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Ruvola Wins Billings Battle At Meadows

Published: August 25, 2018 12:12 am ET

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Michelle “The Belle” Ruvola (driving Better Call Saul) and Stephen “You’re Never Too” Oldford (aboard Kaffir Kemp) dueled for more than a half-mile on Friday at The Meadows before Ruvola drew away in the stretch to capture a $10,000 leg of the C.K. G. Billings Amateur Trot.

With Ruvola parked out and Oldford refusing to release any challengers, the stage for the battle was set. Despite the demanding trip, Ruvola's trotter surged late to defeat Oldford by four lengths in 1:57.4 for trainer Christ Hershberger and owner Wolf Creek Farm. The six-year-old Muscle Massive-Kelsies Song gelding pushed his career bankroll to $131,338. Tom “Mayhem” Svrcek (Fair Glider) and “Chicago” George Bonomo (Time Outa Jail) completed the ticket.

With his tough journey, it wasn’t clear that Better Call Saul would have anything left for the drive.

“I wasn’t too sure, but he felt strong all the way,” Ruvola said. “So I was hoping, and he just wouldn’t give it up. I asked him a bit, but when I asked, he gave.”

It was the third straight Billings leg in which Ruvola has out-finished Bonomo, her father. Despite retaining family bragging rights, she indicated she wouldn’t lord it over her dad.

“I feel bad about that, kind of,” she said. “It’s a horse race — we’re not father and daughter out there; we’re fellow racers. But I won’t (needle him). I’m nice.”

(With files from The Meadows)

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