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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  

Yonkers, NY--On a wet night and over a racetrack rated sloppy Bob Krivelin and his old warhorse Permanent Joy sat back off stiff early fractions and followed cover until late in the mile then rallied to overtake the pacesetter, Soul Train (Joe Lee), and rebuff a late charge by Fiji and driver Dave Offenberg, to go on to a two-length triumph in 2:00.4. Once the starter said "go" it was a cavalry charge for the lead as Paul Minore and Wygant Prince, who started from the four-hole, parked Tough Get Going (post eight) past the quarter in a stiff .28.3 before yielding. Although Faraldo had command as the field trotted by the halfway point in :59 he was no longer factor in the race as Joe Lee and Soul Train went first-up and rallied to the lead at the third stanza in 1:29. They were soon joined by Monica Banca with Master Of Excuses and although Lee and Banca were one-two heading for home Krivelin and Permanent Joy trotted around them and went on to an easy victory. It was Krivelin's 219th driving victory to go along three National Amateur Driver of the Year Awards he earned over the years. The non-wagering event was the second leg of the 10-race NAADA series which will culminate in a $15,000 finale on May 23. And on the series end, in a drawing ,one of the top three point earners will receive an all expense paid trip to compete in Padova, Italy later this year against their Italian counterparts. The next leg in the series will take place at Monticello Raceway on Thursday, March 28   by John Manzi for NAADA

Monticello, NY-- On a pleasant afternoon with the sun peeking through the clouds and the temperature hovering in the mid-50's the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) kicked off its 37th season with a trot at Monticello Raceway and when the judges hung the official sign Joe Lee was victorious after he guided Soul Train to an easy triumph in a 2:00 clocking. After getting away with a slow start from the four-hole Lee was content to follow the leaders in the early going before he moved his charge off the pylons and then rallied to the lead which was theirs as the field trotted by the half mile marker in :59. "I felt I had the best horse so I didn't want to follow the leaders and after we passed the quarter pole I moved "Soul" off the pylons and headed for the lead," Lee explained. Sent off the odds-on favorite, Soul Train opened up daylight on the field and led Wygant Prince (Paul Minore) by the half way point in:59 and were still in command as they passed the third stanza in 1:29. After sitting in the cat-birds seat Brandos Muscle Man, with Peter Kleinhans at the controls, made their run at the leader as the field straightened for home . Although they trotted by Wygant Prince they came up short and had to settle for second money, 1-1/2 lengths behind Soul Train. Joe Lee, who during the major league baseball season is the New York Yankee's assistant clubhouse manager, was thrilled with his trotter's performance today. "He's such a pleasure to drive, Nothing fazes him and he's so handy. If you want to leave just ask him or if you need to find a hole he's responsive," Lee said of Soul Train. "An old veteran (a $410,000 career winner) he knows just what to do." Lee co-owns the 8-year old altered son of Trainforthefuture with Blindswitch Racing, Good Friends Stable and Santo Farina. He paid $2.80 for win. The second leg of this NAADA trotting series will take place at Yonkers Raceway next Thursday, MARCH 21.   by John Manzi for NAADA

Monticello, NY --The North American Amateur Drivers Association is set to kick-off its 2019 harness racing season at Monticello Raceway on Thursday, March 14.with a two-track competition for its members. The following Thursday (March 21) the competitors will move on to Yonkers Raceway for a leg at the Hilltop oval. Races will be held weekly on Thursdays until the top point earners vie for a $15,000 final at Yonkers on May 23. However in this series there is an added attraction where one of the top three point leaders will get a chance to compete against their Italian counterparts on racetracks in Northern Italy. There is a nominal fee to join the North American Amateur Drivers Association but NAADA offers races for its members both home and abroad throughout the entire season. NAADA vice president Alan Schwartz further explains.  “Our first Spring NAADA Trot race will begin on March 14. One of our top 3 point leaders at the end of this competition will be drawn to win ONE ticket to compete in a competition to begin July 1st in Padova, Italy.  “The itinerary thus far is as follows:Tuesday. July 2: Trieste, Wednesday July 3: Padova,and Friday July 5: Cesena. “The trip will be a highlight of the driving career for the one fortunate enough to be selected. You have to compete to win, so don't miss a leg.” To become a member of NAADA please contact the organization's president Joe Faraldo (718-544-6800), or call Alan Schwartz at 845-292-8128. Below are the race dates, the tracks, and the purses offered. Race Dates 1st Leg Thursday March 14 Monticello $5,000 2rd Leg   Thursday March 21 Yonkers $6,000 3rd Leg Thursday March 28 Monticello $5,000 4th Leg   Thursday April 4 Yonkers $6,000 5th Leg Thursday April 1 1 Monticello $5,000 6th Leg   Thursday April 18 Yonkers $6,000 7th Leg   Thursday April 25 Monticello $5,000 8th Leg   Thursday May 2 Yonkers $6,000 9th Leg Thursday May 9 Monticello $5,000 10Leg   Thursday May16 Yonkers $6,000 Consolation Wednesday May 22 Monticello $8,000 Final Thursday May 23 Yonkers $15,000   by John Manzi for NAADA

