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Showing that last year was no fluke the talented Hannah Miller was again in the winner's circle last night (Feb. 6) at Yonkers Raceway after she reined Jacks To Open to his second consecutive victory in their division of the NAADA Trotting Series. Robert Kenney won the other split with Rev Up The Spice. But once again all eyes were on "Hurricane Hannah" as she seems to be picking up where she left off last season, a year in which she won 32 races and was named USHWA's National Amateur Driver of the Year. She'll receive that award at the upcoming USHWA National Awards Banquet slated in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. on Sunday night, March 6. Teamed for the second time this season with her venerable trotter, Jacks To Open, Miller and her charge got away softly from the pole position and cut easy early fractions. As they reached the half way point Paul Minore moved Wygant Prince out to challenge and a speed duel ensued toward the three quarters where they trotted head to head through a :28.4 stanza. In the lane Wygant Prince tired which allowed Fox Valley Steffen and Dr. John Kokinos, who were enjoying a two-hole covered trip, to move off the pylons and mount a formidable challenge toward paydirt. But Jacks To Open showed his class and held his competitor at bay to score a neck triumph in 2:00 flat. Nautilus De Vie finished third for Dave Yarock. When asked about Jacks To Open's performance Miller said via email, "Jack was super this week and was able to get to the front a little easier than usual. And although we had a stiff challenge in the stretch Jack was strong right through the wire." Ms. Miller shares ownership of the winner with trainer Nick Surick. In his division Robert Kenney took advantage of a two-hole trip behind the pacesetter, AJ Destiny (Bob Hechkoff) and rallied in the lane to score a length victory in 2:02.2. Tony Verruso took home the show dough with Sam's Honeybee. For Kenney, who has not driven more than seven times in any of his amateur career seasons and a total of just 33 since it began in 2000, his victory tonight marked his fourth consecutive over the last two years in which he drove only three times--all winners- in 2015. Rev Up The Spice is owned by Di Stefano and Sons Stable and trained by John Di Stefano. Both NAADA trots-each for a $6000 purse- were raced as non-wagering events and presented before the betting card got underway that evening. John Manzi  

Fresh off a season where her driving talents earned her 2015 National Amateur Driver of the Year honors Hannah Miller is back in the winner's circle after she copped a division of the North American Amateur Drivers Association trots at Monticello Raceway on Thursday afternoon, January 28. She shared the limelight that afternoon with harness racing driver Paul Minore who reined the winner in the other split. But it seems that "Hurricane Hannah" has picked up where she left off last year when she scored a front- end triumph with Jacks To Open in a time of 2:01.2. And for Minore, his 2:03 victory came behind his own trotter, Wygant Prince. In her division Miller sent the veteran trotter to the lead and was pressured by AJ Destiny and driver Bob Hechkoff. With the two leaders racing side by side toward the quarter pole Miller refused to grab into Jacks To Open so Hechkoff backed off and fell into the two-hole behind her. "He (Hechkoff) kept yelling to me to take a hold and let him go but I refused to grab into my horse because the last time I did that it cost me the race," she said referring to the $25,000 Billings Series Final when she got jammed and Jacks To Open jumped it off." And besides," she added, "he was real 'steppy' today anyway. After AJ Destiny settled in behind Jacks To Open Miller led the field by the halfway point and she was able to give her trotter a breather up the backside. As the field raced by the third stanza Woody and Joe Lee charged from behind to get along side Jacks To Open and the two races nearly side by side around the final turn. Although Woody was a threatening presence in the lane Jacks to Open had enough in the tank to rebuff the challenge and go on to a one length triumph. AJ Destiny held on for third money. Owned by Nick Surick and Hannah Miller Jacks To Open paid $4.00 for win. Paul Minore, a former high school coach who's most famous pupil was the great Olympic gold medalist, Carl Lewis, had no trouble in his contest with Wygant Prince. After starting from the four-hole Minore was content to be on the outside until everyone settled in along the pylons, and when they did he hustled Wygant Prince to the lead and they cruised on to an easy 2-1/2 length triumph. "I was waiting to get everyone settled before I sent my horse to the lead because he's especially good on the front-end," Minore said after the race. "He has been resting and out for a while and he came back real strong." Finishing second, some 2-1/2 lengths behind the winner, was Nautilus De Vie driven by Dave Yarock. Cassa's Image took home the show dough for owner -driver Bobby Krivelin. Sent off as the odds-on favorite Wygant Prince paid $3.80 for win. The next leg will be contested at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday, Feb. 24. With the event scheduled last Saturday at Freehold Raceway snowed-out today's race became the second event in the 12-leg series which is slated to culminate in a $15,000 Final on April 7 at Yonkers Raceway. John Manzi

