As the C.K.G. Billings Harness Driving Series heads into the homestretch the battle for the Eastern Region points championship drew ever closer when both Tony “the Capo” Verruso and Robert ”Rapid Rail” Krivelin each were victorious in their respective divisions at Yonkers Raceway Thursday evening (Oct.23). Verruso won with Its Bush Time in 2:02.1 while Krivelin copped his division with Current Crisis in a time of 2:01.
In his split Verruso left softly from the four hole with Its Bush Time and settled in along the pylons in fifth position. They moved up to fourth at the halfway point as “Johnny on the Spot” Kolkowski cut the fractions with Alaric.
Up the backside Verruso moved to challenge and his trotter was second alongside the leader at the third stanza. Meanwhile “Mighty Matt” Zuccarello with Homer Jay, followed Verruso around the final turn and when they headed for paydirt the three trotters were side by side and it appeared to be anyone’s race especially when all three trotters hit the finish line nearly simultaneously. That caused the judges to scrutinize the photo and when they did they found Its Bust Time a head winner over Homer Jay with Alaric a nose back in third place. All three trotters were time in 2:02.1.
Its Bush Time is owned by the Allen Cisco Stable of Michigan. For Verruso, the president of the Billings Series, it marked his fourth seasonal triumph and 52nd of his amateur driving career.
Krivelin’s journey, with Current Crisis, was somewhat different than Verruso’s because David “Poppa” Glasser sped away from the gate with Sir Siro and they trotted by the quarter in a stiff :28.3 which had the trailing horses gapped.
Krivelin’s trotter was 13-lengths behind at the first stanza in fifth position but Current Crisis didn’t remain there.
When Glasser stepped on the breaks Krivelin was out and going with Current Crisis and they were third on the limb at the halfway point two lengths off the leader. But up the backside Krivelin got the best of Glasser and Current Crisis opened up three lengths on Sir Siro.
In the lane Krivelin and Current Crisis braced for a stiff challenge from Celtic Merchant and driver Paul “the Coach” Minore who was following Sir Siro from the get-go. But Current Crisis was up to the challenge and finished a one length winner over Celtic Merchant. Sir Siro tired, but still finished third.
Krivelin owns the winner and for him it was his 165th driving victory.
With just one east region trot remaining at Pocono Downs on November 12th , both Verruso and Krivelin may be looking for mounts there.
Verruso earned 13 points for his victory and now has 54 points which moves him to third place on the Eastern Region which leaves him nine points behind leader, “Mighty Matt” Zuccarello’s 63 . leaderboard.
Krivelin also earned 13 points and is now in fourth place with 46 points . A good showing at Pocono
Downs by any of the drivers near the top of the leadrerboard could determine the East region points champion.
The overall Billings Series finale – the Delvin Miller Gold and Silver Cup Championships—will be contested at Chester Downs (Harrah’s Philadelphia) on Sunday, November 23.