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Amateur Wins For Verruso And Arbia

Published: November 28, 2020 1:04 am ET

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Tony Verruso continued his winning ways in the amateur ranks when he guided Final Dreams to an oh-so-easy 5-1/2 length triumph in the first division of the two NAADA trots at Yonkers Raceway on Friday night.

A second division, which had three ladies competing in the seven-horse field, saw Melissa Arbia sit the pocket with Photo Bomber and rally for a neck victory in the final strides.

In his $8,000 split, Verruso left cautiously from the three-hole with the five-year-old Cantab Hall gelding.

“I kept my horse off the gate at the start to make sure he got away on the trot,” Verruso said. “But once the gate sprung, we were in business.”

Verruso settled his charge along the pylons and was content to be fourth as the field trotted by the first panel.

“He got a little bouncy when I took hold of him so I moved him early and, once he hit his stride, he flattened out and trotted to the lead at the three-quarters and we were all alone finishing.”

Dark Pool was second for Jacob Stillwell while Christopher Doherty and Garnet took home the show dough.

Verruso now has won two of his last three starts this season and now has driven 80 winners in his career.

In the other $8,000 split, Paul Minore sent his old warhorse, Wygant Prince, to the lead from the five-hole and they cut even fractions throughout the mile despite Nicole Dicostanzo and Jacks To Open parked on the limb all the way to the top of the stretch.

When Jacks To Open tired, three trotters charged to the wire heads apart. Although there is no passing lane at Yonkers, Ms Arbia had Photo Bomber tight behind Wygant Prince and, in mid-stretch, she angled him to the inside and he rallied to a neck triumph over the leader in a 2:00.1 clocking. Take A Wish rallied to finish third for driver Dawn Anderson.

The win was Arbia's third on the season and fifth of her fledgling career.

(With files from NAADA)

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