Search Results
1 to 16 of 1948
1 2 3 4 5 Next »

The sixth and final leg of the North American Amateur Drivers Association Trotting Series was presented at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday April 17 and when the non-wagering contests were finished Bobby Krivelin and Dave Yarock emerged victorious in their respective splits; Krivelin with Current Crisis in 1:59.1 and Yarock with Nowerland Nathan in 2:00.1. Krivelin's win was his third in the trotting events and for Yarock it was his second. In his $6000 contest Krivelin settled his trotter in along the pylons in the early going and then used the overland route to wear down the leader Get Packin (Bob Hechkoff) as the field rounded the final turn. From there Current Crisis then rolled on to a four-length victory over Northemedo Wine Guy, driven by Tony Verruso. Get Packin held on for third money. Yarock's victory was somewhat similar to Krivelin's in that he raced along the pylons until the field headed for the half and with a move to the outside Nowerland Nathan and Yarock wore down the pace-setter Whatnblazes (Dave Offenberg) and gained command by the three quarters. Then, as the field headed for home only Nowerland Nathan's margin of victory was in doubt as Yarock's trotter finished three lengths ahead of Offenberg's. Krivelin was the series point champion with 47 while Yarock was second best with 36. Trailing Krivelin and Yarock in points and now eligible to the final are; David Glasser (30), Bob Hechkoff (29), Joe Faraldo (26), Tony Verruso (25); Bob Davis (23) and Paul MInore (20). However, should any of the top eight in points fail to enter the final then the remaining driver(s) with the highest point totals---Dave Offenberg (18), Monica Banca (17) and Alan Charles (10)--- are next in line to participate. The $14,000 NAADA Trotting Series Final will be contest on Thursday, April 24 again at Yonkers Raceway. by John Manzi, for NAADA

Quietly Jimmy Devaux does his job, and he's good at what he does. On Wednesday afternoon (April 16) Devaux reined four winners on Monticello Raceway's eight race card. The previous day he had three wins. Devaux began the Wednesday afternoon scoring a 2:00.4 victory with Melissa Russo's veteran trotter Tobell and although Tobell paid $38.00 for win it wasn't the biggest payoff of Devaux's four winners. In the seventh race, after getting a two-hole journey with 45-1 shot Waterfront Success, when the field rounded the final turn the pace-setter Aurevoir Balboa went off stride and allowed Devaux's pacer room which enabled them to wind their way through the leaders and be the first to the finish line. Owned by Ruth Ingham and trained by Vernon James Waterfront Success returned a whopping $92.00 win payoff. "When Mike's (Merton with Aurevoir Baboa) horse tipped-off on the last turn I thought I had a shot at winning and my horse was strong because we never go any air," Devaux explained. "The hardest part, though, was finding race room in the deep stretch but when I fed my horse daylight he scooted by the leaders and we won by a length I'd guess." Devaux's other two winners were race favorites. In the second race he won by five lengths in 2:01.3 with the rapidly improving sophomore pacer Chantepleur ($3.10), an American Ideal colt owned by Michael Funke. His other victory came in race five behind Kevin Hough's veteran trotter George's Vacation ($3.20) In 2:00.4. Devaux, like his brother-in-law Bruce Aldrich, Jr. (they're married to sisters) also does double duty racing at both Monticello Raceway in the afternoon and at Saratoga Raceways in the evening. And last night at the Spa City oval Devaux won two races making it a six-win day for the talented reinsman he had eight drives and won Thus far this year Devaux has driven 110 winners which currently ranks him tied for 13th place on the North American leaderboard. Last year the former two-time Mighty M driving champ scored a personal best when he drove 412 winners. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

