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Ten members of the Western Region of the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series convened at Northfield Park on Wednesday evening, May 24, for a trotting contest and when it was declared official, "Tiny Tim" Miller walked off with the harness racing trophy after he reined Song in My Heart to a solid 3-1/4 length victory over Heza Rube and driver Bob "Lumberman" Troyer in a 2:01.3 clocking. Miller made short work of his triumph when he gunned the 6-year-old Cantab Hall for the lead from the four hole and took command on the first turn and in doing so they circled co-favorite Star Chip driven by Gregg "Fast Greggy" Keidel. As the field headed to the half way point Keep The Cash and Pat " the Write Stuff" Miller were hung on the limb from the start and looking for a spot down along the pylons. But no one wouldn't allow her any space so she was relegated to a fresh-air trip. As the field headed to the third station Song In My Heart couldn't shake off the parked-out Keep The Cash and they raced one-two as the timer flashed 1:31.1. However from there it was all Song In My Heart as the veteran trotter began to shrug off Keep The Cash and then open daylight on the field. At the wire Miller's charge was a 3-1/4-length winner over Bob Troyer's Heza Rube in a 2:01.1 clocking. And even after being parked the entire mile Keep the Cash finished third just four lengths behind the winner. Song In My Heart is owned by Bert Hershberger and trained by JD Wengerd. He returned a $4.60 win mutuel. For "Tiny Tim" it was his fourth seasonal driving victory and the 40th of his amateur driving career. Billings action continues tomorrow (May 25) with an Eastern region trot at Yonkers Raceway. by John Manzi for the Billings Series

Harness racing's greatest traveling roadshow, the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series, moved north of the border to Mohawk Racetrack on Monday evening, May 22 for two trotting divisions; the first won by Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford with Musical Spell in 1:58.4 and the second by "Racin Jason" Sgrignuoli up behind Bella Pelazzo in 1:56.3. By all accounts Oldford is a very dedicated amateur driver having just returned from Italy after an amateur driving competition against the Italians where he won an event and had three seconds in the USA loss to their Italian counterparts. And saying Oldford just returned couldn't be more accurate because he didn't arrive in Toronto until 2AM this Monday morning(May 22) and by 7:30pm he was in the sulky and hustled Musical Spell to a gate to wire victory over Fork who was driven by "Gentle Ben" Hollingswort. "I had driven few horses for Mr. Guitard (Musical Spell's trainer) years ago and though he told me Musical Spell hadn't been racing well I nevertheless hustled him to the lead from the nine-hole and he raced really well for me tonight,"Oldford said via telephone. "After a:28.2 first quarter I stole a few fractions and we got to the three quarters in 1:28.3 and embraced for the challengers." "Tough Tony" Ciuffetelli had Overcomebyvictory on Musical Spell's throat-latch at the third stanza but Musical Spell soon put him away. Then Fork and "Gentle Ben" Hollingswort came out of a hole and was charging in the lane but Musical Spell showed some grit and hung on for a neck victory over Fork. Third place went to Tortola Sunrise driven by :Hurricane Hannah Miller. Overcomebyvictory ended up fourth. It was the ninth seasonal victory for Oldford who had been racing in the amateur series at Pompano Park in South Florida. The former National Amateur Driver of Year (2013) now has 125 career victories. Sent off as the second choice in the 10-horse field Musical Spell paid $7.10. In the second split Sgrignuoli sent his trotter to the lead and was content with a two-hole journey behind Silence Son, with "Buffalo Bob" Davis at the controls. That lasted until Hannah Miller came calling with Lexis Rocky up the backside who then circled Bella Palazzo. But Hannah's charge could sustain the lead and Sgrignuoli got his trotting mare up for a neck victory over Lexis Rocky in 1:56.3. Third place went to Presquille driven by Tony Ciuffetelli. Silence Son on faded and finished fourth. Bella Palazzo paid $11.20 for win and for Sgrignuoli it was is eighth lifetime driving victory. Next Billings action will be at Northfield Park on Wednesday, May 24. by John Manzi for the Billings Series

