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MONTICELLO, NY - For the past five weeks at Monticello Raceway Thursdays have featured races driven by amateur drivers. And July 14th was no exception. Two trots in the NAADA Series were carded as well as a pace in the Catskill Club's Amateur Series. When it was all over Alan Schwartz and Peter Kleinhans were each victorious in their respective NAADA splits while "Hurricane Hannah" Miller copped the Catskill Club's pace. Schwartz led the NAADA brigade winning his division with Lady's Big Stormont in an eye-opening 1:57.2 over Bob Hechkoff's The Franchise. When the wings of the mobile gate folded Schwartz gunned his recent purchase to the lead and took no prisoners. Lady's Big Stormont, whom Schwartz claimed last week for $12,500, zipped by the first stanza in a stiff :28. Still comfortably in hand they were two lengths in front as they trotted by the half in :57.3. Although Bob Hechkoff and The Franchise enjoyed a two-hole journey they were outclassed when the field turned for home as Schwartz's charge drew off to a two length victory. Third place went to Woody, driven by Joe Lee. "I just claimed him here last week and he sure has a lot of trot, but he's a handful. He grabs on when jogging and is tough behind the gate and when scoring down he's on the muscle but he's got a big engine," Schwartz said referring to Lady's Big Stormont. "So I'll have to put up with his ways." Trained by Raheim Strong, Lady's Big Stormont scored his sixth seasonal triumph and paid $4.30 for win. The next NAADA trot on the Thursday card saw Peter Kleinhans send Toss Cartwright to the lead in after the half and then jog away to 9-length triumph over Typical New Yorker and driver Alan Schwartz. Kleinhans and Toss Cartwright didn't see the pylons until they wrested the lead from Tony Verruso and Up Front N Crazy as the two trotters passed the halfway point. Then surprisingly, even to Kleinhans, his trotter began to open daylight on the field and they cruised home an oh-so-easy winner over Typical Newyorker. Up Front N Crazy took home the show dough for Tony Verruso. "When we passed the half in :57.4 I thought he'd (Toss Cartwright) be tired but I was I pleasantly surprised to see us run away with the race," Kleinhans said. "This is my girlfriend's horse and I wish she could have been here today to see him win today." Owned by Collene Cash and trained by John McDermott, Toss Cartwright paid $4.80 for win. Amateur racing's current leading driver, "Hurricane Hannah" Miller, scored her 18th seasonal victory when she guided Stoman to a wire to wire triumph in a 1:56.1 clocked mile in the Catskill Club's pace. But victory didn't come easy. When the starter said go Miller sent Stoman to the front from the pole position but she had pressing company from Late Night Flight and driver Monica Banca. Their horses raced head to head past the quarter pole in a swift :27.2, that was until Miller opened a hole behind her for Banca's pacer to fall into, which Monica did. But by then Ms. Miller had little hope of giving Stoman a breather and they traveled by the half in :56.2. "I was quite concerned with the fast early fractions but I didn't want to get in behind Monica's horse," Miller said after the race. " The :56-half had me concerned even though I had a snug hold on him (Stoman) right from the start. Still they were fast fractions." As the field headed for the third stanza Stoman had opened up a three-length lead on the field. Barry Addison and KB's Bad Boy--last week's winner in this event--began a charge at the leader but it was too little, too late and they had to settle for second money. Shark Treasure rallied from far back to finish third for Gerry Fielding. Stoman, a 10-year-old Market Report gelding is owned by Jason MacDougall and trained by John Hallett, He paid $4.20 for win. After the amateur races at the Mighty M were contested, Miller and a contingent of others hit the road to Saratoga Raceway--2-1/2 hour ride-- for two Billings trots carded late on the Saratoga Harness race card. by John Manzi for the NAADA and Catskill Amateur Club  

