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Sunday, July 15, 2018

Buffalo Raceway Weekly Recap for 7/15

Buffalo Raceway begins its final week of racing in 2018 beginning on Wednesday and while the top two places are settled in the driver's race, there's still some minor skirmishes for third and fourth.

Drew Monti has locked of the driver's championship, his first ever at Buffalo Raceway. He had just three wins on the week, including a double on Saturday night, but his 117-win total will not be challenged.
Driver Jeff Gregory

There's a remote chance Shawn Gray could lose out on second place but Ray Fisher Jr. and Billy Davis Jr. will have to have stellar nights the last three days of the meet to move up in the rankings.

The battle is for third and fourth place currently with Fisher Jr. holding a slim one-win lead over Davis Jr., 94-93. Fisher Jr. had a big weekend, doubling on Friday then adding four more on Saturday. Davis Jr. in the meantime had two victories on Wednesday and notched the 'hat trick' on Saturday.

Jim Morrill Jr. posted doubles on both the Wednesday and Friday night cards which vaulted him into fifth place. He holds a two-win lead over both John Cummings Jr. and Kevin Cummings who each have 36 wins. Kevin Cummings finished with three victories including a double on Wednesday.

Andy Miller made his trip to Buffalo Raceway worthwhile on Wednesday night as he captured three races, two of which were in New York Sire Stakes competition.

Former local driver Jeff Gregory returned home as well on Wednesday and scored two wins.

There were a total of 16 different drivers who had wins on week.

Buffalo Raceway Driver's Standings (Wins, UDR, Purse Earnings)
1. Drew Monti (117, .336, $675,559
2. Shawn Gray (103, .483, $511,544)
3. Ray Fisher Jr. (94, .298, $549,900)
4. Billy Davis Jr. (93, .306, $570,414)
5. Jim Morrill Jr. (38, .376, $394,614)
Trainer Russell Bratt may not be in one of the top five spots in the conditioning standings but he made his presence be known this past week with four victories.
Russell Bratt

Bratt started out with a single victory on Wednesday night but sent three of his charges to the winner's circle on Saturday to finish off the week to have the most conditioning wins on the week.

Maria Rice had three victories on the week including a pair on Saturday. She is securely in third place in the trainer's standings.

Rose Russo, Gerry Sarama and Darrin Monti each had two victories during the week.

James Clouser Jr., failed to post a win during the week but still has a commanding 78-61 edge over JD Perrin who surprisingly had just score during the 35-race stint.

There were 27 different trainers who had at least one win on the week.

Buffalo Raceway Trainer's Standings (Wins UTR, Purse Earnings)
1. James Clouser Jr. (78, .493, $407,051)
2. JD Perrin (61, .398, $290,789)
3. Maria Rice (42, .330, $292,822)
4. Gerry Sarama (29, .304 $196,914
5. Ryan Swift (28, .306, $171,222)
Now they are even. After Classic American N ($3.90) suffered a heart breaking nose setback last week to Western Conquest in Buffalo Raceway's $11,500 Open Pace, he returned the favor on Saturday night (July 14) by pinning a demoralizing head loss on the hard-charging Western Conquest in 1:56.0.
Classic American N (#1) takes Open Pace.

For the second consecutive week, the Open Pace was reduced to four entrants with Best Ears and Sir Ziggy's Z Tam both scratched due to illness. So that left a quartet to battle it out over the good track.

This time around, Classic American N got the upper hand early and set the tempo as Western Conquest had to give chase. With fractions of :28.4, :58.0 and 1:27.2, it ended up being a repeat of last Saturday's race between the two.

In the lane, Classic American N (Billy Davis Jr.) managed to stay in front as Western Conquest made a late surge but ran out of real estate. Focus Power (Drew Monti) took the show position.

Co-owned by the Nick Surick Stable LLC and the J L Benson Stables, Inc. and trained by Sabrina Clevenger, it was the fourth win in 21 starts for Classic American N (American Ideal-Classic Vicolo). The victory increased his seasonal bankroll to $32,270 and $271,455 in his career.

BZ Glide ($9.00) got the early jump on the field in Buffalo Raceway's $11,500 Open Trot on Friday night (July 13) and just kept right on rolling to post a solid three-quarter length victory over Barn Winner in 1:57.4.

BZ Glide wires the field in Open Trot on Friday.
It was a wide open affair according to the tote board with Fox Valley Veto (Jim Morrill Jr.) sent off as the lukewarm 5-to-2 post time favorite while BZ Glide, Southern Palms and Barn Winner were each dismissed at 7-to-2.

BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) nabbed the front end with relative easy, registering fractions of :28.4, :59.1 and 1:29.0 on the fast track. He braced himself for challengers in the stretch but no one could come up with the answer. Using a :28.4 last panel, BZ Glide never wavered in the lane and held off the timid bids of Barn Winner (Ray Fisher Jr.) and Fox Valley Veto who had to settle for the second and third place checks.

Owned by the Caprio Stable LLC and trained by Alana Caprio, BZ Glide (Yankee Glide-Bloomer Zoomer) is a 9-year-old gelding who was won three times in nine attempts this season. The victory pushed his 2018 earnings to $27,600 and to $283,602 in his career.

It was another harness racing day at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night (July 11) and there was another track record broken as Amal Hall ($3.20) did the honors this time with a hard-fought neck victory in her $36,000 (approx.) division of New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for the 2-year-old filly trotters.

Amal Hall sets track record in NYSS win on Wednesday.
Amal Hall (Andy Miller) went the mile in 1:59.0, blowing away the previous mark of 2:00.0 set last season by Plunge Blue Chip. It was the tenth track record either broke or tied at Buffalo Raceway in 2018.

