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Yonkers, NY--When harness racing amatuer Alan Schwartz claimed Ladys Big Stormont for $12,500 in early July of last season he knew he was purchasing a quality trotter and after owning the Earl of Stormont gelding for over a year and a half the trotter has returned his purchase price 'four fold'. Tonight (December 1) at Yonkers Raceway, in the $15,000 NAADA Trotting Series Final, Schwartz and his trusty steed kept all comers at bay and went on to score a neck triumph over Wygant Prince and driver Paul Minore in 2:00. Another neck behind the leaders in third place was Peter Kleinhans and Toss Cartwright After starting from the five-hole Schwartz sent Ladys Big Stormont toward the front as the wings of the mobile gate folded but Dave Yarock had the same idea with Mr Ridgetaker and they gained command midway around the first turn. Schwartz and Ladys Big Stormont then settled in along the pylons in third position directly behind Pail Minore's Wygant Prince and the three trotters raced in file order past the first stanza in :28.4 Yarock then led the field by the halfway point in :59.4 and although Schwartz was anxious he waited until they straightened up the backside to move Ladys Big Stormont. "When I pulled him he shot up alongside Yarock's trotter and we raced head to head to the three quarters and around the final turn and we finally cleared to the lead as we headed down the homestretch," Schwartz related. But trouble was coming when Minore moved Wygant Prince to the passing lane and Peter Kleinhans rallied Toss Cartwright on the outside and the three trotters charged side by side for paydirt "My horse was real gritty and he turned back the challengers and we held on for a neck victory over Paul's trotter. Peter's horse finished third ," Schwartz said. To say that Ladys Big Stormont is currently at the top of his game would be an understatement. In his last eight races the venerable trotter has five wins and three seconds and for the season Ladys Big Stormont reached the winners circle 11 times. Add that to 10 seconds and four thirds and the 6-year-old Earl of Stormont gelding raised his seasonal earnings to over $55,000. by John Manzi for NAADA

MONTICELLO, NY - The last two amateur races of the season at Monticello Raceway were contested on Wednesday, November 29 and when the harness racing judges hung the official signs Tony Ciuffetelli emerged victorious in the $6000 NAADA Consolation while Jennifer Lappe copped the $6500 Catskill Club Final. Ciuffetelli reined trotter Better To Be Lucky home first in a 2:01.2 clocking whereas Lapped scored a 1:59.2 triumph with pacer Lightning Strike. There was only a five horse field for the NAADA consolation and taking advantage of the short field Tony Ciuffetelli sent his charge to the lead. Once there they made every pole a winning one en route to a head victory over Connie Keeper and driver Bob Krivelin . "Since my horse is good on the lead, and with the pole position and the short field, I thought the front end was the place to be," Ciuffetelli said after the race. They charged to the front and Better To Be Lucky trotted off to an early lead. But they couldn't shake Connie Keeper who followed along doggedly in the two hole as the others faded lengths behind. When the leaders headed for home Krivelin moved Connie Keeper out to challenge and they raced neck and neck to the finish and at the wire Better To Be Lucky prevailed by a head. Third place went to Grand Vision in rein to Bob Ciavardini. "He had breaking issues earlier this year but he's OK now.", Ciuffetteli said referring to Better To Be Lucky. "I was getting after him pretty good as we neared the wire but he stayed at his work and hung tough today" Ciuffetlli also owns and trains the winner who returned an $8.20 mutuel. The Catskill Amateur Club's finale was a tribute to the ladies as three were finalists and the gals finished one -three an action packed driving finish. When the wings of the mobile starting gate folded Monica Banca sent Fox Valley Leo to the lead followed on the outside by Lightning Strike and driver Jennifer Lappe. But as they approached the first stanza in a swift :27.2 Lappe found room on the inside and tucked in nicely behind the leader. Before the field passed the halfway point in .57.2 Gerry Fielding was out and going with Troon, the betting favorite. They rallied alongside Fox Valley Leo as the three quarter timer flashed 1:27.4. When they straightened for paydirt Fox Valley Leo and Troon battled side by side and then in mid-stretch they were joined in the passing lane by Lucky Strike and the three raced to the finish. At the wire Lappe's pacer, Lucky Strike, prevailed by a length. Troon was second and Fox Valley Leo third. "We got lucky finding room along the pylons or we'd have been hung out," a joyous Lappe related in the paddock as she hung up the lines. "Lightning Strike is a pleasure to drive and I guess we just clicked." It marked Lucky Strike's fourth victory in his last five starts for Lappe. Owned and trained by Bill Mintz he paid $4.00 for win. On Friday the $15,000 NAADA Final will be contested at Yonkers Raceway as a non-wagering affair prior to the first race on the betting card. by John Manzi for NAADA and the CADC

