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Freehold, NJ - As the saying goes, " when you're hot you're hot" and it could easily be applied to talented amateur harness racing reinsman Tony Beltrami. Not only did he win the American Harness Drivers Club trot today at Freehold Raceway with Broadway Bruiser but that victory came on the heels of a driving double which he had last night at the Meadowlands. Today after starting from the seven-hole, Beltrami was in no hurry to leave the gate and floated away near the back of the pack in seventh position as Labadee As (Tony Ciuffetelli) led the field by the first stanza in 29 seconds. When they headed to the halfway point Beltrami moved behind cover provided by Tony Verruso and Slated To Win and when the field headed to the three quarters Slated To Win had collared the pace-setter, Labadee As. But the latter folded as the trotters rounded the final turn. When the field headed for paydirt Verruso braced for the late charge from Beltrami and Broadway Bruiser and as they headed down the lane John Calabrese moved Dark Pool off the pylons and they joined the leaders and the three trotters rallied toward the finish line just heads apart. In a tight three-horse photo Beltrami had gotten Broadway Bruiser up in the final strides for a head triumph over the fast closing Dark Pool. Right there, but third best just a head behind the top two, was Slated To Win.   Broadway Bruiser, a 6-year old Muscle Mass gelding, is owned by Joseph Scanio, James Cozenza, Bart Fooden and the HDS Stable. He is trained by Williams Hernandez. Sent away as third choice in the eight-horse field Broadway Bruiser paid $11.40 for win. by John Manzi, for the American Harness Drivers Club        

Freehold, NJ-- There's an old adage which states "when you're hot you're hot" and that moniker would aptly fit "Yankee Joe" Lee after the veteran amateur harness racing driver scored his second consecutive victory in as many days when he reined Allindotime to a 1:59.4 triumph in the $9,000 American Harness Drivers Club Trot today at Freehold Raceway. The previous evening Joe Lee, who doubles as the New York Yankees assistant locker room manager, won a GSY Series contest at the Meadowlands with Always A Force in a time of 1:54 over the mile oval there. In today's contest Lee had the betting favorite and he drifted away slowly and settled in fourth as Latoka and Matt Zuccarello led the field by the first stanza in :29.1. At the half Latoka was still showing the way as Lee was first to move and Allindotime rushed -up toward the leader and the two trotters were one-two as they passed the three quarters. "When I pulled him he was strong and I didn't want to hurry him so I never asked him for any trot until we straightened for home," Lee said about Allindotime. "And once we rounded the final turn I knew no one was going to catch us and we cruised to a 1-1/2 length victory," Although Latoka was second at the top of the lane he faded and John Calabrese and Dark Pool rallied to be second as Presidente Zette and Todd Whitney came from sixth at the three quarters to garner the show dough.   The winner, a 6-year-old Andover Hall gelding, is owned by Alma Iafelice and trained by Bill MacKenzie. Sent off as the odds-on favorite Allindotime paid $3.00. For full race results, click here. by John Manzi, for the American Harness Drivers Club  

Freehold, NJ--The weather was cold on Saturday, February 13 at Freehold Raceway and harness racing driver Tony Verruso struggled to keep his hands warm on that frigid afternoon when he tried to settle down Slated To Win, which was no easy task. But Verruso won the battle and after a :28.4 first quarter the veteran trotter eased off the bit and was manageable. "He certainly was fired-up and my hands were getting cold trying to ease him off the bit," Verruso said. "And he was lugging me all the way to the half but after that I could drive him with two fingers... cold ones at that, I might add." When the starter said "go" Verruso sent his charge to the lead and they were followed closely by Wygant Prince who was driven today by Pearly Allen. They raced one-two by the half in :59.4 and were still first and second as they trotted by the three quarters in 1:30. And when they headed for pay-dirt Slated To Win was well in charge and cruised to 2-1/2 length triumph over his challenger, Wygant Prince. Allindotime,in rein to Joe Lee, rallied from far back to garner the show dough.   Two weeks ago Verruso had driven Slated To Win to a second place finish for then trainer Terry Morgan but this week the trotter went to post and was victorious from Symon Spicer's barn. Also of note, with his second place finish, Wygant Prince went over $500,000 in career earnings. The race winner, a five-year-old Uncle Peter gelding, is owned by George Beck. Sent off the 1-2 favorite Slated To Win paid $3.00 to win. For full results, click here. by John Manzi, for the American Harness Drivers Club .    

