When Monticello Raceway’s director of racing, Eric Warner, found that the track lost a driver in the North American Amateur Drivers Association’s $5000 seven- horse consolation he went to work immediately to secure another driver to keep the race with decent betting interests.
With only a few possible drivers who were eligible to compete (this race was for the NAADA participants who didn’t earn enough points for the series finale) Warner called down to Freehold Raceway and asked John Calabrese if he’s be able to come and drive in the race slated on Wednesday November 2nd at The Mighty M. And when Calabrese said he’d come it turned out to be a win-win situation for both him and the Sullivan County oval.
The 7-horse field went to post in the second race and when it was declared official Calabrese won the event with Woody in a 2:00.1 clocking.
Perhaps the fact that Woody had the pole position made it easier for Calabrese confirm that he’d take the trip to Monticello, still it was a gracious gesture on his part knowing that amateur drivers receive no remuneration for their efforts.
Also benefiting from Calabrese’s trip to drive Woody was the horse’s owner, Woody Hoblitzell, who got for him one of the more talented amateur drivers competing today.
As aforementioned, Woody and Calabrese started from the pole position and they got away fourth position four lengths behind Come And Tell Pap (Bob Davis) who got first call in the :29.2 first panel. With Davis’ charge on the lead Calabrese followed Paul Minore who moved Wygant Prince off the pylons and they were one-two on the limb as the field headed to the halfway point.
As the field trotted to the three quarters Wygant Prince gained command with Woody and Calabrese in hot pursuit. When they straightened for home Woody was the strong horse and the Glidemaster 6-year-old gelding rallied to a 1-1/4-length victory over Minore’s trotter to score his third victory of the season. Come And Tell Pap hung on for the show dough.
Trained by Bruce Aldrich, Sr., Woody paid $7.80 for win. And for Calabrese, he is having his best year since he began competing in amateur racing in 1991. His victory was the 12th this year in 39 starts and considering his five seconds and three third place finishes Calabrese owns a .405 UDR.this season.
On Saturday night, November 5 the top eight point earners in the recently completed NAADA Series will battle in the $15,000 Final on the betting card at Yonkers Raceway.