Thursday, May 21, 2015


Here are my selections for Friday night's 13-race card at Buffalo Raceway with a post time of 6:35 p.m. (EDT). Wager on the card at TVG, Twin Spires, HRTV, Bet America and many simulcast locations throughout the United States and Canada. Follow the 'Handicapping Challenge' all season long between Buffalo Raceway announcer Michael Carter and Brian's Buffalo Raceway Selections. In the 'Challenge', Brian leads 204-192 through Wednesday night.
                                                 Friday, May 22nd
Race # Horse Comments
1st 3 Ooga Booga Handles this gang with ease
4 Smok'n Muscles New venue may help
5 Herbie Is Gone Ends up with the show dough
2nd 1 Dedalos Ready to roll off brief break
6 Gary's Party Might come back after bad trip
4 Auditorial Will be closing in the stretch
3rd 3 Louie The Fourth Should be 'Louie The First'
7 Emiliana Sharp as any in here
4 Art Of Duty Last wasn't true
4th 2 Secluded Island Might be 'secluded' at the finish
3 Fast Fool Could be involved in speed duel
6 Livefreeordiehard Can't eliminate this guy
5th 1 Causedavysaidso No excuses from the rail
5 Rollmein Chocolate Well-traveled filly has a shot
2 Just A Good Deal Could be a 'great' deal
6th 3 Freaky Flyer Gotta take a 'flyer' on him
2 Dream Shark Has battled much better
1 War Front Post relief makes a danger
7th 2 The Mexican The 'mexi-can" can win this
3 Chrome Finish Should be the major threat
1 Stonetag Will 'tag' along for show
8th 5 Ahead Of The Crowd In front of this crowd at the finish
2 Shadow Baran The garden spot is key
4 Diditagain Hanover Has failed recently as the favorite
9th 2 Im The Cash Man Qualifier says 'cash in' on him
8 Terracina AS Despite the outside post
3 Ona Dream Dreams of third place
10th 3 Farmerssixfournine Looks too strong for this lot
1 Lincoln May set sail from the rail
7 McArdle's Law Capable despite bad starting spot
11th 3 Cracker Stony Back class returns for the victory
2 My Name Is Money Expect some improvement tonight
4 Joltfromtheblue Last was more like it
12th 4 Feets Of Magic Will have the 'magic' here
5 All Got In Figures in this battle
7 Where U At Can't leave off the ticket
13th 4 Aurora Borealus Bounces back after disappointment
1 Girls Luv Diamonds The top challenger
5 Safe Bet Hanover May add value to triple

Best bet: Ooga Booga (1st race)
Live longshot: Ahead Of The Crowd (8th race)

Wednesday night, I had four winners, Keystone Nobility ($4.80) in the third, Studio City ($2.70) in the fourth, Banana Shooter ($4.50) in the tenth and You're Too Funny ($4.40) in the eleventh. I also hit the third race exacta for $11.60.

Friday night's total investment: $82.00
Wednesday night's total winnings: $28.50
Win percentage: 204-for-663  33.8 percent
Top pick in the money: 441-for-663 68.3 percent
Best bet percentage: 21-for-51 42.0 percent
Brian's Selections vs. Michael Carter Challenge: Brian leads 204-192

BANKROLL: minus $969.15

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Buffalo Raceway Weekly Recap For May 17th

It was a nice week on the track for driver Jim McNeight as he posted seven victories during the week to move into the top five in the driver's standings.

Jim McNeight had seven wins on the week
McNeight scored a triple on Wednesday night and added doubles on both Friday and Saturday evenings. He also scored a training win on Saturday night to complete the solid week. He nows has 46 wins in 2015 and $289,084 in purse earnings.

Drew Monti was blanked on Wednesday night but came back strong on the weekend with a thriple on Friday and a four-bagger on Saturday. Monti and Cummings triggered a unqiue Friday night to say the least.