Freehold, NJ-- As the harness racing field in the $9,000 American Harness Drivers Club Trot rounded the final turn at Freehold Raceway the pacesetter, Slated To Win, and driver Tony Verruso had command and it appeared that they would be able to do just that. Unfortunately for Verruso, Stinglike ABK and Todd Whitney had other ideas and they rallied in the deep stretch to win the event in 2:00.1.Both horses were longshots in the race and together they combined for a $660.60 exacta. For Whitney it was his first triumph of the fledgling season and his 158th amateur driving victory. When the race began Verruso sent his charge to the lead from the three-hole as Whitney angled his trotter to the pylons after starting on the far outside from post eight. From there Verruso set Slated To Win on cruise-control and they showed the way by the quarter in :29 and past the half in :59.3 Meanwhile Tony Beltrami with the 4-5 shot Broadway Bruiser, who was traveling second over, was forced three -deep as the field approached the three quarters. Broadway Bruiser stalled and Whitney moved out from behind him and they rallied around their cover and up alongside Slated To Win. When the leaders straightened for home Slated To Win had a short lead but was overtaken by Stinglike ABK who then went on to a 1-1/2 length victory in 2:00.1 on the cold and windy afternoon. Broadway Bruiser garnered the show dough, two lengths behind the winner.   The race winner, a 5-year old son of Andover Hall, is owned by the late Robert Key and trained by Aaron Lambert. He paid $39.40; $19.20; and $8.00 across the board. by John Manzi, for the American Harness Drivers Club    

Freehold, NJ-- When Matt Zuccarello is not writing about about a harness race he is equally at home sitting up behind a steed and competing against his fellow harness racing amateur drivers. Case in point: the American Harness Drivers Club trot today at Freehold Raceway where Zuccarello used the front-end route to score a 2:01.3 triumph over seven others with Donald Maiorano's, Latoka Sent off as the second choice in the 8-horse field and knowing that he had solid contender Zuccarello sent Latoka for the lead and they gained command after a :29.1 first quarter. Once on top Zuccarello kept the pedal to the metal and Latoka had a 1-1/4 length lead over Can Do and driver Joe Lee at the first quarter. When the field trotted by the halfway point Latoka was solid on the lead as Joe Faraldo and the betting favorite, Always a Good Time, moved off the pylons and up towards the leader. But as the field trotted by the third stanza Latoka was still in command when Faraldo's charge couldn't get by. As the field headed for home Always A Good Time stalled which allowed 16-1 Can Do, who was trailing the pacesetter throughout, a clear shot at the Latoka and although he got to Latoka's chin-strap Can Do couldn't get by as the leader and Latoka was a head winner in the 2:01.3 trotted mile. Always A Good Time held on for the show dough. Latoka It was the second consecutive victory for Latoka who was victorious last week in 2:01.3,also at Freehold. Owned and trained by Donald Maiorano, Latoka paid $8.00 for the win. John Manzi  

