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Clevenger wins Amateur Driving Championship
Wednesday, September 07, 2005 - by David Siegel

Sacramento, CA --- It was to be a battle of male versus female, young versus, well, not-as-young, as 21-year-old Tim Clevenger was all set to guide Altiora Peto around the Cal-Expo oval in the finale of the TVG California Amateur Driving Championship on Labor Day. But after scoring down, he felt something was off with the gelding. He brought him into the paddock and together with trainer Tom Wine, decided to scratch the horse.

Sue Boyce, coming into the finale in second place in the standings loomed large as her entry, the Rick Plano-trained Improved Wealth, had won the week prior with Sue doing the driving. Sue began driving in the 1970s, before Clevenger was born, and had not driven since 2000. But she was back! Like a leader in the clubhouse, Tim could only wait. His destiny was in Sue’s hands.

Myron Amman darted out of the gate with his charge, Unequalled Stamina, to a seven length lead. It looked insurmountable and in the end, it was. Sue finished third, but was placed second after an objection launched by another driver. Sue ended up the series in second and Myron in third.

14 different drivers raced in the four week event sponsored by TVG. More than 20 trainers entered horses. The event raised over $2,000 for Saddle Pals, an equine therapeutic riding center benefiting physically and mentally challenged children in the Sacramento area. A check was presented to the group in the winner’s circle and the California Amateur Driving Club (CADC) and the California State Fair made a trophy presentation to the top three drivers.

The series winner, Tim Clevenger, will now represent the recently reborn CADC in the Tim Fouts Memorial race to take place on Sunday, September 18 at Delaware, Ohio during Jug week.

Clevenger remarked, “I am really excited about driving over the same track that the industry’s best have raced on. Being so far away from all other tracks, we don’t get to see other drivers and horses out here in California. I am really looking forward to meeting folks from around the country.”

Asked about not being able to drive in the last leg of the series Tim remarked, “Winning is great, but driving is what I like to do, and I am sorry I could not be in the finale. It would not have been fair to Peto to race him. I was excited about it coming down to the wire between me and Sue and I am glad she did so well her last three races in the series.”

David Siegel, CADC president commented, “The Fair and Dave Elliott in particular, TVG and the horsemen have been so wonderfully supportive of our efforts. The handle was on par with the rest of the races, we had more drivers than we could even use, and the amateurs were truly excited and supportive of one another. I really could not have asked for more. While we all want to have fun racing, our goal is to show potential owners that amateur driving could be in their future if they purchase a Standardbred. I have already received several inquiries, so I think we are on our way.”