After two events in Ontario over the past weekend harness racing's greatest traveling road show, the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series, was on the move again Thursday for a trotting contest at Monticello Raceway and on the rainy and chilly afternoon in the Sullivan County Catskills, Robert “Rapid Rail” Krivelin used the front-end route with his old warhorse, Permanent Joy, to win the East Region Billings trot over a sloppy race course.
When the gate sprung Krivelin sent his charge to the lead and they were joined by Six Bax and driver Tony “the Capo” Verruso. but when Krivelin showed that he wanted the front-end Verruso took back and settled his trotter in behind Permanent Joy.
“I wanted the front knowing my horse swells-up when he's on the lead,” Krivelin related. “And once he's in front he's hard to beat.”
Krivelin led his challengers by the quarter in :29.4 and they were comfortable when they passed the half in 1:01.
When Permanent Joy approached the three-quarters he still had three-lengths on his competition but that lead quickly began to dissipate when Broadway Bruiser and driver “Mighty Matt” Zuccarello, came roaring down the stretch. However, their rally fell a neck short of overtaking the leader and they had to settle for second money.
“I heard them coming and so did Permanent Joy", Krivelin said. "He dug in and refused to lose.”
March Madness, driven by Annie “Get Your Gun” Stoebe took home the show dough.
Krivelin owns and trains the winner who returned a $13.80 mutuel.
It was the 42nd career win for the 11-year-old Trot For Joy gelding. And for Krivelin, a three-time National Amateur Driver of the Year, it marked his 220th driving victory.
(CKG Billings Series)