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MONTICELLO, NY --- A short 5-horse field gathered at Monticello Raceway on Thursday,(March 12) for a $5000 trot and when the judges reviewed the harness racing finish-line photo they declared Ladys Big Stormont the winner over a hard-charging Multitaskr Hanover (Dave Yarock) in the second leg of the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) 2020 spring trotting series. Accomplished amateur Alan Schwartz was at the controls and he guided the veteran 9-year-old Earl Of Stormont gelding to a wire to wire 2:02.2 neck victory, the horses first of the season and 44th of his career. Starting from the pole position after two late scratches, Schwartz sent his charge to the lead and when no one challenged he got his veteran trotter to the first stanza in :31.3 and left alone on the front-end Ladys Big Stormont had a length and a half lead over Multitaskr Hanover when the half mile timer lashed 1:02.2. "He hadn't been racing well this year but today he felt strong and he went on to prove it," Schwartz said of is trotter. When the field headed up the backside the second time around Bob Davis moved Making Sparks from third position and charged at the leader but Ladys Big Stormont rebuffed that challenge. At the top of the lane Yarock tipped Multitaskr Hanover off the pylons and they took dead aim at Ladys Big Stormont but for them the finish line came up too soon and they had to settle for second money, a head behind the winner. "I was pleasantly surprised that my horse was strong all the way to the wire," Schwartz added. "This is the best race he's gone thus far this year." Schwartz, a longtime owner of harness horses, began his amateur driving career in 1988 and today he scored his 621st driving victory which is tops in the amateur driving community. He owns and trains the winner who paid $9.40 for win. by John Manzi, for NAADA  

YONKERS, NY-- The 2020 North American Amateur Driver Association (NAADA) harness racing season commenced tonight at Yonkers Raceway with two non-wagering divisions presented prior to the betting card getting underway and when the judges hung the official signs, Tony Verruso and Pearly Allen each emerged victorious in their respective $8000 splits. Verruso won with The Cuse Is Loose in 1:59.2 while Allen scored behind veteran Wygant Prince in 2:00.1. Both trotters scored from off the early pace and rallied late for decisive victories. Verruso and The Cuse Is Loose started slowly while Joe Faraldo and Muzzy's Muscles cut the early fractions and led the 6-horse field by the first stanza in :29.1 and by the halfway point in 1:00. Trailing in fourth place Veruso moved his charge off the pylons and was out and challenging as the field headed to the half. Third at that point Verruso then hustled The Cuse Is Lose and they took command as the field rounded the final turn and headed for paydirt. Aping Verruso's moves, John Calabrese kept Wild Smile on the leader's back but The Cuse Is Loose proved to much for his challenger and the 6-year-old Deweycheatumnhowe gelding went on to a solid one-length victory. Wild Smile held on for second money while Pop I garnered the show dough for Brett Beckwith. The winner is owned by his driver and trained by Ethan Sisco. In the other division Wygant Prince started from post four and after the start Pearly Allen settled him in second along the pylons and was content to sit still while Melissa Arbia showed the way with Finnick Odair. But when the field rounded the final turn Allen moved the veteran trotter out to challenge and Wygant Prince rallied to a 2-1/4 length triumph in 2:00.1. Finnick Odair was second best while Southwind Dorian chugged home in third place. Paul Minore owns Wygant Prince while Taylor Gower does the training. Next Thursday the NAADA 10-race series moves on to Monticello Raceway. by John Manzi, for NAADA .

Monticello, NY--The North America Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA), one of harness racing's oldest and longest running amateur driving organization, will kick off its 37th season with two trotting events at Yonkers Raceway on Thurs March 5th Two 6-horse trots will be presented before the first race on the betting card and they will be the first of three 10-race series to be presented by the organization for its members during the 2020 racing season. Current events will be contested on consecutive Thursdays at both Yonkers and Monticello Raceways with the $15,000 series final slated at Yonkers on Thursday. May 14. "We're scheduled to have multiple international contests throughout the season with the first slated for early May against a visiting Italian team from Turino," noted NAADA vice president, Alan Schwartz. "But finalized dates will not be solidified until there is clearance from the current Coronavirus circulating throughout a good portion of the globe." The series is open to all amateur drivers who be come members of the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA). Last years December finale was won by Glenferry Dreamer reined to victory by Paul Minore. by John Manzi, for NAADA        