The World Cup, considered the Super Bowl of amateur harness racing, will take place in Budapest, Hungary in September 2016 and Hannah Miller has been designated to represent the United States in that prestigious event. This year the World Cup will pit 12 countries from three continents in an international amateur driving competition. Miller was named the USA's Amateur Driver of the Year (2015) by the United States Harness Writers Association and she has been chosen to drive for the North American Amateur Drivers Association against her mostly male counterparts in a series of races to determine the champion amateur driver of the world. As a member of FEGAT, NAADA has been entitled to send a United States representative to the World Cup, something they have been doing for the past few decades. "Hannah was selected because of her talent as a driver, her fearless competitive nature, her UDR numbers and lastly because she was the only first ballot unanimous selection as National Amateur Driver of the Year," said Joe Faraldo, president and founder of NAADA. "Her selection, by the North American Amateur Drivers Association, which considered other candidates,ended eventually as a walkover. "A credit to her family and to her ability, the industry was lead down but one road as to who will represent the United States in its so far elusive quest for the World Amateur Driving Cup and that led unequivocally to Hannah Miller. We hope lady luck will be the charm when our entrant competes in Budapest, Hungary in the first week in September 2016." She's known as "Hurricane Hannah" because she has taken amateur racing by storm. Last year, in her first full season of driving, and overwhelmingly against male counterparts, Miller won 32 races and finished with a .418 UDR in 120 drives. Her 32 driving victories are the most ever in a single season in recorded amateur racing. And Hannah is also the first woman to win the National Amateur Driver of the Year Award. She is a member of multiple amateur driving clubs and 'danced every dance' including as a participant in the granddaddy of them all, the C.K.G. Billings Series, which she dominated this season. There Hannah finished as the combined points champion and she won the east region final at Pocono Downs. But unfortunately for her in the Billings Gold Cup final at Harrah's Philadelphia her horse, who was sent off at odds of 3-10, made a break early in the mile and she finished back. And along the way this past year Hannah also won a NAADA trotting series and a Catskill Amateur Club's pacing series and she went two for two in amateur contests at the Red Mile this past fall. John Manzi for NAADA

Although he finished sixth in total points earned over the North American Amateur Drivers Association's 12 race fall series harness racing driver Dave Offenberg won the $15,000 Final at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday night (Dec. 5) when he guided King's Cavalier to an easy five length triumph over Cassa's Image (Alan Schwartz) and No Recess (Bob Hechkoff) in a 1:59.1 clocking. It marked the second recent big amateur contest that Offenberg had won with the King's Cavalier. On November 22, at Harrah's Philadelphia, Offenberg and King's Cavalier teamed-up to win the 1-1/4 mile $15,000 Silver Cup Final in the C.K.G. Billings series. With two wins and a second in his last three starts there's no question that King's Cavalier has gotten a lot better recently. The 8 year old Yankee Glide gelding is owned by Offenberg's Allister Stables and trained by Eric Abbatiello and a thrilled Offenberg couldn't say enough good things about is trainer after the race. "Eric has him in top shape now," Offenberg said. "When we bought him earlier this year he was a bit quirky but lately Eric has figured him out and now he's such a pleasure to drive." In the NAADA Final King's Cavalier started from the five hole and when the gate sprung Offenberg left softly and fell in fourth along the pylons as Alan Schwartz and Bob Hechkoff got in a speed dual on the front end which saw their trotters pass the first stanza in a swift :28.1. With Schwarz on the lead with Cassa's Image and Hechkoff on the limb with No Recess the two trotters raced head to head to the half in :58.1. As the leaders approached the half-way point Offenberg moved King's Cavalier off the pylons and flushed out Permanent Joy (Bob Krivelin) but before they reached the half Permanent Joy made a break which left King's Cavalier on the limb without cover. At the three quarters Offenberg's trotter approached Schwartz's Cassa's Image who was alone on the lead. On the final turn King's Cavalier collared the leader and in the lane he began to ease away and then draw off to an easy victory. It marked the fifth seasonal triumph for King's Cavalier and it was also a seasonal mark for the veteran trotter. John Manzi

