Bud Hatfield fell in love with Bar Hopping the moment he saw the colt as a yearling at the 2014 Standardbred Horse Sale. His affection for the horse remains high, and why not? For the first time in four decades in harness racing, Hatfield is sending a horse to the Hambletonian. And the horse is Bar Hopping. Bar Hopping is the 9-5 favorite in the first of two nine-horse eliminations of the Hambletonian, presented by Mullinax Ford, Saturday (Aug. 6) at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey. The top five finishers from each elimination advance to the $1 million final later in the day. CBS Sports Network will air live coverage of the event beginning at 4 p.m. "It's a thrill," said Hatfield, a 67-year-old Columbus, Ohio, resident who has enjoyed success in racing both as an owner and amateur driver. "My wife (Kelli) and I are so excited. I've been in big races before, but nothing like the Hambletonian. That's the big one. There's nothing that compares to this." Bar Hopping is trained by Jimmy Takter, who is going for an unprecedented third consecutive Hambletonian victory and record-tying fifth triumph overall. Hatfield owns the colt with Christina Takter, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. "We were at the sale in Harrisburg and they told me they had three or four trotters they liked," Hatfield said. "I went and looked at Bar Hopping and I fell in love with him. I just kept going back and looking at him. We kind of zeroed in on him, and it was a good thing. It's paid off." Hatfield, who is a two-time champion on the Billings amateur driving circuit, where he is known as "Trader Bud" because of his career as a car dealer, owns several horses with Takter. In addition to Bar Hopping, he is among the owners of Peter Haughton Memorial finalist King On The Hill. Bar Hopping has won three of 17 career races and hit the board a total of 12 times, earning $391,728. He heads to the Hambletonian off a win in the Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial on July 24 at Vernon Downs. Southwind Frank is the 4-5 favorite in the second Hambletonian elimination. The Ron Burke-trained colt has won 16 of 18 career races, but both defeats came in races won by Bar Hopping. "I think Bar Hopping has got a chance," Hatfield said. "Southwind Frank is some kind of horse; he's phenomenal. We've got our work cut out for us, but hopefully we'll be right there and be competitive. "I love the sport and owning good horses is fun. Jimmy told me at the beginning just to be patient with Bar Hopping and he's going to be a good one. It looks like that patience has paid off." Hambletonian Day first race post time is noon. Below are the fields for the two Hambletonian eliminations: $70,000 Hambletonian Elimination 1 Race 8 - Post time 2:58 p.m. PP-Horse-Sire--Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1. Bar Hopping - Muscle Hill - Tim Tetrick-Jimmy Takter-9/5 2. Lagerfeld - Yankee Glide - Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-12/1 3. Make Or Miss - Donato Hanover - Joe Bongiorno-Ron Burke-20/1 4. Milligan's School - Yankee Glide - Andy Miller-Julie Miller-10/1 5. Brooklyn Hill - Muscle Hill - David Miller-Jonas Czernyson-3/1 6. Mavens Way - Muscle Hill - John Campbell-Ake Svanstedt-6/1 7. Tight Lines - Yankee Glide - Jeff Gregory-Jeff Gregory-25/1 8. Iron Mine Bucky - Explosive Matter - George Dennis-Greg Haverstick-15/1 9. Reigning Moni - Donato Hanover - David Miller-Jimmy Takter-4/1 $70,000 Hambletonian Elimination 2 Race 9 - Post time 3:25 p.m. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1. Jimmy William - Cantab Hall - Tim Tetrick-Jimmy Takter-20/1 2. The Royal Harry - RC Royalty - Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt-20/1 3. Sutton - Donato Hanover - Andy Miller-Julie Miller-6/1 4. Marion Marauder - Muscle Hill - Scott Zeron-Paula Wellwood-3/1 5. Southwind Frank - Muscle Hill - Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-4/5 6. Hollywood Highway - Muscle Massive - John Campbell-Staffan Lind-30/1 7. Dominion Beach - Muscle Hill - Bjorn Goop-Nancy Johansson-30/1 8. Love Matters - Explosive Matters - Brett Miller-Jimmy Takter-12/1 9. Waitlifter K - Muscles Yankee - David Miller-Andrew Harris-10/1 Ken Weingartner
