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Flamboro Billings To Sgrignouli, Eas Ideal

Published: May 28, 2018 12:48 pm ET

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On Sunday (May 27), harness racing's greatest travelling roadshow, the CKG Billings Harness Driving Series, was on the move again, this time north of the border for a nine-horse pacing event at Flamboro Downs.

After Jason Sgrignouli sent Eas Ideal to the front from the six-hole, his five-year-old Sportswriter gelding made easy work of it. He made every pole a wining one en route to a three and a half-length victory in 1:59 (the first and longest running amateur driving series in the modern era, the Billings members sometime use pacers in their travels when a field of trotters is not available).

A soft :30.1 first quarter probably made Sgrignouli's journey a lot easier for his 7-1 shot. He cruised along with nearly even fractions while saving something for the final quarter, which was the fastest split in the race. As it turned out, a :29.2 final panel was needed by the Dorval, Que. electrician in order to keep Matt Zuccarello and his charge Crafty Xample at bay.

When the wings of the mobile gate folded, the even-money favourite, L Dees Luca, handled by Billings vice president Steve Oldford, got away a bad seventh from the three-hole. By the time the field had passed the halfway point, L Dees Luca was some 10 lengths behind – ground he never made up. He finished fourth, two lengths behind Warrawee Phoenix and driver Robert Ciavardini, who was the third under the wire.

The winner, owned by Brenda Rankin and Brandon Chariot, paid $16.00; $7.00 and $8.50 across the board. He is trained by Jim Rankin.

The second Canadian Billings race, a 10-horse trot, is slated for tonight (Monday, May 28) at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

(With files from the CKG Billings Series)


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