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In early December four members of the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) will travel New Zealand to represent America in a series of races in a Friendship Competition against their harness racing counterparts from Down Under. Leading the USA team will be Peter Kleinhans who earned that honor after winning a lottery drawing upon the completion the NAADA Summer Trotting Series. Recently the international amateur drivers organization had released that Dave Offenberg will join Kleinhans on the overseas journey to represent the USA in the competition. Now NAADA has named Joe Lee to join the aforementioned and in upcoming weeks they'll name the fourth and final member of the USA team. Joe Lee is the assistant to the head equipment manager of the New York Yankees and has been for 22 years. He is also a member of many amateur driving organizations and this year he has been able to compete in amateur races more than in past seasons. Thus far this year "Yankee Joe" has eight wins, 10 seconds and eight thirds in 64 starts and all with what would be considered in the industry as "catch drives". Asked how a youngster from New York City got so involved in harness racing, Joe was pleased to expound. "My parents owned some Standardbreds when I was a kid and I grew up going to Freehold, Roosevelt, Yonkers and the Meadowlands. I show-jumped horses for just about 20 years so I definitely was always around horses. "Going to the racetracks as much as I did, I wanted to see what it was like to sit behind one rather than in a saddle, so my good friend Sandy Goldfarb put me in touch with Buzzy Sholty who trained many of Sandy's horses over the years. "I began going to White Birch Farm (in New Jersey) every Saturday morning and any other chance I had. I would leave my house at 4:45 in the morning to get there on time and start jogging and training the barn with Buzzy. Buzzy, knowing I had been around horses began trusting me right away with some of his horses and I never looked back. "In 1995, while in high school, I was offered a position with the New York Yankees as their batboy which I enjoyed for three seasons. After that I got the opportunity to become an assistant to the head equipment manager, and have done so ever since. This year completed my 22nd season there. "Since 2001, I have worked in the Financial Services industry. I was a financial advisor with UBS from 2001-2004. In 2004 my team and I started our own registered investment advisory firm in Westchester (NY). I have assisted families with the managing of their assets and helped with their estate planning since 2001. "It has been a great thrill over the past few years to own some horses with family and friends. An even bigger thrill is the excitement of going behind the gate and racing. It never gets old. I have been so fortunate to have so many trainers give me the opportunity to drive their horses and am thankful for the relationships I have developed in the sport. Being invited to represent the NAADA in New Zealand is a thrill and an honor. "Many people drive in the NAADA races and to be asked to go is definitely something that I couldn't even think of turning down. It is always a thrill to go to a new racetrack and drive but this time it's combined with sharing the experience with other people from the opposite end of the planet that share the same passion of the sport as I do. I look forward to the experience and thank everyone involved that puts these trips and competitions together. "I think it's always important for the amateurs, as well as everyone involved in racing, to do what they can to spread their enjoyment for racing so the sport can continue on." by John Manzi for NAADA

Efforts by the North American Amateur Drivers Association and the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club to present a race(s) for veterans who are also amateur harness racing drivers are coming to fruition according to NAADA vice president, Alan Schwartz. "We have received confirmation from quite a few vets who are looking forward to competing in the event(s) here at Monticello Raceway which will help us raise money for the local veteran's food bank," Schwartz said. "Just recently (CADC president) Gerry Fielding and I have heard from Peter Gerry, George Bonomo, Joe Pennacchio, Bernie Boland and Jimmy Marshall 3rd, as well as local horsemen, Allen Sisco, Pete Siebert and Paul Moore so we're well on our way of getting a field together. And should we get enough vets we'll have two races." The event was planned for national Veterans Day, November 11th but since the Mighty M is dark on Fridays the race(s) will be slated for Thursday, Nov. 10. "But that's OK since November 10th will be the 241st Anniversary of the United States Marine Corps," noted Schwartz a former U.S Marine who besides being the vice president of NAADA is also the president of the Monticello Raceway's Harness Horsemen's Association. "It's true we have a good start at filling at least one division but with a few more entries we could possibly have two races," Schwartz added. At the end of the November 10th racing card at the Mighty M both NAADA and CADC will each donate $1000 to the Veteran's Food Pantry of Sullivan County, NY. Both amateur organizations are urging those who plan on attending the afternoon's race card to please bring along a non-perishable food item which will then be delivered to the veteran's food pantry. The Veterans Amateur Driving Challenge is only open to former servicemen who are amateur harness drivers licensed by the U.S. and/or the Canadian Trotting Associations. To enter the event, or for further information, please contact Monticello Raceway's director of racing, Eric Warner by calling 845-794-4100 ext. 557; or contact Alan Schwartz in the Horsemen's organization's office at 845-791-7747. John Manzi

