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Verruso Takes Billings At Batavia

Published: September 29, 2018 11:11 pm ET

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The ever-traveling Billings Harness Driving Series moved on to Batavia Downs on Saturday, Sept. 29 and Billings-president Tony Verruso rallied Fridaynightflight to a 1:57.3 off-the-pace victory over pacesetter Regal Mac driven Bob Davis.

Verruso dropped into the two hole as the rail horse, Regal Mac, got into a speed duel with Story Book after Don Hoover gunned him out quickly for the front. Davis wouldn't allow the 37-1 shot to take command and opted to leave Hoover parked. They raced side-by-side past the half in :58.2. Story Book and Hoover quickly faded out of the mix.

Regal Mac then had to brace for Fridaynightflight, tracking from the pocket. As Regal Mac straightened up the backside, Verruso moved his pacer off the pylons and the two raced head-to-head past the three-quarters, around the final turn and all through the homestretch. Fridaynightflight got his head in front just before the wire to claim victory over Regal Mac in 1:57.3. David Glasser, who had a covered journey with Little Man Cam, finished third just a length and quarter behind the race winner.

John Hallett trains the winner, a Panspacificflight nine-year-old who's owned by Lee Clark. Sent off as the favourite, Fridaynightflight paid $4.20. For Verruso it was his second winning drive of the season and 70th of his amateur career.

This event is the first of three Billings races that will be presented on this tour. On Sunday, Sept. 30, the Billings moves some 50 miles north to Canada for a contest at Flamboro Downs. in Hamilton, Ontario. Then, on Monday, Oct. 1, it'll be on to Woodbine Mohawk for another trot in the eight-month amateur series.

(With files from the Billings Series)


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