The fifth leg of the three-track NAADA Trotting Series was contested in two non-wagering divisions prior to the betting card getting underway at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday night (Nov.21) and both Dave Offenberg and Kelly Walker emerged victorious in their respective $6000 splits.
Offenberg scored a 2:00.1 triumph with his own (Allister Stables LLC) Whatnblazes in a time of 2:00.1 while Walker, in from the Wolverine State, guided Christine Baggitt’s Lets Go Baby Go to a 1:59.4 triumph.
In his division Offenberg sat chilly in the four-hole most of the way as Bobby Krivelin and Saint Patty’s Doll cut even fractions of :29.4 and 1:00.3 and then passed the third stanza in 1:30.0. Krivelin and his trotting mare was still on the lead as the field headed for home but Offenberg had Whatnblazes in high gear and they rallied down the center of the track to nail Saint Patty’s Doll at the wire to score a head victory. NAADA Series point leader Dr. John Kokinos enjoyed a two-hole trip with Impressive Earl and they were right there in the three-horse photo but third best by a short neck.
“I was just tuning up the old guy for the Billings Silver Cup Final on Sunday at Chester,” Offenberg said with tongue in cheek after his driving victory. Whatnblazes will start from the five hole, presumably as one of the favorites, in the $15,000 Billings Silver Cup Final at Harrah’s Philadelphia on November 24th which is cared as race 10 on their 13-race card.
For Offenberg his victory behind Whatnblazes was his 5th of the year and 42 in his amateur driving career.
Kelly Walker made easy work of his 1:59.4 victory with Let’s Go Baby Go when he zoomed the trotting mare to the lead from the four hole and raced unchallenged until the backside but even that attempt by Tony Verruso and Rodeo Red fell short as Walker kept the pedal to the metal and Lets Go baby Go drew off to open lengths and cruised under the wire a four length winner over Rodeo Red and Verruso. David Glasser finished third with Carbon Footprint.
Walker is again enjoying a good season in the sulky racing mostly against professional driver in Michigan when he’s not participating in local and national amateur driving events.
This was his 16 seasonal triumph and his 88th since he began amateur driving in 2004 but the bulk of his victories (80) have been recorded since 2009.
The next leg of the NAADA Trotting Series will be on November 29 at Freehold Raceway.
by John Manzi for the CKG Billings Amateur Drivers