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Harness drivers brawl at Freehold Raceway
The Associated Press
5/13/2003, 12:31 p.m. ET
FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) ó A Hall of Fame harness racing driver suffered a head wound when another driver hit him after a race, authorities said.
The incident Saturday in Freehold Raceway's paddock occurred when Anthony Nunziata, 59, hit Mike Lachance in the head with a racing helmet during a confrontation after the second race, witnesses told police.
Nunziata had been visibly upset about a racing incident, but it wasn't clear if it occurred in that race, according to police Lt. Robert Brightman.
Nunziata's horse, 4-5 favorite Sonny N Matt, finished third in the race. Lachance didn't drive in it.
Lachance, who was elected to the harness racing Hall of Fame in 1995, said he was "trying to calm down a situation" when Nunziata hit him.
"He sucker-punched me with his helmet," Lachance said in a statement issued by Meadowlands Racetrack. "After he hit me, I wrestled him to the ground and had him a headlock. But he just lay there. He didn't even want to fight. But at that point, I had a lot of blood coming out."
Lachance, 52, of Englishtown, sustained a head wound that required 15 stitches to close. He missed the rest of the day's races and was unable to race at the Meadowlands on either Saturday and Sunday.
Nunziata, of Freehold Township, was charged with aggravated assault and released after posting $1,000 bail. He could not be reached for comment Tuesday. He is not listed in the telephone directory.
New Jersey Racing Commission judges will hear testimony Wednesday in a hearing on the incident and could fine or suspend one or both drivers, commission Executive Director Frank Zanzuccki said.
Neither man has any history of violent behavior toward other horsemen, Zanzuccki said.
It is not unusual for drivers to engage in post-race disputes.
"This incident is more serious than the usual confrontation. Usually, it's pushing and shoving; occasionally you'll get a fight or words being exchanged, but this incident appears to be much more serious," Zanzuccki said.
The most valuable commodity I know of is information
Results at Freehold Raceway
Saturday May 10, 2003
Race:1 Win Place Show
1st 1 ITSWRITTENINSTARS 17.60 9.00 8.60
2nd 5 RITCHI N 8.40 8.40
3rd 7 JUSTARIGGER N 16.60
$2 Exacta 1-5 124.20
$2 Trifecta 1-5-7 1203.60
1st 2 SUNDOWNER BOBCAT 61.20 20.80 5.40
2nd 7 RADIANT HUCK 16.80 4.80
3rd 1 SONNY N MATT 3.40
$2 D/Double 1/2 77.20
Not for the guy that bet the double. [img]i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif[/img]
In 1998 the Department of Justice brought charges under the Wire Act against 22 American citizens involved in managing foreign-based sites. "You canít hide online," Janet Reno, the attorney-general, warned Internet betting operators, "and you canít hide offshore."
<< Not for the guy that bet the double >>
Article says the horse was a 4/5 favorite and paid $3.40 to show?
(Nunziata's horse, 4-5 favorite Sonny N Matt, finished third in the race. Lachance didn't drive in it.)
(3rd 1 SONNY N MATT 3.40 )
Something sure stinks!!!!!!!!![img]i/expressions/face-icon-small-shocked.gif[/img]
Not surprising at all? Find another DD that pays only $77 with a $61 win horse in either half, (not to mention the $17 winner in the other half!).
This race was fixed; the drivers had winning tickets on this DD; your comment implies otherwise and you really know better.