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Dave "Linemaster" Ehrenberg II took no prisoners and made every pole a winning one en route to a 1:59.3 harness racing victory with King Trut in a Billings trot at Scioto Downs on Friday night, June 26. But in doing so King Trut had to rebuff a strong late challenge from YF Crasher and driver "Marlin the Magician" Smith. "The complexion of the race changed dramatically when Steve Oldford's trotter (Bold Strike) made a break before the start which allowed my horse get away with soft early fractions," Ehrenberg explained. Bold Strike, the 1-2 betting favorite- was riding a two race win streak where he was victorious on the front end both times. However with him a non-factor King Trut and Ehrenberg were able to dictate their own fractions. They passed the quarter in :29 and by the half in 1:00 flat. However Smith had YF Crasher on Ehrenberg's back from the get go and when the two leaders rounded the final turn and headed for paydirt Smith had his trotter neck and neck with King Trut. They came down the stretch like a team hooked -to-pole but YF Crasher couldn't pass the pace-setter and King Trut valiantly fought off his challenger to score a neck decision. In third place three lengths further back was Hometown Jeff driven by Michelle "the Belle" Ruvola. King Trut, a 10 year old Self Possessed gelding owned by Aimee Ranger and trained by Chris Short returned a $19.80 win mutuel. It was King Trut's sixth seasonal triumph and Ehrenberg's 47 career driving victory. With his victory Ehrenberg, now with 24 points, moves into second place on the CKG Billings mid-west region leaderboard behind Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford's 45. In third placewith 17 points is "Lawbook Larry" Farley followed by "Hurricane Hannah" Miller's 16. "Bullet Bob" Davis and Kelly "Sky" Walker are tied for fifth, each with 13 points. John Manzi

Prior to going out for the post parade in the NAADA Trot at Monticello Raceway harness racing driver Joe Pennacchio was queried about his chances with his veteran trotter Sir Winston who was to start from the five-hole. Without much hesitation he said: "If he doesn't bleed he'll win." Well, Sir Winston, a career winner of over $390,000, didn't bleed in the race and was victorious just like Pennacchio predicted. When the starter said go Pennacchio gunned the veteran 9 year old Revenue S gelding to the lead and they had some racing luck when Alan Schwartz's trotter Typical Newyorker, who was pressuring him for the lead, made a break directly in front of the 1-2 betting favorite Casanova Lindy (Hannah Miller) who was hot on Schwartz's tail. Unfortunately Typical Newyorker's misstep made a tough journey for Miller who had hoped for a covered trip behind Schwartz. When that inkling didn't work out Miller found herself hung out and with little chance of gaining the front-end from Pennacchio. "Her horse wasn't coming that strongly so I didn't want to grab into my horse since he might have bled if I did," Pennacchio admitted. So Casanova Lindy went the long mile never seeing the pylons and it wasn't until the deep stretch that he tired and finished just two lengths behind Sir Winston in third place. Nautilus De Vie, who was traveling along in the catbird's seat with Dave Yarock at the controls, used the passing lane to finish second. Pennacchio's Joe P Racing Stable owns the winner who's trained by Dan Altman. Sir Winston paid $26.20 while winning his second seasonal contest. For Pennacchio, a retired business CEO, it was his sixth seasonal driving victory and the 149th of his amateur career. After the race, Pennacchio and Miller headed for Yonkers Raceway where they were scheduled to drive that night in the Billings Series. John Manzi

When is the first horse across the finish line not the race winner? When said horse is disqualified. That's exactly what happened in the eight race yesterday (June 24) at Monticello Raceway. Sultry Susan, a 2-year -old daughter of Art Major-Parlay Hanover was making her first harness racing pari-mutuel start with Jimmy Taggart, Jr. in the bike. The filly was cruising along on the front end until confronted by Bullville Go and driver Bruce Aldrich, Jr., but as they ranged alongside, Sultry Susan bolted to the outside which caused interference with Bullville Go and although Sultry Susan was first under the wire she was disqualified. Not knowing the judges final decision driver Jimmy Taggart, Jr. took Sultry Susan to the winners circle for a photograph and one was taken prior to the filly being placed out of the money for interference.However while in the winners circle Sultry Susan did her "Hi Ho Silver" act; standing on her hind legs.She then returned to all four and exited. It was shortly after that her connections found out that she was being disqualified. by John Manzi for Monticello Raceway