Efforts by the North American Amateur Drivers Association and the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club are under way to organize a race for military veterans who are also amateur harness drivers are coming to fruition according to NAADA vice president, Alan Schwartz. The event will be held on Thursday November 9, noted Alan Schwartz a former U.S Marine who besides being the vice president of NAADA is also the president of the Monticello Raceway's Harness Horsemen's Association. At the end of the November 9th racing card at the Mighty M both NAADA and CADC will each donate $1000 to the Veteran's Food Pantry of Sullivan County, NY. Both amateur organizations are urging those who plan on attending the afternoon's race card to please bring along a non-perishable food item which will then be delivered to the veteran's food pantry. Beginning Wednesday November 1, Monticello Raceway will revert to its winter post time of 12:25pm. By Shawn Wiles

Monticello, NY - Ever since the resurgence of amateur harness racing in the early 1980's Monticello Raceway has been in the forefront of that movement. On the Thursday afternoon card of October 26th three events--two NAADA trots and one trot for Billings drivers were carded and when the races were declared official , Alan Schwartz, Jennifer Lappe and Bobby Krivelin each were victorious in their respective splits. Schwartz won the first NAADA Trot with Linda Marie in 2:00 while Lappe copped the second division with Fox Valley Steffen in a 2:00.3 clocking. Krivelin's triumph came in a Billings Trot when he guided Permanent Joy home first in 1.59. In his NAADA split Schwartz, driving Linda Marie for the first time, sent the 6-year-old Crazed mare to the lead when the wings of the mobile gate folded although it wasn't his pre-race plan. "I thought I'd follow Peter's (Kleinhans) horse (Toss Cartwright-the betting favorite from the rail) and sit in behind him but my mare got away quickly so I sent her to the lead and it was a good thing I did because Toss Cartwright made a break on the first turn," Schwartz related. Schwartz and his trotting mare stepped by the first quarter in a swift :28.4 and with the next stanzas well rated no others took a shot at the leader and she cruised though fractions of :31.1 and :30.3 before kicking in a :29.3 final quarter en route to a 1-1/2-length triumph over Tony Verruso's Flirting Duesy and Bobby Krivelin's Connie Keeper. Owned and trained by Jim Doherty, Jr Linda Marie paid $6.50 for win. The second NAADA split was a six-horse field with two women among the drivers-, and one, Jennifer Lappe, showed she knows her way around the racetrack when she kept her charge, Fox Valley Steffen close to the pace and then maneuvered him on the final turn so she had a clear passage to the wire. "I was content to follow the leaders as Paul (Minore) set steady fractions with Wygant Prince and on the final turn I looked for the short path to the wire and used the passing lane to my advantage. In the deep stretch we trotted by Ladys Big Stormont (Alan Schwartz ) and Wygant Prince (Paul Minore) and we were home free." Ms Lappe owns and trains Fox Valley Steffen who as the longest shot on the board paid $23.20. The final amateur race was leg of America's premier traveling roadshow, the CKG Billings Series. In that contest seven trotters lined-up behind the starting gate and when the wings folded Bobby "Rapid Rail" Krivelin and Permanent Joy took charge. After starting from the five hole Krivelin sent his veteran 9-year-old trotter to the front and literally toyed with the opposition and played catch me if you can. But no one could as he and his Trot For Joy gelding cruised through fractions of :29;:58.3 and 1:28.3 before finishing a solid two lengths in front of Tim Lizzie and driver "Yankee Joe" Lee for a two-length victory in 1:59 "He's super on the lead," Krivelin said upon his return to the paddock as he handed the lines to the horse's groom. "He's (Permanent Joy) is a nice old horse and a real pleasure to drive." Owned by the Hero Stables and trained by Krivelin, Permanent Joy won for the fifth time this season and 35th time in his career. He returned a $7.00 mutuel. by John Manzi for NAADA & The Billings Series  