Once again Monticello Raceway afforded three races today--Thursday, June 30 -- for the burgeoning amateur movement which has been helpful to the race secretaries in their quest to present full race cards. Two amateur contests were in the North American Amateur Drivers Association's spring trotting series; the first won by Tony Ciuffetelli with Aventure in a swift 1:57.3 while the other went to Typical Newyorker and driver Alan Schwartz in a 2:00.2 clocking. The third, a pace in the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club series, saw Hannah Miller guide Tijuana Party to a gutsy 1:57.1 clocking. In his NAADA series contest Ciuffetelli left hard from the two hole with Aventure and when he saw Hannah Miller charging to the lead from the seven-hole with the odds-on favorite Scottish Cross, he allowed her to take command in a :28.2 first quarter. From there he was content to let the lady and her trotter cut he fractions. "I knew if I let Hannah go I'd get a good two-hole trip,"Ciuffetteli said after the race. "I followed her all the way until the stretch and then I moved my horse out and he trotted right by her and won going away." At the wire Aventure was a two-length winner. Scottish Cross easily held on for second money while Toss Cartwright rallied to be third for Peter Kleinhans. Ciuffettelli, a retired corrections officer, also owns and trains Aventure. The 5-year-old Muscle Mass gelding paid $6.90 for win. In the other NAADA trot Alan Schwartz sent Typical Newyorker to the lead from the pole position and they remained unchallenged until Hannah Miller moved Lou Lous Princess first -up as the field approached the halfway point. "I knew Hannah was coming but her horse was hanging (on the limb) as we raced past the three quarters and I could see she wasn't going to even get alongside me," Schwartz said. "When we straightened for home my horse opened up a couple of lengths and he was strong all the way to the wire." Typical Newyorker was a solid one length winner over Paul Minore's Wygant Prince. Third place went to Blazin Delores, driven by Dein Spriggs. Lou Lous Princess faded and finished fourth. With his victory Typical Newyorker raised his lifetime earnings to nearly $252,000. The veteran Conway Hall gelding is owned by Michelle Hallet, Michelle Oglesby and Roger Doire and trained by John Hallett. He paid $13.00 for win. Alan Schwartz, a former National Amateur Driver of the Year, notched his 569th career driving victory and he continues to be the winningest amateur driver competing today. Sandwiched between the NAADA trots on the 14-race card the Catskill Club pace was won for the second consecutive week by Tijuana Party. Hannah Miller was again in the sulky and although she struggled to take command in a :27.2 first quarter, once Tijuana Party was on the lead he never relinquished it. Hannah and her charge stepped by the halfway point in :56.2 and at that point Ms Miller had second thoughts. "When I saw the timer flash :56.2 I figured I was in trouble, "Hannah said. "But my horse was gritty and to my pleasure he just kept going forward. He was even strong in the stretch and held off Dein Spriggs' pacer (Stoman) who had a two-trip." Tijuana Party was a two-length winner over Stoman. J Wanda took home the show dough for Bob Davis. Sent off the odds-on favorite Tijuana Party lived up to his billing and returned a $3.80 win mutuel. The pacer is co-owned by her driver and her trainer, Nick Surick. For "Hurricane Hannah" it was her 14th winning drive thus far this season. Last year she won 32 races and was named National Amateur Driver of the Year. Her exploits last season also earned her the Harness Racing Museum's Amateur Driver of the Year and with that honor she will drive against six Hall of Famers in the Hall of Fame Trot at Goshen Historic Track on Sunday afternoon, July 3. ""It's a real big honor and I'm so excited to be able to drive against the Hall of Famers," Miller said. by John Manzi, for NAADA

The second legs of the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) and the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club (CADC) 10-week series were contested on Thursday, June 23 at Monticello Raceway and upon the completion of the afternoon card NAADA winners included Alan Schwartz and Dein Spriggs while Hannah Miller copped the CADC pace. Schwartz won with Armstead Kyra in 2:00.3 while Spriggs was victorious with Saint Patty's Doll in 2:00.2. "Hurricane Hannah" romped by over three lengths with Tijuana Party in 1:58.4. In their contest Schwartz and Armstead Kyra's biggest challenge was how to handle Bob Hechkoff's recent purchase Photosavvy whose prowess in his previous races impressed the bettors enough to send them away at odds of even money. However, on the first turn Photosavvy made a break which allowed Schwartz's charge to cruise along unchallenged on the front end. They traveled through fractions of :30; 1:00.2 and 1:30.2 and then held off a late charge from Hannah Miller and Lou Lous Princess to hold on for a head victory in 2:00.2. Joe Lee took home the show dough with Woody. "This was the first time I drove her (Armstead Kyra) and I was real careful with her leaving out of there. The last time she had the pole she made a break at the start so I didn't want that to happen with me today," Schwartz said after his driving victory. As the field rounded the final turn and headed for paydirt in that event Lou Lous Princess, who had a two-hole trip, mounted a late rally. "In the lane I knew Hannah's horse was gaining on mine and I was certainly glad when the wire came up," Schwartz added. Armbro Kyra, owned by Brenda Messenger and Dr. Scott Woogen and trained by Gary Messenger, paid $10.40 for win. A second NAADA split went to Dein Spriggs, former two-time National Amateur Driver of the Year. Up from Florida to drive Saint Patty's Doll, Spriggs made the trip worthwhile when he reined the 7-year old daughter of Conway Hall to a 2:00.2 victory over Aventure and driver Tony Ciuffetelli. A stalwart in the Florida Amateur Drivers Association, this was the fourth time Spriggs sat behind Saint Patty's Doll and the second time he was victorious. He also has had two seconds among those four outings. In the NAADA trot today Spriggs gunned Saint Patty's Doll to the lead from the four-hole and took command at the quarter in :29.3. Once on top he made every pole a winning one en route to a 2:00.2 clocking while he kept a hard charging Aventure and driver Tony Ciuffetelli at bay. Blazin Delores finished third for Hannah Miller. "Besides having a drive with Saint Patty's Doll today I'll stay tomorrow (Friday) to drive in the GSY Amateur Series at the Meadowlands," Spriggs related. Owned by Karma Racing and trained by Patti Harmon, Saint Patty's Doll returned a $3.80 win mutuel. The last of the three amateur races saw Hannah Miller continue her prowess when she guided Tijuana Party to an oh-so-easy 1:58. 4 victory In the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club Series. Sent off as the 8-5 favorite from post two Miller quickly gained command and led the field by the first stanza in a swift :28.4. From there she toyed with her competition and was never in any trouble. And when Tijuana Party rounded the final turn he began to draw off and coasted home an easy three-length winner over McCabe Hall and driver Tony Ciuffetelli. Third place went to Shark Treasure driven by Gerry Fielding. "He's a pleasure to drive and he was real good today," Miller said referring to Tijuana Party. "He's got quick speed away from the (starting) gate and he's was strong at the end of the mile, too." Hannah co-owns the winner with Nick Surick who doubles as the horse's trainer. Tijuana Party paid $5.50 for win. For "Hurricane Hannah" it was her 13th driving victory already this year. John Manzi for NAADA and CADC

The North American Amateur Drivers Association's 10-week trotting series kicked-off Thursday (June18) at the Mighty M with two divisions on the 11 race harness racing card. Hannah Miller copped the first with Lou Lous Princess while Bob Hechkoff won the second with No Recess. Also on the program was a Catskill Amateur Club pace which went to Dirty Devil, driven by Steve Oldford. Hannah Miller, last year's National Amateur Driver of the Year, continued on her winning ways when she guided Lou Lous Princess to a head victory in a 2:01.3 clocking in the first NAADA split. With the field heading to the halfway point Miller moved Lou Lous Princess first-up in front of Samsawinner and driver Joe Lee who was looking for cover and the two continued on an overland trip. "I moved in front of Joe's horse as we headed to the half and although the pace was slow I wondered if that was the best move," Miller said. "Up the backside we were head and head with the leader (Swift Blizzard) and I figured if we could clear before the turn we'd be OK. And we did. In the stretch my mare was real game and fought off all challenges to win it." John Kokinos used the passing lane to rally for second money with Cassa's Image. Samsawinner took home the show dough. Owned and trained by Hannah's dad, Erv Mller, Lou Lous Princess paid $4.90 for win. In the other NAADA trot Bob Hechkoff drove No Recess like the 1-2 shot he was on the tote board. They took no prisoners and they made every pole a winning one en route to a 1:59.2 triumph despite losing his whip in the lane. They turned back Tony