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Monticello, NY--The final leg of the North American Amateur Drivers Association's fourth trotting series of the season went to post at Monticello Raceway on Thursday (Nov. 15) and to the pleasant surprise of those who purchased win tickets on Tough Get Going were rewarded when Joe Faraldo sent the veteran trotter to the lead when the wings of the mobile gate folded and then made every pole a winning one en route to a 2:01.1 victory. And each lucky ticket holder received $47.00 for each two-dollar wager. "The crowd didn't have much faith in my horse's ability in here today but I felt fairly confident that he had good chance to win if things broke our way in the race," Faraldo said as he handed the reins to the caretaker upon returning to the paddock. Tough Get Going has had some trouble behind the starting gate on occasions but today wasn't one of those days. When the starter said "go" Faraldo sent his trotter to the lead and was challenged on the outside by Makin Trouble K and driver Joe Lee, Faraldo played hardball and wanted the front-end so he opened up a hole behind him and Lee took back and found room along the pylons as they passed the first stanza in a soft :29.2. With the field lined-up behind Tough Get Going the venerable trotter led them by the halfway point in 1:01.2 where Jennifer Lappe decided to move the 2 to 5 betting favorite, Winning Princess, out to challenge and they ranged up alongside the leader. "When we passed the half my horse was strong and I felt pretty confident that we had a good chance to win it,"Faraldo related. "And when Jennifer couldn't clear I felt even better." Although Tough Get Going and Winning Princess raced side-by-side as they passed the three quarters in 1:31:1 the former got first call. On the final turn Faraldo's charge had opened a length lead and despite a strong drive by Lappe her trotter hung and Tough Get Going emerged a one-length winner in a 2:01.1 clocking. Four lengths in the rears, in third place went to Makin Trouble K. Tough Get Going is owned by Joe Faraldo and Richie Banca and trained by Banca. The 5-yr-old altered son of Kadabra won for the fourth time this year and raised his seasonal bankroll to nearly $39,000. For Faraldo, a former Amateur Driver of the Year(2000), it was his 145th career win in the USA. by John Manzi, for NAADA

Monticello, NY - The publicity stunts that John Manzi has pulled off are the stuff that legends are made of. So much so that when Harness Racing writers and promoters consider ways to get people to come to the track, chances are that John Manzi has been there, done that! When the Monticello - Goshen Chapter of the United States Harness Writers hold their 60th annual awards banquet on Sunday, December 2, 2018, John Manzi will receive the organization's highest honor: The Lifetime Achievement Award. Already a member of the Communicators Hall of Fame, Manzi retired a few years ago, but without a doubt, when harness aficionados think of the hardest working, most dedicated and creative publicity hound in the business, without a doubt they think of John Manzi. Known for his affable demeanor, wacky promotions, and as Master of Ceremonies of some of the Catskill region's most memorable awards banquets, JM in the PM has never disappointed. This list of individuals that Manzi and his Monticello-Goshen Chapter of USHWA have honored over the last several decades reads like a "who's who" of harness racing. Whether he was racing camels versus elephants, or crowning the King of the Matzos, Monticello Raceway's man of the hour has always been John Manzi. Although retired after 40 years of bright lights and big laughs, Hall of Famer Manzi still covers the Amateur Driving races and continues to host his Sunday night Doo Wop radio show, in its fifth decade. This year, in addition to the year-end awards for horses and horse people from the local tracks, the Monticello-Goshen chapter will also honor Moira Fanning (John Manzi Leadership Award); Chuck Connor (John Gilmour Good Guy Award); Salt Hill Farm (Cradle of the Trotter Breeders Award); Peter Gerry (Amy Bull Crist Distinguished Service Award); Jennifer Lappe (Amateur Driver); Debbie Little (Phil Pines Award); Shane Darish (Rising Star); and Arthur Robinson (Award of Appreciation). Tickets for the gala event can be reserved by contacting Shawn Wiles at (845) 794-4100 extension 458 or Email: swiles@empireresorts.com. To place a congratulatory ad in the souvenir journal, please contact Chris Tully at (845) 807-7538 or Email: tullytrot@yahoo.com.   by Chris Tully for the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of USHWA      

