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Friday, June 24, 2016


 by john manzi for NAADA and CADC

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