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Harness racing's greatest traveling roadshow, the CKG Billings Harness Driving Series, was on the move again on Friday, May 18 with a trot in the series mid-west region at Scioto Downs and when it was completed Ned "the Insurance Man" Hodkinson emerged victorious with his old warhorse, Mutinyonthebounty after they turned back seven others in the 2:00.1 trotted mile. Hodkinson, a longtime member of the Billings Series notched his 60th driving victory. Up behind his 9-year-old Mutineer gelding Hodkinson made the trotter's seasonal debut a winning one. After starting from the two-hole as the race's betting favorite, Hodkinson sent his charge to the front when the wings of the mobile gate folded and took command before the first stanza, which was clocked in 29 seconds. From there it was catch me if you can as Hodkinson kept the pedal to the metal as they showed the way past the half in 1:00.3. And when they went by the third quarter in 1:30 Mutinyonthebounty was still safely in command. As the field headed for home Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford came charging from the middle of the pack with Smoother Ride and as the two trotters approached the finish line they were heads apart. But Mutinyonthebounty was up for the challenge and staved off his competitor for a neck victory. Big Bro finished third for "Tiny Tim" Miller. "He was real sharp in his seasonal debut," Hodkingson said of Mutinyonthebounty who came into this race off a 1:58 qualifier. "We gained command rather easily and were coasting along on the lead until Michelle (Ruvolo, with Upfront Chip Daddy) challenged us up the backstretch. After we put her away my horse had a three length lead and in mid-stretch, without any horses around, he got lazy but still he had enough in the tank to hold off Steve's horse and get the win." Hodkinson also trains Mutinyonthebounty who paid $3.40 for win. Next up in the Billings Series is a trot in the eastern region at Freehold Raceway tomorrow (May 19). The next Midwest region action is slated for May 26 at Hoosier Park. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series  

YONKERS, NY-The final leg of the NAADA Trotting Series was contested tonight (May 17) at Yonkers Raceway and when the dust had settled Paul Minore and Dr. John Kokinos each emerged victorious in their respective divisions and both were repeat winners in the harness racing series. Minore and his old war horse Wygant Prince, used the front-end route for a 1:59 victory and "Dr John" used similar tactics to notch a 1:58.3 triumph behind Here Comes Numbers. However both drivers needed the photo finish camera to verify the decisions. In his contest Minore set sail from the three-hole with his 11-year old SJ's Photo gelding and cut nearly equal fractions of :29.1; 1:00 and 1:29.4 before turning back his stubborn competition. Still with a solid one length lead as the field turned for home Minore was busy urging his charge as Bobby Ciarvardini and Balimor AS supplied constant pressure but when the photo-finish carmera snapped Wygant Prince had notched his 36th career triumph which raised the trotter's lifetime earnings to almost $410,000. Fox Valley Steffen took home the show dough for Jennifer Lappe. The winner is owned by Minore and trained by Taylor Gower. Employing his usual strategy, Kokinos, who seems to like the front-end, sent the 10 year old altered son of Here Comes Herbie to the lead and played catch me if you can... and nobody could, although his competitors made a race out of it as they headed for paydirt. Still seemingly comfortable as the field heard for paydirt a hard charge by Master of Excuse and driver Monica Banca nearly made the outcome in question. But Here Comes Numbers gave Dr. John his fourth winning ride in the series as the veteran trotter tripped the camera for a neck triumph in 1:58.3. Lurking closely behind the leaders another neck farther back was third place finisher Soul Train and Joe Lee. The winner is owned by Patrick Laiso and Jennifer Lappe and trained by Ms Lappe. Slated next week is the consolation followed by the $15,000 series finale. by John Manzi for NAADA  

