Pacinello is looking for a trip to the Grammy Awards. Not the horse, the band. Pacinello, a Vernon, N.Y.-based band, is participating in the Grammy Live: Gig of a Lifetime contest. The winning band gets a trip to Los Angeles to perform during Grammy week.
Founded by Molly D'Agostino, the 17-year-old daughter of harness racing trainer/driver Joe D'Agostino, the band is named after 7-year-old pacer Pacinello, who has won 33 races and made $347,305 in his career. Among his triumphs were the finals of the 2010 Complex and Exit 16W series at Meadowlands Racetrack.
Since then Pacinello has raced frequently at Vernon Downs, where he has won nine times, mostly in the Open.
"Molly has loved horses her whole life,” Joe D'Agostino said. "She fell in love with him. That's where the (band) name comes from.”
Joe D'Agostino, who has three racehorses in addition to running an insurance and tax business, is more than a proud father when it comes to talking about Pacinello – the band. He also is the group's drummer.
"It was supposed to be temporary until she could find someone her own age,” D'Agostino said, laughing. "It's been a few months now and I'm still hanging in there. It's been semi-permanent, but I think eventually they'll have to find somebody that's a little bit younger.
"They're very young and I haven't played in years. I played as a teenager; they kind of had to roll me out of mothballs to get this thing going.”
Molly D'Agostino plays the guitar and writes the band's songs. Kim March, whose uncle is a blacksmith at Vernon Downs, sings. Andrew Dietz, on bass, rounds out the group.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the pop-rock band was No. 3 in the Mid-Atlantic region of the Gig of a Lifetime contest. Fans can vote from Facebook, up to 10 times a day, and Twitter. The voting period ends Thursday afternoon, after which the top vote-getters from each region will advance to the finals for another round of voting.
"Molly submitted the band to this contest,” D'Agostino said. "When we first heard about it we thought it was crazy, but with the power of kids and social media they started tweeting and sending votes and the next thing you know we were in the hundreds, then double digits and (Monday) night we cracked the top 20 in the country.”
Although the band was only formed in the fall, Pacinello was one of the opening acts for The All American Rejects during a December show at Syracuse's Westcott Theater.
Perhaps it should be no surprise a band named after Pacinello could find success in the music world. After all, the horse's sire is Little Steven. (Harness Racing Communications)