Hannah Miller's drive to win races is exceeded only by her drive to improve. Miller, who is in her first full season of driving in harness racing's amateur ranks, has won 32 of 116 races this year as she prepares for Saturday's $15,000 North American Amateur Drivers Association championship at Yonkers Raceway. Yet piling up victories is not Miller's sole focus. The soon-to-be 24-year-old wants to use every opportunity on the track to better develop her skills in the sulky. "Winning is always fun," said Miller, who will celebrate her birthday on Dec. 25. "It makes you want to win more and it definitely helps keep you going. But I'm trying to push myself harder, make fewer mistakes and figure out what I can do better. "I get upset with myself when I know I've messed up and I know I can do better. The hard part is I only get to race once or twice a week. I don't get to go right back out there the next race (on the card) and fix my mistake. I get so frustrated with myself and I have to improve the next time because I'm only going to get that one chance that night." Miller's most frustrating moment came in the C.K.G. Billings Amateur Driving Series Gold Cup championship on Nov. 22 at Harrah's Philadelphia, when she tried to get her revved-up trotter Jacks To Open to relax in second place instead of letting him go to the front. Jacks To Open, the 1-5 favorite, went off stride nearing the second turn and finished sixth. "I can't complain when I've won this many races, but that was the one I was really looking forward to," Miller said. "It was my fault. I'm really hard on myself and that (mistake) at Chester, I carried that one with me way too long. At the same time, I want to know in the back of my mind that the next time I'm in that situation I'll make the right move without thinking about it or hesitating. I'm trying to take it better, but I still take every drive to heart." Miller is the daughter of trainer Erv Miller, the 2005 Trainer of the Year and No. 3-ranked trainer in history in terms of wins with more than 4,700, and sister of professional driver Marcus Miller. She often turns to her family for advice. "My brother is always there for me," Miller said. "My dad too. They are the ones who give me the most advice. They know what they're talking about. Marcus has been in plenty of situations, has driven plenty, that whenever I have a question he's been there before. He can tell me whatever I need to know." A native of Illinois, Miller got her first win in 2012 in an amateur event at Du Quoin. She entered this year with nine victories in only 20 races, but since moving to New Jersey has become more active on the track. She owns several of the horses she drives regularly and works with them on a daily basis. "I always liked the horses, but I never had the desire to drive," Miller said about her early years. "My first two years, I only drove in a couple races and that was more to just say I'd done it. But on the East Coast the opportunities for amateur drivers are huge. I race a couple times every week. For an amateur, that's kind of a lot. "It's turned into a lot more than I ever thought it would. But I've had a lot of fun doing it." Miller has driven this year at 20 different tracks in the U.S. and Canada, from Prince Edward Island to Florida. She also was among NAADA's representatives to Spain to compete in the NAADA vs. Spain Friendship Competition II. Her wins this season included the Billings Eastern Regional championship in her first-ever drive at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, where brother Marcus is a regular, and two triumphs at The Red Mile in Lexington. In November, she received the Monticello-Goshen chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association's Amateur Driver of the Year Award. "There are so many highlights," Miller said. "Getting the award from Monticello was fun. I won in Lexington and that was fun because my whole family was there, and that doesn't happen very often. Winning the East Regional was a great night. Going to Spain was huge. That's a once-in-a-lifetime chance, so that was fun. "I like traveling. Sometimes it's stressful, but I enjoy it. Luckily, I can take my horses and go wherever I need to go for the most part. Or if I go somewhere else, I can find a drive, so that helps." As for her future, Miller is not looking too far ahead. She is simply enjoying the ride. "I haven't thought about it that much," Miller said. "I just plan on driving amateur races, so wherever that takes me. I don't see myself doing anything outside of that. I'm just playing it by ear, really." By Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA  

