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Banca Prevails In Friendship Competition

Published: April 21, 2015 6:31 pm ET

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She was a late replacement, but Monica Banca was more than on time when it counted.

Filling in for originally-scheduled participant Robert Krivelin, Banca handily defended the honour of both country and gender, guiding Meadowview Arny ($7.40) to a decisive Tuesday afternoon win in Yonkers Raceway’s French-American Friendship Competition.

Leading at every pylon in the mile-and-one-quarter, $15,200 event, pole-sitting Meadowview Arny threw down intervals of :31.2, 1:02.1, 1:33.1 and 2:03, before finishing his work day 3-¼ lengths in front of race favourite Amalfi Coast (Peter Kleinhans), who closed from ninth in the 10-horse field.

French drivers Romain Poree (Sun Of A Victory), Christophe Roszak (Prince Lauxmont) and Michel Poirier (Hesgotlegs) finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively. France’s Sophie Blanchetiere, the other woman in this competition, finished seventh with 87-1 outsider Mr Invincible.

For second choice Meadowview Arny, a seven-year-old Ken Warkentin gelding trained by Ms. Banca’s partner, Rick Dane, Jr., for owner Stephanie Mitchell, it was his fourth win in 11 seasonal starts.

The competition was the last of five races during the French-centric matinee program, which again featured overflow trotting fields at the added, 1-¼-mile distance.

“It was my plan to try and be in front,” Banca said. “He’s such a big, strong horse and doesn’t mind the distance races. I’m just so excited.” Ms. Banca, a native of Norway, won her 10th career race as a driver.

Ms. Banca, it should be noted, is one of the mover and shakers for the Raceway’s initiatives in the fight again breast cancer. Last fall, she organized pink blanket sponsorships for winning horses, along with pink whips carried by drivers.

(Yonkers Raceway)


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