quarter timer flashed 1:29.4. In the lane Monica Banca, with the race favorite High Blue, was sitting along the pylons in third position and was looking for daylight. But racing room in the lane never appeared until mid-stretch and when Banca sent her trotter up the pylons it was too late as Cash For Gold trotted clear to score the victory. Tough Get Going held on for the show dough. “He has been prone to making breaks on the double ovals but this was one of his best miles on half mile track,” a happy Joe Pennacchio said after the race referring to Cash For Gold's 1:59.4 victory. Owned by Joe P Racing and trained by Allen Sisco, the winner scored his first victory of the season and returned $6.90 for win. In the quest to determine who'll represent NAADA in an amateur competition in Italy later this year Joe Faraldo, with 29 points, leads Joe Lee (22), Bob Krivelin (21), Paul Minore (16) Alan Schwartz (16) and Monica Banca (16). At series end the top three in points will vie for a chance to get that all expense -paid trip to represent NAADA against the Italians in an international competition.   by John Manzi for NAADA

Yonkers, NY--. Joe Faraldo is a happy man. And why shouldn't he be? After all, he came from Arcadia, California at midnight last evening and winged his way to New York precisely to drive in an amateur harness racing trot tonight, (Tuesday April 4) at Yonkers Raceway. And his efforts were rewarded with a gate to wire 2:01.2 triumph behind Tough Get Going in the second race on the betting card. "I had meetings in California all this week but I wanted to get back east to compete in NAADA's initial contest this season on the betting card at Yonkers," Faraldo said. "And it was no easy task. I caught the "red eye" last night at midnight (California time) and tried to get got a few winks on the way home. We landed at JFK at 9 am today and I got an hour sleep at home before heading to my office. "I was washed out but someone told me to drink lots of water which I did and believe it or not it refreshed me." Faraldo and his trusty charge were ready to take on the other five in the six-horse contest and both horse and driver were at the top of their game this evening. "Smokin' Joe" sent the Kadabra 6 year old gelding to the lead from the five-hole and they had command before the first quarter timer flashed :29.4. Once on the engine they traveled past the half in :1:01.3 and three quarters in 1:30.4 being chased by Wygant Prince and driver Paul Minore. When the field headed for paydirt Tough Get Going was strong and he rambled home an easy 2-1/2-length winner. Wygant Prince held on for second while Fiji and driver Dave Offenberg grabbed the show dough. The winner is co-owned by trainer Richie Banca and Faraldo. Notching his first victory of the 2019 season Tough Get Gong paid $12.80. At series end the three drivers with the most points will vie for an all-expense paid trip to represent NAADA in an amateur series in Italy later this year.   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  

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