Harness racing's greatest traveling roadshow, the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series, was in full swing this past weekend with races at three different tracks; Friday at Northfield Park, Saturday at Tioga Downs (both results previously reported) and yesterday, Sunday, June 21, at Buffalo Raceway. As he did at Northfield Park last Friday Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford again drove a winner in a Billings split at Buffalo on Sunday when he reined pacer, Lady Jill to a neck victory over Ms Luck and driver "Hot-Handed Hannah" Miller in a 1:59.4 clocking. "Bullet Bob" Davis was third with Delightful Caitlin. "I had the two hole and when Hannah (Miller) left like a rocket I let her go and settled in behind her and we passed the quarter in 29 seconds flat. Hannah's pacer then went another 29 -second quarter and we were at the half in :58.1. So I just bided my time until we turned for home. When we did I urged my mare and she dug in and we caught Hannah just before the wire to win by a neck." The winner, Lady Jill, owned and trained by John Mungillo, paid $6.00 for win. For Lady Jill, a 7 year-old daughter of Camluck, it was her fourth seasonal triumph and for Oldford, it marked his ninth driving victory thus far this season. In the other Billings split, a trot, after confusion on the first turn, "Lightning Larry" Steenbergen got away to a huge lead with Peaceful Prince and they had eight lengths on the field as they passed the first stanza in :29.4. At that point Davis and Stag's Leap were in second place followed by Hannah Miller with Timer. The order remained the same past the half in :59.4 but when they straightened up the backside Miller moved Timer out to challenge and they were second as the three quarter timer flashed 1:32. From there Peaceful Prince and Timer raced head to head through the stretch but neither could stave off Delightful Caitlin who rallied on the inside to score a 1-1/4 length triumph in a time of 2:03.3. "When Hannah was side by side with Larry I thought my only chance to win was to wait for the passing lane." Davis said. "So I sat and waited and when there was room I aimed my horse down the passing lane and the old veteran he did the rest and hustled to victory." Stag's Leap, a 10 year old son of Muscles Yankee, owned and trained by Dan Mullet, scored his second seasonal victory. He paid $11.20 for win. Next Billings action is slated for Yonkers Raceway on Thursday night, July 25. In the afternoon that day there will be races for amateur drivers in the NAADA Trotting Series and the Catskill Amateur Club's pacing series. John Manzi for the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series

It was Miller Time again last night when the hottest driver currently in amateur harness racing scored yet another driving victory. It came in a CKG Billings Trot at Tioga Downs when "Hot-Handed Hannah" Miller scored an easy seven length triumph with Jacks To Open in a time of 1:55.2. After starting from the three hole Miller was content to let Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff and take command on the first turn with Keystone Thomas. Hechkoff then sizzled by the first stanza in :27.3 with Miller's Jacks To Open close behind. Keystone Thomas tripped the timer at the halfway mark in :57.1 and as they swept toward the three quarters Miller moved Jacks to Open off the pylons and the veteran trotter zipped to the front and coasted home an oh-so-easy winner. CSI What's My Name came from fourth at the head of the lane to finish second for Dave "Steady As" Yarock. Third place went to Insider Access driven the ultimate Billings traveler, Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford. "Jack was very good last night and it was made easy for me," Miller said. "I just followed Heckoff and let his horse cut it. When I pulled him he was fresh and full of trot. I'm not sure if that was my fastest parimutuel win but it probably was." Miller co-owns Jacks To Open with trainer Nick Surick. For the 5 year old Conway Hall gelding it was his fourth seasonal triumph. He paid $3.10 for win. Miller's victory with Jacks To Open was her 17th thus far this year. Later on the Tioga Downs card Hannah Miller drove against professional drivers when she reined Casanova Lindy to a fourth place finish in a race timed in 1:55.3. That was my second start against the professionals," she said. "I drove at Freehold in a regular race once with Rev It Now. I get more nervous driving against the professionals than I do in the amateur races. And yes it is a little different than the amateur races, but in a good way." by John Manzi for the Billings Series

