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Billings Travels Through New York

Published: September 24, 2012 11:09 am ET

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The C.K.G. Billings Harness Driving Championship Series heads into the final quarter of this year’s events with just eight venues left before the Regional Finals which will be contested in early November.

This past weekend there were contests at Batavia Downs on Friday and at Vernon Downs on Saturday.

At Batavia there were two divisions; the first won by 'Smokin’ Joe Faraldo and the second copped by Howie “The Horse” Gelfand. At Vernon Dave “Steady As” Yarock took home all the bacon there and moved a bit closer to the east Region’s point leader, Rob “the Rapid Rail” Krivelin .

In the first split Faraldo got off the Billings schneid with a gate-to-wire victory with Anotherama A in a time of 1:59.2. In a rousing finish Faraldo’s charge hung tough and rebuffed a late challenge from Maes Boy Blue and driver Dave “Linemaster” Ehrenberg.

“Before the race I was told the only way to win was to get him (Anotherama A) to a slow half which I did, Faraldo explained.” We got there in 1:01:3 and was told later that he (Anotherama A) hasn’t seen a half that slow in five years.” Then when I put the pedal to the metal he trotted the last l half in :57.4. and held on to win it.”

“It’ll be a good turn up for me when (Dave) Seigel, (George) Bonomo, (Alan) Schwartz and I go to Germany for an amateur competition later this week.”

Trained by Dave McNeight for Limerick Racing Anotherama A paid $4.70 for win.

Faraldo’s victory was his 136th of his amateur career.

The second division at Batavia was won by Canadian amateur Howie Gelfand who made one of his rare appearances this year in Billings competition. And like Faraldo, Gelfand also used the front end route to victory when he hustled A Cam Fine Fella to an easy three-length triumph over fellow Canadian “Dynamite Dave” Drew with Seeyall later in a time of 1:59.3.

Owned and trained by Gary Nickerson the winner returned a $7.40 mutuel.

For Gelfand it was his 34th winning drive.

The next night in Vernon, NY, Dave Yarock used an overland trip to score a come-from-behind 1:58.2 victory with Guiding Light. After “Battlin’ Brad” Rathbone cut the fractions with Mystic Splender the wire was just a little too far away for him as his trotter faded and finished third. Yarock sailed around second place finisher Gate Keeper and Vladimir “Butch” Melnichenko to score the 1-1/4 length triumph.

Owned by Yarock Guiding Light is trained by Jimmy Doherty, Jr. Guiding Light paid $4.90 for win. For Yarock it was his 37th winning drive.

Next action in Billings competition will be at Freehold Raceway on Saturday.

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