In the early 1980's when the CKG Billing Harness Driving Series was instituted and abetted by the North American Amateur Drivers Association little did the founders of each realize that amateur racing would become such an integral part of the industry and spur on many amateur clubs in harness racing. And when the realization that amateur racing could be wagered on there is hardly a racetrack in the Northeast that doesn't rely on carding races for amateur drivers to supplement their wagering cards. However, with the proliferation of clubs and organizations that cater to amateur drivers so many local clubs have sprung up in recent years that the Billings Series, the granddaddy of all amateur organizations, has found that finding drivers to travel to various racetracks in the US and Canada has taken a hit since many participants opt to compete in local clubs and forsake the traveling. However, tonight (May 11), over the one-mile oval at the Meadowlands the first race on the betting card was relegated to the recreational participants in the eastern region of the CKG Billings Harness Driving Series. In that contest eight amateur drivers lined-up behind the starting gate for a wagering event and when the judges posted the official sign Jennifer "Lady J" Lappe emerged victorious with her veteran trotter, FoxValley Steffen in a very creditable time of 1:55.1. Overlooked and sent off at odds of over 6-1, "Lady J" angled her charge to the pylons as the wings of the mobile gate folded and was content to travel along in fifth position. When the field headed to the third stanza Ms Lappe rallied her trotter and by the time they rounded the final turn they were third on the outside behind pace-setter Danish Durango (Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff) and Shady McCoy in rein to Dave "the Rave" Offenberg. When the field headed down the long homestretch the three aforementioned were across the racetrack but as they approached the finish line Fox Valley Steffen proved too tough for the others and went on to a two length triumph. Shady Mccoy finished second a long neck in front of Danish Durango. Each of the drivers of the top three finishers are also members of other amateur clubs. In fact every driver in the race belongs to a multitude of amateur organizations. It was the second consecutive victory and 35th of his illustrious career for Fox Valley Steffen who with this riumph has raised his lifetime earnings to nearly $400,000. He paid $15.40; $8.00 and $4.00. Next up in Billings action will be a midwest region contest at Sciota Downs on May 18. by John Manzi for the CKG Billings Harness Drivers Series

Yonkers, NY ---The North American Amateur Drivers Association has been busy of late and it probably will be for the next four months or so, not only offering weekly driving contests at Yonkers Raceway and Monticello Raceway but also hosting their European counterparts in International harness racing driving competitions. With the current NAADA trotting Series continuing and with a recently completed international driving competition against the Hungarian amateurs, tonight at Yonkers Raceway began the first of a two-track international driving competition, this time with the Spaniards from Palma de Mallorca. And what now seems to be the norm, the visiting amateurs competed on the betting card against NAADA in two races at the Hilltop oval and when the dust had settled the Spaniards humbled the USA squad winning both events. The first was captured by Pau Moll with a 44-1 shot Swift As A Shadow in 1:56 and returned a whopping $90.50; $31,00 and $11.40. Not to be outdone fellow Spaniard, Jaime Riera, hustled Showmeyourguns ($4.10) home first in 1:57.3. Two things of note in the two race competition tonight was that Pau Moll drove a pacer for the first time since they only race trotters in Europe. And Jaime Riera gained the drive behind Showmeyourguns because the horse that he was scheduled to drive was scratched and NAADA's vp Alan Schwartz graciously gave his mount to visiting Riera. In his contest Pau Moll left cautiously from the six-hole and was content to trail the field to the half and then consistently moved forward and in the final strides his Swift As Shadow collared Sammy The Bull N, driven by fellow countryman Francisco Ramis. NAADA's Joe Lee was third with Golden Gesture. "They told me I had the worst horse in the race but he went good for me and I was surprised when my horse was stronger than Francisco's at the finish," Moll said, then hesitated for a moment and emphatically added," I like driving the pacer." Swift As A Shadow is owned by Christopher Temming and trained by Michael Temming. Up behind the betting favorite in the second contest event Jaime Riera started from the pole position with Showmeyourguns and was content to allow NAADA's Monica Banca to cut swift early fractions :27.4 and :56.3 with Cresurrey before steadily closing a 10-length gap. By the time the field passed the third stanza Cresurrey's lead was three lengths and closed to two at the top of the stretch. In the lane Banca's trotter's strides weakened and with mild urging Riera got his charge up in time for a neck triumph. Third place went to Winning Princess in to NAADA's Jennifer Lappe. "Alan (Schwartz) gave me a good horse and he went a strong race," Riera said. "But I wasn't sure that we won it and when the judges posted my horse's number as the winner I felt real good." Showmeyourguns is owned and trained by Tom Milici. On Thursday, May 10, the final two races in the Spain vs USA Friendship Competition will be contested at Monticello Raceway. They'll be joined on the nine-race card by the ninth leg of the current NAADA Trotting Series. by John Manzi, for NAADA  