Alan Schwartz has more driving victories than any other amateur driver competing today and at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday evening he added another win to his harness racing career total when he guided Lady's Big Stormont to a 1:59 triumph in the $6000 NAADA Trot. In that contest when the field approached the starting point Hannah Miller's horse, Father Amiga, went off stride and after seeing that mishap Schwartz gunned his charge to the lead from the pole position in the non-wagering trot which was presented prior to the first race on the betting card. Lady's Big Stormont led the field by the first quarter in :28.3 and after a 1:00 half the 5-year-old altered son of Earl of Stormont put two 29 and change quarters together to score two length victory over Bob Hechkoff's, Justtherighttouch. Joe Faraldo and Signal Hill OK finished third some three lengths behind the winner. "I guess everything went my way tonight. I had a good horse; I had the pole; and I got to the front easily," Schwartz said. "Then they lined up behind me and my trotter was never really challenged as we coasted along on the engine. In the stretch he (Lady's Big Stormont) was strong and we won it quite handily." The win was the seventh of the season for Lady's Big Stormont, whom Schwartz claimed earlier this year. He is trained by Raheim Strong. And for Schwartz, it was his the ninth win of the season and his 573rd of his amateur career. By John Manzi for NAADA

On Veteran's Day, Friday, November 11th , America will commemorate the valiant services of former members of our armed forces with speeches, parades and various other celebrations. But on the previous day, Thursday, Nov. 10th, the local harness racing Amateur Drivers Clubs are planning an amateur driving challenge at Monticello Raceway as an impetus to raise money for the local veteran's food banks. "We chose November 10th for two reasons. First, Monticello is dark on Fridays and second because it will mark the 241st Anniversary of the United States Marine Corps," noted former U.S Marine Alan Schwartz, who is the vice president of the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) as well as the president of the local horsemen's organization. "We have planned our own special tribute for those who served our country with honor by staging an Amateur Driving Challenge for veterans of the armed services who are currently amateur harness drivers and we're re being joined in this endeavor by the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club (CADC) and its president, Gerry Fielding. "At the end of Monticello's November 10th racing program each amateur club will donate $1000 to the Veterans Food Pantry of Sullivan County," Schwartz added. Although the amateur clubs have great ambitions their project couldn't come to fruition without the help of Monticello Raceway's longtime director of racing, Eric Warner, who over the years, has been helpful in promoting his racetrack. The Veterans Amateur Driving Challenge is only open to former servicemen who are amateur drivers licensed by the U.S. and/or the Canadian Trotting Associations. "This may not be an easy race to fill but we surely feel this is a worthwhile endeavor," Schwartz said. "Once the word is out we are hoping to get a good response from the proud veterans who helped preserve the American way of life." Anyone wanting more information, or to enter the event, must contact Warner at Monticello Raceway by calling 845-794-4100 ext. 557 or contact Schwartz in the Horsemen's organization's office at 845-791-7747. John Manzi  

