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Yanks lead Kiwis after first round of Driving Competition
Thursday, September 06, 2012 - by John Manzi, for the NAADA

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Monticello, NY --- On the strength of two victories at Monticello Raceway on Wednesday (Sept. 5) in the first round of the Yanks vs. the Kiwis International Amateur Driving Championship, the members of the North American Amateur Drivers Association -- the Yanks -- have jumped out to a point lead of 48-32.

In the first event, Mike Weiner of the USA team used the front-end route with Look Sharp Jack to score a hard-earned victory in 2:00.2 after being pressured the entire mile. When Gerry Fielding (USA) finished second with Big Game and Dave Siegel (USA) finished third with Satin Sweetheart, the Yanks had finished one-two-three and were off to a great start.

The best finish by a Kiwi member in that race was when 2008 World Cup of Amateur Racing champion Gavin Cook got Hi Hopes Cruiser home for fourth money.

Look Sharp Jack, trained by Rock Vinci for lessee Gray Thunder Stable, paid $13.80 for win.

In the second race of the competition, Alan Schwartz (USA) made a laugher out of it when his charge Toucam Sam raced of to a nine length victory in a time of 1:56.2. Mike Weiner (USA) was second best with Smooth Eric N while John McDermott (New Zealand) got up for the show dough.

Toucam Sam is owned by the Baron Racing Stable and trained by Pete Pellegrino. The pacer returned a $3.00 win payoff.

The Kiwis will be looking to make up ground in the second leg of the competition when two races are contested Thursday (Sept. 6) at Yonkers Raceway. They’ll go as races one and four on the betting card.

The Kiwi team of Gavin Cook, Danny Blakemore, John McDermott and Tim Sissions will remain constant throughout the competition but the Yanks team will vary from track to track.

Driving for the Yanks at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday are Joe Faraldo, Dave Siegel, Peter Gerry and Bob Hechkoff.

Four different members of NAADA will drive against the New Zealanders at Freehold Raceway on Friday afternoon (Sept. 7).

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