MONTICELLO, NY - In a week inundated with races for harness racing amateur drivers, Monticello Raceway, for the second consecutive day, programmed two amateur events on the afternoon card of October 18 after showcasing two on the previous days program. Today (Thursday),one was for members of North American Amateur Drivers Association and another for those who are members of the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club with many drivers belonging to both organizations. In the NAADA contest Alan Schwartz and Ladys Big Stormont made a laugher out of it when they used the front end route to score an easy 3-1/4 length trotting triumph over Jennifer Lappe's Fox Valley Steffen in a 2:00:1 cocking. Not to be outdone, Joe Lee used a similar route to notch an oh-so-easy 1:56 victory with Artistic Cruiser in the Catskill Club's pacing event later on the card. In a week which featured 12 contests through Thursday afternoon with two more to follow tonight at Yonkers Raceway. With the continuing shortage of available racing stock the amateur movement is welcomed, not only by sportsmen and women who partake of the opportunities to drive just for the fun of it, but also by the racetracks which need competitive races for their wagering clientele. When the gate sprung in the NAADA trot Schwartz sent Ladys Big Stormont towards the front but after encountering Fox Valley Steffen and driver Jennifer Lappe Schwartz contemplated taking a hole or going for the lead, with the latter winning out. Ladys Big Stormont got parked in a rather soft 29 first quarter before taking command. Then once on top Schwartz's charge was comfortable by the half in 1:00. First to move was Joe Lee when he took Tim Lizzie off the pylons and moved toward the front but three lengths behind the leader was all Tim Lizzie could muster. Ladys Big Stormont drew away from his competition on the final turn and coasted home comfortably tripping the mile timer in 2:00.1 The veteran trotter had been good earlier in the season and after a stagnant period he vaulted back to score his second consecutive triumph today. "He had been sluggish for a handful of starts so I turned him out for 10 days on my nearby farm and he returned to his earlier season form," Schwartz said referring to Ladys Big Stormont's recent improvement. Schwartz owns the winner who is trained by Rick Harp. He paid $4.20. In the Catskill amateurs pacing event Joe Lee looked for a spot along the pylons with Artistic Cruiser after the start but couldn't find any room. "So, I made up my mind to go for the lead which I did," the New York Yankee's assistant locker room manager related. "Actually I didn't have any other choice. But it certainly turned out to be the right move." After a :28.1 first quarter Lee and Artistic Cruiser gained command on the second turn and they led the field by the half in:57.4. Still strong as they passed the third stanza in 1:26.4 Artistic Cruise began to open daylight on the field and they had four lengths as they turned for home which was opened to five at the wire. Second place went to KJ Brent, driven by Billings president, Tony Verruso. Visiting Kiwi, Gavin Cook, who competed in the NAADA v New Zealand competition on Wednesday was offered chance to be a guest participant and he finished third here with Crown Isle. Artistic Cruiser, a 5-year-old Artistic Fella gelding, is owned and trained by Tom Milici. Sent off as the odds-on favorite he returned a $3.60 mutuel.   by John Manzi for NAADA and the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club

The second leg of the three-track international Friendship competition between the visiting New Zealanders and the hometown NAADA team was contested Tuesday night (Oct. 17) on the betting card at Yonkers Raceway and when the judges hung the official sign the Kiwi’s Cheree Wigg emerged victorious with Big Turn On in a 1:57.1 clocking. Second place went the New Zealand’s Gavin Cook while the USA’s Jennifer Lappe saved face for the NAADA team by finishing third. But the race was dominated by the talented ladies with the Kiwi’s Colleen Nequs finishing fourth giving the visitors three of the first four placings. When the starting judge said “Go” New Zealand’s Mike Maynard charged to lead from the six-hole with 62-1 shot Every Intention and they had command at the first stanza as the timer flashed :28.1. Still in command as they passed the halfway point in :57.2 the early fractions soon began to take toll on the leader. Still second but tiring as they paced by the three quarters in 1:27.1 Maynard and Every Intention watched as Ms Wigg and Big Turn On zoomed by to take command. In the lane Big Turn On was the strong horse and rebuffed a late charges from both Dirty Devil (Gavin Cook) and Lucky Man (Jennifer Lappe) to score a solid one length triumph .“It was great,” Cheree Wigg said via telephone about her driving victory tonight at Yonkers. “I got away OK from the mobile in third place, followed the leaders and then popped out at the three quarters and skipped away on the turn. My horse was strong and held off the others to win it.” The winner, a six year-old altered son of Mr. Big, is owned by Joseph Di Francesco and trained by Bruno Nicolo. He paid $12.20 for win and set up a $75.50 all-Kiwi exacta. The final leg of the USA-New Zealand Friendship Competition will be contested tomorrow (Wednesday) at Monticello Raceway where two events are slated as races three and six on the 10-card. by John Manzi for NAADA

