The C.K.G. Billings Amateur Driving Series saw action in both regions this past weekend with Kelly "Sky" Walker prevailing in the midwest at Raceway Park on Sunday September 1 and the following day Bobby "Rapid Rail" Krivelin winning at Plainridge Racecourse in the east.
Both sportsmen are previous Amateur Drivers of the Year; Walker in 2011 and Krivelin, 2012 and 2001.
Walker's victory came at the expense of five others when he guided Love ignites to a come-from-behind neck victory in a time of 2:00.1 while a patient pocket-trip enabled Krivlein to prevail over seven others in 1:59.
At Raceway Park, Walker, with Love Ignites, started along the pylons and played hardball parking both "Lawbook Larry Farley's and "Trader Bud" Hatfield's trotters by the quarter in :29. But neither Farley, with Rewrite the Rules and "Trader Bud" with Wolf's Jan, cleared and they remained two and three wide heading toward the halfway point which was timed in :58.4.
After everyone settled in along the pylons, when the field headed up the backside "Marvelous Marv" Raber and Tabulator rallied from fifth position to the lead at the third stanza in 1:28.2 with Walker and Love Ignites in hot pursuit.
In the lane, Love ignites was the strong horse and the 4 year old gelding collared Tabulator at the wire for a head victory in a time of 2:00.1. Dolea Delight and Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford took home the show dough in that one.
Love Ignites , owned and trained by Walker, paid $4.80 for win.
Walker, off to his best start in his relatively short amateur driving career, notched win number 11 to go along with 17 seconds thus far this year. And it was Walker's 83 winning drive in just 485 career starts.
On Labor Day at Plainridge Racecourse, Bobby Krivelin had a picture perfect trip behind pace-setter Famous image and driver "Mike " I Ain't Finished" Eaton and in the lane he came calling.
Eaton hustled Famous Image to the lead from the three-hole and once on top he kept the pedal to the metal and they trotted by the quarter in :28 and the half in:57.4.
Krivlein, comfortable in the two-hole with Budlightning , was probably licking his chops as he followed the leader and waited patiently for the long homestretch to appear but once it did Famous Image didn't come back to Krivelin as much as he had hoped.
Still Krivelin was able to strongly urge Budlightning through the stretch and the two-hole covered trip paid off as the veteran gelding got up in the final strides to photo-out Famous Image in a 1:59 clocking.
Budlightning, owned and trained by Diane Hellen, paid $7.00 for win. For Krivelin, it was seventh winning drive of the season and the 148th of his amateur career.
by John Manzi