Tony "the Capo" Verruso took charge in the Billings Trot at Monticello Raceway on Thursday afternoon (May 18) and went right on down the road with Flirting Duezy and made every pole a winning one en route to a 1:58.1 harness racing triumph. "We had the pole and I wanted her to be on the muscle so I scored her down hard," the Billings president said in the paddock after his driving victory. "But I didn't expect her to be on the bit as strong as she was and when we got behind the (mobile starting) gate I had all I could do to hold her." Flirting Duezy zipped to the lead and took the field by the first stanza in :28.3. "I tried backing her off but she had a mind of her own at that point. So I left her cruise right along and we passed the half in :58.3 and got by the three quarters in 1:27 and 2," Verruso added. At that point Flirting Duezy was two lengths in front of Avivas Winner, who was being driven by "Tough Tony" Ciuffetelli. But Avivas Winner could get no closer and he chased the eventual winner to the wire still two lengths in the rears as the photo finish camera snapped. Third place went to the betting favorite, AJ's Destiny, who was handled by "Buffalo Bob" Davis. Flirting Duezy, is owned by Carl Gillespie and Betsy Phillips and trained by Gillespie. It was the third seasonal victory for the 8-year-old daughter of Victory Sam and the first victory of the year for Verruso who has driven 66 winners in his amateur driving career. However, the day was not over for the Billings president. After the Monticello race he headed to Yonkers Raceway where he's slated to drive his own Sam's Honeybee in the $15,000 Final of the North American Amateur Drivers Associations Spring trotting series. John Manzi

The North American Amateur Drivers Association is anxiously awaiting for the rematch of the harness racing French/ American Amateur Friendship Challenge in late May over the appropriate Memorial Day weekend holiday. Appropriate because the first race will be in Normandy on French soil not far from the famed beaches of World War ll. The competition, which begins on May 26 in Nomandy, will then move over to the fabled Vincennes racetrack outside the City of Lights home of the Prix d' Amerique. That event commemorates America's aid to France in World War I. At the time of the offer NAADA president Joe Faraldo responded positively telling his French counterparts that Americans would field a team of members who participated in NAADA 's Spring Trotting Series currently nearing its completion. That series began in mid-March at Monticello Raceway and will culminate with the Series finale slated for May 18 at Yonkers Raceway. After reviewing possible candidates NAADA canvassed for available drivers willing to make the trip and named six American amateur harness drivers who will travel to Paris and represent the USA in races with some real talented French drivers, perhaps amateurs in name only. Slated to join Faraldo for the upcoming USA-France Friendship Competition are Alan Schwartz, Tony Verruso, Tony Ciufettelli, Bob Davis and Peter Kleinhans. On May 26 the visiting Americans are scheduled to arrive in Paris and then leave directly to Normandy for a night in Caen, the city severely ravaged in WWII but today a beautiful metropolis. Then the next day they will visit the Memorial de Caen and Omaha Beach and Utah Beach. On May28 the visitors will don their colors for a race in Argentin with the next day free for visiting the wonders of Paris. A tour of the fabulous Grosbois Training Center on the outskirts of Paris is slated on May 30 and then it'll be off to the races in Vincennes where the Americans will get a chance to drive against their French counterparts over the famed race course. On May 31 the Americans are scheduled to return home "We will have a tough row to hoe to avenge the terrible loss we sustained at the hands of the French when they visited the USA two years ago, nevertheless we look forward to the challenge, and win or lose, we will definitely enjoy all the locales, wine, food, the comradery and the sincere hospitality shown us while in France". by John Manzi for NAADA