Monticello, NY-- For the 10th consecutive year the North American Amateur Drivers Association,along with the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club ,donated to the local Federation for the Homeless. This season a $1000 check was presented to Federation's Kathy Kreiter from the aforementioned amateur driving organizations after Brandon Parker reined Gold Star Dynasty to a 1:59.3 triumph at Monticello Raceway in a race named in their honor. by John Manz,i for the local amateur driving clubs

Dayton, Ohio-- Although the seven-month CKG Billings Harness Driving Series is winding down this season the finals in both the Midwest and Eastern Regions, as well as the Gold and Silver Cup Finals, will be forthcoming. Tonight at Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway in Ohio the top point earners in the Midwest Region battled for a $10,000 purse but it was "Marvelous Marvin" Raber and Mikey Hanover who made a laugher out of the contest when they sailed to the lead and played catch me if you can, and nobody could as they trotted of to a four length triumph in a 1:56.3 clocking. But at the top of the stretch in that race Mikey Hanover had eight open lengths on his competition and he just coasted home an easy winner for "Marvelous Marv" With the starting gate in high gear when the field of trotters was turned loose Gregg "Fast Greggy" Kiedel sent the eight-horse, Nashville Holiday, to the front and they had command in a :27.2 first quarter with Mikey Hanover comfortable in the two-hole. Not content to follow, Raber moved Mikey Hanover to the lead before the halfway point and Mikey was full of trot and stepped a :28.4 third split to open a three-length lead over Kiedel's charge as he whizzed by the three quarters in 1:25.2. From there the only thing that was in doubt was how many lengths would Raber's trotter win by? When he headed down the lengthy home stretch Mikey Hanover had upped his lead to eight lengths and Raber sat cool looking around for challenges which never came as they crossed the wire an easy four-length winner. Fairground Drama and Richard "the Wolverine" Roach, who were traveling along in fourth position, rallied and finished second. Nashville Holiday, had broken equipment and faded to third. The winner, a 9-year-old altered son of Majestic Son , is owned by Leroy Keim and trained by Robert Coblentz. He returned a $14.00 win mutuel. The Billings, known as the granddaddy of all amateur organizations, will present the East Region Final at Pocono Downs next Saturday with the series Gold & Silver Cup Finals set for November 25 at Yonkers Raceway. by John Manzi, for the Billing Series

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--It doesn't seem to matter who Jennifer "the Golden Girl" Lappe races against; amateurs or professionals. She does equally well against both. Today(Nov. 8) at Monticello Raceway she had a driving double on the betting card when she won an amateur contest in race two, and then came right back with a victory against professional drivers in race three. And currently "the Golden Girl" is ringing up stats that the professionals would be proud of. Her first victory was with Multitaskr Hanover ($4.60) in 2:00.1, which, by the way, was Lappe's second consecutive triumph with the Explosive Matter gelding. In today's contest"Coach Paul" Minore hustled Wygant Prince to the front but "Yankee Joe" Lee, with On The Podium, parked him to a :28.4 first quarter before he allowed Minore to take charge. At that point Lappe was in third position along the pylons after starting from the three-hole. When he field rounded the second turn and headed down the stretch On The Podium was still the race leader in a the :58.4 clocked half. As the field trotted to the third stanza Lappe moved Multitaskr Hanover off the pylons and made a serious challenge for the lead. As they trotted by the three quarters Lappe's horse tried to pull- up but expertly she allowed him to drift so as not to go off-stride and once she settled him they got back in the race. However, Ms Lappe displayed her displeasure with her trotter's drifting and she went to work on getting him back to strongly challenge On the Podium as they rounded the final turn. In the lane Multtaskr Hanover trotted to the lead and went on to a one-length triumph over On The Podium. Fiji, with Dave "the Rave" Offenberg at the controls, came from far back to finish third. Although she didn't have much time to hang up the lines after her victory and get Giddy Up Delight ready for the very next race, she did however, explain that Multitaskr Hanover lost his left front shoe in the post parade and they returned to the paddock to have it nailed on. "I was grateful that we found the shoe and that the paddock blacksmith nailed it in place; But it took quite a while," Lappe said of the ordeal that caused a big delay at the start of the race." When we did get back on the racetrack we had no time to score down and had to go directly behind the starting gate . And I think a cold start confused Multitaskr and in the race he tried to pull-up before the final turn. But what ever it was once I got him back heading in the right direction he was full of trot." After her three-length 1:57.4 pacing victory with Giddy Up Delight ($10.80)in the following race "the Golden Girl" currently has 35 wins, 43 seconds and 53 thirds in 288 seasonal starts, good for a .266UDR. Lappe has a big stable and as a trainer of record this season she has 92 wins in 557 starts good for a .298UDR. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series

