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Wilkes-Barre, Pa---In a thrilling stretch duel Dave "the Rave" Offenberg got his venerable trotter, Fiji, up in the final strides to collar Winwood Scout and driver "Buffalo Bob" Davis to reel in the lions share of the $12,000 purse offered in the Billings East Regional Final on Saturday night (Nov. 17) at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. In a field reduced to six starters, Offenberg and Fiji departed from the pole position and watched as "Buffalo Bob" Davis and Winwood Scout get in a speed duel with On The Podium ("Yankee Joe" Lee) as the two leaders trotted by the first panel in :27.4. They were still side-by-side as they headed for the halfway point with Lee looking for room along the pylons but with Uriel and "Annie Get Your Gun" Stoebe tight on his back second over, no room was to be had as the trotters along the pylons kept all the holes closed. When the field went by the half mile pole Winwood Scout was on the lead with Fiji tucked in nicely in the two hole and On The Podium and Uriel parked on the limb. Winwood Scout was in command as he passed the third stanza in 1:27.2 with On The Podium still second on the outside. But when the field headed for home, Offenberg,,who was in the catbird seat, rallied Fiji as On The Podium began to fade. In the deep stretch it was Winwood Scout and Fiji... and Fiji and Winwood Scout.., as the two trotters battled all the way to the wire and after the judges posted the tight win-photo the victory went to Fiji and Offeberg in a time of 1:57.1. Tony "the Capo" Verruso, up behind Peoplesayimnogood, trailed the leaders throughout and rambled home for the show dough. Fiji is owned by Offenberg's Allister Stables LLC and trained by Eric Abbatiello. It was the sixth victory for Fiji this year which raised his seasonal bankroll to nearly $50,000. For Offenberg he notched his fourth seasonal triumph and 55th of his amateur career. Offenberg now joins "Marvelous Marvin" Raber who won the Midwest Region Final last week with Mikey Hanover at Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway and both drivers have earned the privilege to draw inside post positions in the $25,000 Delvin Miller Memorial Gold Cup Final at Yonkers Raceway on November 25. by John Manzi for the Billings Series    

Dayton, Ohio-- Although the seven-month CKG Billings Harness Driving Series is winding down this season the finals in both the Midwest and Eastern Regions, as well as the Gold and Silver Cup Finals, will be forthcoming. Tonight at Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway in Ohio the top point earners in the Midwest Region battled for a $10,000 purse but it was "Marvelous Marvin" Raber and Mikey Hanover who made a laugher out of the contest when they sailed to the lead and played catch me if you can, and nobody could as they trotted of to a four length triumph in a 1:56.3 clocking. But at the top of the stretch in that race Mikey Hanover had eight open lengths on his competition and he just coasted home an easy winner for "Marvelous Marv" With the starting gate in high gear when the field of trotters was turned loose Gregg "Fast Greggy" Kiedel sent the eight-horse, Nashville Holiday, to the front and they had command in a :27.2 first quarter with Mikey Hanover comfortable in the two-hole. Not content to follow, Raber moved Mikey Hanover to the lead before the halfway point and Mikey was full of trot and stepped a :28.4 third split to open a three-length lead over Kiedel's charge as he whizzed by the three quarters in 1:25.2. From there the only thing that was in doubt was how many lengths would Raber's trotter win by? When he headed down the lengthy home stretch Mikey Hanover had upped his lead to eight lengths and Raber sat cool looking around for challenges which never came as they crossed the wire an easy four-length winner. Fairground Drama and Richard "the Wolverine" Roach, who were traveling along in fourth position, rallied and finished second. Nashville Holiday, had broken equipment and faded to third. The winner, a 9-year-old altered son of Majestic Son , is owned by Leroy Keim and trained by Robert Coblentz. He returned a $14.00 win mutuel. The Billings, known as the granddaddy of all amateur organizations, will present the East Region Final at Pocono Downs next Saturday with the series Gold & Silver Cup Finals set for November 25 at Yonkers Raceway. by John Manzi, for the Billing Series