For the second time in recent weeks there has been harness racing action in both the Billings Series and the NAADA Trotting Series on the same day which is indicative of the growing popularity of amateur driving. On Thursday, (Sept 29) in Billings action at The Red Mile in Louisville, Ky., "Hurricane Hannah" Miller, after a stellar showing in the recently completed World Cup of Amateur Racing in Budapest, Hungary, added to her seasonal totals by reining Jack To Open to a 1:56.4 victory. Meanwhle, several hundred miles away at Yonkers Raceway in New York in the NAADA Trotting Series, Joe Lee scored a 1:59.2 victory with Four Starz Credit in their split while Bobby Krivelin was a 1:58.3 winner in his division behind P C's Wildcard. At The Red Mile "Hurricane Hannah" notched her 28th seasonal driving victory. After leaving strongly from the three-hole with Jack's To Open they took command before the first stanza which was trotted in :28.2. Being pressured by a parked-out Bold Strike, driven by Steve"You're Never Too" Oldford, both trotters were just heads apart at the half in :57.0. But when Bold Strike began to fade "Buffalo Bob" Davis hustled 80-1 shot Facing Justice up to challenge Jacks To Open and the two were just heads apart as they straightened for home. However, Miller's charge was game and held off Bold Strike by a length at the wire. Third place went to Rompaway Beau, driven by "Lawbook Larry" Farley. "Hannah said she loves coming to Lexington and it's a great place to race," trainer Nick Surick said. "She said she was a little nervous around last turn when Bob Davis flipped three wide with a strong challenge but 'Jack' dug in and got the job done for Hannah." Jack's To Open paid $3.20 for win. He's owned by his driver and the Nick Surick Stable and trained by Surick. Besides her 28 wins Hurricane Hannah has 20 seconds and six thirds for a .434UDR. Also on tap on Thursday night was the second leg of the NAADA Fall trotting Series in which Joe Lee took no prisoners in his division. He sent Four Starz Credit for the lead and after gaining command they remained nearly unchallenged from there to the wire. My horse raced great," Lee said after the race. "Alan (Schwartz with Linda Marie)) let me cut the mile and although I had some mild pressure to the half by John Kokinos and Cassa's Image, my horse scooted off to win pretty easily." At the finish Four Starz Credit was a solid five-length winner over I'm Fabulous, driven by John Turock. Cassa's Image held on for the show dough. Four Starz Credit is owned by Eric Prevost and trained by Tom Milici. Joe Lee, the locker room manager for the New York Yankees, notched his eighth seasonal driving victory and 18th of his fledgling driving career. The other non-betting trot saw Bobby Krivein hustle PC's Wildcard to the lead and once on top Krivelin played catch me if you can; and no one could, as the 7-year-old altered son of Sand Chaser trotted the final four furlongs in :58 en route to a three-length triumph over Signal Hill OK and driver Joe Faraldo. Third place went to Wygant Prince, handled by Paul Minore. PC's Wildcard is owned by the Joe P Racing Stable and trained by Dan Altman. For Krivelin, a three time national Amateur Driver of the Year, it was his 14th seasonal triumph and the 198th of his career. John Manzi          

Four members of the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) will wing their way to New Zealand to compete against their harness racing counterparts from Down Under in early December in a series of races in a Friendship Competition. Leading the USA team will be Peter Kleinhans who earned that honor after winning a lottery drawing upon the completion the NAADA Summer Trotting Series by being among the top three point earners in the series, and then winning a lottery drawing. Recently the international amateur drivers organization has released that Dave Offenberg will join Kleinhans on the overseas journey to represent the USA in the competition. Others, they say, will be named in the upcoming days. Offenberg, a true sportsman, an avid amateur driver, and a longtime prominent horse owner is excited to be representing America in the upcoming Friendship Competition. "I'm absolutely thrilled to be going to New Zealand to represent the U.S. in an amateur driving competition with three other drivers. I have never been there although I drove against the New Zealand amateurs last year at Yonkers," Offenberg said. "I have been overseas several times to drive in amateur races in Italy, Spain, Finland and Sweden, but this trip will probably top them all. I have as much fun driving in the amateurs as I have racing my own horses." According to Offenberg, he has been lucky to have had several good horses including Continental Victory (Hambo Winner), Mr Vic, Angus Hall, Yes Its True and many other hard-hitting raceway horses. "In what other sport can you be totally hands-on and get enjoyment doing it?" he asks. Queried about his biggest thrill as an amateur driver it didn't take Offenberg much time to respond. "Obviously the first win was a big kick and all amateur wins are special. One of my greatest thrills was driving and winning an overnight race at Freehold against the pros (including Hall of Famer Cat Manzi) with my own horse that paid almost $100 to win. I've won several NAADA regional finals but winning the Billings Silver Cup last year was special." However, when it comes to driving Standardbreds as an amateur reinsman realism sets in. "I do race against the pros on rare occasions and am quickly brought back to reality just watching the driving skills they exhibit during a race. I guess that's why they're the pros and we are the amateurs." Offenberg, by his own admission, has been one of the fortunate few being able to participate in the sport as an owner, breeder and driver and has been blessed to have met many special people at all levels in the sport. "It is my hope that I can continue in the sport for many years to come," he added. by John Manzi for NAADA