Yonkers, NY—The Billings is back. After being sidelined all last year because of the Corona virus the granddaddy of all amateur harness racing series made its seasonal debut at Yonkers Raceway tonight (Jan. 21) with two $6000 non-wagering divisions that were contested prior to the betting card getting underway with familiar names and newcomers participating. The first division was won by newcomer “Steady Jake” Stillwell with Dark Pool in a 2:01.3 clocking while the second split saw veteran amateur reinsman Bob “the Headhunter” Hechkoff guide Pound Sterling to an easy victory in a 1:59.4 clocking. In his division Stillwell got away in third position and then moved to the front before the half mile timer tripped 1:01.3. Once in command Stillwell played catch me if you can and not surprisingly no one could as Dark Pool rambled on to an oh-so-easy four-length triumph in a time of 2:01.3.. Noble Warrawee and Mike Polansky chased the winner home for second money while “Yankee Joe “Lee garnered the show dough with Can Do. It must have been a thrill for Stillwell since this was his first lifetime driving victory. The winning horse was the 8-year-old altered son of Cantab Hall who is owned by Barry Franklin and trained by Paul Fusco. In the other split Hechkoff' sent Pound Sterling to the front when the wings of the mobile gate folded and the veteran 8-year old Muscle Hill gelding put it on cruise control and made every pole a winning one en route to a 2-length victory in a time of 1:59.4. If I Must, driven by "Coach Paul” Minore, started in second place early but couldn't make up any ground and finished second. Third place went to Chas Hanover who was driven “Mighty Marianna” Monaco. With the season just getting started and lots of room to add events the next Billings trot will once again be at Yonkers Raceway on February 4. Anyone interested in joining the Billings Series can do so by contacting the series president Tony “the Capo” Verruso by calling 917-697-8985.   John Manzi

Monticello, NY--After being sidelined last year for the first time since its inception the granddaddy of all amateur harness racing organizations, the CKG Billings Harness Driving Series, is in the process of resuming races again this season, albeit with a reduced schedule "Last year was a tough year for all of us", noted Billings Series president, Tony Verruso. "The Billings was unable to race at all for the first time in 38 years and looking forward to this year, I still see obstacles to construct any type of series as we have had in the past. Horsemen are reluctant to travel as far as they used to and with still so many Covid restrictions in place many are unable to. " So with that in mind we are going to race a reduced schedule this season. We are starting with a 3-race schedule at Yonkers Raceway beginning on Thursday 1/21 and then every other week from there, 2/4 and finally on 2/18. Other legs will be added as the Spring approaches, but for now this is all I can guarantee." "The Conditions for these races are basically the same as the AHDC Series currently racing at Freehold. The Club Entry Fee will be $50 for the whole year and there will be an Entry Fee of $50 for EACH LEG. Entries will be made by EMAIL ONLY on the day prior to the host track's box closing at Noon. Those entries will be made to the email address below which is this same address: sulkyracer@hotmail.com "We will try and add as many dates as I can secure with Racetracks that I think will have a chance of filling," Verruso added. "I hope to see you all racing at some point this year." Currently two divisions have already been drawn and will be contested on Thursday (Jan. 21) at Yonkers Raceway.   by John Manzi for the Billings Series

Freehold, NJ--He may not have had the best harness racing horse in the race but John Calabrese put his trotter in a place where he could win and that's just what Stinglike ABK did in the $9000 American Harness Drivers Club Trot at Freehold Raceway on Saturday afternoon, January 16. After starting from the six-hole Calabrese hustled his charge away from the gate and they settled in second behind Caulfield and driver Todd Whitney who then led the field by the first quarter in 30 seconds over a track that was rated 'good'. Heading to the halfway point in 1:01.1 Caulfield got mild pressure from The Cuse Is Loose (Tony Verruso) who had made a break before the start but Whitney' and his trotter remained undaunted and they kept showing the way. As the field approached the three quarters in 1:31.1 Calabrese kept Stinglike AB K tight on Whitney's back and when they rounded the final turn and headed for home Caulfield's strides began to shorten and he started to fade. In the deep stretch Dawn Anderson joined the fray with Take A Wish and although they made up a lot of ground they couldn't overtake Stinglike AB K who went under the wire a length and a half winner in the 2:01.1 clocked mile Caulfield hung on for the show dough. Sent off at odds of 9-2 Stinglike ABK paid $11.00 for the win. The 5 year-old son of Andover Hall is owned by Robert Key and trained by Aaron Lambert   John Manzi