Monti posted a trio of stunning upset wins as he steered McArdle Direct ($160.50), Hurtin Albertan ($13.00) and Little Myra ($17.40) to surprise decisions.
Monti now sits in third place in the driver's race with 86 trips to the winner's circle this season.
Trainer/driver Denny Bucceri lit up the tote board in the 10th race as he drove Kely Jo Wiz to an $84.00 victory.
Denny Bucceri had upset winner
Ray Fisher Jr. also was a part of the wild Friday night at the Hamburg half-mile oval as he notched a $41.40 victory on Carson City Road.
The average win price at Buffalo Raceway Friday night was a whopping $31.20 with the last four races averaging $69.20.
Meanwhile, Cummings, who had a career year in 2014 with 334 victories and over $1.55 million in earnings on the Western New York circuit, continues to be on track to smash his all-time marks.
Last year on this date, the 44-year-old had 91 wins and over $442,000 in earnings. Currently, Cummings has eye-popping numbers with 148 victories through 50 race dates, good for 11th nationally, and over $652,000 in purses.

The most wins in a season at Buffalo Raceway is 214 set back in 2006 by Jim Morrill Jr. With 42 racing days left in the 2015 campaign, Cummings is on pace to crush that mark.
Besides easily sitting atop the Buffalo Raceway driver's standings, Cummings is also the leader nationally in UDR with a mark of .399 for those with over 500 starts.

Ron Beback Jr. had doubles on Wednesday and Friday nights, David McNeight III two wins on Wednesday and Shawn Gray a pair of victories on Wednesday and Saturday.

Buffalo Raceway Driver's Standings (Wins, UDR, Earnings)
1. Kevin Cummings (148, .399, $666,761)
2. Shawn Gray (87, .310, $447,562)
3. Drew Monti (86, .283, $431,006)
4. John Cummings Jr. (55,.316, $330,949)
5. Jim McNeight (45, .194, $289,084)
While Beback Jr. had a good week in the sulky with a pair of doubles, he also showed the way in the training department as conditioned three winners. 

Ron Beback Jr.
Angelo Nappo pulled into a fourth place tie in the rankings with three victories during the week. He is tied with Darren Taneyhill with 27 trips to the winner's circle. 

The training standings got a little tighter as JD Perrin failed to pick up a win. But his edge has been narrowed to 47-41 as John Mungillo notched two wins to get closer.

Don Rothfuss, Richard Roth, Bob Gruber III, and Russell Bratt all had two victories on the week.

Michelle Gramza continues to be the top female trainer on the grounds as she holds a 26-18 advantage over Maris Rice.

The wins were spread out among the conditioners as 28 different trainers posted at least one win.

Buffalo Raceway Training Standings (Wins, UTR, Earnings)
1. JD Perrin (47, .342, $274,491)
2. John Mungillo (41, .353, $225,732)
3. Kirk Desmond (33, .357, $155,216)
4. Angelo Nappo (27, .295, $119,270)
4. Darren Taneyhill (27, .505, $144,599)
Driver Drew Monti let Rockstar Temper and Thisoneandonemore watch their competition do the dirty work but they each reaped the benefits in the end to highlight the featured harness racing events at Buffalo Raceway on Saturday night (May 16th).
Rockstar Temper took the $10,500 Open Pace with a 3/4-length win over Jokerman in a seasonal best 1:54.4 while in the $9,500 Open II Pace, Thisoneandonemore got up in the shadow of the wire to notch the victory in 1:55.2.
Drew Monti scores with Rockstar Temper
The victories by Rockstar Temper and Thisoneandonemore allowed Monti to sweep the early daily double, which returned $22.60. Monti finished the night with four trips to the winner's circle.
In the opener, Jokerman (Jack Flanigen) set sail from the rail and posted fractions of 29.2, 58.0 and 1:27.0. Rockstar Temper ($5.20) sat the pocket and tipped out to collar the pace-setting Jokerman. Western Alumni (Jim McNeight) was along for third.
It was the third win in 12 starts this season for Rockstar Temper (Rocknroll Hanover-Dragon Temper). The 7-year-old is owned by James Carll Caradon and trained by Darrin Monti. The gelding has earned $32,600 this year and $321,913 lifetime.
It was almost an instant replay of the first race in the back half of the early double as Thisoneandonemore ($11.80) sat in the garden spot behind the front-stepping Lucky Nadotremblay Shawn McDonough). This time, instead of tipping to the outside, Monti used the passing lane with the Blissful Hall gelding to win by a neck.
Thisoneandonemore scoots to finish line in Open II

Lucky Nadotrembley was a 'tough luck' second while Charliesandjimmys (Kevin Cummings) rallied for third place.
Thisoneandonemore is owned by David Miller and is conditioned by Ryan Shafer. The 6-year-old gelding, fresh off two wins and a second at Northfield, has now won four times in 2015 tries, earning $21,013.