Two five-horse divisions of trotters went to post in the North American Amateur Drivers Association's Series at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday, November 28 and when the judges hung the official signs Tony Verruso and Bob Hechkoff each emerged victorious in their respective divisions; Verruso with Wygant Prince and Hechkoff with No Recess. In his division Verruso took no prisoners after he gunned Wygant Prine to the lead and led the field by the quarter in :29.2. After a :31.1 breather Verruso got the field by the half in 1:01 and then Wygant Prince turned on the afterburners. The veteran gelding trotted the next stanza in :29.1 and cruised home an easy winner in a 2:00.2 clocking. Although Bob Davis and Knockabout Rosie shadowed the winner throughout they couldn't overtake Wygant Prince and had to settle for second money. Cassa's Image finished third for Hannah Miller. The winner, owned by Paul Minore and trained by Taylor Gower, notched his sixth seasonal triumph and for Verruso it marked his 60th driving victory of his amateur career. In the other split Hechkoff nearly aped the strategy employed by Verruso when he left softly from the pylon position with No Recess and was looped on the first turn by Tagmaster (Tony Ciufettelli) only to retake before the quarter mile timer flashed :28.2. Once on top No Recess seemed invincible trotting along comfortably and he even had a two-length as the field turned for home. But in the deep stretch the veteran Rich Boy gelding got leg weary and Dave Offenberg and King's Cavalier rallied from far back only to lose a head decision to Hechkoff's charge in time of 2:00.2. Hallanet and Paul Minore took home the show dough. No Recess is owned by Hechkoff's R.H.B Ventures and Kyle Spagnola and trained by Spagnola. It was the trotters 9th seasonal victory and the 77th career winner driven by Bob Hechkoff. Those non-betting races at Yonkers were the 10th in the NAADA series which will culminate in a $6000 Consolation on Thursday at Monticello Raceway and a $15,000 Final at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday. by John Manzi for NAADA  

With the blowing wind and the intermittent rain making an awful afternoon for racing at Monticello Raceway professionals and amateurs alike had to be at the top of their game just to navigate the muddy racetrack. Arguably, going was the toughest for the participating amateurs who rarely drive during these kind of circumstances. Despite the deplorable conditions two NAADA trots, and one Catskill Club pace, dotted the 10-race Mighty M card and when the afternoon had ended Bobby Krivelin, Tony Ciuffetelli and Bob Hechkoff each were victorious in their contests. In the first of two NAADA trots, Krivelin, a three time Amateur Driver of the Year, got away slowly from post six with Permanent Joy and they continued forward movement and gradually gained on the pace-setter, Alternat Thursdays (Bob Hechkoff) who was leading the field by open lengths from the get-go. Fifth at the half and then fourth heading into the final turn Krivelin hustled his veteran gelding three-deep around traffic and at the top of the lane they took aim at Alternat Thursdays. By midstretch they had pulled even with the leader and under gentle urging Permanent Joy trotted by Alternat Thursdays and went on to a length victory in 2:01.3 over the muddy racetrack.Ozymandias, in from Saratoga, finished third for Matt Zuccarello "Going three deep on the final turn was winning move, " Krivelin chirped after the race. "If I didn't move around horses on the final turn Hechkoff would have gotten away from my horse and our fortunes would have been reversed." .Permanent Joy, owned by the Hero Stables and trained b y Krivelin paid $6.40 for win. A second NAADA Trot was a laugher for Bob Hechkoff's, No Recess. With the field shortened to six and a break before the start by Starsaboverallerage (Tony Verruso) No Recess burst to the lead and played catch me if you can which no one was able to do. Hechkoff got his charge over to a half in 1:01.2 and once he gave the trotter his head No Recess poured it on and began opening daylight on Windsun Galliano and Tony Ciuffetelli who was shadowing the leader. But No recess had too much class for this field and cruised to an easy six-length triumph in a 2:00.4 clocking. Windsun Galliano held second while Knockout Rosie and Bob Davis finished third, some 10 lengths behind the winner. This was No Recess's third consecutive victory and eighth of the year. Co-owned by RBH Ventures and Kyle Spanola and trained by Spagnola No Recess paid just $2.40 for win. The other amateur event, a pace in the Catskill Club's Series, saw Tony Ciuffetelli and McCabe Hall out-foot Hannah Miller's Rise Above It in the deep stretch to garner the lion's share of the purse. After racing on the lead from the reel, McCabe Hall braced for a stiff challenge by Rise Above It as the two headed into the final turn. Initially it appeared that Rise Above It was going to overtake McCabe Hall on the paddock turn but when they straightened for home McCabe Hall inched back to the lead and according to announcer Howard Oil's final words "McCabe Hall would not be denied!". At the wire the 13 year old Cambest gelding was a length better than Rise Above It in the 2:00.1 mile.Shark Treasure was third for Gerry Fielding. Ciuffetelli also owns and trains the winner who returned an $8.30 win mutuel. By john manzi for NAADA & the Catskill Club