Since the early 1980's the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series started the rebirth of amateur harness racing driving and since then it has been the granddaddy of all amateur contests. It was so successful that it spawned amateur clubs at many racetracks, especially on the east coast, many of which today sap the entries in the Billings Series. On Thursday night (May 12) a 10-horse field of trotters went to post in a Billings contest at the Meadowlands which produced an excellent stretch duel with two trotters and their tail-setters giving their all in an effort to be a winner. When the two main competitors, David "Poppa" Glasser with Winwood Scout and "Hurricane Hannah" Miller and Pine Tab, locked horns at the top of the lane they battled side-by-side all the way to the finish line. The finish was so tight that it took a few minutes before the judges hung the official sign but when they did the former duo was short nose winner over the latter. Glasser and Winwood Scout started from the nine hole and they hustled to the lead and had command in a :27.3 first quarter. Meanwhile, Hannah and Pine Tab got away sixth and they were seven lengths behind the leader at the first stanza. Secure on the lead Glasser got his trotter a breather and they were an open lengths ahead of Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff and Keystone Thomas as the half mile timer flashed :57.3. Nearing that point Hannah moved Pine Tab off the pylons still in sixth position and five lengths behind Winwood Scout. As they headed up the backside Glasser's trotter began to open some daylight on the field and they had a two-length lead in the 1:26.4 clocked three furlongs. Forced to go three-wide around horses Hannah had Pine Tab in high gear at the third stanza and they ranged alongside the leader at the top of the stretch. And from there the battle for victory ensued until Winwood Scout was posted the winner. "I won by one quarter of a nose!" laughed Glasser, who is the president of a litigation support company. "It was a tough first quarter, then I tried to go a fair pace-- not too fast and not too slow --and I just had enough to hold on. Barely. "It was a great race and it felt great to win. This was my fourth Meadowlands win, with the other the last May. Mother's Day has been good to me. I won my first-ever last Mother's Day and this one just before Mother's Day." Recently claimed by Glasser Racing and trained by Mike Watson, the 7-year-old Keystone Nordic gelding paid $9.80 for win. It was the fourth victory in eight seasonal starts for Winwood Scout. And for Glasser, it was his second driving victory this season and 34th of his amateur career. John Manzi

Three years ago a plan was devised by Historic Track's facilities manager, Tim Masters, and backed by the Board of Directors with hopes of adding needed funds for the National Historic Landmark's coffers and with each successive year the promotion and total funds raised gets larger. Packaging a chance to view and wager on the Kentucky Derby with food and spirits available along with fun-filled activities highlighted by a Ladies Hat Contest, the fundraiser keeps drawing more people with each successive year and this past May 6th over 200 people came out despite the cool and unpleasant weather at the Cradle of the Trotter. "That's almost one hundred more than came to the 2016 Derby Day Fundraiser and 150 more who were with us for the inaugural in 2015," Masters explained. But Masters wasn't alone in producing the Derby Day projects. He was greatly assisted by Linda Myers, the Secretary to the Board and her assistant, Jill Omen; Roger Dowd, tracks webmaster, along with Judy Green, president of the Historic Track Auxiliary. "In past years a tent was set-up on the racetrack but a bigger one was needed each successive year. This year we had a huge one where all the attendees had a seat at any of the multitude of tables arranged underneath the tent," noted Linda Myers. "And everyone enjoyed the band that played throughput the afternoon, too." Besides the Kentucky Derby winner (Always Dreaming), unquestionably the biggest favorite of the afternoon was the Lady's Hat Contest. This year 47 ladies entered and when the decision of the judges was final Diane Eisgruber, from Highland, NY was declared the winner. Second place went to Claudia Jacobs (from Goshen, NY) while the crowd's favorite, the young Nehrkorn twins, Charlotte and Lorelle, from Slate Hill, NY, finished third. While all at Historic Track are heavily involved in the upcoming racing season which begins in early June plans are already in the making for Derby Day, 2018. by John Manzi for Historic Track

