Day At The Track

Dein "the Dream" Spriggs wins Billings

03:16 PM 24 Sep 2017 NZDT
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Dein "the Dream" Spriggs

Vernon, NY -- Two nights ago the Billings Amateur Driver Series was at Batavia Downs and tonight, Saturday Sept. 23 ,seven members of the granddaddy of all amateur harness racing organizations were in Vernon NY for an eastern region trot over the swift oval at Vernon Downs.

Taking advantage of the pole position Dein "the Dream" Spriggs hustled Garlandandpearls away quickly to avoid the confusion caused by breaking horses at the start of the race and they led the way by the first quarter and they had three lengths on their competitors as the timer flashed :28.2.

With the field in 'Indian file' (order) behind him Spriggs was able to give his trotter a breather and they passed the halfway point in a relatively soft :59.3. But from there the pace quickened and Garlandandpearls seemed easily in command as he led Toss Cartwright and driver Peter "Enough Talk" Kleinhans by the third stanza in 1:29.

Around the final turn Spriggs trotter braced for a challenge from Kleinhan's charge but Garlandandpearls was up to the task,kept Toss Cartwright at bay and went on to a length victory in a 1:57.3 clocking. Third place, some eight lengths behind the winner, was "Buffalo Bob" Davis with Jelectric, who was stymied at the beginning of the race.

(By the way one of Davis' other horses, Sand Bellini, won the first race on the card with professional driver Chris Lems at the controls.)

Sent off as second choice in the wagering Garlandandpeals paid $8.30 for win. The veteran 6-year-old Futile Qwest gelding is trained by Patti Harmon.

Spriggs was National Amateur Driver of the Year twice (2004 & 2005),and seems the be in the hunt for that title again this year as he currently sports a .501UDR with 14 wins in 33 seasonal drives.

Next up in Billings action will be Midwest region trot at the Red Mile in Lexington, Ky.on September 28.

By John Manzi for the Billings Series

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