Monticello, NY --- In the nine-horse Billings trot at Scioto Downs on Friday (June 7), “Trader Bud” Hatfield sent Brother Gus to the lead from the five hole and played catch me if you can. And nobody could.
The outstanding amateur driver, whose auto dealership is among the most prevalent in Columbus, Ohio, made every pole a winning one en route to a two length triumph over 20-1 shot Tag The Lady and driver “Marvelous Marvin” Raber. Third money went to Gracious Man driven by Bob “the Lumberman” Troyer.
“My horse was in top form for the race but we got a little lucky when Dave (Ehrenberg) had to scratch Donnamom because if she started I believe she would have won it,” Hatfield said. “But she didn’t go and we ended up the best. That’s horse racing.”
Brother Gus is owned by the Hatfield Stables of Columbus, Ohio and trained by Brent Davis. The 7-year-old Pegasus Spur gelding paid $6.60 for win.
Hatfield is nationally recognized as one of the top amateur drivers in the sport. He was named Amateur Driver of the Year in 1998 but in recent years he has been driving sparingly.
“A lot of people think I’m out of this thing but I’m coming back strong to kick butt,” Hatfield said about his involvement this season in the C.K.G. Billings Amateur (now Harness) Drivers Series.
Energized from what he sees going on in the state of Ohio, Hatfield is very optimistic about the future of racing in the Buckeye State.
“Things are really picking up at Scioto and all over Ohio since we got the slots,” he said. “Here at Scioto they refurbished the race track which is now lightning fast and the crowds are coming back. After some lean years the atmosphere around here and throughout the state now is great.”
Billings action will continue this weekend with events at Yonkers Raceway on Friday (June 14), at Raceway Park on Saturday (June 15), and at Buffalo Raceway on Sunday (June 16).