Perhaps not well known but the rules that governed the recently completed North American Amateur Drivers Association Trotting Series at Monticello Raceway stated that the top three in points upon the completion of the 10-week series would be eligible for a drawing with the winner earning an all-expense paid trip to New Zealand when a NAADA Team will compete against their harness racing counterparts down under in a Friendship Competition in early December. Peter Kleinhans was the winner of that lottery drawing on Saturday, August 27. He prevailed over Hannah Miller and Tony Ciufettelli and now he'll be the captain of the American team in that competition. Kleinhans competed in seven of the ten legs in the series and drove three winners which earned him 53 points, third best in the 10-week series. When contacted about winning the drawing Kleinhans was really excited. "I was shocked but I'm absolutely looking forward to race in New Zealand," he said. "I never thought I'd be in a position to win the trip but I'm thrilled and certainly appreciative. I was there when I was 10 years old and this is a great opportunity to once again return to New Zealand." To quell any debates about the lottery drawing NAADA president and founder, Joe Faraldo, photographed the entire procedure and displayed it on Facebook. "Peter's name was drawn over the other finalists who were eligible to win a free trip to New Zealand as part of a US team traveling there in December of this year," Faraldo explained. "Peter has been an asset to NAADA and drives a horse very well. He will be a great ambassador for amateur racing down under." But before the Friendship Competition takes place in New Zealand NAADA member and top American amateur driver, Hannah Miller, will represent the U.S.A. in the upcoming World Cup of Amateur Racing which begins on September 7th in Budapest, Hungary. John Manzi

When the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) joined FEGAT in the early 1980's that earned the organization an opportunity to name the American entrant in the FEGAT World Championship for Amateur Drivers (the World Cup). Although this harness racing competition started as an event every four years it has melded into an international competition every two years. Hannah Miller, the USA's National Amateur Driver of 2015, will carry America's colors when she competes in six races against her counterparts from 13 other international countries in Budapest, Hungary beginning August 31 and continuing until September 4. "I'm proud and overwhelmed in being the American representative to the World Cup," Ms. Miller said. "It will be challenging for me to compete mostly against men who, for the most part, are seasoned veterans, but I look forward to the challenge and I hope I do well." Miller is the daughter of trainer Erv Miller, the 2005 Trainer of the Year and number three ranked trainer in terms of wins with more than 4800, and is the sister of professional driver Marcus Miller. "Hurricane Hannah" Miller, 24, is a member of many amateur driving clubs including among others, the Billings Series, NAADA, and the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club, and not surprisingly she is the current leader in each series. Last year when she won the National Amateur Drivers Award she had driven 32 winners, the most ever by an amateur in one season. She already has 27 wins and is on target to eclipse last season's stats. According to NAADA president Joe Faraldo, "Hannah is the best and we're sending our best to Budapest to race in the World Cup." Hannah is no stranger to racing abroad having anchored the American Team when they traveled to Majorca last fall to race against the Spanish amateurs. And earlier she was on the American team which traveled to greater Naples, Italy to race against their veteran amateurs. Slated to leave for Budapest on August 29 Hannah will be joined by her parents Erv and Heidi Miller, her boyfriend Nick Surick and NAADA founder and president, Joe Faraldo along with his wife Yma. John Manzi

