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Hungary Wins Friendship Challenge Race

Published: April 19, 2018 11:13 pm ET

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It's all over except for the shouting and the visiting Hungary team is making the most noise after Tomas Tanczer cruised to an easy victory in the final leg of the Friendship Competition with the North American Amateur Drivers Association and they will go back home with trophies to prove it.

Tanczer, up behind Leave Your Mark, the second choice in the wagering in the seven-horse finale at Saratoga Raceway on Thursday, April 19, wasted no time in taking command and then went on to a 3-1/4 length victory in a time of 2:00.2 while turning back Autumn Estelle, driven by NAADA's Tony Ciuffetelli. Another NAADA member, Bob Davis, took home the show dough with Armbro Hall.

In the entire competition, mounts and post positions were drawn by lot and today's race was no exception. Tanczer's trotter was the morning line favourite, but went off third choice in the betting. But the talented Hungarian amateur gunned his horse to the lead and they were never in trouble the entire way.

Sent off at odds of nearly 4-1, Leave Your Mark paid $9.70 for win. The nine-year-old Yankee Glide trotter is owned by Greg Gardner and trained by Delores Basilone.

According to Alicia Schwartz, NAADA member and the organization's point keeper, Hungary finished with 95 points, some nine better than the NAADA's total of 84.

She explained that because of late scratches, the affected NAADA members gave their drives to the visitors so although the final score favoured Hungary, because they actually had more drives than the host home team.

“But who cares about the score in these Friendship Competitions,” Ms Schwartz said. “It's the friendship and camaraderie shared by all the competitors that's most important. International amateur racing is a great means for human relations.”

NAADA has a busy schedule hosting European amateur drivers this year. In coming months, the Americans will also host their counterparts from Spain, Italy and France.

(With files from NAADA)

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