Eight Billings members got their first look at the new Dayton Raceway when the track hosted a Billings Trot on Monday, October 20, and they were impressed.
“It rained nearly all day but when we went out to race the track was in pretty good condition,” noted “Chicago George” Bonomo, who now has the distinction of being the first Billings member to win a race at Dayton Raceway. He scored over seven others in a time of 2:00.2 with Life Long Hanover.
“I had a picture-perfect trip and couldn’t have asked for a better one, “Bonomo said via telephone after the race. “I had the four-hole and left softly and found a hole third along the pylons. From there it was easy. I just followed the flow in front of me.”
Bonomo’s decision to sit still worked out a perfect trip for him when he allowed Steve “You’re Never Too” Oldford to cut the fractions with TK’s Diva. Immediately in front of him was his daughter, Michelle Ruvolo, driving Tioga Thunder.
“In his (Tioga Thunder) last start at Delaware she won with him in 2:03 and I thought she’d be one to beat in here so I wanted to follow her. But for some reason her horse flattened out in the stretch but that enabled me to get out and when I did, my horse (Life Long Hanover) trotted by hers and I caught Steve (Oldford) and went on to a two length victory.
TK’s Diva and Oldford hung on for the place money. Good Friend and “Lawbook Larry” Farley got up in the final strides to deny Michelle Ruvola’s horse the show dough.
Bonomo owns the winner who is trained by Crist Hershberger. Sent off at odds of over 3-1 Life Long Hanover paid $8.20, $5.20 and $2.40 across the board.
“Gregg (Kiedel) and his staff went out of their way to be very helpful,” Bonomo added. “They greeted us and explained how to do things at this new facility. It’s a beautiful place, especially the paddock which holds 12 or 14 races under one roof. And after the race they took us up to the grandstand and we had a good meal. I can’t say enough nice things about the new racetrack here in Dayton.”