Search Results
1 to 16 of 2236
1 2 3 4 5 Next »

'It's a pleasure when you have something between the shafts", were the first words out of harness racing driver Alan Schwartz's mouth upon his return to the paddock after driving Linda Marie to a new lifetime record winning the first leg of the North American Amateur Drivers Association's (NAADA) three track Fall Trotting Series in 1:58.1 at Monticello Raceway on Thursday afternoon, September 22. After starting from the three-hole Schwartz hustled the 5-year-old Crazed mare to the lead when the starting judge said "go" and while still on the first turn allowed Bob Hechkoff to take command with Trotalot. Both drivers were aided in their quest for victory when the betting favorite, Here Comes Numbers (John Kokinos), went off stride at the start. After Schwartz grabbed leather and allowed Hechkoff to show the way they then raced one-two by the first stanza in :28.4. The order remained the same past the half in :59.2 and at the third stanza Schwartz had Linda Marie tight on Hechkoff's back. "I had a handful of horse as we shadowed Hechkoff and on the final turn she wanted to go so I moved her off the pylons," Schwartz related. "Once she saw daylight I just let her ramble and she ranged alongside Trotalot as we headed for home. "Then in the lane, when I tried to pull the ear plugs, they got stuck but it didn't matter. She (Linda Marie) was in high gear and she trotted on to an easy victory. Schwartz wasn't lying. Linda Marie trotted the last quarter in :28.3 en route to her third seasonal victory. Trotalot was second with Imacrazynewyorker getting up for the show dough, albeit 11 lengths behind the winner. Linda Marie is owned and trained by Jimmy Doherty Jr. She paid $7.20 for win. For Schwartz, it was his 572nd driving victory, the most of any active amateur driver. The international amateur driving club kicked off its three-track fall series here at the Mighty M with races to follow at Yonkers Raceway and Freehold Raceway. The NAADA Trot Series will culminate with a $15,000 final at Yonkers on November 3rd. by John Manzi for NAADA

Maybe it was the familiar surroundings of his home track or maybe it was the luck of the draw but whatever it was turned out to be right for "Baystate Bob" Kenney when he hustled Just Like Lloyd home first in 1:56.1 in the harness racing Eastern Region Billings Trot at Plainridge Park on the late summer afternoon of Friday, Sept.16. "It was racing luck and it turned out to be a real good horse race with three of us across the wire at the finish," Kenney said. According to Kenney he rushed his horse away from the gate but he ranged up alongside Bob" the Headhunter" Hechkoff with Trotalot as they headed toward the first quarter with Just Like Lloyd on the limb. However at the point, a bobble by "Hurricane Hannah" Miller's Jacks To Open who was behind Trotalot allowed Kenney to move his trotter down along the pylons. "Once there I got a solid two-hole journey until we headed for home," Kenney related. "And as we straightened in the stretch I moved to the outside and Hannah (Miller) went down the inside and all three of us were side by side when we hit the finish line and I was surely happy that Just Like Lloyd was a head better than the other two." Since the former business executive has retired earlier this year he has driven more winners thus far this season than amount of drives he had in any singular year since he began his amateur driver career in 2000. Kenney's victory today was his eighth in just 21 trips to post and in all of his previous seasons "Baystate Bob" had racked up only four winners, albeit from a very minimal amount of starts annually. Just Like Lloyd is owned by Di Stefano and Son Stable and trained by John Di Stefano. He paid $14.20 for win. By John Manzi for the Billings Amateur Series 

The CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series has been part of the harness racing scene for nearly 35 years and on Saturday (Sept. 10) was the first time this season that the Billings Series offered trots in both the Midwestern and Eastern Regions on the same evening. The Billings trot in the Midwest at Northfield Park was won by Max "Colonel" Schultz while David "Poppa" Glasser was victorious in the East at Tioga Downs. Schultz, a German amateur driver visiting the USA, scored a wire to wire triumph with Detailer in a 1:59.4 clocking and Glasser used similar tactics when reined Celebrity Stimulus home first in a 1:58 mile. Last year Schultz came to the USA around the time the Little Brown Jug was contested, and showed his American counterparts that he knows his was around the racetracks winning two Billings contests then. In tonights contest Schultz had Detailer on the lead as they trotted by the first stanza in :30 seconds and they were followed closely by Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford with Partyatyourplace. "Tonight, my horse was strong behind the (starting ) gate so I sent him to the lead and then slowed him down," Schultz related via a telephone conversation. The field trotted by half in 1:00.3 and up the backside "Chicago George" Bonomo took aim at the leaders with Flying Muscles although Schultz and Oldford were still one-two as the field passed the three quarters. In the lane Oldford angled Partyatyourplace out to challenge and they raced side by side to the wire. "I had perfect trip behind Max and when I pulled my horse out to challenge in the stretch we got to Detailer's his chinstrap but we couldn't get by and had had to settle for second," Oldford said. . Bonomo and Flying Muscles finished third. Both Detailer and Partyatyourplace are owned by Bert Hershberger and trained by J D Wengerd and according to Oldford if it wasn't for them the race probably never would have filled. Detailer notched his fourth seasonal victory and returned a $13.40 mutuel. Meanwhile in Billings action hundreds of miles away at Tioga Downs in New York's southern tier David "Poppa" Glasser reined his fifth victory of the season behind his own Celebrity Stimulus. Glasser and his charge started from the four hole and grabbed command almost instantaneously and they were three lengths in front in a :28.2 first quarter. From there Glasser let his trotter breeze and they were safely in front until the deep stretch when "Hurricane Hannah" Miller and MT Ur Pockets came calling. But Celebrity Stimulus hung on gamely for a neck decision over the country's leading amateur driver. Third place went to Linda Marie, driven by Bob "Rapid Rail" Krivlen. Glasser, president of a litigation company, was gracious to his help. "I am sincerely grateful that the trainers, and staff, who have cared for Celebrity Stimulus all year have him in such good shape. Without their hard work and skill I would not have won tonight. "As for the race, I had the racing luck tonight. No passing lane kept that closed and I was able to fight off the first over challenge," he related. The Billings trot went as a non-wagering affair after the third race on the betting card at Tioga Downs. By John Manzi for the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series

After a long hiatus Gregg "Fast Greggy" Keidel is back in the winner's circle after he reined Forceful Gale to a 1:58.2 victory at Scioto Downs in a $6000 Midwest region trot in the harness racing CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series. "It's been a long time between pots," Keidel joked. "But I've been busy with my job and I haven't driven much in the past six years." After starting from post position two, Keidel settled his charge down along the pylons in second position behind TK's Jelly Belly driven by Dave "Linemaster" Ehrenberg. Keidel sat cool even though Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford's Celtic Merchant was parked out from the get-go. "When we headed into the final turn I noticed that Ehrenberg began urging his horse so I moved out to challenge and thought I could clear," Keidel said. "But as it turned out I didn't clear although my horse had a half-length lead as we turned for home." Under strong urging TK's Jelly Belly regained command and was the first horse under the wire, a head in front of Forceful Gale. But TK's Jelly Belly's victory was not to be when the judges determined that Ehrenberg violated Ohio's whipping rule and they reversed the final order of finish and declared Keidel's trotter the winner. Third place went to Vaya Con Dios in rein to "Tiny Tim" Miller. Celtic Merchant faded and finished fifth. Keidel, is currently the racing secretary at Hollywood Dayton and Miami Valley race tracks but prior to that he spent many seasons at Running Aces Harness Park in Columbus, Minnesota. "Being away from the mainstream in Minnesota I didn't get a chance to drive much recently," Keidel said. "I'll bet I haven't driven more than three or four times in the past six years. But I'm happy to be back and even happier to have driven a winner, my first in a very long time." The race winner, Forceful Gale, returned a $4.40 win mutuel. He is owned by Ann Wrobble and trained by Jeff Brewer. And although Keidel was been on the schneid in recent seasons his driving victory tonight at Scioto Downs was the 102nd of his career. By John Manzi for the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series

