Verruso, Offenberg NAADA winners at Yonkers

Yonkers, NY — Tony Verruso and Dave Offenberg won their respective $8,000 North American Amateur Drivers Association trotting events on Thursday night (May 6) at Yonkers Raceway. Verruso, who is enjoying his finest year in the sulky, was a wire-to-wire winner with Exarch in 1:58.1 in the first division, while Offenberg teamed up with Fiji for a 1:59.1 score in the other.

In the first split, Verruso sent Exarch immediately to the lead to control early splits of :28.3 and :58.4 while evading a parked Raceace (Alan Schwartz).

“I think Schwartz was trying to keep his horse trotting since he had made breaks in his previous starts,” Verruso said. “But he kept coming at me past the three-quarters in 1:27.4, and all the way around the far turn and into the stretch.”

When they turned for home, Tony Ciuffetelli rushed Golden Kronos into contention, and all three trotters headed for pay dirt nearly side-by-side. In deep stretch, Exarch proved the best, trotting off to a solid one-length triumph. Raceace hung on for second, a head better than Golden Kronos.

Sean Campbell trains Exarch, a 6-year-old Cantab Hall gelding, for the Fortune Valley Stable. It was Verruso’s sixth driving victory of the season and the 88th of his amateur career.

Offenberg had little trouble in the other division, sending Fiji to the lead right as the starting gate folded. Once on top, Offenberg put Fiji in cruise control, and they trotted through fractions of :29, :59.4 and 1:28.2 before drawing off to an easy victory over Possess The Stone and Joe Faraldo. Stealing (Matt Zuccarello) garnered third money.

Noel Daley trains Fiji, an 8-year-old Cantab Hall gelding, for Offenberg’s Allister Stables LLC.

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