It was Joe Lee day at Monticello Raceway on Thursday May 11. The New York Yankees assistant locker room manager won both divisions of the NAADA Trotting Series at the Sullivan County harness racing oval. He won the first split, race six on the betting card, with Hidden Identity in a 2:00.4 clocking and then came back to score an easy 1:59.3 victory behind Tim Lizzie in race eight. Known as "Yankee Joe" in amateur driving circles because of his professional vocation Lee had a smile a mile wide after he handed the lines to trainer Bruce Aldrich, Sr. when he got off from Tim Lizzie's sulky. "This is my first driving double", he said gleefully. "And my parents were here today to see it which made the whole afternoon just that much better." In the first NAADA trot Lee was up behind the betting favorite Hidden Identity from the pole position and he sent the 10-year-old Angus Hall gelding to the lead and they led the field by the first stanza in :29.3. They were in front past the half in 1:01 and from there it was catch me if you can and no one could as Hidden Identity had enough in the final strides to hold off "Hurricane Hannah" Miller and Rev It Now in the 2:00.4 clocked mile. Permanent Joy was third for Bobby Krivelin. "He was super today," Lee said after reining Hidden Identity to victory. "We got a breather going to the half and because of that he was strong all the way to the wire," Lee said after his driving victory and then pointed out that it was the trotter's third consecutive victory. Owned and trained by Tom Milici of Montgomery, NY. Hidden Identity scored his fourth seasonal triumph and paid $3.90 for win. The second division reeled out completely different than the first. Despite leaving from the pole position Joe Lee and Tim Lizzie got away slowly in the six-horse field. After two trotters broke stride before the start Tim Lizzie settled in fourth position and Lee was content to stay back from the lead as Bobby Krivelin and Current Crisis showed the way. As the short field headed up the backside the second time around Lee, still in fourth place, reeled his charge to the outside and then went three-deep and they were in front before the final turn. From there it was all Tim Lizzie as he finished a comfortable two lengths ahead of Current Crisis in the 1:59.3 trotted mile. Third place went to Pocket Passer with Tony Verruso at the controls. "With the short field I was content to follow the leaders because I know my horse has a good kick at the end of a mile and I was especially comfortable since there were fast fractions up front," Lee said. "The last time I drove Tim Lizzie he got steppy as we headed to the three quarters and then he finally made a break. But this time I was intent to not let that happen again and he was hitting on all four once Lizzie got in high gear and we had no trouble passing horses and cruised to an easyvictory" Owned by Woody Hoblitzell of Destin, Fla and trained by Bruce Aldrich, Sr. Tim Lizzie paid $17.20 for win. However, no sooner had the eighth race finished Joe Lee was off to his real job at Yankee Stadium where the Bronx Bombers are playing against the Houston Astros tonight by John Manzi for Historic Track  

When the Midwest region of the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series kicked-of its 2017 harness racing season at Miami Valley Raceway on Sunday afternoon, May 7 a lady emerged victorious in the one-mile trot and it wasn't "Hurricane Hannah" Miller. The winning lady chauffer was longtime and accomplished Billings veteran, Michelle "the Belle" Ruvola. With a thoughtful and patient demeanor she rallied Upfront Chip Daddy to a come-from-behind 2:00.4 victory over Ned "the insurance broker" Hodkinson's Mutinyonthebounty. For Ms. Ruvola, a business executive from Naperville, Ill., it was her 39th winning drive. "What a way to start the season!" Michelle said after her victory. "I was in the paddock thinking it's been awhile since I've raced. That edge of excitement I normally feel before a race was just a bit sharper than usual - and next thing you know- I heard the pounding of hoof beats around me; felt the track beneath me and even tasted the limestone mixed with horsehair (NOT recommended). And we were off!!" Michelle and Upfront Chip Daddy started slowly from the two-hole but she gradually worked her trotter into a position where they would have a chance at a victory. "Sometimes things fall into place and this was one of those races", Michelle related via email. "We got away fifth on the rail - inauspicious beginning- and then we were trapped and being shuffled back. I knew I had a ton of horse, so when I saw a gap on the outside I sent Chip toward the opening, and he flew between horses. At the top of the turn , I decided that patience was not going to be a virtue, so I tipped Chip three-wide and gave him his chance to win. He was strong up the stretch and when he got neck and neck with Ned's horse (Mutinyonthebounty) he had his ears back, neck stretched forward and just kept digging into the racetrack for the win!" The third place went to Strong Hope, driven by "Lawbook Larry" Farley. It was the third seasonal victory for the 5 year old altered son of Chip Chip Hooray who is owned by Wolf Creek Farm (in Illinois). Dismissed and sent off as the longest shot on the board in the well-matched seven-horse field, Upfront Chip Daddy paid $20.60-$10.40 -$4.00 across the board. Next action in the granddaddy of all amateur series will be in the eastern region at the Meadowlands on May 12. by John Manzi for the Billings Series

