Day At The Track

Steve Oldford, Bob Troyer Billings winners

05:38 AM 29 Oct 2019 NZDT
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Steve
Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford

NORTHFIELD, Ohio--Harness racing's greatest traveling roadshow, the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series, moved again on Sunday night, (Oct. 27) to Northfield Park in greater Cleveland,, Ohio for two Midwest region divisions over the speedy double-oval there and when the judges hung the official signs, Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford and Bob " the Lumberman" Troyer each emerged victorious in their respective $6000 splits.

Oldford guided Utopia to a 1:58 victory in their division while Troyer scored with Ubanji in 1;59 in the other, perhaps making it the first time that the winning horses' name in each division began with the letter "U".

When the starter said "go"in Utopia's race Oldford found himself parked from the four-hole which helped him decide that he'd be better off to go for the lead which proved to be the winning move.

"I surely didn't want to be parked so I thought the front-end was the best place to go," Oldford acknowledged, "So I urged Utopia and he responded and we had command after we passed the first quarter in :29. From there the old guy knew just what to do and we were never in trouble and we coasted home an easy 1-1/4 length winner."

Although Gregg "Fast Greggy" Keidel had the betting favorite Crime Fighter, within striking distance after the three quarters, Utopia refused to lose. Crime Fighter finished second while Alesha "the Lethal Lady" Binkley got Hititoutofthepark up for the show dough after making a break in the early going.

Sent off at odds of over 7-2, Utopia paid $9.40 for win. He is owned by Oldford Racing trained by Terry Deters.

With his victory Oldford raised his seasonal UDR to .401 on the strength of 15 wins. nine seconds, and 11 thirds in 59 starts which strengthened his pursuit of the National Amateur Driver of Year Award, an honor he won a few years ago.

After starting from the two-hole Troyer ducked Ubanji to the pylons and was third at the quarter in a swift :28.2 having parked out Better Call Saul (Michelle the Belle" Ruvola) and Smart Flight (Steve Oldford). Troyer and Ubanji continued in charge and kept the aforementioned challengers on the limb.

With a covered trip Gregg Keidel had Norman Skidd Marks close at the top of the lane but Keidel's charge couldn't catch Troyer's and Ubanji finished a 1-1/2 length winner over his challenger. And after never seeing the pylons, Better Call Saul still held on for third money

Ubanji is owned by his driver and trained by John Wengerd. He paid $15.40 for win. For Troyer is was his 85th winning drive.

 

by John Manzi for the Billings Series

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