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Tuesday, September 4, 2012


The first of a three-leg  international driving competition,  dubbed the Kiwi vs. the Yanks ,  which  pits amateur drivers from New Zealand against the USA amateurs kicks-off at Monticello Raceway on Wednesday afternoon, September 5th. The following night the competition will continue at Yonkers Raceway and  culminate at Freehold Raceway on Friday.

Two events are carded at each venue. At the Mighty M on Wednesday the two contests will go as races 13 and 14. 
New Zealand’s Gavin Cook (32-wins), who won the World Cup of Amateur Racing in 2008 heads the Kiwi team and will handle the favorite, High Hopes Cruiser from post two, in the first of the two Mighty M  contests.

Teammate John McDermott (14-wins) has the second choice in Raps A Million from the four-hole. Rounding out the Kiwi team are Danny Blakemore (25 wins), and Tim Sessions (12-wins).
The USA’s  Gerry Fielding (62 wins) has  the best chance at an upset in that contest  with Big Game from the pole position.  He’ll be joined by   Mike Weiner (21-wins) , Dave Siegel (216 wins) and by Alan Schwartz (490 wins). The USA team is comprised  of members of the North American Amateur Drivers Association and will change at each of the venues.

In the second split  Fielding’s First Landing gets the odds-makers nod but they’ll have to overcome starting from the eight-hole. Second choice, Coromandelprince A will have Kiwi Danny Blakemore at the controls when they leave from post three.

However, lightly regarded , 6-1 Toucam Sam from the powerful Pete Pellagrino barn, will get the driving services of Alan Schwartz, who generally competes against professionals and has won 47 races here this year. And off a solid qualifier, Toucam Sam, may be a factor.

Two competitions  are carded at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday night and  will go as races one and four. After the final leg at Freehold Raceway on Friday ,the driver who earned the most points during the competition-- via the European Point System-- will be crowned the winner.