Bud Hatfield scored his record seventh CKG Billings Trot victory with Really Really Sweet in Sunday action at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. Rewrite the Rules (Dein Spriggs) and Timer (Gregg Keidel) finished second and third respectively. Hatfield drove the 5-year-old brown mare Really Really Sweet. In the opening quarter, Really Really Sweet was neck-in-neck with Rewrite the Rules timed in 0:30. At the half mile station, Rewrite the Rules stuck a head in front of Hay Look Out (Patricia Miller) on the outside in 1:02. By the three-quarter mark, Rewrite the Rules was still holding his place and Hatfield was forced into the fourth position as Sammy Merlot (Simeon Hundson) was sent three wide. As the field of eight hit the top of the stretch, Sammy Merlot broke stride allowing Really Really Sweet to come off the rail and outsprint Rewrite The Rules to the wire by a half length in 2:05. Really Really Sweet is trained by Brent Davis and owned by the Hatfield Stables. In the second $3,000 division it was David Siegel driving Texas Ridge to victory in 2:00.2. Tioga Thunder (George Bonomo) and What Do You Want (Larry Steenbergen) were second and third. The seven-year old brown gelding is trained by Marvin Raber and owned by David E. Miller of Millersburg, Ohio. In the final Billings division Bold Strike scored over Margarita Man (Larry Farley) and Cody Coy (Matt Zuccarello). The five-year old son of So Striking is trained, driven, and owned by Stephen Oldford of Croswell, Michigan. Bold Strike went gate to wire in 2:00. by Conor Golden, Little Brown Jug Publicity Intern
A total of sixteen 2-year-old baby races were contested at the Meadowlands Saturday morning under plenty of sunshine with mild temperatures and a fast track. As usual, Team Takter dominated with seven winners on the card. Tony Alagna sent out five winners while Jimmy Takter's daughter Nancy Johansson had three winners from her stable. Among the trotting fillies, Hot Start from the first crop of Lucky Chucky looked good for trainer Jonas Czernyson and Corey Callahan winning gate to wire in 2:00.1 with a 28.3 final quarter holding off Takter's Flirting Filly by a neck with both finishing well in hand. Hot Start, a $52,000 Lexington sale buy, is owned by the Green Acquisition Corporation. Takter trained 2-year-old trotting colts looked sharp including The Bank, Donato Hanover form millionaire mare Lantern Kronos, who went coast to coast in 1:58.4 with a 28.2 final quarter for breeder/owner Goran Falk. Two races later, French Laundry and Yannick Gingras used the pocket trip slingshot move to beat stable mate Uncle Lasse in 1:57.3 for Christina Takter, the Fielding brothers, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. The pair trotted their last three-quarters in 1:27 with a 28.2 final split. French Laundry was a $115,000 Lexington purchase. The freshman pacing filly winners included She's Some Treasure, a full-sister to Captaintreacherous who won in hand at first asking for Tony Alagna and Tim Tetrick in 1:59.2 with a 28 final quarter. She's owned by breeder White Birch Farm. Zip Code Envy, a $27,000 Lexington sale buy, is now 2 for 2 in baby races for Takter and driver Yannick Gingras scoring in 1:57. She's from the first crop of Rock N Roll Heaven and is owned by Christina Takter, the Fielding's, and Brixton Medical. The Tony Alagna trained Bedroomconfessions split rivals late to win a four horse photo in 1:58.2 with a 27.3 final quarter. She's an American Ideal home-bred for the Bell's Riverview Farm and Alagna. Scott Zeron drove. The same combination won right back in the next race with She's a Hot Mess, another American Ideal home-bred, in 1:56. John Fodera is a co-breeder and co-owner. Perry Soderberg's Western Pioneer looked good again winning handily in 1:56.2 for trainer Nancy Johansson and driver Yannick Gingras. The $15,000 Harrisburg bargain buy by