DAYTON, OH. - Account Rollover (Josh Sutton) tipped three-wide nearing the three quarter pole in what turned out to be the winning move in the Saturday (Nov. 3) night $17,500 Open Pace at Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway. Sutton chose to sit near the back of the field during the :26.1 opening split, then moved into second-over position by the :54.2 halfway point. Sensing the heated early fractions were beginning to take their toll, Account Rollover was moved to the third lane as the field passed the 1:23 third timing station. Once getting the lead at the head of the stretch and opening up a couple lengths, the winning 7-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding dug down deep to hold off late challenges by runnerup Holdingallthecards (Jeremy Smith) and show finisher My Buddy Ninkster (Shawn Barker II). The final time was 1:52.1. Jim Eaton trains Account Rollover, who was making his third local start following place and show finishes in his first two. Robert Silberberg owns the 29-time winner who is nearing $300,000 in earnings. Dispatched at 7-1 odds, Account Rollover returned a handsome $16.20 win mutual. Excitement is building at Hollywood Dayton anticipating the return of Foiled Again next Saturday night (Nov. 10) for his final race in the state of Ohio. Patrons in attendance will have an opportunity to win a large Breyer replica of Foiled Again, win a double-seater jog cart ride behind Foiled Again (accompanied by driver Chris Page), or win one of dozens of smaller Breyer replicas of Foiled Again that will be awarded as pop-up gifts to random users of self-service betting terminals on that evening. From Dayton Raceway Media Department Gregg Keidel wins Dayton Billings Trot leg He doesn't get a chance to drive many times during the season but recently Gregg "Fast Greggy" Keidel has been performing admirably, especially with Nashville Holiday, Keidel has won two consecutive Billings trots with the altered 6-year-old son of SJs Caviar; the first two weeks ago at Northfield Park and this evening at Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway. In many ways harness racing is no different from other competitive sports in that cliches are part of the game. In this industry,sometimes there is what's referred to as racing luck, which occurs often for many drivers of horses who happen to be the first under the wire. And tonight in the second race in Dayton, Ohio racing luck played big part in Nashville Holiday's victory when Keidel hustled his trotter to the lead and then parked Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford and the betting favorite, Stirling Boudica, to a :27.3 first quarter before smartly grabbing leather. But Keidel's luck tonight was a result of his own making. After letting Oldford's trotter gain commend Keidel sat patiently waiting for the quick first quarter to take a toll on the favorite. But fatigue from the pacesetter was a longtime coming as Oldford and Stirling Boudica got first call by the half in :57.3 and then again at the three quarters in 1:27.2. At that point Keidel again made a wise decision by not moving off the pylons when Fairground Drama and Richard "the Lion Hardhearted"Roach came calling. And when the leaders straightened for home Fairground Drama had his head in front of Stirling Boudica's with Keidel sitting chilling along the pylons waiting to make a challenge. That came when "Fast Greggy" and Nashville Holiday shot down the passing lane and rallied to a 1-1/4 length triumph as the final time flashed 1:57.2. Fairground Drama held second and a tiring Sterling Boudica faded badly but still earned the show dough. The winner is owned by Jeffrey and Toni Arvin and trained by Jeff Brewer. He paid $9.60. It was Keidel's second seasonal driving victory and the 105th of his amateur career. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series

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

Northfield, Ohio--Winning Billings trots in the midwest region is getting to be a habit for Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford. The talented reinsman from Michigan, who is also the vice president of the CKG Billings Harness Driving Series, scored an easy wire-to-wire triumph with Stirling Boudica in 1:58.3 Sunday night at Northfield Park. It was Oldford's second consecutive victory there. Sent off as the 4-5 favorite from the five-hole Oldford did what should be done when one has the best horse in the race. He sent the 8-year-old daughter of Malabar Man immediately to the lead in a :28.1 first quarter and once in command, and with no challengers, Oldford was able to tap the brakes as his mare led Tipontab ,and driver Cubbie Van Wagoner, to the mid-way point in :58.1. First to move was "Marvelous Marvin" Raber when he took aim at the leader with Buckeye Patty when the field straightened up he backside. But they never did get alongside the leaders, Around the final turn Stirling Boudica was in front with Tipontab still following her and at this point Oldford's mare appeared strong-- and she was-- and rambled home a two-length winner with Tipontab second best. Meanwhile, Buckeye Patty stalled, which allowed Better Call Saul and "Michelle the Belle" Ruvola to rally and both horses were inseparable for the show dough when they reached the finish line. Racing his stock at Northfield Park has been fruitful for Oldford. He won a Billings trot for the third time is as many weeks and he has been victorious in five of his last six trips to post. Currently with 12 wins and a .328 UDR, it has vaulted him into the running for National Amateur Driver of the Year, an honor Oldford won a few years ago. The winner, Stirling Boudica, is owned by Oldford Racing and trained by Kody Massey. She paid $3.40. And for Oldford it marked his 142nd lifetime driving victory.. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series  

