The North American Amateur Drivers Association will host four Amateur drivers from New Zealand in a series of races against NAADA members in a driving competition to be held at three racetracks in the Northeast.
Races in the competition --dubbed the Kiwis vs. the Yanks-- will kick-off at Monticello Raceway on Wednesday, September 5th and then move on to Yonkers Raceway on Thursday, September 6. The final races will be at Freehold Raceway on Friday, September 7.
County fair racing has always been an integral part of harness racing and although not as prominent as it was prior to pari-mutuel betting still the county fairs continue to be the backbone of the industry.
In recent years the sire stakes programs in various states have been a boon to county fair racing. Purses are in the thousands now as compared to the hundreds prior to the sire stakes programs.
Now the Italian Americans have someone to cheer for in Monticello Raceway’s Heritage Drivers Series finale after Mike Forte drove Velvety Smooth to an easy 1:58.2 triumph in the Godfather Pace on Monday afternoon, August 27th .
The race, which featured drivers of Italian extraction, was the sixth length of the year-long series and now Forte will join the winners of the previous preliminary legs in the series final, dubbed the All-America Cup, later this fall.
Mike Forte’s 158 winners here ranks him third on the Monticello Raceway leader board and according to the track odd’s maker he has a good chance of adding to his win total when he jumps up behind the favorite Velvety Smooth in the track’s Godfather Pace on Monday afternoon, August 27. The pole position and a 1:57.4 victory earlier this season probably had a great deal to do with the 4-year-old I’m A Fool mare being tabbed the early line choice.
The event will be the sixth leg in the year-long Heritage Drivers Series.
The sun was shining brightly and the wind whispered softly on Thursday afternoon at Monticello Raceway when2-year-old pacing fillies raced for nearly $210,000 in New York-bred action and when the day was over the track record for the freshman fillies fell, not once, but twice. Actually the former mark of 1:56.4 set in 1995 by Chi Chi’s Girl and driver Matt Romano was bettered four times during the daytime racing program.
The cream of the crop of the New York Sire Stakes 2 year old pacing fillies will be looking to add precious points to seasonal resumes with hopes of having enough to be among the top eight who will automatically earn a berth in their $225,000 Final on the Night of Champions on September 22.
Though Monticello Raceway is yet to hear from Cat Manzi or Ed Lohmeyer about their possible participation in the tracks sixth Heritage Drivers Series preliminary leg, the Godfather Pace for drivers of Italian extraction which will be presented on Monday, August 27th , acceptance calls have recently come from Mike Forte, Kyle DiBenedetto and Jimmy Marohn.