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Pennacchio Takes NAADA Opening Leg

Published: September 20, 2018 8:56 pm ET

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The North American Amateur Drivers Association kicked off its Fall Trotting Series on Thursday, Sept. 20 at Monticello Raceway and driver Joe Pennacchio reined his Cheeky Little Miss to a gate-to-wire victory in the opening round over six others in 1:59.2.

“I'm having fun this year with this mare I purchased for $18,000 at the beginning of the amateur racing season and she has proven to be just a joy for me,” the retired business executive said in the paddock while handing the lines to the horses' caretaker. “She's such pleasure to drive and this her ninth win this year.”

Starting from post three Pennacchio envisioned falling in the two hole behind Monica Banca and Master Of Excuses, who had the pole position but, since Monica's horse was slow starting, he decided to go for the lead.

“It worked out perfect since we gained command and got away with a relatively soft first quarter and once on the lead we controlled the race,” Pennacchio said.

Master of Excuses followed Cheeky Little Miss through fractions of :29.2; 1:00.3 and 1:30.2 before Banca moved him to the passing lane in the stretch. But Cheeky Little Miss kept Master Of Excuses at bay with a :29.1 final panel and went on to a length victory.

The first two finishers were well in front of the field the entire mile with third place going to Alan Schwartz and Moolah Moolah, who was six lengths behind at the wire.

Sent the 2-5 favourite, Cheeky Little Miss paid $2.80 to win. The six-year-old Lucky Chucky mare raised her seasonal earnings to over $44,000. She's owned by Pennacchio's Joe P Racing LLC and trained by Allen Sisco.

Meanwhile in Delaware, Ohio in the Hall Of Fame and Museum Amateur Racing Series, the one-mile trot was dominated by the ladies when Alesha Binkley and Hititoutofthepark led runner-up Hes On A Mission and last year's amateur driver of the year, “Hurricane Hannah" Miller to the wire in a very creditable 1:56.4. R.J. Schaut and saved for the boys when he finished third with Stemilt Touch.


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