Edward A. Palladino, Jr., former local area sports writer, died Thursday, October 25, 2018 at Golden Hill Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Born November 19, 1933 in Poughkeepsie, he is the son of the late Edward A. and Nancy (Guido) Palladino, Sr. He was 85. A graduate of the Mt. Carmel Elementary School and Pougkeepsie High School Class of 1951, Ed played baseball and basketball and began his career as a sports writer for the Poughkeepsie Journal following graduation from Poughkeepsie High. His sports writing career was interrupted in 1952 when he served our country in the United States Marine Corps., attaining the rank of Sergeant during the Korean War; he was the recipient of the National Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, and the Republic of Korea Service Medal. After his service to our country; Ed returned to the Poughkeepsie Journal for two years until 1957 when he moved to Kingston. In 1957; he began working at the Daily Freeman as a sports writer. From 1957 to 1974; Ed held several different positions at the Freeman; such as the Assistant City Editor, City Editor and Managing Editor. For the following ten years; from 1975 to 1985, Ed took his sports writing talents to the Capital District to work for the Albany Times Union, where he was awarded "Outstanding Harness Writer in the Northeast", only to return to the Daily Freeman from 1985 through 1996. During this time he championed the renovation at Dietz Stadium to convert it to an all-purpose field and won "Most Popular Area Columnist". In 1997; Ed took the position as the first Press Box Manager for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays organization; retiring in 2000. Ed was the First Chairman of the Dietz Stadium Commission; a Charter Member, President & Vice President of the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of the United States Harness Writer's Association. He is a life member of both the Joyce Shirick VFW Post #1386 and the American Legion Post #150 in Kingston, a Commissioner of the Kingston Housing Authority, and Past President of Brigham Seniors. A former National Director, President, First & Second Vice President of the United States Harness Writer's Association, Commander of the Dutchess County Catholic War Veterans, Vice President of the Saratoga Chapter of the United States Harness Writer's Association, Vice Chair of the City of Kingston Democratic Committee. He is also a former member of the Democratic Committee and Italian Center in Poughkeepsie, Ulster County Office for the Aging Advisory Council, Hudson Valley Football, Baseball, Basketball Officials Organizations. Ed is an inductee to both the Dutchess County Softball and the Harness Racing Hall of Fames. Surviving are two daughters Tracie Short and her husband Wayne of Hurley and Nancy Griffin and her husband Mark of Poughkeepsie. Three grandsons Zachary, Avery and Brady Short. A nephew Scott Palladino of Saratoga, cousins; Frank Guido of Kingston, Carmen Guido of Fort Pierce, Florida and a brother in law Joe Rosso of Poughkeepsie. One sister Patricia Rosso died previously. Cremation and memorial arrangements are under the guidance of the Joseph V. Leahy Funeral Home, Inc. 27 Smith Avenue Kingston. www.jvleahyfh.com. Friends will be received at the funeral home on Sunday from 1 to 6 PM. The American Legion Post #150 will hold a ritual at 5:30 PM and prayers will be held at 6:00 PM. Expressions of sympathy in lieu of flowers may be made in the form of contributions to Ulster County Veterans Emergency Fund, 5 Development Court, Kingston, NY 12401. by John Manzi, for Nation    