The final leg of the North American Amateur Drivers Association's Trotting Series, along with the final of the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club series, was featured at Monticello Raceway on the sunny afternoon of Thursday, August 18 and not surprisingly, "Hurricane Hannah" Miller, North America's leading amateur driver, walked away with a pair of driving victories in just two trips to post while a third harness racing contest went to Peter Kleinhans. Hannah won a NAADA Trot with Rocket Master in 1:58.1 and she copped the Catskill Amateur Drivers Club pace with Stoman in 1:57.3 which raises her win-total to 26 thus far this season. Kleinhans scored a 2:00.4 triumph with Zoli in a second NAADA Trot. In the first of two NAADA races Hannah scored a come-from-behind triumph with Rocket Master when they trotted by Alan Schwartz's Linda Marie in mid-stretch to score a two length triumph. Woody finished third for Joe Lee. "I had a steady hold of him (Rocket Master) and we left the (starting) gate softly because he is rough on the straightaways," Hannah explained. After settling in fifth position Ms. Miller moved her trotter up behind Cassa's Image (John Kokinos) who went first up. She followed her cover until the final turn where she wheeled Rocket Master three-deep and challenged the pacesetter, Linda Marie overtaking her and then trotting on to victory. "I moved him (Rocket Master) three wide on the final turn because he trots the turns well and when we straightened for home he was in full gear and I knew we were going to win it," Hannah said. Rocket Master is owned by his driver, the Surick Stable, and the Erv Miller Stable, and trained by Nick Surick. Sent off as second choice in the eight-horse field Rocket Master notched his fifth seasonal triumph and paid $6.20. Hurricane Hannah's second driving victory was in the final leg of the Catskill Amateur Club's Pace when she guided Stoman to a gate-to-wire triumph in 1:57.3. Last week the veteran pacer was claimed from the John Hallett barn by Bob Lounsbury but the horse's new address made no difference when Lounsbury again handed the lines to Ms. Miller "I fired him up when the gate left and when he made the front I had a handful of horse," Hannah said. "I tried the back him down a bit but he was raring to go." And go he did, pacing through fractions of :27.4, :58.2 and 1:28 before finishing two lengths in front of KB's Badboy, driven by Barry Addison. Shark Treasure finished third for Gerry Fielding. Owned by Bill Damburg and now trained by Bob Lounsbury, Stoman notched his fourth season victory and returned $3.40 to his backers. Talk about dominance, it was Hannah Miller's ninth driving victory in the 10-week Catskill Club's series.. In the other NAADA Trot Peter Kleinhans was content to follow the leaders with Zoli and then moved him three-wide on the final turn and went on to a 1-3/4 length triumph over the even-money favorite, Fox Valley Steffen, driven by John Kokinos. Bobby Krivelin took home the show dough with Current Crisis. "I eased him away from the gate because last week he made a break before the start," Kleinhans said after his victory. "I wanted to be conservative and I babied him and we got shuffled back but when I pulled him (at the three quarter pole) he was all business. He raced real. well" Owned by John Sullivan and trained by John Mc Dermott Zoli paid $6.60 for win. For Kleinhans is was his 51st career driving victory.-30- by John Manzi for NAADA and CADC