Each year since 2015 Goshen Historic Track has held a fundraising promotion of simulcasting the Kentucky Derby. Along with setting up a huge tent on the racetrack, hiring a good local band and offering delicious food and spirits, as well as pony rides and other entertainment for children, would make an entertaining afternoon prior to running of the Kentucky Derby. And for many the most entertaining time before the Derby simulcast is the Historic Landmark's presentation of their "hat contest" "Ladies attending the Kentucky Derby are noted for sporting their finest in head-ware and we thought that by having a hat contest prior to showing the running of the Kentucky Derby would be an interesting aspect to the festivities of the afternoon here at Goshen," noted track photographer Geri Schwarz. "And each year it seems we get more entrants and the hat contests are among the most popular aspects of the day." by John Manzi for Historic Track

Harness racing greatest traveling roadshow, the CKG Billings Harness Driving Series, moved on to Freehold Raceway on Saturday afternoon, May 5, for a six-horse trot in the Eastern Regional Division and when the dust had settled James "Jimmy Boy" Marshall IV took home the lions share of the $6000 purse after he reined Call My Broker to a two-length triumph in a time of 1:59.3. For the 28-year-old amateur it made his seasonal debut a winning one. "I guess I was trying to emulate my dad who won three races on today's (Saturday) card,"the talented youngster said. After getting away softly from the three-hole Marshall angled to the pylons and was third as Annie "Get Your Gun" Stoebe led field by the first quarter in :29.1. Not content to let the lady dictate a slow pace with Uriel, Marshall moved his trotter to the outside and set sails for the lead but he didn't gain command until the top of the lane and then also had to contend with Lakota and driver "Coach Paul" Minore who saving all the ground while traveling along in the two- hole. When the field headed for paydirt there were three trotters across the track but Call My Broker was the strong horse and went on to a two-length victory over Lakota. Uriel was third. Call My Broker, a 4-year-old Muscle Massive gelding, is owned by Melissa Beckwith,Thomas McTygue and William Bena and is trained by Mark Bethwith. He paid $8.20;$6.00 and $3.20. It was the trotters first seasonal victory and for "Jimmy Boy" it marked his 15th career driving victory. The Billings Series moves on to the Meadowlands on Friday, May 11. by John Manzi for the Billings Harness Driving Series

Despite the fact that NAADA is preparing to host a contingent of their counterparts from Spain next week the beat goes on for the harness racing members of the North American Amateur Drivers Association. Tonight at Yonkers Raceway, two short divisions in the eighth leg of the current NAADA trotting series went to post and when the judges declared them official both Alan Schwartz and Dr. John Kokinos each emerged victorious in their respective splits which went postward prior to the betting card getting underway. Schwartz had an eyeopening triumph with his own Ladys Big Stornont in a 1:57.3 clocking while Doctor John scored comfortably in 1:59.2 with Here Comes Numbers. Both were convincing winners. Schwartz started from the four-hole and settled in fourth position and was there until the field headed to the halfway point where he moved first-up. They trotted around Wygant Prince (Paul Minore) and when Ladys Big Stormont passed the three quarter pole they had a length lead which was opened to two lengths at the wire. Soul Train in rein to Joe Lee, rallied to be second with Fox Valley Steffen and Jennifer Lappe captured the show dough. "He went a monster trip tonight," a jubulent Schwartz said after the race. "He's a nice horse with a big motor and tonight's race was his best thus far this year." Doctor John is enjoying one of his best seasons in the sulky notching his third win in the current trotting series and his 5th in just nine seasonal starts. In his split Kokinos sent Here Comes Numbers to the lead from the three hole and it was catch me if you can and nobody could as Here Comes Numbers trotted home a two length winner over Tough Get Going, driven by NAADA president, Joe Faraldo. Far back in third was Bob Davis with The Royal Harry. "Again, I had a good horse and was merely little more than a passenger," said Kokinos. "I'm learning good lessons driving these classy old veterans. by John Manzi, for NAADA