Two short fields went to post in the NAADA Trots at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday, Oct. 12 before the betting car got underway and when the dust settled "Hurricane Hannah" Miller and "Smokin' Joe" Faraldo each emerged victorious in their respective harness racing splits. Miller won her division with Pine Tab in 2:03.2 while Faraldo scored with Tough Get Going in 2:01.2. Despite his outstanding and time-consuming efforts in producing all aspects of the International Trot slated for Saturday (Oct. 14) Faraldo found time to sit behind a spirted steed in his own NAADA Trotting Series. "Actually this race was scheduled for Wednesday but it was held over until tonight (Thursday) which was the night of the boat ride for our International Trot guests which caused a minor dilemma for me," Faraldo said after his victory. "I really wanted to go on the boat ride but I knew I had a good shot to win the NAADA race tonight." According to Faraldo he drove Tough Get Going at Monticello Raceway last week and a mishap behind the starting gate caused him to finish back. "I knew he (Tough Get Going) had a great chance to win tonight and I wanted to be in the driver's seat even though I had to pass on the International Trot boat ride around Manhattan Isle with all my friends," Faraldo said. "You know, I don't have that many live mounts when I drive and I didn't want to pass up this one." And Faraldo ,the president of NAADA, assumption was correct and he gunned his charge to the front and took no prisoners while making every pole a winning one. Second place went to Fox Valley Steffen driven by Jennifer Lappe. Billings president Tony Verruso finished third with Sam's Honeybee. Tough Get Going is a 4 year old Kadabra gelding owned by D'Elegance Stable, Richard Banca and Carmine Iannacone and trained by Banca. The other division saw Hannah Miller send Pine Tab to the lead and with the short field they didn't encounter any challenges as the two time National Amateur Driver of the Year got her trotter to the halfway point in a soft 1:03.2 Still Pine Tab needed a :59.4 second half to hold off Bobby Krivelin's Permanent Joy for ahead victory. Third place went to SJ Better Days in rein to Bob Hechkoff. It was Ms Miller's 22nd winning drive thus far this year and her 95th in just 322 career trips to post. Pine Tab is an 8-year-old Cantab Hall gelding owed by the JL Benson Stable and trained by Nick Surick Both NAADA races were non-wagering events. by John Manzi for NAADA

Kew Gardens, NY -A rematch with the invading New Zealanders is set to begin on Friday Oct. 13th when a contingent of Kiwi's arrive on American soil Friday, Oct. 13th to begin an amateur harness racing driving competition at three different race tracks in New York State. Races are slated at Yonkers Raceway, Saratoga Raceway and Monticello Raceway. "Late last fall a contingent of NAADA members traveled to New Zealand for an international amateur driving contest there and now we have the pleasure of reciprocating," noted Joe Faraldo president of NAADA. "We didn't fare very well Down Under but it didn't really matter What did was sharing the comradery and friendships fostered by amateur racing." The Kiwi's are coming with a powerful foursome consisting of Gavin Cook, Mike Maynard, Cheree Wigg and Coleen Negus and they will drive at all three venues. However, the NAADA Team members will change at each participating race track. Scheduled to drive at Saratoga on Monday, Oct. 16 are Tony Cuiffetelli, Bob Davis, Alan Schwartz and Gerry Fielding. At Yonkers on Tues. (Oct 17) Joe Lee, Joe Faraldo, Jennifer Lappe and Peter Kleinhans will represent NAADA. And at the final leg at Monticello on Wednesday (Oct 18), Alan Schwartz, Gerry Fielding, Monica Banca and Joe Faraldo will represent the Americans. Nightly dinners at outstanding restaurants along the journey will be supplied by the hosting North American Amateur Drivers Association(NAADA). Also on Saturday Oct 14th the visiting Kiwi's will dine at Yonkers Raceway while they enjoy the $1,000,000 International Trot and the rich finals of the New York Sire Stakes program. Enclosed below is the competition itinerary. New Zealand/USA Friendship Competition October 13th - 19th 2017 Friday Oct 13th...... Day of Rest at the Bentley Hotel - 62nd Street,, NYC Meet at 7:00 PM for dinner at Zero Otto Nove West 21st Street, NYC Saturday Oct 14th pick-up from Hotel at 10:30 AM to arrive at Yonkers Raceway to enjoy The International Trot and finals of the NY Sire Stakes... Dine at the track...Back to hotel.. Sunday Oct 15th. Pick up -8:30 AM to compete at Saratoga Raceway.. Enjoy the town of Saratoga. Dinner at Lonfellows Union Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY Monday Oct 16th - FREE DAY to explore New York City... Meet our host Peter Kleinhans for dinner at 7 PM at The Redeye Grill 7th Ave, New York, NY Tuesday Oct 17th - Pick up at 10 AM.. to visit and have a guided tour of the 9/11 Memorial Museum in Manhattan. Transport to Yonkers Raceway for 2nd leg of competition. Dinner at Tra Di Noi and back to Hotel. Wednesday Oct 18th. Pick up at 10 AM for transport to Monticello Raceway for final leg of competition. Farewell dinner at the River Palm, Mahwah NJ in the evening. Thursday, Oct 19--Kiwis return home by John Manzi for NAADA  

