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Troyer The Talk Of The Midwest

Published: July 31, 2016 2:32 am ET

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Talk about dominating -- well that’s exactly what Bob “the Lumberman” Troyer and Heza Rube have been doing in the Midwest region of the C.K.G. Billings Amateur Driving Series.

For the fourth time this season, Troyer and Heza Rube hooked-up again for yet another victory in the granddaddy of all amateur driving series when they won the $6,000 Billings trot at the Summit Fair at Northfield Park on Saturday, July 30.

Sent off at odds of 3-1 in the 10-horse field, Heza Rube was third choice on the betting line despite starting from the pole position and having three wins in the series.

Surprisingly, 32-1 shot Celtic Merchant was sent to the lead from the seven-hole by Steve “You’re Never Too” Oldford and they gained command in the 29-second first quarter while Troyer was content to get away in third position.

“’Rube’ is usually a slow leaver, but tonight he got away real good and we were third at the quarter, which put us in good shape,” Troyer said afterwards.

As Oldford and Celtic Merchant showed the way to the half, four trotters were out on the limb, which moved Heza Rube back to fifth-place as they trotted by the halfway point in :59.1.

Celtic Merchant was still on the lead at the third stanza in 1:29.2, but as the field rounded the final turn and headed for paydirt, Mutinyonthebounty and Ned “the Insurance Agent” Hodkinson rallied to second-place. However, when the field straightened for home, Celtic Merchant kept Mutinyonthebounty at bay, but Oldford’s veteran trotter couldn’t rebuff the late charge by Heza Rube in the passing lane and Troyer’s charge went on to a head victory over Celtic Merchant in the 2:00.1 mile. Mutinyonthebounty, a length behind the first two finishers, was third-best.

“You know, 10 horses on a half-mile track keeps you on your toes, but I had a good trip hugging the pylons all the way,” Troyer said via telephone. “And when we headed for home Ned [Hodkinson with Mutinyonthebounty] went to the outside and I shot down the passing lane and caught Steve [Oldford] in the final strides to win it.”

Now with his fourth win in the Midwest region, Troyer was jokingly asked if he gets tired beating up on the others in this series, to which he quickly replied, “I kinda like it.”

Heza Rube, owned by Deborah Kvernmo and trained by Miles Wollam, paid $8.00 for win.

Troyer, a Buckeye from Middlefield, Ohio, has been participating the Billings Series since 2000 and tonight he scored his 80th driving victory.

(C.K.G. Billing Series)

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