In C.K.G. Billings Series action on Wednesday, June 19th  two  amateur trots went to post at Monticello Raceway and when the results were official Howie “the Horse” Gelfand and  Harvey “Doc” Stein each reined a winner in driving finishes.


Gelfand , a sales agent by trade from Mississauga, ON , won with Four Starz F in 2:02.3 while Stein, a veterinarian from Moreau, NY,  got Make it Hot home first in a 2:04.1 clocking. Both races needed the photo finish camera to determine the winners.


In his division “ Doc” Stein  was content to take a seat on the first  turn and follow Mandinga as driver Tony “the Capo” Verruso cut the fractions.


“Doc” stayed comfortably behind Verruso until the passing lane opened and then he angled his trotter   to the inside and Make It Hot did the rest,  overtaking the leader and then holding off a late charge on the far outside  by Bobby “Rapid Rail” Krivelin and Ace High Hall to score a head victory. Mandinga faded and finished third just a length behind the winner.


“This old guy will fool you because he likes to leave quickly but he’s no good on the front end  and races way better when he follows,” “Doc” Stein said of Make It Hot, the classy  veteran winner of over $275,000 in a great career which included a victory nine years ago  in a 1:55.2 clocking –his lifetime record--in the famed Old Oaken Bucket over the lightning fast half-mile oval at Delaware, Ohio.


“I’ve had professional drivers handle him but he races better for me than for them because I know him best,” Stein added.


He went on to say that Make It Hot, a very gentle 12 year old Self Possessed stallion, will have three of his colts in the sale at Morrisville, NY later this year. And although it wasn’t meant as a reward, the old guy (the horse, that is) is scheduled to breed one of Stein’s mares, Congo Queen, tomorrow at his farm in Moreau, NY.


Owned by the Stein Racing Stable, Make It Hot scored his first seasonal victory and 26th of his career.  Trained by “Doc” Stein the trotter paid $13.60 for win. And for Stein, it was his 24th win  in his amateur driving career.


Howie  Gelfand, in from Canada, made his U.S. debut a winning one in a near triple dead-heat  when he  too, used the passing lane for  a victory.


After leaving from the five hole Gelfand sent  Four Starz F to the lead on the first turn and then yielded to Dave “Yes It’s True” Offenberg with Whatnblazes.


Content to  trot along in second place until the top of the lane at which point Gelfand sent his trotter down the passing lane and  Four Starz F out-footed Whatnblazes to the wire  and then held off  Iroquouindianmagic and driver Alan “the Intimidator” Schwartz to score  a short head victory in 2:02.3. And Whatnblazes was just a nose behind the aforementioned duo in third place.