Miller, Hechkoff win Billings events at Yonkers

Yonkers, NY — The granddaddy of all amateur driving organizations, the C.K.G. Billings Series, moved on to Yonkers Raceway on Thursday (Aug. 15) for a pair of trots over the speedy double oval, with “Tough Tyler” Miller and Bob “the Headhunter” Hechkoff reining winners in their respective divisions.

Miller drove the Nick Surick-trained veteran Jacks To Open, to a 2-1/2 length triumph in 1:59.1 while Hechkoff scored a 1:58 victory with Five Towns, another old-timer who is trained by Kyle Spagnola.

In his split, Miller was content to head to the pylons from post three as “Smokin’ Joe” Faraldo, up behind Tough Get Going, played hardball with Mystical Power, driven by Tony “the Capo” Verruso. That pair zipped by the quarter in :28, raced was a team past the half in :57.4, and they were still side by side at the three-quarters in 1:28.2.

When Mystical Power began to show signs of the overland trip, Miller moved Jacks To Open out to challenge. He trotted to the front before the head of the lane and coasted home an easy winner over Southwind Dorian, driven by 16-year-old Brett “the Kid” Beckwith. Faraldo garnered the show dough with Tough Get Going.

Hechkoff used the front-end route to score an easy triumph in 1:58 with the veteran Five Towns, a 10-year-old Andover Hall gelding.

Five Towns started from post three, and once in command, he trotted along with no serious challenges until “Joltin’ Joe” Pennacchio got Super Manning in high gear as the field neared the third stanza. But that rally was short-lived, as Five Towns was up to the challenge and trotted away to an easy victory over Pennacchio’s trotter. Shady McCoy finished third for Dave “the Rave” Offenberg.

Both races went as non-wagering affairs before the first race on the betting card.

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