Yonkers, NY---After finishing third in a Billings trot this afternoon at Monticello Raceway Monica Banca then traveled 90 miles to compete in a NAADA trot at Yonkers Raceway which proved fruitful for the talented trans- planted Norwegian when she guided Master of Excuses to a gate-to-wire 1:59.3 triumph over the Hilltop oval. In a field reduced to just five, Banca who started from the coveted pole position, sent her charge to the lead and had command in the :28.4 first quarter. Once clearly on top Banca tapped the brakes and eased her trotter past the halfway point in :59.3. Bob Davis, who also competed in the Billings at Monticello earlier in the day, was the first to challenge Banca and her charge when he moved Gianni off the pylons before the three quarters but Master Of Excuses wasn't having any part of it as the venerable trotter put together a :29.2 third quarter and opened up a three -length lead when the field rounded the final turn. As they headed for paydirt, Uriel and Annie Stoebe who were second with a covered trip, began to fade as the trailers moved forward. When the field straightened in the lane however, Master of Excuses was still three -lengths in front lead as Gianni and Davis were applying the pressure but they ran out of racetrack and had to settle for second money when Master Of Excuses tripped the final timer in 1:59.3 Third place went to Baltimor AS, driven by Bobby Ciavardini. Banca co-owns the winner with Rick Dane. Although it was only Banca's third winner this year, her eight seconds and four thirds in 23 starts boosted her seasonal UDR to .387. And it was the 25th winning drive for Ms Banca since she joined the amateur movement in 2013.. by John Manzi, for the NAADA Series

Monticello, NY-- To say that amateur driver "Yankee Joe" Lee is on a roll would be gross understatement. After winning the Billings Trot with Soul Train in 2:01.2 today (Thurs. Oct 25) at Monticello Raceway, Lee, the assistant locker room manager for the New York Yankees, now has three consecutive driving victories and has won four of his last five starts. Sent off as the even-money favorite in the six-horse field uncharacteristically Lee took his trotter of the gate and settled in fifth along the pylons as Brandos Muscle Man and Monica "the Norwegian Flash " Banca led the field by the first stanza in :29.4. "I took a chance taking Soul Train back at the start because in the past he never wanted to pass horses when we trailed but today he was definitely different," Lee explained. "He really surprised me when I pulled him going to the half and he easily trotted around Brandos Muscle Man and took command as we headed into the clubhouse turn." By the time Lee reached the three quarters Soul Train had five lengths on the field and at that point the only thing in doubt was the margin of victory. The lead over Brandos Muscle Man was opened to eight lengths as Lee and Soul Train headed for paydirt. Down the stretch Lee was looking for challengers but none came and they coasted home an easy 8-1/2 length winner in 2:01.2. However, in the deep stretch "Lady Jennifer" Lappe rallied Celebrity Blue Chip from fifth at the top of the lane to finish second, a length in front of Brandos Muscle Man. Soul Train is co-owned by Lee, Blindswitch Racing and the Good Friends Stable and trained by Jose Godinez. The 7-year-old altered son of Trainforthefuture scored scored his sixth seasonal victory and returned a $4.00 win mutuel.. For Lee, who was last years National Amateur Driver of the Year, it was his 11th driving victory this season and 48th of his career. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series

Northfield, Ohio--On Sunday evening, Oct. 21, ten trotters went to post in a mid-region Billings trot at Northfield Park and after studying the races betting patterns only three horses had a legitimate shot at victory and two were sent away by the betting public at odds of less than 2-1 with the third at 9-2. and when the judges posted the official sign Nashville Holiday and driver Gregg "Fast Greggy" Keidel (9-5) walked away with all the marbles. Keidel, who has delved in more aspects of harness racing than most, wasted no time in sending his charge to the lead from the two-hole despite a challenge from Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford with the slight (7-5) betting favorite, Santini. As the field marched to the quarter pole Keidel stepped on the gas and opened a position behind him for Oldford to fall in along the pylons which Steve did before the quarter pole timer flashed :28.4. Meanwhile, Michelle "The Belle"Ruvola and Better Call Saul, who started from post seven, got caught on the limb and they remained parked-out the entire mile. As the field passed the half in :58.4 Nashville Holiday was cutting the fractions and Santini tight on Keidel's back in the two hole. The order remained the same among the top two as Bob "Lumberman" Troyer moved Sneaky Sam into third place as they trotted by the three quarters in 1:29.4. Down the lane Keidel put the pedal to the metal and Nashville Holiday opened up a 2-1/2 length lead which he held over Santini all the way to the wire. Despite being parked all the way Better Call Saul chugged home for a third place finish. After five second place finishes and four thirds in 16 trips to post this season the seventeenth was a charm for Nashville Holiday who paid $5.80 for win. The 5-year-old altered son of SJ's Caviar is owned by Jeffrey and Toni Arvin and trained by Jeff Brewer. For Gregg Keidel, who has driven sparingly over the past decade, this marked his l04th winning drive. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series        