Freehold, NJ--Last week harness racing driver Tony Beltrami got a late start with Broadway Bruiser and although the veteran trotter finished with a rush he was a head short at the wire. But today Beltrami kept his trotter in contention early and the 6-year-old altered son of Muscle Mass was not to be denied when he rallied alongside the pacesetter, Wygant Prince (Paul Minore),,and went on to a 2:02.1 one length victory in the $9000 American Harness Drivers Club trot at Freehold Raceway on the chilly Saturday afternoon of January 9. When the wings of the mobile gate folded Minore sent his charge to the lead from the five-hole and they had command at the first stanza as the timer flashed, :30. But no sooner did Minore grab leather Beltrami was out and going forward with Broadway Bruiser. As the leaders passed the halfway point they were one-rwo and at the three quarters it was still Wygant Prince on the inside and Broadway Bruiser on the outside. But when they turned for home Broadway Bruiser was the strong horse and he took command and went on to a 2:02.1 triumph. Broadway Bruiser The betting favorite, Masster Blue (Tony Verruso), had road trouble and didn't shake loose until late and had to settle for the show dough. Broadway Bruiser is owned by Joseph Scanio, James Cozenza, Bart Foodrn ans the HDS Stable and is trained Williams Hernandez. He paid $8.40 for win. by John Manzi for the AHDC

Freehold NJ -- A two-hole journey and a late rally was just what harness racing driver Marianna Monaco needed when she guided 13-1 shot Sb Fine And Dandy to a nose triumph over another longshot, 29-1 Broadway Bruiser, in the American Harness Drivers Club trot at Freehold Raceway on Saturday afternoon, Jan. 2. One could say that Monaco played hardball by not yielding the lead preferring to park-out all comers and though she did, still her trotter had enough in the tank to hold-off a late charge from Broadway Bruiser and driver Tony Beltrami to score a nose decision in the 2:02 trotted mile in the first seasonal event of the 2021 amateur driving series. Starting from the two-hole Monaco first kept Wygant Prince and Paul Minore on the limb and after Minore found a hole along the pylons she braced for a challenge from 10-1 Always A Good Time, driven by Joe Faraldo. As they headed to the half-way point Sb Fine And Dandy and Faraldo's charge hooked up in a duel with Monaco's trotter still holding command all the way to the top of the stretch. As the two leaders headed for home just heads apart Beltrami came from far back with Broadway Bruiser and he and Sb Fine And Dandy charged to the finish line noses apart. It required a lengthy look by the judges but when the decision was made Sb Fine And Dandy was short-nose better than Broadway Bruiser with Faraldo's charge just a tick back in third place. The winner, a 6-year-old Iowa-bred altered son of Claudius Augustus reined supreme for the sixth time in his career. He is currently under lease to Edwin Quevedo. Sb Fine And Dandy Sb Fine And Dandy (#2) paid $29.00; $11.00 & $6.80. Broadway Bruiser (#7) returned $27.20 and $10.80. Together they teamed up for a $544.40 exacta. And the 2-7-5 trifecta was worth $2191.00 by John Manzi for the American Harness Drivers Club    