Monticello, NY--It doesn't seem to matter who Jennifer "the Golden Girl" Lappe races against; amateurs or professionals. She does equally well against both. Today(Nov. 8) at Monticello Raceway she had a driving double on the betting card when she won an amateur contest in race two, and then came right back with a victory against professional drivers in race three. And currently "the Golden Girl" is ringing up stats that the professionals would be proud of. Her first victory was with Multitaskr Hanover ($4.60) in 2:00.1, which, by the way, was Lappe's second consecutive triumph with the Explosive Matter gelding. In today's contest"Coach Paul" Minore hustled Wygant Prince to the front but "Yankee Joe" Lee, with On The Podium, parked him to a :28.4 first quarter before he allowed Minore to take charge. At that point Lappe was in third position along the pylons after starting from the three-hole. When he field rounded the second turn and headed down the stretch On The Podium was still the race leader in a the :58.4 clocked half. As the field trotted to the third stanza Lappe moved Multitaskr Hanover off the pylons and made a serious challenge for the lead. As they trotted by the three quarters Lappe's horse tried to pull- up but expertly she allowed him to drift so as not to go off-stride and once she settled him they got back in the race. However, Ms Lappe displayed her displeasure with her trotter's drifting and she went to work on getting him back to strongly challenge On the Podium as they rounded the final turn. In the lane Multtaskr Hanover trotted to the lead and went on to a one-length triumph over On The Podium. Fiji, with Dave "the Rave" Offenberg at the controls, came from far back to finish third. Although she didn't have much time to hang up the lines after her victory and get Giddy Up Delight ready for the very next race, she did however, explain that Multitaskr Hanover lost his left front shoe in the post parade and they returned to the paddock to have it nailed on. "I was grateful that we found the shoe and that the paddock blacksmith nailed it in place; But it took quite a while," Lappe said of the ordeal that caused a big delay at the start of the race." When we did get back on the racetrack we had no time to score down and had to go directly behind the starting gate . And I think a cold start confused Multitaskr and in the race he tried to pull-up before the final turn. But what ever it was once I got him back heading in the right direction he was full of trot." After her three-length 1:57.4 pacing victory with Giddy Up Delight ($10.80)in the following race "the Golden Girl" currently has 35 wins, 43 seconds and 53 thirds in 288 seasonal starts, good for a .266UDR. Lappe has a big stable and as a trainer of record this season she has 92 wins in 557 starts good for a .298UDR. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series

DAYTON, OH. - Account Rollover (Josh Sutton) tipped three-wide nearing the three quarter pole in what turned out to be the winning move in the Saturday (Nov. 3) night $17,500 Open Pace at Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway. Sutton chose to sit near the back of the field during the :26.1 opening split, then moved into second-over position by the :54.2 halfway point. Sensing the heated early fractions were beginning to take their toll, Account Rollover was moved to the third lane as the field passed the 1:23 third timing station. Once getting the lead at the head of the stretch and opening up a couple lengths, the winning 7-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding dug down deep to hold off late challenges by runnerup Holdingallthecards (Jeremy Smith) and show finisher My Buddy Ninkster (Shawn Barker II). The final time was 1:52.1. Jim Eaton trains Account Rollover, who was making his third local start following place and show finishes in his first two. Robert Silberberg owns the 29-time winner who is nearing $300,000 in earnings. Dispatched at 7-1 odds, Account Rollover returned a handsome $16.20 win mutual. Excitement is building at Hollywood Dayton anticipating the return of Foiled Again next Saturday night (Nov. 10) for his final race in the state of Ohio. Patrons in attendance will have an opportunity to win a large Breyer replica of Foiled Again, win a double-seater jog cart ride behind Foiled Again (accompanied by driver Chris Page), or win one of dozens of smaller Breyer replicas of Foiled Again that will be awarded as pop-up gifts to random users of self-service betting terminals on that evening. From Dayton Raceway Media Department Gregg Keidel wins Dayton Billings Trot leg He doesn't get a chance to drive many times during the season but recently Gregg "Fast Greggy" Keidel has been performing admirably, especially with Nashville Holiday, Keidel has won two consecutive Billings trots with the altered 6-year-old son of SJs Caviar; the first two weeks ago at Northfield Park and this evening at Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway. In many ways harness racing is no different from other competitive sports in that cliches are part of the game. In this industry,sometimes there is what's referred to as racing luck, which occurs often for many drivers of horses who happen to be the first under the wire. And tonight in the second race in Dayton, Ohio racing luck played big part in Nashville Holiday's victory when Keidel hustled his trotter to the lead and then parked Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford and the betting favorite, Stirling Boudica, to a :27.3 first quarter before smartly grabbing leather. But Keidel's luck tonight was a result of his own making. After letting Oldford's trotter gain commend Keidel sat patiently waiting for the quick first quarter to take a toll on the favorite. But fatigue from the pacesetter was a longtime coming as Oldford and Stirling Boudica got first call by the half in :57.3 and then again at the three quarters in 1:27.2. At that point Keidel again made a wise decision by not moving off the pylons when Fairground Drama and Richard "the Lion Hardhearted"Roach came calling. And when the leaders straightened for home Fairground Drama had his head in front of Stirling Boudica's with Keidel sitting chilling along the pylons waiting to make a challenge. That came when "Fast Greggy" and Nashville Holiday shot down the passing lane and rallied to a 1-1/4 length triumph as the final time flashed 1:57.2. Fairground Drama held second and a tiring Sterling Boudica faded badly but still earned the show dough. The winner is owned by Jeffrey and Toni Arvin and trained by Jeff Brewer. He paid $9.60. It was Keidel's second seasonal driving victory and the 105th of his amateur career. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series

