by John Manzi, for the C.K.G. Billings Series
Monticello, NY — No, Hechkoff and Offenberg isn’t a law firm nor an accounting firm. Hechkoff and Offenberg were winners of their respective divisions of the C.K.G. Billings Harness Driving Series at Freehold Raceway on Saturday (May 3).
Bob ‘The Headhunter” Hechkoff was victorious with his own trotter, Tagmaster, in a time of 2:00 while Dave “Yes Its True” Offenberg reined Arden Homestead’s Drill Sergeant Sam home first in a 2:02.2 mile.
In his division Heckoff hustled Tagmaster to the lead from the three-hole and proceeded to travel relatively unchallenged through nearly even quarters of :30, :30.1, :29.3 and :30 en route to an easy four length victory over Rompaway Alvin and driver Dave “Steady As” Yarock. Third place went to 39-1 outsider Rodeo Red who was in rein to “Smokin’ Joe” Faraldo.
Owned by Hechkoff’s RBH Ventures and trained by Virgil Morgan Jr., Tagmaster paid $12.20 for win. For Hechkoff, an executive recruiter by trade, the victory was his first this season and the 45th of his amateur driving career.
With Dave Offenberg without a mount at Freehold, Peter Gerry stepped up and allowed Offenberg to drive Drill Sergeant Sam, whom Gerry was scheduled to drive and it worked out good for both sportsmen.
In that contest Offenberg sat a two-hole trip behind rather stiff early fractions and waited patiently to move off the pylons, which he did after the field trotted by the three-quarters in 1:30.4. Drill Sergeant Sam had command at the top of the lane and the trotter hung on gamely to score a neck victory over Some Kind Of Spunky, driven by Alan “King” Charles. “Tough Tony” Ciuffetelli took home the show dough with L F Topaz.
Sent off at odds of more than 17-1, Drill Sergeant Sam, trained by Peter Gerry, paid $7.20, $13.40 and $6.60 across the board.
For Offenberg, a business executive and longtime horse owner, it was his first seasonal driving victory and the 44th of his amateur driving career.
Next Billings action will be on Saturday (May 10), again at Freehold Raceway.