Dein Spriggs and Garlandandpearls captured the CKG Billings Amateur Driving division held at Vernon Downs on its Saturday amateur drivers on its Saturday, September 23 program.
Hustling off the gate, Garlandandpearls avoided confusion caused by breaking horses at the start of the race and led by the first quarter, three lengths clear of competitors in :28.2.
Unpressured, Spriggs slowed the tempo, passing the half in :59.3. The two then quickened the pace and handily held command at three-quarters in 1:29.
Around the final turn, Garlandandpearls braced for a challenge from Toss Cartwright, but Garlandandpearls kept Toss Cartwright at bay and went on to a length victory in 1:57.3. Third place, some eight lengths behind the winner, was Bob Davis with Jelectric, who was stymied at the beginning of the race.
Sent off as second choice in the wagering, Garlandandpeals paid $8.30 for win. The six-year-old Futile Qwest gelding is trained by Patti Harmon.
Spriggs was National Amateur Driver of the Year twice, in 2004 and 2005, and is narrowing in on a third title with 14 wins in 33 seasonal drives.
Next up in Billings action will be Midwest Region Trot at the Red Mile in Lexington, Ky.on September 28.
(With files from the CKG Billings)