Yonkers, NY-- "Now that the baseball season is over I can concentrate a little more on my love of amateur racing," "Yankee Joe" Lee, the locker room manager for the New York Yankees said after he won a NAADA Trot this afternoon at Monticello Raceway. Well maybe it was that concentration Lee was referring to that enabled him to earn another driving victory when he won the Billings trot tonight (Thursday, Oct. 10) with On The Podium in 2:00.3 at Yonkers Raceway. After a wire-to-wire victory in the daylight at The Mighty M Lee found the winners circle under the lights with a covered trip after he gunned his trotter to the front and then sat comfortably in the two hole and followed Wygant Prince and "Coach Paul" Minore's lead. Although the 29 second first quarter took some sting out of Wygant Prince there was more stress for the old veteran when he didn't get a breather because he had to contend with a parked-out Gianni and driver "Mighty Matt Zuccarello. So while the aforementioned duo slugged it out on the engine Lee sat calmly in the pocket and was carried all the way to the top of the lane. Along the way Bobby "Rapid Rail" Krivelin with Permanent Joy, and Bob "the Brewster Flash" Ciavardini with Baltimor AS, worked their way into contention by the top of the stretch but not before Joe Lee scooted around Gianni and everyone was chasing On the Podium to the wire.. However, nobody caught him as Lee had a driving double, albeit at two different racetracks. Baltimor AS was second best while Permanent Joy had to settle for the show dough. Unlike the Monticello trots earlier in the day this was a non-wagering affair. Jose Godinez trains the winner for Lee, Tony Nicometo and the Blindswitch Racing Stable. For Joe Lee, who drove initially in 2010 and for the next five years only when he got time off from his obligations to the Bronx Bombers was he able to enjoy the competition of driving a spirited steed. During those years he notched five victories in 88 starts but since then he's had 41 driving victories and a National Amateur Driver of the Year Award bestowed on him last season. And his 10 wins thus far this year puts him in contention for another award. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series    

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

Northfield, Ohio---Patience is a virtue that usually pays dividends. Just ask Steve "You're Never Too Oldford, who won the mid-west region Billings trot with Kaffir Kemp Sunday evening (Oct. 14) at Northfield Park. "We left from the three-hole and settled down along the pylons and watched patiently as Gregg Keidel (with Nashville Holiday) got in an early speed duel with Tim Miller (Ona Dream) and after they slugged it out we came late and picked up all the pieces and went on to an easy victory." In that contest "Tiny Tim"Miller and Ona Dream scooted to the lead from post position two and then they had company in the presence of Nashville Holiday and Gregg "Fast Greggy" Keidel for the rest of the mile. The two raced side-by-side past the first stanza in :28 and were still like a team as they trotted by the halfway point in :57.1. Oldford said there was a lot of talk between the drivers of the two leaders but he couldn't make it out and just was happy that they kept a fast pace while he enjoyed cover all the way. Ona Dream, on the inside, and Nashville Holiday ,stalking him on the outside, were still one-two as they trotted by the three quarters in 1:28 . But Oldford was getting anxious to move. And that happened on the final turn when Steve pulled to go around the leaders and Kaffir Kemp scooted immediately the front. At the top of the lane Oldford had four lengths on his competition as Kaffir Kemp headed for paydirt. At the wire the extent of victory was six lengths as time flashed 1:58.1. While Ona Dream faded on the final turn amazingly Nashville Holiday hung tough despite an overland trip and finished second. Third place went to Buckeye Patty, driven by "Marvelous Marvin" Raber. "The Billings will be back here at Northfield Park on the next two Sundays, and we have to thank director of racing, Dave Bianconi for that ," Oldford said, and then added, "Dave is a great proponent of amateur racing." Kaffir Kemp, a veteran 9-year-old Angus Hall gelding, is owned by Oldford Racing and trained by Terry Deters. For Oldford, the vice president of the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series, it was his 141st lifetime victory. Currently with three consecutive driving victories Oldford is among the leaders for Amateur Driver of the Year honors. He sports a .314 UDRS on the strength of 11 wins, eight seconds and 12 third place finishes in 62 trips to post. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series  

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