Once again three races for amateur drivers dotted the harness racing card at Monticello Raceway on Thursday (Sept). 14) with two events contested in the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) Fall Trotting Series and one in the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club (CADC) Pacing Series. Bob Krivelin, Alan Schwartz and Monica Banca were victorious in their respective splits. Krivelin and Schwartz each won a NAADA trot while Banca's victory came in a CADC pacing even. With rain threatening throughout the afternoon Krivelin was the first to reach the winners circle when he guided Permanent Joy to a come-from-behind victory over Tony Verruso's Flirting Duezy in a 1:59.3 clocking over a racetrack rated fast. When the field rounded the second turn in that contest Krivelin moved Permanent Joy to the outside and flushed out Verruso's trotter for cover as Dave Yarock showed the way with Mr Ridgetaker. At the head of the lane Yarock's charge still had command but yielded as Permanent Joy finished strong and rallied to a 1-1/2 length victory over Flirting Duezy. Jennifer Lappe took home the show dough with Fox Valley Steffen. "I moved (Permanent Joy) early and we had cover until I wheeled him three deep on the final turn and when I did he trotted by the leaders and was home free," Krivelin said of his 9-year-old Trot For Joy gelding. Dismissed by the bettors and sent off at odds of over 7-1 Permanent Joy, owned and trained by Krivelin, paid $16.80. For Krivelin it marked his 210th career driving victory. Schwartz's triumph with The Fighter came as a result of patience, both before and during the race. Hard to control prior to going behind the starting gate but once there The Fighter acts almost normal. When the gate sprung Schwartz settled in the two hole behind Hannah Miller's Hidden Identity and sat patiently behind her as she led him all the way to the top of the stretch where he found room in the passing lane and rallied to a nose victory over a hard charging Brandos Muscle Man ,driven by Monica Banca. Hidden Identity held on for third. "I got lucky in that Hannah (Miller) was strong on the lead all the way to the stretch. And at that point I sent The Fighter down the passing lane and we won by the slimmest of margins. But a win is a win ," Schwartz said smiling. Owned by Ed and James Hall and trained by Danny Gill The Fighter returned a $10.20 win mutuel. For Schwartz it marked his 12th seasonal driving victory and the 587th of his amateur driving career. Although denied victory in the NAADA trot Monica Banca wouldn't be rebuffed in the CADC pace when she gunned Fox Valley Leo to the lead and made every pole a winning one en route to a 1:57.2 triumph Second place went to Artistic Cruiser driven by Hannah Miller which made 'all-lady' exacta. Third place went to Bob Hechkoff's Italian Rebel. "Once the gate closed he really wanted to go and I had a firm hold on him all the way to the half," Banca said of Fox Valley Leo.. "After that I eased up on the lines and he paced on to an easy three length victory " Owned and trained by Rick Dane, Fox Valley Leo scored his 7th seasonal triumph. For the Norwegian native it marked her sixth driving victory in just 12 seasonal starts and 20th since she began driving here in 2013. Amateur Day at the races began last Thursday at Monticello Raceway and is slated to continue weekly through November. by John Manzi for NAADA and CADC

The North American Amateur Drivers Association president Joe Faraldo recently announced that four countries have been invited to race on US soil in 2018 harness racing year. The announcement comes on the heels of a world-wind tour of three European countries recently completed by NAADA members which started in May in Normandy and Paris, France; July in Treviso, Padua, Cessena in Italy, and culminating in late August in Budapest, Hungary. The 2018 season will start in mid April with NAADA hosting a team of top amateurs from Hungary, followed by a Spanish contingent from Palma de Mallorca in mid May with a short hiatus until the Italians come during the week of the Hambletonion in August. The French will come for the International during the month of October. This year still, NAADA has a group coming from New Zealand, headed by the 2008 world champion Gavin Cook. The down under contingent is coming to see the International Trot scheduled for Saturday October 14th. On that day the Kiwis will also see the best New York Sire Stakes horses compete on the famed half mile oval along with the Harry Harvey Trot and the Dan Rooney Pace each at $250,000. Nearly three million dollars will be on the line that day with exciting domestic and international horses showing off their talents before a worldwide distribution network funneled through the Paris Mutuel Urbain or PMU. NAADA has specifically chosen the 2018 dates to host our foreign friends in order to expose more people to the US product and the excitement of both the Hambletonian and the International Trot. Outstanding amateur driver, Raffaello Ruffato of Padua, will come to the US for the Harrisburg sales in search of new stock to race in Italy. Raffaello said that coming to America to race in the amateur races last year " was quite an especially rewarding experience for me and my teammates and we are eagerly awaiting the opportunity given us to come and be present on site for the Hambletonian". Tamas Keleman's group from Hungary has not been in the USA since their last NAADA invite in 2003. " We renewed our relationship with NAADA on the occasion of the last World Cup (in 2016) held here in Kincsem Park where Hannah Miller put on a driving exhibition. We are grateful for the chance to warm up our relationship with the US and were happy to have our friends here in Budapest,'' Keleman noted. According to Faraldo, "the task of hosting four foreign teams in one year, while a daunting one, requires much organization and hard work all done by volunteers with one goal, to please our guests while continuing interest in the American racing product. " NAADA's event coordinator, Alicia Schwartz will be busy for sure." by Joe Faraldo, with John Manzi       Joseph Faraldo   faral@me.com

After a good day on Friday, Sept 1 the American harness racing amatuers faltered somewhat to the Hungarians on Saturday. The best Hungarian amateur driver, Ms. Andrea Fazekas (Sunny) spoiled the party. Bob Davis ( Nubia) found the front ahead of Paul Minore (Primusz) and then out popped the Hungarians riding shotgun. Andrea sat chilly and second over until she needed to blast around a tiring Bob Davis. Too late for Paul to treat us to a driving double and a solid win. Andrea was first, A Gaspar (Ors)was second and Paul Minore captured the third money with Peter Kleinhans (Red Stone) fourth. The ten American starters in the two races faced a total of fourteen Hungarians. The calculation had to have a curve applied to the European system we use, making the total 77 USA to 59 Hungary. But who cares who won or lost? A great time was had by all. The Hungarians have a great race track here and super barn area about 1000 meters long with clay roofs and cupolas atop each barn. The one thousand meters of barn area are in rows of two so count 2000 meters of barn area. There is a jogging track in the woods, four main tracks, two trotting tracks and two for t-breds; one grass, one dirt with the latter also used for the greyhounds. You can't hear these horses going over this piece of dirt and shows that only competitive races count, not speed and creature comforts, which are so important if just made available. In Italy it was a disco and free food that created the renaissance. Here there is a big crowd of young and old, children of all ages, picnic benches and food trucks to feed an army. Also some adult beverages. Giving people what makes them happy is important. The big race of the day(Saturday) was the Marshall Jozsef Emlekverseny for 6,000,000 Hungarian Fortins; nearly $ 24,000 US. That race was won by Rapido OK driven by Germany's Josef Franzl . The evening ended with presentations and the US extending an invite (for 2018 or 2019) to our Hungarian friends, through club Rep Tomas Keleman. The invite will be for four drivers, club reps and guests. All in all, we were treated like royalty and we look forward to return the amenities when we host our Hungarian friends in the near future. by Joe Faraldo with John Manzi  

Five members of the North American Amateur Drivers Association are in Budapest, Hungary getting ready to clash with the harness racing Hungarian Amateurs in a race on Friday, (Sept. 1) and one on Saturday,(Sept. 2) The team consisting of Joe Faraldo, Alan Schwartz, Peter Kleinhans, Paul Minore and Bob Davis arrived in Budapest on Monday and are the guests of their counterparts and prior to the competition they have been treated to the wonders and history of Hungary. Below is from NAADA team leader, Joe Faraldo. "Buda, the earlier settled portion of this city established in 1245, was named after Attila the Hun's brother, and was joined with Pest a town on the other side of the beautiful Danube to become the capitol city of a Budapest. We are not in The Grand Budapest Hotel since it only exists in the movies. We landed in the Hotel Budapest safe and sound on Monday morning. Treated to a welcome dinner the first night by the Hungarian's team leader and an old friend Tamas Keleman. "Godollo castle was the first stop on Tuesday. A detailed tour was arranged and our guide whose knowledge of the castle and history of the Austro-Hungarian Empire was exceptional in every detail, made the tour much more meaningful. After that we were off to The Lazar Equistrian Park which is 35 km from Budapest, in the heart of Domonyvolgy and is owned by the coach driving champions Vilmos and Zoltan Lazar. "The resort nestles among the picturesque lakes of the Godollo Hills and is home to the champion carriage horses in Europe. There are two trophy rooms and the Lazar brothers have won enough events to pack those rooms to the ceiling. The obstacle courses these men steer their four charges through against the clock demands very high talented driving skills . No wonder the horsemanship demonstrated there made us feel just a bit inferior as these pros, schooled, no doubt by the brothers, teamed four at high speeds while perched standing atop two in the second row. At other times riders performed fetes with horses that must have taken years to perfect. Just getting them used to the crack of bull whips above their heads, to sitting them down on their bottoms was amazing. "The Park also has an excellent restaurant and from there a trip to the "Las Vegas" casino, a stop at the Buda Palace and a nitecap at the Gresham Palace topped off the eve of the all important draw for the Friday and Saturday's races in the Hungarian American Friendship competition. "In Hungary there are only 500 trotters in the entire country but their industry is hard at work with features surrounding the races. Food trucks, entertainment for kids and adults and beer, plenty of beer. by Joe Faraldo with John Manzi

