By john manzi for the Billings Amateur Driving Series
Bob Davis enjoyed his best day ever competing in amateur races when he won both Billings Series races at Buffalo Raceway on Sunday, June 26. Davis won the first event – a pace—with Goddess’s Justin in a time of 1:59.4 and came back cop the second Billings race- a trot—with Christina Victory in 2:03.2.
When this seasons Billings Series began Bob Davis carried the moniker of “Bullet Bob”, but since he won both Billings contests at Buffalo Raceway he’ll now be known as “Buffalo Bob” Davis. And according to Davis himself, in five races that he’s had over the Erie County double-oval he has won four times, certainly enough to encourage a change his nickname.
For a sportsman who travels far distances just for the opportunity to drive competitively in one, or two, races some might wonder why Davis does this since he receives no remuneration.
“I do it because I love the sporting aspect of amateur driving”, “Buffalo Bob” said. “After all, in what sport do you know where amateurs can compete on the same level as the professionals? So what if we don’t get paid for our services, it’s the sport of the completion that’s the driving force”
It took Davis nine hours overall to go to Buffalo for the two races and then return home to Saratoga.
“That’s nothing” Davis said. “Last year I drove 14 hours round-trip to race at on Prince Edward at Charlottetown (Driving Park),”
But it was days like he had yesterday in Buffalo that supplies the impetus.
In his first outing Davis was up behind 7-5 favorite Goddess’s Justin, an 11 year old altered son of Western Hanover.
When the gate sprung Davis sent his charge to the lead from the three-hole and they got away with relatively slow early fractions. Goddess’s Justin passed the first stanza in a soft :30.2 and remained unchallenged past the three quarters which was clocked in 1:30.3 But by then it was too late for the competition as Davis’ pacer kicked in a :28.2 final quarter which turned out to be enough to hold off Hawaiian Joe and driver Richard “the Wolverine” Roach, who enjoyed two-hole journey the entire way.
At the wire heads separated the first two finishers while eight lengths in the rears in third place was Ahead Of The Crowd, driven by Nadine ‘the Outrider” Habke.
Goddess’s Justin is owned by Spalluto, Spalluto, and Dylo and trained by Mihajlo Zdjelar. He paid $5.30 for win.
In the second Billings race Davis employed a come-from-behind strategy.
After starting from post six Davis found a spot along the pylons in fourth positions as the field trotted by the quarter in :30.1. Content to follow the leaders until the field approached the third stanza Davis then moved out to challenge and Christina Victory was second over as they passed the three quarters. In the lane the 11 year old altered son of Victory Sam trotted on to a length victory over Armbro Casino, driven by Richard Roach. And yes it was odd that the same two drivers finished one-two in each Billings race on Sunday.
Fashionableapple was third for Steve “You’re Never Too” Oldford.
Christina Victory is owned by Tessa Roland and trained by J D Perrin. Backers of the winner each received $3.50 for each two-dollar ticket.