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Ciufetelli Clicks In New Silks

Published: March 15, 2018 6:11 pm ET

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Sporting brand new driving colours, Tony Ciuffetelli bided his time and then rallied Better To Be Lucky to a come-from-behind victory in the NAADA Trotting Series season's opener at Monticello Raceway on the ides of March.

They traveled along in third position until the three quarters as Monica Banca and Master Of Excuses cut all the fractions before yielding in the deep stretch. Third place in the 2:00 trotting mile went to Ladys Big Stormont, driven by Alan Schwartz.

“He raced good today,” Ciuffetelli said as he hung up the lines after his driving victory. “It (the race) didn't go as I had planned. I had visions of taking the lead but when I saw that Monica (Banca) wanted the front-end I eased my trotter down along the pylons into third position.

“I ended-up having a good trip and waited as long as I could to make a move for the lead which I did as we neared the three quarters. After ranging alongside Monica's horse (Master Of Excuses) we raced head to head around the final turn and by mid-stretch I knew we'd be the winner.”

Better To be Lucky pulled away in the final strides for the trotter's second consecutive victory, having won a claiming trot at Saratoga Raceway on March 4th with Phil Fluet at the reins.

Sent off as second choice, at odds of better than 2-1, the winner paid $6.60. Ciuffetelli owns and trains the six-year-old Lucky Chucky gelding who notched his second seasonal triumph. For Ciuffetelli, a retired corrections officer, it marked his third seasonal driving victory in just seven trips to post and his 53rd career triumph.

Today's NAADA Trot was the first in a two-track trotting series—with Yonkers Raceway, which will end in a $15,000 Final at the Hilltop oval on Friday, May 17.

Next up will be a leg at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday March 22.


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