Day At The Track

Saratoga Billings leg goes to Tony Ciuffetelli

11:10 AM 25 Aug 2018 NZST
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Tony Ciuffetelli, harness racing
Tony Ciuffetelli won the Billings Series leg at Saratoga Raceway

Harness racing's greatest traveling roadshow, the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series, moved to the swift double oval at Saratoga Raceway in Saratoga Springs, NY for a what looked like very competitive 8-horse trot in the Eastern region and when the judges hung the official sign "Touch Tony" Ciuffetelli emerged victorious with Someway Same Hall in 1:59.2.

But as it turned out it the final result was never in doubt as Ciuffetelli and his trotter sped the lead and bottomed-out the field and coasted to a 1-1/2 length triumph after leading by 10 lengths at the three quarters.

When the starter said go Little Big Rigs and driver "Buffalo Bob" Davis went for the lead from the four-hole only to be seriously challenged on the outside by Ciuffetelli and Someway Same Hall. Davis finally grabbed leather and allowed Ciuffetelli to take command in the :28.1 first quarter.

Someway Same Hall was so wound-up that he opened eight lengths on the field as he trotted by the halfway point in a swift :56.4. But "Tough Tony" just allowed his horse to continue forward and at the three quarters they had a 10-length lead. That margin shrank to five lengths at he top of the stretch and despite a :32.3 final panel they were home free as Little Big Rigs closed the gap but he was relegated to second place.

EJ's Last Dance and Billings president "Tony "the Capo" Verruso, who were 17-lengths off the lead at the half, rallied to finish third just 3-1/2 lengths behind the winner.

The attending crowd knew the best horse in the race was Someway Same Hall and they sent him away as the odds-on favorite and he returned a $3.60 mutuel.

The winner, a 7-year old altered son of Cash Hall, is owned by the Tic Racing Stable and trained by Ciuffetelli.

It was "Tough Tony's fifth seasonal driving victory and the 56th of his amateur driving career.

by John Manzi, for the Billings Series

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