It wasn't easy but Justgottogetthere managed to narrowly 'get to' the finish line before anyone else and take the $9,500 conditioned trot at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night in 1:59.1 over the fast track.

In the co-featured $9,500 fillies and mares conditioned pace, Ugly Betty continued to dominate the division with another impressive victory. This week, she cruised to a 3-1/4 length score over A Cameo In Life in 1:56.3.

The opener saw Justgottogetthere and driver Jim McNeight use their typical tactics, racing to the top and set the fractions. After posting panels of 29.2, 1:00.0 and 1:29.4, the duo was prepared to take on challengers in the final quarter mile.
Justgottogetthere gets to the wire in time Wednesday night.

The pocket-sitting Studio City (Ron Beback Jr.) gobbled up ground down the passing lane but finished in second place just a head behind the leg-weary but game Justgottogetthere ($5.10). Northern Bullet (Jack Flanigen) had a great chance as well but drifted out badly in the stretch and settled for third.

It was the sixth victory in 11 appearances this season for Justgottogetthere (Valley Victor-Mara's Theme), who has missed the board just once in 2015. The 6-year-old gelding is co-owned by Antonietta Landi and the North Creek Racing Stable LLC. The win pushed his seasonal earnings to $35,387 and $173,869 lifetime.

Ugly Betty (David McNeight III) proved to be the best once again in the co-featured pace for the ladies. She was assigned the outside seven post, was parked the first quarter mile and that made no difference. Once driver Kevin Cummings got Ugly Betty to the lead, it was a battle for second place.
Ugly Betty still a good looking winner at Buffalo Raceway

After being given a parking ticket by A Cameo In Life (Kevin Cummings) to the quarter marker, Ugly Betty ($6.20) cleared and registered times of 28.4, 58.0 and 1:27.3. She enjoyed a three-length edge at the top of the stretch and never looked back.

A Cameo In Life managed to take the place position while V'La Faire (Wade Tomaszewski) finished third. It was the first pari-mutuel start for Tomaszewski.

Owned by Margaret Payne and Jennifer Falcone, Ugly Betty (Camluck-Red Road Rage) has won seven times in 15 tries in 2015. The 7-year-old mare has now won $39,439 this season and $210,912 in her career. Rex Clabaugh handled the training duties.
Mach Stockn Barrel is still the top winner this season at Buffalo Raceway with eight trips to the winner's circle in 2015.

The Prophet Mary, Fast Fool, Donegal Jim, Youwillwishyouhad and A Cameo In Life are second in victories with seven.

Jettison, thanks to a pair of victories in the Niatross B Series finals and the Niatross Invitational, is the leading money earner at $42,660.

Justgottogetthere is the top earner on the trotting side of the ledger with $35,687, thanks to the six wins.

Herbie Is Gone and Valorscross are next with five wins each.
The claim box was relatively slow with no claims on Wednesday, just two on Friday and one on Saturday.

Owner/trainer Brittney Ohol collected pacer Always An Optmist on Friday night for $6,000.

Earlier in the evening, Mike Ohol and Steven Gross got together to take pacer Vital Pearl for $8,000 with Courtney Ohol the conditioner.

Saturday night saw Mark Jakubik select pacer Donegal Jim for the $8,000 price Darren Taneyhill the trainer.
The inside post was the place to be this week at Buffalo Raceway as it produced 14 victories out of the 37 races contested. The seven hole was quite productive with four wins, The eight post failed to score.