YONKERS, NY-- The coach showed-em how to do it. Paul Minore, a retired high school athletic coach and outstanding amateur driver, saved the best for last when he rallied his Glenferrie Dreamer in the final strides to win the $15000 final of the NAADA harness racing trotting series in 2:00.1 tonight (Dec. 5) at Yonkers Raceway. It was the third and final trotting 10-race series offered this year by NAADA. On a cold and windy evening Bob Hechkoff sent Five Towns to the lead from the six-hole when the wings of the mobile gate folded but found he had company in the presence of Dave Offenberg and Fiji who were making a bid for the lead but Hechkoff refused to yield. Meanwhile Minore was content to be in the two-hole as the leaders trotted by the first stanza in:29.1. But as they trotted by halfway point Fiji and Five Towns were heads apart as they raced one-two past the half in :59.3 while Minore sat chilly covered along the pylons. As the field passed the three quarters Fiji was beginning to show the perils of being parked out and began to fade. As he did Minore hustled Glenferrie Dreamer up to challenge Five Towns and they duked it out all the way down the lane. But as they approached the wire Minore's trotter was the stronger horse and eeked-out a head victory over Hechkoff's charge. Fiji was third, three lengths off the winner. It was the third victory of the season for Minore's 10 year old Dream Vacation gelding. Raced on the betting card Glenferrie Dreamer paid $5.60 to win. by John Manzi, for NAADA    

Yonkers, NY--As the NAADA Trotting Series third seasonal program nears its finale a short field went to post on Thursday night (Nov. 21) at Yonkers Raceway and a jubilant Miguel Alejo-Hernandez emerged victorious with Tropical Trice in a time of 2:01.1 defeating four others--due to late scratches- in the $8000 event which went to post prior to the first race on the betting card. And to say that Alejo-Hernandez was happy would be a gross understatement since it was his first-ever driving victory. And he was overwhelmed by a great congratulatory reception his competitors gave him in the paddock after the race. A member of the Rob Harmon stable operation Alejo-Hernandez eased his pacer away from the starting gate and settled in the four-hole as Joe Faraldo and Muzzys Muscles showed the way by the firstquarter in a soft :29.2. Comfortable on the lead Faraldo was in charge until late in the mile when Blazin Delores (Brett Beckwith) and Tony Verruso with Starsaboveallerage came calling. But Faraldo's charge rebuffed their challenges and he felt he was home free. But, by his own admission, he never saw the late rally on the far outside as Alejo-Hernandez had Tropical Trice in high gear and when the finish-line photo snapped Tropical Trice was a head winner over Muzzys Muscles. Starsaboveallerage was third, a length and a half farther back. On Wednesday, Dec.4 the series consolation will be contested at Monticello Raceway and the $15,000 NAADA Series Three Final will be raced at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday, Dec. 5 by John Manzi, for NAADA    

MONTICELLO, NY-- A short five-horse field assembled behind the harness racing mobile gate for the first race, a division of the North American Amateur Drivers Series, at Monticello Raceway on Thursday afternoon (Nov 14) and when the starter said "go" Bob Hechkoff immediately sent Five Towns to the lead and they led Lady's Big Stormont and driver Alan Schwartz by the first quarter in a soft :29.4. In hot pursuit of the leaders were Muzzy's Muscles (Joe Faraldo); Cheeky Little Miss (Tony Verruso) and ER Shane ( Joe Lee) and once the horses passed the by the first quarter, strangely the order never changed as Five Towns showed the way to the finish line to score a 2:00.3 triumph. Schwartz's trotter was second and Muzzys Muscles took home the show dough.Cheeky Little Miss finished fourth and earned fifth money "It's certainly an oddity when the horses finish in the exact order that they lined-up after the start," acknowledged NAADA president Joe Faraldo. "Obviously the short field played a part." Sent off as the favorite in the race, Five Towns, a 10-year-old Andover Hall gelding, notched his eighth seasonal victory and paid a paltry $3.50 for win. He's owned by RBH Ventures and Spagnola Racing LLC and trained by Kyle Spagnola. by John Manzi, for the NAADA Series

The Monticello Harness Horseman's Association (MHHA) and the North American Amateurs Drivers Association (NAADA) continued their longstanding annual harness racing tradition by making a donation to the Sullivan County Federation of the Homeless on Veterans Day at Monticello Raceway on Monday November 11. In the winner's Circle after the 3rd race, Kathy Kreiter, director and program administrator of the Sullivan County Federation of the Homeless was presented with 2 checks, each worth $1,000 on behalf of the MHHA and NAADA. Alan Schwartz, President of the MHHA, and his wife Alicia were on hand to make the presentation to Kreiter. Alan Schwartz himself a former Veteran said "We are happy to help support those citizens of the community that need assistance at this time of year" Jim Taggart Jr. scored with N Make it Snappy in the Food Bank Presentation Race, the Steve Moore trained mare by Dream Away tripped the timer in 2:00.3 and notched her 6 win of the season. Taggart would wind up winning 3 races on the Veterans Day Card increasing his lead over Michael Merton. Taggart is in first place with 220 wins over Merton's 211. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

Monticello, NY - Over the years the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) has donated to worthy charities and this year will be no exception. On Veterans Day Monday November 11, the Monticello Raceway Harness Horseman's Association (MHHA) and the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) will make a donation to the Sullivan County Veterans Food Pantry in the amount of $1,000 in the winner's circle. Each year NAADA makes its own substantial donations to charities like Juvenile Diabetes and the Susan B Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, just to mention a few. Monies raised for the donations come from membership and starting fees paid by the clubs participating drivers. MHHA President Alan Schwartz, a former US Marine 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. "We have planned our own special tribute for those who served our country with honor by staging this Amateur Driving Challenge for veterans of our armed forces who are currently amateur drivers," said Schwartz Post Time is 12:25. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

Yonkers, NY- Back at Yonkers Raceway tonight the NAADA Trotting Series was the second race on the betting card and Dave Offenberg was not deterred by the sloppy racetrack. The longtime owner of prominent racing stock certainly took care of business when he fired Fiji to the front when the starter said go and then raced away and hid from his competition. After starting from the pole position by the time Fiji passed the first stanza he had a six-length lead on the Joe Faraldo-guided Tough Get Going making it the third consecutive season that Offenberg and his trusty steed were victorious over the famed New York double-oval. "He was exceptionally good tonight," Offenberg related via telephone after the race."I tapped him a couple of times and he really took off. After Fiji trotted by the quarter in :27.4 I was just a passenger, " Offenberg said. When they passed the half mile marker in :56.4 they were nine- lengths to the good and sill eight on top when they headed for home. "I tried to slow him down but it wasn't gonna happen," Offenbeg admitted. "So I finally relaxed on the lines and enjoyed the ride. We won the race by 7-1/2 lengths over Faraldo's trotter in 1:58.2." It marked the third consecutive season that Offenberg and Fiji were victorious at Yonkers Raceway. Owned by Offenberg's Allister Stables and trained by Eric Abbatiello Fiji paid $6.70 for win. by John Manzi, for the NAADA Series

MONTICELLO, NY - The seventh leg of the North American Amateur Drivers Association's Fall harness racing trotting series is now in the books after Alan Schwartz sat back off quick early fractions and then came on to pick up all the marbles and scored a 1-1/2 length triumph with his Ladys Big Stormont on a drizzly Thursday afternoon at Monticello Raceway. With only five horses lined-up behind the starting gate Tony Ciuffetelli probably figured he could bottom-out the field when he put the pedal to the metal and sent Someway Same Hall immediately to the lead and cut speedy fractions of :28.1 and :57.2, open-lengths ahead of runner-up Ladys Big Stormont. "Actually Tony's decision to go for the lead worked out perfect for me," Schwartz said after the race. "Usually I have trouble keeping my horse in a hole but today I didn't have any, and when we closed the gap his horse was getting leg weary and mine was still strong" Trailing by nearly three lengths from the get-go when Ciuffetelli's trotter passed the three quarters in 1:27.3 Schwartz said felt he had a good shot of reeling him in. Ladys Big Stormont began closing the gap and when they turned for home only a length separated the two. "After we straightened for home I felt very confident that we'd end-up being the winner, " Schwartz admitted. "I could see at that point Tony's horse was beginning to labor and mine was still fresh." In mid-stretch Ladys Big Stormont began to ease to the front and then went on to a relatively easy victory over the rain-dampened racetrack. Someway Same Hall held second while Bobby Krivelin rallied Permanent Joy from far back to finish third. It was the eighth seasonal victory and the 44th career triumph for the altered son of Earl Of Stormont who paid $4.40 for win. He's owned and trained by his driver. And for Schwartz, it was his 12th driving victory of the year and the 620th of his illustrious amateur career. by John Manzi, for NAADA Series    

