Oldford wins Billings East Regional final
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The 2019 CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series is now in the books after $25,000 Gold Cup Championship Finals in the series Midwest and Eastern regions. Friday night at The Meadows Kelly “Sky” Walker emerged victorious with Keystone Blade in the Midwest final and Saturday at Yonkers Raceway Steve “You're Never Too” Oldford scored with Blasco in the East Regional finale.
Both Billings Gold Cup finals were contested at a distance of 1-1/4 mile. Keystone Blade was victorious in 2:30 while Blasco scored in 2:29.1.
Unlike Friday night's Gold Cup Final where the winner returned a $38.60 mutuel Oldford's trotter was second choice in the wagering and paid $6.10.
In tonight's contest Oldford hustled Blasco to the lead from the two-hole and was in front when he passed the first quarter in :28.2. But as they trotted beyond the quarter pole Oldford, still on the pylons, opened up some daylight which allowed Minore to settle a parked Wygant Prince in behind him.
As Blasco showed the way by the half mile pole “Yankee Joe” Lee moved the favorite, Inukchuk Chuck to the outside from far back and began moving up but he had to go three- deep as they neared the three quarter pole to get around Wygant Prince.
Still in charge Blasco was a length to the good when he passed the one- mile marker in 1:59:3. And through the lane despite constant urging by Joe Lee, Inukchuk Chuck couldn't make up any ground on the leader and finished second, 1-1/2 lengths behind Blasco. Wygant Prince held on for the show dough.
Oldford had qualified his trotter Utopia for the Midwest Gold Cup Final but they finished off the board. However, they more than made up for that with a gutsy win by Blasco in tonight's East Region Gold Cup Final.
Blasco is owned by Oldford Racing and trained by Ethan Cisco.
Although there is no award for best trotter in the BIllings Series one could easily nominate the Nick Surick-trained, Inukchuk Chuk. The veteran trotter won five Billings trots this year with four different drivers: Sofia Zingale, Tyler Miller, Kiara Morgan and two wins by Hannah Miller. (John Manzi/Billings)