Ciuffetelli's, Aventure. "He's a nice horse," Hechkoff said in the paddock after his driving victory. "He's so versatile and now he's getting back to last year's form when he won nine races and over $46,000." Third place in that trotting contest went to Fox Valley Steffen in rein to John Kokinos. Sent off as the odds-on favorite No Recess returned a $2.80 win mutuel. He's owned by Kyle Spagnola and Hechkoff's RBH Ventures. Spagnola doubles as the horse's trainer. As if amateur racing wasn't competitive enough as an added bonus in their current 10-3eek trotting, the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) is offering an all-inclusive paid trip to race in New Zealand later this year. The lucky finalist will be drawn from the top three point earners in the series. Also on the Thursday card was a Catskill Amateur Club pace which saw Steve Oldford rally Dirty Devil to a come-from behind victory over the pace-setter, Shark Treasure, driven by Gerry Fielding. "He's a big guy and we just bought him last week,"Oldford said referring to Dirty Devil. "Today as we headed for home there were five of us across the track and although I thought we had a good chance of winning it I wasn't sure especially since he (Dirty Devil) was 0 for 16 this year." Off the schnied and now one for 17 this season, Dirty Devil is owned by Oldford Racing LLC. He paid $9.90 for win. The NAADA Trotting Series will continue on Thursdays at Monticello Raceway by John Manzi for NAADA & Catskill Amateur Club

YONKERS, NY - Talk about dominating. Not only did Bob Krivelin win five legs of the recently completed NAADA Trotting Series but he also was victorious in the series $15,000 Finale which was presented Thursday evening at Yonkers Raceway. In fact he won that contest by five lengths with his own Permanent Joy in a time of 1:59. "My horse went a big trip," he said. We had the pole (position) and (Dave) Yarock (with Nautilus De Vie) left like gangbusters which was OK with me but when Alan Schwartz slipped in in front of me as we headed to the quarter pole it upset my plans for a two-hole journey. Yarock's trotter led the field by the first quarter in :29 and with horses hung on the limb and moving up it forced Krivelin to come first-up as the field headed to the half-way point.. "I really didn't want to come out so early but with (Bob) Hechkoff and Joe Lee moving up from the rears I really had no choice but to move when I did," Krivelin related. Getting out in front of the outside flow allowed Krivelin clearance and he was able to challenge Yarock's trotter as they headed for the third stanza. However Nautilus De Vie hung tough and Permanent Joy didn't clear until the two trotters passed the three quarters. But once Kriveiln's horse settled down along the pylons only the margin of victory was in doubt. At the wire Permanent Joy was five lengths in front of runner-up Joe Lee's Boysdroolgirlsrule who finished a long neck better than Bob Hechkoff's AJ Destiny. "I'm proud of my driving victory but I'm even prouder of my training," added Krivelin who doubles as Permanent Joy's trainer. "I keep him in his own huge paddock on my farm which is outside (the village of) Goshen (NY) and rarely do we put a harness on him between races. For extra exercise we tow him along on my farms bridle path.from time to time" Krivelin, a food purveyor in New York City, it marked his 190th amateur driving victory and his 107th win as a trainer. by John Manzi, for NAADA

Monticello, NY - For the first time in decades the NAADA winter/spring trotting series finally received enough entrants to present a consolation final when seven drivers who didn't make the top eight in points for eligibility in the series finale, obtained mounts for the $5000 series consolation today (Wed., April 6) at Monticello Raceway. And when the judges hung the official sign Tony Verruso emerged victorious after he guided his own Sam's Honeybee to a 2:02.2 victory. "Initially I wasn't thrilled about not making the Final but as it worked out maybe it was a blessing in disguise," Verruso said in the drivers room after the race. "I raced my mare in all the series legs but we were outclassed and failed to earn enough points for eligibility in that $15,000 Final tomorrow at Yonkers (Raceway), so winning this (consolation) gave us a bigger payday than we probably would have earned in the series finale." But winning todays consolation at Monticello Raceway wasn't an easy task for 19-1 Sam's Honeybee. But a cool heads-up drive by Verruso showed why he's one