The fields are set for the upcoming Italian American Friendship Races. The three-track harness racing series kicks off on Wednesday (8-17) at Monticello Raceway with two divisions set to go to post in races two and five on the 10-race betting card. The competition then moves on to Yonkers Raceway for the second leg which will go as race two on the Thursday (8-18) betting card and the competition will conclude on Friday (8-19) at Tioga Downs with events in the second and fourth races, also on the wagering program. As previously announced the veteran Italian team of Roberto Michelotto, Giancarlo Moretti, Raffaello Ruffato, and Otello Zorzetto will be constant and the visitors will drive in the races at all three tracks. But for the American home team a different driving foursome will be in action at each venue. At Monticello, Bob Hechkoff, Bobby Krivelin, Peter Kleinhans and Dave Offenberg will carry the fortunes for the American team there. Then at Yonkers Raceway, the American team will consist of Hannah Miler, Joe Faraldo, Tony Verruso and Tony Ciufettelli. Anchoring the Americans at Tioga Downs will be Alan Schwartz, Gerry Fielding, Matt Zuccarello and Joe Lee. Guests of the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) the visiting Italians arrived on Monday, August 15 and will be chauffeured throughout the week by members of NAADA. Besides the driving rivalries the Italian guests will be lodged at different hotels along the journey and treated to dinners each night, much of which was arranged by NAADA event planner, Alicia Schwartz. Along the way will be sojourns to Historic Track, the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame, Blue Chip Farm, the Mark Ford Training Center, as well as excursion to Bethel Woods, the site of the original and world famous Woodstock Festival of 1969. "I truly believe that our Italian guests will enjoy what we have planned for them," said NAADA president, Joe Faraldo. "And win, lose or draw our NAADA members will also have an enjoyable time, But the our enjoyment would certainly be kicked up a notch if we happen to come out on the winning end." by John Manzi for NAADA  

Two divisions of the ninth and next to last leg of the North American Amateur Drivers Association's (NAADA) summer trotting series were contested at Monticello Raceway on the hot and steamy afternoon of Thursday, August 11 with Dr. John Kokinos and Alan Schwartz each victorious in their respective harness racing divisions. Kokinos won his split with Cassa's Image in a 1:57 clocking while Alan Schwartz copped the other with Imacrazynewyorker in 1:59. In the Catskill Amateur Driver Club's pacing series, which has been running concurrently with the NAADA trots, Hannah Miller emerged victorious reining Stoman home first in a 1:57.1 clocking. Both Stoman and Imacrazynewyorker are trained by John Hallett. In his split Schwartz took no prisoners and went down the road from the pole position with Imacrazynewyorker and they made every pole a winning one en route to a one length victory over Paul Minore and Wygant Prince. Lou Lou's Princess finished third for Hannah Miller. The winner is owned by Hallett and Oglesby and trained by John Hallett. He paid $4.40 for win. Kokinos romped in his division with Cassa's Image when confusion behind them on the first turn allowed them to gain an insurmountable lead and they cruised to an easy five length victory in a 1:57 clocking. Upfront N Crazy was second best for Tony Verruso while Paul Minore and Zoli took home the show dough. The winner, owned by the Hero Stable, returned a $14.60 win mutuel. In the lone Catskill Club Pace, the sports current leading amateur driver, Hannah Miller, didn't get nervous after being parked, relaxed her charge and then eased her pacer, Stoman, to the front nearing the halfway point and from there it was Katey bar the door as Stoman cruised to a three length triumph. Fly To The Angels, a 37-1 shot, finished second for Allen Cisco and KB's Bad Boy finished third for Barry Addison. John Hallett trains the winner for owner Jason Mac Dougall. Stoman paid $4.40. On Wednesday (Aug. 10) at the Wayne County (Pa.) Fair 'Hurricane Hannah' drove Pierce to a stunning 24-length pacing victory in a time of 1:58.4. The talented miss now has 24 wins, 14 seconds and six thirds in 92 seasonal starts good for a .407 UDR. Next Thursday,upon the completion of the NAADA Series at the Mighty M,the top three drivers with the most points in the series will be in a drawing with the winner earning an all-expense paid trip to New Zealand to compete against their amateur counterparts there. Leaders include: Hannah Miller (52); Alan Schwartz (48);Tony Ciufettelli (46); Peter Kleinhans (40) Tony Verruso (36). John Manzi

