Day At The Track

Stillwell, Hechkoff both Billings winners

02:46 PM 22 Jan 2021 NZDT
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Bob “the Headhunter” Hechkoff, Harness racing
Bob “the Headhunter” Hechkoff

Yonkers, NY—The Billings is back. After being sidelined all last year because of the Corona virus the granddaddy of all amateur harness racing series made its seasonal debut at Yonkers Raceway tonight (Jan. 21) with two $6000 non-wagering divisions that were contested prior to the betting card getting underway with familiar names and newcomers participating.

The first division was won by newcomer “Steady Jake” Stillwell with Dark Pool in a 2:01.3 clocking while the second split saw veteran amateur reinsman Bob “the Headhunter” Hechkoff guide Pound Sterling to an easy victory in a 1:59.4 clocking.

In his division Stillwell got away in third position and then moved to the front before the half mile timer tripped 1:01.3. Once in command Stillwell played catch me if you can and not surprisingly no one could as Dark Pool rambled on to an oh-so-easy four-length triumph in a time of 2:01.3.. Noble Warrawee and Mike Polansky chased the winner home for second money while “Yankee Joe “Lee garnered the show dough with Can Do.

It must have been a thrill for Stillwell since this was his first lifetime driving victory.

The winning horse was the 8-year-old altered son of Cantab Hall who is owned by Barry Franklin and trained by Paul Fusco.

In the other split Hechkoff' sent Pound Sterling to the front when the wings of the mobile gate folded and the veteran 8-year old Muscle Hill gelding put it on cruise control and made every pole a winning one en route to a 2-length victory in a time of 1:59.4. If I Must, driven by "Coach Paul” Minore, started in second place early but couldn't make up any ground and finished second. Third place went to Chas Hanover who was driven “Mighty Marianna” Monaco.

With the season just getting started and lots of room to add events the next Billings trot will once again be at Yonkers Raceway on February 4.

Anyone interested in joining the Billings Series can do so by contacting the series president Tony “the Capo” Verruso by calling 917-697-8985.

 

John Manzi

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