Wins By Post Position (For the Week)
1. 14
2.  5
3.  3
4.  7
5.  1
6.  3 
7.  4
8.  0
Wins By Post Position (For The Season)
1. 152
2. 110
3. 107
4. 121
5.  79 
6.  44
7.  29
8.  14
The favorites won 13 of 37 races for a 39 percent average. For the season, the post time favorite has been clicking at a 41.76 rate.
The New York Sire Stakes and Excelsior Series will begin at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday, May 27th with the 'glamour' division rolling into town, the 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers. Make plans in advance to see some top male pacers in action with a 5 p.m. post.
In the "Handicapping Challenge" between Buffalo Raceway announcer Michael Carter and Brian's Buffalo Raceway Selections, Michael still trails Brian 200-186 through the 17th week. 
The handle during the week at Buffalo Raceway increased compared to the previous week..

On Wednesday night $187,955 was taken in, Friday night's total was $197,797 while Saturday night's program collected $314,962. The weekly total was $700,674 for an average of $233,225 per card. Last week's total handle was $553,783.

Racing will resume this week on Wednesday night with a 13-race card scheduled with a 5 p.m. post.

Make clubhouse reservations for Saturday night's card by calling 716-649-1280, ext. 300. There is open seating the rest of the week.

Wednesday Night Specials continue in May with $3 pizza, pop, hot dogs, pretzels and beer.

Racing will also be held on Friday and Saturday nights beginning at 6:35 p.m. Happy Hour is every live racing night from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m.

Sunday afternoon racing will begin on June 7th with a 1:05 p.m. start time.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Fast, Fun Facts From Buffalo Raceway

Here are some fast, fun facts from Buffalo Raceway that might come in handy for you during the 2015 season. Racing starts on Wednesday, January 14th with a 5 p.m. start.

Did you know..........?????

* Dan Daley won 6-of-15 races he started in for a UDR of a .526.

* Jim Morrill Jr. had an amazing .503 UDR with 32 victories in just 89 appearances with 17 second place finishes and 10 shows.
Ronnie Wrenn Jr. expected to drive at Buffalo Raceway.
 * A four-some of early season visitors last season won 164 races. Billy Dobson led the way with 51 wins followed by Ronnie Wrenn Jr. with 48, Aaron Byron 39 and Peter Wrenn 26. Dobson and Wrenn Jr. are expected to drive this coming January at Buffalo.

* Lutetium finished with 16 victories on the season with eight coming at Buffalo Raceway, The trotter finished in a third-place tie for most wins in the United States with 16 overall, finishing just three wins behind leader Rose Run Nash. Lutetium also finished with $44,835 in the bank at Buffalo Raceway and had the highest earnings per start with $3,449.

* Ophiuchus N was tops in wins for the season at Buffalo Raceway with 12 and highest earnings with $49,653.

* Buffalo Raceway's home stretch is 640 feet long and 80 feet wide.

* Since January 1, 2010, Kevin Cummings has posted the most victories as a driver with 742 and a UDR of .298. Jack Flanigen is second during that span with 671 wins and a UDR of .299 while Ray Fisher Jr. stands third with 540 trips to the winner's circle and a UDR of .272. Cummings is also the purse leader with $3,899,398.
Kevin Cummings

Jim Morrill Jr. during that time frame has a gaudy .481 UDR with 155 wins in just 451 appearances on the track.

* On the trainer's side, Jim Graham has the most victories since January 1, 2010 with 263 wins and a UTR of .266. John Mungillo is next with 254 and a UTR of .324 while Sherri Holliday is third with 238 and a UTR of .327. Graham is also tops in earnings with $1,276,319.

JD Perrin, who is in fourth with 233 wins, has the highest UTR during that span with a .386 mark.

* In the period from January 1, 2010 until now, pacers Macho Uno, Most Happy Rider, Up Front Lady Gray and Wyndridge Bliss all have 18 wins while Clearly Possessed and Mighty Looker lead the trotters with 16 apiece.

* There were 1,133 betting races in 2014 at the Hamburg half-mile oval.

* There were 135 claims made at Buffalo Raceway in 2014 compared to 107 claims in 2013.

* More than 6,000 ton of material was put down on the Buffalo Raceway surface this fall. The turns were re-banked and drainage near the finish line was worked on.

