by joe faraldo with assistance from john manzi
The night of July 27th in northern Italy started off with the Italian team once again besting the Americans, scoring yet another victory. It came in the first event over Padova's half mile oval when Ortello Zorzetto piloted Urgara wire to wire which dashed hopes of any chance for team America.
Aided by a teammate riding shotgun the Americans have yet to forego the individual sacrifice for a team effort, which is frowned upon by US regulators and bettors alike but seemingly acceptable on this side of the pond.
Tony Ciuffetelli, the most consistent of the American team thus far, picked up a fourth place finish.in the first race. But depression was fast setting in.
Then came the second chance in the next event and the least likely to emerge a winner after two horrible experiences the night before was the so called team leader, Joe Faraldo, who racketed a fractious Tieppo Mrs to the lead from her outside post at 21-1 and she never yielded and went on to win in 2:01:4.What was especially pleasing for Faraldo was that the fractious mare had made breaks in half of her previous 15 starts.
According to Faraldo, " it was a long time since my first ever win with my P license which came here at this track, Padovanelle, 25 years ago with the horse Aggonismo from the stable of Mr. Valpo".
Mario Greco the trainer and regular reinsman for Tieppo Mrs was shocked at Faraldo’s win but very, very happy with the share of the win from his mare's most often unpredictability and her difficulty to drive, especially for an amateur.
After his recent driving victory at Vincennes it was a little bit disquieting for Joe who claimed to get only wins across the pond .
Alan Schwartz, got a taste of the Italian team racing as he was charging for second but got the tarantella from Team Italia pushing him so wide to rest second from his grasp and forcing him to to a third place finish.
The evening ended with a visit from Walter Destro, the 15 year president of the Veneto club who started the friendship competition with The North American Amateur Drivers Association 25 years ago. That special treat and a super dinner at Villa D' Italia with Team Italia topped off a night when previously the US team was just treading water. Hopefully, Ciuffetelli,the most consistent point getter,will be picked up by Tony Verruso, Schwartz and Faraldo to pull the preverbal rabbit out of the hat.
Tomorrow the American team meets the former Italian Champion Michele Canali and another team of Italian super amateurs at the beautiful Cesena racetrack by the sea. Frequented by large crowds, the Americans will need to be at their best and will need some bocca lupo for sure.