Northfield, Ohio--Winning Billings trots in the midwest region is getting to be a habit for Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford. The talented reinsman from Michigan, who is also the vice president of the CKG Billings Harness Driving Series, scored an easy wire-to-wire triumph with Stirling Boudica in 1:58.3 Sunday night at Northfield Park. It was Oldford's second consecutive victory there. Sent off as the 4-5 favorite from the five-hole Oldford did what should be done when one has the best horse in the race. He sent the 8-year-old daughter of Malabar Man immediately to the lead in a :28.1 first quarter and once in command, and with no challengers, Oldford was able to tap the brakes as his mare led Tipontab ,and driver Cubbie Van Wagoner, to the mid-way point in :58.1. First to move was "Marvelous Marvin" Raber when he took aim at the leader with Buckeye Patty when the field straightened up he backside. But they never did get alongside the leaders, Around the final turn Stirling Boudica was in front with Tipontab still following her and at this point Oldford's mare appeared strong-- and she was-- and rambled home a two-length winner with Tipontab second best. Meanwhile, Buckeye Patty stalled, which allowed Better Call Saul and "Michelle the Belle" Ruvola to rally and both horses were inseparable for the show dough when they reached the finish line. Racing his stock at Northfield Park has been fruitful for Oldford. He won a Billings trot for the third time is as many weeks and he has been victorious in five of his last six trips to post. Currently with 12 wins and a .328 UDR, it has vaulted him into the running for National Amateur Driver of the Year, an honor Oldford won a few years ago. The winner, Stirling Boudica, is owned by Oldford Racing and trained by Kody Massey. She paid $3.40. And for Oldford it marked his 142nd lifetime driving victory.. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series  

Monticello, NY-- To say that amateur driver "Yankee Joe" Lee is on a roll would be gross understatement. After winning the Billings Trot with Soul Train in 2:01.2 today (Thurs. Oct 25) at Monticello Raceway, Lee, the assistant locker room manager for the New York Yankees, now has three consecutive driving victories and has won four of his last five starts. Sent off as the even-money favorite in the six-horse field uncharacteristically Lee took his trotter of the gate and settled in fifth along the pylons as Brandos Muscle Man and Monica "the Norwegian Flash " Banca led the field by the first stanza in :29.4. "I took a chance taking Soul Train back at the start because in the past he never wanted to pass horses when we trailed but today he was definitely different," Lee explained. "He really surprised me when I pulled him going to the half and he easily trotted around Brandos Muscle Man and took command as we headed into the clubhouse turn." By the time Lee reached the three quarters Soul Train had five lengths on the field and at that point the only thing in doubt was the margin of victory. The lead over Brandos Muscle Man was opened to eight lengths as Lee and Soul Train headed for paydirt. Down the stretch Lee was looking for challengers but none came and they coasted home an easy 8-1/2 length winner in 2:01.2. However, in the deep stretch "Lady Jennifer" Lappe rallied Celebrity Blue Chip from fifth at the top of the lane to finish second, a length in front of Brandos Muscle Man. Soul Train is co-owned by Lee, Blindswitch Racing and the Good Friends Stable and trained by Jose Godinez. The 7-year-old altered son of Trainforthefuture scored scored his sixth seasonal victory and returned a $4.00 win mutuel.. For Lee, who was last years National Amateur Driver of the Year, it was his 11th driving victory this season and 48th of his career. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series