Drawing the rail in the sixth and final race in the World Cup didn't hurt Italy's Mirko Marini who managed a second-over trip and then blew away the field to score his second victory in the harness racing  international amateur driving competition. And with that victory Marini finished with 61 points, just one point better than the USA's, Hannah Miller's (60). "It was a great competition and wonderful experience for me in the World Cup of Amateur Racing and I'd like to congratulate Mirko Marini, he is a great driver and a tough competitor," 'Hurricane Hannah' said after the concluding race in the World Cup. "Although the final standings are obviously disappointing for me to come so close to the first U.S. victory in the World Cup, all in all, having had the chance to bring home a couple of American victories is a great honor for me and my family." NAADA founder and president, Joe Faraldo traveled with Hannah and her family to Budapest for the World Cup competition and served as a correspondent, witnessing the racing action first hand while taking and sending photographs. "Sure it's obviously disappointing for Hannah to come so close and to lose by just one point but she drove as good as anyone could have hoped" Faraldo said via telephone. "Hannah drove great and we are extremely proud of the showing our champ made in the World Championship. Hats off to the Italian champ from Montegiorgio." "America was very well represented and we could not have chosen a better representative than Hannah. She will be heard from for quite a while to come in this sport," Faraldo added. This was by far the best results that the USA has had since NAADA joined FEGAT, the international organization that governs the World Cup of Amateur Racing, in the 1980's. In an earlier World Cup race on the card at Kincsem Park in Budapest, Hungary Hannah drove her second winner in the competition in a 1900 meter trot. "In that contest Hannah handled Sved Barat, an UpFront Larry out of an Armbro Trick mare," Joe Faraldo reported. "Not one of the picks but drawing the two hole, Hannah left from post two and quickly grabbed the lead. She yielded going around the first turn, sat the two hole then thought about how a guy stopped in her face the race before, and she pulled the pocket and sat chilly on the outside just buggy riding with the leader. Sensing the Italian nearby, Hannah drew off at the top of the lane and put distance between her and the Argentinian followed by her nemesis, the Italian." Hannah was one of four ladies who competed in this year's 12-countryWorld Cup of Amateur Racing. Ms. Bitten Jensen from Denmark, finished third in points, making two of the top three finishers in points, lady drivers. Here are the final standings in the 20116 World Cup of Amateur Racing--- Italy (61), USA(60), Denmark (45), Argentina (38), Finland (37), Belgium (33),New Zealand (32),Czech Republic (30),Hungary (29), Spain (29), Switzerland (24), Austria (2). By John Manzi for NAADA

In the first race on the Monday harness racing card of August 29 at Plainridge Park in Massachusetts, if one was to wager on a horse because they liked its name, it's a good bet they'd have wagered on Trotalot, an accomplished 9-year old altered son of SJ's Photo. And for those game individuals who did, they would be raking in the profits because Trotalot won the trotting contest in the eastern region of the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series. Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff, an executive recruiter by trade, was at the controls when Trotalot took the lead from the pole position and led the field throughout winning the race in a time of 1:56.4. But that triumph didn't come easy especially when Just Like Lloyd and driver"Bay State Bob" Kenney came calling at the end of the mile. Trotalot and Just Like Lloyd matched stride for stride in the deep stretch but Hechkoff's charge prevailed, albeit by a long neck. "I heard Bob's (Kenney) trotter coming at us and gaining slowly but thankfully they ran out of racetrack," Hechkoff said. Third place went to Shelikescandy in rein to "Buffalo Bob" Davis. Trotalot paid $4.00 for win which was the trotter's fifth victoryof the season and 23rd of the gelding's career. He's owned by RBH Ventures and Kyle Spagnola and trained by Spagnola. For Hechkoff, it marked his 10th seasonal driving victory and 87th of his amateur career. Next Billings action will be in the Midwest region over the five-eighths mile track at Scioto Downs in Columbus, Ohio on Saturday, September 3rd. John Manzi

Perhaps not well known but the rules that governed the recently completed North American Amateur Drivers Association Trotting Series at Monticello Raceway stated that the top three in points upon the completion of the 10-week series would be eligible for a drawing with the winner earning an all-expense paid trip to New Zealand when a NAADA Team will compete against their harness racing counterparts down under in a Friendship Competition in early December. Peter Kleinhans was the winner of that lottery drawing on Saturday, August 27. He prevailed over Hannah Miller and Tony Ciufettelli and now he'll be the captain of the American team in that competition. Kleinhans competed in seven of the ten legs in the series and drove three winners which earned him 53 points, third best in the 10-week series. When contacted about winning the drawing Kleinhans was really excited. "I was shocked but I'm absolutely looking forward to race in New Zealand," he said. "I never thought I'd be in a position to win the trip but I'm thrilled and certainly appreciative. I was there when I was 10 years old and this is a great opportunity to once again return to New Zealand." To quell any debates about the lottery drawing NAADA president and founder, Joe Faraldo, photographed the entire procedure and displayed it on Facebook. "Peter's name was drawn over the other finalists who were eligible to win a free trip to New Zealand as part of a US team traveling there in December of this year," Faraldo explained. "Peter has been an asset to NAADA and drives a horse very well. He will be a great ambassador for amateur racing down under." But before the Friendship Competition takes place in New Zealand NAADA member and top American amateur driver, Hannah Miller, will represent the U.S.A. in the upcoming World Cup of Amateur Racing which begins on September 7th in Budapest, Hungary. John Manzi