The beat goes on for Diamond Tiara. On the warm, but windy, Monday afternoon (April 14) Diamond Tiara scored her 10th seasonal triumph and now leads all other standardbreds in races won in North America this year. Once again trainer Mike Watson availed himself of the services of Jimmy Taggart, Jr. and Taggart responded by guiding Diamond Tiara to a 1:58.1 triumph which was the mare's sixth consecutive victory. In the seven times that Taggart has driven her, Diamond Tiara has had six wins and a second place finish. However, according to Taggart, this victory today was a little tougher than the last five. "This was the first time that she had drawn the outside (post seven) and I had to use her harder than usual to get to the front," Taggart said. "She leaves like a runner and we had command on the first turn but that during that first eighth (of the mile) she was smokin'. I was able to get into her a bit as we headed to the (first) quarter but we still were there in :28.3." After they paced by the first stanza Taggart had Diamond Tiara settled and she showed the way past the half in :59 but she had lots of company when three others moved out to take a shot at her. So on the clubhouse turn Taggart allowed his mare to step it up and they opened daylight as they passed the three quarters and they had two lengths on the field as they paced into the final turn. With Temptation Queen and Bruce Aldrich, Jr. keeping the pressure on, both mares dug in as they headed for paydirt and into a strong head-wind. However Diamond Tiara held on to score a length victory over Temptation Queen. "She wasn't as strong finishing today as she had been in her last few starts but that first quarter took a little sting out of her, and the wind in the stretch was strong, too. Still, she's gritty," Taggart added. Owned by Philip Schultz, Diamond Tiara paid $4.20 for win. With her 10th victory she currently has first place all to herself on the North American leaderboard with one more win than Rockin Rambaran, a Canadian pacer who's been winning consistently at Rideau Carleton. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

David Glasser and Paul Minore were each victorious in the respective divisions of the North American Amateur Drivers Association's (NAADA) Trotting Series at Freehold Raceway on Friday (Apri11).Glasser won with his own Grecale AS in a time of 2:00 and returned a whopping $41.60 win payoff, while Minore scored with his Wygant Prince in 1:58.1. Glasser's trotter went a solid mile after being first-up at the half and then rallying to the lead as the field passed the three quarters. Once on top Grecale AS coasted home an easy two length winner over favored Northmedo Wine Guy and Tony Verruso, giving Glasser his second victory in the series. His 28 points in the series is currently second best behind Bobby Krivelin's 35 but with only one leg remaining at Yonkers on April 17 Glasser is assured eligibility in the $14,000 series finale which will also to be raced at Yonkers Raceway, but on April 24. In his division Minore's Wygant Prince went an eye-opening trip and won in 1:58.1 after a two-hole journey behind Bob Hechkoff with Get Packin. That mile caused a little stir among some of the professionals drivers who were watching that amateur race and one was overheard saying with amazement after the 1:58.1 mile, "that's race horse time!". Minore has driven in only two series legs and with just 16 points he'll need a good showing on Thursday to move up and earn a spot in the series finale. Those drivers with the most points in the six-leg trotting will earn a berth in the $14,000 Final, that is, if they all enter. The current leaderboard is as follows: Bobby Krivelin (35), David Glasser (28), Dave Yarock (24), Bob Hechkoff(24) Bob Davis (21), Joe Faraldo (21) Tony Verruso (18), Monica Banca (17) Paul Minore (16) and Dave Offenberg (11). "I'd like to make it clear that the drivers who are among the top eight in points doesn't assure them a spot in the final unless they enter. So it's a good idea if someone is ninth or tenth in points they still should enter for the final race just in case someone in the top ten (in points) doesn't. And should that happen, the next highest in points gets first call," explained NAAADA president Joe Faraldo. by John Manzi, for NAADA

The Kentucky Derby has its "Run for the Roses"; the Preakness runs for the Black-Eyed Susans; and on Tuesday afternoon, April 22 Monticello Raceway will have its annual "Race for the Matzohs" when the Catskill Mountains oval presents its 16th edition of the Passover Pace, a race strictly for drivers of Jewish heritage. The event will be part of the tracks year-long Heritage Drivers Series which will be followed later this season by other races for different ethnicities. Last year, Bobby Krivelin won the event with Isn't She Lovely in a time of 2:04.1 and it marked the second time in the last three years that Krivelin has been victorious in the Race for The Matzohs. Despite having won again last year still Krivelin trails both Mike Kimelman (1999-2003-2007) and Alan Schwartz (2002-2004-2006) each of whom have won the Passover Pace three times. Alan Charles, who's expected to be among the drivers in this year's race, joins Krivelin as a two- time winner (2012-2010) of the Passover Pace Other recent previous winners include, PJ Lutman III (2009) and Bob Hechkoff (2008). The fastest of all the Passover Paces was a 1:59 mile when Jack Rice won the event with Wildfire King in 2001. "This race may be a little unusual but believe it or not those who compete annually in our Passover Pace have been calling to make sure that we are doing it again this year," said Mighty M general manager, Shawn Wiles. The Passover Pace is open to any licensed harness driver of Jewish heritage who holds a full (A) or a provisional (P) license from the United States Trotting Association. Director of Racing, Eric Warner, is currently seeking drivers who are interested in participating in this year's contest. For further information, or to enter the event, please contact Warner in the racing office at 845-794-4100 x 557; or call the tracks publicity office at extension 455. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