Northfield, Ohio--On Sunday evening, Oct. 21, ten trotters went to post in a mid-region Billings trot at Northfield Park and after studying the races betting patterns only three horses had a legitimate shot at victory and two were sent away by the betting public at odds of less than 2-1 with the third at 9-2. and when the judges posted the official sign Nashville Holiday and driver Gregg "Fast Greggy" Keidel (9-5) walked away with all the marbles. Keidel, who has delved in more aspects of harness racing than most, wasted no time in sending his charge to the lead from the two-hole despite a challenge from Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford with the slight (7-5) betting favorite, Santini. As the field marched to the quarter pole Keidel stepped on the gas and opened a position behind him for Oldford to fall in along the pylons which Steve did before the quarter pole timer flashed :28.4. Meanwhile, Michelle "The Belle"Ruvola and Better Call Saul, who started from post seven, got caught on the limb and they remained parked-out the entire mile. As the field passed the half in :58.4 Nashville Holiday was cutting the fractions and Santini tight on Keidel's back in the two hole. The order remained the same among the top two as Bob "Lumberman" Troyer moved Sneaky Sam into third place as they trotted by the three quarters in 1:29.4. Down the lane Keidel put the pedal to the metal and Nashville Holiday opened up a 2-1/2 length lead which he held over Santini all the way to the wire. Despite being parked all the way Better Call Saul chugged home for a third place finish. After five second place finishes and four thirds in 16 trips to post this season the seventeenth was a charm for Nashville Holiday who paid $5.80 for win. The 5-year-old altered son of SJ's Caviar is owned by Jeffrey and Toni Arvin and trained by Jeff Brewer. For Gregg Keidel, who has driven sparingly over the past decade, this marked his l04th winning drive. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series        

Yonkers, NY-- "Now that the baseball season is over I can concentrate a little more on my love of amateur racing," "Yankee Joe" Lee, the locker room manager for the New York Yankees said after he won a NAADA Trot this afternoon at Monticello Raceway. Well maybe it was that concentration Lee was referring to that enabled him to earn another driving victory when he won the Billings trot tonight (Thursday, Oct. 10) with On The Podium in 2:00.3 at Yonkers Raceway. After a wire-to-wire victory in the daylight at The Mighty M Lee found the winners circle under the lights with a covered trip after he gunned his trotter to the front and then sat comfortably in the two hole and followed Wygant Prince and "Coach Paul" Minore's lead. Although the 29 second first quarter took some sting out of Wygant Prince there was more stress for the old veteran when he didn't get a breather because he had to contend with a parked-out Gianni and driver "Mighty Matt Zuccarello. So while the aforementioned duo slugged it out on the engine Lee sat calmly in the pocket and was carried all the way to the top of the lane. Along the way Bobby "Rapid Rail" Krivelin with Permanent Joy, and Bob "the Brewster Flash" Ciavardini with Baltimor AS, worked their way into contention by the top of the stretch but not before Joe Lee scooted around Gianni and everyone was chasing On the Podium to the wire.. However, nobody caught him as Lee had a driving double, albeit at two different racetracks. Baltimor AS was second best while Permanent Joy had to settle for the show dough. Unlike the Monticello trots earlier in the day this was a non-wagering affair. Jose Godinez trains the winner for Lee, Tony Nicometo and the Blindswitch Racing Stable. For Joe Lee, who drove initially in 2010 and for the next five years only when he got time off from his obligations to the Bronx Bombers was he able to enjoy the competition of driving a spirited steed. During those years he notched five victories in 88 starts but since then he's had 41 driving victories and a National Amateur Driver of the Year Award bestowed on him last season. And his 10 wins thus far this year puts him in contention for another award. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series    