After being out of harness racing action for a while Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford stormed back at the Darke County Fair in Greenville, Ohio and guided Celtic Merchant to a near track record victory in Midwest Billings action on Thursday evening, August 25. After starting from the pole position Oldford went down the road and made every pole a winning one en route to a 1:59.4 triumph. "It was good to be back in the sulky and even better being in the winners circle," Old ford said via telephone after his driving victory. "I know Celtic Merchant went a good race but I was surprised when they told me that my old warhorse was just a couple of ticks off the track record." According to Oldford, trainer Terry Deters had Celtic Merchant in top form and he got over the track real easy. They trotted through fractions of :30.2; 1:00; and 1:30 before finishing six lengths ahead of runner-up Patient I D driven by "Lawbook Larry" Farley. Third place went to Rompaway Beau and Gregg "Fast Greggy" Kiedel. "Greenville is a very nice Fair and everyone there went out of their way to accommodate us," Oldford added. "Our race was sponsored by Donuts For Charity and everyone received donuts after the race." Celtic Merchant, a 13 year old Angus Hall gelding, notched his fifth seasonal triumph and 47th of his outstanding career while raising his lifetime earnings to over $367,000. Oldford, vice president of the CKG Billings Series and the Harness Racing Museum's multiple recipient of their Amateur Driver of the Year Award, scored his sixth seasonal driving victory and the 116th of his amateur career. By John Manzi for the C.K.G.Billings Amateur Driving Series

When the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) joined FEGAT in the early 1980's that earned the organization an opportunity to name the American entrant in the FEGAT World Championship for Amateur Drivers (the World Cup). Although this harness racing competition started as an event every four years it has melded into an international competition every two years. Hannah Miller, the USA's National Amateur Driver of 2015, will carry America's colors when she competes in six races against her counterparts from 13 other international countries in Budapest, Hungary beginning August 31 and continuing until September 4. "I'm proud and overwhelmed in being the American representative to the World Cup," Ms. Miller said. "It will be challenging for me to compete mostly against men who, for the most part, are seasoned veterans, but I look forward to the challenge and I hope I do well." Miller is the daughter of trainer Erv Miller, the 2005 Trainer of the Year and number three ranked trainer in terms of wins with more than 4800, and is the sister of professional driver Marcus Miller. "Hurricane Hannah" Miller, 24, is a member of many amateur driving clubs including among others, the Billings Series, NAADA, and the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club, and not surprisingly she is the current leader in each series. Last year when she won the National Amateur Drivers Award she had driven 32 winners, the most ever by an amateur in one season. She already has 27 wins and is on target to eclipse last season's stats. According to NAADA president Joe Faraldo, "Hannah is the best and we're sending our best to Budapest to race in the World Cup." Hannah is no stranger to racing abroad having anchored the American Team when they traveled to Majorca last fall to race against the Spanish amateurs. And earlier she was on the American team which traveled to greater Naples, Italy to race against their veteran amateurs. Slated to leave for Budapest on August 29 Hannah will be joined by her parents Erv and Heidi Miller, her boyfriend Nick Surick and NAADA founder and president, Joe Faraldo along with his wife Yma. John Manzi

The CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series, harness racing's traveling roadshow, was on the move again on Saturday, August 20 stopping at Saratoga Raceway for two divisions on the betting card. When the dust had settled Bob" the Headhunter" Hechkoff and "Yankee Joe" Lee each emerged victorious in their respective splits. Hechkoff won with Through The Night in 1:59.4 while Lee was triumphant with Hidden Identity in a 1:58.3 clocking. In his division Hechkoff settled Through The Night in the two-hole when the gate sprung and allowed Swift Blizzard and Tony "the Capo" Verruso to take command and lead the field by the first stanza in a swift :28.3. Verruso and Hechkoff were one-two past the half and remained that way as the buzzed by the third stanza. At that point "Hurricane Hannah" Miller took a shot at the leaders with Shanghai Jack as they headed into the final turn but he flattened out as Through The Night overtook Swift Blizzard. But as they headed for home "Bullet Bob" Davis had Shelikescandy in high gear and they were closing in on the leaders with a rush, but for Davis the wire came up too soon as Hechkoff's trotter won the contest, albeit by a nose over Davis' charge. Swift Blizzard held on for third money. Through the Night, owned and trained by Kathleen Allen paid $17.60 and sparked an $86.00 exacta. It was the ninth seasonal victory for Bob Hechkoff and 86th of his amateur driving career. In the second Billings contest Hannah Miller took early command with Winwood Scout and then gave up the lead to Joe Lee and Hidden Identity in a soft :29.3 first quarter. Lee then kept the pedal to the metal and Hidden Identity remained undaunted on the front-end and trotted the final half in :58.1 en route to a 1-1/4 length over Winwood Scout. I'm Fabulous, with Scott "the Driving Doctor" Woogen was third best. The winner, owned and trained by Tom Milici went off as the odds-on favorite and returned a $3.50 mutuel. For Joe Lee, the locker room manager for the New York Yankees, it marked his sixth driving victory of the season and 16th of his fledgling career. by John Manzi for the Billings Series

The final leg of the North American Amateur Drivers Association's Trotting Series, along with the final of the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club series, was featured at Monticello Raceway on the sunny afternoon of Thursday, August 18 and not surprisingly, "Hurricane Hannah" Miller, North America's leading amateur driver, walked away with a pair of driving victories in just two trips to post while a third harness racing contest went to Peter Kleinhans. Hannah won a NAADA Trot with Rocket Master in 1:58.1 and she copped the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club pace with Stoman in 1:57.3 which raises her win-total to 26 thus far this season. Kleinhans scored a 2:00.4 triumph with Zoli in a second NAADA Trot. In the first of two NAADA races Hannah scored a come-from-behind triumph with Rocket Master when they trotted by Alan Schwartz's Linda Marie in mid-stretch to score a two length triumph. Woody finished third for Joe Lee. "I had a steady hold of him (Rocket Master) and we left the (starting) gate softly because he is rough on the straightaways," Hannah explained. After settling in fifth position Ms. Miller moved her trotter up behind Cassa's Image (John Kokinos) who went first up. She followed her cover until the final turn where she wheeled Rocket Master three-deep and challenged the pacesetter, Linda Marie overtaking her and then trotting on to victory. "I moved him (Rocket Master) three wide on the final turn because he trots the turns well and when we straightened for home he was in full gear and I knew we were going to win it," Hannah said. Rocket Master is owned by his driver, the Surick Stable, and the Erv Miller Stable, and trained by Nick Surick. Sent off as second choice in the eight-horse field Rocket Master notched his fifth seasonal triumph and paid $6.20. Hurricane Hannah's second driving victory was in the final leg of the Catskill Amateur Club's Pace when she guided Stoman to a gate-to-wire triumph in 1:57.3. Last week the veteran pacer was claimed from the John Hallett barn by Bob Lounsbury but the horse's new address made no difference when Lounsbury again handed the lines to Ms. Miller "I fired him up when the gate left and when he made the front I had a handful of horse," Hannah said. "I tried the back him down a bit but he was raring to go." And go he did, pacing through fractions of :27.4, :58.2 and 1:28 before finishing two lengths in front of KB's Badboy, driven by Barry Addison. Shark Treasure finished third for Gerry Fielding. Owned by Bill Damburg and now trained by Bob Lounsbury, Stoman notched his fourth season victory and returned $3.40 to his backers. Talk about dominance, it was Hannah Miller's ninth driving victory in the 10-week Catskill Club's series.. In the other NAADA Trot Peter Kleinhans was content to follow the leaders with Zoli and then moved him three-wide on the final turn and went on to a 1-3/4 length triumph over the even-money favorite, Fox Valley Steffen, driven by John Kokinos. Bobby Krivelin took home the show dough with Current Crisis. "I eased him away from the gate because last week he made a break before the start," Kleinhans said after his victory. "I wanted to be conservative and I babied him and we got shuffled back but when I pulled him (at the three quarter pole) he was all business. He raced real. well" Owned by John Sullivan and trained by John Mc Dermott Zoli paid $6.60 for win. For Kleinhans is was his 51st career driving victory.-30- by John Manzi for NAADA and CADC