Being sent off as the odds-on favorite with Sum It Up harness racing driver Joey "The Jet" Putnam was undaunted after starting from the five-hole and sent his charge to the front and then made every pole a winning en route to a 1:57.1 triumph in his first start as a member of the Billings Harness Driving Series at Miami Valley Raceway on Sunday, April 29. In an evenly rated mile Putnam was well in hand at the finish winning by 1-1/2 lengths over Can'tcutthatchip, driven by Gregg "Fast Greggy" Keidel. Ronan and driver "Lawbook Larry" Farley finished third some 17-lengths behind the first two finishers. Putnam. a 20 year-old college student son of talented mid-west horseman Joe Putnam, is part of the youth movement employed this season by Billings vice president Steve Oldford to bolster the amateur ranks in the series mid-west regional division. According to Oldford, "the Billings series is seeking youth, 25 years or younger who have under 50 pari-mutuel wins without haven taken compensation and for a nominal fee can join the Billings events except for the travel series races." Added Billings president Tony Verruso"We are targeting young drivers for all divisions of the Billings who are working their way to the professional ranks and it should be noted that top reinsmen Cory Callahan and Ronnie Wrenn used the Billings series as their first step." The Billings is sponsored by the Delvin Miller Harness Driving Association. Any amateur driver seeking further information or if interested is joining the Billings Series , is urged to call Verruso at 917-697-8986 or Oldford at 810-300-3234. The Granddaddy of all amateur racing series, the Billings, will offer races weekly at various venues in both the United States and Canada and will culminate with the Gold and Silver Cup Finals at Yonkers Raceway on Sunday, November 26. The leg at Miami Valley Raceway on Sunday, April 29 was the first in Midwest Division series. The next Billings event is slated in the Eastern Division series at Freehold Raceway on Saturday, May 5. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series  

The C.K.G. Billings Harness Driving Series kicks off its 37th season on Sunday April 29 at Miami Valley Raceway followed by a leg at Freehold Raceway on Saturday May 5 . And six days after that, the talented amateur drivers will compete at the Meadowlands on Friday, May 11.. Then, almost weekly, there will be competitions at various racetracks in the United States and Canada through late November. Again the Billings will be run under the auspices of the Delvin Miller Harness Drivers Association. The series which began in the early 1980's is considered the Grand Circuit of Amateur Racing. Known for its constant traveling sideshow over the years some of the best amateur drivers in North America compete, or have competed, in it. And because of the success of the Billings a multitude of amateur clubs have now become part of the harness racing landscape. "Amateur racing has never been more popular than it is now" noted Tony Verruso, the CKG Billings Series president. "Just look at the handle at the amateur races and you can see we are a good bet. And not only that, amateur races are needed to help fill overnight cards at many racetracks. "Last year amateur racing action was with weekly record braking handles in races at the Meadowlands and at Pompano Park. Wagering was also strong in the NAADA Trotting Series at Yonkers, Freehold, and Monticello.' Various amateur clubs are now organized to help maximize the number of races and add benefits to the tracks that host them as well as abetting the various charities that each club represents. "Tens of thousands of dollars are raised each year through amateur driving for the benefit of each clubs charity. The CKG Billings is proud to contribute its driver's earnings to the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame," Verruso added." This season being no exception Billings president Verruso has once again worked diligently and as a result has put-together another outstanding series of races at venues both in the United States and Canada. "You'll find that the current schedule has limited Canada dates as Billings member Dave Drew is still working tirelessly at getting us squared away up North", Verruso acknowledged. "So hopefully there will be some dates to add to our seasonal schedule." According to Verruso most rules remain the same except for the following: *The yearly earnings per start average has been lowered to $1,500 per start. * Because of the number of amateur clubs in the East, it is getting harder to fill two fields at any one venue and we never get two in the Mid-West. So this year we are going to let any horse entered for the $10,000 claiming price draw inside any horse entered for $15,000. " "It does not mean the $10,000 claimer will draw the inside post, just that said horse will draw inside of any $15,000 claimers," Verruso explained. "If need be, the race may be seeded and drawn in lots as is done in some of our races already." At season's end the Gold & Silver Cup Finals will be held at Yonkers Raceway on November 26th.. "Yonkers has graciously offered to host the races at our normal purse level. They will feature the Gold Cup on their France Simulcast Program which should be a great showcase for Amateur Racing here in the States. "There is a very big amateur colony in Europe so it will be very nice to put on a good show for them. We will have to go with 10 horses at 1 1/4 miles as all the French Races do," Verruso stated. To become a member of the Delvin Miller Harness Drivers Association or for a complete listing of conditions and nominating costs please contact Verruso at sulkyracer@hotmail.com or Billings Series VP, Steve Oldford atsteveoldford@oldford.biz. One can also get pertinent information on the Delvin Miller Harness Driving Series on the USTA website under amateur racing. by John Manzi for the Billings Series