It's deja vu all over again at Monticello Raceway with a local pacer, Diamond Tiara, vaulting to the top of the North American leaderboard after she notched her ninth seasonal triumph yesterday (April 7) at the Sullivan County (NY) oval. With Jimmy Taggart, Jr. again at the controls Diamond Tiara wired the field to score in a time of 1:58.1. Last year another Monticello-based pacer, Tracys Song, led the North America in wins at this time, and nearly all season-long, and finished the season with 21 victories-- 18 of them consecutive. Not to say that Diamond Tiara will win 21 races this year but at this time her prowess can be compared to Tracys Song's proficiency last year when she, too, led the continent in races won. On Monday, after starting from the two-hole Diamond Tiara was looped on the first turn by Red Eye Blue Chip (Jimmy Devaux). But no sooner did Devaux and his pacer take command Taggart was out and going with Diamond Tiara and they had the lead at the field passed the first stanza in :28.2 When the field headed to the halfway point, Jason Ryan moved May Night out to challenge Diamond Tiara and the two pacers raced as a team around the clubhouse turn and up the backside. But on the final turn Diamond Tiara put it in another gear and opened daylight on her competition and coasted home an easy two-length winner in a seasonal best of 1:58.1. Red Eye Blue had the benefit of a two hole journey but she couldn't make up any ground on the leader in the lane and finished second. May Night was a close third. It's usually hard to get Jimmy Taggart, Jr. to say much but he did offer; "She (Diamond Tiara) raced good again today. She's got quick speed and likes to be on the front-end." He hesitated for a moment and as he was walking away he added; "She's better than these (her competition)" Owned by Philip Schultz and trained by Mike Watson, Diamond Tiara paid $3.30 for win. With her latest victory--her fifth consecutive-- Diamond Tiara, a 7 year -old daughter of McArdle, is joined at the top of the charts by Rockin Rambaran another pacer who has nine wins in Canada at Rideau Carleton Raceway. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

Two divisions of the fourth leg of the North American Amateur Drivers Association trotting series went to post at Freehold Raceway on Friday afternoon, April 5 and when the events were declared official Bobby Kriivelin and Tony Verruso each emerged victorious in their respective splits. Krivelin won with Gimme The Loot and Verruso hustled Northmedo Wine Guy home first in their event. When it comes to amateur racing the name Bobby Krivelin needs no introductions. A three-time national Amateur Driver of the Year Krivelin is always a force to be reckoned with whenever he takes time off from his food sales business to jump on a seat behind a spirited steed and race for the sport of it. And for yet another time Krivelin out-foxed his competition and scored his 155th career driving victory when he guided Gimme The Loot to a convincing 2:01.3 triumph in their division. Perhaps out-foxed is not the right term, but whatever it could be labeled, Krivelin took advantage of it and worked himself a good trip behind the leaders in the early going and then rallied to victory in the deep stretch. When Bob Hechkoff gunned Get Packin to the lead as the wings of the starting gate folded, Krivelin jumped in the three-hole on the first turn and sat patiently until the backside the second time around. Although Get Packin still had command, Hechkoff's trotter braced for the challenge from Gimme The Loot and the two raced side by side past the three quarters and around the final turn. When the straightened for paydirt Krivelin mildly urged his trotter and Gimme The Loot responded and trotted away to a 1-1/2 length victory over Get Packin. Paul Minore challenged the leaders with a three-deep move as the field passed the third stanza but his trotter Wygant Prince flattened-out in the lane and finished third. It was the second victory in the NAADA Series for Krivelin and Gimme The Loot after having won a division on March 21. Owned by Alessandro and Marcello Spano, Gimme The Loot paid $4.20 fro win Verruso is another well-known name in the amateur circles especially as president of the CKG Billings Driving Series and he too, needs no road map when he sits behind a standardbred. He copped the second NAADA division with Northmedo Wine Guy in a 2:04 clocking over the race track now rated sloppy as the rain continued to fall in Freehold. However, Verruso's triumph was different than Krivelin's in that he made Northmedo Wine Guy did his trotting on the front- end. After starting from the two-hole Verruso rushed his charge to the lead and they had to endure challenges along the way; first and long, from favored Rose Run Nash (Bob Davis) and later from Nowerland Nathan (Dave Yarock). But Northmedo Wine Guy rebuffed all comers and the veteran trotter even drew off to a two length victory over Rose Run Nash who trotted the last three- eighths on the limb. Some Kinda Spunky took home the show dough for Alan Charles. Owned by G B Racing Stables, Northmedo Wine Guy paid $5.00 to win and for Verruso, it marked his 49th amateur driving victory. by John Manzi, for the North American Amateur Drivers Association

