Day At The Track

Ned "the Insurance Man" Hodkinson cops trot

02:00 PM 19 May 2018 NZST
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Ned “the Insurance Man” Hodkinson
Ned “the Insurance Man” Hodkinson seen in this photo winning a Billings Trot

Harness racing's greatest traveling roadshow, the CKG Billings Harness Driving Series, was on the move again on Friday, May 18 with a trot in the series mid-west region at Scioto Downs and when it was completed Ned "the Insurance Man" Hodkinson emerged victorious with his old warhorse, Mutinyonthebounty after they turned back seven others in the 2:00.1 trotted mile.

Hodkinson, a longtime member of the Billings Series notched his 60th driving victory.

Up behind his 9-year-old Mutineer gelding Hodkinson made the trotter's seasonal debut a winning one.

After starting from the two-hole as the race's betting favorite, Hodkinson sent his charge to the front when the wings of the mobile gate folded and took command before the first stanza, which was clocked in 29 seconds.

From there it was catch me if you can as Hodkinson kept the pedal to the metal as they showed the way past the half in 1:00.3. And when they went by the third quarter in 1:30 Mutinyonthebounty was still safely in command.

As the field headed for home Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford came charging from the middle of the pack with Smoother Ride and as the two trotters approached the finish line they were heads apart. But Mutinyonthebounty was up for the challenge and staved off his competitor for a neck victory. Big Bro finished third for "Tiny Tim" Miller.

"He was real sharp in his seasonal debut," Hodkingson said of Mutinyonthebounty who came into this race off a 1:58 qualifier. "We gained command rather easily and were coasting along on the lead until Michelle (Ruvolo, with Upfront Chip Daddy) challenged us up the backstretch. After we put her away my horse had a three length lead and in mid-stretch, without any horses around, he got lazy but still he had enough in the tank to hold off Steve's horse and get the win."

Hodkinson also trains Mutinyonthebounty who paid $3.40 for win.

Next up in the Billings Series is a trot in the eastern region at Freehold Raceway tomorrow (May 19). The next Midwest region action is slated for May 26 at Hoosier Park.

by John Manzi, for the Billings Series

 

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