On Thursday evening (May 4) two $6000 divisions of the North American Amateur Drivers Association Spring Trotting Series were contested over the double oval at Yonkers Raceway with both events raced as non-wagering affairs prior to the harness racing betting card getting underway. Peter Kleinhans won the first split with Toss Cartwright in 1:59.4 while the second division went to John Kokinos when he reined Sim Brown home first in a 1:59.2 clocking. Although Kokinos breezed to an easy five- length triumph Kleinhans had to work hard to keep Hannah Miller and Rev It Now at bay to score short nose victory. In fact the finish was so close that Rev It Now got the last call but the judge's review of the photo finish showed a different result. Kleinhans and Toss Cartwright took command as the gate folded and they led through fractions of :29; :58.2 and 1:29 with Rev It Now and Hannah Miller shadowing the pacesetter's every move. When they rounded the final turn the top two trotters were open lengths ahead of the trailing horses and as they straightened for home "Hurricane Hannah" moved Rev It Now out to challenge and a battle then ensued as the two trotters raced head-to-head down the long stretch and all the way to the wire and despite Rev It Now getting the last call it was Toss Cartwright who walked away with the lion's share of the purse. Third place, some three lengths in the rears, was Windsun Fireball, driven by John Nicholson. The race winner is owned by Coleen Cash and trained by John McDermott. For Kleinhans it was his first winning drive in four seasonal starts this year and 52of his amateur career. In late May Kleinhans will be among the six NAADA members who will travel to France for a Friendship Competition against members of UNAT (Union Nationale des Amateurs du Trot) -the French amateur organization. In the other division Dr. John Kokinos made a laugher out of the race when he sent Sim Brown to the lead from the two-hole and then made every pole a winning one en route to a five-length triumph over Kerfuffle Cookie and driver Peter Gerry. Third place went to Jelectric who was handled by Bob Davis. Sim Brown coasted through early fractions of :30.1; 1:00.3 before Kokinos put the pedal to the metal and his trotter began to draw clear of the competition and the farther they went to bigger to lead became until they coasted to an oh-so-easy victory. Sim Brown is owned by Robert Santagata and Jennifer Lappe and Kokinos also doubles as the horse's trainer. It was the second seasonal victory for the 9-year old Angus Hall gelding who now has purse earnings in excess of $605,000. by John Manzi for NAADA

Nearly three months ago the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) president, Joe Faraldo, received a formal invitation from the French amateur organization (LeTrot) for a harness racing rematch of the French vs American Amateur Friendship Challenge only this time with all races on French soil, including a competition over the fabled Vincennes racetrack outside the City of Lights. At that time Faraldo responded positively telling his counterparts that NAADA would field a team of its members who have participated in their Spring Trotting Series. That event began in mid-March and will culminate with the Series finale slated on May 18. After reviewing possible candidates Faraldo and his organization have named six talented American amateur harness drivers who will wing their way to Paris in late May and represent NAADA in races there and at facilities in greater Normandy. Those preparing to join Faraldo and represent America in the upcoming USA-France Friendship Competition include Alan Schwartz, Tony Verruso, Tony Ciufettelli, Bob Davis and Peter Kleinhans. All the aforementioned have their paperwork completed and have made preparations to convene in Paris on May 26. "We will have a tough plight in order to avenge the terrible loss we sustained at the hands of the French when they visited us (in the USA) two years ago for a Friendship Competition," Faraldo reasoned. "Nevertheless we look forward to the challenge, and win or lose, we will definitely enjoy all the locales that we'll visit. "We expect to soon receive an itinerary for the upcoming trip and when we do we'll disclose it." by John Manzi for NAADA