Northfield, Ohio---Patience is a virtue that usually pays dividends. Just ask Steve "You're Never Too Oldford, who won the mid-west region Billings trot with Kaffir Kemp Sunday evening (Oct. 14) at Northfield Park. "We left from the three-hole and settled down along the pylons and watched patiently as Gregg Keidel (with Nashville Holiday) got in an early speed duel with Tim Miller (Ona Dream) and after they slugged it out we came late and picked up all the pieces and went on to an easy victory." In that contest "Tiny Tim"Miller and Ona Dream scooted to the lead from post position two and then they had company in the presence of Nashville Holiday and Gregg "Fast Greggy" Keidel for the rest of the mile. The two raced side-by-side past the first stanza in :28 and were still like a team as they trotted by the halfway point in :57.1. Oldford said there was a lot of talk between the drivers of the two leaders but he couldn't make it out and just was happy that they kept a fast pace while he enjoyed cover all the way. Ona Dream, on the inside, and Nashville Holiday ,stalking him on the outside, were still one-two as they trotted by the three quarters in 1:28 . But Oldford was getting anxious to move. And that happened on the final turn when Steve pulled to go around the leaders and Kaffir Kemp scooted immediately the front. At the top of the lane Oldford had four lengths on his competition as Kaffir Kemp headed for paydirt. At the wire the extent of victory was six lengths as time flashed 1:58.1. While Ona Dream faded on the final turn amazingly Nashville Holiday hung tough despite an overland trip and finished second. Third place went to Buckeye Patty, driven by "Marvelous Marvin" Raber. "The Billings will be back here at Northfield Park on the next two Sundays, and we have to thank director of racing, Dave Bianconi for that ," Oldford said, and then added, "Dave is a great proponent of amateur racing." Kaffir Kemp, a veteran 9-year-old Angus Hall gelding, is owned by Oldford Racing and trained by Terry Deters. For Oldford, the vice president of the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series, it was his 141st lifetime victory. Currently with three consecutive driving victories Oldford is among the leaders for Amateur Driver of the Year honors. He sports a .314 UDRS on the strength of 11 wins, eight seconds and 12 third place finishes in 62 trips to post. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series  

Hamilton, ON---The CKG Billings Harness Driving Series, the amateur driving organization that blazed the way for the many that followed, moved north of the border to Canada for a pacing event at Flamboro Downs on Sunday evening Sept 30. In the event which included four Canadians and five Americans the former came out o top when "Dynamite Dave" Drew made every pole a winning one en route to a solid 4-1/2-length triumph with Simon Said in 1:57. Sent off as the 2-1 favorite from the two-hole Drew sent the son of American Ideal to the lead when the wings of the mobile gate folded but they were confronted by a determine Sly Baron and driver "Buffalo Bob" Davis. That challenge led to a speed duel on the front-end as the two passed the first stanza in :28.2 and the order remained the same as they passed the half in :57.3. But after that Sly Baron was nowhere in sight and he faded considerably. As Simon Said showed the way to the three quarters a new challenge came from Curious Phoenix (Fierce Freddy" Bourgault) but that didn't last long as he, like Sly Baron, faded. That allowed 35-1 shot Tyrelius Deo and driver Marielle "M T" Enberg to rally to second place, still four lengths behind Simon Said, but strong enough to gain second money when it was all over. Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford garnered the show dough with Terror Suspect who went off at odds of 20-1, The winner, Simon Said, paid $6,20. He is owned by Michael Arnold and Michael Dowling and trained by Dowling. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series

Batavia, NY -The ever-traveling CKG Billings Harness Driving Series moved on to Batavia Downs on Saturday(Sept. 29) for a eight-horse pace and just before it was all over Billings president, Tony "The Capo" Verruso, rallied Fridaynightflight to a come-from-behind 1:57.3 head victory over the pacesetter, Regal Mac driven "Buffalo Bob" Davis. This event is the first of three Billings races that will be presented on this tour. On Sunday the Billings moves some 50 miles north to Canada for a contest at Flamboro Downs. in Hamilton, Ontario. Then, on Monday it'll be on to Woodbine Mohawk for another trot in the eight-month amateur series. In tonight's contest Verruso fell into the two- hole as the rail horse, Regal Mac got into a speed duel with Story Book, after "Don Juan" Hoover gunned him out quickly but Davis wouldn't allow 37-1 shot to take command and opted to leave Hoover out in the fresh air. They raced side-by-side past the half in :58.2 and after that they had to send out the bloodhounds out to find Hoover's pacer who ended up distanced at the finish. Meanwhile after the speed duel with Story Book, Regal Mac then had to brace for Fridaynightflight who contentedly followed the action from the catbirds seat, as Regal Mac straightened up the backside Verruso moved his pacer off the pylons and the two leaders raced head-to-head past the three quarters, around the final turn, and all through the homestretch before Fridaynightflight got his head in front just before the wire to claim victory over a 'dead -game' Regal Mac in 1:57.3. David "Poppa" Glasser, who had a covered journey with Little Man Cam, finished third just a length and quarter behind the race winner. John Hallett trains the winner, a Panspacificflight 9-year-old whose owned by Lee Clark. Sent off as the favorite ,Fridaynightflight paid $4.20. For Verruso it was his second winning drive of the season and 70th of his amateur career. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series