Former harness racing National Amateur Driver of the Year, Steve "You're Never To Old" Oldford, notched his eighth seasonal driving victory behind Bold Strike while competing in a CKG Billings Midwest Regional trotting contest at Northfield Park on Friday night, June 19. In doing so Oldford worked out a picture-perfect journey falling into the two hole after the first turn and then stalking Dave "Linemaster" Ehrenberg II with the pacesetter King Tut. "I knew Dave was going to leave out of there and I wanted to be near him so I hustled my horse away from the gate, too," Oldford said. "Larry ("Lawbook Larry Farley) had the same idea with Good Friend and we were trotting at a pretty good clip around the first turn. I was lucky to find some room between Dave and Larry and fell in behind King Tut which gave my old warhorse cover and a good trip." Ehrenberg and King Tut showed the way by the first stanza in a swift :28. He was able to give his trotter a breather as they passed the halfway point in :59 with both Oldford and Farley in close pursuit. "I tipped out up the backside and we raced head to head from there and the race was on. My horse finally cleared King Tut halfway down the homestretch and went on to a one- length victory in (1):59.4" Oldford added. Good Friend rallied to be second while King Tut faded a bit and finished a close third. Having initially drawn post position eight Oldford was asked if the race would have had a different outcome had it not been for two late scratches. "I don't think so," Oldford replied "We were the best three horses in the race." Bold Strike, who had won a previous Billings Trot at Northfield Park in 1:59.2 earlier this year, was sent off as the even money favorite in the race and returned a $4.00 win mutuel. For Oldford is was the beginning of a busy weekend as he headed for Billings action at Tioga Downs on Saturday and then to Buffalo Raceway on Sunday. "I'll be in Monticello on Thursday (July 25 ) for two amateur races there in the afternoon and then on to Yonkers for a Billings trot in the evening. Amateur racing is getting bigger than ever and we amateurs help fill the betting cards at many tracks, now" Oldford explained. by John Manzi for the CKG Billings Series    

After winning a trotting race under saddle at Goshen Historic Track last Sunday Rev It Now, hooked to a harness racing sulky once again, won the NAADA Trot at Monticello Raceway on the misty and cool Thursday afternoon of June 18. Hannah Miller drove the veteran trotter to a come-from-behind one length victory over Typical New Yorker (Alan Schwartz) in a time of 2:00.3. Notoriously a slow starter, Rev It Now left from the seven hole and was once again was at the back of the pack when the Schwartz and Typical New Yorker led the field by the first quarter in :29.4. And in doing so, Schwartz kept Hallanet (Paul Minore) and Starsaboverallerage (Allen Sisco) on the limb. Seeing what was developing in front of her Miller moved her trotter third-over as the field rounded the paddock turn and headed to the halfway point. Sixth at the half in 1:00 and some four lengths off the lead, Miller was content to follow her cover past the third panel and then on the final turn she moved Rev It Now three-deep. Still fifth and four lengths behind Schwartz's trotter at that point, Miller began to urge Rev It Now. Under strong urging Rev It Now seemed to hit another gear and trotted by the leaders in the deep stretch to score his seventh seasonal triumph. Third place went to Hallanet who raced parked- out for the entire mile and was just 1-1/4 lengths behind the winner at the wire. "I had to get after "Rev" a bit in the stretch but he responded and finished strong," Miller said. "He's such a nice old guy and he seems sweeter after racing him a couple of times under saddle." (Prior to his 2:07.4 victory at Historic Track, Rev It Now won a RUS in 2:00.4 over the mile oval at Gaitway Farms) "That's for sure," interjected trainer Nick Surick as he helped to unhook the sulky upon Rev It Now's return to the paddock. "There's no doubt in my mind that those races under saddle helped to change his attitude." Co-owned by Miller and Surick, along with Hannah's dad Erv Miller, Rev It Now who was sent off as third choice in the betting and paid $8.20 for win. Miller missed a chance at a driving double when she finished second with Rise Above It in the Catskill Amateur's Club Pace. Sent off as a prohibitive favorite and despite a covered second-over trip, Rise Above It couldn't gain any ground on the leader and pacesetter, Tyler Great (Allen Sisco) who cruised along on the front end and then kicked in a :28.3 final quarter to win the event by three lengths in a time of 1:58.1. "I was in striking distance when we headed into the stretch but we couldn't catch him (Tylers Great), especially when he had so much pace at the end of the mile," Miller said after the race. Allen Sisco drove Tylers Great to his second victory in 20 starts this year and he bettered his previous seasonal win time by four seconds. Matt Zuccarello and Minnesota Hanover had a two-trip behind the pacesetter (Tylers Great) but was over taken in the swtretch by Rise Above It and finished third. Tylers Great owned by Brenna Gill and trained by her hubby Dan Gill, paid $11.20 for win. John Manzi

