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Girl Power Prevails At Monticello

Published: October 5, 2017 7:46 pm ET

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It was Ladies Day in the amateur contests at Monticello Raceway on Thursday when two of three races were won by members of the gentle sex.

Jennifer Lappe won the Catskill Club’s Pace and Monica Banca copped the second leg of the NAADA trots. Only a victory by Dave Yarock in the first NAADA Trot saved face for the boys.

Lappe, who had harnessed 63 winners as a trainer thus far this season enjoyed her third driving victory of the year when she guided Lightning Strike to a 1:57.2 triumph finishing a head better than Fox Valley Leo, driven by Monica Banca

Lappe and her pacer started from the pole position and enjoyed two hole journey behind Fox Valley Leo until overtaking him in the deep stretch.

“It always helps when you have the rail because you have lots of options,” Lappe said after her victory.” I sat patiently and it all worked out.”

Bob Davis took home the show dough in that contest with Sand Benelli.

Lightning Strike is owned and trained by Bill Mintz. The veteran nine-year-old Cam Terrific gelding paid $12.20.

Sent off as the odds-on favourite in their NAADA Trot, Banca once again used the front-end route with Brandos Muscle Man but this time Banca’s charge didn’t falter in the lane and went on to a solid one-length triumph in 2:00 over Tim Lizzi.

Although driver Joe Lee and Tim Lizzi stalked the leader throughout the mile they didn’t have enough in the tank to overtake the leader.

“He’s a tough old horse,” Banca said with a smile in the paddock after the race was completed.” He just wants to go and I just kept feeding him his head and when he was challenged in the stretch he dug in and would let Tim Lizzi pass him.”

Peter Kleinhans finished third with Toss Cartwright.

Banca co-owns the winner with the Rock & Roll Stable. With his victory the nine-year-old Muscles Yankee gelding raised his career earnings to over $480,000.

He’s trained by Rick Dane, Jr. It was Banca's eighth driving victory this year.

Although both Lappe and Banca had a mount in the first NAADA Trot the girls couldn’t deny Dave Yarock his day in the sun as both finished out of the money in that event.

When the gate sprung Yarock set sails with Mr Ridgetaker and they made every pole a winning one en route to a 1:59.2 victory. Despite being stalked by Ladys Big Stormont and driver Alan Schwartz, Yarock wasn’t going to be denied.

“He’s really a handful and he’s not the best gaited trotter around, either. I had to hold him together right from the start and keep from fighting him so he wouldn’t make a break,” Yarock explained. “He’s a fast horse but not an easy one to manage.”

Schwartz’s trotter finished a length behind the winner in second place while Sam’s Honeybee rallied from far back to garner the show dough.

Yarock owns Mr Ridgetaker who’s trained by Dawn Devaux. He returned a $13.20 mutuel.


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