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Hechkoff Kicks To CKG Billings Win

Published: May 25, 2019 9:21 pm ET

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The CKG Billings Harness Driving Series, the granddaddy of all amateur driving programs, was again on the move on Saturday, May 25 where nine Eastern Region members competed over the mile oval at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey. And when the event was finalized, Bob “the Headhunter” Hechkoff and Noble Warrawee rallied to the lead at the top of the stretch and then held off a hard-charging Broadway Bruiser with Tony “the Capo” Verruso to score a head victory in a 1:58 clocking.

When the wings of the mobile gate folded “Joltin' Joe” Pennacchio and Montepulciano grabbed the racetrack and had command by first by the quarter in :28. However, they were challenged on the outside by both Landonfitz with Dave “the Rave” Offenberg and Jacks To Open, driven by “Hurricane Hannah” Miller.

Montepulciano passed the half in :57.1 but could not shake his competitors. When the field approached the third quarter Jacks To Open began to fade but Landonfitz was still at Montepuchino's throat-latch.

With the traffic slowing on the front, “Yankee Joe” Lee wheeled Talkaholic three wide and Hechkoff didn't wait to move Noble Warrawee to the far outside. Both challengers cleared the leaders but trouble loomed for them as Connie Keeper and Scott “the Driving Doctor” Woogen got first call at the top of the lane. That lead was short-lived as Noble Warrawee battled back and the veteran trotter gained command as they headed down the long lane.

Just when it seemed that Hechkoff's horse was home free, Tony “the Capo” Verruso had Broadway Bruiser in high gear and the two trotters battled to the finish line. After a tight photo Noble Warrawee got the decision over Broadway Bruiser. Connie Keeper held on for third money, just a head in front of Talkholic.

The winner, a 10-year-old Angus Hall gelding, is owned by Hechkoff's RBH Ventures and trained by Scott Di Domenico. He paid $16.00 for win.

The Billings Series goes international the next two days with contests in Canada; Sunday, May 26 at Flamboro Downs and Monday, May 27 at Woodbine Mohawk.

(with files from CKG Billings)

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