By john manzi for NAADA
The $15000 Final of the North American Amateur Drivers Association's Spring Trotting Series was contested at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday night, May 18 and when the judges hung the official sign Tony Ciuffetelli and Tropical Storm Bi emerged victorious in a 1:58 clocking.
Earlier in the afternoon at Monticello Raceway Ciuffetelli finished second with Avivas Winner in the Billings Trot over the Mighty M double oval.
Some might think that Ciuffetelli had an easy time of it on Thursday.
He did, to an extent, but both horses that he raced on Thursday he trucked with him from his home base in Saratoga.
When he left Saratoga early Thursday morning he had both horses on his trailer and when he got to Monticello he got one (Avivas Winner) ready for the Mighty M Billings trot and left the other in a receiving stall at the Mighty M.
After finishing second in the Billings race Ciuffetelli then sent Avivas Winner back to Saratoga with a friendly competitor and then he reloaded Tropical Storm Bi on his trailer again and headed for Yonkers Raceway for the NAADA Final.
After he and Tropical Storm Bi got away slowly from the four-hole in the non wagering race, Ciuffettelli was content to bide his time and follow the leaders. Sixth at the quarter and fifth at the half Ciuffettelli hugged the pylons up the backside and when they trotted by the three quarters they were still three lengths behind Alan Schwartz who was cutting the fractions with Hidden Identity.
Still fourth and three lengths off the lead when they headed for home Ciuffetelli got Tropical Storm Bi in high gear and they rallied and collared Hidden Identity just before the wire . Third place went to Sam’s Honeybee driven by Tony Verruso. (By the way, Verruso won the Billings trot at Monticello Raceway in the afternoon)
“Since I own both Avivas Winner and Tropical Storm Bi I was pretty happy with today’s results,” said Ciuffetelli, a retired corrections officer who recently recovered from a severe bout of Lime Disease. “Some might think that doing all the work myself would be too much but for me its pleasurable as well as rewarding. For me harness racing is a labor of Love."