There are horse's names that are apropos but perhaps none more fittingly than that of Talldarknhandsome, a pacer currently competing at Monticello Raceway. Yesterday (April 3) Talldarknhandsome, a 1:58 winner for driver Jimmy Marohn, Jr., is among the biggest horses on the racetracks today. From the locally powerful Danny Gill barn the 6 year old altered son of Lifetime unbelievably is well over 17 hands; over six feet tall at his withers (front shoulders). "He's a big guy for sure," Gill laughs, "but thankfully he's a gentle giant. I've never seen a (harness) horse as tall as him in my life." by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

After the Monticello Raceway-based pacer, Rusty's Flying scored her seventh seasonal triumph on April 1st she joined another Mighty M pacer, Diamond Tiara, in second place in wins on the current North American leaderboard. Slated to make her 13th start of the year yesterday (April 2) Diamond Tiara did and won for the eighth time and now she's tied - albeit with four others - for the lead in races won thus far this season. A mare of considerable class in her younger years Diamond Tiara, a 7-year-old daughter of McArdle, usually does her talking on the front-end and her mile yesterday was another wire-to-wire triumph, this time in 2:00.1. Jimmy Taggart, Jr. was again in the sulky for trainer Mike Watson which marked the sixth time that Watson had handed Taggart the reins which has resulted in five wins and one second place finish, not to mention that it was the mare's fourth consecutive victory. "She has lots of class and can leave like a runner which usually puts her in contention in every race," Taggart said after the race. "She's real handy, too, and certainly a pleasure to drive." Diamond Tiara, a career winner of over $156,000 , owns a lifetime mark of 1:50.4 as a 5 year-old and even last year the gritty mare won in 1:53.3. Both of the aforementioned victories were taken over the five-eighths mile oval at Harrah's Philadelphia. This year, in spite of the brutal weather during this past winter racing season, her fastest triumph was a 1:58.3 clocking. Now with 13 seasonal starts Diamond Tiara is yet to be off the board. Her card now sports eight wins, two seconds, and three thirds and despite racing for paltry purses she was won of over $10,500. Owned by Philip Schultz, Diamond Tiara paid just $2.70 for win. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

At the beginning of last season Monticello Raceway had two pacers that were on a tear winning indiscriminately. Both Tracy's Song and Haroun Hanover were consistent winners and were at, or near, the top of the North American leaderboard in races won then and all season long. And both finished the season with over 20 wins. Although the same may not materialize this year for two pacers, Rusty's Flying and Diamond Tiara, but each are making themselves known by consistent trips to the winners circle. Both pacers have won seven times this year and both are tied for second in victories this year, just one win off the leaders. Yesterday, (March 31) Rusty's Flying notched her third consecutive victory, and seventh of the season when Jimmy Marohn, Jr. guided the 6-year-old daughter of Artiscape to a wire to wire triumph in a 2:00.2 clocking for trainer Danny Gill and owner Ed Hall. Last year Gill was the conditioner of Haroun Hanover, known locally as the horse that didn't stop after a race and one who needed the wings of the starting gate opened on the backstretch after the mile so driver Jimmy Marohn, Jr. (Gill's driver of choice) could aim him behind the wings and get the pacer stopped and into the race paddock. Thankfully for the driver and trainer, Gill's charge this year, Rusty's Flying,does not resemble the characteristics of Haroun Hanover other than she wins the majority of her races. This year she has seven wins and two seconds in 10 starts and last year she had 12 wins and 10 seconds and five thirds in 42 starts. Joining Rusty's Flying in second place races won this year in North America is Diamond Tiara who'll be looking for her eighth seasonal triumph here today (April 1). Owned by Philip Schultz and trained by Mike Watson, the 7 year old daughter of McArdle has strung together three consecutive wins and is understandably rated as the early line favorite in today's contest. Jimmy Taggart, Jr. will again be at the controls behind Diamond Tiara today when they leave from the four hole in the first race. A mare of considerable class, Diamond Tiara has a lifetime mark of 1:50.3 taken two years ago and last season she won in 1:53.3. Both of her win records were notched at Harrah's Philadelphia. This season from 12 trips to post all at the Mighty M, Diamond Tiara has seven wins, two seconds and three thirds. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

