After competing at Flamboro Downs on Sunday (Oct.5) the Billings Series action in Canada continued on Monday(Oct. 6) at Mohawk Raceway where Michiganders, Steve “You’re Never Too” Oldford and Mike “the Mortgage Man” Mitchell, each emerged victorious in their respective divisions; Oldford with Bold Strike and Mitchell with Unabating.
The two-day trip marked the second time this season that Billings members raced in Canada, initially competing over a weekend in early September at two racetracks in the Maritimes.
Although going into his contest on Monday as the leading point-earner in the lengthy amateur driving series, Oldford added even more points to his seasonal total after reining his own Bold Strike to a gate to wire triumph in a time of 1:58:4.
Second place went to Kelly “Sky” Walker who rallied Protégé Seelster from 13- lengths back at the quarter pole to finish second, a length behind the winner. Once again, Canada’s own Howie the Horse” Gelfand took home the show dough—as he did yesterday at Flamboro Downs—this time with Back To Peace.
“I had the rail and sent my horse to the lead and we went down the road. I got to steal a few fractions along the way and my horse was still strong in the stretch,” Oldford related. “It was fun, but then again, it’s always fun when you win.”
Bold Strike, owned by Oldford, paid $7.40 for win.
Oldford’s traveling companion, Mike Mitchell, was also victorious but his triumph came behind a catch - drive..
In that contest Mitchell had the heavy favorite, Unabating from the two hole, and they got away slowly –fifth at the first panel 13 lengths back—allowing “Mighty Matt” Zuccarello with BWT Taj to lead the field by the quarter in :27.
Still on the engine at the halfway point in :56.3, as Zuccarello headed to the third stanza Mitchell began to move closer to the lead and with a three-deep move on the final turn Unabating trotted by BWT Taj and breezed home a solid winner in 1:56.
“I was told that my horse would not leave (the starting gate) good but once the race got underway I’d be able to do anything I want with him,” Mitchell said. “Still being so far behind in the early going made me a little nervous. But we caught the leaders and in the lane my horse finished like the favorite he was.”
Zuccarello and BWT Taj finished second while yet another Michigander, “Jerry the Jet” Mihelich was third with Natural Forces.