Day At The Track

"Easy Dave" Russo wins Billings Trot

07:44 AM 22 Jul 2019 NZST
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Osprey Vision,Harness racing
Osprey Vision winning a previous race
Paul White Photo

Nichols, NY--Harness racing's greatest traveling roadshow- the CKG Billings Harness Diving Series- moved on to Tioga Downs for a trotting contest on Sunday afternoon, July 21 and when the judges hung the official sign "Easy Dave" Russo surprised his competition guiding longshot Osprey Vision to a 1:57.4 triumph over the even -money favorite, Starsaboveallerage, driven Steve "You're Never Too Oldford.

With the temperature hovering in the mid-90's Russo sent his charge to the lead from the three=hole and played hardball with Cashaholic and Billings newcomer "Florida Jeff" Schaefer, parking them by the quarter in :28.1 and past the half in :57.2 with neither driver yielding.

Obviously feeling that Cashaholic would keep him locked-in, Tony "the Capo" Verruso who was third along thew pylons, wheeled Glided In The Wind three-deep hoping to circle the leaders. But as they trotted by the third stanza there were three horses across the track and it appeared at that point Staraboveallerage, who was getting a two-hole journey, would be the strong when the field headed for home.

In the deep stretch Glide In The Wind faded as did Cashaholic while Osprey Vision hung gamely to the lead and although Starsaboveallerage was gaining he ran out of race track as Russo's trotter clung to a head victory.

It was the fourth seasonal vriumph for the 10-year-old altered son of Ken Warkentin which raised his career earnings to over $235,000. Sent off at odds of over 23-1 Osprey Vision paid $48.40.

And although Russo is now primarily a trainer still it was his 34th career driving victory..


by John Manzi

for the Billings Series

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