of the most talented amateur drivers on he circuits today. When the race began the three inside horses went off-stride on the first turn and the field scattered to avoid complications. "I skirted breaking horses by weaving in and out and finally settling in along the pylons in fourth (position) as we headed to the quarter pole," Verruso explained. Monica Banca, with Pixel Queen cleared the confusion on the first turn as did Bob Davis and Swift Blizzard but it was the lady who showed the way. Verruso was the first to move as the field trotted by the half and into the clubhouse turn. Up the backside Sam's Honeybee was gaining on Pixel Queen but Ms Banca and her charge still had command as they rounded the final turn and headed for paydirt. In the lane Sam's Honeybee was the strong horse as she trotted around Pixel Queen and on to a one length victory. Swift Blizzard held off a fast closing Bad I Am (Jim Marshall IV) for the show dough. Sams Honeybee, trained by Carl Gillispie, paid $40.80 for win. For Verruso, who is the president of the CKG Billings Series, it was his 61st driving victory. Thursday night (April 8) the eight drivers with the most points in the NAADA series will be do battle in the $15,000 Final at Yonkers Raceway. "Hurricane Hannah" Miller, last year's Amateur Driver of the Year, will handle the early favorite, Jacks To Open, from post six. by John Manzi, for NAADA

A pair of Bob's emerged victorious in the ninth leg of the North American Amateur Drivers Association's spring trotting which was contested at Yonkers Raceway on March 17.Harness racing driver Bob Kenney reined Rev Up The Spice to a 1:59.2 triumph in the first division and Bob Krivelin scored a 1:59.4 victory in the second split with Current Crisis. Kenney scored his first victory in the series while Krivelin emerged victorious for the third time and he is currently is atop the series leaderboard, now with 63 points. With both events contested on St. Patrick's Day some might say it was the luck of the Irish that propelled Bob Kenney to victory. But make no mistake the big fellow knows his way around a double oval. After leaving soft from the three-hole Kenney was content to drop down along the pylons in fifth position as Joe Faraldo and Dreamsteeler sped to the lead when the gate folded and they kept Mr. Invincible (David Glasser) and Fox Valley Steffen (John Kokinos) out in the fresh air as Dreamsteeler led the field by the first stanza in :29. When the field headed into the paddock turn there were five in and two still out on the limb as they raced past the half mile marker in :58.4. Kenney sat cool in the pocket and bided his time with Rev Up The Spice and waited for daylight which came as the field approached the three quarters. Kenney's trotter then ranged alongside Faraldo's charge and they raced head to head into the final turn. At that point Dreamsteeler began to fade and Kenney's trotter took command in the lane and braced for Fox Valley Steffen who had raced on the limb the entire mile. But at the wire Rev Up The Spice was 1-1/2 length victor over Fox Valley Steffen. Sam's Honeybee (Tony Verruso) came from far back to finish third. The winner, an 8-year old Revenue S gelding, is owned by the Di Stefano & Son Stable and trained by John Di Stefano. In the second split a breaking horse caused interference with two inside horses as the race began. Meanwhile Bob Hechkoff gunned Sing Out to the lead and they had five lengths on the field as they passed the first quarter. At that point the eventual winner, Current Crisis, was comfortable racing in second position. As the field approached the halfway point Dave Offenberg moved Blueberry Kidsqueen out to challenge Sing Out and they raced side by side up the backstretch and at that point Krivelin slipped off the pylons and followed Offenberg's trotter around the final turn. When the field headed for home Bluebird Kidsqueen had a two length lead but in the deep stretch Current Crisis rallied to notch a solid one-length triumph. Nautilus De Vie and Dave Yarock rambled home for the show dough. It was the third victory in the series for Current Crisis who's owned by the Hero Stables and trained by Krivelin. The next leg of the NAADA Series will be raced at Freehold Raceway on Saturday, March 26. A $15,000 series finale is set for Thursday, April 7 at Yonkers Raceway. John Manzi          

