by john manzi for the Billings Series
The granddaddy of all amateur racing organizations, the CKG Billings Harness Driving Series, moved north of the border on Friday night, June 23, for two contests at Grand River Raceway in Elora, Ontario. The first, a trot, saw Sherwin “the Magician” Edwards rein Willyorwonthe to a 1:58.4 triumph while the second, a pace, went to Shane “the Freelton Flash” Arsenault and Lulu’s Boy in a 1:58.2 clocking.
Being that the Billings races were in Canada most of the participating drivers were Canadian except for Steve “You’re Never Too” Oldford and “Buffalo Bob” Davis.
In his contest Sherwin Edwards sent Willyorwonthe to the lead from the three-hole and quickly gained command and in doing so he played hardball with Natasha “Lady” Day who was up behind the betting favorite Hldontghtoyurdrms. Edwards parked her through fractions of :28.1; :58.1 and 1:28.2 until Ms. Day’s trotter began to get leg weary after they passed the third stanza.
However, Willyorwonthe still had on his trotting shoes and began to draw clear of the competition. When the field straightened for home Shane Arsenault and Lexis DJ who were traveling along with cover, took aim at the leader after enjoying a two-hole journey. But Edwards' trotter was up to the task and he rebuffed the challenge and charged home a 1-3/4 length victor over Lexis DJ. Hldontghttoyurdreams held on for the show dough.
The winner, an altered 4-year-old son of Angus Hall, is owned and trained by William Megens. He returned a $6.60 mutuel to his backers.
In the pacing contest, Shane Arsenault aped Sherwin Edwards’ journey in the first event and sent Lulu’s Boy down the road and they made every pole a winning one. Although pressured in the deep stretch Arsenault’s pacer dug in and held off a late charge by Bet on Art and driver by Dave “Modern Legend” Drew. Every Girl’s Desire, with Brent Hollingsworth is the pilot’s seat, rambled home two lengths behind the winner in third place.
The veteran 10 year-old Art Major Gelding is owned by Louis Sorella and Gene Miller and trained by Robert Fellows. He paid $9/90 for win.