The American vs Italy Friendship Competition kicked off at Monticello Raceway on the warm and sunny afternoon of August 17 with the amateur harness racing drivers competing in both a pace and a trot on the betting card. The pacing race went to USA's Bobby Krivelin who reined Five Star Stud to a 2:00.2 victory while Giancarlo Moretti scored a 2:01.1 triumph in the trot with Samsawinner. In the first contest race Krivelin heeded advice and sent Five Star Stud to the lead from the three-hole and led the competition to the first panel in :28.3 while the USA's Peter Kleinhans (Show Topper) and Italy's Otello Zorzetta (Art's Jimmy Ray) were hung on the limb. Five Card Stud showed the way by the half in 1:00.1 and was still strong on the lead by the three quarters in 1:30. Both Show Topper and Art's Jimmy Ray were going the long mile but still in the race. When the field headed for home Krivelin tapped his pacer a couple of times and Five Star Stub responded and sailed home a 1-1/2 length winner over Show Topper and Peter Kleinhans which gave the American team win and place competition points. Otello Zorzetta, a winner of 471 races in his home country, took home the show dough with Art's Jimmy Ray. "My horse was good today, "said Krivelin, who drove Five Star Stud for the first time. "I listened to the trainer (Antonio Grillo) who asked me to send his horse to the lead and keep the bit tight in his mouth. I kept a tight hold on him (Five Card Stud) which kept him brave and he went the best mile in his last six starts." The winner, owned and trained by Antonio Grillo, notched his second win in 29 seasonal starts and paid $16.60 for win. For Bobby Krivelin, a three time National Amateur Driver of The Year, it was his 13th driving victory this season and it marked his 197th lifetime winner. Since the front-end worked so good for Krivelin in the first USA-Italy Friendship Competition race he used that same strategy in the next event, which was a trot. Up behind 5-2 second choice, Mr. Invincible, Krivelin gunned the trotter to the lead from post three and they command on the first turn and led the competition by the first quarter in :28.2 in the process keeping Trojan Horse, driven by the USA's Dave Offenberg, parked out. The two Americans raced one-two by the half in :59.3 with Italy's Giancarlo Moretti and Samsawinner tucked in nicely in the two hole. Just before the three quarters flashed 1:30.1 Moretti had Samsawinner out to challenge the leader and in the lane Samsawinner drew off to a three-length triumph. Mr. Invincible held on for second and Dream Defence N finished third for Italy's Roberto Michelotto. Moretti, a principal in Italy's world famous Murano Glass, was sporting a huge smile when he handed the lines to the horse's caretaker upon his return to the paddock and said, through an interpreter "I had a terrific two-hole journey and when I asked him (Samsawinner) to go he won the race easily." Samsawinner, trained by Bruce Aldrich, Sr. notched his 52nd career triumph. Owned by Woody Hoblitzel the trotter paid $19.00, $8.10 and $7.40 across the board. For Moretti it was his first American triumph and his 57th driving victory, overall. At days end the American team lead the visiting Italians 43-41. Tomorrow the same Italian team will battle against an American team consisting of Hannah Miller, Joe Faraldo, Tony Verruso and Tony Ciufettelli at Yonkers Raceway. by John Manzi for NAADA