Last year Bobby "Rapid Rail" Krivelin won 15 races and was USHWA's Amateur Driver of the Year which was the third time in his career that he has attained that honor and again this year Krivelin, a food purveyor by trade, is off to a good start already with six harness racing wins to his credit. His latest triumph came last night , Monday June 15, at Plainridge Race Course when he reined Gimme The Loot to a 2:00.4 victory over Alternat Thursdays and driver Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff in a field shortened to six horses after two scratches In a field shortened to six starters. Sent off at odds of 9-1 from the pole position, Kivelin gunned Gimme the Loot to the lead and took no prisoners. They were a length in front of Scott "the Driving Doctor" Woogen's, Order By Me, when the field passed the first stanza in a swift :27.4. A 32-second breather got Gimme The Loot to the half in :59.4 and in the process caused Bob Hechkoff to move the betting favorite, Alternat Thursdays, out to challenge. When Hechkoff moved off the pylons Tony "the Capo" Verruso followed suite with Sam's Honeybee and as the field headed for the three quarters there were two tiers of trotters, four along the pylons and two on the limb and the order remained the same until the homestretch. Meanwhile , Casanova Lady and "Hot-Handed Hannah" Miller traveling along in fourth place but third on the pylons, found herself locked-in and in the lane Casanova Lady never got a clear shot at the leaders although she rallied late to finish third. Doc Woogen finished fourt and The Capo" was fifth. The winner, Gimme The Loot, is owned by the Hero Stables is trained by Krivelin. He paid $20.80 for win. For Krivelin, it was his the 173rd driving victory. John Manzi