Western Ideal is a perfect two for two. The biggest move of the morning came from Trading Up, a Somebeachsomewhere colt, who rallied from last to win in 1:57.3 for Alagna and driver Scott Zeron. Alagna, Alan Alber and Aaron Waxman co-own the $80,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase who paced his last half in 56 seconds flat. Team Takter also won with Blood Brother, a Somebeachsomewhere colt who is a home-bred for Diamond Creek and the Silva's and the Art Major youngster Azorean Art, a $135,000 Harrisburg yearling who is owned by Christina Takter, Brixton Medical, Bud Hatfield, and Sue Grange's Lothlorien. Both freshmen scored in 1:56. by Sam McKee, for the Meadowlands
WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 25, 2013 — Tabulator was so wound up while scoring down that it took both trainer/driver Marvin Raber and Parade Marshal Missy Rothfuss to control him. But once Raber was able to redirect that energy to the matter at hand, the result was amazing — a 17-length victory for “Marvelous Marvin” and Tabulator in Friday’s $10,000 C.K.G. Billings West Final at The Meadows. Tabulator ripped off a string of front-end victories at The Meadows early this year but wasn’t on top at any point in his last two starts. “He’s been jogging good, and I’ve been swimming him a lot because of some soundness issues,” said Raber, who conditions the 4-year-old Cantab Hall-Mystical Taya gelding for Bert Dale Hershberger. “Now, he’s really good. Sometimes he quits at the end, but today he went right on. He gets fired up behind the gate.” Tabulator scored in a career-best 1:56.2 while “Trader” Bud Hatfield and GJ Photo Victory won the war of the weary for place. “Lawbook Larry” Farley and Rewrite The Rules saved show. The Meadows and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association sponsored a “Pink Out” Friday to raise breast cancer awareness as well as funds for the Magee Women’s Hospital Foundation in Pittsburgh. The event included a $5,000 trot, featuring nine female drivers, that honored the late Mary McCune, who recently was named to the inaugural class of the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Hall of Fame. Rachel Kaneoka captured the event, piloting R Big Ben to victory in 2:00.2 and helping him snap his 48-race losing streak over two seasons. Devan Miller (Earl’s Glider) was second, 1-1/4 lengths back, with Cherie Keith (Red Falkor) third. Scott U’ren conditions R Big Ben, an 8-year-old British Sterling-Gracious Pleasure gelding, for Debbie U’ren. Also participating were drivers Joelene Christman, Leslie Zendt, Sharon Donella, Kathryn Hawk, Danita Harvey and Nikki Harvey. The action-packed card also included two $18,000 Preferred Handicap events. In the race for filly and mare pacers, Sissy Bar scored a 16-1 shocker by pouring through the Lightning Lane and downing Pink Camo by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:52.4, matching her lifetime best. Early leader Darena Hanover was third. Eric Ledford drove the 7-year-old daughter of Aces N’ Sevens-Ocean Beach for owner/trainer Tyler Nostadt. In the companion feature for filly and mare trotters, Victory Is Coming made it two straight for Mike Wilder by exploiting a pocket trip and prevailing in 1:56. The rallying Trotslikethewind was second, missing by 1/2 length, while the first-over Jesse’s Messenger earned show. Ammon Hershberger trains Victory Is Coming, a 6-year-old daughter of Victory Sam-Norse Comer who now boasts $416,795 in career earnings, for Betty Shaw and John Red Shaw. by Evan Pattak for The Meadows