For the second consecutive day the Hungarians and the NAADA members competed in inclement weather in round two of their international amateur driving competition which was presented at Yonkers Raceway on Tuesday, April 16. And like in the contest yesterday at Monticello Raceway, each country emerged victorious in the two event races. In the first contest -race 2 on the betting card -the Hungarian's Ferenc Leanyfalvi rallied Multitaskr Hanover to a come-from behind neck triumph in 1:59.2 while in the other division--race 4- Dr. John Kokinos used the overland route from the half with Lucky Colby and held on for a nose victory in a 1:58.3 clocking. In his contest, Leanyfalvi ducked to the pylons as the wings of the mobile gate folded and was content to follow the leaders until they approached the back stretch the second time around where he moved Multitaskr Hanover to the outside and they began to move up. Fifth, as they passed the third stanza Leanyfalvi and his trotter were in third place as the field headed for paydirt. Then in the lane, under mild urging, Multitaskr Hanover passed the race leader I'm Fabulous (USA-Joe Lee) and at the wire they collared Powerful Yield driven by Hungary's Krisztian Takas for a neck triumph. I'm Fabulous faded and finished third. The winner, a 5-year Explosive Matter gelding, is owned and trained by Jennifer Lappe. He paid $11.80 for win. It was Multitaskr Hanover's 6th win in just 11 seasonal starts. For Doctor John the Medicine Man his journey was similar to Leanyfalvi's in that he had to also come from behind. After starting from the seven-hole Kokinos angled Lucky Colby to the pylons and was in fourth position as the USA's Joe Lee showed the way with Springback Sam N. As the field approached the half Kokinos moved his charge first-up and they ground their way forward picking up horses until they had command as the fielded home. In the deep stretch Dr. John was after his tiring trotter and looking for the wire. It came just in time because Hungary's Ferenc Leanyfalvi was charging with Madhatter Blue Chip only to fall short of victory by a nose. "I wasn't much more than a passenger behind Lucky Colby tonight," Kokinos said. "Actually, he knows how to win more than I do!" Andrea Fazekas, a division winner yesterday at Monticello, finished third with Cresurrey. Lucky Colby, an 8-year-old Jailhouse Jessie gelding, is owned and trained by Gilbert Garcia-Herrara. He returned a $13.60 win mutuel. The final event in the Hungary v NAADA competition will be at Saratoga Raceway on Thursday afternoon. by John Manzi        

