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Michelle “The Belle” Ruvola wins Midwest Billings Trot
Thursday, August 09, 2018 - by John Manzi, for the Billings Series

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Northfield, OH --- There's no doubt that the addition of slots at the pari-mutuel racetracks in Ohio has been a boon to the industry there. Not only are horsemen racing for bigger purses it has also fueled a resurgence of sorts in the amateur movement there, as well as in Pennsylvania, where slots have been the lay of the land for a few years now.

On Wednesday (Aug. 8) at Northfield Park in Ohio, a solid 10-horse field of amateur drivers each took a seat behind spirited steeds and raced for an $8,000 purse and when the dust had cleared “Michelle the Belle” Ruvola stuck it to the boys -- her dad included -- when she guided Better Call Saul to an easy 3-1/2 length triumph in a 1:59.1 clocking.

After starting from the four-hole Michelle settled her trotter in along the pylons in third position as “Marvelous Marvin” Raber and Mikey Hanover showed the way by the quarter in :29.3. Heading to the halfway point she moved Better Call Saul first-up and they slowly kept moving forward. Third at the half, second at the three-quarters, and still second -- by two lengths -- at the top of the stretch Ruvola finally gave her trotter his head and Better Call Saul put it in high gear and rambled on to an easy victory over Mikey Hanover. Sneaky Sam finished third for Gregg “Fast Greggy” Keidel and Michelle's dad, George Bonomo, was fourth with Time Outa Jail.

Contacted via email Michelle was understandably jubilant after her victory and she responded: “Still feeling the excitement of finishing first under the wire. It never gets old. Saul was really on the bit in warm-up and came through for the race. Got a hole, race went in nice fractions, and when we popped out to take on Mikey, Saul was ready and willing. Thanks "Team Saul" for the win. By the way, I'm still smiling.”

Better Call Saul is owned by Wolf Creek Farm and trained by Crist Hershberger. He paid $8.20 for win.

For Michelle, a businesswoman from Naperville, Ill., who only has time to drive sparingly, it marked her first seasonal victory and 40th of her amateur career.

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