It's been more than 25 years since the North American Amateur Drivers Association has competed against their Hungarian counterparts but on Friday, Sept 1 and Saturday Sept. 2 a five-man harness racing NAADA team will renew the challenge at Kincsem Park in Budapest. The participating members of NAADA team traveling to Hungary for the International Friendship Competition next weekend include, NAADA president, Joe Faraldo, NAADA vice president, Alan Schwartz, along with Peter Kleinhans, Paul Minore and Bob Davis. "This will be our third overseas International Friendship Competition since the late spring," noted president, Faraldo. "Earlier this year we raced against our counterparts from France and from Italy and as usual we were treated like Royalty. We're now making plans to offer the French, the Italians, and the Hungarians a chance to come to America and let us entertain them and race against us on our dirt." As usual, winning is secondary in International competitions. According to Faraldo "Winning or losing is incidental in these international driving competitions.. It's all about sharing the comradery we've fostered over the years and we, and they, look forward to these annual races in each of our countries." Below is the itinerary for the upcoming NAADA vs Hungary Friendship Competition.   Monday, Aug. 28 18:00 welcome dinner   Tuesday, Aug 29 11:00 GödöllÅ‘ castle 17:00 Lázár Lovaspark- Domonyvölgy   Wednesday, Aug. 30 Budapest sightseeing Lunch- Trófea restaurant Dinner in the center- Gozsdu   Thursday, Aug.31 Balaton trip Siófok- Balatonfüred 18:00 Dinner- Kocor Winery   Friday, Sept 1 Free time 18:00 Kincsem Park- Evening Race   Saturday, Sept. 2 12:00 Kincsem Park- Race

For the second time in as many months members of the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) will be traveling to Europe to again compete in an International Friendship Competition this time against their harness racing counterparts from Hungary. Races are slated at Kincsem Park in Budapest in early September. "It's been over 25 years since NAADA has competed in Hungary, which by the way, was the site of the World Cup of Amateur Racing last year," noted NAADA president, Joe Faraldo. "In those races Hannah Miller was the overall point leader until the final day of competition when the Italian amateur finished just one point better than her total. Still, a second place finish among the 12 participating countries was the best showing ever by an American in the prestigious World Cup of Amateur Racing." Although the upcoming races in Budapest can't be compared to the World Cup events still the participants are excited about the competition. Those competing for team USA will be Alan Schwartz (586 career wins), Peter Kleinhans ( 54 wins) Bob Davis (30 wins) and Paul Minore (89 wins) along with team leader, Joe Faraldo (143 wins), who won three races abroad-- including one at Vincennes in Paris-- when the Americans recently competed on European soil in both France and Italy. But the Hungarians will be no pushover. Among their drivers is Andrea Fazekas, one of the top amateurs in Hungary, and for that matter, in all of Europe. (she is pictured here driving her father's Ollyan Nincs winning a Free For All trot at Kincsem Park) Supplying support for Ms. Fazekas in the upcoming Friendship Competition will probably be Andrea Naqyvari, Tamas Bencze, Viktoria Kelemen, Sandor Hegedus, and Tamas Tanczer According to Budapest Trotting Association president Karog Kotun, they have a wonderful facility at Kincsem Park where there are three tracks; one at 1200 meters for the harness races, along with a dirt and turf course for the thoroughbreds. Karoj and his team also have a fine website as does their racetrack Kincsem Park: Action and/or further news can be followed on the following webites www.ugeto.com www.nlkft.hu by John Manzi for NAADA