“Lawbook Larry” Farley and his veteran trotter Rewrite The Rules got up in the final strides to collar GJ Photo Victory and “Trader Bud” Hatfield to win the Billings contest in 2:04.3 at Lebanon Raceway on October 19. Cash On The Rail finished third for Victor “Cruise Control” Gray, Sr. Sent off as second choice from the three-hole, Farley found room along the pylons in second position and he wisely stayed there following the cover of Littlebitofhoney and driver Dave “Linemaster” Ehrenberg. When Ehrenberg’s trotter was challenged by GJ Photo Victory, Littlebitofhoney went off-stride and Trader Bud’s horse took command. But a patient Farley stayed along the pylons and when he made his move in the lane Rewrite The rules was the strong horse at the wire and they scored a well-earned triumph. An attorney from Berkey, Ohio, Farley has been a longtime member of the Billings Series and has driven harness horses as a hobby and a pleasure since 1981. In the late 1990’s, Farley drove in Legal Eagle Pace at Monticello Raceway, a race specifically for drivers who were also lawyers. For Rewrite The Rules paid $10.00 for win. It was the trotter’s fourth victory of the season and for Farley his 49th winning drive of his amateur career. The Lebanon Raceway contest was the deciding factor for determining the nine drivers who are eligible for the Midwest Division Final which will be raced at The Meadows on Friday, October 25. With his second place finish Trader Bud Hatfield won the points title over Larry Farley. Other drivers whose regional point totals have earned them a berth in the Mid West Final include : Steve “You’re Never Too” Oldford, “Marvelous Marvin” Raber, “Chicago George” Bonomo, Dave Ehrenberg, Michelle “The Belle” Ruvola,” Tar Heel Tom Williams, and Katy High Flying” Hawk. by John Manzi for the Billings Amateur Series
Fayco Filly and Brad Hanners found enough daylight in the stretch and sprinted past the pacesetting Crown Time Keeper (Chris Page) to win the featured $42,176 (div) Ohio Breeders Championship for 2-year-old filly pacers on the opening day card at the Delaware County Fair. When the gates wings folded the field quickly sat in post-position order. Kyle Ater sent the heavily favored Shakin Friskie to challenge Crown Time Keeper past the half in 1:00 4/5 and three quarters in 1:30 1/5. The pocket sitting Fayco Filly found room and won by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:59 2/5. The daughter of Dave Panlone is conditioned by Virgil Morgan, Jr. for Martial Property LLC and Ackley Racing Stable, both of Washington Court House, Ohio. In the first $21,088 division of the freshman filly pace, Kyle Ater drove Rosy Fire to an open length victory in 1:58 4/5. The daughter of Feelin Friskie is owned by B. M. Schwartz, Lee Bean and S. R. Montemarano and trained by Mark Winters, Sr. In the Billings Amateur Trot, Bud Hatfield scored for the record breaking sixth time at the Delaware County Fair. Hatfield and Brother Gus took the early lead and he held off the late charge of Thomas Williams and D W's Perky Joe in 2:00 4/5. Hatfield owns Brother Gus who won for the third time in 2013. In the first Billings division, Larry Farley guided Rewrite The Rules to victory in 2:03 1/5. Farley owns the 10 year-old gelded son of Mr Lavec who won for the 37th time in 203 career starts. In the Tim Fouts Memorial Final for amateur drivers, Dillon Cox and Sharp Shuttle came from off the pace to score in 1:59. The race features the top drivers from various driving clubs from across the US. Cox represented the Mid-Western Amateur Drivers Association. The Delaware County Fair will race again on Tuesday, September 17 with a post time of 12:00 Noon. The 13-race card will feature a $10,000 guaranteed Pick 4 with a 15% takeout. The pick 4 will start with race 10 and past performance lines are available at www.littlebrownjug.com. by Jay Wolf for the Little Brown Jug
Although the Billings Trot at the Muskingum County Fair In Zanesville, Ohio on Monday, August 12th only had five horses in it not only was it an exciting event but the crowd especially enjoyed the stretch drive with three horses only heads apart to the finish. And like so many tight endings a photo was required to determine that Wolf's Jann and driver "Trader Bud" Hatfield had emerged victorious over Tabulator who was handled by "Marvelous Marv" Raber. Just a bit farther back in third place was Donnamom and Dave "Linemaster" Ehrenberg II. And the 2:03.2 trotting mile over the five- wide Muskingum County Fair racetrack was remarkable for the short field. "I