by john manzi for the Billings Series
Known by his Billings nickname of “Buffalo Bob” Robert Davis scored a brilliant upset victory in the granddaddy of all amateur racing series when he guided Savage Cinderella to a 1:56.3 victory over “Hurricane Hannah” Miller’s Panana Republic last night (April 14) at the Meadowlands.
“It was such a great stretch duel with my trotter and Hannah’s each putting their heads in front at various stages right up to the wire where my mare was a head better in the tight photo,” Davis related with great enthusiasm.
“We went back and forth all the way from the three -quarter pole; first my mare was in front then Hannah’s was the leader. Such a great battle that to me was reminiscent of the Alydar- Affirmed stretch duel of thoroughbred racing lore.”
After moving down a starting position (to post two) due to a late scratch Davis hustled Savage Cinderella to the lead and was somewhat taken aback when the first quarter timer flashed :27.4.
“We Ieft the gate in a hurry and when the field settled I realized I needed to give my mare a breather so I tapped the breaks and we got by the half in 57 and a piece,” Davis explained.
It was at that point that Hannah Miller sent the races betting favorite, Panana Republic, toward the front and therein the battle ensued.
The two leaders opened daylight between themselves and the rest of the field and the racing fans were the recipients of a great horse race right to the finish line.
Third place went to BL Class Act driven by “Slate Hill Allen” Sisco.
Owner Robert Rigobello of nearby Brooklyn was happy that his Savage Cinderella got a chance to race at the Meadowlands and happier still that she won the race. He was joined by trainer Diane Peterson fort the winners circle ceremonies.
It was the third seasonal victory for the Saratoga Raceway-based 9-year-old daughter of Keystone Savage and 44th of her career. Dismissed by the betting public and sent off at odds of nearly 30-1 Savage Cinderella paqid $61.20 for win.
For “Buffalo Bob” Davis it was his second seasonal driving victory and the 30th of his amateur career.