Yonkers, NY-- It is often said that there are horses for courses. And if that's so, how about harness racing drivers for who are a perfect fit behind a certain horse. Case in point: Dawn Anderson and Take A Wish. For the second time in the past few weeks Ms Anderson and the 5-year-old Wishing Stone mare rallied to victory, this time with a come- from- behind triumph in the $15,000 NAADA Final at Yonkers Raceway on the cold Friday evening of December18. On Nov 11 the duo teamed-up for a 1:58:3 triumph in a NAADA leg, also at Yonkers Raceway. But their victory tonight was amazing in that they came from seventh ar the top of the Yonkers homestretch and then rallied to a going away one length triumph in the non-wagering contest that was held over from yesterday due to a heavy snowfall that besieged the northeast then. Before the race, previous leg winners DW's Revenge (Brett Beckwith), from post four, and Exarch (Tony Verruso) from the seven-hole, figured to be the ones to beat, on paper anyway. And when the gate sprung Exarch hustled right to the lead and had command by the first quarter in :29.4. However, young Beckwith moved DW's Revenge off the pylons as the field headed to the halfway point and they were second-over as the half mile timer flashed 1:01:2. As the pace quickened DW's Revenge showed the way by three-quarters in 1:30.3: with Exarch on his chinstrap on the inside. Meanwhile Take A Wish was languishing at the back of the pack but smartly Anderson used the inside route to rally her charge from seventh at the top of the stretch to a stunning come-from -behind triumph over DW's Revenge in a 2:01.3 clocking.Exarch held on for the show dough. Ms Anderson shares ownership of the winner with Steve Smith. It was Take A Wish's fourth seasonal triumph. by John Manzi for NAADA

Northfield , Ohio - In the comfortable twilight of Saturday, Dec 12 Eddie Miller and Star Chip took no prisoners en route to a 1:57.4 harness racing triumph over eight others in a leg of the Great Lakes Amateur Drivers Association trotting series at Northfield Park. Sent off as the second choice from post five, Miller gunned his trotter to the lead from the five-hole and then played hardball with the betting favorite, Bo Nanza Chip, driven by Jd Yoder, keeping him on the limb the entire mile. They raced as a team past the first stanza in :28.4 and were side by side as they trotted by the half in :58.1. John Wengerd was the first to move from the back when he angled Favorite Uncle off the pylons with hopes of moving closer to the leaders. But much to his chagrin five lengths from the top was as close as he could get and when the leaders rounded the final turn Star Chip and Bo Nanza Chip were still safely in front. In the deep stretch Star Chip was an eased-up 1-1/2 length winner over Bo Nanza Chip. Alan finished third for Emanuel Miller. Eddie Miller and Star Chip Eddie Miller trains Star Chip, a 9-year-old Chip Chip Hooray gelding who's owned by Rebecca Sugg. He paid $8.60. by John Manzi for the Great Lakes Amateur Drivers Association      

Monticello, NY- She was the only woman in the race but that was of no concern to Marianna Monaco because she had no trouble defeating her seven male harness racing rivals in the $5000 NAADA Trot at Monticello Raceway on the cold and dreary afternoon of Thursday, December 10. . In an unusual beginning the front-end speed-ball Ladys Big Stormont came up empty and was third at the quarter in "29.1 as Tony Verruso gunned Exarch to the lead with Someway Same Hall and Tony Ciuffetelli following closely. Verruso kept the pedal to the metal and Exarch led by the half in 1:00 flat. Bob Davis was the first to move with Lucky June Bug and Monaco let him pass on the outside and then moved Stealing out to follow, second over. "I think that was the winning move for me by allowing Bob (Davis) to move first and then following him,'Monaco said. "And his horse (Lucky June Bug) was strong to the final turn." With Exarch still cutting the fractions he had command as the field headed for home. "I thought I was gonna be the winner but Marianna had her trotter in high gear on the far outside and he overtook us in the deep stretch," Verruso said. At the wire Stealing was a solid length winner over Exarch who was a nose better than Someday Some Hall in the 2:01.1 clocked mile. For Monaco it was her seventh winner this season Stealing is owned and trained by Darren Rybka, Jr Sent off at odds of over12-1 her charge, Stealing, paid $24.40; $14.00 and $5.00 across the board.   John Manzi