Although the sun was shining brightly but the gusting winds kept the temperature in the mid-20's at Monticello Raceway on Thursday afternoon (2-18), still the harness racing surface was in good shape for the two divisions of the trotting series sponsored by the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) . And when the judges posted the winners, Bobby Krivelin and David Yarock each emerged victorious in their respective splits. Krivelin moved to the top of the series leaderboard after he scored a come-from-behind victory with his Current Crisis in a time of 2:00.3. It marked Krivelin's second victory the five currently contested legs. Content to stalk the pace-setter, AJ Destiny driven by Bob Hechkoff, Krivelin followed the leader all the way until the homestretch at which point he moved Current Crisis off the pylons and they rallied to a neck victory. Windsun Galliano finished a neck behind AJ Destiny to garner the show dough for Peter Kleinhans. "He's an honest race horse and we had a good trip," Krivelin related after his victory. "We were getting a good trip so I waited until we straightened for home to challenge Hechkoff and when I pulled Current Crisis I knew he'd go on to win it." It was the 27th career victory for the former Maine colt trotting champion who is now owned by Krivelin's, Hero Stable. Current Crisis paid $6.10 for win. And for Krivelin, who has been competing regularly in amateur races since 1996, it was his 186th driving victory. Dave Yarock won the second division with Nautilus De Vie in a 2:02.3 clocking. Sent off at odds of over 4-1 Yarock sent the 6-year-old altered son of Credit Winner to the lead when the gate sprung and the duo was more than content to cut all the fractions. Despite the betting favorite, Just Like Lloyd (Robert Kenny), falling into the two hole on the first turn Yarock and his charge proceeded undauntedly on the front-end and they had two lengths on Kenny's trotter as the field headed for home. In the lane Just Like Lloyd began to gain on Nautilus De Vie but they ran out of racetrack and had to settle for second money a head behind the winner. Cassa's Image finished third for Bobby Krivelin. "I really thought we were the best before the race and I drove him like he was the best," Yarock said. "And he was,". "Junior (Jimmy Doherty Jr.-the horse's trainer) has worked real hard to make sure he was at the top of his game and he deserves a lot of credit." Owned by his driver, it was the first seasonal triumph for Nautilus De Vie who returned $10.80 for win. For Yarock it marked his 55th amateur driving victory. Now with 28 points Yarock is fourth on the leaderboard which is currently at the halfway point of the three- month series. By John Manzi for NAADA

Despite frigid temperatures and punishing winds the fifth leg of the North American Amateur Drivers Association winter trotting series went to post on Saturday afternoon, February 13 at Freehold Raceway and there were no surprises when the harness racing betting favorite Justa Rebel scored a decisive victory for Dr. John Kokinos. After Justa Rebel's strong second place finish in his last start at Yonkers Raceway the local crowd punched his ticket substantially and the veteran trotter was sent off at odds of 11-10. With the cold winds swirling Justa Rebel got away slowly from post position six and was some six lengths behind the pace-setter Keystone Boca when the Joe Lee-driven trotter tripped the first stanza timer in :29.1. As the field rounded the second turn and headed to the halfway point a parked-out Wygant Prince (Paul Minore) settled in along the pylons and when he did Kokinos was out and going with Justa Rebel. When the field passed the half Justa Rebel was second on the outside but the classy trotter then took command and from there on Kokinos played catch me if you can. Not surprisingly, no one could seriously challenge the new leader and Justa Rebel kept Wygant Prince at bay in the deep stretch to score a 1-1/4 length triumph in a time of 2:02.1. Current Crisis came from far back to garner the show dough for Bobby Krivelin. It was the 27th lifetime victory for the altered son of Valley Victory who paid $4.20 for win. For Dr. John, a veterinarian from Campbell Hall, NY, it was his 19th career driving victory. As the sun went down the weather got more colder and was so frigid that races scheduled that evening at Yonkers Raceway and the Meadowlands were canceled due to the excessive cold. The NAADA Trotting Series will continue at Monticello Raceway on Thursday Feb. 18. John Manzi

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

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