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Landy, Taddeo In Freehold Billings Action

Published: June 5, 2009 7:47 pm ET

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Don’t tell the truant officer but on Friday, June 5th Harry “the Mitey Mite” Landy skipped away to Freehold Raceway to drive in an eastern region leg of the C.K.G. Billings Amateur Driving Series and the 17-year-old high school junior scored a 2:00:2 wire-to-wire triumph with Sherif Cunmulaj’s veteran trotter, Honor The Cash over five drivers twice--or more--his age.

After leaving from post position three Landy took no prisoners and sent his trotter down the road. Tony “the Capo” Verruso, driving Light Iron, shadowed the winner throughout, but second place was the best they could muster. Jay A Novak, with Terry “the Dairy” Queen Donnelly at the lines, finished third in what was the non-wagering Billings division.

Landy, who is still studying his lessons at Monroe (NJ) Township H.S. notched his third consecutive driving victory after two previous amateur wins on May 30; one at Freehold Raceway in the afternoon and the other at Yonkers Raceway in the evening.

Admittedly the only career that the youngster is pursuing is one in harness racing. His grandfather, Eugene Landy, and his dad Sam Landy, both businessmen, have for years owned, trained and driven standardbreds and to say that they are proud of young Harry would be a gross understatement.

“I have loved harness horses and harness racing as far back as I can remember,” Landy said via cell phone after his driving victory on Friday. “I’m working to get my full license and hope someday to be a top driver. Tonight I’m heading to the Meadowlands with my dad to drive in the amateur final of the American Harness Drivers Club Spring Series.”

Landy wasn’t the only up-and-coming harness driver to win an amateur contest at Freehold Raceway on June 5. One of New York City’s Bravest, Eric “the Driving NYC Fireman” Taddeo scored a 2:03:2 triumph with his sevem-year-old High Falls gelding, Highmaker in the betting event, Race 2 on the Freehold card today.

Dave “Yes It’s True” Offenberg, with favoured Double Strength, and Rob “Rapid Rail” Krivelin, driving Unitas, tried to reverse the order of finish but the former had to be satisfied with second money while the latter took home the show dough.

Taddeo, 31, a resident of Warwick, New York, has only recently gotten involved in harness racing though he has been a longtime fan. His victory with Highmaker today marked his third career driving victory.

Arguably Taddeo’s victory with Highmaker in Billings competition on September 8, 2008 at Yonkers Raceway was most memorable because that night, 30 or so of his NYC firefighting brothers joined him in the winner's circle for the presentation.

(Monticello Raceway)

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