Like the weather David Glasser is also heating up. The insurance and financial services professional notched his second harness racing victory in his last three trips behind the mobile starting gate when he reined Winwood Scout to a 1:59.1 wire- to- wire triumph in the fifth division of the North American Amateur Drivers Association's summer trotting series tonight (July 7) at Yonkers Raceway. Two weeks ago, on June 24th at Tioga Downs, Glasser was victorious with Celebrity Stimulus, another trotter that he owns, Up behind his own Winwood Scout tonight, Glasser hustled the veteran trotter to the front and they had a two-length lead on Rev It Now and driver Hannah Miller as they passed the first stanza in :28.4. From there Glasser let his horse breeze as the next two fractions of :59.4 and 1:29 flashed on the timer. After putting away Rev It Now, Winwood Court had a three-length lead on the final turn but braced from late challenges from Wygant Prince (Paul Minore) and Tony Verruso's Flirting Duezy. But through the lane Glasser's charge hung tough and went on to a one-length victory over Wygant Prince with Flirting Duezy garnering the show dough. After the race Glasser shared his thoughts "I drew the rail with a nice horse who fit the nw6001 class by $80," he offered, and then continued, "Scout gets fussy at the gate and I've lost him twice there in races at The Meadowlands (meaning he went off-stride) and I was determined not to let that happen tonight. After we got past the gate and to the front he knew what to do better than me." Winwood Scout notched his sixth victory in 16 starts this year and raised his lifetime earnings to over $280,000. Glasser scored his 4thseasonal driving victory and the 36th of his amateur career. By John Manzi for NAADA

On Thursday June 23, with the sun bright in the blue summer sky and the temperature hovering around 80-degrees, two amateur races dotted the 11-race harness racing card at Monticello Raceway and when the judges hung the official signs, Alan Schwartz emerged victorious in the NAADA trot with Ladys Big Stormont in a 1:58.4 clocking while Joe Lee was the first home in the Catskill Club pace with TKR's Metro Specs in 1:59.1 In his contest Schwartz hustled his trotter for the lead but they had to go a steppy :27.4 in order to rest command from Highest Hill and driver Rich Gayton. But once Ladys Big Stormont cleared and settled down along the pylons Schwartz tried to give his charge a breather but as they trotted to the halfway point Bob Hechkoff was out and moving with The Franchise and they ranged alongside the leader as the timer flashed :58.1. The two leaders raced head-to-head up the backside but Ladys Big Stormont was strong enough to rebuff his challenger. When the field headed for home Ladys Big Stormont opened up two lengths and he needed every bit of that to turn back a late charge by Hannah Miller with Rev It Now. "My horse went a tough mile especially being parked to the(first) quarter in 27:4 and then having to fight head to head with Hechkoff's horse," Schwartz said after the race. "We did draw clear as we headed for home but my guy was understandably tiring and all I could think of in the deep stretch was 'where the heck is the wire'" When the photo-finish camera snapped Ladys Big Stormont was a head better than Rev It Now . A short length farther back in third place was The Franchise. Schwartz owns the winner whose trained by Raheim Strong. Sent off as the even-money favorite Ladys Big Stormont paid $4.00 for win. Schwartz has been participating in amateur races since the 1980's and now has 585 driving victories to his credit. A long time participant at Monticello Raceway against professionals he also serves as president of the local horseman's organization. In the other amateur driving contest New York Yankees assistant locker room manager, Joe Lee once again proved he knows his was around the racetrack after scoring is eighth seasonal driving victory this time with the Woody Hoblitzell-owned TKRs Metro Specs. Sent off as the hot favorite from the pole position Lee naturally sent his pacer to the lead and once on top they commanded the race and kept Monica Banca's Fox Valley Leo, who won this event last week, on the limb. After a :28.3 first quarter Lee slowed the pace and his horse was steadfastly in charge as they led the field by the half in:59.2 and the three quarters in 1:29.2 As they rounded the final turn TKRs Metro Specs had a two length lead which was slowly diminishing as they headed for paydirt. Kennanskingwilliam was enjoying a two-hole trip and driver Gerry Fielding used the passing lane to put serious pressure on the leader. However, at the wire TKR Metro Specs held tough for a head triumph in the 1:59.1 mile. Third place went to Murphy's Ideal, driven by Dr. Jennifer Lowrey. "We had clear sailing all the way until the final strides when my pacer began to get a little leg-weary," driver Joe Lee noted "Although Fielding's horse was coming at us my horse was strong enough to get home with the victory. Trained by Bruce Aldrich, Sr., TKR's Metro Specs won for the third time this season and returned a $4.20 win mutuel. By John Manzi for both NAADA and the Catskill Club  

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