After a long GLADA harness racing season and many seconds and thirds, Steve Oldford drove his own Howmuchubench to victory in 2:32.4 in the 1-1/4 mile trot that capped off the season on Monday (August 22) at Hazel Park.
Oldford gets the credit for leading GLADA all year and racing in almost every race, but this time he put the pedal to the metal and came home with the gold ring firmly in hand. Right behind him for second place was frequent winner Kelly Walker with Biggie Size, followed by Hallway To Heaven with Bob Barella in the sulky for third.
It was a cool, fall-like night but the amateurs were hot handed and eager to give it their all in this final night of competition. Expectations ran sky high as the trotters faced the starter for the extended race. Around the quick first turn, the leavers strung out quickly on the rail en route to the quarter, leaving early breaker Headed For Glory behind.
Oldford, determined that this would be the night, burst from the pack, took the lead at the quarter and never looked back. Barella and Hallway To Heaven took over second place and Travlin Butch with Mike Mitchell in the bike was third on the rail.
The quarter time of :30.3 was perfect for the long race and the competitors continued in that formation as they rolled on to the three-quartersin 1:32.1.
As the trotters rounded the final turn, Oldford was blazing away in the front, while Biggie Size and Walker tried to outmuscle him down the stretch. Theycame close, but no cigar this time. Hallway To Heaven hung on for third.
At the banquet following the race, Mark Jones was crowned the season's winner and he also won the right to represent GLADA in the Tim Fouts memorial race during Little Brown Jug week in Delaware. Kelly Walker took the second place prize and Steve Oldford was third for the season.
GLADA thanks Hazel Park, especially race secretary Ladd Biro and assistant Denny Walton, for their sponsorship of GLADA's very successful season of racing.
by Patricia MILLER, for GLADA