Often overlooked when it comes to amateur racing is that, besides driving, a good many of the sportsmen are also owners and many race their own stock in the amateur events, especially in the granddaddy of all amateur driving events, the C.K.G. Billings Harness Driving Series. And furthermore, these gentlemen drivers employ professional trainers.
Take for instance the Billings Trot at Freehold Raceway on Saturday afternoon (May17). In that race the first three horses under the wire were, Mr. Jim Dandy, Get Packin and Gimme The Loot, and each was driven by its owner; Dave “Yes Its True” Offenberg, Bob “the Headhunter” Hechkoff and Bob “Rapid Rail” Krivelin, respectively. Add that to the fact that each of the aforementioned horses is under the care of a professional trainer and you get a glimpse of what amateur drivers bring to the table.
In what was the fifth event in the year-long series, and third in the eastern region, Offenberg’s victory, his second in the east at Freehold , has vaulted him to the top of the leaderboards, both in the east region as well as in the overall points standings board. Now with 29 points his total is two points better than that of runner-up Bob Hechkoff’s.
Now in his 17th season of amateur driving, Offenberg is coming off a personal best having won six races last year and now with two wins already this year he could be heading for a personal milestone.
A longtime owner of quality racehorses Offenberg, a successful businessman, whose won 45 races thus far in his amateur driving career, earned his nickname after having been the owner of the great pacing mare, Yes Its True.
In the Freehold Raceway contest last Saturday Offenberg and his trotter Mr Jim Dandy got away in fifth position from the six-hole and they used a second-over trip to wear down Get Packin and then go on to a 1-1/4-length triumph in a time of 2:01.3. Hechkoff’s Get Packin held on for second while Gimme The Loot and Krivekin took home the show dough,.
As aforementioned Mr. Jim Dandy a 6-year-old Classic Photo gelding, is owned by Offenberg and trained by the “Little Redman”, Eric Abbatiello. He paid $11.90 for win.
Next Billing’s action will be in the eastern region at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday, May 22