The second matinee harness racing program at Goshen's Historic Track was well attended and those who stayed until the final race on the eight- race card saw the veteran trotter Rev It Now win the race under saddle.On that card there were four races for 2 year-olds, a race for three year olds, two open events-one for trotters and one for pacers- and the trotting race under saddle which saw the veteran trotter Rev It Now win easily in a time of 2:07.4. Rev It Now, a 9-year-old altered son of Revenue S, who has won six races this year hooked to a sulky, was ridden to an 18- length triumph by Helene Gregory. A week prior (June 8) at the Gaitway Farms matinee program, in his initial attempt at under saddle racing, Rev It Now was a 4-1/2 length winner in a time of 2:00.4 over that mile oval again with and Helene Gregory up. "I have always thought that "Rev" would be good under saddle ever since we have had him and I put a saddle on him and rode him myself a few times just going slow," said Hannah Miller, co-owner and the trotter's regular harness driver. "He was super so we decided to give it a shot and qualify him. He qualified excellent at Gaitway under saddle. I think he enjoys this new job and it's a way to mix up his routine and keep him fresh." This year Rev It Now, a career winner of over $258,000 has been a scourge in the Billings and NAADA amateur trots with Miller at the controls. Besides his six victories Rev It Now also has two seconds and three thirds in his 19 seasonal starts and has earned over $26,000 pulling a sulky. Since she gets along so well with the veteran trotter Hannah Miller was asked why she didn't ride him in his two races under saddle. "I haven't had enough practice yet to ride him in a race. I'm working on that but it is difficult and Helene is an excellent rider and has had plenty of experience in these types of races," Miller explained "I plan on continuing to learn and practice and hopefully I will be able to ride him myself in a race one day. "We will be bringing him back to Goshen on July 5th and plan on racing him under saddle at other NY fairs, Vernon, The Red Mile, and hopefully they will have a race at the Meadowlands." Miller shares ownership of Rev It Now with the Nick Surick and the Erv Miller stables. Nick Surick is also the horse's trainer. Also of note on Goshen's Sunday matinee card was the second consecutive victory by No Shame Blue Chip. Fresh off his 2:01.1 seasonal mark ( for a freshman pacing gelding on a half mile track) here last week the altered son of American Ideal was driven to a 2:02: 2 victory by Brian Connor. Peter Gerry recently purchased No Shame Blue Chip. He's trained by Janice Connor. The last of three seasonal matinee programs at the world's oldest harness track will be presented next Sunday, June 21. Then on Thursday, July 2 Historic Track's 107th Grand Circuit meeting will get underway. By John Manzi for Goshen Historic Track

On Sunday, July 19th, The Monticello Harness Horsemen's Association will gather at Hanofee Park in Liberty, New York, to commemorate the recent and untimely passing of one of their own, Robert "Bo" Beauregard. "BoBo" as he was fondly known to all of the horsemen at Monticello Raceway and beyond, was a longtime member of the Board of Directors serving as his Association's Treasurer and right hand to President Alan Schwartz. The full day BBQ, from 11:00 A.M. to dusk, will include both lunch and dinner. Soft drinks are included throughout the day and beer will be on hand for $1.00 each. Cost for this happening is $20.00 per adult or $10.00 for children 2 thru 12 years of age, payable at the door. All our friends in the community are invited to attend. Proceeds from this event have been earmarked for "The Beauregard Boys", John snd Steven. John Manzi for MHHA

Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff is hot. The executive recruiter just won his eighth race this season in amateur harness racing competition and he's cruising along with a .444 UDR in 24 starts. His latest victory came last night (June 5) at Saratoga Raceway when he won a CKG Billings trot with his own Bambino Hall in a time of 1:58.3. In a field shortened to six starters after two scratches, Hechkoff changed his MO and instead of gunning Bambino Hall for the lead he took a seat in fourth position on the first turn while "Coach Paul" Minore, with Wygant Prince, parked "Hot Handed Hannah" Miler, and Pembroke Snapshot in a swift :28.3 first quarter. Minore yielded as Miller took command and she led the field toward the halfway point. Hechkoff, perhaps sensing that the stiff first quarter might have taken something out of the two leaders, or maybe he wanted to get in front of Permanent Joy and Bob "Rapid Rail" Krivelin who was coming on the outside from the back of the pack, he moved Bambino Hall out to challenge Miller. After the :59.3 half Bambino Hall rambled to the lead as Permanent Joy kept going forward. At the three quarters Permanent Joy was third on the outside but Bambino Hall was getting away. As the short field headed for paydirt Bambino Hall kept pouring it on and drew off to a four length triumph over Permanent Joy. Wygant Prince overtook a tiring Pembroke Snapshot to secure the show dough. It was the fourth seasonal win for the veteran trotter whose career earnings are approaching a half million dollars. "He's such a nice horse to drive and he went a big race tonight," Hechkoff said. " I'd like to have a barn full like him." Owned by Hechkoff's RBH Ventures and trained by Kyle Spagnola, Bambino Hall was sent off as the betting favorite in the race and paid $4.90 for win. John Manzi