Two exciting races in the North American Amateur Drivers Association trotting series went to post on the betting card at Monticello Raceway on Thursday afternoon (Apr. 27) and upon their completion Alan Schwartz and Tony Ciuffetelli each were victorious in their respective splits. Schwartz scored a come-from behind triumph with I'm Fabulous in 1:59 while Ciuffetell used the front end route for a 2:00.3 victory with Avivas Winner. Schwartz, who was the National Amateur Driver of the Year in 2000, has spent most of the recent seasons racing against professionals while carrying amateur status. Today (Thurs April 27) at the Mighty M he hustled I'm Fabulous away from the mobile gate and settled in behind the betting favorite Current Crisis (Bobby Krivelin) and was content to follow the leader as Krivelin cut fractions of :30-1:00.4 and 1:29.4 all the way to the top of the lane at which point Schwartz tipped his mare to the outside trotted to away to a two-length victory over Current Crisis. Third place went to AJ Destiny driven by Bob Davis. "I figured if I could get in behind 'Kriv'(elin) on the first turn and then let his horse cut the fractions I'd have a good chance to beat him in the stretch," Schwartz said after his driving victory. "And it worked out perfect as my mare was the strong horse in the lane." Although he has been participating in amateur races at Monticello and Yonkers Raceways in recent years Schwartz has been reluctant to travel the Billings circuit as he did in the early 2000's. "I have a small stable and get plenty of action at Monticello so I don't have to travel far away to drive," Schwartz explained. It was his ninth winning drive this season and over the years Schwartz has won 584 races ranking him second all-time behind "Boots" Dunn's 1152. I'm Fabulous is owned by Brenda Messenger and Scott Woogen and trained by Gary Messenger. She paid $5.40 for win. The other NAADA event saw Tony Ciuffetelli and Avivas Winner trot to the lead as they came off the first turn and use the front end route to score an exciting victory with three horses just heads apart at the finish. "My horse likes the front end and as long as I keep the wraps on him so he doesn't got too fast to the half he finishes strong," Ciuffetelli explained. "He wasn't that strong today but strong enough to hold off (Tony) Verruso (with Pocket Passer) and (Bob) Krivelin (with Superiorcourt) for the victory." Comfortable all the way until the backside the second time around Ciuffetelli's trotter was joined by Tim Lizzi (Joe Lee) nearing the third quarter but that trotter went off-stride erasing Lee's chances at victory. However, Verruso moved Pocket Passer, who was following Tim Lizzi, up alongside Avivas Winner as Krivelin moved in closer along the pylons hopefully awaiting a chance to rally in the passing lane. Around the final turn the three leaders were all set for the stretch drive but Avivas Winner showed real grit keeping both Pocket Passer and Superiorcourt at bay and trotted on to a neck victory over the former with Pocket Passer a length back in third place. Avivas Winner is owned by Scheigert Racing Stable and trained by Amanda Kelley. He returned a $12.40 win mutuel. With the completion of five NAADA series legs Krivelin's 42 points are two better than Schwartz's. Third, with 32 points, is John Kokinos while Joe Lee (23) and Tony Verruso (21) round out the top five in series points. by John Manzi for NAADA

Harness racing's greatest traveling roadshow, the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series, moved on to Freehold Raceway on Saturday afternoon (April 22) where a seven-horse field went to post and when the judges hung the official sign Bobby "Rapid Rail" Krivelin emerged victorious with his own Permanent Joy in a 2:01:1 clocking. In a race marred by breaking horses on the first turn "Hurricane Hannah" Miller cleared the confusion with Winwood Scout from the seven- hole but had to sizzle to a :28.4 first quarter which arguably took its toll later in the race. She did get her trotter a breather but "Buffalo Bob" Davis kept the pressure on with Mr. Butterworth. However, the eventual winner, Permanent Joy wasn't quite as lucky in clearing the breaking horses . "Permanent Joy is handy little horse so I was able to avoid the confusion On the first turn but by then I was 10 lengths back of two leaders," Krivelin related via email. As the field headed up the backside the final time around Winwood Scout was joined by Permanent Joy and from there a battle ensued. "Once I caught the field I felt I had a shot (to win). Coming around the final turn I thought I would go right by Hannah (with Winwood Scout) but she did a great job keeping her horse alive and we battled till the (finish) line. Fortunately I came out on top." The margin of victory had to be determined by the photo-finish camera and when the judges developed the print Permanent Joy won by a head. Third place went to Windsong Illusion driven by "Slate Hill Allen" Sisco. The crowd sent the winner off at odds of over 7-1 and Permanent Joy returned $16.80 to those who backed him. Krivelin owns and trains the veteran 9-year-old Permanent Vocation gelding who years ago was the State of Maine's 3 year old trotting champion. For Permanent Joy it was the trotter's second seasonal victory and for Krivelin, a three-time National Amateur Driving Champion, it was his fifth win in just nine seasonal starts. By John Manzi for the Billings Series