On Veteran's Day , Nov. 11,at Monticello Raceway two local amateur driving clubs made donations to the local veterans food bank in Monticello. Both the North American Amateur Drivers Association and the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club each donated $1000 to help feed their less fortunate veteran brothers. Accepting the checks was Kathy Kreiter, the program administrator of the Sullivan County Veterans Food Bank of Monticello which is combined with the Sullivan County Federation for the Homeless. "We appreciate the donations which will be an incredible help to our organization for the less fortunate veterans," Kreiter said upon receiving the money. Alan Schwartz is the vice president of NAADA while Gerry Fielding is the president of CADC. Both are amateur drivers and veterans of the Armed Forces and Schwartz is also the president of the Monticello Harness Horsemen's Association and he served in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam Conflict. "As the Vice President of NAADA and a veteran myself, I'm extremely happy to be able to help my fellow veterans , "said Schwartz after he presented the huge check replica in the winner's circle at Monticello Raceway. His comments were echoed by Fielding in his presentation. But earlier this season, in late October at Yonkers Raceway, at the conclusion of the North American Amateur Drivers Association's annual fall trotting series the organizations president Joe Faraldo presented to the Breast Cancer Foundation a check for $3000. "We (NAADA) have been donating to worthwhile charities for many years now and it is our pleasure to be able to do so," Faraldo said. "The revenues are mainly comprised of amateur driver's nominating, starting and entry fees, along with additional funds from the NAADA treasury. Additional money came from the greater revenues collected this year when NAADA hosted international amateur driving competitions this season. "NAADA and its membership are grateful to the participating race tracks for permitting our members to race for these most worthwhile causes," by John Manzi, for North American & Catskill Amateur Clubs

Veterans Day is a day in which America honors all those who served in military service to our country. On Veterans Day November 11, the Catskill Amateur Driving Club and the North American Amateur Drivers Association will honor those who served our country with each club donating $1,000 each to a local food pantry. Alan Schwartz president of the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) a former veteran of the Vietnam War, said "During the All Amateur Day race card here at Monticello Raceway 5 years ago we donated $5,000 to a local food pantry, it was such a nice thing to do, we decided to do it again for our former service members who may have fallen on hard times" Jerry Fielding, President of the Catskill Amateur Driving Club has thrown down the gauntlet and challenges any other track or Amateur driving club to exceed their contribution. Any parties interested in making a donation, please contact the race office at 845 794 4100 X 557. by Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway  

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, October 28, 2015 -- This past weekend, Yonkers Raceway's horsemen, as well as others from the harness racing community, went "Racing for a Cure"...and everybody won. The initiative, led by trainer Monica Banca and Kristen (Mrs. Jason) Bartlett, raised nearly $19,000 ($18,910, to be precise) for October's Breast Cancer Awareness Month. That figured included a $3,000 donation made by the North American Amateur Drivers Association. Last Saturday evening (Oct. 24th), "Racing for a Cure" found any number of Yonkers' trainers and drivers--along with other prominent members and businesses involved in the harness industry--joining forces, with all funds raised benefitting the Frisco, TX, based National Breast Cancer Foundation (www.nbcf.org). To the surprise of no one, paddock participation was solid. Raffle tickets were been sold for the past month, with the big number--a pink Gorilla sulky donated by Chad Foulk--won by Maine-based trainer Lisa Watson. Second- and third-prize winners (Jennifer Sabot and Shane Taggart) each took home (or to the barn) a complete Walsh harness set, donated by Barbara Boese. All winning horses that night earned spiffy pink blankets, underwritten by any number of benefactors, while the pink whips carried by the drivers last Saturday were donated by Karin Karlsson of Divine Equine. "Monica and I are so appreciative of all the support," Kristen Bartlett said. "We even received donations from Canada. It's such a worthwhile cause, and we're happy to do anything we can do to help." Those requesting additional information are encouraged to e-mail either Ms. Banca (dokka1909@yahoo.com) or Mrs. Bartlett (kmb1104@hotmail.com). About NBCF... The National Breast Cancer Foundation was founded in 1991 by breast cancer survivor Janelle Hail as a commitment to help women around the world by educating them about breast cancer and the importance of early detection. NBCF's home on the web is located at www.nbcf.org Frank Drucker