had the rail (pole position) and watched Tabulator take off in a hurry and open up a five- length lead as we headed to the quarter pole," Hatfield said. "He's (Tabulator) a known speed horse and I was content to follow in the two hole " Hatfield had his mare two lengths behind leader at the half with Donnamom seven lengths back at that point. Wolf's Jann had gained the lead coming off the final turn and kept Tabulator at bay while also holding off the late charge by Donnamom. "She's a pretty nice mare but this year she been plagued with a cracked bone in her foot and a bad quarter crack," Hatfield said about Wolf's Jann, a 6 year old daughter of Majestic Victory with over $172,000 in career earnings. "Last year she won in 1:55(.1) at the Meadows and earned over $63,000 for me. She's only had a few starts this year but she seems to be coming now." Donnamom, off two consecutive Billings victories was sent off as the 7-10 betting favorite but after a slow start she just couldn't make up all the ground she needed in a rather swift mile over the county fair oval. She too, had foot problems but they were recently rectified. Reflecting about the new Billings format with regional championships along the way to the Gold and Silver Cup Finals Hatfield had nothing but praise for it. "It makes for a good competitions because more people are involved and there are a lot of different winners," he added. by John Manzi
In the 9-horse Billings trot at Scioto Downs on Friday (June 7) harness racing driver 'Trader Bud' Hatfield sent Brother Gus to the lead from the five hole and played catch me if you can. And nobody could.
Now with the conclusion of its 31st year of competitions the members of C.K.G. Billings Amateur Drivers Series are looking forward to next year. The Granddaddy of the current amateur movement, the Billings continues to offer non-professionals a chance to be part of the harness racing driving scene in both the United States and Canada.
The Billings Series finals were held at a new venue this year ,and a few weeks earlier than in past seasons, and when the harness racing events were completed, 'Trader Bud' Hatfield emerged victorious in the $25,000 Delvin Miller Memorial Gold Cup Championship Final while 'Smokin' Joe' Faraldo copped the $15,000 Silver Cup Championship, both at Harrah's Philadelphia on the sunny afternoon of November 18th.
Harness racing amatuer drivers Bud Hatfield and Kelly Walker have been named the morning line favorites in their respective Delvin Miller Amateur Driving Championship events, slated to go as races 8 and 12 on Sunday (November 18) afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia.
After their driving victories in the C.K.G. Billings Amateur Driving Series Regional Finals on November 10th both "Trader Bud" Hatfield and Bob "the Headhunter" Heckoff not only vaulted into second place on their respective regional leaderboards but as owners of their charges each took home the lion's share of the hefty harness racing purses offered.
The Darke County fair proved a perfect setting for an old fashioned county fair Billings race. It was sunny, beautiful, breezy, and the harness racing was filled with excitement. As the fair whirled on outside the track, spectators filled the apron and stands, and the horses were flying.
Harness racing's "Trader Bud" Hatfield and Done Dreamen put their two-race Billings win streak on the line when they tackle nine others in a Midwestern Region Billings trot at Scioto Downs on Friday, September 10.
'Trader Bud' Hatfield is back with vengeance. The former harness racing 'Amateur Driver of the Year' had only driven three times in the Billings Series prior to Saturday, August 21 where he won the Billings Trot with Done Dreamen at the Lake County Fair Plainesville, Ohio.
In years past "Trader Bud" Hatfield is always among the point leaders in the C.K.G. Billings Harness Racing Driving Championship Series and many times has won the trophies for accumulating the most points in the Midwest Region and has won the overall points categories several times, also.