Yogi Berra often professed that "it's ain't over till it's over" and for the home team in the USA vs Spain harness racing "Friendship Competition" it is over after the visiting Spaniards finished first, second and third in both contest races today (June 5) at Tioga Downs.Going into the Tioga races the Spaniards had a big point lead which was only expanded by days end. In the first race, a pace, Augustin Pou, with My Sweet Mandy went for the lead from the two hole and he parked all comers through fractions of :28.3 and :57.4. Alan Schwartz with Harper Lee were parked out first over and followed by Spain's Jaume Riera with Diamonds Princess and Bernado Cirer, with Puff Mommy. Harper Lee began to fade as the field headed for the three quartersbut My Sweet Mandy was still strong on the front end. When Schwartz's pacer tired the Spaniards filled the void and both charged at their countryman who was on the lead. My Sweet Mandy passed the third stanza as the timer tripped 1:25.4 and the pace began to slow a bit. Still Pou's charge had enough in the tank to rebuff both Puff Mommy and Diamonds Princess who finished second and third respectively in the 1:55.2 mile. It was Pou's first victory in the competition His pacer My Sweet Mandy paid $13.40 for win. She is owned by the Allen Sisco Stable and trained by Sisco. Jaume Riera won the second event, a trot, with Simaz in a 1:58 clocking and for Reira it he scored his second driving victory in the five- race competition. In fact the Americans only won one race thus the drubbing. In his racr Riera put Simaz on the lead from the start and they passed the first stanza in :29.1. But as they were heading to the half Herbie Is Gone and the USA's Bernie Boland came charging on the outside on a dead run. He had made a break leaving and the trotter ran (like in off-stride) the entire mile. Perhaps a running Herbie Is Gone was beneficial to Riera in that he kept the challengers at bay. As the field headed to the halfway point Herbie Is Gone was in front of the field still on the limb but in the center off the track. Simaz then gained the lead again at the three quarters but at that point Sand Wyndham, driven by Miquel Capo was alongside Simaz and they raced as a team into the mid- stretch until Simaz pulled away and went on to a one length victory. Nowerland Nathan, with Spain's Bernardo Cirer, rallied to be second and Sand Wyndham faded and finished third.The Simaz is owned by Lynda Cruise and trained by Jimmy Cruise Jr. He paid $4.30 for win. "I guess it's easy for us to say that the Spaniards had the best horses but in reality they out-drove us," said USA team member, Alan Schwartz. "Maybe we can return the favor when we race against them in Mallorca later this fall." On Saturday the Spaniards will fly to south Florida for a three race competition at Pompano Park against members of the Florida Amateur Club. On Sunday they'll head for home in Mallorca. By John Manzi for NAADA

Harness racing amateur races were on tap again at Monticello Raceway on Thursday (June 4) afternoon on the heels of the two the Sullivan County oval presented the previous day. Steve Oldford won the NAADA Trot with Starsaboverallerage in a 2:00.3 clocking while Matt Zuccarello copped the Catskill Amateur Club pace with Minnesota Hanover in 1:58. "I came all the way in from Michigan anticipating to drive in three races today but the other two races I was hoping to race get in didn't fill," Oldford said after his victory with Starsaboveallerage. "But winning the one I was in made the whole trip worthwhile. People who know me know I'd fly to the moon if I thought I could win a race there." Oldford had the betting favorite in the NAADA trot and he drove him like he was the best. He gunned his trotter to the lead from post four and parked Saraboo, and driver by Paul Moore in a relatively soft :30 quarter. Knowing that Saraboo was no threat after being parked out Oldford used Moore's trotter as a shield of sorts, which made it tougher for any horse from the back of the pack to challenge the pace. Hannah Miller had a live horse in Rev It Now but the road trouble they endured cost them a chance at victory. She had to wheel her trotter three- deep at the three quarters to get around the parked horse but Starsaboveallerage had drawn off to a substantial lead and by the time Rev It Now had cleared traffic Oldford's trotter was safe and he cruised home an easy 1-1/2 length winner. Miller's charge was second best while Chuckie B and Alan Schwartz completed the trifecta. Starsaboveallerage, trained by Allen Sisco, paid $3.90 for win. The other amateur event, sponsored by the Catskill Club, was vehicle for Matt Zuccarello to score his second driving victory in two days at the Mighty M. (He won a division of the Spain vs USA Friendship Competition yesterday). In today's contest Zuccarello sent Minnesota Hanover to the lead from the pole position and they had clear sailing to the half which was paced in :59.1. At that point challenges came first from CCs Lover N and Allen Sisco followed by Rise Above It with Hannah Miller. But Zuccarello had Minnesota Hanover far enough in front to rebuff and late charges. They cruised home a solid one length winner over CCs Lover with Rise Above It two lengths farther back in third place. "Last week we had to pace a :28.2 first quarter to get the lead and he (Minnesota Hanover) was tired at the end of the mile. This time when we passed the (first) quarter in :29.4 I knew my horse would have something in the tank for later," Zuccarello explained. Zuccarello also owns the winner who's trained by Dennis Laturza. Minnesota Hanover returned a $21.40 win mutuel. By John Manzi for NAADA & The Catskill Amateur Club.