YONKERS, NY ---Two divisions of the sixth leg of the NAADA Fall Trotting Series is now in the books sfter the judges declared each official, Joe Faraldo and Melissa Arbia walked away with the lions share of their respective $8000 harness racing divisions. Faraldo won his heat with Tough Get Going in 2:02.1 by the shortest of noses while Arbia copped her split after rallying Finich Odair a head triumph in a 1:58.3 clocking. After starting from the three hole Faraldo ducked to the pylons and was content to allow Joe Pennacchio and Cheeky Little Miss to cut the fractions. Once on top Pennacchio was unhurried and got his trotter by the quarter in soft :30.2 and the half in 1:02.1 despite keeping Glenferrie Dreamer (Paul Minore) on the limb. Meanwhile Faraldo sat chilly with Tough Get Going until the top of the lane where he rallied his trotter and both he and Pennacchio's Cheeky Little Miss charged to the wire. "We won it but it was by the shortest of noses. In fact it was so close that I wasn't sure my horse won until they posted the order of finish on the infield tote board "I'm telling you it (the victory) couldn't have been by more than an inch," Faraldo explained. Even with his overland trip Glenferrie Dreamer took home the show dough. Tough Get Going is owned by Faraldo and Richie Banca and trained by Banca. For Faraldo who was National Amateur Driver of the Year in 2000 it marked his sixth victory this season. The first event was nearly a carbon copy of Faraldo's victory. In that one Arbia and Finnick Odair benefited by a two-hole trip as Paul Minore and Wygant Prince kept Bob Hechkoff and Five Towns parked from the three-eighths as they raced one-two until the three quarters when Five Towns began to tire. After traveling along in the two-hole while using the leaders for cover, when Arbia asked Finnick Odair for more the veteran trotter responded and got-up in the final strides for a head triumph over Wygant Prince. Five Towns hung on for third money. The winner, a 4-year-old altered son of Cantab Hall, is co- owned by his driver along wuth Joe Bongiorno and Jennifer Bongiorno. The latter is the horse's trainer. by John Manzi, for NAADA  

MONTICELLO, NY---Although it appeared that the six-horse NAADA Trot today (Thursday) at Monticello Raceway had an even- matched field, in reality when the harness racing event was contested the winner, Ladys Big Stormont, trotted off and hid from his competition and won the race by some 6-1/2 lengths in a time of 2:02 on the wet and windy afternoon over a track rated good. When the starter said go driver Alan Schwartz hustled his charge for the lead and they showed by the first quarter in a soft :29.4. "When we left out of there I really wanted to follow Faraldo (with Tough Get Going) and settle in behind him but when his horse made a break before the start I decided to go to the front and was pleased that we got a soft (first) quarter" Schwartz said. Once comfortably on top Schwartz was able to control the fractions and he and his trotter cruised by the half in 1:01.2 as Joe Pennacchio had Cheeky Little Minx tight on his back. But as they headed for the three quarters Ladys Big Stormont began to draw off by some 3-1/2 lengths and from there the only thing in doubt would be the margin of victory. In mid-stretch Paul Minore and Six Bax rallied for second money while Cheeky Little Miss faded and finished third. It was the sixth seasonal triumph and the 42nd career victory for the 8-year old altered so of Earl Of Stormont which raised his lifetime earnings to over $334,000. Lady Big Stormont is owned and trained by his driver. Sent off as the favorite in the race he paid $3.80 for win. by John Manzi, for the NAADA Series

Yonkers, NY-- On Thursday evening, Oct. 3 two harness racing divisions of trotters in North American Amateur Drivers Series (NAADA) went to post at Yonkers Raceway and when they were declared official Bob Hechkoff and Tony Ciuffetelli, Jr each emerged victorious in their respective non-wagering divisions. Hechkoff guided Five Towns to a 2:01.3 triumph while Ciuffetelli scored with Someway Same Hall in 1:59.3; both races contested before the wagering card got underway over a rain slicked oval. In his division Hechkoff sent Five Towns to the front and due to the short five-horse field they got away with :30.1 first quarter with no challenges. But when they headed for the halfway point Miguel Alejo Hernandez was out and moving with Tropical Trice. The two raced side by side until the three quarters when Hechkoff's trotter rebuffed the challenge and then braced for Paul Minore and his veteran Wygant Prince. But Five Towns held strong and rambled to a 1-1/4 length triumph over Minore's trotter. Tropical Trice faded and finished third. Five Towns is owned by RBH Ventures and Spagnola Racing and trained by Kyle Spagnola. The second NAADA split saw Tony Ciuffetelli, Jr. sit a pocket until the head of the stretch and then hustle his trotter to a length triumph in the 1:59.3 clocked mile. After Joe Lee zipped Soul Train to the lead when the gate sprung Ciuffetelli was content to sit in the two-hole and follow the leader. Fast early fractions over the rain-soaked race course took a toll on the leader and when Ciuffetelli decided to challenge late in the mile Someway Same Hall didn't have any trouble circling Soul Train and rallying to victory. Meanwhile in the deep stretch Dave Offenberg hustled Fiji up for second money while Soul Train faded and finished third. Someway Same Hall is owned by his driver and trained by Joe Ciuffetelli. The NAADA Trotting Series continues next Thursday at Monticello Raceway For full results and entries click here. by John Manz, for NAADA

