“Marvelous Marvin” Raber notched his first amateur driving victory of the season when he guided Washingtonian to a stunning 1:56.4 victory in a Midwest region CKG Billings Series trot at Northfield Park on Friday evening, July 10.
Sent off as the betting favorite in the race from the two-hole Raber quickly took command with the veteran Malabar Millennium gelding and led the eight-horse field by the first quarter in a swift :28 seconds. From there Raber played catch me if you can and nobody could as Washingtonian toured the speedy double oval in a time of 1:56.4 for a seven length triumph.
“I was being hard pressed by Steve( Oldford with Bold Strike, the second choice in the wagering) but when his horse made a break going to the half I felt very confident in our chances to win it. My horse was still strong and he trotted away from the field and cruised to an easy victory,” Raber explained.
Speed Hanover and “Lawbook Larry” Farley finished second while YF Crasher and “Marlin the Magician” Smith took home the show dough.
Washingtonian, owned and trained by Larry Clabaugh, notched his second seasonal triumph and returned a $4.40 win mutuel. It was only the fourth seasonal drive for Raber who currently has 34 career driving victories.
Now with eight venues in the books in the Billings Midwest regionals Steve “You’re Never Too” Oldford continues to lead the with 53 points. Dave “Linemaster” Ehrenberg is second with 30 points and “Hurricane Hannah” Miller’s, 27, is currently third best. Raber now with 23 points ranks fourth while Larry Farley, with 19 points is fifth.
Rounding out the top ten are: “Michelle the Belle” Ruvola (18) “Bullet Bob” Davis (14.5), Bob “Lumberman” Troyer (14), “Chicago George” Bonomo (13) and Kelly “Sky” Walker (13).