Miller swept the NYSS early daily double as he guided With Out A Doubt ($3.70) to the win in 2:00.4 while Safe Word ($5.10) captured the final bracket with a 4-3/4 length decision in 2:01.0 with Jeff Gregory in the bike.

In the opener, Quincy Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) set the pace while Sensibility (Scott Zeron) and Amal Hall tucked into second and third respectively. Approaching the three-quarter marker, Miller tipped Amal Hall first over and began to chip into the lead turning for home.

Eventually, Amal Hall wore down the pace-setting Quincy Blue Chip and managed to stick a neck in front at the wire for the win. Sensibility took the show position.

"When I pulled her out, she kept going faster and faster," Miller said of Amal Hall. "I am happy with her performance. She's a nice filly."

With Out A Doubt rallies late for NYSS victory.

Co-owned by the Andy Miller Stable, the Getty Stable and the Dumain Haven Farm, Amal Hall (Credit Winner-Arabella Hall) is trained by Julie Miller. The win was the second in three tries this season for Amal Hall who pushed her earnings to $47,058.

Miller made it two straight as he used the passing lane to give With Out A Doubt a three-quarter length score over Gobi Princess (Zeron) and Exotic Diamond (Morrill Jr.).

Summermusic'chapter (Dan Daley) set the tempo with splits of :30.0, 1:01.1 and 1:31.2 but was under siege as the field turned for home. With Out A Doubt dropped to the 'lightning lane' and was the quickest in the dash to the wire.

Co-owned by Ross Bonafield, Robert McCarthy and James Moran, With Out A Doubt (Conway Hall-Queen Of More) is trained by Erv Miller. The win was the first in three attempts for With Out A Doubt, now a winner of $29,140.
Driver Jeff Gregory and Safe Word cruise to win in NYSS.

The final division was a stroll for Safe Word as she went right to the lead and never looked back in posting a solid 4-3/4 length triumph over Liquorstoreblues (Morrill Jr.). It's My Party (Sam Schillaci) took the show position.

Safe Word posted splits of :30.3, 1:01.4 and 1:32.0 and had no threats in cruising to the finish line.

Owned by driver/trainer Gregory, William Richardson, Martin Garey and Henry Wieseneck, Safe Word (Credit Winner-Fifty Shades) has now posted two wins in three starts, earning $44,321.

Miller finished the night with three wins as he drove Song Chapter ($5.00) to a victory in a $15,000 division of the Excelsior A Series with a mile of 2:04.0. Barn Tease ($5.10) took the other leg as Claude Huckabone Jr. steered her to the decision in 2:03.2.

In the $6,600 Excelsior B events, Ms O'Reilly ($12.60) took her race for Gregory with a 2:04.4 mark while Morganslovin Dream (Daley) trotted the mile in 2:04.2 and returned $5.10 in the victory.
Lightning Raider N is leading the way with the most victories on the season at Buffalo Raceway with 12. Freaky Flyer and Mach Stockn Barrel are is next in line with eight victories. Mach Stockn Barrel is the top money winner with $46,851.

True Muscle has the most trotting victories with eight while Empire Earl N is next in wins with six. He is also the top purse earner for the trotters with $46,618, $233 behind Mach Stockn Barrel for most money won.
For the week, one and four posts led way for the 35 races. The inside post gathered nine victories while the four spot was next with eight wins. All post positions had at least one score on the week.

Wins By Post Position (Week/Year)
1.  9 (166)
2.  3 (102)
3.  6 (87)
4.  8 (118)
5.  3 (86)
6.  3 (40)
7.  2 (26)
8.  1 (101
I'd like to once again thank Buffalo Raceway photographer Steve Roth with the great action shots and other pictures used on this blog. Without his cooperation and dedication in helping promote harness racing locally, this spot would be a lot more difficult to do. To order any of his photos, go to
In the 'Handicapping Challenge between Brians Buffalo Raceway Selections and Buffalo Raceway track announcer Wayne Teaven, after 23 weeks of competition, Wayne leads the battle 250-195.
There were three days of racing at Buffalo Raceway this week and the handle on Wednesday night was $196,596, Friday raked in $125,987 and Saturday produced $131,312 for a weekly total of $453,895. The daily average for the week was $151,298. Last week's handle for the four days was $355,577.
There was one claim made on Wednesday night, none were made on Friday while three were made on Saturday.

Wednesday night saw owner/trainer Gary Martin take pacer Skyway Tia for the $4,000 tag.

Marissa Russo and Ken Urbanczyk combined to to take a pair of pacers. First, they selected Adversary Seelster for $10,000 and capped the night by snagging Lightning Raider N for $5,500. David Russo will handle the training duties. Also on the card, Rebel Soldier went for $8,000 to owner Tessa Roland with JD Perrin the conditioner.
The last week of the season begins on Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with an 11-race card featuring action once again in the New York Sire Stakes. The 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers will take center stage along with events in the Excelsior A and B series.

Action will then resume on Friday with a 5 p.m. start time while the Saturday's card begins at 6 p.m. to close out the campaign.

Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. will be the Erie County Fair races, all of which are non-betting affairs. The regular pari-mutuel races will follow at 5 p.m.

Saturday night is Erie County Fair Night with lucky fans will be eligible to win tickets to the fair.

Remember, Happy Hour is every live racing day from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. with $4.25 drafts, well drinks along with other items.

There's great simulcasting as well on Wednesday through Sunday featuring tracks from all around North America.

For more information on Buffalo Raceway including the latest news, race results, replays, entries and upcoming promotions, go to www