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Hambletonian Amateur Trot winners at the Big M

August 03, 2012

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Don Hoover and Tina Duer were winners of the Hambletonian Amateur Trots at The Meadowlands on Thursday, August 2. Although not exclusively for members of the C.K.G. Billings Harness Driving Championship Series the Hambletonian Amateur Trots have been popular venues since the world class race for sophomore trotters became a part of the Meadowlands racing agenda.

Still, the overwhelming amount of participating drivers in the Hambo Amateur Trots consist of Billings members. According to the rules of the 32-year old series, drivers in those events can only earn points in the Billings Series if their trotters fit the Billings conditions. But that doesn’t mean if their horse doesn’t fit the conditions that they can’t race it’s just that they will not earn any Billings points.

Accordingly, both winners of the two Hambletonian Trots will not gain any points. Although  Don” We’re Ready To Draw” Hoover is  a Billings member-- and racing secretary at Saratoga Raceway—his romping 16-length triumph with  Scorpion Moon in an eye-opening 1:55 earned him a trophy but zero points in the Billings Series, because his horse did not fit the Billings conditions.

On the other hand, Tina Duer is not a member of the Billings Series.  Still she had no trouble copping her division despite  going an overland route until the  final turn where her trotter, Love U Overandover, scooted away to open lengths and together they scored and easy four length victory in a time of 1:56.1 in the non betting division.

Billings member "Battlin’ Brad” Rathbone rallied Valdez to finish second while Dave "Linemaster Ehrenberg III, also a member, took home the show dough with Bet it All.

For Ms Duer it was her first competitive driving victory.

Don Hoover’s victory was on the betting card and he showed no mercy to his fellow participants.

After leaving  slowly from the nine-hole Hoover made a quarter pole move and hustled his mount, Scorpion Moon, to the front at the half and from their  Hoover could have read a book as Scorpion Moon just kept trotting away from his competition finishing16 lengths ahead of Perfect Chance driven by Kelly "Sky” Walker. Third place went to Sam’s Honeybee and  Billings Series president  Tony "the Capo” Verruso, who earlier that afternoon, reined a winner in an amateur contest at Monticello Raceway.

Steve "”You’re Never Too” Oldford finished fourth with Howmac’s Amigo and "Mighty Mike” Weiner  was fifth best with Rapid Strategy.  Weiner, along with Oldford, Hoover, and Walker who were up behind trotters that didn’t fit Billings conditions and  thus they earned no points.

For Hoover, who now drives sparingly, it was his fourth win in 12 seasonal starts and the 157th  of his driving career.

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