Amateur harness racing seems to be getting more prominent with each passing season. Not only do an overwhelming amount of members own horses and employ professional trainers but, as a group, they support various charitable and worthwhile organizations. According to Joe Faraldo, president of the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA), members of his organization over the years have donated nearly $70,000 to needy causes. Included among them are the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Awareness and various Veteran's organizations. "The NAADA has sent $1,000 to the Special Strides Project near Freehold Raceway and provided a $500 check to help the American Harness Racing Secretaries as we do every year for their annual meeting as a way to show our appreciation for their help and patience with us," Faraldo said. "In addition, this Saturday evening we will present a $3000 check to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, a breast cancer awareness event organized by Monica Banca and Kristen Bartlett at Yonkers Raceway. Any of our members wishing to join us are obviously more than welcome for the photo op and presentation. "And later this year, on or near Veterans' Day, NAADA vice president, Alan Schwartz, will donate a $1000 check to the Sullivan County Veterans Food Bank and Federation of the Homeless in Monticello, NY. John Manzi

Besides the great camaraderie shared with their hosts as far as enjoyment on NAADA's venture to Mallorca, Spain for an international amateur driving competition with their Spanish counterparts, the best that could be said was that it was relegated to great food and fine wines because on the racetrack they were vanquished again. The following is a first hand view by NAADA president and team leader, Joe Faraldo on the final day of the international amateur driving competition between the North American Amateur Drivers Association and the Spanish amateurs. "At Son Pardo in Palma there were two twelve horse fields. They pre-raced us with paella and roast suckling pig. When the racing began it looked like the twelve horses were all over the place behind the eight-horse gate reminiscent of Yonkers during a French racing afternoon and once again the Spaniards kicked butts. Of course, just by the numbers 8 vs 4, it was likely that would happen just because of the traffic and team racing the Europeans engage in. "In the first of two races, Alan Schwartz's horse had not raced for 3 years. "When he asked the trainer about that, the reply was "She had a good rest" and also if she cannot finish, just bring her back." "It did not instill confidence and needless to say, the horse was ready to go back after the 1/2." " (Joe) Pennacchio was best of American blood and finished 4th. "The second race was about the same 8 vs 4. Pennacchio's horse was so unruly, that he could not start in the race and it dumped Joe." "So we were down to three. Hannah got behind two breakers leaving the course only to be disqualified. "I was on top in a heartbeat and was up by 10 at the half and it seemed certain that I was going to bring it home." "Unfortunately at the end, my charge, Benigno Duran, drew a posse an they wiped that lead away as the bottom-them-out strategy failed down that long, long stretch." "I was so sure that I was third I kept insisting all the next day that I indeed finished third but somehow the judges saw (Alan) Schwartz on the far outside and I ended up fourth." "The protesting did not end as the mantra of the day continued with "I was robbed". "The final US tally had Schwartz with two thirds,Pennacchio with a fourth, and I had a fourth." "In the winner's circle presentation all the American drivers were presented with beautiful personally engraved plaques cast in Spanish silver and we stood for pictures." "As usual Hannah Miller won that photo by open lengths!" "Dinner was awesome, all home raised beef and pork products barbecued and, as usual, super abundant." "Then came more wine until we just about couldn't stand at all." "An invitation was extended to our friends for a rematch in the US next year in September and maybe we can change the results." "Tonight there was another dinner with the drivers featuring jamon,suckling pig, and just about everything else including empanadas and Majorcan bread. "If nothing else, we beat them at eating." John Manzi