* Kevin Cummings, besides leading the driver's colony with 170 trips to the winner's circle, was the leading money earner with $838,902.

* Riini Rekila was the only female to race in a pari-mutual race at Buffalo Raceway and she found the winner's circle with Stoneham ($17.80) in the NY Sire Stakes on July 9th.
Riini Rekila was the  only female to win race at Buffalo in 2014

* On the trainer's side, the ladies did quite well as Ryan Swift led the way with 44 wins, Maria Race 26, Courtney Ohol 25 and Lisa Zgodzinski 20 for a combined total of 115 victories.

* The post time favorite won 43.33 percent of the time.

* Buffalo Raceway's track record book is now divided by gait, grouped by age (2,3,4, 5 and up), and distributed into three sex categories (colts and horses, fillies and mares, geldings).

After the new calculations, Jim Morrill Jr. has driven six current record holders while Jimmy McNeight has five. John Cummings Jr. is next with three, Kevin Cummings, Mickey McGivern, Ray Fisher Jr. and Ray Schnittker two apiece while Mike Caprio, Jerry Nugent Jr., Rodney Laframboise, Dan Noble, Matt Kakaley, Denis St. Pierre, Howard Okusko Jr., Jeff Gregory, Jimmy Whittemore, Tim Tetrick and Jack Flanigen all have one.

* The one hole on the starting grid was in the money 59.5 percent of the time and produced 291 winners.
Buffalo Raceway announcer Michael Carter

* Announcer Michael Carter, called 1133 events in 2014 at Buffalo Raceway and his voice was also heard at the Shenandoah County Fair, Northfield Park and a race at Mohawk Raceway as a fill-in during the off-season. He also subbed at Hazel Park for thoroughbreds race.

* Buffalo Raceway had to cancel their racing program seven times in 2014 due to weather.

* The eight post had horses in the money just 12.7 percent of the time and won just 3 percent of the time.

* A total of seven track records were either tied or broken in 2014 at Buffalo Raceway.

* Art's Delight won 6-of-11 races when the pacer started on an 'off track.'

* There were 98 different drivers who were in the sulky for at least one race in 2014. There were 41 of those who failed to win a race.

* A total of 100 trainers had at least two victories on the season in 2014.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The 'A to Z' Wish List For the 2015 Harness Racing Season

The 2015 harness racing season is just around the corner at Buffalo Raceway and once again I present the ever popular 'A to Z Wish List' for the upcoming year. These are just predictions, hopes and wishes. The views expressed are strictly my own. Enjoy and have a Merry Christmas and healthy New Year.

A: Agosti (Tom) has a great season in his first full year at Buffalo Raceway as Racing Secretary.
B: Beback Jr. (Ron) continues to show consistency as a driver after posting 84 wins at the Hamburg oval in 2014.
Ron Beback Jr.
C: Cummings (Kevin) will once again dominate the local driving colony. He had a career-high 334 victories this season.
D: Diditagain Hanover 'does it again' this season.
E: Every stall remains filled on the Buffalo Raceway backstretch.
F: Father's Day promotion is even more popular and well-attended like in 2014.
G: Guaranteed $5,000 Pick-4 becomes even more popular in 2015.
H: Handicapping Challenge between Brian's Buffalo Raceway Selections and track announcer Michael Carter continues to go MY way.
I: Improvements to the Buffalo Raceway surface brings about even better racing.
J: JD Perrin takes another trainer's title. The 125 victories this year was tops locally for conditioners.
K: Kentucky Derby Day is once again a big draw at Buffalo Raceway.
L: Lutetium can produce another stellar season like in 2014. Might be hard to beat the 16-for-30 record from this season but the 7-year-old trotter will be trying.
M: Morrill Jr. (Jim) driving talents are once again on display locally.
N: Niatross Claiming Series is as exciting as in the past years, including the $25,000 Champions race.
O: Ophiuchus N repeats his 12-race winning mark like in 2014.
P: Pete Arrigenna helps in keeping the Buffalo Raceway half-mile oval in tip-top shape.
Q: Quinellas...just make them go away.
R: Rosecroft Raceway's driver Frank Milby (200 wins in 2014, .300 UDR) is coming to town and finds success in his first season at Buffalo Raceway.
S: Sunday afternoon racing continues to grow in popularity.
T: Track photographer Steve Roth keeps producing great quality finish line and action shots.
Ugly Betty a good looking winner
U: Ugly Betty remains a 'good-looking' choice at Buffalo Raceway.
V: Vengance repeats his 50 percent win record (6-of-12).
W: Wrenn, Ronnie Jr. returns this winter hopefully and tries to improve on his 34 percent win mark.
X: X Factor...The 7 and 8 holes become the 'x factor' in races during 2015 season, after just winning 3 percent of the time in 2014.
Y: Young drivers Drew Monti, David McNeight III and Shawn McDonough continue to make their marks locally.
Z: Zdjelar Jr., Mijhalo still remains one of the top trainers on the Buffalo Raceway backstretch.