To say that Monday (April 13) was a horrible day for harness racing at Monticello Raceway would be a gross understatement. With the falling rain, the near freezing temperatures, and the muddy race track, it was a tough day for all the participants. And it just so happened that was the first day of the Hungary vs. USA international driving competition with contests to follow at Yonkers Raceway on Tuesday and at Saratoga Raceway on Thursday. But despite the adverse conditions all went well with both Hungary and the USA each winning a race. With the USA team being complimented with members of the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) the first event saw NAADA's Paul Minore set sail from post three with 16-1 shot, Lightning Madison, and not only easily grab the front-end but in the process go wire to wire making every pole a winning one en route to a four length triumph over Sureimalynn, handled by Hungary's, Kriztian Fazekas. And the final time of 2:08.2 was indicative of the track condition.The USA's Monica Banca took home the show dough with Jaybeebullville. "I got to the lead real easily so I just kept going on and not looking for cover," Minore related in the paddock after the race was completed. "In spite of the inclement weather it was fun. Of course, winning is always fun." Sent off at odds of 16-1 Lightning Madison paid $34.00; $7.20; and $8.30 across the board. The 11-year-old Pro Bono Best mare is owned by Ruth Ingham and trained by Vernon James. In conversation after the race Minore told how he has been fortunate when racing against European amateurs abroad. " I have been lucky to win three times in Europe on different occasions," he said. "I won last September against the Hungarians in Budapeste and in previous years I won a race at Vienna, Austria and at Solvalla in Stockholm, Sweden." Minore, a retired physical education teacher and high school coach, is proud of having world champion and Olympic multi-Gold Medal winner, Carl Lewis, begin his fabulous career under his tutelage. The second USA v Hungary contest was won by Andrea Fazekas who showed real talent in keeping her pacer,Rosie Rozzo, alive in the final quarter after being collared by Diamondsforember ( Alan Schwartz-USA) on the final turn and then go on to a length triumph in 2:04 over her challenger. Monica Banca, also representing the home team, finished third again, this time with Check My Pulse. In the post race interview Ms Fazekas was assisted by her hubby and professional driver Tamas Keleman who is fluent in English. Through Tamas, Andrea related that she listened to instructions given to her prior to the race where she was told to go to the lead. Then in her broken English she said she felt the nose of a horse that was breathing on her back on the final turn but concentrated on Alan Schwartz who was challenging with Diamondsforember. However in the deep stretch Ms Fazekas and Rosie Rozzo went on to a one length triumph. Sent off as the favorite in the race the winner paid $3.90; $3.00 and $2.30. The Yankee Cruise 5-year-old mare is owned and trained by Jody Weidman. Two things of note in the final USA-Hungary competition today are that Ms Fazekas was challenged, but to avail, by her mother, Andrea Nagyvary, who finished sixth in the race with Fly To The Angels. And after the last race in the competition at Saratoga on Thursday Andrea Fazekas and her hubby will celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary with a trip to the Dominican Republic. The USA-Hungary competition moves to Yonkers Raceway tomorrow night with two races on the betting card. The Hungarian team will remain the same but driving there for the NAADA team will be Joe Faraldo, Jennifer Lappe, Alan Schwartz and Joe Lee. by John Manzi for NAADA

The North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) will host a contingent of their harness racing counterparts from Hungary in an international Friendship Competition beginning in mid-April. It will be the first of four European amateur organizations that NAADA will host this season. Others who will be hosted by the Americans include include amateur drivers from Spain, Italy and France...... "We (NAADA) raced against our Hungarian friends last year and in 2004 we hosted them in America. However, two years ago when Hungary was the site of the World Cup of Amateur Racing the USA made its best showing in the prestigious competition when Hannah Miller, after leading all the way, was out-pointed in the final race and was relegated to second place finish in the 13-country competition of world class amateurs," noted NAADA president, Joe Faraldo. The visiting Hungarians are slated to arrive in the States on Sunday, April 15 with competitions set at three different US racetracks during the upcoming week. On Monday, April 16 two races are slated at Monticello Raceway and the following day one, maybe two contests, at Yonkers Raceway. The final events of the Friendship Competition will be at Saratoga Raceway on Thursday, April 19. The Hungarians set to compete at the Mighty M this coming Monday (April 16), and throughout the entire competition, include: Andrea Fazekas, Viktoria Kelemen, Ferenc Leanyfalvi, Krisztian Takacs, Andrea Nagyvary, and Tamas Tanczer. However, the hometown Americans will have a different team at each of the three venues. Driving for the USA at Monticello will be Alan Schwartz,Tony Cuiffetelli, Paul Minore and Monica Banca. At Yonkers Raceway the US team will consist of Joe Faraldo, Alan Schwartz, Jennifer Lappe and Joe Lee. The NAADA team at Saratoga Raceway is yet to be finalized On Tuesday(April 17) the visitors will be treated to a tour of the Intrepid Aircraft Museum and a walk through Times Square along with a luncheon sponsored by NAADA member Peter Kleinhans. In the evening the Hungarian and American drivers will battle in a race, or two, at Yonkers Raceway Then on Wednesday (April 18) it'll be off to Trot-Town USA with a visit to the Mark Ford Training Center in the morning and after a fine luncheon the visitors will be afforded a tour of Goshen Historic Track and the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame. On Thursday (April 19) the international rivals will be vanned to Saratoga for a visit of the Historic City of Saratoga Springs before a competition at Saratoga Raceway. On Friday the visitors will return home. by John Manzi for NAADA  