Monticello, NY--Each year amateur harness racing becomes a bigger part in the Standardbred sport with many talented drivers displaying impressive abilities guiding spirited steeds to victory. And this season has been no exception especially with the expansive opportunities available with the ever-growing number of amateur organizations dotting the landscape. In spite of the talents of a multitude of amateur drivers the USHWA National Committee unanimously voted Joe Pennacchio this years recipient of National Amateur Driver of the Year. Although having prominent stats, which "Joltin' Joe " has, it takes more than that for consideration. Besides being a member of many amateur organizations Pennacchio is the president of the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association and sits on the Board of the USTA. Since he purchased his first horse in 1987, over the years Joe has owned more than a hundred standardbreds and in 2004 his 3-year-old trotter, Yankee Slide, won the prestigious Breeders Crown at Woodbine in Canada with Brian Sears in the sulky. " Yankee Slide was trained by Steve Elliot and was sent off at odds of 40-1 and man we were pleasantly surprised with his victory," Pennacchio recalled. But Pennacchio still can remember the first horse he ever purchased. "In 1987 I bought a pacer by the name of Skipper Marlow and raced him at Monticello under the care of Craig Mosher. In 1995 I drove for the first time and had two wins in three starts. That year both wins were with a trotter by the name of Fox Valley Trump. I won at Delaware ,Ohio and then at the Red Mile. After that I was hooked," Pennacchio said. The next year Pennacchio and Fox Valley Trump won the $30,000 Billings Series Final at Freehold Raceway covering thr 1-1/4 mile distance in a time of 2:31.3 Since then "Joltin' Joe (his Billings nickname) has won 176 races. This past season he had 65 starts with 14 wins, 11 seconds and four thirds for a .330 UDR. He currently owns 14 race horses. Pennacchio's Florida contingent is handled by Jim McDonald while Allen Sisco trains his stock in New York. Over the years Joe has won races on all size racetracks and has enjoyed some nice horses along the way. He has even won races in Europe and thoroughly enjoys the sport and the horses he's owned. But arguably his favorite is Super Manning, who is still racing today. The veteran trotter has won $650,000 thus far in his career and earned a record of 1:54.1 taken at Yonkers Raceway. Pennacchio is a retired CEO who spent most of his career in department store retailing. His last assignment was as the president of Jordan Marsh department stores in Boston. He has had significant experience in running companies with both United States and foreign facilities and has served on several boards for both private and public companies. He will receive his National Amateur Driver of the Year Award when the US Harness Writers Association holds its annual Dan Patch Awards Banquet in Orlando, Florida on February 24, 2019. For room and ticket information, visit www.ushwa.org. by John Manzi, chairman of USHWA's Amateur Driver Committee

Yonkers, NY- Joe Faraldo is a happy man. And why shouldn't he be? After all, the veteran amateur driver just won the $15,000 Final of the North American Amateur Drivers Association's fourth and final trotting series with Tough Get Going at Yonkers Raceway on Friday night (Dec. 7). They toured the Hilltop oval in a time of 2:00 to score a one-length victory over Monica Banca and Master of Excuses. When the wings of the mobile gate sprung Banca sent Master of Excuses to the lead from the two hole with Faraldo's charge on the limb pushing the pace after starting from post five. “I wanted to take the lead but Monica wouldn't have it and she said 'get behind me', which I did and it worked out to be the winning move,” Faraldo related by phone after the race. Banca and Master of Excuses passed the first stanza in :28.4 and they were comfortable by the half in :59.4. The leaders then raced one-two past the three quarters in 1:29.1 and on the final turn Faraldo moved Tough Get Going off the pylons. “My horse felt strong at that point and when we straightened for home I knew we'd be the winner,” he said.  Master of Excuses was second best a head in front of third place finisher Multitaskr Hanover in rein to Jennifer Lappe. Tough Get Going has won his last two starts and recently has been at the top of his game. Asked how come the he's currently racing better Faraldo was quick to respond. “He likes the cold weather and he can breath better when the temperature dips,” All things considered ,the veteran 5-year Kadabra gelding has amassed almost $47,000 this season. He's owned by Faraldo and Richie Banca and trained by Banca. Sent off as second choice Tough Get Going paid $6.00 for win. This has been a very prolific season for NAADA. Besides four 10-race series during the year the longtime amateur organization has hosted European amateur clubs from Hungary, Spain, Italy and France. And in September NAADA members traveled to Mallorca to race against the Spanish amateurs on their turf. “We plan to do much of the same next year, too,” Faraldo added. John Manzi        