Some might have figured that since the visiting Spaniards never drove pacers that the USA team would have an advantage in the second leg of the Spain vs USA Friendship Competition on the Wednesday (June 3) card at the harness racing meeting at Monticello Raceway. But that never materialized because in the first of the two races on the card Spain's Bernado Cirer not only was victorious but his countrymen finished second, third and fourth.. However, Matt Zuccarello got the USA team off the floor when he reined the winner in the second event. In the first event on the card,race 3, Cirer gunned Caviart Jet for the lead and they gained command before the quarter pole and Cirer didn't seem to care that the horse he was parking out, Camcracker Dynasty, was driven by teammate Jaume Riera. After the :29 first quarter the Spaniards raced head to head to the half in :59.3 and they were still heads apart as they passed the three quarters in 1:30. However when they headed for paydirt Christopher Bliss, driven by Spain's Agustin Pou, overtook Camcracker Dynasty to garner second place but he couldn't catch Caviart Jet who went on to a two length victory. Christopher Bliss faded to third in the 2:00 clocked mile. And to add insult to injury for the Americans Miquel Capo finished fourth with Fifth Wave giving the visiting Spaniards the top four placings. However, there was one caveat that might have changed the race outcome. When the field headed for home Hot Pistol and Alan Schwartz, who had been stalking Caviart Jet throughout the mile, took advantage of the passing lane and they were poised to go on by the leader until Schwartz's charge went off-stride and they lost all chances. After the race, Cirer, a carpenter by trade in Mallorca, felt super. "I'm very happy" he said in broken English. "I was second at Yonkers yesterday and I win today at Monticello. I love America." The winner, Caviart Jet, is owned and trained by Steve Moore. He paid $8.40 for win." However, the NAADA team did get revenge in the second division, race five, when Matt Zuccarello won with Remus Blue Chip in a time of 1:59.1. In a race in which there were two tiers of pacers for most of the mile Zuccarello and Remus Blue Chip were hung on the outside in second-over position. "I was stuck on the limb from the start but I wasn't alone. There were others parked, too," Zuccarello said. "I had little choice other than to stay behind cover and I sat calmly and waited. "The field was tightly packed as we headed to the three- quarters so I slipped three- deep and my horse gained the lead and from there he was strong all the way to the finish line." Tylers Great who cut the all the fractions on the front-end, finished second for Spanish amateur Miquel Capo. Hannah Miller came from far back with Delco Tross for third money. The USA's Gerry Fielding was fourth with 35-1 shot Wink And Nod. The winner, Remus Hanover, is owned and trained by Herbert Lux III. He paid $5.10 to win. After the points for the first two legs were totaled Team America is all but finished trailing the Spaniards 78 to 48. "We need a miracle at Tioga (Downs) on Friday," said NAADA president Joe Faraldo. John Manzi

