"Mighty Matt" Zuccarello, the harness driver not the hockey player, emerged victorious in the eastern region C.K.G. Billings Series trot at Tioga Downs on Saturday, August 23 when he guided Dreamnwillie to a neck victory over Magglio and Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford in a time of 1:58.3, which was one of the fastest miles on a half-mile track in the long history of the Billings Series.
Zuccarello took advance of the opportunities afforded him in the race when Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff and Tagmaster would not let Oldford and Magglio take command. They raced head- to- head and side by side from the start to the head of the stretch.
With Hechkoff on the inside and Oldford stuck in two-horse Zuccarello moved Dreamnwillie out behind Oldford's trotter nearing the halfway point and he followed Magglio until they headed for home.
In the lane Tagmaster, who ended up third, grudgingly gave up command to Magglio but in the final strides Dreamnwille came on and picked up all the marbles.
"My horse raced real well and he did everything I asked of him," Zuccarello said. "Even when I moved him in the homestretch he dug in like the veteran he is and we won it by a head, maybe a neck, but we won it and that's all that matters."
Trained by Michael Sinclair, Dreamnwillie is owned in Canada by Steve Organ and Rosemary Shelswell. He paid $18.80 for win.
"Mighty Matt", a relative newcomer to the C.K.G. Billings Harness Driving Series, notched his second seasonal triumph and fourth of his amateur driving career.
by John Manzi, for the CKG Billings Series