Dave Yarock and Bob Davis each were victorious in their respective $6000 divisions in the third leg of the North American Amateur Drivers Association's spring trotting series at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday (March 27) night. It was the first win for each driver in the six week series. In his event, Yarock, and his own Nowerland Nathan left softly from the two home and he was content to let Georgie Newell and Swift Kid take command and Bob Heckhoff and Tremendous Hit fall into the two hole in front of him. Yarock sat cool in third position until the backside where he moved his 8-year-old gelding out to challenge and by the time they circled the final turn they had command. In the lane Nowerland Nathan trotted off to a one length victory in a time of 2:01.1 as Currant Crisis and Bobby Krivelin rallied to be second. Monica Banca and Hardrockinjessica took home the show dough while Tremendous Hit and Swift Kid faded and finished fifth and sixth respectively. In the other split Davis' trotter, Rose Run Nash, won more convincingly. After a slow start where the pole horse ,Rose Run Nash, was four lengths off the gate when the starter said "go", Davis and his charge ended-up sixth at the quarter in :29.1. "Trainer Danny Gill told me if I put him (Rose Run Nash) on the gate he might get hot on me so I decided to lay back a bit so he would be calmer," Davis explained about his trotter's slow start. As the field moved toward the halfway point Davis angled his trotter to the outside behind cover supplied by Alan Schwartz, with Bertos Angel and Joe Faraldo, with Rodeo Red. Faraldo moved three deep up the backside and gained the lead at the third stanza in 1:31.2 and although they held their position until the top of the stretch Rodeo Red ran out of gas and faded. David Glasser with Carbon Footprint were on the lead throughout and he was the one who kept the field stacked. But in the lane they trotted by Rodeo Red and earned second money while Faraldo and Rodeo Red finished third in the 2:02.3 clocked mile. "Once we got away he (Rose Run Nash) was a pleasure to drive and he finished real strong," a smiling Bob Davis said after his victory. With a victory in his first start in the event David Glasser now has command of the leaderboard while Davis who made his first start is now one-for-one in the series. For, Yarock, a financial planner from Tenafly, NJ, it was his 44th amateur driving victory while Davis, a self- employed businessman from Saratoga Springs, NY, notched his 13th. by John Manzi, for the North American Amateur Drivers Association

Last year the name of Bruce Aldrich Jr. forged its way into racing hierarchy. Sure, he had won many driving titles at Monticello Raceway over the first decade of the new century and had over 4000 wins in his career, but last season he became more known nationally when he reined 645 winners and finished tied for second in races won on the continent. And again this year Aldrich is a player. Just yesterday(March 27) he won four more races on Monticello Raceway's afternoon card where he's atop of the driver's standings, and then added two more victories to his seasonal totals last night at Saratoga Raceway. With 111 wins already in his pocket in 2014 Aldrich currently ranks seventh in driving victories and is moving up on the North American leaderboard. "Now that Saratoga is open and I can drive at two tracks there's a good chance I can win more races, especially since I'm lucky enough to be driving some live mounts for so top local trainers," Aldrich admitted. On Thursday (March 27) on Monticello Raceway's eight- race afternoon card Aldrich won four of them. He had two wins for top trainer Bob Lounsbury; Vincent Fra in 1:57.4 ($3.50) and Machin Music ($2.90) in 1:56.4. He also scored with Paul Moore's Livinwell Hanover ($3.60) in 2:00.3 and then hustled trainer Anthony Regina's Best Of Times ($24.80) to a wire to wire triumph in 2:00.2. His two wins that evening at Saratoga Raceway--where's he's second in races won- were with trainer Lindley Blackler's Hawaiian Sweetie ($2.80) in 1:59.3 and with the Bert Belanger-trained trotter, Southern Strength ($8.70) in 2:01.4. "I hope to be able to repeat some of last year's magic but in order for me to do that I'll have to stay strong," Aldrich said. "Oh, I don't mean physically, I mean mentally, because I'll have to spend countless hours in the car traveling back and forth to Monticello and Saratoga. And let me tell you, all those hours on the road can wear you out." by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