It didn't take long for the visiting Spaniards to break out to a substantial lead in the Spanish & American Friendship Harness Racing Competition. At Yonkers Raceway on Tuesday afternoon (June 2) in the first of the three-leg amateur driving contest, the Spanish invaders finished one -two -three and opened up a big point lead, 29-13. The star of the day was Jaume Riera after he guided Amalfi Coast to a solid one length victory over Movement, driven by fellow countryman Bernado Cirer. And to push the NAADA team farther in the dust, yet another Spaniard, Miquel Capo, garnered the show dough with Sweet Ben. The best placing by an American team member was a fourth place finish by Dave Offenberg. He cut the early fractions with Whatnblazes but the trotter got leg weary in the lane and finished five lengths behind the winner. After his victory a jubilant Jaume Riera was hard to contain. "Yonkers is a place I have been before and a track I occasionally wager on through the simulcasting to France and now I come here and I am so happy I have won my first race in America," he said joyfully. "Jason Bartlett, the leading driver at Yonkers, presented me with the trophy and it was all a big thrill for me. Also it was my third win in my last four starts but by far the biggest. By the way, two of my countrymen finished right behind me so it was a great day for team Espangna." Riera has been following the Yonkers races from his homeland via the international simulcasts to France which are also offered to many other European countries including Mallorca and the Basque Region of Spain. "It was great to meet some of the other drivers, George Brennan, Brian Sears, Mark MacDonald, Daniel Dube and Pat Lachance, just some of the great horsemen I watch from home," Riera added. "Everyone took the time to make us feel very welcome and helped us to know everything about the horses we were going to drive." The race winner, Amalfi Coast, is owned by JMF Racing and trained by Gilbert Garcia-Herrera. He paid $10.40 for win. On Wednesday the competition moves on to Monticello Raceway where the participants will drive in races three and five on the 11-race card. There the same visiting Spaniards will drive against a different team of NAADA amateurs. NAADA president Joe Faraldo drove for USA team at Yonkers on Tuesday and after the drubbing they took he was asked if the Americans still have a chance in the Friendship Competition. He didn't hesitate a moment and blurted, "Of course we do, they don't pay off at the half." By John Manzi for NAADA

June 2, 2015 - The John Manzi retirement dinner on Sunday, May 31 at the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame in Goshen, NY was a sell-out event in honor of the hardest working publicist the Standardbred sport has ever known.   Attended by over 125 well-wishers, friends, colleagues, family members and fans, some of the sports brightest stars came out to honor a guy who has been propping up the key players in the harness horse industry for over 40 years.   Not only did the Hall of Fame publicist provide racing coverage for Monticello Raceway for 4 decades, but John Manzi also churned out press releases for Goshen Historic Track, Delvin Miller Harness Drivers, North American Amateur Drivers, and the local chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association. The stories about racing that he has penned have been published in just about every industry and local news outlet imaginable.   Horse owners, breeders, drivers and trainers, and industry insiders young and old, near and far packed the William R. Haughton Hall to capacity to eat, drink, tell John Manzi stories (of which there are countless) and listen to nearly a dozen speakers--all who had a chance to re-live some of their most cherished, and in some cases, most hilarious, moments with the man they call JM in the PM.   Champion harness driver George Brennan, Orange County Sheriff Carl DuBois, Hambletonian Society publicist Moira Fanning, Museum past president Ebby Gerry, Museum past treasurer Peter Gerry, Roosevelt Raceway publicity man Barry Lefkowitz, Trainer/Driver Eddie Lohmeyer, horse owner Larry Roman, and lifelong friend Steve Sharoff all took turns sharing stories about the man everyone loves to laugh with. NY Daily News Racing Writer Dave Little performed the duties of Master of Ceremonies and kept the event running smoothly, despite all the playful barbs from the guest speaker list.   By the end of the night, Mr. Manzi took the post in which he is probably most comfortable--in front of the microphone. While working the room, he collected several bags of the various gag gifts, his own bobblehead, and commendations that he had been presented over the course of the evening. To a lengthy standing ovation, the man with the big hair and big smile graciously thanked everyone in the room and expressed his gratitude to an industry that, "made me want to get out of bed every morning for over forty years!"   by Chris Tully for the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame    

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