Monticello, NY --- There was plenty of action in the Billings Series this past weekend with two races at Batavia Downs on Friday, one at Vernon Downs on Saturday, and two on Sunday at the Delaware, Ohio Fairgrounds.
On Sept. 13 in Batavia, N.Y., “Dynamite Dave” Drew won the first split when he reined 18-1 shot Say It Best to a stunning come-from-behind triumph in a 2:05.2 clocking. The second division saw Simeon “Hot Rod” Hunsdon and favored Listen Hanover wear down the leaders and then pick up all the marbles after a 2:02.1 victory.
The visiting amateurs were afforded two drives on the card there that night.
The next evening in Vernon, N.Y., Bobby “Rapid Rail” Krivelin bided his time stalking the leader and then rallied to a 1:59.4 triumph with Gimme The Loot.
“Trader Bud” Hatfield won the first division of the Billings Amateur Trots over the lightning fast oval in Delaware, Ohio, for a record breaking sixth time when he guided Brother Gus to a head victory in a 2:00.4 clocking. An earlier split went to “Lawbook Larry” Farley when he scored a 2:03.2 victory with Rewrite The Rules.
At Batavia Downs, Dave Drew and Say It Best got away slowly from the eight hole and at the halfway point they were 18 lengths behind the leader Abigail Eden, driven by “Smokin’ Joe” Faraldo. Still nine lengths off at the third stanza and four lengths back at the top of the lane, Say It Best rallied and Drew got his trotter up in the final strides to collar “Mighty Matt” Zuccarello with Little Haus. Third place went to Christopher “Columbus” Shambo and Yankee Elizabeth.
Say It Best gave Drew his second winning drive in five outings this season and the 22nd of his amateur career.
In the other split, Hunsdon moved Listen Hanover at the half behind cover and they went three deep on the final turn to gain command and then cruised home a 1-1/4 length winner over Matt Zuccarello and Lima Jag. Dave Drew was third with Long Live America.
Listen Hanover, the odds-on favorite, paid $3.80 for win. It was Hunsdon’s first win after five starts this year and the 79th of his amateur career.
At Vernon Downs on Saturday, Bobby Krivelin bided his time with Gimme The Loot, behind the lead set by Matt Zuccarello and Northmedo Wine Guy. When the two headed for paydirt, Krivelin’s trotter was the stronger horse and they rallied to a length victory over Zuccarello’s charge in a 1:59.4 clocking. Third place went to Choke Hold, driven by Vladimir “Butch” Melnichenko.
Krivelin, last year’s National Amateur Driver of the Year, scored his eighth seasonal triumph and the 149th of his career.
He may not be driving as much as he did when he began, but “Trader Bud” knows his way around a racetrack, especially the one in Delaware, Ohio.
For a record breaking sixth time Hatfield reined a winner over the hallowed ground which is home to the Little Brown Jug, when he sent Brother Gus to the lead and made every pole a winning one en route to a 2:00.4 victory, albeit by just a head over a hard charging DW’s Perky Joe and driver “Tar Heel Tom” Williams. “Chicago George” Bonomo took home the show dough with Life Long Hanover.
Brother Gus returned an $8.00 win mutuel and gave Hatfield the 227th winning drive of his amateur career.
A second split was won by Larry Farley with a patient drive behind Rewrite The Rules. After Bob “I Wanna Sell You A Car” Chapman, with Beauty’s Ladygator, hooked up in a duel with “Marvelous Marv” Raber and Tabulator from the half until the top of the lane, it made for perfect cover for Farley and Rewrite The Rules, who were second along the pylons. And when the field straightened for home, Farley rallied Rewrite The Rules down the center of the track to nab Tabulator by a length in 2:03.1. Third place went to Sky Lav, driven by Kathryn “High Flying” Hawk.
Rewrite The Rules paid $7.60 for win and the victory gave Farley his third this season and 48th of his career.
Next Billings action is slated on Saturday (Sept. 21) at Freehold Raceway.