Last December Monticello Raceway's leading driver, Bruce Aldrich, Jr. locked horns with Northfield Park's top gun, Ronnie Wrenn, in a 'drive-off' here where both men drove in every trace on the card and at days end Aldrich, the home-towner, reined six winners while Wrenn, the visitor, had four. And when the curtain came down on the 2013 national racing season both gentlemen finished one-two in driving victories in North America, Wrenn with 714 and Aldrich with 645. Yesterday at Monticello Raceway Aldrich, who tops the standings here, reined three winners on the eight-race card. The previous day, Sunday (March 23) Aldrich had a five bagger at Saratoga. Since Friday (March 20) he has reined 12 winners. Wrenn, too, is driving daily, at Northfield Park, Buffalo Raceway and The Meadows, and has had 15 wins since last Friday. And with opportunities to drive every day of the week the wins will add up. Since both drivers have been heating-up, each has been moving up on the North American leaderboard in wins again this year. Wrenn's 128 winners ranks him fourth while Aldrich's 102 ties him for seventh, both chasing leader, Corey Callahan's 147 victories. Since neither trains stable of horses and concentrate mainly on driving, they are more free to travel to various race tracks to ply their trade. "I'm constantly on the go and I cover plenty of miles in my car," Aldrich admits. "Let me tell you that constantly going up and down the highways takes its toll, especially when Monticello and Saratoga are 140 miles apart. "Oh, I'm not complaining because I'm lucky enough to get live drives at both tracks." The same could be said by Wrenn who covers plenty of ground on the highways, too. And that he's currently fourth in wins on the continent speaks volumns for his talents, especially since he had an operation on his wrist early this season and didn't get started driving in earnest until February. And with their modus opporendi (MO), and barring any unforeseen problems, both figure to garner plenty of winners again this year. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

Three-time National Amateur Driver of the Year, Bobby Krivelin, made short work of the second division of the NAADA Trotting Series with Gimme The Loot when they coasted to an easy three-length triumph in a time of 2:03.1 at Freehold Raceway on Friday afternoon, March 21.   For the 62 year old food purveyor it marked his 154th amateur driving victory. With this triumph, Krivelin, who also has a few classic race victories in his resume, ran his career earnings to over $1.32 million. In today's contest Krivelin left softly from the five-hole and found third position along the pylons for his trotter as Get Packin and Bob Hechkoff showed the way by the quarter in :29.1 and the half in 1:02. Once the field straightened up the backside the second time around Krivelin moved Gimme The Loot to the lead as they passed the third stanza in 1:32.3 and then cruised home an easy winner. Hardrockinjessica came from fifth at the three quarters to finish second while Sam's Honeybee garnered the show dough for owner driver Tony Verruso. Gimme The Loot is now two for two this year. The 9-year-old altered son of Credit Winner is owned by Alessandro Spano and Marcello Spano and trained by the former. He paid $4.20 for win. The NAADA trotting Series returns to Yonkers Raceway on Thursday, March 27, where David Glasser and Joe Faraldo were each victorious on March 6. by John Manzi for NAADA  

It was just a few years ago when a youngster by the name of Jordan Stratton displayed an innate talent for driving harness racing horses at a very tender age and Monticello Raceway fans watched the emergence of "the Kid", who became the youngest driver to win a Mighty M driving title. He has moved on and now competes, and very successfully, against the best drivers at Yonkers Raceway. Shades of Stratton have again come to mind here as fans watch another developing young talent in Austin Siegelman who just turned 22 years of age late last month. Although he has yet to reach the heights that Stratton did during his tenure here still Siegelman appears to have the talent to do so. And that he has great aspirations he may not stay here long enough to produce similar numbers. On the Wednesday afternoon (March 12) card the youngster again won three races but this time it was on an eight-race card. It also happened to be his second hat trick in the past two weeks. Now with 27 wins at the current meet, Siegelman is in sixth place on the local leaderboard. His initial triumph yesterday (Wednesday) came behind Woody Hoblitzell's trotter Samawinner ($17.60) in 2:01.3 in the first race and he followed that with a 1:59 victory with PB Racing Stables, Wheelchair Wendy ($8.70) in race four. Win number three came when he guided Julie Working's Wild Request ($4.20 ) to a come-from-behind victory in a 2:01.2 clocking. "I had seven drives yesterday and long for the days when I have a drive on every race on the card," Siegelman said. A quiet kid who does his talking on the racetrack previously stated that he wants to compete regularly on his hometown track, Pocono Downs. And that's a great possibility even though he has recently had success competing at Yonkers Raceway, the Meadowlands and even at Saratoga Raceway. Last fall the Monticello Goshen Chapter USHWA presented Siegelman with their Rising Star Award and honor also won recently by Jordan Stratton and Joe Bongiorno. And Jimmy Marohn, Jr. was also cited with a Rising Star Award a few years ago. "I'm in good company and I look forward to bigger and better things," Siegelman said. "I love driving horses and I plan on being in this business for a long time. Hopefully this is just the beginning of some great things to come." By John Manzi  