Lexington, Ky--There's an old adage in harness racing which states "if you have the best horse in the race send him to the lead and if he gets beat on the front-end he wasn't the best". At The Red Mile early this Thursday evening, Richard "The Wolverine" Roach, tested that theory in a Billings trot and although that concept isn't foolproof in worked tonight. Sent off as the even-money favorite Roach sent Fairground Drama to the lead from the two-hole and then made every pole a winning one en route to a 1-1/2 triumph in 1:58.2 clocking. When the starter said go Fairground Drama got first call at the quarter pole as the timer flashed :29.2 with the race's second choice, Kaffir Kemp, and driver Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford, tight on Roach's back. From there they raced one-two past the halfway point in :58.1 and by the three quarters in 1:28 over a track rated 'good' from previous rain. At the wire Fairground Drama a length-and-a-half better than Kiffir Kemp as Rose Run Princess, and R "Cubbie" Van Wagoner,took home the show dough. Fairground Drama, a 7-year-old Groton Hall mare is owned nd trained by Peggy Grant. She paid $4.00 It was Roach's 138th driving victory and third this season. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series

Saratoga Springs, NY-The granddaddy of all amateur driving organizations, the CKG Billings Series,moved on to Saratoga Harness on Friday night (Sept. 21) for a trotting event and for the second consecutive week "Tough Tony" Ciuffetelli and his vastly improved Someway Same Hall romped over a six others when they scored an oh-so-easy 15-length victory winning in 1:56.4 by an amazing 15 lengths. It was the second consecutive triumph and seventh victory of the season for Ciuffetelli and the 7 year old altered son of Cash Hall. Last week at Freehold Raceway they won by eight lengths in 1:58.1. "Once I learned that he doesn't like me to grab him I've been letting him have his way and its really paying dividends," Ciuffetelli said about Someway Same Hall. "He loves the front-end and that's where he's happy so that's where I've been putting him lately." After starting from the four-hole Ciuffetelli was little more than a passenger as his veteran trotter zipped to the lead as the wings of the gate folded and they had four lengths on he field when they passed the first stanza in :28.1. The lead was opened to five lengths at the half as the timer flashed :56.3. When they headed for the three quarters they were eight in front and from there only the margin of victory was to be determined. They crossed the finish line 15 lengths ahead of Wygant Prince and driver "Coach Paul" Minore. Darron Hall and "Buffalo Bob" Davis chugged home third some 17 lengths behind the winner. Recently Ciuffetelli has battled back from a serious dose of Lyme disease and his health seems to be improving daily. He takes his well-being philosophically, so much so, that he calls his racing outfit, "The Tic Racing Stable". Sent off as the prohibitive betting favorite in the race Someway Same Hall paid just $2.80 for win. He's trained by Ciuffetelli, a retired prison guard, and owned by his Tic Racing Stable. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series