Doctor John the Medicine Man strikes again.... And as in his first driving victory in the NAADA Trotting Series two weeks ago the veterinarian - harness racing horseman and his trusty charge, Here Comes Numbers, were back in the winners circle at Yonkers Raceway after copping the fourth leg of the series for amateur drivers. Two weeks ago Kokinos set sails with his veteran trotter at the Hilltop oval and made every pole a winning one en route to a 1:59.3 triumph. Using similar tactics again tonight the good doctor sent Here Comes Numbers again to the lead and allowed the veteran trotter to do his thing and the 10 year old altered son of Here Comes Herbie proved once again too much for his competition winning by a solid length in a time of 1:59.1 over Traverse Seelster, driven by Tony Ciuffetelli. The victory tonight was two-fifths of a second faster than the horse's triumph on March 22nd ,also at Yonkers Raceway. Last weeks winner in this NAADA Series, Wygant Prince, was driven to a third place finish by Paul Minore, a retired high school track coach whose most prominent student was the Olympic champion, Carl Lewis. But once again tonight belonged to Doctor John who notched his 28th career driving victory. "It's not that hard when you have the best horse in the field," Kokinos said. "You just go down the road, which I did for the second consecutive time with 'Numbers'". The winning horse is co-owned by Patrick Laiso and Jennifer Lappe and trained by Ms Lappe. The non-wagering event went for a purse of $6000 and was presented prior to the betting card getting underway. Next Thursday the NAADA Series returns for another leg at Monticello Raceway. by John Manzi for NAADA    

On an extremely foggy afternoon with intermittent rain falling in New York's southern Catskill Mountains harness racing driver Paul Minore sat a two-hole trip then rallied his old warhorse, Wygant Prince, to a neck victory in the third leg of the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) trot at Monticello Raceway on Thursday March 29. After starting from the pole position Minore parked Jennifer Lappe's Here Come Numbers around the first turn then allowed the 10-year-old gelding to take command as the field trotted by the first panel in :29. "I didn't want Here Comes Numbers to take command with ease so I parked him a ways and then let Jennifer have the lead," Minore related in the paddock after the race was over. "I figured I'd get a good two-hole trip behind her because her trotter was the betting favorite and had raced well in his recent starts." Once on top Lappe showed the way by the half in :59.2 with Wygant Prince tucked in tightly behind her trotter. As the seven-horse passed the third stanza in 1:30.1 Here Comes Numbers opened up daylight and he was 2-1/2 lengths in front as they headed for paydirt. "She (Ms Lappe) got away a bit on the final turn but once we straightened for home my horse began to grind away at the leader and in the final strides we got up for a neck victory in 2:00.3. Third place went to Connie Keeper , driven by Tony Verruso. The race winner, an 11 year-old altered son of SJ's Photo, notched his third seasonal victory and the 34th of his illustrious career and leaves him just $93 short of $400,000 in lifetime earnings. He is owned by Minore and trained by Taylor Gower. As for Minore it was his 94th career driving victory in the USA and when one counts Minore's three triumphs in races contested in Europe he now needs just three more for 100 lifetime victories. The NAADA trotting series continues next Thursday at Yonkers Raceway. by John Manzi, for NAADA