Ever been to Paris? Ya' know, Paris- like in France. I always wanted to visit the city of lights, and just recently I had an opportunity to do so. And whatever you've heard about Paris probably doesn't do it justice. With magnificent attractions like the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Musee du Louvre, Notre Dame , the new giant Ferris Wheel sticking out high above the river Seine, and all the other glorious attributes the city has to offer, I was mystified, and you'd be, too. I was lucky to go with a contingent of horse people who were invited guests of France's Harness Racing Association(Le Trot) and its Chairman of Cheval Francois, the very gracious Dominque de Bellaigue. The dozen, or so, who made the trip were from the U.S Trotting Association, the Standardbred Owners Association of NY, Yonkers Raceway, and the New York State Breeders Association, along with other dignitaries. The major purpose of that French trip was to work with Le Trot to set up simulcasting from the US to France and eventually co-mingling of wagering pools so the French would be able to bet directly into American pools. And with Yonkers president, Tim Rooney and SOANY president, Joe Faraldo among us, they also are working to reinstate the International Trot, won twice by both Roquepine and Une de Mai, which the French were quick to remind us of. The International Trot was very popular decades ago and it may return to Yonkers Raceway before you know it . And it appears that both objectives will come to fruition. Perhaps the best part of that journey was that we went as V.I.P.'s, and as guests of Le Trot we were chauffeured all around, wined and dined, but for airfare and money spent out of pocket. On the evening of our arrival our contingent were guests at a gala Le Trot Banquet and the next two days were spent at the races at Vincennes-their magnificent racetrack-where France's premier trotting event, the Prix d' Amerique-- a 1.2 Million Euro spectacle-- is raced. And both days we were treated to outstanding luncheons at the track and the Moet Champagne flowed like water. Prior to the races on Prix d' Amerique Day the afternoon began with a grand spectacle on the racetrack of different breeds of horses, men on big-high stilts and a Corvette automobile parade with the Prix D' Amerique drivers waving to the huge crowd. That race is the French way of paying homage to the Americans who helped free France during World War I. Even though I'm not a betting man, on the day of the big race I wanted a souvenir so I wagered five Euros on a pick that I made from the 18 starters figuring I'd have a ticket to remember my trip by. But, lo and behold, the horse I picked, Maharajah, won the race and I won nearly fifty U.S. bucks, which was a heck of a lot better than a souvenir losing ticket. We spent three nights in Paris and on the fourth day we were taken by bus to Gros Bois, the unbelievably magnificent training center on the outskirts of Paris, where over 2500 horses are stabled and trained on five or six different size tracks. I even got to meet and take a photo with Maharajah, who was stabled there. After a wonderful luncheon at Gros Bois -with Moet flowing again- we had a three hour trip north to Normandy and for the next two days we visited many training facilities in that part of France. On our last night in Normandy we stayed in Caen, a city rebuilt after it was devastated in World War II, and our group dined at a fine restaurant with the officials of Le Trot who joined us to solidify a co-mingling betting agreement. (And guess what? The Moet flowed there, too. ) On our way back to the airport on our final day of the trip we went by the race track in Caen as our hosts explained that there are over 234 different hippodromes in France, which surprised everyone in the group. It took more than three hours for us to get to the airport in Paris for our return to the USA. While traveling through the city I was amazed at the amount of graffiti that seemed to be everywhere, similar to what you might see in our subways in New York City. We made it to the plane on time and then we prepared for the nine-hour trip back home to JFK. Although I had been to Europe in the late 1980's on two different occasions as publicist for the North American Amateur Drivers Association visiting various cities in Holland, Belgium, as well as Berlin, then in West Germany and before the Wall was taken down. As wonderful as those cities were--- there is only one Paris! John Manzi is the Director of Racing Publicity at Monticello Raceway  

1 to 16 of 1948
1 2 3 4 5 Next »