The fifth leg of the eight-leg NAADA Trotting Series was contested on Thursday (April 20) at Yonkers Raceway and when the results were official David Glasser and Robert Krivelin were each victorious in their respective splits. Glasser and Celebrity Stimulus cruised to a five- length triumph in a 1:59.3 clocking while Kivelin and Current Crisis out-trotted their harness racing competition to score a 2:01,4 victory. Seemingly comfortable on the double oval-Celebrity Stimulus was hustled to the front from post five when the gate sprung and led the short five-horse field by the first stanza in 30:1. After a :59.4 first half Glasser asked his steed for more and Celebrity Stimulus responded and trotted clear and just kept opening daylight on the field while he cruised home an oh-so-easy winner over Tim Lizzie and driver Bob Davis in a 1:59.3 clocking. Signal Hill OK finished third for Joe Faraldo On March 30 at the Hilltop oval Celebrity Stimulus and Glasser went on the be the first under the wire in an earlier NAADA trot only to be disqualified and placed fourth for drifting in the homestretch. "I didn't make that mistake again tonight," Glasser said. "We were clear in the stretch and I was cognizant about not drifting in or changing my position as we raced to the finish. I'm grateful to Team Butenschoen for always sending 'Stim' to the track ready to race!" The winner is owned by Glasser Racing LLC and trained by John Butenschoen In the second NAADA trot Krivilen also used the front-end route to score a 2:01.4 victory with Current Crisis for the trotter's second win in the series. Starting from the two-hole Current Crisis circled I'm Fabulous (Alan Schwartz) when the gate sprung and was on the lead at the quarter in a soft :31.When the field headed to the halfway point Schwartz moved I'm Fabulous out to challenge Current Crisis for the lead only to be rebuffed as the pace-setter began to draw away from his challenger.; They then raced one-two to the finish with Current Crisis a one-length winner. Third place went to Wygant Prince, driven by Paul Minore. It was Current Crisis' fourth seasonal triumph. He's owned by the Hero Stables and trained by Krivelin. The series will continue on Thursday April 27 at Monticello Raceway. John Manzi  

Known by his Billings nickname of "Buffalo Bob" Robert Davis scored a brilliant upset victory in the granddaddy of all amateur harness racing series when he guided Savage Cinderella to a 1:56.3 victory over "Hurricane Hannah" Miller's Panana Republic last night (April 14) at the Meadowlands. "It was such a great stretch duel with my trotter and Hannah's each putting their heads in front at various stages right up to the wire where my mare was a head better in the tight photo," Davis related with great enthusiasm. "We went back and forth all the way from the three -quarter pole; first my mare was in front then Hannah's was the leader. Such a great battle that to me was reminiscent of the Alydar- Affirmed stretch duel of thoroughbred racing lore." After moving down a starting position (to post two) due to a late scratch Davis hustled Savage Cinderella to the lead and was somewhat taken aback when the first quarter timer flashed :27.4. "We Ieft the gate in a hurry and when the field settled I realized I needed to give my mare a breather so I tapped the breaks and we got by the half in 57 and a piece," Davis explained. It was at that point that Hannah Miller sent the races betting favorite, Panana Republic, toward the front and therein the battle ensued. The two leaders opened daylight between themselves and the rest of the field and the racing fans were the recipients of a great horse race right to the finish line. Third place went to BL Class Act driven by "Slate Hill Allen" Sisco. Owner Robert Rigobello of nearby Brooklyn was happy that his Savage Cinderella got a chance to race at the Meadowlands and happier still that she won the race. He was joined by trainer Diane Peterson fort the winners circle ceremonies. It was the third seasonal victory for the Saratoga Raceway-based 9-year-old daughter of Keystone Savage and 44th of her career. Dismissed by the betting public and sent off at odds of nearly 30-1 Savage Cinderella paqid $61.20 for win. For "Buffalo Bob" Davis it was his second seasonal driving victory and the 30th of his amateur career. John Manzi

