Monticello, NY — The final leg of the North American Amateur Drivers Association’s fourth trotting series of the season went to post at Monticello Raceway on Thursday (Nov. 15). And to the pleasant surprise of those who purchased win tickets on Tough Get Going, they were rewarded when Joe Faraldo sent the veteran trotter to the lead and made every pole a winning one en route to a 2:01.1 victory.
And each lucky ticket holder received $47.00 for each two-dollar wager.
“The crowd didn’t have much faith in my horse’s ability in here today, but I felt fairly confident that he had good chance to win if things broke our way in the race,” Faraldo said as he handed the reins to the caretaker upon returning to the paddock.
Tough Get Going has had some trouble behind the starting gate on occasion, but today wasn’t one of those days. When the starter said “go,” Faraldo sent his trotter to the lead and was challenged on the outside by Makin Trouble K and driver Joe Lee. Faraldo played hardball and wanted the front end, so he opened up a hole behind him. Lee took back and found room along the pylons as they passed the first stanza in a soft :29.2.
With the field lined up behind Tough Get Going, the venerable trotter led them by the halfway point in 1:01.2, where Jennifer Lappe decided to move the 2-5 betting favorite Winning Princess out to challenge. “When we passed the half, my horse was strong and I felt pretty confident that we had a good chance to win it,” Faraldo related. “And when Jennifer couldn’t clear, I felt even better.”
Although Tough Get Going and Winning Princess raced side-by-side as they passed the three-quarters in 1:31:1, the former got the first call. On the final turn, Faraldo’s charge had opened a length lead. Despite a strong drive by Lappe, her trotter hung and Tough Get Going emerged a one-length winner in 2:01.1. Four lengths in arrears was third-place finisher Makin Trouble K.
Tough Get Going is owned by Joe Faraldo and trainer Richie Banca. The 5-year-old altered son of Kadabra won for the fourth time this year and raised his seasonal bankroll to nearly $39,000. For Faraldo, a former Amateur Driver of the Year (2000), it was his 145th career win in the United States.