John Manzi, the guy who carried the torch for decades, reveled in the moment when 175 well-wishers packed The Fountains at Wallkill Golf Club to honor his lifelong passion and lifetime achievement in harness racing on Sunday evening, Dec. 2. The banquet was the chapter's 60th annual event, but after 40 years of running the show, Manzi said he wanted to step aside and let his successors run with the ball. Retired after famously re-inventing harness racing promotions while managing the publicity department at Monticello Raceway for 40 years, Manzi has always said, "I had a great run. It's better to be a 'has been' than a never was!" "I didn't make a lot of money, but I sure made a lot of great friends and great memories! And we pulled off some crazy promotions too!" he said with a laugh. Manzi was the Monticello-Goshen Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association's Lifetime Achievement Award winner...and has been the fuel that propelled the chapter to become one of the strongest in the association. "We have had many National USHWA presidents come from our chapter, and we have given tens of thousands of dollars to both the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame, as well as Goshen Historic Track," Manzi noted. "We are very proud of that." A souvenir journal with 16 color pages of iconic photos from Manzi's famed office walls were like a walk down memory lane. Hall of Famer, and cousin, Cat Manzi, along with his other cousin Eddie Lohmeyer also made the trip to surprise the guest of honor. Manzi's brothers Gary and Gerard were also on hand. On a Manzi-filled night, the inaugural recipient of the John Manzi Leadership Award was the Hambletonian Society's COO Moira Fanning. Always an eloquent speaker, and self-appointed Manzi-instigator, Fanning outlined how men like Manzi, Marv Bachrad, Tom Charters and Bill Fidati all gave a former-caretaker many of the opportunities the sport had to offer. "For me, it was more like a 'She Too' movement...illustrating what her mentors thought, 'If I could do it, she could too!" And do it she has, rising to the top echelon of a male-dominated sport, earning a seat on every executive board in the industry. Other prominent honorees included, Chuck Connor (John Gilmour Good Guy), Peter Gerry (Amy Bull Crist Distinguished Service Award), Salt Hill Farm/Jim & Anne Feeley (Cradle of the Trotter Breeders Award), Jennifer Lappe (Amateur Driver), Debbie Little (Phil Pines), Shane Darish (Rising Star), and Arthur Robinson (Award of Appreciation). Of course the local equine practitioners from the Monticello Harness Horsemen's Association where also honored. Driver of the Year, Mike Merton was on hand to accept his award for most wins, as was Kearstin DeGraw, the Caretaker of the Year from the Gary Messenger Stable. Monticello Raceway's horse of the Year was Johnnie DeSimone's Sentimental Lady. Proceeds from the generosity of advertisers in the souvenir journal and banquet ticket sales go toward making sizeable donations to both the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame and Goshen Historic Track, two distinct and separate entities that each received $4,000 from the chapter coffers in 2018. by Chris Tully for Monticello-Goshen USHWA        

Yonkers, NY--Harness racing's granddaddy of all amateur events, the CKG Billings Harness Driving Series, presented its 37th annual Gold and Silver Cup Finals at Yonkers Raceway on Sunday, November 25th and they resulted in near storybook fashion when coincidentally the $25,000 Gold Cup was won by the series vice president,Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford, and the $15,000 Silver Cup Final went to the series president, Tony "the Capo" Verruso, making it the first time that the event's top officers were victorious in the races' finales. The long-running program is, and has always been, sponsored by the Delvin Miller Memorial Harness Driving Series, better known as the Billings, Raced this season at a distance of 1-1/4 miles over the double-oval at Yonkers Raceway the two 10-horse fields were very competitive with Oldford and Starsaboveallerage, despite being sent off at odds of over 22-1,winning the Gold Cup in a tight photo over On The Podium ("Tough Tony" Ciuffetelli) in a time of 2:32. The Silver Cup Final went to Landonfitz, driven by the series president, Tony "the Capo" Verruso over Winwood Scout and driver "Dave "Modern Legend" Drew in a time of 2:31.4. Both drivers had to negotiate ten-horse fields en route to victory. Oldford is enjoying one of his best seasons in the sulky and has already topped the leaderboards in the midwest division and the Billings Travel Series and he has copped the Billings overall points championship. "I had a pretty good journey when you consider the Gold Cup was a the 10-horse field,"Oldford said after he won the Gold Cup. "I got lucky to find a hole early and although I had to go three-deep around Dave (Offernberg with Fiji) my horse cleared them quickly before the half and we raced toward Joe (Faraldo with Tough Get Going) who was on the lead and we finally caught them and put them away in the stretch. "Then we had to contend with the late challenge from Tony (Ciuffitelli and On The Podium) but my old guy hung tough and we won the race by just a head, which in reality was as good as winning by a mile". Faraldo's charge held on for the show dough." Starsaboveallerage, a 7-year-old altered son of Angus Hall is owned by Oldford Racing and trained by Allen Sisco. He paid $47.20; $16.40 and $11.20 across the board. In the Silver Cup Verruso's ride behind Landonfitz was a lot less complicated. "I got lucky to find a hole early and then had a perfect trip," Verruso explained. "Despite losing my whip at the half I didn't have to move until I came first-up when we headed to the three quarters and Landonfitz easily circled Dave Drew;s horse (Winwood Scout) and we didn't have any serious challenges after that. We cruised home an easy winner." Super Manning, driven by "Joltin' Joe" Pennacchio, finished third just a head behind Winwood Scout. Landonfitz, an 8-year-old Jailhouse Jesse gelding is owned by the Allister Stables and trained by Eric Abbatiello. He paid $11.40 for win. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series

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    

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

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