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Banca, Yarock Win NAADA Races

Published: September 21, 2017 9:47 pm ET

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Monica Banca doesn’t drive often but when she does she’s a force to be reckoned with. One Thursday (Sept. 21) in a division of the NAADA Trotting Series at Monticello Raceway Banca went to post for the 13th time this season and logged her seventh seasonal driving victory when she scored a 1:59.4 triumph with Brandos Muscle Man.

After settling in the three hole after the wings of the mobile gate folded, Banca was content to follow the leaders until Joe Lee, who was traveling along near the back of the pack, moved Tim Lizzie off the pylons as the field headed to the halfway point. That challenge precipitated a move from Banca who was moved her trotter out to challenge the pacesetter Ladys Big Stormont (Alan Schwartz).

When they rounded the clubhouse turn for the final time Brandos Muscle Man had command and braced for Wygant Prince and driver Paul Minore, who moved out from behind Schwartz’s trotter and ranged alongside Brandos Muscle Man. as they headed for the three quarters. They raced one-two around the final turn and in the lane it appeared Wygant Prince would trot by the leader but that was not to happen as Brandos Muscle Man dug in and rebuffed Wygant Prince to score a neck victory. Three lengths farther back was Tim Lizzie (Joe Lee) in third place.

“My horse raced real good last week when we finished second beaten by just a head,” Banca said after the race. “Today I moved earlier than I wanted to so I wouldn’t get locked in, but Brandos was strong and trotted to the lead. When we headed for home Wygant Prince began gaining ground but my horse dug in and wouldn’t let him pass.”

Banca co-owns the Muscles Yankee nine-year old gelding with the Rock and Roll Stable. Trained by Rick Dane, Jr. Brandos Muscle Man paid $7.50.

In the other NAADA split Dave Yarock used the front-end route for a trip to the winners circle with Mr Ridgetaker.

After starting from the two-hole Yarock got away with a fairly soft :29.2 first quarter and had his sights set on racing on the front-end which could easily be determined when Alan Schwartz and Grand Vision came alongside near the quarter pole and he kept them on the limb.

They raced one-two to the halfway point with the order remaining the same as they trotted by the three quarters in 1:30.3. When the field came off the final turn Mr Ridgetaker had three lengths on field and cruised home an easy winner

“He raced good last week when we finished fourth (by length and a half) but today he was at the top of his game,” Yarock said referring to Mr Ridgetaker. “We had a better post this week and he was strong the whole mile.”

Sams Honeybee (Tony Verruso) aboard, snuck up the passing lane late to garner second money while Jennifer Lappe finished third with Fox Valley Steffen.

Mr Ridgetaker, also owned by Yarock, is trained by Dawn Devaux. He returned a $10.20 mutuel.

(with files from NAADA)

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