The sports most prestigious race, the Hambletonian, has been accompanied by events for amateur drivers, which are known are known as the Hambletonian Amateur Trots.
The Hambo Amateur Trots usually mark the half-way point in each year's Billings Series which will culminate this year in late November at Harrah's Philadelphia with the Delvin Miller Memorial Gold and Silver Championship Finals.
Although the Hambo Amateur trots are open to almost any amateur driver, members of the C. K.G. Billings Harness Drivers Series are always among the starters in the events and many have won their divisions. This year was no exception.
On August 1 three divisions were presented; one on the nightly card and two others as non-wagering events prior to the betting card getting underway. Billings member "Tough Tony" Cuiffetelli and Rob "Rapid Rail" Krivelin each won their non-betting division.
Cuiffetelli scored a neck victory with Nearly Uncle when they held off Whata Hustler and amateur driver, Jody Riedel in a 1:56.4 clocking. Billings member "Peter "Sycamore Ventures" Gerry was only one -and- a- half lengths back in third with Keystone Sadie.
The other non-betting trot saw Krivelin take command after the first quarter with Upfront Billy and then race on the engine the rest of the mile and turn back a late charge by Kelly "Sky" Walker with Rush N Supreme to win in a time of 1:56. Third place in that contest, some six lengths behind the winner, was Magglio driven by Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford which saw Billings members finish 1-2-3
However, in the betting Hambo Amateur Trot, Joe Lee, a non-Billings member, up behind Upfrontstrikesgold prevailed in a tight photo with Vida De Vie, driven by Roy Marohn, another non Billings member. Third place, just a long neck behind the winner, was Andie Sophia who was driven by Billings member and two-time National Amateur Driver of the Year, Dein "the Jupiter Gem" Spriggs
The final time of 1:55.4 was the fastest of the Hambo Amateur Trots.
Next up in the Billings action will be two east region trots at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday August 7.
by John Manzi, for the Billing Amateur Driver Series