by John Manzi, for the Billings Series
Northfield, Ohio — On Sunday evening (Oct. 21), ten trotters went to post in a mid-region Billings trot at Northfield Park and after studying the races betting patterns only three horses had a legitimate shot at victory and two were sent away by the betting public at odds of less than 2-1 with the third at 9-2 and when the judges posted the official sign Nashville Holiday and driver Gregg “Fast Greggy” Keidel (9-5) walked away with all the marbles.
Keidel, who has delved in more aspects of harness racing than most, wasted no time in sending his charge to the lead from the two-hole despite a challenge from Steve “You’re Never Too” Oldford with the slight (7-5) betting favorite, Santini.
As the field marched to the quarter pole Keidel stepped on the gas and opened a position behind him for Oldford to fall in along the pylons which Steve did before the quarter pole timer flashed :28.4.
Meanwhile, Michelle “The Belle”Ruvola and Better Call Saul, who started from post seven, got caught on the limb and they remained parked-out the entire mile.
As the field passed the half in :58.4 Nashville Holiday was cutting the fractions and Santini tight on Keidel’s back in the two hole. The order remained the same among the top two as Bob “Lumberman” Troyer moved Sneaky Sam into third place as they trotted by the three quarters in 1:29.4.
Down the lane Keidel put the pedal to the metal and Nashville Holiday opened up a 2-1/2 length lead which he held over Santini all the way to the wire. Despite being parked all the way Better Call Saul chugged home for a third place finish.
After five second place finishes and four thirds in 16 trips to post this season the seventeenth was a charm for Nashville Holiday who paid $5.80 for win. The 5-year-old altered son of SJ’s Caviar is owned by Jeffrey and Toni Arvin and trained by Jeff Brewer. For Gregg Keidel, who has driven sparingly over the past decade, this marked his l04th winning drive.