Yonkers, NY — After finishing third in a Billings trot this afternoon at Monticello Raceway, Monica Banca then traveled 90 miles to compete in a North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) Trot at Yonkers Raceway. The journey proved fruitful for the talented transplanted Norwegian, when she guided Master Of Excuses to a gate-to-wire 1:59.3 triumph on Thursday night (Oct. 25) over the Hilltop oval.
In a field reduced to just five, Banca, who started from the coveted pole position, sent her charge to the lead and had command in a :28.4 first quarter. Once clearly on top Banca tapped the brakes and eased her trotter past the halfway point in :59.3.
Bob Davis, who also competed in the Billings at Monticello earlier in the day, was the first to challenge Banca and her charge when he moved Gianni off the pylons before the three-quarters. Master Of Excuses had no part of it, putting together a :29.2 third quarter and opened up a three-length lead when the field rounded the final turn.
As they headed for paydirt, Uriel and Annie Stoebe — who were second with a covered trip — began to fade as the trailers moved forward. When the field straightened in the lane, Master Of Excuses was still three lengths in front. Gianni and Davis were applying pressure, but they ran out of racetrack and had to settle for second money when Master Of Excuses tripped the final timer in 1:59.3. Third place went to Baltimor AS, driven by Bobby Ciavardini.
Banca co-owns the winner with Rick Dane. Although it was only Banca’s third winner this year, her eight seconds and four thirds in 23 starts boost her seasonal UDR to .387. It was the 25th winning drive for Banca since she joined the amateur movement in 2013.