For the past few decades the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) has been hosting amateur drivers from various countries in Europe and Down Under and currently plans are being finalized by the amateur driving group for an upcoming Friendship Competition against their harness racing counterparts from Italy. Four veteran amateur drivers from Venice will be coming in to challenge the NAADA members in a series of races at three different American racetracks with races slated at Monticello Raceway (8-17), Yonkers Raceway (8-18) and Tioga Downs on (8-19). Those who will be driving for team Italy include; Raffaello Ruffato (110 lifetime wins), Giancarlo Moretti (55 wins), Roberto Michelotto (74 wins) and Zorzetto Otello (462 wins). Coming along with the Italian amateur drivers is their club representative, Luigi Cardin. Although the Italian team will be constant at all three venues NAADA will field a different team at each racetrack. "We look forward to once again hosting our friends from the Venice area of Italy," said NAADA president, Joe Faraldo. "We were their guests in the past and we've previously reciprocated by hosting them here in the States. We always have a wonderful time although we usually end up on the short end the stick. But make no mistake, we (NAADA members) will do our best to win this upcoming competition. However, winning or losing is incidental, it's the camaraderie that is shared with these competitions that is the important thing." "We have what we hope will be an entertaining visit for our Italian guests, "Faraldo continued. "Tom Grossman will host the participants and sponsor a luncheon at his Blue Chip Farm on Tuesday (8-16) and then the visitors will tour Goshen Historic Track and enjoy the nearby Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame. "After driving at Monticello Raceway on Wednesday (8-17) the visitors will make a stop at the Bethel Woods Museum, the site of the original Woodstock Festival in 1969," noted NAADA event coordinator, Alicia Schwartz, who was an integral part of finalizing the agenda. Along the way Mrs. Schwartz says there will be a tour of the Mark Ford Training Center, in Goshen, NY and shopping at the Woodbury Common Outlet Mall in Central Valley, NY as well as great dinners at local area restaurants each evening. Then on Saturday (August 20) the visiting Italians will be able to explore and enjoy two days in greater New York City. By John Manzi for NAADA

When "Hurricane Hannah" Miller returned to the Monticello Raceway paddock after her driving victory with Histoire Enternelle on Thursday (August 4) she handed the lines to harness racing trainer Nick Surick and said "It was a good day", and by all accounts it certainly was for the nation's leading amateur driver. The 1:55 triumph with Histoire Eternelle was the talented miss's second driving victory of the day and 22nd of the season after previously scoring behind trotter Rocket Master in 1:57.4 in an earlier race on the card. In all, there were four events for amateur drivers on Monticello's 11-race Thursday afternoon program; three trots in the NAADA Series and one pace in a Catskill Amateur Club event. The NAADA trots were the eighth leg of the 10-leg series that will afford the three top point-earners in the events a chance to draw for an all-expense paid trip to New Zealand later this year to race against the local amateurs in events slated down under. The afternoon's amateur events got underway when Ms. Miller reined Rocket Master to a two length triumph in the second race. After being careful as the wings of the mobile gate folded, Miller took her trotter to the pylons and was fifth at the first stanza, some eight lengths behind the leader as the timer flashed :28.3. With a move to the outside at the three- eighths pole Rocket Master improved to fifth position at the half and by the time he reached the three quarters he was on top. From there Rocket Master coasted to a two-length triumph over Peter Kleinhans' Windsun Galliano. Current Crisis was third best for Bobby Krivelin. "I was careful with him as the gate pulled away because he's rough-gated on the straightaways," Miller said. "He put in a couple of extra steps along the way time but he was still strong finishing." Co-owned by Hannah, her dad Erv Miller and trainer Nick Surick, Rocket Master paid $2.90 for win. Hannah's ride behind Histoire Eternelle was the fastest on the afternoon card. "He was a little head-strong warming up and scoring down but once he got behind the (mobile starting) gate he relaxed. But when the gate sprung he was off to the front," Miller said referring to Histoire Enternelle. They were never in trouble and were an oh-so-easy four-length winner over KB's Bad Boy and driver Barry Addison. Azoreansailor (Ken Heins) finished third. Owned by the J L Stable and trained by Nick Surick, Histoire Eternelle returned a $2.50 win mutuel. Another NAADA trot saw Tony Ciufettelli and Aventure steal soft fractions during the first half mile and then speed away to a two-length triumph in a 2:00 clocking. Joe Faraldo and For You Almostfree chased the winner home while Bob Kenney and Rev Up The Spice were third best. "I rushed him (Aventure) out of there and when no one came at us I lulled him," Ciufettelli explained. "When we passed the half (in 1:02.3) I stepped on the gas and he paced a final half in :57.2." Owned, trained, and driven by Ciufettelli Aventure paid $4.60 for win. A third NAADA trot went to Sam's Honeybee and driver Tony Verruso with a gate to wire performance in a time of 2:00.4. Cassa's Image finished second for Dr. John Kokinos and Steve Oldford took home the show dough with Starsboveallerage. "We had the pole position and we got a big break when the favorite (Zoli, driven by Peter Kleinhans) broke at the start," Verruso said. "My mare is good on the lead and when we were left alone in a 1:02.2 half I knew we'd be tough to beat from there." Owned by her driver and trained by Carl Gillespie Sam's Honeybee won for the sixth time this season. Discounted by the betting public and sent off at odds of nearly 12-1 she returned a $25.60 mutuel. Now with eight legs in the books Hannah Miller leads with 48 points followed closely by Tony Ciufettelli's 46. Peter Kleinhans is currently third with 40 points. Rounding out the top five are Alan Schwartz (37) and Tony Verruso (29). Upon completion of the series 10 legs the top three in points will draw for a trip to New Zealand. by John Manzi for NAADA and the Catskill Amateur Club  