The fourth leg of the North American Amateur Driver's Association's Spring Trotting Series Thursday afternoon (April 13) at Monticello Raceway had plenty of harness racing action not only throughout the mile but especially in the lane as four horses finished heads apart with just a scant nose separating first and second place. And when the judges deciphered the extremely tight finish and hung the official sign, Woody, driven by "Yankee Joe" Lee was declared the winner; a very thin nose ahead of Sam's Honeybee, driven by Tony Verruso. The finish was so tight that racing room wasn't plentiful and as the top four finishers approached the wire, Joe Lee's sulky hooked Tony Verruso's but thankfully, after the finish line the two sulkies got unhooked and the only problem lied in the judges hands to decipher what happened and were any rules broken. As it turned out the judges determined that Sam's Honeybee bore out in the deep stretch which caused the trotting mare's sulky to hook Woody's. When the race results were posted Woody was the winner and Sam's Honey relegated to second money. Third place right there, was Sim Brown and driver John Kokinos. Fortunately for Lee, Woody, hooked to was sulky, was longer than Sam's Honeybee's hook-up which allowed the former to be in front at the finish despite having his sulky's wheel behind Sam's Honeybee's. "We got away slowly and were far back at the quarter," Joe Lee said in the paddock after the judge's decision was made final. "We were still quite far behind (six Lengths) at the half but up the backside I moved three-deep and we were making up ground. "Woody was in high gear when we straightened in the stretch and if Tony's sulky hadn't hooked mine we would have been a clear winner." No sooner had Lee finished explaining about his vision of the race than did he immediately grab his valise and was headed to Yankee Stadium where he is the assistant locker room manager. (And yes, Lee is on first name basis all the Yankee ballplayers). Dismissed by the betting public and sent off at odds of over 8-1, Woody paid $18.20 for win. The veteran 7-year-old Glidemaster gelding is owned by Woody Hoblitzell and trained by Bruce Aldrich, Sr. It was the second seasonal victory for Woody and the fourth win this year for driver Joe Lee. John Manzi

After three exciting divisions in the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series at Pompano Park on April 3rd harness racing's greatest traveling roadshow moved on to Freehold Raceway on Saturday, April 8 for a contest in the daylight and when that race was completed Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff emerged victorious with The Franchise in a time of 2:02.1. The executive recruiter took advantage of the pole position and hustled his trotter to the lead and they were comfortable in front as the quarter mile timer flashed :29.3. Surprisingly there were two horses in the six-horse field that were hung on the limb and Hechkoff played them like a fisherman plays a big snare keeping them at bay and never letting either gain command. First-over was BL Class Act and driver "Slate Hill Allen" Sisco with whom Hechkoff played hardball from the get-go. Despite starting from the two-hole Sisco's charge never saw the pylons and went a gutsy mile finishing in the exact time as the winner when three trotters crossed the finish line just heads apart. Unfortunately for Sisco and his trotter they were relegated to a third place finish. Brad "Quality Control" Rathbone and Northern Obsession, who were enjoying a two-hole journey, rallied in the passing lane but fell a head short of the winner although a head better than BL Class Act. "If I didn't keep Sisco's trotter on the limb I wouldn't have won the race," Hechkoff reasoned after the mile. "Even though BL Class Act never saw the pylons my horse (The Franchise) had all he could do to keep him at bay. I had no other choice." The first three finishers in the contest were each clocked in the identical time of 2:02 and fourth place finisher Landonfitz (Dave "Steady As" Yarock) was just two ticks behind the winner. The Franchise, owned by Hechkoff's RBH Ventures and trained by Kyle Spagnola, paid $8.20 for win. For Hechkoff, his victory was his 91st of his amateur career which began in 2000 and his second of the 2017 season. by John Manzi for the Billings Series

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