Although the American harness racing amateurs hoped for different results when they traveled to Mallorca for the second edition of the Spain vs. NAADA Friendship Competition their hopes vanished when reality set-in. Led by Joe Faraldo, president of NAADA and joined by Hannah Miller, Alan Schwartz and Joe Pennacchio the American team is doing little more than enjoying the food, wine and camaraderie with their hosts. Faraldo shared the following sentiments after the first day of the competition. "Midst a rich brownish earth, calm breeze, winery tours and into the depths of the their most famous caves, surrounding us with kindness and hospitality, the Spanish then proceeded to clobber our NAADA amateurs once again. This time the races were on a track no greater than 650 meters long on a track that is only wide enough for six across with a running horse (Thoroughbred) rail. And then add a field of ten horses and set the distance at 1750 meters, about three times around with a bell-lap for the benefit of Spanish and Americans alike. "Compare that to our half-milers, which are a large 800 meters by comparison, and it was easy to see the slaughter that began. "In the first event four brave souls, led by the hot handed Hannah Miller, waged battle with the six Spanish drivers who clearly had the home track advantage and perhaps the better horses which gave them an all round edge. Going for a purse of 700 Euros the American team bested only a third place gained by Alan Schwartz. The second event found no American in the top five. "However after the race we were treated to an elaborate cocktail party where the main talk, fortunately for us, centered around the upcoming International Trot to be held at Yonkers on October10th after a twenty year hiatus." According to Faraldo, on Sunday the competition moves on to Son Pardo racetrack in Palma, the bustling town and capital of Mallorca with the Americans hoping for better results.That will be followed by a farewell dinner of Paella and roast suckling pig. "At Son Pardo racetrack a group from the French PMU subsidized a race of 50,000 euros with a plane load of French horses shipped in." Faraldo added. "The PMU has made great strides in Spain and it continues,along with Le Trot, to propagate the continent with their breed and betting distribution system to the advantage of all, now sending about 100 French trotting horses to Ireland long a stronghold of American pacing blood." John Manzi

With four of their members in Mallorca, Spain competing against Spanish amateurs in an international harness racing Friendship Competition two divisions of the North American Amateur Drivers Association fall trotting series went to post Thursday (Sept.24) at Yonkers Raceway and when the judges hung the official signs Bob Hechkoff and Bob Davis each emerged victorious in their respective divisions. Hechkoff, no stranger to the winners circle this year, got his picture taken again when he guided his own Alternat Thursdays to a hard fought 1:59.1 victory in the first of two non-wagering events while Bob Davis, currently with a hot-hand, scored a come-from- behind triumph with Hallanet in a time of 2:01.4. Hechkoff, who enjoys gunning his stock to the lead, did so again when he hustled Alternat Thursdays to the front from the seven-hole to gain command in a :28.4 first quarter. Once on top Hechkoff braced for a challenge from Paul Minore who moved first-up with Wygant Prince as the field headed to the halfway point. From there the two trotters raced head- to- head past the third stanza and into the final turn. As the field headed for home Alternat Thursdays, still in command, had to reach down for more when Matt Zuccarello and Falcon Bluestone came calling. Still three lengths off the leader, Zuccarello's trotter mounted a fierce charge to the wire only to be rebuffed and fall short by a head to Hechkoff's Alternat Thursdays. Wygant Prince, after being on the limb for more than half the mile, hung on for third money. It was the third seasonal victory for the 10 year old altered son of Andover Hall whose career earnings are approaching $400,000. The winner is owned by R.B. H. Enterprises and for Hechkoff it marked his 16th seasonal driving victory. In the other split Hallanet went an overland trip from the three-eighths to the wire and overtook the pace-setter, Blazin Delores, in the final 100 yards to score a solid one-length victory. After hooking up in a head-to-head dual with Majestic Jo (Dave Yarock), Blazin Delores was strong nearly all the way to the wire but in the final strides she succumbed to the late charge of Hallant. Brad Rathbone finished third with Super Chuck. Hallanet, a 4 year old Cash Hall mare owned by Paul Minore, scored her third seasonal triumph. It was the second consecutive driving victory and third of the season for Bob Davis. Meanwhile in Malllorca, NAADA mates; Joe Faraldo, Hannah Miller, Joe Pennacchio and Alan Schwartz will battle Saturday and Sunday with the same Spanish amateurs who soundly defeated them on American soil earlier this year. John Manzi for Naada

