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Billings Champ Returns To Winner's Circle


Published: May 18, 2009 10:33 am ET

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Though scheduled for Saturday, May 16 the Billings “wild card” contest at Hoosier Park was moved back a day because of Indiana State racing rules, but the date change made little difference to “Tar Heel Tom” Williams who not only was ready, but has picked up where he left off last year by winning the event.

Williams, last year's National Amateur Driver of the Year and Billings Champion, seemed to have very little trouble after he jumped up behind Jon Anderson’s, D Ws Perky Joe, and guided the five-year-old Super Ben Joe gelding to an easy four-length victory in a 1:58:4 clocking over Prime Number and driver “Lawbook Larry” Farley. Third place in that contest went to Likaty who was in rein to Mike “the Mortgage Man” Mitchell.

It was the 59th career driving victory for Williams whose seasonal UDR is usually above .420. Last season he finished with a .481 driving percentage.

More Billings action was on tap on Sunday afternoon, May 17 at Saratoga Raceway where another “wild card” contest went into the books as Harvey “Doc” Stein guided the Stein Racing Stables' Im Dam Goog to a come-from-behind 2:03:4 victory. Second place went to the lightly regarded, 36-1 shot Dunmore Topaz, who was in rein to “Smokin’ Joe” Faraldo. As the field headed for home it actually appeared that Dunmore Topaz was might light-up the tote board, but when “Doc” Stein had Im Dam Goog three deep on the final turn the veteran 14-year-old rallied down the center of the track to score a one length triumph over “counselor Joe” and Dumore Topaz.

Road trouble hindered the third place finisher, Double Strength, who started from post position seven and never really got a clear shot at the leaders until late in the mile. Dave “Yes Its True” Offenberg was in the pilot’s seat that afternoon.

In his previous driving victory this season at Monticello Raceway Stein reined 38-1 shot Onomatopoeia home first even though he told his wife he had no chance and not to bet on him. It’s not clear if Mrs. Stein plunked-down any sheckles on Im Dam Goog, but if she did she won $9.60 for every two bucks wagered.

For Stein, it marked his 21st career driving victory.

Next action in the “Grand Circuit of Amateur Racing” will be on Monday, May 25 over the mile oval at the Meadowlands.

(Monticello Raceway)

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