Harness racing's greatest traveling sideshow, the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series, moved on to Vernon Downs 9/10ths-mile oval for an eastern region contest on Thursday evening, August 13. And when that trot was declared official, David "Poppa" Glasser and Celebrity Stimulus emerged victorious in a 1:57 clocking. it seems there's an old adage about driving in a harness race which states, if you feel your horse is the best send him to the lead and if he gets beat on the front-end he probably wasn't the best. According to the driver David Glasser only the first part of that statement is correct because after his front end journey with Celebrity Stimulus his trotter hung game and scored neck victory over "Tough Tony" Ciufettelli's, Star Studded Cast, who enjoyed a two-hole journey. Glasser sent Celebrity Stimulus to the lead from the six-hole and they had command at the first stanza in a snappy :27.3 with Star Studded Cast tucked comfortably in the two-hole. The two leaders were raced one-two past the half in :58.2 and when the field straightened up the backside "Bullet Bob" Davis make a serious challenge with Shelikescandy and they reached the third stanza in 1:27.4 only a head behind the leader. On the final turn Celebrity Stimulus trotted away from Davis' mare but then had to contend with Ciufettelli's Star Studded Cast who drew alongside the Celebrity Stimulus as the two headed for paydirt. A serious stretch duel then ensued and although Star Studded Cast was giving his best efforts Celebrity Stimulus battled back and hung gamely for a neck victory. Shelikescandy and Bob Davis took home the show. Glasser owns the winner who's trained by Homer Hochstetler. A 9-5 favorite on the morning line Celebrity Stimulus went off at odds of 3.65-1 and paid $9.30 for win. It was the third winning drive this season for Glasser, who is the president of a litigation support company. by John Manzi for the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series

Two divisions of the ninth and next to last leg of the North American Amateur Drivers Association's (NAADA) summer trotting series were contested at Monticello Raceway on the hot and steamy afternoon of Thursday, August 11 with Dr. John Kokinos and Alan Schwartz each victorious in their respective harness racing divisions. Kokinos won his split with Cassa's Image in a 1:57 clocking while Alan Schwartz copped the other with Imacrazynewyorker in 1:59. In the Catskill Amateur Driver Club's pacing series, which has been running concurrently with the NAADA trots, Hannah Miller emerged victorious reining Stoman home first in a 1:57.1 clocking. Both Stoman and Imacrazynewyorker are trained by John Hallett. In his split Schwartz took no prisoners and went down the road from the pole position with Imacrazynewyorker and they made every pole a winning one en route to a one length victory over Paul Minore and Wygant Prince. Lou Lou's Princess finished third for Hannah Miller. The winner is owned by Hallett and Oglesby and trained by John Hallett. He paid $4.40 for win. Kokinos romped in his division with Cassa's Image when confusion behind them on the first turn allowed them to gain an insurmountable lead and they cruised to an easy five length victory in a 1:57 clocking. Upfront N Crazy was second best for Tony Verruso while Paul Minore and Zoli took home the show dough. The winner, owned by the Hero Stable, returned a $14.60 win mutuel. In the lone Catskill Club Pace, the sports current leading amateur driver, Hannah Miller, didn't get nervous after being parked, relaxed her charge and then eased her pacer, Stoman, to the front nearing the halfway point and from there it was Katey bar the door as Stoman cruised to a three length triumph. Fly To The Angels, a 37-1 shot, finished second for Allen Cisco and KB's Bad Boy finished third for Barry Addison. John Hallett trains the winner for owner Jason Mac Dougall. Stoman paid $4.40. On Wednesday (Aug. 10) at the Wayne County (Pa.) Fair 'Hurricane Hannah' drove Pierce to a stunning 24-length pacing victory in a time of 1:58.4. The talented miss now has 24 wins, 14 seconds and six thirds in 92 seasonal starts good for a .407 UDR. Next Thursday,upon the completion of the NAADA Series at the Mighty M,the top three drivers with the most points in the series will be in a drawing with the winner earning an all-expense paid trip to New Zealand to compete against their amateur counterparts there. Leaders include: Hannah Miller (52); Alan Schwartz (48);Tony Ciufettelli (46); Peter Kleinhans (40) Tony Verruso (36). John Manzi

