Wyatt Avenatti Wins Driver's Championship In Final Race Of The Week


Published on August 5 2022 11:50 am
Last Updated on August 5 2022 1:27 pm
Written by Millie Lange

ALTAMONT -- Wyatt Avenatti and Richard Finn battled for the driver's championship during the week at the Effingham County Fair.

Coming into Friday's final day of harness racing, Finn had a 13 point lead over Avenatti. But Avenatti claimed three first place finishes and two seconds to tally 21 points while Finn took two seconds and a third for seven points.

And it came down to the final race of the day.

Finn did not have a drive in the Open Colt/Gelding Pace, but one horse, Kage Daniel, did not have a driver and Finn took the bike. It was a battle deluxe with Avenatti behind Commander Bob and Finn behind Kage Daniel. Commander Bob went out for the lead with Kage Daniel right behind. Kage Daniel moved into even terms with Commander Bob on the backstretch. But Commander Bob ended up with the victory in the fastest mile of the week in 1:58 1/5.

That gave Avenatti 45 points with Finn taking second and earning three points to finish with 44.

Avenatti, from Chrisman, is from a horse family as his grandfather was a trainer in the 70's and 80's while Earl Avenatti Jr., an uncle, won the driver's title at the Effingham County Fair around 1996. Wyatt Avenatti did not only win the driver's championship but has also won a battle with cancer.

In the opening race of the day, Avenatti added to his driver's standings total by taking a victory behind Letmeincoach in the Topline 2-Year-Old Pace.

I Can Have Mercy took the early lead but Letmeincoach went from third to challenge and into second and then took lhe lead by two lengths.

Letmeincoach opened up and finished in 2:02 adding five points to second place Avenatti in the driver's standings to pull within 11 of leader Finn who finished second behind Coach Mamacita with 40 points. Letmeincoach won his third victory in five starts.

Avenatti came back with a drive in the Topline 3-Year-Old & Up Trot behind Justa Nother Bag.

But in this one, Maple Grove Grady took the outside lane and the lead. Affirmative Vivian broke stride so it was just a race between Maple Grove Grady and Justa Nother Biag.

The pair battled with Maple Grove Grady hanging on for the win in 2:03 3/5 for driver Jamaica Patton.

Avenatti moved even closer to Richard Finn with a victory in the Topline 3-Year-Old & Up Pace.

Mastery went out for the lead with Ara Dash in second. Urarealleapoffaith went offstride.

Ara Dash was a length off the lead with one circuit to go. The two horses were side-by-side but Mastery then opened up the lead and won by four lengths, tying the fastest mile of the week at 1:58 3/5. Avenatti moved within three points of Finn in the driver's standings with the victory.

In the fourth race of the day, the Topline 2-Year-Old Trot, it came down to Rumbleinthevalley and Kelleys Dream Boy as the other two horses were scratched.

Rumbleinthevalley trotted out to an easy lead by 10 lengths. Rumbleinthevalley was all by himself with a 30 length lead.

Rumbleinthevalley was driven by Jamaica Patton who took the Ohio bred to the win in 2:04 3/5 after a very respectable 1:02 3/5 half. The winner had only had one other start at a county fair back on June 20 at the Jasper County Fair and went offstride.

The driving championship got even closer in the Maiden Pace AE: Nonwinners $2,500 in '22.

Avenatti took the drive with Prince Of Style and Finn with Hillcrest Dynamite.

Hillcrest Dynamite went out to the lead with Dee Ricks in second. Hillcrest Dynamite was showing the way up the backstretch. Dee Rocks rolled out to take over the lead and opened that up to 10 lengths to win. Avenatti earned three points and Finn one.

Jamaica Patton captured back-to-back victories and his third win of the day in the bike and finished with15 points on the week, all in one day.

Effingham County  Fair

Friday's Races

Race One

Topline 2-Year-Old Pace

1. Letmeincoach (Wyatt Avenatti), 2. Coach Mamacita (Richard Finn), 3. I Can Have Mercy (Tony Kimbrough), 4. Delicate Thoughts (Freddie Patton Jr.)

Scratched -- Delightful Donna.

Time -- :31 2/5, 1:02 1/5, 1:33 2/5, 2:02

Race Two

Topline 3-Year-Old & Up Trot

1. Maple Grove Grady (Jamaica Patton), 2. Justa Nother Bag (Wyatt Avenatti), 3. Affirmative Vivian (Dennis Bankston)

Time -- :30, 1:01 4/5, 1:34 1/5, 2:03 2/5.

Race Three

Topline 3-Year-Old & Up Pace

1. Mastery (Wyatt Avenatti), 2. Ara Dash (Freddie Patton Jr.), 3. Urarealleapoffaith (Michael Knicley)

Time -- :30 2/5, 1:00 1/5, 1:30 1/5, 1:58 3/5.

Race Four

Topline 2-Year-Old Trot

1. Rumbleinthevalley (Jamaica Patton), 2. Kelleys Dream Boy (Dennis Bankston)

Scratched -- Charming Wall, Crazy Awesome.

Time -- :32 2.5, 1:02 3/5, 1:34 1/5, 2:04 3/5.

Race Five

Maiden Pace AE: Nonwinners $2,500 in '22

1. Dee Rocks (Jamaica Patton), 2. Prince Of Style (Wyatt Avenatti), 3. Hillscrest Dynamite (Richard Finn), 4. Skeet S (Tom Simmons)

Scratched -- Deedeelou

Time -- :30, :59 3/5, 1:30 3/5, 2:00 4/5.

Race Six

Open Colt/Gelding Pace

1. Commander Bob (Wyatt Avenatti), 2. Kage Daniel (Richard Finn), 3. Smooth N Creamy (Freddie Patton Jr.), 4. Dinger Gram (Matthew Avenatti)

Time -- :30 1/5, 1:00 1/5, 1:29 4/5, 1:58 1/5.