Driver Eric Abbatiello and trainer Vincent Fusco Jr. wrapped up meet titles when Freehold Raceway wrapped up its 2013 season on Saturday, Dec. 14.
"I believe this is the third consecutive driving title for me at Freehold,” said Abbatiello. "I appreciate the opportunities given to me by the trainers at Freehold.”
Abbatiello held a five-win margin over Jim Pantaleano for the combined January to May and August to December meet.
"My own stable did well this year and a special thanks to my loyal owners,” he noted. Abbatiello's stable produced 15 wins from 91 starters for earnings of $87,118.
"Freehold is where I grew up, so it makes it that much more special,” he added.
Abbatiello, who received a degree in philosophy and business from Catholic University, switched from stockbroker and financial planner to harness horseman in1999. But that was no surprise given his roots. His father, Carmine, and his uncle, Anthony, are both Hall of Fame horsemen.
Abbatiello finished the year with 173 wins at Freehold, holding off Jim Pantaleano with 168 wins. Rounding out the driving Top 5 were Steve Smith, Cat Manzi and Vincent Ginsburg.
Topping the trainer standings was Vincent Fusco Jr. with 65 wins, more than twice Nick Surick with 32 wins. Fusco's stable earned nearly$236,000 thanks, in part, to an in-the-money percentage of 56 percent. (SBOA/New Jersey)