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Batavia, Vernon Host Amateur Series

Published: September 28, 2015 12:17 am ET

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“Bullet Bob” Davis may have started out slowly in this season’s C.K.G. Billings Amateur Driving Series, but lately he’s caught fire winning his last three starts in harness racing’s seven-month traveling sideshow.

His latest victory was at Batavia Downs on Friday night, September 2 when he guided pacer Royal Ashton to a 1:57.3 triumph in a Billings test there.

Davis, a self-employed business man and horse owner from Saratoga Springs, New York, thinks nothing of getting in his car and traveling the Billings circuit to drive against his fellow amateurs. And all his wayfaring hasn’t been in vain, especially of late.

“On August 30, I drove 15 hours -- one way -- to race on Prince Edward Island in the Canadian Maritimes and I won this Billings split there. Then on September 13, I traveled seven hours one way from my home in Saratoga Springs, New York to race in the Billings series at Flamboro Downs and scored a victory there, too,” Davis explained. ”And my third win in a row in the Billings was on September 25 after trekking five hours to Batavia Downs.”

At that western New York double-oval, Davis used the front end route with his catch-drive to vanquish his competition.

Sent off as the second choice from the two-hole, Davis not only rated an even mile, but his charged incredibly paced every quarter in exactly :29.2 en route to a 1:57.3 tally.

“I never really had any challenges until the half, but even then my horse was well in command and we sailed home an easy winner,” Davis said.

That he did. A late charge from “Howie the Horse” Gelfand, with favoured Precise Accusation, fell a length short at the wire. Third place, some three lengths behind the winner, was Inform, driven by Anthony “Tough Tony” Cuiffetelli.

Royal Ashton, a four-year-old His Mattjesty gelding, owned by Keith Pinkowsi and Curtis Edholm and trained by Mihajlo Zdjelar Jr., paid $6.50 for the win.

Harness racing has always been an integral part of David “Proud Poppa” Glasser’s life since his folks, Arthur and Evelyn, were prominent horse owners during his youth and his love for the sport never diminished over the years.

True, he got a college education, but he always dabbled in and loved any opportunity that afforded him a chance to sit behind a spirited steed. And on Saturday evening (Sept. 26) at Vernon Downs, the president of a litigation support company scored his first seasonal driving victory when he copped a Billings trot in a time of 1:57.2 with Celebrity Stimulus, a five-year-old altered son of Cantab Hall, which he co-owns with Joel Golub.

After starting from the two-hole, Glasser was content to allow “Howie the Horse” Gelfand to take command with De Nada at the first stanza as the timer flashed :27.2. From there, Glasser sat chilly and followed the cover afforded by Gelfand’s charge even when trailing horses made moves up the backside to challenge the leader. But on the final turn, Glasser saw daylight and moved his trotter alongside De Nada and then charged to the lead as Bob “the Headhunter” Hechkoff rallied with favoured Berkshire. Both trotters raced side-by-side down the lane, but after their covered trip Celebrity Stimulus was the strong horse and spurted off to a one and a half length triumph. Although Berkshire faded in the deep stretch, he held on for second-place, a length ahead of Pixel Queen, who was in rein to Scott “the Driving Doctor” Woogen.

Celebrity Stimulus, trained by Homer Hochstetler, was sent off as second choice in the race and paid $5.50 for win.

The Billings Series moves on with races slated at both Yonkers Raceway and the Red Mile on Thursday, Oct. 1.

(Billings Series)

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