The seventh of ten legs in the North American Amateur Drivers Association's (NAADA) trotting series was presented on Thursday, July 28 at Monticello Raceway on a hot an steamy afternoon and when the events were finalized Bob Kenney and Bob Krivelin each emerged victorious in their respective harness racing splits. Kenney won with Come And Tell Pap in 2:00.3 while Krivelin eeked- out a victory with Permanent Joy in a 1:58.3 clocking. Kenney, a retired computer salesman from Belchertown, Massachusetts, took no prisoners and went wire to wire with Come And Tell Pap and scored an easy two- length triumph over Current Crisis and driver Bob Krivelin. It marked the third time that these pair pf Bob's finished one-two in the NAADA trots this season. When the gate sprung Kenney sent his charge to the lead from the pole position and they trotted through quarters of :29 and :59 rebuffing any and all challenges along the way. Still with a one-length lead as they passed the third stanza Come and Tell Me Pap scooted off to a three length lead as they headed for home and at the wire Kenny's trotter was two-lengths better than Krivelin's, Current Crisis. Zorgwijk Impact rallied from far back to garner the show dough for Joe Pennacchio. "He's a good horse," Kenney said referring to Come And Tell Pap after his driving victory. "He won over $40,000 last year but he's been sick this year. We nurtured him and now he's coming back strong. He was great today and it was almost like a training trip for him." Owned by Kenney's wife Linda and the Di Stefano and Son Stable and trained by John Di Stefano Come And Tell Pap won his first race this season and returned an $11.40 win mutuel. However, Krivelin made amends in the second NAADA trot when his Permanent Joy held on for a nose triumph over a persistent Aventure, who was driven by Tony Ciuffetelli. But after the judges reviewed the race they found a racing infraction by Ciufettelli and his horse was placed out of the money. Krivelin sent Permanent Joy to the front from the two-hole and they took charge in a :29 first quarter. From there Krivelin kept the pedal to the metal and his trotter showed the way through a :57.4 half. After they passed the third stanza in 1:27.3, Aventure, who was menacing Permanent Joy throughout the mile, staged a late charged but came up a nose short. And it was all for naught as Ciuffettelli's trotter was dis-qualified. Woody, driven by Joe Lee, was moved up to second place and I'm Fabulous was granted the show dough for driver Tony Verruso. "My horse races best when he's on top and although we went to some fast early fractions he was still strong enough to hold on for the win," Krivelin explained and then added that this was the only time that Permanent Joy has had a harness on him since his last race on July 22nd. "He lives out in a paddock at my farm and for exercise we tow him behind another horse when we jog," Krivelin added. "He (Permanent Joy) seems to really like this routine." Owned by Krivelin's Hero Stable and trained by Krivelin, Permanent Joy paid $11.60 for win. By John Manzi for NAADA

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

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