Friday, December 19, 2014

2015 New York Sires Stakes Schedule At Buffalo Raceway

It may be the holiday season but your thoughts can turn to spring and summer now as the New York Sire Stakes and Excelsior Series 2015 schedule has been announced including the eight dates the competition for harness racing's up-and-coming stars stops at Buffalo Raceway.

New York Sire Stakes begins at Buffalo Raceway May 27th
The Sire Stakes and Excelsior Series kick off on Wednesday, May 27th when the always competitive and high-profiled 3-year-old colt pacers take to the Hamburg half-mile track. The following Wednesday evening, June 3rd, the 3-year-old filly pacers take center stage.

The series then takes a month off locally before returning continues Wednesday July 1st with the 2-year-old filly pacers followed by the 2-year-old colt pacers on Wednesday July 8th.

Both the Sires Stakes and Excelsior Series races will be held on one night in the specific divisions.

The Sire Stakes finals will be at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday 12th (3-YO divisions) and Saturday, September 26th (2-YO divisions) and the Excelsior Series championships (all divisions) are slated for Vernon Downs on Saturday, September 19th.

Buffalo Raceway opens the 2015 campaign on Wednesday, January 14th with a 5 p.m post. There will also be racing on Friday and Saturday nights with a 6:35 p.m. post. Sunday afternoon racing begins on June 7th at 1:05 p.m.

For more information on Buffalo Raceway, go to

Below is the complete 2015 New York Sire Stakes and Excelsior Series schedule at Buffalo Raceway.

Wednesday, May 27th....3-YO Colt Pacers
Wednesday, June 3rd......3-YO Filly Pacers
Wednesday, July 1..........2-YO Filly Pacers
Wednesday, July 8..........2-YO Colt Pacers
Sunday, July 12th............3-YO Filly Trotters
Wednesday, July 15th......2-YO Filly Trotters
Sunday, July 19th.............3-YO Colt Trotters
Wednesday, July 22nd.....2-YO Colt Trotters

Saturday, September 12th...New York Sire Stakes finals (3-YO divisions)
Saturday, September 19th...Excelsior Series finals at Vernon Downs (All divisions)
Saturday, September 26th...New York Sires Stakes finals at Yonkers Raceway (2-YO divisions)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Buffalo Raceway Current Track Records

Getting ready for the 2015 live harness racing season at Buffalo Raceway that starts on January 14, 2015? Get in the mood by taking a look at the current track records and see what the horses will be shooting at this season. A total of seven marks were set or tied last year.

All Age   
One MileGural Hanover1:56.12014
Three Year Olds   
ColtGural Hanover1:56.12014
Two Year Olds   
ColtRoyal Deceptor1:59.32014
FillyMunis Blue Chip2:00.22009
All Age   
One MileSteelhead Hanover1:52.32012
9/16 MileProbationer1:05.21994
1-1/16 MileMr Bohana2:09.31982
1-1/2 MileCasimir Lime Lite3:07.21995
MaresMajic Laughter1:54.22014
 Case Solved1:54.22014
Three Year Olds   
ColtSteelhead Hanover1:52.32012
Two Year Olds   
ColtHe's Watching1:55.42013
FillySilk Purse1:56.32011
 Summertime Lea1:56.32012