by john manzi, for the Billings Series
It’s been a long time between pots for Gregg “Fast Greggy” Keidel but tonight (July 29) at the Summit Fair at Northfield Park he turned the tables on his competition and drove impressively when he went down the road with Star Chip and turned back seven others in a 1:58.2 trotted mile.
Although the harness racing executive has had only three driving victories since 2009 he was among the top drivers in the Billings Amateur Driving Series where he had won over 100 races prior to devoting the majority of his time to the racing departments at various racetracks in the Midwest.
However, to be fair, Keidel hasn’t driven many times in recent years (only 32 since 2009) and only does when he can get away from the racing office.
Tonight in greater Cleveland, he was a perfect fit behind the Kurt Sugg-trainee and Keidel wasted no time sending his charge to the lead when the gate sprung. And despite nearly half the field stuck on the limb in the early going Keidel got Star Chip by the first panel in a relatively soft 30.1.
The ‘limbed’ horses didn’t keep the pressure on Star Chip and Keidel was able to get away with another :30.2 quarter. However, from there it was Katey bar the door as Keidel stepped on the gas and Star Chip trotted away with a :28.4 third panel and then added another .29.1 quarter to coast home a three-length winner over Upfront Chip Daddy and driver “Michelle the Belle” Ruvola which gave the offspring of the veteran stallion Chip Chip Hooray first and second money in the contest. Third place went to Strong Hope ,driven by “Lawbook Larry” Farley.
Owned by Rebecca Sugg ,Star Chip won for the fifth time this year and paid $6.20 for win. For "Fast Greggy" it was his 103rd driving victory.