Monticello, NY --- The North American Amateur Drivers Association team is already in Spain and has been spending good tidings in Barcelona. On Thursday (Sept 24) they will head to the Spanish island of Mallorca and try to avenge the defeat the Spanish amateurs laid on the NAADA members in their first meeting earlier this year in the USA. This past spring the Spaniards were guests of NAADA in a Friendship Competition and they thoroughly vanquished their American counterparts in a series of races on American soil. The NAADA team of Joe Faraldo, Alan Schwartz, Hannah Miller, and Joe Pennacchio will need to be at the top of their game in the upcoming races on Mallorca. “Sure, we’re the underdogs in this international competition but for years, win or lose, I’ve been saying that amateur racing is a good excuse for human relations,” said Joe Faraldo, president of NAADA. “We’re happy to be here in Spain and look forward to having a great time with our newfound friends.” According to Alicia Schwartz, an officer of NAADA, the following is an itinerary for the Americans in the driving competition on Mallorca. Thursday, Sept 24  Pick up at the airport and taken to our accommodations. Afterwards, we will have a welcome dinner in the coastal town of Cala Millor (just 15 minutes to the vacation house).  Friday, Sept. 25 Wine tour experience in the city of Santa Maria (50 km away) visiting the winery and vineyards and tasting wines and Majorcan food. The tour will be about four hours in duration. Saturday, Sept 26  Visit to the famous Caves "Cuevas del Drach" in Porto Cristo, about 10 minutes from our vacation house. Lunch at the race track of Manacor. Two races (first race post time is at 4 p.m., amateur races probably will be second and fourth). After the races we will go to the Hotel Valparaiso in Playa de Palma for the presentation with French and Spanish Federation, accompanied by finger food and dinner.  Sunday, Sept. 27 Lunch at the race track of Palma. We’ll have two races (first race probably at 4 p.m.). After the races we will have dinner on the way to our vacation house.  Monday, Sept. 28  At night we will have a casual party dinner, with wine and cocktails to highlight wonderful Mallorca food. Tuesday, Sep. 29 Return to the USA John Manzi

Monticello, NY - Two divisions in the North American Amateur Drivers Association Fall trotting series were on tap on Thursday afternoon (Sept.15) at Monticello Raceway and when the dust cleared Joe Lee and Tony Farina each emerged victorious in their respective splits. Lee won with Mario Bi in a time of 2:00.4 while Farina scored behind Chelseas Chance in 1:59.3. Lee, the assistant equipment manager for the New York Yankees, subbed for Joe Faraldo and he scored an easy victory with the 4 year-old Andover Hall stallion. After getting away slowly from the three hole Lee had Mario Bi some nine lengths off the leader as Pembroke Snapshot and Hannah Miller showed the way in the :28.3 first stanza. When the field headed for the halfway point Lee was out and going with his trotter and they were in third position on the limb but just two lengths off the lead. However, up the backside Mario Bi trotted to the front and it was 'Katey bar the door' from there on as Lee's trotter opened up daylight and cruised home an easy three length winner. Gimme The Loot was second under the wire for Bobby Krivelin but a racing infraction caused the trotter to be disqualified and placed last. That allowed Tagmaster and Tony Ciuffetelli to be moved up to second and Pembroke Snapshot to the show position. Owned by Joe Faraldo, Mario Bi paid $6.00 for win and for Lee it was his third driving victory of the year and eighth since he began amateur racing in 2010. In the other split, young Tony Farina scored an impressive come-from-behind triumph with Chelseas Chance, a 4-year-old daughter of Kadabra, in 1:59.3. Sent off as the 8-5 favorite in the contest Farina was content to follow the leaders through fractions of :29.1; :59:1 and 1:29.4 . In fourth position, four lengths off the lead at the top of the stretch, Chelseas Chance rallied with a :28.3 final quarter to score a 1-1/2 length victory in 1:59.3, her sixth of the season. Second money went to Current Crisis (Bobby Krivelin) while Typical New Yorker took home the show dough for Tony Verruso. Jerry Ray trains the winner for The Absolute Return Stable. She returned $4.70 win mutuel. For 24-year old Tony Farina it was his second driving victory this year and second of his fledgling career. On Sunday a NAADA contingent consisting of Joe Faraldo, Alan Schwartz; Joe Pennacchio and Hannah Miller will wing their way to Spain for a return competition with the Spanish amateurs on the island of Mallorca. by John Manzi, for NAADA

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