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Banca Wins French-U.S. Friendship Race

Published: October 9, 2018 10:16 pm ET

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Tonight at Yonkers Raceway the French-American Friendship Races began and will be followed by events at Monticello Raceway Wednesday and at the Meadowlands on Friday.

At the Hilltop oval it was Ladies Night in the first America v France Friendship Race when the USA's Monica Banca scored a one-length triumph with Life Well Lived in 1:58.3 while second place went to Delcrest Massey ,driven by France's Sandrine Oyer, and the ladies had bragging rights after they finished one-two.

When the starter said go France's Jerome Malliard sent Ladys Big Stormont to the lead and they were quickly joined by the USA's Joe Faraldo with Tough Get Going and the two trotters raced side by side past the quarter in :28.3 and by the half in :57.4. But when they headed up the backside both horses showed the fatigue of the swift early fractions.

It was there that Monica Banca moved Life Well Lived off the pylons and they trotted around Tough Get Going and up alongside Ladys Big Stormont and the two raced head to head past the third stanza in 1:28.1 and around the final turn before Life Well Lived cleared. But as the leader headed for paydirt France's Sandrine Oyer had Delcrest Massey on Banca's back but that was as far as they could go and they had to settle for second money of the $17,500 purse. Third place went to Drazzmatazz, driven by France's Jean Marc Freyssenge.

The race tonight certainly showed off the talents of the two ladies who were among the eight drivers who participated in the first Friendship event on American soil.

Life Well Lived is owned by Bob Burgess and trained by Carmine Auciello. The four-year-old Muscle Mass gelding paid $16.40.

With four races still to go France leads the USA 22-20.


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