Monticello, NY--It was a tough day for racing at Monticello Raceway with the pouring rain and the muddy track, still business went on as usual. Six members of the North American Amateur Drivers Association battled for supremacy and when the judges posted the official order of finish Alan Schwartz and his old warhorse Ladys Big Stormont emerged victorious by a head in 2:02.1 over Five Towns and driver Bob Hechkoff. After starting from post five Schwartz angled his charge to the pylons and settled in fourth position as Bob Hechkoff gunned Five Towns to the lead and they had three lengths on their competition as they passed the first stanza. "Ladys Big Stormont isn't really comfortable in a hole so I moved him first-up as we headed to the half but we were still some five lengths off Hechkoff's,lead," Schwartz related. "But my horse kept grinding and we finally got alongside Five Towns as we rounded the final turn. From there we were head-to-head all the way to the finish line but my horse got up in the final strides to win it by a head." Although they had a two-hole trip from the get-go, Chapter And Ruth, and driver Tony Ciuffetell Jr.had to settle for third money. Send off at odds of nearly 4-1, Ladys Big Stormont paid $9.80. And for Schwartz, a former Amateur Driver of the Year, it was his 10th seasonal triumph and the 618th of his amateur career. By John Manzi, for the NAADA Series

Yonkers, NY-- In what turned out to be an adjustment in the first leg of the third NAADA Trotting Series at Yonkers Raceway tonight, the first harness racing horse under the wire, Ladys Big Stormont driven by Alan Schwartz, was disqualified and placed second which opened the door for Soul Train and driver Joe Lee to walked away with the lions share of the $8000 purse. "Because of tight racing on the final turn I was forced by Soul Train to go over the pylons on the final turn and when I did the judges deemed it was a Euro-rail violation and my horse should not have gotten any advantage, " Schwartz related after the race. " And I didn't, because the judges disqualified my horse and placed Joe's ( Soul Train) first, even though I beat him by a head at the wire." When the wings of the mobile starting gate folded Schwartz gunned his veteran trotter to the lead and they had command in a :28.4 first quarter with Uriel and Tony Ciuffetelli, Jr. pressing hard on the outside. But after the .59.3 half Uriel began to fade and when he did Joe Lee moved Soul Train off the pylons and rallied up alongside Ladys Big Stomont. However, around the final turn with the leaders tightly side by side the infraction occurred which caused Schwartz's trotter to receive a disqualification which allowed Lee's horse to be placed first. Wygant Prince and driver Paul Minore finished third, just one length behind the top two. Next Thursday the NAADA Trotting Series moves on to Monticello Raceway. by John Manzi, for NAADA  

Yonkers, NY--The NAADA $15,000 Summer Series Final was a harness racing barn-burner when only three lengths separated the winner from the last place finisher. And Joe Pennacchio's 1:59.3 triumph in the event didn't come easy. Up behind his own Cheeky Little Minx in the seven-horse contest which was presented before the first race on the betting card, Pennacchio left the gate from the five-hole and his veteran trotting mare never saw the pylons the entire mile and by all standards she went a very gutsy trip. When the gate sprung Joe Faraldo and Tough Get Going darted to the front and were challenged by Paul Minore and Wygant Prince. Faraldo yielded command to Wygant Prince as Pennacchio and Cheeky Little Minx wanted a part of the action and challenged on the outside as the leaders trotted by the first stanza in :28.2. As they headed for the halfway point Pennacchio and Minore were going at it and the two raced side by side to the half in :58.2 while being stalked on the outside by Cheeky Little Miss. Wygant Prince showed the way to the three quarters and put away Tough Get Going but the veteran trotter couldn't shake the plucky little mare. As they rounded the final turn Cheeky Little Minx and Wygant Prince were noses apart before the latter began to fade. At that point Hannah Miller hustled Jacks To Open up alongside Cheeky Little Miss and the two raced as a team all the way to the wire. It took a photo to determine that Pennacchio's mare was a head better than Hannah's veteran trotter. Broadway Bruiser took home the show dough for Matt Zuccarello. Cheeky Little Minx is a seven-year-old mare by Lucky Chucky, trained by Corey Stratton for Joe P Racing, LLC/ by John Manzi, for NAADA      

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