Ray Schittker's Wild West Show was honored as the 2017 Pacing Broodmare of the Year at Sunday night's(Feb. 25) USHWA gala in Orlando, Fla.   Wild West Show is the dam of the fastest 3-year-old of 2017--Huntsville 3, 1:47.4.   In 2017 Huntsville captured the Meadowlands Pace, the Cane Pace, the Jenna's Beach Boy, multiple Pa. Sire Stakes and Eliminations of the North America Cup, the Meadowlands Pace and the Adios. He was also second in the Finals of the North America Cup, the Bluegrass, and the Adios Final.   In 2017 Huntsville raced against divisional champion Downbytheseaside three times, and defeated him all three times they raced each other.   In 2016 Huntsville was the Dan Patch 2-Year-Old pacing champion. He paced to a World Record mile at Lexington winning the International Stallion Stakes in 1:49. He captured the Breeders Crown at the Meadowlands winning in a track record time of 1:49. Huntsville was also victorious in the Bluegrass, the Breeders Crown Elimination, the Pa. Sires Stakes Final as well as multiple Pa. Sires events.   Other top performers from Wild West Show include:   Stevensville-3, 1:50 with earnings of over $500,000 Cowboy Terrier--5, 1:50.1 with earnings over $450,000 and the precocious Wild Bill--2, 1:52.3 in 2017   Wild West Show has these top four performers from just five foals of racing age.   Schnittker, from Middletown NY, purchased Wild West Show from Cameo Hills Farm as a yearling foe $85,000. She had a 3-year-old record of 1:53.3f and earned $4,569 before going to the breeding she.   Schnittker also campaigned Wild West Show's mother Sweet On Art for Cameo Hills Farm Sweet On Art earned $217,000 and earned a record of 1:52.4. Schnittker won the Jersey Girls Final and lit up the board that night paying $59.00 for win.   John Manzi

Gary Alan Warner passed away unexpectedly at his home in San Jose, CA on December 14, 2017. He was just 52 years of age. The son of Donna (Provenzano) Warner and the late David Warner, Jr. and nephew of James Samberg and the late Barbara (Provenzano) Samberg as well as the grandson of Pat (Barbara) Provenzano. It was Mr. Provenzano who introduced pari-mutuel harness racing in western New York when he opened Batavia Downs in Batavia, NY in 1941 and it became a family business. Gary was born on April 17, 1965 in the 10th Ward in Rochester, NY , He attended Sacred Heart Cathedral Grammar School, Cardinal Mooney High School, and Gannon University. He excelled in many sports including golf, basketball, and soccer. Gary's easy-going demeanor and quick wit made him popular with everyone he met. He was especially proud of his high school soccer team at Cardinal Mooney and recalls with pleasure, the year they won the NYS Championship , Gary was the admissions director at Batavia Downs for many years where one of his favorite parts of the profession was greeting patrons, most of whom he knew by name. After his tenure at Batavia Downs Gary moved to Palm Desert, CA in 1992 to pursue a career in the golf industry. It was there that he met his wife, Melissa. They were married in La Quinta, CA in the very room in which they met. Gary became the Director of Corporate Tournaments at PGA West and he continued with that organization for many years before moving to San Jose, CA where Melissa was residing prior to their marriage After moving to San Jose Gary became Warehouse Manager at Williams-Sonoma in Los Gatos, CA and for over 11 years and he loved, and was loved, by his "work family". Gary's passions included family, friends, the Pittsburgh Steelers and he treasured summers in Thousand Island Park, New York. He so enriched the life of his wife Melissa Warner and was the devoted, proud father of Riley Warner, and embraced and cherished his step-son Grant Hendricks. Gary also left behind a tight family which includes his mom Donna, sisters: Amy (Carl) Munding , Julie (Michael) Miller and brothers David J III (Mary Beth) and Eric (Julia Poli). He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and countless friends. There will be a memorial service held in San Jose, CA on January 20, 2018 and a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Rochester, NY on February 17, 2018 at 10.30am. John Manzi

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