Northfield, Ohio—Having to start from the eight-hole, and then being parked-out until after the half didn't deter harness racing driver Marion Chupp from his mission to win the $6500 GLADA trot tonight (Dec.5) at Northfield Park. Chupp was up behind his own Curlys Son, an 8-year-old RC Royalty gelding, and together they rebuffed any and all challengers en route to a 1:58.2 victory. Sent off as the soft second choice (7-2) in the 9-horse field Chupp gunned his trotter for the lead but that didn't come easily as Curleys Son was being challenged by Alan, who was driven by Emanuel Miller and that duel went on until the latter made a break. Jimmy Lupton, who was traveling second-over, then took up the chase with The Next Triumph and both he and Curlys Son raced head-to-head by the three quarters and into the stretch before The Next Triumph faaded. And when he did Eddie Miller was right there with Star Chip but they couldn't get by the leader in the deep stretch and had to settle for second money. The Next Triumph held on for the show dough. Chupp also  owns and trains Curlys Son who paid $8.60 for win.   John Manzi for the Great Lakes Amateur Drivers Association

Freehold, NJ—For the third time in the last four weeks John Calabrese has won the American Harness Drivers Club trot at Freehold Raceway. On Saturday, Dec. 5 he guided aptly named Slated To Win to a gate to wire 2:01.3 triumph over a sloppy race course. And each of Calabrese's recent harness racing driving victories was with a different trotter. Sent off as the betting favorite from the five-hole Calabrese gunned  his charge immediately to the lead and they had two lengths on the field when the quarter mile timer flashed :29.1. Matt Zuccarello, who had the pole position with Splashed, was content to let Calabrese cut the fractions and once alone on the front-end Calabrese let his trotter ramble and they passed the half-way  point in :59. At the third stanza in 1:29.3 it was apparent that Slated To Win was going to be living up to his name and the 4-year-old Uncle Peter gelding drew-off to an oh-so-easy 3-1/2-length triumph. With a strong late rally, Allindotime, in rein to Joe Lee, came from far back to finish second; a nose ahead of Zuccarello and Splashed. It was Calabrese's sixth seasonal triumph and the 74th of his amateur driving career.  And for Slated To Win, a grandson of Cantab Hall it was his 4th seasonal triumph and he returned a $5.40 win mutuel. He's owned by George Beck and trained by Terry Morgan. .   by John Manzi for the AHDC

Yonkers, NY-- Two 7-horse fields of trotters went to post tonight (Dec. 3) at Yonkers Raceway in the North American Amateur Drivers Association harness racing series which was presented before the betting card got underway and when each event was declared official, a pair of Tony's emerged victorious; Tony Ciuffetelli won his split with Golden Kronos in 1:58.2 while Tony Verruso copped his division with Exarch in 1:59.2. Both horses used the front-end route to victory. In his split Ciuffetelli sent Golden Kronos to the lead from the two-hole and they got first call at the quarter in :29 while keeping Karets and driver Joe Lee on the limb. They were one-two by the half and remained in those positions until the three quarters where Karets began to fade. At that point Golden Kronos and Ciuffetelli scooted away to a three-length lead as they headed for home and at the wire Golden Kronos was an eased-up 1-1/2 length winner over Dw's Revenge who was driven by 17-year old Brett Beckwith.    Five lengths behind the winner If I Must rambled home third best for Paul Minore. In the other event hot-handed Tony Verruso notched his third victory in his last five starts when he gunned Exarch to the lead from the seven-hole. “I was told he could and leave like a runner and when the gate sprung I let him ramble and we were in front before the (first)turn,” Verruso said. “Once there it was little more than catch-me-if-you can.” They passed the first stanza in a swift :28.1 and they had two lengths on the field when they trotted by the half in :58.1 “Bob (Davis-with Lucky June Bug) was the first to move on us but my horse easily kept him at bay and in the stretch we opened daylight and finished a 2-1/2 length winner,” Verruso added. Lucky June Bug was second best while Jacks To Open took home the show dough for Nicole Dicostanza. The NAADA series continues next Thursday at Monticello Raceway   By John Manzi for NAADA

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