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Hechkoff Delivers In Billings

Published: April 30, 2016 8:05 pm ET

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If there’s one thing that Bob “the Headhunter” Hechkoff learned since he became an amateur driver is that when you have the best horse in a race go the front, control the race, and make the others try to catch you.

And that’s precisely what the Executive Recruiter did with The Franchise in Saturday’s Billings trot at Freehold Raceway. After they gained control nobody could catch them and they got first-call on every pole to go on and score a 2:00.2 victory in the six-horse race.

“We had to work a little to make the front from the five-hole but once we were on top we controlled the race,” Hechkoff offered after his victory. "And my horse was strong all the way to the wire."

Hechkoff and The Franchise had to hustle to get the lead from the five-hole but they cleared the other five horses coming off the first turn and they had command by the first quarter which was trotted in a swift :28.4. Once on the lead they made every pole a winning one en route to a neck triumph over Hit The Hill and driver “Yankee Joe” Lee. Third place went to Sams Honeybee who was driven by his owner and Billings president, Tony “the Capo” Verruso.

It was the second seasonal victory for the Muscles Yankee six-year-old gelding who is co-owned by his driver and his trainer, Kyle Spagnola. The Franchise paid $2.60 for win.

Coming off his best season as an amateur driver where he won 23 races during 2015 it was “the Headhunter’s” third seasonal triumph and 80th win since he joined the amateur ranks in 2000.

(CKG Billings Series)

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