Delaware, Ohio---Harness racing's greatest traveling roadshow, the CKB Billings Amateur Driving Series, moved on to the hallowed grounds of the Little Brown Jug in Delaware, Ohio on Sunday, September 16 for a pair of trots in the Billings Series along with a pacing event for club members of various Billings organizations in the Fouts Memorial. When the lengthy card was completed Richard "the Wolverine" Roach and Joey "the Kid" Putnam won theirs respective divisions while Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford copped the Fouts Memorial. In his event "the Wolverine", up behind I'll Tell You What, was content to follow the pacesetter, Ki Ki Canolli, driven by Todd "the Downeaster" Whitney, through nearly even fractions to the three quarters and then rally his veteran 13 year-old Lockeeper gelding to a two-length triumph in a time of 1:59.2. Mike "the Mortgage Man" Mitchell was second under the wire with Bosston Tahoe while I'll Tell You What faded and finished third. The winner, owned by Janet Mathely and trained by Deb Clayton, paid $11.20. Joey Putnam and Sebiskit Bluegrass dominated their division as "The Kid" sent the Big Stick Lindy gelding to the lead from the four hole and they were comfortable until "Coach Paul" Minore moved Hititoutofthepark off the pylons as the field approached the three quarters. From there both trotters battled head-to- head all the way to the wire, with each exchanging leads at various intervals, but at the finish Putnam's Sebiskit Bluegrass was a neck winner. Third place went to Body Of Work in rein to Alesha"the Hoosier Hotshot:" Binkley. The race winner is owned by Dr. Luel Overstreet and trained by Joey's dad, Joe Putnam. He paid $6.40. In the Fouts Memorial seasoned veteran Steve Oldford showed the 'young'uns' how its done when he impressively hustled the Art Major 4-year-old, Arch Hanover to a head victory over H-and-N Dho Hailey, driven by Billings newcomer, Mariah " Nearly Always" Wright, in 1:57. Alesha Binkley took home the show dough with Badger Quinn The winner, owned by Marissa Russo and trained by her hubby, David, returned a $21.60 win payoff by John Manzi, for the Billings Series

Freehold, NJ-- There's an old adage in harness racing that states, "when you think your horse is the best in the race send him to the lead and if he gets beat on the front-end he probably wasn't the best." Case in point; today's (Sept 15th) Billings trot at Freehold Raceway. After "Tough Tony" Ciuffetelli sent Someway Same Hall to the lead from the four hole he obviously felt his trotter was the best in the field when he proceeded to park-out all comers and then roll on to an impressive 1:58.1 victory over six others. After the gate sprung both Fiji (Dave "the Rave" Offenberg) and Wygant Prince, in rein to "Coach Paul" Minore, were on the limb and Ciuffetelli seemed oblivious and left them on the outside as he hustled Someway Same Hall forward with Fiji right alongside while Wygant Prince was second over. Of course the challenges made the first fraction a swift :28.1 and at the halfway point the timer flashed :58.0. But Ciufferelli was undaunted as his steed began to pull away from the parked horses. At the three-quarters Ciuffetelli and Someway Same Hall had three lengths on the field which was opened to seven at the top of the lane. And when they headed for paydirt "Tough Tony" was looking around for company and they cruised to and easy 8-length triumph as the early challengers faded. Way Cry Hall and Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff were second under the wire while Fiji held on for the show dough. The winner is owned by the Tic Racing Stable and trained by Ciuffetelli. Although "Tough Tony" felt his horse was the best the betting crowd didn't concur and sent them off at odds of over 10-1 and Someway Same Hall paid $22.10. by John Manzi, for Billings Series

Northfield, Ohio-Over the past few weeks in the Billings mid-west region a battle has been raging between Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford and Michelle "the Belle" Ruvola. Oh, not a physical one, but a competition which involved their trotters; Steve's, Kaffir Kemp and Michelle's, Better Call Saul. It seems that they have been trading victories."We've been going back and forth recently. I won last night with Kaffir Kemp and Michelle got me last week with Better Call Saul," Oldford explained. And in the two previous weeks victory was either Oldford's or Ruvola's. Oldford, reached by phone, related that because of constant rain last night the track was muddy and visibility was tough. "I'm still wiping mud from places I never thought I would have to," he joked. In the race last night over the muddy oval eight trotters lined-up behind the mobile starting gate and even before the field was turned loose two had gone off stride. "I fired-up my guy before the start because I wanted to be on the lead," Oldford said. "He has always had good gate speed and we cleared to the lead from the five-hole but we had to deal with Marvin (Raber with Mikey Hanover) who was on the limb. So I opened-up some daylight with hopes he'd get in behind me, which he did," But lurking behind Mikey Hanover was the betting favorite, Better Call Saul and when the leaders straightened up the backside Ms. Ruvola moved Better Call Saul off the pylons. However, Kiffir Kemp was up to the challenge and they battled all the way to the wire and the victory belonged to Oldfield's trotter who was a head better than Ruvola's as the finish line timer flashed 1:58.2. After a slow start Grana Padanno, who trailed the leaders by some 12 lengths in the early going, rallied to finish third for Dean "What Am I Bid" Beachy. Kaffir Kemp is owned by the Oldford Stable LLC and trained by Terry Deters. He returned an $11.00 mutuel by John Manzi, for the Billings Series  

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