For the past few decades the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) has been hosting amateur drivers from various countries in Europe and Down Under and currently plans are being finalized by the amateur driving group for an upcoming Friendship Competition against their harness racing counterparts from Italy. Four veteran amateur drivers from Venice will be coming in to challenge the NAADA members in a series of races at three different American racetracks with races slated at Monticello Raceway (8-17), Yonkers Raceway (8-18) and Tioga Downs on (8-19). Those who will be driving for team Italy include; Raffaello Ruffato (110 lifetime wins), Giancarlo Moretti (55 wins), Roberto Michelotto (74 wins) and Zorzetto Otello (462 wins). Coming along with the Italian amateur drivers is their club representative, Luigi Cardin. Although the Italian team will be constant at all three venues NAADA will field a different team at each racetrack. "We look forward to once again hosting our friends from the Venice area of Italy," said NAADA president, Joe Faraldo. "We were their guests in the past and we've previously reciprocated by hosting them here in the States. We always have a wonderful time although we usually end up on the short end the stick. But make no mistake, we (NAADA members) will do our best to win this upcoming competition. However, winning or losing is incidental, it's the camaraderie that is shared with these competitions that is the important thing." "We have what we hope will be an entertaining visit for our Italian guests, "Faraldo continued. "Tom Grossman will host the participants and sponsor a luncheon at his Blue Chip Farm on Tuesday (8-16) and then the visitors will tour Goshen Historic Track and enjoy the nearby Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame. "After driving at Monticello Raceway on Wednesday (8-17) the visitors will make a stop at the Bethel Woods Museum, the site of the original Woodstock Festival in 1969," noted NAADA event coordinator, Alicia Schwartz, who was an integral part of finalizing the agenda. Along the way Mrs. Schwartz says there will be a tour of the Mark Ford Training Center, in Goshen, NY and shopping at the Woodbury Common Outlet Mall in Central Valley, NY as well as great dinners at local area restaurants each evening. Then on Saturday (August 20) the visiting Italians will be able to explore and enjoy two days in greater New York City. By John Manzi for NAADA

The CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series began the second portion of this year's harness racing competition at Yonkers Raceway with two Eastern Region non-betting divisions on Thursday, July 28 with a pair of Joe's each emerging victorious. "Joltin' Joe" Pennacchio copped his division with Windsong Illusion while "Yankee Joe" Lee took home first money in the second split. In the Eastern Region #1 Final the previous Thursday, also at Yonkers Raceway, the series point leader "Hurricane Hannah" Miller won that event and now becomes eligible for the Billings Gold Cup Final later this year at Harrah's Chester Downs. At Yonkers with "Joltin' Joe" Pennacchio, subbing for Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford who was stranded in the Midwest, worked himself a good journey with Windsong Illusion, staying close to the leaders and then exploding in the stretch to trot by Shanghai Jack and "Hurricane Hannah" to score a one-length triumph in a 1:59.3 clocking. Bluebird Kidsqueen finished third for Dave "the Rave" Offenberg. Pennacchio was happy to get the mount behind Windsong Illusion and he was extremely gratified on his driving victory. "It was just one of those things, a picture perfect trip, and though it doesn't happen that often it's nice when you're on the winning end of it,"Pennacchio said after this triumph."I got away third and then ended-up with a two-hole Journey behind Hannah (with Shanghai Jack) and then came up the inside in the stretch and trotted by her." Windsong Illusion is owned by Oldford Racing, LLC and trained by Allen Cisco. It was the fourth seasonal triumph for Windsong Illusion and the 155th driving victory for Joe Pennacchio, a retired investment manager. A second non-wagering amateur split was copped Rocket Master, driven by "Yankee Joe" Lee, the New York Yankees' clubhouse manager who scored his fifth seasonal driving victory. Starting from post five Lee was content to allow his trotter to leave the gate slowly and they were in fifth position as Trotalot and Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff showed the way by the first stanza in :28.4. Lee followed cover as the field headed for the half and remained in fifth pace although closer to the pacesetter. Rocket Master didn't shake lose until the final turn but when he did gained command at the top of the lane and then went on to an easy three length triumph over Cassa's Image driven by John "the Veterinarian" Kokinos. "Smokin' Joe" Faraldo took home the show dough with For You Almostfree. "We got away next to last," Lee admitted, "but we came third-over heading to the half. We were closing in on the leaders up the backside and on the final turn I had plenty of horse. We began passing horses and by mid-stretch we had it wrapped up and we coasted home an easy winner." It was the third seasonal victory for Rocket Master who's owned by Ronald Cohen and trained by Mike Forte. For Lee, who only gets a chance to drive when the New York Yankees are out of town, or not scheduled to play on Thursdays, it was his fifth seasonal driving victory and 15th of his amateur career. Next Billings action is slated for Saturday night, July 30 at the Summit Fair at Northfield Park. by John Manzi for the CKG Billings Series

1 to 16 of 2236
1 2 3 4 5 Next »