Thursday served as the rubber match for the USA/Hungary Friendship Competition for amateur drivers at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Hungarian drivers came to the States and competed this week in two races at Monticello and two at Yonkers in the “challenge” versus the American amateurs. Heading into Thursday’s rubber-match, the score was two-to-two so the $7,000 trotting race at the Spa would decide this year’s winner. Last year, the American drivers went to Budapest for the first annual Friendship Competition with the Hungarians prevailing. The 2018 edition also went the way of the Hungarians as Tamas Tanczer piloted Leave Your Mark (Yankee Glide) to a wire-to-wire victory in 2:00.2 on Thursday at Saratoga to lock up the title for Hungary. Autumn Estelle and Armbro Hall finished second and third, respectively, with their American drivers in tow but they were no match for Leave Your Mark whose victory was his first in two seasons. There will be several installments of the NAADA (North American Amateur Drivers Association) and the CKG Billings Amateur trotting races coming up this season at Saratoga as well for amateur drivers.
Live racing continues on Friday evening at Saratoga with a 6:45pm first post.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino