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Int'l Amateurs Split At Monticello

Published: August 7, 2018 6:55 pm ET

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The final two events in the Italy vs. NAADA Friendship Competition went to post Tuesday (Aug. 7) at Monticello Raceway, and when the results were finalized, both competitors each walked away with a victory.

Alan Schwartz won the first leg for the hometown North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) foursome after he reined Starstruck Lola home first in 2:03.2, while team Italy came back in the second split when Roberto Michelotto scored a 2:00 triumph with Mrs Krabappel.

The temperature was in the lower 90s Fahrenheit (low 30s Celsius) and the humidity in the upper 70s, but it didn't seem to hinder North America's premier amateur driver, Alan Schwartz, from "delivering the mail" and scoring to his 604th career driving victory.

Sent off as the second choice from the pole position in the eight-horse field, Schwartz gunned his pacer to the lead and was safely in front in a soft :30 first quarter. With no challengers, Schwartz got his charge by the halfway point in 1:02.1 and still with no one coming at him, Schwartz and his pacer, Starstruck Lola, got by the third stanza in 1:33.2 before unleashing a :30 final panel to score to an easy three-length victory.

"I couldn't believe that I was all alone in the :30 first quarter," Schwartz said after the race was completed. "When no one challenged I had complete control (of the race), and after the soft early fractions, my mare was strong all the way to the finish."

Second place went to Whata Hustler, driven by Italy's Raffaello Ruffato, and Italian Roberto Michelotto garnered the show dough.

The winner, owned by William McCracken and trained by Chris McCracken, paid $7.00.

The second division had the visiting Italians jockeying for positions to make it tough for the odds-on favourite Argyle Aleberwhosur and driver Matt Zuccarello to see any daylight until late in the mile.

Bestwind Heather and Italy's Piergiovanni Michelloto gained early command and led the competitors until the three-quarters, at which point Mrs Krabappel and Roberto Michelotto squirted through along the inside to gain command and hold the lead all the way to the wire. Zuccarello and the favored Argyle Alberwhosur had to go four-deep going into the final turn to get a shot at the leaders.

Needless to say, although Zuccarello's pacer rallied, she came up short and had to settle for second place. NAADA's Gerry Fielding finished third with Check My Pulse.

The winner, Mrs Krabappel, is owned by William McCracken and trained by Chris McCraken, which gave the owner-trainer duo both victories in the NAADA vs. Italy Friendship Competition.


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